A Dread in The Spine- Chapter 2

The First

Greenland of Fortunecity had begun to see the deaths and kidnappings of some of its occupants. The whole ordeal started with a simple, sorrowful, but simple news of a Christian being killed. Everyone assumed it was one of those religious bigotries that followed the northern Nigerians into the Island. However, when the death toll rose from a single Christian to six, the authorities began to look for patterns. Then, the killings got an additional phase to it: some of them were being kidnapped, and those kidnapped were Christians that saw visions of hell at one point or the other.

Nosa knew the police would find a solution to the problem, and had refused to heed Chloe’s cry to search for them. The Fortunecity Police Force was a combination of people from different countries and tribes. If they put their heads together, they would surely get the missing people in time. Despite that, the number of those kidnapped increased sporadically. The funniest part of it was that the kidnapper had a totally different method from that of the killer’s.

Yet, Nosa promised himself that he would never be involved until one of the authorities asked for his help. He was practicing to be a private investigator. Private investigators aren’t heroes to the country; they are heroes to individuals. Still, he did his findings once in a while and didn’t raise any dust. So, when Mr. Johnson poured his Eagle Eyes’ problem on his laps, he was happy he had a folder for it already.

He celebrated as he drove home in a hurry. He had to finish the investigation in time so that he could have a lot of time with the one he loved. There was nothing that could make him sad that day.

However, the moment he entered the house, Nosa was drawn to Chloe’s countenance. Of course, she was supposed to be grieving because of the loss she had encountered of recent, but she didn’t get the opportunity to really grieve the first loss before another one landed on it. His fear, as he saw her, was that she had finally found the need to talk about her pain, and he wouldn’t be around to listen to her. He went near and rubbed her chin.

‘Chloe, is everything alright?’

‘No’, Chloe shook her head that had its long hair the way she loved it; neatly flowing like that of a queen – as she stared at the television. ‘Everything is wrong. Terrible things are happening and would happen soon. The taste of the danger is becoming sourer by the second. Its stench is like that of a bottle of forgotten urine’.

‘Chloe, everything will be fine’.

‘You said that when our daughter… ‘She stopped talking and inhaled sharply. Her high cheekbone, which attracted him to her the first time they met, was now covered in a shadow of sorrow. ‘You’ve been saying this since this menace began to form like dark clouds over Greencity, over Fortunecity, over Nigeria…’

‘Mr. Johnson called me for one of the cases. You know what that means’.

‘That nobody can beat you to finding them? But, you should have sniffed out this killer when it all started’.

‘You know all this hero thing is not my thing. It’s Eagle Eyes’ thing’.

‘I know you are not Mr. Johnson, but if you had gone, at least, all these might have been avoided’.

‘Do you know what that would have…?’ Nosa stopped as his voice began to rise. He stopped himself from getting worked up. His wife was still grieving over the loss of her father, their daughter, and son. Rather, she was supposed to be grieving over them, but she was always seen with books and biros, watching videos of those that had gone to hell. At night, when she was supposed to sleep, she would be found poring over the books about hell.

‘Immediately I saw the death of the second one, I smelt trouble and suspected that they would be picked off one after the other like guinea pigs. I told you. It is on you like a perfume’.

‘Okay. Chloe, I have to go’, Nosa muttered as he rose from her side. His anger was trying to come out of its tunnel, and he wouldn’t want to allow her to see that side of him, at least not that day. ‘I’ve got to go’.

‘Sniff out this missing one or ones, as many as you can find’.

‘Why are you so…?’

‘Engrossed with them? Instead of crying over my dead family members, I’ve decided to find something better to do than to cry over people that have turned to dust. I want to feel joy on my skin again’.

‘If it were better, I would have appreciated it’.

‘It’s better. I have something taking my mind off all these evil that the world is making me face’.

Nosa sighed, sat beside her, and patted her shoulder as he used his other hand to rub his own beard. Maybe her reaction and love for these things was her way of grieving for everyone she had lost. ‘I’m sorry. Maybe I should have found them’.

