Mama

MAMA

Mama used to make sure we prayed every morning before she came down with the nameless disease. She would beat and bang on our locked door with a frenzy such that it was impossible for even a log to sleep through it. I don’t know why we kept locking it day after day because we stood up ourselves to open it though amidst grumbles and sometimes tears especially when we had stayed up till very late, peeping through the spaces in the walls at the prostitute next door grunting and sweating as man after man graced her bed.
When she had succeeded in rousing us, she made us brush our teeth, saying only over her dead body would we talk to our heavenly father with morning halitosis. She made sure we brushed twice always, the first round underwent inspection which none of the six of us ever passed. She said it was to wake us properly, and that she wanted to hear retching noises in the second. No retching, no coming out of the small badly lit bathroom crowded with all six of us making varying disgusting retching sounds, spitting phlegm and toothpaste foam at each other’s feet. Not a single one of us ever had bad breath, God forbid, where would such a terrible thing come from when we peeled our gums and tongues twice every single day? Not even when Kelechi at fifteen was dying with AIDS did his breath stink. He picked up his bones from the bed in the free clinic down the road where mama worked as a cleaner at five o’ clock every single day and retched till the nurses came running and the other patients cursed him in their morphine-induced sleep.
The prayers every morning those days were plagued with nods and mumbles except for mama and the unlucky person leading the praise and worship songs. Mama’s voice would shake the very foundation of our wooden shack and we would jerk out of sleep and bob our heads like fish out of water, slipping in and out of consciousness according to the tempo of the songs. Then we would cast demons and principalities and familiar spirits by speaking in tongues. Mama monitored our mouths as hers moved at alarming speed, so we spoke. Biola uttered Igbo gibberish mixing it with Yoruba while Yusuf spoke heavily adulterated Hausa which always earned him a pat on the head. The rest of us relied on consonants punctuated with vowels and she wouldn’t notice. Not because she didn’t want to but because she was too busy sweating and thrashing all around as she hit our sparse furniture atop where we perched to give her more room. The furniture with their sharp splint ends where they had broken and the nails that held them in place jutting out and tearing her ebony skin, the scars now numerous and interlocked like a badly drawn map. We only stopped praying when she stopped moving. That was when we knew that she had overcome, when we knew the demons had left and the principalities and powers had taken their leave. The knot of her wrapper always came undone no matter how well she tied it before the sessions and Ochuko and Emmanuel would cover her with their tattered shirts till she woke up from sleep filled with visions which she would explain in full details to remind us that the Lord was kinder and more powerful than evil spirits. Those evil spirits that made mama’s husband chase her out of the house because his mother had died soon after she and mama had a quarrel concerning the lack of salt in mama’s efo riro soup. They had both screamed at each other, mama’s husband’s mother accusing her of serving tasteless food to her son which she didn’t blame her for anyways because she came from a forsaken tribe where their women were just men with breasts who bewitched men into marrying them and mama retorted that anybody who wanted her to induce hypertension in her husband would die first. It happened the very next morning that mama’s husband’s mother did not rise. Witch, her husband had screamed, his kind eyes now hard as he tossed her belongings to the streets. Mama couldn’t go back to her parents. They had told her she had ostracized herself and become an outcast by marrying a man whose eyes watered when he spoke, a lazy man who didn’t have a farm but had the shameless job of making and mending clothes, who laughed and clapped his hands too much, why didn’t she just marry a woman instead? Those same evil spirits that caused a drunken taxi driver to hit her on the night she was chased out with her box of clothes on her head as she walked aimlessly on the streets. She had woken up in the hospital down the road where the matron had taken pity upon her after hearing her story and offered her the cleaning job. Three weeks and a cast after, she still couldn’t walk and that was when mama made the vow for her legs, the vow that brought us into her life. From Kelechi whose mother ran away and left him pink and screaming in the hospital after she discovered they both had the incurable disease to Yusuf who was part of a gang of hungry adolescent thieves that came to raid the hospital pantry late one night when mama had stayed behind to help with a worrisome patient. The very same evil spirits that caused the government to demolish the hospital during the construction of drainage on the street, the same drainage we had devoted a morning prayer session for to be attended to as the last rainy season had left us with guinea worms crawling out of all our orifices. Mama said the demons and spirits followed her because they knew she was a threat to them. They wanted to kill her with problems but she would stand strong, raise us to become warriors and show the Lord that she was worthy of a gold crown when she got to heaven.
All these happened years ago, and I am now married with my own children. I do not know where my four siblings live, we never ask for each other’s addresses or phone numbers when we go back home once every year just like now. We never bring our families because it is our alone time with mama and even the full-time help leaves. Kelechi’s tombstone is in the bedroom where we all sleep and for a whole week we are teenagers again though this time, mama is too old to rouse us for devotion. She doesn’t even know who we are half the time. She asks everyday when we go to greet her in her room, my doctor friend had said it was inevitable when I told him of our prayer sessions years ago. Your children, we always tell her. My womb is with the Lord, she would retort in our language, presented as a holy sacrifice, I never pushed or experienced birth pangs, who are you liars? And I, the eldest always give the final argument, we are the children of your kind heart and compassion.
We have awoken today and mama is dead. Rock solid and cold on her bed with her slackened breasts spread over her abdomen. There are no tears, what for? She has finally defeated the evil spirits, principalities and familiar spirits as we all intercede for others in places of prayer and we have all declined requests and pleas to lead congregations. One after the other we get our toothbrushes and file into the bathroom, now covered in tiles and fitted with a sink.

