Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Notes from prison by Donald Tombia (Short story)

Hey Lovelies
Hope everyone is doing alright?
This month, I will be sharing Mr. Donald Tombia's work 'notes from prison' with y'all.
Ready to explore what goes on in Mr. Tombia's imaginations


I first met Donald when I was in Igbinedion university. We were friends, we still are. When I stumbled on his story blog (sleeick stories), I was like "what? Donald, where did all these come from?" His stories were captivating and so original. You'll see what I mean. I think I'm beginning to get the people that find my blog and ask me questions like "Is this really you?"The "where did all these come from" feeling is such an amazing one, I guess :)Who knew Donald could write stories? And good ones at that? Well, I didn't.He has managed to carve a niche for himself as far as writing is concerned. From what I can make of 'Notes from prison' so far, it is a very intriguing piece. I guarantee that you will enjoy Donald's writing style. 



Notes from prison by Donald Tombia

I am a janitor and I work at the All Saints’ Prison.
The All Saints’ Prison, the place I belong to. The only place that accepts me. The magnificent All Saints’ Prison – my home away from home, the only place I can be safe in without being judged, without being called a failure. This place is my refuge, ordained by God to be built for my sake.
For seven years I have worked here. The insults which thrilled me, the fights which I willingly participated in, the pay which I haggled over and then grudgingly accepted, the food which I hungrily ate always, have provided life for me as I have neverknown it. My self-confidence is restored, my mother’sfortunes are transformed, my debtors’ hearts are renewed and my tragic life is reversed.
Or so I thought.
My life had, up until seven years ago, been a sob story. I was the boy the school headmaster said was going to have a bright future. My mind could grasp concepts other children my age rightfully struggled with. At such a tender age I strode about, shoulders in the air, with an air of invincibility against life.Like the waterfall which viciously crashes and splashes into the hard unflinching rock with the hope of breaking it to pieces.
And then my father decided to get run over by a truck which had lost control of its brakes. How convenient for my life.
Oblivious of the plans fate had for me this particularly enchanting morning, I walked up to the guards of the prison to grant me entrance. This was simply for the sake of protocol, because mine was a known face. The normal procedure meant I would produce an ID card and the purpose of my visit – which was known, obviously – would be stated. The All Saints’ Prison is a principled place governed by strict set of rules. As a parody of the famous Dalai Lama XIV quote, the Chief Warden would habitually say “Know the rules well so you can abide by them effectively.
The Chief Warden strongly believed that an inappropriate comment soon become an angry inappropriate comment. If not checked, and if supported by the recipient of the comment or the environment, it soon becomes an angry non-violent statement. It wouldn’t take long before the ‘non’ was taken out and the fangs of the violence bared out. The angry violent statement would lead to balling of fists and swinging of arms. The blood and the gore which would soon follow could lead to an infinite possibility of events.  
A little snide remark gone free could lead to total chaos and before you know it, the threads of the prison uniform have been transformed into military-class weaponry useful in intercontinental battles to fend off radical terrorist groups threatening the sanctity of the nation. The way to avoid chaos is to maintain perfect order in all things, including how inmates speak to each other.
I know the prison can be a scary place. I am fully aware that the All Saints’ Prison is the most dreaded of all and the general populace would agree that only a delusional man would find satisfaction in such a place, although I wonder who defined what it means to be delusional. We all are delusional in varying ways to different degrees. A vast majority of people simply have a vast majority of other people suffering from the same kind of delusion. Some come to the realisation but find it’s too late to become normal. Others simply live and die in delusion.
All Saints’, which had found a soft nestling spot in my heart, had taught me that all men were like sheep. We are all followers looking for a leader to direct us. Our thoughts are not ours and our beliefs are not ours. We simply listen to the strongest and loudest voice of reason. The one whose delusion closely aligns with ours, we follow.
Dressed in light blue overall with a white inner t-shirt, I stood in the middle of the massive cell, staring at the well-arranged bed, trying to remind myself why I had agreed to clean this cell. This was the cell housing McCallugen Kam Timothy, the enigmatic assassin. He had been taken out for execution in the early hours of the morning after being in prison for only a few months.
