Poem

Deep Down Part Two

​On most days it’s calm, with no intent to do harm. 

Like a gentle cool breeze on a sunny day, carrying a hope to keep one out of the fray. 

Knowing the darkness within, it tumultuously battles itself to much chagrin. 

But alas, it’s a darkness that it must always outclass. 

A weapon to others, the darkness, but to it, one never to harness. 

Because it bellows like a furnace, out for vengeance. 

Never one to forgive a deliberate slight, willing to cause a blight. 

It pleads for freedom to destroy, with the seeds of destruction always at its employ. 

While it’s master yearns constantly for a resolution, to a battle of absolute destitution. 

Also seeking absolution to any past blight, even though the furnace’s fires burn ever so bright. 

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Poem

Deep Down

​“…ok dear, bye. I love you.”

I ended the call and put my phone down on the sofa. I reminisced on the past weekend with my girlfriend. She lived in a different city so we both had to travel from time to time to see each other. 

I shook the thought of her out of my mind as I adjusted my briefs to kill a woody. 

I needed to buy a canister of insecticide because these damned mosquitos nearly ate me alive last night. 

I thought I would buy it, spray the rooms, then take a long stroll to GRA to buy dinner while the aerosol dissipated. Shawarma and some juice sounded like a good idea. 

It was a cool night, idle for taking a stroll. I hated strolls. Seemed pointless to me. But I needed to kill time. 

There were no stars in the sky, an indication of a cloudy night, even though the clouds couldn’t be seen because of the darkness. 

NEPA, abi PHCN, was good to us tonight so I didn’t have to listen to all those pesky hums of countless generators. I was however, prepared for that, as I had brought along my earphone and had the volume tuned to the highest. The music was so loud, I wouldn’t have heard you even if you shouted in my ears. 

I look left, then right, then left again before crossing the road. Halfway through, I feel a sharp pain on my right side as someone lunges into me and quickly forces me to the other side of the road. 

As we hit the ground, my earphone falls out of my ears and I hear a car horn blasting as a car without headlights sped off down the street, missing us by inches. 

I quickly realised what had happened as I looked at the man who had put himself in harms way to save my life. Something you may never see in your lifetime in Nigeria. 

He was panting heavily as he looked at me with relief and anger at the same time. He held my forearm and started shouting at me. Asking why I didn’t look before crossing. 

I interrupted his outburst with many words of gratitude but in that moment, something flashed in my mind. Thoughts I have always harboured deep down. Wicked, ungrateful and selfish thoughts that I never had the courage to give a voice to. 

If this man hadn’t tried to save me, that car would have finally put an end to my stay in this world. I would have gladly said goodbye, sayonara! 

There would be no more struggle, 

No more hustle. 

No need to thrive, 

Or try to survive. 

It was a thought, to some, scary, 

But to me, an end to worry. 

There would be no more sorrow, 

Because surely, I would wake up to a better tomorrow. 

I pushed the man away from me, 

Angry that he got me stuck in this reality. 

He was shocked by this but he didn’t realise that to me, 

In death, I would be free. 

I ignored him and the shock in his eyes, 

Not caring if he thought I was ungrateful I escaped demise. 

And so I quickly walked away as a crowd gathered, 

Thinking of how I reacted got me a little bothered, 

But grateful still that I didn’t get smothered. 

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Educational, Life Experience

Afam’s Theory Of Never-ending Imperfection 

It postulates that our world can never become a complete utopia. And this is because, while one part of the world has achieved complete civilization & modernisation thereby becoming a utopia, and the other part of the world has had slow or little progress, and is a dystopia, elements will migrate from the dystopia to the utopia in search of a better life while elements from the utopia will migrate to the dystopia in an effort to fix it. These dystopian elements will end up tearing down the utopia as the utopian elements build up the dystopia. 

This theory can be proven by observing the evolution of every civilization in history. Great civilizations becoming ruins and wastelands practically lost from historical records. While new civilizations have been built from nothing to become great countries today. 

