Of The Lady Of The Creek

Genre: Mystery?

There’s this little creek that just starts abruptly on the other side of the road. Some say it is an enchanted spring and interesting tales have been told about it, ranging from the mysterious to the downright absurd. I have never believed anything I cant prove but one thing is certain, that little creek never runs dry, not even during the drought seasons, when the riverbeds look like sandy deserts, water flows in the creek, it might reduce to a trickle but it wont run dry.

Culvert

There’s nothing extra-ordinary about it, just a little creek that starts across the road flows beneath the tarmac via an unremarkable culvert bridge. If you can believe the mutterings of the old folk, a long time ago they tried to tame the spring put pumps and taps on it but the water would simply start coming out somewhere else. They tried several more times and after a discrete word from the local elders they stopped entirely, lest the spring stop all together.

I am city kid, I believe in the power of the internet, some things man was meant to know and for everything else, that’s why there’s Google. After a few days visiting the grandparents, away from the city, I was going stir crazy. I missed the internet, I missed electricity, I missed that irritating high pitched hum the TV made which gave me a headache, I am surprised I even missed that, just thinking about it gave me a headache.

A walk seemed like a good idea.

I was sauntering leisurely going nowhere slowly, thinking “Yeah, I had spent enough time visiting, that I could safely take my leave without seeming like I was a spoiled city kid who could survive a day in the country.” That’s when I heard a voice, singing, a strangely haunting melody, something a mother would absent-mindedly hum to her baby, long after the child had fallen asleep.

They say you can fall in love with a voice…..

I do not know about falling in love, but this one demanded all of my attention, reached deep into my chest and squeezed; my heart skipped a bit. Searching for the body behind the voice, I came face to face with a strikingly beautiful visage, looking right back at me.

I froze.

The Earth might as well as have stood still and stopped turning on its axis, as time itself stopped; not until that is, she crossed her arms protectively around her bosom, did the realisation dawn that she was bathing in the creek and I was staring.

mermaid-bath.jpg

Oh I.. I.. hadn’t realised” I stammered an apology “I am, so, so sorry.” I said averting my eyes.

I tried to take a step back and walk away but my feet had a mind of their own, they might as well as have been roots.

You are new to these parts aren’t you?” she asked in that musical voice

Yes, I am at my grandparents’ kwaMakaki” I said pointing in the direction of home.

I could tell, I know everyone who lives here. So you are a grandchild of the Madyiras’?” she asked, referring to my grandparents by their clan name.

Yes. I am sorry again for intruding. Well let me best be going” I said as I took my leave. She had settled in the creek and only her head was visible. Talking was a lot easier.

Wait a bit, I know who you, are aren’t you going to ask me, who I am? Besides If you sit over there you can watch the road for me and let me know if anyone is approaching

It wasn’t quite a request neither was it an order, what could I do, but mutely nod my head, as I ambled over and settled on the boulder she had pointed out. I sat facing away from her, and I could hear splashing sounds; as I imagined her frolicking about in the creek. I tried hard not to peek though I could see movement in my peripheral vision, remembering the old fable of why the owl’s neck turns almost 360 degrees, it spied on mother nature while she was changing and she cursed it so it could not move its eyes.

You can call me The lady of the lake” She spoke suddenly and her voice near, that I turned around and she was an arm’s length away and her trilling laughter filled the day, as she splashed a handful of water at me.

water-mermaid.jpg

Naughty naughty” she said with the ghost of a smile twitching at the corners of her mouth.

I am queen of this creek” she said scooping a palm full of water and raising her hand in a regal move that made the water spiral down the length of her arm. With the sun behind her head like a crown of sunshine, she did look like a picturesque silhouette royalty.

You can stop gawking like a common cow herder and help me scrub my back, its not everyday I see royalty walks these paths.” She said throwing a sponge at me, followed by a fresh leaf blade of the aloe vera  plant “Lather the sponge with this” rosing out of the water and turning her back to me, water sparkling in the sun as it dripped down the contours of her undulating figure.

I squeezed the juice out of the aloe plant and on to the sponge “What do you mean by royalty walking these paths” I asked as I sponged her back.

You, silly boy” she laughed, even though she did not seem that much older than me. “You have forgotten the old ways, forgotten me….” she added with a faint trace of sadness in her voice but suddenly, brightened as she exclaimed;

Fire and water! Who would have thought it?

Huh!?” I exclaimed, confused.

Isn’t your totem, fire, is it not?” she teased.

Yes__” I started to reply.

What happens when an inextinguishable fire meets an unquenchable lake?” She quizzed, a playful edge creeping into a her voice.

When a wha____

The rest of my sentence drowned out, as I splashed into the water; she had suddenly turned and pulled my hand; dragging me, clothes and all, into the creek.

We floated inches from each other, water streaming down my face, from my drenched locks, she reached up and pushed back a few strands of hair. Her touch was warm and yet I felt goosebumps up and down my spine.

“I love your hair” she whispered “Though, its not as long as mine” she said flicking her thick locks which flowed  from her head down past her waist disappearing in the water.

mermaid tales

She drew closer still.

Hey!” A voice boomed from the road, I turned to see uncle Jay, waving frantically at me. “Hey wena!” his voice boomed again “What are you doing?

I felt like a child, caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing, like when you steal a spoonful of peanut butter and you are caught, you cant answer because the peanut butter is stuck to the roof your mouth, I felt heat rise to my face.

I turned to see how my newly met lay acquaintance, was taking all this and she was nowhere to be seen. I was in the creek, alone.

She had vanished without a trace.

Uncle Jay had got close enough to offer a hand to pull me out “Did you fall in?” he asked a little too calmly, as he pulled me out.

I…I…I was, I mean there was someone here, a lady, didn’t you see her?

I saw no one” he answered tersely his eyes not meeting mine.

Talk to me uncle” I pressed for an answer.

I saw no one but you.” he begun “But there’s an old story, the Elders say there’s a mermaid that lives in this creek. Every once in a while, someone sees a lady in the creek and soon after gets taken and either never seen or heard from again or they become great healers and an oracle from the Gods

As we walked back home I mulled over his reply, I had not expected that answer, but I could not explain where the mysterious had vanished to, I shivered a little, and stifled a sneeze, the sun was almost setting, I was cold and my clothes were wet, how long had I been in the water? I had laughed it off when she called herself The Queen of the creek maybe the was more to her than I had thought, but a mermaid?  Her body from the navel down thanks to the water had not been visible.

