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The Devil's Puzzle (Reloaded) - Literature - Nairaland

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The Devil's Puzzle (Reloaded) by ghostwritter(m): 10:40pm On Jul 05, 2020
From the stables of GHOST PRODUCTION in partnership with NAIRALAND ENTERTAINMENT and NEW INSIGHT STUDIOS presents: THE DEVIL'S PUZZLE (Revised and completed version).
My appreciation to all my followers who have got my back. This will be a short read. You can read more of my works on okadabooks.com


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All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transported in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, re-cording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher of the book.
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The moral right of Omotayo Taofiq Suleman to be identified as the Author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.


You can reach me if you need an interesting/catchy story line for a movie or for your affordable BOOK COVERS or any other information through osuleman11@gmail.com/ Whatsapp 08068833118

Re: The Devil's Puzzle (Reloaded) by xaviercasmir(m): 7:15am On Jul 06, 2020
following
Re: The Devil's Puzzle (Reloaded) by ghostwritter(m): 10:04pm On Jul 14, 2020
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CHAPTER ONE

SWEET BOYS



It was a Sunday afternoon just few minutes past one and I was ready to resume school again after the long holiday. It’s going to be a two and half hours drive to Crownsville Model College so I had had everything packed and set for another thirteen weeks or thereabout away from home.
“I hope you won’t forget anything at home this time?” mother inquired for the umpteenth time as she climbed down the stairs from her room knowing how careless and forgetful I could be.
“No mum, it’s all packed” I assured her after going through my bags the third time for the day. I was set and ready to go.
Like her usual act, mother with the list of necessary school items on her had to go through my luggage again with me making sure I forget nothing like it happened previous terms and most importantly no contrabands. When she was done, she had the two maids and driver load them to the car. I noticed something was wrong with mother ever since she woke up that morning and it was obvious even as she tried to hide it under her usual cheerful appearance.

“Mum, what’s wrong?” I asked as we took the back seat ready to embark for the journey.

She expelled deep sigh as she stared into my eyes, I could see fear in hers “David, you need to be very prayerful”
Knowing my mother too well, that’s bad, my heart kicked faster. Her total expression got me uneasy “Mum, what is it?”
“It’s a dream I had, it’s so scary, something evil happened to…” she paused, shut tight her eyes and shook her head like she hopes to shake off whatever was forming in it, she opened her eyes “God forbid anything evil happen to you. I have prayed over it and I want you to always pray when you get to school”
I could see she was scared but I wasn’t. I had in the last couple of months had many nightmares but nothing evil came to past. Rather, things went even better without prayer. Like one of my teachers would say ‘Dreams are just figment of our imagination or utmost desire coming to play in our head, nothing to worry about’ and that had been my belief. I promised mum of increasing my period on prayers. She had no reason to doubt me for I still remain her precious little boy. As we journeyed far away from home, I couldn’t help but reminisce about my family. Father died seven years ago when I was nine, his construction company paid mother big for his life service and as well his gratuity, and mother was smart with the money, she made the best use of it by investing into companies with prospect like a good gambler and within four years, mother was richer. She had my elder brother go for his masters’ degree abroad and so did my elder sister in one of the best university abroad. I smiled at the thought of joining them as soon as I am done with college, mother had promised.

And there, the car halted at the school administrative building. My luggage was dropped and inspected by the school officials and I was cleared. Mother ensured she made virtually all the staff promise to watch over me as she tipped them generously. One of the school stewards under my mother’s request helped carry my luggage into one of the numerous hostels alongside many other students resuming for the term. Just before mother left, she called me aside, prayed for me and made me promise to be careful, prayerful and continue being her good boy, I did and soon watched her car exit the gigantic gate of Crownsville Model College.
*
Crownsville Model College strictly a boarding school at the outskirt of town is one of the best private colleges of over two thousand students of both genders. Students aren’t allowed out of the school for a whole academic term unless on extreme cases. I stood watching as exotic cars zoomed in and out while they dropped students, many familiar faces greeting one another, students bidding their relatives good bye, new students looking sober as they watched in awe their loved ones abandon them to the care of the school management. I felt nostalgic flashing back five years ago when I cried seeing my mother betray me to the hands of the school. I smiled realizing how I had coped and gotten better on my own, how time flies.

