Hey beautiful people! Marilyn here. This was one of the first stories I wrote. I found it and tore it down and reworked it. Enjoy.
Once upon a time…
Ugh. What is this? Tales by moonlight? Can you not start the story like that?
Ok. Erm. So one day, the main person in this story…
Good God! If you can’t even tell a story decently, how do you hope to give people down there sweet dreams? Can I tell this story, please?
Fine. Tell it.
Thank you! Don’t sulk. Listen and learn how it’s done.
What are you doing?
It’s called setting the stage for the story. Audience engagement.
But… but… it’s just the two of us. No one can hear us, remember?
Can you keep quiet and let me give a bird’s eye view of this story the way I want to?
HAHAHAHA! That was funny.
Are you okay? I didn’t make a joke.
Ha! Bird’s eye view…
Oh! Yeah yeah, pun-intended. Now sshhh. As I was saying,
Wooooooossssshhhhhh… The winds were slapping through this part of the world on the day our story begins. Dark winds. Well, they did not start out as dark winds. They began as identical to the sound of calm waves hitting the shore and running back before the shore could catch it. This child-like game between wave and shore has always awed me. But I guess the calm this game produces is because the shore lacks the ability to hit back at the wave. And so instead of the chaos of excited grains running against noisy waves, all we hear is the calmness of excited waves swooping in gently to hit the sands on the shore. Woooooossshhh. Our story begins with a death. The death of a man.
You gave it away! That’s how the story ends.
Can you just listen? You’ll see where this is going. I’m good at these things. Just… listen.
Now… where was I? Ah. Death. The death of a man. His name?
Hmm. I like. So yes, the man was called Alagbarauseless. On the day of his death, Alagbarauseless woke up on the cold concrete floor that had been his mattress for the last nine years of his life. His eyes had opened, shocked for the umpteenth time, to see the metal bars that barricaded him in a cell with two other men. He had never grown accustomed to this living condition. It was why he barely slept at night. Actually, no, there was another reason why he barely slept at night, but because I am a good story teller, I will save that for later.
Elenuquiet. That should be her name when you introduce her into the story.
Really? You had to ruin it for the audience.
What audience?! Ok ok. Fine, I’ll be quiet. Go on. Alagbarauseless woke up, and then…
You’re so annoying. But okay, I proceed.
On that morning, as he had done for the past four years, he shivered lightly at the slight tickle of what felt to him like warm breeze. He did not realise this, but every morning in the last four years, there was a warm breeze that encircled him all through the day, until he was soundly asleep. Alagbarauseless sat up on the concrete floor and glanced at the men snoring next to him and through the holes in the metal bars at the men in opposite cells. They were all asleep, each contributing his own unique chord to the snore symphony that played in the prison at night until the morning. He shut his sore eyes and allowed himself to feel the weight of his heart press him down into the floor until his buttocks fell numb. He missed her.
Elenuqui… sorry sorry.
Yes, he missed Elenuquiet. You see, Elenuquiet was his wife, his friend, his family, his life. In every sense of those words.
Like you and me.
As I was saying. Alagbarauseless only had one person in the world. And this one person was Elenuquiet. And so he married her and made her his everything, legally. But you see, Elenuquiet had many people in the world. Elenuquiet had family, she had friends, she had suitors, she had admirers, she had dirty secrets, and then she had Alagbarauseless. She loved Alagbarauseless a great deal. Well, she grew to love Alagbarauseless a great deal. In fact, she did not realise she had grown to love Alagbarauseless a great deal until nine years ago, when he received jail time for manslaughter.
Elenuquiet enjoyed attention, and for her, Alagbarauseless alone could not provide the sort of attention she craved. So she sought this attention and accepted it wherever she found it. She flirted with the sources of attention, the told lies to Alagbarauseless so that she could spend time with these sources of attention, and once, she opened up all of herself to one of these sources of attention. She let him touch her hair and caress her face. She moved her rouged lips towards his mouth and allowed him to take them in his. She pressed her naked knee between his crotch and she pulled at his buttons and zips until they were both bare-bodied against each other, with the bed supporting them as they danced and shook and moaned. Oh Elenuquiet’s moan… it was like the wind; like waves crashing playfully onto sand; like woooossshhh.
Wait. Wait. Why do you know about her moan?
Erm. I’m telling a story. That’s what story tellers do – fill in the details.
It was amidst this moaning that Alagbarauseless flung open the door to the bedroom he shared with Elenuquiet and it was at this time that his head filled with blood and his hands pinned down the man until his hand caused the man to struggle to his final breath.
Elenuquiet had made it a point to visit Alagbarauseless every day from the day he was thrown in jail. At first, she had done it to ease her guilt. But after the first two years, she found herself looking forward to sitting across the table from him, and watching him stare at everything that was not her, without saying a word to her. She would talk at him, avoiding his face most times. She would tell him about her business and about the other people she had in her life. She would read him the newspaper and give him celebrity gossip, the way she had always done since their lives merged. And after an hour had passed, she would say to him “I love you” as he stands quickly to his feet, like a child released from compulsory studying. It saddened her that she had caused him to do this thing that would cost him so many years of his life. But it made her happy that she could see him, everyday, even if only for an hour.
Then one day, four years ago, the dark wind arrived at the prison. On the day it arrived, Alagbarauseless was sat in his cell, thinking about Elenuquiet. He was thinking about the way he had always done before she arrived. Every day, he willed himself to forgive her and to yell at her and spit in her face. He wanted to call her evil for doing this to him and to curse the day she came into his life. But he also wanted to hold her hand and to tell her about his new living condition. He wanted to ask her if she could make him ayamashe the next time she came to visit with food. And so on that day, he decided he had stayed angry for too long. He would say something cold to her today. But he sat in his cell, waiting and waiting, engulfed by an unknown warm breeze that hugged him silently and moved where he moved. It had been four years and he was still waiting to be told he had a visitor to see him.
This is so sad. I didn’t realise how sad this story was…
Ssshhh… I’m pausing for dramatic emphasis. The story isn’t over, remember?
One the day our story began, with the warm breeze encircling him, this breeze that had haunted him without his knowledge, he thought again about Elenuquiet. He thought about life before Elenuquiet, he thought about life with her. He tried to imagine life without her, but his head ached and his eyes became clouded. The snore symphony was still playing in the prison and Alagbarauseless looked around him one last time. He drew out the knife he had stolen from the kitchen and with his eyes closed, and with all the red anger he could garner, he aimed at his heart and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed.
I hope you enjoyed reading. Please leave your comments below. Thanks for reading! ^_^.
Marilyn is one of the authors in the first TNC anthology THESE WORDS EXPOSE US which is on sale now.
CLICK HERE TO BUY