LOST PAGES – A Short Fiction

I wanted to know about authors, then I stumbled upon a mysterious story about one author.

I read about the missing excerpt from the autobiography of a Nigerian author, Dr. Martin J. Akpabio who is said to be missing since 2016. He wrote the autobiography after his doctorate degree.

MJ Akpabio was nowhere to be found the day he was to launch the book.

An integral part of the autobiography was missing and it caused the book a clear omission of pages 88 to 114.

Recently, a scribbled passage with the handwriting of MJ Akpabio was found in the library he attached to his house when his family wanted to renovate it. It was about a scary enigma that happened when he was at the University of Benin In 2009 for his postgraduate for wider coverage of knowledge about history. The excerpt is said to be the missing part.

In the excerpt, he talked about the sudden disappearance of his roommate and some scary things that happened subsequently.

He related that his Literature student roommate, a Ghanaian, Joseph Tetteh followed his undergraduate Bini girlfriend, Vee-Vee to the physics lab that had just received a mysterious artifact for analysis. That was all. Ever since Joseph’s departure from home about a week, he returned not. His phone number wasn’t going through, likewise the girlfriends.

On this account, Martin reported to the police. Immediately, the policemen came to the campus to investigate but every student they met said there was no Vee-Vee in her supposed department and that the laboratory had been closed for almost three months then.

There surfaced a mystery to unravel: to find Vee-Vee became the paramount objective.

Martin told the policemen he sometimes heard of her residence address. Therefore, he and the policemen wheeled across the town to a house that matched the address they had.

The premises was looking desolate, and the walls of the old buildings had cracked. There were a few dilapidated buildings. They stood at the entrance knocking intermittently before a very old woman emerged from an opposite house, she approached them.

The policemen asked the woman if she knew Vee-Vee, she shook her head then said in Pidgin English that they should vacate the vicinity as soon as possible for their own good. She added that it was extremely dangerous to be there at that point in time.

Consequently, he and the policemen would take their leave. On their way to hop in the police vehicle, something propelled him to look behind. Accidentally, his eyes and the old woman’s met, and her face flashed Vee-Vee’s, then she grinned. He wanted to tell the policemen but his voice was seized. He tried to gesture, but the policemen were in hurry following the old woman’s warning.

He returned to his hostel late in the night and fell into a deep sleep. Suddenly, he was jolted from sleep by a lash as though someone flogged him. He screamed. Then the electricity went off. That was unusual because their electricity was on standby. He peeped through his burglary to see that the neighborhood was brightly lit. It was in his apartment alone.

In this darkness, he saw an unfathomable figure in a white gown flash on the wall. Fear gripped him as he wanted to stand up and take on his heels but couldn’t. He was hearing faint sounds of footsteps starting slowly at him, then rapidly, then nothing. He broke loose from the stagnancy and ran towards the door. He placed his hand on the doorknob, but it was a menace to hold: very hot. After a while, it creaked open itself, ajar, then wider. He ran out of his room. As he stepped out to the walkway of the hostel, he saw a human figure right before him. The figure raised its head and turned out to be the old woman they saw in the day. Her sight sent chills down his spine. She grinned at her disgusting dentition and echoed to him in English:

“Never ever raise a thought about Joseph Tetteh or Vee-Vee, otherwise you would be gone”

This happened in 2009, he wrote his autobiography in late 2015. It was meant to be launched on February 22, 2016. On that very day, Martin J. Akpabio was nowhere to be found, to date.

I had a deep research and found that Vee-Vee was the repetition of the Edo phoneme “Vb”, an abbreviation for Ovbokhunvbihen: a Bini female deity never written of nor spoken of. It never, until now, liked to be mentioned. Every deity with its different abomination.

I later found out that ignorant Joseph Tetteh as a literature student found out about Ovbokhunvbihen and wanted to discuss it in written words. Ovbokhunvbihen transformed into a beautiful woman to befriend Joseph, then it took him away.

That was why MJ Akpabio is missing to date, and the part of his autobiography that talked about his experience on campus was missing with him.

To date Joseph Tetteh and MJ Akpabio never resurface.

After writing this and you reading it, I hope Ovbokhunvbihen doesn’t come for us too.

VIAKorede Ibikunle