Imbube Creative Writing Competition

Encouraging a new generation of world class African writers.

October 28th 2017

Submissions

The Imbube 2017 Creative Writing Competition is ongoing for young African writers 35 years of age and under.
Submitted stories are between 2000 and 5000 words. Entries for this year has closed but you can vote for your favourite contestant by clicking the “Vote“ button besides each entry. There will be four winners (one in each category). See the Prizes tab for the details.
PS: You can vote up to FOUR (4) times everyday for any four entries. Voting closes on the 24th of October.
Cheers

Contest Ended


Total votes for the Contest “Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing Competition” : 23410

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The Outcast.

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

The Outcast.
Author : Cynthia

23470844250

My name is Ikem Cynthia Chinenyenwa. I was born and brought up in Onitsha, Anambra state. Currently, I live and work in Lagos. A lover of adventure, books and board games.
Adventure and literature are my favourite corner of the world.
Submission Category:

Human rights Free speech

Dedicated to the gods by her mother at a very tender age before the advent of the colonial masters, and being ostracized by the villagers, Adanna fights to regain her social freedom in the pre colonial era.

THE OUTCAST.

The mid day sun had fully taken its position in the sky and the reflection made the river shine. No one was at the river except Obioma and her daughter Adanna. She carried along a raffia basket filled with dirty clothes to the river for washing. As they washed, they sang songs and Obioma told her daughter stories of how they grew up doing chores and fetching water from the same river. Adanna enjoyed the stories and smiled all through. They had their bath afterwards and tied clean wrappers they had brought along as change of cloth. Obioma placed a small pot filled with water on Adanna’s head and was about to lift the basket of washed clothes when Ndukwe her late husband’s brother approached her.
‘Stop farming in that land Obioma!’ Ndukwe thundered as he approached the river bank. ‘I have warned you severally.’
Obioma dropped the basket and turned around to see who it was. She stood there, hands akimbo and watched the ranting Ndukwe.
‘And why is that?’ she pulled her daughter by the shoulder to herself.
‘You thought I didn’t see you yesterday eh, woman?’ he laughed hysterically, stuck his cutlass to the ground and pointed repeatedly at her.
‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ she turned away from him and rolled her eyes.
‘Why will you know? Tell me. Why will you know?’
‘Nna anyi, our father, you are talking in riddles. My daughter has a pot of water on her head, and she is just a child. Her neck will hurt her if we keep standing here. Tell us what the problem is.’ she wiped the sweat that had started gathering on her forehead with her right palm and cleaned it on her wrapper.
‘Anyway, that land you went to yesterday belongs to the men in the kindred, your late husband’s kindred. So, since you have said you will not remarry any of us after your husband’s death, you are no longer part of us. We have done you enough favour by letting you occupy our late brother’s hut, when ordinarily you should have gone back to your parents.’ his Adam’s apple jumped up and down as he spoke and it amused Adanna.
‘That land belongs to me. My late husband left it in my possession. So, I will continue to cultivate there. How will I take care of my child if I don’t farm?
‘That is none of my business. This is the last warning, stay off that land.’ he picked up the matched he had stuck to the ground and turned to leave.
‘I will not! I will not!’ she yelled after him.
‘Really? We shall then know who is who.’ he replied and walked away.
She watched him as he walked away. She lifted the raffia basket and balanced it on her head, took her daughter by the hand and started walking home. Water dripped from the wet pot and dropped on Adanna’s face. She wiped continuously with her palm and cleaned it on her wrapper as her mother would. They had only walked for few minutes when she spotted a python crawling out from the bush into the pathway. Obioma pulled her behind and they waited for the python. She knew better than to drag the pathway with the python or to kill it. They waited patiently for the slow creature to crawl past.
‘Nna anyi deeme o.’ she spoke to the python.
‘Nne I am scared.’ Adanna cried out.
‘It is totally harmless to the Idemmili people as long as you don’t think or act evil towards it.’
She told Adanna stories of how the python saved their land in the past. Therefore, had been conferred the honour of being worshiped as the eke Idemmili. So, it was a great taboo to kill or drag path with the python. She also informed her that her father told her stories as a child, of men who mistakenly killed the animal and how they were mandated to carry our funeral ceremonies in memory of the animal that was the totem of worship of the Idemmili deity.
Adanna didn’t enjoy the stories much as she starred at the, creepy, sluggish and non challant animal in the face. She wished her mother would wait for a better time to tell her such stories. The animal finally crawled into the bush and they walked past. Out of disgust, Adanna jumped the trail it had left and water spilled from her pot as she did.
