Monday, 13 March 2017

Stelyka - Chapter 7 (Let Us Pray)

"Timothy what happened? Why did you do this?" Tobi was pissed. Anger coursed through his veins. The impromptu feeling to spank Timothy on his behind was almost irresistible. How could he have done something like this? And if he wasn't really responsible, then who was?

Tobi was as confused as he was angry. The gorilla incident had quickly receded to the background as there was suddenly a more pressing matter at hand.

It was only about 30 minutes ago the Hausa men left. Before going on his way, the elderly one had turned to Tobi, smirking.

"It was a very stupid thing you did".

Tobi frowned, "I don't understand. What stupid thing?"

"Throwing yourself and your wife through the gate like that. The gorillas would have been upon you both".

Tobi sighed and smiled wearily. Calling Benita his wife gave him a warm feeling. He actually wanted her to be just that. But his fear of Stelyka made him put the thought out of his mind, else she got more angry. However, saying his action was stupid made him feel even more stupid. "Well, it felt like a perfect idea at the time. At least it gave you a clear view to shoot".

"Yes", the man agreed. He looked up at where Benita stood with Timothy, patting his head lovingly and conversing in low tones. He looked back at Tobi, "I won't stop thinking about what would have happened if my boys and I didn't show up". Tobi smiled. The man smiled back, "don't forget to see me tomorrow morning. Its very important". He left to join the other two who were already some distance into the forest.  They disappeared into the thicket before Tobi limped back into the premises and locked the gate.

He limped to join Benita and Timothy in front of the house. Timothy greeted and Tobi answered. "Did you sleep well?" He asked afterwards.

"Yes", Timothy replied, yawning some more, "but when I woke up, I didn't see you", he complained.

"I'm sorry about that, my prince", he managed to kneel on one leg, before pulling Timothy into his embrace. "I promise I won't leave you alone for so long again".

"For so long? That means you'll leave me again?"

"No. I won't", Tobi promised, looking up at Benita, guilt stricken because Timothy tightened his arms around his father's neck. A sign he was pleased with the new answer.

The duo went on to talk about other things sons and fathers talk about. Benita smiled at the scene playing out before her. She was just glad no one got into the house to hurt Timothy before they arrived, and Tobi was ok, save for the injury in his leg. Even as he was on one knee, she could tell he wasn't comfortable. His leg was definitely hurting.

She looked at the balm the elderly man had given her. If it could really heal as fast as the man made her believe, then Tobi needed it, and urgently too. The faster the wound healed, the better. But first, she had to prepare dinner and then boil water for their bath. Only afterwards would  she apply the balm to Tobi's leg wound.

Leaving father and son to enjoy their moment, Benita stepped into the house. Night was fast approaching and so the house was dimly lit. Benita moved to put on the lamp so she could head for the kitchen, not forgetting she still had to send an email to the prayer team. She was still a little shaken up by the gorillas and the chase they we're given. Not for the last time, in her heart, she thanked God for the timely intervention of the Hausa men.

However, after putting on the lamp, her sudden outburst was louder than she expected and it caught Tobi's ears. Since Stelyka, he had learnt to be vigilant and respond even to the slightest distress call. Wondering what the matter was, Tobi quickly carried little Timothy over his shoulders and rushed in. He put Timothy down and walked up behind a still surprised Benita. He didn't want Timothy seeing anything terrible. He had to confirm what it was first.

"What is it, Beni?" He asked. Covering the distance between them. His hands gripped her shoulders and forced her around to look at him, "what?" He asked again.

"That" she pointed sideways to the floor, some distance away from where they stood. The broken pieces of five bottles once containing holy water lay scattered on the floor. They looked like they were smashed, as their broken pieces lay all over the place. Most of the water that  escaped had already dried up.

Tobi's heart beat suddenly picked pace. He frowned, trying to understand what had gone down while they were away. He turned to the little boy. Timothy was close by, as he had obviously followed behind. "What happened?" Tobi asked him.

Timothy said nothing. He stood rooted in one spot, visibly shaking and guilt striken. Nothing was lost on Tobi as he looked at the child. "What did you do, Timothy!?" He yelled this time

" was.... a mistake", the little boy looked frightened. He stepped backwards, fearing that if he didn't, Tobi would hit him.

"Did your mother visit you again?" Benita asked, calmly. The boy was already shaken by Tobi's outburst. More yelling wasn't going to do him any good


"So why did you bring out the bottles in the first place?"

"I didn't want to break it", he was almost in tears. "I was only playing with them because there was no body for me to play with. Th..hey.... fell down". He finished with a stammer.

Benita sighed, thankful in her heart that was all. "Its ok", she moved to pet him, drawing him against her abdomen and rubbing his head,"I'll clean it up".

"It is not ok", Tobi countered, looking at the smashed bottles. He looked back at Timothy. "I'm sorry, I yelled at you", he pulled him away from Benita to himself, patting his head, "but please, tell me the truth. Did your mom visit again?" Timothy shook his head. "Ok then", Tobi swallowed. "Its ok". But in his heart, it wasn't ok. He was sure Timothy was scared. Stelyka must have threatened the little boy after warning him not to tell anyone about her visit. Who else would smash bottles of holy water on the ground?

"I'll clean up", Benita offered again.

"No. I'll do it", Tobi insisted. "You just focus on dinner".

While Benita went to the kitchen to cook, Tobi carried Timothy to one of the spare rooms where his toys were kept.

"In case you ever need to play with your toys, just come in here. Ok?"

"Yes daddy", Timothy replied, having overcome the fear that gripped him earlier.

"You just stay here and play. You can also play in the passage. After I'm done cleaning the sitting room, you can come over with your toys. I don't want those bottles piercing your feet"

Timothy nodded, before reaching for his toy car to play with. "Daddy", he called, as Tobi started   for the door.

Tobi stopped and looked back, "yes son?"

"I'm sorry about the bottles".

Tobi smiled. "I know. You didn't do it on purpose". He ruffled the little boy's head lovingly before peaking his cheeks and then heading out


Tobi bent over the broken pieces of the bottles and studied them.  He had been on it for over 20 minutes. In as much as he wanted to be angry, Timothy was just a little boy. Besides, he was also a victim of Stelyka's rude and vicious schemes. He refused to believe the bottles fell from Timothy's hands. Thanks to his many years glued to detective stories and how forensic experts uncovered deliberate assaults on victims. Still bent over the broken bottles, he knew exactly what to look out for. As his eyes and hands worked, Tobi had it at the back of his head that they were five bottles short on holy water. Well, he was glad it was only that much. If it got exhausted, he was going to have to sneak into town to get more.

Having spent several more minutes examining the shattered bottles, he found nothing. Tobi sighed. He went into the kitchen where Benita was busy preparing dinner.

"How is he?" She asked, looking up from the onions she was chopping.

"Good. He is playing with his toys. I didn't mean to frighten him, but I still refuse to believe that those bottles fell from his hand. The incident looks deliberate to me. Someone smashed them on purpose".

His words had an effect on Benita. She stopped chopping the onions,
 "You think his mother came?"

"I think so. I've done a run back in my head over and over again. I didn't close the barbwire gate before we left. Stelyka may have found a way to cross into the premises".

"I doubt that"

"Well, I don't", he sighed. "I'll just sweep out the mess. The water didn't go to waste. At least it poured in the sitting room".

Benita nodded in agreement

Tobi picked up the broom and parker. He left. As soon as he was out the door, Benita picked up her phone from the table and continued with the message she had been typing, before she heard feet approaching the kitchen. She knew it was Tobi. And if he had seen her with the phone, he would have asked what she was doing, and then, maybe snatch her phone to have a look himself.

After writing, she read it all over, made a few corrections before hitting the send button. The faster the message went, the better. Benita thanked God that there was someone whose sole job was to check the email from time to time . Whoever he or she was, she prayed they look into her request and get back to her soonest.

