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Stats: 2,594,613 members, 6,018,772 topics. Date: Friday, 27 November 2020 at 12:11 PM
|The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 10:45pm On Nov 15|
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be produced, reproduced, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.
Copyrighted by Royver
I tell you to keep going, not because it's easy. Not because it doesn't hurt. I tell you to keep going because there's no other way. To stop is to die. Life is in motion. In growth. In change. Life is in seeking and in finding. Life is in redemption. Each moment is a new birth. A new chance to come back, to get it right.
A new chance to make it better.
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|Re: The Tarnished Ones by zerozeroseven(m): 11:04pm On Nov 15|
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 8:07am On Nov 16|
My brother, I hadn't even started before antispambot banned me. I've forgotten how much fun nairaland can be
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by spicyuzo(m): 11:08pm On Nov 16|
Present sir .....
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by OluwabuqqyYOLO(m): 6:31am On Nov 17|
Royver:Aunty Spam, eez like you are mad.
Divepen1, Obinnau, kindly unban Royver. Aunty Spam must have identified him as her runaway lover, yet he should be pardoned.
Let's read something excellent biko!
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 12:53pm On Nov 17|
Let me try one more time
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 12:59pm On Nov 17|
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It's an honour to invite you all once again. Come with your friends. This is the last (apparently) in the Chukwudi the stronger series. Hope you enjoy the ride.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by christejames(m): 1:39pm On Nov 17|
Let me perch here because the foliage is green gregarious.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 3:26pm On Nov 17|
I stood alone in the quiet forest, darkness and shadows surrounding me, the moon above offering little illumination. I knew immediately that this was no ordinary dream, I was getting used to differentiating visions from the fantasies of my slumbering mind. I had no fear that I would be attacked by night creatures as I knew I couldn’t be seen. I was only mildly concerned that this dream might leave me exhausted by morning as they sometimes tended to do.
I watched as a light approached in the darkness; two men carrying an oil lamp to show their way as they passed by me to their unknown destination, oblivious of my presence. As was the way with these things I followed, a ubiquitous entity in the events unfolding before me.
The two young men walked steadily towards the old man's hut. They were dressed only in raffia leaves and short wrappers made from Adire fabrics and their heads had been clean shaven. One of them carried the necklace of their intended victim and the other carried the oil lamp in one hand and a cutlass to clear through foliage in the other.
"Do you think he'll listen to us this time?" The first man asked apprehensively as he struck at a mosquito which had landed on his chest.
"He has to,” His colleague replied, “The oracle said he is the only one left who can carry out this ritual."
"It is true that she deserves to die. She ruined our boss." The first man said, and then began to stutter “But...but considering the repercussions if we fail…Maybe we should forget the whole thing…after all, we don’t really owe the boss any obligation…”
The second man stopped in his tracks and turning around grabbed the first man viciously by the throat.
"Our boss is mad! Our source of livelihood is gone! The others blame us for it since we were his servants…”
“Servants, not body guards!” the first man choked, trying to pull away from the grip on his throat. “Our job was to take care of the house and mind the girl, not all this dangerous stuff…”
“Even that we couldn’t do!”
“Because he let us leave that day! This isn’t our fault in any way bros!”
The second man snarled viciously, “This might be our only chance to redeem ourselves and gain recognition, who knows, the gods might smile on us and Brother Zeke will respect us enough to give us a well-paying job, after all, we are doing what he dared not do!”
He let go of his squirming companion and hissed.
"We who once lived on the laps of luxury have been turned into common street beggars and you still wail like an old woman! Have some courage! Or did you enjoy the fact that you had to beg for food yesterday? Did you?!"
"No!" His companion rasped. "It’s not like the food tasted good anyhow. Mama Iyale knows nothing about cooking; I don’t know what she is doing owning a buka..."
"Shut up! This is your last chance; if you want to turn back do so now!" His friend drew close, “But knows this. when I do succeed, when I gain my riches and glory, when I get the respect and accolades I deserve...I don’t so much as want to see you near my doorstep! I will have nothing to do with you! Do you understand?"
The first man grumbled, massaging his now aching neck. "Why are you talking like this, I was only airing my views a little. We are here already, let’s see Baba together."
The second man grunted and they continued their march.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 3:29pm On Nov 17|
As they got close to the hut, they heard a voice:
"Ikenna and Afam, what are you doing back here again?”
The two men stopped abruptly. Ikenna, the man who had been previously grabbed by the neck, looked terrified and almost made to run away but Afam grabbed him.
