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.


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.