*When the sun hides, it reappears*
By ONYENEZI CHIKA VICTOR (Nigeria)
Click here to send comments
Click here if you'd like to exchange critiques
Ikem couldn’t wait any longer; he wanted to know about every mystery surrounding him. He wanted to know his fears. He wanted to see everything in white and black. He was now as brave as horse. He wore his gentleman out fit; a shirt with a tie and a plain trouser. He set to met John at their agreed place. He didn’t think about the danger of his mission, what was on his mind was I want to see the person playing all this game.
When he got at the gate of Imo state library, he didn’t see John. He strolled down the road he pointed at. He could only see offices, that had a large sign board on their gates like; MINSTRY OF INFORMATION, MINISTRY OF FINANCE. He passed all this office till he got to an uncompleted building; John was standing at the dilapidated gate, whispering a hip-hop music titled FOR INSTANCE by Nigerian born musician TuFaze.
“Gentleman over here…” John said
Ikem didn’t wait for him to finish his sentence he raised his voice “where is all the mysteries?” Ikem asked.
“Just here waiting for you” John said, lit a rough smile on his face that made him look like someone who would inflict terror on someone. Ikem turned, now he realized that if he follows John it would lead him into danger. The inside of the house seemed so dark. He wanted to turn and run, maybe run to the police station - but it was too late for him. John grabbed his collar roughly and shoved him into the building. The inside was so dark. The got to a room that had a candle light shinning inside it. The room seems furnished with two cushions and a bed. A voice rose from one of the cushion,
“You didn’t even allow us to furnish the chapters of our great book, now you want me to jump from chapter 5 to chapter 10. Alright then you win again.” The voice said, and some one stood up from the cushion, it was the prisoner. The prisoner with burned face that always gazes at him during their parade, the same person John always looks at. Now he could take a closer look at him, his whole body seems like that of a roasted goat. He was tall and huge. He spoke through his nose in a loud and terrifying voice,
“I am the phoenix; I searched for a name that would describe me. This young scholar holding you gave me a perfect one. I raised from the ashes you made Me.” the prisoner said. Ikem nearly fainted but for the fact that his life was at stake the only thing in his mind was a way to run away from this danger, fear griped him. The prisoner brought his burned hands closer to Ikem and placed it on his shoulders; it was like a sandpaper polishing woods.
“You see I am Danga, the one you left for the rioters to devour.” The prisoner said, now sandpapering his head with his palms. Memories filled Ikem’s head.
“You see my boy; the police found me alive and took to the hospital. There I spent one full year, and you were drinking milk throughout my suffering. Then I swore that no matter what it will take me that I must make you go through what I went through. This young scholar here is a brave writer, he worked at the hospital were I was admitted, I noticed how he loved books, at night he was always writing, so I begged him to make a story for me. He wrote THE GREAT WALK and smuggled it into the library, I paid for the editing and publishing. I told him to use my name PHOENIX, as the author - which he did. I promised him a large sum of money” the prisoner dipped his hand into his pocket and brought out bundles of money and handed it over to John. John wanted to leave, but he drew him back and said,
“You wrote the book, you will help me make this boy to pass through this great pain that I passed through.” He shoved John into a seat. And came to Ikem
“So my boy that was how we did the work, the characters is you and I, then the dibia (voodoo man) that we were supposed to take you to, he vowed to make you pay for what you did to Chief.” The door opened and the madman came in. he still wore the same red. Then the prisoner continued,
“So later they took me to prison. I see ya everyday they were taking me to forced labor, so I sent my young scholar to spy on you. That he did very well. This morning he came to the prison and told me you want to see me. And here I am I killed a warder with my bare hands just to see you.” The prisoner smirked; some of his teeth were gone.
“You might be wondering who owns this room; it’s my young scholar that owns it. He has no mother or father, he has dreams of being the greatest writer on earth, but you see - our government can’t see him. Only people like me can see him and utilize his intelligence.”