A story by Gabriel Akilozi
Title: A spy is back
” I sat in the extreme back seat of the long slow and Steady bus,yeah, that was the name of the bus, slow and Steady. It has been six years now and am going back home. I have spent most of my years training as a spy and also a crime fighter, it had not been easy but nothing good ever comes easy. I rose from a family of five children, I am the second child and unlike other middle born, I happen to be choleric. I grew up in the small village of Atata in the eastern region. I am not naturally from the east but that was where I grew up. I attended the local primary school, I also finished my secondary school and then my uncle decided to take me to the city, it was there I got trained to be a spy, my uncle actually registered me in the institute. We were given tough trainings, I learned to climb trees like monkeys, squeeze myself through tiny holes like earthworms and Cats, fight against bigger boys in camp, eat stone like breads and fight for my right. Some of us died in camp, only the fittest survived. Some had to fight wild animals for their lives, some died during what we call test of faith, while others during trainings. One thing about us is that, no matter what happens, you are never to reveal your identity as a spy. Thank God for me, after everything, the ups and downs, I finally made it alive, but my face have a different story to tell. I was still handsome but not like I used to be. My name is Gabriel, I am a 24 year old spy, am going back home now after six years, not going home to be useless, I’m going to rest until the institute have a mission for me. The bus finally entered Atata village , the place had not changed a bit, it was still how it was six years back when I left the village. The ground was still filled with red sand, try trekking down a little bit and you will gladly have a beautifully decorated red trouser, you would be so lucky if the trouser happens to be a white one. Okay, back to reality, my name is Gabriel and after six years am coming back home. I nodded my head to the song being played from the small radio in the bus ♪ hello my friend have you been, yesterday are back again …♪
• Eze Ani the chief priest of Ani stood in front of the igwe and his cabinet members, he was holding his long iron rod with which he would hit on the ground at intervals, I had come to the palace with my dad, my dad had actually brought me to show me to the igwe, his long time son is back. ” igwe, the gods are angry” Eze Ani the chief priest of Ani shouted after a while as he hit his iron rod on the tile floor of the igwe palace, he is an old man probably in his eighties, he is a tall thin man that looks like he was going to fall any moment but no, the man stood strong, where he got his strength from, no one knows. Beside him is a young woman, probably in her thirties, she was weeping sorrowfully, in her hand lies a dead young man, a teenager to be precise, probably her son or brother. ” Eze Ani, please speak up, what have we done to deserve this, why is it during my reign that my people starts dying like chickens? What have we done to anger the gods?” The igwe spoke shaking his hands, the igwe is also an elderly man. ” Ani has refused to speak, there shall be more deaths, more more people are still going to die, blood will flow” Eze Ani the chief priest of Ani said. ” This boy should not be buried, let his body be thrown into the forest of Ani” the chief priest of Ani said again as he hit his iron rod on the floor and chanted out. I looked at the dead boy, he had a cut in his stomach region, by my level of experience I knew it would be a sword cut . That was a bit surprising, does that mean the gods go about killing people with sword? I asked myself. My mom has once told me that the gods are mysterious and can kill anyhow, but d–n it, I am a Christian, I dont believe in gods, I believe in God. ” Ah, my good friend the wine tapper” the igwe hailed my dad, all the elders had left, they left after Eze Ani, none of them seems to like the igwe, they believe he brought all this deaths upon their land, the body of the dead guy was also carried away by the king’s guards, it was wrapped in a white cloth, it was to be dumbed in the forest of Ani. ” Igwe eee,may you live longer than your ancestors” my father greeted as he prostrated in front of the igwe, I also prostrated but did not say anything. ” Get up omiyi my friend” the igwe said to my dad and my dad obeyed, the igwe then looked at me , he narrowed his eyes to help him have a clearer view of me. ” Omiyi, is this not that your son that went to the city some years back?” The igwe asked my father. ” yes igwe, so you still remember him?” My father replied him. ” Oyinbo, come here” the igwe called me , I went to him and knelt down. ” my son may you live long” the igwe said as he touched my head with a small rod. ” Amen” I said while the Igwe laughed. ” Oyinbo, you should say iseee” he corrected me. ” iseee” I said as I got up. Oyinbo, isn’t my name, it is actually a way of calling a white man. Me going to the city has automatically made me a white man. ” Oyinbo, I hope you are going to help your father in bringing his fresh palm wine to me everyday?” the king asked while I nodded, imagine a trained spy now turned a palm wine server. We stayed a little bit long in the king palace, the king even served us kola, I took it but did not eat, I simply dont like kolas. As a little child, I have heard so much about the forest of Ani, they say it happens to be filled with bodies of those who died mysteriously. Rumour has it that the spirits of those people normally roam round the land of Atata at night, that is why if you listen well in the midnight, you are sure to hear strange sounds. When I was much younger, I had actually believed all this rubbish but as the years went by, after all my exposure, I concluded that it was just trash, mere trash and those strange sounds you hear at night are either from crickets or owls. I and my father left the palace happily that day, it was a nice time with the igwe. I happen to be the most favourite child of my dad even as a little boy,my dad isn’t tgat a young man, he is in his forties. You know, this village men, they give birth to children anyhow. He gave birth to his first child, my elder sister at the age of 18, I happen to be his second child , I have two younger sisters and a brother, they are all in secondary school, the village secondary school to be precise. ” Oyinbo, from tomorrow, you will start helping me in my wine business” my dad said as we walked back home. ” Dad, why don’t you stop this wine business, I have made enough money to help you open..” I was interrupted. ” My son, my fathers did this wine business, from this wine business, I had been able to train you all in school, I can not stop it ” my dad said smiling and patting me, I just had to comply with him, does the fact that your fathers did the business make the business unchangeable? I asked myself again, anyways that was their belief.
