Aug 23, 2017

The House of Broken Hearts: A Novel by John Baraka (2017)


PROLOGUE

     He was in his mid nineties, wizened and shaken. A man of his words, the last of his kind, well known for his distinguished career, an expert in the art of mind reading and astronautics, famous for his cherish and love for young children. During his energetic adolescence, he made a successful space tour, for his father was a distinguished astronaut of his time; they travelled great deal merely to discover and explore.
     He enjoyed much sharing his vast experience of the past with the youngest generation, this character did not please his age mates, especially King Rhombus, and he always wanted to hear stories about heavens, stars and planets in the outer space. The King was a good reader of the Bible; he could read from the book of Genesis to Revelation over night, only to wake up dizzy the next day. He summoned all the witches and wizards of the land to tell him about the outer space, and none of them satisfied his majesty. Who could tell what happened to the magicians?
     Just the other day, an old man sat and summoned his great-great grandchildren; he wanted to tell them a story about the land of the Nullifidians, the legend of the house of broken hearts. His Highness swallowed his pride and paid a visit, he also wanted to hear the thrilling story, but he met a frozen welcoming from an old man. So, he left the compounds and forced his way to a neighboring mansion. He sat there, all alone in the pavilion, a king of his own kingdom, a kingdom of one man. He really wanted to hear the story, so he sat there in isolation, he didn’t mind the decemberish weather and the giant mosquitoes. He just wanted to hear…
     Children kept calm and listened, the old man yawned; he yawned again, this time with dry tears pouring out, moisturizing the contours on his cheeks. Before him was a tray of boiled sweet potatoes and a jug of condensed milk waiting for his Orangutan’s belly, the old man could not stop the inevitable, he was salivating, a sweeter bite to start the meal.

CHAPTER 1

     About four hundred nautical miles off the Coast of Ghost Island; far removed from the eyes of the blind sun, lays the ruins of an ancient city state, a once sophisticated mega city in the whole terrestrial globe, the land where rivers ran honey, milk and sweety things of all sorts.
     A prosperous history of a gigantic cultivation, the myth of the book city where men took forever to die, the land of the well celebrated lives, the home of the transmigrants, the finders of the lost constitution, a beautiful mountainous country, a better place every human being dreamt of visiting at least once in a life time. Beautiful beaches, continental peaks, delicious cuisine, charming hospitality and economic superiority of the territory made it the most envied republic in the whole firmament; the material one, and the other one, affirmative!
     The main entrance gate to the city was a book, and no mortal man dared to pass through it alive, only the souls entered the gate and so no living man ever entered and came back. But life in there was the future of the living world outside the book. It was the land of magic at the time of magic, where wizards and witches of the first order ruled for life. One day inside the book was almost a century in the living world; a child from the book was as old as a dead man deceased several millennia ago. Nopinia it was called, it bordered Romata from the South, and Yellow Dove Island from the North West.
     It was wiped off the world map during the reign of the Psychopaths, and this story is the only living map to the gate and I must tell you this; the city is in our hearts and as long as we live, even after we have gone to ashes and dusts, the city will always be there because out of it, everything came into existence. Words falling on deaf ears…
     Children were sleeping already and an old man never realized that he was just talking to himself; the man himself was talking without knowing which words were coming out of his little mouth full of potatoes and milk. The tray was almost empty, only a single potato was remaining, very little one, from a very close watch, some jiggers were coming out of it; an old man grabbed it and swallowed it without chewing because it was very little, he enjoyed the belching after consuming the delicious fatty jiggers. Very sleepy he was... very sleepy. The rain gods smiled the whole night, but he never bothered, he continued although no one was listening. He was talking to the sleeping children, just like lecturing an empty hall, words falling on deaf ears...
     During weekends and yearends; the place was flooded with tourists and whores from all the galaxies, and during holidays and summer vacations students from different universities and high schools over crowded the restaurants and the hotels. During the night, the spirits from the land of the dead rebelled against their fate and forced themselves to enjoy the portion of the living; the greedy spirits, all the time, they thought of their already married wives on earth, the wives that bothered no more about them. Because a woman cherishes her husband most when still she can feel the touch of his muscular arms over her rhombus waist; extremely busy chopping off the rough edges of the lozenge pouch, at his back, the wallet is coercively drained by the nimble-fingered sweetheart, wicked love!
     For sure, it was the most beautiful destination in the world. Ministry of Tourism and Natural Heritage made it one of the wonders of the world; the devil himself enjoyed parting there, but most of the time causing trouble, so he was casted out, sometimes wishing to go back to heaven and beg for mercy, sometimes wishing to commit suicide, confusion!
     One day, one evening, in fact, one very stupid evening, a very stupid thought popped in my brain and I told my stupid friends to hire a stupid boat to take us there; it was the most stupidest idea of all time, the wizened stupidity that resulted into the enlightenment of the dimming light. The great illumination; they agreed and we scheduled to sail the next day. Because it was a bit far, we telephoned the boatman to know how long the voyage will take. The marine guy answered two days; we departed to our homes and prepared for the take off, the great sail.
     I was so happy and delighted to sail across the great Nopinian Sea; it was going to be my maiden voyage; so I took all the stuffs needed for the voyage including the binoculars, juices, goggles, bites, a diary and a life jacket. My mother reminded me to take a bible but I forgot to take it because I was not used to read it most of the time. I preferred adventure novels to sacred scriptures, big sin!
     At the dawn we meet near the roundabout just opposite the Justice Road Children’s Park, we hired a taxi and the motor man drove off up to Pink Shadow Harbour. Around 6:30 A.M we left the Blue Olympus Cape and sailed eastward. It was the longest safari in my life; we reached our destination on the fifth of August, 1949. At the time, the Chinese Communist Revolution was almost on its peak. The imperialist nations already suffered from what they nicknamed WWI and WWII and yet, it was during the consolidation of the cold war (1947-1991) and freezing it was a refrigerated warfare.
     Docking at the shores of the Great Port Anipi, we took a rest and spent our night at the Ruingate Heritage Resort, popularly known as RHR-07.  We met other students from our college there, they arrived two days earlier than us and they were sickened by the Falciparum malaria. They died the same night, worries and fear penetrated into our iron hearts but we didn’t succumb to the threat. We took it easy and simple, during the morning we buried them just outside the resort because there was no other way. The boatman was nowhere to be seen and the attendants there at the resort suddenly disappeared.
     We packed our luggage and wandered across the Island, after a couple of paces, I turned around only to find that even the resort was all fabrications. What I saw was a huge stone with the words written “HE WHO WISHES TO LIVE MUST DIE FOR THE SAKE OF LIFE”.
---What the hell? Screamed Olympia, “Help Help! Help!” she cried bitterly.
---O My God! What happened? Asked Gilbert
---I don’t know, I can’t feel my legs, I’m dying... where’s Tony?
---He was here, I saw him just now.
---Call him for me please, am dying guys... Gilbert remained speechless for a couple of minutes; he fell down at last, screaming like an old caterpillar, his mouth full of foam and blood. He was dying for sure, poor Gilbert, he died in great pain.
     I remained standing there with my arms akimbo, not knowing what to do; I cried and grieved bitterly, the island was cool and quiet. The sound of the waves ashore, water ducks and drakes shadowed the surface of the Eastern Nopinian Sea; the sharks and the dolphins beautified and terrified the atmosphere. The photogenic view and the landmarks attracted even the spirits. Jackals and the snakes inhabited the caves and the bushes; at that particular moment, I felt the fire burning inside my little heart.
     Thunderbolt roared across the skies of the island and the dust from the ruins poured the ground like millet; owls and falcons made it scarier, I remembered what my mother told me, she insisted to take the word of God with me, but I neglected. I wandered here and there looking for Tony, looking for any human being, but I saw nothing. The shades of darkness were penetrating sliver by sliver from the eastern horizon, as the sun went down; the giant mosquitoes came out and sucked the blood of all the living things including themselves.
     I sat down near the Coconut tree and wept helplessly, poor me! I cried. Is this really happening? I asked, “Are you talking to me?” The voice from the other side chanted interrogatively as that gigantic flaming star was hurrying to hide its big eye at the back of the mountain. “Who are you?” I asked majestically hoping to hear the voice of Tony or another human being on the island; “Welcome to my planet little human, do not worry about your friends, they’re having their dinner right now, you may join them if you wish”. Where are they? Follow the sound of my voice, when you hear the drums and the horns, stop, take off your clothes and bow down, close your eyes and you will be there; for how long? I asked, soon enough, he responded.
     One, two, three... eight, nine, ten... I counted the seconds and the minutes as I was waiting for the drum beats. At a far distance I heard the shouts in a foreign language, the drums and the shakers accompanied with the horns and the flutes. I bowed down and found myself amidst the band of the tribesmen giant like the hybrid gods; dancing traditional songs vigorously, at the same time roasting humanoid animals. Some were eating trees and stones, others were reciting an old native poem, and the lyrics terrified my soul:

Let them come because they must go
Let them eat and drink for toilet they’ll go
Let them think because they never reason
Let them die accused of high treason

Let them question this and answer that
Let them crowned kings those little brats
Let them talk and talk through their own hat
Let them try now if they have the guts

They tied my limbs with nylon ropes and hanged me like a bush meat to be roasted, another one came and untied me, he ordered to put on my clothes; I said “Thank you Jesus” which Jesus are you thanking huh? He asked tyrannically, then he changed the ropes with those of metal wire and he said, “Let now Jesus descend from the heaven and save you, pathetic!” Do we look like humans? He asked and I came to the conclusion that they really wanted me to die.
---“You must die dressed so that you won’t shame yourself in the afterlife, there are billions of honorable people there and perhaps, your in-laws you know?” I screamed bitterly like a child, but nobody cared, and I told them that I’m still a student, I was suppose to go for a PhD in Canada by next year, and so I must live, but nobody really cared. As I was still standing upright tied, waiting to be roasted, the trees and the earth beneath my feet trembled, the lightning and thunderbolt roared across the sky, the stones begun to fall from the mountain, followed by an earthquake.
     As I was waiting to see the end of that scene, I saw the dead coming out of their graves, walking like zombies and vampires. On my left hand side there was a huge tombstone, there was a man standing on top of it, his face was full of scars and holes, he was smiling at me, gazing at me as if he wanted to say “long time no see”. The tribesmen ran away and disappeared to nowhere; I was trembling like a man driving a tractor, shaking like a generator or a man suffering from the Parkinson’s disease. I almost died of hypertension and a sudden cardiac arrest. My underwear was already wet, and in a twinkling of an eye the man was walking towards me, atop his head were the two horns emitting dark smoke and sparks, huge like a dinosaur, his moustache like an ancient Indian Banyan.
     The skeleton in a Masonic suit, he was after my blood and I could not allow such a thing to happen. I ran away only to find myself inside his dirty coat of many colors, inside that coat, I met the man who introduced himself as the late president of the Federal Republic of Nopinia, the name of that ancient city state which former glory and civilization rest underneath the ruins and the sea.
---What are you doing in my country? He asked, was killing me not enough to quench your thirst for power? He asked again. I felt the fire burning inside my little heart, I felt dizzy as I was walking towards the road of unconsciousness.
---What are you talking about? I asked, I killed who, when, where, how and for what?
---Stop pretending you idiot, don’t think me a blind. You killed your own friend, and here you are, you demon incarnate! Come out now... stop pretending to be an innocent student. I thought of deceiving him that I am dead but there was no such a time to pretend, thank goodness I was able to faint.
---Do not faint little rabbit, the time to avenge my death has come; you pretended to be the usher, and those guys used your little brain to deceive you that I am the one who can bring good fortune when am out of existence and you believed them.
   They told you that mankind want to live forever, but you failed to reason how can a mortal man walk out of his mortal body? So you must consider this day to have dawned as your last. Let me don’t waste much time and just kill you.
---You cannot kill me; I spoke in turn as a defensive mechanism. You are dead, so go back to your grave where you belong; I am commanding you to go to hell and suffer longer in Jesus name, Amen!
     Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! “Clapping his hands”, you are very clever; so you know even how to summon the immortals huh? Hey Mr. Nicholas W.W.W (War, Wine & Women), the victory of the people, so you are commanding me to go to hell, and where is the hell anyway? Have you been there before? Come here you little chameleon, die! He grabbed my neck like a monster and killed me as simple as cutting a warm butter.
     Inside that coat there was a book, an old book with old yellow pages; the book was entitled “The House of Broken Hearts”. When I peeped on it, I saw something like a door, it opened and a hand came out of it and grabbed me. I found myself inside the book and found life terrifying in there. After a couple of seconds, I was at the heart of Romata, outside a golden mansion with an electrified fencing system. At the gate there was a huge sign board reading “CITY ENGINEERS” I decided to join them. But I was not having any physical form, nobody saw me. So I hunted for the human body to dwell in. I stood at the town square, roundabouts and clock towers finding a clean body.
     At last there was a school boy riding a bicycle towards a bookshop and I was impressed with his spirit and tender body. He was going to buy the book, the same book that he was dwelling on. I transmigrated into him calmly and the boy took me home and several years passed, as the boy grew, I grew up too. When the boy met with his first love, to me she was my four hundredth girlfriend. Ha ha haaa! The children laughed, they just woke up after hearing the figure that grandpa mentioned. Go back to your dreams? Grandpa insisted, but children never wanted to sleep again, they just hated the beginning, they just wanted a happy ending. With their eyes wide open, they asked an old man; what was the name of your first girlfriend? Tell us Grandpa, tell us please!
---Now listen my grandchildren, the name of the first girl was Anita Martin, the second was Sophia Herman Tungi and the third was Senorita (Maria Rodriguez) from Mexico.
---Ha ha haaa! Children could not stop laughing.
---Anything funny?
---Everything is funny.
An old man continued…”The boy was very hot, charming and handsome…” He wanted to date all the girls in town and I became part and parcel of his life. He even changed his name “Ferdinand” and answered mine; “Nicholas” and he became immortal, and yet he lived a mortal life.
---WOW! Children applauded, the old man continued... Now go back to sleep, it’s almost morning. We want the dawn of the new day to find us awake grandpa, after all, it’s already another day, another dawn. We won’t eat or drink till the end of the story, yeah!
     Now that you will be fasting, prepare to die the next morning, because five days are remaining to finish the story, and normally at the end of the story, one man must die. It’s either the narrator or the listener. Just tell us the story grandpa; after all we are all going to die one day, it’s better to die knowing, than to live a very long life ignorant of the meaning of life. We want to die knowing, just tell us grandpa... So an old man continued…

