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The Old King

Then…..

 

He told the story of the lost prince and now there was indication that the lost prince was with them that very night and in the presence of the first king, the rights of the lost prince are to be restored to him. He poured some powder into the burning fire and from that fire, the old man appeared.

The blood in Babatunde’s veins was now running high and he had difficulty controlling his awe and excitement. So the old man is the first king. I should have thought of it. He is still wearing those darn beaded slippers. The old man, or rather first king, stepped out and there was such a thunderous salute from all that one could be forgiven for thinking that all the dead had risen to bid him homage. He raised his hands. “I have a story to tell you, but I will first give grace to the first Creator that created man and the also to the first created One. When we overcame the wolf-men, close to the smoking islet, it was to find our own kingdom and be masters of our own destiny. The first Created gave us the divining beads and said we would never get lost nor be vanquished by the wolf-men if we listened to the divining beads of Ifa. You all carry within you the story so I will not bore you.

Through perfidy, jealousy, lust and silliness, we lost a prince. I made a vow not to create a seat for me with the ancestors because I am the first ancestor and a prince was lost. I pleaded that I may be permitted to search for the lost prince until he returns to his rightful inheritance since I am responsible for bringing about what happened. “Ifa told me of his journeys. That night the lion kept him warm with his body until Numen came and took care of him. She handed him over to a farmer and his wife with instructions never to ask how the boy came about. However the boy had a habit of following the lion everywhere and the lion allowed it. It learned to imitate the sounds of the lion and knew no fear. Numen explained to the farmer’s wife that he would always be identified by his ability to roar like a lion or growl like one. He was almost twelve, time to enter the grove and pick his spear in the initiation rites, Numen brought him to me and allowed me to know him. He was told nothing of his real nature. He learnt herbs and became a very good farmer. Suddenly the farmer went to the next village and was captured by some strange men. I could not trace him again. I was inconsolable but had to take heart knowing that line was still there. “Then came the drama of the wives and since I was not sure of how many wives were lying in wait I asked Numen to help me. She explained that the prince would not be king in my lifetime. When I asked why she said he was to come when the village needed him to stand in protection. She assured me she would be around then too, so I might be given permission to close the cycle in whatever form Olodumare might decide.”

Babamogba poured more of the powdery substance into the flames and very briefly the flames illumined the old man’s face. He looked very tired except for his eyes, which glowed.

“I am not physically here, but in my wanderings, I have permission to this recognition, and I do not have much time. I gave the lost prince the symbol of kingship. Let the one who has it now stand up and present it so all may know and greet him.”

There was dead silence as everyone looked round wondering who that could be. The old man growled deeply and Babatunde stood up slowly to his full height as he roared in response.

