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Before I begin, let me set things straight. I'm the chord of delight in a vocal. My name is Lucy. I remember I was dead conflicted. I found myself screaming in a hotel room. What happened to Jon Watts in Nelson was my fault. My vision of life had changed, even lucid like a shard of glass, even adorned with fine roses. Now I have become myself. And the sun that shines on the mirror of my existence is not so much like the sun we grew up to know. It's fine, it's bold, it's beautiful. Its work on the mirror is the work of happiness, the reflection of a knowing. Its rays are like feathers, plumes shining and leaving doses of radiance on the rose petals – an abstract imagery of divine exquisiteness. So now happiness is woven out of the peace of hours. We must stay, albeit open-eyed, with our foibles, and court our darkest hours with enchanting diligence. Then shall we find what means the most. Then shall we know what songs soothe our soul. We must stay. But a new day brings a new pattern, and a new pattern brings to our lives nothing but a new hole to fill. So one evening, after I found myself, I called a vendor to my doorstep. I was pruning my roses.

This material universe, you see, is not all there is. Mysteries lie beyond the reach of our senses. Long ago, some people, by virtue of meditation, raised the roof of their minds and discovered that our universe is only but a tiny unit in a vast multiverse. Beyond this universe is a place where the incompetence of men wears severe consequences, and where every good thing there is is only but a function of precision and attention to individual thoughts and emotions. And there, as it is with this very universe, you can become the prisoner of your own thoughts – but what differs is the profundity of the effects here and there. Time is the enemy. Time kills everything. Time corrupts. Time is a giver. That's the time paradox. The enigma of intangible things. But they say time is relative.

So when the vendor stepped a foot upon my flagstone, I held his shoulder and felt the energy deep inside of him. He was lost and didn't know it in any way possible. So I asked him to come inside. He rejected the request at first, turning even to leave. So I said to him: "You have a problem, and I want to help you. You sure have lost a man and you have lost a thousand precious things too innumerable to mention now. And you are not at home with yourself.  And yet to know why you keep losing money." He looked at me in what should be a brief moment, and asked: "Who told you all these things that you speak of?"

"Come in then." I said. He nodded for a few seconds, in a somewhat pragmatic manner, and then went in with me.


Faraway, a young boy ventures out hunting – traveling with him a flower vase he had found moons ago. The boy's life and that of the plant he had found would, as you'd most likely find out in the course of time, never be the same again.


"Oh, Humblesmith! The face. It is just like my own." the boy said. "I need an explanation." 

But the boy, in the actual sense, was just speaking to himself – as the haberdasher was not paying attention – and the man in question was still in the distance.

"I know not what you speak of." the haberdasher said to him. "I'm all about my business, boy. And a very deep rain is forming in the clouds, which you can see. Buy what you need and be gone, for scarcely would you be able to navigate the roads when the gutters have had their fill. There's not much time for me here either."

But yet, the boy stood – looking frantically into the distance. The approaching man, however, stopped and began to scratch his hair – as though he was afraid to approach further. He stood as if he could see the contours of the boy's thoughts. But the haberdasher himself began to pressurize the boy to pay so he could leave, saying to him:

"Please. Keep the buttons in your hands. Whatever you want out there, go find it. It's probably not here nor there. And probably not waiting for you. I suppose it's in an asylum. Or you are just simply delirious." 

Upon this comment, he took his goods from the boy's hands and charged out of sight. But the boy remained, looking even as the man contemplated his next move. And as the boy stood – as though in suspended animation – he saw a four-seater sedan hit the man away and into a dusty pair of hills. And as he wiped his eyes for the umpteenth time, he found he could not find the man whose semblance he shared.


Sunlight and darkness are simply the ultimate testament to time. The concrete around the park was painted a warm kind of gray, and the boy sat on it as he stared around the park. It was getting dark. And although it was twilight, shadows of passersby showed themselves on the concrete floor – each running along with its possessor. And upon that floor, the boy simply stared at the golden sun disappearing in the horizon. He wondered who the man was. And considering that his own father was still alive, he wondered if he was the uncle he never knew. But as thinking goes, the door to his mind got quickly shut when a certain foot hit him from the back. He turned and raised his head. The man had returned, and was standing in a bizarre form. The boy got up and screamed till the man became nothing but a crepuscular figure on the wall of the building adjacent to the park. He picked his bag and hurried off, turning from time to time to indulge his growing curiosity.


My name is Lucy. And I remember I used to be conflicted. It took me nine whole years to save my own life. And now I am saving everyone I can, perhaps even crossing the line. And now my spirit is directing me to save a boy with a certain sentient plant, especially from his clone sent to kill him before he turns fourteen. One thing with having superpowers is that sometimes you up the ante with good intentions in mind, and, in the end, spoil things for good. That was what happened when I tried to stop Jon Watts from falling from that 100th floor in Nelson. He was trying to commit suicide. And I was only trying to save him. People on the streets of Nelson had seen him hanging from the ledge and called security agencies. But I had seen what it all meant, for him and for everyone. What it meant generally was danger, so I quickly tuned into my inner energy that it exceeded the usual max. Quickly, without any thought, I stretched my hands, channeling invisible magnetic energy beams towards him till I could pull him off the ledge. Seriously, I don't know what people think when they try or want to die. Because the shock I witnessed on his face showed that he now wished he could reverse his decision as he hung in the air in a downward parabolic motion. I watched him descend down the building with shrieks and muffled sounds of people. Most people were running away from the sight. I kept my gaze on him from where I stood, which of course was at the window of the opposite building which happened to be my residence. I saw the horror in his eyes as he descended countless floors down. I kept my strength within check and made sure he was landing within the limits of reasonable speed. But something happened when he was about seven floors close to the ground. I lost my composure, and that is the reason I tumbled him this and that way till I could find him a safer place for an impact which would never be a ground. I succeeded though, by making him land with his left arm on a patrol car – which is the reason he has lost feeling in that arm. But at least I saved his life. Only that I wish I had brought him down quite wholly. So now I'm off to save another one – a boy in possession of a plant with special powers. A boy who had uprooted the plant from the backyard of a sorcerer of Dark Arts, an obnoxious fellow who drinks animal blood with ginger, garlic and onion. The boy's name's Humblesmith. And he's out again hunting in the dead of the night.


