Published Fictional Stories.

  • Bitter Sweet

    A Collection of Short Stories.

    America, Here I Come. A septuagenarian goes to all the trouble to get an American Green Card. But, being unemployable, all he has are the television and his thoughts! And his thoughts lead him in circles. Where is the world going? Why are Africans running away from Africa? Is the Middle East where we are told creation happened going to be where the world will end? Why is there so much turmoil?

    The Colour Of Your Money is about a traveller who in the struggle to get a boarding pass for a flight in Lagos loses his money.

    The Best Driver is a story of trust betrayed, the story of an old man and his driver.

    The Box. A tired job seeker accidentally takes the wrong box from a bus and is pursued by kidnappers.

    In Fuel Pump hoodlums dupe a driver by unscrupulously selling him a dud fuel pump having removed his good pump.

    Lock Him Up. If you want to punish somebody, spin a yarn to the police and they will throw him into detention on a Friday! And there will be nobody to arrange bail before Monday!

    The Pilgrim Is Also A Bastard. A man left London hastily to escape from the cold weather and racism. He revisits after seven years and finds tremendous change but soon realises that some changes are cosmetic.

    In Guilty With Reason. An embarrassed magistrate abruptly adjourns a case!

    Lucky Day. A Doubting Thomas meets an innocuous looking foreigner and learns a lesson he will not easily forget.

    Favourite Son. A facility manager works hard over years building up his business but learns that absolute trust in anybody is dangerous.

    The Visitors. Those who reap where they did not sow come calling and a young couple is in trouble.

    The Old Man. His bicycle is his most important possession. Nobody messes with it.

    The Arrangement. A half naked white man wielding a kitchen knife chases a half naked black man down a quiet street in Battersea on a Sunday morning. What is happening?

    The Highway Men. Travelling by road from Lagos to the East of Nigeria can be testing and tiring. The bad road is not a traveller’s only worry. There is danger from highway men, including the police!

    My Daughter And The Shrines. If the law is an ass custom and tradition is not only an ass but also an idiot.

    Get the novel – Download from Amazon Kindle.

  • Dance Of The Vultures

    Pat Jenkins, an Englishman working in bustling Lagos, was one evening in one of the prestige Clubs in Lagos introduced to another Englishman, Brian Jones, a long term resident of Lagos and manager of a shipping line. Early the next morning Pat answered a knock on his door and was shocked to see Brian Jones who thrust a padlocked tinker box into his hand and asked him to keep it for him for a while. He then turned and hurried back to the taxi that brought him and left.

    That day Pat Jenkins kept wondering why such an apparently well off man should have such a cheap box and why he should choose him, an acquaintance, to keep it for him. His thoughts turned to shock and fright when on his way back from work that evening he saw Brian Jones photograph adorning the front page of the evening newspaper with the bold caption `Englishman Murdered.’ Apart from the photograph the publication was sketchy. He was alarmed. What was he to do with the box Brian Jones asked him to keep? Having arrived Lagos not too long ago he was not yet into the groove in the society and did not know any important or influential citizen and one thing he abhorred was getting mixed up with the police. He did not want to be linked with Jones in case he got accused of being involved in his death.

    The next morning he narrated his story to his employer, crafty Chixy Agodo, who scolded him for being so shaken up by such a small matter and immediately volunteered to get rid of the box for him. He may even throw it into the Atlantic Ocean. Pat was relieved. But that was the beginning of his problems that nearly took his life for the contents of that cheap box interested all sorts of characters. His own employer, Chixy Agodo, was intrigued and very interested. Shipping magnate and Brian Jones’ employer, Jeremiah Ansa, Angelina D’Almeida, leader of a gang of armed robbers, the police, including the good and the bad, were deeply interested

    Get the novel – Download from Amazon Kindle.

    Chief Zanda Egede is a sixty-eight year old sugar daddy. He has a wife but she’s now virtually part of the furniture. In frustration she has devoted herself full time to her church matters, Zanda has developed a routine. He kerb-crawls on Western Avenue on Friday evenings picking up young girls, sweet-talking them into going with him to his favourite joint, plying them with alcohol before taking them to his private flat, his home away from home, for sex. On this fateful Friday evening he picks up Baby, a twenty year old undergraduate. But Baby ends up dead in his flat. To him the solution is simple – get rid of the body. And there is somebody ready and willing to help him with the job – one of his tenants. But that is the beginning of Zanda’s problems. His helpful tenant soon turns to blackmail thus unwittingly getting them involved with one of the most wicked crime lords in town.
    Enter a shadowy group of well-to-do citizens who had adopted the name `One Day’ from the saying, `Nine Days For Thief, One Day For The Owner Of The House’, had begun using strange methods in trying to do something about the rot in the society, the looting of the treasury, the impunity, the stealing by government officials and their cronies. They would target high-flying government officials, dig up all the rot surrounding them, evidence of wrong doing enough to convict them ten time over and then kidnap them and hand them together with the evidence gathered over to the law enforcement agencies hoping to force them to act more decisively. How does Zanda get entangle with `One Day’? How does he get out of his many problems?
    Find out in the novel – Nine Days For The Thief. Download from Amazon Kindle.
    Aminu Baba is young and ambitious. Having amassed wealth he now wants power. He wants to govern his home State, Mandiki, to replace the corrupt incumbent, Alhaji Sanni, who has misruled the State. He asks his lifelong friend, Jalo Tijani, for his view. But Jalo is alarmed and advises him against it saying that politics in their country, Songhai, is a dangerous game. He may not be equipped to fight the Party mafia. Tijani says, `I’m just concerned about the hyenas, the people with the long knives and the petrol bombs, the thugs. I don’t think you can play as dirty as they can. I’m just concerned about your safety.’
    But Aminu, with confidence, forges ahead, resigns the headship of the giant Commodities Board. He follows up with a press conference. He announces his intention to vie for nomination as candidate of the ruling Peoples National Party for the Governorship of Mandiki State.
    Soon after, he has unsolicited visitors led by Umaru Kure, power broker and member of the Party’s inner caucus. They give their own advice. He should forget the idea. The Party wants Sanni to have another term to complete the projects he has initiated. He must not start a fight he cannot win.
    Aminu tells them off. But politics in Songhai is more than a game of principles and political will as he finds out when it’s too late.
    This thinly veiled story about Nigeria was written years ago unearthing what Nigerians would rather sweep under the carpet at a time it was not safe to write such things. At that time Northern domination of the polity was at its highest. You want to set up a company you must have a northern prince as chairman or director. You want to make progress in anything to do with the federal government you needed to have a northern godfather.
    That book was originally published under the Longman Nigeria Drumbeat Series as Devils Playground. Nigeria has since moved forward – in positive directions in some areas, and in not so positive directions in other areas. Is it still the Devils Playground? Download your copy of the book from Amazon Kindle..

