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Praying Mantis

by ,

The Praying Mantis

Dark and quiet, Safe for whistling crickets, there came banging on a door. A drunk Man holding a bottle of gin kicks the door hard. It came shattering. We see a woman with hands Akimbo, intrepid, like a leopard about to prey.

The man staggers forward, stops face to face before her. As he throws his hands to..… she begins to hit him hard. They struggle until her wrapper loosens. The bottle of gin falls, slow motion and the liquor slips the man to his kneels like a contrite Sinner. Holding the woman’s lower form, he begins to caress her.

A door slightly opens and three kids are peeping through. From fight to romance, we hear moans as the door closes. Mr. Allen knows his onions. Libido. Is. Wicked.

In the kitchen, the woman’s head is bent, hands resting on steel. A knife lying useless

“You said you’d fight him and make him behave”. A boy speaks, fists clenched behind her.

“I am sor…sorry, son”. She whimpers. The kitchen door opens and the duo turns left. It’s Mr. Allen. As he reaches the woman, she picks the knife, stabs him thrice. Alade, the boy cries out “Murder!”



The first time Abiola had met Adanma in a mall, he almost didn't look at her. She had the appearance of those ladies who were tagged angels on earth but later to be found displaying attributes of the devil himself. He had left in a hurry because there was this force pushing him to go and talk to her. "The son of Jide will not be found chasing after the daughter of Jezebel." He said inaudibly.

When he came across Adanma again at the cinema, he tried to concentrate on the movie but couldn't. There was something about her that drew his attention. He hissed under his breath and didn't care about how much he had paid for the ticket. He stood up to leave, but the warm smile she had given him, made his knees so weak that all he did was stare.

She walked up to him and asked to sit beside him since the seat next to him was empty. "Well, well, I was about going out to, to-" he stammered. "Going out to where?" She asked, giving him same smile that had confused him in the first place. "Apparently, you don't have an answer to that. Who will leave the cinema when a brilliant movie such as this one is just starting?" She asked him, as she chuckled.

"That's right, I just thought it will be best to watch such a movie with someone but since you are here already, I see no reason why I should leave." He said, wondering if those words had come from him. Adanma became the song on his lips from that day onward. He couldn't take his eyes off her whenever they were out together. He introduced her to friends and family. The fact that Adanma was indeed an angel, made him uncomfortable that his thoughts had belittled her.

Many fishes they say, is in the river but this one he had found was not one to be left in the market place for all eyes to have a glimpse. He had plans on proposing to her even though they had only being together for three months. Those three months to him was the best of his life, ever since the demise of his parents.

He made plans and wanted the proposal to be a surprise, but as he was right there in a flower shop trying to get a rose in which a ring can perfectly fit in, he saw Adanma with another man, walking hand in hand. That must be her dad he thought, he walked up to them to say a 'hello' but as he got closer, he realized the man was older and bore no resemblance to her father.

Adanma stammered at the sight of him. "Darling, do you know the young man?" The old man asked in confusion as he watched how Adanma suddenly became nervous. "I really don't know him from anywhere." She said almost in a whisper, but Abiola had heard her clearly. He brought out the ring from the flower he had picked and gave the rose flower to Adanma. "I was wrong, you are just like one of the others." He said with so much pain written on his face as he walked away.

- Joy Okwori.