Fourth Day: Prologue

Hey there people. How’s the day going? Good? I hope so.

So I know I said the first chapter of Remy’s “Fourth Day” is supposed to come up on Saturday, but I really just couldn’t wait to share with you. So I decided to put the prologue up today. The first chapter will be up on Saturday. I should warn you though, that Fourth Day isn’t in the same category/genre of writing as yesterday’s story. But if you’re one for good fantasy, I’m sure you’ll like these. I still think Fourth Day would work amazingly as a manga, but well… that’s between Remy and I sha.

So, enough talk. Here’s the Prologue to Fourth Day. Read and enjoy. Remember constructive criticism is always appreciated.

 

Book One: Emptiness

Prologue.

It once humored me that some people believe in dragons and living shadows. Now, I know they are luckier than most. Like a child who sees fire work in his home and may never see fire attempt to dominate man’s environment. There are more terrible things on the other side than an ordinary man’s mind can handle. Fortunately I was no longer ordinary a long time ago. I myself had never seen these things, but I have seen what they can do.

Guardians of the Ungrateful is what he called them. The Emptiness was the closest and shortest english translation of his name. Though for some reason beyond what I can grasp now, he represents anything but vacancy.

Anyway, as I write this note, these are not the thoughts going through my mind. Just one thought. A single, powerful, overwhelming thought. No, I’m not depressed or scared or in trouble. I’ve just seen it all. The next journey seems too far away and I have to make that leap for myself.

Even if this email makes no sense to you, I hope you agree with me that it is one hell of a suicide note. The document attached to it however is not.

If I never told you, you are one really amazing woman. I hope you always know that.

Love, Richard Lewis III

 

Anne French opened the attachment. It was the book that Richard had been working on. It was a project based on a series of entries by three English officers of the then West African Frontier Force. They all had encounters that seemed to form a pattern Richard spotted out; Living Shadows and men who literally lived in Light. All three had passed away sometime back, so personal interviews were not possible. Being as resourceful as he was, Richard managed to triangulate a wide area where these ‘phenomena’ were encountered. His emails were getting fewer and fewer and further apart over a period of three weeks. Richard had the annoying habit of mistaking emailing for tweeting. Of all the editors at Harrison Oldman and Underwood, she tolerated him the most, even during the times guilt colonized his face when his demands were too unreasonable. Richard not sending an email every three hours was a relief to her, but when they would come, they took on an ‘awareness’ that he did not seem capable of achieving on his own. They had a focus that at once impressed and frightened her. Richard started to age in his words, like he was suddenly awake to things even she herself prayed to remain asleep to for long time to come. He dropped his ’empty prima donna’ facade for a ‘man past the mundane’. Way past the mundane.

When his body was flown back into the UK, there was a contradiction of a man who accompanied Richard’s coffin. His hair was white, but his skin was young, his eyes were old and his look seemed to re-appreciate all that he saw. He looked slightly diminutive at his 5’10”, and yet his body language suggested someone used to being in charge.

“Hello there. You must be Ms. French.”

His voice had the quality of an ambivalent minor deity. He stretched his hand for her to shake, but she was hesitant and he noticed.

“Just like he said you’d be. Richard told me that you hated confrontation and considered all confrontation to be whatever surprised you.”

She blushed at being ‘exposed’.

“Please. Don’t be embarrassed. Richard did care very much about you and was often embarrassed at being juvenile when he could have been more, as you’d say to him, ‘More homo-sapien, less homo-stupid’.”

She laughed at the memory then suddenly burst into tears.

He left her to deal with the coffin details and went off in the direction of customs. She met up with where the coffin was being loaded on a hearse.

“Homo-stupid… suicide is homo-stupid.”, she whispered to no one.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t ask for your name.”, she said aloud with her hand out stretched.

“My names are difficult for an English speaker. You can call me ‘Sushno’.”

“Isn’t that Hungarian?”

“In a general sense, yes. But its meaning doesn’t belong to them alone. I’m sorry. It was quite a long flight and I really hope you’re not going to be offended if I ask for some time to rest? He will be buried within the week and I’m certain we will have a lot of time to speak soon.”

