It wasn’t everyday I breezed by the showroom to check on business. True, the support staff had to be regularly deterred from thoughts of pilfering my profits, but that was not the real reason I came to the office. I came to watch the people that flowed through my world.

I had always marvelled at the shyness of the humans who found their way to my lair. Was there no one who knew exactly what they wanted? Was there no one who had seen it all? Why did everyone have to come in with the same misplaced enthusiasm and pretended courage? Everyday I came with a dim, flickering hope that I’d finally meet the perfect couple, secure in themselves and social status. Everyday I was disappointed, the bitterness of my disappointment fading away along with my expectations and the passage of time.

I didn’t understand the poverty of being just rich. If I were not a direct observer of humans at their most vulnerable, I would not have been able to believe it either. It seemed those with more money had bigger holes in their souls to fill. The way their eyes dimmed as soon I informed them the ring they liked was not actually in our designer collection. The way their eyes brightened when invited to the back room for an exclusive showing. They believed my rating of value so easily and applied the same to themselves without thinking to challenge me even when I was just being plain mischievous with my suggestions. Was I sorry for them? At first, yes. Until I realized this was the way of the world in general. Who was I to complain? I was merely the merchant of soul holes in the shapes of rings. To make profit, I had to trade the holes in their hearts for bigger ones in exchange while they filled my pockets. At the end of the day, both parties to the deal went home happy, at least for a while.

My cynicism for my profession was no greater than in the times when a philandering man walked in looking for a gold band to signify commitment. I never thought Deola the sales assistant would be useful to me as a litmus test of male faithfulness in this way. With her size six figure and impossibly double D bust size, it was a struggle for any man to maintain concentration, even with his fiancée around. When I made her leave her cage on some convenient errand, I could almost see the hesitation come over such men, as though they may have made a mistake bringing the wrong woman to my store of destiny. Well, I made sure to make the rings of such men a close tight fit to prevent them slipping it off on short notice.

Another set of humans I couldn’t stand were those in a hurry to get their rings. How could you come in asking for your ring to be fashioned in three days? My attempts to explain to them that fashioning the tokens of soul ties was a delicate art not to be rushed were met, much to my irritation, by insistent offers of more money for “express” service. Well, I would reluctantly accept the money, and assign them one of the many generics I kept in the store for Philistines like these. I’d even learned to spot such couples the moment they walked in the store, at which point I would feign indifference and act like a window-shopping fiance.

Few customers were more pathetic to me than the ladies who came alone. I could understand a man coming alone with his silly thread string in a loop as an estimate of his lady’s ring finger. At least he was willing to yield to the appeal of surprise to gild over the dire nature of a bond so spiritual as marriage. But what could be the justification of a lady going to a ring shop to get her own engagement ring or wedding band? Sent like a maid to fetch groceries from the store, she would walk in, often with a blank cheque at the back of her mind from her rich suitor, totally oblivious of the awkwardness of her situation. Many times she would turn her nose up at my classic designs in a fruitless attempt to hide her sense of incompleteness and low self esteem. Well, on my part, I’d do my best to strike back at her rich indifferent suitor by laying as heavy a bill on his cheque as I could. Yes, I knew she did not appreciate or commission my knightly activities on her behalf but it was my only way of trying to balance out such an egregious act of violence on the female psyche. My bank account was also in support of my crusades, which made me sleep a little easier at night.

The moments I lived for were the moments of young, crazy, stupid love. A young man, so easily swayed by the emotions of his spouse-to-be, bustling about the store, overwhelming her with choices, brushing away her protests of the price, alert to the intensity of light in her eyes – the catch in her voice, the slump of her shoulders, the pause in her responses – telling her with every movement he made how much he loved her. These, these were the moments I lived for. Perhaps because they reminded me of my brief but happy marriage. Such was I with ‘Becca before the cold hands of death snatched her from me right at the end of our honeymoon in a totally unexpected asthma attack, the first in her life. Sometimes I was twistedly grateful it had ended before any sour moment could soil her precious memory in my heart of hearts.

I remade ‘Becca’s ring after she passed. I felt so guilty for not putting in as much care as I could have to make the original as exquisite as her heart. Still it was not enough. I had to make a ring for a deserving female at least once every quarter to keep the recurring nightmares of that demonic night at bay. This was why I would never have an apprentice. This debt was mine to bear and mine alone. Perhaps one day her carbon copy would walk in the door on the arm of some sensitive soul and I would have the opportunity to serve her again.


Hello guys! I wrote this for a friend recently. Check it out


The first thing I became aware of was the massive choking construction around my chest region. My breasts were twice their normal size and they had this tight harness squeezing the life out of them in such an invasion of my personal space. I wanted to go somewhere and release myself from this bondage but my mind was immediately occupied with bigger problems.

Everyone was staring! I felt like a child who was being punished for some misdeed in the general assembly. My crime was that I was busty with a sizeable, rounded bum to match. I noticed men with mouths agape, boys with their girlfriends pausing mid-sentence, ladies far more attractive than I was going over me with a fine-tooth comb looking for the slightest flaw, pre-adolescents following the gaze of the general public to see this sight that must have been the ninth wonder of the modern world: my figure. My being embarrassed did not help. It seemed like I had been caught in a crime and was betraying guilt by my body language. I had to stop looking like a criminal caught in the act to at least cut the excuses these fools were giving themselves to look at me.
I squared my shoulders and threw them back. I lifted my chin and arched my back slightly. This made my breasts jut out conspicuously and my bum present its argument more assertively. Since I was a criminal, I might as well be a shameless and arrogant one. I returned a few of the gazes directly and some of the more self-conscious males averted their eyes. Oh well, that was easier than expected.