Benita sighed. And not for the last time, she thought about her situation. Hunted by a dead woman called Stelyka. Stelyka. What sort of name was that anyway? She wondered what sort if evil sent lions to rip her apart in her dreams. And then send gorillas in real life to do the job the lions didn't do. Or didn't she hear the eldest of the Hausa men say something wanted to use the gorillas to hurt them?

"Dear God," she closed her eyes, "I'm not without faults. But it doesn't mean I'm any less your child.  Please take complete control of this situation. Protect us and send Stelyka away forever. Lock her up wherever she is supposed to be. She shouldn't be allowed in the world of the living again...", she prayed, on and on. Until she said, "amen".

Benita opened her eyes and continued slicing the onions. She had just finished preparing everything she needed for a fresh stew when her phone vibrated on the table where it had been resting. She picked it up and read the message. It was a reply from the prayer team's email address. It read:

Hello Benita,
We got your message. Be rest assured we will pray about it. But I must say that our prayers wouldn't be so effective for your case if you do not join us. In. Intercessory prayer, 60% of answers go to the intercessor and only 40% goes to the person we are praying for. That is why we encourage  everyone we pray for to also join us in prayer. God's protection go with you child. May the holy spirit see you through this

Kind Regards
Mr. Ifeanyi Okeke.

Benita sighed in relief. "Thank God they responded quickly", she said to herself. All that was left was to convince Tobi to join in the prayers. Just as she was mentally mapping out a strategy to get him, she heard Tobi's loud cry from somewhere in the house.

What could that be? She hurried out of the kitchen to the sitting room, then the passage.

"What in God's name is the meaning of this?" She heard Tobi's voice coming from the store room. "How? Just how? Timothy! Timothy!!"

The anger with which he called the boy was enough to frighten any one. Benita rushed in. Timothy emerged from the spare room and  followed closely behind.

"What happ...", her question died on her lips when she saw the cause of Tobi's loud cry. Everything in the store room was soaked; from the bag of rice, beans and garri sitting at the corner, to the tubers of yam lying on the ground, as well as the carton on indomie, onions and plantain. The five cartons that each held 20 bottles of holy water Tobi had purchased from a church, lay on the ground, torn in different places. The bottles where on the ground too, smashed. Only three bottles out of a total of 100, remained.

"Oh my God!" Benita's jaws dropped

"Three bottles. That's all we have left", Tobi said without looking back. "It will only serve us for the night. After which, we're on our own", he turned slowly to face Benita. But his eyes fell on Timothy hiding behind her. "Timothy, tell me the truth. What happened here?"

Timothy shook his head, "I don't know daddy".

"When you we're alone this afternoon, you didn't hear sounds of things breaking?'" He frowned.

"No daddy. Nothing happened when I took the bottles I was playing with", he said, "I don't know what happened".

 Tobi sighed and looked at Benita, his expression was that of sorrow and great frustration. "By midnight tomorrow, Stelyka will have her way".

Benita knew what he meant. In other words, Stelyka would kill her by the following day. No way. No way would she let it happen. How the witch managed to get in while they we're away and Timothy was deep in sleep,  was beyond her. But death? No way. It wasn't going to happen.

"We ... we need... to pray", she swallowed, looking him straight in the eye. "God is all we have now".

Tobi closed his eyes. Benita was right.  Prayer had worked for a lot of people. If it didn't work for him in the past, there sure was a reason why. But she believed strongly in prayers, and as things were, that was their only choice. He opened his eyes again and looked at her. She looked, scared, tired and anxious, anticipating his reply.

"We will pray.  And I hope to God, we get answers this time".

Benita rushed to hug him . "We will.  We will get answers".


It was late at night when they finally bathed, ate and prepared to pray. Timothy already felt dizzy. And when Tobi asked him to go and sleep, he went quietly to his own room, shut the door and lay on the mattress.


"You have to lead", Tobi said to Benita from where he sat across the table, "I won't be able to because I don't know where or how to start".

"Sure. I will. Although I would have preferred that Timothy joins us".

"The boy feels dizzy. He wouldn't be able to keep his eyes open. We can pray for him even if he's not here".

Benita sighed. She didn't agree with that. When she was Timothy's age, even if she felt sleepy, her parents would insist she sleeps on a nearby table while praying. Then they'll also pray for her. But of course,Timothy wasn't her son and she had no right to impose on them what or what not to do.  "Ok", she said, "Let's begin".

They starter with series of praise songs and then worship and then praise again. It was almost midnight when they delved into prayers. After prayers, they sat up until 1:00am in the morning, reading the bible.


All the while, Timothy stayed awake on his bed, staring into the darkness around him. Sleep had deserted him as soon as his body touched the mattress.
He heard his father and Benita singing. Then he heard them praying. It was a really long time before their voices ceased. They have gone to sleep. He thought. He turned on his side then, closed his eyes and went to sleep.

To be continued....

Thursday, 9 March 2017

ICAPA Trust and Writivism Are Collaborating on a Script-writing Residency Programm

ICAPA Trust and Writivism Are Collaborating on a Script-writing Residency Programme in May 2017. Participating script writers will be hosted for four weeks in Senegal, while they work on  adapting short stories into film and screenplays. Don't delay. Apply now. Deadline for application is March 31. Please see the screenshot below for more details. Please tap on the image for a clearer view.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Stelyka Chapter 6 (A stroll In The Forest)

The sun was already high up and the weather was hot. But thanks to the surrounding trees, they had some shade and breeze. It was 10:15am when Tobi finished with the last part of the barb wire fence. He then went on to sprinkle salt and holy water at the foot of the fence. It was his way of preventing Stelyka from entering the premises and harassing people through the windows.

"That should hold her away for a while", he said to Benita as he walked up to where she sat at the entrance.

"We should pray too", she said, her eyes taking in the sweat and sand that covered his body, "you need a bathe".

He chuckled, looking at her, "so do you".

She nodded, smiling. "I'll bathe Timothy first", she offered. "Then I'll have my bath. Just go take care of yourself".

He looked at her, wondering what sort of a person she was. Benita had accepted his story, and she had accepted Timothy without further questions or drama. She was a rare type and he silently thanked his stars for such luck in choosing a girl. He couldn't tell what sort of drama he would have been going through had it been someone else he got on Stelyka's list of kills. "Thanks, Benita", he finally found his voice. "I appreciate that you warm up to Timothy, despite everything".

She turned to look at the little boy still enjoying short rides with his bicycle. "He is loveable, Tobi. I can't help but like him".

"Even When you know his mother is out to kill you?"

"He is a victim too. We all are".

Tobi nodded. He spent a little extra time looking at Timothy still riding his bicycle, before heading into the house. In his heart, he was grateful for Benita's maturity and thoughtfulness. She was a rare gem.

"Timo", Benita called from where she sat

"Yes aunty", he answered without looking up.

"Its time to bathe".

"Daddy will bathe me", he called back.

She smiled at his choice. One couldn't expect anything less. Tobi had since been his daddy, mummy, aunty, uncle, nanny, teacher and sibling. "I know you love your dad. But I am going to be your nanny for a while, as well as your mummy. So come on, let's go and get you cleaned up. Noon is almost here".

He ignored her until she stood up and walked up to him, obstructing his way. "Timothy?"

He stopped riding and looked up at her, scratching his head. "Ok", he said grudgingly . "But I still prefer my dad".

"I know. But you haven't had a real mother. Wouldn't you like to know what it means to have one?"

He stared at her for a while. A smile gradually curved his lips. "A real mummy? Yes please" he grinned. Benita laughed. He dumped his bicycle and grabbed her hand. "Are you going to do for me all the things mummies do for their children?" He asked.

"Yes. All of it". Benita wrapped her hands around his small one and led him towards the house. "You know what Timo, if we all survive this, I will really love to be your mummy forever. Yes?"

"Yes!" He jumped.


