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Love Is A Knife! – An Excerpt From A Novel By Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar

Love Is A Knife!


This is the Land of Origins.

            This, you have only dreamt of in your dreams. Amazing. The air is purpled with music of the spheres! There’s no sorrow. No pain. The breath of life is streaked with whitish blue rhythms, at best bluish silver.

            Here. The purple Rain falls lightly. Like snow on Christmas day in America or foggy misty mornings of harmattan on an African village square.

            It is the ultimate sensation. Primordial, like magic hanging on trees. Untinted still. Uncorrupted; by intellectuality or the polarization of North, South, East or West, all things cosmetic or petty or vogue or in between. It is the pleasure of perfection. There’s no wrong. Only right. No evil.

            Mother-nature squats gigantically with her big blue thighs, popping out new babies each passing second.

            Our mother – the harbinger of life; you’ve seen her: But of course you forget, the moment you give their expectant shrill cry. You cry. And then, they clap and laugh. If anyone’s still wondering why fairies cry, little babies, well, it’s simple. We cry because birth, although a process of creation by Adam-Akpancho, God of the skies Owoicho Manchala, the creator and fabricator extra-ordinary of the moon and stars and the nine worlds already discovered, and the eighteen yet to be. Birth is an activity that disturbs the cool “sacro-illiac”, the ultimate high; the audio – life. And the blue of the deep.

            She’s comparable to twelve elephants put together. And she’s black. She’s African sometimes. And white at other times. Pigmented like a karma-chameleon.  Her humungous nudity is bared before everyone as she squats, bearing the fairies. Here, we celebrate only right. No evil.

            The need for clothes is non-existent. So also is that for food. And nourishment. We get our nourishment from the air we breathe!

            Mostly, we are all fairies.

            Tiny little winged Angels and Angellets. Then, there’re some without any sex. They have preferred and elected not to be burdened by any gender. Like oysters habiting the bottoms of the deep, they have remained sexless.

            The genderless fairies never come to the worlds. They are never born. They simply habit the purpled realm and infuse same with wondrous magical bliss of enchantment: The music of the spheres. Theirs are the songs of prophetic greatnesses. Then there’s the music of all beings. All green plants respond to these tender songs and worship same each morning and evening when the sun rises and sets.

            Sometimes. We purpled winged Angels and Angellets could also become genderless fairies, that is after returning from the Worlds, upon passing to and from, the Red gate. Having tempered and weathered the varying labyrinths of love. We’ll then not return again to earth – the world of the living.

            Ours is the world of the unborns.

            The superlative groove of marvelous magical realism. Dominated by the allure and charm of talking flowers i.e. Canantiums and Roslies, the flowers of the future.

            Mostly, fairies bear no names. But not I. I am Oyify-orda! Meaning in my native Idoma: a child is more than material things. My life is a riddle.

            This is the story of my wrath. I, Oyifyorda. Soon, I shall live in the head of a young Nigerian writer. He `s got talents and potentials. And politics.

I shall be his muse, His creative spirit. Well, now, let the stories begin. I, a fable? And he, the fabler, the  fabulator. And soon, my story shall be told.


       I will be dead tomorrow

At exactly 6.00am. I shall be dead and gone forever. There’s no one alive that could rescue me from this hovering Angel of death.

     My name. I shall never know. My essence and humanity shall be interred, hushed like a bad experiment performed by an erring medic in an anatomy lab. I shall never know the name of my wife. The children I would have propagated. The name of my dog. My cat. Neither will I ever know the political ideology I would have proclaimed.

      I shall never know the scent of flowers. The sweetness of neither chimes nor the agony of tears. Like the pain of Ovoramwen Nogbaisi and the demise of the Benin Empire or the passing of England’s Rose, my candle shall burn out tomorrow. But my legend will never end. The secrets of my murder shall continue to haunt my murderers, in the fervent still of the night.

    The time is 6.00pm. And slowly the clock ticks. Each tock bring me nearer to my doom.

Now I have twelve hours to live.

   My parents are in the living room. My mum is lying on the sofa with her face buried deep in the softness of a puff. She is sporting a pair of faded blue Levis pants and a rather large T-shirt with the inscription carefully lettered on the front “cosmic order”. Somehow the atmosphere around the room is tense and heavy. Anyone entering the room would know immediately that something is just not right. And it would seem as if part of the roof is opened and a blood caked cloud hangs over, dripping. My mum begins to cry.

