Category Archives: Stories

Beyond The Ancient Gate

Veronica stood before the ancient gate of her great-grandfather’s mansion staring  at the faded white walls with grey patches and cracks that harbored dried weeds.

The thought of the story she was told about why no one lived there,  lingered in mind. She was fourteen and fearless, her desire was to set her feet on the ground beyond the ancient gate.

“Please don’t go anywhere near that gate, ” her mother had warned her.

“Why not?”

“It’s an evil house, ” she had retorted.  “Your great-grandfather lived there but abandoned it when strange things began to happen. He would go to bed at night only to wake up in the middle of the night outside the house – in the compound, on bare ground.”

“That’s scary.”

  “The day I gave birth to you was the same day your father died.”

“What happened to him?” 

“He entered the compound while I was at the hospital and was later found in the compound beside an old baby cot -/ dead.

“Strange,”

“Yes. It was. When he told me about the properties in that house and how his father, your grandpa had always wanted to take…. some ou…” She began to sniff and Veronica snuggled close to her. I warned him not to go there. He wouldn’t listen. Losing him was the worst thing that has happened to me.”

“It’s alright mama. It’s alright.”

“I don’t want to lose you too.”

“You won’t mama. You won’t lose me. I promise never to go near that house.”


As she stood there before the gate, the same one she was warned against, she had made up her mind to break her promise to her mother. She had a strange desire to enter the house. Strange and strong desire!

As she looked at the many chains that secured the gate, a whiff of despair swept across her.

Just then, her eyes caught a young lady standing in the room upstairs, facing the gate. She stood before a glass window and her pale palms showed through the glass. Veronica flinched and backed away as she called her name.


“Veronica! Veronica! Please, help me. ” her sweet voice sounded as if she was close to her. She seemed to be trapped in her room, lonely and sad. Her antique wedding dress clasped her delicate body as if beaten by the rain.


“Why is she so sad?” Veronica whispered.
“Hello! What’s your name?”

“I can’t remember!” her voice was cold and shaky this time.

“Don’t worry! I’ll help you,”


Veronica sensed her chapped lips curve upward and her bony cheeks set.
She quickly swept the tears from her cheeks as her mother’s voice came through, warning her not to touch the gate.. She smiled at the lady.

“I’ll be back soon. I promise,” Veronica turned to go but the chains clanked behind her and the gate swung open.  Her mother’s call became hysteric when she turned and took slow steps towards the open gate. She looked back and saw her running towards her.                                        

“Veronica! No!!! Come out!” Her mother screeched.

Veronica!”   The woman called.

Mother! Why are you scared? There is a woman in this house. She needs help. Let’s help her. Please, mama.”. But when she looked back, her mother was already locked out, the chains that secured the gate was in place. Her eyes went wild and she looked up at the woman questioning.

“Be fast Veronica or she will stop you from setting me free.” Veronica walked to the house and on touching the door to the entrance, it came open, she saw the wooden staircase and the cobwebs everywhere. Her mother kept calling but she was determined. 

She took slow steps up, cutting through thick cobwebs with sweep of both hands.

She reached the first landing and felt a cold chill and wanted to go back but she called again.

“Over here.” Veronica saw the room with Private. Stay Away. written on it. Her heart raced as she reached for the handle. It’s locked. She pushed until she couldn’t. She turned to go but heard the door click. She reached for it again and it opened. She took a calculated step and looked inside, there was no one in it. She walked to the glass window and saw people gathered waiting to see what would become of her.

She waved at them. “I’m not dead mother.” She whispered and began to look around for woman.

Her eyes caught it. A human skeleton in tatters lay in a broken wooden couch. Veronica turned away from it in horror and stormed out the room. She ran towards the gate. The gate remained locked.

At Veronica’s command, the chains were broken and the gate was opened. People who were courageous enough went in with her to see the bones. Since no one knew who it was, the remains were taken to the cemetery and buried.

