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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011) – a recapitulation of the decades of research that led to his winning the Nobel Prize – explains his contributions to our current understanding of psychology and behavioral economics. Over the years, Kahneman and his colleagues, whose work the book discusses at length, have significantly contributed to a new understanding of the human mind. We now have a better understanding of how decisions are made, why certain judgment errors are so common and how we can improve ourselves.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Does True Love Exist? When you have a Bitter Woman in your Life, you can Hardly Experience True Love

 From the work in progress, Love Birds 

  by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

Jimmy was in the hospital for many days while I mourned the death of Dalmos quietly. His body had been recovered in the wreckage and buried. Losing him was painful. It was like I had lost a vital part of me.

Jimmy and I did not talk for days while I waited at his bed side for his recovery but he knew I had spent some days at the hospital with him. His refusal to talk to me, only suggested that he was still angry with me and I understood his pains. I have counted my losses and was ready to move on. I just wanted him to recover before I exit his life altogether. I thought it would be too bad for me to abandon him midway into the crisis. It wasn’t a good way to show appreciation. He had been so nice to me. The only way I could pay back is to wait and help him get back on his feet. Or at most, wait until he is discharged from the hospital.  

His attitude did not come as a surprise to me. I would do the same if I was in his shoes. It hurts if someone you love breaks your heart. Once he is back on his feet, I will apologize. It is left for him to accept my apology or not. If he chooses not to, I will not hold any grudge against him because he has done more than enough for me.  

One of the doctors came in to check him. After the long random exercise, he was impressed with Jimmy’s recovery. “You are good sir,” the doctor noted.

“Thank you,” Jimmy smiled.

 “You are good to go.”

“When will I be discharged?” Jimmy asked, making a face.

“Hopefully, tomorrow. If your body continues to progress at the rate at which it is going now, the hospital will have no need of you here. You should be on your way home by this time tomorrow,” assured the doctor.

“That will be fine,” Jimmy muttered. “Thank you.”

The doctor turned to me, his face broke into a gap toothed smile, he said, “Madam, I commend you for hanging around for this long. It takes love to do so. You are truly loyal to your man. Keep it. Up!”

“Thank you, doctor,” I responded.

“I wish you all the best.” He gathered his files and walked out of the room.

As soon as he was gone, I stared at Jimmy. He adjusted his huge frame on the bed. He cleared his throat and said quietly, “Have you started seeing him too? You know you shouldn’t be here.”

My heart raced. My eyes were flooded with tears. I went near the bed and fell on my knees. “Jimmy, please forgive me,” I held his hand and pleaded remorsefully. I pulled his hand close to my chest and wept silently. “Please, forgive me! I failed you! I know what I did was wrong!”

Jimmy slowly removed his hand and turned the other way. He faced the wall and said, “I know why you cheated on me. I am a terrible creature but I will overcome! I will beat this shit! I promise you!”

“Yes,” I nodded a million times. “I believe you will overcome…”

“If you believe, why did you have sex with Dalmos in my house?”

Frozen. When I finally tried to talk, my voice quivered, “Er…em…”

“I caught you red-handed. You have no respect for me.”

“No, Jimmy! I respect you!”

“No, you don’t. The night that he saved me was the worst day of my life. I almost told him the next day that he would have allowed the truck to knock me over than saving me. I should better be allowed to die than be alive to see him sleeping with you under my roof. It was hard to take. Just like the previous night, you people outnumbered me and I was too fragile to take on the both of you. I was at a disadvantage and it will be painful if I had to die for something that doesn’t worth it.

“I had to mask my frustration with a smile and pretend as if all was well. No man in his right senses would do that to his fellow man. After you have saved a man from the jaws of death, you then turn around to have sex with his would be wife right under his nose. Dalmos is crazy! Where is his humanity? He was lucky I had no gun. Who knows what would have happened to him? Perhaps, I would have taken his life. Many things crossed my mind. But for some reasons, I decided to be discreet.

“I woke up that night. I heard you moaning in the showers even though you tried to conceal it and control yourself. I could still hear you faintly. First, I dashed into my control room and checked the CCTV camera to be sure of what was going on around my house. When I checked the surrounding and there was no strange movements, I viewed the monitors inside the house. I saw you and Dalmos having sex in the shower. To be sure that I wasn’t under the spell of liquor, I decided to confirm this myself. Initially, I thought he was a thief who was taking advantage of you. So I grabbed a club from under my bed and stole on silent feet to the shower.

“I thought some thief had broken into the house and you were being raped in the shower. So I carried myself there. What I saw did not look like a rape scene. I could see the chemistry between the both of you. It was purely consensual. Something that can only happen between lovers. Dalmos didn’t look like a rapist or thief under the shower. The two of you were tearing each other and I could hardly tell who was enjoying it the most.

“I wanted to react but I feared that the two of you could kill me. Of what use will that be? I thought about the good things that I inherited from my late father—the houses, the companies and beautiful lands across the country. Why should I risk everything for a woman that has no respect for me? I was hurt that night. You shattered me. I quietly returned to the room, slipped the club back under the bed and went back to sleep. Your shortcomings did not stop me from going to see your parents. I really did not want to marry you again after that incident but due to one reason or the other, I had to hang on. You could see the anguish on his face. Dalmos could not hide his frustration when he learnt we are getting married. It is true that I am weak but I have a good heart.

“Lizzy, we do not deserve one another. I cannot sexually satisfy you because most of the time you need me, if I am not drunk, I will not be available. I was a terrible curse to you and myself. I know your pains. I understand how terrible it is to need sex and you do not get it from your lover. I have thought about this. And I am worried that our relationship will not last. I blamed myself for everything. If I had not come home drunk, Dalmos would never had sex with you under my roof that night. I cannot rule the possibility of you having sex with him or another man in someplace else since we were not legally married. But he cannot be so bold to have you under my roof if I had played my cards well. It was my entire fault!”

“No, it is not entirely your fault. I am equally guilty. Please, find a place in your heart to forgive me,” I cried. “I was the one that let you down…”

He paused and turned to me. He stared at me for a moment. Then he gazed at the ceiling and said, “To forgive is one thing, and to forget is another. I am not bitter about what had transpired. I will suggest that you leave me. I cannot be useful to you. Even though we come back together, I cannot guarantee that I will be okay. I have my reasons. I am a troubled man. I have a past that haunts me.”

“Why do you think we cannot be together?” I asked.

“I am careful not to blame you. Deep down in my heart, I know I am the reason why things are like this. If you want to hear, then you must raise me up. I need to sit down so that I can explain some things to you. If all that you need from me is money, you may not have landed yourself in trouble. But if you are expecting to marry me, you will need to look elsewhere. I will never advise anyone to stay with a man who has a troubled life. It will surely rub off on you.”

