Monte Claire’s bay

The lighthouse illuminates past the waterbody bordered by a precipice pile of rock leading a trail of the harbour of Monte Claire’s bay. A plantation bordered the harbour on either side. Past the harbour was a grove of vegetative labyrinth around the trail. The trail ended in front of the lake where the water got deeper. One could see pebbles in the bottom reflect clearly in twilight.

No one knows what’s down there and no one has tried for a century. All who visit the bank threaded carefully even in high summer sun. More glorious than the black sea, the waves flowed in unison. Sea urchins from the far end of the water washed up to the shore. A delightful melting pot of invertebrate critters resided there.

Legend had it that a mermaid also existed in the lake, somewhere in the far Northeastern border. Even the most agile swimmer cannot escape the sea witch’s grip.

No one wandered into the territory of the sea witch lived to tell, and worse was for the naive unsuspecting holiday makers .


25. 05. 2008.

Two brothers, both in their 30’s visited the bay for a picnic, after which they went for a swim.

Arthur thrust his hand in the current and Philip was slapped across the face as a consequence. Noting his facial expression, Arthur dashed to the deep end of the water as his brother chased him. Few splashes were tossed around along with hearty laughs, but the fun disappeared and the waves silenced. Right then, something long and slippery wrapped around the elder’s ankle. He wiggled his foot, damn sea weed, he thought, but the more he wiggled, the tighter the grip became alarming the young man. His left limb was gradually obstructed.

He yelped and yowled, till Philip noticed something was amiss. Philip grabs Arthur’s hand and yanks desperately, but now streaks of blood escaped to the surface because Arthur’s limb was almost amputated. Philip tried desperately to save his brother but the “octupus claw” was stronger so Arthur drowned. More blood resurfaced.

Philip’s head bowed as a tear fell from the corner of his eye and touched the water. When he raised his head, twelve meters from him was a maiden so beautiful and alluring. Her golden flaxen hair reached into the water, her supple lips told of her innocent and her chest was humongous compared to the proportion of her lanky body. Philip’s grief was suddenly exchanged for enchantment. Without saying a word, she reached and cradled his face. They disappeared.


06.08.2015.

Abigial pondered under a coconut tree admiring the glistening surface of the lake. Seldom she glanced down and scribbled into her journal. It’s been a little over 2 months she broke up with her boyfriend. She thought she might be fine but it was increasingly harder to get up in the morning and prepare for work, try as she may. So her boss suggested she take her vacation early. He needed his top sale’s manager in tip top shape.

When she arrived home, she broke her piggy bank and checked her account before searching for a holiday spot. It must have been her lucky day too because the Island of Monte Claire had a discount, much unlike these Island destinations. she was paying next to nothing.

She raised her head again to glance at the water when she saw a striking figure in the lake looking at her. Without her glasses she couldn’t see well but it looked like a maiden with golden flaxen hair and juggers, the size of watermelon. In the blink of an eye, she disappeared.

Abigial felt her anxiety melt, for the first time since the break up and although she didn’t plan to, the circumstances was perfect for a swim. She dipped her toes in the water and started to untie her robes when she noticed a bottle float to shore. She picked the bottle and opened a paper stuffed inside. One word; HELP !!.

She immediately dived into the lake. She was tired of obsessing over her ex and somewhere here was an adventure she couldn’t turn down.

Mother

They say the walls have ears, little do they know that the walls have mouths too. And they speak to her, they teach her what it means to be aware

She lived with three siblings which was invigorating but she still hid who she was. A girl that heard the walls when they spoke. Then came a day darkness consumed the land. She saw the a shadow take the form of a hat with an arc drawn around a woman’s eye. Birds perched on barbed wires saw it too.

Nobody else did.

They had been looking for mother. She’d gone into the woods to harvest wheat at the bank of the streaming waterfalls. And now as the moon swallowed the sun and grew fuller, darkness ravaged the earth like an Octopus devouring a sardine.

Something was coming their way, and it was neither mother nor was it as charming. Whatever it was, it took the form of a woman and was drenched with the darkness.

The earth created a mouth that beckoned on her to flee. The birds squawked like they were perceiving an erupting volcano. She tugged at her siblings burlaps and yanked their arms. Two of them hearkened to her bargain and they began running home but the eldest chose to dance the tune of a cowardly lion. Somebody had to find mother.