What happens when an inextinguishable fire meets an unquenchable lake?” a voice echoed in the back of my head like a voice from a dream, I turned to look back down at the creek, it could have been a trick of the light but in its murky depth, I could see a figure there, waving; at me……………

WavingTHE END

~B

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Of The Muse In You: The Ogbanje Hacker

Welcome to the story which I will write with your help.

How it works: I tell part of the story and you can be a part of this journey by using the poll at the bottom and or in the comments to let me know how you feel the story should proceed….

becoming

Thank you all for your input last week  from the story HERE Hero

The story so far:

A stranger who emailed me may or may not be a missing person, abducted by an extremist group. I was invited to join a Facebook support group of people who pray for the safe return of those taken. someone sent me a private message asking me to give them access to my email account so they could run a trace the email

The popular poll result was that I should run a back ground check on Og Banje so here goes

I opened a search engine tab and typed Og Banje and pressed search.

Could not find a match Did you mean Ogbanje? Showing results for Ogbanje

In Igbo lore an ogbanje is a reincarnating  spirit that would deliberately plague a family with misfortune. The ogbanje child would die and be reborn again and again mostly before the child reached adulthood or got to an age where they could do anything of potential. The curse would be broken if a priest could find the ogbanje’s iyi-uwa (a stone that the ogbanje’s way of coming back to the world) and destroy it. The child is confirmed to no longer be an ogbanje after the destruction of the stone or after they successfully give birth to another baby

Well that was an interesting lesson on the Igbo myths  of West Africa, but it did not get me any closer to finding out my mysterious connection. I decided to check out other posts from the Facebook group while I figured what to do with Mr OG. Mr OG that’s how I had been referring to him in m head. There was an update in the group;

“Authorities have announced that one of the abducted girls is still alive after a voice recording was received of her (as confirmed by her parents that it was her voice) asking the government to rescue her. ”

That was good news indeed as some people had started thinking maybe the reason some of the girls had not be released was because they had died.

I typed a new post to add to the group:

Hi I got a private message from someone called Og Banje after the last message I posted in this group and I wanted to know if its someone that can be trusted.

A few seconds later a reply popped up

Ah we see you have had an encounter with our resident white hat hacker. Nobody knows who he really is or where he is and the authorities keep trying to get his account shut down but it keeps coming back to like a curse to expose government secrets and criminal activities, kind of like a phantom online vigilante.

Ogbanje

I typed whih read  “thank you and if I could ask__”

Before I could finish the comment, my phone started ringing, the caller was on incognito mode and the number did not show.

Hello” I answered.

“Hello my friend, you know me as Mr OG. I believe its time we talked ….:”

I froze, what should I do next:

  1. Nothing, hang up the phone
  2. Start a conference call to emergency services
  3. Put on speaker and record the conversation
  4. Find out how he got my number and what he wants then go to the police
  5. Find out what he wants and just wing it from there

~B

Day 18 of My Blog Everyday Challenge Themed Africa: Stories From Home

Of Chasing Joy

Genre: Inspirational Romance

chasing joy

Ever woke up feeling that you have felt everything there is to feel, that there is nothing new to feel, well maybe except pain, you always feel pain and sadness but otherwise just a numbness the shape of all the things you should be feeling? That is me today numb.

I am numb or maybe I am just hungry right now. The green display of the clock is flashing SAT. 11:02A.M. I just woke up and I am running a mental inventory of my current state of being, with the exact scrutiny that a pilot runs the final preflight checklist, especially the way planes have been lately. If there is a season and a time for everything then this is the age that planes fell from the sky, even my little has long since shelved her dreams of being a pilot preferring something more grounded, like being a Disney princess. My thoughts casually  drifted to back when, that ill-fated flight 370 that disappeared, four years later and still no one knows exactly what happened or where it disappeared to. I could not help but think that, maybe the black smoke from the TV series Lost is real, how else do you explain a whole plane simply going missing but I digress, I have the imagination of a TV series script writer, and I wake up to improbable thoughts.

Where was I? Oh yes, mental inventory, I was doing system diagnostic of my current sate of being.

Awake CHECK

Alive CHECK

Breathing CHECK

Hungry……..processing as I tried to decide if I was hungry or bored; almost on cue my stomach made the sound of a dying baby whale, not that I know what a dying baby whale sounds like, but the script writer imagination had its uses. The sound helped put things in to perspective, I am definitely hungry and possibly hung-over. Just at the edge of my awareness I suddenly realised what had been bothering, I hadn’t yet put my finger but smoke.

Smoke, I smell smoke, stale cigarette smoke, coming from my clothes and hair. I had gone to bed wearing last night’s clothes and they were all wrinkled up and the answer just popped into my head like a whisper from some voice in my head “that’s because we want to a pub last night”.

I should shower.

It hurts when I think.

Why does it hurt when I think? Oh! headache, so yes I am hungover and hungry, that explained everything, last night, I went out with with the guys, for one or two drinks which turned out to be maybe a little too much judging from how I felt and why I was only just now waking up at eleven in the morning, almost noon.

Last night was a crazy night I cannot remember with friends I cannot forget, I will have to call them up today find out what mischief we got ourselves into and how did I get home? I closed my eyes to shut out the pain and to also try to recall how I got home. I remembered something about a cab driver. Do I owe a cabby money? I suddenly worried because I also remembered I didn’t have the exact taxi fare. No, I settled the bill difference in kind, I gave him the remainder of a very aged, and much distilled, very expensive and single malt scotch whiskey.

Mind you, I am not of the habit of paying cab drivers with half full bottles of obscenely priced whiskey but yesterday was an exception, we were out celebrating, who knows what good fortune merited the occasion. I tried to concentrate, almost had it when my stomach rudely interrupted derailing my train of thought by demanding to be fed. I could feel a big hole in my stomach, a whole that lived and breathed and wanted sustenance.

Feed me,” it growled with the regal imperative of one used to being obeyed.

Last night I went straight to bed without eating, I just took off my shoes and climbed into bed socks and all; although only one sock, the left one, was still there, the other having been snatched by the monster that lived beneath the bed. You know the one, the monster that comes and grabs any part of you that dangles over the edge of the bed while you sleep. That’s why you have to tuck yourself in properly when you sleep, so the monster doesn’t get you. The house was eerily silent, maybe the monster that stole my sock also stole all the sound in the house.

The silence of a house with no electricity, when there is no humming of the fridge, or the sonic high pitched sound of a TV on standby. The only sound that would have broken the silence, would have been the ticking of the wall clock, but it was a battery operated affair of the digital variety, instead I heard my heartbeat or at least I fancied that I heard it, making a nice sturdy lub dub lub dup sound. I need a dictionary or translator because clearly those people who tell you to listen to your heart, do they know what lub dub even means? There was no electricity, because it was in the middle of a load shedding exercise by the power utility company. If the schedule was to be trusted the electricity would come online in an hour or maybe much later, because the schedule was never to be trusted. Small wonder I was bored, the silence was deafening.

