Archive for the ‘Prose’ Category

Image result for ART WORK OF NIGERIAN RIVERS WOMAN

Ibiye, I want to unlearn you,

the way your braid tip strokes the small of your back

and wakes the bashful gooseflesh above your waist beads.
Your ribs are a trebuchet beneath your breasts

pulling your heart to and away from me,

launching indifference at a million revs per second.
Your eyelids, a honey comb of dying bees.
Love should not blow hot and cold,
it is not a stone lost in the desert storm,
a hotplate at noon, an ice cube at midnight.
The road to your heart is a bamboo raft, moss-ridden and termite infested.

A farce of a bridge over a running stream racing towards it brothers at Ogbia,

Running late for the conclave
I am no good with words,

I am not Belema whose tongues rolls into a river dance when he woos the girls.
A damsel each festival and they are none the wiser.
My lips are black and protuberant from the songs I want to sing you

but bite back each time I see you with him.
Fingers entwined like reckless vines squeezing my throat and crushing my wind pipe.

No songs from this one.
Oh Ibiye, love is a song stuck on November’s lips.

A stillborn strangled in its sleep by a placenta that promised upkeep.
If I kept record of every pebble flung into the river in rage

to drown out the throbbing ache in my chest,

I’d have a mountain named after you beneath the waves.
I will not be a remnant, an aftertaste, when the honey has had its fill of your lips.
He is no good for you
I can tell, with the way hubris buoys his cheeks
His tone, an octave higher as he offers the regale, tales of how he smashed into you
and watched your twin towers crash into a rubble of rivers
Grains of stained sand and broken earth, convulsion and not so subtle moans

of his name and then mine in whispers of innocence lost.
He is no good for you,
I can tell because he is my brother and we share our father’s name.

 

  • Efe OGUFERE

INFERNO Ep2

Posted: April 10, 2015 in Prose

  

Saturdays weren’t meant to be this cold. The Great Mall stood in its tall, intimidating beauty as the wind shivered it seemed with both cold and reverence. It is the longed-for splendor this ancient city needed to come to life, David thinks as they drive into the parking lot alive with bright faces and staccato sounds of heels bouncing off the tarmac.

The world is a collection of ill-fitting aggregates forced into a glass and affluence is the liquid that fills the gaping holes between them. His Father was somewhere in that mix, somewhere down and close to the bottom, subsisting as one of life’s sediments. There was no affluence in his glass to fill the holes, and so, when the fragile aggregates of his existence were stirred, his livelihood was blown away.

The auto shop was not much to look at but it put food on the table each grumpy night. “What was demeanor when filling an empty stomach?” his father often asked in a wry tone. Hard labor, it was, that broke the man and put his son through school. He had done it alone; his wife had died bringing forth their only child into the cold, hard life that was all the little rascal had ever known. With a shadow for a father and a ghost for a mother, he bullied his way through school, hiding the lonely ache in his heart. He was a depressed child.

She gasps in awe at the sheer beauty of the edifice and regrets that it had taken her till now to agree to come with them. The government really outdid themselves this time. Everything was sparkling and bright and you couldn’t quite shake off the smell of chocolates and roses as you walked by. An instant cure for a hurting heart and a balm for a broken one, she thinks and steals a glance at “the culprit”, her husband. ‘Oh well’ she says, making sure to conceal her pleasure with the mall. There was never a worse time to let a man know he had done something right than when he had done something wrong. For now, she would let the tense truce remain. He looks at her with what he calls his x-ray eyes and giggles.

While every other person was rapt and ogling eye candy, his task was of a different kind. Having worked through the early hours of the morning setting the charges in place, his “shift” was over. He had studied the blueprint, memorizing every curve, every pillar. Four charges diagonally placed would see this abomination crumble to its knees. He smiles, nods and walks by a couple with their son trailing behind, dazed and lost in the beauty of the abomination.

He had to make things right. He could see her smiles were merely obliging, emerging from a mushroom cloud she tried to hide, one that meant her joy was not complete. David had spotted a flower shop as they drove in and artfully signaled him with a tug and a nod in the direction. Quite the artful dodger, that kid. The plan had been simple and unrehearsed. When the movie was over, they were both to rush out and leave Mary lost in the crowd. He would head to get the flowers and David to the car. The second penance would then commence atonement for sins uncommitted.