“Sure, of course. Where will his body be taken to?”

Sushno looked at her curiously, like one appraising a new angle of an already exhausted subject.

“Plan on joining him? He will be ready for his funeral soon. You know what? Hotel food has never impressed me. Know any good places to eat?”

It was over dinner that her mind worked furiously sub-consciously. Sushno was a Hungarian word meaning a deeper sense of loss, incompleteness, vacancy, a form of…

“Emptiness”, she said aloud.

“I was really hoping you’d come to realize this before the next morning.”

She started to tremble and he nodded in self-affirmation.

“I guess you’ve read a lot about me. Fear is the natural response to meeting with me. As far as the world knows, his last work is fiction. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone who relegates their dreams to things other than their internal troubles. I won’t harm you.”

“Can I see what you can do?”

Emptiness looked at her. It wasn’t an animal-gaze. It was from a higher function.

“You think you know what you ask, but you don’t. I took Richard to some places and he saw things that took him further from his comfort zone than he had ever experienced. It drove him to kill himself.”

“Where you there when he died?”, she asked in a flat voice.

“Yes. I was. It was the only way out for him after all of the things that he had seen. He didn’t pass away to preserve any secrets.”

“How did he die?”

“You might find it hard to believe. But it wasn’t painful or uncomfortable. He didn’t suffer.”

She sat in shock and he put his hand on hers, but she didn’t flinch. He pointed across the room and she saw a man that seemed out of place. Very out of place. He sat behind a light. It was like no one else saw him there. Like they chose to see past him.

“Why don’t you say hello?”, Emptiness suggested, but she refused.

“He will not harm you.”

As the man stood up, she realized it wasn’t that his side of the room wasn’t well lit. He seemed to will the light away from himself. He was like a living shadow. She jumped when a customer walked through him. When he sat next to her, his face became better defined. It was Richard. She started blinking rapidly as the tears started to burn their way down her face.

“Richard…”, she gasped softly.

Richard’s eyes were older, his face more at peace.

“Don’t touch me. I’m sorry. My second transition is not yet complete. It’s not astral travel or anything of the sort. I just can’t be attached to another living being until I have reclaimed my body as my own.

“It’s all in…”

“The book. I read it. It’s your best work yet.”, she said with a shaky voice desperate to be brave.

END.

So that’s the Prologue for Fourth Day. Chapter One comes up on Saturday, and subsequent chapters on the fourth day of every month. Tell us what you think okay?

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About The Capoeira Panda

Panda makes his home in the world of words and metaphors. In the hopes to be more than just a confused blogger, he currently works as the editor for an ecommerce company that was good enough to hire him, and lives with his flat mates & two imaginary dogs who get along just fine. He enjoys reading good books, writing, relaxing with his friends, & poking fun at his mother over the phone. When he's not doing any of these, he sometimes sits back and wonders why anyone expects to learn anything useful about him by reading this bio. View all posts by The Capoeira Panda

52 responses to “Fourth Day: Prologue

  • jAyajade

    All I can say is WoW!!!!!!

  • Sandie Pandie

    I’m so following this! It’s got a hook to it… Different from the usual!! I see a surprise somewhere πŸ™‚

  • griffinthinks

    i like the suspense this story has drawn me into, but it feels weird the way Anne and Sushno have come to this point after just a single greeting. Yet he reveals himself to her then Richard. that part doesn’t feel right. beautiful writing by the way.

    • Kaeyboy

      Considering the grief that Anne must have felt while receiving Richard’s body and that there was someone who was closer to him up till his time of “death”, maybe she would have trusted sushno a lil bit more than usual…

    • remi olutimayin

      Thank you for the compliment. I just worry that perhaps you read this under time-pressure. From the story, it would be safe to assume that Richard assured Shushno that she would not be a libility to their secrets. Afterall, he did intimate him of Anne’s proclivities and more or less had him pass a message of the ease of hos death to her, so she wouldn’t worry that he died in pain or terror or even worse, to keep a secret no one would care about.
      Take a second read when you’re free enough to. I don’t write to insult your intelligence. I respect intelligent minds like yours a bit too much to slap together a ‘lazy meal’.

