A fine WordPress.com site

Posts tagged ‘character’

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.

Advertisements

To the Survivors…Revisit

pic
As the year closes, I thought, I should share some of those things that have left an impact on me. One of the things I have learnt over time is books I review tend to stay with me and some of the authors tend to become my friends. One of such authors is Bobby Uttaro.
It could be in the style of writing or the contents, Bobby’s book, “To the Survivors” has stayed with me and in a way has become a kind of comfort book for me. I live in a country where rape and rape victims are on the peripheral vision of the country. I am sure there had been reports of rape before I read the book, but my senses became real sharpened enough to take particular notice and that became depressing.
How do I mean? I came across cases of rape, from infants to elderly women for different reasons. It appears women have been under siege in my country for longer that I imagined and we don’t seem to be doing anything concrete. I am not about to start another article on this but I want to thank Bobby for at least making me know about one of the dirty secrets of humanity. To the Survivors
Rape is not exclusive to a particular nation nor is it alien to any society, I guess rape has existed amongst us from the time of the cave men, but it is the oldest shame that man has on its collective soul.
I am thus repeating my interview with Bobby today, with the hope that somehow, we will be reminded of the road we still need to follow to achieve that which we are seeking. For as long as we deny the woman the right to refuse a sexual advance, I think we are diminished by that violence.
How do I mean? I came across cases of rape, from infants to elderly women for different reasons. It appears women have been under siege in my country for longer that I imagined and we don’t seem to be doing anything concrete. I am not about to start another article on this but I want to thank Bobby for at least making me know about one of the dirty secrets of humanity.
Rape is not exclusive to a particular nation nor is it alien to any society, I guess rape has existed amongst us from the time of the cave men, but it is the oldest shame that man has on its collective soul.
I am thus repeating my interview with Bobby today, with the hope that somehow, we will be reminded of the road we still need to follow to achieve that which we are seeking. For as long as we deny the woman the right to refuse a sexual advance, I think we are diminished by that violence.
Please enjoy
To the Survivors…..Book Cover
I opened page one and was sucked in.I raged, cried, was angry and kicked but Bobby had me by the short hairs and dragged me through me, through the minds of every breathing human being making me look at a crime, issue that for us in my corner of the world we have been unable to define properly let alone classify and give it a name.
The innocent girl on her first wedding night to a man old enough to be her father as she is dragged to matrimonial bed and raped by her elderly husband . Her terrified screams and flailing arms applauded by all. She is welcomed into matrimony through the red mist of her violent entry. That was the story. In my corner of the universe, that is how you marry. In my time and age.,I learnt about this during my first visit to my hometown in the south west when I came to my family for the first time. I stood in shock as I heard the wild screams. Rape.. a word that young bride never heard of but has been made to experience as a received standard response to sexual activity. The women watched the men, resentment in their heart, hate to the mate who is brought in and polygamy grows hand in hand with hate and resentment. People of my mother’s age and some of mine. This is a hard book for me and anyone who has ever empathized with rape, assault, and even molestation and I passionately ask you to pick up a copy for yourself. It is a must in libraries and schools. In fact any public place.
I am not telling you my story, but the subject of Bobby’s book and the very painful reactions he has made me go through. I want you to meet Bobby and I hope his answers will help us.
1. Welcome Bobby to Ephesus.

Thank you for having me. It’s a blessing and honor to speak with you.

2. Can you define rape in all its ramifications as you understand it?
In my opinion, rape, especially child rape, is the worst crime human beings commit against each other as it causes the most damage to a person’s mind, heart, and soul over significant periods of time. People who are raped have their power and control taken from them. Some believe they will die during a rape and others want to die after. Think about how terrifying and sad this is. The pain and suffering that rape survivors experience can often last many years to a lifetime. But the damage caused does not just hurt the survivor; it hurts that person’s family and friends as well. Significant others are often devastated, sometimes more so than the survivor. I know of a man who was so broken after he learned that his girlfriend was raped years before. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to process it. It was as if nothing in life made sense anymore.
There are so many ramifications of rape, probably too many to list now. In my experiences, I have yet to see a crime that causes so much shame. If one feels shame, one will inevitably have serious health problems. Many, if not all rape survivors at one point in their lifetime, possibly even for years, have suffered deep shame. This is so incredibly sad because on top of being raped, a person most likely lives with shame for years. Shame is crippling and paralyzing. Think of the suffering people who have this undeserved shame live with and how it affects their lives and the lives of those around them.