The simplicity of the plan was followed by a near perfect execution. He was thrilled at the “mission”, helping Dad win his Mom’s affection easily surpassed the exhilaration of seeing the new Spiderman movie. He literally could not wait for the movie to end. After dragging on for an hour and thirty minutes, he had his wish when Dad signaled that the Mission was a go. He looked up at his mom and politely asked to be excused. “Don’t be gone too long” she yelled behind him. She obviously enjoyed the movie more than they did, he thought as he fled towards the car park.

She could not help but notice the distraction of father and son in a plot she felt locked out of. Ignoring that observation, she turned her mind back to the movie. To think that David chose this particular movie with a man in spandex tights that could climb and spurt webs like a spider…LOL, these kids would watch anything. The movie was nice nonetheless, although showcasing “Too much unnecessary destruction of property, if you ask me”, she says to no one in particular. None of them seemed to be listening. How odd? Something was definitely up!! It must be one of their zany schemes again, she wonders as she chews her popcorn slowly. The men in her life kept her heart full, at the point of bursting with love.

He folds a three-day old paper and wipes his brow free of a rivulet of sweat. His heartbeat races faster as he tries to catch his breath, the adrenaline kicking into overdrive as he fumbles with his coat trying to get a cigarette.  When out of nowhere…

…Boom!!!

He too excuses himself with one thought in mind: Roses. His wife has always loved roses. “The scent of fresh roses could mend a broken heart”, Jacy had once quipped. 

Damn!!! Why was he thinking of her at this moment? She got him into this mess, with her shameless teases and taunts, barraging his phone and mail with messages. He loved his wife dearly but he also relished the thrill of being chased by the most enchanting woman he had ever seen. Thankfully, he had deleted the last pictures he received from her. Had those gone out…these roses would have been black and purchased for his funeral. “That would be 5999 for the whole bouquet”, the salesgirl jarred him from his wandering thoughts. “Oh, ok” he says offering her his card.

She is getting restless, wondering where they both have gone. She senses something is afoot again and guesses they are probably trying to spring a surprise on her. “This wouldn’t be the first, but never for another woman.” She muses sadly. She trusted him, she had no choice…she trusted him because she loved him.  The late night messages and calls weren’t making things easy. She sighed. Spotting a jewelry shop, she decides to window shop to clear her head and numb her fleeting thoughts.

…Boom!!!

…He almost gets knocked over by a child. The boy must have been running quite fast because the impact shakes him to his core. He bends over to pick up his phone cum detonator, cursing furiously. He looks over at the boy and his anger softens. “I am so sorry sir. Please, don’t hit me” his eyes seem to say. His mind races back to when he was a child and recalls how much his cheek would have been smarting if he were his father and that boy were him. He reaches over, picks the boy up and wipes the dirt off his jeans and tells him to be more careful. “Thank you so much, Sir” the child whispers and runs off.

The movies have ended and the halls are getting filled up. Any moment now. He shuts his eyes and inhales….in anticipation of the ghosts that are about to haunt him.

Written: The Aventurine.

Edited: Otbor 

THE BIRD AND THE WORM

Posted: October 19, 2014 in Prose

20141019-204213-74533884.jpg

The moon rises, coloring the night with a gray hue. The children gather round, picking perfect spots round her and making a circle that would make the moon envious of her shine. The goddess, bearer of tales. All the pain and hurt she inflicted during the day, forgotten with the wind as they look up to her with beady eyes reflecting the moon’s splendor.

They gather round, everyone of them the Mother of Tales, eager for the night’s tale. The meridian of their day, every breath and sweat, strife and fight has lead to this moment. She opens her mouth and silence descends with a steely calm.

“Tonight, we tell a tale as old as time” she says. “We tell a tale of The Bird and The Worm.

Unlucky me. It was a day like any other…the rain had just let up and the bashful sun was beginning to peek through the clouds. There I lay bathing in rivers of earth and minding my squirmy, wiggly business.

When suddenly, Boom!!! Two claws and a blunt beak snare my spindly body. Next thing I know, I am wiggling, struggling and trying to wrench free. Her grip was firm,experienced as she was…snatching and grabbing, catching me completely off guard.

