PRAYER WARRIOR – DREAMING AGAIN!

The waiter placed the food in front of the young woman. Aduke reached for the plate but the man’s hand shot out in front of hers.

“No, eat your own, and she eats her own,” he snarled.

Aduke retained her hold on the plate. “No, I want it!”

An effigy moaned. “Everyone eats from their own plate.”

The man slapped her hand, hard.

Aduke woke with a start. “Aha?”

She blinked several times, her breath squeezed out via her mouth. She stared at her right hand, which was slapped in the dream. It was as normal as ever, and there was no pain or discomfort from it. She picked her phone. Though the time showed a quarter after three, she speed-dialled Aunty Ranti’s number.

“Aduke!”

“Aunty Ranti. It’s me. Eh!”

“Come to my room,” Aunty Ranti said.

 

The doors along the corridor opened to two- and three-bed apartments in the three-story building. The landlord knew how to maximize space and at least achieve an average of ten tenants per floor. Aunty Ranti lived on the first floor in a three-bedroom house with her two sons, aged mother and invalid husband. She was at the door when Aduke knocked.

“It’s the dream again.” Aduke panted though she had climbed just a flight of stairs. “The same one.”

“Come in,” Aunty Ranti retied her wrapper about her chest. “Mami and I just turned in to sleep.”

“Aunty Ranti, what does it mean? We need to pray, aunty mi.”

“Did you see the faces this time?”

Aduke shook her head. “No. The voice is the same. And this time, he slapped my hand.”

“Something changes in each dream. He never hit you before.” Ranti sighed. “Did the young woman say anything this time?”

“No.” Aduke heaved. “But the effigy.”

Ranti leaned forward. “What did it say?”

“That everyone eats their own plate of food.” Aduke moaned. “The fear…the way my body shakes when I wake up. This is a lot of evil, and I don’t know what it means.”

“I remember when my Ola was going to have that accident that left him an invalid till tomorrow…this is how I was having these dreams I could not understand but I would be so afraid. The devil wanted to kill him!”

“Ah!” Aduke clasped her hands over her head. “This is the fourth time in how many weeks. What does it mean, my God?”

“We just have to pray. That is the only thing we know how to do. Hmm.” Ranti paused. “Let me get my olive oil and tell Mami. Then we go to your house and anoint it.”

“Maya was asleep, hope we will not disturb her.”

Ranti scoffed. “It is part of the disadvantage of a mother who is a prayer warrior. She either joins us or stays awake until we finish.”

Aduke shrugged half-heartedly. “This dream should just go away.”

She cherished her daughter. Praying the way they did, Maya would not be happy but what can a prayer warrior do in such a time as this?

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TUESDAY ROSE BUSHES – THE THIRD CAPTAIN

Captain Raziel, a captain of fifty, walked into the inner chambers of his home and looked around at the beautiful silk draperies and gold pillars. He lived well. As a young man serving in the king’s army, his family was proud of his achievement in battle. He clutched his sword and felt the slipperiness of his sweat on the metal. He should be headed out, but his heart thudded in his chest. Would this be the last time in his home? What manner of assignment was this? He could face off the meanest Philistine, but a prophet seated on top of a hill.

Shira walked up behind him and he stiffened. She was the last person he wanted to see, not when he was covered in trepidation and sweat.

“I heard the news in the vineyard.” She pressed herself to his back. “Two captains with their fifties already gone without returning.”

He groaned. “Yes.”

“A young shepherd boy–”

He turned into her arms, her warmth. He would die with a sword in his hand, fighting for his king and his kingdom, not burned up like a sacrificial lamb!

“Saw everything. The burned bodies of mighty men, strewn across the valley with the evil birds feasting already.” He heaved a heavy sigh. “I know, Shira my love.”

“No one knows what the prophet has done to them.”

“I have been asked on the king’s errand, Shira, wife. To bring the prophet on the hill to the king.” He cupped her face. “I am the third captain to be sent.”

Shira screeched. “No, you must refuse. You cannot…the king cannot risk you like that!”

He stepped away from her. “You know that is not possible. If I refuse, I will be beheaded immediately!”

She ran to him, her face wet with tears. “I cannot lose you. Our son cannot lose you!”

“I am a soldier and my life is pledged to the cause of the king.” He pressed a kiss on her forehead. “I must leave now.”

Raziel did not want to look into her eyes, but he did. “Be strong, my love. Take care and the Lord be with you.”