I tried to take my first step and almost tumbled to the sidewalk. I hadn’t noticed I was wearing heels. I could feel the beginnings of strains in my calves, ankles and knees as I tried to step gingerly and quickly across the street to the coffee shop where I’d be able to catch my breath and orient myself. This was like a ticking time bomb. If I did not rest or get home in about 67 minutes my shoes would have to come off or I’d be carried home in someone’s arms.
Motion presented its peculiar problems. Everything was jiggling. Now I understood and accepted the tightness of the bra. At least, the water bags went up and down only and in controlled unison, not flailing left and right like two frisky lambs in an English summer. My bum cheeks struggled to climb on top of each other, each half twin almost winning the fight alternately. I slowed down and began counting my steps. I allowed my muscles take over and my body went into auto pilot mode, throwing curves and body fat in synchronous motion across the street to the coffee shop next to the intersection.

As I sat down, my thoughts came rushing on me like an avalanche. I instinctively reached for my bag in a bid to look busy. Everything in it was strange. It felt like a dream. I had no recollection of the events preceding my present circumstance, and the more I tried to remember how I got here, the harder it became. I had memories, terrible memories. Some of things people had done to me, and some of the things I had done to others. I felt sad I had been used so roughly, and at the same time, the justice system in my mind condemned me of acts worse than the ones I had suffered. I felt so detached it was scary. Surely this wasn’t a dream. In dreams people didn’t…

I saw a red light flashing in my bag. I pulled out the blackberry smartphone and couldn’t unlock it at the first try. I tilted the screen instinctively and observed the other finger stains around the digits 1,4, 8, and 9. 1984. That did not work. I had one last try. 4891. Unlocked! I scrolled quickly through my messages, seeking some information but not knowing what I was looking for.

Then I saw it. My name. In an email. Chibuzor. Could that be a ladies’ name? Moreover, how come my name was in the INBOX and not the SENT ITEMS? This was even more confusing. I sent emails to myself? I went to the sent items folder. I saw what was supposed to be my real name. Vanessa. What was this?! I opened the emails from Chibuzor. My shock was magnified. I sent those mails. I was flirting with her. Joking even. Yes, the iPhone was my device, not the blackberry. How was this…

We had made a deal. Oh dear, it had worked! We had switched bodies. But how?! The only hint I could discern was from veiled references to the “coke mat”. I somehow recognized this as some terrible secret we both shared, some dark research into the books of our overlords in the Amazonian order which we were not supposed to have access to.

I swayed in my seat and had to steady myself by gripping the table just as the waiter walked by my table to attend to another customer. I was not going to have coffee. I needed an stronger drink. Had Vanessa and I really switched bodies?! How?! Why?! Some joke? This was terrible! All of a sudden I became afraid. I felt no guilt. I had no short term memory but I remembered things that had happened ages ago in Vanessa’s life. I hated myself. No, I hated her. Sheesh! I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore! What did we do to get here?! And how was this going to be reversible? I must have been a guy in the Chibuzor state. Yes! I noticed the blatant flirtation and masculine, boastful tone in all my emails. Was I happy to now be a girl forever? And where was my real body?! Was Vanessa also accessing my memories somewhere on the other side of town?

These thoughts came at me like tiger sharks rushing out of the cloudy wall of the deep blue sea. Like the terrified swimmer lost at sea, I wanted to see in all directions at once to look out for the deadly creatures I’d read so much about. Yet I dreaded to actually see everything and confirm my worst fears. I felt the word “fear” trigger a violent upheaval in my mind. And it was connected to something about meeting the real me in person. Apparently something terrible could happen if Vanessa and I met in person with our minds in control of the alternate’s body. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never see the light of the sun ever again. Why was I so terrified by this prospect? Again I didn’t know, and the fact that I didn’t know terrified me even further.

What were my dreams? How many of them were real? What if I was in an actual foreign body which did not belong to me in some of those dreams? “Make it stop!!!” I screamed in my head at the steady rush of constant questions of fear. I was shaking and close to tears. I hadn’t cried in like, forever. But then, maybe Vanessa had in the last one week. I had to pull myself together. There might be some hidden mission to accomplish as a reason for this huge risk Vanessa and I had taken.

I rummaged through the bag again, searching for clues, finding only security key cards and makeup equipment scattered all over their place. My frustration was mounting. It dawned on me that Vanessa and I had not written anything down for fear of being found out. We also had assumed we would remember everything we had done regarding this awful sorcery, not reckoning with the short-term amnesia that we both had to be suffering from right now. I was so far away from all my answers now except the ones that showed me there were no answers.

My thoughts were settling down now. My palms were still sweaty and my heart racing but I felt better. A drink would help. Suddenly a young man with dark features walked into the coffee shop. He was tall, Arabian-looking and out of place in his Italian suit. He made straight for me with both hands in his pockets, yet looking anything but casual. He looked like a probation officer about to scold his ward on parole for some breach of conditions. I caught my breath with several, well-concealed gulps before he got to where I was. As he approached I could sense doors opening in my mind. Apparently he was one of my (Sorry, Vanessa’s) deep-rooted, painful memories. An abusive lover?

“Hello Darling.” He said, as if confirming my unspoken fears. I saw the gold ring on his finger and jumped when I noticed the feminine replica sitting pretty on my own wedding finger for the first time. I nervously took it off instinctively and laid it in the space between us. He took a long look at me and said “I know you want to leave, but I’d have to kill you if I let you do that.” My eyes opened wide. Who was this man who spoke with an indiscernible accent with the fluency of a scholar of the ancient languages? He was my husband. But obviously I knew nothing about him,  and from all indications, neither did Vanessa .
I felt fear rising up from some deep place within me. I was falling into the endless dark pools that were his hypnotising eyes. I looked away. I would not be subdued or paralysed. I would suppress this feeling and collect my thoughts into a well-reasoned argument on why we could not be together. Why I was doing this, I did not know but somehow I sensed Vanessa needed me to do this for her. Then it clicked! I had been planted here by Vanessa to help her with this difficult conversation and once it was over all I had to do was fall asleep and we would exchange consciousnesses by default all over again! The permanency of our memories would not be taken for granted this time. I whipped out my blackberry, asked Hakeem (he nodded without protest so that must have been his name) and dashed off an email to Vanessa cum Chibuzor: “Please write down EVERYTHING on paper for record purposes!”

