SHOT BY AN ARCHER

By FRANCIS WAAPERA

An archer shot at me

Shot me straight in the navel

Adrift lazy clouds and misty thoughts

Where facts fuse with feelings

 

An archer shot at me

I’m no stranger to terror

But this—this from the quiver of a keen craftsman

Taut and thorough

Tore through my silver shield

Ripping apartb my armour

 

Never same again

Having tasted the finery of fury

Wanton wails wheel through my tendons
like sleeping coals on bawling billows

Oh, the pleasure of pain

I wear my scar like a warrior’s medal

Where I was shot

Shot by an archer!

##Francis is a graduate of English Language in the largest University in Black Africa, a prayerful Christian and a motivator of youths

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OLIVIER TWIST (EPISODE EIGHT)

One thousand giant men, naked, with their erections pointed dangerously like a thousand arrows were chasing Olivier up the rocky hill. She was racing atop the hill with relative ease for someone of her age and inexperience. But she was running out of breath and her heart was burning. And worst, the army of libido-crazed were gaining on her!

Olivier stumbled on a stone and crashed her knee-cap on a rock. She heaved to her feet. The men were now some fifty odd metres away. No! Olivier trippled her exertion but with unequal surge in speed. She rounded a rock and came face to face with an opening in a cave. She ran head-first into the dimly-lit chamber. A skeleton sat warming itself before a crude fireplace. He was sitting on a small rock with a gun marked Nuclear Bomb by his side.

‘Who are you?’ the carcass began but Olivier had grabbed the gun. She ran out of the cave, pointed the gun at the multitude and drew the trigger. The explosion was so great it woke her up.

‘Nightmare?’ a thirteen year old pretty face asked her. This girl, Ruth or Tolani had been sharing Olivier’s bed since Olivier came to live with the Ajanis eight days back. Olivier looked at her own body, drenched.

‘You need shower!’ Tolani/Ruth ran to the bathroom to run Olivier’s bath. Olivier so wished to say thank you to this little angel who had always doted on her, serving her with delight, demanding nothing in return, but Olivier heavy tongue continued to defy her will.

So it was all a dream, the chase, Olivier thought; but she would be grateful, if she laid her hand on nuclear bomb!

#                                  #

Whenever Olivier went into the bathroom, she tried unsuccessfully not to look at her bare belly which salts fresh wounds. Today was different, she was successful. Her mind was on the nuclear bomb she had had in her dream, on the power to eliminate a million men. If only she could go back to the dream just to get the bomb.

Olivier tied the towel across her chest and left the bathroom. Tolani/Ruth had already prepared a table on the stool for Olivier. Noodles. Egg. Bread. Tea. Olivier smiled.

‘Do you like it?’ the young woman asked.

Olivier nodded.

Tolani/Ruth blushed.

Olivier looked at the door. Tolani/Ruth understood. Olivier never entertained anybody around whenever she changed. Nude, everybody was a suspect, even the picture on the wall. Tolani/Ruth rose to leave. ‘When you finally wish to talk, please let me be the first person you talk to.’

Olivier nodded. ‘You are a pretty lady,’ the girl continued, ‘I like you.’

Olivier nodded

‘You are my Naomi and I am your Ruth.’

Yes, Olivier thought, Ruth was the name! Not Tolani. Tolani was the fifteen year old romance novel-addicted girl who dropped a dozen paper-backs on Olivier’s laps on Olivier’s first day here. She was the one who buoyed Olivier into watching the Indian movie Three Idiots and couldn’t hide her disappointment when the didactic hilarity of the movie failed to move Olivier to speak. She hadn’t given up, she hadn’t, Tolani; she continued to fill Olivier’s ears with words, hoping that the more words filled Olivier’s ears the likelier it was for the words to slip into Olivier’s tongue.

There was also Rachel, the eldest sister, eighteen; not as pretty as the two but extremely wiser. She alone hadn’t attempted to make Olivier talk; but it was evident from the calculated calmness of her eyes that she had a plan. Not that Olivier cared. If Olivier had her tongue in her hand, she would talk to Ruth… You are my Naomi and I am your Ruth… if she could make it happen, she would only talk to Ruth.

#                                  #

Olivier had not gone half way with her breakfast when Rachel entered the room. ‘Madam,’ she said, smiled.

Olivier attempted a smile.

Rachel took her sit on the bed near Olivier. ‘Who gave you food, Tolani?’

Olivier shook her head. She knew her breakfast was over.

‘Ruth?’

Olivier nodded.

An awkward silence. ‘Before our mother travelled to Port Harcourt she promised to buy anybody who make you talk the latest I-pad.’

Olivier’s face was expressionless.