CHAPTER 2

     Life inside the book was dynamic, sometimes it was terrifying, but most of the time it was entertaining and funny. The people in the book were friendly and very kind, girls were easy going and everyone used magic to simplify the work. When I started dating human beings in the book, things changed; love, as we all know, it was very powerful to change even the heart of the ghost. I tried to define it because its aftermaths nearly ruined my plan, but still I failed to uglify the concept. There are three types of love; the hot love, the lukewarm love and the cold or refrigerated love. Hot love is always active and sacrificial especially when it starts, lovers normally promise each other bigger things that even the gods cannot offer. For the rest, ask the wise man.
     Love is the sovereign preference of the soul; it’s the kingdom of fancy words and colorful games. It’s the territory of oneness: one man, one woman, one heart, one mind and one life. It’s one love that filled the heart of Sophia Herman, my endearing super woman. Seven bullets inside her breast escorted her to the early grave. Before she gave up the ghost, she left a very controversial will though it was never complete, but it was well noted. It was such a pity moment that an ink felt sad to touch the surface of the papyrus.
     She was at the hospital where she was admitted a day ago, at that time her guardian angel was roaming around the premises waiting for the perfect moment to take her soul. Sophia stared at me and told me to listen carefully. So I gathered myself and listened to the last words of the departing soul. She said, “Its dust everywhere, I’m standing amid this lunatic weather condition. From twenty miles away I can see frozen smiles on faces of some handsome tall buildings in town.
     My whereabouts is unknown; the dust has sheltered my presence and I can feel it from within. For an ordinary human being, it’s much better to spend a life time inside the bellies of the Abbadon instead of being here”. I didn’t understand what she was trying to say, so I asked her to come to plain words, but she kept on talking strange things, I don’t know whether that was how the dying people talk or it was just the spirit from the underworld talking through her.
     She asked me to bring her a glass of drinking water, I remembered how my grandma died, she also asked my mother to bring her a glass of drinking water and before my mother reached outside, she died. So I was worried, I told her not to drink water at that time, but she insisted that she was very thirsty, I gave her a glass of juice to quench her thirst but she refused. I came to realize that she really wanted to die. So I brought her a glass of drinking water, thank goodness there was a bottle of drinking water inside the room, but when I gave her the glass of water, she drank it and she was still alive. That was disappointing, but it gave me a glass of joy.
     After drinking the water, she started again flowing, this time like a twenty four seven radio station; “my feet are not mine, but they seem to be part and parcel of my body. They give me company wherever I go, but they are not good friends of mine because they don’t listen to me anymore. They go wherever they like even when I am asleep. I hate them, but they are my wheels, I cannot move without them; but why do they move without me? In the eyes of the blind, day and night are just the same”.
     This time she totally confused me, I decided to call the doctor, but there was no one around except two cleaners who were wiping the floor with a mop, they told me that all the doctors went to Romata Beach Resort; they said that their fellow colleague was having a birthday party, so almost all the staff members were invited and that the only people who remained there to care for the patients and visitors were: the cleaners, the gatemen, the keeper of the chapel of rest, the matron of the psychiatric ward and two nursing students who were completing their internship at that very day.
     I felt very bad, I wanted to become a doctor all of a sudden but that was not my profession, and someone cannot become a doctor over night. I asked the cleaners, where are those nursing students? My wife is dying in there and those so called doctors are enjoying the party? God must hear this. The cleaners busted into laughter, and then they pointed the door with the mop because their rotten mouths were trembling with fun.
     I rushed inside the office and found those two nursing students kissing themselves; they were watching pornography on their smart phones. When they came to their senses, they wanted to bribe me with their sodomy, I told them about my wife but that didn’t seem to be their problem. They continued with their professionalism, I left them there. I went back to the ward and found my wife the way she was before.
     She was still talking her Blaa! Blaa! Are you alright? I asked, but her reply was very irrelevant, she continued with her speech… “My heart is smelting, smelting in love. There is someone, someone very special, someone very sweet, and this delicious human being is very busy sweetening my heart with plenty of love. I am very happy, very happy because my heart is rejoicing, rejoicing in love. But it’s from this same sweet love that I am about to fetch my tears, same sweet love than I am about to find the root of my pain and sorrow.
     This sweet love that is now souring my heart with scarcity of love and plenty of lovelessness; in the first place, my precious tears were involuntarily showering my golden face down to my diamond legs at a very smooth speed and relaxed. Resting on my lover’s chest, crying like a royal baby, a royal baby on the throne of majesty, crying because of wealth and honor, shading tears of glory, what an emotional memory? How romantic? But now I am shading blue tears, my nose is bleeding green blood, I am sweating pink sweat and my wounds are showering my rotten spirit with purple pus. There is nothing red in me, nothing natural and nothing original; everything I see is fake, counterfeit and artificial. This love, this sovereign preference of the soul, my soul preferred someone, but I came to find out that my soul was blind, asleep and drunk. So I made a grave mistake by falling in love, falling in love with someone floating, floating in love, in love with a life jacket. Now I am alone and lonely, sick, tired and starving, starving not from food but love.
     My heart is broken, broken into pieces, and every second this brutal bulldozer is still breaking another piece of my broken heart into further tiny broken pieces. Now I will not only lose my heart, I will also lose my soul and bury my own existence forever. But I can’t allow that to happen, I can’t. The way in is always the way out, there are only four reasons that lead someone to make a move; pain, fear, joy and hope. But fear is desperate. I am moving out of this stinging love because of pain and fear, I will move into love again because of joy and hope. The four reasons are like success and problems. The visible presence of one is an invisible absence of another. If there is something big you can see, know that there is something much bigger that you cannot see because those bigger things are invisible. It’s just like being alive and forgetting the fact that there is death and that it awaits you. One must know that there is a difference between a teacher teaching love and a student learning love; but all in all, experience is the best teacher, and a teacher is the best student if experience has taught him or her well. But fortune favors the daring in case a student is well experienced than a teacher. Then a teacher who is in authority won’t give up because authority favors those in authorities; but then, this is just an alcoholic wisdom which only suits the drunken audience.
     The only thing impossible in this world is to lose what you don’t have. You cannot lose what is not yours. Not everything at hand is ours. Talking of love, such a thing only exist in books and in stories, stories which can only be narrated to mad people and in books which can only be read by the dead. I heard some mad men saying that true love never die, then a moderate fool replied; but it grows old and eventually it dies. Then a wise man passing by concluded the argument; love is a living thing, it’s conceived inside the heart, it grows, it’s delivered, it lives no younger but older, it gets sick, tired, hungry and just like any other living thing on Earth, it dies. And when love is dead, surely it’s dead.
     So love is just love, if it’s there, it’s there; and if it’s not there, it’s not there and there is no way it can be there even if you force it to be there. If love is there, truly it will manifest itself. But if there is no even a smell of it, then there is no way it can be called love. Love is never one sided. Love is always complete. To be complete, love demands two hearts to join forces. The heart of a man is with a half slice of love, the other half is inside a woman’s heart. To make them one, a man and a woman must become one. Love is not a war, so no need of carrying weapons as if you are going for the battle. Love is free will, if someone truly loves you, no worry and no hurry. Surely it will be your portion but don’t sit down there waiting for it. Go out there and grab it. But don’t use force, remember; love is free will. Don’t force someone to love you and don’t push someone who loves you. But if they are making up jams in your heart, you can push all of them out and declare your freedom. Don’t burden your heart with so many hearts. Just one heart is enough for you. The more you accumulate hearts, the more you kill yourself because at the end everyone will demand you. So some will take your head, others will divide your balls, some will take your intestines, some will split your heart and others will end up with only finger nails.
     Truth is not constant, so do love. It’s changing over time. I came to realize that loving someone so much invites calamity and disrespect. Sometimes we love people who has got no knowledge about love and who are not ready even to learn how to love back. We love them, but what do we get in return? Lies, pain, sorrow, tears, betrayal, insults, disrespect and worst of all; silence. Sometimes you can tell someone; I love you, but what do they say back? “Thank you” and they just end it there as if it’s the Devil speaking through them. Why don’t they just say “I love you too” even if they don’t? Do you know how it pains to be rejected? It’s just like being in love with the dead or getting married to someone from another planet, Pluto perhaps. No even hopes of seeing each other even in dreams.
     We either do things for pleasure or reward, there is no third cause. We don’t only love for pleasure; we also love for reward, but what kind of pleasure and reward? Positive, we don’t love to lose, we love to gain. If you’re in love and you don’t see any gain, renew that love. If it’s not dead already, then it must be dying. Sometimes people just blame love for no reason, love is an investment. There’s no way you can open a shop, an empty shop and wait for customers; unless those customers are coming there to buy you, the owner of the shop. It’s just like watching an empty Compact Disk or reading a plain paper; you can’t get anything. People must learn how to enrich their love, they must invest heavily and positively so that in the end, they will yield more.
     Love is not like any other business; it’s very fragile, very emotional, very sentimental, very delicate, very serious and very futuristic to the extent that it must be handled with great care and skills. You mess up once; you destroy everything including the past, the present and the future. You cannot marry a pig and expect a handsome prince out of it. It’s just like getting married to a fish and expects to spend your honeymoon on the land. That will only be possible in the dreamland or in the scientific fiction where everything is possible. You cannot go to bed poor and wake up rich unless you’re a witch.
     Nothing happens without a reason and the reason is the mother of all. Even an idea is an outcome of reasoning and I will love again for a reason. Love is like a bus, if you don’t drive it, someone else will; but watch out, don’t allow someone to eat on your behalf and expect to get full and satisfied. Don’t allow someone to love for you, do it yourself. Love is responsibility; I will be very responsible for this new love I am looking for. I will be very punctual and truly I will fulfill my obligations without delay. But how do I get this new love? Shall I parade myself before all human kind and tell them that I am looking for love? But if that is what it takes, then I am ready for it. I am on a mission, a mission for love; but how do I start? Alright! As far as love is an art, am going to shape it on my own. I’m not looking for an anopheles, I am neither looking for an anopheline relationship nor some mosquitonic union like that of a master mainland and a slave island. What I am looking for is a total freedom, a complete liberty and a full independence of the mind, body and spirit.
     Comrade Thomas Sankara of the then Upper Volta believed that “He who feeds you, controls you”, a belief that consolidated his oriental philosophies and later turned to be the thorn in his own flesh when some demons conquered his temple in 1987. I’m not looking for a wealthy lover because if money is my problem, I could just marry a bank. But this doesn’t mean I’m looking for a poor lover, but at least someone very smart, productive, talented, and conscious. Someone whose heart accommodates none but only mine, I need that kind of a person. I am not looking for someone who will ignore my feelings, someone who will kill my talents and someone who will waste my time. I am not looking for someone who will take away my freedom of worship because faith is more private than…thaaaaa…”

*****
     She was mute, silence, speechless and never finished her last sentence. I thought she fell asleep because of talking so many words without taking a break and now she got tired. I never knew she was dead already. As I was waiting for her to complete her sentence, she never did. I remained there with my right ear over her dead lips but I couldn’t hear anything. Her sweet lips started changing and her face turned bizarre. At that time I came to realize that death is very ugly and scary. I fainted only to wake up the next morning, as the shades of darkness were departing through the walls, all the other patients in that ward were also dead but their relatives took them that very moment before doctors arrived. Around 10:00 A.M two doctors and three nursing officers arrived, everything in the hospital was messed up; the psychopaths broke the doors of their ward and destroyed almost everything. They killed their matron and at that time they were heading to the women’s ward. But that was not my business because how can all the staff desert such an important social institution and head out for the birthday party?
     That day I came to the conclusion that the spirit of death is never a friend and it’s not someone to bargain or reconcile with. It didn’t even hold it for her to tell me where she kept her ATM Card and the password. Such a greedy death, she lectured me the whole night listening to her underworld experiences only to die in the morning without even brushing her teeth. Who will kiss her in the afterlife? Will the preacher say that God loved her so much than I do? Death is not fair at all.
     In this life, it doesn’t matter what you possess, whether you own Taj Mahal, Great Pyramid of Giza, Colosseum, Chichen Itza, Machu Pichu, Christ the Redeemer, Petra, Great wall of China or even the Eiffel Tower; death awaits. Sometimes it’s up to you whether you belong to the highly expensive Freemasonry, the Bavarian Illuminati, the Yale’s Skull and Bones or the 1966’s Church of Satan; death has got no versions. You either live for nothing or die for something.
     An old man realized that all this time he was talking to himself, children were sleeping, he never mind, to him, it was much better to tell a story to a frozen audience than lecturing philosophers with the sleeping mind. He enjoyed much talking even though no one was listening, because he believed that this world is full of souls, if those inside the bodies cannot listen, then the bodiless does bravely. To him, he was always not alone, whenever he altered a word; he believed that there is always someone somewhere listening. That’s why you could find him lecturing empty halls, going to church in the middle of the night, or when he felt tired; you could find him reading plain papers or watching empty CDs.
     He died several times but when people tried to bury him, he was seen busy serving people with food and showing the guests where to stay, sometimes even leading them to the room where the deceased used to live. Most of the time people ran and deserted the casket at the cemetery when they discovered that he was always helping them carry his own coffin. He could die even twice or thrice a year, and sometimes all pregnant women in town could give birth to him at the same time. Sometime you could find him everywhere at the same time, that’s why they called him omnipresent superhuman; sometimes an old man, sometimes a little boy, sometimes an African, sometimes European. He was too talkative, unlike his brothers; he was always narrating stories to his great grand children, some of whom were believed to be him.  He enjoyed much eating boiled sweet potatoes and condensed milk, but he loved women too, because he enjoyed sucking their breasts and kissing their thighs. Sometimes you could find him talking nonsense, but he was very clever in employing figures of speech. For a woman ignorant of missionary love, he was always the best choice, but he never loved anyone; except potatoes and condensed milk. That’s him, an old man.

