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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - rat, rat poison, apartment, poison, passage, market, mama, buy.

Abeg bros you see my rat?” “Which kind quesion (question) be that? You get rat? Wetin be im name?” “Na Aloysius we dey call am for house.” “See this bros o; na im be say if you get rat wey get name, the rat go also get plate number.” “Him no get plate number, but im fat well well, come get small bald hair and im tail short. We cut am when we been dey try kill am; now im don become part of family.”

Biko (please) bros, you go carry im picture go give police people as a missing person; me I no see your rat,” said Magbere as he left with a stunned look on his face. Iyanga headed the opposite way searching under cars and in the gutters, with a torchlight in his hand, for his rat, Aloysius. The strange affair between Iyanga, his wife and the rat called Aloysius had begun when Mr. and Mrs. Iyanga left the big city to move to a nearby slum on the grounds of cut-throat rents demanded by landlords in the city. After moving into their cute two-bedroom flat in the shantytown, the couple noticed that a rat did not waste time to make itself the third occupant of the flat. It carefully found itself a cozy corner in the room Mr. and Mrs. Iyanga seldom used and made it an abode for itself.

Iyanga’s wife, Joy, was the first to notice that a rat had moved into the other room because she was the one who often went into the room to take stuffs. “Honey can you belief it that a rat has moved into the other room already. It should have waited for us to enjoy this flat at least for a month before coming in.” “We have to kill it quickly or else we will soon begin to lose stuffs like clothes and shoes to it. Maybe on my way back from work, I will drive to Shine-shine market to buy rat poison.” “Baby make sure you buy lots of rat poison, because rats move in packs. If you kill one another will take its place, we have to be ready to kill a whole lot of rats; we now live in a ghetto.” “Don’t worry babe, I will buy enough rat poison to kill a battalion of rats; enough to kill half the population of rats in this slum.”

Iyanga kept his promise to his wife and brought home a large quantity of rat poison; before he and his wife went to bed that night they mixed the poison with crayfish and bits of food and left it for the rat in some corners of their apartment. By morning Joy was eager to see if the rat had eaten any of them; she moved around the flat and checked every spot of the house where they had left the poison, and found out that all the portions of the poisoned food items they left for the rat were missing. The rat must have been very hungry it ate all of them. Joy ran back into their bedroom to inform her husband, Iyanga, that the rat had taken their bait.

“Honey we won’t be seeing the rat anymore. It ate all the poisoned baits we left for it!” “The rat must have been starving maybe we shouldn’t have killed it,” said Iyanga, feeling sorry for the rat. “No, we did the right thing. Believe me if we had allowed the rat to live with us, by the time it would have switched into its destructive mode, who knows, we may have had need to move out of this flat for it.” “Okay honey, I am glad the rat episode is over for now,” Iyanga said.

Joy happily went into the kitchen to fix breakfast for her husband, while she bent down to pick balls of onions from a basket in her food store, she noticed that a tuber of yam had been freshly gnawed. She stood to her feet, wearing a concerned look on her face, she wondered, “How hungry was this rat? Could it be that after it ate all the bits of poisoned food we left for it, it still had enough space left in its stomach to eat my yam?” she wondered aloud. As she stood thinking, her neighbour, Calisaah, a Ghana woman knocked on her kitchen window and inquired, “Joy are you in there?” “Yes I am, Calisaah,” replied Joy. “Abeg come o!” Joy went outside to see Calisaah. “Did you see any dead rats in your apartment this morning?” asked Calisaah. “No. But I was hoping to see at least one dead rat; because I applied some rat poison in our apartment last night.”

“I don’t understand it; I woke up this morning to find twelve dead rats in our apartment. I didn’t know we had that much rats in our house.” “Did I hear you say rats? I have packed about ten dead rats from my apartment just this morning. I am wondering what killed them, I didn’t apply any rat poison,” Abebi, their Liberian neighbour, said, sounding very astonished. “Joy said she applied rat poison last night,” Calisaah pointed put. “That means all the rats in this compound congregate in your apartment every night Joy,” remarked Abebi. “I am scared; you mean this much rats come into our apartment every night?” asked Joy. “So how many have you packed this morning Joy? Abebi asked. “None” replied Joy.