  • Betty

    Wow.
    Sorry, no other intelligent comment comes to mind.

    Wow.

  • thisgal

    Wow!!Wow and anoda WoW!!!!!
    This s fantastic..can’t wait for d rest…I want to know what richard saw and who The Emptiness is,he sounds lyk he-who-must-not-be-named.

    • remi olutimayin

      Actually one who is not named. A name tends to contain the bearer. I’d go into the socio-cultural contexts of name-giving which are universal amongst the human race, but that would unwind the story, so I will let it be.
      Thank you for your comment, though.
      I mean that.

  • thetoolsman

    WOWwy wow wow… I’ve heard about Nigerians like Remy.. I’ve even been privileged to meet some but it still always amazes me to find Nigerians with this kind of imagination. Waiting for more…

  • SlevinCalevra

    Christ Jesus! is today amazing blog reading day or what? This should be published man, and it’s just the prologue, if you insist on posting it on saturday could you please send all the chapters to my mail because i don’t think i can wait o!

    • remi olutimayin

      I’d do that, but it would most likely lead to an onset of subtle dementia. I ‘enjoy’ that, but all men differ in tastes, not just in character or interests.
      Consider it a prescription of sorts. It helps us on the journey.

  • ibetapassmyneighbour

    Brb….am too hungry abeg!

  • 'Dania

    I don’t think this should be blogged. It should be published as a book. With loads of pages. Think about it.

    • The Capoeira Panda

      Lol. The book is one of the hoped eventual outcomes. Lets just say y’all are his test market. But right now, enjoy the story! πŸ˜€

    • remi olutimayin

      I’d have to point out that a lot of writers perish in penury but thrive post-humously. I don’t intend to join that roll-call.
      If more people know about it, about the value of my labour and most importantly about the value of the cultural histories that surround them…while I live, then my task, my purpose in life would have been achieved.
      The book needs a receptive audience, not one brought to life by some ‘white-guy’ who recognises a gem amongst a sleeping population.
      To quote Seal- In a world full of people/only some want to fly/Isn’t that crazy?
      Pass it on. What follows is more morthy than what precedes it. And they will always be grateful to you, even if they do not say it.
      I’m grateful to you already, yet we have not stood in the same room to share the same air before.
      Panda excluded, of course. We’ve shared meals. Good meals.

  • remi olutimayin

    Well, let me first apologise to members of this house. I have been very busy and broke, so imagine trying to coax a frightened elephant out of your toilet (and you need to go VERY BAD)…that’s what I’ve been doing in terms of getting clients to pay up on time.
    I do a lot of things (very well, I might add) like…well, I doubt you’d be curious about them.
    I’m shy, but I’m good company, especially with people who love to cook and eat ‘good food'(Ask the Panda. Good food is universal, not cultural)
    I’m glad you enjoyed the prologue (I’m ashamed to admit it but, 😦 isn’t my best work).
    I entertain questions, still I can’t promise they won’t lead to more questions…and I assure you, I’m not frustrating.
    I’ve got to get back to my work station now, but please tell me what you enjoy about it.
    That is how a story lives, how anything lives…when it is in conversation.
    Ask George W. Bush(a zombie in more ways than one), or Osama Bin Laden (he might be dead, but he lives in daily conversations).
    You guys are great. Simply put. No adjectives required.

  • cecenostockings

    WOW. As in, WOW. 😐

    I feel very inadequate. I just found my new role model πŸ˜€

    I just know this story is going to have all sorts of twists and turns. I especially like the part about the dead guy not being really dead. Right?

    Gosh.

    • remi olutimayin

      Yes, you’re right…yet in for quite a surprise. Don’t bother trying to figure it out.
      Like Inception, I work based on facts you know as a living creature, not as a logical mind…for, truth be told, we are all greater than where we have placed our minds.
      This is beyond open-mindedness. More like an educated sense of awareness.

