Too early for Christmas? Yeah! But the world is ending on the 22nd of December so I might as well *sic*.. I actually wrote this for TNC’s The Writer that year, but I guessed (rightly) that it would be too long, so I stopped halfway and wrote something else for TNC. So uhm, today, I was looking through old pieces and I saw this, and I edited it and now you’re going to read it and enjoy it! Ehen..
And yeah, Tangles! Is still coming out on Monday!! Episode IV tinz..ok.
#np Bad things – Jace Everett
My name is Jones, and what I am about to tell you is deep secret. I wouldn’t lose my life for telling you, but you’ll probably lose yours for listening, but it is a good story, it is worth your life..or sanity.
Last Christmas, I was in Lagos. The bright city, the town of hustles and hassles. I hated every bit of it. Was stuck in traffic all night from Christmas Eve till Christmas day! Finally arriving home in the morning and Dad just had to get on my nerves with all his questions. So when Auntie invited me to the village this Christmas, I didn’t refuse, it couldn’t be any worse.
Like I said before, my name is Jones, I am 21 years old and I am going to tell you how I spent this Christmas. I got to the village on the 23rd, it was a friday and it was late evening. Everywhere was dusty, and quiet, and as soon as I stepped off the bus, things went from upside down to sideways. Literally.
Now, the bus I had entered wasn’t really a passenger bus in the strict sense. It was more of a once-upon-a-time 16-seater vehicle that was now used to carry anything and everything from furniture to livestock. My village is in the very middle of nowhere and the livestock/furniture drivers are about the only link between my village and the outside world.
Coming from Lagos had been a roundabout journey of sorts.. Flight to Benin city, a taxi to an unpronounceable place, then a motorbike ride to a small jetty where I boarded a ferry which took me across a surprisingly clear river to the park where I met one of the furniture/livestock movers. This particular driver, true to form, was carrying goats and bicycles. After the necessary bargaining, I squeezed myself into the mass of goat and metal, and we started our bumpy ride. Suffice to say, the ride was completely uncomfortable. You see, there is only one seat in the vehicle, the other sixteen haven been stripped off a long time ago, to make space for more goats, and the driver was caressing that seat quite jealously with his fat butt-cheeks.
So it was that as soon as I stepped off the bus, my trouser leg caught on something, whether it was the handlebar of a Raleigh or the horns of some goat, my jeans ripped as the world turned upside down very fast, and I found myself face down on the dusty road. Dusting myself up, I picked up my bags and waved bye to the driver and started walking to the village. You would wonder why I didn’t call my Auntie and tell her I had arrived. Well, the answer is simple, my village has no network coverage and so my Blackberry was as much use as a sun dial that evening (deep!!!). If I thought things had reached about as bad as they could be, I was set for a shock when I got to the house and discovered Auntie was out. Stapled to the door in some European fashion was an envelope with my name boldly written on it. Apparently, Auntie had to rush to the next village to help with the birth of some kid. Now, my Auntie is a trained midwife, and for the past twenty years has doubled as resident doctor, surgeon, vet and psychiatrist for the villages along the river belt. Her absence today of all days was the first true sign of doom for my holidays. Already, I started to miss the Ikeja go-slow.
Pushing open the door, (nobody locks their doors in this village), I muttered ‘Happy holidays’ to myself and slumped on the rocking chair and promptly dozed off. I admit, I have never been to the village before and my reason for coming this time had been born partially of a desire always dare and to try some adventure. So I had gotten Auntie to send me some directions, said goodbye to Dad and came over.
At about midnight I woke up hungry. There was the sound of drumming coming from outside, so I walked to the window and stared out into the streets. “Fuck!”
The streets were on fire. By the light of flickering fires, I could see shadowy figures, people playing drums and dancing in wild frenzied gyrations of their naked bodies. To worsen matters, I could swear I saw goats in the midst of the melee dancing on two legs, with their hooves waving wildly in the air! If madness had ever sought to take a man, it was at that moment. I wanted to scream, I wanted to pinch myself, but there I stood, transfixed, wondering if I saw dream or my senses had taken leave. Then the beat changed and then something or someone screamed, it was loud and the sound seemed to pierce my soul, and despite myself, I felt a certain joy and happiness, a desire to run and dance. But suddenly, the group of men and women and animals dashed down the street and out of my sight. And the sun came up, and I woke up. It was Christmas Eve.