"We got her necklace Baba!"
There was silence, the only sound coming from the nervous shaky breathing of both men in the cold night. Finally the door of the hut swung open and Baba came out. He was an elderly man, his scalp covered with a red plain cap with coils of white hair protruding from the sides. From his chin hung a majestic silver beard, bushy and long but obviously well-tended. His eyes were surprisingly soft as he regarded the two men pitifully. He took a step forward holding a long walking stick on his right hand even though he didn’t appear to need it.
"Give it to me." He said, his voice strong and coarse.
Afam handed him the necklace and the Baba studied it.
"It carries her essence. You speak the truth." He said. "How did you get it?"
"We followed your instructions." Afam said "We spied on her for many days and saw it was her favourite item as she wore it every day to work. We finally made our move yesterday and pretended to be beggars. We were able to convince her to give us the necklace instead of money."
"I was the one who convinced her; I told her that the night before I had a dream that someone would give me a necklace and that person would then be blessed beyond measure." Ikenna chipped in, "I even quoted a passage from the bible-"
"You must be certain she gave you this necklace of her own free will, Ikenna. Are you sure you are telling me the truth?"
"Of course he is!" Afam retorted. Baba glared at him sternly and he took a step back and kept quiet.
"Answer me Ikenna, did she give you this necklace willingly?" Baba inquired again, looking hopefully at the young man.
Ikenna thrust out his chest and nodded emphatically. "Yes she did! Check it yourself, is it not hers?"
The pity that had momentarily left came back into Baba's eyes.
"The only way I can check is to begin the rites. If it fails..."
"Enough of all this Baba!" Ikenna shouted suddenly in a burst of courage, "If it fails we will look for another way! Try it first!"
"The punishment for trying to deceive the gods can be severe..."
"We don't need to know the punishment Baba!" Afam jumped in. "We need to avenge our boss! Try it!"
"Go ahead!" Ikenna enthused, getting carried away with his own bravado.
The old man sighed and finally nodded.
He turned and entered back into his hut as the two men sat outside in the midst of the night insects. Afam dropped the oil lamp and the cutlass and clapped Ikenna triumphantly on the back.
"Now you are behaving like a man!" He grinned.
Ikenna smiled back. He had always wanted to impress Afam who, on more than one occasion had made him feel cowardly and childish. Afam was the only family he had ever known since he was abandoned by his mother as a child and left to die in the streets. Afam, who was a few years older, had found him and introduced him to a street gang made up of orphans who begged, stole and did all sorts of illegitimate things for money. They had grown up together like brothers and Afam was always getting him into trouble but Ikenna didn’t mind as he practically worshipped him. Besides, Afam never abandoned him and was always there to pull him out again. He was proud of himself as Afam clapped him on the shoulder once more.
From inside the hut they heard the old man's coarse voice as he chanted incantations. The smell of burning incense filled the air and the sound of cowrie shells tumbling in an earthen vessel pierced into the night. Ikenna looked at Afam, his apprehension suddenly returning full force.
"But what if it doesn’t work? He said the punishment would be severe..."
"Whatever it is, I will share it with you." Afam said, thumping his chest. "The last time someone disobeyed Baba, the Boss gisted me that the man was made to walk through the streets naked and unkempt like a madman for a month, a gong tied to his neck..."
"What? I don’t want to do that?!" Ikenna retorted, "I thought you said we would be made to sacrifice a goat or two..."
"Anyone; I will help you steal a goat, it’s not a big deal so don't worry. And if it is to walk round the city naked it will be a chance for both of us to show off to the women!"
They laughed together in their camaraderie as the moon went behind a cloud and the night grew even darker. The chanting in the hut had stopped and a moment later, Baba came out.
"Here," He said, handing the necklace to Ikenna. "Since you were the one she gave, you have to return it."
Both men jumped to their feet.
"So it worked?" Afam asked enthusiastically.
"Yes, it did." Baba replied, his hand still out.
Ikenna stretched his hand to collect the necklace. "We are going to be rich! We are going to avenge our boss and get our respect back!" He cried and took it.
As soon as his hands closed around the necklace Ikenna fell into a terrible fit. He convulsed where he stood as his eyes rolled up into his head leaving only the whites of his eyes visible. He tried to open his mouth to scream but his jaw muscles went into spasms and he bit down on his tongue and cut a good portion of it clean off. Blood spilt on Afam's face as he started to shriek in horror.
"Ikenna! Ikenna! What is it?! Baba, what is going on?!"