Even in absentia, this man his aura lingered. My mop stick quivered and made a rattling noise against the mop bucket, alerting me to the vibrations in my fingers. When the requestticket had been brought to clean out his room at 0900hrs, no janitor was willing to accept the responsibility, save meIn hindsight I realise my naivety.  
A knot tightened in my gut as I remembered a particularly disturbing story – rumour – surrounding McCallugen KamTimothy. It was said that the midday sun was out and was sending scorching reminders of its presence. Thirsty,McCallugen had asked a fruit seller at Obalende if he had any fruits with liquid in them. The boy had answered yes. Looking at his tray, he saw that he did not have any water-holding fruits. McCallugen was about to walk away when the boyscreamed assuredly that he would get the fruits he needed. Hebent down and rummaged in his sack of fruits for close to three minutes. Not seeing any fruits, he ran off to meet neighbouring fruit sellers. After what seemed like eternity he came back and said to an already furious McCallugen, “No sir, I don’t have any.” Those were to be the last words the boy spoke. In fury, McCallugen smacked him, effectively knocking him out cold, grabbed the boy’s puny head in one of his great big hands and squashed his head, like one would do an egg on a bad egg breaking commercial. The climax of the story was this; McCallugen Kam Timothy drank the blood and the brain from the open head.
Upon remembering that story, my mind started going haywire, my imagination knew no bounds. It had to be an over exaggerated rumour, I tried telling myself. Fear embraced me warmly and led me in a slow dance to the tune of despair. In paranoia, I started mopping long before I realised the spot I was concentrating on was already clean.
“This is silly. The man is not here. I shouldn’t be shaky?” I muttered to myself.  
The prison cell was quite large in comparison to other prisoner’s cells. The white-and-black-checkered bed sheet smoothly glided over the king size bed which was adorned with twin matching pillow shams. Atop this was a blood red rosary. There was a nightstand which held a crystal lamp, the cushioned chair pushed neatly against the stand. Standing distinctly in the middle of the farthest wall from the door was the ‘shit bowl’.
I stared at the water closet with mild disgust written all over my face. Although my nose was screaming, trying to convince my mind not to send my body towards the water closet, I dared not overly show it on my face. Some prison janitors hadbeen made to ‘drink from the basin of life’ by the prison inmates simply because they couldn’t mask what they really thought of it.
Then realization hit me slowly in my gut. I wasn’t needed in this cell. My job was to get rid of dirt, a job I took immense pride in. Right now though, there was a speck of dust anywhere. McCallugen was a neat-freak. The arrangement of the furniture, the pristine condition everything seemed to be in, the alignment of the chair and table, showed the work of a tidy mind. His water closet was clean; a mammoth sized achievement for an assassin known for his brutality with pools of blood as signature. Fear, having already come into the room, snuggled close to me and whispered into my heart, ‘Maybe he is one of those freaks who have cameras hidden around his room waiting patiently for somebody, anybody to cause a stir in his immaculate palace’.
At this thought I looked frantically around, twirling in a manner pleasing to a ballerina, wondering if I would see any of these spy cameras, hoping I wouldn’t. It was then, as I took a more-than-panoramic view of the room that I caught sight of the well folded parchment just behind the water closet. It was placed such that you would have to clean the water closet to see it and since McCallugen made it his point of duty to clean it, no one was expected to see it.
‘Clever’ I thought ‘because no man with normal delusion would walk as far into this cell as the water closet. Even the biblical Daniel wouldn’t have been so bold.’
So what in the world was giving me this boldness?
I walked towards it, and poked it with my mop sticktentatively, as if the object itself had murderous intents. I picked it up and peered at the neat load. The chicken scratches I saw scribbled on it gradually formed words in my head.
‘DO NOT READ ET’
I smiled; an action done not out of amusement or entertainment but out of the knowledge from the pit of my stomach that I may not see the sun again. I knew that if I were caught by McCallugen going through his private diaries, the dealings would be so swift that I would not know I had been dealt with.
‘He had been taken for execution. He is not coming back. You have privy view into the mind and life of one of the greatest and finest assassins who have stepped out of Nigeria and indeed the world. Use this opportunity wisely’
I walked to the metal entrance gate and dragged it as shut as possible without it automatically locking from the outside. My mind was made up. I sat on the bed and gingerly opened the binder. Underneath was a stack of papers held together by a string which had been passed through artificial holes made at the top left of the pages. It read: This are the notes ofMcCallugen Kam Timothy. After taking a huge chunk of air, I closed my eyes for a brief moment. Suddenly galvanized by an insurgence of adrenaline, I began reading.