‘Maybe… Even if you didn’t find them, you would have made me happy… Can you smell the joy on me? It’s beautiful from inside out. Why? You have finally listened to my plea. I don’t know why you always brush my advice aside like a roving dirt’.

‘Things will be better. I will find these missing women’.

‘If not all, just this newest missing one would be impressive’.

‘I’ll find them’, Nosa said as he rose to leave. She nodded and rubbed his arm.

‘Don’t use that belt. It’s torn’.

‘How did you know the belt I’m using? Moreover, my clothes will cover it’.

She gave him a cold glare and mimicked him in a way that always fascinated him. ‘Does that sound good to your ears?’

He sighed. ‘Okay’.

‘The other one is better. In fact, give me the belt now. I don’t want you having ideas in your head about replacing it behind my back’.

‘But…’

‘No. You need to start representing this family and your company well. Such fashion taste is bad. It irks me. Also, wear that new black Jeans trousers. It’s Christmas tomorrow, enjoy the festive mood’.

Nosa grudgingly removed the belt, gave it to her and strolled into the room, where he picked the bulky ridiculous belt she said she loved, and changed the trousers. He would do anything to make her happy until her grieving time was over. Wherever those ladies were, he wasn’t ready to start a wild goose chase. He needed to search for them strategically. Like Moriah would advise, he needed to be careful.

‘I need to be careful’, he said as he picked the folder he came for.

Then, as he was about to leave the room, he sighted the things that might help his new case; the numerous books, CDs, and DVDs she bought to keep herself busy and knowledgeable about hell or to take her mind off her numerous losses laid on her side of the room. He couldn’t understand why she became engrossed with those horrible, money-making books, but he packed them.

‘Will you need these books in a few days?’ he said as he came out with the load of books, CDs, and DVDs and dumped them on the table.

‘Wow. This is really good. They would enlighten you. Take as many as you want…’

He booed. ‘These ones. They are nothing, but money-making instruments. I just need them to find the missing women’.

‘There are a lot of things you should know. If not for my bad network provider, I would have sent something to you over WhatsApp. I will send it when the network comes back on’.

‘I’ve told you to use Glo data bundle’.

‘Typical Nigerian. Glo can’t help me. Have you seen people’s complaint about them?’

‘That’s a handful of their total users. We…’

She glanced at the clock. ‘This is just 7:30 pm. Try to come back in time. But, in case you can’t, hold some clothes and enough money to stay at a hotel. But you must come home tomorrow for Christmas’.

‘Yes, mummy’, he said, kissing her forehead.

‘I’ll take your IVM G20’.

‘That’s a seven-seater’.

‘I’ll be comfortable in it for this mission’.

‘Alright! It’s yours. It’s ours’.

‘Yes, mummy’.

‘Be a good boy’ she said and became fixated on the television. Her knees shook like a leaf in the wind as another breaking news displayed on the TV, detailing that another woman had been kidnapped, and the news pointed to the fact that she was also one of the ladies that saw the visions of hell.

Nosa bent over her, and held her leg in place, making sure he blocked her view of the television. He had tried many ways of talking her out of every other thing that could make her grieve. The real grief was supposed to be that of her family members that were dead. He needed her to do an actual, overbearing grieving over her family member’s death. He had done his part, crying like a baby, when they lost their first child to a mild sickness. She did too, but not enough before Mr. Kings died of a heart attack.

Nosa stared into her dark eyes and said, ‘we’ll find them. I’ll find them’.

She nodded. ‘Be careful’.

As if tuned to Nosa’s thought, someone knocked the door. Nosa wondered how he didn’t hear the gate open. Who’s there?’

‘It’s me, Mummy Church’.

Chloe had a lot of servants that should have done all the works in the house, but she sent them away after her father’s death. She grew up living with servants, and when her father died and wrote in his will that Chloe mustn’t do any work directly, she sent all the servants away as payback. The only ones she still allowed were the cook, the gardeners, who came once a day to do their work, and they would leave again. Nosa agreed with her anger against her father, whom she claimed was still trying to control her in his death. He made sure her aunty was a thorn in her flesh.