The big green display now read SAT 11:03A.M. So only a minute had passed since I last looked at the clock, it felt like it had been a lifetime already, time flies when you are having fun they say and conversely when you are not, it moves achingly slow. As you can tell my mind moves in a somewhat non-linear fashion, maybe I am a genius like that evil scientist who made the first bomb, Frank Stein or something, I am sure he thought to himself in the third person too. I used to have a poster of him sticking his tongue out, I think it means that it is ok to be crazy.

A good thing my head is attached to my body, by skin, bones and stuff otherwise, it would just float away, who knows, leaving me running around like a  headless chicken, until I probably died of starvation because I would not have a mouth to eat with.

The pursuit of joy, that is what I had been on about last night, but I can most assuredly declare that happiness does not lie at the bottom of a bottle of single malt whiskey, no matter how expensive it is. Money can buy expensive things, and that illusion of happiness, envied by those without it, acquired by people rich enough to buy and appreciate curious artefacts. With thoughts like that I bet would not make a pile of money as an author of self-help motivational books. Though I suspect a book titled The Pursuit Of Joy would be interesting I thought as I filed this thought in my had where I stored all the brilliant ideas I had and never acted upon.

You see I am a slacker, or rather, I have not yet come across anything, which quickens my pulse, so that I do more than just what needs to be done. I am always behind schedule, chasing deadlines and I never plan ahead, but it works for me because I am always thinking and I am at my best form under pressure, as they say, I think on my feet. Who is “They” and who decided that they know all of life’s hacks, shortcuts and answers?

The answers to all of life’s questions are ridiculously easy if you know the answers, but most of us don’t know what we are doing and like to walk around pretending everything is going according to plan making the rest of us fumbling mortals feel super bad, I thought as I sighed, closing my eyes and breathing deeply. A Breath Technician once told half of life’s problems could be solved if we simply learned to breathe properly.

On that last thought I must have fallen back asleep because next thing, I woke up with a start, the power must have come back on, with the radio blaring electronic dance music at high volume. A song was playing which sounded like a violin being played backwards in slow motion, using a blunt carving knife, cutting painfully through the chords, one at a time. Perhaps it might not have been that bad but it resonated at the same natural frequency as my headache, because it was now pounding in earnest.

I muted the radio, staggered to the bathroom, found pain medication in the medicine cabinet above the sink, as my bathroom mirror reflection watched me probably in disapproval or was it sympathy. I swallowed the pills and cupped my hand to collect water from the sink, to chase down the painkillers. To be honest I didn’t trust people who just swallowed pills with no water at all.

 I needed a shower.

My arms were covered with ink stamps from the various clubs we had been to last night, I looked like I had been a canvas for a five year old with a fistful of crayons and a whole lot of inspiration. The ink washed away as I bathed, disappearing, as if it had never been there, if only some of life’s regrets could be washed away with foam bath and water, like yesterday’s sweat, that would be joy.

After my post bathing pleasantries, I chose to be happy, sometimes you have to choose it’s a not a matter of spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on fire. What do the proverbial they say again, “fake it till you make it?” I smiled,

I smell good, I look good and I feel good.” starring at the mirror I had to agree,

Your reflection does look better when you have Joy.”

Those words, I had a moment of déjà vu someone said them to me or I said them to someone; last night, I tried to recall, then the moment was gone, the memory eluded me. Warming up left-overs in the kitchen, I realised last night I must have binged on the meat, leaving only gravy and bread, so I settled for that with a cup of coffee spiked with some cocoa powder, it tasted like childhood memories, happy ones.

My phone rang, but it took a couple of rings for me to realise it, the ringtone was different, a pop upbeat love song. I do remember most definitely not having that song in my phone. When I think of Valentine’s Day I can imagine people with heart-shaped designs for eyes like cartoon characters. February, when love is in the air, and I would be the one guy wearing a full body hazmat suit, so as not to catch it. For someone who claims I do not believe in love, I am more sentimental than the cynic I pretend to be. The phone call was from one of the guys calling to check if I was still alive, that I had not woken up dead having overdosed or died in my sleep, the kind of friends that call to see if you make it home safe.

After the phone conversation, I had a better idea of my puzzle pieces that was yesterday, prudence dictates that I start from the beginning.

The beginning is that I like to be alone, but I like to be alone in the company of other people, lost in my own thoughts. I was hanging out with my friends celebrating their various achievements, one friend had recently sealed a lucrative business deal, which explained the expensive whiskey. I always make appropriate congratulatory noises, but frankly I never celebrate my accomplishments because I always get what I set out to get and it never makes me happy though I can pretend, smile on all the right prompts, blended.

Maybe I don’t know how to be happy or I am missing a happiness gene, I was just the watcher. I watched, I watched how real people behaved in case I ever wrote a book I sometimes imagined I was that clever emotionless character from Star Trek.

I was watching as usual, when I saw her, she saw me, everything fell into place, as if it had all been leading to this moment, I feel like a cliché but the rest of the evening, time flew in a blur of pleasantries, and coincidences. Discovering common uncommon traits in a random stranger like they are another version of you, maybe that is what a soul mate is, someone who reads the same weird books by obscure authors, listens to music on the B side of albums not the hits, just like you be content with companionable silence and not have the need to fill it up with meaningless words.

I remember she took my phone and saved her number, that is when she must have changed the ringtone, I remember lots of smiles and a kiss goodnight, I do not remember her name.

I grabbed my phone scrolled through the contacts hoping one might light up something, but there’s over five hundred entries and I am only in touch with a handful of people and the rest well I just have their numbers saved, who knows when you might need to call that one guy who claims to be a witch doctor or hook up free satellite TV subscriptions. I laughed, I couldn’t stop, I laughed till I cried, I can’t remember the last time I really laughed.

Life, if it gave you lemons, you really needed to stop doing drugs, because life did not go around giving people fruit. I laughed some more at my wit and it hit me this was me being happy, when everyone was gone you were the only one left and you made yourself happy, you grew your own flowers, that was joy.

Last night, I saw her, she saw me, the cliché and I said “I am looking for joy that lasts forever

You happen to be in luck___” she had replied.

My phone rang, jarring my senses back to the present, the screen lit up:

JOY calling

That was her name, Joy.

You happen to be in luck because I am Joy and I have been waiting for you to stop running so I could catch you.” That was how she had introduced herself last night.