It’s time to talk to our heavenly father.

 

 

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God bless Nigeria and will help bring back our girls.

Retribution: Sambisa

I wrote this today after church, after thinking of the foolishness of these insurgents to think they could bully Christians. And then, with anger and idk..wishfulness, I penned.

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“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty…casting down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of GOD” – 1Cor 10:4-5

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Akin Prayed.

Lifting into the air in a push that shook the earth, he twisted his body in a half spin and barreled straight into his attacker, the bullets whizzing past his horizontal frame. The attacker fell. Without pausing, he pushed off the fallen man with his hands, using his speed to twist again to his left, his left foot connecting with the head of the attacker. The man fell.

Akin turned to the other two, his eyes blazing.

Both men dropped their rifles and turned to flee.

Not so fast.

He Prayed again.

Below the feet of the running men, the grass seemed to move, algal growth on the blades causing them to become slippery. Both men fell. Stretching his arms out, Akin closed his eyes and Believed. The men suddenly jerked backwards as though pulled by an invisible force. The Avenger grinned, his teeth the only white in the gloom of the forest. As the men sped towards his, their clothes fluttering in the speed, their cries loud in the stillness, Akin opened his eyes and leapt forward. His sleek form tore through the air, and as he passed their middle in mid-air, he turned, whipping his legs backwards, causing his arms to come forward and slapping their heads together with his palms.

The forest of Sambisa echoed with the crack of their skulls as they fell to the ground, several birds taking to the air in fright. The Avenger landed a half-second later, his flat, naked chest heaving, his anger still unsated.

*****

“We will soak the land with the blood of Christians”

GOD heard. GOD Answered.

*****

The Avenger picked himself out of his crouch. The men were still alive, very much so, but in so much pain. They could barely cry or pass out. Which is as it should be.

*****

A few hours ago, Akin had been in his house in Maryland, Lagos. The bible had been open, and he had been praying. The Boko Haram  had just issued another threat against Christian students in other schools outside Chibok. The words had been simple in themselves.

