Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.–Charles BukowskiIt happens to every writer. It’s inevitable. Your prose has turned to mush, you don’t have a creative bone left in...Read More
I was so obsessed with the want of riches. The percentage of the want was very high. I can't continue to live like a church rat, a church rat is even far better, better than I do.
I can't wait to be like Chinedu, live large like Kayode, have lot of cars like Quadri, go to clubs and spend money like Kelvin. I'm even older than Segun, see, he has everything he want. Abdul is a mate of my junior brother, yet, he still gives me 'five K' to manage with all the money he has.
"What do I do about this now? 'Cause right now, there's no way of survival without food. What do I even eat now?, 'cause am as broke as a lizard in the desserts, I might serve as dinner to a lucky python. Mtchw... Money... Food..." I was lost to thought, and don't even know when Saliu arrived, he's here to drag with me again, drag the little thing I'll get to to my stomach with me. He's of no difference with me, I'm better off him,'cause he still beg from me: who has nothing, talk less of food to eat.
My only hope is Iya Alamala, if I can use my funnyman to talk convince her to give me just one wrap of Amala, that will be manageable for tonight.
'Ogbeni! What have you been thinking!? ' Saliu half shouted at me, and I jolted out of my thoughts.
'I've been standing here for the past five years', he exaggerated,
'Any available food for me to bite?', he inquired further, yawning like a hungry lion ready to devour. I casted an angry look at him, which gave him the signal of no to his query, and he strolled out. I picked my half-condemned 'baby Nokia' phone, it's almost 4pm, and yet, no food for the worms. I could feel and hear the grumbles from my stomach, as the worms struggle for survival, they've tried, since last night. I rolled back to a sleeping posture on my bed, and wandered back to my thoughts.
"I think I need to visit Rasheed, I need quick solution... No, I'll meet Chinedu, (he used to be my best friend in the college before I dropped out, because of money), he'll have a better way to help, not to ask for money though, but to ask for solution. Hope I'm not taking the wrong step?" I was still wandering about my wonder land, when I drifted to sleep. Can't believe I slept on an empty stomach...
'Alaye, longest time, how have you been na' I greeted Chinedu on sitting on his sofa in his large sitting room.
"Na television be this?" I wondered as i stared at the very big flat screen television hanged on the wad as I shook my head amazingly.
'So how far, na you I come see o', I said as I turned back to Chinedu, who was handing me a glass of wine which I collected and dropped on the glassy table,
'Uhmn uhmn?' he inquired, it seems he has no interest in what I want to say, he thinks I want to beg for money again, but no, I want to have money like him, it's better I let the cat out of the bag, 'cause I can't die like this,
'Chinedu, I want get money!' I bursted out like a cow filled to the brim waiting to burst. He spitted the wine he had sipped back to the glass, "is it what I said that made him choke or what?" I wondered,
'You say wetin? You wan get money?' he inquired irritatingly,
'Yes na, abi na bad thing?' I retorted,
'No na, but how e take concern me?' he asked annoyingly as he rolled his eyes, "Imagine, na me Chinedu they talk to like this, because of money wey I no get, person wey me dey help solve Maths and Physics questions for school, well, na conditions make crayfish bend, no p", I cried in my thoughts as I glanced through my memories with Chinedu back in the college, all our wishes, our plans and how we planned to do everything together, well, a sick hen that still lives has hope of swallowing even if its a grain of maize. Any how he talks to me is isn't my concern, I just needed the help and get away. Let me just hit the nail on the head,
'Wetin concern you be say, I need your help, I want make you show me the way, abeg', I said begged, he roared with laughter for a while,
'You are so funny, you haven't changed up till now', he said, is he thinking that I'm here to joke,
'Alaye, am damn serious o', I said with all seriousness, he calmed down seeing my degree of seriousness,
'So, go and find work now!' he spat out, the words hit me like a trailer whose brakes has failed, thank God I didn't die as a result,
'But, Chinedu, you know me now, I no finish school, with which certificate I go take find work, abi you go give me your own?' I pitifully let out,
'You deh mad? Why I go give you my own? I no even know where e deh sef, because no be him I take get money, he let out angrily, 'so wetin you want make I do now?' he asked further as he dropped his glass of wine, seems he's ready,
'Chinedu, you suppose understand, how you take get your money, put me for that same way, am ready to do anything, anything at all', I said with determination, a determination without determination. But am I sure I mean what I said? Am I truly ready to do anything?