• My immediate younger brother is John, if am not mistaken, he should be 18 years now. He is the most handsome of us, he is fair , tall and muscular as I am , he is in his final class in secondary school, his ambition is to be a lawyer. I had also wanted to be a medical doctor but condition changed it for me. Anyways I am more happy now as a spy , I get paid for doing nothing, of course I deserve to be paid after all those killer trainings we went through. The fourth child, Linda, she happens to be a talkative, she is 16 years and got no respect for anyone, she is the most stubborn of us all, she goes about the village fighting people, especially boys, she hates boys, I just dont know why. The last child is Charity, yeah her name is charity, she is very calm and behaves exactly like me, she is cool and fun to be with. She is 12 years and the most intelligent of us all.
My first sister is married, she stays with her husband in a neighbouring village, her name , faith, she should also be in her twenties like me, but in her late twenties
My mom use to be the most beautiful village maiden when she was much younger, she also happens to be the best dancer during her time, it was her dance steps that brought my dad to her.
” Dad , what is all this deaths about?” I asked my dad as we walked home that day.
” My son, I fail to believe that the gods are actually responsible for all this” my dad whispered to me as he turned his neck left and right like a gossiper.
Title: Adanna Of Atata
” What do you mean dad? ” I asked my old man . ” I just find it difficult to believe that the gods of our land are the one doing this, the gods can’t just decide to punish us for nothing. If we had truly offended the gods, they should have asked us for sacrifice like they had always asked” My dad said again ” Dad do you have any proof that the gods are not the one doing this?” I asked him smiling but he shook his head the negative. ” I am just thinking so, never in history has the gods decided to start killing its people most especially the youths” he said while I laughed. ” maybe the gods are angry and doesn’t want sacrifices ” I told my dad , ” Angry over what?” He asked me, ” Angry over something you guys might have done sometimes back” I said to myself but found it difficult to believe that the gods happen to be serial killers.
• As a spy, I have to always be secretive, no one is meant to know my true identity, not even my family members except of course my uncle, he was the one who registered me in the institution, he surprisingly happens to be part of the founder of the institute in the late eighties, not even my dad knows of it. They only knew I went to the city to acquire the white man’s knowledge. I had come back home the previous day with just my travelling bag and a briefcase, the travelling bag contained my clothes and the briefcase, contained my spying tools, like my small pistol and some small knives. The briefcase is locked in such a way that I alone can open it, a type of security lock.
• We finally got home after the long trekking with my dad, my once green trouser had gotten a new red decoration, all thanks to the dust from Atata road. My mom was roasting yam in a small hut which serves as our kitchen, my younger ones were with her. ” Mama, good evening” I greeted trying to prevent the smokes from the firewood with which the yam was being roasted from getting into my eyes. ” My son,you and your father just left us alone since morning, you know it has been six years now of not seeing you, you should always be by my side ” she said turning the yam over, my dad must have entered into his quarters, he didn’t branch to greet, he knew his wife wont let him rest with complains of him not coming back early. ” Were you not hungry?” my mom asked me again, ” Of course mom, we were hungry and that was why we came back now, we should have stayed a bit longer” I said smiling while she looked at me and hissed. ” What took you people so long in the palace?” She asked me again, this time my siblings had all gone in. ” Mom, whats up with all this death stuff here and there?” I asked her as she turned the yam again. Unlike my dad, my mom happens to be an indigene of Atata, my dad had met her when he had came to witness their new yam festival, that was a long time ago. The singular fact that my mom is an indigene of Atata land explains why she so much believe all this their ancient stuff. ” my son, the gods are angry, no young girl or boy is safe in this land again, they die day by day, even the elderly ones are not safe again in this village, there had been some few cases of the old ones also being killed mysteriously” my mom told me without looking up at me. ” Does it mean that the gods kill people with swords?” I asked her smiling. ” my son, the gods can kill anyhow they want, they can make one’s death look real or mysterious” my mom said again while I nodded and also went inside to rest, leaving my Mom alone in the small hut . Sooner or later, I plan to renovate this whole house.