After they had all freshened up, Benita found her way into the kitchen, wearing a green sleeveless shirt and blue jeans Tobi had given to her. He had said that the food available would last them two months, depending on how they managed. With that thought in mind, she was in the kitchen to prepare lunch only for Timothy. She and Tobi were to eat from the biscuit pack and ground nut bottle in the room. With a glass of juice to wash it down, they would be ok.

She prepared indomie with one fried egg for Timothy. After eating, they played with him until he slept off. Tobi took him to his room for the afternoon nap. It was only then they had the chance to quietly eat their biscuit and groundnut. Tobi got a pack of Chivita juice and poured the content into two glasses.


They had finished eating and were relaxing under a tree shade within the premises when Benita brought up the topic that had been in her mind all morning.

"We need to pray", she said, "without prayers, we won't overcome this. I am not a prayer warrior. In fact, my prayer life is nothing to write home about. But I do believe in God and I believe in his miracles, his grace, his salvation. Please Tobi. We can't rule God out of this if we are going to survive". She looked at him.

Tobi sighed. They had remained locked up in the house long enough. And so he had actually been thinking about taking a stroll to see the Hausa men he hired to guard the property, especially the house, at night. And he had wanted to ask that Benita accompanied him. Only for her to bring up the issue of praying again. How many times should he pray for one thing? If God was going to answer him, he would have done so years ago. Fegiro wouldn't have died, his other girl friends wouldn't have died, neither would his friends have died.

"Benita, I'm not going to argue about this. But if you feel praying will help, then so be it. Please pray".

"Sure. But we should start praying together. The three of us. There is definitely power in numbers".

"Why must we join you?" Tobi frowned. "I'm doing what I know works best. And I'm doing it alone. You can also do yours alone".

It was Benita's turn to frown. "Alone? Apart from Timo, who helped out with the fence this morning?"

"Arrrrr!!" Tobi grunted inwardly. Benita knew where to get him. Sure, he wasn't against prayers. There was a time in his life he prayed fervently. But ever since his unfortunate situation and unanswered prayers, he decided to let praying be. However, he could see that Benita was out to frustrate his life if he refused.

"Ok. You helped out". He admitted,"we will all pray together", he covered her right hand with one of his. "Is that ok?"

"Thank you" she smiled at him. They were in the forest, and of course, no electricity. But she still had some battery in her phone. It was certainly going to be enough to type an email, explaining her situation to the prayer team in her church. Benita hadn't been all that strong with prayers. She just said a little at a time and believed strongly that it was heard and would be answered. Her believe usually worked, hence she believed more in faith than too much prayers. She would inform the team and still pray for herself, Tobi and Timothy. Then she would fall back, unwaveringly, on faith. Stelyka would have to leave her alone and go to hell where she belongs.

True, she couldn't tell Tobi her plans to inform the prayer group. He would kick against it, maybe even sieze her phone too. He obviously didn't want outsiders knowing about his unfortunate situation and then stigmatizing poor Timothy. But the earlier they were all free from Stelyka, the better for them. She would type and send the email message. It was a good thing she still knew the prayer team's email address by heart. She was mentally mapping out how the email should be written when Tobi's voice distracted her.

"....You're not saying anything. You don't want to come? He asked.

"Sorry. I was away in thoughts. Where are we going?"

"To check on the guards and to be sure everything is in order".

"You have guards here?" She was surprised.

"Yes. Some Hausa guys. Since they need a place for their cows to graze and I needed security to avoid land encroachment, I hired them".

"Do they know we are here?"

"Yes. They guard the house at night".

"That means they know about Stelyka".

"I don't know", Tobi sighed. "Its possible she has visited them. It is also possible she has not. That's why I need to go check on them and return before night fall. Are you coming?"

"We can't leave only Timothy by himself". She reasoned

"He will be fine. We're not going to be long."


The walk through the forest was sign enough that they were not alone. Prints of cow hooves lined the ground, as well as cow poo. Some parts of the forest smelt badly of cow pee.

"Why do cows have to smell so bad?" Benita complained. Tobi chuckled.

"We will smell worse, if we pooped without cleaning ourselves up".

It was well over 30 minutes when they arrived at a small clearing. Three big huts stood in it. There was a fire spot for cooking at the middle of the three huts. Three small stools surrounded it. At the foot of the stools were three small kettles. A few clean clothes hung on a drying line. But there seemed to be no one around. The place seemed deserted.

"Hello?" Tobi called out as they advanced closer to the hut, "is anyone home?"

He called out for the third time before a timid young girl, about 13 years old, appeared at the entrance of one of the huts. Her yellow ankle-length gown had some black stains on it.

"My papa e no around" She said, "Take malu out to eat".

Tobi nodded in understanding. "What about your mother?"

"Mama? No mama", she shook her head.

"I'm sorry to hear that", Tobi said. He wondered how the young girl was coping without a mother. "Please tell your papa I came to say hello. I'll find time to come back. Maybe tomorrow afternoon".

The girl nodded timidly, and they left.

"Poor girl", Benita said after they had made their way back into the forest. "She seems to be without care".

"I only hope she's not being abused by her father or the other men".

"Let's hope not. Else we will have another case to handle".

Tobi decided it was best to enjoy the fresh breeze some more by taking through a longer route. Thanks to the Hausa men and their cows, there were bush paths everywhere. Along one path, they came in view of a mango tree.

"Wow!" Tobi said, looking up at the reddish yellow fruits. A lot of them were ripe on the tree. "If only we had brought a bag along".

Benita chuckled. "Well, we did not. We will have to take only what our hands can carry".

And so they plucked eight mango fruits. One stayed in each side of their pant pockets and the others were held in their hands. They laughed at each other as they struggled to keep the mangoes in place.

Not long afterwards, the duo continued on their journey home, cracking  jokes and telling stories as they walked.

The sun was setting already when they sighted their recent home some distance away. However, they were in no hurry. Tobi found some wild flowers. He stopped, bent over and plucked two.

"What do you need those for?" Benita asked

Tobi said nothing. He simply got to his feet and carefully stuck the stem of the flower into her hair. "There! Now you look like a Nubian queen".

Benita smiled. "You're trying to be romantic?"

Tobi faked a frown. "I thought I have always been romantic".

They both laughed

"You were before you kidnapped me", she joked.

"Arrrggg!" Tobi rubbed his head, "I wish I had kidnapped you to the altar, instead of this dead zone."

They were quiet for a while. His words had great effect on her. Before their recent situation, she had hopes that he would make out time to see her parents and they would get married afterwards.. But with all that was happening, she wasn't even sure what the future held. In as much as she wanted to have strong faith, she knew she was wavering. Besides, what was the use of faith when she hadn't said a prayer?"

"Do you think I will survive this?" She asked

"I don't know what to think", Tobi replied as he carelessly rested against a nearby tree. "I only know that this time, if she hurts you, she will have to hurt me too". He turned to face Benita. "If she kills you, she'll have to kill me too".

"What about Timothy? Surely she wouldn't leave him alone".

"No. I guess she'll find him another father or mother". He sighed.

Benita sighed too. If only Stelyka will just let them be. She couldn't say what Tobi had gone through. Only a few hours knowing about Stelyka and she had been very tense, worrying and for the first time in her life, really thinking about what the future held in store for her. Death? Or life? Tobi had been strong. And she had to find a way to be strong with him. She placed her mangoes on the ground, moved forward, took his hands and pulled him away from the tree into her embrace. She felt him chuckle.

"This is good consolation" he said, and then pulled back a little to look at her, "I never thought you'd agree to hug me again".

It was her turn to chuckle, pulling him back into a tighter embrace. "We never know what we are capable of, until we do it".

They stayed locked in that position, relishing in each other's embrace. Her soft fronts pressed into his, making him inhale deeply as a sudden warmth spread through his body to his lower torso. His hard frame against her soft body was enough to cause chaos. She had often wondered what it would be like to just remain in his embrace. And now that she was in it, his hard body was not the only thing that caught her attention. The bulge between his legs did, pressing against her abdomen.