'Okay I go carry you go somewhere...'
We were in a room, painted or I should rather say clothed with white, black and red arrays, I could see a calabash, an idol, a horn and many other fetish stuffs, there was Baba who was sitting on wooden stool, only tying a white wrapper on his waist, a black hair band in his head, oh! he actually had dreadlocks, they were gray, he's actually an old man, he used to whitish substance to make tattoos on his left breast, and a circle on his right eye and some other parts of his body. I need no one to tell me we are in for it. He understands what I wanted. He introduced himself as a regular customer to the Baba, the Baba nodded in affirmation to his explanation of recognition, he introduced me too and the Baba motioned him to stop as he wanted to proceed in the exposition of my reason of coming.
"But was this actually what I wanted, was this how I wanted to become rich, but there seem to be no way other than this" , I was lost in thoughts, I wasn't even concentrating. Chinedu slapped my head back to reality, he dragged and submitted my right palm to the Baba, he collected and held it in his hand, his eyes were to my palm, like the eyes of a lady glued to the Zee world movie series, perhaps he's looking at something spectacular, he's looking at my destiny, I knew it won't be more than that, as I have seen in Nollywood. All of a sudden he shouted, I knew he must, he have seen something, I thought he would shout 'Abomination!' afterwards, (that's how they do it in Nollywood), but he didn't, he said some incantations into my palm for a long time and then closed it, then pushed it forward, letting it rest on my forehead. Afterwards, he gave me a calabash filled with a kinda liquor which I can't fathom what it was, I irritatingly sipped from it, it was sour, I could feel its impact all over my body and even down to my spine and bone marrow. He let out a soft laugh after I handed his calabash to him,
'Your destiny is great', he let out after a while, 'but due to poverty, you've eaten your destiny with food and passed it out as an ordure' he lamented,
'Chai, Chinedu, ayaff die', I cried out, 'but wait o, what is or...ordu....ordure?' I asked no one in particular, not sure of what I was asking,
'It means shit, faeces', the Baba answered,
"Ha! The Baba is even blowing grammar, on top of my matter," I thought as I cried,
'But there is solution', the Baba said, I immediately wiped my tears and concentrated,
'We'll need to make a sacrifice to appease the gods to release your destiny back, then do the ritual of riches properly', I listened with rapt attention,
'I'll do the sacrifice my self, so don't bother', he added,
'Thank God', I commented,
'And the ritual, you'll get some materials which are a bit difficult to get...', 'which are?' I inquiringly interrupted,
'Kai! chill now!', Chinedu cautioned. The Baba just smiled as he opened and deeped his right hand into a calabash arrayed with white cowries and with an inscription 'AJE', he brought out a white paper and handed it to me,
'Go get the materials listed there', he said referring to the paper. I was happy we were getting close to the solution. I was about to open the paper, but the Baba made a signal to me not to, I gently kept the paper in my pocket, he motioned me to listen to him,
'At this stage, no backing out!' he let out,
"When am not in the military" I thought, I was terrified, I know am in for it, but there seem to be no way apart from this one I've tread, and now no going back,
'Go get the things quickly, the deadline is only two days, I've warned you, no backing out, you've made a covenant with the 'Ifa' , and you will have all you want if you you do what is required of you, failure to do so, the repercussions will be unbearable', he said on a final note. No one need to tell me that if I didn't bring the requests in two days, I'm in hot soup. I signal a lets go to Chinedu, but he waved me to wait for him outside, it took him a while to come out, as I was already tired of waiting.
