Abiku by Habib Abayomi
{A story about spirit children who die before adulthood tormenting their mother and going back to their place of abode)



The tree in the morning sang like a wave in the forest. It was as if the trees were speaking in tongues of its gigantic nature of worshipping God in the morning. The morning sun had appeared from the serendipity of the west, smiling like a rotten egg. It was as if Segilola was imprisoned in the shackles of the University of Life, as she opened the window when the cock crows like a prisoner on the run.
Her hope had vanished into thin air and the morning had opened a can of worms in hunger. The reproach of having a stillbirth had swallowed her and she’s now a widow of circumstance laughing in the midst of dead children. The mystery of wizard children had enveloped as they cry in her belly ,waiting to be exhumed into the world. The shadow of wizard children had shattered her dreams and made her deranged in the midst of women .She’s now abused and caricatured as a mother of stillbirth who was bedridden with barren womb .In her hidden closet ,she had became destitute of a worm in the refuse bin. This morning was different as she was famished and looking tattered, with her skin being tormented by the string of the bed. She had resigned her faith to mother earth and ecstatic breast become swollen. She had become so thin due to her hypertensive sickness which had made her a ghetto, naked before the village as a liability to her wretched husband. .Her husband was a drunkard whose clothe was tattered and his shirt dirty ,having gone to search for abandoned animals in the forest .Segilola was still an angel before her suitors who had fought over her for marriage ,but she dumped them all for the wretched hunter .Her face was a radiant of beauty and her eyes flashed with life.

The hut was dark inside ,the masquerade has become part of her madness and animosity of a strange woman. Her husband shamelessly hung around her hips whenever she danced to the tune of the local song performed by drunkards. The melody of the sweet song always made her to drink whisky to cool her nerves down after a hectic day’s work waiting for the new moon. His message to his faithless wife was that she should not weep and that the ravening clouds of the new season will answer the prayer of her ranting as she had waited for the signs of the new moon.The terror of the night had enveloped her ,as feathers of cloud had made her to worship tin gods .Her heartbeat cried of loosing children who are stillborn .Whenever segilola tell her experience to herbalist ,her palm always showed plague of dead children crying of blood of an orphan mother .The sign always reminded her of the pain of shadow in her womb with voices of wizard children meeting in the seventh heaven of coming back to torment her; sojourning of living as a slave in the village. A few people had reckoned her to be a witch disturbing the marriage of the wretched hunter as a game of war. But rejoice, there’s a light in the tunnel at the end of cock-crow.

They went from one village to another in search of a child who will break the curse of the ancestors. The laughter in the mouth of her former suitors always provoker her as a witch who’s beauty always adorned sacrifices of the wizard god’s whose tradition had died. Now ,the missionary had sold their hearts to the bible and invaded their land, bringing of white-men making them slaves of foreign God. And her husband was such a loving father whenever new children were given birth to -smiling enigmatically hoping they will stay until they die to inherit their property.
Her song of sorrow in the morning was always intermingled with the spirit world of mysterious people
“Each time I cry,
I see dead childrens,
Mocking me to sacrifice,
Within the river of spirit children”.
Though, her mind was to give birth to children who will stay without departing to the spirit world who claimed they own the pregnancy in the outset of an evil village. At one point, she dreamt of being with the supernatural mythical society doing meeting with the heavenly bodies of magical children with brooms in their forehead. She couldn’t understand the magical dream but her spirit kept sacrificing to the blind beggars whose prayer of atonement is to fantasize children. But one surprising morning, her prayers was heard in the seventh heaven and the child came in sequence of a girl with robust cheecks. This attracted the whole village who had been waiting for the miracle in an odd way, conversing with the river of sacrificial lambs. She looked beautiful and ritually accepted by the herbalist, who appeased the gods of the village for not putting them to shame.