• I sat in my room that evening, the room was a small tight one. I wonder why my family does not want to follow me to the city, I have a well furnished bungalow there. As I sat that evening, I remembered the mark of the sword made on that dead guy, with that mark, I was convinced that the gods must be good at sword fight, we can’t tell if they are part of those Chinese gods, they might be well trained, skillful sword fighters. I tried picturing the scene of how the whole incidence must have happened,the young man must have been coming out from his hut that morning, probably going to the farm and then as he came out he was met by a sword circling the air, just as he was about to run away, the sword came down and cut him. How else could it have happened if not that way, very typical of African belief, and thanks to Nigerian movies, they made us believed all these. ” But let’s come to think of it, does these so called gods really exist?” I asked myself but got no answer. ” I dont know what to believe anymore” I said to myself after a while . ” Come of it gabi, you are a well trained spy, you shouldn’t believe in all those superstitions” I said to myself again but I remembered I slept off that night still contemplating if anything like “the gods” really existed.
• Droplet of spherically shaped water could be seen hanging at the tip of a leaf of the avocado tree in the middle of our compound, at intervals, the drop would fall and another one would take its place. I stood outside tying a wrapper like the way most Young men of Atata normally tied theirs, I was carrying a wine keg and a cutlass. I had never for once ever tapped palm wine but today, I have decided to give it a try. I adjusted the wrapper which I tied across my arms, I wore a black singlet beneath it which made me look different from other young men of Atata who would only tie the wrapper beneath their bare chest. I whistled a song at I left my father big compound, I was heading to the Atata village stream. The Atata stream isn’t a very big one as one would imagine, but the unique thing about it was that it happened to be surrounded with palm trees,not only palm trees but other trees although the palm trees dominated. That’s where men tap their wine from. I didn’t go with the climbing rope, you dont really expect a trained crime fighter like me to climb a common palm tree with a rope. I got to the stream after some minutes of trekking, there was no one there, even the village maidens had not come to fetch water or have their bath yet. I remembered as a little boy then, I would sneak away from home at the exact time the maidens of Atata are to have their bath and head to the stream to have a clear view of something beyond me, I usually take cover among the small trees near the stream then, I dont miss such things. I looked around for a matured palm tree and climb up it like a cat, the keg was at my back while the cutlass was by my side, it was in its s—t. I did the normal thing, and then tied the keg on the tree to receive the fresh wine till the next day. I came back to the ground after I was done . I turned around to go back home, and then I saw Joy approaching,she was coming to fetch water. Joy happen to be that girl who I had been trying so hard to get since my childhood days but couldn’t, she also happen to be my neighbour, she lives with her parent opposite my father’s house. I sure is not the only one trying to get her, virtually all the village young men . Who wouldn’t want to have the village most beautiful maiden as his girl? Call her Joy or Adanna, she is the village most beautiful maiden.
Title: Mbe The Cat
Joy is also an indigene of Atata. As at now, she happens to be the village most beautiful maiden. She has so many qualities you would want in a lady. She should be in her early twenties just like I am but I know I am about a year or two older than she is. That morning, she was tying a small wrapper across her chest to cover her b—-t and also a small wrapper around her waist, the wrapper was not up to her knee and it revealed some appreciable part of her fresh laps. She was also wearing waist beads around those her massive waist, a line drawn with some kind of blackish substance could be seen running down her forehead to her Jaw, it could also be seen in the lower part of her stomach which was not covered by the wrapper used to cover her b—-t,her abdominal region. Her hairstyle is the local type and beautifully decorated with small beads. She is indeed very pretty, it isn’t shocking she is the village most beautiful maiden. ” Good morning” I greeted her while she stopped to try figure out where she must have seen my face. ” Good morning” she finally greeted back and made to walk away, apparently she couldn’t recognize me. ” Adanna” I called her by her native name while she stopped,she dropped her pot and turned to me. ” You know me?” She asked with a surprise look. ” of course I do, have you forgotten that your neighbour, the one that went to the…” I was trying to make her remember me but she interrupted . ” Gabriel, the son of the palm wine tapper” she said while I smiled and nodded. She took a good look at me, she eyed me from head to toe before hissing and made to leave. I wasn’t surprised by her attitude, I had been a very annoying guy when I was much younger,once upon a time I had broken her water pot in the stream, it wasn’t intentional, I wanted to help her carry it. ” Hey Joy, I am not that troublesome guy anymore” I said as I walked up to her where she stood dipping her pot in the stream water.” I didn’t say you are” she replied without looking back at me, she bent her waist to dip her pot more into the flowing water, this act made me have a clearer view of her fresh laps. ” What are you looking at?” She asked me as she stood up straight , she was done fetching and was about to put the pot on her head. ” I won’t allow you place that pot on your beautiful head, let me help you” I said as I stretched my hand to take the pot away from her but she beat my hands off. ” The last time you helped me, you broke my pot. Maybe I should tell you what happened that day when I got home, my mom made me kneel down all night without eating” she said, the pot was on the ground this time. ” That was then, you mom can’t beat you now if I break the pot, you are now a big girl ” I