"You finally killed him, Afam." Baba said sadly. "You finally led him to his death."
Afam cried out in panic and grabbed his friend, trying to make him stop shaking but it was no use. The convulsions increased in intensity and Afam heard a sickening snap as the bones in Ikenna's hands began to fracture. Ikenna suddenly toppled over like a log of wood and crashed on the floor with Afam following suit, trying to hold his friend still with no success. Ikenna continued to convulse and his bones continued to break as blood oozed from his nose and mouth.
"It will continue like this," Baba said, "Till all the bones in his body are broken. If you have a gun or knife it will be good of you to use it and spare him the misery of a very painful death."
"But why?" Afam screamed as he continued to hold on to Ikenna, "Why is this happening?!"
"It only happens like this when the item is stolen. I told you specifically not to steal it..."
"But we didn't!" Afam shouted even as Ikenna’s body finally began to go limp. "We told a boy to steal it from her house and then give it to us willingly! Isn’t that the same thing?"
"You stupid, stupid fellow, it is not the same at all. I gave you specific instructions." Baba said with a deep sigh. "I should kill you for what you did to your friend, you’ve always found a way to lead him astray and escape all the trouble; but I think letting you live this time will serve a better punishment. Now go, and carry his corpse with you.”
So saying, the old man turned and went back into the hut. Afam’s wailing reverberated through the hut from outside but Baba ignored him. He had no pity for Afam and actually wished he could deliberately mete out the same punishment on him as he had inadvertently done on his friend, but unfortunately there was no one around to help move two heavy corpses.
The inside of the hut appeared much bigger than from the outside. A fire burned brightly in a corner, illuminating the entire room. He turned to the plain mirror before him and gazed into it intently. The young woman, the intended victim, was still there. She was sleeping peacefully on her bed in her room far, far, away in Lagos. And covering her protectively were the biggest pairs of wings he had ever seen.
“Interesting,” He muttered, bringing out a tobacco pouch and lighting some in his pipe with a twig from the fire. He turned away from the mirror and walked towards the door of the hut. He paused for a moment.
Then he turned and seemed to be looking directly at me.
I hesitated for a moment with bated breath, surely he couldn’t see me? He walked up to where I was standing and stood still.
“Chukwudi the Stronger” I called nervously, “If you can hear me, wake me up okay?”
I knew the old man couldn’t hear me, this was just a dream, I wasn’t really here. And yet the old man cocked his head to one side as if listening to a whisper.
“Very interesting.” He said.
An extra loud wail escaped Afam’s lips from outside and the old man sighed irritably and went back to the door. He opened it and went out and I heard Afam’s wails of sorrow turn to cries of terror.
I had seen enough.
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|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Kaycee9242(m): 5:52pm On Nov 17|
Nice start op, I'm following
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by smartigo: 6:31pm On Nov 17|
Royver:Yes ooo. Thanks for the notification
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Ishilove(f): 9:08am On Nov 18|
Thank you, Royver. I am pretty sure I am speaking for a majority when I say we look forward to reading the story.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Immarocks(f): 11:01am On Nov 18|
following I won't be a silent reader on this one sir...your stories are mystically enchanting .
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 1:09pm On Nov 18|
I woke with a start. I checked the time and saw that it was an hour past midnight. Everywhere was dark save for the light emanating from the rechargeable lantern I had kept by the side of my bed. As was the norm in my part of Lagos, the power had been cut for the night, to be restored by six o’clock in the morning. Outside my window the sound of purring Lister generators gave the darkness a familiar hum. My generator, definitely not a Lister, wasn’t on; I do not like running it beyond 12 midnight for personal reasons. I sighed and got out of bed to get a glass of water. I checked my phone to see if I had any unread messages. I saw a lot of notifications on my social media handle but decided to ignore them till morning. If I started to attend to them now the night would be completely ruined for sure. I returned back to bed and tried going back to sleep, the night was still young and I had quite a busy day ahead of me.
The images of the two unfortunate souls, one dead and the other weeping over his mangled corpse, still burned behind my mind’s eye. The dream was vivid enough for me to know that it wasn’t ordinary. Then again, I’m used to seeing extraordinary things every day. The dream, gory as it was, wasn’t what bothered me.
What bothered me was how it ended.
Those wings the Baba saw. I know those wings only too well.
As a matter of fact, I saw them just this afternoon.
Nina. They were Nina’s wings.
I’d recognize them anywhere, dream world or real world.