“No matter what you say,” I rose to my feet and helped him to seat down on the bed. “Your imperfections shouldn’t give me the right to flirt around.”

“That is true,” he told me.

I walked back to my seat. I sat down, crossed my legs and faced him.

He swallowed hard and began, “Before I met you, I had several women in my life. One problem is that, they all left me the way they came. When I thought it was going to be smooth sailing, something strange would transpire and they will be gone. My problem started when I met Olga some years ago. She is one of the daughters of the paramount chief of Iba land. Olga was beautiful and charming. She was the best in terms of beauty. But Olga was a spoilt child. She was too extravagant for my liking. She was a curse to my finances. Olga had no control over anything. She wasteful and nearly wrecked the estates that I inherited from my late father with her extravagant lifestyle.

“One day, I decided it was time to stop her before she completely ruined me. I decided to end the relationship with Olga. I invited her over to my house so that we could talk things over a few bottles of beer. Not knowing what was to come, she honored the invitation. I felt telling her my mind in the house was safer than discussing such a sensitive matter in the public. Olga, in the past had shown some degrees of indecency and could be very violent at times. Sometimes I wonder if she does not need a psychiatrist evaluation. I have seen her assault people over minor issues and I didn’t want to take chances. She could rip my head off with an empty bottle. I know what she was capable of. She has short fuss and could lead to feats of rage. She could harm anyone when she is in that state of mind.

“I doubt if she could be overly violent in my house. It was a tricky situation. Considering how things are, it was the lesser of the two evils. I would rather have her in the house where I can easily be in control of things than expose myself to a full blown assault from a woman who is easily out of control. I had invited some friends to the house on that day. They are aware of what was going on between Olga and I. They were also in support that I let her go. As expected, I must be civil enough and show her some respect.

“As we drank quietly on the table with my friends, I broke the news to Olga. Just as I had anticipated, Olga erupted violently. She took a bottle from the table and aimed at me. The bottle missed me by a fraction and smashed the wall. Parts of the broken pieces flew into the left arm of one of the guys at the table. He still bear the scar till this day.

“Before she could wreck more havoc, my friends pounced on her and bundled her out of the house. When Olga left, I breathed a sigh of relief for I thought it was over between us. But that was just the beginning of my predicament. Olga kept my phone busy with calls and text messages for days and weeks, asking for forgiveness. Even though I would reply to say I had forgiven her, she wouldn’t stop. I was disillusioned because of the incessant messages and calls.

“Later, I realized that what forgiveness meant to Olga was that, we should come back together and carry on from where we had left it. She texted severally that if I had truly forgiven her, I should invite her for reconciliation. How do I return into the arms of a woman who knows nothing other than being wasteful and tepid? That to me is suicide. I cannot walk that old path again, It was a phase that I felt was gone for good.

“One day, I ran into Olga at a bar where I went for some bottles of beer. Seeing her ex, she rushed to my table and joined me. After we had exchanged pleasantries, Olga told me all that she wanted was a proper reconciliation. She is no longer bothered or worried about marrying me. She would move on once we had settled our differences amicably over some bottles of beer in a restaurant of her choosing. I fancied the idea because I just wanted her to stop calling or sending text messages every now and then. I agreed that we should meet. Then she left my table and returned to her corner.

“It was a big test and I had no inclination that the worse was to come. Few days later, Olga called and invited me to a bar somewhere in the trenches of Iba Town. On that day, I arrived with high hopes that I will be completely free from her whim and caprice. She ordered for drinks. As we drank to our hearts content, my phone rang. Since the bar was noisy and I could hardly hear what the caller was saying, I decided to step aside to answer the call. It was a wrong move that ruined my life. I would have moved with my bottle of beer or at least cover it properly. As I answered the call, Olga took advantage of innocence and drove a dagger into my chest.”

“She stabbed you?”

“No, she reached out for her purse, brought some concoction and poured it in my drink.”

“How do you know she poured concoction in your drink? It is hard to believe. I am trying to apply logic here. You said you moved away to answer your call. That action completely takes you out of the scene of the crime.”

“Yes, that is true. After she left, the bar tender approached me and asked if I drank from the bottle of beer on my table? His countenance fell after I told him I did. He looked at me as if my life was in grave danger. When I tried to find out what made him asked, he disclosed that when I stepped out to answer the call, he saw the woman that sat with me on the table poured something in my drink. He can’t really say what it was. He thought that wasn’t a proper thing to do. But when he tried to come immediately to tell me not to touch the drink, he was distracted by a customer. By the time he attended to the customer, he had completely forgotten. Only to remember when he saw the woman leaving the bar. By the time he ran to me, it was already too late. I was already back to the table and had emptied the bottle of drink into my stomach.”

“So what happened to you after the incident?”

“By the time I came back to the table, Olga had emptied her drink and urged me to finish up quickly so that we could leave. She told me she had an appointment with a client and she was running late. So I did. I emptied the drink into my stomach. While she gathered her things from the table, I felt a strange movement inside of me. She excused me and left. I thought she went to see someone outside and would be back shortly. I never knew it was all part of the plan. That might be the last time that I will set my eyes on her. It was when Olga left that the bar tender rushed to my table. After interrogating me, he saw him walked out of the bar. May be he went after Olga. Not long after, he came back into the bar.

“Initially, I felt like throwing out. So I got up from the table and rushed to the rest room.  Nothing came out. Suddenly, I felt badly intoxicated and disoriented as if I had drunk myself to stupor. I could barely coordinate my pair of legs. To cut the long story short, I was poisoned by Olga. I collapsed on the floor in the rest room and slipped into unconsciousness. By the time I woke up around six in the morning of the next day, I was on the bare floor right across the road in front of the bar.”

“Terrible world,” I shook my head. “She must have used a powerful spell on you. What was her motive?”

“Just listen. I will get there. “

“Okay,” I adjusted and pay attention with captivated attention.

“Then I got up from the floor. I crossed the road to the other side, the stench from my body reached the high heavens. I was dirty and sickly. I walked slowly into the garage of the bar where I parked my car. On reaching the car, I searched my pocket for my car keys and couldn’t find them. My phone and wallet were gone too. Then I looked about and saw a man. He walked up to me. He introduced himself as the guard. He narrated how I had made a complete mess of myself all night. They tried to calm me down and put in a room but I was very violent and repeatedly violated anyone that tried to help me. I ended up on the road at the other side. But the management kept my phone, wallet and car keys safe. He said the bar owners were concerned about my safety, so they asked him to keep an eye on me all night. He disclosed that he had been standing here all night, watching over me. When I asked him what happened to me, he said that I was drunk and out of control.”

“Oh, wow.”