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Action, Adventure, Fantasy

A Lifetime In Ten Seconds (Episode Seven) 

​A burst of bright sunlight, the sweet smell of meadow and the sound of birds in the sky and crickets in the grass, all of which made for a serene environment greeted Mary as she appears back at the giant’s world. Once again, she rubs her eyes as she adjusts to the brightness and amazing beauty before her. Just then, a shadow begins to loom above her. The giant had fully recovered and was stretching out his hand to grab her again. Having learnt her lesson, she would not be caught by the same trap a second time. She quickly but calmly looks at the orb, and she disappears instantly as the giant’s hand grabs the air at the empty space she had just occupied. Leaving behind the now so familiar bright ocean blue gleam to keep him company. He immediately stands upright and shrugs unsurprised, as if expecting this. He then proceeds quietly towards the castle like it is just a regular day for him. 

Mary appears back on the bed in her room. The sun was still setting and the rays of the sun were still at the same angle, almost like no time had passed at all. She looks around the room, filling her eyes with everything in it. She had missed being home so much, it felt like the last time she was here was a lifetime ago. She heard the chirp of a bird and turns to see the same strange bird had landed on her window sill. She smiles at the bird, understanding why it had returned. It had come back for the orb, so she attaches it back on the bird’s leg. It chirped again as a ‘thank you’ of sorts then flies away. She watches as it flies away and couldn’t help but ponder the events that had transpired. Was there really a different world or was it the same world, but a part of it that was inhabited by giants or maybe just that giant, which we hadn’t discovered because it was inaccessible to humans? Did she really go back to the past during World War Two or was it all just an illusion? And if she had really been there, did the presence of the giant and the sand storm she brought using the orb have any effect on the war or was it just a small part of the war whose result would not have had any impact on the overall outcome of the war? It was a lot to process and she couldn’t help but feel a burden had been placed on her, if her actions had an impact on the outcome of such an important part of history. She shuddered when the thought of what the present would have been like had she failed in such a task, passed through her mind. Her mum called out to her for dinner, jolting her from her thoughts. She looked out the window again and saw the sun was half way behind the horizon. She had been so lost in thought that she lost track of time and didn’t know when her dad returned. 

She got off the bed and dusted off what little desert sand was still on her hair, then walked downstairs. She walked past her dad’s bookshelf like she always did everyday but gasped just as she passed it. Something had caught her eyes briefly this time around. She stopped and walked backwards to it and looked at a particular book. It was a hardcover novel with a bright ocean blue back cover. On it was inscribed the words, “My Time With Mary: A Lifetime In Ten Seconds. By John T. Phillips”. She picked out the book and opened it. In the dedication page was written, “To Mary, for inspiring me when I lost inspiration, for encouraging me when I lost my courage, and for showing me what I was fighting for. Thank you”. 

Tears welled up in Mary’s eyes and streamed down her cheeks as she closed the book and held it to her chest. She walked to the dinner table where her mom and dad sat waiting for her. They both looked worried when they saw the tears in her eyes. Her dad asked what was wrong, she replied nothing was wrong, that in fact everything was ok and it was tears of happiness. He noticed the book with her and told her he got the book from his father as a gift when he got married. And also the story about Mary, the titular character was so captivating that it inspired him to name her Mary. She rushes to him and gives him a tight hug and smiles, saying “Thank you Dad, I love you”. 
The End.

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Action, Adventure, Fantasy

A Lifetime In Ten Seconds (Episode Six) 

​Barely able to see anything in the sandstorm, they had both stopped running. Unfortunately, they had lost track of each other in the pandemonium. The soldier starts calling out to her, but his voice is drowned in the roaring wind. He looks around frantically, hoping to spot her dress which was a vast contrast in colour from the sand. Not able to see anything, he finally began to panic. This was not were he wanted to die. As he continued searching, he sees a soft blue light glow a short distance away from him. Using his hands to cup his face and shield his eyes from the sand, he squints, hoping to see the light better. 