Three hours ago, Hakeem released me and hailed a cab to take me back home. I’ve been on this ride since then and the driver says we have twenty more miles to go. I’m getting very sleepy but I have to finish this note for your sake Vanessa because when we wake up and read this, we may have no memories of what we both did. I spoke with Hakeem as you requested. I’m afraid I didn’t anticipate his preparation. I’m no longer judgmental of you for staying on with him despite his maltreatment and manipulation of you. I only hope I haven’t put you in a worse situation by the promises I made on your behalf. If so, I’m sorry. I only want you to understand that with Hakeem, your life…

*handwriting scribbles into an illegible scrawl*


Can you complete the story in four words or less?

Dragon Queen

The night was young and the air was chill. I beat my angry wings ten times every second as I descended over the clump of houses that appeared in my peripheral vision. Mating season was always a particularly annoying time for our race but the threat of rain from the blue highlands down south was an extra irritation. I had been flying for the last hundred thousand wing beats on my last sugar supply and it didn’t look like there were any nectared flowers nearby.

My foul mood was not lifted by the rude break in the natural landscape that signaled my spawn food source. What a bother that my spawn and I did not share the same nourishment. Now I would have to fly with the strain of a heavy payload of human blood while looking for my own sustenance, which seemed nowhere within my immediate purview. Well, I would not be the one to let down our species. Were we not till date the greatest tormentors of the human race?

The closer I came to the buildings, the more distasteful its clinical surroundings became. No standing pools of water to lay my spawn. No shady trees with which to copulate with bouncing orgy clumps of our male studs after discharging the present fertilized, nourished eggload. Everything was so white and pristine.

The sudden blast of carbon dioxide from the buildings hit me. With it came a renewed vengeance. I would take out my existential frustrations on these unsuspecting members of the helpless human race. But not now, with so much visibility and risk of counterattack. No, I would hang under the window ledge till nightfall before seeking out my hapless blood victims.

Eventually, the scene was set. The sun had completely retired for the day, making way for the shy moon, who seemed to be taking extra care with her makeup and dress selection this ponderous night. I pressed advantage and entered the place.All at once, there were multiple blood sources assaulting my three senses. But I, the queen dragon of the tropical night, would not be swayed by just any pedestrian fare. I would seek out the best combination of sensory….

CLAP!!!! Suddenly the attack rush of air pushed me to the side as I became the focus of the entire room. I hadn’t reckoned with the artificial lights available to my prey well beyond sunlight hours. Well, if I forgot that aspect of my special survival training, I would not forget the rest. I immediately let my wings stop beating and fell under gravity for a distance of 500 wing paces. I resumed cruising at my new altitude and sought out a perch for myself on the side of a vertical pillar out of the sight line of any other moving thing in the room. Well, I discounted the regular movements of the huge circular draft creator on my side of the pole. All movements with a readily calculated frequency would be discounted as a backdrop for my nefarious activities. My mind was made up. I would make my move when the lights were returned to the natural level of the cold, wicked night.

My time came soon enough. All but two of my most nutritious prey left as the room lights were dimmed for the night. The greater beast had rolling lands for bloody exploration. From my analysis of her bodily chemical scent, her blood stream seemed deep, rich and perfect, with extra nutrition obviously meant for a small human being in her belly. But the smaller beast was also favorable. I believed her skin was more elastic, her blood more spicy, and her skin cholesterol level high enough to indicate the successful flush from her blood stream of offending toxins and oxidants.

The tone was soft and dismissive. “Good night Yinka,” said the great beast to the spicy one. I seized my cue like a skilled lead actress and sailed onto the stage which was Yinka’s soft, spicy leg. I would poke about and probe up behind her leg until I found blood vessels sufficiently close to the surface of her supple skin. Her carbon dioxide levels had already sunk to the lown levels indicative of sleep which meant I would not be disturbed during my feeding session. She must have been too exhausted to know what would hit her.

I found the right spot just behind her knee. I teased a little, before I settled and eased my throbbing proboscis into one of her pores, slowly sliding into the blood vessel. I injected my saliva into her blood stream to prevent it from clotting while I sucked on her and during the time I would store her nutritious fluids for my spawn. I bestowed my plasmodium on her as payment for our clandestine survival romance, a cruel thank you, which would be evidenced only by the telltale swollen, itchy spot she would discover in the morning where I had bitten her.

My work was done. I carefully pulled out my probe from her skin, feeling lucky she didn’t suddenly roll over to squash me under her, or lash out involuntarily and reduce me to a bloody splat, or have her skin contract from a chilly draft of air and hold my proboscis in her. I excreted my excess watery fluids on her through my posterior. It gave me such relief and satisfaction to finally be done with this fair, helpless lady. I powered up my wings and made for the nearest window with the practised hurry of royalty.

I was the Dragon Queen of the Tropical Night.

What The Water Taught Me

My first memory of a swimming pool was not a pleasant one. I was in this large bottomless pit with my dad. Though he tried hard to calm me, I could not bring myself to trust him to guide me safely across the swimming pool. I was too conscious to let go. My little brother had no such fear then. He floated quietly across the pool with my dad as they tried to rouse me to jealousy while I watched. I was roused to jealousy all right, but not enough to enter the pool again.

Many years later, it felt weird when I asked my favorite little cousin to trust me in exactly the same way. I’d become the strongest swimmer in the pool every time I went swimming. He was ten and he trusted me with his life as I put him on my back and attempted to cross the width at the deep end of the pool. He must have sensed something was wrong halfway because his arms tightened around my neck suddenly. And yes, something was terribly wrong. I was not as strong as I thought I was. He was less than forty kilos but I was not moving as fast as I needed to reach the other end. I couldn’t fight him and free myself. Would I leave the boy to drown? I couldn’t even take a deep breath before my head sank beneath the water line. How we made it underwater to the pool edge I don’t remember. But we did, with a solemn warning from the life guard and a vow never to pull such a stunt again.

