Tokan Crown is a Nigerian Irish Writer who spent his formative years in Lagos, Nigeria before relocating to Dublin, Ireland as a minor. Though he holds a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, he has nurtured a passion for creative writing since childhood. During his tenure as a member of the Drama society in ITTD (now, Technological University, Dublin), he wrote, produced original plays as well as directed adapted classics such as Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. He also served as the president of the Drama society for a full academic year. Since graduation, his play, Precious Birds, made the selection for the IDGTF 2020 compilation.
Tokan’s writing draws from the mystique that surrounds the everyday person with an inkling to explore the questions that plagues ordinary people in bed at night. As a multi-hyphenate minority, his works typically frames the world from the eyes of marginalised protagonists who dare to dream beyond the confines of the status quo. He writes mysteries, crime, thriller, upmarket and literary fiction. His favourite author is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
I am currently pursuing representation for my debut novel, Black Rage.
Black Rage is an adult contemporary literary mystery novel set in Dublin, Ireland.
An Irish student emerges as the sole witness to the murder of his Black fellow student in a forest. His cooperation in the subsequent investigation proceedings is stilted by a promise made to the deceased in his dying moments. Beyond his altruistic deception, the witness’ involvement is further complicated by a vigilante witch-hunt launched by an aggrieved acquaintance of the deceased.
THEY ALL HAD IT COMING
At exactly three minutes past four AM, Leonard dispersed the last of his seeds and rolled off me. “Ooh, you were off by two minutes,” Constantina gloated. Shut up, Constantina.
In case you were wondering if Constantina is lying on the other side of this queen size bed in a pair of thongs panting for my sloppy seconds, or worse, sitting cross legged on a plush single-seater in a power suit with an index finger digging into her temple, keeping a watchful eye on my carnal enterprise – no. We all have that pesky shrew constantly chirping unsolicited suppositions in the back of their minds. Most call it a conscience, but I’ve always found that concept … weakening, though not entirely without merit. So, I glazed mine to my liking and christened her Constantina. If I am to be laden to with a voice other than my calibrated uttering, she had better bend to my bidding. No, I’m not schizophrenic. I do not suffer from split personality or PTSD. It’s just that if you are me like I am me, you need an equal to keep your faculties athletic. But I promise, she shan’t be a distraction!
I turned away from my alarm clock for validating Constantina’s pedantry.
“I just had sex with my wife,” Leonard mused at the ceiling. “I’ve never said that before.” He flopped his right arm on my chest, and I watched stupor claim his eyelids. My dear husband – the purveyor of the obvious, the mayor of redundancy, the portrait of milquetoast. It may sound like I’m being snide, however on the contrary, it’s what drew me to him. My nauseatingly predictable husband just made love to me on our wedding night with the same clinical repetition I’ve endured for the last three years. It’s a good thing I’m a bedfellow of predictability. It’s why I picked Leonard. His brother is infinitely comelier: a sharper jawline, a visible hairline, a pert personality. Instead, a two-hundred-pound slab of beer and bones is manspread next to me.
I squished a white rose petal underneath my big toe as I stepped out of bed. Ugh, I groaned. I thought I had gotten rid of all of those. Leonard did not understand my contention against an innocuous honeymoon suite staple. Of course, the adequate brain of my insipid husband is no more than a conduit for the perpetuation of every nugget of convention shaped by the unilateral mindset of his cishet White ancestors. Just like he never fathomed why I set my alarm clock beneath the glow of the suite’s ornate bedside lamp, or its presence as a permanent fixture in my travel itinerary. You have a smartphone, he’d quip, usually blowing a barrage of booze breath my way. For a man like Leonard, a single strand of hair has no business falling out of place. He knows nothing about the agility of a puissant psyche – I can’t always lose to Constantina.
Behind the velvet curtain, New York city skyline sprawled out in front of me, looking limitless. The Empire st
ate building twinkled at me in the distance. I was almost tempted to open the floor length window so the untainted air at this altitude can bite my naked body. Leonard’s snore croaking in my ears stifled that momentary blip.
My dear alarm clock blinked 04:16.
I slipped on my baby blue lace undergarment, my matching garter belt, and my feather-finish rose-pink silk robe. I sat at the dressing table and re-applied my exhausted wedding make-up. A plum tint always imbued my melanated high cheekbones with the precise ounce of mischief. I lifted the suede make-up kit and pulled out a carefully laid dormant Glock 19. It felt cold in my hand, like the temperature of my blood.
At exactly 04:41, I flicked my kinky curl out of my face and aimed at my husband of fourteen hours. And thirty-six minutes, Constantina intrudes. Shut up. I re-centred my stance. With a singular motion of my index finger, my bullet speared into the equidistant point on Leonard’s forehead. He looked like the bed ejected his body forward, so I fired a companion bullet. I do not make niceties with half measures. The gun felt weightless in my hands. My knees gave in to a nuisance buckle. The reverberations of my action ploughed my ears. Whatever about the pearly white bedsheets, my Chanel robe is forever blood-blotted. I had been orchestrating this moment for six years, ten months, and twenty-two days (thanks Constantina), to deviate in the slightest; it had to be this attire.
I laid my Glock on the dresser and crossed my lean calves over one another. There will be rumblings broiling outside the suite. I reckon some insomniac male is pacing the corridors in an ill-fitting plaid pyjama wondering in which room it happened. Probable, a smarter woman will place the call to reception and shortly, the sirens will follow. And I will be right here.
By my estimations (I can feel Constantina’s judgmental sigh), Leonard’s family are spilling out their intestines somewhere in this hotel. By dawn, I will have brought them more coverage than the might of the Clarkson empire ever amassed. America will want to know, as do you, why I have done what I have done. You’re out of your mind if you think I won’t tease this gravy train for all it’s worth. For now, just trust me when I say, they had it coming. They all had it coming.