Family Time //By Joe Aito

It so happened that I slept by 10 p.m on Thursday, 27th of March 2002 and as it seems, woke up six months later, on the 4th of September.

I woke precisely by 1 a.m because my phone rang. Dede called to wish me a happy birthday and ended up laughing me to scorn for not remembering the day was my birthday. The call ended and I woke up again by 4p.m. to another happy birthday call. This was from grandmother. It was getting creepy. I checked the calendar on my Nokia 3310. It said 4th of September. Yes, the 4th was my birthday but how did this day arrive from yesterday? Hurriedly, I checked all the calendars in th
e house. They all were on the September page. The world had conspired to play a fast one on me. Continue reading

Baby Swap

There was no one in sight. From the hospital gate right to the wards.

“Hello” I shouted. I felt a chill as the echo returned.

Empty hospital beds, no nurses, no patients, why the hell was the hospital open. I was contemplating going to another hospital when I heard a baby’s cry. I traced the sound. Alone in the maternity ward was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen.

I sat by the bed and sang to the baby.

“Soft kitty,

Warm kitty,

Little ball of fur.

Happy kitty,

Sleepy kitty,

Purr Purr Purr”

I had learnt it from the ‘Big bang’ series but it was lovely enough and made the baby smile.

Two hours passed and I was still there. Engulfed in the ambience of the baby’s beauty and innocence.

Five hours passed. Six. Seven. My wife called but I didn’t pick up. Nothing else in the world was important.

Suddenly, the baby held my thumb and next thing, I was on the bed, watching a man in a black suit walk away with a grin. I couldn’t move. I tried to scream but only baby noises emanated my mouth.

I was there. Days and night. I couldn’t tell how long I waited.

One fateful day, I heard footsteps and then a “Is anybody here?” I cried out loudly immediately.

I watched a young lady walk up to me. “What a pity” I thought “This fine girl will have to be stuck here for a good while”


I enjoy my smoke best while taking a walk around campus in the night breeze. My route takes me from the hostel to the old reservoir. Cold air plus vigorous walk plus nicotine hit makes your nerves really crackle.
The base transceiver station between the Chapel of Redemption and the old reservoir is floodlit so I edge as far away from it as I could. The light kills my buzz somewhat. I hum a tune between drags.
One cigarette down. As I try to light another, I hear a sob from behind me, in the darkness behind the tower that stood beside the reservoir. A girl’s sob. It sounds totally forlorn.
. Continue reading

The Sojourner.

Roger was tired. He’d answered many names and lived in many times. When at first he was spelled to live forever, he’d been joyful but he hadn’t thought forever could be so long.

From city to city he rode, his purpose clear as day but not even the deadliest of soldiers could give him what he desperately wanted.

On and on, he sojourned until he came by an old city where the legend of Lilith held sway. It was of this Lilith mothers said to their sons:  “For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

At the forbidden end of the town where words were Continue reading


The first thing Sharon Nwosu noticed about the mad woman, apart from her immediately apparent scraggly appearance, was her eyes. Narrow, beady and squeezed into their sockets underneath heavy lids and sparse lashes, they bore at once an intensity that gave her gaunt face a crazed mien, and an eerie intelligence that unnerved Sharon.

Another thing that unnerved Sharon was the grip the mad woman had Continue reading

Showdown In Hades

We all watched.




And then we saw him emerge from the deep darkness. My eyes widened with surprise. I could hear the sound of his name echo thunderously all around. I went down on my knees and so did every other person watching.

He was closer to us now but the brightness he radiated still contrasted strongly with the very deep darkness. I joined the others in saying his name. Continue reading


“Padre, I have sinned.”

The aging Priest, in his younger days, would have been very eager to hear the repenting sinner spill forth his sins and he would have administered the blessing of forgiveness on him/her. Decades of listening to hundreds of men and women coming to confess their sins to God through him had however taught him a few things.

One, man will never freely confess his sins to a fellow man – pr Continue reading


Sarah McCain placed her hand on the wooden door to the dark room, it creaked open. A feeling of apprehension overwhelmed her as she made her way into it. Something was amiss

She had expected her family to come pick her up, upon her arrival from Barcelona, but no-one had showed up. Their phones weren’t going through either. The door to the house b Continue reading


Do you ever get the overwhelming urge to do something stupid or utterly unnecessary, like say wash your hands with antibacterial gel for the tenth time in a row or scratch and pinch at your skin where there is no itch; the urge so strong you’re certain you might lose your mind if you don’t indulge, if yo Continue reading

Family Time

Emem and Joe were playing in the basement, laughing ‎like the 9 year olds they were when they heard the door creak.

They hid.

“Emem! Joe! Timi! Emem! Joe! Timi! ” Their mum called ‎wandering in the dark basement trying to reach the switch.

There was no response. ‎She was sure she had heard laughter Continue reading

Dying Twice

Two Imams are standing at your feet. They initiate the prayer. Al-Fatiha and others follow suit, quietly. Everything is happening so fast, you can’t blame them, your religion teaches the burial of a body as soon as possible after death. The prayer is ending now.

Your eyes flip open. Continue reading

The Achuba Collector And A Riddle To Solve (2)

Just as the water starts to enter your mouth, the Gargoyle protecting the middle door opens the door. The answer to the riddle had come quite simple. Your sister Debby had asked you a similar riddle a few months ago. You asked the three Gargoyles the same question: ‘Point to the wrong door’. With one truthful and two lying, two gargoyles pointed to the middle door and one pointed to the left door. That was all you needed. You were sure that the door pointed to by two of them is the right door. Continue reading