The ramifications of rape are vast, but I will mention a few. Rape is linked to shame, anger/rage, depression, insecurity, anxiety, fear, suicidal thoughts and suicide, eating disorders, and other health issues. It causes low to no self-esteem. It can alter people’s perceptions of themselves and the world around them. Many rape survivors live in fear. Many rape survivors are physically and spiritually shackled. Rape can shatter the soul. And on top of all of these horrific effects and sufferings, many rape survivors blame themselves. But I want everyone to know that it is not their fault and that they can regain control back. Their lives can be happier and healthier if they are unhappy and suffering. The soul can be strengthened and healed.
Lastly, there are many societal and financial ramifications from rape. Rape can be linked to drug addiction, prostitution, organized crime, and our prison populations, to name a few. For example, I had a meeting at a women’s prison in hopes of getting the book To the Survivors to the inmates. At the time of my meeting there were approximately 100 women incarcerated inside. The Director of Women’s Programming told me roughly 75% of the women had been raped. Also, the Director of Mental Health Services told me 99% of the women had been raped. Why were they incarcerated? The majority were incarcerated due to drugs and prostitution. There is a clear correlation between our female prison population, prostitution, drug addiction and rape. This is also true for some of our male inmates as well.
Ultimately, rape causes more damaging ramifications than I can answer in your question, but hopefully this is a good starting point and answers some of it.

3. Is Sexual assault, rape or sexual violence graded?

Some people grade different levels, but I don’t think that it is necessary to do. I don’t think we should. Every sexual assault, molestation, or rape, is a crime that causes suffering. We should help anyone affected and not grade their experiences.

4. Rape is not gender sensitive and is prevalent in every society on the earth, what can be done to stop it?

The prevalence of rape can decrease if more people make changes within their own hearts. I believe that we can stop and prevent some acts of rape, but I do not believe we will stop rape entirely. I believe rape will exist as long as human beings live on this earth. This is not meant to sound hopeless. I am very hopeful of what can be done and I know more people can heal. I would not keep doing this work and be speaking with you if I did not see real human and spiritual growth within people. But I do believe it is important to be realistic about the world we live in and the evil atrocities that will continue to exist.

Rape is the most prevalent and least reported violent crime throughout the world. The majority of people do not even speak about it, let alone get active and help people affected. Minimal rape crisis centers exist worldwide and too many people don’t want to deal with the realities.

It is believed by some that the second most lucrative illegal business in the world is human trafficking. Billions of dollars are made every year off the sale of human beings who are forced into sexual slavery. In addition, little boys and girls are raped in homes by relatives. People are raped by their spouses. And we know that even some individuals who work in the most trusted public service positions – from law enforcement to religious clergy – rape. How will this stop? I don’t believe it will ever stop, but we can help people in their healing process and we can raise awareness through education.

Education and people intervening if they see something inappropriate is necessary for the prevention of sexual violence. Sadly, many people don’t see the signs of a rape or sexual assault before they occur. If we educate people on some of the signs, we may be able to prevent some crimes. For example, there were many signs of early troubling or inappropriate conduct in the lives of Jim and Chris, who are speakers with individual chapters in To the Survivors. If people around them were educated on the signs and empowered through that education to act, those innocent boys may not have been sexually abused. However, no one noticed, or some noticed but did not intervene, and these boys suffered.
I don’t believe we will ever eradicate rape on this earth, but I believe that we can help people in their healing process and live healthy and productive lives. We can listen to each other, show each other compassion, and empower each other. Too many survivors suffer in silence alone. But I want to tell people that they do not have to suffer in silence. They can heal and they can also help others if they choose to. Our voices are incredibly important and valuable. We can make a real difference in the lives of those who are struggling and suffering. I hope and pray for more of us do that.
Ultimately, rape can stop if human beings stop raping. It is a choice. Sadly, it is a choice that people will continue to commit and many others will continue to not speak of.
5. Would it be right to say that as much as the assaulted is counseled, the aggressor also needs assessment and managing?

So many acts of sexual violence are hidden from others. This, of course, makes assessing and managing a perpetrator exceptionally difficult. How do you assess and manage a person abusing another person when no one knows or speaks about it? This happens too often. The majority of rapists are not arrested, let alone convicted and then sent to prison. And even those who are sent to prison, how long is their prison term? The majority of those convicted come back into our society. Should more be done to manage them? Yes. But the majority of rapists freely walk this earth and commit vile crimes.