Obioma remembered the words of Ndukwe her brother in law as they walked. She wished death hadn’t taken her husband away; the same husband who had built a hut and married a wife for Ndukwe when he returned from Atani, after many years he had wasted there in the name of seeking for greener pastures. She wished she could bring back the dead or find a way to make her late husband fight for her from the land of the dead. She dabbed the tears flowing from her eyes with her thumb and wiped it on her wrapper. They asked her to stop using the barn, so the last harvest season was terrible for her. The ground bettles had easy access to the tubers of yam she harvested and stacked behind her hut. No one gave her yam to roast or cocoyam for her soup. Her cassava farm didn’t make it to the harvest season, because Nnakwe and his kinsmen uprooted the produce and cultivated their yam tubers in the same land she fertilized. That same land, he had gone to warn him to stay away from earlier at the river bank.
Adanna complained about being tired and she exchanged the basket of wet clothes with the pot of water she carried.
As they got closer to their compound, she noticed smokes rising to the sky.
‘Nne, something is burning?’ Adanna adjusted the basket on her head.
‘Oh! I remember. Nne Osita made mention of burning her farm land; the one behind our hut. Am sure the smoke must be coming from her farm land. I will beg her to use a small portion for my vegetable beds.’ She motioned Adanna to walk faster.
They got to the junction where three roads met: the road leading to her house, the road to the stream, and the road to the Idemmili shrine. There, she discovered that the smoke was rising from her hut. She pushed off the pot of water she had balanced on her head and ran towards her compound. Her daughter followed her. As Obioma ran closer, she saw three men standing in front of her hut. One of them had a long stick and a small oil jar with him. She ran faster and as the men saw her, they fled through nne Osita’s farmland. Her hut and all it contained had burned halfway down: sacks of grain, jars of palm oil, baskets of wrappers and jigida, and the small raffia waist bag filled with cowries which she discovered in the hut after her husband’s death.
‘Ewooo! Who did I offend? Whose property did I steal? Who did this to me?’ she threw herself down and cried out.
She sighted Adanna running towards her and she stood up. She grabbed and held her so tight and screamed out in terror.
‘Nne, who set our house on fire?’ Adanna asked as she managed to grasp breath.
‘My daughter, your uncles have killed us. They have rendered us homeless. What is my crime?’
‘Nne, is it nna anyi Ndukwe?
‘Ewooo! Ewooo! Ndi be anyi, our people, come oo!’ she released Adanna and ran behind the hut. She ran back to the centre of the compound, and threw her hands on her head. ‘It shall never be well with whoever did this to a poor widow like me.’ She cried harder.
‘Is there nobody seeing this smoke in this community? Have you all died or are your houses on fire too? Nnakwe where are you? I know it is you! Ewooo! My chi has killed me.’ she threw herself on the ground again and Adanna knelt to console her.
‘Nne, stop crying. Everything will be alright.’ she wiped her mother’s tears with the edge of her wrapper and cried because her mother cried.
The sun had gone down and Obioma lay in the middle of the compound. Her eyes were swollen and heavy, and her head ached badly. She mopped continuously at the hut. The thatched roof had burnt completely, leaving the frame for the roofing and few strands of black raffia that once made up the thatching. Her daughter lay beside her fast asleep, her head on her mother’s stomach. Her tears had long dried up and left lines on her innocent face. Obioma stroked her daughters head. As she started singing a sorrowful tune with her cracked voice deep and faint, Adanna stirred a little. She robbed her eyes with her left palm and fell back asleep.
‘Go back to sleep my child, we no longer have a home.’ she laughed and started crying again. The salty liquid flowed into her mouth and she cared less about it.
She heard footsteps approaching and she recognized it. It was nne Osita. She ran to where Obioma and her daughter were and held her. As she led out a loud scream, Adanna woke up.
‘They will not come. I have called and called and called. I have lost my voice even, so don’t bother.’ Obioma laughed again.
‘Who did this? Did you see them?’ nne Osita asked.
‘I saw them but I only recognized Ndukwe. He was still tying the same wrapper. The one he was tying when he came to the river to warn me about my late husband’s farmland.’ She yanked up Adanna. Please give her water to drink.
Nne Osita ran to her hut and came out with a clay bowl filled with water. She positioned Adanna’s mouth to fit the curved part of the bowl and helped her to a long drink. She gave the bowl to Obioma who rejected it and started crying again.
Adanna robbed her eyes and scratched her thighs simultaneously. Obioma stood up suddenly from the ground and pulled her daughter. Nne Osita looked at her with much confusion. She wiped the tears from her eyes and started walking away from the compound. Nne Osita rushed after her to find out where she was going to, but Obioma only kept walking and her pace increased as she walked. She took Adanna along and she followed.
‘Obioma, where are you rushing to?’ nne Osita rushed after her.
‘To the only place where I can sleep and drink water peacefully without Ndukwe complaining or reminding me that everything my late husband worked for belonged to him.’ She increased her pace and adjusted her wrapper, and as she got to the junction where three roads meet, she turned to the one leading to the shrine.
