Poisoned Darts- another short story

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“Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude, can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful” 

Jacqueline Bisset

You would take a second look if Sandra ever walked past you on the street of Lagos. From the curves of softness that adorned her body to the shape of her face, every detail was exquisitely carved into perfection. You would take a second look because you had to wonder if she looked as pretty behind as she did in front.

Everything about her was etched to perfection. One look at her lips would leave the stone-hearted men driveling in lust. Another look at her bright and fair skin would leave some wondering how lucky she was not to be an albino. That beautiful skin that wrapped around her body so intricately would leave you craving to touch her, as though to affirm that she was real.

She stood out in a throng effortlessly like a light bulb in the dark. You could NEVER miss her stunning beauty.

 You see, a girl on a walk is a thing you can see any day, but she was different. She walked as if she and the street had come to an understanding, as if the pavement was more than willing to rise in support of the soles of her shoes. She had the grace of a queen and the aplomb of a heroine.

She knew the effect she had on men and to a limited effect on the ladies too. But the men literally drooled over her. She had seen them deservedly smacked by their partners for gawking at her and she was used to the ladies batting their oversized eyelids in irritation.

The beauty of her sister, Patricia paled in comparison to hers. Pat as she was oft called had accepted her fate. She was pretty in her own right, good enough for most men, but she suffered the indignation of playing second fiddle to her younger sister all through her childhood.

The boys barely noticed her presence when Sandra was anywhere around. Boyfriend you’d ask? They tried their luck first with Sandra before they considered settling for her. Of course, she turned them down too.

“Shameless boys” she’d curse.

Together, the ladies were a lethal combination. They took the beauty and the brain mantra to all new levels and over the years had perfected the skills of manipulating, distracting and pilfering to their advantage.

“Men are so stupid” Sandra would say. “They think with their dick”

Some weeks earlier, they had walked into one of the huge malls in Ikeja when the sun was at its lowest in the sky to shop for their monthly supplies. Sandra was dressed to seduce, her bust juggling as she walked, and her bum looked like it threatened to burst free. Men ran into each other as she walked past, while Pat watched the ones who looked incredibly lost and beckoned on them for directions to the toiletries’ section.

That invitation would cost the men a trolley full of all sorts of items. Some didn’t mind at all, after all they could afford it comfortably. Others would have to empty every dime in their debit card just to get a “fake” phone number from her.

“The dimwits” Sandra giggled as she told them that her phone battery had ran out

While they engaged the ladies in a conversation, Sandra would make them select the best brand of human hair to buy or asked if they liked white wine better than the sour red ones. The men always obliged her request and walked her to the till to make payment.

That afternoon at the mall, three men fell over each other to pay for their shopping list.

The modus operandi was pretty straight forward, Sandra lured them in with her sumptuous body, while Patricia locked their wallets in whilst promising to convince her sister to go on a date with them. She often gave the men her own phone number, so she could milk more out of them in a 1-month relationship.

They therefore lacked nothing while they schooled at the University. They stayed off-campus in a small town called Akoka, after the Moremi Hall executives had lodged several complaints with the Dean of Student Affairs about the outrageous number of male visitors that thronged their room throughout the day, every day. Some said it was envy, others said they needed to rid the halls of prostitutes.

The girls left Moremi Hall anyway, and moved into a much bigger and comfortable apartment where students could only dream of visiting. They lived like queens, with maids at their beck and call and a gate attendant that only allowed “approved” guest into their pad.

How could they afford such opulence, you ask again?

They knocked the men over each other, making them compete for her attention with everything they had. While some men handed over doles of cash stacked neatly in Ghana-must-go bags just to impress Sandra to share a night with them, others transferred six figures, sometimes seven, just so they could touch and suckle on her pair of succulent breasts.

Some guy would furnish their apartment while another would send upkeeps on a monthly basis. They never ran out of options. They used the latest gadgets, appliances and wore the trendiest attires.

They carefully chose the men that earned the right to spend the night with them, only after they had spent a whooping and impressive sum so they could get them to do even more.