He tore away from her and marched on, her voice in tears and prayers trailing him.

“The Lord bless you! And keep you! And make His face shine upon you. And be gracious on to you, Raziel, son of Asher! The Lord lift up His countenance upon you. And give you peace…”

He said the “Amen” to her every prayer until he heard no more. His men waited, and he saw the fear on their faces and prayed they drew strength from him. He did not have any comfort for them however, they were all obeying the command of the king.

They marched on to the foot of the hill, fresh scent of burned flesh, with some of the smoke arose. Raziel motioned to his men to stop and be quiet. Then he climbed on to the side of the hill, his arms raised above his head. It made him look weak, but he knew he heard the word of wisdom in his spirit on how to proceed. He was not about to let ego or disobedience to the voice destroy him and his fifty.

Elijah sat with his face turned to the ground, a hairy man who wore a leather belt around his waist. Raziel had no idea what to expect, but not this bundle of vulnerability.

He fell on his knees though, the prophet did not acknowledge his presence. “O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants.”  When the prophet still did not respond, he continued. “See how the fire from heaven came down and destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!”

No movement, no words. The prophet continued to stare at the ground, and he remained on his knees, his head bowed. Then, he felt rather than heard or saw movement. Prophet Elijah stood. He took a few steps forward and Raziel raised his head. The look on the prophet’s face drained energy from his bones but also sent a silent message, “I will go with you.”

Under his breath, Raziel moaned. “Jehovah be praised.”

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PRAYER WARRIOR – INTRO

He prowls around young beautiful women with a bright future. He knows the ones to latch on because of his diabolic means. His name is Ben, and you don’t want him around your daughter. When he gets the girl, he swaps her star…she starts to go down while he goes up.

Seventeen-year-old Maya doesn’t know this. But her mother, Aduke, is a prayer warrior…

The drama starts now…come with me every Sunday and Thursday until we get to the bottom of this!

 

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MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – TWINSTER 5

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Click here to read TWINSTER 3

Click here to read TWINSTER 4

Daz ran to the door and blocked it with her body, crying so hard she couldn’t breathe. She gripped his face and blinded by her tears felt his soak her hands.

“P–lease. P–lease. Let me tell you the truth.” She placed her head on his chest, sure she would suffocate if she couldn’t stop the tears. She breathed hard with her mouth.

Victor stood still. She knew he was giving her a last chance. If he walked out that door, she would never see him again.

“You remember how–that day you were so mad at me. I thought you’d leave me. But you stayed.” She searched out his face, but he stared above her head, his jaws twitching. “You chose to forgive me, darling,” she whispered. “And I am forever grateful to you. You gave me a second chance.”

 

***

 

Victor’s heart beat harder when Daz placed her head on it. He couldn’t look at her now. What else did she have to say? What more could she have done that she hadn’t already? Destiny died of a drug overdose in Daz’s house, and instead of telling the truth, she came to her house and swapped identity before she announced to the family what happened. He never knew she could be so bold. For two weeks she feigned mourning until that night when he wanted to make love to her.

“I was tired. I loved you more than my life, and I wanted you to love me the same.”

“You know I loved you the same, Daz,” he muttered.

He was tired too. The secrets would never end. There was no use fighting. For ten horrible years he hung on, hoping a day would come when he could walk out of his shadow and see sunlight again, with her in his arms. That day would never come because the shadows would never go away.

Daz cried. “I didn’t tell Mom I was Daz because I wanted to hurt us. I was dying!”

His head dropped to his chest, but her face was in his shirt. “Dying?”

“Inside,” she whispered. “I couldn’t take anymore, the fact that no one knew what happened. I wanted to confide in someone. I made her swear she’d tell no one.”

He groaned. “You had me.”

“But you had your theory and I didn’t want to make you believe something else. You had taken more than was fair!

“What are you talking about?” He raised her chin and stared into her beautiful brown eyes, now red, and dry, and puffy. “What theory?”

“I never told you what happened. You drew your conclusions.” She blinked but he held her chin in place, which made her unable to look away. “You said Destiny died of drug overdose and I put her in my clothes, and drove her out to crash in my car, then returned to your house and switched.”

He held her gaze. He was mad at the time. It was a theory that would fit a sociopath. Daz wasn’t it. “I know I stretched it a bit too far.”