‘I want to win the gadget, but I will give it to you, dash.’

Olivier looked at Rachel.

‘Yes, I will dash you the I-pad.’

Olivier looked at her fingernails.

‘Just talk to me and get yourself the gadget. C’mon.’

Olivier looked at the other.

Rachel put her hand around Olivier’s shoulder. ‘Please talk to me.’

Olivier said nothing.

Rachel put the other hand on Olivier’s bare lap.

Olivier said nothing.

‘You are a very sexy girl,’ the other said.

Olivier said nothing.

Rachel began to rub Olivier’s flesh.

Olivier said nothing.

‘You are a sweet girl.’

She began to move her palm deeper, into a more ambitious area.

Olivier stopped her.

Rachel looked at Olivier’s hand around her wrist. It wasn’t strong but firm enough. She looked at Olivier’s face. Expressionless.

‘I am not going to hurt you,’ Rachel said, her voice thick with desire. ‘i—’

Olivier rose to her feet, walked to her wardrobe and grabbed a blouse. She felt naked on singlet and shorts. Rachel’s hand fell on her shoulder. ‘C’mon, this is a normal thing, it doesn’t hurt like men’s; you will like it.’

Olivier brought out the blouse but Rachel snatched it from her and threw it away. ‘Don’t let us quarrel over this, babe.’

Olivier’s face began to steam.

She tried to hug Olivier but Olivier pushed her. Rachel sighed. Olivier’s eyes narrowed with peril. Rachel shrugged, walked to the door and bolted it. She gave Olivier a daring look. ‘I have nothing to lose,’ she said. ‘I will have to take you by force. If you cry for help I am going to get an I-pad for making you talk, if you don’t cry, I am going to have fun. All my life, I have been playing the lady, submitting; today, I am going to play the man, and you are going to submit.’

And Rachel began to undress. In a moment she had unclad and stood before Olivier the way she was born.

Olivier didn’t blink.

‘Don’t you like what you see, even a little?’

Olivier’s inhalation was becoming high.

Rachel came to a stand before Olivier and jingled portable breasts.  Olivier remained rooted, a sculpture. Rachel took Olivier’s hand and placed it on a mammalian gland. She made to hug Olivier but was stopped by a spit on the face.

‘You dare spat on me!’ Rachel slapped Olivier and pushed her on the bed, knocking down the bread, tea, noodles, all in the process. She pressed Olivier down with her body, but Olivier’s teeth dug into her neck. At first, Rachel only hissed with pain and proceeded to dish blows all over Olivier, but Olivier’s teeth held on. Rachel became desperate, she yanked, kicked and scratched but Olivier held on. Rachel began to shout.

Olivier held on. Her teeth deep into the other’s neck like giant magnets.

‘Help, help!’ she cried, ‘she will kill mee!’

Olivier’s teeth held.

Tolani and Ruth began hitting at the door which held like steel. But such was the desperation in their sister’s voice that the girls, miraculously energised and broke down the door, into the room.

‘Oh my God,’ Ruth cried when she saw the blood gushing off her sister’s neck. They pulled Rachel out of death grip and watched Olivier spat out flesh and blood.

‘She wanted to rape me,’ Rachel wept, ‘the witch wanted to r-rape me- oh oh ohh!’

Without feeling Olivier sat watching, her eyes wild and her mouth dripping blood, a complete vampire.

‘You can’t do this to us!’ Tolani flared. ‘After all we did for you, accepted you, clothed and sheltered you like one of us!’

Ruth couldn’t make any sense out of this.

tolani was panting with nullification. ‘Pack your load!’ Tolani ruled. ‘Pack!’.

‘She didn’t bring anything when she came here,’ said a vengeful Rachel, ‘she goes the way she came.’

‘Yes,’ Tolani agreed, grabbed Olivier’s hand and led her out of the house, out of the gate and pushed her into the street. ‘Witch!’

As Tolani made to shut the gate, Ruth appeared with skirt and blouse.  ‘At least let her wear these, she didn’t come here that naked. Sister, please let her have these.’

‘Throw the dress to the witch and come back here this moment.’

‘What really happened?’ Ruth said as she handed Olivier the clothing. ‘I am so sorry,’ a tear rolled down Olivier’s cheek. ‘I shouldn’t have over-reacted, because it is not really rape when a woman rapes a woman, is it?’ a tear rolled down the other cheek.

‘I am still your friend.’ Ruth began to wipe Olivier’s tears and her bloody mouth. Tolani grabbed Ruth, spat at Olivier and dragged her sister away. Olivier sighed. They were right, P’square when they sang ‘better thing no dey last’. She was now back to the street where she began, where she belonged.

To be continued…

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Olivier