I am McCallugen Kam Timothy. My english spoken is poor. My english writen is poor. If u read this note now without my know, I kill you dead. If you read this note now with my know, don't judge me. I tell u in this notes some of me and experiences. If you read this note now without my know, and you judge me, I kill you very dead. If you read this note now with my know, and you judge me, I kill you dead. I am orphan and no mother no papa. Family leave me small boy. I learn to survive in on the street. I steal. I run. One day I kill. I will tell you of that one day. If you know about that one day, then you will see why I am McCallugen Kam Timothy, the KillManI have not eat anything for 3 days. I am 15years boy. Tired. My body paining me. I feel like dieingI walk slowly in street inVictora Island and I see different people. But I am scared. I cannot beg anybody for food. Some people hit you if you beg them. It happen to me . 3 days I have not eat. I remember in the orphan house there is food. But they beat you every time so I run away. One day they leave me outside to sleep at night in cold because I piss in gutter. I tell them toilet dirty. Another day they put me in cupboard with rat because I eat slow. I tell them I sick. So I run away. My food supply have finished so now I am hungry. And then one man see me and saysomething to me like “Son, you are in lork. Today is Sunday”. I say to the man “Huh?” He smile and say to me “Today is church day. Church is where good people gather. Go to the church by that corner; sit at the side of the gate. When people come out, smile wide and beg them for food. They are church people. And church people, good people.” I smile. I thank the man well. He no give me food, but he give me hope. Hope important in life. I can already see food in my stomach. So I run, I don’t walk, I run to church and stand by gate. Small time and people start to come out. Plenty people. Very plenty people. I have not see plenty beautiful people all at oncebefore. Very soon they will reach gate. I am very happy. I am excited. I look by my right and see woman and child on back. She too want food? I no want her there. Church people may give her food and not give me. I go and stand before her so church people will see me first. They must see me. They must give me food. I have hope. Hope important in life. And then church people reach gate. I am excited. One by one they pass me. I smile. I beg. One by one they pass me. I smile more. I beg more. One by one they pass me. I shock. But church people good people, I remind myself. So I smile hard and I beg hard. One by one they pass me. Like they no see me. Tears from my eye. I cry. I smile. I cry more. I beg. One by one they pass me. They go to place where plenty car is. I still cry. I still smile. I still beg. One by one they still pass me. Why? I small boy who no get anybody. I beg I cry I smile but no church people stop. Then my cry stop. Gradually I get angry. More and more. My fist form balls. I am shaking in anger. I am vibrating. They tell me I have anger problem in orphanage after I beat many boys. Spit form at my mouth from anger. And then I see it! One car. Big car. The back open and mother bring out blue cooler and open it. I no see what inside the cooler but I know it is food. I very mad. Two children come out and stand with mother. Mother give them rice in plate.“Food. Food. Food. Food. Food. Food” I chant to me.Aaaaaaaarrrrggghhhhh!!!” I scream. I become crazy. I see food. So I run like mad man and I run towards the car. People shock as they look me. As I reach the car Papa comes out to stop me. I jump and punch him in face. They tell me in orphanage I natural fighter. They say I skilful in fighting. I punch Papa in stomach and he hold it and bend. I use opportunity and kick his headPapa fall. I see people running shock as one man come to hold me. As he near me I kick his knee. He scream. I scream. I take his head and hit car tire. I hit again and again. I see blood. I mad more. Everybody shouting. People are running. I see Papa trying to stand up. I look around in blindness. I see big stone. I jump and use stone to hit Papa in the head. Children are screaming. Mother is begging. I look at Mother. I look at children. “Aaaarrrrrrrrrggghhhhh” I shout and I hit Papa again and again and again and again. Three men surround car to stop me. I jump on the car and roll on roofAs I jump and land on the ground I run. I run fast. Men cannot run follow me because they want to save Papa and first man. I know they cannot save them. I know I kill them. But it no disturb me. What disturb me was, I still hungry.
People say now McCallugen Kam Timothy bad man. I say “Me bad? No. We bad. Hipocrite.

I looked up in horror. The alarms went off in my head causing nausea to envelope me. The room began to spin. I willed my mind not to think, not to process any of the new information it had just gotten. Good sense told me to close the binder and walk away. I obeyed, returned it to the original state and stood up from the bed, making sure I straightened out the dimple my weight had causedIn the distance the beagle sounded calling for an activity of some sort. I was uninterested, distracted. My eyes remained trained on the terrible world in my hand. I heard my name, the words on these pages beckoned to me. I smiled, again.
These are the notes of McCallugen Kam Timothy.

To be continued...

Dear lovelies, He opted to send me the story in bits, I'm just as excited to get to the end as you are. It's a good thing we get to read it at the same time together, so let's just brace ourselves for the next episode, shall we? I'm loving it already, Are you?
You also get to read a little more about the author next time, so watch out for the next episode same time, next Wednesday.

P.s: Remember you can share your posts here by sending your original works to info@janylbenylshares.com. Check the top categories on the top left side of the blog, choose any that fits your style, prepare your write ups, email it to me and we'll take it from there. 

Love always
JB

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