As he approached the thick of the woods, there was silence so deafening, his ears began to bleed. Soon he came face to face with darkness in a woman’s form. He smiled and drew closer, that had to be mother. In a way he was right for it looked like her but her eyes were black like they’d been replaced with iron ore. There he stood entranced by the likeness of his mother as she sucked out his soul into a calabash and filled him full with darkness.

Alas , three kinders running in the woods. The tentacles of darkness close behind them. One of them took a wrong step and twisted her ankle. That moment of weakness was all the darkness needed. It enveloped her without delay and like a breeze she was gone.

The darkness grew stronger with the fullness of the eclipse.

Two kinders arrive in the cottage. They shut the windows and light the lanterns. The illuminating candles will protect us. They huddled at the east corner of the cottage. “protect us”, muttered little girl to crumbling walls. Though crippled by fear and terror, little girl incanted louder. Her voice echoed through the room. However, mother was stronger and needed her family. She grabbed the boy’s ankle and dragged him away.

Before mother could take little girl, the sun is hurled from the moon and returns as the center of attraction. Little girl takes a breath of awareness, rising off the floor of the house that was once saturated with a mother’s love.

Mother retreated deep into the woods where the trees formed a canopy shielding against the sun. she counted the souls of her special children. Each unique and vulnerable in their own way. She thought, Maybe it’s not hogwash when they say, the best thing you could do for your kids is not have them at all.

The Ventriloquist

Cecil has been planning her dream wedding since whatever age little girls do. Now the days were leading up to weeks, weeks to months. She had a scanty 3 months left. What everyone wanted to know was what her theme would be, “you gotta have a theme, what’s a wedding without a theme?” they asked

She always answered. “Picturesque, serene and whimsical”. The last part seemed to have them guessing, but then they’d quickly laugh it off.

As the days dwindled down, Cecil had a lunch date with the one person who was for the majority of her life a phantom that has never been invited in. They had only started weaving their still fragile relationship, a year and half ago. She remembered him always being the funny guy. He could enchant even a funeral’s atmosphere and he dared to build on his talent, for which she admired him for, rather than become a pilot like the family wanted. He was a ventriloquist and the opening performance on her wedding reception.

Cecil sat in the crowded bar, munching her sacher torte and revelling on the memories of her half-brother that she didn’t notice him walk in till he draped his chest around her back like an armoured plate and planted a loving peck on her rosy cheek. He sat adjacent her and could immediately sense distress and a bluish aura so he tugs on a rope and Ed the dummy pops out. Ed proceeds to question Cecil, ” why the long face?”

“Thanks for coming Ed. it’s just whenever i think about this wedding, I want to rip my nose off

I understand sch√§tzchen, Ed will take care of your guests for you”

Cecil couldn’t help but giggle. Her brother always had a way of exchanging her worries for cheers. This is just like when they were kids. She whispered, “Thank you”

Anything for the bride, nodded Ed.

Last stop: Hope

Ms dukings hung her head outside the moving van. Eyes darting from scrub to scrub. Hill to hill. As though he would pop up. She didn’t want to miss any moment. The journey from Ibadan to Lagos central was four hours, out of which they had exhausted 2. Detective Kozak had attempted making small talks with the distressed mother earlier during their Journey despite being overwhelming bad at it himself. He eventually gave up. If psychology had taught him anything, it was that if you couldn’t distract the mind from it’s ongoing war, you would consequently excite it.

At this point of the journey everything was beginning to look like tumbleweed to Ms dukings yet she couldn’t let herself blink until she noticed Kozak slowing down at the end of the roundabout and turning into the roadside gas station on the outskirt of Kaduna island. The Automobile was coming to a halt when she started;

Wh— what are you doing?

The detective heaved, “your mind could use a break and frankly I’d like a cup of coffee myself”

“I’ll wait here”, she objected.

Knowing there was nothing he could do to convince her, the detective opened the door to elit the vehicle as Dukings held his hand and squeezed them as tight as she could. As their eyes met she confirmed her fears;

“You are my Last hope. We have to find my son”

“This is the last stop before we enter Lagos. Ms Dukings”, `Said the detective as he observed at the vast horizon.” Be prepared for what we’ll find”.