I smiled, I always smile when I answer the phone, I read somewhere it could be felt in your voice. Joy was never chased or sought, she was the butterfly who came freely and landed on your palm, and my new chapter begun, the happily ever after.

Hello Joy…

joy

~B

Day 17 Of My Blog Everyday Challenge themed Africa: Stories From Home

Of The Chicken Diaries

The Chicken Diaries

I am ready to go now.” you announce. Your bag is packed, to be honest there wasn’t much to pack anyway, you simply gathered your change of clothes and toiletries then stuffed them into your backpack satchel. You pride yourself in being an extremely light traveller.

Back Pack

Already? Dinner is almost ready you cant leave without eating, we even killed a chicken” Aunt insists that you stay and eat. Chickens are a prized currency and one needs a good excuse to have one for dinner especially the limited edition batch of chickens with the bald heads, those are only killed when you have special visitors; feeling guilty at the honour bestowed and not wanting to be the one who deny them their reason to dine on fine poultry cuisine, you acquiesce.

Don’t worry dinner will be served soon” aunty  reassures you after she notices you sneak a glance towards your watch. “Let me just go and check on the progress in the kitchen. Please sit. I’ll ask your cousin to bring you a soft drink while you wait.”

You can hear her speaking in hushed tones, telling her children to stop being lazy, that the cooking fire has not yet been lit, can someone gather sticks of firewood kindling.

 A wild chase

Meanwhile the chicken is busy trying to escape its fate, apparently they can sense these things, it does not wish for the honour of being an invited guest to the dinner table, being the main meal……

Eventually dinner is served. A scrumptious meal that more than makes up for the lateness of the time and also grateful for the darkness, in the candle light no one looks at the obscenely huge piece of chicken that was dished for you. You tried to get something smaller but you were out-voted besides you are the guest. They insist they eat chicken all the time, they might as well have feathers growing out. You know it’s a lie, no matter how many chickens you eat you wont grow chicken feathers and of course they don’t eat chicken as frequently as they claim but you are a considerate guest you let them convince you.

By the time dinner pleasantries are done its quite late and dark outside, any chances of travelling have set with the sun. You tried to argue that you really had to go, and they in turn brought out the big guns, telling you the horror stories that have befallen night travellers, from the mysterious ghostly flames that erupt for no reason without explanation, to the recent spat of muggings and robberies capped with the headless corpse that was discovered just a few weeks back…….

Better safe than sorry.” Aunty declares putting an end to any of the feeble resistance you were offering of why you must leave tonight “Its not like anyone is chasing you away, you can go tomorrow, I’ll wake you up at the crack of dawn, and you can catch the first bus back to the city.” And that settles everything.

KUKURIGORIGO that’s what it sounds like when a rooster does its morning crow.

kukurigorigo

kukurigorigo

The crack of dawn begins at 3.15 in the morning. That’s when the rooster first crows, every morning at 3.15 then at 4.15 and finally at 5.15 it’s like clockwork you don’t even need to set an alarm.

Once more, you are up again and ready to go right now, all you need is the green light. Bags already packed or rather you never unpacked,  perks of being a light traveller. Everyone else eventually wakes surprised to see that you are all set to leave. First thing first though you cant leave on an empty stomach, so you have to endure breakfast. Fortunately they don’t have to cook the chicken, simply reheating pieces left over from last night coupled with a portion of scrambled eggs and a flame boiled cup of tea with its unmissable smoky flavor.

hot kettle

Finally you say your goodbyes and stand up to leave.

“Wait” aunt stops you “We have present for you, since you loved the chicken so much we decided to give you a live one to take with you to the big city

You try to politely decline, she adamantly insists and her will is stronger; soon everyone is outside chasing the chicken that has the dubious honour of being my travel companion.

How will I even carry it seeing as it wont fit in my tiny backpack” You ask beginning to regret your light travelling policy which has just flown the coup.

Fortunately an old box is found and the chicken is placed in there, holes are poked along the sides so it can breathe, and the box is secured with tree bark thread and you handed a few grains of wheat and seed to feed the chicken, so it shan’t starve.

how to transport chicken

Quickly the bus is almost here” you are warned, as you are marched brisklyto the bus stop. You can hear the engine growling from just around the bend and barely manage to make it to the roadside bus stop just as the bus coasts by comes to stop, in a plume of diesel smoke and dust from the road shoulder gravel.

Eight people escorted you to the bus and only one person gets in, you. The bus conductor eyes you somewhat disappointedly, probably he was expecting way more passengers.  A few steps into the bus aisle the conductor yells at you that you are forgetting something and hands you the box with squawking chicken, you had hoped you could somehow leave it behind, now you are the guy with chicken on the bus, that’s why they call them chicken buses because sometimes fellow travelers are chickens.

Chicken bus

Chicken Bus

Fortunately the bus is on the empty side and you find a seat to yourself somewhere near the back, you are the person you would not want to sit next to, the one with squawking chicken in the box. Someone at the front cranes their neck to face your way and tell you tell your chicken to shut up.

Would if I could, but I don’t speak chicken” you reply calmly but deep down you wish you could strangle the chicken and put it out of its misery. It quietens down somewhat after you toss a few seeds of grain for it to snack on and the rest of the journey is mostly such a non-event, you even manage to fall asleep.

When you finally get home, the box is unusually quiet, maybe the chicken is dead. As soon as you open the box, out pops the chicken and the chasing games begin. Do chickens get mad chicken disease you wonder cause this one seems to act rather unchickenly chasing you instead of the way around, could it bite you and begin the zombie chicken apocalypse?

You almost want to give it a name, but naming it makes it your responsibility, you have to care for it feed it, and clean it; naming it, makes it a pet, and you can’t eat a pet; and this one for all its drama will be joining me for supper as the main course of these fine days………….

~B

Of Wandering Minds

#VSS very short story

Wednesdays are short story days. I’ll pick a tweet from  my twitter #VSS archive and expand on it…

The house was silent, in the way a vacant house was empty. My footsteps echoed long and loud as if someone else walked beside me in the empty corridors and I felt like a trespasser intruding on the silence. The movers had finished and all the furniture was on its way to my new home. I was simply doing a final check to see if anything had been left behind.

Looking at the floor you could tell where the furniture had been, spots that didn’t quite shine as the rest of the floor, pale spots where the floor polish never reached. Even on the walls, if you looked carefully, you could see where picture frames had hung and one was still there. Of course someone had forgot to take down the one in the living room.

beaton Family portrait

Our family portrait hung above the mantle. The five of us smiling, a Kodak moment frozen in time. Was that the last time we had all been together, maybe, maybe not but it was definitely the last we had all had posed for a family portrait. Too bad we had not done this more often.