“Who could it be? Who lived in that room?”

“I don’t know. When I got married to your father, no one lived in the house.”

“I know she’s a wedded young lady.” Her mother stared at her. She had no idea who the lady could be.

Lost To The Past

The curtains were drawn apart by a stranger and the sun rays found their ways into the bedroom. Chidi lay carelessly on the bed, his overgrown beard did well to increase his age.

His friend Kc, had snatched him away from his own bar the previous night and had tucked him under the bed like a tot after whispering words of hope into his ears.

Chidi felt several taps on his arm.

“Go away Kc. so tired. Can’t go to Church today, don’t force me. Please.” Chidi said, his eyes laden with sleep.

The stranger stood there by his bedside waiting impatiently for a bit of consciousness. His face expressionless and his left hand held a briefcase. He wore a black suit over a white T-shirt.

He tapped Chidi again and moved swiftly to the other rooms to make sure no one else was around.

Chidi heard unusual footstep moving towards him and it seemed like another of his usual apparition had come. Ever since the disappearance of Amara and the kids, he had been seeing things. Images and sounds that came and went, like flashes of light. The illusion would soon disappear like the others – but he spoke.

“Get up. I need you to sign this.” he extended it to him.

Chidi’s eyes opened slowly and the first thing he saw was the white paper.

“What document?”Chidi asked nonchalantly before waking up to reality.

He blinked his eyes severally, jumped to the other side of the bed and backed away towards the closet but the stranger followed calmly with the document.

“I’m not holding any weapon, Chidi!” The stranger said to amuse himself.

“Who are you? How did you enter my house?” Chidi asked frantically.

“What does it matter? Chidi, I don’t have much time to spare. I need to return to my boss on time.”

“Who are you? Who sent you? I don’t have any agreement with anybody concerning signing any document.” Chidi almost shouted.

“Sign the paper and stop asking questions,” he said firmly and began to walk away.

“I heard you lost your family.” He said as he reached the living room door. Chidi was hypnotised by the sentence. He followed him.

“Yes? My wife and kids have been missing for five days now.” Chidi stopped as the man entered the living room. He picked up his phone for a quick call. To inform his friend Kc about the trouble in his house.

“What are you doing?” He peeped through the door. “Drop the phone. Not until I’m gone.” Chidi stopped dialling.

“What if I told you that someone I know knows where your family is?” He said and Chidi dropped the phone and moved closer to him.

“My family? You know where my family is?” Chidi asked in his softest voice, looking at him without blinking

“Yes,”

Chidi sat slowly on the sofa, bent his head, and wrapped his occiput with his entwined fingers. He brainstormed for a while before smiling as though he had arrived at the solution to his hassle.

He took the document, it’s the same he had refused to sign for a year now.

“My wife is your boss?”

“No, her fiance is.”

“Ralph?”

Chidi laughed. Something had gone wrong with the world. How could someone married with kids run away to her lover? Married woman in her late 30s – blessed with 2 kids. Something is terribly wrong with the world Chid lived in.

“Amara! Amara!” Chidi said calmly and bent his head.

She had told him about Ralph. She was only being stupid. Even though he was the man she had always wanted to marry, he had left her and never called because her parents said he would not marry their daughter.

He was from another tribe. She had talked about how deeply she loved him. When he left and travelled back to the US where he lived and never spoke to her, she had cried on Chidi’s shoulder who had loved her all along even when he knew he loved another man that deep.

When he didn’t come for her, she accepted to marry him. Four years into their marriage, he showed up. And she started seeing him behind his back. The day she brought the divorce paper for him to sign, he couldn’t believe she could be that stupid. He had refused to sign. Not with kids involved.

“Don’t tell me you’re leaving me and the kids for this home breaker who left you for because a little conflict!, how are you sure he isn’t married with kids?” he had been very mad at her but she never uttered a word. He talked to her at length and she had agreed to never see Ralph again.

