Writers’ Blokke
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Writers’ Blokke

This Must Be a Dream [Fiction]

Background picture: a boy running in a garden; background text: this must be a dream (fiction).
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It was a bright full moon night as I walked along the scary pathway of Dada cemetery. It has been said that a madman lives in the centre of the “place of the dead.” Coming back from a business trip, I had hoped to get home by 7 p.m., but when you live in Lagos, expecting the unexpected should always be at the back of your mind. 5 hours of standstill at Mushin was the least I expected on such a fine day. I had to drop from the bus and trek from Mushin to Yaba, but I never expected to still be on the streets of Yaba by 1 a.m. and I would have to be awake by 6 a.m. to beat the traffic to get to work at Victoria Island to submit my report of the conference I went for at Abuja by 8 a.m.

My phone was beeping “battery low” at 5% but I had no choice but to switch on my phone flash if I was to be partially safe from the antics of a madman if there was actually one in the cemetery. I have never been afraid of the dark, and my tired body was down with leg pain; I had to say, “Jesus, help me!” every 30 seconds to keep calm. I was so lost and tired, and I almost felt like sleeping there in the cemetery, but of course, I dare not. I kept walking when I saw a bright light coming in my direction. It was too bright, but I felt it must be a car. “Thank God” escaped from my lips; “my journey will be reduced,” flashed my thoughts. As the light came closer, I discovered it was a truck, but what caught my attention was the raised guns. I sincerely don’t know what came over me. I started running into the depths of the cemetery. I rather face a madman than armed men, it was not put up for suggestion. As I ran, I kept thinking, “did they see me?” I did not care about the pain in my legs. If Usain Bolt is still called the fastest man, that is because he wasn’t there with me as I ran amidst the gravestones.

When I finally stopped running for shortness of breath, it was already 1:35 a.m. I had been running for about 30 minutes. It was then I realised that I was not being pursued. “They did not see me,” came the relief from my mouth, but I was lost. Do I trace my steps back to the main road or do I sleep there till morning? But I wasn’t even sleepy. As I was pondering what next, I heard footsteps coming my way. “I am done for,” shouted the fear in the depths of my mind. No time to think twice; I hid behind a huge gravestone.

I was still a young man in my early twenties, with no wife, no mansion, and no impact. If I was to die, not today! Behind the gravestone, I was mouthing “Lord, help me, I shall live a long life, in Jesus’ name.” Hiding there, I saw a man in a white wrapper holding a dagger, along with two men carrying a struggling goat and a woman wearing a red garment behind them. My heart was racing; if I was discovered, I might replace that angry goat. They passed me without noticing I was there. I stayed mute until they were some distance away from me.

“I can’t stay here,” I cried within myself. Who then do I face? The yet to be seen madman, the armed men, or this group planning to carry out some spiritual affair. “I won’t die today,” was the resolution in my mind. I started walking toward the path I thought I came from. I took every step with my ears to the ground. I wanted to run, but what else could possibly be in the cemetery? Well, I was not ready to face any new challenge, cause that might lead to a heart attack. I was so lost in thought that I did not know when a man came and touched me on my shoulders; was he the infamous madman? I did not know and did not care. I ran even faster than my weary legs could carry me. “I won’t stop until I get to the road,” was all I cared to think about, but after one hour of non-stop running and jogging, I looked around to access my environment. What I saw made me panic; I was in a new part of the cemetery. “How big is this cemetery?” I was so confused. To add to the confusion, my phone switched off. Up till this moment, I never thought of making a call, but it was too late.

The only thing I could think about was, “do I stay here or keep walking? Lord help me.”

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Favour Olumese

Favour Olumese

Favour Olumese is a lover of the creative use of words who utilises poetry & non-fiction to relate humanity and divinity in this ticking phase called life.