Standing on the tips of my toes I could reach the portrait but could not quite get it to unhook from the wall, I wished I was a little bit taller. Looking around for something to give me a boost I found a broken stool with three legs instead of four, which was probably why it had been left behind too.

I balanced on it precariously, unbidden images flashed in my mind; me falling, breaking limbs, picture frame shattering, glass shards embedding deep and warm liquid pouring out and then, and then coldness; followed by unending darkness. I retrieved the picture with no mishaps except a slight shortness of breath and sweaty palms shakimg ever so little…….

Talk about an overactive imagination I thought to myself as I wiped beads of sweat from my brow. There was nowhere to sit so I rested on the wall and slid to the floor, knees tucked to my chest cradling the family portrait, I could see my faint reflection in it its glass. Earlier I had called for a taxi to pick me and I still had close to an hour to go; I had nothing but time on my hands. Time and a couple of sandwiches, crumbs fell to the floor as I unwrapped the foil, remembering I hadn’t had breakfast, moving is such a stressful business………

I felt movement along my leg and casually flicked away the annoying insect, then I felt another and another and another. That’s when I looked down and saw them. Looking at me with more than an insect awareness, ignoring the crumbs on the ground. Seemed as if they were gauging my weight, checking to see, if they could drag me underground, to their lair, as they would the discarded food crumbs. They were all around me, the ants, standing there, in a coordinated formation, almost military…….

troop of ants

The word troop came to mind.

 

#Flashfiction

Of A Web Well Spun

GENRE; Fantasy

If you didn’t know by now you must know; we come from a long line of story-tellers. Long before my people sat around the first fire and whispered secrets of its origins; on nights like this they sat quietly; in a circle around a story-teller; huddled together for warmth and they listened.

Sometimes the story was told, sometimes the story was within another story; other times the story told itself; it was not hard to believe stories talked because back then even the animals talked…. The stories always begun the same way PAIVAPO (Once Upon A Time) ….”

I paused as I had seen my grandfather do; when he told his stories, first you drew in the crowd made them curious what story you would tell them tonight. I glanced at granddad, it was almost imperceptible but he nodded in approval. I held my hands to the fire as and then rubbed them together and begun;

embers

embers

“Once upon a time, when animals walked and talked like you and I. The lion was King of the jungle, and all the creatures would shiver when he roared; they wondered whom he would devour next, that’s what it usually meant when a beast roars. It was a difficult time to be alive living in constant fear of being eaten. One by one the animals all decided they had had enough, all of them that is except for the lion, who had an enormous appetite.

There was a meeting in the forest and all the animals were there; except for the ones already eaten and two others. Lion for obvious was not invited to this meeting and Tsuro the hare; did not attend because he was caught in a spider web and would shortly be making a special appearance at Lion’s table as the main course. It was agreed that it was a time for change; a hero was needed to save them from the hungry lion, someone whom could match wits if not strength with the lion.

Once upon a time Tsuro the hare was the fastest animal until he lost a race to a tortoise; he would have won if he had not stopped to nap, sometimes victory goes not to the swiftest but to the most persistent. All the animals had been happy to see Tsuro lose they celebrated for many days and many nights and long after would never let Tsuro forget it. You see Tsuro was clever; too clever for his own good; we wouldn’t call him wicked but he was definitely mischievous.

Once upon a time while playing with Mr Dovi The Peanutbutter Man; Tsuro said lets eat each other. Mr Dovi got eaten and was soon finished The End.

Not long from now Tsuro would also soon get eaten, but all the animals were in agreement that Tsuro was only one who could best Lion. They asked Spider who happened to be hanging around the meeting to tell Tsuro that if he could defeat Lion then they would crown him King of the jungle.

Spider noiselessly descended on his web right down to Tsuro’s ear and informed him of the animal’s decisions.

“Good” said Tsuro “I have a plan; first loosen the web trap around me then listen carefully” Tsuro told Spider his plan; just before lion arrived all set to feast on hare.

“Wait” said “Do you want to know my fur is always soft, why I never age, why I am the cleverest there is?”

“Tell me, what will you charge me for this secret; to be the strongest and cleverest” roared The Lion.

“For you, no charge, you can even eat me after I am done. Ok; every night I cut off my head so that I sleep soundly and recharge my soul; in the morning I stick my head back on and am as good as new. I will show you how; then you can try it also. Quick give me a knife”

“You are trying to trick me into giving you a knife” said Lion

“Fine then, ask Spider to come and cut my head off” You see Spider was the king’s henchman, he did what he was told and no more.

Lion agreed and Spider cut off Tsuro’s head.

Then Tsuro held his head and screwed it back into place.

“Ta-da!”

Lion was amazed.

But of course he didn’t know Spider had only pretended to cut off Tsuro’s head and Tsuro pretended to put it back.

“Come and cut off my head!!” Lion roared to Spider excitedly

Lion died and Tsuro became king

The End.

Endings are always beginnings.

Once upon a time when Tsuro was King of the jungle; change had come and it was exactly the same; he declared that his name was now “All Of Us” He threw a feast in his honour. All the animals contributed in making the feast for many days and nights. Finally feast day arrived and they couldn’t wait to eat, but Tsuro stopped them and asked whose food this was, the animals all replied “All Of Us!

“Yes!!!! and I am “All Of Us” and this food is mine; you will eat after I am done”

Tsuro ate and ate and ate and then he picked his closet friends to eat and then finally let everyone else eat what was left; which wasn’t a lot

This happened all the time; everything belonged to “All Of Us” and animals not close friends with Tsuro were growing thinner and thinner, they complained bitterly that life was better when Lion was King at least they never went hungry and food was always available, change they decided was bad. When they asked Tsuro about it he would have a clever words in reply words like did he not get them freedom from the hungry lion that oppressed them, should “All Of Us” not feast as a reward did they not ask him to be King, that is democracy. Democracy is for “All of US” and “All of Us” should make the Jungle great again.

Once upon a time; King Tsuro got caught in a spider web’s trap. He yelled for help but no one came. A hunter who was trying to find his way home came across Tsuro; he carried with him a snail’s shell and contained within it was a glowing ember. He thanked his ancestors and used his ember to start a small cooking fire, and after slaughtering the hare, he cooked and ate it; then when went on to have a nap. He had a dream that all the animals in the forest were celebrating and that a spider watched over him as he slept or maybe it simply waited….web.jpg

 

The End

I finished my story and took a deep breath and blew softly into an old snail shell, then I put it up to my ear and listened…. I picked up a red hot ember and placed it into the shell then I walked into the moonlit night.