Six months after a lovely and peaceful relationship during which Ralph was never mentioned, she disappeared with the kids. He was sure Ralph had gone back to the US but he could have come back for her.

“Where are my children?”

“Sign the damn paper, your kids are waiting to join you.”

“Of course.”

Of what use would it be for him to fight for his right when she’s made up her mind to leave?

“You know when you love someone and she loves someone else? That feels terrible. She only married me because he left her and never spoke with her. He left her because he couldn’t fight for her. You see, he’s not the right man for her. I am. But it’s unfortunate she can’t see that.” The man stood up and extended his hand to take the paper from him as if what he was saying was falling on deaf ears.

“Her parents died two years ago in a car accident. He didn’t call her. Now he’s back as if she’s still single and I, an intruder.” He said amidst tears.

“Too bad man… Sorry. But you know, I’m only here to do my job. Emotion is not tolerable during work” He took the papers from him and made a call.

Few minutes passed and Amara came in with two new black trolley boxes.

She had returned the kids to him and to apologize to him.

“Chidi I’m sorry it has to end this way. Please take care of them.” Silence ensued as Chidi bonded with the kids.

“Please know that Ralph is innocent, I’m the sole offender in this case. Please don’t go after him because nothing will bring me back,”

“Oh Yeah! I can see the glory around his crown for taking another man’s wife. No problem. Just go,”

“If you ever need my help, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.” Chidi took the kids and wrapped his arms around them again.

She left.

Chidi glanced at the door while the kids went to the balcony to watch her. “Mommy! Mommy!” Her seven-year-old called but got no answer, Raph drove her away.

Within two weeks, she announced to him over and e-mail and to the kids that she had moved to the US with Ralph.

She kept sending him emails to ask about the kids and had been sending money into his account for the kids, but all those gestures were annoying. He never touched her money and never told the kids about her mails.

Three months later, she sent him an e-mail.

She’s stranded in the US. Ralph had been married to an American lady and had introduced her to his wife as his sister.” She was devastated and couldn’t stand America. She was coming back to Nigeria. She was sorry but wasn’t expecting him to take her back.

He didn’t reply to any of her mails.

©Florence Ezekafor

Domain Chaos #15 – The Gold Wristwatch 3

“Chinedu!” Ndubisi called.

Chinedu turned off the shower, blew the water finding their ways into his mouth away and strained his ears and heard his father call again and again.

“Yes, dad!” He reached for his towel and hastened to the bathroom door. he took a few steps towards his father who was standing in the middle of his room. His razor-sharp eyes were fixed on his eyeballs. He felt them pierce through his mind, searching for something.

What have I done? Chinedu thought before his eyes caught the wristwatch sitting on his palm. It was the most beautiful wristwatch he had ever seen but..

“What is this?” His father’s tone demanded a quick reply.

“It’s a wristwatch.”

“I know it’s a wristwatch young man! What was it doing in your school bag?”

“My school bag?” Chinedu wiped off the water dripping from his wet, afro punk from his forehead and dried his hand on the white towel around his waist.

“Yes, speak up! How did it get into your school bag?”

“I don’t know how it got there, believe me, dad!” His coarse voice quivered, his eyes as wide as possible.

Could it be the wristwatch he was being accused of? No! That couldn’t be. He didn’t take it. He was quite sure of it.

“Is this not the same watch that the man who brought you home came looking for? As you can see, this is a gold wristwatch! What have you done?”

“I swear, I didnt take it. Believe me!”

A strong knock came on the door. Father and son turned to look at it. Ndubisi slipped the wristwatch into his pocket and gave the bulge three taps. They returned their focus on each other.

“Dress up. I’ll be dropping you off at the school.” Ndubisi’s voice was stern. He strode to the door to get it.

“Yes, dad.” Chinedu was a bit shaken. How did the wristwatch get into his bag?