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The Old Man

That evening Babatunde sat watching the stars and wondered on what he could do. He considered his growing dissatisfaction with living in the city. He really had no wish to live in the city. He would like to have a small pharmacy, not a patent store that littered the village now, but a real pharmacy and he wanted to study the herbs more and learn about its combination. When the government introduced an agency to contro the influx of fake drugs into the country, he had like most people heaved a sigh of relief that some sanity was being introduced into the business. It wasn’t long before he experienced disappointment when the merchants of death as he privately called them shifted their business to the rural areas and he soon discovered that even hospital staff had been infected with the rampant corruption as their stole from the Medical stores and sold them to their clients. It was thus painful to see patients not able to get genuine drugs from the pharmacy managed by the government hospitals but such drugs could be purchased from pharmacies owned privately by staff of the hospital.
He was expected to do such things too , sometimes they made inflated requests and creamed the excess to their own pharmacies. Babatunde knew he could not get involved in such practice and he contemplated leaving because he sensed that someday soon someone was going to know about the dirty deals going on.
An old man walked by and he automatically gave him the one owrd salute reserved for elderly people. The old man replied and asked if his father was home. Babatunde stood up respectfully and said he had seen his father on his way out to have a talk with his friend at the end of the street and offered to send for him. The old man smiled and said he just wanted an excuse to rest his legs as he had been having a walk round the town.
Babatunde smiled and said that was really interesting as he knew that men of his age tended to sit and smoke the occasional pipe after the only main food of the day. The old man nodded and took the offered traditional seat that Babatunde offered. Babatunde noticed the very old type of shoes that the man had on. He was intrigued but said nothing. The slippers were made from tiny beads and Babatunde had never seen such on old men around but remembered that old men were known to have such slippers. His father used to tell him about it and had shown him he kept in his room as a family inheritance.
The old man asked him about his business in town and he smiled that he was a businessman but rather a servant of the state as he worked in the hospital as a pharmacist.
“Hmm, the medicines that have been rendered ineffective because they have removed some or most of the real substance of the medicine. Olodumare shows you what you need to use by the shapes of the plants and will indicate a prevalent ailment when such remedies starts to grow around the area”. He gave Babatunde a keen look, “Do you know where the lost prince can be reached now, according to the rumours making the rounds, the lost prince has incarnated and he can be reached”
Babatunde gave the old man a startled look, “Do you know of him?”
The old man nodded and suggested that Babatunde should be thinking of that as well, then he rose to his feet and offered that he might walk by the next day and tell Babatunde his ideas.
“Give my regards to Gbadamosi” and he went on his way.
However Babatunde was aware of the mystery when his father claimed no knowledge of the old man and asked his son to describe him. Babatunde tried very hard to remember what the old man looked like but remembered the slippers.The answer made his father to give him a sharp look as he watched his son closely and asked him if the old man had given his name.
Babatunde was becoming irritated, “Papa, you don’t expect me to ask an old man his age do you?”
“I suppose, you are right his father responded but stared when Babatunde said he was going to the orijajoogun house.
“There is no old man in that house”
“What?, he expressly said that?”
Babatunde felt goose bumps all over him but a determined look came over him and he told his father that the old man said he would come round the next day.
Babatunde waited for two nights in a row and felt a keen sense of disappointment when the man did not show.
The morning after his endless wait he made ready to leave for the city and drove not paying particular attention his surrounding just looking round him, he had driven past a spot when he though he saw in the rear view someone who looked like the old man sitting pensively looking out. He reversed his car and parked. He got out of the car and moved close. Sure enough it was the same old man of three evenings ago. He was still wearing the same tiny beaded slippers. He sat on the old stump beside the man. He was about to given vent to see his anger when he remembered that the old man had told him that those who listen to the Earth may pick her rhythm.