I do believe the aggressor needs counseling, but only if the aggressor wants counseling. Sadly, some people commit these crimes with no remorse. I believe remorse and redemption exist for those who want it, but not everyone wants it. If you read all of To the Survivors, you will see that none of the perpetrators showed any true remorse for their crimes.

In order for people to change, they must first make a change in their own heart.

6. Is the rapist mentally deficient and may be classified as disabled?

No. I do not believe we should call rapists disabled. People in wheelchairs are disabled. People with autism who can’t adequately communicate to others are disabled. Rapists choose to commit a crime. Some doctors, teachers, lawyers, police officers, politicians and religious leaders, to name a few, commit rape. Do we look at those professions as disabled?

7. In your book you are neither a rapist nor a victim so why did you write about it?

God. I did not consider myself a writer and never once tried to write a book until the experience of an intensely vivid dream one morning changed my life. I woke up from this dream and said, “I have to write a book.” I interpreted this dream as a vision from God. I prayed to God, moved from the bed to the computer, opened up Microsoft Word, and continued to pray. That is how To the Survivors began. To the Survivors would not be helping the amount of people it has helped if it weren’t for God. I would not be speaking with you now if it weren’t for God. There are too many people suffering, and I know this book can help with that suffering.

8. Some cultures really do not believe in marital rape as rape as they argue it is a male right to enforce their conjugal rights, what do you think?

I think this is horrible. Words cannot fully describe how awful this belief is. This absurd belief and reasoning allows for women to get raped. This kind of thinking accepts rape and too many people suffer as a result. Where does this ludicrous belief come from? Rape is rape. It is an evil crime. I believe it is a demonic and satanic crime. It does not matter if you are married or not; no spouse should rape or endure being raped. No one should be raped. What makes men inherently superior to women? Nothing. Why should a man have the right to rape his wife? He shouldn’t. There is no logical or rational explanation for this and it should not be condoned. Unfortunately, it is.

You say that some cultures do not believe in marital rape as they argue it is a male’s right to enforce his conjugal rights. I know it is hard to believe, but some women do rape men. Should women rape their husbands? Of course not. So why should a man be allowed to commit an evil crime against his wife? Why would he even want to? The belief that men can rape their wives due to their “conjugal rights” is wrong and it sanctions rape. Marriage is supposed to be about love, not rape, and complete dominance of one over another.

9. The first thing that happens to a person that has been sexually assaulted, molested or harassed is to hide, keep quiet or feel shame and they go into hiding the event, how do you identify that to help?
It is not for me to tell people how to act. It is solely up to the survivor to do what he or she wants to do. Personally, I would like more and more people to open up to a trusted individual in their lives, but I cannot make a survivor do that. Rape and sexual assault are so incredibly hard to talk about. But I believe we have to be there for each other and let others know that we will sit and listen to them if they ever need anything. I pray that more people create loving and safe environments in which people can disclose their stories and pain if they choose to. More people will come forward as more people come forward.
10. Your THP sounds wonderful, have they thought of extending their great work to other countries? Through affiliations, overseas training to create awareness to communities?

No, but I will. I try my best to get this book and these messages to countries throughout the world and will continue to do so. You are a big part of that Abiola. God bless you. Thank you for this connection and opportunity.

11. Do you have any plans to make your book available to Africa and Nigeria?

Absolutely. One way to make the book available in Nigeria and Africa is by talking to other people, posting on social media sites and through this great interview. This interview will raise awareness of the book’s existence to people in Nigeria, and I thank you for that. To the Survivors can be found online at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, kobo.com, smashwords.com, goodreads.com, and other online retailers. The e-book can also be found on my website for free at http://www.robertuttaro.com if people cannot afford the book. I want anyone to be able to get a copy of To the Survivors should they have an interest. People can contact me directly through my website if for some reason they cannot obtain a copy. Lastly, I would love to travel to Nigeria or anywhere else if anyone ever wants me to speak about these issues.

12. Share your thoughts on what you hope your book might achieve?

I have many hopes for what the book might achieve in the lives of others, probably too many to list here. I will try to answer as best as I can:

I hope people keep breathing and do not choose to kill him or herself.
I hope people will not feel shame for being raped or sexually assaulted.
I hope people will not blame themselves for being raped or sexually assaulted.
I hope people understand that they are not alone.
I hope people connect on some level with at least one person in To the Survivors.
I hope people understand that they can grow and heal from any pain they experience.
I hope people who have not been raped or sexually assaulted become more educated on how to respond to incidences of sexual violence and the suffering of survivors.
I hope people stop raping and assaulting.
I hope people understand that God loves them more than they can even fathom, even if they do not believe in God.
I hope people talk to God and listen to God.