“What happened?” Chinwe dashed into the room ready to protect her son from possible punishment. “Why all the shouting? What has he done?” She looked past Ndubisi at Chinedu, ”

“Mum, Im about to put my clothes on.” When Chinedu asked for some privacy, she hesitated at the door before closing it behind her. She hurried to the bedroom where she found her husband gawking at his closet, absent-minded.

“What was that all about? Don’t I have the right to know?” Ndubisi was not going to tell her about it or he would be giving his wife something to die from.

“It’s nothing, honey. I couldn’t sleep last night. I kept thinking about yesterday’s incident- the men who gave our son a lift y and the missing gold wristwwatch. It’s possible our son took it and hid it away? I tried to get him talking but he insisted he didn’t do it.”

“He is telling the truth. He didn’t do it. He can’t do such a thing, ” she rounded him, took his shoulders in her palms and looked into his eyes. “Let’s believe our son. Let’s trust him.” Ndubisi responded with a nod.

“One more thing, stay home today, the man said he would come today by 10 am with the police. We need to fight to protect our son.”

“I’ll be around. I have called my assistant to let him know I won’t be at the office.”

“You also need to see Igwe Okelue.”

“What mama said about Eke is starting to make sense to me. Please talk with Igwe.”

“I will.” Nduka picked his car key from the side table and gave her a light kiss before going downstairs where Chinedu waited for him.

As they headed towards Otigba roundabout, Nduka felt the wristwatch in his pocket and glanced at his son who had gone frigid.

“Chinedu, I believe you when you said you didn’t steal the wristwatch. I guess they are Eke’s boy trying to incriminate my son to get at me. But I will handle the issue well. I want you to do is keep this a secret. Don’t say a word of this to your mother or any of your friends. I’ll get rid of it somehow. They can’t prove it’s with us.”

Ok. See you later, ” Ndubisi watched his son disappear into the school and drove to Igwe’s palace.

Insight – Forgiveness

Through the hole in piles of old blocks, Chima peeped at his friend who searched frantically for him.

He stifled a chuckle as he saw his frustration.

Chima’s pebbles had hit him twice and his had hit him only once. If he could hit him one more time, he would win the game. His friend needed to hit him twice to win and he wasn’t going to let him.

A couple of minutes later, he didn’t see nor hear him anymore. He needed to see what he was up to. So, he raised his head above the blocks with caution to see. But what he saw was a pebble flying towards him at a close range . Before he could duck,  it had caught his right eye.

He felt the pang and at the same time saw seven stars!

“Ahaah! Got you, ” his friend laughed.

Chima moaned as another pebble caught his neck with a milder impact.

The sound of his scream forced his friend to drop the handful of pebbles he planed to throw at him and froze by his side.

“What happened? Are you alright? Did I hurt you?”

“My eye, my eye, ” Chima cried.

His friend stooped and raised his face. What he saw terrified him. Chima’s right eye discharged bloody tears. He let out a scream and ran home to get help.

Chima’s mother rushed to the scene with her heart in her hands. Chima was rushed to the emergency section. When she saw the state of her son, she went limp.

What she had feared had happened. She had always disliked her son’s friendship with her neighbour’s son.

Chima was his exact opposite – gentle, soft-hearted and two years younger than the fifteen year old rough cob of a friend.

She had always tried to protect her son from him but couldn’t. How could she with her son making it difficult. He would always hang out with him.

“The only thing you can do is tell your son to be careful with him. You can’t stop the river from flowing in certain direction.” Her friend had told her when she complained to her.

“I could. It’s simple for me to do!”

“Tell me how.”

“I could build a strong wall between them, “

“That’s absurd.”

Chima’s mother was sure that if she took a drastic measure, she could end their friendship.

Moving out was one of her best options but she couldn’t possibly move out just to keep a neighbours son away from her son. That sounded ridiculous. Finally, she decided to let them be.

Ever since, she had lived in constant fear that one day, he would hurt her son.