Palm wine was shared among friends and foes who came to rejoice swallowing bitter kola nut to their mouth. Her name was “Baoku” meaning “if we are not dead “to stick to her as a separation from the world of Abiku. This brought joy to the whole village whose war had just been won, signifying of a sign of good things will come apart from tragedies of the market-place. The father was the leader of the hunters who’s larger-than-life character is comic to the palm wine drunkards of merry-makers who dance atones the villagers.” This child has come to stay “says one joyful hunter who shot sporadically to the air to silence the mouth of detractors. Who had made the mother a strange-being. That was her mysterious days ,with mockers of dead abiku’s whose strange death always brought tears and sorrows to the mothers who gave birth to them.
That girl was born with laughter on her cheek and she grew, traveling to many cities conversing with spirit children’s in the night as a wonder-kid among her siblings. Her mother was troubled of her mystery being whenever she sees her on the wall in the midnight, chanting incantations and mischievous strange “Ogbanje” in the middle of the night, arousing her thought of being foretold about the spirit world. But in the morning, her innocence always withdrew her conversation with the dead coffins ,kept in the cupboard of the back-room whenever she goes back to where she came from ,isolating her from the rebirth with her parent.
Her growing up was normal, as she never showed the signs of her charmed circles of Abiku as a sacred child asking repeatedly for oil sacrifice to appease the seventh heaven. Her parent were always at her mercy of her bragging to return to the spirit kingdom if not well pampered with gifts from the parents who brought her to the world being .This barbaric ritual was usually done at night binding her with fellow ’ogbanje’ spirit being with the medicine men of herbalist as they make scars on the body of the child for her not to back her place of abode, refusing to give her circumcision whenever she disappeared from mother earth and come to life as a ritual often done for them to remain in the world with their parents. Her father always drink to stupor with his fellow friends and would often curse the gods for giving a mysterious baby who’s growing up looked devilish.”Baoku” realized this and was often isolated from other children’s in the village environs which often make visitors to gossip at the mark of goddess children who should be worshipped for the river .The river often attract sacrifices and appeasement every year with big festival and dances in the village ,drinking that becomes a spirit conversation.
Baoku usually attended“Abiku” meeting which took place in the dead of the night, when almost everybody was in a slumber , especially their parents. She lays on the bed beside her mother and she’s suddenly transformed into a grown-up in the meeting beside her mother innocently in the twinkling of an eye falls into apparently innocently child-like sleeping when her hunter’s is unaware of her mythical behavior of the whole situation ,in her life-span. It is a mentally culture of renaissance of spirits, their place of abode are restricted to secluded corners of a town to the inside of jungle of a suburbs area where they are thinking of dying and coming back to unsuspecting pregnant mother who are walking strangely in the night .Her behavior was predictable and her good side was damaging the poverty –stricken parent and being irritated by mythical parent worshipping her as a tin goddess .
Her parents lost wealth taking care of the over-pampered “ ogbanje” child who’s aim is to bereave the parent with their callous character. Baoku was treated as a queen goddess of the river and was mostly feared by mythical herbalist who knows their strength and think-twice to worship them whenever their was fetish of the river goddess.
Baoku’s Faher works killing animals in the thick forest carrying heavy loads in the market-place and though, he comes back bend and exhausted from his labors ,he still hold to his shattered life.