‘Ewooo! Abomination! She is going to Idemmili! Please help me stop her!’ She snatched Adanna from her and pulled her close to herself.
‘Nne Osita, please leave my daughter now or I will scream.’ She grabbed her daughter by the hand and whisked her from nne Osita.
Adanna followed her mother and they both walked fast. A woman who was coming from the road leading to the stream heard nne Osita and ran into the village.
Obioma and her daughter got to the shrine and walked closer to the big iroko tree; the ancient tree she had been told was the source of life to the Idemmili people, the tree of truth. She starred at the shrine in silence. The big human faced totem, carved from an iroko tree stood in the middle of the shrine. Its bulgy eyes staring back at her. It was covered in both stale and fresh blood. Fowl feathers littered everywhere. Lobes of Kaolin were neatly placed in front of the totem and fresh lines drawn with the kaolin were still visible on the floor in front of the totem. A curtain was made round the tree with twisted freshly plucked palm fronds, and beneath the curtain was a small clay pot filled with cowries and coral beads of different colours. Beside the clay pot were six tubers of yam tied together with dried palm fronds. A cock rested on the tubers of yam, its legs were tied tightly together and it failed to neither make any sound nor move as Obioma moved closer.
She knelt down and her daughter knelt with her. Her tears became uncontrollably.
‘Idemmili, they have burnt my hut, alongside my belongings. I am a poor widow and right now, I have nothing to offer you because everything I have is gone. All I have left is my daughter.’ she sniffed hard.
‘Please don’t do it.’ a voice came from behind. It was nne Osita. She ignored the warning and continued.
‘I know you hate it when people come before you empty handed, so I have come with her. Take her, in exchange for this request I am making. I will not leave her here with you though, she will come home with me but she is yours now. We are both yours.’ she helped Adanna up and pushed her forward.
‘Obioma, biko, stop now before it is too late.’ She clasped her breasts.
‘I am leaving. I hope my sacrifice is acceptable and my request not too much. Idemmili fight for your daughter.’ she took her daughter by the hand and walked away.
As they got closer to the junction where three roads met, she sighted the woman who ran into the village as she approached with some men and women. They paused and watched her corner into her compound without speaking a word to anyone. Nne Osita followed her in tears.
It was done. She had given herself and her daughter to the shrine and would thenceforth be regarded as osu, outcast. No free born would marry her daughter when she comes of age, or go to the stream with her, or to the market. She would always be favoured, yet feared by all, to avoid incurring the wrath of the Idemmili deity who had become a special guardian to them. The guardian would thenceforth guard them radically. Ndukwe would finally let her have her farmland and the trio who had burnt her hut alongside her properties will secretly rebuild it even after they must have faced or would face the wrath of the Idemmili deity and the Igwe. That would be the last day she would cry or be oppressed by anyone.
Nne Osita secretly offered her Osita’s hut. He was away in the forest, training with other teenage boys of his age for the coming of age ceremony. She wouldn’t want to be associated with her, lest, she would be called osu as well. After all, she was also seen with Obioma. She offered them food, water and clean wrapper. She also offered to rewash the ones they had gone to the river to wash earlier before the whole incident took place. That night, Obioma slept peacefully, even with the broken heart, for she knew that she would be safe thenceforth; herself and her daughter.
* * *
Adanna buried her mother as a young teenager and had attended nne Osita’s funeral as well. The farming year after the deaths, the white men entered Idemmili from Onicha. Osita didn’t like the white men, so, he didn’t accept the opportunities which came at his early adulthood, when the white men entered Idemmili. He refused their way of life and thought it was funny and senseless. His peers went for special trainings as adults and got menial jobs as court clerks, messengers, house keepers and office assistants in different locations. They received salaries from the government and bought wooden doors for their huts.
Adanna on the other hand joined the white men who accepted her irrespective of her social status. She sat alongside other osu girls on the long chairs made with bamboo sticks in class. Parents then believed that female children were only meant to marry and bear children. So, only the male children were allowed to go to school. She also attended church alongside other osu converts from their village. She grew up to become a beautiful young woman.
Regions were created in the country and the Idemmili people fell under the Eastern region. The state creation processes took place and they were called Enugwu state.
Having been nominated as the most brilliant child in the community, the state government awarded Adanna scholarship to study in the Queen’s College, Lagos and University College of Ibadan. Upon her graduation, she made distinction in journalism. She was offered a job in the state broadcasting services in Enugwu city where she worked as a news editor.

