Category Archives: TM WRITES

Who Killed Dana Bala? – 1




FATHER Chrysostom Okeze woke up every morning at exactly 4:30 a.m. He was the spiritual director of the Good Shepherd’s home. He has been for the last seven years. The small community where the The Good Shepherd’s chapel was located loved him, the few workers in the home loved him, the children loved him, everyone loved Fr. Chrys. That was what they all called him—Fr. Chrys—and it especially tickled the fanciful young minds of the teenagers because his ‘Chrys’ was spelt with a y.

This morning he got up two minutes even before his alarm went off. He made the sign of the cross and muttering the Morning Offering, he swiftly took of his night clothes of sky-blue striped pyjamas and walked into the small-sized bathroom attached to his room.

In less than five minutes, he was out and in another five minutes, he was dressed in a pair of charcoal-grey trousers and an off-white short-sleeved shirt. He marched to the old dark walnut desk, picked up his Breviary, his royal-blue chain Rosary and his Bible and hastened out of the room and straight into the small chapel just down the hall from his bedroom. Twenty minutes of verbal prayers and Bible reading and he was out again and marching through the semi-lit sitting room and through the already opened porch door, mumbling the repetitive prayers of the Virgin Mary’s Angelic Psalter.

One More Time… And Forever – 7




Kobi bustled into her car, pulled into the driveway and waved to the mall’s security personnel as she drove through the mall’s double slide gates. She was eager to be with Naeto. She’d been looking forward to spending this evening with him. She wanted to hear about his day, share about her day with him. She wanted to sit with him, talk with him, bond with him… and start becoming a part of him and of his life.

She wanted, more than anything else, for their relationship to work.

“Oh, I was so looking forward to you coming over straight from the store. I already have a bottle of wine chilled and waiting to be opened.”

His subtly accented voice rolled into her ear making Kobi’s mouth curl with pleasure. “Keep the wine chilling a little longer. I’m only making one stop before I hit your end. I would have had one of the delivery guys take care of this but I promised Mummy Brown I’ll handle it myself. She’s just off Anthony, so it’s all en route and not out of my way.”

“Don’t let her stall you with church gossip. What Pastor James did over the week isn’t important tonight.”

Ndubuisi – 6




HER entire first week working in the school had been an experience. That was how she saw it—a chance at a new experience. An experience, especially when it was new, was not always a happy one. It wasn’t always an exciting one. What it was, was fresh and, if you were willing and open of heart and mind, inspiring.

She had learned much from her first week as a cleaner in the village’s primary school. Most of her lessons surrounded human nature and behaviour. As the faces of men differ, so indeed did their nature. And as you would not expect one to look like the other, so you should not expect them to act the same.

She had had snatches of conversations with Magnus. He liked—and Ndubuisi liked to think that it was liking that made him come to the pear tree most break periods to talk with her. Their conversations always ended same way; he had class lessons to prepare for and so must leave her. She did same thing each time he walked away, stare after him in silent admiration.

She thought him the friendliest teacher in the school. Not the kindest, for he never offered her anything or shared anything with her, and indeed she did not expect him to. But he ate whatever she offered and he came, every break period, to keep her company for the shortest period of time.

Who Killed Dana Bala? – Prologue

EPISODES: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Epilogue.


DANA Bala arrived the Good Shepherd’s Home about a year and half ago. She had been dropped off by a mother who hadn’t spoken to anyone or even explained why she was leaving her daughter at the home. The woman had just parked her car in front of the gate, ordered Dana to get down, go inside and introduce herself to the Priest in-charge and she had driven off.

At least, that was how Dana had recounted it and how the old security guard had witnessed to it from his usual spot under the big mango tree beside the gate on that fateful evening. And almost eighteen months now, that car hadn’t shown up again at the gate and no one was really expecting it to.

The Good Shepherd’s Home was a home for abandoned and homeless teens. Most of them left by parents and guardians who promised to come back for them but never did. A very few came into the home on their own—seeking shelter, food, clothing and family. Many left after a while and most never came back even to say thank you to those who nurtured and cared for them. Really the tale of the proverbial ten lepers.

One More Time… And Forever – 6




He attacked the can of baked beans with a manual opener, swore when the content spilled, and out of impatience, dumped the can and its leftover content into the bin. He was strung up. No, he countered the thought, scratching in between his eyes, he was angry, at himself, at her, at the bleeding whole wide world.

He’d had a bad week. A bad ten days since he, without logical thought, had stormed her office and had achieved nothing but alienating her even more from him. And yesterday night, when stupidity had told him to call her official store manager’s line, he’d done the worst.

His phone rang and he cussed. Then cussed again when his jittery heart and sore pride wished it would be her. Of course it wouldn’t be her, and simply because she would never call him—not that evening, at least. Inhaling and working through his distorted emotions, he strode out of the kitchen and lifted the phone from the arm of the sofa as it started to ring again.

“Damn it!” He swore at the readout. It was his mother. His mother, and his relationship with her, was something he liked to avoid.

Ndubuisi – 5




NO one is better than you. We are all equal. That is how God made us all: equal.

She always trusted her mother’s words. She grew up thinking of them as words filled with wisdom. But this morning, after she has mopped Headmaster’s office, the teacher’s staff room and staff toilet, and after she had assisted the primary two pupils to sweep their classroom right after sweeping the primary one classroom, and was looking forward to a moment’s rest inside the staffroom, she’d discovered that maybe her mother hadn’t been so right in her talk about God creating every one as equals.

Or maybe she never encountered someone like Miss Lovett, the primary four teacher.

“What are you doing, Ndubuisi?” She asked her when she entered the staffroom.

“Nothing.” Ndubuisi was puzzled by the question.

Ant Hill – 11



WE’D agreed to meet beside the Nursery chamber, right after Kaza would have been done with her nightly march around the Hill and just before she might decide to begin another march.

“This is very dangerous. We could all be caught and condemned to death. I don’t want to die yet.” Toki complained, twisting his head left and right, his eyes gleaming with frenzied excitement.

He’d insisted he was going to escort us to the exit of the Hill even though I’d told him… no, begged him to stay back and not endanger his life. But he wasn’t the only one playing busy-bumble-bee, Kiki had also come with Zita.

“Condemned to death?” Kiki cried, crawling beside Zita. “We’ll be lucky if Kaza doesn’t squash us to death if she catches us.”

“This is exactly why you two shouldn’t have come with us, you are just too pessimistic.” Zita turned her head to the left to glare at Kiki.

“It’s not our pessimism you should be worried about. It’s the madness that’s bedevilled both of you.” Kiki creaked in scorn. “Besides, I only came in a last bid to talk sense into your heads.”

“You can’t change our minds.” I said, caressing Zita’s trunk with my antenna. “If that is why you are here, then save your energy and go back. And take Toki with you.”

error: Content Protected !!