      My Dad is everything my mum is not. And looking at my Dad standing close to the window with a bottle of Chevalier Napoleon brandy severely clutched in his hand, his hair permed like a lady’s, lying straight on his head and ending in a pony tail, a cigarette burning in one of his hands, I begin to question all at once the meaning of Chemistry and how it could have possibly sprout between my Mum and my Dad.

   “Please Olutu, let’s not do it tomorrow. Let’s not do it all… how could we?” she sobs some more and exhaled very loudly and after a very deep breath, she said again to my Dad, “we will survive! Let’s just put our fate in God! This will not ruin our dreams… things will get better each day and someday we shall look back at this event in our lives very thankful that we didn’t do it!”.

    She sobs. Burying her face deeper into the puff, sobbing so beautifully that even the buzzing flies strolling pass the living room still to listen and sympathizes with her ordeal. I feel for mum. She’s so soft and tender like blossoming roses in June.

   Dad moved across the room and said to mum with a nasal crack like a mafia thug, he said to her, cold and deadly with a deeply measured baritone: “Look here Alache, we have been going over this for three months now. I have begged you. I have cajoled you. I have enticed you in many ways trying to make you see why we must do it! But you are only bent on being troublesome, unreasonable and stupid! Listen well and listen good, we will do it tomorrow at exactly 6.00am on the dot and. We shall do it one way or, or the other and neither you nor any girl for that matter will drag my life to the mud. The sky will ever remain my limit!”

   My mum begins to cry afresh. She is sobbing in earnest now and spasms of rapid fever resonates and reverberates through her frame, perhaps by some inner human squeeze, my Dad becomes moved and he moved closer to mum and slowly kissed her on the head. Gently he reached out a hand and massaged her hair. And proceeded to whisper in her ears.

     From the silence that ensued afterward. One thing became certain in my conscious little mind. They were going to do it!

    I wanted to run away from home that night, but all the doors were locked and besides, my feet were frail. I over heard Dad telling mum with that mafia twang of his that he loved her dearly and when mum’s reply came to me through the crack of the closed door that she loved him too, water blurred my eyes and I could see nor hear no more.

   I was totally and finally cocooned and that was how I laid and waited until 6.00am. The next day when Mum and Dad went to keep their appointment. Mum was immediately led into an inner room where the tick-tock of a clock sounded to remind me of my predicament.

      There was a thick smell of disinfectant in the room and it clung heavily to my nostril.

   Mum was expectedly laid on a table and her legs were widely spread apart and Just then, I began to protest wildly, screaming and pleading all at once. ‘No! Wait! God! I won’t eat too much; I’ll even go without clothes. But it was too late.

    The knife came!


The knife came.

Yes it came. Bloody motherfuckers, they want to kill me after enjoying moments and moments of randy sex… wait, how did they do it? My Daddy, the selfish bastard! What may have been the thoughts that crisis-crossed the evil lair that could be described as his heart while he was busy pleasuring himself on top of my mummy? … Did he think thoughts of love? Did he think of having her as a wife? And propagating us young ones someday? No way! I don’t think so. The bastard must have spreaded my mummy’s legs very widely apart and ravaged recklessly at her rustic innocence. Bastard! Pleasuring on my mummy as you like because she was much too foolish to tell lust apart from love, much too non – confident about her personality and self, and her mummy having died giving birth to her, and her daddy, although a multi-millionaire ten times over, simply too busy to play with her, always felt abandoned in her glassy and palatial mansion.

         My mummy needed love and believed in fairy tales. “He’ll come upon his chariot, blazing in silver and gold. Your knight in shinning amour and sweep you away from the wicked witch in the big castle and you’ll live forever and a day! Knowing  nothing else but pure love. Love like that shared between a butterfly and the faithful flowers that never fails to supply it with sweet juices. And you’ll never be unhappy again”.

The nanny told my mummy that! And she believed it!

Granted, my mummy is human and fallible and being nineteen and a head stuffed up with M & B and silhouette novels, was glullible and you took advantage of all that… And now you’ve brought me to the butcher to be killed! I Oyifyorda. Yes! That’s my name. For I have named myself, the indestructible one, the one who never dies and has greatness bestowed on him.

I shall live. Yes, I shall live, for I have chosen my own destiny. My fate is in my hands. I shall survive it. This filthy – crazy – one – thousand naira-dim – lit roomed – ABORTION!

And then you’ll see! Dearest Daddy – you’ll see!

The knife came.

