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The Missing Clerk


Something weird happened few days to the Christmas celebration, dad was suppose to take mum to the grocery shop, help Tom with his homework, drop Mary by the subway to her friend’s birthday party, and teach me baseball. Yep! That’s our home. So many ups and downs. Sometimes I kind of wondered how I got to be in this kind of a family. It’s so spooky. On Monday, mum forgot her shoes in the taxi she hired, previously, Mary’s boyfriend Zack, swallowed a toad. Tom got stuck in the elevator. For me, I wore my t-shirt inside out to school. I didn’t notice it until I saw all the kids in my class laughing at me.

Hi, my name is Steve Brown and I am going to tell you the story of how my dad; Mr. Miller Brown disappeared for days in his office and, which brought about a very long panic in our family and the world at large?



“Mum, please don’t tell me that you and Mrs. Amanda are going for a walk in the woods again”?

“Yes, we are. And for God’s sake Steve you are not my husband. So, please spare me the break of some stupid stories that a vampire was seen perching in the woods. Have you being watching those horror movies again?”

“But if I don’t my friends will beat me in the “who knows the vampires next episode” mum”.

“Well, whatever it is, just quit scaring people with your imaginative stories. Come along now Tom. I don’t want us to run after the school bus again today. So, huh, I’ll see you by four o’clock. Please, make sure you feed my dog. Bye honey”.

“Bye mum. Hey mum! Could you please say hi to Daniel for me? And Tell him that the baseball rehearsals is tomorrow by sunset”.

“Okay. Bye love, once again”.


“Hey dork! What are you doing?”

“Good morning Mary. I was just signing up to my mail boxes. You are up early today. So, what’s the fuss all about today?”

“Nothing. Zack and I had a little fight on the phone”.

“Oh? What did he do this time?”

“He was picking his nose. And I hate it when he does that”.

“Have you told him about it?”

“A million times, Steve. A million times”.

“It’s okay. You should still give him a little time to brush up”.

“For how long, a decade? Men! His getting on my nerves. What did mum make for breakfast?”

“Well, she said I should tell you to cook your own meal now because you are a lady just like her and one day you’re gonna have your own home”.

“Thank you bros. for the advice”.

“Look. I didn’t say all these statements it was mum who did while she was having her bath today. She was yelling on top of her voice. Am shocked you didn’t hear her”.

“No! I was too busy in my dream world to listen to her”.

“That’s cool! Because dad had to put on his ear piece to avoid deafness”.

“Yeah right. One day, am going to make mum proud of me. I am going to be the good, sweet girl like she always wanted. But, she has to stop picking on me”.

“Are you sure she’s going to stop? I think is when you are married”.

“Don’t bet on it, big brother”.

“No am not. Don’t want to argue with you this morning”.

“Are you afraid I’ll win?”

“Not exactly. Am just cutting boundaries”.

“That’s good for you, always cautious. Now, that little squirrel stole my money and for him to compensate me he has to do my laundry. Period!”

“Well, you two know yourselves better. Am heading for the library. See you later”.

“Okay! BYE! On a second thought! Everything in this house is giving me cramps. Anyway, I don’t care. Cause, once Zack comes we’ll sneak out to the mole”.


“Sir, I think we should plan a fixed deposit to the company’s account by tomorrow”.

“No, not now Ishmael because a thousand debts are hanging on our necks right now. The other day, the state police called me on phone and gave me a last notice to balance the corporation we are indebted to”.

“But sir, may I suggest something?”

“Go ahead bill. At least anything that will save our name”.

“Mr. Miller and I were thinking of a plan. Mr. Miller please can you tell this distinguished audience what you told me earlier this morning at the restaurant?”

“Okay! Sir, I was wondering if the company can take out of its monthly savings?”

“Let’s not go there Mr. Miller. You are the company’s accountant. You know all the money that goes in and out of it”.

“Yes sir, I do”.

“Good. And you are aware of the stake we will be in if anything goes wrong?” “Certainly sir”.

“Then, let’s hear it”.

“It’s simple sir. Do you remember that a couple of months ago we invested in a movie industry?

“Certainly, I do”.

“Did you also remember that we agreed on a monthly profit?”