They were suddenly not aware of the cool breeze or the darkness that was beginning to envelop them as night gradually approached. Different questions raced through their heads. Questions that needed answers. Tobi was the first to speak.

"We don't know what the future holds. And we might never know what it would be like to be together, naked, in bed.

Benita sighed deeply. He was right. She would have loved to tease him, to take him back to her room in the house and make love to him passionately. Maybe it would be their only chance to be together. No, she was no saint. She had done it before even though her pastor had preached uncountable times about abstaining from sex until after marriage.

However, she knew that if she was going to get response to her prayers and be relieved of Stelyka, she had to let the idea of having sex with Tobi out of her mind. But it didn't stop her from pulling back a little and planting wet kisses on his lips. He kissed her back, passionately. While the kissing progressed, one hand went below, grabbed her behind and pressed harder against his erection. Their lips continued to tease each other, licking and savouring each other's taste. Volts of pleasure rushed through their bodies. Moans escaped their lips. Tobi's hands soon moved beneath her blouse, unhooked her bra and pushed it aside, before raising up her blouse and taking her right nipple in his mouth, while his thumb teased the other. She held him close, wanting more of what he was doing to her. Her head fell back in pleasure as Tobi shuttled between one nipple and the other. He was going for the zip of her jeans when he felt her pull back sharply.

"Beni..." her name froze in his lips when he looked up at her. Her expression was grave as she looked past him and even pointed to something behind him. Tobi turned around. His eyes fell on the black hairy form of a very huge gorilla some distance away, staring at them angrily. One gorilla joined the first. Then another, and then 2 more. Tobi' jaws dropped open. But not for long. He got his act together, grabbed Benita by the hand and raced madly towards the house. The gorillas slammed their fists against their chests, roared loudly before engaging in a fierce pursuit.

 Their hearts slammed heavily against their chests as they maneuvered road block, trees and even a few pot holes created by erosion. While Tobi thought about crossing the barb wire fence so as to be protected, Benita said words of prayers, asking God to forgive their sexual exploits and give them protection. It was stupidity to forget that they were in the forest and some distance away from their safe haven. If God could spare them this one time, then he certainly could spare them forever.

When they started to hear the running feet of the gorillas drawing closer, Tobi was sure they wouldn't make it. Benita was sure they were as good as dead already. But they kept the pace. They were not so far from the fence now, if only they could just make it. But as they drew closer, the unexpected happened.


At the sound of the gun shot, Tobi grabbed Benita and forcefully pushed her through the open barb wire gate. Then he threw himself forward as more gunshots rented the air.

 Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!!!

Then silence. Benita was the first to get up. She ran over to where Tobi lay, writhing in pain as he held one leg against his chest. Apparently , when he threw himself forward, one of the strong wires pushing out from one side of the fence caught and ripped his trouser open at the left side of his leg and made contact with the flesh beneath it.

"Tobi", Benita cried as she knelt over him, inspecting his wounded leg. Three Hausa men appeared at the gate entrance just in time. They were dressed in long robes and jungle boots. Their rifles and bags hung from over their shoulders. The elderly one amongst them asked Benita to move aside. He bent over to examine the leg while Benita cuddled Tobi to herself, petting him and promising he'll be fine.

"It is a deep cut". The man spoke at last. Benita was surprised at his English . Despite being a cattle rearing Hausa man, his English was clean, of course, with a little Hausa accent. The man took his bag off from over his head and opened it. He took out a small round object that looked like a balm container and gave it to Benita. "My hands are dirty. I shouldn't be the one to do it. After washing his leg, apply this. It has a bad smell and it would make him scream. But it will heal the leg quickly.

"Thank you", Benita said, taking the balm from him.

"Thank you." Tobi managed, as he pulled free from Benita's embrace and struggled to get to his feet. The elderly man helped him up. Benita thought he was too strong for his age.

"I am happy to help. You should not go out without being on guard. You are lucky we were passing by. The gorillas are dead. Something wanted to use them to fight you. Something I have seen around since you came here". He led a leaping Tobi outside the perimeters where 2 out of the five gorillas lay dead. "The others are wounded too. But they escaped" he explained.

"Thanks for your quick intervention", Benita said, examining the dead creatures with her eyes.

Tobi looked at the elderly man, wearily. Was it possible he knew about Stelyka? Because she was the only evil that would use animals to attack him. "We went to your camp", he said instead. "That is why we are just coming. We met only your daughter."

"Oh! Fatima" The man said with pride. "If I know you are coming, I would have stayed back".

"Its ok. You had to do your job. But will tomorrow afternoon be a good time to meet you at home?"

The front door of the house opened, distracting them. Timothy came out, rubbing his eyes. It seemed like he had just woken up from sleep.

"Oh! Timo". Benita left the men and went to the little boy. They had left him all by himself for too long. And she was only grateful he was ok.

The elderly man looked at the boy for a while and then back to Tobi, "tomorrow afternoon will be fine. We have a lot to talk about".

To be continued....

©Karo Oforofuo. March  2017

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Monday, 6 March 2017

Stelyka Spew - Chapter Five. (A bad dream)

It was day break, 9:10AM. Soft breeze blew through the dense forest, even as the rays of the golden sun penetrated it. Benita sat in front of the house watching Tobi. He was busy erecting the last part of the barb wire fence around the house with iron poles. Sweat trickled down his bare chest as he worked. He had been at it since 6:00am that morning,  as he was desperate to keep danger at bay. Benita had assisted as she could. So did Timothy. What was left to be done was little and so Tobi had asked them to rest.

Benita's eyes stuck with him like glue, while Timothy rode his bicycle in circles a short distance away. Tobi had remembered to bring along some of his toys so he could be kept busy. To Benita, it was sign Tobi was a great father who satisfied his child's needs. If she had kids with him, she was sure he would take proper care of them too. However,  she kept in mind the fact that Stelyka had been part reason for his extra care with the boy. Benita sighed at the thought.  Tobi was a good man, no doubt. She only wished he wasn't neck deep in the situation he was in.

At midnight,  after Timothy had obeyed Tobi's instruction and left the room, she pushed Tobi away from her and landed a hot slap on his cheek then proceeded to call him all sort of names. Tobi looked stunned, as he just couldn't understand the reason for the sudden violence and abuse. It was when she started to question him about his wife and the fact that he had a son, that he understood her rage. She thought he was a married man cheating on his wife with her.

"If you calm down,  I will explain. I will tell you everything", he promised.

"Explain what, really?" She attacked, "That your wife is a bad woman hence the need to cheat on her? Keep that stupid excuse to yourself. You have a wife you have a son and still you dated me. Like that isn't bad enough, you kidnap me and bring me to this grave yard. What sort of a nutcase are you?"

"I'm not married. The boy is not even my biological son. Will you just keep calm and let me explain things?"

His words hit her. He wasn't married, and the boy wasn't really his? It took her a while, but she finally relaxed. Then he led her out of the room to the plastic table and chair in the sitting room. He sat her down and told her everything. At first she was shocked, and then fear followed. If everything Tobi had said was true, then she was just harassed by an evil spirit. She had thought that was what it was, but she wasn't sure. However, after Tobi's story, she was even more confused.

"You're lying", she countered him, refusing to believe. "You're just using a pity story as a cover up your crime. You want me feeling sorry for you".

"Its the truth." Timothy said from where he had been eavesdropping on their conversation. "My daddy has told me everything. And I believe him. My mummy used to tell me too".

Tobi frowned at him, "I asked you to go to your room", he reminded the boy.

"But I can't go to my room alone.  Mummy will come and visit me and I don't want her to", he grumbled.

His words had a strong effect on Tobi. He stood up and quickly walked over to Timothy. "She's still visiting you?"

"Yes" he nodded, childishly

"Why didn't you tell me?" Tobi queried, kneeling on one leg.

"She said I shouldn't tell you. She said she'll make you go away and leave me if I tell you."

"Don't listen to her", Tobi said, hugging him. "I won't leave you, you hear me?"

"Yes daddy."