My last near-drowning experience had been slightly different. It was a challenge. For points in a team building competition, I was to remain submerged for over a minute to give my team the edge in the rankings. I had never remained submerged for up to sixty seconds but I was convinced I could try. The next few seconds convinced me that drowning was the worst way to die. I had easy going for what seemed like 5 minutes to me. In reality it was barely 30 seconds. I was counting. So I held on valiantly, fighting the urge to breathe. At 40 seconds my lungs began to contract and expand violently and involuntarily as my body took over the fight against suffocation. I couldn’t count anymore. I could only meditate. Kevin. You are a rock. Sink to the bottom of the pool and remain there where you truly belong. All this time my hands held the railings of the pool edge while my feet stamped in running frequency underwater. Kevin. You do not breathe. You never needed to breathe. You are a creature of the sea. At this point, I heard the rest of my team mates screaming the count from the surface for the last ten seconds. 50! 51! 52! I had come this close. I would not give up. The lungs and feet stopped their movement, as though yielding to the fact that my mind would ignore whatever they did. 58! 59! 60!!! I paused for the briefest instant before jumping to the surface to gulp in all the air in the universe.

It’s amazing how lucid your memories are at the point of death. Those three incidents had effortlessly flashed through my mind as I faced almost certain death with this beautiful lady in what was meant to be a relaxation swim. We had met at the pool and challenged ourselves to do endurance laps across the pool. She was well-shaped and supple, fair and with long legs. We were not competing per se, just going together because the motivation of a partner enabled us to do more. But as the man, I would be a wuss to call a time out. We cut through the water until she stopped at the edge and refused to follow me back to the shallow end. I looked back, and turned to go to her. She had said I would not be the one to kill her and we had both burst out laughing. But not for long.

At the peak of my laughter she wrapped her legs around my chest and squeezed hard. I was not ready for this. I had not taken a deep breath but she obviously had, as she let herself be dragged down by my airless body. I instinctively opened my mouth to gulp in air but it was water instead. My years of training kicked in and I spewed out the water immediately, knowing that the slightest bout of coughing would definitely be my quick end. Why was she trying to kill me? How were we alone in the pool? Why now, at the brink of my being declared the senatorial flag-bearer for my party after our primaries yesterday? Why….?

My panic was instant. Was this the end? The alibi for the killer would be perfect. She would claim to have come out of the dressing room to see me floating on the water, dead. No struggle injuries would be present. And no one would suspect the pretty damsel of strangling such a powerful swimmer to death. I suddenly heard the rattle of the steel pool steps through the water. Apparently my struggle to be free was creating waves that were able to rattle the steps to that extent. I was wasting energy. I had to stop and think. And kill this lady or be killed.

Kevin. You are a tiger. You walk silently, but you pounce heavily. I suddenly became still. I had reached the stage where my uncontrollable survival spasms had ceased because they were being ignored. The point just before suffocation. If I could get her to believe I was dead, she could open herself up for the briefest of seconds needed for a surprise attack. Not an attack of blows – the water would kill the impact force – but an attack on her mouth and nose, to force her to breathe in water instead of air. It was necessary to shock her so she would do it without thinking. I rolled my eyes to the back of my head, revealing the whites, as though I had given up the ghost. She must have been pretty exhausted herself, for she didn’t wait for the telltale bubbles of final expiration to emerge from my orifices before she loosened her thigh grip. I seized my chance. My left hand went for her eyes, while my right fingers forced their way into her mouth. Her panic was instant. She must have been trying to let go of some air at the same instant I attacked. My luck. Her breath was not controlled as planned but supplemented by panic. The water went in.

She began to cough wildly, sucking in water with each attempt. I was free, swimming to the surface while somehow observing her air come out in painful bubble chunks. At the third chunk, she would choke irrevocably and her airless body would be unable to rise to the surface till it became bloated in death. I would find my photos in her bag as evidence she had been sent to kill me. If not, I would plant my passports there as incriminating evidence. I would have to save my political career by exonerating myself from the crime of killing this lady. My mind processed all this while I rose to the surface to gulp in all the air in the universe.

The water had taught me well.

The Visitor

Just like that I found myself in a sea of nothingness. I was not standing, sitting, or lying down, neither did I remember how I got there or how long I had been there. I had just woken up into this state with the sudden, violent start of a sleeping baby about to suffocate.

He was here. I will not attempt to describe the surging confusion of emotion that convulsed the depths of my soul. I was unable to understand how I could feel such fear and security at the same time. My fear of pain, rejection, insanity, death and disease culminated in this huge panic that made me impulsively want to flee from this aura and hide in some deep underground cave. Yet, at the same time, while He was here, I knew no one else could interfere with our interaction or dare come close. I felt like I was the focus of ten thousand times ten thousand attentive eyes.

He spoke. Or rather He thought. And I heard His thoughts in my heart. I was relieved He was not here yet for my judgement. Instead, as if postponing such terrible inevitable affairs till a future date yet to be determined, He was curious to know what I wanted in life. Instantly, my father’s words to me as a child flashed through my mind: Wisdom is the principal thing; in all your getting, get understanding.

Once again I knew that spark of the flow of consciousness that went from my heart to His. He was overjoyed. This I could not really understand because I also felt like my thoughts were carried in that direction like a lily on the stream by His overwhelming presence. It was impossible to be distracted from Him. I could think nothing without feeling His thoughts pushing me towards a pre-determined conclusion. And yet He was happy. I did not see a smile. All I felt was the joy of seeing a rainbow in the sunny clear skies just after the rain. And irresistibly, I was happy too.

Immediately, the nothingness around me fell away and I was fully aware of the clothes of my Visitor. It seemed like I was looking down at the stars I had loved to look up at in the night skies when I wanted to clear my head. I felt Him move and the stars moved altogether in a pattern that was so practised I knew it would last forever, unchanging through thousands and thousands of generations. I could understand the dance of the stars!! But not the dance of Him who wore them.