About two dozen feet from him he spotted Mary. She was waddling hopelessly in the sand. He shouted out to her, but she didn’t hear him. Bracing sand and wind, he rushes quickly to her. 

Mary was so relieved when she saw him. She quickly gives him a tight hug. He then tells her that they have to try touching the orb again, but maybe this time they should touch it together. Because, the last time it teleported them, they had both touched it. She nodded in agreement as she realised what he said was true. They both place their hands on the orb and with squinted eyes, they look at it. 

Once again, the orb glowed a bright ocean blue, filling their eyes with its light despite their squint. When the light started to dissipate, they still see sand blowing all around them but Mary could feel cold dirt underneath her bare feet. As they look around, she realises that they had gotten back to the war zone, apparently with a bit of a sandstorm in tow. However, the sandstorm seemed to be blowing in only one direction, which is towards the enemy soldiers. As visibility improved, they also realised they had appeared back at the trench. 

The soldier seeing the advantage of poor visibility against the enemy, runs to his brothers-in-arms and spurs them to action with words of encouragement and a plan to implement a full scale head-on assault. He asks one of the soldiers how long he has been gone and found out that though he had been away for hours, to them it had been only about ten seconds. As they run out of the trench, Mary follows them. The soldier stops her and requests she stay back because of the danger ahead. She however pleads that she needs to find the giant and take him back to his home, so she can also go back to hers. 

The soldier looks her over and knows she isn’t just going to sit back and wait. She was too brave for that. Once again reminding him of his promise to God to have more faith in women. He accepted her decision and promised to help her. With that, they both run out of the trench into the battlefield. The soldier in front and Mary close behind him. 

As they took down the enemy soldiers, they saw the giant with his massive shield and an equally massive axe, another item he didn’t have on him when she appeared at the war zone with him. He was hacking at an enemy bunker, backing them. The soldier took out a grenade and threw it close enough to the giant to be dazed by the explosion but not so close to cause any damage to him. The giant seemed to have very sharp reflexes because, he immediately turns and uses his massive shield for cover. Unfortunately, it was not enough to prevent him from being disoriented by the explosion. 

The soldier quickly goes down on one knee and holds Mary’s shoulders with both hands, he tells her his name is Sergeant John T. Phillips. She tells him hers is Mary. He nods and smiles. He also tells her he will always be grateful for meeting such a remarkable and brave girl. She smiles too. He then adds that she should hurry before the giant recovers. She gives him another quick hug then runs to the giant and places a hand on him while looking at the orb. Instantly, she disappears. Leaving behind only the gleaming blue light. The soldier looks on for a few moments at where she had just been with mixed feelings. Sad that he may never see her again, but happy that she will find her way home. He recollects his thoughts, cocks his rifle, and marches on into battle. 

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Action, Adventure, Fantasy

A Lifetime In Ten Seconds (Episode Five) 

​Mary has her eyes closed and her fingers crossed as they reappear. Her hopes torn between finding herself back home without the soldier so this crazy adventure would just come to an end, and finding herself back at the war zone, because she wanted the soldier to be back to his time so they could win the war. She didn’t want to find herself in another weird and probably dangerous place. She tried to stay brave on the outside, but deep down she was really scared, and didn’t know for how long she could hold it together. 

Unfortunately, her hopes were shattered as she opened her eyes. They hadn’t appeared back at the war zone. All she could see for miles around her was dry scorching sand till as far as the horizon. The sun was blazing hot, high up in the sky. Being barefooted didn’t help. They had appeared in the middle of a desert. The soldier told her to place her feet on his boots to prevent them from getting scalded by the sand. As she placed her feet on his boots, she started to shake. He looked down at her and he knew she was really scared. He told her to look at the orb so they could leave this place before they got sunburnt, but she just stared at him. She then shook her head slowly. That’s when he realised it was more than fear in her eyes. She seemed to have lost hope. She then explains in a shaky voice, how she had looked at the orb on impulse without thinking when she wasn’t touching him back at the top of the skyscraper, but the orb didn’t glow. Even though it had always glowed and transported her somewhere,  whenever she looked at it. And now, she had been looking at it while holding him but it wouldn’t glow and take them away from this terrible place. Tears had started to roll down her cheeks as she finished talking, with her head bowed down in shame for almost leaving him behind.  

