Chapter 4 - Dimples and wrinkles

>> Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hello everyone. Here is the delayed update on the story. I'm sorry, busy life sometimes takes over...I am travelling to Nigeria in a week, so this will probably be the last update until then.
I hope you will stick with me and continue reading. I am really appreciating all your comments and the fact you are willing to take the time to read. It really means a lot to me. This is a journey for me and all your comments give me a true confidence boost. Thank you!


He finally drifted off to sleep, too tired to stay awake monitoring the house’s strange behaviour.

The door screamed a squeaky sound. B eyes were wide open, staring into the dark trying to figure out what was happening. He could see a tall being, slowly creeping into the room. His heart was racing so fast he was struggling to keep his breath down. A second being came inside followed by yet another. The tall, dark figures spread into a circle. He could only spot the silhouette of their faces. The room was clogged with a nightmarish silence.. B wondered if this was his time to die. From what he could gather, dying didn’t sound so bad. What he used to know as ‘life’ was no longer a reality. In fact, he had started to forget as the memories were fading. He had become increasingly more convinced by his grandmother’s words, telling him his mother would never come back, that he could stop waiting for her. With her not coming back, he didn’t see much meaning with anything at all. He hated his grandmother and often caught himself wondering how he could possibly be related to that witch.

The flame of a lighter suddenly lit up the room. The dark figures were lighting candles on the floor. ‘This is it‘, he thought. ‘They are going to use me for some kind of ritual and I’ll be dead’. His body felt peculiarly warm, but he wasn’t sweating. It was more like some kind of internal heat. The beings were wearing long white and black gowns with hoods. He didn’t make a sound, it was almost like the little flame within him was about to succumb as well. He had resigned to his fate. Whatever happens, let it happen. He knew he was too weak to fight against these tall, frightening outlines of humans. One of them was moving closer to him, and B reversed into the corner of his bed. He didn’t want them to come closer. He could see the outline of a face. And Eyes. Eyes dominated by a malicious expression. As it came closer, he realised the face belonged to Uncle A. Is that really uncle A? He’s not human?

The being moved closer and grabbed his right hand. He saw the familiar scar on uncle A ‘s hand and realised these creatures were real men. What had they come to do? Another tall man came closer, his face disguised under the shades of the hood, and grabbed his left arm. Before he knew it, he was up in the air hanging. They firmly put him to the ground. Another man came to hold down his legs. The room was crowded with darkness. Too much darkness. B could still sense the outlines of the man in white gown approaching, only to stand above him and look down upon him. Seemed so tall B thought he would never be able to even climb that high. They Were all humming and chanting unrecognisable words. The one in white quickly descended closer to him. As he came closer, B noticed he was holding a razor in his hand. B twisted his body and tried to rip himself loose from their tightened grips. It seemed impossible. His eyes were fixed on the sharp metal between this horrific man’s large index finger and thumb. He wished he could sink down into the floor, that the floor would simply crack open and take him in, but it didn’t happen. The razor gashed into the skin on his chest.

One, two , three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
One, two , three, four, five, six, seven, eight
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Another ten times.

The pain was unbearable. B started sobbing. Calling out someone for help he knew would never work.

He just wanted it to end.

The man moved over to the other side of his chest and did the same thing. He was agonized by the burning, beating pain on his chest. He only thanked God it was over. Repeatedly slashing the same wound was excruciating. They turned him over, fast and forcefully. No. No, please let it stop! He could feel the razor carve into his back.He was starting to feel drowsy and dizzy. He could not keep his eyes focused. He had tried to fight back so much all his muscles and limbs felt weak, powerless, empty. They turned him around again, he could not bother trying to retain control of his body this time so his elbows collided with the floor. They had taken full control of his body. It did no longer belong to him.

The man moved the razor up to his forehead and started slicing the skin between his eyebrows.
One, two , three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
One, two , three, four, five, six, seven, eight
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.



The men were chanting cursed songs. B yelped and wailed. The warm tears would not stop flowing down the sides of his face.

The man woke up and again stood tall, far away. Put away the bloody razor and brought out some blackish powder. The moment it hit his open wounds, he screamed out loud. He would use his last ounce of energy to fight back. He tried to lift his arms, kick with his legs, scream, scream, scream. The pain was unendurable. After he finished, it appeared the men were holding some kind of prayer. They joint hands and started humming with their dark voices. Evil! Evil was the only word filling the space normally occupied by thoughts. His mind was numb. His body was aching and throbbing. He closed his eyes and pressed out more tears. He wondered why everyone hated him so much Why they had to kill his father and curse him too.
When he opened his eyes again, they were gone. They had exited the room as silently as they entered.

He slowly drifted back to sleep, since he was too exhausted to stay on guard any longer.


Beams of strong sunlight pierced through his eyelids. The biting pain was still lingering. As he gained focus, he saw the stature of his grandmother standing above him. He didn’t say a thing. Just looked at her face. The familiar wrinkle between her eyebrows was there, her eyes were disapproving and her mouth was small and scowling surrounded by thin wrinkles. Her ugly wrapper was dirty. She had demonstratively put her hands and chubby fingers on her hips and he could see the dirt trapped under her fingernails.

‘See what happens if you defy me? You better know better next time, or the consequences will be far worse. You hear! Ogbanje boy.’

He was too angry to respond and decided to turn around. She kicked him in the back.

‘Get up boy! Why haven’t you done your house chores yet! ’
She paraded out of the room, and each heavy step stomping down in the floor gave him a headache.
‘If you don’t get up right now I will FLOG you!’

He could feel his stomach rumble again. He woke up tiredly and decided to complete the chores as fast as possible so he could run over to Mama Rose’s and get some left-overs.


Uncle A had moved into his father’s room. He had taken all their belongings. According to him and grandmother, everything now belonged to them. They kept telling him that everything was over and his mother would never come back. ‘Let her stay there. Far away. This village does not belong to her. Wench.’ His grandmother would repeat to herself angrily.

One bright morning, B’s grandma had decided to take one of her rare trips to the market. He finally had the house to himself, as uncle A was on a visit. B was burdened by sadness this day, like every other day he could remember. He didn’t bother carving wooden sculptures any longer. He didn’t bother doing anything. He was sitting on the porch, resting his head on his knees staring endlessly into the bush. He could hear the sound of tyres rolling on the ground, but didn’t pay it any attention. ‘B?’ he heard a voice calling. He didn’t respond.’B, It is me!’ he heard a sad voice saying.

He didn’t look up. God must be playing a trick, he thought.
‘B, look up my son!’
He did. There stood his beautiful mother. She looked worn out. She was wearing her beautiful smile with tiny dimples in each cheek, but her eyes were watery and filled with sadness when she looked at him. She opened up her arms.
‘Come, my son, come here!’
He stood up, but still doubted this was real. ‘ I, come over here’ she called out. It had to be real. Both her and his brother was there. He saw the little bald head of his brother pop out behind her. He had been hiding there. B didn’t second guess and ran towards them full of relief. His brother examined him with his eyes and started crying. He then ran off in the opposite direction. B stopped in surprise.
Why was his brother running away from him?
I kept on crying and crying. Mama hugged B and lifted him up.
‘It’s ok my son. It’s ok.’
She then put him down and told him to wait, walked over to I.
‘I, what is the matter? It’s your brother!'
His little brother kept on looking at him in horror. B felt dreadful.
Is that how ugly and disgusting he is?

So withered his brother couldn’t recognize him.



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