But soon they got bored. It was just too easy. Sometimes the men were a bore and a bother. They just never stopped coming. Many of them unsolicited. The girls did not have a normal life. They lived for the men who paid their bills. They visited posh hotels, resorts, restaurants all on invite from their principals. They had tons of pictures taken in the best luxurious hotels and their Instagram page was awash with impressive energy and smiling faces. At 22, the girls had seen more luxury than the whole of the generation of their ancestors.

How could anyone be bored with such a life?

Oh well, both ladies didn’t grow up in opulence. In fact, if abject poverty had a sterner meaning, it wouldn’t still do justice.

Their father, Alphonsus was a shoe cobbler during the evenings and a farmer most of the day in a small village nestled between the confluence of two tributaries of the Benue river and set in the middle belt area of Nigeria. The land he farmed was stupendously fertile and in the early years of the girls’ childhood, they were better off.

Right from birth, Sandra looked like the gods spent more time doing the finishing. It was like nothing the mid-wives in the village had ever seen. They thought she was too beautiful and must belong to the gods.

Her mother, Agnes, thought she was the most adorable baby. Such endearing words that were never used to describe her older sister who wore the look of irritation even at birth.

Alphonsus gloated at every chance he got. Many times, while he repaired shoes of the old school principal or drank himself to stupor in the company of other farmers, he would speak glowingly of the beauty of his second daughter.

“It is comparable to nothing I had ever seen” he would say.

His friends would often remind him that he hadn’t travelled far and wide and there was no way he had seen prettier women. That didn’t deter him, his daughter was the prettiest in the village.

Sometimes good things don’t last, soon enough, adversity came upon him like a cloak of darkness. The Benue river burst its bank and inundated the entire village and its vicinity with a great flood. The farmlands were drunk with water from familiar tributaries that had served them for many decades leaving the harvest and livelihoods of hundreds of families in peril. That was the least of the losses suffered that year. Many died as massive flood swept them away without notice as they farmed their cassava or rested in the lightweight huts roofed with dried palm leaves.

The losses were humongous. The girls survived because Agnes joined the other mothers for a medical check-up at the missionary house 2km away from their village.

Alphonsus perished while he tried to stack sandbags to protect the only source of livelihood he knew. His body was never found, just like the other farmers who joined him in the quest.

Gossip had it that their mutilated bodies floated for many days on the Benue river before it was deposited like eroded sand in other villages hundreds of kilometers away. The watery grave was all the valiant men got in return for their efforts.

Agnes and the other women, some of them mothers, widows and unmarried young girls, lived at the missionary shelter for many months, as long as the flood remained at their village. The Priests at the mission house was kind to provide make-shift shelter for the villagers, while they were served meals twice every day. There was nothing comfortable about the shelter, but beggars cannot be choosers after all. Sandra had barely clocked one year old when this calamity befell the village. Agnes sometimes wondered if she was indeed a curse.

When they got the first chance to return to what was left of their homestead, the women cried their eyes sore. There was nothing that could be salvaged. They couldn’t even identify whatever was left of their huts, they barely found their way to their farmlands. The trees that served as landmarks were all gone, the few that dared the odds were left contorted and bent like an old woman’s back. What was left of their village was a frightening mess and a sad reminder of everything they had lost. Where were they to start from?

That was the beginning of the lives of the two girls.

Please follow the story as it unfolds here.

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15 thoughts on “Poisoned Darts- another short story”

  1. Pingback: Poisoned Darts Part 2- another short story – Akin Akingbogun

  2. AbdulSalam Rukayat folake

    You left me imagining the kind of heavenly beauty bestowed on Sandra
    Beautiful write up
    Sure ain’t stopping here
    What next

  3. There’s always a background story influencing life decisions

    Looking forward to where this story would take me

  4. OMG.. I see some very disturbing and unpleasant things are about to unfold. Sandra may be very ruthless though.

  5. Pingback: Poisoned Darts Part 3- another short story – Akin Akingbogun

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