These are some of my many hopes.

Will you be willing to answer questions on your book after this time, if you will please tell us how we may do that.
Yes. People can email me at info@robertuttaro.com if they want to ask me anything.
Thank you being on Ephesus.
Thank you for having me. It’s been a true blessing. God bless you, Abiola.
pic

An Interview with Paula Youmell

COFFEE AND DONUTS Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00063]
When I got about reading this book, I was genuinely skeptical, first saw it as a labour of love for fellow authors. You know in my fondest dreams I used to imagine myself as an author.
Now I don’t know anything about donuts and coffee. I love drinking coffee, the processed stuff and donuts?
I am generally not into Food or stuff like that, the reason is simple, I live in a part of the world where such things as donuts and coffee looks exotic. Trusting Christine on this I opened the first page and started reading. I must sound a note of warning here. Authors are required to write on what they know, Paula scored that, however if I stayed with the title, I would drop the book. So it might be something worth considering when you pick a title that sends a picture of being a cookery book.
Maybe authors should consider a chat with the publisher. This book on a bookshelf in my world will go unnoticed except for the very curious and yes truly is the coffee and donuts of life. Coffee and Donuts is really hand book that gets you through the day in a wholesome way. I enjoyed myself, and like the author says it is a book you want to read as you get ready for the day. I found myself smiling especially when she insisted I was responsible for my experiences, I love that. She made me believe in her comments, was honest and believable particular when she talked about her fixation with weight and food. I learnt I could forgive myself. That was a cool feeling, to shrug off the weight of guilt and truly accept me, warts and all. Yeah, I could sleep on the darn bed unmade!
Let us have a chat with the authorBasil & I
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself
I am a Registered Nurse, Health and Physical Education Teacher, and a Holistic Healer. I have studied whole food nutrition and natural healing for 28 years. I support others on their path to healing their bodies by working in rhythm with nature.
2. Well I got my peeve out of the way, will you like to let us know why you called it coffee and donuts?
In the very beginning of the book I explain how people like things, foods, that bring back fond memories and create comfort for themselves. Coffee is a morning ritual that is comforting to many, many people around the globe. Donuts, as I wrote in the beginning of the book, are a fond memory for me. My Sisters and I made many a donut with our Gram. People, in the USA, put coffee and donuts together every morning as breakfast food. The two, paired together, seemed like a heart-warming title for morning inspirations; much like the morning cup of coffee and a donut.
3. From my own spiritual background, I am taught not to see the human being as a divine being, and I find that a hard chew for me, will it matter if a portion of your potential readers think like me?
Maybe, maybe not. My life experiences have taught me that the divine, “God -Goddess,” is part of us all, that we were made in the likeness of “God-Goddess;” that our soul is a part of the collective soul, the divine energy of the universe.
Your novel, Numen Yeye, speaks of a Goddess, Priestess. You speak of being a one God centered faith person but also how “man’s search for identity… every human being has a responsibility to have a luminous goal and try to reach it. It is not an issue of religion.”
I too believe healing and spiritual beliefs are not an issue of religion. I think whatever a person’s spiritual beliefs, we can all do deep soul searching to heal ourselves.
(I look forward to reading this novel of yours. Yes, I just ordered it.)
Your book presumes that I have read your first book, that left gaps because it segregated from truly relaxing as it indicated I need to have read book one. Was that deliberate sales style?
No, not a deliberate sales pitch. So many reviews of books on Amazon complain that a subsequent book by the same author were a waste of money as half or more of the information was the same as a previous book. I did not want to repeat information for my readers.
4. I like your comment, ”healing is a journey” and like you stated human beings find that difficult, why do we have it so difficult to start on that journey?
I believe for each person there are different factors that hold them back but that all stem from the fear of change, the fear of stepping out of their comfort zone into the unknown and the unknown consequences of this action of change.
5. Let’s go to Nepal, two basic contrasts, the four month old baby and the 102 year old man, the dramatic similarity is that they are survivors of the earthquake, there is a lot of symbolism in that happening. People were affected by that happening, how do we learn to be healed, mind, soul?
Natural disasters open a whole different world of suffering. As humans, we cannot control what natural weather patterns (obviously human’s modern industrialized existence is having major impacts on our weather system) and earth shifts bring to our daily life. I think any natural phenomena that has the power to take our loved ones and neighbors from our daily existence is deep form of acceptance, recognizing we cannot control everything that happens to us and in our lives. Perhaps this is what the Buddha meant by letting go of our attachments to things.
6. Please explain to us from this side of the pond, whole foods and our perception that civilization means eating the kind of people (food?) Western people eat. Our main diet is more often carbo- heavy?
Whole foods are foods that are minimally processed, cooking and cutting up food is processing, and nothing is removed from the original food and nothing has been added in. For example, refined flour takes the whole grain and polishes off the bran and germ (removing parts of the original whole). This leaves the grain’s endosperm only to be ground into flour. You have lost the fiber source (bran), the fat soluble nutrients (germ), and many minerals and nutrients. On the adding in side of things, let’s take a look at most commercial yogurt. Yogurt is simply cultured milk. Commercial yogurt adds thickeners, stabilizers, refined sugars, and in some cases (cheap brand names) artificial flavors.
Are your Carb heavy diets from whole food carbohydrates; not the refined, packaged food carbohydrates of American culture?
7. How would you want your book to be assimilated by the average African who has lived all his life on the continent?
This is an interesting question as books definitely have an audience range. I do not have any preconceived notions that my book will appeal to all audiences from all walks of life. Industrialized nations, whose people have pulled themselves away from the flow and rhythm of natural living, need to be reminded that we are all a part of nature, all a part of the web of life.
8. Please explain what you mean by holistic healing, do you accept herbs and the use of incantations in place of yoga?
Holistic Healing means using natural means to re-balance the body’s health: herbs, whole foods, energy healing, daily movement, natural lifestyle choices, etc.
9. Do you write only on healing, will you accept clients from Africa? Do you have a regular clinic and is it very expensive?
I would accept any client who wants to work with me if we both agree that my support services are a good fit for the person needing support. I also need to feel comfortable in my ability to help the person. If I think someone else might be better suited, have more knowledge and experience with their challenges, I would not hesitate to refer them to someone else.
I have regular office hours and I do not believe I am expensive. An initial consult is $175 and a person is hiring me for at least 8 hours of my time to review their health history, Basil & Istart a map of their healing plan, meet with them for 2-3 hours, then I do a thorough email follow up with suggested lifestyle changes and healing additions to their lives, and answer email questions for 2 full weeks.