The more I struggle, the tighter her grip grows…I hear a squishy tear. “Ouch! That hurt!” I yell. “Put me down this instant!” I say defiantly. She mumbles “I will, when my babies have had their fill”. In that damned moment I realise negotiating with a hungry hen is pointless. Exhausted and afraid, I adjust my lenses.

Joshua sniggers “Haba, how can a worm have glasses on?” The others giggle. “It would look very much like Dele.” More laughter. The Worm cries out “Yes! Lenses, of course I have them on. Whatever, back to my story!”

Where was I? Yes my capture!! I adjust my lenses, thinking and waiting for the perfect moment to break free and make a run for it. Alas! She drops me…”We are here” she informs me. I adjust my glasses and lift my head. Behold, I am all alone in a colosseum, a tiny gladiator standing against five famished chicks. Scanning this arena of my death or greatest escape I find that I was their only meal. I wasn’t about to go down easy. I braced myself for battle.

Lucky me. It was a day like any other and at that moment, the
angry rain had just let up, allowing the sun a belated appearance. I stretched my wings, bathing in rivers of air, basking in the timid rays of the emasculated sun and minding my windy business.

When suddenly…Boom!!!! I spot the melee. A hen…Five chicks..and a worm. I feel my belly growl and realize I hadn’t fed in quite a while. Five chicks!!!!! I smack my lips with relish.

Yes, that was a metaphor. Lips? Really?
Who needs those?

Back to my tale. Yes,surely the hen would be generous enough to let me have one. She would.

I hover around them, calculating and waiting for the perfect moment to swoop in and pounce on my pick. A sumptuous menu such as this must not be made a mess of. The worm will be of help in keeping my approach undetected. It is my decoy and an unwitting ally in my nutritional mission.

“Ahhhh!!”. The children gasp in awe, their faces twisted in excitement and dread.

Ade whispers to Sade “I pray the worm escapes. I like him already with his funny lenses”. I dip a little lower and still I am unnoticed. They remain wholly concerned about the wiggler as my belly grumbles again. Keep calm, I chide; any moment now.

Written: The Aventurine.
Edited: Otbor.

IKECHUKWU

Posted: August 9, 2014 in Prose

20140809-050800-18480953.jpg

I have always hated the surrender in sleep. That necessity that longs to always put you on your back. It is defeating. Is it not? How the need to rest brings you to your weakest?.
Slow day, I woke up at sparrows fart and hated the stench. Obeyed the need to not smell, clothed my nakedness and headed out.
He was Big, brown skinned and fat. Ugly, bearded and indifferent, With a pot belly that looked like it was constantly asking for an embrace. The yellow bus smelt like stress and beer and I had wondered in my heart if I would be able to bear it. 5 minutes and 12 passengers later, we headed out.
This Bull of a human was sleeping beside me and snoring, snoring so heavily, every breath his lungs led out, led out a smell of beer. ‘why is this guy sitting down beside me? How did I get here!? Is existence pain? How does any conscious human Being sit and watch himself get to this? No harm in resting but is it a socially acceptable behaviour to feed my lungs with this stench? What is this nonsense? Should there not be a law for this kind of bad behaviour? I had questioned myself consistently, continuously hating his resting and giving his absent mindedness the most insulting of grimaces. I had wandered for his shame, self esteem, self awareness, upbringing, health and attitude. I had thought that may be he had had a long Night and he needed any form of rest that the passing moment could bring. It is not fair to deprive my nostrils of their peace of breath though, or my ears of the Noise drunken lagos gives.

We had barely arrived Apapa, the hold up ensured this. Tired and almost throwing up, I was about to reach out and tap him, when he slumped forward, used his head to hit the engine and fell across my leg. ‘Jesu christi’ “Oluwa o”…. ‘just look at this Animal’. several expressions of surprise and disgust fell out. I, on the other hand, stared in astonishment because I was wondering how a human being would fall this hard without him feeling an ounce of pain. Several taps and screams later, he was carried out of the bus and laid on the pavement.
Death, silences all paltry feeling.

Igenebga.