"Good boy. Now come with me. You need to drink from the holy water before going to bed.  You'll sleep in my room. She wouldn't touch you there". He walked out of the sitting room, into the passage, holding Tobi's hand and leaving an almost traumatized Benita by herself. She sat there alone, thinking hard and long about everything.

So the child wasn't his. Neither was he married or in a romantic relationship with the boy's mother. He had risked his business and his own life when he chose to bring her to safety. She looked at the phone on the table. It was hers. Tobi had left it there. It showed a hundred missed calls from family and friends. Tobi had said he couldn't bring himself to answer the phone as he did not know what to tell them. Funny, how she thought he must had already requested for his ransom. Another call came in then, she knew she had to pick the call so as to quell their fears and anxiety. After answering that, she proceeded to call her parents and then Helen.

"How can you let yourself be whisked away on a vacation like that? And you didn't call to tell us anything. We've been worried sick about you", Helen fired after she had called and told a lie the best she could - Tobi had whisked her away on a surprise vacation. Simple.

"I'm sorry Helen", she apologized, "I never should have run off like that and even abandoned my phone in our hotel room. I'm so sorry. Who is taking care of you now?"

"No one. I'm all alone. Thanks to you".

"Oh dear. I'm so sorry".

"I bet you are. Have you called your parents? They've been worried sick".

"Yes. I called them just before I called you".

"Ok. They must feel relieved now. So when are you coming back?"

Benita paused. She didn't know if she would survive, let alone go back. But of course, she couldn't tell Helen that. Her best friend wouldn't understand what she was saying. "Helen, I really don't know yet".

"You don't? You better get back here first thing tomorrow morning. Do I have to remind you that we have 2 big events to organize this weekend?"

"You don't have to, Helen. Just please choose our best hands, share them in two groups and let each group manage each event. If they do it well, they get a raise". Helen's side of the line was quiet. "Hello, Helen? Are you there?"

"I am. But I'm wondering who I am speaking to. The Benita I know wouldn't miss organizing these two events for anything in the world. What has gone into your head? Why the carefree attitude?"

"Its not a care free attitude, Helen. I'm just not going to be able to make it".

"Hmmmm... ok. Greet Tobi for me. Tell him he's doing a good job of pissing me off".

Benita smiled then. It was her first smiles since the unfortunate incident. At that moment, she was happy to have Helen as her best friend. "I will tell him", she replied,  "you stay well until I get back, ok?"

"I'll try. Hope I don't put to bed before you show up?"

"Naaaa... it won't happen", she laughed.

"Ok then. I'm expecting you soon. Take care of yourself sweetheart".

"I will. Good night Helen".

"Good night Benita".

It was a while before the line went off. Benita sighed as she dropped the phone carelessly on the table. She knew how hard she worked to get the CEOs of the two companies to endorse her as their company event planner.  If any thing went wrong, she knew she was done for. All thanks to Tobi and Stelyka. She sighed, using one hand to rub away the ache from her forehead.

"I'm sorry you had to lie to your best friend" Tobi said from the door way where he had been watching her and listening to their conversation.

Benita looked up at him. Despite everything he still looked very handsome. Always having eyes for nice things, she actually wanted to tell him he was handsome. "Is Timothy asleep?" She asked instead.

"Yes." He sighed and moved away from the door, towards the table. He took the empty seat opposite hers. "It took a while to get him to sleep. He is scared".

She swallowed. Timothy wasn't his son, but he cared for him anyway. And to think he had been through a lot just because of that little boy's mother. "He has every right to be scared. We all do".

Tobi eyed her from where he sat, taking in her appearance. Her weavon hung over her shoulders. Beads of perspiration dotted her forehead. Even with the open window, the house was hot. The night air seemed to have become still. Benita looked a little less shaken, compared to earlier when Stelyka had visited her and when he had told her his story. "I'm sorry I dragged you into this mess", He said. "If I could rewind the hands of time, I would".

"And when you rewind it, what will happen?" She asked

"I wouldn't walk with you on the beach side, that first day we met. And I wouldn't exchange contact details with you. We will end up not falling heads over heels for each other and you will be safe, free to live your life as you want".

"And while I'm safe you'll continue battling that evil woman?"

"Yes. I guess it is my curse"

"It is not your curse. You should have prayed seriously about this" she scolded him. "Instead you let her ruine your life"

"You think I haven't prayed?" He fired back, "I have. God just doesn't answer prayers any more".

"That is a lie. It all depends on how you handled it"

"Look. I don't want arguments. Ok? I'm sorry you're tied up in this mess". He picked up his book of evil omens. It was a good thing he printed it out in hardcopy. How else would he have been able to read it without first needing to find his phone?

"Even your book of omens instructs you to use holy water. And you still think God doesn't answer prayers? Good night Tobi. I hope I can sleep in your room too with Timothy. I can't go back to mine".

"Sure." He replied. "I'll take you to it".

It was his room she slept. They all slept on the same bed with Timothy in the middle. She was awake half the time. Tobi was no different. He shuttled between reading the book of omens and the bible. Benita knew he was confused. He had been through a lot. She watched him silently until she closed her eyes and said a silent prayers before finally drifting off to sleep.

The wind howled as it blew restlessly across the open grassland. Benita was alone in the field, save for two cows at her far left, grazing on the low dry grasses. The sky was covered by dark clouds and the wind seemed to be increasing in strength. She turned to leave the field but could not. Her feet were stuck to the ground. She was curious as to why she was stuck when she heard it. The same feminine voice that visited her window at midnight.

"You're exactly where I want you now", It said "Outside".

Fear griped Benita. She made another attempt to run out of the field. Still, she couldn't move.  While she struggled to move her feet, the voice came again.

"Look up darling, and see the gift I have for you".

Benita stopped what she was doing and looked up. Her heart nearly jumped out of her mouth as she watched in horror, five huge lions devouring the cows that had been feeding quietly. After they had their fill, they turned to face her. Slowly, they started in her direction and picked up the pace as they progressed.

"Hahahahahahhahaha....." Stelyka laughed viciously.

Benita bent low and grabbed her legs,  trying to move them. But they would not move. The lions were just a stone throw from her when she looked up again. Ignoring the deafening sound of Stelyka's laugher, Benita closed her eyes and began to pray rapidly. Her words were incoherent.

A light tap on the leg woke her up. It was Timothy. He smiled broadly when she jerked out of sleep and quickly sat up, panting. It was after a while that she turned to look at him.

 "Good morning aunty", he greeted, lying beside her on the mattress.

"Good morning Timothy", she managed a smile, before briefly looking over at Tobi's side. It was empty.

"You were having a bad dream." He said, still looking at her, as if wanting to ensure she was ok.

"Yes, I was." She admitted.

"I knew it! You have been turning and saying all sort of things. I couldn't even understand you."

"Oh, sorry." She felt embarrassed. "I hope what I was saying didn't disturb your sleep?"

"No. It didn't. I have been awake ever since dad woke up. "

"Ok. That's good.  So where is your father?"

"Outside. He is working on a barbed wire fence. He says it will help keep my mom away".

Benita sighed. His mom. Her mind drifted to the dream she awoke from. Timothy's mom was one hell of a woman who was obviously bent on killing her. Who would have thought an evil woman could have a great kid like Timothy? It was unfortunate things were happening the way they were. She'd have loved to adopt Timothy as her own and care for him. He was smart, intelligent and lively. But of course, not when his mother was gunning for her head. Tobi wasn't helping issues either. If only he would trust God more and pray. Now what was he doing, setting up a barbed wire fence. Who did a barb wire fence ever really save? She was sure he got the stupid idea from the book of omens.

"Is that what the book of evil omens told him to do?" She asked.

"I don't know." Timothy replied, playfully rolling on to his father's side, "but my dad is always right", he grinned at her. Benita couldn't help but smile at his childish innocence. It was obvious he adored his father, even though they were not flesh and blood.

"Let's go and join your father outside. We can lend him a hand instead of staying cooked up here. What say you?".