At the same time, I began to recall every face, touch, conversation and detail I had ever seen, heard or experienced. I was overwhelmed by the universe a second time, only this universe was my mind. At first, it all seemed so new I thought I was learning so many new things under the sun all at once!!! It took me a while to realize that these were just memories that, despite having been suppressed for me to keep my sanity, had remained crystal clear in the undercurrents of my mind. I knew the meals people had eaten on their way to Jerusalem. I read people’s thoughts in retrospect merely by recognizing (remembering) patterns in their body language and subsequent behaviour. I remembered all my friends and somehow knew what they had made of their lives by a simple projection of their childhood personalities. I knew this was not prophecy, just plain observation. I could tell the unique combinations of the basic building blocks that defined human character and, like a mason, I could predict in what direction those bricks would fall when subjected to various circumstances. I understood human motivation and the human struggle for domination, acceptance, love and respect. I deeply knew everyone I had ever met and even those I had not met by an uncanny analysis of the signature effects of the dominant person influences on all the people I had met. By meeting, I mean the slightest glance in my direction from anyone whom I had so much as made eye contact with in my entire life.

This power to manipulate people came with an unstated purpose. I was to make my nation great. I knew my Visitor had promised my father a kingdom that would last forever. My job was to stamp the consciousness of my people so deep in the collective mind of the world that thousands of years afterwards, people would still regard my people with respect and fear. As the third King, I was being given the permission to over-awe the world to such an extent as to be the benchmark of greatness the world over, for many years to come after my death. I could not resist. The commission was as pleasant to me as the thoughts of my Commissioner were irresistible. I gladly accepted it.

Although I knew everything in my mind, the desire to explore the world to confirm my knowledge was equally overwhelming. I just had to experience everything I knew was out there. My mind wanted to fly, to seduce beautiful women, to conquer the most stubborn cultures, to bring the world to my doorstep with gifts of silver and gold I would not pay for except with my benevolent smile. I already knew my life would be futile in essence since it would not last forever, but still I wanted to prove the strength of this rumoured futility. If anyone could find out the meaning of life, it would be me. And if I did not find it, no son of man after me would be able to.

All of a sudden I was conscious of being in my Royal Throneroom Hall of judgement. I was visibly alarmed because even though I felt as though I had just woken up from a dream, this Reality I had woken up to seemed more like the dream compared to the spirit-state I had just awoken from. Since my new found wisdom was still with me, I was convinced that I had not been dreaming or walking while asleep.

I knew then that I had just been personally visited by the Maker of Heaven and Earth. 


Letter From Rehab

Ah yes. Love unreturned….


Sometimes we want the truth…but most times we run away from it

Sometimes we take extra caution but in the end…careless mistakes

And I keep wondering why I am talking about “WE” when I am the one concerned

Now I am in a deep tunnel…it is dark…gloomy…frightening…I put myself in there by my own reckless abandon….and the consequences of my own action is leading to my destruction…

It was supposed to be a ‘P’…..simple…a summer P to be precise

I had shut down all my senses to Love as it was obvious I was never going to be in that position.

He was young, refreshing, vibrant, cool……..charming

He knew all the right things to say at the right time

He totally had me….from thousands of miles away

He was that guy that I felt that instant connection with

He had a strong personality…by my standard, he was close to perfect

He was a 9.5…since no one is perfect, a 10 would be biased

It was continuous days of chats…then calls…then more chats…text messages…calls…chats…all night chats

then I saw myself falling in love…he had it…he was it…i could not help it

I laugh..why?…he is a huge Flirt…he can flirt for Australia

I got caught up…I told him I loved him and I got the most surprising reply ever

He said “I am sorry but I can’t tell you I love you just because you want to hear it….i really like you but I would rather not hurt you with a lie”

I was mad…irrational and flipped out

He was protecting me…I did not know

We stayed apart for a few days…I missed him so badly

I picked up the phone and called him

And the pattern started again..calls…chats…calls..chats…

One day, I woke up, to discover things were not the same

He became too busy to call, chat or even respond to my missed calls

It was either this or that…I was confused…I didn’t know what to think

I watched the closeness strained…but then discovered he was on to someone else

She is cute, sexy and admired by a lot of guys and girls I must add

I could not stand it…I could not help me…I became suicidal

I called him…he claimed I was inconsistent…silly excuse

All I could think of at that moment was….”IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A P”


And then….. SNAPPED

It was like a scene from trauma…confusion…panic…race to save my life

A mix of Vodka and good weed…and 4 stab wounds to my body..every one for the letters of his name

My almost lifeless body was found by my father

They took away my phones and laptop and my mentor was called

And my 7th visit to my counselor (a psychologist) was booked

One week there has been hell…that I have to go through this again

But it is for my own good…for my own future and because I still want to be alive

What was I thinking??? Don’t blame me for he was a 9.5

Sometimes we want what we do not need…sometimes we want to have it all

And here I am again….back to “WE”…My case is one of special deliverance

I was able to write this… as it is part of the exercise for my evaluation

All I need right now….is a warm hug and prayers of course.


Is love worth all the trouble?

Wild Joyride

So yeah. I was off for a ride in the woods around Ngwanu town. I felt tall and powerful as I rode past passers-by in awe of my impressive 21-speed mountain bike. I passed a young boy in the opposite direction on his baby tricycle and smiled down on him. Young man, look at me. This is who you wanna be when you grow up. I beamed inwardly with pride until it occurred to me that the people driving by in their jeeps might be thinking the same about me on my bike. My brows creased at the thought and I made for the edge of the woods, away from cars, away from people, away from the madness that was wrongly called civilization. I needed the challenge, the break from the monotony of the office.

The ride into the woods was bumpy and uphill at some places. On my low gears, this wasn’t a problem as my well-toned thighs performed the relay of injecting energy to the wheels of the bike. Besides, it meant I would do all the hard work while I was still strong and coast downhill on the way back when I would be considerably more fatigued. I wandered around in the forest till the sun began to drop below the treeline. I was still enjoying my ride but I had to stop and turn around soon. Just a few more minutes, I thought and kept pushing on as I took in the sights and smells of the twilight jungle. If only I had not taken that awful, terrible decision!