I met many familiar faces as I made my way into one of the dormitory. Many bullies and early comers had taken all the suitable bed space at the favorable spots leaving late-comers and weaklings to scramble for the unfavorable ones usually the under bunk and exposed spots. Surprisingly, the steward had help drop my luggage on top of a double bunk located right next to the window which was my best spot but there was a problem, it was beside some set of mischievous students I had known too well, they are a clique known as Sweet boys. I tried to find another space but every other spot had been occupied. The Sweet boys comprise of six senior boys all in final year, they are Kolade Ogunsesan a son of a chief, Akpan Nbaduke son of a former ambassador. Edward Tella, his mother is a multiple award winning journalist. Ali Dambako, grandson of a northern billionaire. Solomon Araga, is the only son of a very popular pastor. Benson Mayeolu also known as Biggy, one of the numerous sons of a senator, he is the leader of the clique. The school authority had most times overlooked the atrocities of these boys due to their parent’s affluence and generous contributions to the school’s development, teachers dare not beat any of the boys nor fellow students fight them, the gang was more like the untouchables. As I arranged my cloths into my wardrobe, I glanced across the bunk beside me to see the six boys happily cluster together, narrating holiday adventures, showing themselves all sought of contrabands they had successfully smuggled in, they had brought all sorts of high-tech phones, gaming devices, pornography magazines, perfumes, alcohols, India helms and many expensive stuffs I had no idea of. They would smile mischievously and hail one another as each narrates how he was able to smuggle it in.

Suddenly, the boys began chanting praises of one of them who was showing them something. I couldn’t see what it was but by the way they chanted I feared he must have brought in a gun or something worse.
I couldn’t report the boys and so could any other boys in the hostel knowing the gang had their ways with everything and most of all, it is against the hostel’s unspoken code to report a fellow student for contraband. It’s treason.
*
The next morning on the assembly ground, the principal Mrs. Wright addressed every new and returning student. Welcoming everyone into another academic session, she read out the school rules, explaining them one after the other in her high pitch voice through a mega-phone and while she was in the process of emphasizing the consequences of not abiding by the rules, one of the newly admitted female students from the junior section fell to the flood and began to speak in trance like one possessed, almost struggling with her words while she kept on shouting “It will happen!… The evil is here in our midst, it has come to take, to steal and to destroy, be ready!” she then fell unconscious.
Everyone began to murmur in panic with the assembly disrupted more by her words than her condition.
Re: The Devil's Puzzle (Reloaded) by ghostwritter(m): 10:09pm On Jul 14, 2020
*****
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CHAPTER TWO

THE STRANGE BOOK



Shortly after the night class, comes the lights-out at exactly 10:05pm when all students must mount their beds to sleep, except for Saturday where student are given extra hour for social gatherings. I lay on the bed with the thought of what had happened in the day, I wondered if Elizabeth’s words were true, how such a little girl could be bold to make such prophecy. I heard many students call her a witch; they vowed never to speak to her after what they saw her do. I drifted my mind to something else, something appealing; it was to a beautiful girl in my class Feyintola. I had fancied her for her beauty and calmness since she joined the class a session ago. I found Feyintola attractive the very first day she was introduced to the class but I hadn’t been able to bring myself to tell her how much I admire her even with many chances that I had. I made a mental note to pour out my mind to her before the end of the term.

“Go to bed, lights-out!”