The old man didn’t really look at him but indicated he knew Babatunde was close when he placed his hand gently on that of Babatunde, then he looked at him. He spoke softly as if he was talking to himself and reliving a picture.

And he roaRED

Babatunde was having his morning bath when he heard the knocking on the door,he wrapped his towel round his midriff and headed for the front door. He looked through the peephole and saw Tope who looked impatient.
He opened the door and surveyed his brother frowning heavily, “So they have installed the king and the town burned down?”
Tope was serious, “You have to get out of the house now”
Babatunde raised his eyebrows and stared at his brother, “Have you been drinking or lost your WAY TO YOUR front door?”
Tope pushed him out of the way and made for Babatunde’s bedroom and fished out old clothes urged his brother to put them on, the urgency in his voice communicated itself to Babatunde and he half dragged Babatunde to a closet. He motioned Babatunde to stay quiet . He was just in time as suddenly the front door crashed open and they heard footsteps. Someone moved past the door and tried opening his bedroom then he they heard the bathroom being opened and quietly closed. The steps went away to the front door and a satisfied voice was telling someone to give it ten minutes then enter and pretend to raise the alarm.
Babatunde was angry and kept his expression rigid. He dropped on his knees and gave a full- throated roar that sent Tope and everyone else scampering for the front door. Babatunde went straight to his bathroom and saw the large snake that had been dropped there. He closed the bathroom door and fetched a plant which he simply dropped in the bathroom. The snake thrashed trying to avoid the smell of the plant and Babatunde waited grimly by the door. Tope gingerly walked up and stared in awed horror at his brother, swallowing several times. Babatunde did not give him a look but just stared at the door, gradually the door opened and the snake crawled out and died in front of Babatunde while Tope jumped almost his height into the air when he saw the snake emerge.
There was silence and respect in the eyes of Tope as he gave his brother the one fist salute.
“Maybe I should not have bothered”
Babatunde put a hand on the shoulder of Tope and his voice had returned to normal as he thanked Tope for coming to warn him. He offered to take Tope back to the garage after breakfast. He called his office and said he would be late coming in.
There was silence as Babatunde went back into his bedroom to change and he quickly made cornmeal for his brother and asked him to share what he learned and why he had come to town to warn him.
Tope said he had gone to his usual relaxation spot and was nursing a calabash of palmwine when he picked some back chat and learned that Babatunde was going to have some kind of misfortune. He had carefully kept his back turned so they wouldn’t notice his presence. He also had to wait for the men to finish their drinks and head for home before he could wait.
“In fact Abeni wondered what I was up to when I asked for another calabash and did not join in the general joke. I lied that I was waiting for Akiin about the new cocoa prizes. I explained to Papa and we both agreed that I had to leave at first dawn to get here. If I knew the fireworks you were going to pull, I should have told Papa not to worry”
“But I needed and appreciate the warning and I still thank you. The snake I can deal with, but the human snakes? I have only contempt for them”
“I think it was the Alasiri boys, it was the senior one that was at Apata Gangan boasting that they can prove that the oracle is a liar.”
Boye Alasiri was given a motorbike by Prince Adewunmi some months back right? Babatunde asked his brother
Tope smiled and nodded, “Looks like you have sized them up pretty well”
Babatunde grinned, “Some losers can be mean and I knew what was coming just hadn’t thought of snakes”
Tope stood up and then scowled at Babatunde, “Never thought of snakes too brother or I could have used one when you and the queen did a mean one and called home at the particular time when I was at the farm harvesting cocoa”
Babatunde shook his head,”Thought you said you were afraid of her type”
Tope have him an innocent look, “Looks like you can cope and I am better you know”
“Better at what?” Babatunde asked slowly.
They went back to the brotherly teasing as Babatunde took his brother to the car park and saw him off .
He returned to the hospital and his office to find Ngozi had been asking to see him. He was puzzled wondering what she wanted so he called her on the office internal phone and explained he was back in the office.