CHAPTER 3

     Good things never last, a man was made to live forever, but an old serpent did not allow that to come to pass. Doctors and nurses rushed in; one nurse was carrying a tray full of syringes and tablets, the other two in gloves were busy preparing to carry the dead body. The other guy in white coat with the Stethoscope around his neck told them to take the body straight to the mortuary. I waited for them to carry the body but they never did, instead they carried me, they thought I was dead but I was very alive, a mockery to the profession! While all these were happening, my four eyes were wide open like those of a dead housefly. I was breathing but no one noticed. Even that guy with the Stethoscope didn’t discover that my pure heart was beating. I don’t know whether he was carrying it for show off or he was a real hell of a professional. They took me to the mortuary and left me there with the mortuary attendant to take good care of me. The keeper of the chapel of rest stared at me straight to the eye and told me “hey dead man, why are you looking at me huh? Close those big eyes of yours before I smash them, you got the money?
     In the mortuary only the dead rich men and women receives special treatment”. As he was still lecturing me, another body entered; it was her, the lady queen of mine. The mortuary man asked the nurse, hey, what killed this beautiful angel? The nurse replied, internal bleeding. The nurse left. Now it was just between the three of us in the mortuary. It took the mortuary man three seconds only to jump out of his trousers, his cock very black like the back of a lung fish, very huge like a clay yam, towering the sky high like the tower of Babylon, crowing like a rooster, roaring like a hungry lion; he pulled off that gown and the dead waist could no longer hide. I don’t know whether the dead Sophia was aware of what was happening to her bowels, but the way she was twisting her waist, as if she was very alive.
     The blood was coming out through all the holes in the body, but that didn’t seem to be the threat to the mortuary man. He continued to push it like a mad bull making love to a baby goat, he pushed and pushed and pushed, he pushed again and again; I heard a sound of a trumpet from the back of the dead lady. As he was traveling through the valley of death, his poor penis strong like a crane was discharging blood like a river mouth pouring its water into the ocean. When he finished his mission possible, now the impossibility was to withdraw his stupid cock out of her. When he tried, he came to realize that his cock has grown dramatically to the extent of measuring almost half a kilometer long. He was moving in reverse till he found himself outside the premises of the hospital. A team of professional surgeons sent by the Ministry of Health alleviated the shame, on that day his manhood was slew in public and he died forty minutes later. A lesson of the year, even Beelzebub himself was shocked by the news.

*****
     In those wicked days when professionals thought that I was dead, I was somehow dead. I can’t really tell how I got out of the mortuary but I just remember how that stupid idiot raped my virgin Sophia before my very eyes. What I can remember vividly is what happened two days before the death of my lady queen.
     It was on Sunday, on that very day the weather was a bit windy and dusty. It was still in the morning, a decemberish breeze hit the windows and it was cool inside that I felt the need to hug someone. At that time to rape someone in my country was not a crime. But inside that lonely house who could I rape? No woman, no ghost, nor even a lady monster to come at my rescue. A man in the neighborhood that lived next door shouted as if he knew my needs; hey jungle boy? You need a woman? There are so many of them down the streets of Romata, or else why don’t you find a bitch or a duck or a monkey or a donkey or a cow or a sheep? They are easy going, free and romantic too. At that time I felt the presence of an alien fragrance near the door. In a twinkling of an eye I heard a knock on the door; I rushed from the room where I was looking outside through the window. I opened the door and behold! A beautiful, tall, black, dreaded sexy lady was standing right before me with her arms akimbo. Because of her dreads and her body structure, I thought I was watching a thriller movie. She pushed me back and I fell on the bed, what happens between a man and a woman happened. She was one of my ex-girlfriends, she came back from abroad that very morning and she made me her breakfast…mmmh! Bed breakfast, how sweet?
     Anita Martin she was called, the most hottest young juicy girl in the whole terrestrial globe; imagine a poor man like me ending up with such a top ranking girl in town, is that not a blessing? We went to the bathroom to take shower, oh my goodness! What a beautiful view? A true image of God taking shower with me, oh my Black G! Sometimes in life there are some precious moments that suppose not to end, we wish we could have them each and every day, but good time always doesn’t come all the time. We took our daily bread and went on an out of city vacation; the aim was to restore our former glory and a total renewal of our love.
     On our way out, we met Sophia who was also on her way to my place. Her intention was to make things right with me; she was the one I promised to marry. But she caught me blue handed with another woman, so now that the true owner is back, the true thief is also back and very ready to legalize her theft. For the sake of love and the promise I made to her, I told Anita to stop the car. That was the greatest mistake I ever made. Anita was not happy, she didn’t like it, first she just finished milking me few minutes ago, secondly; she is my ex-girlfriend and third; she is the one taking care of the bills, and even the car was hers. She swallowed her pride and glued her mouth. Sophia walked majestically towards Anita’s brand new Mercedes Benz, WOW! She wondered. Is this your car? She asked,
---No, I replied.
---OK, don’t mind, so where are you guys heading? Are you going to the beach or to screw the bitch?
---Sophia what’s wrong with you? I asked in bold tone. I knew she was up to something, she roared… “Hey Rastafarian do you remember me?” Anita jumped out of the car and cut her short.
---How can I forget huh? The monster who feeds on her own intestines, a serpent who will do whatever it takes to put on shoes, how can I?
     For sure at that very time Anita was really mad, the way she was yelling as if her mouth was shooting out magic popcorn. Sophia was still standing there as firm as an electric pole, speechless with her face down like the hanging gardens of Babylon. Anita continued to roar like a thunder and all the time her dreads turned over and over like the manes of the great Kansil Lion. I just decided to stay calm and watched the show, you know the women’s fight should be refereed by women alone, so I was just coaching them to continue with their oral battle; Mongrel on Mongrel, till Charon arrives. All the time Anita continued showering Sophia with the rain of words; her brand new Benz was getting rusty from the vibes of her bigger bums, her face turned bizarre. I knew she was about to make a scene as she was busy doing bizarreries. They continued exchanging hot words for almost half an hour. Let me tell you something about women. Throughout their lifetime, women don’t enjoy their beauty; even if they have bigger bums like those of an Elephant, only men have got the rights to properly utilize them. Both Sophia and Anita were perfectly created.
     The combination of properly shaped convex hips, round lips, spongy cheeks, concave waist, giraffe neck, sharp breast, soft thighs like aloe lotion and attractive fleshy calves like the bottle of Champagne from North East France. The chemistry was awesome. Their tenderness, their glamour and their splendor attracted my consciousness and I came to realize that both of them were weighing equally in my heart; but as usual, good things don’t last long; even the trees shouted when Anita aimed a revolver and pulled that trigger without hesitation; seven bullets found refuge deep inside Sophia’s breast and scattered her left mammary gland. Her heart wanted to stop beating but I think it didn’t because of her beauty. She was so beautiful that even the spirit of death felt shy to take her soul at the moment. Even the heavens were sad; the Prince of darkness himself was shocked by the breaking news. She managed to survive for twelve hours before resting in pain; very pathetic. That is how she perished. The sound of her voice in the middle of the night, singing the song we sang together; the lyrics of happiness, that very chorus she loved so much was penetrating deed inside my heart...

I’ll be shining like a morning star;
I’ll be like a summer burning
I’ll be the wanted, I’ll be the hunted
I’ll be legend here at home and far,
I’ll be the leading in the morning
Coz’ am addicted, coz’ am a gifted

I feel the Rolfing love, I feel the Rolfing love
I feel the Rolfing love, the summer burning

When she told me that she fell in love;
I thought it was a joke, it was a fun
But when I started loving her, the summer burning
When she told me that she loves me;
I thought it was a joke, it was a fun
But when I woke up loving her, the summer burning

I feel the Rolfing love, I feel the Rolfing love
I feel the Rolfing love, the summer burning
She gonna make it to the coup d’├ętat;
Coz’ of her love I give a warning
We do the wicked, we do the wicked
When am in love I am a Kung-Fu star,
No mess around I give a warning
Coz’ am addicted, coz’ am a gifted

I feel the Rolfing love, I feel the Rolfing love
I feel the Rolfing love, the summer burning

I was really feeling the Rolfing love, deep down the bottom of my heart, just like the summer fire, I was burning in love. It was this time that I remembered my audience, my humble frozen audience who normally pays attention when I’m done talking.
Children, are you there?
--- No, we are not
Where are you?
--- We are sleeping.
I see, but I wonder who is answering, he must be dreaming loudly. Now wake up and brush your teeth, it’s dawning, find something to break your fast before killing yourselves with gastric ulcers, or else you’ll suffer from gastric flu and die in two minutes. Children hurried and rushed into the kitchen; after some minutes they gathered again for a story... At this juncture His Majesty the King was really enjoying, this is what he wanted, to hear the narratives from an old man. While there at the pavilion, he heard the hissing sound, he thought of a reptile that hisses. A snake, O’ yes, a snake is a reptile that hisses. And what is a snake doing there at the pavilion especially at that particular time in the night? When he turned around, he saw the face of a woman, a naked woman; she has been there for three days and two nights. During the day, she turned herself into a house, at night; she was nothing but a hissing sound that goes around the streets terrifying the neighborhood.
     The woman asked the King, “What really do you like from the stories narrated by that old man? Why don’t you stay in your palace and enjoy the loyalty from your subordinates?”
---Subordinates?
---Yes, your subordinates.
---Come to plain words, give me your meaning.
---Do I need to remind you Mr. President?
---What?
---Surprised? Don’t you remember me? Take a close look Mr. David Coin.
---So this one decided to speak, who are you? Reveal yourself now?
---Come on sweetheart?  Relax, enjoy the show. An old man knows exactly who you are, and that’s why he’s not letting you near him. If you want your life back, an old man must die. But he is very tricky; he can’t just die like a sheep. I am the only person who can help you in this. Believe me, this time he will die for sure, you just need to relax and wait, time will tell.
     So the King waited for the fullness of time, but an old man was not ordinary, he already knew that there was someone at the pavilion, and that was the reason as to why he kept on switching stories, sometimes narrating nonsense to those little kids. Seeing so, an old man continued, but he knew what was about to happen. Children did not notice; they just wanted a story with a happy ending. Optimistic!

