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Swing Episode 4: The Strange Ghostlike Nature Of Slade Akintola

Snap crack crack! It sounds like thunder. I turn back to see the source of this sound. Whoaa….no… no…no. I dash back, spin on my heels and then run.

I run for my dear life. The mighty tree is falling.  It’s about to crush me like an ant. I can see its shadow swooping down on me like a hawk. I trip over a mound and gbam!

The tree buries me.






Oh hey there. I am breathing again. But I am stuck. I am stuck under this mountain of timber. Its strong wooden smell is suffocative.

My eyes are so dwarfed by what looks like a wall of scaly tree bark resting on my chest.  The most part of my body, from my chest downwards, is crushed under this fallen tree. And its weight is monstrous.

 I cannot even squirm and I think my body is condemned. My face is twisted like someone suffering from a stroke.

But I don’t think that’s all that is twisted. I don’t need to look. I can tell that all my bones are sticking out from my skin like spikes.

My eyes focus on the sky. Dear God, why won’t you let me just die? Am I supposed to lie here, paralysed until the timber rots away? And to think I had been about to walk in front of a speeding trailer.

Oh you weren’t here when I tried that, were you? You always leave me. I don’t even know where you go to. But you didn’t miss much. Let me get you up to speed.

---This Morning---


Have you ever fallen into a stupor? Well if you have, it’s quite extraordinary isn’t it? Your mind just drifts away and you lose consciousness.

Well, that’s what happened to me after the keke dropped me back in the forest.

For a while, I gazed up at the dark sky, feeling despondent over the very idea of my existence. I was paralysed and hovering in the air like a frozen spirit.

I think I must have counted the stars. I think it was during that sombre pastime that my mind left me only to return this morning.

When my consciousness returned, the first thing I noticed was a bird, a black bird, perched atop my chest. How still I must have been to make the bird so careless.

The sun was just barely out of the sky and… I was still hovering, still paralysed.

“Is this a prison? Is this what limbo feels like?” I asked aloud.

Just like that there was a loud swish sound, like the sound of air rushing into a tyre. Whatever force had kept me hovering in the air, suddenly waned because I floated down like a leaf to stand on my feet.

I could feel blood whooshing through my veins, from my feet up.

 And then my movement returned, just a swift jerk of the smallest toe on my left leg. But I could tell that Slade was back.

“Ah!” I yelled “Good morning to you Slade Akintola! Let’s have a very ghostly day, shall we?”

I made to find my way out of the bush but almost stumbled. I lacked balance like a toddler. It seemed I had forgotten how to walk.

I had to step with caution. But that didn’t help much because I still found myself falling face first into a pile of dung.

I’m not trying to be comical; I actually fell into animal shit. With an omen like that, I didn’t need anyone to tell me I was going to have a shitty day.

For perhaps an hour, I roamed through the forest in search for water. And trust me the forest is no playground. You remember I’m still barefooted.

So I had to trek barefooted through acres of wet grass, or spiky foliage until I found a path. It was a thin sandy path that snaked its way through the trees. I went down this path till I happened upon a stream.

I quickly washed my shit stained face and then sat beside the stream. The stream was so clear; I waited for the ripples to subside so that I could take a look at my reflection. I soon saw my face peering up to me from the water.

“Hey Slade.” I said, “well you look good, considering.”

So there I was in the middle of the forest where I supposedly died. I felt content enough to sit by that stream forever. It was so peaceful.

And there was a way the surrounding baobab trees lent a shade that made the area so serene.

And then the soft breeze sent a piece of paper my way. I picked the sheet up. It wasn’t a paper, it was a photo.

It was the one of the photos I found in Derrick’s room. I guess it must have fallen out of my pocket on my way here. So just like that, the yearning returned, the desire for answers.

I had to find my brother. If only things were not so bad between me and mom. She would have been the fastest way to get to Derrick.

But I had to get to him somehow. And then it hit me, I was closest to one of the clues. This is the forest where I was supposedly brutally murdered (yes I’ll keep saying supposedly because I’m obviously not dead).

If this was the forest, then I was very likely to find the old man here, the witch doctor that did me.

I rose up and took in the dense expanse of nature. How was I supposed to find him here? He could be anywhere.

I went down the path, hoping it would lead me to a settlement or better yet, the witch doctor’s shed. But of course the path led to a dead end for I soon came upon a dense growth of bramble.

I turned back and retraced my steps. I must have spent another two hours or so trying to find another path.

The sun was fully up by then. If only I had some special abilities.  If I could I don’t know umm…teleport or speed walk or something but I had nothing.

This was more proof that everyone was wrong about me. Slade was no ghost.


But then I remembered the funny incident back at my mother’s house. I had vibrated so fast, my body lost its form. My hands went through the floor of Derrick’s room, did they not?

 Did you ever watch avatar, the last airbender? Remember how Toph could pinpoint her opponent’s location through vibrations.

Well, if I could vibrate, then I would be able to see this forest the way Toph would see it. The witch doctor would no longer be so hard to find.

Hey, look I know it sounds ridiculous but give me a break here. I actually lost form back at my mother’s place.

If only I could replicate that somehow. I just have to feel the same way I felt in that moment. Don’t snicker okay, work with me here.

I had just seen the photos in my brother’s room and seeing them made me a little agitated. So that’s it, agitation. Agitation is the key to unlocking them vibrations.

But how does a person willingly become agitated? I needed something to scare the living crap out of me.

So I trekked back towards ‘my resting place’ (that’s the place where I woke up). All the while I roamed, my eyes scanned around for anything.

But even when I finally got to my resting place, I still hadn’t figured out how to scare myself. So I continued my search until I came upon the highway.

Seeing the highway made me feel like my life was on a kind of loop. I mean, this was the exact way my previous day started--- I woke up in the forest and then found my way to the highway. Was this the way the rest of my life would be?

Paan! Blared a trailer as it sped down the highway. I lifted my head to look at it and…bam that’s when I got the genius idea.

What was scarier than impending death? I didn’t think twice before rushing to stand in the middle of the highway.

So that’s me, the fool in the middle of the highway waiting for the white coloured Big Mack to send me to my ancestors.

You should have heard the deathly screech of the vehicle’s brakes when the driver noticed me standing in his path. He swerved to the other side of the road and only narrowly missed me.

The trailer lurched and finally came to a stop several metres away. I knew what was to come next. This was Nigeria afterall.

The driver would come back to beat the living daylight out of me. Yep, he just stepped out his vehicle. He wasn’t alone. About three other youths jumped down too.

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I’m just Samuel, bony faced, laidback, absentminded Samuel. I don’t like to say much, I try to stay out of trouble. Some might say otherwise but that's some for you. Point is we don’t care, let’s just be chill and have fun. So come by whenever and ask me whatever.  It’s our party now and it won't start until your arrival.

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