“I felt completely embarrassed. I took my keys and wallet from him. I gave him some money for not allowing the worse to happen to me. He was so happy for the cash gift but I was distressed. I quietly entered the car and drove off. When I got home, I put a call through to Olga. I explained to her what the bar tender and the guard had said. I expected her to deny everything and reassure me that I was safe but that was never going to happen. She confirmed the poisoning and cherished how I gulped every drop of it like a miserable dog. She disclosed that if she doesn’t have me as husband, no woman on earth would stay with me. She boasted that it was only a matter of time before I crack and do the right thing or else I will be destroyed by her powerful magic. I thought she was bragging. After some years down the line, it was true. Olga has reduced me to barebones. You are the seventh woman that I have had since Olga poisoned me. And all of them left in acrimony,” he sighed.

“I have been worried too. I thought of leaving you. That was why I started dating my ex again,” I revealed to Jimmy.

“I know it was not entirely your fault. It was mine but it was hard to take. Many of the women that I dated before your arrival, died mysteriously in the space of one month after I stated relationship with them. I started monitoring things the very first day we met. You were different and you have survived for months with me. I thought the spell had broken when you did not die after a month with me. At some point, I felt the spell had broken or some powerful magic from you or something was neutralizing Olga’s spell. That was why I was ready to do anything to keep you happy. I never knew it would come to this.  As of now, I have accepted my fate.”

I shook my head and revealed, “Now I understand why I have been having the nightmares, dogs chasing me all over the place. I just could not figure it out. It was hard. Ever since I moved into your house,  it has been one battle to another.”

“That is how it begins. My previous dates started having nightmares too. Suddenly they start seeing me in the dream, attacking them. Then they would either sleep or not wake up or die mysteriously. Olga’s intentions are clear but she will never break me.”

“It is very painful. She is a sore loser!”

“Yes, that is it.”

“I don’t think you will have the issues again.”

“Why do you say so?”

“A while ago, I had a dream. The dogs attacked me again. This time, I killed them.”

“When?”

“Not quite long!”

“Hmm…I’m not a religious person.”

“I think that is victory for you. The spell has been broken.”

“May be. You could be right. I felt a movement in my stomach just before the doctor came into the room. It was as if something jumped out of my body. I had been good ever since.”

“And the doctor also confirmed that you are good to go home.”

“Yes.” He looked at me and chewed his lower lip.

“Thank you for everything,” I said. I picked my bag and rose to my feet. “You are right. We do not deserve one another. We have come a long way but it is time I give you a break. Sorry for the inconveniences that I have caused you. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!” I went beside the bed, dropped the key to the house that he gave to me. I turned and walked away. It is all over, I said to myself.

As I got to the door, he called, “Lizzy, WAIT.”

I stopped and barely looked over my shoulders. “Yes?”

“Where are you going?” he asked, a little shaken.

I paused for a moment as hot tears streamed down my eyes. “I’m going to my family,” I managed to croaked.

“Did I ask you to leave? When you get to your people, what are you going to tell them?”

“I will tell them I left you.”

“No problem. Before you leave, please do me a favor. Help me to my feet. I need to use the rest room.”

“Are you not tired of ordering me about?”

“Just this once! I beg you!”

I wiped my tears with the back of my hands. I turned and walked back to him. I placed my bag on the bed. As I went close to help him to his feet, Jimmy fell on me. “I thought you said my nightmares were over.”

“Yes, I said so.”

“Why are you leaving?”

“I am tired and exhausted. I need to clear my head.”

 “Lizzy,” he sighed. “Will you marry me?”

Slowly, I pulled him to my body and hugged him tightly. “Yes, I will.” After all the battles, tears rolled down my eyes. I got something out of life. We kissed and rolled on the bed.     

                     



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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Original Sin. You can’t say anything meaningful about love unless you put your personality to the test.

 From the unpublished work, Love Birds

 by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

He slammed shut the door. I followed him into the sitting room where he sank into his favorite seat. “Please sit down and make yourself comfortable,” he pointed at the sofa. I placed my bag on the sofa and slowly settled down. My eyes travelled round the sitting room. His portrait on the wall, the chairs, light bulbs on the ceiling, the tiles on the floor, fans and shelf were neatly arranged. The atmosphere was refreshing. No foul smell, the house was organized. I was attracted to the books carefully arranged on the shelf. I got up and moved over to the shelf. I picked one of the books and turned the pages slowly. The book had a decent cover and the print was great. I shot a glance at him. Our eyes met. “I love reading books,” I said. “They enrich lives.”

“Yes, it is good to read. I read a lot,” he smiled. “What can I offer you?”

I placed the book back on the shelf and returned to my seat. I understand why he is staring at me. I had no bra and my nipples seemed to stick out a bit. I sighed deeply and answered, “I am not overly choosy. I came for the party!”

“The party for two?”

“Yes.” I adjusted and laughed.

“If you had told me that you were coming me immediately, I would have prepared. At least, a good food for the two of us,” he explained.

“I wanted to surprise you!”

“I understand but sometimes it is counterproductive, especially when you are dealing with people you don’t know too well. Excuse me!” He rose from the chair and moved to his refrigerator by the corner. He threw it open and brought out two bottles of soft drink. He slammed the bottles on top of the refrigerator, got some empty glasses from the table by the side. He gathered everything and returned to his seat. He placed the drinks and empty glass cups on the table and sat down. “Join me,” he pushed one glass cup and one of the bottles of drink to my side. He opened his own drink, poured out some liquid in the glass cup and drank it. “Ah,” he let go a belch that could kill a dove. “That was great,” he said. He slammed the glass cup on the table, and turned to me, “How are you feeling now?”

“I am much better,” I answered. I took my drink, poured some in the glass cup and sipped from it. The cold drink was very refreshing. I placed the glass cup gently on the table. I glanced at him as he fixed his gaze on the television. “Where is your wife?” I asked.

“Oh, you saw the portrait on the wall. Good you asked. I am not married,” he disclosed. “I know it is difficult to believe.”

“I thought you were married. Who is the woman in the portrait? Is she your girlfriend?”

“No.” He took a mighty heave and swallowed hard. “I was once married…” His countenance fell. He shook his head, hissed and turned away.

“So what happened?” I sat up. “Where is she?” I inquired and took another sip from the glass cup. “She left you for another man?”

“It’s a long story. I try not to think about her because it leaves me disillusioned. She had cancer and was terminally ill. We fought gallantly against it but could not prevail. Ever since she died, I have been empty. At the moment, I am struggling to cope with life.” He turned to me, “Have I answered your question?”

“Yes, you have,” I nodded, slowly. “It’s a pity. Sorry for your loss…” I glanced at the portrait on the wall once again. I could imagine how happy they were when she was alive. She was so adorable.

“That is what I always hear from sympathizers. Dalmos, sorry for your loss. Dalmos sorry for this. Dalmos sorry for that. Soon, you will be gone and I will be alone, burning and whining like a miserable dog. The loneliness is killing me and I am losing my head!”