Always leave them wondering; another lesson from my granddad. I did not say another word that night……

 

THE END

~B

My blogbattle entry prompt Change.

PS Purely a work of fiction any resemblance to real life purely coincidence… loosely adapted from folktales I heard growing up and legends from my ancestors; also inspired by Anansi Boys a book by Neil Gaiman because all stories are Anansi’s:

“Stories are like spiders, with all their long legs and stories are like spiderwebs; which a man gets himself all tangled up in but which look so prettywhen you see them under a leaf in the morning dew, and in the elegant way that they connect to one another, each to each…”

“Much of what a spider does is waiting”

 

 

 

 

 

Of A Rare Moment

Genre: Romance

rare

Nothing had happened between us. There might have been a moment, maybe it was only in my mind. If something almost happens but doesn’t happen and nobody speaks about it, did it not almost happen at all? Even if it had been a passing moment; it meant nothing if I could not crawl into her brain and see for himself; her thoughts on; well almost everything in general.

She was hard to decipher, like a rare edition manuscript, handwritten in a neat but precise scrawl which unfortunately could only be read by its author. You know those books, with rugged hardcovers and gilded edges which don’t glitter; they are built to last long after all the paperbacks on the shelves next to it have lost the sheen on their high gloss covers and the embossed lettering has flattened out; the rare edition would be there.

Or maybe; just maybe, I had spent too much time in a library and could only picture people in book metaphors. People were not meant to be understood; only read and perhaps valued the way you do a particularly memorable scene in a favourite book. That moment unbidden comes forward and plays in your head over and over long after you have since closed the book, until you decide to read the book again. You might get tempted to skip through all the chapters to get to your favourite part but you know each word builds up to that moment and you want to make it last…..

Make what last?”

Though spoken; softly the words might as have been deafening as they intruded upon my dreamy reverie, they hung in the air; jarring me back to the here and now.

Huh?!” I sighed.

“You were saying something about make something last”

Oh?” I had not realised I had spoken out loud. “I was just…. Running a few ideas past myself…., sometimes… I need expert advice” I said trying to recover myself.

When did you come into the room?” I inquired trying to figure out how much I had thought out loud and how much of that she had heard.

She shrugged and then gestured with her feather duster pointing at imaginary cobwebs. This was her cue for me to leave the room, so she could clean the study room. I had long since stopped protesting about it, she would clean it even if it looked clean, well clean by my standards, she would run her finger on a spot and say

Dust

You know how one says a word as if it’s a living foe that must be vanquished with all haste. Even if I said that it was ok that, I would clean up later, she would gently but firmly shoo me out the room, that’s the other thing she would never let me stay in a room she was cleaning. Which is why I was mildly surprised, as I was getting up from the couch, to hear her say one word.

Stay

If communicating the entire range of human emotion in singular expressions were a virtue she would be a Goddess.

I sat back on the couch and tried to look busy but I was simply drawing circles in my notepad round and round, if you added eyes and tiny mouths it looked like a sea of Minions coming to drown the world in an ocean of gibberish language and hysterics. I tried to sneak in a quick glance to see what she was up to and found she had been looking at me, our eyes briefly met and then each suddenly found something more interesting to focus or pretended to; at least I pretended to suddenly be intensely interested in the minions I was drawing; crazy eyes, crooked grins and tongues sticking out.

Minions.jpg

I actually got quite engrossed in my sketches until a polite cough, the kind of cough one does to clear their throat as they ask for your attention; well demanded attention. I looked up and noticed that she was playing with her hands the way someone who cant figure out what to do with their hands does to hide their nervousness.

I need a huge favour” she begun.

Well it kind of depends what sort of favour you need?

What are you doing next Saturday” she asked

Probably doing a favour for you; whats up?”

She took a deep breath and begun;

You remember I told you about my silly dream to be dance instructor, right? Well one of best my friends, decided to meddle, good intentions and everything. She went and entered a video clip of ours, dancing in a talent search competition. The clip was from a wedding; I was one of the bridesmaids and helped choreograph the bridal dance routine…. Well I have been short-listed for the next round and its next weekend.

How can I help? You want me to come support you and sit in the front row so when you go on stage I will make noise?…..” I asked; curious because I remember she might as well as have forbidden from asking her about her dancing; And after my disastrous date with the princess we hadn’t  spoken no more than  two words to each other.

No! I mean yes. Yes I want you to come but not to sit in the front row..the thing is__” “Well” she said and paused uncertain how to phrase her next request;

“I need you to be my dance partner.”

I had not seen that one coming… I wanted to say “let me think about it” or even ask why she picked me, I wanted to ask, if she knew her eyes lit up when she smiled… oh I had so many questions, suddenly I realised I hardly knew this woman, all I knew is when she smiled a part of me wanted to be the reason she smiled and when she laughed, on those rare occasions; I had heard her laugh, it was infectious. I opened my mouth to say “I’ll see” but only one word came out

yes

The End

~B

This is a continuation of a story in progress you can Click here and here to find out what happened before.

#BlogBattle Theme Dance

Of The Doctor’s Garden

Genre: Mystery/ Fantasy

He rather liked his garden, it was calming, to sit in the leafy shade, watching the breeze sway tree branches, it was calming, in exactly the way a storm calmed just before. This, he imagined is how it must have felt for the pilots who flew high in the skies and had the vantage point to see the earth in all its glory and then drop nuclear bombs on it. The swaying branches dropped leaves as if in commiseration;

“Wounded by the wind the trees wept dead leaves”

Yes, a storm was coming and he was brewing it. He plugged in a pair of headphones, they fit snugly over his ears and music trickled into his head as if he had sub-woofers directly in his brain. Rock music no less, no wonder they called it the devil’s own, the beat seemed to invade your very chore and take over you. He closed his eyes and gave himself to the music, nodding to the infectious rhythm. Everybody wants to be a rock star, or at least live like one.

He must have dozed off, because when he opened his eyes the sun was much lower in the sky and the temperature had noticeably dropped. Were he a lesser mortal he would have shivered but he was cut from a different cloth, and there had been no left over fabric. It could be said they had broken the loom, and executed the seamstress after he had been sewn. He chuckled silently to himself as he visualized himself as an all-encompassing fabric cloaking the entire world in darkness. He had never been one to be moderate, he operated in the realm of the extreme, because otherwise what was the point.