Nosa hurried to the door the moment he heard Mummy Church’s voice. Despite his dislike for her talkativeness, arrogance, slothfulness, he preferred her above all other persons to talk with and to Chloe. No matter how long the one-handed woman stayed with her, Chloe’s mind would be taken off the codswallop that the media kept feeding the public.

For some reasons, unlike the way his instinct had helped him, he suspected that he would regret ever taking this case. This instinct had helped him solve a lot of mysteries. Shayla called it detective’s instinct. Yet, like his father used to preach, like Paul, he would take up what he knew portended danger and hope to return in good shape or at least better than the last time. Unlike his father, he wasn’t going to plant his detective church in Idumwurgha forest of Edo state, Nigeria. He would spread out his tentacles and would know what to do. He sent messages to his teams and activities began the moment he stepped out of the house.

‘Nosa, hair is returning to your bald head. Do something about it. And your beard, its shape is… You’re becoming bushy’.

‘Yes, mummy’ Nosa shouted as he marched off into the compound.

‘Don’t you dare let your feet smell my lawn’, she shouted after him, making him jump back into the lane. She was a lover of her garden. He looked at the green carpet grass and knew why he didn’t endure their marriage, why he really loved her. Her love for different beautiful things fascinated him and made him stay in love with her all those years.

The first thing he sighted immediately he stepped outside with loads of books, CDs, and DVDs was a tract on the windscreen of his car. He opened his car, dumped the items he was carrying and returned to pick the tract and skimmed it. Its heading read: Hell Is So Real!

He crumbled it into the shape of a ball and threw it into the bin. Smiling at himself, he said,’ this is a good omen. I’ll throw this nonsense case like a paper’.


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A Dread In The Spine


Chloe sat still in fear and could only wish the presence of her Pastor’s wife, Mrs. Fowosere alias Mummy Church, would crush her fear of the unknown, of the numerous troubles that had wrapped themselves around her mind. She had jumped from a horrible dream some minutes before Nosa entered the house. Of late, she had been having a constant terrible dream. The recurring dream always featured her going to the lake of fire, being drawn by the evil force of the dreadful place because she gave birth to a child out of wedlock. Probably, that was the reason God made her lose the child.

When she first had the dream, she wasn’t sure she had dreamt right. However, when the dream became constant, she was very sure she was it wasn’t a figment of her imagination. Dismissing it would have been the top on her mind, but she had read about people that had revelations of hell through dreams. Maybe she was becoming part of those who saw hell. She needed to talk to someone.

That particular day, the dream went on to show the lights of twenty-four people in Greenland. Initially, she thought it was the number of genuine Christians in Fortunecity, but soon discovered that those were the numbers of those that had seen heaven in Greenland. She might have misunderstood it, but she saw the exact number of the missing women gathered in a corner. Three had gone out and the others were fizzling out. However, she saw three others at different locations and hoped those ones would be safe.

She wished one of them would do her good and tell her about heaven and the exact day God would return to the saint. She had meticulously followed their teachings. They were good but she needed one of them to tell her about heaven.

‘These things we face per time as Christians’, Mummy Church said as she rolled her good hand around the cup. Chloe wondered how she managed to work with one hand. She wasn’t sure she as a person would be able to bear it.

‘Indeed, the lack of knowledge plays a part, though’.

‘How?’

‘Not having full access to some knowledge is distraughting’.

Mummy Church nodded in agreement as she stared into space. ‘I just felt led to visit you to… maybe, be here with you in this trying time’.

Chloe smiled warily. She wasn’t concerned about her grief. It did her no good. Even and despite knowing about Nosa’s mistress, Shayla, she preferred to move on with her life than to watch her life drain off her. There were many things she needed to know about heaven. The Bible made her know that only God knows when the kingdom of God would be upon them soon, but he never keeps anything from his saints. Yet, there she was, grasping for a knowledge that had eluded the world.

