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BN Prose: Lady of the Night by Uche Okonkwo

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BN Prose- Feb 2014They said the school was built over an old cemetery and that some nights, if you looked close, you could see things. Teni told herself that this was the reason she still lay on her lower bunk bed, rocking from side to side, her hand wedged between her legs to block the flow of urine that was threatening to burst from her bladder. Her eyes were wide open in the blackness that filled the hostel room, and there was sweat between her thighs, slick and warm. The ceiling fans were still, and no light shone in from the corridor outside. The school’s generator had been switched off.

Teni groped around her bed and found her flashlight, but the cold steel of its body offered no comfort. She thought about the beam of a flashlight, of how it could cast odd shadows just beyond the circle of light; shadows that breathed and moved and watched. She gritted her teeth and rocked with increased urgency. The springs of the old bunk screeched in protest and Teni went still, hoping she hadn’t woken Senior Chichi who slept on the bed above her. There was no movement from above and Teni sighed. Senior Chichi was not known for her patience.

Teni’s heart was thumping, her abdomen taut with the pressure of holding in her urine. She turned to her left, slowly – any sudden movement and the urine might spill out – and in her desperation considered waking Loretta, who slept on the bed beside hers. But Loretta slept like a corpse. Teni would have peed all over the floor before she got the girl to move.

Teni tightened her fist around the handle of her torch and tried to summon some resolve. Those stories were just what they were – stories, made up by bored students with fertile imaginations and a fascination with the bizarre. There was no such thing as Lady Koi-Koi, who they say was murdered by her husband so he could marry a younger, suppler woman who also happened to have been the school’s first matron (or cook, or nurse, depending on who was telling). There were no Bush Babies, aborted foetuses that had mutated into a cross between human and beast and cried every night, seeking their mothers’ milk. There was no Black Man, the horny man-spirit who was said to skulk in the dark places around the female hostels, feeling up the girls with unseen hands before melting into his world of shadows. These, and all the other fanciful creatures the students told of, were not real. Teni reminded herself that she was in her second year of secondary school, and was too old to be scared by such tales.

She swung her legs over the edge of her bed and prepared to make a dash for the door. She would rush to the open courtyard and relieve herself there. It was against the rules but everyone did it at night. It was the authorities’ fault for situating the toilets outside of the hostel gates.

Teni had almost reached the door when she heard something. It sounded like footsteps, a pair of high heels clicking on the corridor outside. She froze, hearing the sound grow louder, closer. Coming for her!

Teni’s mouth opened in a soundless scream as she fled back to her bed, where she lay on her back making the sign of the cross and muttering, with trembling lips, ‘BloodofJesusBloodofJesusBloodofJesus.’ The urine rushed out of her, hot and urgent, and soaked her mattress.

After a few minutes Teni’s heart started to slow and the roaring in her ears faded. All was quiet again, like nothing had happened; like she had imagined everything. But Teni was not deceived; she knew what she had heard, and she was grateful she’d heard it before she was squatted, bare-arsed, in the middle of the courtyard. She had lived to tell her story, and tell it she would. Teni knew they wouldn’t believe her, and for that she was a little sad. Her story would become one of many, absorbed into the growing, evolving legend that was Lady Koi-Koi. But her story was different – it was true. And it didn’t matter that she would be the only one who knew this.

When she carried her mattress out to dry tomorrow, her room mates would mock her, calling her an agbaya for wetting the bed yet again. Teni shifted on her mattress and found a dry area. Let them talk. How many of them could truthfully say they had seen Lady Koi-Koi and lived?

Photo Credit: freestockphotos.biz

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Uche Okonkwo has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. She is a freelance writer and editor with years of publishing experience. Uche will work for Naira, Pounds or Dollars and can be reached at [email protected]

Uche Okonkwo has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. She is a freelance writer and editor with years of publishing experience who blogs at Truth & Fiction. She is also the winner, (Inaugural) of the 2013 Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize. Uche will work for Naira, Pounds or Dollars and can be reached at [email protected]

70 Comments

  1. Dr. N

    February 18, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Hahaha! Bring on the lady koi koi gist! I was named a “witch” for about 2 weeks in school cos everyone ran out at night to escape lady koi koi. Only yours truly slept like a log till morning. Don’t know why I was never afraid. Lol. Great storytelling. Uche, I’m your fan. drnsmusings.wordpress.com

    1
  2. Hurperyearmie

    February 18, 2014 at 8:50 am

    lolzzzzzzzzzzz this is very common at st. louis Ondo then the story of Mrs Koi Koi and Baba Dudu am not sure Mrs. Koi Koi is real but Baba Dudu often go to female hostels to rape after which he will disappear and i heard he is a mallam who uses it for money rituals

    • Autoprincess

      February 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

      You went to a St. Louis School too? #dancingazontocosIjust’met’afellowst.louisgal. lol. Went to the one at Owo. The bush baby stories even went as far as telling of untold riches to be gotten if one could snatch a ‘sleeping mat’ from a bush baby.