One Monday afternoon at her office, a news reporter presented her with a file containing the news headlines which she was meant to edit for the evening broadcast. The headline read thus:
“WE ARE ALL EQUAL, FREEBORN OR OSU.”
It got to her notice, that at a seating in the Eastern Region House of Assembly on that day March 20, 1956, the house had deliberated on the osu caste system that segregated and practically promoted discrimination against people in the Igbo land. Therefore, they had collaborated and sponsored a bill to abolish the devilish cultural practice in the geo political zone; stating that it runs against the provisions of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations General Assembly, which guarantees human rights and freedom from any form discrimination.
The headline caught her attention and she had to listen further to both news on the radio and also bought newspaper from the vendor who had a stand at the office gate. She rejoiced, knowing that that she would go home to her Idemmili people as a non osu.
She travelled home months later as a free woman. As she walked into her father’s compound, she spotted Osita’s wife coming out from their newly renovated hut. As their eyes met, she ran inside and shut the wooden door. The act didn’t surprise Adanna. She had been treated like that in the past by Osita’s wife, who didn’t have the opportunity to go to school because she was a girl child. She had ended up in Osita’s house to practice all she had been thought in his kitchen.
‘Osita! It is I Adanna. I just came back from the city. Are you home?’ she called as she walked closer to his hut.
‘Ada, welcome. I hope you journey was smooth.’ Osita replied from behind.
‘Where are you?’
‘I am working in my barn. I am very dirty. I will see you later.’
She was about entering her house which had been finished with rusted corrugated iron sheet, when Osita’s sons came back from school.
‘Nnoonu, Welcome.’ She greeted them. They all ignored her and ran into their mother’s hut. The last son stood there admiring her high heeled shoes, and in a flash, his mother rushed out and whisked him away.
Adanna couldn’t believe it. They haven’t heard that the caste system had been abolished and that had made her equals with them. She never saw Osita or his family any more until she traveled back to the city. She learnt from her colleague who came from the same village with her that she Adanna had a suitor, a medical doctor from their neighbouring village who returned from the United Kingdom after years of study. She made her colleague understand that she wasn’t sure of what she was saying, because she had traveled to the village and had spent the whole weekend without meeting any suitor or being told about it.
‘From what I heard, he spotted you at the motor park and traced you to your compound later.’ Her colleague narrated.
‘I see. But I didn’t meet him.’
‘That was because he wasn’t successful enough to get to your compound.’
‘How do you mean?’
‘He was informed that you are an osu. So his father discouraged him from going any further.’
‘What? I thought you said he was a medical doctor who studied abroad. I am very sure he knew better than to segregate. That is breaking the law.’ she paced back and forth in her office.
‘My mother said he is a medical Dr. His name is Ndubuisi or something like that. I heard his father, one of the new warrant chiefs threatened that he would disown him if he went ahead to marry you or any other osu, educated or not.’ she hissed. ‘Illiteracy and ignorance is bad I must tell you.’
‘But, the government has passed the bill.’ She sat down.
‘My dear, the government might have it on paper, but not in the minds of the greater part of the Igbo populace who already have the segregation deep in their heads. I just feel for you. You just have to pray you marry a man who won’t care so much about your social status. Most of the osu girls have turned to prostitutes in this city, because no man would marry them.’ she sighed. ‘It shall be well.’ She excused herself and left the room.
Adanna bent her head on the table and remembered all she and her mother had passed through while she was growing up. She thought of the children she would give birth to, if ever she will meet a man who would disregard her social status to marry her. She thought it would be necessary to tell her children, and those that would come after them the story of her life. She hoped that one day, her child or her descendant would correlate the whole story and talk about how finally the system was abolished from the minds of people, and that the word osu went extinct, and was only used when teaching history subjects in schools. She picked up her pen and a paper to write and her telephone rang. It was the receptionist.
‘Hello Nneka, how may I help you this afternoon?’
‘Miss Adanna, there is a man here to see you. His name is Dr. Ndubuisi from Idemmili. Do you have an appointment with him?’ The voice came from the other end of the line.
‘It is okay. Tell him to wait there in the lobby. I will come and meet him.’ She smiled and dropped the telephone receiver. She thought she would start writing her story later or perhaps, tell it to the children verbally.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