I could hear the chief guards Mr. Collins yelling for the umpteenth time in one of the dormitories. One by one, every room went quiet with lights switched off before I drifted to sleep.
*
The next day, I rushed into the school cafeteria and was served my breakfast, boiled yam with cooked egg on a tray. I walked through the hall for empty seat but everywhere seem occupied except for one in the senior section, I walked up to it and realized it was just next to where the Sweet boys sat. The boys all seem engrossed in their discussion as I approached the table. Solomon who had been talking all along suddenly paused as he noticed my presence, him and the rest of the gang lashed me an unwelcoming stare as I sat. I felt I had intruded into some kind of intimate discussion.
“I hope I’m not intruding?” I politely asked trying hard not to stare at them.
“Yes you are” Benson, the leader of the clique answered bluntly, sounding offended.
I was scared but wasn’t surprise, these boys aren’t my kind and I could never try to relate with any of them either if I have a choice, I looked around for a vacant seat but there was none except for the junior section which wasn’t appropriate for senior students to go sit. “I am sorry if I am intruding. Everywhere else is occupied as you can see” I retorted.

They all kept mute and stared unwelcomingly, hopefully waiting for me to stand up and leave immediately.
I got the message, picked up my tray and was about to stand up for another table far across the hall when Solomon gently held me back by my arm.
“Can you keep secrets?” he asked quietly. He had an intense stare at me like he was desperate for an affirmation.
“Solomon, I don’t think it’s a good idea to let this boy in, he is not even our age mate” Benson cuts in with a frown on him.
“We have no choice. Remember he is the only one around our bunk, so we have to let him in” Said Solomon. Solomon turned at me and repeated his earlier question with the same outlook.
I swiftly looked round into their faces, not sure what Solomon meant but I could see the doubt in their eyes as they accessed me. What’s happening? What are these boys up to? What sort of secret could they be hiding?
“Yes” I answered hoping to satisfy my growing curiosity.
“Are you sure?” Kolade inquired with his eyes darting all around me inquisitively.
“Yes of course” I nodded convincingly.

I could see the boys stared at one another, not sure if my words were enough to hold on to.
Solomon continued his narration to the gang, it was about a book which I couldn’t catch-up with. “Sorry guys, but you’ve lost me here. What book are we talking about?”

The boys looked displeased at my intrusion knowing Solomon would have to narrate all over again, and so he did with his attention more at me.
“There is this book I came across, it works like magic” Solomon began “It will grant you whatever you want by just wishing for it”.
I didn’t understand it but I kept an interesting appearance like the other boys. “Is it a Bible?” I asked.
“No”
“Quran?”
“No. This book is more than that. I saw it inside by wardrobe as I unpack the night I resumed, it a kind of strange book”
“Is it a story book?” I asked curiously.
Solomon seems taken aback; he frowned like he never expected anyone would ask such question, after few seconds of appearing thoughtful, he replied “No dumb head. It’s a book that can give you whatever you need by just wishing for it” he replied angrily.
I laughed knowing he had only made up such foolish story to scare me away, and his Sweet Gang knew I wasn’t taking that. How is that even possible?
“I tried it last night and it worked” continued Solomon, like he knew what I was thinking.
“So what happened?” the five other boys asked curiously almost in unison.
“Shuu! Keep your voices down. Do you want the other students to hear us?” Solomon cautioned. The boys shook their heads sheepishly in response.
“I was inside the female hostel yester-night” Solomon said and paused to meet our reactions and I guess it was just what he wanted, he had captured their attention. He smiled.
“But how did you do it? Did the guards not see you?” Akpan curiously took it from my mouth as much as he did for the others.
“I was invisible to any other person. I merely walked pass the guards into the female dormitory last night. I saw the girls, all of them. Few of them even slept almost naked. I wish you guys saw it” Solomon further narrated with so much excitement in his tone.
Their eyes lightened up with mouths almost drooling as Solomon narrated. I wish his words were true as I wouldn’t belief such tale. It sounded too good to be true. “I don’t belief you” I challenged. Solomon and his other member frowned at me.
“Get out of here you fool!!” Benson yelled at me. He was ready to make good use of his fist if I dare hesitate. I obeyed, quickly picked my tray and hurriedly walked away to go occupy a vacant seat afar, beside me was a young, dark skinny girl seated looking at me through her big concave eye glass like I had intruded her space, beside her on the table were five voluminous textbooks, she appeared too young to own such texts. She looked strange with her hairy head and buggy eyes by the way she stared weirdly at me. I remembered her. She is Elizabeth, the girl who made the prophecy and I guessed that was why she was seated alone, who wants a freak for a friend. She neither blinked nor uttered a word before she slowly resumed to munching down his food. I ate up and rushed out to class.
*
As the day rolled by with school activities kicking off in full gear, all I could think about were Solomon’s words, if they were real. I pictured myself inside the female dormitory, wondering what it’s like. Feyintola came to mind, “Oh… that will be a dream come true!” I gushed and sighed deeply as I lay on my bed ready for the lights-out.

