Category Archives: Fiction

The Other Side of Life – Eternity

A guy slept off while waiting for his roommate, who keeps late night. As he tried turning around, a huge dark figure with flamy eyes opened his door, he wanted to scream but all strength was gone. Was it a dream or vision? He couldn’t tell. It stared deep into his eyes and handed him a letter, he opened it………

Dear Jude,

I couldn’t make it home last night because I died. I thought life after death is an elusion but I am here lonely and afraid in pains and in torments. The torture is unending, I cant explain it but am dying a thousand times in a second.

You never told me this place was for real and how to avoid it. We grew up together, went to school together and did everything in common but you never told me about this new life of yours. I asked you severally and you jokingly pushed it aside.

I was a good man with a charitable heart but that didn’t count here. The angel told me, am without Christ and my name is not in the book of life. I asked you yesterday morning whats this born again stuff and you said you don’t want to bore me. I am in pains. Can you hear the screams, the torments of the great and the less? I was told its for eternity.

You betrayed our friendship. You never told me sex was fornication but you cautioned me against AIDS. You never told me getting high was drunkenness but you just told me not to drive. You never told me lying was sin, all you just said was “don’t be caught”. I hate you for this.

Aaaahhhh!! Aaahhhh!! I am dying again here but I am alive, the flames keeps getting hotter. I wish you were here. You deceived me to the end. If you had told me about Jesus and salvation I knew I couldn’t be here.

I died only a few hours ago, I was drunk and ran into a pole but it seems I have been here for years. Please tell my family and all our friends about salvation. I am dying again but death wont come.

It’s me, James.

He woke up at about 2:45am with a banging headache and his phone started ringing, he picked it up and what he heard scared him to his bones….”Hello, James is dead”.

Today is still another opportunity to tell someone very dear to you about Jesus Christ and His saving grace. I just told you because I will never want you to end up in everlasting suffering.

Copied

Enjoy your day.

@AmosCP

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Stop MTN Unsolicited Messages

It was a Monday morning, i was dressed in suits and was in an important meeting with the Manager alongside other colleagues as we were introduced to the new technologies and management system. Everyone was attentive and no one wanted to left behind the new Change wind so as to be in line with the new regulations.

As expected, everybody’s phone were silent except that of the Manager, as he is always above the regular law. He is the boss. He pays our bills. But we were allowed to pick calls, if and only if it is important.

I had attended a job interview the penultimate Friday and i had hopes of being called that Monday. I was looking forward to joining a bigger firm but wasn’t bold enough to be in the labour market again. I am not a member of Labour Party. So my mind was on my phone hidden deep down my trouser pocket.

I dashed out of the meeting room, with my phone vibrating in my pocket. I had hopes that it was a call from the job interview but lo and behold, it was an avalanche of text messages from MTN – seriously?!!!??!?!?!?!?!? I was goshified and immeasurably irked. This is the umpteenth time i have dashed out from a gathering/meeting only see such useless and frustrating message from MTN.

I had written before about this type of messages but it seems Nigerians have continually been disturbed by this service providers. MTN have gone ahead with various other types of nuisance that have flooded my inbox and disturbed my mobile peace. Messages from 33117, 4501, 5029, Xtratime, 33073, 32285, 53882, 54884, 5021 have caused untold hardship but worry not. There is a solution now. Or, there have been a solution since but i just found it.

I struck the Gold mine yesterday on Facebook on Uzoma Obasi’s wall. See below:

How to stop MTN’s frustrating messages/calls. If you get texts from these popular short codes – 5021, 5020, 5030, 5031, & 4100, follow these steps to stop these messages. Send STOP to 33111. You should get a reply that reads “You will be removed from our campaign database within 24hrs. Thank you”. No more interrupting sms from MTN.

I hope you find peace with your mobile phones now, just as i have found peace since last night.

Enjoy.

