Kasala Preview…

Kasala- The curse, written by Azubike Ahubelem, is a book that winds around varieties of book genre. It’s a page turner especially if you love mythology and action packed thrillers with a bit of romance. The author is known for his last hot page turner, Don’t join. If you read it, then you know he ‘don’t’ play.

 The ebook is on Amazon but the hard copy isn’t. It will be available in a few days. Please buy and leave a review.

Below is an excerpt of the book.

PROLOGUE
Nike froze!

What was that sound? Her eyes widened, were those… wolves?

She shook her head vigorously, she must have been hearing things.

She was not an expert, but she was pretty sure there were no wolves in

Lagos.

Nike was moving quickly, she had a feeling that she had to get out of

there … fast.

She was just passing by the butcher’s shop when he brought a cleaver

down to chop the meat – then chopped off his hand!

Nike saw the hand fly off and blood spurted terribly everywhere. She

was screaming, but she could not hear anything. It was like she was in

another world; in the market but not in the market.

She saw the butcher’s mouth open in a guttural scream. He fell,

slumping backward, into an armed police officer, whose gun went off and

hit a tomato seller.

It was bedlam!

People were running everywhere. There was chaos…

Nike found herself running too. She was scared, her heart was beating

in a staccato, her pulse accelerating frantically, she had to get out of there.

She glanced back and saw something strange.

In the midst of the chaos, a large crowd had surrounded the police

officer; she had a feeling it was not for a friendly chat.

Nike ran till she got to her car. She jumped in. She zoomed out ust as

an electricity pole fell over and hit the spot she had just driven her car from.

It came down like a tree, crushing two other cars parked beside where hers

had been.

What the hell!!!

Azubike A. Ahubelem

viii

1

CHAPTER ONE: THE CURSE

The rays of the sun hit Nike squarely in the face.

She instinctively placed a hand over her eyes. Those stupid curtains!

Why don’t they ever close completely? There was always a small part that

doesn’t quite block out the sun. That small patch assaulted her eyes.

She sighed.

Anyway, she had to get up. Nike sat up in bed and stretched.

Everything around her, the surrounding and structures, began to make

sense. She smiled. Today will be a good day, she thought.

Nike was beautiful in an egalitarian sort of way. She was tall with

curves in all the right places, nothing too much. Not too leggy, a moderate

torso, or her height might have worked as a disadvantage.

She had almond shaped eyes and small, thin lips; when pursed looked

like a line, when relaxed appeared terribly inviting.

She was still smiling. Though she had a headache, it was mild; a good

headache. She’d been out partying last night and that had been fun … a lot

of fun.

She shook her head vigorously, checking the weight of her headache,

not too bad it seemed. She sighed and stood up; made her way languidly to

the bathroom and stared at her face in the mirror. She didn’t look worse for

wear; she still looked like a princess.

Azubike A. Ahubelem

2

Nike had a beauty mark on her right cheek, she touched it fondly. It

reminded her of her “Africanness,” and she didn’t mind that in the least.

She opened the mirrored cupboard and fished out the painkillers she

often kept there. She took them down quickly and then trumped her hair a

bit. She stared into the mirror again – perfect.

This African Lady was ready for the world…

She made her way downstairs to the lavish dining room. She was from

a privileged home, the house showed that. The huge dining table with its

glass cover looked down into another glass that was a mirror.

It had the effect that when you look down at the table, it was as if you

were looking at your reflection in water. The leather chairs shone dully in

the early morning light. She sat on one of them and just stared around her

for a bit. She heard movement upstairs, she knew who it was, he was always

up and ready to go at this time, every day, like clockwork.

She allowed herself a smile. She looked upstairs and followed her

father’s descent with her starry eyes. She stood up when he got to the

landing and crossed over past the archway that divided the foyer from the

dining room.

“Good morning Dad.” Nike said with a singsong twinge in her voice.

Her father, a handsome man with a genial expression on his face,

smiled at her, he loved his daughter and thought she was the most beautiful

thing in the entire world.

“Good morning, my dear,” he replied. He gave her a hug. Nike loved

the scent of her father, he always smelled like pines. They held each other

for a while, then broke apart. “Well, I’ll be off now,” he muttered.

“Have a nice day,” she said as he walked out the door.

He was a civil engineer and had made his millions supervising some of

the biggest monuments in the city. He had always had that luck of being at

the right place at the right time. He was grateful for favour that always

seemed to follow him. As long as he could provide for his family, he would

always be happy.

KASALA

3

“He snuck out of bed again!” Nike turned around sharply.

“Mother!” she exclaimed. “You should be a ninja.”