But it came in the form of a hand. A gloved hand reaching through my mummy’s womb and coming forth into the room where I was cocooned. May God Almighty wither the wicked hand and damn it to hell and the fourteenth descendants of the owner of the hand. Yes! It is I Oyifyorda. I have spoken!

           The hand came. The hand is coming, it is coming o! Everybody come and see o! The gloved wicked hand of the butcher! It is looking for me. To pull me out. To drop me into the gutter. The pit latrine. To be cursed about and spitted upon by passerby in the morning. To be shitted upon by gluttons when they go to ease off in between meals, forgetting that people are starving in Afghanistan and Ethiopia. I Oyifyorda! The future UN ambassador to the world’s poor and needy. No way. I’m not going out like this.

The hand is fishing for me. It is fishing for me o! It goes to the right and I go to the left. It goes to the left, and I to the right.

Now we’re playing hide and seek in the luscious garden of my mother’s womb.

…and just when am truly beginning to enjoy the game, the good-for nothing – freezed-deceased-son-of-a-thousand-fathers is tired. He has given up! He can’t find me. Beautiful! The butcher does not even know his goddamn job!

 I’m not complaining – I’m sure you know what I mean. Yeah, sure you do.

I can hear my mummy screaming her head off. Oh! Dear mummy… why did you agree to this crazy scheme in the first place? Why did you mummy? Why did you?

Oh! My mummy. Wait; just wait until I come out of here, when I catch the bastard? When I catch the bastard? – My father!

Outside. My mummy is still crying. She’s moaning softly now and some birds have come to sit at the window looking in on my mummy and asking themselves “What kind of creatures are humans that they kill their unborns? We’re glad we’re birds. Birds are very Godly creatures; we multiply. These are a race that deducts!” Fly away Peter, fly away Paul. They refuse to be contaminated. They are not coming back. They want no part of it. How the humans practice their religion!

 “Excuse me, Mr. Olotu” the butcher is saying to my Dad” I think the foetus, the child in your girlfriend’s womb is really very desperate to live and I suggest you let him”. “Besides”, he continued in devious whisper and his voice echoed again back to me” your girlfriend may be hurt, her womb may be ruptured if I probe too hard”.

“I don’t give a damn! Kill the bastard child! I’m leaving for Paris in two weeks on her father’s ticket! This will jeopardize everything. Get rid of the bastard”, my Dad’s reply as he stormed out of the room.

Goodness! He… you call me a bastard? You… who is your father anyway? If you’re half the man that I am… (What does it matter?) Come inside this room like you did so irresponsively many times before and fight like a man!

Now it is raining very slowly. The pellets makes music on the zinc roofs, as my mummy begins to cry afresh. Rain is God’s way of making certain that everything on earth keeps growing. But here’s human that wants to destroy. Tonight, the rain isn’t only a symbol of growth, but God is slowly crying as well. A damn pity for my mummy and the sins against innocence…

And because of this. And all the countable and uncountable sins of the world; Jesus,  whom God had sent to redeem mankind.

Whom some have since said is the son of God. And also his holy spirit. And even God himself! Whom some others have simply referred, as the loyal and dutiful servant and prophet of Allah, empowered to raise the dead and cure all kinds of illnesses by the leave of God. Whom, some others yet have not even regarded as anything; simply raised his hands to his face,  and wept!

Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar
Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar
Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar is a Masters degree holder in Law & Diplomacy (pen name Mmaasa Masai). Ex-Chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, Plateau chapter, as well as Ex-PRO and Ex-Officio member of ANA at the National level. He has been awarded twice the Korea/Nigeria Poetry prize and the maiden winner of the PEN/Nigeria Saraba Poetry prize 2011. His maiden poetry collection ''Behold, Your Scented Daughters'' was published in 2012. He writes poetry, fiction, drama, and essays. His work has been published in Hints, Daily Times, Weekly Trust, Fifty Nigerian Poets, Punch, THESE! Magazine online, etc. He was a Finalist on in 2002 for the poem "Love affair" and subsequently published in the anthology "Letters from the soul", The Ker Review, Blackbiro online, ANA Review, amongst others. His work also appeared in the anthology CAMOUFLAGE. He is influenced by the works of Toni Kan Onwordi, Helon Habila, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ben Okri, Isabel Allende, Margaret Artwood, Pablo Neruda, Maik Nwosu, Toyin-Adewale-Gabriel and David Njoku. Omale lives in Abuja, Nigeria, with his wife and five children.

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