“I was just–I just wanted someone to hear the truth. I didn’t want to defend myself to you. I was guilty already.” She closed her eyes. “But I am the victim here. Destiny didn’t plan to die, but to run away with a boy.” Her eyes popped open. “She wanted it to look like it was me who eloped.”

Victor swore. “She told you?” He could begin to see why she must have been so frustrated.

“She told me she just wanted one night with him. He’d pick her up at my house and drop her at hers, so I took her car and went to her house.” She shuddered. “You were going to be back late. She assured me she’d be home before I knew it.”

“Instead she wore your clothes, took your car and would have disappeared if there wasn’t a crash.” Destiny could do that, he knew. How wrong he had been about Daz.

Daz nodded. “They both died in the car. Burnt beyond recognition.” She exhaled. “She apparently left a note asking my forgiveness for taking my car. I found it in my closet later.”

“She was only sorry for taking your car?”

“You know, Destiny. Said she’d send me the gas refund.” Daz pressed her lips. “It was a joke to her. That she escaped, and I’d be stuck in her life without even consulting me first.”

“You poor soul.” Victor cupped her face with both hands. “I’m sorry I accused you.”

“You had no idea.”

He smoothed back her hair. “Forgive me, Daz. I have wronged you.”

She started to speak but a sniff behind him jolted them both. He turned and found Suzie Bariet standing in the middle of her office behind them, a little handkerchief in her hand, dabbing at her wet lids.

Victor gasped. “We asked you to excuse us!”

Suzie bit her lips. “I thought I could.”

 

THE END.

Wait! This was just season 1. Watch out for season 2. Can Victor and Daz get past their differences and reconcile? Will Suzie be able to keep their secret? 

Photo: The Aneke Twins Source: Bellanaija.com, 2017

 

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MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – TWINSTER 4

Click here to read TWINSTER 1

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“Trust! Dazzline Murray Destiny Henric. How you throw that word around!” Victor smiled because he didn’t want to lose control. He couldn’t bear to. Again.

Daz wept now, her nude make-up held nicely, though. She was still so beautiful and staring at her gave him pain. To think he still had to call his “shrink” once a week to get by, ten years after everything fell apart, said a lot of the impact she had/has in his life. Goodness, he couldn’t believe this was happening. He wanted so badly to hold her.

“So, when are you going to find yourself?” He chuckled. “I don’t even know what to call you.”

Daz sniffed. “Call me Dazzline. Or Daz. That’s my name.”

“Bold. I admire it.” He glared at her. “What will you tell your–friends here, is the reason you changed your name. Or perhaps, I’ll be the only one calling you that.” He clenched his teeth. “Our secret?”

“For goodness’ sake, Victor! What do you want?”

“Nothing, really.” Saying those words brought relief he hadn’t expected. Hmm, years of therapy paying off.

She sniffed. A box of tissues sat on Suzie’s table and he gave her. She took it with shaky hands and blew her nose into a couple.

“I home-school Manny. Do you want to meet him?”

Her question surprised him, again. Being bold had never been a part of Daz Murray. When he met the bubbly, super-sanguine Destiny, Daz practically hid behind her skirts. The twins were just done with high school and Daz was going to college. Des couldn’t decide what she wanted to do, and they had dated on and off for almost four years before he married her, hoping she’d be more stable. He soon realized his mistake. She was ten years younger and only wanted to be free.

“And what will you tell him?”

She went quiet, perhaps to find an answer for him. “Nothing, really.” She laughed.

He laughed. And then she resumed her crying. Daz in her element.

He lowered his voice. “I left because I didn’t know the woman in my bed.”

Oh, Victor!” She sobbed. “We were wrong.”

He felt congestion in his chest. What exactly happened? He still didn’t know. Maybe it was time, or maybe he should let it go. He’d sworn to himself he would never ask. All he knew was that two years into his loveless, childless marriage, he slept with his wife one night, and she was a virgin!

He could remember screaming so loud he thought his lungs would burst! “Who are you? Where is my wife? What happened to my wife?”

He’d been told a month earlier Daz died of a drug overdose in her condo. “Destiny” had taken it badly but come around slowly, no longer her bubbly herself. The twins had been so close. They’d only had each other all their lives, and Destiny had been the leader. She now seemed to have no one to control, which was the essence of her life. There was nothing he didn’t do to try and get her out of her “shell.”