  • veronny

    you get mouf xx

  • ibetapassmyneighbour

    Wow…….wow……..WOW……

  • Kaeyboy

    wow! So, this is prologue eh? It has all the elements to lead to a great story!

  • Oreoluwa

    I’m short of words!

  • afrosays

    Whooooooooooop! Triple WHoooooooooop!
    I’m loving this! You do not know how much!

    I breathe the unreal!

  • terdoh

    I can’t comment. Anything I say will just “sound” stupid. WOW!

  • afrosays

    Thoughts.
    The prologue is more of a teaser. It’s like a pretty cake on digicam. I think I’d have to eat it to know how much of a cake it really is.

    But from what I see, I love the concept, and the possibilities most of all. Bias that I have, I do hope the West African elements of the story are the strongest, I’m quite discouraged that most good works of fantasy that I have read are not African. To be honest, I haven’t read any really strong African fantasy stories that aren’t not in short form.

    I look forward to the rest of the work.

  • tobicomm

    Wow. Its even the imagination that amazes me. This shud be In a book, not just a blog.

  • @Qurr

    Now THIS is awesome…

    I’m Short of further words…

  • musingsofagidimallam

    Finally!!!! A fantasy writer with an African hue to his creative spark…this was just amazing mehn…d minute Panda said “fantasy” I was hooked…now I’m slain…
    Remy may God give you all you need to publish this as a very big book…with loads of sequels…

  • bigsheg

    Phone home Remy phone home *wizzy voice* u r a martian, took me to places untold, unheard and before now unimagined, twists turns and I have a feeling its missing something, don’t know what, seemed quite complex in d beginning, but doing juast a book is not gonna do justice to this, manga is a good idea panda. Well done remy

    • remi olutimayin

      Well, thank you for the critical comment and the suggestion. The story was meant to be a comic as far back as 2006, but the company couldn’t find an artist good enough to translate what follows next.
      Wait for what follows next. Nothing was missing. Your imagination recognised the nature of an appetiser. The meal is on it’s way.
      Forgive me, but I choose to feed in peice-meal so the characters will develop properly as opposed to ready-made strong men. That concept bores me to tears. To tears.
      And as a fellow insomniac, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      I’m curious what comments will follow when you…nah! Better you read than I explain.

  • Pheyi

    Wow!!! Dts all I can say WOW!!!

  • chinnydiva

    OooMmmGee!!
    when I saw the link to this story, I clicked on it but it was a long one and I wanted to do it justice. Boy, am I glad I did.

    This is exceptional, haven’t read anything even remotely close to this in a minute.

    Permit me to bow and say, you are indeed, GREAT!

    Posting a chapter every month will hardly whet my appetite. But I’m resigned to waiting,it is well worth it.

  • @FunmiFatona

    Remi darling…i feel like i’ve bin cheating on you and uve finally caught me red-handed with this mind-opening piece of writing…
    *wink!

  • dayo

    I rarely comment on any blog, but this is flawless. I hope you don’t lose your train of thought, suffer writers’ Block, or just stop. You’re in a class of your own, truly talented. Kudos

  • Ms_Anee

    Okay…beyond the brilliance of ur writing, lies a mind that I already respect, Remy. I know this is gonna be a “great”. I can just feel it. The best is yet to come. May God bless you and open doors for you with this talent He bestowed on you.

  • sundayschild

    This just makes me wonder who or what inspires you. Anyways for some weird reason not known to me glad it isn’t a manga though. Seems like the kind of material, but I’d much rather feed my imagination with this and let my mind wander. Amazing writing though, makes me wonder what goes on in your head.

    • remi olutimayin

      What goes on in my head…between the both of us, I’m more of an observer than an originator.
      I just channel what goes on in there.
      Can’t begin to tell what images flood my head when I hear music.
      Thanks all the same.

  • alahyor

    This story’s got some ogbanje-ish kinda kinni.. But, I’m loving it πŸ˜€

    Nice one Remi πŸ˜‰

  • You-Know-Who

    Glad to see fourth day in this light. A-mazing not the original plan but amazing all the same πŸ˜€

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