Halima – The Death of A Dream 14

Continued from Halima 13

I felt like screaming just then. Like shouting so loud someone will hear me in town.  They know! I mean Mama and Baba  . . . just then as my mind wandered to my parents, it dawned on me that that was the first time I would think of them since this ordeal began. When terror blends into horror, it has a way of reordering ones priorities.

My parents, the very people who gave me a reason and much encouragement to dream. They were bold enough to challenge the status quo and give their girl child western education. Courageous enough to face the snickering and bickering of lesser minds in our community who still held on to an old dehumanizing order. They were my rock, my own terra firma. Many times mummy would drum it into my ears that she wasn’t this privileged. Oh she drummed it into me so much the drum became a part of my everyday life. She never allowed me forget. Not when I got so playful my grades began to slip. Not even when I began to develop dangerous emotions for a nice looking Fulani lad on my street. In this particular case, the drum became an alarm. And when she was through shrieking into my soul, it became apparent that I would have to postpone love till I had my definition.

She never had the luxury of a dream. Mama was a creation of the old order, a creation of tradition. A strong willed northern beau. Sometimes I wonder what power her life would have commanded if she had my privileges. I can’t remember ever seeing her breakdown in the face of a challenge. Though very temperate, she has this determination that would shame any lazy soul. She was like steel tempered with mercy. Brittle yet firm. You must understand that our society doesn’t accord her much. To know her, you’ll have to break pass so many barriers. But then, she so refused to define herself by any social script. The irony is this:  those of us in the house were the only ones to feel her influence. In the real sense she was a powerful spirit trapped in a weak body, and further trapped in a weak social system. She was a soul muted. A mouth denied its voice. A spirit denied life. She was a phantom!

The only bright side to her predicament was that she married a different kind of man. A man who believed in the power of the human spirit. A man who understood that that spirit is not gender restricted. That the woman’s spirit was as powerful as that of the man and she can do great things if giving the chance. And that was what he made his life’s goal: To give me that chance!

To be continued in Halima 15

The Halima Series is written by a good friend Chukwuemeka Ezeogu

Halima – The Death of A Dream 13

Continued from Halima 11 & 12

If we are ever going to combat terrorism, it wouldn’t be just by confronting the terrorists in open battles, we would do more if we tear down the system that creates these kinds of boys. The system that makes promising boys into nobodies making them an easy prey to those who would like to use them for their own personal vendetta. Because in the last analysis, these terrorists were once common ordinary street urchins with no sense of self and no hope in any kind of future. They were born to survive like animals in the wild. Born to fend for themselves. Born to live off the streets. I mean they were born disempowered. And the streets gave them only one rule: SURVIVE OR DIE!  So if anyone comes and gives them any kind of meaning, he becomes their lord. Terrorists aren’t born that way, they are made that way. The war against terrorism will be won if we tear than the system that breeds terrorists.

I think I’m going crazy. Seriously, this could only mean madness. Am I making a case for my captors? Am I trying to make up an excuse for them? This is madness! I think I’m losing my mind! Maybe it’s a good thing. If insanity precedes whatever horror awaiting me, then maybe I wouldn’t feel anything. Or better still, maybe the insanity will propel them to put me out of my misery fast and I’ll die with some kind of dignity. But then, what’s dignity to the dead?  . . . What am I saying? . . . I’m losing my mind!

“Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the attack seems consistent with the work of the Bokoharam sect” as the reporter droned on, my assailants kept shouting and hooting some even touched us roughly as if to validate their price.

So BBC knows, I mean the world knows!

To be continued in Halima 14

The Halima Series is written by a good friend Chukwuemeka Ezeogu

Halima – The Death of A Dream 11 & 12

Friends, I took a break from the Halima Series for reasons best known to the Piper that dictates my monetary tunes that have robbed me of hugging my block with my thoughts and unique views. Have you gone through Halima 9 & 10? The Halima Series continue below:

It is one thing to die; another thing to die useless. Here death is not the tragedy; the real tragedy is the useless life. Dying useless is predicated upon living aimlessly. Of course, you can’t be useless in death unless you’ve been useless in life. I decided early to put my life to use. I was resolute, determined and driven. I wanted to live a life that would be impossible to ignore. I didn’t just want to live a mark in the sands of time; I wanted to inspire a generation of young girls to do same.

