Tuesday, July 14

22

Short Story: The Monitoring Spirit

by Emmanuel Ibeawuchi



Kunle stepped out his car, exhausted.

From the moment he opened his eyes in the morning, it had been stress all the way.

Not like he’d even slept at all in the night. Last night, Baby decided to adopt a new style of wailing neither him nor his wife, Funke, had ever seen before.


On his own, Baby would just shut up and pretend to have gone back to sleep, only to resume screaming again the moment Kunle’s eyes closed.

By morning, Kunle had already decided the boy would be taken to Prophet Titus for full deliverance, whether Funke agreed to it or not.

At work, the situation was similar. It appeared Kunle’s boss and Baby shared the same kind of evil spirit.

One task after another, his boss sent him—assignments that had him jumping from floor to floor on the company’s 8-storey, elevator-less building.

By early evening, Kunle was sure he had the most muscular thighs in the world. He longed for a good massage, from anybody but Funke’s sand-paper hands.

But Kunle knew that if Funke found out any other woman had laid hands on him, that what he’d be needing is a good orthopaedic hospital.

He groaned and doused off the thought. The massage can wait—life first!

Slamming the car door shut, he looked up at the three-storey building he called home and the first thing that struck him was the darkness.

No light.

But today, he wasn’t feeling as bad as he usually felt on days he came back to darkness.

He didn’t sigh, or start contemplating how he was going to battle the heat and mosquitoes all through the night.

The mosquitoes that lived with them were bee-size and have all developed a strange resistance to all popular insecticide brands.

A smile was almost erupting on his face as he walked to the boot of his car.

He had fuel. In the scarcity, he had managed to get fuel. A gracious 25 litres of liquid gold.

He thought again as he carried down the filled container that he was going to write a short story titled ‘Fuel Is The New Gold’ and send it to DNB Stories to publish.

But there was a new problem now. He did not know how to successfully convey the fuel from his car to his flat without being noticed.

His neighbours were now like fuel zombies; especially Mr Adesola who seemed to be able to smell fuel from as wide as 50 KM afar.

Two days ago, Eze, another neighbour in the compound, had started to scream like a mad man when his generator at the back of the building couldn’t come on.

Apparently, he had filled his tank to the brim that morning before leaving for work, only for his generator to refuse to turn on when he returned.

It was on checking the fuel gauge that he realized that his fuel tank was completely empty.

Opening the fuel tank and peering into it with a flashlight, Eze saw the tank was so empty the fuel thief must have turned the generator over to extract every drop of fuel.

The curses he rained on the supposed fuel terrorist that night were enough to make a Warri agbero blush.

From his floor, Mr Adesola screamed, ‘It’s okay na, no be just fuel?’

Kunle was still strategizing on how to transport his fuel to his apartment, when the compound gate squealed open.

It was Mr Adesola.

Kunle quickly stood in front of the container, blocking its view from the approaching predator.

“Ah, neighbour! Good evening,” Mr Adesola greeted, coming close.

Kunle nodded, wishing the man could just stand where he was.

“Neighbour, I dey greet.”

“Good evening, Mr Adesola. How are you and the family?”

“I’m fine o. We’re all fine,” Mr Adesola replied, eyeing him almost suspiciously. “It’s just this heat, my brother. These days, I can't say between night and afternoon, which is hotter. And it’s not like we could switch on our generator. This scarcity is really bad!”

“Yes, really terrible,” Kunle responded, eager for the conversation to end.

“My brother, things in this country are just too hard. I have looked for fuel everywhere I can think of, all to no avail.”

“This scarcity should just end,” Kunle said, not liking where the conversation was heading already. “It’s making things difficult for everybody.”

“Really difficult. My last born cries every night from the heat. This morning we discovered he has started developing rashes too….”

“Eyaa, I’m really sorry about that.”

“Thank you, thank you. I just wish I could get fuel somewhere. Even my wife is sick now and this heat wouldn’t do her any good. And the mosquitoes….”

“Eyaa, I’m really sorry about that.”

“My phone’s battery is so low now. And my oga at the office sometimes calls at odd hours to confirm certain things. If he can’t reach me, it might be a problem tomorrow. I just don’t know what to do…”

“Eyaa, I’m really sorry about that.”

Mr Adesola eyed him again. “I’ll be going back in now.”

“Good.”

Mr Adesola turned. “What?”

“Nothing!”

“Ok. I’m going in now.”

“Ok. Bye-bye.”

At the gate, he turned again. “Are you not coming in?”

“Let me hang around for a while. Need all the fresh air I can get before coming in for the torture of heat and mosquitoes.”

“My brother, you need it.”

The gate closed behind Mr Adesola and Kunle exhaled. He peered around
carefully.

He bent to lift the container.

The gate swung open again, startling him. “Mr Adesola, I thought you have gone in.”

“I decided the fresh air might do me some good too.”

Kunle wished now he had learned some of his grandfather’s juju. He would turn Mr Adesola into a statue and change him back in the morning.

Mr Adesola hissed. “I think I should just go in and manage to sleep.”

“That’s a wonderful decision.”

“What?”

“Nothing!”

“Things are just so hard in this country. How can an oil producing
country still be importing fuel? And the marketers are just holding
the entire country to ransom…”

Kunle hissed too, but for a different purpose.

Finally, Mr Adesola entered and the gate closed behind him again.

This time Kunle waited for some minutes before bending to carry the fuel container.

Like a hunter watching out for game, he peered around and then lifted the container.

Opening the gate, Mr Adesola’s face greeted him.

“Ah, Neighbor!”

Story edited by Victor Uma

22 comments:

  1. LolzZzzzzzzz! Dat na terrible n wayo neighbour. I pity Kunle rilly.

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    1. LOL!! Nosey neighbour extraordinaire! This story had me in stitches. Kunle - u must share that fuel with Oga neighbor neighbour. This one na by fire by force....

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  2. Mr. Adesola might have seen the container and only waiting for an invite from Kunle that is why he is tarrying! But then he seems like a wizard to me, a noisy neighbor!

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    1. I agree too. But na by force to give fuel? I'm not giving na. Lolz

      Pamscrib.blogspot.com

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  3. Lolzzzzzzzzzzz #Aproko neighbour# bcos of fuel he come read all dis Nigeria budget finish.

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  4. Hahahahahahahahahahaha monitoring spirit indeed

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    1. Hehe..ebun u are here, its nice to see a familiar face

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  5. correct monitoring spirit. lwkmd. DNB don't kill person o

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  6. Lol. DBN u sure no Hw to make my day

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  7. Beta monitoring spirit ehn....he no won give up

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  8. LOL monitoring spirit indeed...It seems the story was extracted, read a story familiar to this b4...

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    1. @Mhizblizz, are you sure because we checked to be sure it was an original story before approving to publish it.
      Please, you can drop a link if you have one.

      Delete
  9. I read it via nairaland. The username of the author is senbo(can't remember all, it's too long) Perphaps, twas the same person who post it on nairaland that sent it to DNB...

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    Replies
    1. Okay. Thanks, Mhizblizz. We are working to clarify that now.

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  10. Very funny story. Though I've read it on Nairaland literature section before by senborakagushi, it won't cease to make me laugh and this one seems incomplete sef.

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  11. Hahahahahaha.. Monitorig Spirit of Life...some neighbours sha

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  12. hehehe hahahahaha dnb no go kill person..nice one abeg Mr adesola u re wicked o lol monitoring spirit

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  13. The title really suits the story. Kudos DNB

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