The Assassination

The Assassination. A Short story by Leye Adenle

The bank manager shook hands with Otunba. Close by, the driver held the door open. Otunba’s account officer waited by the manager, one step behind him. She unfolded her hands from her back but Otunba did not shake hands with her. He sank into the back of his Mercedes and let out the remainder of the fart he’d been letting out in sips.

‘We are going to the club.’

‘Yes sir.’

The driver took one hand off the steering to wave back at the manager who was still outside the bank with Otunba’s account manager, seeing the car off. Behind them, a black Toyota Camry with tinted windows started to pull out.

‘Hurry. I need to use the toilet.’

‘Yes sir.’


Prince returned the wine because the waiter had opened it before bringing it. He asked for new glasses too, because the ones set before him were for white wine, not red. He looked up and saw Otunba unravelling his agbada to throw it over his shoulders again; the usual way he announced his arrival. Otunba nodded back and walked round the bar to the toilets.

‘Sir, what about this one?’

The waiter had brought a bottle of wine that he presented like a fishmonger showing a prize catch. Continue reading “The Assassination”

The Assassination

Chronicles of a Runs Girl Part 1: Running girl


I have learnt many things in life and one of them is that you cannot run for your life in high heel shoes.

As I was running down the slope of Falomo Bridge, at some time past 4 am, I was actually praying for the heels of my Dorothy Perkins shoes to break because I did not dare to stop to take them off. I was no longer aware of Mama running behind me. I couldn’t hear her footsteps but I wasn’t stopping to check on her; it was well and truly an every-chick-for-herself kind of situation. And besides, we have always told her to lose weight. Maybe now, if we make it out of this alive, she would finally learn the folly of embracing her orobo title.

At the bottom of the bridge, on the Ikoyi side, I ran into the remnants of a police check point. The officers were drinking what I can only assume to be paraga, and counting the days take. If I was shocked to happen on them at four in the morning, they were equally startled to see a yellow girl in a cream low-cut chiffon dress running at them. They scattered away from my path and would have let me continue if at that point Mama had not called out to me and finally break my get-away.

The policemen regained their composure and immediately proceeded to arrest us, pointing their guns and shouting at us to tell them who we were.

I was out of breath, Mama even more so. The officers waited while their paraga woman opined that we must be ashewos and they agreed, without relenting their hold on their weapons.

As I was contemplating whether it was wise to tell them from what we had fled, Mama, ever the loud mouth, filled them in with every ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ of her thick Yoruba accent.

‘Ritual killer!’ she shouted.’He is there on the bridge. He stopped to piss, that is how we escaped. He didn’t know I speak Yoruba. He was telling his friend on the phone that he has found two girls for the ritual!’ Continue reading “Chronicles of a Runs Girl Part 1: Running girl”

Chronicles of a Runs Girl Part 1: Running girl

Anatomy of a Mermaid


‘Welcome everyone to another episode of Lagos Na Wah! We have an exciting show for you tonight. Here with me in the studio is Mr. Kwesi Owusu. Folks, you may have heard of him.’

The host smiled and paused to look at the audience. Some of them had been whispering amongst themselves, guessing the identity of the guest on the stage, arguing ‘it is him, ‘it is not him.’ They erupted into claps and laughter. Just the reaction the host wanted.

‘For the sake of those who are not familiar with Mr. Owusu,’ the host said, bringing the rancour down, ‘he is the marine biologist who was rescued by mermaids here in Lagos.’

He paused again and the audience laughed louder than they clapped.

Kwesi shifted in his chair. He had watched the last episode of the show when the invitation came. Nana asked him to turn them down, just like she asked him not to tell anyone the story he told her when he woke up in a hospital bed and she was by his side. But he had made an amazing discovery, something that would change the textbooks. To allow fear of ridicule prevent talking was selfish and unbecoming of a scientist. She did not believe him, but she didn’t laugh at him like many others had. Even his fellow lecturers at the Lagos Marine school thought he had gone mad. They who should know better. But Nana allowed him to talk late into the night about the water bubbling like it was boiling under his boat, just before the boat capsized. Continue reading “Anatomy of a Mermaid”

Anatomy of a Mermaid

Those Who Wish To Rule


‘There are three rooms in Aso Rock that only the President and a handful of people know about. The first room is a surgery. In there they keep gallons of the President’s blood type and multiple viable organs that match him. Should he ever be shot by an assassin, and should the bullet pierce his heart, he would get a new one and survive so long as they get him to that first room on time.

‘The second room is a vault. It contains our national secrets. Secrets that have been kept since colonial times. Names of coup plotters whose coups were unsuccessful and undisclosed. Locations of oil deposits discovered but not yet declared. Details of foreign spy satellites our government has interests in. Secrets gathered by those satellites. The name of the person who killed Dele Giwa. All these things are kept in that room.

‘The third room is also a vault. It holds our national treasures. Sentimental things like the first gallon of crude drilled from the Delta. A comb with hair from Herbert Macaulay’s mustache still in it. The stool Queen Elizabeth sat on when she visited Enugu in 1956. It mostly contains historic stuff, but the outgoing President has been using it to store his loot.  Continue reading “Those Who Wish To Rule”

Those Who Wish To Rule