The Wine – Episode 1 (Grey Wine). This is me sharing a story I wrote a few years back. It’s been bought a few times but I have decided to post it in episodes. Join me every Saturday! Thank you.
It was a new week in the middle of the year, Kemi had again renewed her resolve to take back all that life owed her. She kept humming a tune by King Sunny Aye n reti eleya mi oo, then she would wave in the next client who probably was also a return customer. Raised in a brothel, she knew what it took to make men croon after her. She was not like many of the young naïve girls who joined the business because of the flashy lifestyle she showed them. Men old enough to be her father would crawl begging for just a few more minutes in her room. Some of them had been drinking heavily before finding their way through the dark alley behind the brothel to her room. She gave them honey laced with poison. She loved the control it gave her- these men are so weak she would remind herself as the next one crawled out of her bed pulling up his jumper like she was some demon he had mistakenly walked into.
Ten-strikes was a common drive-by in the city of Ibadan. All-night carousing, and the blaring music deafened even passers-by. Sleek-T was the street name for Fasola Oguntola, Mr. Manager as some of the girls would call him; he had been the manager for five years and when it came around to business, Sleek-T was the roughest on the backstreets of Ibadan. He had local politicians in his pockets, lecturers, government officials and every kind of crooked character that walked the earth of Oluyole. He got the management of the brothel not so easily but word was that he had blackmailed his way to gaining the trust of some top politician who needed someone with his unique skill set. All the girls at the brothel had class, not the dry skinned, pale looking washouts that were commonplace at other brothels in the area. Kemi was definitely a key Sleek had turned right, bringing her to the club had been one of his best decisions. Two years before he met Kemi, business had been a real struggle at ten-strikes. She was at first ferocious but he tamed her, eventually controlled her life. Back when they started, it was just a small three-room apartment turned club house. Sleek-T was at his wit ends, Mr. Kole Osho, the landlord was demanding rent and of course all other bills still had to be paid. The only things he owned asides the girls were the cars and buses, the music rig and all the chairs that his “politician partner” had purchased. The night he saw her, Shola was proper drunk and on his way home. He had decided not to drive, I better not drown myself he mumbled to himself, picking his way along the street. The road through Dale avenue to his apartment was tarred but notoriously scarred with large ditches. A number of drunk drivers had to be hauled out of these death traps. It was quiet on the street as he staggered along. Anyone passing by could here his feet drag on the rough tarred road; it was quite late. Kemi walked up ahead, hoping she had not walked into the same street with a drunk rapist. She finally made out that it was the staggering club manager, she had been at ten-strikes a few times and knew Mr. manager. Her tight silk gown hugged her thighs, showing off a generous amount of skin; evidently returning from a late party. Tola knew there was something familiar about the way her heels clacked one after the other, her walk was quite unique; it was those head turning walks, you can’t help but notice her in a crowd. She had this exquisite shape. There was something else about her he could not lay a finger on. The gown hugged her huge breasts too, they were so tight that he could not get his roving eyes off them. Sleek hurriedly staggered up behind Kemi, “Hi, I’m Tola you can call me Sleek-T,” he grumbled incoherently. He followed up with some other foolhardy attempts to get Kemi’s attention, adds to that the most sheepish grin any single guy could wear on his face. “I know who you are,” she replied feigning disinterest, she continued walking. “That’s a pleasant surprise. Since you have heard about me, my work is half done,” he hurried alongside her, drunk as a skunk. He noticed she had glanced at him so he moved in for a kill. “Yea, I hear about you and that club that always shuts down, Nepa and Police are permanently on your neck, even your girls look like scarecrows,” she slapped him with the sharp remark, mischief was evident in her voice. Tola undaunted by the embarrassing truth about his club kept purring after her. They ended up at Kemi’s apartment. That night began a partnership that built the new ten-strikes. New girls flocked to the club, some called them maami water girls, they came from all over Nigeria. It was like Sodom and Gomorrah had found a new location.
It’s Friday night and a usually quiet neighborhood seemed to be hosting half of the town. Some preacher was behind the pulpit shouting “In Jesus Name, every knee shall bow, In Jesus Name…”
The music and praying would wake up the sleeping dead. The Mics were screeching so loud that you could hear them from the expressway which was about a mile away. The heated atmosphere was charged with “religious fervor.” The Pastor was shouting prayer points at the top of his voice like he wanted to tear something, “You will shout to the Lord, every power that has hitherto hindered me, DIE!” he roared into the sound system. Prayer warriors manning the pillars of the auditorium looked like they would be smashing some skull soon but they always managed to avoid impact. The elders and Pastors were evidently carried away, everyone was praying, everyone except a lone occupant of the seat next to the exit. Crying babies were strewn all over on sleeping mats or strapped to their mothers’ backs, the typical Friday till Saturday vigil.
Ipade had lost interest a long time since the prayers started, no one had the time to observe the extreme detachment on his face. He had zoned out a million times during the sermon that he even started to feel like he had just come to occupy a seat in the church. He had hoped really hard for a black out, these were common place at vigils, anyone who wanted to sleep or sneak out of a vigil would know how important blackouts are. The electricity goes out for a second and that’s all the time you need to crawl behind a wall or scamper out of the vigil. How could Daddy force me to this vigil? he knows I could be better off sleeping at home or at least reading for my exams, Ipade murmurs to himself like he was also praying. His school had been on strike and since then it had been an endless streak of attending church events. They had been to three vigils, all in one month already. That’s without counting the fasting and prayer sessions every Monday. Ipade had zoned out again as the preacher started to speak, he dozed off for a bit. He had picked out a corner on the last row where ushers hardly checked for sleeping members because it was close to the babies. At least he could comfortably succumb to the caresses of the cool air hissing into his ears from the rear entrance. Asides the fact that he was tempted to just bale and take a stroll into the cool night, Ipade had started to doubt God and he knew he could not tell his parents. After a while of grudgingly participating, he stealthily found his way out. He had dozed off and almost fallen off backwards in his chair. He knew he could not benefit from any prayers so he left the church premises at midnight and kept walking; drawn to the noise coming from ten-strikes a couple of streets away.
Are you in in a hurry? You could just grab a copy and go read it all!! I also added my second fiction book, check them out.