292
Votes



Mind abuse

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Mind abuse
Author : Favour Olinya

2348163313512

I am Olinya Favour.C. I am a student of law at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

Writing becomes a source of relief to the troubled heart of a 9 year old boy whose father prays for his mother’s death at her hospital bed#abuseofwomen#brokenhomes

MIND ABUSE
THE POWER OF WRITING
(CHILDREN’S FICTION)
I gave a lot of strength to a kick; enough for Mama to know I was there. And when it was time to slide through, I did not struggle with the midwives. I often assume Papa was there sitting behind the curtains when they are pulled shut to cover the bed area. I often assume his hands were pressed close while he said a loud enough prayer to God. A prayer which might as well change my life.
Papa nodded as if suddenly recapping something. “Where are even the nurses? There is Madrid’s match this evening.”
Whenever he said something of that nature, I took a sip from the water bottle on the wooden desk. The warm water inside the bottle had assumed the role of alcohol. It gave me pseudo relief. It dragged my mind away from reality. Away from the truth. Away from the incident of that morning. Away from the incident of every other morning.
As typical with every other morning in families in the East, our family rose for morning devotion a little after 5am each day. Papa always woke Mama and I while immersed in a queer, frightening sense of sobriety that seemed to possess him early every day. After waking us up, he chose a popular Psalm and sitting in the middle of the three seater couch, he recited it to our hearing. Afterwards, he knelt down and prayed while we watched morosely. His prayer was basically always of confession; strict confession such that but for ‘is’ and ‘was’ and different names, I could recite his daily confession after him each time. Papa was candid in the best way I had experienced. He did not mask words. He censored nothing.
He simply threw his head up, stretched his body and shouted a prayer, “Father, thank you for today. Thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for the gift of family. Lord, forgive me for all my sins. Look at my poor family. Convince them to forgive me for all my sins; all my misdoings to them. Father forgive me for sleeping with women who are not my wives. Forgive me for sleeping with the landlord’s daughter yesterday. Forgive me for touching the sales girl down the street. Forgive me for sleeping with Uchendu, my wife’s cousin the day before yesterday. Forgive me also, Lord, for the sins I am yet to commit. I will be meeting with Chizoba today. Help me not to fall into temptation with her body, Lord. But if I do, please forgive me through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
This morning, however, at a little above 5am, he did not wake me up. He did not turn on my light and walk away in his revealing boxer shorts. The boxer shorts with which he had slept with one of Mama’s friends some time ago. He did not walk into our spacious living room and start the Hail Mary. In my dream, I struggled. I was flatulent and this drove everyone around away from me. There were three storey buildings around us, and I was still wondering why I had to sit outside on benches with the other children while in the buildings, I could hear school classes on when all of a sudden, there was a storm.
The sky sounded funny. It struck thuds and thuds; sounds that seemed to come real when I rolled over and opened my eyes. My head was drenched with my own sweat or whatever liquid was on my pillow. It was dark but I could tell that the action thuds were coming from the bedroom I shared with my mother when I was much younger. I could not hear any voices but I was sure Papa was there. The only unusual thing that happened, however, was that I could not hear Mama’s voice.