Suddenly, Mummy Church’s phone rang. She struggled with her wallet, where the phone was. Chloe rose to help her get it, but she smiled broadly and shook her head. Chloe understood her and sat back. She would have been defiant, but she preferred to watch Mummy Church as she struggled with her wallet. It took her a while, but in a few seconds, Mummy Church had removed the phone and was already talking as she excused herself to go outside. Chloe watched her leave, hoping Mummy Church would succeed in taking her mind off whatever was happening.

She rose to tend to her flowers in a vase by the window side. Maybe doing that would take her mind off the horrendous turbulence bound for the earth. If what those women said about the soon coming of Christ was true, then she needed to brace herself as well as others.

‘Why are you calling me?’ Mummy Church said, whispering.

Chloe focused on the blade of the flowers and proceeded to remove the weeds sprouting in the vase. That was how the final day would be; yet, people can recruit others in preparation for that day.

‘Stop calling me? I’m around people. I told you. Me and you… The police? No. When we know the right person to trust’.

That piqued Chloe’s interest. She stood straight and perched after she had scurried to the door. Why was Mummy Church fusing herself with a case that would lead to the police? That portended that she was involved in something illegal, and it would do her no good to dip herself into anything that would stain her white linen as a Christian. Chloe had to be sure about what Mummy Church was doing before she even gave her any advice on how to remain in the path of God.

‘What’s wrong with you’, Mummy church said and her voice showed a deep sense of frustration mixed with anger. ‘Do you want to die or do you want those kidnappers to carry you too…? What’s wrong with you? I will get back to you when… Stay where you are. No. Don’t even try rubbish. Stay where you are’.

Mummy Church hissed. Chloe ran to her seat, sat and rose the moment the door opened. Mummy Church looked perplexed.

‘Is everything alright?’

‘That depends on which everything you mean?’ Chloe said in a manner that would present her as dejected. ‘I want to tend to my flower. It’s been calling for mummy since but I don’t have its time. I wanted it to have a taste of hunger as human beings do’.

Her cat meowed as it entered the sitting room. She turned it and perfectly mimicked its sound. ‘Hey, Joel, come here. Have you greeted Mummy Church?’ Chloe’s cat stretched. She smiled at it. ‘Lazy Joel’.

Mummy Church laughed wryly. ‘You and giving non-humans names. Well, you are showing… fulfilling your purpose like God allowed Adam to do by naming animals in Genesis two verse twenty and twenty-one’.

Chloe smiled warily. ‘That’s cool, being called a child of Adam: it’s comforting’.

‘No. I don’t mean it in a harmful way’

She shrugged. ‘Of course, I know. It’s just that I’m not a man and not a woman. So, I won’t fall into his error of falling for a woman’.

Mummy laughed and went silent for a while. ‘There…’

‘What?’ Chloe turned and looked at her inquisitively. ‘Do you think I have the chance of falling to a man?’

‘Oh! Woman’.

Chloe’s stared at her and watched her eyes danced within its socket. ‘I’m not gay. I’m straight and I’m not a lesbian’.

‘Of Course. I wasn’t thinking of that. You’re a child of God. You have retained God in your heart so he won’t give you up to the perdition of the world’.

Chloe sighed. ‘Good…’

‘But you are a woman and you can do worse than Adam… A whole lot.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I mean….’ She said and sat up well. ‘Let’s take Adam for example. He was doing fine in the Bible and obeyed God’s commandment but things changed’.

‘Yes. Satan polluted him’.

‘No, he was given Eve’.

‘Yes. His bottle of urine. To tend to…’

‘Good but when he wanted to lose her or when he perceived that she had sinned. Instead of separating himself like Jesus in Hebrew one nine, he committed a sin because of her. That’s why the Bible records that Adam sinned and not Eve. She was deceived into…but he deliberately sinned’.

‘Oh! I still don’t see where they intertwine. How is that my case?’

‘You are… I don’t know but I’m sensing that you’re afraid of the future… Like Adam. I’m sensing you’re still afraid of that sin you committed before you finally gave your life to Christ’.

