Guardian of the Fall

Hello World!

Welcome to the online book tour of Guardian of the Fall by Umari Ayim. Guardian of the Fall is a story that deals with the themes of love, betrayal, change versus tradition, problem of identity, corruption, discrimination and the role of nature in the creation myths of different cultures in the world. The story is set in the city of Lagos, the village of Agbokim in Cross River State and Kenya.

We hope you enjoy these excerpts (audio and transcript) from page 104 – 107:


Part 1 – Transcript:

“Tall grass glistening with dew parted and then flattened against the dew
soaked earth as Erom reached the edge of the forest. The chirping of a
bright-yellow weaverbird greeted her as she walked towards the hotel.
Hopping from one tree branch to the other, the bird watched her with
curious black eyes. Erom wondered as she walked past the bird if she was
looking at one of the Guardian’s many forms. Her thoughts soon turned to
Ken as she neared the entrance of the hotel and her stomach dipped with
nervous anticipation. Looking down at herself, she worried about the blue
short-sleeved dress that suddenly felt too tight around her hips. She
should have picked the plain green dress, the one that conjured
unflattering weight around her midsection. It had been her first choice
after all.*

*Why had she changed her mind and chosen this one instead?*

*Her mind still noisy with regrets, she stepped into the sparsely furnished
reception area of the hotel where she found a young man at the reception
desk, his head snapping back and forth as he dozed.*

*“Good morning.”*

*The man jumped, instantly coming awake. Straightening his spine, he gave
Erom a sweeping glance as one hand shot upwards to adjust the frayed collar
of his faded orange shirt.*

*“Good morning.”*

*Erom told him she was there to see Ken.*

*Reaching across the desk without a word, he pulled a hard cover journal,
his long spindly fingers parting it open. Erom watched him run his index
finger down a page filled with barely decipherable handwriting. He looked
at her seconds later.*

“Room six”



Part 2 – Transcript:

Making a dismissive wave towards the carpeted staircase with wooden
railings, he closed the journal and returned to sleep. Erom made her way
upstairs, her senses invaded by a multitude of odours – the pervasive smell
of stale cigarette, the fresh scent of a floral air freshener yet to take
effect, and hints of the rich fragrance of expensive cologne in the air.
Finally, she found herself in a passage with walls that shone brightly with
new white paint contrasting a faded blue carpet. Yellow light cascaded over
her from small round bulbs hanging from the ceiling. She drew to a stop
before a door in the middle of the passage and stared with unblinking eyes
at the engraved plastic sign hanging slightly to the left as if in

*Drawing in quick breaths, she knocked gently on the door. Silence greeted
her from the other side. She began to raise her hand to the door again when
she heard a soft click and the door swung open to reveal Ken. Towering over
her in a pale blue shirt tucked into a pair of black trousers, he nodded
his welcome.*


*Erom nodded back at him.*

*“Hello.” She looked him up and down with an appraising eye. “I can see you
are ready.”*

*A small smile tugged the corner of his lips.*

*“Yes I am.”*

*An awkward silence settled between them. Then Erom heard a phone ring
behind him.*

*“Excuse me.”*

*He disappeared into the room, leaving Erom in the passage with an open
door to contemplate. His voice drifted back to her.*

*Yes. I remember. I see. What was the meeting about? Okay. Keep me posted.
Don’t worry, I keep my promises.*

*He was back at the door, a look of apology on his face.*
*“Sorry about that.”*

*He flashed a disarming smile that caused her breath to hitch. Irritated by
her reaction, she shrugged off his apology to mask her indifference.*

*“Can we leave now?”*




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