short story- Demon: Rooms to let.


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Demon: Rooms to let
Under an illusion, have you ever greeted a puppet in a
boutique or a sculpture in a museum? That is what happens when you
have not paid your house rent to my landlady. After leaving the scene
while coming back, she will challenge you:
“Alakowe! They don’t greet….”
If you take the left leg when you are supposed to take
the right, her words will lash your soul with its flagellum.
You will start to reminisce how once upon a time she
was the angel that gave you Ogbono soup with semovita, when garri
turned to the king in your store.
It is this period that a rooster for every household
chore is drawn. You sweep and sweep especially the front yard because
that is where her petty trading shop is. And those public school
students that troop out like ants at the sight of sugar cluster around
her to buy; sweets, biscuits etc. Most of them sit under the mango
tree to tell tales of their classmates, teachers and even parents as
they enjoy their delicacies and litter the ground with lylons. One
day, I roared at one of them, my land lady became her knight and
shouted back at me.
After long last that Chinyere could not pay, her son
added to Chinyere’s padlock. The padlocks became two; hers and the
landlady’s son’s. She came back from school that afternoon, she hardly
greet us as we sat on the bench on the corridor, she just rush in.
“Who locked my door with another padlock? What rubbish
is this?” She exclaimed.
“Maybe the land lady…” Tunde said.
“Well,thank God sha! I am graduating by September, I
am leaving this house.” I said.
Amidst our deliberations, her son came in, injecting
the air with his perfume which he must have stolen from a morgue. He
greeted us as the stank odour of cigar evade the atmosphere. He
enters his room. Soon, more puff of weed diffuse into the air.
Later that evening, she came in her aso ebi. She must
have been coming from a party. When she enters, Chinyere told her,
half frustrated but, as if she had no vein on her face, there  was no
expression on her face, she kept mute. She crossed the alley from the
boys’ quarters and enters his son’s room. After long period of
silence, she comes out and shouted:
“EMEKA! Come and open her door. She will pay, na you she
owe money?!”
He comes out of his room with a bunch of keys. He nearly
barge into Chinyere as he opens the door.
“Nothing dey free o, even for Freetown!” He scowls.
Sola, two weeks later, Chinyere packed her loads, then
we follow suit. That disclaimer you saw on the notice board was pasted
by us. For the past six months now, no one has rented the house. We
sacked our land lady.

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