“What do you mean Joy? You are the one who applied rat poison in your apartment; didn’t you see some dead rats? Abebi asked once more, trying to fathom what Joy was really saying. “Believe me Abebi, I didn’t see any. Not even one!” said Joy. “This means all the rats harassing us in this compound are in our apartments Abebi,” Calisaah observed. “If there were no rats in her apartment why then did she apply rat poison? Abebi asked. “I have only seen one in our apartment that was the reason I applied the rat poison. I was hoping to see it dead this morning but I didn’t,” said Joy. “Maybe it is a visiting rat,” Calisaah conjectured. “This is what we will do Joy, we are going to apply rat poison in all our apartments as from tomorrow night,” Abebi suggested. “Why not this night?” asked Joy. “I don’t have any rat poison at home now. I will buy…” “I have enough to go round, I will give the two of you some,” interjected Joy.

That night the three women applied a lot of rat poison in their apartments and couldn’t wait for the day to break. Very early in the morning, the three of them woke up to sweep their flats in a bid to find dead rats. All the poisoned bits of food in Joy’s apartment were eaten, but she did not find any dead rat. As for Calisaah and Abebi, they found loads of dead rats in their flats. In Calisaah’s flat, sixteen dead rats were found; in Abebi’s flat fourteen dead rats were found. The three women could not figure out how the poisoned bits of food in Joy’s flat could be eaten and yet there were no dead rats found in her flat. Joy and Iyanga did not bother much about it, so long as the poisoned bits of food were being eaten and rats were dying in their neighbours’ flats, that was okay by them.

As the mystery remained unsolved, Joy and Iyanga found it a good subject to gossip about, “Imagine, if we had not moved in and begun to apply poison in our flat, our neighbours’ flats would have continued to serve as rat farm,”, said Joy. “But since the first night we applied poison, have you seen any rat in our apartment?” Iyanga asked. “No, it must have died with the other rats. Calisaah said it was a ‘visiting rat’. And I think that’s what all of them are, we don’t have rats in this apartment…” said Joy. “Yeah eh! There is a rat under that seat!” Interjected Iyanga. “Rat? In this house?” asked a befuddled Joy. “…get me the mopping stick! If a rat poison won’t kill this one, then I will kill it!” Iyanga boasted. Joy turned to see the rat her husband was talking about, “AAAH! Baby it is the same rat in our other room! I know the rat…!” Shouted Joy. “Get me the moping stick nah!” Shouted Iyanga. Joy ran and fetched the moping stick. “Baby block the entrance to the passage, I will try to cut it off from running to the dining!” Iyanga instructed as he tried to kill the rat.  Joy took her place in front of the door to the passage, brandishing a rubber footwear.

The rat must have been oblivious of the scheme to kill it until Iyanga attacked it with the moping stick and cut off its tail. It squealed and made a dash toward Joy who was meant to cordon of the passage. When Joy saw the rat coming toward her, she fled in fear. Iyanga went after the rat, chasing after it with the moping stick in his hand. He clubbed at the rat severally, but missed each time. The rat ran into their other room and vanished amid their pile of loads in there. Iyanga tried to shift the loads, but after a long spell of time spent searching for the rat, without seeing it, he left in frustration and made the rat a promise that he would kill it when next he saw it.

When Iyanga returned to the living room, he saw Joy standing on top of their dining table. “What are you doing there?” Iyanga asked. “I don’t want the rat to bite me. Where is the rat? Did you kill it?” asked Joy. “I couldn’t kill it; it sort of vanished amongst our loads in the room.” “I will apply more rat poison this night,”, Joy said, still standing on top of the dining table. “Don’t bother; clearly rat poison doesn’t kill this type of rat. One has to kill it by oneself. The rat must be demon possessed,” Iyanga remarked. He began to walk away, but turned and asked his wife, “Aren’t you going to come down from the dining table?” “The rat is still mad; I saw its teeth when you hit it. I am afraid it will bite me if I walk around the house.”