“Wait! You are right. Why didn’t I think of that earlier? And we’ve being debating on a senseless issue”.

“Mr. Miller, without a second thought. I give you the license to take immediate action on what you want to do. I believe you. So, we have a green light folks. Let’s get to work. But, it needs to be done first thing tomorrow morning”.

“Certainly sir”.

“I am proud of you Mr. Miller. You’ve taken me aback”. At least there is hope. I just hope these guys will get off our necks”? Okay folks, its 1 o’clock. Lunch time. Please, no waste of time. Our second sitting is by 4pm. Ishmael; I need to see you in my office”.

“Yes boss”.


“Your Highness, the Bridge is opening. What do we do?”

“I know Festus. Where is the Sorceress?”

“Soon coming Your Highness”.

“Splendid. I never want to hear any discouraging news from her”.

“You won’t Your Highness”.

“What about the soldiers? Are they prepared?”

“Of course, Your Highness. Oh goodness, she’s here, Your Highness”.

“Greetings, Her Empress”.

“I came as soon as Seth told me about the Bridge”.

“What can we do? My people are all afraid. They are restless too”. “And once the bridge opens fully, we are doomed. My father, the previous king until his death warned me never to allow the bridge to be opened”.

“I will consult The Oracle now. Fin!”

“Yes Sorceress”.

“Please get me a bowl of water. And don’t let it drop on the ground by the kitchen door, it could flood the castle”.

“Yes, Sorceress”.

“May I enquire from you, great one?”

“Go on My Empress”.

“Can the bridge be closed?”

“That is for the oracle to tell. My work is to consult it. And he has never failed me on my countless assignments in Golgotha”.

“Here is the jar of water, Sorceress”.

“Keep it on the floor near my wand. Do so gently because every instrument I came with has a purpose of its creation”.

“My Empress, be at peace and watch what the Oracle will do. TALAMUNKUM! ISTAMELA! TORTUGU! The great and mighty Deity. Hmmm, arise and show forth your wonders. The roar of your scepter is the answer to man’s helplessness. AHA! Your Highness, I can see handwriting on the walls of the castle”.

“What do you mean, Sorceress?”

“The answer is in you”.

“How is that? I am just a Queen, Sorceress”.

“I see a man. Fair in color. But, not from this part. He is centuries behind us. In his world, time is ticking slowly. Only he can save Golgotha”.

“But, Sorceress, you know well that in our customs, it is a sacrilege for a stranger to rule us”.

“That I can never forget”.

“Your highness, the Saxons are getting closer to shores. We have to do something”.

“What do you say, My Empress?”

“What if I do not go by the oracles demands?”

“Doom. Destruction. The entire people of Golgotha will perish”.

“And the Saxons will rule Golgotha. And I am afraid you will be forced to marry their leader or face hanging for disobedience”.

“Alright then, send for this stranger, if it pleases the Oracle”.

“You, My Empress have made the best decision thus, far. Now, come closer. Watch carefully on the jar of water. What do you see?”

“I see my reflection on the surface of the water”.

“Look again. And this time have hope”.


“What do you see now?”

“I can see a man”.

“That is very good. This is he whom the oracle has chosen. I think is wise to send for him as soon as possible. Time is not our friend anymore”.

“Immediately, I will”.

“And Your Highness!”

“Yes, Sorceress”.

“Please bow your ear for an advice”.


“You are afraid of loving this man. Do not hesitate to. Free your mind”.

“I will take your advice. Thank you very much. Sorceress”

“Yes, My Empress”.

“Can you please stay with us all through this siege?”

“You need not bother yourself, Your Highness. I was born for this”.



“MUM! Please don’t let Mary see these photos of you and dad kissing by the roadside, it’s shameful”.

“Actually, it’s nice. Look at the way your dad and I held each other Steve. And did you know that we got the award for best couples of the year in school?”

“So, now you are trying to tell me that doing that kind of act is alright with you and dad?”

“Mummy, I can’t find my shoe laces”.

“Where did you keep them honey?”

“I can’t remember, mummy”.

“It’s okay; I’ll help you go check your room. Come along now”.

“Hey mum, you haven’t given me an answer yet”.

“I don’t need to Steve. Now, if you are trying to make me angry, you are wasting your time boy”.