“Trust.” He fought tears. “You told me the truth, didn’t you? Wasn’t that why we agreed to keep it a secret from everyone? You’d forever be Mrs. Destiny Henric, and we’d live quietly and happily.” He sniffed. “No scandals.”

“I lied to you.” She bit her lips. “I’m sorry, Victor.”

He stood. He could not take any more betrayal from her. Maybe she was Destiny? No, the one everybody knew as his wife, Destiny, died while doing drugs, and her sister took the opportunity to take over her husband. No more “truths.” He couldn’t handle anymore. He discovered who she was, they agreed to keep the secret, she told her mother, who told her sister, who told her neighbor. Half of New York got to know, he moved out to keep his sanity. She had their baby, left town. Peace reigned for ten years till he decided it was time to move on too. The massive contract in Arizona presented itself at the right time. He’d travel across the country to get away. Only showed how so tight-knit their hearts were. Right?

He was wrong.

They’d fallen in love with each other so much. He could barely breathe without her, and the same was true for her. Everyone said the tragedy healed their marriage. She got pregnant. All was indeed well. Then…

He shuddered. “I guess, I should let you know, I’ve tried to put this saga behind me. I also will have to leave town because I can’t be here with you, as we both can see.” He snatched a couple tissue from the box. “Say hi. Especially to your dad, when you speak to him.”

“He died five years ago. Mom lives with me now.”

Oh.” he gasped. “Right. Mother hen lives here too.” And then he spelled out the worst of the swear words and headed for the door.

 

The story ends in Twinster Part 5 next week.

Photo: The Aneke Twins Source: Bellanaija.com, 2017

 

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MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – TWINSTER 3

Click here to read TWINSTER 1

Click here to read TWINSTER 2

The speed with which Suzie Bariet cleared out an extra visitor seat and excused them convinced Daz this woman had a recorder somewhere. She didn’t want to discuss with Victor Henric in Suzie’s office, but he’d held her elbow and in his characteristic domineering mumble, which she remembered so well, asked Suzie to get a second seat and give them an hour. He hadn’t changed much, she couldn’t help but notice. Clean mustache and beard, hair cut close to the scalp, firm, dark skin packed in a designer suit, expensive shoes and a cold smile. He didn’t look a day older than thirty-four he was. Ten years ago? Manny was proof. And she was sure every vein in her neck, and the lines on her face multiplied twenty-four, her age at the time he left her.

He sat her into the chair but didn’t take the other. She had never known him to be anything other than composed and in control.

She straightened. “I don’t want to talk in Suzie’s office. All of Ego’s Trip will have the details by noon.”

He snorted. “I don’t care.”

“I do.” She stood. “I live here.”

“I live here too. Now.”

Daz pressed her lips together. “What do you want?”

A soft chuckle escaped from his throat. “Very bold question, Destiny.” He gave her a once-over. “Where do I start?”

“Destiny is dead, you know that. Don’t call me her name.”

He gave her his back, and her stomach clenched. How could he still love Destiny? She felt miserable. She was the one who took all the risks, who fought for them, who gave him a son!

“You called yourself Destiny. You still do. Ms. Suzie Bariet calls you Destiny.” He turned to face her. “How would she have known? I bet all of Ego’s Trip, Arizona don’t know who you are.”

Daz blinked hard. Her business in New York had been as Mrs. Destiny Henric. Her brand name Destiny! her catch-phrase, and logo all had been so beautiful, she didn’t want any changed.

“You wanted everything your sister had. You still do, Daz-zline!” Victor slurred. “When will you find yourself?”

She stiffened. “I’m leaving.”

“You’re not. Until you answer all my questions.” He pulled the second chair up and sat.

Now she stood while he sat. Her mind told her to simply walk out but she couldn’t. “I’m the one who has questions. Why did you leave us? Manny and I needed you!”

“It didn’t seem so,” he said quietly. “We had an agreement. You broke it.”

Daz didn’t want to cry. She had done so much of that in the last ten years. She drew air into her lungs by her open mouth till she felt she could speak again.

“I gave up my career as an architect to live my sister’s life as a wannabe model, and actress and gift distributor, fashion designer, and make-up artist, and whatever other whims she had!”

“You liked her name better than yours, though.” He locked her gaze. “And her man.”

She let the tears fall. “You’ll never trust me.”

 

The story continues in Twinster 4 next week.

Photo: The Aneke Twins Source: Bellanaija.com, 2017

 

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