“You sound very negative. I thought you were a clergy.”

“You forget that I am first a human being before anything else,” he looked sternly at me. “I am made of flesh and blood like everyone else.”

“That is true.”

 “When she died, I thought my whole world had come crashing down to the earth. I was a tragedy.”

“Well, I could be of help. We could spend some time together, go to the gym, dates and lots more,” I exhaled. “This is not an assurance. Don’t take my word for it.”

“Why?” he adjusted his frame on his seat. “Are you confused?”

“No. Not really. What I am after is a willing partner. Humans need each other.”

“Yes, you are right.”

 “As a man who have helped me, I should be your source of strength and support in your trying times.” I took another sip from the glass cup and faced the television. Is this paradise too good to be true?

There was silence momentarily in the sitting room. After he had emptied his bottle of drink, he placed the void glass cup on the table. He sat up and asked, “Did you say you will help me?”

 “Yes!”

“Oh, thank you. You came at the right time!”

“I understand your plight but I cannot guarantee anything because I have no idea what awaits me. As a friend, I will do my best to make you happy.”

His face broke into a gap toothed smile. “You remind me of my late wife. She never hides her feeling or displeasure. What a woman!”

“She must be a strong woman too.”

“Yes, she was my pillar and backbone. I have a decent apartment. You can stay with me for as long as you want.”

“We must tread with caution,” I warned.

“Of course. We barely know each other but we can work it out.”

“I agree.”

He stretched his hands and palms up. “I am like an open book,” he laughed. “I have no cockroach in my cupboard.”

I straightened my chin. “I did not come here to surrender to a man. I came to thank you for saving my life,” I told him. “Is this what you call a party for two?”

“NO!” He appeared so unsettled as if he was holding something back. He rose to his feet and walked out of the sitting room.

“Where are you going?”

There was no answer. He barely looked at my side and headed off.

I jumped to my feet as my gaze followed him to the door by the corner.  He opened the door, went into the room and shut it behind him. I sat back confused and did not know what to do. After seating in the sitting room alone for some time, I decided to find out what was wrong. Gently, I got back on my feet and walked to the door. I opened the door and tossed my head inside. I saw Dalmos by the window, staring at the big blue sky. I entered the room and shut the door behind us. “What are you doing here? You forgot you have a guest?”

“I am sorry,” he looked over his shoulders.

“That is not good enough.”

“I just could not stand you.”

“Why? What is the problem?”

“The more I stared at you, the more I remember my late wife. You are just like her. I felt guilty that I failed her.”

“So you thought the best thing to do is walk out on me?”

“I did not do enough to keep her alive,” he spoke with a quivering voice as tears gathered in his eyes.

“What would you have done to save a woman that was terminally ill?”

“Sometimes I ask myself why she would have to die.”

“Except if there is something you are not telling me. You need to forgive yourself and move on, Dalmos.”

“I am frustrated,” he sighed.

I went to the window, patted his back and stood by his side. As we gazed silently at the beautiful earth, his hands were on the burglary proof. The weather was clear, the sky stared at us in the face and butterflies hopped from one tree to another. I loved the serene atmosphere. As he lowered his left hand, he mistakenly brushed my nipple. I was disoriented because I felt a little vibration. My mind began to work very fast. I imagined Dalmos and I having sex. I tried to get the thought out of my head and stayed focused.

“Sorry,” he apologized. Then he crossed his hand over my shoulder and pulled me close to his body. “I didn’t intend to do that, you know. You were too close to me and my hand went the wrong way.”

He’s trying to play his card just right. “That is a subtle sign. If I were you, I would just ask.”

“What? I don’t exploit people.”

“I know what you are looking for,” I smiled. “I hope you won’t dump me after I give it to you,” he turned and our eyes met. We stared at each other for some time. Then I adjusted my body, I moved my right thigh between his legs and said, “I guess this will get you in the mood,” I pressed my thigh against his penis and squeezed it gently.  

“Ah, I won’t fail you,” he groaned. He placed his hands on my shoulder, slightly pulling me to himself and sank a kiss into my head. “You are so energizing.”

“I have heard that bedtime story before.”

“I am not womanizer. I won’t hurt you. I swear!”

“Why should I trust you? A clergy man who loves sex.”

“I’m a human.” We both laughed and kissed.

“I know. You are not looking through a plastic shopping bag.” I slowly pressed my thigh against his body again. I felt his penis growing harder and bigger as he moaned in pleasure.

Dalmos slipped his hands under my shirt and located my breasts. He stroked my nipples. The sensation left me shuddering. Slowly he took off my shirt and my breasts were exposed. He looked at them as if he was seeing a naked woman for the very first time. “Oh, wow! You are so endowed,” his love for big boobs seemed to grow even bigger. “I could eat you all day!” he joked. He leaned forward and took my nipple in his mouth. He wrapped his long tongue and teeth around it as if he was going to swallow it in one whole lump and pulled it.

 I felt a deep pain inside of me. Quickly, I tapped him on the head. “You are hurting me. You are pulling my nipple too hard,” I cried out.

“I thought you were enjoying it,” he raised his head and said.

“Yes, I was. Not until you pulled it so hard. Just slow down. Use your tongue alone,” I told him. I held his head, pulled him close to my body and rubbed it gently. The device seemed to work.

Slowly, he lowered his head and took my nipple in his mouth again. He rolled his tongue around the nipple and gently pulled and twisted it. The sensation was great. He struck the right note and my whole body was electrified. He sucked and caressed my breasts. Things were looking up for the two of us as I shivered and stroked his head.

Before I could blink, Dalmos snatched me and tossed me onto the bed. He was eager to penetrate me immediately. He took off his shirt, he threw it on the floor and I helped him unzipped his trousers. His penis was very hard. I took it in my hand. “This is massive,” I said, stroking his penis gently. We kissed. “You are such a hot head,” I commented.

“My wife use to say it,” he sounded as if his penis had won him an Olympic medal.

“Come over to the bed.”

Gently he crawled into the bed. “Lay down. Let me give you a treat!” I took his penis in my hand. I stayed on my knee and bend my body over. I slipped his penis into my mouth. He held my head for balance, gently fondling my hair. I loved the sweet sensation.

As I pulled back and forth softly, his body vibrated. “Oh, wow! You are just what I need! You are the best,” he moaned. He almost brought down the roof of the house as I worked on his penis. Giving his dick a hand job, I went for his scrotum and sucked every bit of it.

Dalmos seemed to enjoy my every move as his body shuddered vehemently. Then I pulled away, gently lay with my back on the bed, and spread my legs for him to return the favor. He mounted me. He grabbed his genital and used his hand to guide it into my vagina. “Ah, your dick is too big!” I cried as he began to drill me so fast and hard. I was totally insane. “Please, go faster. I need you deep inside!”