“Hello. What’s wrong? It looks like you’ve seen a ghost or something”?

“I wish I did”.

“You are joking, right?”

“Am serious big bros. Beverly and I were tugging over Zack. She on the right, while I was on the left. And do you know the worse part of it? Zack, choose Beverly over me”.

“I can’t believe it”.

“You just have to. For the past few weeks I’ve being keeping an eye on him. And if I suspect anything, am quitting the relationship because, no man is going to dump me for another girl; I’d rather do it before he does”.


“You can say that again. Where is dad?”

“Sleeping in his library”.

“I wish he would just throw away those books one day”.

“That is what will never happen. You know dad, his going to tell you that it’s a family inheritance. His dad got the books from his own dad. And you know how the story goes. At least you want to be like him too. That’s great because the books won’t be abandoned because of you”.

“Yes, I love the books in it. In fact, I’ve being doing a lot of research lately”.

“You really surprise me. Why should I care? It’s your life”.

“Hey! Dad, are you up or what?”

“I told you Mary his having a nap in his library”.

“Whatever. He just has to make sure that he doesn’t forget to drop me off by the subway for my friend’s birthday party today”.

“Am sure he won’t. Besides, his heading for the company today. He said his boss gave him a task to do before noon tomorrow”.

“LOOK at the time, Steve. It’s almost pass 4p.m. And you are saying dad is aware. “Maybe in his brain or something. I think we should wake him up”.

“Suit yourself lady”.

“WHAT! You’re backing away so soon? I thought we were in this together?”

“Sorry, you came crying to the wrong hero”.

“You are so annoying. Why did I have a brother like you? So, principled. Yak!”

“You can spit, complain, yell, or be angry all day, but you are not going to ruin my happiness today. Dad will take me off to the baseball rehearsals later when he’s up to go to the company”.

“You already make me feel like am nuts”.

“You are. Look at your hair color. The left side is green. The other side is ash. And for God sake didn’t anybody tell you that the front of your hair is shorter than the back?”

“No way. NO! That’s not true”.

“Go check in your mirror”.



“Yes dear”.

“Did dad remember his going to help me out with my homework?”

“Of course his had it in his mind. You know what?”


“When we are done folding your clothes, we’ll go wake him up okay?”


“Hmmm. Seems like someone is missing me”.


“Hey there little one. Come here give daddy a huge hug”.

“Wow! That’s nice. What are you doing?”

“Mum is helping me fold my clothes”.

“Really? You are so lucky to have such an adorable mum. Thumbs up”.

“Yeah mummy. Daddy says kudos. For being a super mama”.

“Thanks you guys”.

“Daddy, you know I’ve got an assignment by miss big eye goggles”.

“You are so funny. Kiddo. That’s Miss Friday”.

“No daddy! You are the funny one”.

“Why is that, handsome?”

“Because you are not in my class”.


“Yep! The whole class gave her that name because she’s got huge eye balls. “Sometimes, it turns reddish. And on that period, the class doesn’t make any sound because she could inflict us with it”.


“Whenever she asked the class a question, she’ll walk closer to a student’s desk and tell him or her to look into her eyes”.


“Yes daddy. But it’s disgusting”.

“Yeah, it is. But, I want you to do just one thing for me kiddo”.

“Sure daddy. Whatever you want”.

“Don’t ever join hands with other kids to make jest of your teacher even if am not around”.

“I won’t daddy”.

“That’s my boy. But, you’ll have to pardon daddy today. I’ll be out for the office”.

“Yeah! Mum told me about the whole office stuff”.

“That’s right”.

“It’s okay daddy. I’ll wait for you to return home then, we do it”.

“Thanks for your understanding”.

“You are always welcomed daddy”.

“Am all set to go dad for my rehearsals at the field”.

“Alright, Mr. sharp guy”.

“No harms done dad, just taking after the footsteps of my father in the accounting business”.

“You are funny”.

“Okay. Go to my library and help me pick up my suit. I forgot it there yesterday”,


“Where is my angel, Mary? I haven’t seen her all day today”.

“Steve deceived her. He said she was going nuts and that she should try checking herself on her mirror”.

“Oh my, am so sorry to hear that”.