CHAPTER 4

     The world belongs to someone else and we are just buying some time and go on our way. If we want to live an immortal life, we should walk out of our mortal bodies. Those were the words of Miss Sophia Herman Tungi, a Suligy by tribe; twenty five years old, one hundred and seventy centimeters tall, a PhD Student from Jonathan Tafreg Memorial University. She died with her beauty and her library; the one and only learned daughter of a poor peasant Herman Tungi, a country man who sold everything including himself for his daughter to go to school. Now his dream has been summarized by Anita who shot his daughter Sophia to death. Poor man Tungi wept day and night, nobody asked why there was no dust in his compound during that dusty time of the year. The answer was obvious; he cried day and night and his tears showered the whole place.
     What happened to Anita Martin and where is she? Back then only a new born baby could ask such a question. Everybody in town and in the outskirts of Romata Metropolis knew that prison was her honey pot and all the police men in town were her ex-customers back then during the days she was working as a harlot in Port Anipi, the capital of Nopinia, the most luxurious city on Earth. Rumors have it that she even managed to milk the police commissioner in his office. What name people didn’t call her? She was a snake incarnate, a devil incarnate, a monster incarnate, a hyena incarnate and all the incarnate in the world. Back then even the sperms inside my scrotum cried in pain when I was making love to her because they knew that I was wasting them to that sex worker, that call girl, that tart, that pro, that moll, that tom, that renter, that hooker, that scarlet, that strumpet, that harlot, that trollop, that wench, that woman of ill repute, that member of the oldest profession.
     One day she told me that she is allergic to condoms and that she is a strong believer in natural procedures. I asked her a simple question; “do you think that my penis is a sugarcane?” she turned her back on me and left me there naked; the problem was my suggestion of using spoon while she hate steel on the table, we broke up! She worked with Natty Lumen Studio as the Marketing Director for two months before towering to the Managing Director of a prestigious Alexander Zubek & Wives Limited; a company that was very famous for its production of drones, domestic robots and test-tube babies.
     She was a distinguished computer programmer and a professional Saleswoman of her time. Many days passed, the last time I saw her face was on a television; she appeared on some breaking news on RBC (Romata Broadcasting Corporation), since then she is only living in memories. The spirit of Sophia kept on appearing to me in dreams and other days in real life. You know my chest is not a warehouse so I told one of my best friends this story. His name was William Little Feng, the man told me to go and confess all my sins in the church. I told him “thoughts well received”. My sister Natasha telephoned me that very day; she told me that she was due to visit Romata very early that morning, so I scheduled for her pickup from The Philip Kassorobo International Airport, around 10:30A.M she arrived from The Yellow Dove Island.
     So, I postponed all my timetables and escorted her to the State House; the Yellow House sent her as a special envoy; with her was my cousin Jesus Eduardo who was the Secretary of Defense. At that time the diplomatic relations between Romata Metropolis, Nopinia and The Yellow Dove Island were deteriorating and the possibility of the World War Three was evident. So peace at any price was declared a human right. Republic of Nopinia declared a state of emergency and all the armed forces led by General Zablon Papers were marching across the streets of Port Anipi and Senoburg preparing for any war in the near future.
     So, the other day I went to see a man of God, I met this self acclaimed Vice Jesus on Earth, His Lordship Prophet Alexander Sango, the Archbishop of Purity Church Worldwide. Such a man of celestial rank, his belly swollen by over consumption of the church finances, a man who blesses paper money and curses coin; was such a man to lay his filthy hands over my head? Before reaching the Pastor’s office, I diverged and went back home.
     That very day I didn’t sleep, the spirit of Sophia came, her breast was full of blood and she was standing like a tree at the left corner of the room, her face in a great melancholy. She mentioned my name in a very romantic tone, “Nicholas” “Hug me please”; you know in such a moment I thought it was merely a dream but actually it was real. They say that you cannot touch a spirit, but some spirits appears in human form and in human body. Sophia was very real. It was her, but how come a person dead and buried already come back to life? Is she a Zombie or a Vampire? In a twinkling of an eye, the whole room was as bright as paradise, the aroma was very pleasant, and the scent of Arabian deodorant cherished my nostrils. For sure when dead men tell no tales, dead women tell some stories. My pants and my pajamas were already down on the floor. My bed turned shiny as a heap of diamond on a floor of mirrors. Such a precious room only immortals would dare say no and live.
     We were as two hours old married couple, we made love that very night; what could I do, if she came all along from the grave to my bedroom; how could I refuse just an ordinary simple human being like me?, a man who have got no even a cupful of magic powers in me. How could I dare say no? My case was different from that of a crazy mortuary man, that one was rape, this one I don’t know how to call it; was she the one who raped me or what? Anyway, what happened is what happened, let’s forget about that. That night I felt very special, she treated me very handsomely. But when I woke up in the morning, Sophia was nowhere to be seen, I was just alone, just me and my nakedness; my lips very bitter as if I just finished eating a poison ivy. I was at the cemetery, on top of Sophia’s tombstone. I shouted like a mad bitch raped by a giant donkey from Jupiter, nobody responded even by an insult.
     I felt very bad, at that time I just wanted to see someone, I turned around only to see columns and rows of graves written on top of them “Newton Papers, born 1776 died 1961, Hon. Philip Kassorobo (MP), born 1500 died 1995” and many others. I shouted again, this time like a hungry Bush Baby. I was very surprised by the years on the tombstone of Honorable Kassorobo; I remembered his story, my grandma told me that he was the oldest mankind ever lived on Earth since the beginning of the middle ages of the old testament era. He was a very famous Champagne Politician, he lived a very wealthy and luxurious lifestyle, but he died like an orphan dog. He tricked people with stupid promises, he told them that he was a man chosen by God to save the poor from their misery, so the poor ignorant citizen voted for him, and in the end this stupid blind dog barked at them when people were crying for help.
     He was nothing but a political entrepreneur of his time, milking citizens like cows, banning other political parties and glorifying his one and only NPRD (National Party for Radical Development) There was no hospitals, no medical supplies, no clean water, no teachers, no tarmac roads, no schools, no shoes, no clothes, no food, no better housing, no justice, no equality, no democracy, no money and everything good for the common people was not there. Grandma said that it was the reign of “Vote for me and see you next term”, all the politicians lived in the capital Romata; there they got all the insurances even for their pets. Back then in the countryside, school children were sitting on stones and mad bricks. All the princes and princesses of the wealthy politicians studied abroad; many went to Upper Kansil University in Yellow Dove Island which produced Doctors, only few went to Jonathan Tafreg Memorial University in Ghost Island, a three millennia old institute that enrolled only top ranking brave handsomest and cutest students with very rare aptitudes on Earth. Tafreg produced wizards and witches of the first order. The Federal University of Nopinia in Port Anipi produced Engineers. Those of men like me went to a nearby Suligy Bush College which produced Teachers. In that college, you will find a very irrelevant lecturer lecturing a very irrelevant course to very irrelevant students in a very irrelevant environment.
     All that time I was struggling to get the hell out of cemetery, I just wanted to reach home without being seen because I was naked. It was in the morning, I hustled till evening to reach the main gate of the cemetery. Nobody showed up and so I showed up to nobody. I was very hungry, I wanted to dig even a grave and eat the bums of the dead inside, but I was not having even a hoe. Later in the evening I managed to walk out of the cemetery, I was still naked; my cock was swinging like mangoes on a mango tree during the windy season. I didn’t follow the highway because with those traffic lights, people could think that I’m a wizard or the spirit of Kassorobo hunting for more votes.
     From the cemetery to my yard was almost ten miles, when I got there, I saw many of them. They were my neighbors, the police and their sirens. Everyone was barking like dogs in heat period; they broke my wooden door thinking that I committed suicide inside my room. They said that they haven’t seen me coming out of the room for two weeks now since I got in. You know, to beat up good people that is violence, but to beat up scoundrels, that is justice. How can someone just watch over my ways and my life day and night? Don’t they have anything to do with their worthless life?
     Reaching near the compound, I robed a lady passing by and took her wrapper. The lady shouted as she was chasing me from the back yelling “give me back my wrapper you madman, you want to rape me? Can’t you see am naked? Give me back my wrapper you thief…” she was about to call the police, so I dropped her wrapper and roared “arrrrr!” “You girls of nowadays, why do you tie only a single wrapper in the streets? You want us to rape you in broad daylight? Is your Chicken brain under your armpit? Hey you mellow fellow, do you think that the police will come to help you when the spear of my forefathers will be tearing your dirty clitoris apart?”
     She collected her wrapper and left with her little buttocks counting one two, one two, one two… Reaching the house; dogs, cats and even chickens were mourning; but because I was naked, everybody ran away. Nobody remained there; even the police commissioner disappeared in the thin air. They thought I was either a ghost or a madman who wanted to rape all of them, they left me there and I rushed into the house to put on clothes; the house was empty.
     Let me tell you something about this life my friend, do not under no any circumstances underestimate the power of a common man, the power of a man who have got nothing to lose, the power of a man who gives no shit. This life has got no proper definition, so don’t just laugh at someone you don’t know where he is coming from or where he is going. But let me remind you again, don’t say I am confused with my house of broken hearts, no; am just worried that this might happen to you. These beautiful girls we meet on the way, some are just calamities, not every shape is worthy of love, some are just make-ups. Don’t say I am jealous of that sweetheart of yours.
     Sometimes I keep on asking myself these little questions, what could have happened to the world if there could be no such things like love or emotions? And why did God decided to let such a powerful being like Satan to dwell among us in this little planet? Is God of nowadays on a vacation or he is just tired of us? Can’t we live without governments? Is it true that crimes are there because of the law or the law is there because of the criminals? Is poverty the curse from God or just the weaknesses of mankind?
     In this world, there are so many answers than the questions, the problem is that, we ask wrong questions to wrong people; but this is only because the right people are nowhere to be found, and this is why we end up getting the wrong answers. It’s just the garbage in, the garbage out. In this bright future, we must know people. The world is working with the connected ones, those papers counts no more. Remember, no boss in the world who enjoys paying salaries to his workers, so just don’t stay long in subordination. Create your own job, build your own office and be the boss of your own. ---“but grandpa we are still little kids, how can we create our own jobs? Is that not child labor that is against the law?” Asked the children, “The law doesn’t bring food on the table, it is there on the pages kept away from the reach of children, Jesus begun his mission when he was still a little boy; so was that not child labor? If you wait for the law to do everything for you, you will surely die thin like a toothpick, he who doesn’t work must not eat, remember?” yeah Grandpa, applauded the children.
     The government has got no children, so do not consider yourselves the children of the government. You’re the mother and the father of your own, the government is your own brain, use it and you will rule the world. Thank you grandpa! The children added the logs on the fire and waited for their grandpa to proceed with the thrilling story. The grandpa continued...
     These days what makes man a man is not his manhood but his wallet and his face is the constitution of his own government, if someone do you wrong or tell you the naked truth you hate to hear, then your reaction will determine how stupid or wiser you are. If you want to know the other side of your friend, and then just do him wrong, you will hear how rotten you are inside him or her. But I’m not telling you to do your friend any wrong, just do him good for the time being. The spirit of vengeance is always from the other side. Just wait for the time because the time is always on time; and when time comes, light will be separated from darkness forever. Our friends are always our half enemies, we must be much classified.

*****
     In those days when I went back home naked, terrible things happened; I was shocked the same way someone may be shocked after seeing the Devil reading the Holy Bible. I smashed the door and rushed inside quickly just like the penis of a rapist. There was nothing inside; I waved my right hand in front of my face, right-left, right-left, I was not dreaming; I was not sleeping either, I was very conscious. Many years passed as if they were really passing, but they were not; I stood there holding the frames of the messed-up door for about fifteen minutes which is about three days in modern mathematics. I was busy calculating the summation of emptiness, the tentacles of nothingness, that house was not empty at all. It was full of bizarreries; that house needed a professional mender of broken hearts, though some broken hearts never mend, but at least the heart of the living, not the dead.
     Entire room was very scary, distant sexy noises could be heard from one corner, as if there was a woman being screwed on the floor, I asked myself “how can a man satisfy the desires of the dead?, can it be possible that the spirit of Sophia is still hunting me?” at that moment I felt very strange; I trembled from the cranium down the toes, I felt her presence from my neurons. The taste of her lips reached my shivering tongue; as if I was leaking a sweet, there was something hissing like a snake inside my mouth, but it was very salivary and very smooth. My mouth just opened itself and this strange object was making me feel like I’m making love to someone I love the most.
     While still wondering what it was, someone was massaging my thighs and my back, I almost reached orgasm and she manifested herself in human form; it was her again. I knew it from the very beginning. She was seducing me with her tongue, she wanted me to leak it; I asked her “are you not dead? You want me to leak your tongue?” she replied; you have leaked it already, why now afraid to leak it again? What? I shouted, who are you? I asked because I was seeing a very old woman with very long hairs and legs of an Ass like the story of King Solomon and Queen Sheba of Kush on the floor of glass.
     About twenty minutes later she turned very young and very tender, she looked very gorgeous than ever before. She told me that if it was not because of Anita and her fury of dilapidation, everything could be just fine now. She told me to calm down. Where are we? I asked, don’t worry my dear, we are under the ocean, it’s much safer here than out there in your world. She replied; but it was just like an imagination.
     Can you take me back to my world? I asked, why? Don’t you like it here? Oh! You are hungry right? I’ll bring you my delicious dish sweetheart; she walked out. So I did calm down and waited for the dish. She brought four jars full of blood and a slice of human flesh. It tasted very salty, but as I continued to eat, I came to realize that there is nothing more delicious on Earth like the flesh of mankind. The blood was still hot, she told me that those were taken from the very recent accidents; they were still full of life, very sweet, very yummy!
     I waited for so long to see the sunlight, so long to hear the cock crowing, so long to feel thirsty again, so long to starve; all the time it was dark and it never seem to dawn. The keeper of the underworld, Lucifer himself was having a birthday party, so all the agents from every corner of the universe attended. I saw so many people; even the big boss was there, almost three quarter of the famous wealthy politicians from Romata and Yellow Dove Island were there. Businessmen and women, celebrities and the so called men of God, both of them were there; it was on Friday, the day of the goddess Frig. I tried so hard to get the hell out of there but I couldn’t see any door or window; I just moved from here to there without even reaching the walls. I cried and cried and cried; when I was tired, she came and asked me “if you go back to your world now, will you continue loving me” “Yes, yes, yes” are you sure? “Sure, sure, sure” I replied quickly. So she let me out and it was still dark. I found myself at the road junction.
     This time I was not naked, so I just followed the highway to my home; I met a certain harlot near the brothel, she knew me very well, I have seen her before with Anita, so she came over and hugged me… “Nicholas, where have you been? Anita came here about ten years ago looking for you, do you know what happened?” I don’t know, so tell me…“She died in a car accident last summer, but rumors have it that those found in a wreck were all men, so that means there is a possibility that she is alive”. What is the day today anyway? “Today is October 04, 1990”, “October what? Don’t tell me that I have been living under the ocean all these years?” What? She was surprised; I left her there and walked away.
     I went back to that very house, but this time it was not empty; everything was there. But for sure everything was strange, those days at the cemetery; I can remember that it was on Valentine’s Day, it was on Thursday, February 14, 2030. But again today is Thursday, October 04, 1990? What is wrong with the calendar? Is this life going backward? Am I in a time machine or what? Nobody responded to neither of my questions, I prepared my dinner and called it the day; I was very tired, I slept that night like a log, I even forgot to lock the door; it was terrible!
     Let me tell you something, it’s much better to go to bed knowing how you will begin the new day, don’t live as if there is no tomorrow; but consider every day to have dawned as your last. Do not be afraid of Death, if you think much of it, you won’t be able even to brush your teeth. Just live as if you are an immortal. Don’t think of Graves and Coffins.
     Grandpa you’re scaring us, we all know that death is the punishment from God for those who goes against his commands, now you’re telling us not to worry? Grandpa, grandpa tell us, why? Are we not gonna die? Asked the children in great melancholy; who told you that children are not dying? Just live a clean life and wait for your death. What about the judgment day? Only the dead can testify and answer that question. Go to sleep now huh? It’s too late, aren’t you afraid of the giant mosquitoes? But children insisted the story to be told. Tell us more; tell us more grandpa, tell us about what happened, and so an old man continued...

CHAPTER 5

     Let me tell you one thing my grand children, everyone in this world is a thief, even you, and you, and you, and you. Tell me something if I may ask, is there anybody who came from the womb with something at hand? Apart from the cries for milk and when you want to poop or wee; with the exception of inherent abilities and divine aptitude granted by the gods themselves, is there anyone, son or daughter of either a woman or some sort of laboratory experiments, who can claim the ownership of anything under the sun? Whether you keep quiet or no, the answer is NO ONE.
     We are all thieves; even the government itself is also doing the same business, stealing, either from the nature, or from the citizens. It’s just a matter of names, this one a tax, and this one a bride price; that one a tithe and the other one a bill, so many names but the same thing; this one a tax collector, that one a preacher, this one an in-law, the other one Mr. Blaa Blaa. If you’re not a thief, then you’re in the wrong venue, a loser!
      Many days passed as those horrible memories perished, to find Anita was the only mission in my head; so one morning I woke up from that lonely house, the house that chased away my guests; I was alone and the only friend of mine was a man on the radio; the message from the song reminded me of so many things:

Bones for poor flesh for rich, take your water am not a fish,
Don’t forget this in your speech, am still a poor man
They say we have many parks, they say we have many trees,
They say we have many mines, am still a poor man

Children are sitting on stones, neither chair nor desk in school
And your promise better life; am still a poor man
In the North is Afro top, in the East Erythraean Sea
Inland we have many lakes, am still a poor man

Graduates don’t have a job, in the office all your friends,
And you want my vote again, am still a poor man
Marijuana is what you see, but corruption down your feet,
In the school they are selling names, am still a poor man

