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Friday, June 15, 2018

The Ghosts of Tomorrow

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor G

One evening when I opened my window, I saw this lady who appeared so beautiful. The way she moved her body increased the amount of adrenaline circulating in my body to the extent that I could feel my heart beating faster than normal, even though I was not exercising but just standing. I felt like having her for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if she was a doctor's prescription. "Ooh naughty me...," I said to myself when she was out of sight.

I investigated about her and discovered that she lived in a bungalow house down the street. Not too far from my residence, I was elated by this fascinating discovery. Weeks later, I started making advances at her, I got her number after many persuasions and then proceeded with showering her with sudden gifts. I had to show her that I was well to do, having been told that women loved and adore valuables.

She acted indifferently to my kind attitudes and gestures towards her. When she discovered I was head over heels in lust with her, she took advantage of my weakness and gave me an epic assignment as a proof of the true love I claim and profess to her. She said, "Only after you have completed the assignment will I be yours." I didn't know what came over me but I had to carry out the assignment, so as to make her mine.

Having done what she wanted me to, I visited her on the 27th of June, 1990 at exactly 7 pm. To tell I had done what she wanted.

On seeing her, we embraced, and I said;
"Aquion My love… I have done the unspeakable because of my love for you. Your wish is my command. I have killed the man whom you said killed your sister, and now I feel so afraid, that punishments await me."
"I have never done this before; my conscience pricks me so much, even though I don't believe in any religion. But what can I do? Since it appears I can’t breathe without you."

She looked me straight in the eyes and pats me on the back while swaying her body in a seductive manner around me, and then she said;
"It’s nothing my love, just put yourself together, I have seen men do far worse than what you did for me and nothing happened to them at all, the man deserves to die, an eye for an eye.
However, thank you for partaking in the accomplishment of my mission. After all, a woman who wants to get pregnant does not tie wrappers at all."
She unbuttoned her sleeveless shirt and unclothed herself, and in the midst of darkness, I could see the contour of her body. It was like the lines of an artistically drawn letter "S".

Then she whispered into my right ear, "You said you love me, and you want to see the diamonds in between my thighs, why then do you now complain of a simple task that will unlock your secret desires?"
I kept quiet, like a dumb child, looking at his oppressor with open eyes clamouring for mercy.
She touched my lips and pushed me to the couch. I fell on the couch but yet I couldn't believe my eyes, I thought it was a dream.

I strained my eyes to look at her as the only glimpse of her reflection was only cast by the dim light rays coming from the oil lamp on her table.
I reasoned her statements about the man I killed for her and felt as if I got a response from the devil himself. I was shocked by her utterances, but I had to confide in her as a partner in crime. Else, I would be consumed by self-guilt. I came to realize that two heads were truly better than one, even in atrocities.

The next day, early in the morning, I woke up with the excitement of having achieved my carnal desires. I tapped Aquion who slept beside me but she remained still. I called her name severally, but she never answered. I checked her nostrils and she was breathless, I touched her wrist and I felt no pulse, consequently, her heart was not beating.

Immediately, I came to realise that Aquion was lying dead beside me all these while. How did this happen? Was it the outcome of our actions? Could it be I had been on the bed with a dead woman? Several questions ran through my mind.

The memory of the past night flashed before my eyes, as I could recall that we spoke at length, laughed, cuddled and kissed in darkness. It was so memorable, but what must have lead to the sudden death of my new lover? Is this not calamity in a grand style?
I couldn't believe my eyes, and my mouth was wide agape, I was so shocked, and I was truly going insane.

I quickly tried running outside, forgetting I was naked. And as I climbed down the stairs, to call on neighbours, a little kid saw me and shouted. And then I ran back to get my clothes as the consciousness of my nudity struck me.
While I wore my jean trouser, white polo and black cap in haste, several thoughts engulfed my mind.

"What remains of me now that you are gone? I would only feel so lonely and afraid, and then I just wouldn't know what to do."

How I wish I never got enticed by you, possibly, I would have been a free man today. But does a free man exist? Perhaps, we are all hunted by something, and we are better-off running, whether weak or strong. To acquire a sound mind, and be like the birds of the air who worry not, while sleeping at night without any cause for despair.

When I tried moving out of her house for the second time, I decided to get back to my residence and make plans on how to come back and dispose of her corpse at night without implicating myself.

Just then I looked at her table and I saw a book titled, "The ghosts of tomorrow", I was prompted by natural curiosity to pick it up, and when I opened it, the first page reads thus;
"Just like every fearful man would say, I have seen a ghost and I will not tread that path again, for it is full of fears and unknowns. A path where trees appear like humans and their leaves look like multiple hands. The demons and vampire bats, the beautiful beasts we see in life are often the admirable homes of corrupt spirits. They are just so numerous we lose the courage to fight them; hence, they hunt our tomorrow like plagues. Their shadows cast stones of depression on our hearts for it to bleed to death. They becloud our visions and present our hurtful pasts in the glorified present. We become prisoners of the past. But finally, death is eventual."

I closed the book with fear and dropped it forcefully on the table, as I could not discern why Aquion would read such books. It appeared me to be a book of mysticism.

Immediately, a white paper with writings in red ink fell off from the book, I picked up the paper and it says; "Dear spirits of the earth, Jamal Ngigoo is mine, he shall join me quickly after my departure to glory. Only then have I accomplished my earthly mission, ooh mighty Jinn."

The thought of having seen my real name written on a piece of paper, and then placed in a horrible book with a scary title, piled unfathomable fears upon me. I couldn't believe what I read, as I came to understand that my days were already being counted and my death was to be the accomplishment of a mysterious woman who was possessed by a spirit called Jinn.

I introduced myself as Bob to her, but she knows my real name, who told her my real name?? Ooh, I can't believe this; I have to get out of this place. My instincts quickly told me, that the ghosts would haunt me, the ghosts of mistakes, the ghosts of atrocious acts and regrets, the ghosts of torment. "I have made a huge mistake…" I lamented.

Closing my eyes, I could see them hovering, and laughing at me. They danced in the joy of having conquered my humanity. Minute after minute they hovered in my mind and therein have they built their abode. I was pushed to think of solutions by all means, as I came to realize that the world itself was an adventure of life and death. I had been possessed by evil.

I thought of entering dreaded lands and meeting spiritual men, I thought of climbing frightful mountains in search of immunity. I thought of travelling to strange lands where no one knew me, then and there would I pray to their gods to protect and heal my soul.

Having been an atheist for 38 years I had no god to pray to because I believed that there was no god or God. For the first time in my life, I came to realize that man actually needs spiritual help.
"No need to further call people and alert them about the death of a beautiful witch. She can rot on that bed,” I said to myself.

I picked up my phone and texted my friend Hussein a high sea pirate who lives in India.
"Dear brother, my life is at stake, I really need spiritual help. I have engaged in spiritual affairs."

A few minutes later when I had already disguised myself and left Aquion's house as the early morning sun was already appearing, Hussein replied saying;
"Why don't you leave Nigeria and come over to India, there are lots of spiritual assistance from highly spiritual men."

From then on, I started making plans for travelling out of Nigeria to India. Nigeria was no longer safe for me, I had already committed murder because of Aquion, and I was beginning to feel as if I was under a spell. I have been bewitched by a woman who turned my morning into night, and now, I just can't think straight.

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