“It’s almost time. You’ve got to get going”.

“Yeah. So, we’ll talk later?”



“Bye bye”.

“Don’t forget to get me something on your way daddy”.

“I won’t kiddo. Goodbye”.


(The bridge)


“Your highness, am afraid if this savior we are expecting doesn’t show up by daylight, we just have to take you to the mountains of peace for your safety”.

“And my people?”

“The cave can’t contain all of them”.

“Then, I would be a coward if I did what you are besieging me to. No ruler hides from his enemies”.

“But, Your Highness, this isn’t about courage”. “Then, what? If I may enquire?”

“It’s about your linage. The generation yet unborn”.

“If that is your reason, then, I’d rather perish with my people so that our linage vanishes from the earth. Leave us Samuel. I need to have a word with the Sorceress alone please”.

“Yes, Your Highness”.

“That is a wise decision My Empress”.

“I can’t give up now. It would be stupidity”.

“Indeed. Your father, the king was a very brave man”.

“I know he was. You knew him?”

“Of course Your Highness”.

“But, how?”

“Come here and peep into this ash mirror”.

“What do you see?”

“My childhood days”.

“Now, on your second birthday, you were accompanied to your royal chamber with a present from an unknown person. Your parents were so careful to allow you have it”.

“Who gave me the present?”

“It was my great grandfather. He was the chief Wizard of Golgotha”.

“Oh! My father always told me tales of him”.

“Yes. No child here has ever said he hasn’t heard of the tale. Did you ever wonder why your parents never removed your necklace?”

“No. I forgot about it”.

“It is the present my great grandfathers kept in that strange box you were accompanied with to your royal chamber”.

“No wonder it glitters at 12midnight everyday”.

“Hmm. So you’ve being observant?”

“Always, Sorceress”.

“That is very thoughtful of you”.

“Sorceress, will we win this war? Because in all my battles in Golgotha, I have never come across such a fierce one as this”.

“Never, fear because the lilies are soon to get married to the roses. I believe the deity is watching over us. He never fails”.


“And so I heard that the foolish queen has Emilia as her guide. Is that true Caleb?”

“Am afraid it is true. Most Holy One”.

“Interesting. I perceived that the queen should have being very intelligent like mine to handle issues”.

“We-e-e-e- we thought so to”.

“Can somebody please get this ape of a dwarf out of my presence? Never you speak a word when I am addressing everyone in the palace. Make sure he is given the due penalty for improper speech, Caleb”.

“Yes! Most Reverenced one”.

“Grab him guards to the dungeon”.

“P-p-please, you-your-most ho Holy”



“My Darlene, why do you want to worry over a tiny witch like her? You are brave, and strong. No man has ever beaten you in a battle before. So, come on to the dinning where I specially ordered the chef to make you your favorite meal. Ha!”


“Hey! Steve, I’ll come pick you up later when you and your friends are through”.

“Sure dad. Thanks”.


“You are welcomed Mr. Miller”.

“Thank you Dave”.

“Can I see your I.D.?”

“Okay. Here”.

“I was authorized by the M.D. to let you in”.

“I won’t take long. Probably, an hour”.

“It’s okay. You can go in now”.


“Oops! Where did I drop these keys? Oh! There you are. Just need a little push to get you out. Hello! Is anyone there? Well, that’s weird. I thought I saw someone pass”.


“Who are you?”

“Do not turn your face at my direction, Mr. Stranger”.

“And who are you to tell me what to- oh my God! H-E-L-P!”

“Oh no! His fallen into the tunnel already. DON’T WORRY AM BEHIND YOU!”

“Where am I?”

“You are in Golgotha. The mightiest town ever”.

“What is the noise and shouting all about?”

“Its war”

“War? Who and who?”

“First, you need to know why you are here”

“Yes please, explain to me because I’ve got to look for a way to get out of this mysterious place. And you, you are weird”.

“The bridge protecting the people of Golgotha from her enemies just opened yesterday. A Sorceress was sent to find out a way to stop it and the only person the oracle chose is you”.

“Oh no! Look! I am married. And, I have three kids”.

“When we arrive at the castle, you can explain all the details to her highness. But, now time is ticking. Hurry, climb on the wood with me”.

“Where are we going?”