Placing a finger under her chin, he raised her face to his. In that moment, looking into her scared eyes, he knew he had never met a braver person before and he told her so.

This was quite a moment for him, as he had always looked down on women as people who couldn’t handle pressure. Which was why women were never recruited in the army to be on the frontlines. The only business women had during war were as nurses far away from the battle. But seeing this little girl acting so brave in the face of such an unprecedented and near hopeless situation made him have a rethink about his mind set on women. Maybe it was the generation gap that made women of her time brave, but if she could be brave, then surely, the women of his own time could also be brave. He made a short silent prayer to God, asking that if he ever got back to his time, he would have more faith in women and give them more credit. 

A whisper of a breeze reached them and they looked in the direction it came from. At the horizon, a cascading wave of wind and sand had appeared out of nowhere and was travelling fast towards them. A sandstorm! On instinct, they both screamed and started running away from it. As fast as they ran, they just couldn’t outrun the sandstorm. In a matter of seconds, they were swept up in it, with the tumultuous wind deafening their screams, and the sand particles obscuring their vision. 

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Action, Drama

Where Pigs Feed (Epilogue) 

​One month later… 

At Enitan’s family house, a call came from the security office at the gate. He had a female visitor whose name was Adenike. He didn’t know any Adenike but asked that she be escorted into the house. He went to the door to meet his guest and was surprised to see that it was the girl from the pig sty whom he had left at the hospital. She smiled when she saw him. He ran to her and hugged her, then asked how she was able to find out where his family house is. She told him that when he filled the hospital forms he had filled in the house address and phone number for contact in case of any emergencies. He then rambled on, asking how she was feeling, if the hospital treated her well and if she got the extra money he had left for her. She replied that everything was fine. He dismissed the security guard and took her for a walk around their large premises. After a while of silence, he turned to her and apologised for abandoning her at the hospital. He told her he was scared those thieves would come after him again and he had not left the house since then because of them. She said she understood, then took out a piece of paper cut out from a newspaper from her bag and gave it him. He took it and read through. Apparently, the robbers had gone to rob another bank and had all been killed in a shootout with members of the Nigerian Police Force. He looked at her with some relief and told her thank you. She got the feeling it wasn’t for the article, so she asked what it was for. He told her, for everything. That it was his chance encounter with her that brought him back to his family. God must have placed her there to help him find his way back. He also told her that just an afternoon with her and hearing her story drew up very strong feelings for her but he couldn’t be with her. She then put her hand on his lips as a sign to tell him not to speak. She told him before she left the hospital she had asked after him and how her bills were paid. They told her it was him and let it slip that he was HIV positive in case she was his girlfriend that she better get tested too. He removed her hand and told her that with what he had, he couldn’t possibly be with her. After all she had gone through, she didn’t deserve to end up with HIV. To that she said she was also positive. He froze for a few minutes and she let it sink in waiting for his response. He looked at her with pity and asked if she knew how she got it. She bowed her head and told him she had lied. The man who had broken into the batcher that night didn’t run away when she screamed. He knocked her unconscious and had his way with her. She came to just as he was done with her. Everyone in that area, including her, knew he was HIV positive and had stigmatized him because of it. He had no friends. All the women had stayed away from him, even the prostitutes. She screamed so loudly because she knew what would happen if he got into her but he was too strong and fast. 
Enitan put his hand on her chin and raised her face to look at him. She had been crying again and then she saw that he too was also crying. She knew he had HIV but wasn’t sure how he would react to hearing she also had HIV. With a voice choked by tears and emotion, he told her how sorry he was for what she had gone through in life. He hugged her and stroking her hair, told her that starting from that moment he would do everything in his power to make her happy and see her smile every single day for the rest of her life.

THE END

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