The Tussle

The next morning Babatunde and Tope chatted over bowls of hot pap and akara. Babatunde had prepared the corn pap watched by an amused Tope who made caustic remarks about his brother’s culinary efforts.
The atmosphere was friendly and convivial as Babatunde asked news of home and events. Tope sighed though when Babatunde asked questions about the candidates for the kingship.
“One of them does not look like he is going to get past the first round.” Tope said looking at his akara cake with a frown
Why? Babatunde startled by the comment
Tope was still frowning at his cake and sighed, then shrugged, “I guess I just don’t feel he looks like a king material
“Ifa will decide anyway” Babatunde consoled his brother
“Hmmm.. I don’t always buy into this Ifa thing these days you know. There has been many a king that Ifa has no business approving as kings as they turned out to be unmitigated disasters” Tope spoke with feeling and Babatunde raised eyebrows giving his brother a keen look, “It is not per chance you have a particular candidate in mind do you?”
Tope pushed his plate away and walked to the window looking out into the morning traffic for a few seconds. He turned round and gave his brother a slow smile, “you are not paying attention to me are you? Will you be able to drive me into town? I need to pick up a few things to take home, particularly pesticides for my cocoa.”
“Sure” Babatunde replied and knew his brother did not want to say anything further about the kingship tussle. That tussle had been on for more than six years and he sensed that his brother was bored with the whole thing. Two ruling houses were fighting over who was to rule the town next and that had generated quite a lot of bad blood in the town with rival supporters of one prince or the other. He was part of the inner circle of Ifa and was thus banned from taking sides nor making comments.
The procedure was simple, each candidate was expected to be able to trace his lineage and you could not be installed if your forebear did not have a son while on the throne. Every resident had a right to claim the first king as father but these particular gladiators were determined to lay claim to the most popular deceased king and that had started dissensions. There had been whispers about the paternity of one but no one had been brave to state who started such a rumour.
Babatunde had a different tussle on his mind anyway. It was what type of message he was expected to send to the Ifa circle of which he had been made the young Lion. He had a problem with the timing and date. However he knew he would be the one to find time to go.
He took Tope shopping and drove him to the garage so Tope could return to the village before nightfall.
When he got to the office, Babatunde went to check if the chief pharmacist was around and he was told he would have come back in the afternoon as the fellow was in a conference. Babatunde smiled at the secretary and returned to his office. Ngozi asked after the headache and it took him a minute to recollect what she was talking about.
“Your blank face clearly shows the headache didn’t last long” she laughed and walked away.
Minutes later he was immersed in work and it took a while before he noticed Joke the office girl tapped his desk repeatedly to attract his attention. Babatunde looked up straight into the face of a fairly tall distinguished looking middle aged man
The man smiled and stretched out his hand, “My name is Adewunmi, a friend said I might find you here. I am an accountant, came to make your acquaintance”
Babatunde stood up and asked the man to sit his eyebrows raised. His line of job did not encourage visitors unless they were patients seeking an alternative to a prescribed drug. His visitor didn’t seem to fit into that category.
“How may I help you? He asked politely
“That will be interesting don’t you think”? Sasa’s voice floated in and Babatunde was startled.
He gave his visitor a close look and sure enough he saw the deep blue eyes of Sasa smiling at him.
Babatunde was stunned and stared at his mystic friend, “How did you do that”?
Sasa grinned and sat down crossing his legs elegantly. “I have to learn how to do this you know. Something is coming up and this fellow whose coat I quickly borrowed will be visiting you in say two hours and we felt it was best to warn you ahead.”
Babatunde stiffened, “Who is this fellow?”
Sasa coughed and wiped his mouth mimicking the mannerisms of a rich spoilt man, “eh he fancies himself as the next king” Sasa gave a mocking bow, you know we have gone so far away from seeking the truth that any type of dross gilded over with yellow paint might be confused as gold”
Babatunde laughed out not so much for Sasa’s expression but the look of disgust Sasa had on his face. Then he got serious giving his friend a close look, “Your eyes will give you away you know if you try this stunt with anybody else. Africans don’t have deep blue eyes you know.”
Sasa retorted with spirit, ”You haven’t seen all Africans Fancy pants”
They both laughed.
“I am intrigued, really. I never thought this was possible. Used to read about our forefathers being able to take up skins and do what is called magic but this is new on me” Babatunde said
“You are actually on a different level you know and your experiences are thus different. The best Babalawo may never achieve what is possible or be able to experience this kind of conscious level you know. Real healing is not just about herbs alone but a combination of all the possibilities open to the human spirit. By the way, spirit is the key word. You are wearing a coat that depicts you Fancy pants but it is not your real yourself, you know that”
Babatunde nodded and stared at nothing in particular as his thoughts swirled and Sasa watched him. He sighed and gave Sasa a smile, “so what am I supposed to do when this prince comes in here?”
Sasa dipped his hand in his pocket and brought out a soft stone wrapped in animal skin. “Let him talk as much as he wants but give him this at the end”
Babatunde was mystified and stared at the stone lying in the open palm of Sasa. He stretched out his hand to lift it out of the palm of Sasa and was shocked that try as he might, he could not lift the stone. Sasa gave a soft laugh, “fancy Pants, your education is making you really soft. You know you do not lift things from me without giving me respect”
I…
“You must lift the stone with the skin”.
Babatunde did that and he held the stone but almost dropped it in shock when Sasa mentioned casually that the skin was from the past king. Sasa explained that it was held together by the thoughts of the people.
What do you mean thoughts?
Sasa groaned and looked out, “well it will soon be time for our friend to come in, your office girl is about to have a heart attack because she thinks Prince Adewunmi had already come in here. We will continue this conversation later and oh Prince Adewunmi is not really a prince but has the qualities of one”.
Sasa stood up and adjusted his coat as he walked out. A minute later, a very agitated and puzzled office staff was hesitantly asking if Babatunde was free to receive a visitor again.
Since everything was still a puzzle to Babatunde simply nodded as he quickly slid the object in his hand to a drawer.
The man came straight to the reason for his visit. In very precise tones he mentioned his name and what he had come. He wanted to ask for Babatunde’s support in his bid for the throne of the town. Babatunde listened patiently and smiled. He explained to his guest that he was not the one to make the choice but must follow the dictate of the oracle .
Prince Adewunmi made a cynical gesture and brought out his cheque book, “Look my friend, let’s not flog the issue. I understand the price is ten million and because , the way I heard it, you are the chief priest as it is, I will offer fifteen million. That can set up your pharmacy.
Babatunde clenched his fist and slowly rose to his feet when he heard Sasa’s sharp cough. He sat down as slowly taking deep breaths. Then he gave a gentle smile and pulled out his drawer and brought forth the stone wrapped in the skins.
In the same gentle manner he invited the prince to lift the stone, explaining that there was no need for the money, that if he could lift the stone, the prince was assured of the kingship. That stopped the prince as he stared at the stone saying nothing. There was some silence as both men stared at the stone which seemed to gleam. Babatunde spoke softly, ”being king is a good thing to aspire to and Ifa chooses what the thoughts of the people have chosen, why don’t you find out for yourself what that choice is. We consult the oracle not to thwart but to confirm what will best serve the people, just lift the stone and I will be sure if you are potential candidate”
Prince Adewunmi stared at the stone for more seconds then stood up abruptly and slammed out of the office.