“Babe it is not mad. It was only afraid. I think I cut off its tail when I attacked it,” said Iyanga as he went to check under the seat to see if he would find any remnant of the rat’s tail. He saw it writhing on the floor under their couch. With the moping stick, he removed it from under the seat. “I said it; I actually cut off its tail. Babe come and see it.” “No. I am not coming. The rat will bite me.” “So how long are you going to stand on that dining table?” “Till the rat’s temper don cool,” replied Joy. Iyanga went over and carried Joy away from the dining table; Joy clung unto his back like a baby would hold unto its mother; refusing to set her feet on the floor.

The rat menace continued in their house for months. Somehow the poison which killed other rats would not kill it. In their frustration, they decided to buy a cat to help them take care of the rat. Sadly, their new cat lasted only three weeks in the house before they found it blind in both eyes one morning. “Something else is going on in this house, baby,” Joy said to her husband as they stood starring in disbelief to their blind cat. “This is not happening, maybe we should let the rat be. So far has the rat destroyed anything in the house?” Iyanga asked. “It has destroyed nothing to my knowledge so far.” “Okay, let us allow the rat some time to live in our apartment. If it begins to destroy things, then we will find means to kill the rat.” Joy did not like her husband’s suggestion, but there was nothing she could do. The rat just won’t eat rat poison or be killed by even a cat.

And so, they allowed the rat to live in their apartment. Months later, Iyanga and his wife found themselves feeding the rat bits of food and even gave the rat a name, Aloysius. Much to their dismay, the rat responded to the name they called it and strangely enough, destroyed nothing in their apartment. As their rapport with the rat got better, they began to understand its routes in the house and the time in entered and left their apartment.

One day, the rat left their apartment and never returned. They missed the rat so much that they went looking for it in the streets by night. In one of those nights, an old lady they had come to know as mama Iyabo, ran into them and asked them to follow her. Wondering what her reason might be for asking them to follow her, they asked, “Mama Iyabo, is everything okay?” The old woman looked around and whispered, “I know about your missing rat, and who it is.” “Did you just say who?” Iyanga asked in shock. Joy stepped behind her husband in fear. “Yes, I said ‘who’,” replied the old woman. “So who is the rat?” Joy asked from behind her husband. Lowering her voice, the old lady replied, “The rat that was in your house is my husband…” she paused.

Iyanga and Joy looked at each other in disbelief. “Your husband? But we heard he died many years ago, mama,” Iyanga pointed out. “How could I have told people that my husband was turned into a rat? You see, we are custodians and servants of the rat spirit. Your love for my husband has set him free from the curse of the rat spirit. Don’t be afraid. These things are real. You could not kill the rat because it was not a rat at all…” she paused again. By now Iyanga and his wife were feeling spaced out and totally jazzed. “Joy step out from behind your husband,” Mama Iyabo requested. “Who told you my name?” “Do you really think my husband will be living in your house and I won’t know your name? Joy, you have been married for five years and you have not had a child for your husband. Do not worry about it. We know the people who took your womb…”

“What are you saying?!” Iyanga screamed. “Nobody took my womb!!” Joy yelled. “Joshua, the man whom you left long ago took your womb.” “Jesus! Mama what do we do?” “Do not worry joy. We know where your womb is and we will bring it back!” “Mama thank you,” Joy said with tears in her eyes. “So Joshua did this to my wife,” Iyanga finally spoke up. “We are not all good. Some people think I and my husband as evil, maybe we are, but for your good toward my husband, we will show you favour.”

As the old woman turned to leave them, Iyanga whispered to his wife, “Baby, Iyanga don buy market.” “No be small market babe,” replied Joy. “Iyanga you no buy market! We will help you even though you think we are evil, maybe we are evil. However, we will help your wife,” the old woman said, surprising them. “How did she hear us?” Joy asked in a hushed tone. “You heard her, they are evil,” replied Iyanga.

Nine months after that incident, Joy gave birth to a set of twins. Out of fear over all that had happened and the sudden invasion of their apartment by rats, Joy and her husband moved out of the neighbourhood. In their new apartments, their rat poison kills every rat that dears enter their apartment.


Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - rat, rat poison, apartment, poison, passage, market, mama, buy.
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