Suddenly, I saw him in the distance, with two abnormally long teeth curling out from his mouth like the mustache of a 16th century philosopher. My bike came to a halt as my nervous system shut down in shock. He sized me up in rage and wild incomprehension at my insolence while I stared at him through my visors. He was the last thing I expected to see out here. A wild boar! I had heard a lot about this epitome of brutality. Apparently this was the mating season and I had ventured into his breeding territory. No doubt I had surprised him by coming too close to his nest of piglets somew…..

Skkkkwwwwweeeeerrrrrrr!!!!! My thoughts were rapidly interrupted by the guttural squeal of the wild boar. My senses returned to me fast and I spun my bike round and remounted while Tobore charged at me from about 100m off. Yes, my brain had switched to survival mode. I had named my enemy or aggressor to better cope with this struggle, and I had calculated that by the time Tobore had covered the distance between us, I would be cycling at top speed. I had a fighting or rather a fleeing chance. Or else, I would have just knelt down promptly and begged Tobore for leniency. But I fled, with as much cycling revolutions per minute as my legs could generate.

The trees began to rush by and everything came into instant focus. I saw everything! The tree trunk in the distance across the path. The monkey buying akara nearby (actually, plucking some leaves). The low hanging branches I had dodged on my way up into the forest. My thought processes became amazingly lucid. I could not make a mistake and live to tell the tale. Tobore would use my destiny to make the hog equivalent of pounded yam and efo riro soup. I shook my head at myself inwardly. Was I still telling these dry twitter jokes in the hour preceding my standing before the Almighty in judgment? Judgment tho……

Brrraaaaahhheeeeewwww!!!! My thoughts were again focused on Tobore who had apparently just bumped my back tyre with such force I wondered how much faster he could run. What if he ran alongside me and snipped off a piece of my calf with his razor sharp tusk? I guess Tobore was not used to hunting animals with round legs. He prolly thought…..

Pfftttttttttt!!!!!!! My back tyre let out all the air in it in one sad, disheartening endless sigh. Tobore had done it. He had deflated my back tyre with his tusky teeth. Was I not finished? While I was distracted calculating my chances of outrunning Tobore on foot, there appeared this demonic tree root ahead which snaked across the path. I could not react fast enough to do my signature all-tyres-clear BMX bandit bicycle jump. That trump card had been defeated now. This tree root would deliver the crushing blow to halt my bike after the mortal blow dealt by Tobore’s tusks. The first tyre passed over without much vibration due to my front shock absorbers. The back tyre though, was a different story entirely. I had forgotten to stand up while going over the bump because I was trying to avoid my head being caught up in the low-hanging branches, just like Absalom of Biblical fame. All I felt was a burst of flame and lightning rush up my spine directly to my brain from my assaulted balls on the bike seat. I saw a vision of the thirteen zodiac constellations in one brief, poignant sweeping view. No wonder when Ekaette did things down there I lost….

I tumbled forward and was flat on my back with my mountain bike flying over my head, removing the last line of defense between me and Tobore. Surely he would go for my neck now. Animals did these things by instinct. They always went for the kidneys, the neck, the balls, the knee-caps, parts of the body that would injure you so badly you would wish you had never survived the attack. IF you survived the attack.

But Tobore was not on my neck yet. He was rolling in the bushes, evidently squealing from pain. I sat up trembling from the adrenaline surge and looked behind me to see Tobore being harassed by another territorial wild boar! Michael he was called, my saving angel. This fight was looking one-sided. Tobore’s guts were being tossed all over the place. I involuntarily put myself in his shoes and shuddered as I stood shakily to my feet. I could have sworn I saw Michael give me the side eye. I got the message. I ran far from the crime scene as fast as humanly possible. The Athletics Federation of Nigeria would have been so proud.

The Power of Boobs

Arinola (@areenolar) learnt a very important lesson in her last interview. What weapons would you resort to in warfare?


I sat patiently as I waited for my name to be called in the middle sized multinational corporation. For one, the place looked like every young person’s dream workplace- beautiful environment, world class and friendly co-workers. What else could I possibly ask for? I could literally hear my tummy rumbling out of sheer excitement.
Co-workers? A wicked thought challenged.

Whoa. I had been day dreaming again rather than hope I fit the job profile.

“Common, you have to be serious” I nudged myself from within. I had to force my nervous body to stop perusing the obviously expensive furniture from maybe Italy or Novena.

Just then two ladies rushed out of the interviewer’s office with one of them leaving a painful imprint by nailing my leg with her 4 inches heels. “Ouch” I flinched as I watched her go through the exit. Not like I resented her attitude but a sorry would have been sufficient for the pain inflicted.

I decided to be focused, regardless of what some silly rival did. Yes anybody in the room was definitely a rival especially since an inside source had gossiped “we only need one of you”.

“Excuse me, I’m here for the interview” another lady interrupted my train of thought. I met her gaze with opened mouth. Is she really here for the same interview? Dressed like this with her boobs threatening to pop out any moment. Again she spoke, “I bet you didn’t hear that, is this venue for the interview?” I opened my mouth but no word came; instead my finger helped my tongue out by pointing at the direction of the receptionist. She smiled knowingly. Few seconds later she was sitting right next to me.

I tried not to be nice either so we both maintained straight faces.

Finally, the manager stepped out. The devil himself. He exchanged few words with the receptionist before facing us. “Last ladies standing”. He said in a rather sarcastic tone as if our fate had been decided. From what I’d learnt from the previous applicant’s faces, this man was no weakling. He knew what he was looking for.

“Follow me, ” he said as if leading us to our crucifixion ground. My rival stood up with a sheepish smile. Instead of taking a cue from her, I frowned as I anticipated what my verdict would be eventually.

He led us to the boardroom. “Oh my” I said to myself. Contrary to what I envisaged, planned or ever imagined, the room was filled with even more condescending looking faces. They could not seem to mask their disappointment with the crop of applicants they’d seen earlier.

It’s either now or never. I decided to put the strongest foot forward even though my chest was threatening to burst with nervousness. My rival took a seat right close to me. Not until then, I hadn’t realized how crazy the girl was. I actually thought she was fine, confident and smart…but attending an interview with half of your boobs open…only reminded of one of D’banj’s lyrics “I’m so endowed”.