Spatako

He was called “Spatako” by everyone and he was a commercial driver plying the Lagos routes  in her village. Quite popular but given to drinking while not on his route. Ife remembered that Mother always hesitated to take his bus because of the drinking too. However he had been on a motorbike returning from the beer parlour he frequented when he drove under an oncoming truck. He died instantly throwing the whole town into shock and grief. The truck driver was not lynched as would have been the case because everybody knew that Spatako was destined for such an end. What was surprising was the way the fellow went round his brothers and sisters that were not in the village and got them to come to the village to learn of his passing. One dramatic case was when he visited his brother in Lagos days after his passing and asked his brother to help him deliver a message to their aged father. Spatako was reported to have told his brother that he was on a trip to the North and might be away for days. He thus asked the brother to help him deliver a letter as it was urgent the father got the message. He told his brother to assure the father that he was fine but needed to go on that trip as it was urgent. He also added one for his wife that she might put to bed before he arrived in a few days time. (The wife was not even pregnant at that time, at least she was not aware of being pregnant then, it was going to be their first child and she had no concept of morning sickness or pregnancy symptoms)

An annoyed older brother had arrived home , and testily gave the message but was consternated when the mother heard the message and promptly fainted. In the ensuing pandemonium, a bewildered brother was shown the grave of his brother and he sat on that grave for hours uncomprehending.

Ife was home then and witnessed all that had happened. Days later she saw Spatako in his misty form wandering round the home of his wife. She had tried to talk to him but he never heard her and would follow his wife around. Ife was too scared of her mother’s reaction to her own strangeness to offer to ask for help. Naturally when the wife put to bed it had been a girl and Ife wondered if it was Spatako that had come back as a girl.

She remembered asking if that had been Spatako from Mae who had laughed that reincarnations followed certain processes and that the girl had reincarnated on a different thread configuration.

She supposed Kunle would not have been her uncle Agbo returning then and shrugged. Sometimes she felt lonely just learning about some of the questions of life and existence ad feeling lost in a world of superstitions, myths and ignorance.

As a medical doctor, some of the myths and conceptions of her people had become clearer and she could even see the rationale in some of them. She could tell where they had mixed the spiritual half knowledge with sheer ignorance. However it had only served to strengthen her love and show her what she needed to do to help enlighten her people.. For a long time she toyed with the idea of starting an NGO to explore the possibilities of educating them but so far she had not come to a concrete decision.

Ife was so lost in thought that it took a while before she noticed the persistent knocking on the door and looked up startled into the puzzled eyes of Yomi, and she blinked.

Why are you knocking on the table, doing some kind of séance?

Yomi stared and laughed, you look like you are in trance. Can you see me now?

Ife smiled,”clever, but why are you staring at me and oh have you been here long?”

“All of ten minutes Lady” Yomi replied “What held your attention so much so that you only nodded whe I came in and stared unseeing?”

“Hmm bad manners I must say and I am sorry, are you over your bad temper now, you stalked off the other day as I recall” Ife said with a smile to take the sting out of her comments.medical, doctor, educating

 