  3. LamLam

    February 18, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Never heard or saw such things back in boarding school but some ppl said dey did sha! am jst glad am not part of them dat heard lol! creepy ish.

  4. Ima

    February 18, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Reminds me of my days in Federal Government Girls’ College, Calabar. We even had a door in Junior dorm that was reputedly scratched by Lady Koi Koi as she struggled to force open the door at night. The things we believed! *smh.

  5. Tru

    February 18, 2014 at 9:09 am

    😀 😀 😀 lady Koi-Koi … The legendary poltergeist of my youth!!!

  6. chizzy

    February 18, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Lol nice one hahaha lady koi koi

  7. funmi

    February 18, 2014 at 9:15 am

    LOL

  8. just me

    February 18, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Hahhahahhahahahhahhahhaa boarding house wahala. Nice piece

  9. naana

    February 18, 2014 at 9:17 am

    in ghana, ‘ladykoi-koi’ is known as madam high heels.
    i remember how everyone would run helter- skelter when her name was mentioned
    this was in the primary school.

  10. Sylvia

    February 18, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Kia….so this Lady koi koi thing was a generally thing? Thought it was just my school o. I cant even imagine all the fears one went through during those period. Mbanu:(

  11. Owgee

    February 18, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Ah! These our boarding house stories! In FGGC Akure, it was Mr Man, in FGA Suleja, it was man in dorm… I never saw any. The bush babies, the story of a girl in one othem FGGCs in the east that always wore nice hairstyles and someone discovered one night that she used to remove her head from her body, put on her lap and braid herself… Kai! People really had fertile imaginations ehn! Someone’s explanation for the scary stories was that most unity schools were built on land that were previously cemetaries. Smh!

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      February 18, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Dat was FGGC Osha. never knew if it was true or not but my sis i heard dat gist.

  12. chichi

    February 18, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Woooooooooooow!!!!!!Reading this reminded me of F.G.G.C…….. Never knew someone would make it sound so interesting like you just did, i”m so impressed. Just here giggling cos its now a story! hahahahahahahaha!!!!!

  13. Fancy

    February 18, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Lol! This brings back memories. Great job Uche!

  14. Middy O

    February 18, 2014 at 9:53 am

    In FGGC Sagamu it was ‘D Mon’ but I never saw anything scary! Only stories!

    • Anne

      February 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      HAHAHA! D’mon . Scared the hell out of Ogun house girls

    • Simsi

      February 19, 2014 at 2:09 am

      Heyy. I also went to fggc sagamu. Didn’t hear about D mon tho

    • Ready

      February 20, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Lol. I <3 Sagamu.

  15. deedee

    February 18, 2014 at 9:54 am

    lol, mehn i remember these funny stories and you will see people claiming to have seen, blcack man, madam koi koi or even bush baby. Boarding house was so much fun

  16. matilda

    February 18, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Lols,dis story reminds м̣̣̥̇̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ Øӻ М̣̣̥̇̊Ɣ days @FGGC kabba.baba dudu,lady koi koi,stories Øӻ strange hands writing on d wall. Lols buh ℓ̊ believed they r jst figments Øӻ imagination.

    • Mma Yambiu

      February 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Hahaha matilda. I went to that school before Was changed to fggc den it was gssk and madam koi koi was neva far away from us or bush baby or half goat half man! Secondary schl students and our over active imaginations! LoL

  17. chydee

    February 18, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Good old FGGC Abuloma days. I heard and even believed the stories but never saw. Funny things we believed then. Well done Uche.

  18. kasham

    February 18, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Nice one I did boarding sch too and I kw the gist of lady koi koi loll is just imagination

    • Jo!