Now that it had happened, she knew she would never to her son and would never come to terms with the cause of her son’s blindness.

When Chima’s friend and his parents visited him in the hospital, his mother refused them access to him. She had been embittered by the incident and was determined to keep the boy and his family as far away from her son as she could. That was what she had always wanted to do.

Two months later, Chima’s friend and his parents visited him at school. They apologised to him for the first time since the incident.

“We are so sorry for what happened to you, Chima. I have punished your friend repeatedly for being so careless and insensitive. It pains us his parents to think that our son has made someone’s son blind. ”

Chima’s eyes moistened. He wasn’t happy he got punished. His extended a hand to his friend and a hug followed.

Looking at his eyes which was now deep-set and half-closed with the iris seemingly lost, he wept silently. Chima consoled him.

“You know I didn’t mean to hurt you right?” Chima nodded.

“I can’t believe I did this to you,” his tears dropped, Chima dabbed his eyes with his handkerchief.

“You didn’t do this on purpose. Don’t worry about it?”

“Ever since this happened, I’ve wished we didn’t play with pebbles.”

“It’s my ill luck. It could have been you instead of me.”

That visit renewed their friendship. Until one day, his mother saw them playing together. She picked a stick and drove them apart. A few days later, Chima saw a big truck in front of his friend’s house. Soon, movers moved furnitures into the truck.

They were moving out! He ran towards their house, to say goodbye to his friend who

“Chima! Chima! Come back here!”

Chima paused, hesitated and walked back home. His mother took him inside the house.

Domain Chaos #14 – The Gold Wristwatch 2

Eket woke up with a start and her drowsy body coiled up in a stretch. As the muscle in her neck tensed to alarm her of an overstretch, she relaxed.

A thought came through as she eased her feet off the bed and dropped them on the brown tiles.

There was something, an important thing she scheduled to do that morning. She cocked her head towards her shoulder as she tried to recoup it from her memory. After a couple of seconds, she gasped.

The wristwatch! Oga’s Wristwatch!

She needed to return it to him before he would leave for the office.

She stood up and dug her arm into her pillowcase to retrieve it.

It’s still there. Thank God.

She took a hurried stride towards the door but recalled it was still too early. Oga should be sleeping.

She returned it to safety and strolling out to start he day’s housework.

When Madam went into the kitchen to prepare him breakfast, she hurried to their bedroom to return the wristwatch.

“Good morning sir, ” she greeted through the open door, making sure she wasn’t looking into the room.

“Good morning Eket. Is there any problem?”

“Yes, sir”

“What happened? Come in.” Eket walked into the room a little shaky. If her madam ever caught her in her bedroom, she would be mad with fury. She had warned her not to enter her room except she asked her to.

“I came to return your wristwatch.” She said with extended arm but Ndubisi looked on in confusion. It wasn’t his. He thought about the missing gold wristwatch and recoiled.

“Where did you find this?”

“I found it in Chinedu’s school bag.” She watched his reaction but wasn’t sure of his feeling. “I returned it by myself, sir, so you can reprimand him. He shouldn’t take your things to school….. He might lose it, sir.”

Ndubisi took it, studied it as he scurried to his feet.

Eket felt the air as Oga swept past her and hastened to the door. She turned but he was gone, headed to Chinedu’s room. Eket hurried towards him.

“Sir, please, don’t touch him. Only warn him. Please don’t punish him. Please, sir.”

Ndubisi had already entered Chinedu’s room. She heard the door bolt and his firm voice as he demanded an explanation.

Madam rushed to the door and started banging. Eket saw mama peep through her door. She was anxious.

“What happened Eket? Why happened? She asked clutching her chest.” Eket opened her mouth but no sound came through.

What would she say?

She only whispered silent prayers. She was in trouble. If Madam ever found out that she returned the wristwatch to Oga instead of her, she would send her to her packing.

She shouldn’t have returned the wristwatch to Oga.

To be continued…..