Chloe felt her mouth go dry like Brooks in the dry season. ‘Me? Afraid? I’m not afraid. Maybe you are thinking so because I’m preparing for heaven. The Bible says we should prepare. See, I’m not proud of it, but I committed a sin by fornicating with my boyfriend, who later became my husband, and I’ve seen the repercussion’.

‘Of course. But not in a way that is harmful to our health and emotions. God has forgiven you’.

‘For my mother too, I know. But there is always a reward’.

‘Things clear off when you’re in Christ. All sins are cleared’.

‘But Mummy Church, my mother died through my hand. She was already a Christian at that time’, Chloe said and heaved because she was finally able to talk about her mother, who died because she gave birth to her, an unwanted, born-out-of-wedlock child. ‘That’s her reward. There’s always a reward’.

‘That’s also one of the things you’ve stopped tackling. You can see that you need to see a psychiatrist. You’re not fine. I’m sorry if I sound rude’.

Chloe laughed. ‘Mummy Church o. I’m fine’.

‘See, Adam knew that Eve had fallen into error. But he was afraid of being alone. It was like a torture for him. You… Maybe you’re afraid of not making heaven… Of-of…Erm…. Being left alone’.

‘Shouldn’t we all be prepared?’

‘We should’.

Chloe grabbed her scissors and pruned the edges of her flowers. That would help her hide her shaking hands from Mummy Church, who made it her duty to frustrate her. There was no way she would have the same fear as Adam. She was definitely putting things in store for the archive of heaven and that wasn’t fear; that was prudence. There were no other words to what she was doing than that. The Bible and Jesus said we should watch and pray. She was a watchman but not for the town; for herself.

Mummy Church rose. ‘I need to leave. But your husband…Some other people too had been whispering to my husband that you need to cry, to grieve and I can’t help but agree with them’.

‘Mummy, God giveth and taketh away. I just want to prepare for the future’.

Mummy Church smiled as she edged towards her. Chloe looked at her and craved to have her tan skin. It made her look elegant in the long dark green gown she wore. The flowery pattern on the clothes called her attention and she loved to have a perfectly designed life like that of the cloth.

‘This dress is beautiful’.

Mummy Church blushed. ‘It’s the work of our own Havilah Couture. You know her now?’

‘Of course. That fair tall beautiful lady. So, she is a tailor? I never knew’.

‘She is. I even saw her taking a picture of your dress last week. As in, that your dress was extremely beautiful’.

‘Aww awn. I got it from our Hadassah’.

‘Hadassah! The five-k store. My sister, I need to go’.

‘Maybe… Or what do you think?’

‘What’s that?’

‘Me? Nothing much. I was just thinking about how it would be good to follow you. Maybe it would help me’.

‘Oh that would be good. But I have to attend to something important first. When I return from my… From the person I want to meet, then we can go out together’.

‘Hope all is well?’

‘Sure. All will always be well with Christians’, she smiled as she neared the door, and adjusted her headgear.

‘That means, I can follow you?’


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A Dread In The Spine


Mummy Church bit her lower lips, stared at Chloe for some seconds and shrugged as she turned towards the door. ‘You can come, but I hope it won’t be stressful for you’.

‘Stressful, you say? Remember my husband had been disturbing the whole world that I‘m not myself. I think this is the perfect way I can do it and prove to him that I have come to the realization: God giveth and He taketh. Also, I should follow the advice of this other lady that speaks about relationships, Bimbzspeak. She said when our spouse is having issues with us and the issue coincides with what others are saying about us, then we are the one at fault. Or don’t you think heeding to that is wise?’

‘Of course. We should be able to break out of our shell’.

‘Mummy, are you sure everything is alright?’

Mummy church stared at her for a moment and rubbed her forehead repeatedly and nodded as If she wasn’t sure. Chloe had to take all the restraint in the world to show how happy she was. Now, there was an opportunity to help someone back to the way of Christ. Mummy Church was definitely trailing from something that wasn’t of God, and she would be on her neck till she returned to God’s way. She was happy with her present feeling. It felt like gold to her. So precious. So cool. She wouldn’t let it slip off her hand to the ground, where it might be trampled upon or get the fate of every rusty instrument. Getting people back to the way of God was a medium of making herself happy. She wouldn’t give it up for anything.