My name is Chukwudi and as you may have guessed, I’m not exactly an ordinary Nigerian youth in his late 20s. I mean, I do my best to blend in; I am a single and hopefully soon to be married young man working at a top notch Public Relations Firm somewhere in Lagos. I’m of average height and weight, dark complexioned, athletic and in generally good health and physique. A neatly trimmed full crop of hair covers my head and chin. Most people would say I have handsome features and a quiet disposition. My eyes are dark brown and I’ve been told I use them a lot in that I have the tendency to stare piercingly, like I want to look deep into a person’s soul.
The ladies like it. They call it my “sexy stare”.
If only they knew the truth.
Most of the time when I’m staring, I also happen to see things others do not see.
No, I’m not crazy, just special, which in certain parlances could mean the same thing, I guess. I see visions, signs, spiritual beings, you name it. Pachios, my guardian angel, says my Sight is as a result of not being properly neutralized spiritually before I was born. Almost all humans that cross through the veil to this life lose their gifts of vision as soon as they are born; I was left with a great percentage of mine. Yes, I’ve seen a doctor about it, a story I’m sure you’re familiar about, but the visions are way too accurate to be termed a psychiatric illness.
Like I said, I do my best to blend in. I keep my paranormal activities to myself and don’t intervene unless I absolutely have to. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride trying to do this in recent years but I’ve come out of it in one piece.
But enough about me, back to my girlfriend, Nina.
Nina is the most beautiful girl that I know. And that is just the physical aspect. She is light complexioned, almost as tall as I am, with a narrow nose and light brown eyes and teeth so white you were prompted to remember a toothpaste commercial anytime she smiled. When I spy her with my Sight, she has the biggest pair of wings, the biggest I have ever seen till date. Gold chains surround them, but very loosely, not as tight as when I first saw her. She’s sweet and kind and wouldn’t hurt a fly.
So why were those two men planning to harm her?
“Pachios?” I whisper out silently into the night, seeking my guardian angel’s counsel.
I’m not really expecting an answer; Pachios has not been around for a long time. Before my run-in with the Man-animal in Asaba and my full blown manifestation as Chukwudi the Stronger, Pachios had started appearing less and less. It seemed the more I matured in the things of the Sight, the more he receded into oblivion. Now he has completely disappeared. The last I saw of him was when we had just returned from Asaba. I was alighting from the airplane with Nina when I saw him on the tarmac. He had given me a knowing smile, nodded and faded away. The note of finality in his silent farewell was unsettling but I had shrugged it off, expecting to see him in a few weeks at the most. I didn’t believe he would leave without some words of goodbye. Apparently I was wrong on that count.
The voice comes from deep within me. It’s a very familiar voice especially as it sounds exactly like mine. It has a laziness and nonchalance about it that makes me smile and lifts my spirits for the first time this night.
“Who else?” Chukwudi the Stronger replies from deep within my belly. My alter ego seems to be my new guardian. I lift up my hand from the sheets and watches as it ignites with a mysterious yellow flame, gently pulsing in sync with my heartbeat. I sigh and turn it off again. I believe I have all but mastered the art of making my supernatural flames manifest in the physical. Unfortunately manifesting completely as Chukwudi the Stronger is not without its consequences. The last time I was him on full gear I was sick for a month with splitting headaches and didn’t have any visions for weeks. So I keep him in check deep inside me.
It’s complicated, I know.
“She’s fine,” He repeated, “The vision tells us that much. She slept peacefully through it all, her wings protecting her from the onslaught. It was a poorly cast spell anyway, all the requirements were not met, and the vengeance demon had to return unfulfilled. I pity the poor souls who conjured it up. Vengeance demons get very pissed off if they are unable to accomplish their missions and they usually take it out on those who sent them in the first place.”
“All the same, I’ll say a psalm to protect her,” I said, reaching for my bible which lay on the bed beside me. I read psalm 91 and watched as a protective orb materialized from my words and almost enveloped the entire room. It hovered in the air for a while and then darted through the walls and out of the room towards Nina’s location where I knew it would surround her in protective light for the rest of the night. I made a mental note to say my night prayers more often at least for Nina’s sake, and closed my eyes, slipping fitfully into slumber.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Kaycee9242(m): 5:52pm On Nov 18|
Thanks for the update op
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by oluwadabira222(m): 9:23pm On Nov 18|
Following this to the end...
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by littleguy444: 9:14am On Nov 19|
please do finish this sir, i have been reading this since 2015.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 9:55am On Nov 19|
I opened my eyes to the sound of urgent knocking at my door.