“Give me one reason why we should give you this job” A bald headed man inquired. Startled by the tone of the voice, I stared back at the old dude. “I actually have three reasons why you should give me a chance. One because, I’m a reasonably intelligent and equally brilliant Public Relations expert, Two, because I understand the approaches and techniques that guarantee a successful campaign and thirdly, because I’m overwhelmingly passionate about working here,” I submitted as I watched their faces light up with hope at my confident, fluent delivery.

The same dude turned to my rival and asked “Lady I’d like you to explain the RACE approach to me” He smiled as he stared at her over bulging boobs. “Ooh sure. RACE is the smartest and one of the simplest approaches in Public Relations today. And it simply means research, action, communication and evaluation” She said and gave me a look as if we were in some war dance. She said as she let loose a button on a shirt to reveal the top part of the boobs. The man smiled apparently charmed with the physical response.

Big breasted bastard! I cursed inwardly even as I managed to force a fake chuckle. Thinking of my A-cups seemed to make laughter difficult. The chuckle came out sounding like that of a lost chicken in the midst of hungry cats.

“Ok” A middle aged woman uttered. “You’re Alorina, right?” I nodded and swallowed hard as she continued. “What do you have to say about the term misconceptions as it relates to Public Relations”.

I straightened as I unconsciously begged my knowledge in that regard to be merciful. “Misconception in Public relations is a quite popular phenomenon. While a misconception may not necessarily have any iota of truth in it; negligence to such notions by the brand is what I call a suicide mission. Like your company for instance, I noticed you are leaders in innovation and advertising but as far as public relations is concerned I daresay there’s a lot to be done. People have misconceptions about your brand which need to be addressed fast”

“I completely disagree with you on that” My rival interrupted without permission. “Cherish is by far the best in its category in this land. Ask anybody and they would gladly tell you…that they prefer our product to anybody’s”.

Our? Brilliant strategy. “Ok” I cleared my throat as I spoke “Let me school you before you go on. I see you’re missing a pivotal point here. Advertising is what deals with products and honestly; the fact that people prefer our product over competitions is not enough to ignore the emerging misconceptions about our dear brand. Beyond advertising the product, I believe it’s high time, we put the reputation of the brand above all else especially because the perception of our customers will either make or mar our existence sooner or later”. I submitted.

With a very confident outlook, I braced myself for whatever would come out next. And lo and behold, “Alorina, would you be willing to resume on Monday?” The woman sure sounded like the HR manager. For a while I had forgotten my name. Then my head nodded obediently even as my lips widened with a smile. I thought I had been well and truly beaten in this match!

“You two can leave now” One of the old dudes announced. As I got up to leave, the most unusual thing happened “ Emm Sarah, I’d like you to come for your letter tomorrow too” The other top managers questioned him with a disapproving look “ Sorry I forgot to tell you all, I need a PA…and I need it like yesterday” He said dismissively and strolled out. Nobody dared utter any objection whatsoever.

Ahh, the show of boobs is the beginning of what? I marveled. “You know you’re smart but I’m smarter. 10 over 10. Shikena.” She said over my shoulders.

My Millionaire Quest: The Finale

{Insert this for alternative ending; skip for romantic reading}

[“Hello Mummy, I just won 2 million naira!” That was the phone call I wished I could be making right now. How did I come to leave the studio with less than what I had hoped for? ]


The puzzling nature of the question for 2 million naira was knee weakening. If I were standing, I would have requested a chair. But now, I slumped backwards in my seat as I was asked the country in the world without official lyrics for its national anthem. Was it Spain? Trinidad and Tobago? Germany? Or Sweden? Somehow I recognized the three countries that stood out because they were in Europe. They had also been in the World Cup. Surely when the players had to sing their anthems before any match those European players must have had words to mouth. So it was looking like Trinidad and Tobago. However, I knew at this high level the questions would not submit to regular brain processes. Somehow this seemed like a question to call my Uncle at home for. Surely someone with a Ph.D in History would be definite about this. So I opted for my last lifeline.

As soon as Uncle Tolu heard the question, he was excited. His answer was Spain. Spain?! The country that won the last World Cup had no official national anthem?! Hmmmmm. But for his certainty I would not have imagined that! But after I confirmed my answer, Femi said I was right!

The applause of the crowd was of such a level that I knew that contestants hardly ever had a run as good as this. My heart was still beating but now I was relaxed, smiling sheepishly and unable to believe my good fortune. However, it all could be lost on the next question. I had just 2 more questions to the final prize of 10 million. Surely I wouldn’t go that far! Or would I? My inner questions were answered ironically by the next question.

In order to win 5 million naira I had to state which city was not a capital of South Africa. The options were Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein. Wait?! Was this question which city was the capital? Or which wasn’t a capital? Like did South Africa, the host of the last World Cup, REALLY have 3 capitals?! Oh wow! What was it with me and the World Cup? Was all this because I put football as one of my hobbies?!

No. No, no, no! I would not answer this question. My heart failed me. I would have chosen Bloemfontein but this was for 5 million. The answer could be anything. So I chose to walk away.

My choice to walk away was supported by the crowd who seemed as bewildered as I was. The silence that fell on the studio audience was ten times greater than any of the previous pauses. I knew they were all willing me to escape with my millions while I could. I started laughing again as Femi tried to persuade me to try. I shook my head and dramatically stretched out my hand for my check. A million in hand, sorry 2 million, was worth more than the billions floating out there in the world.

{Alternative ending}

Was it because I had put football as one of my hobbies?! I recognized 3 cities there: Pretoria, definitely from my South African apartheid movies and documentaries; Johannesburg, the Sun city and possibly the most popular city in Africa after Lagos; and Cape Town, which was a faint primary school memory of a capital city. So it had to be Bloemfontain. I had never heard of this city and definitely none of the other three could be knocked out.

With a deep sigh, I picked Bloemfontain as my final answer. Another commercial break was called. It seemed like an eternity of agony before Femi finally announced the answer.