said smiling while she laughed and clapped her hands in a mocking manner. ” So you actually plan to break the pot again?” She asked as she continued to clap. ” No, I dont plan doing so” I replied her. She bent to pick the pot again, this brought about another revelation of her fresh laps. ” I am serious, I won’t let you carry that pot ” I said as I also bent down to carry the pot, she stood upright again eyeing me from head to toe. ” I thought you said you aren’t troublesome any more?” She asked me. ” Yeah, I am a calm guy now” I told her . ” Then let me carry my pot and go now, my mother will be waiting for me o” she said again. ” Then your mother will have to wait till night, I won’t let you carry this pot ” I said to her, I was looking directly into her eyes. ” But come to think of it, which young man of Atata have you seen carrying a pot for any maiden of this village before?” She asked me. ” I myself won’t carry a pot for any maiden of Atata, I will only carry the pot of the most beautiful maiden of Atata” I told her while she smiled , her smile revealed her perfect white set of teeth, there was an opening between her two front teeth. ” so you won’t let me carry my pot?” She asked smiling. ” Yeah, I won’t let you” I replied her. ” Okay then” she said and started to walk away while I carried the pot with one hand and lifted it to my head. ” Chii mo, who helped you in lifting the pot?” She screamed as I ran up to her with the pot on my head, she turned back to see if there was someone else in the stream but no one was there. ” The gods helped me” I told her smiling. We continued to walk and talk about time past, our childhood days and all the bad things we had done back then. ” so how is the city like?” She asked me as we concluded our earlier discussion ” The city is a fine place, full of people with serious mind, dont worry, I will take you there one of these days” I said to her smiling. ” Why will you take me there?” She asked twisting her mouth ” Because you are the most beautiful maiden of Atata land, maidens like you are meant to be in the city not here in Atata” I said to her also smiling. ” My parents won’t even allow you take me to the city” she said again. ” Your mother will have no choice when I get married to you” I replied while she clapped her hands in the mockery manner and bursted out in laughter . ” Marry me? the gods forbid it” she said ” The gods have already bided it” I replied her while she hissed and went ahead of me. She suddenly stopped , it was like she saw someone. I looked ahead of her and saw Mbe the cat, he is actually called the cat because his back had never touched the ground in any fight, he happens to be the village most skillful wrestler. I remember our childhood days, he had been a big time bully, always bullying small boys like me. ” Gabriel please drop the pot and go, I dont want Mbe to come meet you here, he has actually been on my neck lately, beating every young man he sees me with, please run” Joy said holding my left hand and shaking them vigorously , Mbe was already covering up on us. ” Am ready to receive any beating just for you” I said smiling, Mbe was now some steps away from us. ” What are you doing with her?” He shouted as he ran towards me and pushed me to the ground, Joy water pot fell from my hands and broke into pieces. ” Oh joy, I have broken your pot again” I said as I fell to the ground.
Title: A serial killer
I wanted to get up from the floor but Mbe immediately pounced on me. He went into business immediately as he started baptizing my face with hot punches. I didn’t fight back, not because I couldn’t fight back but because I was a spy. My fighting back could bring about suspicion and may threaten my identity. He left my face region and continued to land his punches on my stomach. I was feeling the pain of his punches, but I didn’t react, blood stains could now be visibly seen on my lips. ” Mbe let him be” Joy shouted as she came forward to hold him but he pushed her away with one hand and she landed on the ground, she got up again. ” Please Mbe, leave him alone” she shouted again as she came towards us. like the previous time, she landed on the ground again. Before I could tell what was happening, Mbe lifted me up from the ground and drew me heavily to the ground. He came towards me again and continued to baptize my face with his punches, I could only hope and pray for help. ” poo” I heard and opened my eyes, someone had hit Mbe with a wood from behind, it was a young man, a fine looking young man, we should be of the same age grade. Mbe groaned in pains as the young man continued to hit him with the wood. ” Come let’s go” Joy said as she dragged me up. The young man came towards me and lifted me up his shoulder like a baby, he held Joy with the other hand and we ran away to a safe place. ” Drop me down” I said calmly to the young man as we reached a place far away from the stream, even if he doesn’t want to say, I knew my weight must have made him tired now. ” Are you certain you can walk now?” The young man asked showing no sign of tiredness, i nodded. He dropped me gently to the floor and I stood up slowly. ” Thank you” I said placing my left hand on his shoulder.” Gabriel, am sorry” Joy said staring at me, she had been crying. ” its okay joy, so I broke your water pot again?” I said trying hard to smile, she also smiled. ” You welcome man, I am Alvana” the guy said as he also placed his hand on my shoulder, ” Thanks Alvana” I said while he nodded. ” I was on my way to the farm when I met you guys, I should be going now” Alvana said and left us. ” Am really sorry Gabriel” Joy said as she touched my swollen cheeks. ” you didn’t do it to me, so don’t be sorry” I said as I walked forward. ” should I escort you home? ” she asked while I stopped and turn to her. ” Am ain’t going home yet, I am going to your house” I said to her. ” Why?” She asked sharply. ” To tell your mom that after all this beatings I have received today, even the gods will find her guilty if she doesn’t give me your hands in marriage” I said while she laughed and twisted her mouth, I actually like the way she do twist her mouth. ” I am actually going to explain how your pot got broken” I said. ” But I can explain myself” she countered . ” she would believe it’s real when she see me in this state” I said