And now i sit captive in this truck with tears running down my eyes and groaning deep within my soul. My heart saying a requiem for the dream that once powered my life, my soul mourning the loss of its only oxygen. I feel violated. Mad men ran into my destiny and tore it in pieces. You ask me why I sound this hopeless; you are shocked at my outburst. But would you blame me? The men who took me butchered my friends and dragged me pass their remains why should I expect them to spare me? Why should I cling to a hope that is no hope, a hope that is like wax approaching a furnace?
The only thing that challenges hope is reality and my present reality doesn’t just challenge hope it engulfs it. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not suicidal, how can I be when I already have a killer who is just bidding his time. I want to dream, I want to hope but then I am trapped in a truck galloping away from time into timelessness. How can I dream when reality has taken sleep from me? How can I hope when death stares me in the eyes with an unblinking gaze?

I wanted to cry out and risk my assailants silencing me at that very moment with their machetes but then who would hear my screams apart from the animals whose habitation we’ve intruded upon. Please tell me. Who? Who in this wild dwelling would give me a reason to dream again? If it were possible to communicate telepathically, I would have tried to reach the world with my mind. But do they not already know?
While I take this long walk to death, life for the rest of the world goes on as usual. I and my friends are but a tiny bit of inconvenience on the conscience of world. So tiny they would shake us off with a nod of their head. We will be forgotten even before they finish talking about us. We might make the headlines for a day or two but then, as is traditional with the affairs of men, some new calamity happens and we are old news, too stale to savour, another of the many victims whose story history wouldn’t care to tell. So leave me alone let me rant. Let me say the words that come to mind. Let me pour my grief out before I drown in it! When I’m done mourning my dream maybe then I would begin to muster enough grief to mourn my life.

At some point I thought I heard the kind of static you’ll hear when someone tunes in search of a radio station. Initially I thought it was my mind playing tricks on me so I tried harder to come back to reality. But then it was still there, that hissing sound that tells you a search is on.  Then I heard one of my assailants ask if the attack would have made news already, another answered that if the local stations haven’t picked it up, BBC would have.  As if to confirm this the radio came to life and the sound greeting my ears went from static to human voices albeit fuzzy still. With some fine tuning, the voice that came to me was that of a Hausa Disk Jockey trying to prep his audience up for his next musical selection.  In frustration, they cursed the DJ as one of them tuned the dial in search of a news channel. After some new hits, they got the BBC and after another wait that lasted for about 30 minutes (by this time we had travelled for over 2 hours in the forest), the BBC newscaster began to give the headlines and somewhere there she reported that a group of armed men had attacked a secondary school, killed an uncertain number of male students and abducted about 20 of the female students. To this announcement, the four men in our truck raised their rifles exultantly, shouting Allau Akbar! Allau Akbar! They know now!  We did it!

It was then I began to understand the psychology of terrorists, “To make a global statement with every act of terror!” The response they get from the world is in itself a boost to their morale. It makes them feel acknowledged, gives them all the relevance they need. And as I would later understand, it is the response of the world to them that makes it easy for them to recruit more people to join their cause. When a small act of terror is amplified by the news, the perpetrators who actually were nobodies, marabouts who would not have amounted to anything or made any impact on society, now finds the world responding to their very acts. At that very point, they will feel powerful. So powerful they could do anything. Like their only means of expression is in unleashing terror. It is this power they use as a lure to drag in more nobodies. When they say that “hurting people hurt people”, nothing could be further from the truth.

to be continued in Halima 13 & 14

The Halima Series is written by a good friend Chukwuemeka Ezeogu

Halima – The Death of A Dream 9 & 10

Friends, I have been so engrossed in getting the right simulations to keep slurries behind casings but the Halima Epistle continues. Have you read Epistle 7 and 8?