Nike’s mother laughed. “Oh come on honey. I’m sure anyone can do

that.” Nike thought, nobody might.

Her mother was so quiet; sometimes it was disconcerting. She was also

barefoot, that helped with her quietude and stealthiest of entries.

“You were saying he snuck out of bed…” Nike retorted.

“Your father, shey? He doesn’t want me to fix him breakfast, probably

thinks it’ll be too stressful for me.” Nike’s mother sighed. “That man, ehn,”

she said with a smile on her face.

Nike’s parents loved each other and it was clear, even after so much

time together. It made her proud.

“Let’s get something, shall we?”

Nike rolled her eyes and made a frustrated sound in her throat. “Mom,

when are we getting a new cook?”

Her mom laughed, she had always found Nike’s spoilt brat tendencies

amusing, rather than annoying.

“After the last incident, your father made a decision not to use the

services of an outsider in the house, so it’s just you and me,” she

responded.

Nike made the frustrated sound again, and a funny face to match it.

Her mother ignored her. “So you fry the eggs and I’ll put the yam on

the fire,” she orders her daughter.

“Aren’t you scared I’ll burn them?” Nike teased. She was a disaster in

the kitchen, a constant source of worry for her mother.

“If you burn them, you’ll eat them,” the mom said just as lightly.

They quickly prepared breakfast and settled to eat at a small dining

table in the kitchen.

Azubike A. Ahubelem

4

“So, any plans for today, honey?” asked her mother.

Nike paused, raised her fork and absent-mindedly twirled it in the air.

“Um… I’ll go say hi to a friend.”

Her mother gives a noncommittal grunt. She reached into her robe

and hands Nike some money. “You can use that and get yourself fuel. I’d

also like vegetables from the market,” she said.

Nike was just about to grumble when her mother shot her a gaze.

Nike quieted at once, then her mom smiled again and interjected: “Thanks

my dear.”

Nike shivered involuntarily. Her mother scared her sometimes.

An hour and a half later, Nike was ready to head out. She picked up

her keys, stepped out, got into her car and drove off.

Nike knew pink was an outlandish color. Nonetheless, she always

loved standing out and would spot anything flashy from a mile away.

A pink Mercedes Benz car stood out in most places. She was happy to

own one, though she knew in Nigeria it was practically an incongruous

neon sign begging to be seen.

She was off to see a friend of hers, knowing her coeval would be

awfully oppressed on seeing her latest acquisition. She smiled a bit at that

thought.

There was not much traffic on the road and nature was just about

shedding its skin. The sun was warming the air and chasing away the chill

that came with the night.

Nike decided to roll down the car windows and enjoy the breeze a bit.

She knew using the air-conditioner was more of a status symbol move, but

this worked for her. She imagined herself closing her eyes, reclining and just

enjoy soaking up the warm sun … but she was driving, so eyes in front.

She got to her friend Kemi’s house and parked. She got out of the car

looking at Kemi’s modest looking house. It was an old house.

KASALA

5

Such it had to be, since Kemi’s family had been one of the first to

move into the estate. Paint on the walls was peeling in places and Nike

wondered why they didn’t just put on a fresh coat to at least spruce things.

She walked up to the door and knocked. She expected a maid to

answer, but was pleasantly surprised when Kemi herself came to the door.

Kemi was beautiful. She was short, with amazing curves, and only God

knows what magic made the tribal marks on her cheeks endearing.

Everyone kept talking about what a natural beauty Kemi was and it was

small features like her facial marks that made it true.

“NIKE!” Her friend exploded excitedly.

“KEMI!” Nike screamed in return, matching her friend’s enthusiasm.

They hugged.

“You look amazing,” commented Kemi, as she gave Nike a look all

over when they broke apart. Nike flipped her hair and struck a pose.

“You like, shey?” The last bit was a word Nike picked up from her

mom, but did not understand its meaning. Just a suffix that grows through

habitual usage, the way people mutter “Right?” or “No?”

“Ode!” laughed Kemi, calling her friend a fool in Yoruba language.

“Come in, come in,” she retested.

“Nope! You come out,”

“To where?”

In response Nike brought out her car keys and dangled them in front

of Kemi’s eyes.

Kemi took a couple of seconds before realization hit her. Her eyes

popped wide open, face lit up, mouth sprang open, as she registered

surprise. Then she eventually found her voice.

“SHUT! UP!” she exclaimed and squealed, jumping on her friend.

Nike laughed and struggled with Kemi’s weight. They shared a pseudo hug.

“You’re heavy,” Nike commented.