Yemoja’s Client

He had a good reason to believe the stories his mother told him. This afternoon as the sun beat on his bald pate, and he felt the urge to go home, he remembered some of those stories. She had urged him to bring his first pay home.
“We will need to ask the gods to make the money yours”, she had said with that anxious look about her person. Bode was not so sure he was ready to hand over all the money to a god who had taken its sweet time getting him a job.
Eight years of pounding the streets, scraping and enduring insults and by a freak chance he gets a job. Bode shifted in his seat and fixed a suspicious look on the priestess, wondering why he was feeling irritated and afraid. The irritation he understood, not the fear. What did she mean all the money? He definitely had no such intention. First off all, he was buying his mother that scarf she had wanted, the last market day before he got the job. He was going to open an account, save some money for a decent coat. He also intended to fatten his skeletal frame to get some decent skin not the wrinkled rag that wrapped his frame making pretense at a skin.
He dragged his mind to the room and shifted as he felt a trickle close to his crotch. He always sweated there anytime he was uncomfortable. He wondered if he should scratch the sweat and… her mild voice interrupted his thoughts again. “It is your mother’s request that you ask the gods to bless your job and do something with your first pay”,
That is it he thought again, do something with his money. His mother had asked him to dip his hand in cold water when he was to receive his first pay. Bode had at first been amused and explained to her that the money would be paid into his bank (which he did not have then), and he would then need to apply for an ATM card. His mother looked at him and smiled, ”the cash is given to you during one of these processes right”?
“yes” he replied still mystified.
“good just ensure you receive the money with a cold hand. I have appealed to Yemoja, the goddess of fortune to ensure that the money stays cool in your hand and is not frittered by the wind. In fact, I asked the priestess to ensure that for you. She is expecting you tomorrow before you need to collect the money”
He gave the priestess a suspicious look and sighed. She returned his look with a what he thought was a strange look, seconds later he understood the mischief. She asked him to undress and his jaw dropped. He stared wondering if he was asleep and going through a nightmare.
“Eh, I didn’t quite get you, did I hear you say I should undress?”
The priestess laughed. “I am giving you a spiritual wash, which means I have to dip you in the pool” then she gave him a thorough once over look, “nothing to get excited about you know, you need a new skin as it is and food will do most of it but you need to have a new skeleton maybe”
He tried to swallow his rage and found that he felt a personal shame that he was brought to this pass. A graduate in quantum physics and I am groveling before a half baked priestess.
Bode took long seconds to calm down and uncurl his fists, he shook his head slowly to clear his mind and stood up. In a quiet voice he explained that he had no intention of undressing nor taking a dip in the cool puddle in front of him. Oh Mother, not even for you.
, The priestess shrugged and handed him a piece of soap, “go over to the back of the building and you will find a bath tub filled with water. It is in a covered shack by the way and you can dip with all your clothes in the bath tub, would be interesting to see how you intend to get home in soggy clothes” She spoke in perfect cool English. Bode’s jaw dropped and he stared, but she had disappeared to the inner room with a quiet click indicating she had locked the door. Bode stood transfixed. The priestess is educated. A thousand thoughts rushed over him as he walked slowly to the back of the house to find sure enough that there was a bath tub and everything was laid out as the priestess had said.
It was a chastened Bode that gave a timid knock minutes later when he had finished the bath. He felt like a fool and wondered how best to apologize for his crude behavior.
The priestess didn’t seem to have noticed the new awkwardness but simply laid a hand on his chest and spoke a few words silently, then she touched his head and asked that Yemoja might bless him in his new endeavor.
Bode was silent throughout, until she tapped his shoulder gently and asked him to stand up.
“You are free to go now. Learn to sow more with your thoughts and the fruits will depend on the seed. You have Yemoja’s blessing”.
Hunger is not a bed fellow you want to write love letters to or heavens forbid pray for, so he knew he had to do something. He had gone for the necessary bath and that is one thing he didn’t want to remember either. His skin still hung indifferently on his bones but his cheeks were beginning to fill out. He took a critical look at his rump and wondered when the eczema would fade off. He wondered if she had noticed the ugly patches when she had washed him and his face burned remembering with some shame that he had involuntarily been aroused.
For goodness sake she was the frigging priestess. He wanted to know if she felt anything or was disgusted by his skeletal frame. His mother had given him one keen look and said nothing. He was not going to tell her anything. But what would he tell her if she had asked? I had the bath and yes mother I was aroused by the frigging priestess and yes she acted like she didn’t know if I was human. He sighed and pulled on his shirt.
His new job was very tiring. He had to check on his junior staff who tended to take his instructions with a nonchalance that irritated him. He walked to the factory floor and met Modupe his secretary, who considered him with amusement.
“The machines are down this morning and the computer boys don’t seem to know what the problem is with the image transfer computer” she carried a flip chart close to her voluptuous breasts. He dragged his eyes away from those breasts, frowned as he concentrated on the problem.
“Where is Francis?” he asked looking around for the fellow.
Modupe shrugged and pointed in the general direction of the computer room and stated mildly that she was sure Francis would be somewhere in the inner room, moved close and thrust her flimsily covered breasts at him, she was chewing gum as usual.
Bode frowned at the breasts turned on his heel and headed back to his voice. He felt the sweat trickle down his anus and made for the toilet next to his office alarmed.
His picture of the priestess came again and he sighed in some despair, gradually wondering if she had placed a spell on him. He entered his office and opened a drawer taking a generous swig of brandy to calm his jumping nerves. Modupe stood by the door watching him.
“Now what”? He snarled at her
“You are in some temper this morning so what is the problem”? Modupe complained.
Bode imagined himself burying his head in those breasts and mumbling the truth and then swore violently asking his secretary to get the hell out of his office that instant.
His secretary fled.

