BN Prose: Mother In Israel by Atoke

The first thing she did was pull up her bra straps and pushing her breasts further into the confines and making the holster more effective. Then she loosened her wrapper, allowing the slight shifty blouse to hang loose before strapping herself back in tightly. Legs spread out and her face taking on that shape that said only one thing, combat time and no part of my body was to be spared. I had no tears to shed. Orphans are usually all cried out by my age so as the whip cut through the air finding its mark behind my legs I steeled myself for the pain. I closed my eyes and tried to think of another time or place but it was not coming.  Michael said that was what he did to take the pain away. The transporting to another place obviously worked whenever she was trying to elicit the truth from him using the liquid candle wax and running it down his back and shouting “Which of you imbeciles ate the chicken neck in my pot?” It was sadly hilarious because the boy was a little bit slower than the rest of us who had to live with the good Reverend and his wife.

I squeezed my eyes shut when another lash of the whip connected with my back this time. There was no other time and place for me. I was brought to the Mission House when I was three and the Mother in Israel never missed the chance to tell me that my mother was the village prostitute who sought to use her worldly wiles to tempt the good men in the town. Her judgment and condemnation didn’t come soon enough, according to Mother in Israel. It did eventually. The good reverend’s wife told me that it was the disease apportioned to women of the world that came for her.

Since none of my mother’s patrons had admitted to fathering the spawn, the responsibility of taking care of me fell to my grandmother.  Mother in Israel has often said that the evil that is within me is the reason why my grandmother’s roof caved in; it had absolutely nothing to do with the raging thunderstorm that destroyed half of the village. After that I was brought to the Mission House to be raised in piety and under the doctrine of the Church.  Strict adherence to the laws of the church and those of Mother in Israel was the way of the house and any deviation from those laws earned us some form of torture or the other.

Last week, Mother in Israel was missing a tuber of yam from the pantry and of the five boys currently living in the Mission House I was the last to be interrogated.  It was the first I was hearing of yam in the Mission house because we never ate anything as fancy as that. Mother in Israel was always quick to remind us of the privilege it was for us to live with them and for me particularly because I was the only one who attended school.  The good reverend had seen a propensity for numbers in me when I was brought here and immediately enrolled me in the mission school. House work was crippling and Mother in Israel did not believe in idleness so my every waking moment was to be dedicated to her every whim and so I spent the nights studying.

Today’s crime falling asleep during Bible study and I was being reminded of the importance of being alert when the word of God was being taught to someone as undeserving as me.  The whip lash count was just about to hit fifteen when the rain started. Little drops first, causing her to glare at the skies as if questioning why the Supreme deity chose that moment to send the showers.

Fourteen. The number of strokes I received for falling asleep on God and I guess he was indeed forgiving because I was told to go inside. Sleep, more forgiving and more loving came for me and I don’t know how long I was within its warm embrace for before I felt someone nudging me.

“She is calling you”

I knew it was time.
Just like the first time,  the evening was cool, and the red sand all caked from the wetness of the day. Just like the first time I knocked twice waiting to be let in.
“Enter, the door is open” and just like the first time. She was lain out on the bed, as naked as the day she was born.

“Bia Ekwe, come and show me what all those girls are always talking about that you have inside those your trousers.”


33 Comments on BN Prose: Mother In Israel by Atoke
  • tinu October 23, 2012 at 11:34 am

    hmmmmmmmmm touching… child abuse in every sense of it

  • Titilade October 23, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Sad….. Really sad: someone is living with such trauma for the rest of their lives : God heal our Land.

  • Toyosi October 23, 2012 at 11:42 am


  • bluebirdie October 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

    NOOOOOO!!!!!! this soo depressing. please writer couldn’t you also show the rewards she gets from all these cruelty. And to think she’s a pastor’s wife mmtchew.

    • Mz Socially Awkward… October 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      No, she’s higher up the food chain… a Reverend’s wife. Thanks for this fictional insight into our crippling religious hypocrisy, Atoke.

  • Moi October 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

    O_O May God punish all these/those perverts who destroy innocent souls to salve thier own rottenness! (Sorry, this is too close home for me. Please post my comment 😀 Thanks!)

  • cathy October 23, 2012 at 11:49 am

    na wa oh

  • brandigest October 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Touching content.

  • damie October 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Love it. Hypocrites are the worst. poor boy

  • mia October 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Wow! Molested the poor kids. Nice article. By the way, who knows where Jibola Lawal is? He left twitter! Miss my friend 🙁

    • annie October 25, 2012 at 10:58 am

      he’s still on there. he just changed his handle…

  • bonita October 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    interesting read…

  • Soum October 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    My mouth has been open don’t know what to say.

  • ena October 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    hmmmmm…..these things happen! quite sad! physical and emotional abuse

  • Hadassah October 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Nice piece!

  • Oly October 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    l was really shocked to know that most people have been through this type of hell and back, very sad. l hope people should learn how to speak up early.

  • Seun October 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    this is so sad. i thot only young girls were molested by older men. now yung boys are being molested by older women? kai

  • missbonnie October 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    SHETTTTT !!!!!!!

  • faith October 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    thats why am not religeous…see wickedness…mtsheeww

  • Oluwaseun October 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm


  • Lue October 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    hmmmn……………………such is the reality of many kids. Lord have mercy

  • Jumai October 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    The evilness if mankind…mother of Israel, Na wah oh.
    Its a beautiful piece. Nicely written.

  • tbn October 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Physical and sexual abuse mchewww… God have mercy.

  • tito October 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    what! *surprise face*

  • Aibee October 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    This is the way of most abusers. They use their words to mentally belittle you and make you feel worthless and then they physically and sexually abuse you. Its the same whether the abuser is a spouse, uncle, parent or guardian.

  • susan October 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    This sounds like a summary of Antwone Fishe, except in a Nigerian context…

  • susan October 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I meant “Antwone Fisher”, not saying it doesn’t happen either

  • Dee-USA October 24, 2012 at 2:19 am

    The very first sentence is grammatically incorrect. The writer started writing in the third person (usage of her,) then switched to first person (using i) without properly transitioning. The writer makes this mistake throughout the story, which makes it difficult to keep up with the flow of the story. This is one of the fundamentals of writing. Yes, you can make up your own rules, but not to the detriment of the flow of the story.

  • Titi October 24, 2012 at 4:26 am

    What’s wrong with BN’s mobile site? The mobile site doesn’t show on my phone again and viewing the full site on my phone is frustrating. Those in charge should kindly fix.

  • ArabianPrincess October 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

    @Dee-USA, irrespective of the grammatical error, I hope you understood the content of the prose….CHILD ABUSE! Please, do not forget this and fight against it where ever you are…ok!
    @Atoke, you nailed it and please be more conscious of the synergy in your writing so that peeps like Dee-USA wont miss out…xoxo!

  • Chydee October 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Nice piece.This is happening in most places in our generation…so sad

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