This family lived from hand-to-mouth in dire of poverty at the cost of carrying their ‘ogbanje’ child. Her hunting father knew that the child ’Baoku’ is magical and powerful often recovering from fainting and charms hung around her neck. ’Baokus’ turmoil always arouse the magical beliefs of a vicious cycle often attracting the remote village in her larger-than life character ,abandoning the spirit children in the seventh-heaven in her growing up whose strange power was flowing with magical realism in her modest setting amidst of blurring and pleasing them in their separation world with fight against human being. The spirit children had many visions as a child and often tormenting their mother at night with strange thoughts ,after many plays with the strange being at the junctions of their backyard. She had many encounter with spirits in the night shadow and getting violently in her sleep.
Her fathers always hide in the midst of drunkards over-looking his dark years. But the moment of death had came knocking and the spirit children have been calling for the pledge made before coming to the womb of her mother to make her mother again as she does each time they die, abandon their parent before reaching separating them from the real-world between tragedy and sorrow of a setting of psyche of disappearing act into the seventh heaven.
That morning, the leg of ‘Baoku’ was shaking strangely and her mother quickly rescued at her back to the herbalist to tell her “This child has started fainting again, what do we do”. She must die again o” in her strange voice, vowing never to loose the child to the ‘abiku’s ‘spiritual world of returning back, owing to the ephemeral nature and her attempt to prevent death became abortive.
So, the child died in the hand of the herbalist bereaving them, as she was shrouded in mystery of death after many incantation to the river goddess who turned their back to him .Her pledge was to returning into another unsuspecting mother and prayers was that their “children will suffer death at their youth”. But she kicked the bucket honorably of having cultic powers and being worshipped as spirit being. Segilola’s mother’s last wish was that, she valued her more than gold and her was liken to at the assembly of spirit.
The journey of this death was stage-planned, occasioned by blunt extremism of wizardry. She wondered how her tears couldn’t crack the corpse but to repose where pain become bibliophile of an escapist of mystery ghost childrens as she begged the “Abiku” to stay alive of a controversial death buried as a sacrifice of the goddess.
The day was yet to crackle out of its shell when terrible voice began to waft through the back-yard as the mastermind of the devilish handwriting on the wall shows dead masquerade as a custom of doom practiced by the village as they do not look unkempt neither do they have the trappings of a child who’s need to go through river of sacrificial blood painting of money-bags as there road was rough as a portrayal of doomed children with marks on her run-away syndrome of controversial of humane insecure in their mind bugging with answers of past of an un-ending past as the deceased with distraught of magical realism as a part of a run-away hero of a missing custom of oral beliefs.
She had bite the dust as an unfailing oracle of uncanny ,even in times of famine draught as she does not capture the isolation of a roots waiting in an unusual of a beauty sold in the market daylight of her barbaric ghost as they host their livelihood as master of the future as deducted as a wizard of dead beings of wrong gone with the winds of innocent culture of rivers shrouded ,returning to the spirit world where she made a pledge to return as believed in the covenant bondage to the helm ,in a controversial ghoulish as the hunting down enemies strange of mythical hungry for ritual foods digging up, painting pebble on the ground., imagine her flying and overlooking shadow violently dying with blood.
The toughness in the eyes of Segilola could be brain-stormed of speaking alone to the heir and spying to the ‘Abiku’s generation of having several mothers as confessed in their meeting as foretold by the fetish seers of cultural manipulation as a stigma that have devilish oath taken into allegiance to the pledge of going back. “And the child goes back”, the mother wailed in pensive mood as the deceased cried of spilled milk of strange cracked bones removed from her body of weeping game of speaking to the burial of the child cracking out of the seclusion of mourning .But the memory of her burial would dance to the tune of the singers at the graveyard as predicted by the seers as sinister waiting to be explode .The burial singers chanted her elation to the detriment of their custom. Her darkness world brought shame to them of being abandoned as a cursed culture of ghost life of a hunter in his illusion.