He got up from his reverie and carelessly brushed away the leaves from his coat, with hands that left smudges of dirt; gardening was dirty business one really had to get down to earth and dig deep; from the dirt you were born to the dirt you will return, to bloom again. He looked at the freshly covered patches he had dug earlier, he had dug twelve, but two were still yet to be filled; he would leave it a task for another day. At this rate he would need a bigger backyard soon, he had already helped himself to his neighbour’s  dog and garden plot, after all his neighbour no longer needed it. What’s his name, the neighbour, could not even remember his name, had been like that pesky ubiquitous mosquito, buzzing in your ear;

“Oh you want to sleep let me sing you a lullaby, oh, you want to just relax let me sing you a soothing symphony, are you just gazing at the moon, let me serenade you with the beautiful fruit of my vocals; Oh you are gardening let me____”

And that was how he had become the first to be planted, the first to sprout and soon he would be the first to bloom. That was the thing with mortals they were resilient, they bloomed where they were planted, even in the harshest environment you would find a plant blooming; defying all reason and logic; it was beautiful. Its pity a flower’s beauty is lost on it, it has no eyes, it cannot see itself and no one is kind enough to hold a mirror next to their favourite flowers, nothing blooms faster than a flower admired.

Mortals have such a toxic admiration they see a beautiful flower and they pluck it so they could admire it in a favourite vase and yet just succeed in watching it wither and die. Couldn’t they have just admired it from the garden, or a pot plant? Some things he could never understand, just like their need to possess things in order to be happy.

The possession he understood was of a different sort though, he had possessed a few souls careless enough to dabble in realms they did not understand. Would you reduce your lifespan for possessions and status? The answer should be a clear no, because life is precious, but believe it or not, quite the number are willing to trade their life for fortune and fame, to be rock stars.

He had recruited a number of people to help him distribute flyers for his business, he called himself; The Doctor.

The Doctor.jpg

The front part of his house had been converted into a waiting area like a doctor’s waiting room and there would be a receptionist soon, business was booming; he could not keep up with the increased volume of calls and consultations. His latest recruit X had been quite the catch, he was influential and came from a royal lineage, a shame they had paid more heed to wealth than to their heritage and now X was indebted to him; when he would have been one to save the world; he would help brew the storm that was coming. After the storm, all this world would be a beautiful garden once again like it had been, in the beginning.

Without realizing it he had walked round to the front of the house and was now gazing at the street, watching a young couple arms linked; walking past his gate, he marveled at the purity of young love, and was about to turn back and walk into his house; until that is, he noticed that the young man’s lady friend; in her left hand, she held a single red rose delicately by the stem…

He waved at them and cheerfully accosted the young lad;

Hi there young man, what a rare beauty you have there; if you would like I can show you a flower that’s more worthy of her radiance, a purple rose, it’s in my garden…

The young lad hesitated, although his lady had taken a step towards the gate.

Oh do come in and I will even give you a vase for your rose you don’t want it wilting before you get home now do you?..”

He opened the gate for them and they hesitantly followed him down the path to the garden, again like sheep; to where two new garden patches lay; dug open____

That would make today 12, the magic number, a wizard’s dozen, not a bad day’s gardening……

He whistled to himself a nursery rhyme he once heard from an old friend;

Reaper Reaper Quite the creeper How does your garden grow?

With neighbors, strangers stopping by And pea pods all in a row

The End

~B

My BlogBattle Entry for this week.

Continues the story The Doctor if you want to play catch up you can read;

Of Needful Garden

Of Needful Things

The rhyme at the end of the story is from  Sarah in comment to a twitter thread which the character in this story is based.

Of Coming Home

He sat at his executive desk with all the trimmings of success trying to think of a polite way of saying he would not be coming home for the holidays. He had promised to visit his father for Christmas but then something came up, something always did but the Easter break was rather long, he couldn’t possibly be evasive all five days of it…. Maybe if he said he was going away on a business trip____

A soft knock at the door broke him out of his reverie.
Yes?” he inquired.

The frosted glass door slid slightly, opening a fraction. He could make out the silhouette of his PA behind the door; they all knew to never just enter his office, and when he said yes, he meant state your business and then go away unless invited.

Sir, I was just about to leave, for the holiday, will there be anything?

Thank you that will be all” he dismissed her and then as an afterthought “What will you be doing this Easter?

Sir?” she responded, slightly puzzled, he was never one make personal conversation.

Family, Sir, will be with family… that’s all we ever truly have” she finished.

You, know what? You are so right. Alrighty then; get my father on the phone for me. Have a happy Easter.

Thank you Sir, see you on Wednesday.

The door slid shut silently followed by a faint click. He rubbed his temples as if that could ease the turmoil inside, if they could see him, the shark in a suit, ruthless in the boardroom dreading a conversation with his father. The telephone on his mahogany desk beeped once and then a light started flashing, indicating a call on hold. He took a deep breath, to steady himself and picked it up.

Hello baba, yes, I will be coming for Easter.”

Once he made the decision, everything else, was simply logistics; this is how he got to be where he was, single-minded objectivity. He phoned his sons, and informed them they would be going to the country, to their roots, he made it clear, he was not offering them a choice, it was an order.  That’s what his own father should have done, given him orders instead of giving him choices maybe things would have turned up differently.

A few short hours later they were on the winding road leading them back home. The ride was a bit bumpy, he had opted to use his old faithful pick-up truck and not any of his new sleek status symbols with low ground clearance and low tolerance for pothole ridden roads. The roads were terrible indeed potholes the sizes of small graves, you would think a massacre had been done on the tarmac, and then later the road would become a strip road and then finally a dirt track.

Road copy

It was a logical decision taking his trusty truck he told himself, but deep down he knew it was also superstition, he remembered stories of how people got bewitched or cursed by jealous folk for flaunting their wealth. He did not believe in witchcraft, but he certainly did not want to put it to the test.

They had been making good time being fortunate to not get stopped by any of the roadblocks that seemed to be around every bend but then luck ran out. After requesting to see driver’s licence the police officer went on to ask to for a whole lot of other things and finding fault with everything

One of his tyres had low pressure; he spare wheel was not the regulated size, the red warning triangle was not the standard issue one, the safety reflective vest was the wrong colour shade, the red reflectors at the back of the truck were not the new hologrammed ones, the fire extinguisher was an aerosol fire retardant and not a fire extinguisher, and what had finally set him off, that the car as dirty…

But officer I had the car taken to a car-wash before I left the city_” he tried to argue

There are dead bugs on your windscreen….Dirt” The officer pointed and while he was saying that a bird flying past decided then to drop its business on the truck’s bonnet.

X sitting in the back seat snickered “I bet that bird is his and he trained it do that”

Shut up son, I am handling this” he said as he lowered the volume on the stereo which up till now had been belting out beats, as his son called them, after all it was X’s phone connected to the auxiliary port.