      February 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Hmmn, there are boarding schools and there are boarding schools o

  19. Josy

    February 18, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Am laughing so hard with tears running down my checks. Stories of our teenagers years. These legends will live on. As our kids will also hear same.

    • Ada Nnewi

      February 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      *teenage years…* Thank me later 🙂

    • Eve82

      February 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Ada Nnewi face your work ooooo!

  20. Linda

    February 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Stories, and dorm witches, heard all but didnt witness any. there was this story i heard about students and matrons casting out witches and the confessions were funny as hell, talking about how they were suppose to get married that night, their crowns and all that. LOL! glad i didnt see any of that.

  21. kim

    February 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

    this reminds me of my secondary school days in command kaduna, the school is close to a grave yard, was told she was buried der, she 4got her shoe and she has come back to look for it. she was famous.

  22. Owgee

    February 18, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Thank God Senior Chichi was on top bunk(which is unusual). Imagine urine seeping through the junior’s mattress to senior’s body. . . Hay!

  23. Vyonne-Tracy

    February 18, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Great job girl

  24. Nneks

    February 18, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Lol nice one…..story of my life except the urine …i did hear something when i was in school but till today i dont know if it was real or just my imagination/subconscious playing me.

  25. sandra

    February 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

    i had the same experience at FGC ODOGBOLU oo, just like teni in d story..was so pressed dat nyt but cudnt go to d toilet cos twas far i had to do it on the corridor, after which i ran to my bed then started hearing sounds of someone walking on the corridor and banging the doors.. for real i heard them .. i was sccaaarred..

    • Jane Public

      February 18, 2014 at 11:58 am

      So you were one of thsoe who used to pee in the corridor and stink up the place. Ugh!! LOL. The one thing my dad told me in JSS2 when I cried and cried the morning of going back to boarding hosue was this. How come this Lady Koi Koi, bush baby, baba dudu etc were present in EVERY boarding house? All over Nigeria, even Ghana and Togo (cos we had family who lived there). Shouldn’t that tell me something? A “supernatural” being cannot be everywhere. Only God is Ominipresent. Even at that young age (10yrs) Daddy’s reasoning was so sound, I actually felt foolish and I went around telling everybody in school inlcuding seniors that it was fiction. Lady Koi Koi and co could not be real. Gosh, the weird looks I got even though I was speaking common sense. Some even thought I was a witch or one of them because I stopped being scared from that year. Luckily JSS3 was my last year in boarding school, otherwise I would have probably been blacklisted by the entire girls hostel. Lol

    • AAsh

      February 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      lololol……….Sandra….were u in Chad house….Mehnnnnn FGC Odogbolu had so many scary stories…..Men-in-Black,Madame Koi-koi,Bush-baby,Calabash Women etc…..I used to wake up my pals…..like 3 or 4 of us would go to the toilet together!…….Miss dem Togo and Nigeria Hostel days……..am glad I graduated there….cos SS3 was worth all the stress I went through from JS1 to SS2! Great Fego Col, I thee revere…. ever dearest Alma-Ata

  26. Jem

    February 18, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Lol! I laughed so hard at the “bloodof Jesus” line. Nice one…awakened a lot of memories.
    @Bellanaija What’s the process involved in submitting & putting up a post in BN prose category? Thanks.

    • Atoke

      Atoke

      February 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hello,

      Please send an email to features (at) bellanaija (dot) com.

      Cheers!

  27. Heaven.

    February 18, 2014 at 11:44 am

    These piece takes me back to my years in FGGC Langtang. We called her Madam koi kos. I never heard her but a lot of girls came out to say they did. Although I can swear that I saw ‘see-a-man’ or John Black as we called him then. He was shirtless and had on a three quarter short. I never told my friends in school because I was scared he will visit me again or I will be ridiculed. I remember the strongest teacher in school then chasing Mr Jonh Black when he visited before students went to bed. a lot of girls saw him running and it was later believed that he is actually one of the teachers. And we had our theories on who the unidentified teacher was…… the most wicked then…. lol

  28. Lolly

    February 18, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Mr Man of FGGC Akure…..

  29. Chijioke Ezeh

    February 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Babe! You just brought back the good old memories. I like the use of your words. They animate the objects of your stories; tho, they may come off as suggestive too.

    • Eve82

      February 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Ok, how did you get that Chelsea logo? BN if you are listening, I need a Barca logo too! Hopefully we’ll get some away goals at the Etihad.