“See this lazy guy oh! Don’t tell me you are still sleeping. Wake up!” Nina’s voice hollered from the front door.
I grunted and stumbled out of bed. A quick glance at my watch showed it was already seven thirty in the morning. I had overslept by thirty minutes. I looked at my alarm clock reproachfully as Nina continued to bang on the door. Apparently I hadn’t heard it ring.
“Chukwudi! You’re supposed to escort me to computer village today! Hello?”
“Coming! Coming!!” I shouted back as I staggered to the door and opened it. Nina almost fell in as she was leaning on the door and carrying some groceries with her in both hands. I reflexively grabbed and steadied her. My nostrils caught the sweet scent of her perfume as she leaned against me, giggling. She wore a short Ankara blouse on top of dark blue jeans trousers and black sneakers.
“Troublesome somebody,” I whispered into her hair.
She smiled and planted a kiss on my lips. “Good morning sleepy head!” She grinned. I mumbled good morning back and made for the bathroom.
“Why are you just waking up, didn’t you sleep well last night?” She asked as she went to put the groceries in the kitchen.
“I should be asking you that.” I replied, slathering my toothbrush with Colgate and sticking it in my mouth.
“What do you mean? I slept okay.” She put on the electric kettle for the tea and came to peep at me in the bathroom.
“No bad dreams?” I queried further.
“No, why would you ask that?” Nina replied, surprised.
“Oh, nothing. Just wanted to know how your night went.” I said and went back to brushing my teeth. Nina looked at me with narrowed eyes.
“You’re seeing things again, aren’t you?”
I looked at her in mock bewilderment.
“Who, Me? I beg your pardon madam, are you saying I’m not quite right in the head?”
She grinned and punched me playfully in the arm.
“It’s no big deal.” I shrugged reassuringly. “An inconsequential dream.”
“I know. If it was something you’d be panicking already.” She laughed and went back to the kitchen. “Fried eggs with tomatoes and onions and then we head out. It will be nine o ‘clock before you know it.”
I watched her walk away, swinging her hips in a seductive fashion, and I involuntarily swallowed a mouthful of toothpaste.
I was madly in love with this woman. I wanted to marry her so bad. I had surreptitiously measured her ring size the last time she was here and bought quite an impressive engagement rock if I did say so myself. The ring hid somewhere in my bedroom closet, in a place her hand could not reach, the very back of the topmost shelf.
I didn’t have a tinge of nervousness in proposing, I had it all planned out and God willing, it was going to be the most romantic proposal ever. It was actually planned for dinner tonight, though she didn’t know it.
I valued her more than life itself.
In case you are wondering, I still remain the perfect gentleman. We had both agreed that what we had was something special and that being sexual would becloud our judgment of what we wanted out of the relationship. She felt we needed to know each other better but deep down I knew it had to do with her Christian values. I had decided not to force her. I had the same values of course but sometimes the temptation was, eh, a bit much.
She caught me looking at her through the mirror and smiled shyly, showing forth a pair of pearly white teeth that could only belong to a goddess or an angel.
“What are you staring at?” She asked, breaking some eggs into a bowl.
“You are so beautiful…have I told you that before?” I asked
“Yes. And it makes me wonder if you would still love me if I was a little uglier.” She mused
“Women, why do you always have to spoil the moment?” I asked in mock annoyance. “I would love you even if you had one eye and a cleft lip.”
“Hmmm, you know where all liars go to.” She quipped, adding the seasoning to the egg and turning towards me while whisking it. I finished up brushing my teeth, rinsed my mouth and approached her, holding her by the waist with both hands. The whisking stopped immediately as she inhaled sharply.
“You know I’m serious. I do love you.” I said, emphatically this time.
She sighed and looked away shyly. “How are my wings this morning?” She asked probably to change the topic. She rarely asked about my ability ever since our run in with her uncle two years ago. It was one thing she didn’t usually talk about with me, mainly because I had earlier given her the impression that I didn’t like talking about it. I glanced behind her and saw her wings manifest, spread out, shiny and humongous as usual.
“They are spectacular. Wish you could see them.” I said with a smile.