Dream Murder 2

He could not tell when he got home, but he must have as he he remembered waking up in the middle of the night to pee. His wife slept peacefully beside him. There was no point telling her that just thinking of her had caused him to faint in the office. He shrugged and still sleepy he went back to bed and tried to pull the cover let over him. When he heard the deep sarcastic laughter, he sat up in sheer terror.
There was no one in the room yet he was prepared to swear that a male voice had just laughed in the room. He rubbed his eyes and snapped on the bedside lamp. The room was peaceful, his wife Kike seemed to sleeping peacefully curled up facing him in her sleep.. He stared at the face and wondered why he was so frightened of her. She is just as frightened as I am But he still turned away and resolutely closed his eyes. Maybe I really should think of going to church more often he concluded.
Seemed to have quietened down for a few days and Bode felt peace return to his heart. He even took Kike out on a lunch date about a week later and Arike walked up to their table. Bode was pleased to see her and happily introduced Kike to Arike. Kike invited her to join their table and all three shared lunch making jokes and generally had a good time.
Two days later, Arike paid a surprise call at his office and they chatted.
“You look radiant” Bode observed as he gave Arike a smiling once over.They had always being friends and colleagues. Arike was promoted to be the business manger of their bank and had been transferred to Kaduna when the bank merged with another bank. Kike used to tease that Arike was a better financial expert than him and he would laugh and shrug. Arike got married six months after he did to Kole his best friend who worked for Fortune Oil and gas.
“How is my best friend”, Bode asked now
“Fine I think”
“Don’t you know”?
“I left him in Port Harcourt two weeks ago. remember?”
“Yikes, he is back in that hell hole of kidnappers”?
“It is the oil city and money literally flows on the streets”, Arike laughed
“No wonder you look so wonderful, you have been spending my friend’s money”
Arike laughed and pulled her chair close, “I have a question for you”
“Yeah?”
“What is wrong with Kike”?
Bode stared and clenched his hands under the table, but his expression was still genial
“Wrong? How?”
“Something is wrong and I can sense it”.
Bode looked out the window to gain time for his emotions to stay under control then looked at Arike shaking his head, “I really have no idea what you are talking about. What do you mean”?
Arike gave him a long look and sighed, “well something doesn’t seem right but I can’t put a finger on it either. I just feel something”.
Bode smiled and pretended to be very amused, “You women are always searching for things that does not exist except in your pretty heads”.
Arike laughed. “I know one thing that exist anyway. Kole and I are expecting a baby”.
“Wow!! Congratulations! When?”
“Hey whoa hold your horses, haven’t told your friend yet, just coming from the doctor for the confirmation. Think you can come over to dinner tomorrow night. I am telling him tonight. As my best friend wanted to let you know besides I can’t keep such news to myself. You are going to be godfather by the way”.
Bode laughed and opened his drawer, then closed it again, “You are not going to be drinking alcohol now are you?”
Arike protested laughing, “Bode!, the pregnancy is only six weeks old. I don’t feel any symptoms nor anything. A glass of wine would be harmless”.
They shared a glass and chatted over clients, office and Arike left.
Bode drove home in that happy exhilarated mood,instinctively gave his wife a hug and a kiss.
Kike gave him a look ,sniffed and wrinkled her brows.
“I can smell pregnancy around, have you been talking with a pregnant client Bode? The smell of the foetus is strong on you”.
They both stared at each other in mutual horror as Bode slowly collapsed in a chair shivering with dread.

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