He rolled over, suddenly aware he wasn’t alone.

Dark-brown eyes met his, mysterious, but surprisingly tender.

“Who’re you?” he asked the woman sharing his bed. He could not remember bringing anyone home the night before.

“Willie-Willie,” came the reply.

He had heard that name before, but as he racked his brain for just where, the answer continually eluded him, lurking just out of reach as if teasing him.

“Did you come home with me last night?” he asked.

“No,” she replied, a half-smile forming on her lips. She seemed to be amused at whatever expression he was making at the moment.

“Then how did you get into my bed?!” he almost screamed, holding back just in time. Instead, he said calmly, “Ok.”

“Then how did you get into my bed?!” she shouted.

He jumped.

“You wanted to say that, didn’t you?” she was grinning now, the soft light coming through his window from the street reflecting on her teeth.

There was something teasing in her tone — inviting, but forbidding at the same time.

“How the…” he blurted out.

“…hell did you…” she completed what he was going to say, stopping where he would have ended the open question. “Because I can read your mind, Bright.”

“Bitch,” he thought.

“I’ll take that as a compliment,” she said, moving closer.

“Idiot. Bitch. Idiot. Bitch”, he thought, wearing his best smile.

She had a puzzled expression, and for once, he had the upper hand. There was just no way she could read his mind. The big question was who she was.

“I’m leaving,” she said finally.

She didn’t fade away or put her hands on her head. One moment she was there, the next she wasn’t. It was that simple.

Just as suddenly as she vanished he remembered where he had heard the name “Willie-Willie”, but he didn’t care.

Bright didn’t believe in ghosts.


“What’s your name today — Nchele?” he asked when he woke up the next night and found her there.

“Will you call me Mammy-Water next?” she retorted.

He reached out to touch her, not completely surprised his hand did not go through her cheek.

“I suppose you do have substance,” he concluded aloud.

“Of course I do,” she looked a little miffed.

He matched her gaze, and they looked at each other in silence until the only sound he was aware of was his breathing.

“You’re a strange one, aren’t you?” she asked.

“I get that a lot,” he replied, completely deadpan.

20 thoughts on “She” by Zahymaka (@azuka)

  1. strange SHE. lol
    maybe u could shed more light as i didnt really get the story.

  2. I’m with @Paul, i need this explained to me.

  3. It started well, yeah but I don’t think it was completely resolved.

    1. I was trying to keep things very mysterious. Apparently there was too much of it. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. A…. I’m tempted to call you by your name. lol
    I know you’re damn good (forgive my French) and i ditto @berry, it started well but i feel there’s more.

  5. Re: Your Questions

    Willie-Willie was a character in a popular TV series from when I was little. I don’t remember much about it except that Willie-Willie was killed by Nchele and returned as a ghost to haunt several people. The only reference I could find online was this facebook post. Willie-Willie was male, although I do remember one instance of him appearing with long hair, and back then long hair meant female to me.

    Mammy Water, Mammy Wata, Mami Wata, depending on how you spend it is a water deity. I only heard the name in Rivers State where I grew up, but se’s apparently a lot more popular than I thought.

    I hope this clears up a lot of the questions.

    1. @Zahymaka – reading that facebook link got me ROFLMAOing! Now i remember Willie-Willie and all the others and the story makes sense now.
      But what of readers who don’t have that history?

      1. Looks like next time I’ll have to stick to better-known references. Thanks!

  6. @Zahymaka. Lol :) The story made sense to me the minute I saw willie-willie for I remember it so well. I used to be scared stiff couldn’t stop watching it back then.
    However, I feel there is/should be more to this story. It kinda ended abruptly.
    My thoughts.

    1. I think it did too. I just wasn’t sure how to continue.

  7. I don’t quite get the story, but I think the beginning was really good.

  8. Em, Za-Za-Zahymaka. Jesus, forgive my stammering, please! What made me read this short piece was because I have come across the title SHE from a popular foreign novelist (can’t quite get his name now). He wrote a big novel (the Stephen King kind of novels) with the title SHE. Pity that I haven’t yet read that book. I wish I would, one day.

    The ‘Willie-Willie’ concept is quite interesting, but unfortunately, to me sha, you didn’t reflect it well in this story. You shouldn’t expect anyone NS person reading this story to know that concept. This short story cannot stand on its own without the referral you made to Facebook in your commentary. This short story is a deep-rooted mystery hanging in a bubble. When will the bubble burst, hm?

    1. Emmanuella, you’re talking about ‘She’ by Henry Rider Haggard. Very engrossing book; you should read it when you get the chance. It’s actually now even available for free on sites like Project Gutenberg.

      1. Beautiful, @TolaO, beautiful!! I had to first go home and think about that writer’s name (actually, his surname). I made a literary gathering of several titles of authors’ books, plays and poems, and I called this literary gatherings LITERARY ADVERTS OF THE LITERARY WORKS OF LITERARY WRITERS, and I placed this book title SHE amongst them. I had to go home and look back at it. This creation or invention was something I did while I was still in the university, anyway. I remember holding that book in my hand at some point in my life (it wasn’t mine though). And with this Internet guide you’ve so freely given me, @TolaO, I swear I’ll never forget you, yea? You mean that book is now for free on the net now?? Awesome!!!! :) Muchios muchios gratias, Sir Odejayi!!!

    2. Emmanuella, I haven’t read She either, because my mom spoiled it to me when I was quite young — it’s one of her favorites.

  9. I think the story was straightforward enough; how does a man respond to the appearance of a strange supernatural character who comes and goes as she wants? I liked it, especially because I could easily see it being expanded into many different directions.

    1. Thanks. I may revise it at some point and explore some other themes I originally intended to.

  10. this is a very intriguing story. BIG-UP. i do hope this is not the end cos if it is, i’d say it rather not acceptable

  11. 2nd thots: the guy don accept the ghost wife just like that abi?!

  12. […] piece. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned in expressing myself when I fly off at a tangent. Superstitions and rambling are fair […]

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