10. Share a typical day with us
Up by 6 AM getting the day rolling, breakfast and lunches made for my kids. I drive them to school by 8:15 and return home to:
• Do laundry, clean house, get in a bit of yoga, etc.
• Review client charts and see clients
• Write books, blog posts, articles for magazines, etc.
• Create and market online courses
• Pick my kids up at 2 PM.
• Walk my dog.
• Make dinner, do dishes, and finish up any business work.
• Bed by 9:30, read, lights out by 10 PM or so.
• It is a fun life!

11. What is next after coffee and donuts?
10 years ago I started a book about working with kids around whole foods, health, and healing. It was a homeschool project with my 2 sons. I would like to finish this book. I also have ideas for 5 or 6 more books. It is a matter of having the time to write.
12. Please give links to where we might purchase your books and blog you have.
My website blog page: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/blog/
Coffee & Donuts: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/book-2/
My first book: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/book/

Thank you very much for being part of this discussion.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my work and passions with your readers.

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.

Dream Murder

He did not want to go home. He stared at the table in front of him as the shadows gathered, the hustle of the city slowing down as the night hawkers set up. He sat there as the sounds around him changed in tones and volumes. Why bother to go home he asked himself, should he maybe go to the police?, and tell them what? He shuddered and slouched deeper into his chair. At least he should make some attempt to put on the light. He could always go see the pastor, he told himself, or well one of these miracle churches where they would promise him release… from? his wife?

No pastor it is not about divorce. She is giving me everything I ask for. Good food every time I ask for it . Right figure, you know the type of figure that seemed to have- no don’t even think about it.

His skin crawled and he knew he was afraid. Should he tell his mum? ‘I told you she was the wrong color, didn’t I?’ , his mother would scream at him and then suggest they go ask the ancient one, or she would suggest a village wife as antidote.
What would he tell the police? They had seen worse maybe. So his story wouldn’t be anything new— except maybe raise a laugh.