Travelling had always held its lure for me. I had always nursed and nurtured the dream that one day I would be successful enough to travel the world. That being said, I never had any kind of premonition that I would be taking this particular journey. A journey not of my own volition; a journey born of terror. But here I am, today I see one of my many dreams fulfil in a nightmare. Today I travel as a slave – the particular kind of which I am yet to know – into the very heart of oblivion.

My eyes were glued to the windows of the truck but my mind wouldn’t register any of the images that crossed my sight. Too shocked to take anything in, my whole being reeled keeping a different kind of cadence with the recklessness of this truck driver. As we galloped and negotiated the bends and gutters on this hilly northern road, one question kept coming to my mind: Where are they taking us?

Even if my mind wouldn’t register anything, one thing was apparent, we were being taking into some kind of forest. As the trees receded before my eyes so I felt my dreams receding, I felt them slipping away from me. Like a magician stripped of his spell contorting powers, like a god losing immortality, I felt my mind reverting to state it was unaccustomed to. There was this ordinariness, this emptiness that pervaded my being. It felt like my destiny was haemorrhaging like that of a patient in the final stages of Ebola. The feeling beats dying by miles.
You see, I had always thought of myself as a jewel of the North, an exception to a trans-generational norm. If you know a thing about the culture of my people then you would understand the rarity and prevailing novelty of my case. I’m a girl child born into a culture that gives my kind out as a bride before we see menarche – our first menstrual flow. A culture that values chastity to a fault – the fault birthing some form of fanaticism. So much that for fear of having her being defiled before marriage, they give her to a suitor before even nature prepares her for coitus. In my culture, the girl child has no right to dream she is fit only to be a man’s dream. She is possessed before she understands what it means to own anything. Before she learns to own very herself, she is made into a man’s collection. You see, I come from a culture where entire generations of women live and died without any mention in the annals of history. They were like fart, never seen, most times, never heard, but only remembered for their stench. I was a child of need, born in a time of need, but born to own a dream. Born to make up for the many generations of negligence my kind had suffered.
So when I say I’m a jewel, please believe that I don’t say that out of vanity but I speak with recourse to the powerful privilege I was born to enjoy.
I was a child, one amongst many, born to negate the norm and consequently create a new norm.

The tears began to pour again, tired and drained as I was, my eyes couldn’t stop releasing them. The fear of death is powerful; it has its grip on almost all of humanity. It’s that commonality on which even the exclusive rests. No matter how much we would appreciate and celebrate our difference, death and its dread is always our common denominator. But then, powerful as it may be, death is not the greatest loss. To a life well lived, death is a transition – even the holy Quran teaches that. But there is nothing more tragic than dying before you die. Yes I know that doesn’t make sense but I also know what I am saying. One of the worst things that could ever happen to you is that you stand on the side-lines and watch your dream die while you yet live. I personally think that our dreams are our reason for living and when we lose them, life loses its meaning. Every man’s usefulness and earthly relevance is in his dreams. Losing his dream is losing his relevance.
My dreams weren’t entirely self-created; they crystallized out of the many sufferings, poverty, disease and failure that had been my waking sight for as long as I have lived. This suffering and despondency that had become a part of the everyday life of the average Northern dweller. A suffering that is of multi-factorial causation. Perhaps it is the multi-facedness of our problems that constrained our forebears to give in without any meaningful attempt – to surrender to a fate that will incapacitate many generations after them. Seriously, even now that I think of it, I can’t remember hearing of or reading about any generation of my people that stood up to confront this madness. Did they not know that we are cursed to adapt to the things we would not confront. Yes cursed! That’s the word. Because generations will come and go and we will still retain an old order. In fact, we will retain it as tradition. It becomes our enduring value and when tomorrow’s people come, they will transmit them to the next. No wonder we live like savages even in the 21st century.
Driven by a holy rage to change this, I forged my dream out of a furnace fuelled by the failures of my forebears and also from a desire to give meaning to the life of the Northern girl child. My one greatest drive was to make a difference, to be an exception to the rule. My desire was to paint a picture of powerful possibilities to the men who’d reduced us to beings fit only for procreation. I had a statement to make with my life and I was just beginning to construct the introduction to that statement, I was just at that very place where my life’s purpose was getting its definition, I was beginning to gather the foundational stones that I would build my life upon, and then this happened!