    Youthful Dr Zedekiah Brown, articulate and mysterious, walked into the office of Maxwell Dusu, a middle-aged architect, and made him a proposal on how they could make loads of money without much hassle. Max was shocked and was initially minded to throw him out. But he decided to listen. After all, what had he to lose?
    Part of the proposal went thus: `…you know these white people are so trusting. And some of them like to make money without working for it. And they think we’re stupid. So we play along. We tell them sweet stories of how they can pick up millions without doing anything. We tempt them enough to part with their money.’
    It has to be advance fee fraud, 419 as they call it, Max thought. He asked, `How?’
    `Easy as ABC. One variation of the story is about a contract completed ten years ago during the then civilian government which was soon overthrown by a military regime before payment could be made. The military then sat on all payments. The foreign company, having borrowed so much to execute the contract soon folded up. Now this money has been approved for payment. But government does not know that the beneficiary has gone bust. We find a sucker who is willing to believe that this money is really there and that we will have it transferred to his account and he will have a share of thirty per cent. I’m talking in terms of hard currency.’
    `Yes. Very crazy. We have to work hard for it though, make it convincing, providing documents that look authentic. By the time the victim is thoroughly hooked, the deal develops a hitch.’
    `Which is?’
    `We tell him the Central Bank authorities want ten per cent bribe or a commitment fee paid up front before they can allow the money to be remitted. Or we say that a five per cent tax has to be paid up front. But I prefer the bribe story. After all, that confirms to him the opinion he already has of us, that we are all crooks. Besides, ten per cent nets us more.’
    `Go on.’
    `He’s so anxious to get a thirty per cent share of, say, thirty million pounds that he pays the ten per cent. We get three million for doing next to nothing. It just requires cunning, boldness and daring.’
    `Man, that’s fraud. And I don’t see anybody falling for such a stupid story.’
    `Oh, they do. And it isn’t fraud. How can it be? We don’t remit any money.’
    `But you take his money under false pretences.’
    `We only exploit his greed, his gullibility.’
    It has to be fraud. Max had heard of this scam but had not really believed that a right-thinking man would give away his money like that. He said, `I still think it is fraud.’
    `He he he, I prefer to call it reparations! You know that some of our black brothers are beginning to shout that the white people should pay compensation or reparation as they prefer to call it, for plundering Africa. The white people came and took anything they wanted by force. But they are not going to give back anything willingly. Why should they? After all, they see our own black brothers ripping us off right now and putting the money into the white man’s bank. As far as I am concerned our black brothers should be made to vomit all the money they are stealing. But, for now, let’s concentrate on the white man and collect our share of the booty. It is a game of wits. We do it in a businesslike, gentlemanly way. The man who provides his account number for us to pay millions into knows he hasn’t done anything to earn the money. He wants to rob the country and won’t shout too loudly if he ends up on the losing end…’
    As to what the white man has to do to earn his share of the money Brown explained that all he needed to do was to:
    1.     Provide his company’s blank letter head – four copies, signed and stamped.
    2.     Proforma Invoice – four sets – blank, signed and stamped.
    3.     His company’s account number and name and address of his bank into which the money will be paid.
    Max was sceptical and suspicious of the whole story. I am sure you are too. But you must be curious to find out what happened.
    Many years ago while holidaying in London I visited an old friend, A Jewish furniture dealer in Junction Road, a nice old man, bent with age, always friendly. He had once invited Simon and me to his lovely house in London.
    On this bright day, he, having given me a cup of tea, went to a cupboard and pulled out two thick files, sat down, and after flipping through a page or two, pushed the files across the table and said, `Peter, you are a writer, take them. Those letters are from your country men. Go and write about them!’
    The files were both labelled `Nigeria’. They were thick with all sorts of letters, but each was conveying the same type of message which we then called 419, advance fee fraud, promising to pay a large sum of money into his account if he would provide certain minor help.
    So I wrote about them! Find out what Max did with Brown’s story. Download the full length story, Game of Life, from Amazon Kindle.

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