again. ” No, you need to go home and rest ” She said touching my right palm. ” Dont worry I am fine” I said again and continue to walk forward. ” Is there anything between you and Mbe” I suddenly asked her after we had walked some distance. ” No, there is nothing, he is just forcing himself on me ” she replied reducing her pace. ” You should tell him you dont like him now” I said turning to her and also reducing my pace. ” I have told him that times without number, but he won’t listen” Joy shouted stretching out her hand. ” Then tell your parents about it” I said again. ” What can my parents do, they are even encouraging me to go and get married, they say am not a baby any more” she said smiling. ” Fine, then I will bring wine this weekend to come and ask for your hands in marriage” I said smiling, ” I will pour the wine on your head if you try it” Joy replied smiling. ” So what have you been doing In the city all these years” Joy suddenly asked changing the discussion, I wasn’t expecting that question. ” Errrm, I actually was busy with my studies, I went to read further ” I lied. ” Then you should be working as a big man, not coming back to the village as a tapper” she said laughing seriously. ” I only came to spend some time in the village, I own a big chemist in the city” I quickly defended, we were now at her house. I entered into her compound, she was following me behind, her mom stood up immediately she saw my battered face. ” Chineke, Adanna, what happened?” Her mother asked her in shock, Adanna is actually joy’s native name. ” Mama good morning” I greeted her calmly while she held my hands. ” my son, I heard you were back from the city” she said as she touched my face. ” Yes mama, I came about two days ago” I said to her. ” What happened to you face? Did you involve yourself in any fight? ” she asked again. ” Mbe attacked me on my way home from the stream this morning, he also broke Joy’s water pot” I said as Joy stood with her both legs crossed. Her mom turned to her and smiled. ” Are you sure this Mbe of a man won’t send away all your suitors, he has practically beaten every young man in this village just because of Joy” her mom said turning to me. ” Sorry my son, come and sit here and rest” Her mom said to me while I sat down and thought about the beating I received from Mbe this morning, all thanks to Alvana for saving me.
• On a bench I sat that evening when I sensed someone’s presence in the compound, I looked up and it was the young man that had saved me that morning, he was carrying about six tubers of yam which were tied together with a rope. ” Good evening ” he greeted me smiling, I smiled back to him and created space for him to sit. ” Thanks for this morning” I said as he sat down. ” Its nothing bro, I just used it as a kind of revenge, he had once beat me up on my way to the farm some weeks ago just because of a small argument we had” Alvana said while I smiled. We discussed about a lot of things, he automatically became my friend that day, he was a funny and lively person. ” what do you think about all these deaths stuff in the village?” I suddenly asked him while he stretched his necks to look around like a gossip. ” I think a serial killer is behind this” He said much more like a whisper, ” On the night of about two market days ago, that was when Njoku the son of the village drunkard was killed, I witnessed everything, I was at the spot of his death that night, but no one saw me” he started while I listened curiously thinking he had something good to say.
” So I was coming back from the local joint where I and my friends had gone to drink as usual, we drink virtually all night. Njoku was also with me that night and we were heading home together In our drunken state. It was when we got to the lonely path heading to the village market that I felt this urge to urinate, I diverted into the bush immediately while Njoku waited for me on the lonely path. I was still in the act of urinating when I heard Njoku begging for mercy. He was begging someone who I couldn’t see nor hear his voice, before i could come out from the bush, I met Njoku dead body, he had been murdered” Alvana said while I listened carefully so as to pick out any important detail. ” Did you see anyone?” I asked him after he completed his story which to me did not indicate if the killer was a human. ” No I didn’t” Alvana answered. ” Did you hear the voice of the killer?” I asked again while Alvana shook his head the Negative. ” Then what gave you the impression that it was a killer and not the gods?” I asked him. ” Although I haven’t had any encountered with the gods, but I dont think you have the chance to beg for mercy from them before being killed, I heard Njoku begging that night” Alvana said while I placed my hand on my jaw and looked at him critically. “Hmm, that is deep, but you see, he was drunk that night and maybe that was why he could see them or something like that” I whispered to myself. ” what is this mark on your hand?” He suddenly asked me taking a look at the small drawing on my left hand, precisely around my wrist, it was actually given to us in our training camp, with the Mark , you can identify any trained spy from our institute, note that the mark is only given to those who had completed their trainings successfully, the mark also help you identify the institute, it is drawn boldly on the big center building of our camp, anyone from the camp will recognize that mark, it is called the mark of Newriton” This is a birth mark” I lied while he stared suspiciously at me. ” I am an indigene of Atata, this birth mark doesn’t look like ours” he said again while I smiled. ” I am not an indigene of Atata ” I simply replied while he nodded. ” oh I thought you were” he said and got up from the bench. ” I will like to take my leave now, it had been a nice time with you” he said to me and I stood up to see him off as he carried his tubers of harvested Yam. ” Thanks again for this morning, its nice knowing you Alvana” I said as I patted his shoulder, I escorted him to the entrance of my compound before turning back. I went back to the bench as I reflected over what Alvana had said about Njoku’s death. ” Maybe had the chance to see the gods before dying” I said to myself as I stood up and went in. That was how I met Alvana and we got to become good friends.