Was he really frightened? He really didn’t believe that, did he? But then, did he dare to say it to her. He also felt jealous. She had described the affair so well that he was not so sure he should not actually head for the divorce courts. He should give Ade a call. He imagined Ade’s smile and he cringed, for he also remembered that his friend had been skeptical when he had come in excited that he was going to marry Kike.

He tried to remember that party Kike told him about. She had acted like a normal lady. You know quiet, respectable, married lady. As always, she had not said much either, just kept to her corner and stayed close to him. What was the conversation at that party? Not much-er, okay, yes, he remembered. Jide had come over. Did he notice anything in the handshake he gave his wife? Jide, bland Jide, who they all teased because he never seemed interested in women. He looked and acted as if he was happily married.
Jide wasn’t his particular friend so he never really could say much about him.
It was always the odd hello and sometimes they politely asked after each other’s spouses. He tried to remember if he had ever introduced his wife or if the pair exchanged pleasantries. Kike always seemed to have a frown on her face anyway.
He had no way of knowing the man had the hots for his wife. Thinking of him as his wife’s dream lover sent cold chills down his spine…the thought nagged at him…, her dream lover? I’m going crazy. But what the hell was the man doing in the dreams of his my wife?

That is right, he mocked himself. Was he to report to the police that his wife was having an affair with a man in her dreams?

He was not going to give the same reason to Ade, that he wanted to divorce his wife because she had a lover in her dreams and had been dumb enough to tell him.
He shifted in the chair, knowing he was afraid to admit to what had frightened him was not the explicit love making she had described but what had happened. It was not the dream lover but his wife. He was afraid to go home because his wife. He searched in the drawer for the bottle of whisky and took a shot. He did not feel better. You know give a man a knock on his head and the man wakes up with a headache, or carry out a threat to stick a knife up his entrails and the fellow winds up dead the next morning. What happens if I dream of her or she comes to me too in a dream? He shuddered. I mean if I am going to die I had better do it as a man. Had she marked him too? How do you pacify a witch? He heard that such people do not like eating bitter meat and he shuddered.
Am I married to a witch? Go home to your loving wife he told himself and the phone rang with the special ringtone he had allocated to his wife. He jerked as if he had been stung and stared at the phone not answering.

“I hit him in the head with a stick and he called me the next day to say he had a headache. Why is he having the same dream as me, and why is he having a headache when I only hit him in the dream?” his wife wailed plaintively

He had stared at her as she asked that question, her eyes wide and worried, tears filling them as she gave the final sequel to the story. He could not ask her if she had enjoyed the lovemaking in the dream, or if Jide was better than him. He swore at himself in self pity.

“I warned him not to bother me again because next time I wouldn’t just hit him with a stick I would come with a knife and stick it up and kill him,’ were her final words and he remembered how he had backed away. His tentative phone call to Jide, how his throat went dry when it was picked up by a stranger who said Jide was found dead on his bed with blood on his lips. He came to work in a daze.

The phone rang again, it was his wife calling, the janitor knocked on the door as he crashed to the floor.

Priestess

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.
He sat at his desk and held his head in his hands, rocking himself in some unnamed and unrecognized pain.
The office was silent and his thoughts were loud in his heart. He did not even dream, so when had the fascination with the body of the priestess taken over his thoughts he asked himself.
Last market day, he had visited his mother and watched the pleasure in her eyes when he gave her money and announced with pride that he would ensure she could expect that on a monthly basis.
He was happy until she gently asked him if he was going to be thinking of settling down now. He told her, he would do that when the time was right. The anxious look his mother wore came into her eyes and he knew in that instant ,the secret she had been hiding. Man, she thinks I can’t get it up. She thinks maybe that is why I have avoided girls and not mentioned a coming bride and shown interest in any of the village girls. He was horrified. He looked at his mother and their eyes met and Bode saw the fear, the anxiety and he was chagrined. They stared at the each other the knowledge like a naked bride stood silent between them untouched. Bode swallowed, muttered a goodbye and hurried away.
Two days later, the picture of the priestess when she washed him flashed into his mind, he had been aroused and had stayed that way ever since.
There was a knock on his door and he growled a permission for the person to enter. Seconds later he was gasping in shock, desperately trying to draw in breath to a constricted throat, because in resplendent white with white gloves stood the priestess.
She smiled and walked further into the office.