Later that day, after eating brunch, (Auntie had left some stuff for me in her pots), I took a walk into the village. That was when I saw her. Perfect skinned and sweet smile that blends with shiny teeth and warm eyes, she looked at me. She was pretty. Goodlooking in a semi-waif manner, and Yes or No, Truth or False, I fell for her, I fell so hard I actually hit a stone and almost tripped.
She laughed then, and walked to me. “My name is Sarah,” she said, smiling with those perfect teeth.
For a few seconds, I was dumfounded. No one sees a pretty girl, with hair all braided and dressed in native print material, in a village about 240km away from civilization, and expect her name to be Sarah! And for her to say it in perfect English too! I just stared at her, and all I could think was the taste her lips would allow. “I’m Jones,” I finally coughed out.
We spent the rest of the day together. Sarah had finished from the Federal Government College, and she was now helping her mother sell stuff at the jetty, but since it was Christmas Eve, her mum had given her time off to have fun. She was 20 years old and she did not want to go to the university. I envied her, and she smiled and touched my brow and I was in love.
She took me to the stream. There were two streams in the village, one for bathing and one for cooking water. She took me to the one for bathing. In the actual sense, there was only one strean and a spring supplied both. The one they called the ‘cooking water stream’ was directly supplied by the spring and the water was clear and cold and could be used for cooking. Place the water in earthen jugs for two days and you’ll have wine, Sarah told me. I believed her.
At the stream, we bathed together, splashing water and laughing like children. She had a lovely body, which was even lovelier without clothes on, but she wouldn’t let me touch her, always darting out of my reach. I told her about my dream last night and she laughed long but didn’t say anything. After a while, I laughed too. We ate fruits for lunch. They were like apples, but yellow and tasted very sour.
When it was dark, Sarah saw me back to Auntie’s house. Auntie was still not back. “Sleep well, I’ll come for you later,” she said, running off.
There was water in the cooking water pot, so I used some to boil some yam, pounded it and ate with ogbolo soup. When I was through, I was sweating. So I sat on the rocking chair by the half open door and dozed off.
The scuff of feet against the door woke me. It was that dream again! Naked dancers and goats, all writhing together in obscene movements. This time around they were also in the room, and they were pulling me with them, and the music summoned me and I was happy again, and I followed.
Throwing off my clothes till I was naked, I threw my hands in the air and I leapt forward, the drums followed me. Dancing back and forth and side to side, I let out a shriek, and the other dancers around me echoed. A goat vame to me and placed its hooves on my chest. “Do the same,” it said. And I placed my palms on its horns, and my eyes opened. We twirled and rolled and the stars went black. Then I was pressing the back of the goat, squeezing and squeezing as desire leapt upon desire, and I was swallowed in ecstasy.
Then I saw Sarah, but her eyes were white and her head cocked to one side. She tried to run but I blocked her. She feinted left, and I did the same. The drums rolled. She rushed towards me, and I took a step bacj and held out my arms. She stopped and moved to the right, her breasts swaying, once again I blocked her. A circle had formed around us, and the other dancers were shrieking and waving firelights. Screaming Sarah made to claw at my face, but I caught her. Pushing her to the ground, she lay before me, and then I stared into her eyes. The shrieking sound all around us had slowed to a chant, and the drums beat solemnly in the background. Her eyes were white, inviting me, daring me to possess what I had conquered. Her lips parted slightly, her warm breath drifting across my face. Her heart pounded steadily through her soft breasts pressed against my chest and her softness was wet against me. The music echoed in my head and it said, “Do it!”. So I did. I got up from the floor and dusted myself. How long was I out? “You dey okay?” The driver of the livestock/furniture vehicle asked. “Yeah.”
He grunted in reply and drove off. I picked up my bags, still puzzled.
The events of the dream or whatever were so vivid in my head. I could still see Sarah’s face as she pulled me into her, still feel the sensation as I went deep and low into her sweetness. A dream. “Who said it was a dream?”
I turned around and looked for the source of the voice, but all I could see was a strangle familiar goat. “Huh?”
“Jones, is that you?” came Auntie’s voice. And there was my Auntie walking towards me. “Merry Christmas!” She hugged me. “How did you get so dirty?” she laughed. My mouth remained open in disbelief.
She pointed at the girl beside her, oblivious of my shock, “And this is the Priestess of the stream goddess, she insisted on coming to greet you.” Sarah just smiled at me.
*I don’t indulge in animal ‘husbandry’..
*I know this post would have been rejected by TNC
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