• “The lord is good and his ways are good” I said a short prayer as I woke up the next morning, it had been a nice night and I had woken up hale and healthy this morning. I stood up from my thick iron bed and made to go out, the beeping of my phone stopped me. ” Hello, Gabi” The caller said, it was Morgana, my fellow spy, she is one of the few female spies who made it till the end. ” Hey Morgana, how is port Harcourt? ” I asked her happily, she stays in port Harcourt with her fiance. ” port Harcourt is fine o my boy , so you are enjoying at home now bah?” She asked . ” Yeah, I am. Morgana, I have warned you to stop calling me your boy” I said as I located my tooth brush. ” Oh , I forgot my boy, how is Atata, any news about that place?” She asked again. ” Atata is fine only that, dont worry, Atata is fine” I replied as I walked out to get a cup of water. ” Only that what? Gabi training days are over, you shouldn’t be hididng things from me” she said laughing. ” The problem is just that they are facing some kind of problems, like their gods are kind of punishing them” I said also laughing, I turned back to my room, I went to get a wrapper, the morning was cold. ” hmm all this gods of a thing, they just take pleasure in harming their people ” Morgana said while i smiled. ” Its just so terrible here, almost everyday now …” I noticed the call had been disconnected. ” poor girl, she doesn’t have airtime” I said to myself as I threw the phone to the bed and went out finally after tying my wrapper like the way most Men of Atata tie theirs.I met Morgana in Newriton( That’s the name of our institute) she was there before I came, like I came a Month after she was already in Newriton. Due to that singular fact of her being there before me, she placed herself over me, she do call herself my boss in the institute though there wasn’t any position or claim of seniority in Newriton, she just use it as a joke. I was just rounding up with brushing of my teeth when I sighted Alvana coming into the compound. ” Gabriel, good morning” He greeted me, he was holding a hoe and a cutlass, he was obviously heading to the farm. “Alvana my new friend, you must be so hardworking, so you have woken up this early to farm?” I asked laughing as I tied my wrapper well and fetched a cutlass. ” That’s how men are to be, little sleep and much work” he said as we headed out of the compound, he was going to the farm and I was heading to the stream to check my palm wine. ” I heard you lived in the village before heading to the city and coming back now, how true is that ?” He asked me as we walked a bit out of my father’s compound. ” You heard from who?” I asked him. ” News spreads like wild fire in the village bro” he simply said. ” Yes that’s true, i went to complete my studies in the city” I replied him. ” Oh, was that where you got this mark?” He asked me again bringing out my hands to reveal the small mark on my hand, the mark of Newriton.” Nope, I told you this is a birth mark” I said again confidently. ” Am just surprise what kind of birth mark comes to view after you went to the city, because the last time I checked, you weren’t having this mark when you left the village” he said smiling, I dropped my cutlass in shock as I stared again at Alvana.
Title: Mission Call
” You didn’t know me before I left for the city, so how did you know if I never had this mark before leaving for the city?” I asked him while he smiled and placed his full gaze on the road, he was about taking a turn. ” As I said earlier, news spread like wildfire in the village” he said and took a turn to the direction of his farm while I headed straight to the stream in my surprised state.
• I brought down the newly tapped wine and made to head back home, I hadn’t taken up ten steps when I sighted Adanna coming towards the stream with another water pot. ” Good morning” I greeted her. ” Wait, are you actually coming to the stream every morning to wait for me?” She asked me ignoring my greetings, I also ignored her question. ” You have a new water pot” I said smiling and pointing at her water pot, ” I hope you won’t break this one” She said and walked passed me, I followed her behind humming a song which I had heard my dad sing to my mom in those days, it’s actually a kind of love song, a local love song. ” Who are you singing that for? ” Adanna asked smiling and turning back to face me. ” Must I Sing it for anyone, I am singing for myself” I replied her as I made to collect her water pot from her. ” What are you trying to do, dont just try it o, the two times you carried my pot for me, you broke them.” She said as she prevented me from carrying the pot. ” I promise you, I won’t break this pot, this one is a more beautiful pot” I said and she smiled. ” Gabriel, how do you plan carrying this pot alongside your keg of palm wine?” She asked again. ” Dont just worry about that, am up to the task ” I said again as I finally collected the pot from her. Like the previous day, she was tying a small b—-t wrapper and also a waist wrapper but she wasn’t putting on those local black lines like the previous day, thus giving me a clear view of her natural face. Adanna is an average height slim girl, her height is okay for her age, she has small lips with big bulking eye to match her Oval face, She is naturally blessed with all that is needed to be blessed with, and to crown it all, she is strong headed. ” Okay now, let’s go ” I said to her as I balanced the water pot on my head and the keg of palm wine on my left hand. ” Please, promise me you won’t break this” she said twisting her mouth in a kind of manner that made her more beautiful. ” I promise I won’t break it if there is no cause to break it” I said trying to Twist my mouth in the manner in which she Twisted her’s. ” Why are you doing your mouth like that? ” She asked laughing at me. ” That is the same way you do yours” I said also laughing. ” But am ain’t as ugly as you are when I do mine” She said laughing more harder while I kept a straight face and advanced forward. ” Hey, am only joking with you” she shouted as she ran to me and hit me playfully on my back. ” Why are you telling me that?” I asked. ” Oh, I thought you were offended ” she said and hissed while I bursted into laughter. ” Adanna ” I called her after we have moved a bit. ” What is it? ” She asked without looking at me. ” What do you think about all this death stuff? What have your people done to offend the gods?” I asked her.