I threw my legs down from the bed, slipped them into my slippers and made for the passage connecting the bedrooms. Although I knew the interiors of our flat better than anyone else having stayed indoors most of my life, I chose my steps as though I were touring a strange road at night. I could feel some air penetrate the fancy blocks at the passage. I could even perceive the soup of the previous night. Beside the passage door, there was an old plastic cup with a syringe in it. And then there was a bottle of otapiapia, rat poison. Every night, Mama sucked some of the poison into the needleless syringe and with it applied the poison in every corner of the kitchen. When we woke up, we met lifeless cockroach bodies lying around the kitchen floor, and a hangover of the stench of the poison. Once, the poison had killed a rat.
As my toes touched the hard, red cement floor nearer the door leading to Mama’s bedroom, my heart throbbed. The thuds soon became slaps and slaps, blows, I could not tell what exactly he was doing each second that floated by. I could not tell whether I would be able to breathe; what I would do when the victim turned out to be Mama. Water gathered in my eyes.
When I got to the door post, I could hear sprinkling. I was too scared to move further so I pressed my back to the wall, while subduing my heavy breaths. What was Papa doing? Was he urinating on Mama? Why would Mama even let him urinate on her? I imagined I was an American child. At this point, I would call 911. I would shriek like they would over the landline. I would cry into the phone speaker in polished English and have a concerned voice calm me down. In about two minutes, I would hear an ambulance which would take Mama away for intensive care.
However, for those two minutes, I stood still. My heart stood still also and my spirit seemed to have entered the bedroom and watched the sprinkling go on and on. My spirit had just entered and seen Papa in his regular sky blue office shirt, when there was a glow. A yellow glow over the walls.
Although I willed to stay still and take everything in, I saw my legs hurry into the bedroom. There, Papa stood in his revealing boxer shorts over Mama. He looked at me.
I did not know whether to run, hide or take hold of the coke bottle containing petrol, sprinkle it over myself and burn with Mama.
In the hospital, a different story was spreading. The doctor told the nurses that Mama was suicidal because Papa had cheated on her.
I took another sip from my water bottle. Papa was flipping the newspaper more nervously, floating his eyes over the pages. It was easy to imagine him as a younger man in search of love but not as young man in search of Mama.
Mama had told me stories of how Papa had come for her hand in marriage. She said that she had never wanted to marry at the age of eighteen but living with her aunt as a servant, she had been pushed to marry Papa. She said that Papa used to come around when her aunt was not around, to help her do the laundry. He would buy her gifts and force her to receive money from him. However, although Papa owned a car and showered gifts and love on her, Mama insisted that after six months, she still wanted nothing to do with him.
By then, Papa worked with the government house as the special adviser to the governor. For this reason, Mama’s aunt and indeed her entire household worshipped the floor on which Papa walked. Being a young orphan, it was not long until Mama began to yield to him.
After two months they courted, Mama got married to him. One afternoon, however, after I was born, Mama got a phone call from a woman who claimed to be Papa’s legitimate wife. She told him that she wasn’t even the only woman, who had borne Papa a child. The only difference, however, between them and Mama was that Mama had given him a male child.
When Papa returned from work that day, Mama had confronted him. Mama told me that that was the day she lost favour with my father. She told me that he had left the house after two weeks and had returned, according to her, a “changed person”.