Conversations with Skip Slocum

I knew Skip when I hesitantly joined an online community of writers. I wanted to learn what writers on the other side had. I became a tiny fish in a big ocean as I learnt how to write in a way that would make sense to my other online members. In the process I came across this gentle giant wh I have never seen physically but he became my best friend. Himself and another writer Lisa Suda. We became in a fashion THE CHORD. I learnt a lot from them. We were all writing stories and yes there were two others Liz and Max, but gradually it was just these three.
We shared stories, critiqued for each other and that helped me a great deal. I published my first novel BLOOD CONTRACT and Skip never seemed satisfied with his and kept knocking it into a shape he felt comfortable with. Finally I had the distinct pleasure to learn a few weeks back that the book Keening Fire is now available for readers.
Keening fireTKF EOO
A beautiful story set in the middle ages when man was close enough to his inner being as to listen to the keening of his spirit and be guided into bravery, learn how to a real man and go through a rite of passage into manhood. It is the story of Matt, who carries on the keening gift and earns his rights through trials, and tested love and loyalty to his king. I am held spell bound by the beauty of the words, the evolution of Matt from teenage to the sense of an ideal upright man.I went through the agonies of his pain and felt light headed with happiness when he finally won his place amongst men.
Skip Slocum has through this book shown a powerful ability to tell a story so well that I can only urgently recommend you to read the interview and buy the book.
Here is the short interview I had with him. Please Enjoy.
1.Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a retired Diesel Mechanic – Married for 31 years – father of three – grandfather of two.

2. THE KEENING FIRE hold my interest because it is almost African, what prompted you to write it?
When my grandson was six years old, he asked me to tell him a story. I started making up this one on the spot. We decided I’d better write it down before I forgot the names of the characters. Over the next six and a half years the story transformed and almost took on a life of its own.

3. Matt seemed to have gone through a crucible of fire, almost like some initiation rite of passage, does that still happen?
Well, without giving away too much of the story – This young warrior is constantly tested by life’s unforeseen twists and turns. Like with many people, he discovers life’s journey never turns out or takes the path we thought it would.

4. The book though written in another age seem to talk about values that would be relevant in today’s world, would you care to explain.
That was one of my goals. Let me see if I can explain without waxing too philosophical. There comes a time when we as mortal men discover the meaning and cold reality of that awful word, ‘Mortal’. I wanted to leave some advice and values to my grandson and his grandsons – We as good men, fathers, warriors, and or guardians of the innocent are responsible for our actions.
–What we do today will shape who we become tomorrow.–

5. The art of keening has been likened to magic, sorcery or at best something dreaded, but what do you think?
To answer that question I need to explain what ‘The Keening’ is. In my story, ‘The Keening’ is an inherited gift passed down through the ages –father to son – The Keening manifests itself from within – a power of insight – some may glimpse the future or commune with nature, some may hear the thoughts of men. The Keening changes with everyone it comes to according to their strength, morphing and changing in every generation. To those who don’t possess this insight The Keening may appear as magic, sorcery or something to fear.

6. What class of people would enjoy the book?
My hope is everyone. The Keening Fire is a coming of age adventure, a discovery of who we can become, a fantasy, a story of love and loss.

7. If you were asked to classify the book how would you classify it?
Since our lives are not and cannot be confined to any one genera how could I write this warrior’s life as one bracketed and set within parameters?

8. You are a writer who almost a recluse, please tell us where we can buy copies of your book.
You can find a copy of my book at: http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=the+keening+fire&categoryId=100501
If I may, let me say – I set the price as low as the self-publishing plug-ins would allow. This is a saga not a short novel.

9. Share a writing day with us.
Being retired and a grandfather, my little ones have grown where I can set my own hours concerning writing. While working on this story I ignored clocks as much as possible and quit following calendars years ago. I am a creature of the night and seem to do my best writing while my wife is safe in bed asleep. Yet let me say, there are many forms of writing. There is the plotting, thinking, scheming, playing out scenes hearing dialogue in one’s head until scenes becomes real and then there is the computer’s keyboard where I try to put on paper what is playing in my world of imagination.

10. Apart from writing, what other interests do you have?
Being a third generation mechanic and blue collar worker, I love mechanical devices. I have a passion for tools, gadgets, art of all kinds, movies and asking the question: ‘What if’

Within the nuts and bolts of writing this story I consciously chose not to use Speech-Tags.

Tag Cloud