 

Halima – The Death of a Dream 11 & 12
The Halima Series is written by a good friend Chukwuemeka Ezeogu

Halima – The Death of A Dream 7 & 8

Have you read the previous posts on Halima? Halima – The Death of a dream 5 & 6

Like I earlier said, nothing in the world could ever prepare any 16 year old for the kind of things our eyes were to see that day. The shriek of my friends on seeing the remains of the boys who were once class mates, boyfriends, soul mates, study partners, boys they had the beautiful privilege of sharing an epoch with, rose into soul wrenching wails. If any of us lives through this harrowing experience, one thing remains sure, we would never be the same again. If we survived this, the dent it would have cause to our minds would be one that the passage of time would never be able to fix. If we came out of this alive – with all we’ve been made to endure yet – we would be damaged in some many ways forever.

Had I known what our assailants had in store for us, I would have swallowed everything I just said before this because when their plans became apparent to us, we knew then that everything we had experienced was just a tip of the iceberg.  All of our pain until that moment was just like the gathering of dark cumulonimbus clouds. What we were going into was going to the mother of all terrors. A part of innocence was dying already yet the worst part of our ordeal was still in the offing.

The commands of our assailants interjected the wails of my friends turning their cries into whimpers for it was going to be almost impossible to stop them from letting out their grief even if it brought them no relief. How do you stifle a moan that emanates from your soul? How do you dam the flood of tears that has its source in the very depths of your being? If you’ve ever been driven to the point where grief scorns threats, if you’ve ever had circumstances drive you to the very brink of insanity, then you would know that there times when the threat of terror loses its novelty, times when the soul would find a way to drain itself – of the poison that threatens to submerge it – no matter what stands in its way.

And so the sing song cadence of our whimpers rose to compliment the hate filled command of our assailants. “ki yusuru!” Shut up! “Mu tefi!”  Let’s go!  And our whimpering continued as our souls could not just cease to express its dissatisfaction with this madness. At this point our terror had numbed us in many places that whimpering was the only response we had left. It wasn’t a thing of will; it was just a biological response.

All hell broke loose on our inside as a revelation of our future came to us – albeit a tiny glimpse. We became practically hysterical as they began to drag us, about 20 of us, towards their vehicles. Why not have your way with us here and kill us among friends? Where are you taking us to? Oh God! God! God! Lamentations that was inaudible. Groaning, wailing, screaming but the words coming out of our mouths were incoherent. The rambling of souls who lifted their eyes to the future and all they saw was this terror they couldn’t really explain. At the end of their revelation was a mystery much deeper than anything they’ve seen. Where are they taking us to?

By this time all I had on was my panties having discarded my only means of covering in my struggle with grief. Rough hands griped in places I wouldn’t like to mention – whether it’s was from the sheer force of my struggles or their lust I would never know – as they threw me and 2 other friends into their vehicle. The two friends with me were the 2 prettiest nymphets’ in our dorm. Something in my mind told me that we were together for a reason. And later events would confirm my intuition. We looked out through to vehicles as seventeen others were grouped into the other vehicles they had on ground. As the vehicles raised dust and left my school I felt this despair – a despair that flowed onto desolation. I looked towards the east on the northern sky and there it was, a golden orange ball larger than the earth rising to reveal itself. But today it’s a little different. The brightness and brilliance of the sun didn’t appeal to me. For once in my life, the one thing that once held profound beauty for me looked so ugly I turned from it. No. So ugly my soul turned from it.

It wasn’t even 7am yet when they took us but as we left, I had this evil feeling that my sun was already setting.

My name is HALIMA . . .   and that’s how they took me!

Halima – The Death of a Dream 9 & 10
The Halima Series is written by a good friend Chukwuemeka Ezeogu