•” Sir Ajan, I haven’t even settled at home and you guys already got a mission for me” I said angrily over the phone, it was a call from Newriton and Sir Ajan the king of Justice was the one with whom I was speaking with, he had asked me to come back and that the institution got a mission for me, what Nonsense. Sir Ajan is a well feared man in the institute, he is straight forward and doesn’t waste time in taking actions. He should be in his forties or so, if there is anyone you should be scared of, let that person be Sir Ajan, he doesn’t waste time in expelling weak and lazy student and he is also a good ambassador of Discipline. During my days as his student, I had always been careful with all I did to avoid the termination of my program, but now that I am a full spy, there is nothing to be careful of. ” Oh, Gabi my boy, it just a small mission, it won’t take you weeks” Sir Ajan said, no one would believe it was Sir Ajan speaking calmly with me over the phone, anyways, that was because I am no longer a student. Try saying No to his instructions in camp, then you should be preparing to go back Home. ” Okay Sir Ajan, I will come over in two days time” I said although I wasn’t happy. ” Cheer up boy, Morgana will also be involved, even Christiana, your crush will be involved in this, hey dont say anything, I know you got something for Christiana, am expecting you boy” Sir Ajan said and put an end to the call, I smiled an threw my phone to the bed. Christiana, she is another good Spy, we actually resumed together as students but I gat nothing for her, hey, you think am lying? I gat nothing for her, Okay, I used to have something for her but it is dead now, Oh God, believe me, it is dead now. Oh okay, I actually have a crush on her but… Okay, no but, I have a crush on Christina but I love Adanna, wow, nice rhymes.
• Linda, the most troublesome of my siblings suddenly barged into my room as I was lying on The bed thinking about my next mission and my going to the city. ” Hey, One girl wan see you” She said bouncing towards me. ” Which girl?” I asked her as I stood up and wore a jean trouser with a white top, I decided to go the English way today. I was about stepping out of my door when she replied ” Adanna” , I quickly turned back to powder my face.
I bounced outside and saw Adanna Standing in front of our compound. ” Ah, Adanna, I am surprised, since we were much younger, you have never come in here. This is good” I said holding her hands while she stared me like she was seeing someone else. ” You look different” She said staring at me. ” How different? Just say am looking handsome” I said looking at her eyes. ” Hmm, I never said so” She said as she drew me to a bench. ” Adanna, what brought you here?” I asked, obviously still surprised that she came to my house today, Since I knew Adanna, she had never come to play in my father’s compound before even if her house was just opposite ours. ” Aren’t you happy seeing me here?” She asked twisting her mouth in that cute manner I like. ” Of course am happy seeing you here but am surprised because you have never deem it fits to come here for once” I replied ” well everything starts in a day” she told me, ” I only came to greet you” She said again as I stared into her eyes. She was dressed like she is always dressed in her b—-t wrapper and waist wrapper, a different set entirely from that of the morning. She was wearing a bead on her left leg and those black line were on her face again, she looks beautiful. ” Came to greet me or you were already missing me?” I asked laughing stylishly. ” That’s one thing with you guys, always thinking too far” She said as she stood up and dusted her buttocks. ” I will be leaving now” She said and arranged her hair, there were also beads on her hair. ” Haba, Adanna, dont go yet now, you just came” I said also getting up from the bench. ” I have to go, I need to help my mom at home, I only decided to come in here today because you helped me carry my pot this morning without breaking it” She said smiling as she started walking out, I followed behind watching her sway her waist along. ” I will be leaving for the city in two days time” I told her from behind as we got to the entrance of my father’s compound. ” But you just came” She said turning to me.
