African Stories
// 20 March 2017
The Cave

Inside the dark Iteri cave at the foot of the mountain in Ijebu village, a lone figure was dangling from side to side. His arms chained to the two sides of the wall. He was naked. Stark naked. Marks of fresh wounds lined his body. It looked like torture – like a ceaseless stabbing of a mad man – like a meat grilled. This figure was a monument of scars.

Moyin was leaning at the far end of the cave as he watched the figure. Tolu. He thought. He didn’t seem so intimidating anymore. But he wondered if any man could look intimidating naked with his arms in chain. He laughed aloud as he reached for his cigarette from the pocket of his hooded jacket.

Puffing the smoke in and out, he stared at Tolu. Anger pumped in him. He remembered the first time he had met Tolu; he was only 13yrs old. Tolu was the man in charge of the boys scout. But in the pretence of training Tolu, he had begun to groom them for cultism.

Rage surged within him as he picked the long dagger and charged towards Tolu, sinking the blade in his thighs and his rib. Tolu screamed. His scream was music to Moyin’s ears. It appeased his rage. He wanted to hear more, so he sank the blade deeper. Blood soiled his palms but he didn’t mind.

Tolu was pleading in the name of God. Moyin spat on his face.

Where was his God 15 years ago when he was initiating little boys?

Where was his God when Tolu had charged him to kill his mother to prove his loyalty to the cult?

Tears flowed from Moyin’s eyes. He remembered exactly how he had killed his own mother. How he had struck her with his hoe at their farm and how he kept hitting until her screams froze in her chest and she lumped between the ridges of maize and cassava plants.

Moyin withdraw the dagger and sank it again into Tolu’s neck. Tolu was muttering prayers as he cried but Moyin didn’t mind. He wished Tolu hell. Exactly what he wished him the day he had seen him preaching at Iyanoba market yesterday. A preacher he had become. Moyin spat on the floor. Some people were beyond redemption and he and Tolu were among.

Moyin grabbed the gallon of tar by the entrance of the cave. He began to pour the black liquid on the floor of the cave. Tolu was praying desperately now. Moyin laughed even harder.

For 15 years, Moyin had known no peace. Every night was a nightmare. His mother’s blood would soak at his feet. Her cries, a noose around his neck. He knew that life was over for him just as redemption was far beyond Tolu’s reach.

He lit his lighter and let it drop to the floor.

With Love!

African Stories

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