INFERNO

Posted: July 18, 2014 in Prose

20140718-071020.jpg

Saturdays weren’t meant to be this cold. Even the wind shivered as it walked by. The Great Mall in all its intimidating beauty stood tall as they drove in; a longed-for splendour in this ancient city finally come to life.

The fight had been intense. Mum went all out this time, threatening to take me and leave! Who might that silly woman be texting Dad at odd hours?
The argument could be heard in the wee hours of the morning. Mum’s temper rising with the sun, fiercer at dawn.

‘Nothing should ruin this day for me o!’, he mumbled selfishly.

“How can you be so insensitive?” She yelled…

He helplessly watched as his treasure crumbled before his eyes. He would never cheat on her, something should already know. What could have come over her?
That silly stalking pest had somehow gotten his number…How could he have been so careless? It must have been the moment he stepped out of the office.

A few miles away, a rat runs off frightened by the ruffling bed sheet. He tosses and turns, he can barely find sleep. A few hours to go, he walked to the window and stared down at the night crawlers. They had no idea the pain he was about to unleash; the terror that would cause them to rue this day.
The cold wind washed over him and rocked his skinny frame making him shudder. Lighting a match he grabs a stick and inhales.
“I hope they keep their word” he mutters.

She fumes. She is at her breaking point! His smug expression makes her heart boil…he has nothing to say for himself.
“I am sorry” he whispers, in a voice as soft as silk, cutting through her rage to reveal how much she loves him.
“No, Never..Not this time!!!” Internal voices contended within her. He is cheating and his soft words won’t move me. How could he? She throws a lamp, he ducks and escapes just in time.

Damn! He ducks again, weaving another missile. This woman is really something, “She looks so sexy when she’s mad” he thinks, a smile stealing across his face…He should tell her. Or probably not. “My head must be off or something! I am knee deep in a stinky pile and all I can think of is the lavender on her lips. This woman is a goddess.” He cursed his mind for running away from him.

She caught his fleeting smile.
“Do you think this is funny?!” She yells. He must be mad. If only she could get one of these pillows to hit home and wipe the philandering smirk of that lovely face, those eyes. She sighed,lost in lust while hating how much she loved him. She launches another rocket.

He walks into the room, defiant. I have to still this raging storm, today is my day!!! Even Aries the god of war would fall in hopeless defeat if he tried to take this day from me. Speaking of which…he muses ‘How do I get past that silly stage in “God of War 3?”
He opens the door without knocking.The pillow hits him square on the face and he loses his balance.

He turns to see his son flat on his back… Oh my God! ‘David, are you alright?’ He asks, rushing to his side and picking him up gently. He carries him to the bed and spares a glance at the culprit. As expected, she is pink with shame and looks like a frightened mouse.

“I have done it this time” she weeps “My poor baby”. She pushes her husband aside and tends to her precious. The boy looks up at them, smiles feebly and whispers “Truce?”.
She smiles back, kisses his forehead and replies ‘Truce’. Then turns back and looks at the offender and adds…”For now”.

He looks at his baby boy and winks.
‘We are going to see a movie to celebrate this truce!!!’ he proclaims. Amazingly, David springs to his feet and does a moonwalk. Their laughter can be heard in the next street. For now, sanity returns to the Johnson family.

The call had been brief and precise. The Kensington Mall by noon….No questions asked.

She adds finishing touches to her makeup, she can hear the impatient clicking of their teeth and jangling of keys by Father and Son.
She giggles and turns to them, “Stop that racket, you two…It’s very ungentlemanly!!. A perfect gentleman should wait for a lady in silence and tell her how beautiful she is when she is done.” They both grumble, amazingly in sync. Her heart is warm and fuzzy all over; the men in her life bring her joy. She hasn’t forgotten though, taking mental notes.

He wonders what movie they would see,longing for Monday when he would brag to his classmates about movies he had seen and they had not. He could bet nerdy Quincy had yet to see the new Spiderman. Quincy had ruined X-Men for him by adding unsolicited backup to his story!! Spiderman it is!!! Mummy just had to hurry up now. He cannot understand how women smear their faces with brown powder as if the white powder was not enough. Oh well, like Dad always says, “Women, there is no understanding them”.

Written: The Aventurine.
Editted: Otbor