  30. Jo!

    February 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    FGGC Girls oooooo

  31. Jo!

    February 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Owinni BTW

  32. Jo!

    February 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    For some reason, all those schools are built on cemetries *yinmu* , I think people just make those up, but truth is most Federal schools are built on the outskirts, almost all FGC/FGGC’s I know are.
    Seriously, you can only disbelieve that some strange things happen in these places if you didn’t see/hear certain things we saw/heard in the 90’s, we are the ones that give them names, but seriously, many of these places are not normal. You can’t throw thousands of girls from literally all over the world together and not have a few strange beings…That’s what I think

  33. Itse

    February 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Heard of Lady Koi Koi in FGGC Owerri was not impressed with the story enough to be afraid. Then one day girls started talking about baby snickers imputing Lady Koi Koi had given birth, then I knew it was simply what it was: stories that had succeeded in putting fear into girls set in set out; therein lay my resolve to throw the stories away.

  34. whocares

    February 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Lool. Command Secondary School Ibadan anyone? I went there in JSS1. In the middle of the night you’d be fast asleep all of a sudden someone would ring the quadrangle bell screaming “black man” we would all race out of our beds and race out (Please if the evil is outside, why are we leaving our nice warm beds to race to meet it?)
    The best one was when we were all going to night prep, and everyone started running. Gods know I did not ask why we were running, I joined the stampede as well. lool. Ahh the horrors of black man.. I couldn’t even go to pee at night because of it. I learnt to stop drinking water at 5pm.

    • Blessmyheart

      February 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      lool. this reminds me of the day a puppy entered our hostel. We got to the hostel after prep to hear the puppy crying. See prayers and running up and down. Until one girl we used to say was a witch went and carried up the box (where the cries were coming from). Funny stories. We also heard stories of bush babies, madam koi-koi, lady in white. Infact, a senior said she saw an ‘excited’ monkey. I remember the principal was very upset at a time and said some of the girls were possessed. Interesting times.

  35. Bleed Blue

    February 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    LOL! Madam Koi Koi…I sooo remember from FGGC Sagamu days! Some rather credible girls back then claimed they had seen the bush baby man live and direct…by Kurmin Rukiki wall or something of the sort. I wonder if the present secondary school generation still pay attention to these things.

    But wait oh…reading through the comments, I’m just seeing loads of FGGC this and Command that…please all you Atlantic Hall, Adesoye College etc peeps, I’m eager to hear from you. Abi was your own the “boogeyman in the closet”?

    • jcsgrl

      February 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Bleed BLUUUUEEE you wont kill me o! My dear there are boarding schools and there are boarding schools. Maybe it was cookie monster…hiohiohiohiokikikiki

    • Ekwitosi

      February 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      @jcsgrl ha!ha!!ha!!!!!!!!!! Maybe us that went to local schools have our own stories. But what about the stories of those Nigerian foreigners that are in foreign schools in Nigeria? I mean the Nigeria expatriates that are from Nigeria live in Nigeria but do foreign things! Cookie monsters indeed! Please what is their own oyibo scary stories!
      This is a shout out to FGGC Owerri! PRO UNITATE!

  36. ladyc

    February 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    yes, there was this jist that went round at a time, someone saw a spirit with one eye and one leg. lol!!

  37. Uche Okonkwo

    February 18, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Hey, everyone. Thanks for your kind (and hilarious) comments. WhoCares had me almost rolling on the floor.

    Shout out to Lagos State Model College Kankon alumni. My years there served as the inspiration for this story.

    Please follow my blog to read more short fiction by me: http://yourstruly-uche.blogspot.com/

  38. Inem

    February 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I laughed soooooooooo hard, that I even peed on my self. FGGC Kazaure was just so much fun. The scenario of everyone returning from night prep, when all of a sudden u see pple far ahead of u returning, and without even knowing why, u join them; only to realize at the end of the day that it was seriously something very stupid.

  39. pua

    February 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    lol…nice read
    y’all need to hook up with Walter on mymindsnaps.wordpress.com
    Go and read Eze Goes to School…he has abt 40 episodes….
    wld bring back all the fun and not-so-fun memories of boarding school

  40. Elohor

    February 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    i wish ours was a case of lady koikoi or bush baby…. it was mad cow chasing people around school kia… that cow chased me ehen… we just concluded the cow was possessed. (Presco)

    • jcsgrl

      February 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Oh gosh what manner of story is this? Possessed cow??? I’m literally clutching my mouth from laughing out so loud

  41. Eve82

    February 18, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Lady Koi Koi and Makuru Man.

