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Monday, September 20, 2010

'Nights of the Creaking Bed' by Toni Kan

Nights of the Creaking Bed


In spite of the widely acclaimed offence of immorality that Toni Kan's Nights of the Creaking Bed purportedly commits, the book indeed reflects the power of confidence that proper narration could exude when it is told with apt words. With the consciousness of what could have been transpiring when a bed suddenly creaks and squeaks in the night, I had had it at the back of my mind when I was picking up the book that I am about to settle down with what might re-enliven the thought I was always having when a lady appears in a scarcely covered top that reveals much of her cleavage and gives a good view of the tiny-tiny dots on the two water melons that cushion her front. Night of the Creaking Bed flings what you are always hypocritically ashamed and timid to say in public in your face before you are through reading its first page. Nights of the Creaking Bed is Toni Kan's tireless skilled effort at bringing to discourse what is stereotyped to be an all bed-room affair; ditto the lewd words and statements that we can easily identify and evaluate are used to pass the messages in the book across.

As erotic as Nights of the Creaking Bed is, it still does so much with its literary effort at not only regurgitating the affairs that are normally associated with Poverty, Underdevelopment, Immorality, Third-World Superstition, Religion and Extremism; but also narrating the stories as if they are thoughts running in your mind.

Nights of the Creaking Bed is a collection of fourteen independent short stories that share and interpret different themes.



Nights of the Creaking Bed:

The only man Andy knows as a person who plays fatherly role to him and his brother, Meze, is Uncle John who never relents in making his mother's bed creaks whenever he visits their home. Despite the frosty atmosphere Uncle John's regular visits leave between Andy, Meze, Mama Andy and their neighbours, who are keen to judging her and pelting her with allegation of sleeping with someone else's husband, Mama Andy takes comfort in the pleasure that the creaking of her bed by Uncle John gives her. Mama Andy's boat suddenly loses the wind to sail further when Uncle John slumps to death atop her. The day her bed stops creaking and rocking after Uncle John's death is the moment her death's clock starts ticking faster until she dies too.

The Passion of Pololo:

Paul's (Pololo) mysterious and insatiable sexual adventure, that has so much to do with personality-disorder and post-infant-sexual trauma begins when he is confronted with the nakedness of their neighbour performing acrobatic stunts on the stark nude body of his mother when he bursts into his mother's room after a short tennis game he had with his dad. The memory of his mother's 'naked breasts heaving, one hand outstretched in a plea and a finger on her lips urging silence' makes Pololo to embark on a journey that only him understands. When Pololo can't solve the mystery his mother's very nakedness leaves him with from sleeping with numerous girls, he goes back to finding answers by summoning enough courage to have a taste of his mother's flesh of supple heaving breasts.

The Echo of Silence:

Tony wakes up one morning to the sight of the corpse of his neighbour laying at his threshold. He is left to meander between two options; to be late to catch the official bus of the company he works with and fail to make ready his presentation at work or come up with a faster solution to evade the trouble the presence of his neighbour's lifeless body can bring if it is found at his doorstep. He settles for the latter as he hauls the lifeless mass into his sitting room. Tony spends his entire day at work with the fear of what he is bound to deal with when he returns home. His calculated plans to deal with the trouble is trivialised when the lifeless body speaks to him on his opening the door after his unsettled activity at work:

''You lock me inside''




Ahmed's dream of making it to the city to engage his eyes with what normally spices his brother's story up whenever he, Yinusa, returns from the city with his truck, leads to his death. Ahmed's mother might have sensed what lies in wait for his second son in the place that illuminates his whole dream when she refuses Ahmed's many pleas to follow Yinusa to the city. Ahmed religiously promises her mother that he won't be lost to the 'wave' of the city like his brother, Yinusa. Ahmed becomes the happiest man when his mother finally allows him, after many attempts, to go the city with his brother who plies a transporting business. His ignorance as a Hausa village-unintelligent-pastoral boy cut his dream and life short when he mistakes a life-electricity wire that was obstructing his brother's truck on the road for a rope that could easily be swung over with bare hands.


Broda Sonnie:

The narrator in this story idolises the character of the main act, which is why he fondly calls him Broda Sonnie (Informal name for Brother Sunday). This little piece precisely tells the story of how one's belief can become roguery when it is taken to the extreme. In 'Broda Sonnie', the gap of religion differences is widened. Mufu, Risi's brother, won't let Broda Sonnie, a Christian-Lagos-bus-conductor to have anything emotional to do with his sister. All hell is let loose when Mufu knows that Risi has given them a false date of her coming home for holiday in order to spend a day with her lover, Sonnie. Sonnie is attacked by Mufu, when his one-night tryst with Risi is discovered. Sonnie is clubbed and mauled to pieces of meat by Mufu and his fellow Islamic fellows, the Ayatollahs, whose furies are ruled by extreme belief rather than sheer contempt for premarital sexual stint.


My Perfect Life:

Sylvia's perfect life is distorted and punctured when her past surreptitiously crawls into her present. She has everything working for her as a mother and wife – a car, two children, a fairly handsome husband and a good home. Her visit to her regular shopping mall, Shoprite in VI, turns everything in her perfect life around. Her once-upon-a-time lover, who fate never gives a chance to receive approval for his relationship with Sylvia from Sylvia's father, because he is a Yoruba man, resurfaces after 20 years. Sylvia can't help her clitoris from going all wet because she is unable to control the sensation the memory of Seun's virility causes her immediately she sees him decades after they parts ways in an uncontrollable circumstance. She is unbridled; she wants to have the bite of the masculine power of Seun's manhood again and feel the soothing pleasure of his semen. She won't set for herself a boundary as a married woman with two kids; she is ready to feel again the unusual way Seun uses to bring her to climax each time their bed creaks in the past.