I was vehement enough with the boulders in the yard, two weeks after Mama’s discharge from the hospital; lumps that had vowed to defy the strength of two men and a jug. Nana was watching me. I tried to twist the ankles of one of the large stones, noting how I would possibly break my back if I tried lifting. Troops of sweat slid down my spine brook. The other fellows were watching me. I lent my face one palm, which I used to swipe across my forehead, ready to burrow sideways. I was as well praying. Praying that the boulder would not toss me across the street to the area where the girls packed up grass into wheel barrows, which the younger fellows would then convey to the NO PARKING ZONE, where the public service trash van would find them.
As I stayed still, ramming into as many calculations as my brain could manage, someone approached me from behind. Now was my only chance to prove my ability, otherwise, if another shadow fell over the boulder, I would later be said to have been helped. I tugged at the stone, pressure overwhelming me. My head felt hot like the lid of a boiling pot. I tugged again. Sweat oiled the feeble hairs that sprung from my arm. Then, spreading my legs as far apart as they could go, I lifted waiting for the snap. It did not come. Instead, I was overcome by glee, hoping Nana had not averted her eyes. I did not mind the pool of sweat pouring into and smarting my eyeballs. I burrowed the boulder sideways. Surprisingly, it moved. The half moon grass underlying the stone had turned to the colour of earth as I pushed. Now, I could hear Nana’s voice, although unable to make out her words from the sweat gushing into my ears. She sounded frightened, and I knew she was still watching me, her knees clenched and eyes pent up.
Nana was yellow and prim all the time. She had a dark, tall mother. Her father was late five years after Nana was born. Many said he was yellower than Nana, with a golden hair and ash teeth. Although Nana had only been five when her father passed away, she spoke of him as though she had spent a lot of time with him, as though he were still with her. When she spoke about him and I looked at her, I could tell that she still missed him. The other fellows and I never saw her in the mornings. She was always indoors with her mother and a little, old maid, Sera.
I was heaving non stop now, as I had to guide the boulder if I did not want to lose the tips of my fingers. Although I willed, I could not burrow further. I had only to mark time before dropping. The spreading of my legs had reached its limit. When this happened, I remembered that I had had nothing to eat yet. The other fellows too; probably why they stood watching me. I took in enough air through my mouth, bloated my chin and let the air roam the inside of my mouth. My sweat was now as thick as blood, I could nearly hear the thuds against the earth. Securing the safety of my toes by shaking my legs and looking over to see their position, I dropped the boulder. I could do this again. I could do it till the boulders all around got to the fence, three yards away.
When I looked up, however, I was shocked at what I saw. My chest was heaving greatly and I was not sure whether all that effort was commensurate with the half moon of earth I had secured. The older fellows were lifting the boulders, two by two, like they were merely air bags. I was nearly, however, going to congratulate myself for burrowing mine a half moon closer to the fence alone when I looked beside me and saw Odera. He was touching his knees, and doing some sort of waist exercise. Before looking at Nana, I had to be sure whether he was the reason I had lifted the boulder. He winked at me.
“Ariel and seven other good spirits are inside this one,” he chimed. “Look at how our fathers are carrying theirs.”
I nodded quietly and looked away. My neck could not help me locate Nana’s eyes now. I imagined how silly she must’ve thought we were; two fellows lifting the youngest boulder with such difficulty. Even the tortoise would have hit the fence earlier than we had secured the half moon of earth.
Odera had lately begun to attract my senses. When his family arrived two years ago, I could worry less about him and pleasing the girls. He had been short and small by the arms; it had never mattered to me what good face he had until he finally outgrew me. One could not find a fault with him though. He was plain and funny and sensitive. He was also good with himself, as though he were maximizing the use of an affordable product he had purchased with his own money. He visited everyone equally, and worked nights to find everyone a nickname which he felt they would enjoy. Only lately had he begun to step beyond my boundaries. Boundaries I had recently readjusted without informing him.