"Yes!" Timothy quickly sat up and got off the mattress. "I wanted to help him but he said I must stay with you and watch over you. He doesn't want my mother to come and hurt you", he finished.

"And you did a great job of protecting me", she smiled and patted his head. If he hadn't tapped her up when he did, she couldn't tell what would have become of her. Somehow, Benita believed that whatever happened  in the dream was spiritual and would eventually happen in real life. Stelyka or whatever her name was, would really have to fight harder to kill her. For she was going to take prayers seriously, waking, sleeping, eating, bathing etc. And even as they walked out of the room, she silently prayed.

They got out and helped with the fence as they could. In between, she had joined Tobi in the kitchen to prepare breakfast - boiled yams and fried eggs. After eating, work had resumed. She quietly hoped the fence would be ready soon, then they would freshen up and she would have a long talk with Tobi. She didn't think that hiding in the forest was the solution to their problems. They needed to reach out for help.

To be continued. ..

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Friday, 3 March 2017

What Is That Thing That Can Break The Vows That Binds.?


        'Oh please don't play innocent with me. You know what am talking about. I saw the sex tape you did on our wedding day...' There was no escape route for Adjetey. Mensima his newly wedded wife had found the evil act he committed with his ex Phoebe on the same day he was getting married to her. They had just returned from their honeymoon when she stumbled on the revealing tape and had to battle with the harsh reality. Torn between forgiveness and murder, Mensima had to make a hard decision for the man she loved.
      She was unable to tell anyone about it, not even her family. What will you do if you found out that just after you said 'I do', your spouse was tongued tied with someone else and there was a video to prove the act? That she had to be the one to force the truth out of him makes the act even more abominable.
      I believe this story describes a real life situation even if not exactly. Adjetey wasn't able to cover his sins. And to think that he was planning to hide it from his wife forever and go through life as if nothing like that ever happened,  is totally heartless.
      For the one you love, absolute sincerity is the price you must be willing to pay even if your spouse don't directly demand it from you. Say it all, save your integrity, save your happiness and save your marriage.
      Vow that binds is a short piece, that is straightforward and I must say easy to grasp. I've learnt a big marriage lesson that I hope you'll learn too. "When you say 'I do', get ready to go every inch with your partner. Some things you never bargained for may come to test the trust and love you have for them". Marriage is sure a bed of roses, but watch out for hidden thorns.

Title: Vows That Bind

Author: Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa

Category: Fiction

Published On:

When a newly wed wife finds out her husband cheats on her on their wedding day, she has a choice to make. Ask for a divorce, pay him back or stick to her vows.

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Tessy Mordi is an upcoming writer mentally married to good books. A good entry into her heart is a book in hand and a good heart. When she's not working, she's reading or writing or playing, with passion.

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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Stelyka Spew -Chapter Four (A Midnight Visitor)

When Benita finally knocked, it was because she felt pressed and needed to use the bathroom. She knocked several times and even yelled out his name before Tobi showed up. He had expected to see her empty plate. But it was not empty. In fact, it hadn't been touched. He turned questioning eyes on her.

"I need to use the toilet and then I need to use the bathroom", she raised her chin defiantly.

Tobi studied her a while before going out again and locking the door behind him. Benita frowned. Was his earlier hospitality just a front? Was she supposed to poo, pee and bath in her cell room? She was starting to fume when the sound of key turning in the lock greeted her ears. The door soon flew open and Tobi stepped in again - towel and a clean dress in one hand, soap and tissue in the other.

"I won't wear cloths that belong to another", she protested.

"I bought it for you. We didn't have time to pick some clothes from your own collection."

"I don't need it,"

"You do. Just change into the towel and give me your old clothes. I'll wash them while you bathe".

She frowned then. Wash her dirty clothes? Wasn't she supposed to be a prisoner? Wasn't he supposed to be ruthless with her? Or was he pretending?

She took the dress and towel, as well as the bath soap and tissue. "If you don't mind, I'll like to undress with my door closed".

"Sure. Knock on it when you're done". He walked out and closed the door behind him. The key turned in the lock a few seconds later

"Jerk" Benita hissed, "he still locks the door".

It was some few minutes to midnight when sleep finally claimed her. Ever since she had her bath earlier, Benita laid restlessly on her mattress. She couldn't close her eyes to sleep. Her stomach rumbled and made loud angry sounds, crying because of her refusal to eat the food still sitting on the tray by the side of her mattress. But she wouldn't bulge. Tobi might decide to sneak in at night just to see if the effect of whatever poison he gave her had started to work. He would be disappointed. She would make sure of that, no matter the hunger.

But when the hunger had started to disturb her sleep, she put aside her fears and took a few spoons from the indomie. It was yummy. She had to silently confess that Tobi did a great job cooking it. From a few spoons, she eventually ate everything and drank up the water in the plastic bottle, forgetting the cup sitting on the tray. Overfeeding they say, has its own lazy effect on the body. For her body became tired and heavy. Sleep was not far away when she lay her head down again.

A few minutes to midnight, she awoke, startled. A frown creased her brows as she stirred. Then she heard it again, the hissing sound that woke her up. It came from out side the window. Scared at what it might be, she jumped up from her mattress and backed away from the window.

"Who is there?" Benita asked. Was the food actually laden with drugs? Was Tobi set to rape her now? But she felt fine. How could drugs be in her system and still leave her feeling ok? The sound came again, louder. And this time, she braced up. "What do you want, Tobi? You can't scare me. What sort of game is this?"

"It is not a game" The hissing response came. At that reply, Benita's heart beat doubled. That was not Tobi's voice. It sounded soft, feminine but dangerous. Maybe it was Tobi. He was just being mischievous so as to scare her.

"Get away from my window and allow me sleep. My parents will pay you the 4million you asked for. Just go. Don't harass me. And you don't need to scare me",

"It's not a scare", the voice hissed. "If you doubt it, step out of your room and meet me outside" the voice laughed at her, "then you will see. I came to work, not scare you". The voice laughed wickedly.


Tobi had retired to his room after singing little Timothy to sleep. However, he couldn't bring himself to sleep as the events of the day replayed in his mind. He kept asking himself if bringing Benita to the forest was the right thing to do. She had been stubborn and wild with anger, even to the point of slapping him. But he couldn't blame her.  Everything looked like a set up to her. He didn't want to frighten her with the truth. But at the same time, he knew he had to tell her the truth soon. He needed her to work with him so as to ward off the pending evil.

Tobi sighed and turned on his left side. The mattress was soft and inviting enough. But sleep chose to keep away. He looked at the two books sharing the bed with him. One was the bible. The other was the book of evil omen. He looked at both books, trying to decide which one to read, since sleep had deserted him. In the past, he had read the bible and even prayed. But still, Stelyka had her way. Now he had tried the book of evil omen. And with its help, Benita was still alive. That was it. His chose what to read.

Tobi reached for the book of evil omen and sat up. He was turning the pages when his room door opened. Little Timothy stepped in.

"Timothy", Tobi was not so surprised to see him. The boy hardly agreed to sleep alone, especially when he was agitated. Who wouldn't be with all that had happened? "You can't sleep?" He asked. Timothy nodded. "Its ok. Come here".

The little boy happily joined his father on the bed. To keep him company, Toni dropped the book in his hands and asked him what he would like to do.

"Let's sing again", Timothy grinned. Tobi chuckled.

"You love singing, I see. You might grow up to be a singer".

Timothy's grin broadened as he nodded vigorously. Tobi feared his head would fall off.

"Ok. So what song do you want us to sing?" Tobi asked.

"The Barney family song", he replied, happily.

"Then the family song it is".

Timothy was enjoying the music session with his dad. He smiled, threw one leg up and used his free hand to drum against the mattress as they repeated the verse together.

I love you,
You love me,
We are one big family,
With a great big hug and a kiss from .......

