Saturday, 3 August 2013

Your Turn.

The Year 2000
     The Igi stood at the end of Tokunbo street in Lagos, facing its original planter’s house, an old abandoned bungalow house. The house that had not yet been put up for sales had housed a family who simply moved on and out of the neighborhood after their little boy had disappeared more than five years ago, they had never looked back. The Igi, a tree planted in the eighties by a man called Dapo had sprung up tales of swallowing people who came too close to it at night. Parents told their kids different tales about it to scare them and put them to bed. They had believed scaring the children almost every nights would prevent them from staying out after dark. Kids were easily scared by the different tales they had heard about the Igi tree but soon forget about it as they got older.

As the years passed by and parents got bored with the tales about the Igi tree, the tree was soon forgotten. It stood there through weathers, storms and all. In the year 2003, the house of Dapo was finally put up for sale. It took another two years before they finally got a buyer.

Mr. Charles had moved into the area with his family after loosing his job in the major city. He was a drunk who never cared so much about his family. He had wanted them moved into a neighborhood he thought he could cover his shame and probably start a new life there. He was a bad tempered man who hit every single member of his family without hesitation. He had been married to his wife for fifteen years with two kids, the boy was twelve while the little one, a girl was only six years if age. Mr. Charles soon sniffed out a bar somewhere within the neighborhood where he frequently visited. He resumed there everyday like his new job and spent out of his savings on any alcohol he had the mood for. He drank more whenever his job hunt had been fruitless for that day. He would get home and hit whoever gave him the slightest irritation. Bolu, his twelve-year-old son had forgotten to polish his dad’s pair of leather shoes one night before he went to bed. His dad had returned from wherever just like every other night in one of his tempers. Bolu heard his father say something to his mother before he headed to the bedroom. Bolu froze on the bed when he heard his dad’s angry voice, demanding where his shoes were. He heard his mum replied in her soft tone and then his dad raising his voice that he was ready to kill his son. Bolu got up shivering in fear, he knew his father would come into his room with either a leather belt or a cane and finished him, he still had scars from the last flogging from his father. He got up and contemplated on where to hide, underneath his bed, his closet, bathroom or where. He looked at his window that overlooked the backyard. He shook his head at the ridiculous idea that sprang up in his head and faced the door. He thought he should probably take whatever beating his dad would dish out to him that night, his dad still shouting allover his house and finally demanded for is leather belt. His dad loved to soak his leather belt in water to give more effect in the beating he was giving whoever he was descending on. Bolu looked around him again shaking his head in tears, he opted that he might run away and headed for his window. He pushed opened the windowpane close to his bed and climbed over. He hid under the opening and ran across the street. His dad must had just left his room because he could hear his dad calling out his name in anger, Bolu decided he was really going to run away finally, he hid behind the only tree facing his house shivering. Shortly he saw his mother step outside the house looking around and then headed back inside, he started to cry knowing that his mother would receive the wrath of his father if he didn’t produce himself. And even if he returned to the house, he was sure he would certainly touch the gates of heaven by the time his father started with him. His father stepped out of the house slamming the door. His mother followed shortly behind Charles. Bolu wanted only to make a run for it but he knew his dad would certainly see him and probably catch up to him, he held his breath as his father shouted into the streets, he had been so worried that he hadn’t notice the tree becoming warm and moved slightly, he knelt behind the tree wishing he could disappear or something. He backed the tree as he quietly sobbed, he thought he heard his father shove his mum telling her to go look for her son wherever she must had kept him. Someone touched his shoulder and he swung around out of fear, his heart might had stopped beating if it was his father’s hand he had felt on his shoulder. He tried not to make any sound and covered his mouth with his hands. His mother must had walked down the street searching for him because only his dad stood outside the house. He heard his dad shout his name again promising to beat the hell out of him when he finds him. Bolu sniffed and wiped at the tears on his face. He hadn’t seen the branches that had transformed into arms and grabbed him, for a brief second he wasn’t sure what had just happened and who’s hold he had felt. He turned around wondering who was behind him, when he saw no one he looked up and just few inches above him he stared into a face attached into the tree. He might had been quick enough to get away but shock had made him too late as he felt hands pull at him. He tried to struggle and let go but the force was more than he could handle, he was pulled into some kind of hollowness and just as he tried to scream there was a closing that manufactured right into his mouth and cut his cry short. He couldn’t move nor struggle anymore. He could only make muffled cries and sounds, he started feeling himself transform into something he couldn’t explain. He saw as someone struggled out of something in front of him and fell to the ground, the boy must had been fifteen years of age, younger or older he couldn’t say, the boy stood up and dusted his clothes. Bolu still couldn’t move but he could blink his eyes, he tried to speak but couldn’t. The boy stood facing the tree and shook his head in pity. The boy asked what year it was and when he got no answers he started to walk away then he changed his mind and came back to the tree. He introduced himself as Stephen and looked up at the new face in the tree. He didn’t come too close to the tree for reasons Bolu didn’t understand. “You can only get out of that tree if you ever get a replacement, you have to pull whoever it is into the tree… you only have powers at night and make sure your victim is alone, if you fail, you’d be certainly cut down” the boy said with an emotionless 

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