“I will,” he whispered to my ears, breathing down on me.

I held him tightly as he pounded the hell out of me. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a dick of this size inside of me. He rode me for several minutes before he pulled away and shot his load of sticky mess all over the place. He rolled off my body and collapsed beside me.

“You are so sweet,” he said, caressing his hairy chest.

I paused. Should I smile or give him a kiss for the kind words? It was a familiar tone of a selfish creature. I felt it wasn’t worth it. I swallowed hard and stared at the ceiling, angry.

But he took my silence was an invitation to do it all over again. Then he tried to touch me.

 I wore a long face because I felt he was selfish and had exploited me. First, I was yet to reach orgasm. I thought he was going to suck and feast on my vagina before inserting his penis but that did not happen. He rushed in and succeeded in satisfying himself alone. Secondly, it was painful that we had to make love on our first date. I did not expect things to turn out this way. What is the need having sex without reaching orgasm? I pushed his hand away. “You have had your way. Now you are satisfied. I will suggest you stay away from me!” I told him. I stormed out of the bed and went for my clothes.

“What happened? Why are you angry, Lizzy? I thought you enjoyed it.” He got up from the bed and came after me.

“I am angry over what we just did!”

He glanced at the bed and back to me. Then he asked, “Which one, exactly?”

“Everything!” I looked straight into his eyes. He was dreadfully confused. “I am not cheap! I am not a whore!” I yelled at him.

“No, Lizzy. You shouldn’t be upset.” He came close to me and held my hand. “Please, forgive me if you feel that I have taken advantage of you. I thought you wanted us to have sex.”

“Terrible!” I hissed, I withdrew my hand from his grip. I shifted my weight to one leg, crossed my arms over my body and looked away.

“I understand your feelings, Lizzy. But I will not fail you. I will stick to you all the way.” “Come,” he threw his arms open, “Give me a hug and let’s put this behind us.” I pushed him, he staggered and fell on the bed. I grabbed my clothes tightly and ran out of the room. I slammed the door behind me. I went to the sitting room and sat naked on the sofa.

The slow sentimental song that played over the television set was nice and soothing. Gradually, the angry feeling began to die down. Then Dalmos came out of the room, he walked into the sitting room naked. “Lizzy, stop feeling insecure.” His penis dangled freely between his pair of legs.

“How do you want me to feel?” I fired back with an eye on his large genital. I wanted to tell him right away that he was selfish for not helping me reach orgasm too but I wondered how he would feel. Some people view women who demand for sex as flirts.

 “I understand. As I said a while ago, you are in safe hands. I will always make you happy.”

 I took a deep breath and looked at him as if I was expecting further assurances that he would do better next time. The intercourse we just had was not good enough and I am ashamed to tell him.

“Trust me, Lizzy. I will not let you down. You should clean yourself before leaving.” He turned and walked away.

“Where are you going?”

“To the shower.” He barely looked over his shoulder as his voice tailed off.

I reluctantly got up from the seat and followed him.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Dark Tales: Excerpt of The Stranger Within. Remember to go slow because it is very hard to describe the feeling of being screwed.

 Written by 

  Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

   


Methuen is alluring and seductive.  In as much as she believes that love should have trust, she has her own set of rules. She wants it hot, hard and sweaty. She met a handsome man, Taiwo, whose mind is somewhere else. She wanted to keep him for the long haul but he had other plans. He wanted sex, dump her and move on to his next target.

Methuen has led Taiwo into compromising and dangerous situations. She could not watch him bruise her petals repeatedly without fighting back. It is difficult to say whether Taiwo leaving his girlfriend, Elena, for the landlady was a good move. It was like a feeling of fullness and pressure. He never meant to start the war or hurt her. He just wanted to try something new.

Go get your armor and be at the battlefield. They cannot pretend that there was nothing between them. The consequence will be felt by all. It is true that no one has monopoly of love and lust. You can’t promise to never fall in love with a stranger because there are no guarantee that things will stay the same.

Remember to go slow because it is very hard to describe the feeling of being screwed.

 



My leave was over and my guest had seen horrible nights in my abode. Nights that took hold of our reins and almost sent us to the silent world. Their torments were like the fiery attacks of bloodsuckers and vampires in a desolate city. Grave human destroyers and enemy of the common person sat on the old fence counting their gains after the rampage. Oh! The cruel hands of fate bestowed upon me the responsibility of attending to an ill personality under my nose. I accepted his coming as one of the disasters of life and the common mischief that embraces men of little means.
I was supposed to resume on September 9. However, Yomi’s frail health made me stay back two more weeks. Distracted, I forgot to inform my Manager about the ugly condition that snatched my joy away. Finally, I showed up in the office. The receptionist, a fat and jolly woman, grinning all over her face was going through some files on her table. Beautiful fellow that have received faces from all occupations, and having little means to remember all and the precious moments she had with some of them. I could see she was not getting any younger. However, nature has been fair to her for she was charming like the Lilly of the valley! I pondered a little about the birthmarks on her face. From a distance, one would think they were tribal marks that distinguish her tribe from wanderers. She always wished they were not there.
As we exchanged pleasantries, the bold and diminutive woman told me with a streak of meanness that the manager said I should see him as soon as I resumed. I nodded with a lively interest and turned to go into my office. She stopped me and announced that the manager also said I should not enter the office until I saw him.
I went to the office of Dr. Pepper, the old manager. He wore a new look. He was shaven and his head like an egg! Buttoned up tight in heavy serge, stiff collar and necktie and with nothing better to do than read a newspaper. “Good morning sir,” I greeted and stood.
He threw the newspaper to one side and smiled a little. Wrinkles appeared on his solemn face as he lowered his bifocal glasses and cleared his throat. “Taiwo, good to see you again,” he said and coughed a bit. “So many changes took place while you were away. I hope you will take your part in good faith,” he said, taking a deep breath. “When I did not hear from you, I employed a vibrant young man who has lived up to expectation. Painfully, the business is not booming as expected, I would have considered retaining you. Please, come back in a month’s time to collect what we owe you,” he spoke remorsefully and went for the newspaper.
“I don’t understand you, sir,” my countenance fell as I replied with a trembling voice. The sad news was taller than the pair of legs that carried me.
He sat up and removed his pair of bifocal glasses. “No cause for alarm, Taiwo.” He looked straight into my eyes. “We only sacked you. However, you have my word. Your entitlement will be ready next month.”
 “Sir, I did not intentionally stay away. I was attending to my friend who was on the verge of losing his life,” I spoke innocently as tears began to roll down my bewildered face. 
“That is fine. It is good to shed tears if a situation demands it. Right now, your tears can do little or nothing, Taiwo. On the other hand, it is no crime to be a Good Samaritan. We all know necessity can change a man’s direction. Nevertheless, it is our duty to take the right decision when the odds are up against us. You should have informed us when such a dilemma lived under your nose. If you had done that, I would not have looked outside. Well, disappointment or failure is not the end of life. Be courageous to confront whatever circumstance befalls you. They could be your deliverance. Of course, yes. There were people who struggled to feed in their little beginning. As soon as they rode on the back of prosperity and the enterprise of poverty was gone, they conveniently fed many mouths!” He shrugged and added, “You are such a nice fellow to work with. If we have any opening in future, we shall get in touch with you!”
I was short of words as he went back to his business. Sobbing gently, I quietly left the old man’s office and had the luxury of walking on the passage alone. After taking five steps or more, it dawned on me that I was few steps away from the reception hall and it would be an embarrassment if that diminutive woman saw me in tears. Then I hurriedly wiped my tears with the back of my hands. The receptionist was attending to someone when I sneaked out and the cruel hands of the outside world received me.