  42. creamy

    February 18, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    chei!! madam koi koi lwtmb!!!, FGGC Akure had the famous Mr Man heard he was caught tho

  43. frances

    February 18, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    ah, boarding school stories, those were the days!

    imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

  44. nwanyi na aga aga

    February 19, 2014 at 8:49 am

    loooooool! I have been laughing loud @ all the comments. it reminded me of the time I just resumed @ FGGC Onitsha. Thats how everybody started asking me to say blood of Jesus, I believe in Jesus. I was surprised, i had to ask my mates in form 1 then, they said before we came in there was a prophesy that the queen of the coast will come in with our set, there was even a date slated for her manifestation.loooool!. Men! see suspicion if any body behaves anyhow that’s how they will brand the person queen of the coast. I remember one of my very good friends, we had the same school mother, the babe talks in her sleep and happens to be quite pretty, very fair with long hair, one morning we heard gist that she was queen of the coast. I f you see the way we cleared from her path eeeeeh loooool! when someone finally told her, i will never forget the tears she shed that day,infact I dont think it was the accusation that made her cry, it was the betrayal of her so called friends. Finally on the day the queen of the coast was slated to manifest, NEPA as usual took light and the school generator for some reason didnt work. See race from prep that day. see prayer and kabashing looooool! Abi a man a rape of Allamanda house… they was plenty gist shaa.

    • Nonny

      February 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      So funny I actually laughed out loud at the office, which is kinda unusual. Funniest comment so far

  45. Jennifer

    February 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    FEGOLANGS,
    I remember this funny and fearful girl called Ife. One day during the night prep, she suddenly started running and was shouting Lion lion! the whole school joined in the pandemonium. Everybody was runing helter skelter with no sense of direction or confirmed reason. Some of us in prep were runing towards the hostel nd those in the hostel to excape prep were runing towards the classroom area. To make things worse, Mallam sergeant turned off the generator so everywhere was in darkness. When we eventually calmed down with the help of some teachers and mai gadis, we traced the chaos to Ife and she said she saw a lion when she went to ease. herself. By that time, the story passed accross was that she saw madam kos kos or see a man or the man or queen of the night as the case may be. She was let off after the prefects and matrons realised she was bored with prep and needed a reason to leave the class. It was exciting and funny the way we ran afterwards but it sure was t when we were runing.

  46. OmoMakun

    February 19, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    OMG! this took me back to my secondary school days! The fear was REAL back then…lol!

  47. ify

    February 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

    reminiscing…………..lovely story, very enticing read

  48. adycyndy.o.

    April 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Men i wasn’t so lucky to go to boarding school, but i heard the stories and we had this bush very close to our house and someone old me that bush babies lives there. I was so scared to my marrow but lately i found out that it was mare fallacy but my younger sister confirmed this stories by telling me about her own encounter in school. She told a story of how almost every student was possessed even the teachers and the principal inclusive, she said some student belong to a secret blood sucking cult and how a holy ghost priest delivered everyone successfully although i was not privileged to attend a boarding school, we usually discuss most of this stories in our secondary school days with my friends and every one that cared to listen thanking God for not allowing our parents to send us to meet this scary beings but lol this story kept me laughing like seriously.

  49. DOW

    July 5, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Awww.I remember my days at FGGC Abuloma.Same stories especially the one abt d lion that’d cause a very serious stampede and lots of girls ended up hurt.Then we also had a peeping Tom in Primrose house who we nicknamed ‘peepsy’.Turned out he was a house matron’s son.He was duly sent out of the school compound.Nice write up

  50. oohgee

    August 20, 2014 at 6:11 am

    that was same reason a junior gal peed on me one faithful night. she had to sleep on the ground till I got anoda bunki. funny stories, though i believed some of them.

  51. MPM4REAL

    October 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Am laughing real hard, Jennifer, Fego Lang Campus was really fun sha, do you remember how filled to the brim Clinic was after the Lion episode,It was however a relieve from that forced night prep, after all, most of us were pretending to concentrate bcos we had no choice.

  52. Guesswho

    June 29, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Cant stop laughing, particularly at the comments.
    Great work Uche!
    I see a lot of Shaggy girls here, shout out to y’all.

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