‘I’ll be back’, Chloe said and ran into the room. A simple gown would do. That was why Hadassah and Konga Nigeria would forever top her mind when it came to gown. The times of things showed that if she wasn’t fast about knowing what was happening, she might be one of those left behind on earth.

Within few minutes, they were in her car. Mummy Church had always insisted on driving herself, but her husband, the Pastor, would never agree to her desire. He said he could go to the length of getting her a driver, which she blatantly refused. So, she always transported herself through bikes and public transports or when the Pastor himself took her out.

‘Are you sure you’re you alright?’

Mummy church nodded. Chloe smirked and drove off into the road. When she glanced at the rearview mirror, she saw the three acne that invaded her face. They were getting red and she was sure, one of them would give up in the fight against one another. Yet, she was sure she wouldn’t be the one to give up on them. She would make sure she used everything available in making sure they disappeared and never reappeared on her face.

Then, she saw her nosy neighbor waving for her to stop, but she couldn’t because their path might not clash. If it was someone like Chloe’s Aunt, such woman would have evicted the estate.

They journey through the beautiful roads of Greencity was mesmerizing and felt as if she was going through the grandeur of heaven. Various horrific posters punctuated the different places they passed, and she would have longed for it to be removed if they weren’t about hell. She glanced at Mummy Church several times as she tried hard not to fidget. Although she didn’t love to put the poor woman in such position, she still needed to help her return to her position of peace.

Mummy Church placed a call to whomever she wanted to meet and told her to meet them at Greencity General Hospital. She wished it also was privatized, she would have gotten a share of it like she did most major companies in Fortunecity and Nigeria. When they got there, they waited a while.

‘Hope the person isn’t in need of money?’ Chloe said as she tried desperately to reduce her intake of the smell of antiseptic, which she detested.

Mummy Church shook her head and tried to smile, but she could only do that while wheezing. She scanned everywhere to be sure the person was not hiding from them, but they saw no one. Mummy Church repeatedly placed a call to the person, but the person refused to pick up the call. Mummy Church rose from her seat and began to move from one place to another. After a little while, she moved outside, and Chloe followed her. Mummy Church looked from one end to another and kept replying Chloe in the negative as regarding fear of any problem. Chloe was sure she could smell trouble, and that Mummy Church might soon lash out at her angrily for being nosy. Maybe she should stop.

Then, someone tapped her. Chloe turned to face her nosy neighbor, who was cuddling her black chubby daughter in her hands. Her clothes were hanging off her shoulder, not because she was a fashionista but because her fashion sense was horrible.

‘Mrs. Kings’, she said, and Chloe hissed as she knew she would have to talk with the spittle in her mouth. The woman was one of the few people that still called her Mrs. Kings, which she detested as it reminded her of so many unbearable things. Chloe turned to her with a stiff smile and exchanged pleasantries with her.

‘I was calling you. I saw your car and was waving at it’.

‘Oh! I’m sorry. I thought you were calling someone else’.

Luckily for her, the woman was called by someone else. The nosy woman shouted her excitement and scurried off to meet a scrawny, short, fair woman. She didn’t need another nudge to return home because her father-in-law called that he had gotten home. He called her earlier that he would be coming to their house, not to rest, but because his friend had caused trouble for him. His friend, a Pastor, from Brown Valley, visited him in Edo, and told him that God gave him a duty to do something very important, and requested for a secretive place to do such a thing.

Since they were both friends and respected men of God, he gave his friend a place that was deep in the forest. After some days, he visited his Pastor-friend and heard the sounds of wild animals in the said place. When he asked his friend about it, he said God asked him to do that.

Seeing this, he took it upon himself to report his friend to the friend’s church and to get people working in a Fortunecity Zoo, to get the animals out of the place. Seeing that people were already gossiping about the issue, his other children, Nosa’s younger ones, sent him to Greencity to rest for a few days, and to take his mind off the case.