We looked into each other’s eyes for a moment and suddenly we were kissing. We had kissed many times before obviously but this kiss was different, mainly from her body language. It was filled with desire, fire, a longing. I opened my eyes for a moment and yes, she was manifesting the red hot flames of lust I usually saw on others and a couple of times on my reflection when I was with her. I closed my eyes again and allowed myself to be drowned in the euphoria of our kiss. I took the bowl of eggs from her and dropped it on the kitchen table in one fluid movement. Her hands found my chest and mine wrapped tighter around her waist drawing her closer to me. She shuddered a little and I cupped her backside and drew her in, my chest now against hers, her hands finding the small of my back. My actions caused a moan to escape from her lips and her breathing grew fast and urgent. I grabbed her off her feet and still kissing her, walked towards the bed.
She opened her eyes and gasped and put her feet down, gently putting her hands on my chest to stop me. I paused.
“I’m sorry…” She began
“I’m not.” I said and kissed her again. But this time she pulled back.
“Are you kidding me right now?” I said, a little too harshly. She backed away from me, a hurt look on her face. All the lust flames had disappeared. From her anyway, I was sure if I looked at myself in the mirror right now I would be on fire from head to toe.
“I thought…for a moment there, I thought, maybe…”
“I don’t know what came over me, I’m so sorry sweetheart.” She said, looking very uncomfortable.
I paced the room like a wounded lion, growling furiously on the inside but trying my best to be understanding on the outside. She saw through it immediately.
“I love you too.” She said, coming towards me. “I do, and maybe you are right, maybe I’m being a prude but, but I don’t know, I don’t want us to spoil it, you know?”
“Spoil what?” I was still a little angry, “You think I’m going to use you and dump you or something? After all we’ve been through?”
“It’s not like that…” She stuttered.
“Even the boyfriends of one-eyed cleft-lipped babes get to taste the apple once in a while.” I grumbled, and wished immediately that I hadn’t said it.
Tears formed in her eyes and she batted her eyelids furiously to push them back. She turned abruptly to the mirror and quickly reapplied her make-up without another word. I was mortified.
“Babe, I’m sorry I said that.” I said quietly, remorsefully, standing at the door awkwardly, not knowing whether to go to her or stay where I was. “I guess I lost my patience a bit there but I’m all good now.”
She said nothing, picked up her purse and came to the door, waiting for me to stand aside.
“What, you are not talking to me now?” I demanded.
“I’ve chopped up your veggies and whisked the eggs. All you have to do is fry them. I’ll head down to computer village alone if you don’t mind.” She said quietly.
I whistled, exasperated, and stepped out of the way. She walked through the parlour and out the front door and hailed a passing motorcycle.
I watched her go and then shut the door and went into the shower. I stood there quietly as the cold water washed over my entire system.
“I’m sorry.” I soliloquized, sighing to myself and fighting the irritation that was rising up within me. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized she was in the right. I of all people, being a seer, should have known better about what sex did to the mind and how lust blinded one from a lot of things, physical and spiritual.
I came out of the shower and dressed up. I composed an apology text “I’m so sorry” and sent it to her. She replied a whole grueling ten minutes later. It was an emoticon blowing a kiss.
“Dinner still on tonight?” I texted.
“Ok” she texted back.
Good. At least she was still talking to me, in a manner of speaking.
I smiled and looked up at the wardrobe, at the corner where her hand couldn’t reach. I had been planning this for ages, had even reserved seats in advance. Tonight was going to be the night and nothing was going to spoil it.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Nostradamus: 8:08pm On Nov 19|
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by oluwadabira222(m): 10:08pm On Nov 19|
Enjoying this story like.......
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Kaycee9242(m): 6:33am On Nov 20|
Nice one op
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Hongkongfukid(m): 7:23pm On Nov 20|
My pen on the register
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 7:23pm On Nov 20|
By six in the evening I had my bath and dressed in a fitted blue and white striped shirt and black denim trousers. I walked down the road to the new fast food restaurant that had just opened up a few weeks ago. It was a two-storey building with ruby colored steel-plated sides and a see-through glass front wall with shiny lights emblazoned across, making the entire structure look like a beautifully wrapped gift. It had an underground club as well. Their food was delicious and the atmosphere was serene. It would be the perfect place to propose to Nina.
I had booked a table there about two weeks ago and I hoped the manager of the place remembered. I had not been there more than twice since then to remind them I was coming and I didn’t want to catch them unawares; I needed to make the event extra special after the goof I had made this morning.
As I approached the place, I saw that business had really taken off. Customers were lined up at the entrance and there was loud music blaring away as the DJ played the latest hits. I became anxious for a moment, wondering if the environment would be too rowdy for the romantic evening I had in mind. Anyway, I had booked in the VVIP suit and been assured of some privacy in that area.