Timothy was the first to stop singing. His countenance changed and his eyes moved to look at Tobi's. Tobi looked back at him. Noticing the child's countenance, the lyrics trailed off his lips. He recognized the look in Timothy's eyes. His breath caught.

"What is it, Timothy?"

"Mummy", he swallow, "She's here". Just then, they heard Benita's scream.

"Shit!" Tobi jumped up, grabbed the electric lamp and Timothy with him. They rushed out of the room, down the passage to Benita's room door. All the while Tobi fumbled in his pocket for the key, which didn't seem to want to come out, he cursed and then prayed and then cursed again.

"Leave me alone." He heard her say. If he delayed longer, he wasn't sure what will happen. He fumbled a little more and the key finally emerged. Although it took a little more time, as his hands were shaky, he found the key hole, inserted the key and turned it.

Benita was on her feet, backed against the wall. Her expression was that of fear. She looked from the open door and back to window.

"Are you ok?" Tobi surveyed the room with the lamp before going to her side.

"I am sure I heard a voice from outside, she pointed in the direction of the window . "I know what I heard".

"I know. I believe you. Did she touch you?" He started to inspect her body.

"Did she? She?" Her eyes were wide with horror. "It looks like you have a perfect idea of what just happened here. Whatever that was, I want an explanation. What sort of cursed house did you bring me to?" She yelled.

"Please calm down..."

"I won't", she slammed her fist against his chest, "Get me out of this house, now. Get me out!"

Tobi caught her fists before they could hit his chest the third time. He shook her up before yelling at her "Fighting me is not the solution. You have to relax".

"Relax? And have that thing visit me again?"

"My dad is telling the truth" Timothy cut in. His tiny voice filtered into Benita's ears and for the first time, she noticed the little boy. He was a little chubby, fair skinned, wore a neat hair cut and was dressed in his pajamas. Benita couldn't seem to get her eyes off him. Tobi had a son? Or didn't she just hear him say his dad was telling the truth?

"Timothy, go back to your room, ok?." Tobi instructed. And then she remembered. She had heard him earlier, instructing someone called Timothy. She had thought the person was his accomplice. If she hadn't had the weirdest experience ever, how would she have known that Timothy was a little boy? Not just a little boy, Tobi's little boy. His son. How dare he date her when he had a son? He had a wife somewhere who had given him a son?

To be continued....

©Karo Oforofuo. March  2017

Note: If you want to be among the first readers to be notified when updates are made on the blog, add me up on whatsapp. 08131014028 (Whatsapp only, please). Add me up and send me a message. I'll add you to my broadcast list and you will get the link to each update as soon as they are posted. If you haven't signed up for my newsletter, what are you waiting for?  Oya, hit the sign up button at either sides of the blog page and do the needful. A short romance novella awaits you after you do.

Thanks for reading. Please drop your comments, like and share with your friends. Cheers!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Stelyka Spew - Chapter Three ( Tobi)

No, she wouldn't understand that all he had done was for her own good. She wouldn't understand that if Stella found them, she would be dead and he would be reliving the horror that had hunted him for five good years. A horror he was determined to put a stop to.

It all started with his mother's plea to have a date with her best friend's daughter. Stella was her name. His mother went on and on about how beautiful, intelligent and homely she was. She sang Stella's praises like she could do no wrong. Tobi had no hard feelings against this Stella. His only issue was the fact that his mother refused to understand that he was already in a committed relationship with his long time girlfriend, Fegiro. Everything  he said to her, explaining the seriousness of his relationship, seemed to fall on deaf ears. And his mother was the sort that, once her mind was made up, it was annoyingly difficult to change it.

Being the proud owner of Tech Global, a company dealing in sales and repair of computers, phones, tablets, etc. The Company also sold computer and phone accessories, he had no time for outings. Business was booming, the advert and sales department had done a great job of spreading word about the company's awesomeness. With the boom, Tobi had to be on ground to ensure the smooth running if the company, at least, until he got competent hands he could trust.

And so on a spare Saturday, he had set up a date with Fegiro, his then girlfriend. Mostly they talked over the phone, did whatsapp chats and video calls. She too was really busy with growing her juice making factory.

It was going be fun for them to meet. Then she would spend the Sunday with him before returning to base on Monday.

They both looked forward to being in each other's company. A time was fixed for when she would arrive at the park so he could go pick her up. Fegiro didn't stay in Lagos. She was coming all the way r rom Port Harcourt. However, his mother chose that day to call, pleading that he should make out time to see her friend's daughter. To let the matter rest, he promised to see her, but he also told her not to get her hopes up as he was not interested in any other woman, romantically.

And so the time came. He got dressed and found his way to Stella's home, using the address his mother texted him. When he saw her, he agreed with his mom, she was beautiful. Even more beautiful than Fegiro. But that was not, for him, a criteria to pick a wife. What Fegiro lacked in beauty, she more than made up for with all the curves in the right places, intelligence and her determination to stick with him, even when he had nothing. His meal for a whole week during his days of lack, could be just bread and groundnut, sometimes, a little beans. Besides sticking with him, she helped him with the capital he used in starting Tech Global. And although the money has been tripled over and over again during the past 2 years, she refused to allow him repay her, let alone with interest. He understood then that she truly loved him for him and he fell in love with her even more. She was going to be his wife, companion and mother of his children. No one else would take her place.

So for Stella, even if she won a miss world beauty contest, he was not interested in her. She helped his decision when she started to talk too much. At some point, he got really tired of hearing her speak but was rescued when she suggested they take a stroll to the junction. He had not gone with his car, so yes, he had to walk and he was going to use the opportunity to take his leave. After the long stroll, he was happy to tell her there would be no marriage between them. She looked really heartbroken and sad, like she was already in the relationship. All the same, he was happy to walk away.

He met Fegiro at the park and apologized for his lateness. On their way home, he told her all about Stella and they both laughed over the story. So, imagine his surprise when 4 months later, he was called by his mother who asked that he came over to hers.

"So you were interested ba? You were just forming one kain thing", she teased him after he was seated in the living room.

"I don't understand what you're talking about mom".

"Don't play that game with me", she smiled, "Stella is pregnant and we both know you're responsible".

"What?" He was on his feet instantly, frowning. "Is this some kind of joke? I never touched that girl. I don't even like her. So how in God's name did I become the man responsible for her loose legs?"

His mother was taken aback, "but she says you're responsible".

"That is a big lie, mom. Are you going to believe her or me? This is just a futile attempt to trap me. And I refuse to be trapped".

Now his mother knew he was serious. Her son had always admitted when he did something - good or bad. And so she knew that if he was truly responsible for Stella's pregnancy, he would have said so. She couldn't stop him when he stormed out of her home. But she quickly placed a call to Stella's mum, telling her about the development.

"I don't believe him one bit", Stella's mom was furious. "Did my daughter Impregnant herself? And she insists that he is responsible. Its better you bring him to order o, Bola!" She warned, "it is because you're my friend that I have not taken any action. Warn him. He should do the right thing".

Mrs. Bola Olatunde was confused. Tobi had denied the child. He denied having anything to do with Stella, yet the girl insisted. She was sure, this issue was going to cause a rift between her and her best friend. She knew her son too well. If he said he didn't do it, then he didn't. She would stand by his word.

True to her thoughts, her stand on the issue caused serious quarrel between her and Stella's family. Tobi's dad got wind of the situation and questioned his son. Still Tobi stood his ground. The pregnancy was not his.

Fegiro asked him when he opened up to her about the problem, if he even for once, fancied Stella. He replied with a loud 'no'.

As he continued to deny the unborn child and Stella continued to insist it was his, he told them, "no problem. Let us wait until the child is born. Then we can carry out a DNA test to confirm if I am truly the father".

This seemed to sit well with all parties concerned, except Stella.

After 8 months and some weeks, she went into labour. Tobi was finalizing marriage plans with Fegiro when his mother called him. "Stella's mom just called me. Stella has put to bed. Its a boy. Your carbon copy".