Title: A Village Bully
” Yeah, I just came but I have to go back to manage my business” I lied while she looked at me and nodded. ” Will you stay for six years again?” She asked twisting her mouth again in that cute manner. ” Nope, I ain’t staying up to a year but I won’t come anytime soon” I said , I knew the mission was going to take months even if Sir Ajan had said it just weeks. ” Please dont stay long ” She said again . ” Why? Is there anything you want to do with me in the village?” I asked her playfully even if she wasn’t in a playing mood. ” Hmmm, yes, so that you can always help me carry my water pot every morning” She said trying to laugh. ” You are so funny, anyways I won’t be staying long” I said while she nodded, she was about going when she turned back again. ” Will you come to the stream tomorrow? ” She asked while I shook my head the negative. ” Why?” She asked again. ” Because you might think am coming to the stream cause of you, am ain’t tapping wine tomorrow” I replied while she looked at me angrily. ” Okay” She said and walked away in a sad mood, I shook my head smiling as I also walked into the compound only to meet my mom staring at me from a distance, I walked to where she was. ” She is a good girl” My mom started while I nodded. ” Aren’t you thinking of marrying her?” My mom asked again but I didn’t reply. “My son, A ripe orange isn’t only ripe in the eye of a single person, some are also planning on how to get it” My mom said, I understood what she meant but she didn’t realize that ” A tree does not harbour only an Orange, it is full of Oranges and once one is plucked there are others still left”. ” Mom, I will be going to the city in two days time” I said to her as I wanted to change the discussion. ” Why!! you came about two days or so ” She shouted. ” I want to go manage my business” I said again. ” My son, Business can wait, you aren’t leaving yet. So after six years, you wanna leave again” She shouted as she walked away, women just like to shout, truly Empty barrel make the loudest noise.
• I lied on my bed that evening thinking about my going back to the city, what so ever the mission might be, i pray it be an easy one. I was still in my thought when I heard my phone beeping. ” Hi, Christiana, how are you doing?” I asked immediately I picked the call. ” Dont greet me o, imagine, since you left camp, you have never called to say hi until I called today” She said over the phone. ” Hey, I just left about three days ago and you are already missing me? That’s good to know” I said again. ” Am ain’t missing you, its Just bad of you to have forgotten about me this soon, you couldn’t even call to check on me” She said again, I know Christiana, she can continue to drag the case until you apologize, just tell her you are sorry and thats all. ” Okay Christy, am so much sorry” I said calmly. ” Okay, I wasn’t angry. When are you coming back here, I am already here, Sir Ajan called that he had a mission for us” She said again. ” Yeah, but he just called me today and I am preparing to come over the day after Tomorrow” I said again. ” Oh, I will be expecting you and by the way, how is Atata?” She asked again. ” Atata is fine, how is Enugu? ” I asked back. ” Fool, am not in Enugu, I am in Newriton, Lagos State” She said laughing. ” Dont mind my age” I said back. ” Okay Gabriel, I should wake up the day after tomorrow and meet you beside me” She said again while I concurred. We talked about other irrelevant stuff before disconnecting the call, she actually disconnected it. This is one bad thing about spy stuff, no time to rest, no time for yourself and family, it so bad.
• The morning was cold, the gentle breeze made from the rustling of the tall mango tree in which I was on top blew across my chest. Yes I was on a Mango tree that morning, on a mango tree by the stream. I had not come to tap wine that morning, who taps wine from a Mango tree? I had come to see Adanna as I knew she would always come to fetch water. I sat on a branch on the tree and watched closely but no one was forthcoming. I was putting on a white top on a black jeans trousers, I did not want to dress locally like the men of Atata on this particular day. There wasn’t any reason behind this, it was just how I choose to dress today, and more over, I am a guy from the city. I didn’t have to wait much longer, I soon sighted Adanna with her water pot from a distant, but this time, she wasn’t alone, Mbe the cat whose back has never touched the ground in any fight was running after her while Adanna was trying her best to get him off her side. Adanna was looking beautiful as usual, her water pot was under her hand and she was dress in the dress code of the maidens of Atata, tying a wrapper to cover her b—-t and another her waist. ” Adanna just give me a chance, I promise to take good care of you.” I heard Mbe said as Adanna stood under the mango tree on which I was on the top. ” Mbe, it isn’t about you taking good care of me it is about what I want, and whom I want, I’m sorry I don’t want you” Adanna said not minding that she was standing before the great cat whose back has never touched the ground in any fight. ” oh joy is it because of that low life? He is nothing compared to me, I’m Mbe, the great wrestler. Is it because I haven’t gone to the city like him?” Mbe asked again, this time he was dragging her hands like he wanted to beat her up. ” Please let me go” Adanna begged but he didn’t release her, I wanted to jump down from the tree but I later decided against it. ” See, I am more courageous, Strong and Braver than that lowlife of a guy you are falling for. If not for that other guy that came back from the city some years back, Alvana, I should have beaten up your so called Gabriel the other day” Mbe said again as he released Joy’s hand forcefully and she fell to the floor, thank God her water pot didn’t break this time. ” You must be mine” Mbe said dragging her up and releasing her to the ground again, this time Adanna was moved to tears. ” You say you love me and you are treating me this way” She said as she tried not to let her tears drop.” You won’t be treated this way if you can say a yes to me” Mbe said laughing wickedly. ” Never” Adanna shouted, that reply must have been a mistake as it got Mbe pissed up and thus making him hit her water pot angrily, the pot broke into pieces and Adanna bursted out in tears, at that time, not Mbe alone was pissed off, I was also pissed off as I Jumped down from the tree angrily, I landed on my feet facing Mbe who was shocked and surprised on seeing me.
To be continued