Ah and I did not see a valid listener’s licence for your stereo” The police observed

There was no use arguing, he knew it, you had to pay the radio licence whether you listened to local radio or not, he even wanted to ask do you want to see the licence for my Phone has well it has a radio on it but instead said;

“Ok just write me up the ticket Officer”

“Well, you have multiple traffic offences, you see, and the law states that we impound your vehicle pending a court case and tomorrow being the start of a holiday… that will only be next week Wednesday__”

He started cursing and ranting.

“Calm down father__” but of course never in the history of calming down has anyone calm down by being told to calm down, you can imagine how everything escalated and father and sons ended up handcuffed to a tree restrained ‘for their own protection that is’ and the car was being hitched to an impound tow truck.

“Dad..” X whispered to his father “ this is not the time to be all self-righteous offer the guy a bribe, that’s what you should have done from the start, how did you become such a shrewd business man if you cant grease a few palms”

“but he is the police__”

“Exactly! They are the most corrupt of them all, let me handle this, dad give me your wallet.” X requested “Officer, please step into my office!” He yelled from beneath the tree they were handcuffed to.

Not long after that they were merrily on their way, plus an extra passenger, turns out the officer was just finishing his shift and was headed in the same direction, so he was now riding shotgun and they didn’t get troubled by any other roadblocks as their passenger with a quick wave gesture got them waved through.

They got to the country just before midnight, a bonfire lit one of the thatched gazebos where, his father waited, years had passed since he left for the city, never once had he returned but now, now he was back… He hugged his father, no other words, none were necessary. They sat in silence of the crackling fire, all the unsaid words between them reflected in the tears that sparkled red in the firelight. Wood smoke does sting the eyes does it not?

“Tomorrow my son, I will show you your goats, we can slaughter a couple and you can take some meat with you, and when the police stop you next time, just offer them some goat….”

They laughed, sometimes you need to take the winding road ever leading you back home, to see how you never really left….

The End

~B

BlogBattle Entry themed bribery… again the story continues you can catch up HERE

Of The The Thing In The Ceiling

Genre: Realistic Fiction

The sounds usually start when darkness comes, when I switch off the lantern and close my eyes to sleep. Night after night I lay awake listening to sounds in the darkness. It starts with a faint scratching noise as if a feral beast is marking its territory drawing lines that must not crossed except with those who have abandoned all hope. Then there’s the footsteps, footsteps; slow, cautious, and deliberate; pacing, as would a beast stalking prey. Finally comes the scurrying and squealing sounds of a chase….. I always reach for the lights at this point and flip on the switch for the bedside lamp, nothing happens, it is funny how for an instant I forget the lights have not been working ever since a storm took out power lines.

There is something otherworldly that lives in my ceiling, I hear it every night when I try to sleep “It’s only a rat” I whisper to myself. At least I hope it’s a rat and not the thing from paranormal activity….

Eventually sleep comes, the sandman takes me suddenly, pouncing, tumbling my restless mind away and down, spitting it out like a mangled rat in to a deep dark dreamless sleep.

Are they nocturnal animals, ghosts? Because when the sun comes up the sounds stop, without a trace…. I wake up in the morning and everything is exactly as I left it nothing to indicate the eventful nocturnal visitors. The ceiling looks pristine and white, freshly painted to cover the water stains left by the leaky roof from when it last rained. The brown stain looked somewhat like a cowboy riding a bull trying to lasso a sheep that looks suspiciously like an overgrown cat. Not many people could see this natural art, but then it’s not a precise art seeing figures in stains on the ceiling or shapes in clouds.

The met department just issued a flood alert, a tropical cyclone is coming, Dineo. Its curious how the most cyclones wind up with feminine names, guys it would appear don’t have scorn whose fury hell hath none.

A pet cat would be an interesting addition to the family, they catch rats, mice and stare at ghosts so that would be a win win situation, to deal with unexpected visitors… I need a hungry cat, a skinny one hungry for a meal, a fat cat does not chase rats, profound and simple.

The day always passes and I wonder where the times go, what happens to the time we discard into the past? Night always comes and with it, the sound.

I lay in my bed and I hear it scratching, nibbling away at important things in the woodwork of my ceiling structures. It has been growing the thing in the ceiling, I don’t know what it been eating but its footsteps are heavier and louder. What if it is expecting and soon there will be a rat infestation. The other day I think they invited friends for a sleep over, I could hear them scurrying around like twin toddlers on a sugar rush wreaking havoc and running amok. It was not a dream, a nightmare does not crawl along your leg in the dark while you are sleeping, neither does a ghost. There are rats in the ceiling, only rats and nothing more, except more rats if I let them.

I wake up in the morning, I look at the floor, and it’s got rat droppings that need sweeping. They chewed up my favourite bathroom rug, and doing unspeakable things on the sofa, they must go.

rug1.jpg

I have been looking up ways of getting rid of rodents, they cannot burp so if you lace bait with bicarbonate of soda and they ingest it they get bloated and die, if you sprinkle some on the floor, it will stick on to their feet and when they lick it off, well, history. I even bought a rat trap, it looks like a book full of glue and then you leave it open, rats will walk on the glued surface and get stuck, seems simple enough, until you have to pry a rat off or stomp on it with cowboy boots.

Untitled-1.jpg

Lastly I bought some rat poison, the bottle says to mix with peanut butter, how do they even know rats even like peanut butter, but for the money they charged me they better know what they were talking about. I spent the whole day baiting every nook and cranny, tomorrow, its bye bye rats, if that does not work then its not rats I am dealing with its something else and might need to call…. an exorcist

I woke up in the morning and armed with a broom and my cowboy boots in search of rat causalities.  I wish I had a gun, but imagine trying to shoot one, not to mention the ricochet. There are tiny footprints on the places I dusted with the bicarbonate of soda.

IMG_20170204_110609.jpg

I will have to search for bodies no body wants a dead rodent decomposing in their house, I have seen this before its horrible. The only place left I haven’t checked is the attic, broom in one hand, and a flashlight I am going hunting. The rats are probably more scared of me than me of them but I fear the attic more, its dark and my imagination is ungovernable.

I found them, two dead rats in the attic after a bit of song and dance I managed to scoop them up and bury them in a shallow grave next to a rose bush in the garden; End of story, well not quiet the I also found a diary it has been around for almost century The Diary of a Freedom Fighter….

I lay in my bed and tonight there is only silence…..

The End

~B

BlogBattle Entry for this week prompt cowboy; Inspired by a literal rat in the ceiling while I was trying to sleep and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and somewhat a continuation of the last story here….