He was actually hunting on the land of Ichabod Pree Yonka, who rumour says has never for once smiled for a second, a day or a night. They say he was dead and came back again to live against his own will amongst men.  The legend speaks of a time when people seldom believed in stories of reincarnation, so Ichabod's tale was more of a trailblazer. But most people believed nonetheless and stayed away from his creepy yellow house and the arable land that surrounded it. Once, it was said that a child entered the land and never returned. Some said the back of his house leads to The Land of the Awaiting Birth. But the latter was what most people summarized as fictive and make-believe. But the horror of the tale stayed. And the name Ichabod Pree Yonka became a staple of horror fed to children whose parents told tales. And this was where Humblesmith's legs had led him, the boy with the plant that hates yesterday and knows tomorrow. 

In the yard was an abandoned rusty car. The abandoned car was one without windows, and had creeping plants spreading out and onto the grasses. Behind the yellow house was a yew tree. Humblesmith had passed this car to yonder, a taser gun fastened to his black belt. The yellow house stood silent, only flashes of light blinking and dying out. He stood and observed the house for a moment – and then, on a whim, threw a stone at it and continued with his tread. Behind the house was an expanse of land, and Humblesmith hoped he would find game. Hunting was the only thing he knew so well, and the only thing he survived on. He took out his torch and shine its light toward the distance. The only thing that revealed itself was the thick mass of trees and tender shrubs. Humblesmith rolled his sleeves up his elbow and walked quietly into the forest, his torch the only thing showing him the way forward. The house quivered, and a few slabs fell in a dusty heap. But Humblesmith wasn't privy. I was the only one aware. And as he tore through the thicket in hope of a petty bloodsport, the house howled and the abandoned car began to bounce. Inside it was a skeleton forcefully trying to ignite the car. The ebony woods in the forest began to throb with life, changing positions and going northwest. He took out his gun and the plant in his backpack said: "Shoot the sheep." But the boy shot a hare, turning only briskly to find there was no one in sight. He assumed it was his mind playing tricks on him. An antelope showed up and the boy took a flawless aim. "No. You're killing the wrong ones. Look for the sheep." The boy turned quickly, but saw nobody. But this time, the house was on fire and the skeleton from the abandoned car was approaching. Horror gripped the limbs of the boy, and his weapon fell to the ground. The skeleton was smoking and was approaching faster. He looked like Baalzebub. And this was the part I needed to get in, having been waiting for a while at the entrance of the yard. Fastened to the hip of the skeleton was a long ax with a patina of blood. 

"I need that head now, boy, before you kill my sheep. Nobody trespasses. I am Ichabod...Pree Yonka! Give me your head. No humans are allowed here."

The shock was much and the boy fell to the ground.


Pree Yonka and I fought a fierce battle till his axehead went off and I was able to send him back to a lifeless state with a spell. I can't even believe I did. The very point is though I may be the sexiest redbone alive, but I'm lithe. I took the boy up, carried him in my arms, as the fire team arrived to extinguish what would be a ghostly fire. And while they struggled to put the fire out, I left with the boy unseen – taking nothing along, not the hare nor the antelope. As for the fire, it will surely die out after an hour. And I'm so anxious that the plant and the boy shall find a new place to call home, only that Ichabod Pree Yonka shall always seek the head he was deprived of. The ghost and the sport of head have always been entwined as one, and he sure doesn't stop hunting for a head that dared to enter the forest behind his own house. A place where he keeps a fatty sheep that is the gateway between the spirit and the human world. And thank goodness I have the plant that sees tomorrow, a flora of the ghost world. The plant, no doubt, shall have a place on my center table for two weeks. And I shall help figure out how to kill the clone sent to kill him for having the plant. But as for now, we can only hope the boy keeps his head. I do know one thing though. I'd ring Dr. Julie Smollet O'Leary.


Marvel Chukwudi Pephel, also known as Poet Panda, is a Nigerian biochemist, writer and poet. He has contributed research papers to the field of Biochemistry as Nwachukwu Godslove Pephel. As a poet, Pephel's work explores themes of love, life, nature, and social issues, with a unique blend of creativity and scientific insight. His poetry is characterized by its lyrical style, depth, and emotional resonance. His work is a testament to the intersection of art and science. He is a fan of the surrealist painter Salvador Dali, and writers Helen Oyeyemi, Ray Bradbury, Irving Washington, Edgar Allan Poe, Frank G. Slaughter and Philip K. Dick. He calculates what he calls "Creative Functions", an experimental but effective way of writing short story endings before their beginnings.


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