Suddenly it was silent, the man on the radio stopped; I knew that those guys who wakes up early in the morning, saying goodbye to their wives that they are leaving for the office to find for them their daily bread; for sure they were at work. Their job was to cut off the power whenever they felt to do so; at the end of the month, they got paid for causing loss to people’s economy. Life without electricity means death, but to them it was a way of living. They belonged to the twelve century before Christ, but I wondered who gave them such a position in that high time of modernity.
     That early morning I woke up from my rags and my intuition told me to go to a witch doctor to find Anita. I knew the ways of the witch doctor and how they do their things; I brushed my forty teeth and took shower, then I prepared my breakfast. On the table there was a plate full of Mesopotamian worms, a bowl of Nubian cockroaches and a glass of Hippo’s milk from Hiddekel. That was my favorite dish, so I really enjoyed; it was yummy. When I finished, I closed the windows and shut the door; as I was leaving the house, reaching outside the gate, I saw someone with a very unusual stature; a man with a round face like an ancient Ethiopian Chapatti, a very big nose like an old pumpkin from the Great Zimbabwe, big jaws like those of King Kong, very old like the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro, an irregular head like sweet potatoes from Deutsch-Ostafrika, but short like the Mbuti of Zaire.
     I asked for his identity; hey tall boy, what are you? Lost Tourist? What is your name? “Atido”, my name is Atido Tungi, the younger brother of Sophia Herman Tungi. What? What have you just said? Don’t tell me that you’re my in-law, are you? “Yes, I am” the tall boy replied. Oh! If you may excuse me, I was just on my way to the shrine, I hope you won’t mind if you join me; he agreed and we left the civilization.
     On our way the tall boy asked me so many questions, every three paces, he stopped and asked a question till we were about to reach the shrine. When we reached there, the tall boy was nowhere to be seen, he disappeared. I was very shocked, I almost fainted; I decided to return home, I just forgot about seeing the witch doctor and told myself to find a very powerful Pastor to come and anoint my house and cast out all the magic spells and demons.
     On Thursday morning of February 14, 2002; a man of God visited my house, this one was Pastor Richard Ganji of Devotion Ministries International, and he came with his wife Mrs. Maria Latina. The couple prayed for about half an hour and the house disappeared. They told me that it was never there; they said that when they reached there, what they saw was the belly of the beast. So this time that my house is gone, where am I going to live? I asked them; my son, don’t you worry, Jesus is your new home, and you’re welcome.
     They left me there with a very welcoming note, “if you’re done with the goodbyes, come to the church, your Valentine awaits”.  It took me hours to try forgetting the names of my history makers, names like Sophia and Anita. I even blamed myself for inviting that Pastor and his wife; maybe they envied my house and so they tricked me with their magic and stole my house. I decided to look for another powerful man of God; so I wondered the whole Romata. I even went back to the brothel and coincidentally I met Anita there. She was very sick, I took her to the nearby dispensary and she died there from Falciparum Malaria.
     For sure life in Romata was very tough at the time; many citizens emigrated from that armpit of the Planet to the Republic of Nopinia where life was very expensive but at least affordable especially in some places like Winners Island and Senoburg. To live in the capital Port Anipi was almost impossible to the lower class. Many went to Yellow Dove Island, I decided to go to Port Anipi because my friend Professor Nguru was also living there, somebody told me to go to Yellow Dove but I really wanted to enjoy the beauty of Nopinia; the beaches, women, night clubs and national parks all in the capital.
     My boyhood friend President David Coin was in power, so Nopinia was a perfect place for me. Life in Romata remained a history; such a wicked nation was only suitable for corrupt politicians like Kassorobo and men of God like Sango and Ganji. I left the country for good that summer, it was much better because everything turned to be a thorn in the flesh. Living in such a house of broken hearts was not good for me. As I was leaving, my long time friend Nzaly Kasisi telephoned me, he was also moving to Nopinia, he came with his Hammer, so we travelled together.
     The shades of darkness were getting closer, and birds of prey were coming out from their nests; the ugly face of an Eagle Owl scared other birds, the sky turned red as the Sun was hurrying to hide, another phase of the day was spreading its tentacles as the darkness was knocking at the western gates of the heaven. We were running out of gas and there was no any fuelling station in the vicinity. We were in the middle of the jungle; we packed the car amid the road in order to lesser the danger of getting bitten by the mythical winged snakes.
     My Grandma told me that once upon a time there was a tribe, they lived in the jungle, they worshiped winged snakes and they sacrificed virgin girls, twins and Albinos for the reptiles in order to please them. The rituals went hand in hand with the ‘Gadubadu’, this was the initiation ceremony where a barren woman was brought to a village square and then raped to death by all uncircumcised men who were then getting circumcised during the funeral of the barren woman.
     In order to become a full member of the tribe, men were required to steal from the nearby villages, kidnap fifty children each week, rape ten women each day and kill a hundred lions each month for good two years. The tribe came to be known as “the tribe of the thieves” due to their routine robbery and accumulation of wealth, the tradition that was passed from one generation to the next through deoxyribonucleic acid.
     During the colonial invasion of Rolmaghata, the native name for the modern Romata, the colonial Police force killed the Chief of the tribe after his refusal to surrender the village to the colonialists. His private soldiers were said to invade the city during the night and kidnapped the Governor; in the morning all the police were naked and tied at the town square, all women and children were forced to flog them to death and their corpses were thrown into a lion’s den.
     Back then Romata was not a place to colonize; the Suligy Militia was very active and strong, they used threats and coercion when peace talks failed and sometimes they used magic when democracy failed and they were ready to die for their country rather than surrendering to an invading army. They maintained their strength for centuries until they were ruined from within by the puppets. Many were captured and hanged to death during the second colonial invasion of Rolmaghata. Some were roasted and served as lunch to Missionaries while others were taken as slaves to work in the plantations and mines in Ghost Island.
     Few of them escaped and turned back to the jungle, some into the caves and others disappeared to nowhere. The colonial government changed the country from Rolmaghata (the Land of Winged Snakes) to Romata (Rule of Masters and the Abactors), the colonial motto which meant Slavery and Theft. The Governor was lost forever, his body was never found; some said that the Militia used his head to please the reptiles, his hind and fore limbs for firewood and the rest for the god of vengeance (Tamaroo) to avenge the death of their Chief. Grandma also told me that during the Gadubadu virgin girls prepared to be sacrificed were forced to sing the goodbye song which left the audience in tears. Before they were into the bellies of the Mega Snakes, the girls sang this song of great sadness...

Will you be pleased, if you swallow me?
Are you not so big to feed on me?
I’m just a little, take a look at me
O mighty winged; have mercy on me

If no other choice, so take me now
Come and rejoice, my humble vow
Don’t dry my voice, so let me bow
O mighty winged; have mercy on me

After the song, the winged snakes appeared and swallowed them all, and then they disappeared and waited till the next year to reappear. Years passed and then in the end, men started sleeping with their daughters and some even impregnated them only to save them from the snakes. Rolmaghata was a Hell on Earth Country by then. Sometimes the people thanked the colonialists for eradicating those wicked filthy cultural practices; but the new God from Europe only favored the Europeans and their fellow White men from Asia and America. My Grandma told me so many stories about the history of this country, the nature of mankind and how this world came into existence. But my friend was already afraid of the winged snakes, so he told me never to continue narrating to him again. It was already late, despite of tinted windows; we saw giant mosquitoes flying over and above the Hammer. They were the ones that cause Yellow fever, Malaria and Dengue. That meant to get out of the car was fetching one’s own death. The jungle was scary, very scary. We were worried about our lives and our car, the story of the winged snakes and the tribe of the thieves made it even scarier than before.
     After seven minutes of absolute silence, I heard something from the distance; it was the voice of a man calling from the wilderness, my friend was asleep already, I woke him up, a hyena laughed, then an Owl, then followed by footsteps of a very tall, dreaded men; walking like Zombies, we knew we were dead already. They came near the car, the way they dressed; I came to realize that they were the members of the tribe that lived in the jungle. I thought they wanted to rob us, but instead they watched us the whole night, they even gave us some roasted bush meat and cassava for dinner. They were fifteen men, eight women and four little babies.
     The dawn of the new day, Militiamen and their families were still there, they laid their children down the road and covered them with Banana leaves, men and women were standing near the car watching us. We walked out of the car and told them that we were out of gas, they agreed to push the car to Nopinia but with a single favor, that we put their children in the car, we agreed and they started pushing it. They told us that they too were moving to Nopinia because the forest was getting deforested everyday by the machines from the paper mills owned by some higher government officials.
     They have tried to plant new trees only to see them destroyed by the herd of cattle from the ranch owned by the Minister of Agriculture. Then they decided to move into the caves but the winged snakes chased them. At last they came back to the jungle which was almost getting cleared; from there they saw thousands of people immigrating to Nopinia during the day because they were afraid of the dark. They decided to move to Nopinia but not during the day because nobody believed that they still existed.
     They lost the franchise since the second colonial invasion, so the government never bothered to care for them even after the independent day. The government only cared for those who promised to vote for them and this was only during the campaign; after that the chapter was closed only to be opened the next election.
     Back then in Romata, the term democracy meant “the government of the thieves, by the thieves and for the thieves”, so the tribe expanded although they never realized that. The forgotten tribe ruled the country for centuries and they are still in power but they have forgotten their brothers back in the jungle. A goat is a goat even if mothered by a cow, I asked them; why don’t you go to the capital and join your brothers? They will be very pleased. “Do you think that we will master the modern theft?” one of them asked. The only people who never fail are those who never try, I told them. So they left us there, they took with them their children and their foolishness, they left.

*****
     I asked myself this question, if all the citizens will move to Nopinia, then what is the meaning of being a leader if there is no one to lead? Is there any government on Earth without the people? Because the country is dead already if it doesn’t care for the lives of its own people; but the stupid tribe thought that the government is really their brother, O poor idiots, they were sleeping when Renaissance came to enlighten them. They always leave their brain at home and head out for the battle. They carried their holey gaberlunzie and disappeared.
     We were alone again; for sure the journey to Nopinia was just like that of a Sinner trying to get into the gates of New Jerusalem. Many obstacles along the way; I told my friend to leave the car there and take a long walk to the Promised Land. He refused because he loved his Hammer so much; he told me to go and look for gas in Nopinia and then come back. So I left him there because even our cell phones were out of airtime so we couldn’t have called anybody or texted anyone. He remained there standing with his arms akimbo; such a pity moment to abandon a friend in the middle of the jungle. After two miles walk, I came to the scene of the deadly car accident; a Lorry and a Toyota Land Cruiser. Nobody survived the accident but the vehicles didn’t explode; I just unloaded about twenty liters of gas and left the corpses of the drivers to be eaten by the members of the Accipitridae family.
     My friend Kasisi was very happy to see me, but he was much happier to see the gas; so we fuelled our Hammer and drove off the cursed jungle, we arrived in Port Anipi very late in the evening, such a heavenly city, lights everywhere, high class lodges and lounges, smart women with bigger bums edible for human use. That was the most expensive city on Earth; the cost of a cup of tea in a hotel was equal to the annual budget for three ministries in the Republic of Romata.
     We parked our Hammer in front of Emperor Haile Selassie Hotel; we lodged a double room and ordered a big meal for dinner, after that; we headed to the Big Day Music Hall, WOW! Sometimes life is very good if you keep seeing beautiful things all the time, and the best of it is only if you will have them for life. The rhythm of romantic melodies accompanied with the bedroom lyrics... I really enjoyed the artistic composition of the verses as I was dancing with Yolanda, a girl on the dancing floor, a girl I was about to milk, very yummy she was...very appetizing. The Disc Jockey knew exactly what I wanted, the old school…

I shall stand alone, until I get a crown
Just stay with me stay at home, we gonna take over throne
Am the one whom you need, babe take me home
Am here for you, and that’s why I was born
I’m the stone, their leader will be overthrown
If you can try, just hug me through the phone

I wanna stay high, like a mountain
I’ll never dry, perpetual like a fountain
Let me fly, in lower higher and plain
They will cry, but let’s laugh no pain

Their hearts are plastic; my fist is more than fire
My love is classic, I wanna make you full higher
That’s fantastic, an Emperor without Empire
Am Titanic, you’re only one I admire

My yummy girl, I do love you look at my motion
You’re the only one I need, Babe you’re my Lotion
Stay at home girl, Babe my heart is your portion
Am still in love with you, my girl am more than an Ocean

Don’t ask what is this? What I need is peace
What I need is kiss, what is need is you my sweet miss
Almighty God who art in heaven, just bless this
Even with a little piece, of what we call bliss

Home girl you just rest, Babe you are the best
From East to West Babe feel free, you’re the first
I’ve fallen in love with you, my girl rest on my chest
Downhill and crest, Babe you’re the blessed

Welcome in the house, allow me to take your blouse
In the same cage, a bull with some young cows
I wanna stay high like Sun above clouds
In the house, much knowing like a mouse

We left the music hall and went back to the Hotel, it was already in the midnight but Port Anipi was as bright as the Morning Star. I was very sleepy, I forgot even to take Yolanda with me; I went to the bathroom to take shower and I slept there. When I woke up in the morning, I found myself in a little Shanty Town called San Python, the way it smelled like raw adult human shit; I came to the conclusion that it was the Armpit of the World. I never knew how I got there, but I just remembered that I was sleeping in the bathroom and it was in a very luxurious hotel and that’s all. It was in the morning, it was in the evening, it was day one. I slept in one of the classrooms in the nearby school. When it dawned, I walked around and headed to one of the apartments in the nearby, a certain woman came out and barked at me; who the heck are you motherfucker? Are you a new teacher or a new student? I looked at her, her big breasts hanging like magic mangoes on a mango tree, huge like magic Caribbean Papaya; her face black like the buttocks of Satan, I wondered the sperms that fertilized her mother’s ovum, what a waste.
     As she was still showing me how she can get use of her worthless trumpet, a certain short man came out from that same house; he introduced himself as the Principal and asked me to spare his mad wife. The man welcomed me to his house, he told me never to mention what happened to anybody even at the gun point and I promised never to utter even a single word. I asked about the name of the school and he said; the people called it San Python School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but its official name was Saint Peter’s College of Cultural Heritage.
     In that town, everyone was either a Witch or a Wizard, so Mr. Principal asked me to go to New Bridge Street; there I could find some rooms for rent and some cheap women. So I left the compounds of the college and went to New Bridge, it was still very early in the morning; the place was really the Toilet of the Earth. A long walk, through an ugly path, very ugly more than the word ugly itself.
     I was almost there, so I slowed my speed, just like what happens in the movie, I was walking in slow motion, but suddenly I met a woman, a mad woman, she was naked and some stings of rotten menstrual blood covered the whole atmosphere. Just like someone forwarding a compact disc, I ran like Jamaican Bolt. The mad woman seeing so, she joined me, without knowing that I was already in the frontline, racing in an Olympic Marathon at the time, I disappeared into the thin air, just like a ghost, pyaaa! I was nowhere to be seen.