            So many things crept into my mind as I waited patiently for a vehicle to convey me to my destination. I thought of giving Yomi the boot as soon as I reached home, for his coming has robbed me of my job. The thought of taking my own life sat like a perpetual infirmity in my troubled mind. Not too long, a vehicle pulled by in the other end of the road. Before I could blink, four masked men stormed out of the car and opened fire on me. I dodged and dashed into an old busy street. People fell here and there. Stray bullets caught an old woman in the head; she cried out a little and lay struggling for life and another fellow fell stone dead!

            As everyone on the street fled for dear life, I raced with my legs almost touching the back of my head. People fell stone dead as bullets from the mask men flew in every direction. As they gave chase, I went past two or more bends, looking back at intervals at the horrible creatures that were making strange noises I had never heard. I made the best use of my legs down the last bend that leads to an old graveyard near an abandoned church. Two of the men on my trail formed into a whirlwind and flew into the others ahead. As soon as the devils entered the men, they roared up to the high heavens. The devils became very strong and apprehensive. Running at top speed, I climbed the barbwire fence that separated the abandoned church from the street and tossed myself clear over. As I made for the church, the horrible men took a new form. They transformed into large dogs, snarling, barking, and scaled the fence with ease. Before the wild dogs could get me, I was already in the building.

My breath was almost hitting the roof of my chest when I went near the altar and found a door half-open. I looked in every direction, no enemy in sight and I quietly went in. The room must have served as lodge for the bishop or shepherd of the abandoned church. An old candle and some old Bibles occupied a table covered with dust. Discouraging sights of cobwebs were in every corner. In addition, a bookshelf lay on the extreme, but the cobwebs around it suggested there had not been any human activity there in the recent memories. Why it was in such desolation, I cannot tell. Apart from the little window on the wall, and another that faced the building, purpose of which I think was to help the bishop or whoever in the room see the church, another way out of the room was a steel door in the far end bolted. So, for my own account I was safe.  As I looked in every direction to find a weapon that I could use against my adversaries if I eventually ran into them again, my gaze met a piece of note on the floor. I went for it and dusted the piece. There were strange writings on it and I could not read it. When I turned the piece the other way, my curious eyes noticed writing in clear terms that this place is death! However, I squashed the note and disposed of it. I broke off one of the legs of the table in the room to serve as my weapon in case of any eventuality.

            Not too long, I went to the little window to see the situation of things in the church. My heart jumped into my mouth when I noticed the dogs were around, looking in every direction for their meal. I secured the door as a gold digger jealously swallows a piece of diamond in a cold night. The window served her purpose. When I stole back to it, my saw one of the wild dogs approaching the room.

Before the devils stepped into the world, which I thought protected me, I pondered over the possibilities of me running through the iron door if evil kissed my soul. There was short barking from the temple; before I could blink, it mixed with the thin air. Comforted that the beasts would never find me, I noticed a huge black dog emerged from the wall in the room. Stench of treachery hung in the air. My heart died within me, for the dog charged and threw itself on me. I did not let myself down for I sent the evil dog the other way with my weapon. As the wood fell to the ground, I fought my way to the back door—my hope of deliverance. I was already on the other side before the beast found its feet.

             My legs were true to their responsibilities for they did not disappoint me as I raced through the field to the graveyard, stumbling at intervals and wailing like a devastated man. I could not count the number of times I stumbled as I flee from the mischievous creatures. As the mad dogs chased, I noticed an old man holding a digger entering the only building in the graveyard. I decided to cry for help but it was ignored for the old folk got to the veranda, dropped the digger and went into the house.

            My sagging legs, gravestones and demarcations here and there almost gifted me to the devils. However, before they could make a short work of me, I was already at the veranda. I grabbed the digger and hurled it at one of the beasts. The whine of a miserable dog hit the air as the enemy lay struggling for life. Before the other could make any move, I pushed the door open and dashed into the odd world.

            I slapped my hand on my chest and gasped when I got into the room and did not find anybody. No old man and the room quiet as if no life had set foot for ages. As the strange barking of one of the dogs flew into the room, I decided to choose my own fate. Find my way before the dogs poured in like night rain. As I desperately threw my gaze to every direction, I noticed strange carvings on the wall at the extreme of the room. When I went close, I was glad it was a door to some place else. Only a push got me to the other side of the bloody mess.

            It was a big apartment, calmer than the still water. Furnished with books, papers, wooden boxes, and so forth. There were inscriptions on the walls that proved difficult to decipher as an infant struggles with letters in her first day at school! On the far left were old graven images. Horrible creatures that sent jilters down my spine. I feared I had stepped into a world of misery. As soon as I made two or more cautious steps forward, one of the images fell and shattered. Apart from the two or more tables and the jugs on them, every other thing including a curious little man reading a book was upside down. The old man was bald and had beard that could be hardly noticed.

At intervals, he would grin and let go a yawn that took some time to mix with the air. Initially, I thought he did not see me. So I began to move towards a door in the far left, which I felt providence had provided for my deliverance. I was a stone throw from the exit when the old man cleared his throat. He turned to me, “Fat pig, what are you trying to do?” said the old man.  He turned the other way and flew to knock me over. As I fell, groveling at his feet, a withering smile paraded his face. He muttered, “Why are those creatures after you? What is your crime?” He raised an eyebrow that gave birth to a furrow on his forehead. “They always have a reason to hunt, you know. I don’t want to make life difficult for you.”

            His hesitation to strike was an indication that there are chances I would live the hole alive. I sat on my elbow, panting and answered, “I guess they are from my landlady. I have not known peace since I moved into her house.”

            The old man chuckled. He crossed his arms over his body and threw out a question. “Who is the fellow?” A queer look sat on his face. “Saying you have not known peace since you moved into her house is a weighty allegation, isn’t it?”