“But, that’s not my home men!”

“You talk too much stranger”.

“No, am just confused, that’s all”.

“Please if you would”.


“Hold on to my cloth”.

“You are annoying, whatever your name is”.

“Don’t bother because we will become very best friends Mr. Miller”.


“Mrs. Miller. What actually happened? Because we need to trace his disappearance back to the day he left home for the office”.

“Like I earlier said; after he had finished telling me goodbye, he and our first son Steve drove off to his office that evening. That is all I can tell you detective”.

“Alright. We’ve being to his company. His boss and associates whom they work together. We even visited his office and the security man that last saw him entered the company’s building”.

“Detective, please, do all you can to find my husband. His all we’ve got”.

“By his biography you gave us it seems your husband is an orphan”.

“Yes, he is”.

“And no other relatives we can contact?”


“Maybe he travelled out of town to their place?”

“No. besides Miller will never go on a trip without informing us his family”.

“Thank you very much Mrs. Miller for your time and cooperation”.

“Please, be strong for these kids as well as your husband, Mr. Miller”.

“I will”.


“Goodbye detective”.


“Now, watch your step”.

“I am already”.

“Once we enter the main castle’s hall where the queen receives her visitors, please do as I do”.

“I hope to do it”.

“Your Highness, am back with the stranger, Mr. Miller”.

“Mr. Miller”.

“Yes, Your Highness”.

“Am very confident that Seth has narrated the ordeal my people and I are in?”

“Yes he has”.

“And the mission on you?”

“Of course, he has too”.

“I’ll take it from here you Highness”.

“My pleasure, Sorceress”.

“I have some instruments that you will make use of while on your journey to close the bridge”.

“Seth here is the castle’s most trusted and courageous warrior alive. You can never find his species anywhere. They have all being wiped out by the Saxons”.

“Seth, there is no time left. The Deity says our opponents are almost at the bridge”.

“Yes, Sorceress”.

“Come closer, Mr. Miller”.


“TALAMUNKUM ISTAMELA. What I just did is a statement to any evil creature to not harm you”.

“Thank you”.

“Now, bow on your knees because, you are going to have a change of clothe. Now, look at the water in the black pot”.

“I am different”.

“Yes, you are. Handsome as a Nightingale. Have this sword incase of human hunters”.

“Thank you”.

“Now, lives are depending on you to save them. Good luck. The Deity will keep an eye on you”.


“My friend, you are in deep thoughts. What is troubling you?”

“The Queen”.

“What about her?”

“She is so beautiful. I have never come across such beauty in my life. Even, the “Disney stories I read to my children haven’t reached half her glamour”.

“It is true what you say”.

“Why isn’t she married?”

“That you will know”.


“Your heart is panting”.

“Yes, you are right”.

“He is handsome. I could see the way you were looking at him”.

“I cannot deny that fact, Sorceress. But, he is married with three children”.

“Never mind that”.

“Why do you speak as if you know the outcome of this new development”?

“Only he can decide to leave after his mission or stay”.


“Merry Christmas, all of you”.



“Hey Steve, wait up. Heard what happened to your dad. Am so sorry”.

“Thanks, Sam”.

“No problem men. Let me walk you home”.




“Yes Steve”.

“Are you crying again?”

“I can’t help it Steve. His my life. The first man I’ve ever fallen in love with. Look.

Look at this picture of your dad at the beach. So beautiful”.

“Don’t cry again mum. I am just coming from Mary’s room thank goodness Zack is with her. I’ve also checked on Tom, his fast asleep. So, be calm. Okay?”

“Yeah, his right Mrs. Miller. I just saw the news on T.V. of the state police doing all they can with all they have to find him”.


“Be very careful, Mr. Miller. Because these Saxons are quite sensitive”.

“Alright, Seth”.

“Who goes there?”

“What is it, Prime?”

“Sorry, Most Holy One. I thought I heard whispers”.

“Get the men ready for battle, Prime. After which we shall possess Golgotha.

“Yes, Most Holy One”.


“Our plan has to work, Seth”.

“It’s okay my friend. Wish you luck”.


“Hey! Hello”.

“Who are you?”

“Please, I am a lost stranger looking for where to spend the night before I continue with my journey tomorrow”.