On our way back, I brought out the list, Gosh! I was terrified, 'Stop!' I screamed at Chinedu, he immediately stepped on the brake pad,
'Where does he expect me to get all this things?' I lamented bitterly, Chinedu collected the list from me, he glanced through and look at me in awe,
'So, what is it that you can't get here?, the six months old virgin chicken, or the kidney of two anopheles mosquitoes, or which of them, shebi na you want get money, you better get sense and do fast, I've done my part,' he queried angrily,
'Don't you see the last requirement?' I asked rhetorically, he glanced and made a grin,
'Oh, that's easy we'll go to a hospital...
'Ogbeni, look sharp, put am inside the bag make we cut out... I go leave you run o... the nurse deh com... make we deh go jhor' Chinedu was just ranting. I finished packing and ready to leave, Chinedu held the door knob, and pulled, to our utter dismay, a nurse was standing at the door, probably waiting for us to come out, we made to move but we were attacked by three security men, before we could say jack, the doctors appeared from no where as if they've been hiding around. This is a bad luck!
'How do you reach here?' one if the doctors threw at us,
'And what's in the bag you're holding?' another one threw, I opened my mouth, but no word came out,
'Answer now before I smash your head!' a security man shouted as he charged towards me,
'Search the bag', the doctor who seemed to be the senior ordered. And one security man moved close to me, I held tight unto the bag, though I was visibly shaking, he made to collect the bag, but I dragged it back, I looked at Chinedu and he gave me a go ahead signal, as he was ready to move, all attention was on me, so he had a chance to sneak, on sneaking out of the scene, he charged forward, I threw the bag at him and he caught it, all attention shifted to Chinedu as they begin to chase him, I escaped without wasting a second, unluckily, I was grabbed by my collar by God-knows-who, but fortunately, I successfully pulled off the shirt for him without looking back. I always knew I had a talent called 'running' I discovered it that day, if I were to compete with Hussain Bolt at that moment, no doubt I will defeat him, I ran to the extent that I could feel my heels on my occiput. Thank God I escaped, but I can't find my accomplice, I explored all the nook and cranny of my refuge, but I can't find my confederate. I stealthily find my way back to Baba's places, but Chinedu isn't there, I lost my baby Nokia phone on the process of my escape and I can't contact anybody, he ought to have reported back to Baba's place if he had successfully escaped, because we have less than five hours to complete the rituals, it's obvious Chinedu has been caught.
'Abomination!' Baba shouted as I narrated the ordeal to him, I know there is problem, 'There's problem' he spatt,
'If the one day old baby's head and heart are not produced before the dead line, yours shall be used to in place baby's, because no one promise the 'Irunmoles' and go free without fulfillment' Baba said, I was terrified, I was already urinating on my body,
'Enough!, You cannot urinate in front of Irunmole!' Baba exclaimed, I had to hold on to my urine and store them back to my bladder, 'so, Baba... wha...t is...is the...the solu..lu...tion now,'? I asked shuttering,
'The solution is what I've told you, you will replace the baby', I began to weep uncontrollably, I beckon on the gods of my ancestral fathers, but all of them seem to be deaf at the moment, even Sango wasn't answering me.
Time was rolling by, but no hope of deliverance, not even from Ogun. My tears has blurred my vision but my cerebrum cerebellum can process what I'm seeing at that moment, I saw Baba brought out a pot, a pot boiling fiercely on it's own, without fire, I could hear the sound, it's boiling point perhaps could not be measured by a thermometer, the heat generated from this pot filled the room, as I was sweating profusely, but surprisingly, Baba held the pot with his bare hands, he dropped it at the center of the room, on the white-clothed floor, he said somethings that my cerebrum cerebellum processed to be tongues I haven't heard before, for like thirty minutes, he was still blasting and moving round in a circulatory motion like being powered by a centripetal force (I'm shocked, my brain could still remember some terms in physics at that moment). Suddenly, I can't even move a finger talk less of my whole body, I stopped crying, I can't even see clearly again, I'm not my normal self, but I'm still who I am: the broke ass nigga looking for wealth, no changes.