But segilola had swallowed the bitter pill of evil dream in her time of chaos of a corrupted village head-ship and the circumstance surrounding her burial triggered spontaneous curiosity as she was trying to appease her covenant before the suicide theory of the moonlight perennial seasons. The season of her anomie brought her lamentation, making havoc of a buried and strange wizard children finding abode in her womb. The rumor of spreads like wild- fire bringing back to the trenches, agog of drunkard who’s rain of curses bedeviled terror on the parent who are victims of a broken homes. The bedeviled sound of the burial singers at the grave-yard shows the cankerworm of peer’s prediction and the euphoria which brought fame as a father of witches hunting the family’s unity. No more hiding” he says ,thinking of his justice the gods had done by the devilish incarnate children’s as a ravening of a mad-man lamenting of anguish .And he woke up on the bad of the world which was lurked around the corner.

His ambition of his hunting mind , was his road to the bush, which was rough but it was the funeral that brought him an unfinished wars with evil trait of ravings with the devilish incarnates. The euphoria which greeted was his worth of a fortune which reduced to veneration. His ambition was thwarted as a destruction of plagiarism as one death with many riddles as the silk which was hung around the wall.His dream went up in flames as a result of dare-devil stunts which left many question in her mind as the sky shows beauty of radiant light with embodiment of dark world .Now, he has been left in the cold of forgotten solace of intense battle with the gods of the village wearing animal behavior triggered by evil herbalist , defeating him as a grave stunts.
The mind blogging death litany shows a typical magical realism hunting down their soul with payment of sacrifial seperation with signal warning before given the parent cycle of problems as they linger in their thoughts of a visionary tone of wizards which she hide in her closet amidst a a evil practice ‘When I come in the other world,I will never choose Abiku” was the cofession in his incantation to the herbalist as they murder sleep in their hands hunting down enemies .The memory of their fantasy in his journey leads to passion of the evil goddess of twisting them to accepting their fate with earthly shrine folk-tales of foolish ignorance of a stormy famine season of ghost-like childrens which cannot be apeased by legends.
His ties to the real-world are precarous between life and death agonizing the mother .It was a ritual of tormenting Segilola’s scary moment as she attracted a motley crowd who were head-over-heels in love with her, by her suitors who wanted to end the cycle of “Abiku” in her life as the child cried in the grave of mystery intermingling with darkness in the night aborting their cherished ,swept away by barbaric culture.She was so beautiful that her husband couldn’t reject her into the hand of another man after paying ‘dowry’ to retain her from people who are falling in love,as her smile to the besieging the crowd ‘special wife’ home in the middle of the night confusing the marriage with charms buried in the ground to communicate with the evil world. She was so frightened that she accepted her faith as her life was ended with loosing the child to mother earth weeping for goat and cowries of theri oral superstition of being stigmatized in a dilemma as a signal of her death was ignored before death came knocking at their closet with oath been rejected by the gods .The tag of giving birth to ‘abiku’ had made her lost touch with the world with sudden fear of extinct culture in the realm of the spirit world and giving up to death accepting the burden of going back to the seventh heaven as her home separating with the tattered and dangerous journeys watching her child to die in their hand.
The sacredness that “Abiku” children were held in the dark years recognising the strange world praying to the ground with the whisky in his hand after a sleepy night waking in his hand after a sleepy nigh waking to the reality of troubled waters in which he found himself ,finding ways to scuttle with the gods as his world has been tored apart by the battle of his life by whcih he was poverty stricken owing to the debt he inherited from his fore-fathers .Now,his clock has stopped dancing to the tune of pulling down the tree out of storm by the maker of rain.The tears flowed her as a signal of a felony beyong the serene of a shartered life in with satanic instinct of a leopard who never changes his colours no matter how much is threatened.

11 thoughts on “Abiku” by yommy1 (@yommy1)

  1. Too long. A lot of tense and spelling errors. But it has a style.

  2. The recent crack down on me for my harsh criticisms has made me handicapped. But I swear this kinda story needs a very harsh encouragement.
    But I go walka pass…

    1. @kaycee- lolz. Even me sef wey my writing dey very poor, I no fit shout o! I get many things to talk but I go reserve am.

      The story was quite long and lost its flavor.

    2. So this is how you waka pass….Hmmm.

  3. The story was too choked together…I think you need some paragraphing. Spelling errors…

    You can write tho…just take the time to edit your stuff.

  4. Bubbllinna (@sibbylwhyte)

    This piece does leave the brain in a muddled state..

    1. @Bubbllinna let me help you unmuddle a little.

  5. midas (@midas)

    @Bubbllinna: you couldn’t have put it any better
    I’ve never seen so much metaphor packed in one piece, not even the venerated classics. I guess that should count for something.

  6. obi onyinye anne (@obionyinye)

    Too much metaphor……shocked sentences….spelling errors.Its a good story bt so many things are wrong.Edit plssss

  7. @Yommy1,

    Wrong word usage, tense confusion, unseparated paragraphs and spelling issues made this story so difficult to read that I ended up just skimming through to the end instead. You need to do more work on this story; ask here if you need specific criticism.

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