CHAPTER 6

     Kong! Kong! Kong...Ngong! Ngong! Ngong... Tung! Tung! Tung... the noisy metallic sound continued to disturb millions of eardrums in the neighborhood. Nkong! Nkong! Nkong! The residents were growing impatient as one harlot walked out of a brothel naked followed by a giant cock from the back, roaring like a Lioness in labor shouting…what the hell is wrong with you motherfucker? Nkong! Nkong! Nkong! To what end? We need peace you little pussy…
     You need peace? And how is that my business you worthless scumbag? A metal worker responded. Fuck you…, fuck you too! For anyone walking across the New Bridge Street early in the morning, he would be probably welcomed and greeted in such a way that his entire day would smell raw shit. The town was a destination for distinguished prostitutes, bandits, pirates and businessmen who escaped paying taxes to the revenue authorities. The Tattoos and filthy paintings on the walls decorated the civilization of the inhabitants; guns, explosives and knives in each house symbolized the height of their hospitality. The Sword on the table during meals represented the level of their kindness.
     Life in that town was very simple, all you need to do is to wake up from your under bridge rag room; organize a mob, find some guns and machetes, go and rob a bank, easy money. But things changed later when financial firms modified their security systems. Banks employed soldiers from the other world; the “Invisibles”. During the hottest seasons of the year, life turned bitter for many; Textile Industries were closed, boutiques received no customers, and to go naked was the fashion of the season and sex was declared human right.
     For those who nicknamed themselves as sons and daughters of God branded the place as Hell on Earth Town, but they never quit the place until the wrath of God fell upon it. To find a job in that town was very hard; in one office, you could find a husband the general manager, his wife the accountant, his son the marketing director, his niece the secretary, his old friend’s neighbor a gate man and a cleaner from his home village. For the new comers in town, they were advised to take an advantage of the present and seize any opportunity whenever it presented itself. Since the only people who never fail are those who never try, children and strangers were told that life in town was never a journey but a race in which you have to kill each day to live each day, being number one is everything, no second places, no second sucks.
     Someone could find a key to success and somebody else could just simply change the lock; so the government formulated lots of slogan to encourage citizens to work hard and to be creative and competitive in the labor market even though subjects and classroom lessons never prepared students to be with such qualities. An African student born in the arid home where they only see fish in books learning fishing in Japan and Timber Industry in Canada was really a waste of time and mental raping. But their little gods kept on proposing slogans; one of them read “No Competition, No Development”, the other one stated “Strength lies in differences not similarities”. But the most celebrated one was “The shadow has no place in the darkness”.
     The jobless ones were regarded as lazy and San Python was the darkness itself. In factories and workshops all over the town, the message on the gates read “Good things are not meant for the Lazy”. So there was never easy job, never easy money; you dare rob a bank, your ass got kicked by the Invisibles. They were the Mercenary Jinn from the Persian Gulf, Syndicates and Tycoons imported them to protect their businesses, some Evil Champagne Politicians employed them as their personal guards; others went further and married them and as usual pregnant Jinn delivers after three months, so the town was not a place for ordinary people as those jinxes brought nothing but tension and hypertensions though they really looked sexy.
     That early morning I reached at New Bridge Street and rented a room; it’s said that when in Rome, do as Romans do, so in San Python if you don’t have some money to pay your Landlord or Landlady, then you pay by sex. So if you are a man then you do better find an apartment owned by a woman, you make love to her in two days, you live free in two weeks. So I got a room and spent the whole night with her, she almost paralyzed my manhood, very rough. That morning I woke up from the heap of broken mirrors; my back was itching seriously, my entire spinal cord was in great pain. No one even the Devil himself could stand such time and live, but I survived. I really tried to wake up but it was just like reality, with all the consciousness with me, there was nothing fictional, no dreams, it was really happening.
      I was in San Python for sure, the land of the whores, no jealousy, you can have sex even to the wife of your brother in his presence and no war. But everyone was sick, mostly from sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, gonorrhea, fungus, HIV and the likes. There was no shop selling Condoms, even the hospitals provided no contraceptives. This was because the church, with its lunatic dogma insisted that people multiply and fill the earth, and so people using condoms or any other form of contraceptive or family planning measures were condemned sinners and they were banned from the societies. The church auxiliaries stopped sponsoring orphanages, education and threatened cursing the nation when the government intervened into the matter. What a stupid religion, what a shame? I was really sick that I found myself speaking things no one can understand...
     That morning my little face was full of shame, life was very bitter and that time it pushed me to swallow my pride for new things to happen. I was really sad, really sad when I saw a young married woman leaving her husband only because money was no longer part of their family. She took the kids with her and left the man with his poor scrotum as a possession. Pity! The man begged and begged, but the woman never uttered even a single word of mercy. Sometimes falling in love while you have got holes in your pocket is not a good thing to do. Sometimes I wish marriage could be just like any other job where people write application letters, attaching their curriculum vitae and get paid for the job well done and if they mess up, they get fired. My entire body was growing weaker and weaker, my legs were developing pins and needles, my stomach was roaring like thunder. I crawled like a snake trying to get into that stupid room of mine; seeing that I cannot stand again as I use to be, I cried like a little baby asking for help. The man left alone with his poor scrotum as a possession came and lifted me up like an empty bucket, he told me; “when my wife left me you didn’t do anything you little fool, now that you are between my fingers begging for help, what has come over you huh? Now that you look slim like a toothpick does it mean you slept carelessly with some fat bums?”
     Let the pain take control, he added. I remained speechless, what could I do? Just allowing the laws of the universe to take its course; he dropped me on the floor like a Charcoal bag and abandoned me there. As he was leaving the room, he twisted his spring neck and said; “next time use condom, it’s much safer than the warmth of some contaminated genitals. This is San Python, not Romata, don’t trust women easily, most of them are members of the deadly Angela Roy Milking Society”. He left… Hey Mr. Man of God, close that fucking door, I shouted. He pushed the wooden door and disappeared. Though nobody told him to tell me the truth, I knew he was hurrying to take his daily bread, the ARVs. Thank goodness I was alone in that house, at least nobody heard what was happening with my bowels; coughing like an Elephant with Tuberculosis, stretching myself like Naja naja on fire, sweating like fish; it was really a stinging moment. At that time of pain and worries, I remembered the God of the Colonists, in their religious Novel “Bible” written by a bunch of creative authors, I read one of the legendary character called Jesus who used extra-ordinary powers to heal people. Whether magic or divine, he saved men, women and children.
     They said that the man from the book will one day come back to punish his own creation, the universe. Such a story threatened many and people sacrificed everything including their wives to Pastors and self acclaimed Prophets who in turn developed into a wealthy class in the name of the gospel. I remembered Brian Deacon and how the world worshiped that English Jesus, what a shame. Hanging his pictures on the walls of every home deified the culture of the Middle East and the supremacy of the Western world. Since when did Brian Deacon become Jesus of Nazareth? Anyway, it can be the way of spreading the word of God, but now he has branded himself as God, or else the stupid Christians are working tirelessly to justify their stupidity by printing the portrait of Deacon or some other white guys, making money out of their sales. To me, that is more than SIN.
     Remembering such a portrait of Divinity was the funniest of its kind, but if really the Bible is telling the truth, why did such a holy scripture allow itself to be abused in the hands of Colonists and letting the Whites go unpunished? Taking with them all the resources in the name of a stupid Civilization Mission? Did the God of Europe and America created Africa as both their Wealth Pot and a Dust Bin? I wanted to pray for the heavenly intervention, but I remembered that even the stories of Heavens and the Hell were all fabrications of the Colonists. Where is hell anyway? Is it down there? Can someone dig the ground and reach there? And why did the Romans had Galileo assassinated? Where was that God when Missionaries delivered our souls into the hands of Europeans? Was that also written in the Bible? I asked myself, why don’t people pray then before having sex? I wish I could have done so before bumping myself on top of that heap of viruses, maybe I could have been a champion of some Olympic games this year. But look at me now, slim like an Acupuncture needle; so what can I call this mess? I asked myself. But hold on, there are things that are happening in this world and we can’t find the answers, things such as the universe, the sun, the moon and the stars; where do these things come from? The origin of life, why are living things dying? And if they are dead, where do they go? Is the grave their last resting place? Even if the colonists negatively spread the gospel, the outcome has been very positive, and by the way, is there any other God who is so true and just other than this one? Is there any? Can somebody answer me? --- In the night I heard some footsteps marching towards my yard, heavy like those of Loxodonta africana, big ones like those of Satan walking straight towards my wooden door, I worried about my ramshackle health for I could not be able to stand such a Bulldozing march. I tried to find where my soul was so that I could exile it but it was too late. I stood up firmly like Centurion though I was weak like a sperm tail; walking towards the door to see with my own eyes what was going on out there.
     The deserted seat of the spirit in the lonely house, a knock at the door…Tum! Tum! Tum! Nicholas...Nicholas, open the door? The voice of a woman called. From the pose of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; my one and only sick cock rose to sky high and lifted my pants like a crane, I opened the door slowly with my chest forward…”bienvenido a casa” I welcomed her, Oh Nicholas, Wow! She hugged me. That was Senorita, a girl from Mexico, she was the best friend of Sophia Herman Tungi, when she heard that Sophia died, she automatically became my woman because we loved each other even before meeting Sophia. How is Mexico? Fine, so who told you that I am here? O’ your Landlady is my Mom, what? I fainted. When I woke up, behold!

A beautiful hill of pleasure at the back
Bewitching round spots on her breast
Shining eyes like fireflies in the dark

Calling lips that can quench my thirst
Spongy thighs that invite heart attack
Yummy cheeks that refreshes my chest

She was there, on the bed, waiting for lucky me. Let me tell you something my grand children, some girls are beautiful, really they are, even myself do appreciate that. But Maria Rodriguez was above all, with her Spanish accent, when she calls you, as if there’s a festival in heaven and you are attending there. If she kisses you, as if there’s someone telling you that your name is written in the book of life; if she touches you, as if you will never die, and if she gives you the best of her taste... O my goodness, no words to tell. Now she was telling me to get closer, I torn apart my pants and jumped. How can I put it? Let me see, I asked the European God to forgive me because I was about to go against the book of Exodus 20:14. That day San Python was punished.
     The wrath of gods and goddesses from all over the world fell upon the town. Representatives from different civilizations attended and each brought their supreme beings to gather power to destroy San Python for good. The Chief God of the Town “Babachuchu” was the strongest and he feared no one. But in a twinkling of an eye that little Shanty Town exploded and I woke up. I can’t recall what happened but I was still sleeping in the bathroom inside Emperor Haile Selassie Hotel. Grrr! I roared, who woke me up? Nobody responded; a knock on the door, who is in there? I’m a maintenance man…open up? I jumped off the Jacuzzi and rushed on the wall to pick up the towel, before I completed tying it up; the maintenance man bumped in, Oh my Green God! He was carrying a Bazooka…He was breathing heavily like a pregnant Elephant; I decided to press to discovery. What is happening? We are going to war… (Answered the maintenance man as he was struggling to land the weapon he was carrying) war? Fighting what biggy? Death, human beings want to live forever man…we are fighting death. He put the bazooka on the wooden table and started loading it, at the far corner there was a huge metal box, I didn’t know what was inside, and he told me to bring it. Beneath the box there was an envelope, Biggy what of this khaki envelope? I asked politely. Let me see, he insisted. He opened the envelope and shouted! What the hell? Who brought this here? He asked; his eyes wide open like a pooping demon, he sat down silently like a feather and concentrated on the paper which read:

To all the armed forces and patriots of the federal republic of Nopinia; Greetings! Comrade, our nepionic country was already crawling and we were busy erecting its economic pillars, but now our own breast cannot breastfeed our starving son. Join us in our campaign and let’s save our land from the hands of the psychopaths; “praeses debet mori, nisi hac sola via”__ the president must die, that is the only way to save this country. Hope to see you there soon, and remember; the codename is ‘Operation VIP’.