I walked into the restaurant and made a beeline through the crowd for the security guard and told them I wanted to see the manager. They were polite enough to let me through, pointing to the back entrance.
The office was a small one and his desk had been placed right in the middle of it. It was quite chilly as the air conditioner was on full blast. The manager was a short fat dark-skinned man with a cigarette between his lips and furrows of worry etched across his meaty forehead like a wavy tattoo. He wore a light grey suit with a black shirt beneath it. His hair was cropped very low and balding at the centre. He sat down, worrying over sheets of papers on his desk. My Sight revealed a chain of bottles signifying alcoholism attached to his legs which protruded from under the small uncomfortable looking desk. A hooded dark creature with a scythe sat very still beside him, signifying a worry which leads to death. It was not attached to him in any way which showed that he could still change his fate if he made the right decisions.
“Hello sir,” I said. “I’m Chukwudi. The guy who made a reservation about two weeks ago when you first opened…”
“Show me your receipt first if not I can’t help you!” He retorted angrily. “I don’t know why my staff will be booking seat reservations in a busy place like this! If your receipt isn’t here we can’t do anything about it!”
I saw the hooded creature shift closer to him. I ignored it.
“Sir, here’s the receipt.” I handed it over to him.
He let my hand hang in midair for a few seconds as he wrote furiously into a ledger. With each stroke of the pen I could see his veins pop out on his neck and forehead. The scythed creature put an arm around his shoulder.
“You really should calm down.” I sighed, my conscience getting the better of me.
The man misconstrued my concern for aggression.
“I said I will get to you!” he barked. “I have people waiting in the VVIP list and I don’t have time for…”
“Oh, I’m in the VVIP list.” I cut him short quickly.
“Eh?” he looked up from his papers and at my outstretched hand. He took the receipt from me and stared at it. The moment he saw the insignia for VVIP his countenance changed.
“Ah, sorry sir, please wait a minute while our waiter takes you to your table.”
He pressed a button on his desk and in seconds a young waiter entered the office.
“Take this fine gentleman to his seat in VVIP section.” The manager purred putting on a fake smile. The boy nodded and turned to me. “This way sir.”
I thanked the manager and turned to leave... then paused at the door and sighed. I had to try.
“Pardon my asking, but have you checked your blood pressure?” I said to the manager who had gone back to studying his papers. He glanced up at me.
“No. Why? You selling something?”
“No Sir, but you should have it checked soon as a matter of urgency. All the signs of an impending stroke are there on your body.”
The man leaned back in his chair and smiled crookedly. “What are you, some sort of doctor?”
“Something like that.” I said, “Take it as a friendly advice. Get your blood pressure checked first thing tomorrow morning. I’m serious.”
He thanked me very politely and returned to his work. I left, saddened that I couldn’t tell him anything further for fear of being labeled a psycho or worse, having my real powers known. People who found out about what I could do tended to complicate my life and I didn’t want that at all, least especially today. The hooded creature had barely budged from its sitting position near him. He hadn’t taken what I said seriously. Hopefully he would later on in the future.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 8:08pm On Nov 20|
I followed the young man round the back entrance to the VVIP section of the restaurant. A glass sliding-door ushered us into a serene environment, sound-proof and much different from the noisy atmosphere outside. I sighed in relief.
There was a huge muted flat screened television hanging on the wall on one side with a sophisticated-looking bar adjacent to it and the air-conditioning set to a comfortable temperature. A waitress stood behind the bar, busily mixing drinks. There were couches arranged in beautiful modern designs around small hexagonally shaped tables, each table was separately lit from above by a cone of light which could be dimmed or brightened to the taste of whichever guests sat there. Placed conspicuously on the wall was a sign indicating that it was a no-smoking area. A deejay beside the bar played some soft music.
“Please have a seat sir.” The young man said, gesturing to the available seats and I surveyed the place for somewhere isolated, somewhere I could make an ass of myself to Nina if need be without being easily seen. I picked a table by the right, close to the wall and far away from prying eyes. The waiter nodded in approval and asked what I wanted to order and I told him to bring their special wine and to prepare one spicy roasted chicken. He nodded again and left.
I looked around my surroundings once more. A couple sat at the extreme left hand corner close to the air-conditioning, laughing away and having a good time over soft drinks and fried rice. An athletically built young man sat alone on a bar stool at the other end near the entrance, sipping a sex-on-the-beach cocktail and watching the muted football match on the television. He wore a white shirt with gold outlines on the collar and sleeves and black trousers. The gold outlines sparkled when he moved. A pair of dark shades covered his eyes and a white and black fedora hat sat on his head. He reminded me of Michael Jackson in his “Moonwalker” outfit.