He suddenly stopped, he motioned me to come forward, and like an automated machine, I moved closer, and like a computer system affected by virus, without given any instructions, I kneeled facing inside the pot, i was sweating an ocean as a result of the heat from the un-fired boiling pot. Like a lamb, lamb meant for sacrifice, lead to the slaughter, to be killed, killed without its consent, that's what I am.
Baba lifted his cutlass, glittering like a just refined silver, ready to cut asunder, I could see the reflection of the action from the boiling pot (but my brain processed it to be a film), the cutlass was going down bit by bit, down to my neck: that was
as long as that of a starved giraffe, the cutlass was six micrometers away from my neck, (but my brain brought the output to be two meters), just then the door blasted open, some people in a cloth of color which it took five minutes to be processed by my brain; black, holding some instruments looking like sticks, know as rifle came in with somebody who has stains of red or pink, or maybe green (can't actually be processed at that moment) on his cloth,
'That's him, my accomplice' he said pointing to someone I think is standing behind me, the people in black started exchanging words with another man, who looked like a masquerade holing a machete, and there were demonstrations of powers like I used to see in Nollywood. I turned around and sat down to watch d beautiful scene. All of a sudden I could see Chinedu (Finally i regained my senses), he has stains of blood all over him, it dawned on me he has been caught, he lost the baby, oh!, How can he be so careless, and he know it's thats the solution, I remembered those in blacks to be Nigerian police officers, I sighted a police officer saying some incantations into his gun, before I could say jack, Baba was lying dead on the floor as a result of a bullet released from the police officers' rifle, I could feel death ruminating round my head, I need to find an escape route, I need to survive, the police officers were still ruminating round about the room, without thinking twice, I sneaked, it's not easy but I tried, and I succeed, in reaching outside, I took to my heels, not long, I began to hear the siren, I've got no strength remain in me to run, but I just knew am running. I was still running, but not running like I was running, I was now seeing thing in five dimensions, black and white and colorless. I was still running, and I ran into a tree with my hands opened for a hug, (actually my brain processed it to be a lady), and boom!...
I repelled upward from my bed like a repellent force between like charges in an electric field, feeling weak, hungry and tired.
It was just a dream!
What a dream, thank God it's just a dream, I could feel the sweat, urine and tears, it came out real. 'Chai! Which kind dream be this?', I asked myself rhetorically loud .
'Ha! Thank God, it was just a dream'
'I'm no longer interested in becoming rich again, let me remain like this, as far as there is life, there's still hope, it's better like this, than losing my life because of wealth...' I was still in my thoughts and cleaning up when someone knocked on my door,
'Who is that o?' I asked irritatingly,
'Boda Mayowa, its me o, Iya Alamala, you go buy Amala today?', she asked,
'Yes o, give me four wraps', I replied as I stood up to meet her outside with a wide grin on my face, its dark already, thank God food has come, incase you don't know, I like food,
'But I don't have money on me now o, later if you are coming back, stop by, and I'll give you your money, plus yesterday own, three wraps, making it two fifty', I said convincingly with joy in my heart,
'Yes no problem, thank you' she said as she handed my Amala to me. 'She's still telling me thank you, on my debts', I thought as I walked back to my room.
After i finished my clean up, I devoured the four wraps with a constant speed of forty kilometers per hour, without retarding.
Thank God, I didn't do money ritual, and I won't.
'Ha! Egbon Mayor, thank God it was just a dream o' Joseph, the boy who had been listening to me commented,
'Yeah, thank God' I replied,
'Had it been it was real, you for don kpeme..'
'Na u go kpeme' I replied as I hit him playfully, and we laughed out, we paused for a while, looked at each other and rolled into another round of unending laughter.
No matter the situation, no matter how poor, as far as you can still feed yourself, wear good cloths, pay rent, Blood money is not an option.
To hustle is good, but not the type of the hustle I did in my dreams.
This story led to a fore hand write up of mine titled "Fullness Of Time", if it isn't your time, nothing will happen.... Untill the Fullness of Time.
You just have to be patient, if all this sorts don't happen, what do you tell your children and others as history in future.
NOTE: Devil gives nothing for free.
©MAYOR DE WRITER, 2019.
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