This must be happening soon, the music hall is not so far from here, hey, why are you here? Asked the maintenance man, you must be one of us, name your passcode. He forgot that he was reading the letter aloud, so I remembered the passcode he just mentioned a minute ago and I answered “Operation VIP”, correct comrade, tell me the coordinates, the headquarters must watch this, I want to stream live. What is your name? He asked; my name is Nicholas, W.W.W. That is counterfeit, your real name? Jonathan Tafreg I guess. Are you kidding, how can you guess your name? Tafreg is not your name either, that is the name of the former prime minister of the Ghost Island. What is your name little rabbit? He asked furiously, this time I decided to tell him the naked truth. “My name is Nicholas Tafreg, the last of my kind; I am the father of Jonathan Tafreg, the former prime minister you mentioned happened to be my son. I am the living guardian of the Tafreg Dynasty, my mission is to find the lost constitution and give it back to the owners of the land”, the lost constitution? Asked the maintenance man, yeah! I replied. It’s called “The House of Broken Hearts”, all the spirits from the afterlife are looking for it. Are you also the spirit? That is an answer Mr. Bazooka, ask the question now.
     The lost constitution is with the president, his heart is the key to the safe, kill him and you will accomplish your worthless mission. To get the safe, you must live a hundred years from now. Where is the safe? I asked. It’s not yet made; its manufacturer is not yet born.  You can die if you like and come back to life later, replied the maintenance man. The president is my best friend, I can’t kill him. That is the problem with the spirits of nowadays, they easily forget the fact that they are demons; now this one is pretending to befriend humanity, go to hell! Shouted the maintenance man and stood upright.
     The one you are going to kill is not the president, so stop acting like a woman and get ready. Dress up paperboy, we are going to war. We must get rid of that good for nothing David Coin and his allies. Yesterday he sold two provinces to his best friend in Europe. Early this morning he attended the birthday party in the United States and he promised to give three million acres of arable land as the birthday gift to the son of his favorite musician.  Now he is on his way coming home, our men are waiting at the airport. They will give him a VIP treatment. Prepare for the battle, let’s go to the music hall, he will be there soon enjoying the New Year’s Eve with his concubines. He thinks that this country belongs to his grandma? He must pay for his sins that son of a bitch.
     I dressed up as ordered the maintenance man, he took his bazooka, and I carried the metal box and the envelope. The hall was amazing, red carpet everywhere. We took our chances and telephoned the headquarters. You’ll pull the trigger; shoot him between the balls, end of story. Said biggy, his moustache like the Jamaican Bobo, he smiled for the first time and loaded his Coffinata, the latest model, the most deadliest long range rifle on earth. According to the Nopinian Mythology, the rifle was used for the first time by its manufacturer, Louis Bottleman, who was the soldier from the underworld. It was first used to kill aliens from the Colfelog, one of the notorious provinces on the moon. Its inhabitants invaded the earth several times and took with them very rare earth metals, women, water, cattle and crops. When human beings declared war against them, they descended during the night and raped all the female animals including their women and children. Human beings later allied with the King of the Underworld who promised to help them under one condition; that all the departing souls will join his rebel army down the hell. The King of Humans accepted the terms and Bottleman was sent to save mankind from the wrath of the King of Colfelog. Bottleman designed the rifle to take the souls straight to his underworld burning barracks. When the war reached to an end, Bottleman manufactured only ten Coffinatas and gave the King of Humans as the remembrance of their friendship and contract. Bottleman went back home and there was peace on earth. Colfelog was destroyed completely and life ceased on the moon.
     About four to five minutes later, my target was already in, such a moment that no mercenary or a sniper would dare waste even a second, just like a man in the heart of the desert, what could he do at the sight of an Oasis? I used Biggy’s Coffinata to send an old man on his way; the hell opened its bellies and swallowed him, as I was rushing to get his heart, he disappeared. The maintenance man transformed, I took one of the girls as a hostage and escaped; on my way out the book opened its last page and the same hand that grabbed me in, took me out and the book closed again. I heard the voice from the book saying “What you have witnessed and the life that you lived as our guest is real and that is what happened to the great Nopinia, your experience is the content of the lost constitution, go and tell the world everything you saw, tell them about the tribe of the thieves, tell them about Romata, tell them about the Federal Republic of Nopinia, and don’t forget to tell them about the moon and the soldiers from the underworld”. We fell on the ground like mangoes falling from the mango tree. It was unfortunate that my hostage was pregnant, so she was unable to run all night. We slept at the nearby cemetery and waited for the dawn. It was the longest night, so long we waited, poco a poco, and at last, we slept.
     The next morning I woke up, tired and hungry, the pregnant lady was still asleep; she was the most beautiful girl and the last of her kind. When I gazed at her, I smiled and laughed, I was so happy to escape with the hostage, the girl that later came to be the mother of my doyens, the cure to all the earthly problems. She woke up and we journeyed westward, we reached the shore around 8:00 A.M in the morning of December 31, 2099; I found Tony, Gilbert and Olympia waiting. I was surprised to see them alive; they asked about the lady and I told them “She is a gift from the book”. Which book? Asked Olympia, (she was a very jealous woman and cunning too). “The House...” which house? The House of Broken Hearts; where is the book now? Long story, I’ll tell you later.
     M.V. Poseidon II, the boat that brought us all that far, she was there ready to take us home. All on board! Screamed Tony, the island is sinking, hurry! We rushed in like fools and the island sunk and the deep of the sea remained quiet. The Big Mama (M.V. Poseidon II) took us to the Blue Olympus Cape; we moored at the Pink Shadow Harbour on the second of January, 2100. What is your name sis? Asked Olympia; my name is Vicky Winslet. Nice name, welcome to our world paper lady (Because she came from the book), thank you! Answered Vicky, and we departed. Gilbert and Tony went to see their father who was living in the land of Essay, just five miles from the heart of the Blue Olympus Town. Olympia, Vicky and I boarded a bus to Justice Road Children’s Park and we lived a happier life thereafter. After some months later, Vicky gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and we named him Tafreg.

*****
     After listening to the story, children asked an old man to narrate another story with a happy ending; but an old man didn’t utter a word, he was already gone. Seeing so, King Rhombus descended from the pavilion and joined the children to mourn the deceased. Meanwhile, he wanted to prove for sure that an old man died. Actually, it wasn’t a happy ending, but rather; a bitter bite to end the meal. Now that it was clear to him that an old man is no more, he was a little bit delighted; but the children were really saddened by the incident. No one to comfort them, loneliness and stings of disunity that was shading around was like a dagger in their hearts, piercing them sliver by sliver. King Rhombus realized that, after the burial, his majesty summoned the children.
     His intensions were not bad, he just wanted a place in the children’s heart, and he also wanted them to remember him in their kingdom. So, he thought of a story to tell them, a story of a man called Madusa, the fisherman from the nearby land of Ratura. So saying, children sat and waited for their new friend to tell them a story, they prayed first, and then King Rhombus sat amidst them:
---Hello! My lovely grand children, how are you today?
---We are not fine. (Children gave him a choir response)
---I understand the situation you’re into now, but don’t worry about grandpa anymore. It’s written that man shall go back to the hands of his maker, so grandpa is probably there already incase if he is not encountering some problems with the custom officials about the Visa stuffs and the like.
---Visa? (Asked one of the children, determined to go there and help his grandpa to get rid of those custom officials)
---Yeah my grandchildren, Visa and some passports! It’s not easy to go to heaven; you can die and continue roaming here and there if you don’t have the Visa and the passport. But don’t worry, after telling you this story, he will surely get the Visa.
---Really?
---Yes!
---And what is Visa anyway?
---Oh, visa is an endorsement on a passport which indicates that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country, another planet, hell or heaven.
---We need a visa, we need a visa… give us a visa… (Children crowded around his majesty)
---Ok, calm down my children, calm down… Yes that way… now that you are ready to listen, I won’t waste a minute, get close and listen. Can somebody tell me where is Africa?
--- (Children looked at each other in surprise, whispering in low voices…) Africa? Africa is in heaven… (Answered a boy aging about eight)
---Heaven? Do you know how heaven looks like?
---Yeah!
---Enhe?
---It looks like Africa, isn’t grandpa?
---Yeah my children, heaven looks like Africa; and Africa looks like heaven, but there is neither heaven in Africa nor Africa in heaven.
---Why?
---Because in Africa, everyone is trying to be God, and their godliness is not turning Africa into heaven, but hell.
---Why is Africa doing that?
---The problem is not with Africa, but Africans.
---Who are these Africans?
---You and you and you… and you.
---But grandpa…?
---Grand what? Have you blackened your skin with shoe polish? Let me tell you something, even if you call yourselves with English names, you’ll always be Africans.
---Grandpa can I ask you something? (Asked Lumbazi, son of a village chairman)
---Go ahead son!
---Are you black or dark?
---Y-you…you cousin of a cat… are you insulting me?
---No grandpa, but I can’t see you.
---Do you think I’m seeing you either? I can only see your teeth when you laugh… see who is talking, like a nightmare.
---Hahahahaaaaaaa! (They both laughed)
---Actually I don’t know why we Africans are black; there is no theory that can prove anything. If God created man in his own image, then I wonder if God is multicolor or something… I really can’t figure it out. But I think God is also black, don’t you think so?
---Yeah, he must be black, but not an African… Hahahaaaa!
---Ok, let’s stop it, whether God is black or white, African or European; that is none of our business. The only thing that matters is that we are black, and that is our identity and we love it that way. So, listen about this fellow African, who fished a woman instead of a fish. Hahahaaaa! Very funny!
---What happened? (Children asked as they laughed and laughed…)


CHAPTER 7

     Long time far back, somewhere in Africa, during the reign of chiefs and tribal leaders; there emerged a small but very powerful chiefdom, Ratura it was called. It was just a small village, but very civilized. People trusted their chiefs and kinsmen; they worshiped their gods whenever they wanted to eat or go for fishing. At a time, it was actually a men’s village. It was a place for fishermen and traders from Gashura and Wabiriga. After several years, few women reached there as whores, and served as communal concubines for all the fishermen.
     The population of fishermen dropped dramatically, some died of sexually transmitted infections, and others were drowned into water during their fishing activities. Jealousy developed among them and consumed their lives. Little had they know, that the very women they were dying for, were not humans, they would have zipped their desires and focus on fishing fish instead of spirits. Few men left decided to marry and abstained from womanizing. Later on, there was peace; all boys aging eighteen were forced to marry before being consumed by the tentacles of adolescence.
     There was a man who married what the rest called an abomination; the man married a barren woman whose breasts were big like buckets. She wept the very day she got married, and now she was very tired, her little round face swollen, wet and shaggy. From a closer look, she was not happy at all for the gods had closed her womb not to bear even a single child for her husband. She was a very shaggy woman, just like any other primate of the jungle, she was much alike the baboons of the inland Ratura. Her breasts were said to weigh almost ten kilos each. She was the ugliest woman on earth; she even scared children when she smiled. No wonder she ended up marrying a handsome fisherman, son of a custodian of the old ways, keeper of the customs of the forefathers. Akisi she was called, daughter of the late Chief Anguro of Gashura.
     Despite all the elements of ugliness, Akisi never wanted to beautify herself to please the public opinion. Her husband, Madusa the fisherman loved her so much. This love was enough for Akisi to consider herself beautiful. Since beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, Madusa left all the girls of Ratura and married Akisi. The man found something interesting about the breasts of Akisi, apart from her breasts, her hairy body stimulated Madusa to the climax. She was dark skinned, natural and well fed. Her morphology like a soldier, pure hearted and smart. She was a woman of principles, who enjoyed no jokes except from her husband, but this time she was really exhausted from the stings of loneliness and infertility. She wanted a child comma; she wanted a child full stop.
     Madusa was just eighteen when his father Obare married Akisi for him. Obare offered thirty eight bulls, twelve cows, fourteen goats, two canoes, seven hoes and a machete to Chief Anguro as a bride price. Akisi was only twelve at the time, but her breasts were already as big as a pumpkin. Chief Anguro had once issued an order to force men to marry her, but men were ready to hang themselves instead of facing what they called an abomination. He even tried to milk her daughter in an attempt to get rid of her breasts, but none of the efforts produced better results. Obare was not an idiot to pay all the expenses for such an ugly woman; he wanted his son to marry a woman who won’t attract the attention of other men in Ratura, especially his fellow fishermen. Akisi was the best choice, but there was a problem with the decision. She was fruitless.
     After fifteen good years, there came a time when Obare fell ill, all he wanted was to hold his grandchildren before he embraced his ancestors, but Akisi failed to prove an old man right, she instead offered a reason for enmity and mistrust from her in-laws. Obare was disappointed, he demanded Madusa to marry another woman, but the son insisted on believing in the gods, that one day his wife will regain her fruitfulness and bear him hundreds of sons and daughters. The next day Madusa left his compound early in the morning and went on fishing in the nearby Lake Ratura. His heart was not at ease, he recalled his conversation with his father the previous night, and he didn’t want to share the thoughts with his fellow fishermen. He was very distressed and confused. He finally came to a humble conclusion, to pray and wait till the fullness of time.
     It was a very lucky day for Madusa, but for anyone in his shoes, it was not lucky at all. He fished a woman instead of fish. This happened when he was drawing out the nets from the water, his canoe nearly sank, he thought of a shark or a whale, then he thought of a crocodile or a corpse, but reaching the water surface, it was none of it, but a naked woman; freshly naked, with all the pleasures below in a smart display. She was breathing, very alive, tender and splendor. She was not having even a single scar, her breasts like heavenly needles, her waist like the neck of a bottle, her hips like a rainbow, fair in complexion, with long dark hairs like a mermaid, but she was no mermaid, she was just a beautiful woman from the water.
     Madusa was both terrified and happy, where she is coming from terrified the fisherman, but her beauty made him a happier man in the whole terrestrial globe. The idea of marrying her popped in his mind, he asked for her name and the lady answered “Layola”. He took her home, laughter!

*****
     No woman in the shoes of Akisi that would just sit and do nothing when a husband comes back home from job carrying a strange woman instead of food or gifts. It was during the sunset when Madusa arrived home, his sick father was still lying down in his hut, and Akisi had prepared corn cake and was now waiting for her husband to bring fish. When she heard the approaching foot march of her husband, she rushed out to welcome him, it was her custom to welcome her sweetheart that way; but things turned upside down, she nearly fainted when she saw her husband carrying a bare woman.
     Actually, it was very strange, Madusa took his shirt and gave it to Layola to warm her body, but from the waist downwards, she was totally naked and ripe. The commotion from the lake up home had left Madusa erected and helpless. From a professional gaze, he has slept with her before reaching home, judging from the beauty of the woman, no perfect gentleman could have abstained from doing what Akisi was thinking.
     In a twinkling of an eye, Akisi was out of control; she jammed and fumed like a charging lioness. The commotion forced Obare out of his bed and was now crawling like a snake trying to see what the heck was going on. He managed to reach out there only to find his one and only son holding Layola, the sea goddess of wealth and power. Obare died instantly, not because of what he saw, but because of the idiocy of his son for not knowing what to fish and how to fish it. Madusa wept helplessly till his voice dried up. Akisi accused her husband for killing his own father, she left instantly and went inside to pack her things, she didn’t forget to pack her well prepared corn cake, as she was leaving, Layola stopped her. In a very unusual drawling accent, the half naked woman asked:
---Where do you think you’re going?
---Out of my way you evil spirit.
---Poor child! One day you’ll understand these things, you must keep growing, not in your breasts, but your brain. Next time no one will stop you, but mark my words, it’s never a good idea to carry food with you when leaving your husband’s house in that mood. You can starve to death instead of getting help from what you call a well prepared corn cake. I know you girls from Gashura love eating so much, but this is not Gashura, this is Ratura, women don’t cross these walls with food taking to another wall. Leave that cake and you may go in peace, no one will stop you.
     It was another hard moment for Akisi to make sound judgments, trusting the spirit was not an easy path. She then decided to stay, but continued lamenting and blaming everyone for allowing such things to happen. The villagers were very outnumbered and scattered. It wasn’t easy for a neighbor to hear any commotion in the vicinity unless somebody shouted at the top of his voice. Layola insisted not to cry, but Madusa was already in half time, waiting for another half to proceed with weeping. It was getting dark, Madusa stood up and went inside, he took a hoe and a spade, he started digging. Layola joined him, and so did Akisi, they helped Madusa dig a grave for his father.
     Now that Obare was buried already, it was a time to lecture Akisi about Layola. It was a custom that if an old man dies in that manner, people should not weep or tell even the relatives urgently. Although Madusa failed to hold the inevitable, no one in Ratura noticed the incident at the time except Madusa, Akisi and Layola. Akisi prepared dinner, a dry corn cake without a stew. Madusa fumed, “where is fish?” he asked, “Are you blind? Can’t you see the naked fish sitting by your side?” she meant Layola. The fisherman jammed, like boiling water, his temper poured out like volcano, he nearly killed his wife with a blow. “Are you beating me because of her?” wept Akisi, “Is it because her breasts are not bigger than mine?” poor Akisi wept bitterly that even her husband Madusa felt uneasy.  “What is it woman? Is this the first time to beat you up? By the way, you’re just consuming my fish and corn cake for nothing, why can’t you bear me children? Huh! Aren’t you a woman?” Layola intervened because she was now the source of all the blames, “Nothing to worry Akisi, I am not here to take away your husband from you, I am here to help you build a better family. After nine months of pregnancy, you will surely bear him a bouncing baby boy. Trust me, the end of your shame has come, you will never drop your tears because of not bearing children, you will cry for labor”.
     “What?” shouted Akisi, “me pregnant? Hahahahaaaaaaa! Ahuuuuu! You must be kidding, that is impossible. You must be dreaming, Hahahahaaaaaaa! Let me wait and see”. It was very hard for Akisi to believe any of the words spoken by Layola. Madusa was just quiet all this while, staring at Layola, his thoughts went far, he was imagining how sweet Layola might be, then he zoomed the idea of kissing her, without conscious, he laughed loudly “Hahahahaaaaaaa! Ahuuuuu” Akisi was shocked, but Layola knew exactly what was happening. They were making love, laughter!