‘Mummy, I hope all is well. I have to leave to meet my father-in-law’.

Mummy Church nodded as if she was glued to the seat, and that she was trying not to cry. Chloe followed her unstable eyes with her own eyes but didn’t see anything worth her time. Yet, that behavior was unlike that of Mummy Church, who would have wanted to know why her father-in-law was visiting, and might probably have requested that he came around to her own house. When she looked at Mummy Church’s face, she was very sure she could hear her heave, but duty came first.

She rose and left with Mummy Church’s goodbye trailing after her. Whatever she was hiding could cause her a great deal of trouble, but since Chloe didn’t have the power to stop it again, she would pray for her. She would tell God to help Mummy Church not to fall into perdition and drag the sanctimonious name of the Fowosere in the mud.

She spat out the saliva, entered her car and drove out of the compound with a heavy heart, and hoped to warm a good food for her father-in-law. Luckily any food one wanted had already been prepared by her house help and had been stored in a freezer.

Then, she remembered that she wasn’t aware of how Mummy Church would get to her house. Even if she suspected she was about to do something bad, she still had to play her part in making sure her own love for the woman didn’t wane. She didn’t want to assume she had the money necessary to get home without much trouble. So, she parked the car by the side of the road and jumped out of it with her purse bundled in her hand. She shouldn’t be keeping her father-in-law waiting, but it wouldn’t be ideal to also leave like that.

Chloe ran to the place they sat, wishing she could just get there and return to her car within seconds. However, the seat was empty, and Mummy Church wasn’t anywhere near the bench. She was surprised.

‘Ehn… Ehn…’ Shouted her Nosy street neighbor, making Chloe towards her. The woman, whose wrapper was slipping and baby was crying, desperately tearing at her mother’s cloth.

‘You left like that’, the woman said and tied her wrapper well. ‘I saw that other Mummy you were together, and she said you have gone’.

‘She went to the toilet?’

‘Yes. That’s even true. She had been gone for a while. She went with another woman. I hope all is well?’

‘Thank you. Thank you very much’, Chloe whispered as she scurried off. ‘See me at home’.

‘When?’

Chloe rushed off to the toilet, and would have shouted Mummy Church if the place wasn’t smelling of antiseptic. She held her breathe and moved towards the toilet until she got near the toilet. By this time, she was already hoarding spittle in her mouth, and hoped to spit it out the moment she got the chance.

‘Mummy, I have to go to them’, a lady said.

‘Where do you want to go?’

‘I’m coming out of hiding’.

‘Patience. The Bible says though the vision might tarry, it would yet…’

‘Mummy Church, it’s not that type of vision’.

‘Are you calling the Bible a lie?’

‘This one is the vision of heaven and God wants it’.

‘What… What are you saying? Did God show you visions of heaven too?’

‘He showed me hell… Heaven. Heaven. Hell. What does it matter?’

‘Hope you’re not hiding the truth?’

‘Mummy, whatever the truth is, I want it out’.

‘I’ll make sure…’

They became silent for a while. Chloe suspected they were trying to check out if someone was there. So, she removed her shoes, picked them, and ran away silently at first, then wildly. Then, she ran into her nosy neighbor again, who almost fell.

‘Mummy, when should I come?’

‘This evening. But I would give you something bigger if you can go towards the toilet and turn’.

‘Just that’?

Chloe always knew the woman’s problem – money. The woman excitedly moved towards the toilet and turned.

Chloe rushed to her car. She just heard of someone that went to heaven. There was no way she would leave Mummy Church to such case alone. But for now, she needed somebody to watch her.

As soon as she entered the car, she dialed Segun’s phone number and relayed her fear to him. And she instructed him on how she hoped he could save the woman by watching her. Segun was someone that ran into their house on one of those days he was being pursued by the Police. She allowed him hide in her compound till they were gone, and she talked some sense into his head, and she made him know that she was ready to provide everything he would ever need, so far he would always do her bid. And he had been doing that.

She drove off to welcome her father-in-law.


Calm

The book is out.

Ready for your consumption.

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A Dread In The Spine

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