Temitope Ejide’s Papa’s Can of Worms (October 2017 #SMC) is a well written story with a great dose of suspenseful plots. The author quite dutifully dealt with the theme, Nobody Can Explain What Happened Next?

What the author recounted was the death of a man whom the society could never have imagined being the husband to more than one wife and a member of a notorious cult gang. As if that wasn’t enough, the cult group came to demand the man’s body during the family’s period of mourning. And as if this wasn’t enough, the man’s body was stolen before it got to the church for the final burial rites. As the suspense heightens, there is no way to decipher what will happen next or how the dead man would be buried.
This is how a great story is told. It makes you the reader to keep asking what next so that you keep reading and you keep turning the pages.
Chukwudi Raphaelmary’s Caught (November 2017 #SMC) is another piece of great storytelling and it also did justice to the theme, Appearances Can Be Deceptive.
These two stories are common in our societies and the way the authors handled them hasn’t diminished their capacity to retell them as great stories.
In Caught, the main character is a philandering man who has become tired of his wife because she is no longer as attractive as she was when they got married. He won’t seek a divorce, so he keeps cheating on her. He has become a regular customer at the red light districts. After having put up with rumours for a long time, his wife decided to visit the red light districts fully dressed and well made-up to kill. The first man who “toasted” her was her philandering husband and he was caught in the act of soliciting sex from a commercial sex worker.
In Papa’s Can of Worms, one riveting event showed up after another leading the reader to start imagining what will happen next. First, a devout Christian died and several women with children unknown to the immediate family show up. Thereafter, members of a notorious cult gang show up to say the once pious man was one of them. Eventually, the dead body was stolen from the casket sending the family and community into a frenzy.
In these two winning entries, we see our authors coming of age and becoming the great storytellers that we have always wanted them to be.
Congratulations Temitope and Raphaelmary.
PAPA’S CAN OF WORMS – By Temitope Ejide
Bigger worms emerged from Papa’s can of secrets on the afternoon of his Christian Wake-keep. I, and most of the other people gathered, had still not recovered from the reading of Papa’s will, two weeks prior, when his lawyer had disclosed that Papa had bequeathed his duplexes at Lekki and Magodo to a certain ‘mother of his children’, who turned out to be Janet Bolatito, his old secretary.

Mama was so distraught at the news that she had stormed out of the place in a fit of tears leaving the rest of us to wonder how my late father, who everyone believed was a disciplined Born Again Christian, could have gone as far as having three children out of wedlock. It was a revelation that shocked me to the marrow of my bones. Unbeknownst to me, however, there was still more to come.

Tongues were still wagging and rumors about Papa were still flying around on the day of his Wake-keep. While I fought the lost battle of trying to convince my embittered mother and my disappointed siblings to at least try to show up, four posh Jeeps had driven into the venue. Out of the Jeeps, eight strange-looking men had emerged. They were all wrapped in strange orange shawls with eerie black marks on their faces and large vulture-shaped pendants on their necks.

2017 October SMC Theme

One of them- the one with the most markings on his face- approached me and told me point-blank that they had come to claim Papa’s corpse. At first, I had thought he was insane until he told me that Papa was one of them, hence, it was their duty to bury him using the proper rites.

‘Who are you people?’ I had found myself asking.

‘The Brotherhood of the Vulture’ they had chorused in a sickening voice. My mouth flung open.

O, my God, a voice had cried in my head, that’s a Secret Society. Instantly, I began to wonder, was that how Papa had suddenly made his multi-millions? My head started swimming in confusion but I managed to tell them that they could never have his corpse.

‘If you don’t yield the body willingly, we shall take it by force’ the leader warned. I told him to go to hell and join his friend Papa. ‘So be it’ he had fired back and with almost as much effect as they’d entered, the vultures had exited.

According to the will, Papa’s final wish was to be buried behind his mansion at the village, so we went there. I didn’t even try to convince Mama to appear this time as I myself had only shown up to fulfill all righteousness as the first son of the family. I was so disappointed at the things Papa had done.

We held the funeral service at a local Catholic Church. The priest tried to make the service emotional but I didn’t shed a single tear. At the end, he instructed that the coffin is opened so we could pay our last respects to Papa before it was finally lowered into the grave and sealed for eternity. An undertaker opened the coffin only to discover that Papa’s corpse was missing.

Pandemonium broke loose as the Church dissolved into a cacophony. Even I couldn’t believe it as I had checked the coffin and seen Papa in it before we began our journey to the village. People began to make frantic calls and shoot questions in all directions but it was no use, nobody could explain what had happened to Papa’s corpse.


CAUGHT – By Chukwudi Raphaelmary 

The night was silent and hushed like it has witnessed the death of its daughter daylight. Everywhere was dark to the full without the moon’s light as the moon was dim, the chirping crickets reduced their ringing sopranos to mild altos, the choir of frogs harmonized their refrain into a low organized hum, the nocturnal owl slept peacefully and uniform quietness governed the night.

I pondered on this unusual quietness as I trodden the street of Awolowo with my latest Sienna model.  This street has been my favorite hiding place after the first few years of my marriage but why would one be hiding from his own matrimonial home?

I recalled the first few months of my marriage, how I had worshipped my wife adorably like a Roman goddess, how I had always returned home immediately after the close of work just to behold my wife’s radiant beauty, how I had always wanted to avoid work just to stay in bed with my wife all day long, the many nights of endless pleasures we had and I shook my head at my foolery.

I pictured my wife as she was after our second baby; her flabby breast, her shrunken and broken lips, her plank-like and unappetizing butt and many of her deficiencies, a feeling of disgust and irritation washed over me. I wondered how in heavens I had been attracted to such a thing. What could ever make a man marry such a woman? Perhaps she is the punishment for my sins.

I was nursing my regret and mistake in marrying my wife when I saw a figure from my mirror. Awolowo Street is notorious for such figures that prefer to call themselves commercial sex workers and they are the kind of things that would make a man hide from his matrimonial home.

November 2017 SMC

Since my six years of being a patron to Awolowo Street, I have never encountered such figure. She was blessed heavily with everything my wife was lacking.  Her breast unlike my flat-chested wife was full to the fullest and stood erect like the edge of an arrow. The low cut little blouse she was wearing revealed just a little of the treasure hidden beneath it, tempting and inviting excavators and diggers like myself for exploration. Her lips though a bit shadowy as I was far from her was succulent and luscious like an over-ripe strawberry. Her racy red lipstick brought the glory of the lips out and she lashed her tongue out seductively and tentatively as if she knew I was devouring her from my car. Her lips so chubby and cute made me remember the feel of teats on my tongue. Her sagging butts were something else. The mere sight of it could even arouse a religious. Her hips connected with her butts in a perfect concord and made a tantalizing fusion of sorts. The mini skirt she was wearing blended with her oval hips, cut across her attractive laps and revealed too much than necessary. I felt the first stream of semen drip down my laps from my junior as I was engulfed with lust. I fantasized about her moans of ecstasy and how she will handle my strokes when I finally get her down my hotel suite. I watched as she tartly moved her protruding and well-designed butt in accordance with the rhythm of an unheard music as the left butt inflated and deflated seductively.

My foot matched quickly the accelerator without my consent and the car moved of its own accord. Seconds later, I dimmed my light and lowered my window.

“Hello damsel,” I smiled seductively as I honked. “Can I have this night?”

“Sure Chris,” the figure who happened to be my wife with her make-ups and pad-ups said to me. “I heard you patronize this street a lot so I came to see for myself.”

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