I had failed it!!! The answer was Johannesburg. Femi explained that Cape Town was the legislative capital, Pretoria was the administrative capital and Bloemfontain, my choice, was the judicial capital. I was deflated. My millions sprouted wings of biblical proportions and flew off to the heavens without waving goodbye. I was now left with my 250, 000. Just enough money for 2 iPads. Back to square one so it seemed. Femi urged the crowd to applaud my bravery in hearing the 5 million naira question and failing it. That felt like a cold wet blanket over my shivering soul. While I was escorted off the stage, Femi began announcing the questions for the audience participation and home play for TV viewers. I suddenly became conscious of a dull physical ache in my chest. My millionaire quest had just come to a very disappointing and bitter end.

My Millionaire Quest: Part 3

Hello Folks! Today’s story continuation is a bit delayed but I made it slightly longer to compensate for the long wait. As usual, you should start the story from the first part downstairs before continuing here. No? *Shrugs* Enjoy anyway!


The very next question made all the earlier ones look like wonderland. I was forced to smile as I was asked what American state Michael Jackson was from.

The silence in the studio was deafening. I had never felt so small. The question on Michael Jackson was a fair one. He was my childhood idol after all and possibly the greatest musician to have ever lived. His recent death had no doubt splashed his biography all over the news but I, of course, had been too busy watching Rihanna ask me what her name was to bother to watch the news. Was it Massachusetts? Or Philadelphia? Or maybe even New York? It didn’t seem like Indiana was it? I was wondering whether I would have to use my last lifeline when I realized that this was the least risky stage of the game. Just above the 2nd guaranteed level, I would lose nothing by a wrong answer since I had won no more than what was guaranteed anyway. This would have to be an outright guess.

Somehow, the fact that I wouldn’t use a lifeline spiked my heart rate. Femi, to his credit, didn’t rush me. (I learned afterwards that the show was edited to screening time length). I then understood why I had been asked to sign a medical statement before coming on the show. My blood vessels were almost jumping out of my neck completely. I shifted my weight on the chair and put my hand in my chin, appearing to concentrate very hard. I sensed that no one was fooled though. The crowd started showing signs of restlessness. I had to give an answer.

So I picked Indiana. I had absolutely no reason to pick that option. If I failed it, I would just sneak home humbled and quiet. So, I wasn’t surprised when Femi told me I had failed the question.

As he said he was sorry, the lights and music came on to signal applause from the audience! Femi was stretching his hand in congratulations. I was looking dejected. But everyone was happy. What was this?! Even Mama Ibeji looked even more overjoyed. Were they actually happy to see me leave?! What was…..?!!

I was being presented with a cheque for the amount double what I had won at the guaranteed level. What happened? Oh! I had got the answer right? It could not be but it was. Till now, I don’t understand how my brain switched off and convinced me that Femi said I had failed it. Maybe I was in a state of altered consciousness. Surprised and happy at the “turn of events”, I braced myself and waited for the next question. This would be the million naira question.

It was about the day Murtala Mohammed was assassinated. I was immediately lambasted with permutations of Fridays and 13ths and Months and years. I put my mind to work. Obasanjo had taken over from this man and handed over to the uncharismatic Shagari in 1979, three years after struggling to complete the legacies of his popular predecessor. That left me with 3 options in 1976. Two of them were Fridays. The term Black Friday was floating around in my subconscious. Was it a term used to refer to the sad day when the popular Murtala had been killed? I could call my uncle for this one, but I still felt I could handle it. One of the Fridays was a 13th. The 13th of February, 1976. As I looked hard at it I wondered what the odds were that a Friday 13th would be such an unlucky day for Nigeria as a nation. Why not? It must have been a very black, unlucky Friday to impress the term Black Friday on Nigeria as a whole and on me when I had not even been born then. I decided to go for that option.

Femi immediately asked me if I was certain. By his body language, he was trying to make it snappy. I was alarmed. I wondered whether to read this as positive or negative. Was he happy I had picked the right answer? Or he just wanted to save money for the sponsors of the show and escort me out with less than a million naira? I became unsure. However when he asked if that was my last answer, I heard a voice that sounded like mine say yes. Then Femi took the opportunity to call for a commercial break. I had not heard if I was right or wrong.

I began laughing uncontrollably. It had always been my unusual response to stress. At this point, I was allowed to go to the toilet to ease myself. I didn’t feel pressed until I stood up. The urge to pee was so overwhelming but since I had been sitting down, I wasn’t aware of it. In the extreme stress, I could have peed in my pants right in front of everyone! Where would I have hidden my face then?! Aliyu would have spread the news amongst my many friends even if that part had been edited from the screening. Not that I even had any spare trousers to change into. Ah, that was a smart move by Femi to prevent guests from being embarrassed on stage. I ran to the toilet and returned smiling. I was falling for the charms of this host.

When the answer was announced I was right. Major General Murtala Mohammed had been assassinated on Friday, the 13th of February, 1976 in a military coup. The hall went wild! I was now the proud owner of one million naira.

I was the first ever millionaire from my village. A sudden realization dawned on me of all the things I could do with one million naira in Nigeria. My creativity quadrupled as wild and fantastic ideas came to my mind of how to spend this money or make it grow! I now understood why poor people always seemed dull. They were limited in their thinking to only projects that they felt they had the money to handle! Suddenly, it seemed as though there were a million ways to spend a million naira.

Would I pay my tithe? I had never given that much money to the church. The figure would have 5 whole zeroes behind it! I secretly wished this show could remain a secret from my pastor, who no doubt would be calculating his own share of my booty when the programme was finally aired. I felt like running away from church to some unknown location to spend my million(s) in peace! Now, my million would be reduced to 900, 000. That amount was nowhere as rhythmic as 1,000,000!!! I remembered that my thoughts were supposed to be known by God and felt awkward. Anyway, maybe I could win more and the total amount coming to me would be over a million.

I was listening to the 2 million naira question now. The more I listened, the more protective I grew over my 1 million naira nest egg. The guaranteed sum of 250,000 (or the price of 2 iPads) seemed insulting now. I would run out of here at the slightest hint of a threat with my one million intact, come hell or high water!

To be Continued