*****
     “Wake up Madusa, wake up…” Akisi was trying to awaken her husband, but Layola insisted not to wake him up, “don’t you want to be pregnant? Leave your husband alone; can’t you see he is busy? Leave him, after some hours he will get back, just go inside and sleep, I’ll watch over him, don’t worry my lady, everything gonna be alright”. So saying, Akisi left and retired to bed, it was already late. Layola peeped here and there, there was no one watching, she took off that shirt and bumped herself atop Madusa who was lying down the ground on a wrapper, and there they were, making love in broad midnight. To Madusa it was a dream, to Layola it was real. That was the way of the goddess, after a couple of minutes, Madusa was dead tired, he woke up, and he could not believe what had been happening several minutes ago. He was smiling, gazing at her, he laughed.
---Why are you laughing Madusa?
---Hahahaaaa, you know… you know…
---What is it, tell me?
---I don’t know how to put it, but I have really enjoyed.
---Enjoyed what?
---Something.
---What something?
---Something very sweet.
---Something very sweet? And what is that?
---It’s right there… (Pointing his trigger finger at Layola)
---Where? (Layola asked looking at the direction of Madusa’s finger)
---Between your thighs, there is something very sweet in there, Hahahaaaa!
---Hahahaaaa! They both laughed.
---I have an idea…
---What is it?
---Will you marry me?
---What? (Layola was a bit fumed, as if she didn’t expect it from Madusa)
---It’s just an idea; don’t take it serious my lady. I’m just confused, but I’m sure this is love, its love that I’m feeling… please think about it.
---What about Akisi?
---Ah! Akisi is not a problem actually; the problem is your beauty. See, if you marry me, and bear me children, I will love you wholeheartedly, and I will treat you handsomely, just say yes… just say yes.
---Akisi is pregnant as we speak.
---What?
---Yes, she is…
---Hold it there, let me go and see… this can’t be happening.
     Madusa left in a hurry, he rushed inside only to find Akisi in a deep sleep. Akisi… Akisi… Akisi wake up, Akisiiiii… Is she dead? Asked Madusa who was still naked; “She can’t hear you now, but trust me, she is pregnant.” Intervened Layola; “Really?” Oh yes, she is pregnant. So saying, Madusa left the room and went to the kitchen. He was really hungry, but there was nothing to eat. He only met with empty plates and sauce pans. “So, there is no food in this house? This doesn’t sound good, what a bad omen?” While still in the kitchen, Madusa was surprised to see a hand picking the fire woods, set fire and started cooking. Suddenly there was a smell of delicious traditional cuisine. That hand was pealing onions, chopping tomatoes and other fries; he saw two big tilapias being roasted.
     Everything was happening so fast that he thought he was dreaming. In a twinkling of an eye, the food was on the table. The hand fetched water for washing hands from a barrel at the far corner of the kitchen and there he was washing his hands. He sat and started eating. Just like a dream, he finished his meal and washed his hands, he stood up with his hands akimbo. Still wondering what was happening; he saw the hand washing the dishes and packing them where they were before. The hand took the broom and started sweeping, after some seconds, the kitchen was as if nobody was there and nothing happened; “Uuuuuwiiii! Wololooo! Uuuuuuuwiiii….”
     Madusa shouted at the top of his voice, but nobody responded. Layola was just laughing, as if there was another woman in her, when she laughed, as if they were two. “Hahahaaaa, Hahahaaaa, Hahahahaaaaaaa!” She laughed. Finally, she stood upright, she stretched herself and elongated her hand, and she grasped Madusa like a stick and held him firmly. Madusa was half dead; the only thing he was able to say was a rapid “YES” whenever Layola asked him anything.
---You won’t tell anybody what you saw in the kitchen, you hear me?
---Yes sir!
---Idiot, I’m not sir… do you hear me?
---Yes sir, oh sorry… yes sir!
---Stupid, I’m not a man, now listen, you call me sir again, I kill you.
---Yes sir!
---Are you tired of your worthless life?
---No woman can do what you’re doing to me, you must be a superman.
---Shut up!
---Yes sir!
     Akisi was now awake; she heard of the conversation outside but didn’t hear clearly, Layola notice this, when Akisi was pushing the door, Layola dropped Madusa on the ground. Akisi was still in a daze, but she saw something unusual out there. Layola disappeared into thin air.
---Madusa? Called Akisi who was walking like a crocodile; “Madusa…?”
---Madusa my husband, what happened to you?
---The fish…
---Which fish?
---The fish… the fish from the lake, she… she… she is not human?
---Who, Layola?
---Yes, yes, yes…
---I knew it; I had a bad feeling about her the moment she stepped into this compound. Are you not asking yourself why papa died instantly after seeing her? She must be the devil if not Satan.
---No, no, no… the devil is even better; she is a monster, very beautiful monster. Do you know what she did to me?
---How can I know, tell me?
---She raped me!
---What?
---Yes, she raped me.
---That is much better, I thought you raped her, if she is the one who raped you no problem. Sometimes you men need monsters like Layola to rape you so that you may learn your lesson in real sense. Are you not satisfied with your women? Do you think Layola’s vagina is producing gold?
---But I really enjoyed, she even cooked for me.
---There was no food in the kitchen; she cooked what then for you, her buttocks?
---Not really, she prepared two big tilapias and…
---And what?
---Ugali, a well cooked Ugali.
---Did you drink anything?
---Yes!
---What was it?
---A glass of milk.
---We don’t even have glasses in our village. I am afraid to tell you this, but you must have been eating human flesh and drank a human blood.
---That’s impossible.
---Let’s go to the kitchen and see.
---Let’s go.
     Both Akisi and Madusa left for the kitchen, opening the door, they nearly fainted. It was him, Mr. Obare’s corpse was lying down the ground, his buttocks and manhood could not be seen. It seems Layola made tilapia out of them. Madusa could not prevent the inevitable, he vomited seriously, and so did Akisi. It was a hard time for the two couples, but still, Akisi was really pregnant. After several weeks, villagers started questioning the condition of their fellow fisherman, Madusa was very sick. He developed strange skin rashes and he resembled a python. He scared everybody including himself; this situation terrified Akisi. She wept day and night, wishing her parents were alive, maybe she would have asked for help from Gashura, but Chief Anguro and his wife died in action when the war broke out with the chief of Wabiriga.
     After six months of agonizing sadness, Madusa changed, he was not human again, he developed long canines and a tail, his trunk like that of a python, he was terrible. Elders gathered and decided to intervene; they were really determined to help the son of their friend. Abukabi was the eldest in the village; he summoned other elders including Aroko, Akuro, Anjugo and Mr. Osienya the shoemaker. The council of five sat and decreed that Akisi be exterminated before giving birth and her corpse to be offered as a sacrifice to Gulangoro, the chief god and patron of the living whose abode was the peak of Mt. Gula. Now the arrangements for her death were ready, all the elders and a band of fishermen gathered at Madusa’s homestead, Madusa was not told of the plan, he only knew that elders were there to perform some rituals for his sake, but little had he know that elders were determined to sacrifice his wife, he would have scared them away. There came a time when everything was as planned, but Aroko, the man who was appointed to kidnap Akisi was not yet there; so they were waiting. They waited…


CHAPTER 8

At sixteen hours, Aroko arrived, he was already late. His fellow elders nearly ate him. “What were you doing Mr. Aroko? Alcohol again?” asked Anjugo who was already drank.
---Men, there’s a problem.
---What problem Aroko? Asked Mr. Osienya who was at his mid eighties.
---Layola…
---What? Screamed Abukabi who was one hundred and forty years old; his eyes nearly popped out.
---Yes, Layola is here, I saw her talking to Akisi outside.
---Which outside? Are we inside?
---Yes, we are inside Mr. Abukabi, we are inside, and she is outside talking.
---Mama yangu weee! … We are finished.
---What are we going to do now? Asked Akuro who was trembling like an earthquake, his jaws shaking like a generator. Are we going to die like the other time? Somebody tell me please?
---What are you talking about Mr. Akuro?
---I’m talking about Layola.
---We are already dead as we speak. Abukabi reminded his fellow elders and the band of fishermen who were inside that house.
---Already dead? We are still alive bwana! Aroko was still optimistic.
---Look at you…
---Look at what?
---Look at you now?
---I know how I look like, why looking at my own self again? What, are you seeing a ghost?
---Yes, I am seeing a ghost, a very stubborn ghost who doesn’t like to look at himself.
---If I am a ghost, then perhaps you’re a blind monster. Can’t you see your own ribs, Hahahaaaa! You look handsome Mr. Akuro.
---Oh yes, let me see those ribs you’re talking about… (Mr. Akuro gazed at his own body only to see he has changed into a skeleton) haaa, haaa, what is this? Uuuuuwiiii, Uuuuuwiiii, somebody help me?
     The commotion developed into something very terrible, everyone was running here and there shouting, asking for help. Everyone in that house turned to be a skeleton, they laughed at each other for the first time, but now they were trying to help each other, but they were very funny, they kept on laughing just like during their old days. Some were asking the whereabouts of their flesh.
---Have you seen my buttocks? Asked Mr. Osienya.
---Not really, perhaps Layola can answer that question, don’t you think so?
---Yeah! I think so Mr. Aroko.
---I can’t understand; but why is everyone a skeleton?
---A skeleton is always there, why are you afraid of your own skeleton? You should be happy to have seen your own internal morphology.
---Really?
---Yes Mr. Osienya. You should be happy.
---Are you also happy Mr. Aroko?
---Happy? Is there anything to be happy about?
---Yes.
---What is it?
---Your skeleton.
---Stupid, what skeleton? Get out of here you scam, skeleton…
     They were confused, Layola took Akisi and they were on their way leaving Ratura, they were heading down the lake. Madusa was nowhere to be seen, it was nothing but chaos and confusion. The council of five sat, other fishermen also demanded to be included in the council. Abukabi welcomed them, now it was the council of skeletons. They decided to find Madusa and his wife. They took hoes, spades, machetes, paddles, stones and woods. Off they went, the council of skeletons, in a quest to find Madusa, in the hunt for Layola, determined to sacrifice Akisi… forward they marched… the council of skeletons.
     About thirty minutes later, they reached the banks of Alawan River, the largest tributary flowing into Mukuwang, the mouth of the great Kamurando that pours its water into Lake Ratura. The council marched, without haste, without rest. Reaching the shores of Lake Ratura, it was already late. Layola and Akisi were already far inwards, water level reaching their necks, the council shouted…
---What are you doing? Asked Anjugo, as if he was not seeing what was happening down there.
---Where are you going? Added Akuro, “Where is Madusa?” hey!
---Hey? Insisted Abukabi; but none of their efforts produced better results.
     Layola and Akisi submerged completely into the deeps of the lake as the skeletons watched. They remained there, with their arms akimbo, standing like electrical poles, as if something glued their feet, and they changed into trees and water weeds. After some minutes, Madusa arrived there, this time he was completely an animal, not a human again. He was like a snake-dog. Half a dog, half a snake; his four limbs like a stallion, barking like a dog, but he was an herbivore. He fed on grasses and leaves.
     Actually, he was a very scary and ugly animal, when he reached there to drink water, he saw the weeds and some trees nearby; he started grazing there and consumed all the green vegetation around. Little had he knows, that the very weed and trees he was eating were exactly the elders and his fellow fishermen, he could have wished to die instead of living in misery like that. After filling his belly, he drank water and left into wilderness. Poor Madusa! That was his destiny. He lived in the wilderness for the rest of his life, and there was no any other fisherman in the village. Melancholy!
---Then what happened grandpa? (Asked Lumbazi who was very cunning)
---That is what happened, Madusa died!
---What killed him?
---Death!
---Death? That is ridiculous, why is death so cruel?
---Grandpa? Grandpa… grandpaaaaaa?
     King Rhombus passed on shortly after telling children what happened to Madusa the fisherman. Another phase of mourning raided the hearts of the little kids. Their first grandpa had just passed on four days earlier, now again King Rhombus, they hated the place. The house where an old man used to live disappeared with the corpse of the king. It rained heavily that night, it was thundering throughout. Children ascended to the pavilion, after seeing what happened to that little house of their grandpa just disappearing into the thin air, they came to the conclusion that, everything was just a dream.
     So, they waited for the dawn to wake up. All alone in the pavilion, just like the world orphans, they have got no one to call their mother or father. No place to call their home. They sat there and waited, they waited till they both fell asleep. They kept on waiting for the morning, but the rising sun was nowhere to be seen. Although the situation weakened their morale, but they waited for the fullness of time; and there came a time when it dawned, they only came to find that they were late for school. Their mother came there to wake them up; actually, they were late for school. They wanted to tell their mother about their longest thrilling dream, but nothing they remembered. Both of them dreamt the same dream, but they failed to recall it. Since they could not remember anything, then there was nothing else to say. They went to school and that’s all.


The End