The cold November breeze blew like the trumpets which fell the walls of Jericho, birthing little whirlwinds that died after taking their baby steps, sands flew in the air like witches on broomsticks displaying how good their flight had become before diving back to the ground like tiny brimstones. Ella watched the madness of the harmattan, a whirlwind danced it’s way to her and she let it, maybe it would take her away in it’s twisting sands far away from here…but it only died after brushing her dried tree bark of a skin. She could have sworn her skin killed the whirlwind, for it was ugly and rough with gallops of burnt flesh and that disgusting odour of meat that has stuck to her like an everlasting perfume ….oh, she looked like a roasted goat which escaped death after waking up halfway to the realisation that it would be used for pepper soup. Her face looked like a juju, except she wasn’t wearing a mask and the black cloth she wrapped around her could pass her off as an ancient priestess for it reeked and had stains of blood and the liquid that flowed from her wounds. Her hair was gone, bald ugliness replaced it….it looked like someone mashed some avocado and papaya on it before putting the final touch of cotton wool on specific papaya filled areas to drain the juice …her head was a flat tray of rotten meat.

Death would have been better she thought aloud but the devil didn’t want her pain to end, no no no, this was exactly the plan and she either commits suicide or live…..she could die but it would be by her ugly rotten hands, something she dreaded, the Sunday school teachers at the church had made it very clear that suicide was a one way ticket to hell and Ella wasn’t ready to move from one hell to another or Atleast she didn’t want to be held accountable for her death, someone else should volunteer after all she was ugly enough to drive somebody to commit murder. In all of this what bothered Ella was how her breast were still pretty, those oranges were still perky and juicy and would still drive any man nuts as long as he fixed his stare on them only, one look at her burnt body and the mood will run away like usian bolt competing for another gold at the Olympics. God bless this harmattan, the breeze caressed her cooked skin, it felt like she was in the pool at Vechi’s house again naked and beautiful like a white tulip…spotless skin, thank God for her mother who protected and provided all she needed to look good and different from other albinos. If she didn’t say she was an albino then nobody would guess it and she never did, only family knew which consisted of her parents, her brother and her identical twin sister who was surprisingly not an albino….in fact her sister had come up with the idea to keep it a secret for she was protective of her other half, Sally would always put Ella first and even took punishment for her sometimes….Salome and Stella, those were their real names before they shortened it to Sally and Ella.

Sally was born first and Ella was born jealous, they both got the same share of everything but somehow Ella felt she deserved more for being cheated by birth to come second and then being an albino and to crown it all sally was smarter. Her resentment for her own sister got the better of her….don’t be mistaken, she loved her sister but giving a cumshaw willingly was out of it, she deserved every favour her sister gave and every love shown. Ella was the runt of the litter, little minded, callous and every year she got the award for egoism, she had earned herself a variegated class of friends who were pretty, vexatious, dull brained with callousness matching hers. Their accent could knock you off your feet, Queen’s English’ so refined you’d believe they were born overseas and if someone said otherwise you’d fight to defend them. These friends did little to convince Ella to go after her sister’s boyfriend vechi, her vain nature did the telling and when she requested backup her gang of abominations obliged, after all if she was willing to mess with her own sister’s life why should they give a hoot. Sally had a bad taste when falling in love, it was always a bad boy with godly features, they always looked like Hercules from the Disney cartoon with good height, broad chest, six packs or was it twelve, pink lips that compensated that devilish handsome face…oh la la. Even Ella’s friends wanted a taste of that fine wine of a man, he wasn’t a regular fine boy, his pockets were fine too…he had a range rover, a nice duplex with a pool situated at GRA phase 3 in port Harcourt….thanks to his job at an Asian oil drilling company, he earned enough to live lavish but like most successful young men he was a veteran philanderer, bark Romeo and vechi would answer, he could whine the heads of ladies like he was opening a bottled water….easy as pie….then he met Sally and all he wanted was to be loyal and caring and protective, Cupid’s arrow had struck his head for that was where needed serious attention to fall sheepishly like he did, his heart was hers, she could dice it and garnish a pot of fried rice with it and he wouldn’t care….as long as she stayed, but old habits die hard don’t they.



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