Azubike A. Ahubelem

6

Kemi feigned a hurt look. “You should never tell a lady she’s heavy.”

Nike laughed. “Come on!”

They went to the car and Kemi ooohed and aaaaahed at the beauty

that was her friend’s new heaven on wheels.

“We have to celebrate,” said Kemi.

Nike agreed and they went into the house, grabbed a bottle of wine

and cookies. They went together in a gait, sprawled in front of the TV,

started talking boys, fashion and other people’s lives.

“How about a movie…” Kemi suggested.

Nike mulled it over. “There might be cute boys there?” she mused.

“And the movie might be great, it’s not like you’re going to find a

husband there,” Kemi returned.

“I know,” said Nike, but she liked the idea of being looked at and

admired. “Let’s go,” she said finally.

“Alright boys! Eat your hearts out, the dynamic duo is coming for ya,”

proclaimed Kemi.

Nike laughed, this should to be a good day, she thought.

They enjoyed their movie; it was a sappy romantic comedy in which

the heroine ended up happy – like every emotional farce does. They were

about to head home when Nike remembered. “Damn it! I have to get to the

market for Mom.”

Nike was frustrated. She took a swig from her bottle of soda. She had

forgotten promising to get her mother vegetables from the market. She may

perhaps go home and pretend she forgot.

Nike thought better of it; her mother was a fastidious woman. She had

no doubt her mother would send her right back to the market, regardless of

the time.

Those were moments when her smallish mom scared her. She sighed.

There was no getting out of this.

KASALA

7

“I have to go,” she said finally.

“I could tag along,” Kemi proffered.

Nike considered the offer, but shook her head. “Nah, I have no doubt

the place will be all muddy and God knows what else. Getting those pretty

shoes of yours stained would be a crime.”

“And your shoes?”

“Don’t worry; I have flats in the car. I’ll be fine.”

“Okay, if you say so.”

Nike hailed a cab, and Kemi entered.

“We’ll see each other soon, right? There’s so much fun to be had!”

Nike smiled. Kemi was a firecracker, always ready to have fun … and

she knew all the cool hangout spots.

“Sure, honey, get home safe.” She watched the cab drive off and

headed to her car with a sigh. It’s just vegetables, right? I’ll be home in no

time, she thought.

She had no idea.

Fifteen minutes later, she had moved a half mile. Nike stared at the

traffic before her in dismay.

When am I going to get home? She asked herself. She saw a small

opening and tried to veer. Just then a van cut in from the other lane. The

car scraped hers, and she saw a large man driving with strange looking

passengers. He looked dangerous, but Nike was having none of that. What

nonsense! He had struck her car!

“Useless son of a bitch!” Nike screamed through her car window. The

men barely spared her a glance. She had a mind to get down and stop them,

but just then the traffic moved and the van jumped ahead of her. Nike did

not have the alertness or reflexes to try blocking them. She was livid.

Azubike A. Ahubelem

8

She was about to get down but the traffic broke, leaving the road

much freer. The men had disappeared by the time Nike passed the brokendown

trailer that had caused the traffic congestion. There was no way Nike

was going to get them now. She was so mad and brooded all the way to the

market.

Great! Nowhere to park. She drove around and finally spotted one of

those area boys waving frantically towards her. She sighed; those ones

always want money.

She followed his directions and parked. She got out 100 naira, exactly

the right amount, at the ready.

“Ah, fine girl! Abeg something for the boys?” As Nike looked at the

guy, she found it an uphill task to keep from sneering. ‘Abeg’ is a colloquial

term used when asking for something from someone; so she gave him the

100 naira.

“I just want to get out of here,” Nike ruminated. She noticed the

scratch on her car. It wasn’t too bad, but still annoying. This was a new car,

for God’s sake! She hissed and walked away.

“Sister, no need to vex na.” It was the area boy. Apparently he thought

the hiss was directed at him. Nike couldn’t care less and almost hissed

again, but decided against it. The last thing she wanted was to come back

and find her tires gone.

She stormed off into the market, leaving the area boy muttering to

himself.

***

Tunde woke up to behold a beautiful woman staring at him with huge

eyes. He smiled. He had always liked that painting. The appearance was

wide-eyed and wondering. Though she was naked, it did not matter – all

that mattered was what she was looking at.

Her eye seemed to follow the viewer’s face at every angle. It made

Tunde feel safe and happy. He ran a hand over his ruggedly handsome face.

His room looked more like an art gallery than the sleeping quarters it

actually was. It was brimming with several paintings and artwork. There

were clay figures, wood figures, and one or two metal works.

KASALA

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