The last word struck him like lightening. "What?" He asked

"The child is your exact look alike. Are you deaf? I'm at the hospital now. You need to come over". She told him the location of the hospital before cutting the call.

"What is it?" Fegiro asked, putting down the item she was holding.

"Stella has put to bed. I need to get to the hospital to clear myself".

When he arrived, everyone was present. He didn't greet them. He didn't even look at them. He simply walked straight to the baby cot and looked down at the child. The boy didn't look like him. He voiced his thoughts. But they countered him. Then he turned to Stella. "Congrats on your safe delivery. But that child is not mine".

"Are you blind?" Stella's, mom barked. "That baby's features have proved that he is your son. Therefore, you will marry my daughter and care for the child".


"Tobi", his mother called, feeling disappointed, "that boy is yours. He is your copy".

Why was everyone saying that? The child did not look like him in anyway. Tobi exploded with anger as he tried to defend himself. But no one believed him. Not even Fegiro, when the news reached her. She cancelled all preparations for their wedding and left. Tobi's plea couldn't stop her. Desperate and determined to prove his innocence, he asked for a DNA test to be conducted. But Stella refused, and so did her family. The child's resemblance to him was enough proof. Why subject the new mother to more stress?

Since no one would believe him, he changed his contact details and moved out of his house. Not even his parents knew where he moved to. He just didn't want to put up with their problems and neither was he going to spend a dime on the child. For charity sake, yes. But as a father's responsibility,  no way.

He kept up with his business and tried all he could to make up with Fegiro. He called her, texted her, whatsapped, but she wouldn't reply him. He had to travel down to her place at Port Harcourt and really bug her until she accepted  him back. That was his mistake. But he didn't know. He should have let her be. He should have tried to move on. But it was too late.

Two days after he returned to Lagos, he received a message from his company secretary that his mother had come by. She dropped a letter. In the letter, it was stated that Stella had died. They woke up to see her dead body, ripped open in the stomach. They said it was suicide, because she left a note to him. When everyone read the note, it was about missing him and wishing he had accepted her and the baby. Regretting ever loving him and swearing for bad omens to befall him. But when he read the note. It was different. It read:

"You cannot abandon my child. You cannot turn your back on him. You cannot leave him. Nothing in this world should be more Important than him. Anywhere you go, he goes. You will never leave him just to be somewhere else or with someone else. Know that I took my life so that my spirit will hunt you, anytime you decide to make your own rules. For I will kill all you hold near and dear and destroy all you have built. This, is a warning".

Tobi knew then that is battles were no longer physical but spiritual. I'll pray over it. He thought. And she can do me no harm. He burnt the letter, kicked the threat out of his mind and went on his way, leaving the child to Stella's mom.

It wasn't long afterwards, the deaths started. First it was Fegiro, on the day of their marriage. She slumped. No one knew why. And to think she was pregnant with his child. He had not finished mourning her when his business, Tech Global, folded up. Police suddenly got orders to shut it down. They said he was fronting for a drug cartel. He started to notice that everything he gave attention to, died. For example, after Fegiro's death, he had buried himself at the office with work. Hence it was shut down. With no job and no way of re-opening Tech Global, he started to hang out with friends.  Unfortunately,  the friends he hung out with started to die one after the other. He had to cut loose from friends and they too from him. Twice, he fell in love again, but both ladies died mysteriously. Scared he would loose his parents too, as everyone around him seemed to die, he cut off from them completely.

It was a stormy Saturday afternoon in his home, while thinking about his life and everything that had happened, that he remembered Stella's threat. But he had prayed, he refused to believe his prayers were unanswered. He was still thinking when in the midst of the heavy rain storm, he heard her soft voice say "My name is Stelyka, Stelyka Spew". He jumped. He knew that was Stella, she had introduced herself as that the first time they met.

"Get out of my house!" He yelled, holding the mop stick and looking around, wondering if he would catch a glimpse of her. He did. Her airy form walked casually from one end of the room to the other as she spoke,

"Remember our son. And remember", she paused and looked him straight in the eye "I have my eyes on you".

That was all he needed to remember that his problems would only be solved, if he cared for the little boy and if he really took him everywhere he went. Since his prayers were unanswered, he made a choice. Tobi ran out, got into his car and drove down to Stella's family house. He requested for the child who seemed very happy to see him. He carried him home and since then everywhere he went. His business reopened. He got back with friends and his parents. But he couldn't bring himself to tell them what was really happening. No one would believe him and Stekyka might strike back. His parents and Stella's parents were glad he was living up to his responsibility but they were also sad he waited for Stella to die first.

"You two would have made a great couple", his mother said. But he ignored her. She had no idea what he was going through.

Years passed, all seemed to go well, except for the fact that he was scared to fall in love again. One day, after dropping the boy off at school, he drove down to Bar Beach to clear his head. He was deep in thoughts when Benita walked up to him and said hi, smiling like she had won a jackpot.. At first sight, he took to her, mostly because in a kind of way, she reminded him about Fegiro. She too seemed to have taken to him instantly. He dreaded a relationship with her. Being just friends was enough. But Benita again, was truly like Fegiro in a lot of ways. She was persistent in ensuring she got his attention. And she did. He had started to think more about her and contemplating if it was right to risk a relationship, after all, he was already taking good care of the boy. He loved her. So much so, he went on a lunch date with her one Tuesday and forgot to pick up the boy from school early. Several times, he dropped him off at his mother's and then drove off to meet with Benita. After 4 months of seeing each other, Benita was still alive. So he thought Stekyka had taken pity on him.

But Stekyka was having none of it. She visited him again on a stormy night and told him Benita would die. He pleaded, but her laughter echoed in his room as she disappeared. A clear sign that his apology was not accepted.

Cold gripped him. He couldn't just sit back and watch another death happen.  No way. He quickly swung into action, browsing the Internet and looking for information on things like what he was experiencing. He found something - a PDF titled 'The Book Of Evil Omens'. It said something about getting far way from town first with the person in question and the child too, so as not to anger the spirit of the mother some more. But before going, he was to sanctify the house with holy water and then pour salt mixed with the holy water around the perimeters.

He had a house in a closed location. Kind of forest. He actually bought large acres of land there and wanted to build an estate when all his problems started. It was a plan he was working on with Fegiro. And he had built the house to accommodate the labourers who would be working for him. That house was his best bet at carrying out the instructions in the book. For 3 the writer made it clear, if you stay in the city, the city life will disturb your plans and concentration.

The above was the real reason he brought her here. It was the only reason she was going to stay alive. The house was sanctified, just as it was instructed in the book of evil omen. It was Benita's only safe heaven. Unfortunately, he didn't know how to tell her. Her phone had been ringing, non-stop. He couldn't answer it. Neither could he allow Benita answer it. She would tell them she had been kidnapped and the ransom was 4million. After all, that was what he told her. The police would kick off investigations. They would find and swoop down on him. He would be arrested and then, he wouldn't be able to protect her.

"God help me". He whispered. "Please help me. This is just too much".

It was a while later before he moved away from the door. He went straight to the room at the end of the hall way. He pushed the door open slightly and peeped in, raising the lamp up so he could see. Timothy lay peacefully on his mattress. He turned at the opening of the door.


"Yes. Its me". He opened the door wider and stepped in, walking to the bed. "Why haven't you slept?"

"I'm afraid." He sat up. "Mummy will come now and kill the aunty." The little boy knew all that had been going on. Tobi couldn't hide it from him even tough he was just five years old.

"Shhhhh!" Tobi placed a hand against his lips. "Don't say things like that. This time, mummy wouldn't kill anyone. All you have to do is work with me. Will you?"

Little Timothy nodded. "Yes daddy."

"Good boy. Come here." He hugged him to himself. "Did you pee before coming to bed?"


"Good. Now you should sleep. Ok? We have so much work to do in the morning and I need you to be strong". He laid the little boy back on the bed. "You want me to sing you a song?"

"Yes." He nodded, smiling.

To be continued...

©Karo Oforofuo. February  2017

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