How cruel can life be? As unequal as we are in all status, no one wishes to put a basket of goods on a minor on a day when festive mood hangs in the air. Poverty can make one become abnormal. The story-teller, Dele, is the little boy who all odds are up against because his father abandons his mother in wretchedness, and his mother drinks gin to madness to drown her sorrow. The boy is forced to hawk onions on a Christmas day amidst sobs when his peers are swaddled in celebratory clothes with matching shoes and toys that correspond with the mood of Christmas. The boy wills to go back home against his mother's order after a short hawk on Christmas when no one is interested in buying onions. He knows the pain his decision will make him face, but he seeks succour in the meal Seni's mother, his friend's mother, has promised to give him on Christmas day.



The Phone Call Goodnight:

Onyinye's husband's, Ndu, usual call of few minutes before arriving home unexpectedly changes into a distress call when he is captured by men of double dealings just some inches' away from his gate. At that instant, Onyinye quickly understands what it means to suffer the trepidation of losing a loved one. Just like her mother, who goes haywire searching for her when she can't be found at a party she accompanies her mother to, Onyinye launches a frenzy search for her husband in the dead of the night. Not even the rift she initially bears her husband can stop her. She serendipitously later finds her husband on one of the bridges in Lagos stripped naked and beaten.


God Is Listening:

The innocent cry of a little girl whose maturity stage into womanhood goes through the same turbulence that blithe her life shrills in the reader's mind; bringing the reader's mood to empathy.

Angei becomes an unprotected child from external forces that parenting bars out when her parents die in an inexplicable auto accident. She is left with nothing as her father's brother, Uncle Thomas, swoops on her father's properties. Her siblings sacrificed their slavery on Uncle Thomas' farm so that she can be allowed to finish her SSCE. Bright light starts illuminating her dark life when she perceives a great future in the promise her lover, Goddie, who assures her to open her legs for sponsorship through school to study her dream course – accountancy. Unknown to her, Goddie only eggs her on to have what seems impossible with his wife at home – a male child.

God is indeed listening when her mother and father crash to death. The Creator truly isn't deaf when Goddie dumps Angei because the x-ray shows she is carrying a girl-child. God is even paying attention when Angei uses her virginal to pay her rent to her landlord. God is looking, maybe smiling and just taking note when Angei finally dumps the girl child in a trash can and is afterwards raped by a watchman who exploits her naivety.


The Car They Borrowed:

''We need your car for just four hours... Don't go to the police. We are not stealing your car... When you pick it up...., there will be something there for you.

Brunor mind ranges with anxiety when his newly bought car is borrowed by the marauders. Everything that he has worked for seems to have come to nought with his car that is borrowed. True to the assurance he is given, his car is returned to the spot he is told to do the pickup. His reward for lending his car out is also found intact and neatly kept for him. But for the blood stained clothes at the backseat and the smudges of blood that he discovers, he would have kept mum. He later forsakes the warning of the men who borrowed the car and went straight to the police station to report the case. To Brunor's surprise, the officer that attends to him at the police happens to be one of the men who borrow the car, as the officer says:

''Didn't I tell you to stay at home?... Didn't I tell you to take what we left for you and go home?... Get out of here!




 His name is Buzuzu, but he is called Buzz. His detective job as a police man is more of a calling to him than a daily-living earner. And as such, he does his work with utmost passion. After the last man that is supposed to help him to join the army falls to gruesome death, Buzz takes it upon himself to unravel lurking puzzles in any murder case. To Buzz, No 7 means two contrary different things; a place of pleasure and horror. It is the night club where he knows what the two succulent breasts of Nana look like, and the spot where he traces the murderer of Nana to when she is assassinated.


Sad Eyes:

The absolute dreadfulness and uncertainty of life without one's parents is seen in the life of Stella, who shoulders the whole responsibility of fending for his three younger brothers. A normal and pretty lady with unusual psychical power like her would have seen an escape in being tipped by boyfriends and admirers because of the sexual appeal she readily commands, but the task of dating a lady with three other mouths to satisfy scares any confident guy away from her anytime. Not even Osa whose encounter with her brings love to him again can settle for her. The reason is simple – her excess luggage of three brothers to look after. Stella's breasts are later hacked off and her body dumped in a ditch by her silencer.


Age of Iron:

This story is a lot poetic and philosophical. One is too scared to agree with the ominous view of the writer. The prognostication and evil prophecies of this story on the happenings of the goings-on in Nigeria political terrain is too grim that it is not edifying to give it a thought or imagine how real it can be. Age of Iron is the story of a city which fell to the wickedness and evil of her leaders. It is the thoughtful visualisation of the writer about a place where everybody feeds on their own rage without food in the belly, where the things that matter and sell most as valuables are iron of swords.


The Devil's Overtime:

When the devil is at work, there are moans and bitter tales to tell. But when the very devil with two horns and a tail stretches his time causing groans, then, no one can be crestfallen about how much hurt people will writhe under. It is the devil's overtime when Daniel's mother is trapped in the village by irresponsible pregnancy. The devil outstretches his hours as Justina is killed with her pregnancy ripped off her stomach and kicked around like football by religion-fighters. The devil isn't also too fair to Daniel when he is abandoned by his mother at a tender age to decide his fate under Lagos' bridges and slums. The Devil can't have been reasonable this time around. No, he can't have been, maybe he doses off, when Michael, Daniel's friend, dies before Michael, even when he isn't suffering from any disease like his friend, who is battling with liver-crisis.

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