Besides him sat an apparition. I had seen ghosts before, I was used to them. She was a dainty thing, a pretty young girl with straight hair and a purple silk dress. She dotted over him, touching his shoulder once in a while most affectionately. She caught me staring and blinked, wondering how I could see her. I quickly looked away, pretending to be concentrating on the football match.
I looked at my watch, 7 o’clock on the dot. Nina would be here soon. I felt the ring-box in my pocket and my heart skipped a beat. I suddenly became a little nervous and tugged at the collar around my neck. I wanted everything to be perfect. I caught the eye of the DJ and nodded my encouragement; he grinned and gave me the thumbs-up sign and continued with the cool jazz he was mixing. The tune was relaxing and the warmth and strong confidence the music exuded helped in calming my nerves as I took deep, even breaths.
Fifteen minutes passed and she still hadn’t arrived or called. I began to fidget. Nina is seldom late. That’s another thing I really like about her. Her punctuality is refreshing especially for someone like me who likes to keep to time. On the few occasions she has been late she is always quick to apologize even though I insist she doesn’t have to. Her smile then is like the rising of a thousand moons on a dark night. Dimples appear on her cheeks and she heaves a sigh from her chest as if I’ve forgiven her for one grievous offence. I’m mad about the way she smiles, the way her lips curve together when she is pouting, the way she puts her hands on her hips when she wants to make a point. I love everything about her and can’t wait to make her mine.
I searched in my right pocket again, brought out the little box containing the ring and opened it. It was an 18-carat white gold engagement ring, the best I could afford, with the phrase “be mine” inscribed upon the outside of the rim.
I hoped she would like it.
Was she still angry with me? She had replied favourably when I had told her about the dinner date and even though it was a monosyllabic text message it had been friendly enough to show she wasn’t harbouring serious bad feelings, at least not enough to stand me up. I battled with the idea of calling her to ask where she was, whether it would be good manners to do so or not. I decided to give her another ten minutes.
The door of the restaurant swung open and a couple walked in. It was obvious from the aura surrounding them that they were in love. I welcomed their presence, hoping it would add to the romantic atmosphere I was trying to will into creation and I nodded politely as they offered salutations. The lady went to sit at a corner of the restaurant while the man headed for the bar.
“Give me two roasted chicken and potato chips with two bottles of coke.” He ordered. He glanced back at his girl, then at me. I averted my gaze, completely ignoring the chain of bottles and cigarettes trailing behind him. He got his order slip, paid for it and went to join his lady friend at their table. As he approached his love, something wonderful happened. The chain of bottles and cigarettes shortened and faded away. I smiled secretly to myself at the effect a good woman can sometimes have on a man, making him want to throw away all his bad habits for a chance at happiness with her.
The man in the Michael Jackson suit ordered for another drink. He looked forlorn, probably worrying about the girl ghost sitting beside him. At least she was right there, not like me that was being stood up by the girl I wanted to marry on the romantic evening I had chosen to propose to her…
I picked up my phone and called.
‘The number you have dialed is switched off’
The robotic voice seemed to be deliberately taunting me. I tried again and got the same response. I closed my eyes and sat back on my seat, massaging my temples with my hands.
Why had she switched off her phone? Was she really that upset? Was it that her battery had run down and she had forgotten about our date?
The glass door slid open and I sat up expectedly but instead two burly men walked in. Both men wore black t-shirts and blue jean trousers just like the other staff at the restaurant. I groaned and sat back down, asking myself why I had behaved so badly this morning and wishing I could turn back the hands of time. The two men passed my field of vision and headed for the bar.
I sat up again immediately.
Above them hovered an imp of greed and mischief, his leather whip in one hand and a bottomless pot in the other. The pot was glowing. I had been unfortunate enough to see this manifestation twice in my lifetime and it meant only one thing:
They were going to rob the place.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Kaycee9242(m): 8:43pm On Nov 20|
Nice update op keep it up.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 11:22pm On Nov 20|
Thank you for the encouragement
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 11:22pm On Nov 20|
Happy new years and merry christmases
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 11:23pm On Nov 20|
Immarocks:.thank you very much.
|Re: The Tarnished Ones by olenyi(m): 6:10am On Nov 21|
Leego bro. Thanks for the invite.
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