“Oh! Why not? My Lordship will be honored to have a guest like you. Do follow me”.


“The stranger is very wise, Your Highness”.

“Yes, indeed Sorceress. I love everything about him”.

“It is true they say that matters of the heart can only be expressed by the one feeling it”.

“Yes, Sorceress. Love indeed is gentle”.


“My name is Mr. Miller. I come from planet earth”.


“Yes. Haven’t you heard of the place before?”

“No. what can I do for you”.

“I know how you can track down your opponent”.


“Queen Miriam”.

“And why should I trust you?”

“Because you so want Golgotha that you will do anything within your power to get it”.

“Then, I will give you a chance to proof yourself”.

“Yes, Most Holy One”.

“Come to my inner chamber”.


“See all these vast lands?”


“I have being dreaming of them since I was a child. Now, after I conquer that Queen of a woman, I will take away all her possessions and give them as a gift to my precious Lilia”.


“Still no sign of dad and next week is Christmas mum”.

“Do not freak out, Tom. I believe that one day your father will return home to us”.

“Mum is telling the truth Tom. The only thing that I know dad will be very sure of is his family having faith that all is going to be okay”.

“That is true, Steve. For days I have being trying to look back at dad always telling me to change. But I never obeyed him. But, I think it is high time I give it some hard thoughts. Who knows tomorrow?”

“Mary is right. I too need to recheck my attitude towards life. You know, not caring enough for the things so precious and delicate to me. Mary, I have being a mean and cruel elder brother. I am very sorry. Could you please forgive me?”

“Steve. I have being unbearable to everyone too. I know it even though no one has ever come out openly to say it. Like you, I also have cobwebs in my closet. I forgive you and, you will always be my one and only big brother”.

“Thank you very much. Also, can I have a hug?”

“Why not?”



“I am here, Your Most Holy One”.

“You are an idiot. How could you allow that stranger to run away with my secret map? NO!

“He couldn’t have gone too far Your Most Holy One. You just give me the orders to fetch him by myself”.

“Then, be gone. I give you two minutes”.

“Well done, Mr. Miller. You are very brave indeed”.

“Thank you very much my friend”.

Now, we run towards the edge of the mountains. There you will see the chaos of this Bridge opening”.

“Come now, let us move with speed before our angry Saxon notices you are missing. Follow me”.


“I can perceive the melody of victory already, Your Highness. Come and have a look inside the black pot. Can you see the stranger holding the secret map?”


“They are almost at the edge of the Bridge”.

“At last, I will have victory over my long term enemy. My people shall never be ashamed. And I Miriam will never need to shed tears of loneliness again. May the Deity reward you abundantly, Sorceress”.

“It has being my pleasure to be at your service, Your Highness”.


“My most gratitude goes to you, Mr. Miller”.

“My pleasure, Your Highness”.

“See, my people are celebrating happiness once more”.

“I am happy for you and your people”.

“Can we take a walk by the garden?”


“Since the day you came into my kingdom, I have being wondering to ask you if you would like to stay here in Golgotha? You and I can rule its people to greatness. Make outstanding warriors too. I will also give you my kingdom. So, you become my King”.

“I love the place. You have thousands of servants, wealth too. You are very pretty too. But, I am in love with someone else. Right now as I speak she is waiting for my return. I hope I didn’t blow your dreams up?”

“I see. All said and done. SETH!”

“Yes Your Highness”.

“Accompany Mr. Miller to the tunnel”.

“Okay, Your Highness”.

“Mr. Miller, once again, thank you. Please have this necklace specially from me. Whenever you want to come back for a visit, simply blow the whistle and, the tunnel will appear”.

‘Thank you. And goodbye”.


“Never worry Your Highness. Some fates are just the way the Oracle planned it”.

“Thank you, Sorceress”.


“So, this is it?”

“Yes, my good friend. I will always have you in my heart”.

“Okay. Farewell, Seth. It was a pleasure going on this mission with you”.

“Remember Mr. Miller, the necklace. Safe guard it”.

“I will. So, here I GO!”


“Steve, someone is at the door. Could you please check it?”

“Okay mum”.


“No pranks Steve”.



All is well that ends well.

By Sonia Awala from Nigeria