*

While I was sleeping, having one of my usual nightmares, I felt someone tap me. I woke up and very surprised to see Solomon and his gang staring down at me amidst the dark while they directed their flash lights into my eyes.
“Wake-up sleepy head, it’s time to go”. Solomon hushed.
“Go where?” I sat up rubbing my eyes; it was midnight “What’s going on?” I was so confused.
“Just come along, we don’t have much time” he beckoned. The boys sneaked away out of the dormitory one after the other. I scrambled out of bed to follow them into a small abandoned building at the isolated part of the school premises; anyone hardly goes in there as it is an old store with many unwanted, damaged school materials covered in dust and cobweb inside it. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this but I found myself walking into the dark stuffy room along with the boys. Six of us gathered around with our torches as we watched Solomon knelt and fumbling with strange wordings from a big old grimy book he had brought along. We were surprised at his actions but we stood to watch with growing anxiety. I noticed he wasn’t too familiar with the words by the way he read and he was a bit nervous like the rest of us. After a while, I noticed something, the weather slowly changed while he kept reading, a whispering wind began blowing outside. I felt strange chilly cold descend on me and so were the others shivering. An uncomfortable and numbing sense of fear pricked me. We couldn’t talk as Solomon had earlier instructed that we don’t say a word while he reads, even though he never told us the consequences, none of us dared it. We could only stare in fear. Solomon gently laid the book on the floor. He brought out a small knife from his breast pocket to punch his thumb and allowed his blood drop on the opened pages of the book. That came as a surprise to everyone, he never made mention of that in his tale.

Solomon shrugged “Relax guys, it’s just a drop, a little price we must pay” he said sounding indifferent as he looked at the nervous faces around him.
Then the whispering wind stopped, next was a grave silence that hovered within the store. I could swear I almost jumped out of my skin when I saw Solomon vanished into thin air. Every one panicked.
“Guys relax, I’m here” Solomon’s voice could be heard amidst thin air. We couldn’t see him even with the illumination from our torch-lights in search of him.
“How did you…?” I gasped
‘I am invisible, you guys can’t see me. I wished for it” his voice erupted proudly again.
We were all marveled with our eyes widened and jaws dropping. It’s real. I couldn’t belief it. I felt dreamy.
“You guys should wait here till I’m back” Solomon’s voice instructed before he breezed pass. We waited silently and anxiously in fear for several minutes in the dark stuffy space before Solomon suddenly puffed out from thin air into our midst grinning exhaustively.
“What happened?” Ali asked curiously.
“I saw them. Those girls are beautiful and sexy in their night gowns”. Solomon replied still brimming.
“So can we experience it?” Benson was eager to cut through his thumb already. I stood and watched as Solomon supervised while they took turn to go with five minute each into the female hostels. When it was my turn, I couldn’t do it as tempting as it was. Something wasn’t just right. It wasn’t just the drop of blood or invisibility that scared. I felt there was more to it.
Just before we retreated that night, Solomon made us all swear never to speak of what happened.

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Re: The Devil's Puzzle (Reloaded) by dawno2008(m): 7:13pm On Jul 15, 2020
I've seen something similar before on nairaland.

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