            “She is Methuen!” I stammered. “The allegation is true.”

            “It wouldn’t have been a clever thing to say if you have no evidence. Methuen is a beautiful witch! It’s a pity! I knew that was your problem. Good you did not lie to me. I would have cracked your ribs with a single blow! You were trying to play a fast one on her just like most silly kids do but she is not your regular woman. You cannot easily pull her down. She is tough. If she feels cheated, she will hunt you down like a dog.” He laughed aloud, “You had sex with her and suddenly you wanted the party to stop. Methuen is wild and she doesn’t understand the language of a weak man. She will always come for more!” He glared his eyes at me and growled. He began to breath very fast as if he was about to emit some destructive powers.

            “Who are you?” I asked, adjusted my terrified frame on the floor and tried to look at him. “How come you know so much about her?”

            “I am Syclos. I know enough of the world,” he replied. He chewed his lower lip and added, “Such questions provoke me. Don’t remind me of my past. It wasn’t palatable. It is better that I do not remember how I ended up here. Sometimes I wonder how far she can go to get back at people who she feels have hurt her. I pity you!”

            “Sorry if I have offended. I am scared. Can you let me go? I need to leave here before my pursers arrive. If they find me, they will kill me…”

            “SHUT UP!” he interjected angrily, exhaling fire from the mouth, “Methuen is my wife! You have been having sex with my woman! We were never divorced. We were legally married. Things were fine until one evening she found some text messages on my phone.” His countenance fell. He shook his head and walked away from me. He sat on a chair that I guess was his favourite. He paused and tried to think. He lowered his head, leaned forward, and placed his elbow on the rickety table and his hand on his head. He appeared disgruntled. He swallowed hard and continued, “It was obvious that I could not cover my tracks. Methuen found me out.” He raised his head as tears gathered in his eyes. “I forgot to delete the chat with my secretary on my phone. I tried to password the phone to fend her off. That did not work. I often wonder how she manages to unlock my phone and check what she is looking for. That is strange for a woman who is not technician. If I had not found myself in this state, I would never have known who she is.

“She is in the habit of checking my messages when I go to the bathroom. Always suspicious. For this reason, she never allowed the both of us to use the showers at the same time. At first, I did not get the drift but later it dawned on me that she was doing something behind my back. I observed that once I am away in the showers, things don’t remain as I left them if I get back to the room. She was really disgusting.

“To cut the long story short, Methuen concluded that I was messing around with the lady. She accused me of cheating on her, which I denied. I thought there was nothing to worry about. But Methuen has a heart of stone and was always a step ahead of me. She hardly forgives.  

“For several days, we argued over the matter. To avoid her questions, I started skipping our usual evening meals together on the dining table. It is either I get home late or I serve myself and eat alone. That did not change anything. She did not believe that I had nothing to do with the poor lady. Finally, she asked that I sack her. For peace to reign in my house, I reluctantly allowed the lady to go. Yet, Methuen was not satisfied. In fact, that was the beginning of my woes.

“One evening, she came home. She ran upstairs and burst into the room. Then I was in the room reading a novel. The force at which she broke into the room, scared the hell out of me. I flung the book away and jumped out of bed to see who must have caused the disturbance. It was my wife. She landed a slap on my face. Her eyes were red with rage. She was shaking visibly out of anger. It was rage. Jealous rage. Methuen is a very jealous woman. She yelled at me that she will get rid of this matter once and for all.

“Before I could blink, she walked out of the room and slammed the door behind her. I was perplexed. I lowered my head in despair. Perhaps she must have got wind of the information that I was still seeing the chick. It was true that I sacked her but I did let her go. She was a good worker. It was difficult for me to let such a nice staff leave my establishment. She knew her job. There are very few workers like her. She was exceptional and loyal. So my secretary and I agreed that she should work from home for me.

“As for Methuen, I took her outburst as one of those things that women say when they are very angry. I did not read any meaning into her message until I had a fatal road accident.

“I was returning from a business trip at Ondo state. I took a public bus that could take eighteen passengers at once. I sat on the passenger seat in the front beside the driver. We were comfortable and the atmosphere was peaceful. It was a clear weather. The sun had settled nicely on the bare chest of the sky and everyone could see beyond their nose. The city had burst into life and I could see the future from the horizon. It was a beehive of activities. Men from all civilization would gather here someday to eat and drink to the greatness of the land. Everything started very fast. Our time here was up. We had to move on. I was eager to get home to see my family again after some days outside of Lagos. I missed my daughter so much. She was the consolation in my entire life with Methuen.

“As we left the city behind us, our vehicle began to gather dust. Trails of Ore was fast fading away and we were descending into the road that will terminate in the popular Ojota garage in Lagos. Tall buildings and houses were growing smaller as we moved on and soon, they disappeared completely from sight. We saw huts, pockets of them spread about like pastures clothed with flocks. Then the huts too, either became a tiny fraction of the world around us or suddenly disappeared. Only beautiful bushes, tall trees and the forest world stared at us in the face as we journeyed back to Lagos. I was happy that the place we had left had disappeared from sight. It means that we were advancing to the destination that we had planned to arrive at before the sunset.

“After the driver had covered a huge distance, I noticed he began to dose. I tapped him on the shoulder. He barely looked at me and nodded his head. He pulled his handkerchief from his chest pocket and wiped his face wearily with it. He threw the handkerchief on the dashboard of the vehicle and steadied himself again behind the wheel. Perhaps now trying to fend off the sleep that had crept into him as soon as we left Ondo.

“Not long after, a giant bird flew unto the path of the vehicle and the driver, while trying to avoid the creature, lost control of the wheel. The vehicle wheeled off the road and plunged into a pot hole. The vehicle summersaulted severally and landed awkwardly on the nearby bush few inches away from the road. We were motionless. The once bubbling atmosphere in the bus had gone silence. No one, except my poor soul survived. Human body parts littered the place. The driver had his head snapped from his body, his torso ripped off his body and was by the road. I saw an index finger covered in blood on the dashboard. I guessed it was that of the driver or the passenger behind him.

“My shoulder was broken and I could not feel my legs. I tried to pull myself out of where I was trapped under the wreckage, but there was nothing that I could do. I had no strength. It was saddest moments of my life. I thought about my little family back home in Lagos. How will they cope without me? When I remember my only child, Bisi, I had this rush of energy. I wanted to survive and go back home to be with her. These seemed like an uphill task. I had just one arm moving and the rest of my body buried under the vehicle. I could not do anything.

“As I bled profusely inside the vehicle, I started growing weak. I began to lose hope. Defeat stared at me in the face. I thought about death, her fangs and all the madness in this raging world. It was vengeful. Bitterness wrapped itself in the air. I was going to die after all. No matter how hard I try, I may not survive before help would finally come. We were on the lonely road that stretched from Ondo state to Ijebu Ode. No houses on both sides of the road. Seeing trees in their row, bushes encroaching on the tarred road and no sign of life in the near jungle state sealed my fate. I wish death would come quickly. At intervals, a vehicle will speed past. The drivers or the passengers will barely glance at us and then they will move on.