“LORD, they have threatened Your name, they have poured scorn and insulted the name of the LORD, answer if you will oh LORD, the same GOD of  Elijah, answer your call and answer with fire”

Then…”Use me Oh LORD”

Right from his little table, a crack ran across the wall to the roof, the sheets of asbestos in the ceiling shook and fell to the floor, the room vibrated with a Presence, in the kitchen the knives rattled in their shelves, all across the walls a blue light seemed to shimmer as a shortage blew out all the appliances.

“And you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you…”

*****

And he had known what he needed to do. It did not concern him that he wore only a pair of boxers and a singlet. The Power of GOD was at his disposal. A quick Prayer and he appeared at the mouth of the forest. The dark yawn beckoned him. Behind, he could see the perimeter formed by the Nigerian Soldiers. He considered going to them, but his Spirit rejected the thought, and so he walked in.

It hadn’t taken time for the quartet of militants to find him.

In the distance, a US Military Strategist with the UN stood with a Nigerian Colonel as he swept the forest with his binoculars. The strategist gasped.

Wetin…what is it sir?” queried the Colonel, his hand flying to the pistol in his belt. He had been jumpy since getting this close to the forest, and calling the US Captain ‘sir’, seemed to be the least of his blunders at the moment.

Signing up at the NDA was probably top of the list.

“Oh nothing, for second I could almost swear I saw a twelve or thirteen year old boy walk into that forest shirtless,” said the US Captain.

“Oh,” replied the Colonel, his hand still on his well-polished Sig-Sauer. “It is probably one of all those children of the mammy-market sellers. Maybe he wants to sh…to defecate. I will send someone to drive him out.”

He bounded through the trees, running as fast as his legs could go – which was very fast, he leapt over fallen branches, weaving in and out of the trees without slowing. By now, the Army might have poured into the forest, the sounds of the gunshots having drawn them. He didn’t wonder what they will make of the bodies he left behind, he didn’t care. All he wanted to do was rescue those girls and punish the impudent.

*****

From the nest of branches in a tree, he saw something glint in the last of the evening sun that seeped through the dusky foliage. Akin focused and Believed. His vision sharpened and narrowed, giving the illusion of looking through a narrow tube with blurry edges. At the end, he saw the terrorist hidden behind the sniper rifle, a radio transmitter near his lips. Even with the distance, he could see the fear and surprise in the eyes hidden behind the kaffiyeh the terrorist wore to hide his face. Instinctively, Akin knew he must not let the terrorist use the radio. Only seconds remained. Too few for him to reach the trees in time, yet enough, while the terrorist remained frozen in shock. Without pausing in his race, his eyes still focused on the sniper, he scooped some stones from the ground into his hand.

“You come with bombs and killings and the terror of children and women and men. But I come with the Power of GOD!” he yelled as he flung the stones.
They shot upwards, miniature rockets, the first stone tore through the radio in the man’s hand, severing first the speaker-phone, then the entire circuitry. The others shredded the branches the terrorist perched on, the force of impact rendering them into splinters. The terrorist fell in a cloud of matchsticks and kindling.

Before he reached the ground, Akin was there. Catching him in mid-air, his tiny arms bearing the weight easily, he stopped the man’s descent momentarily, then turned and slammed him into the ground with so much force, the man’s vertebrae broke, paralyzing him forever. Beneath the body a spider-web of cracks ran across the forest floor in a small crater.

Akin kept running, the Praise never ceasing from his lips.

*****
The man who called himself Abubakar Shekau hadn’t always been crazy. Raised by his mother, he had learned his first Arithmetic and English in a Christian missionary school just outside Minna in Niger state. The circumstances that led to his crack and final descent down the slope into despotic insanity are not for this tale. That day however, he sat in his room, the wrap for his turban tied around his waist, his legs propped on the table as he used his Android phone to search the internet for ‘Hot sexy anal girls’.

The sudden eruption of gunfire in his camp shocked him out of his pornographic  meditations. Slipping on a jalabia robe, he arranged the turban over his shaggy hair and made for the door, as it burst open in an explosion of splinters and gravel.