“I understood their fears. We are in a wicked world. The fear that it could be their turn if they stop to help was real. That area was notorious for armed robbery and kidnapping. Drivers rarely pulled up there for any reason. It was a black spot. From a distance, we must have appeared like some victims of kidnappers or highway robbers who are still not far away from the scene. So it would have been a miracle if any vehicle with no armed security men pulled up to help us. I tried to pick my phone from my pocket so that I could call home. Peradventure, my wife could get me help. I could not reach my pocket because the lower part of my body was stuck somewhere in the vehicle. I felt the pain mounting and my end growing by each passing second.

“As I waited patiently for death to kiss me good bye, the large bird that caused the misfortune landed on the floor some meters away from me. It shook violently and transformed into Methuen, my own wife. She was dressed in a dark flowing garment. Elegant and robust as usual. She walked up to me as I bled on the floor. She paraded a wicked smile on her face, “You did not respect me, your wife, Syclos. You broke my heart. Your secretary confessed to me that you were going out with her. You rented an apartment for her so that you could eat her rotten fruit. I have placed here where she truly belongs. Was I not enough for you?” She grabbed her large breasts and turned around gently. “Look at me, Syclos. What exactly is that thing that the skinny girl gives you that I do not possess? I gave you everything you asked of me on the bed, yet you were not satisfied. Rather, you lied to me that you had nothing to do with her. You pushed me to the wall. It pains me that I had to take you through this. You left me with no choice that was why I decided to punish you for your inadequacies!” After the long explanation, she looked sternly at me.

            “I tried to apologize but I had no strength left in me to talk. She tossed her hand in the air, a dark cup appeared in her hand. Then she emptied the content on my body and disclosed, “You are not going to die but you will suffer. You live like a bat. I still love you as my husband. Because of our daughter, I will spare you. I will give you a chance to get your life back. You will recover if you find any man who has slept with me. Sacrifice the fellow on an open field. As the smoke goes up into the high heavens, you will recover and be a human again. For the records, there are no guarantees that we will be together again. I will move on from here. Hopefully, our parts will cross again when you come to see your daughter.

“Nevertheless, I will leave you with a great deal of power so that you can protect yourself and make the most of your new abode. She walked up to me and touched my lips, my body shook vehemently for a moment. Then she mixed with the thin air. As soon as she disappeared, a mighty force pulled me from underneath the vehicle and tossed me into outer space. I disappeared into the wandering clouds. By the time I opened my eyes, I find myself in this creepy kind of place. Now, as providence would have it, you are Methuen’s runaway boyfriend. With you in my arms, I still stand a chance to be a complete human again. Bisi will see her lovely father again…”

He clenched his fist, roared violently beating his chest and waved his tiny fingers at me. I was suspended in midair. The fear of death stood before me. I could feel the heat on my face. “I will do exactly as Methuen had suggested. I will not only sacrifice you, I will also have my revenge. She will pay for making a mess of my life. I will take you to the field, burn and feed your remains to the bald vultures. Your death will have a purpose. Someone’s life will be restored. Yours for mine and it will be over. My pain will disappear from the face of the earth. I will get back on my feet and swim against the tide and time. I have been in this hole for a few years. Nobody wants to be trapped forever.”

 Shivering, I said, “It is true that we had sex a couple of times but I have stopped seeing her. I called it quit recently because I have a girlfriend and we are getting married. Please don’t kill me!” As I pleaded, the walls behind us cracked and the fiery dogs broke into the house. They almost barked the apartment down. While I watched from my present darkness, the dogs transformed into creatures of dual appearances. From their waist to their heads, they were the head of a human and the torso of a wolf!

Syclos unfazed by their threat waved his tiny bony fingers at me. I flew out of his sight and landed awkwardly near one of the graven images.  Suffering a few bruises and cuts from the fall, my eyes shot back and forth watching for his return or the onslaught of the creatures who had just invaded his house. Then he turned to the creatures and spoke softly. “Ah, Methuen’s puppets. I have long expected you. I see you want to claim your meal under my nose?”

“Of course, of course. Feasting is the beauty of living.” One of the creatures said and turned his head slowly to me as if he was ready to emit some destructive powers.

“I hope you know the rules? “ Syclos asked with a frown.

“Which rules, old man?” said the other creature.

“You are such a terrible interloper. Under normal circumstances, you shouldn’t be here! This is my house!”

One of the creatures chuckled and took some steps forward. “Syclos, we are players in this world. He is our meal and it is not our wish to trouble your soul. You know what we stand for. In a situation like this, it is your duty to hand him over to us. You could see he strayed into your net,” said the creature and his head swelled. “He did not fall from the sky or had fallen prey into your petty trap. He got here because we chased him. That is the truth. Respect our decision so that peace would reign.”

“He is far more useful under my nose than anywhere else. I also need him for my sacrifice so that I can be a complete human again. If I use him, I will walk the street and trade with the whole of mankind. I am missing my only child. The little girl your wayward mistress had for me,” Syclos said and swallowed hard. “She knows. She is aware that I need this situation to get back on my feet. I already have her blessings. I expect you to leave now so that I can begin the process of my recovery as quickly as possible.”

The beast wore a frown. “Not this one! You have to look for another meal, Syclos. He belongs to Methuen. She has ordered us to deal with him because she still needs the poor soul. If she had no need of him, she would have ended his life before now.”

“You are insulting me. Methuen is my wife! Respect my decision!” Syclos yelled at them. As the war of words raged, Syclos threw his hand into the air and made some incantation. Before I could blink, stones fell from the sky and crashed on the intruders. But they were smart enough to duck before they could get hurt. One of the beasts charged and clashed with the old man. They shared blows from one end of the room to another. The devil tasted misfortune as his meal for the day. Syclos waved his hand at him. He landed on the floor and broke his neck. As he groaned in pains, the old wizard cast a spell on him and the beast transformed into a piece of stone and disappeared.

The other creature grabbed hold of one of the graven images and hurled it at Syclos. It knocked him over. Before he could regain his feet, the beast pounced on him and a fresh battle ensued. As they descended on each other, sharing filthy blows in the air, I quietly crawled out of the bloody mess.

Syclos saw me crawling away but was too engaged in the fight to get his hands on me. Then he yelled, “I know your scent, silly boy. I will hunt you down….” His voice echoed as I fled the scene. I ran at top speed out of the graveyard and raced homeward. My legs were touching the back of my head as I ran very fast.  


1st Degree: Breaking Rules Publishing Short Story Book Project Kindle Edition