Akin landed in the camp in a frenzy of Prayers.

*****

On sighting the camp, he had increased his pace, putting on a burst of speed and at the last second Believed in a jump that sailed him over the wooden-stake fence and into the sentry post near the gatehouse. Two terrorists stood inside, gleaming machetes at their sides. They had seen him over the fence coming in, and had been expecting him. The first man took a swipe. Akin jumped over the attack, planting his feet into the man’s chest using the momentum generated to fly backwards into the second man. He extended his fingers, rigid rods of steel, and plunged into the eyes of the second man. The man let out a yelp as both of them fell, his eye sockets bleeding a mess 0of blood and vitrous humour. Akin turned to see the first man pick himself from the floor and lift a pistol. The man grinned.

Akin grinned.

The man’s grin faltered. But he shot anyway, the automatic pistol set at burst, his finger tight on the trigger. The first bullet missed Akin by a mile, slamming instead into a tree on the other side of the sentry post.

Akin Prayed on the Gospel of peace. His feet moved.

Sliding forward so fast, he seemed to be a flurry of figures, the half-naked boy weaved in between the bullet paths, their trajectories slow and obvious to him as he moved into the shooter’s space. He shoved the flat of his right hand upwards to knock out the spent pistol from the terrorist’s hand, the other hand slammed into the infidel’s solar plexus, shocking the air out of him and smashing him through the bamboo wall of the sentry post to the ground fifteen feet below.

Akin jumped into the camp, the Power of GOD radiating all around him.

*****

Shekau sped down the dirt road, the Jeep Wrangler screaming in protest under his ministrations. He had to get away. He was bleeding from a gash in his forehead, the injury resulting from a stone cutting into his head when the side of his room blew in from the impact of having an Armoured Personnel Carrier tossed into it. Tossed in a by a small child who probably weighed less than 50kg.

Jesus! He exclaimed in his mind, his shock overriding his awareness in the singular outburst, he needed to get away fast.

In the open-roofed Jeep, he heard a whine such as you hear when an object falls from a great height. Shekau looked up to see an object, the boy, fall out of the sky directly in front of him.

“Jesus!” he exclaimed outright.

You’re almost right, thought Akin the Christian, as he slammed feet first into the bonnet of the Jeep. The front tires imploded as the springs burst, forcing the front of the vehicle to collapse downwards so forcefully it flipped the back over the boy. Akin reached upwards and grabbed the terrorist leader as the Jeep flew over, his hand curling around the matted beard and yanking downwards. Shekau fell out of the Jeep, his yell cut short as he was yanked out unceremoniously. The Jeep somersaulted into a clump of trees and exploded, showering the air with shrapnel, none coming near them, but falling merely to the right and left in their thousands.

Shekau whimpered before the bloodstained boy, tears and mucus mixing with the blood on his face.

“Please…”
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I want to write that he was dismembered. That he had his toes cut, or his fingernails pulled out or a million other things that are painful and whatnot. But Jesus, wouldn’t I guess..so..idk..

Maybe when I type this I will or would not..idk..

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GOD bless Nigeria.

Must not be Flagrante

Just Imaginations only..tbh

Jeremiah's Scribbles

Hi guys, long time? no, not really. today @janus_aneni is regaling us with one of his works. Enjoy

 

This is not..definitely, most definitely not..based on a true story. It’s just err..imaginations.

 

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It was the first time I was meeting him face-to-face. I had seen a lot of pictures though. He hardly smiled in them. His head clean shaven and smooth, a full gray beard on his square chin, the piercing eyes glaring from behind steel rimmed glasses, face lined in thick unyielding folds.

He looked a bit like that old actor with the gruff voice.

The only time you saw him smile was when he was with his only daughter and last child. Then, his craggy face would split to reveal strong teeth in a very white grin, and those eyes would take on a tenderness completely foreign to that face. Any observer would tell, this man…

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