He was looking at me for a while, waiting for a reply. I did not want to look at him. I did not want to look at anybody. I wished Papa were there. I reasoned that if he had participated in the lifting as did other fathers, he would wipe the shame off my face. At least, Nana would know that when I grew up to be like him, I would be able to lift a boulder way past a half moon of earth.
“Do you see what Nana is doing?” Odera asked, and I did not realize he had abandoned his patience for my reply. “She is trying to lift one of the boulders. Do you think she can do it?”
I glanced at Nana. She was laughing with the other fellows across the street, her flay skirt dancing with the comely breeze. Her spotted legs were hidden in a pink hose. As her eyes averted towards us, I swept my eyes away.
“Sure,” I said, folding my arms.
Before we all went upstairs after the Sanitation, the fathers bought us okpa, wrapped in hot banana leaves. Odera sat on one of the boulders as he ate, wagging his chin in reaction to the hotness of the meal. I opened my wrap, contemplating on whether to eat it downstairs or upstairs. I watched as smoke sprayed my eyes and the aroma of the meal leapt out. The mothers were already calling my fellows in to bathe and to eat proper food. One of the mothers, Mama Kamsi unfolded the hems of her wrapper as she got to where I was.
“Okigbo,” she said, “Your mother wants you now.”
I looked up. “Good morning, ma.”
Then, I closed my wrap and ran into the yard, upstairs to meet my mother. As I ran, I imagined I was in a lot of trouble although it was out of place to think so. I imagined she was disappointed in my inability to move the boulder to the fence. Disappointed in the manner I had responded to Odera, and in the manner I had envied the fathers. I did not know what she would say about the okpa I had received but although I had enough time to hide it in my pocket as I knocked, it could not leave my palm.
She looked at my face as she opened the door. The old electricity bills pasted on our door made our house too familiar to me. Most times, we found geckos hiding behind the papers. I had been pursuing them for years now.
“Nno, welcome,” she said, “Did you find the work too hard?”
I shook my head quickly and entered the house, quietly placing my slippers under the wooden structure supporting our fridge. The kitchen had been swept. The curtains had been held aside, and the lights turned off. As I walked into the dining to have breakfast, she touched my arm.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“Okpa.” I laid the wrap on the table and waited for her sentence.
“Who gave you?” she went, watching the wrap as one would a blue moon. Then, as if to lend the moment entrance, a ray of sun glided across the dining table and landed on the wrap.
“The men bought it for us. I received mine directly from the seller,” I explained.
She looked at me again. “A random seller?”
“I wouldn’t know, mama,” I responded.
She looked at me again, longer than the first time although I had until then failed to record her eyes avert from me for once. She then leaned forward and touched the wrap as if by touching it she could detect the randomness of the seller.
“Throw it away,” she said, “Eat your food and go and bathe.”
I could not argue with her, and I could not vouch for the random seller because if I did, she would attribute my utterance to my being a gourmand. I dropped the wrap in the waste bin in the kitchen, pulled out my chair and sat down. My spoon was laid out neatly beside my plate, on the tray. Mama was still watching me as I picked it up and plunged it into my rice. I knew why she was watching me. She was watching me to know if I had appetite for the food, in order to be able to tell if I had somehow eaten outside. Mama never gave me money. She always gave me enough to eat and enough water to drink. Those were my major needs according to her. She bought me every other thing based on her discretion. Those other things were tagged, wants.
I was still thinking about the okpa, which I had been ordered to throw away. My nose had imbibed the aroma of the meal. Mama did not make okpa at home. She only bought me some when we went to the market at the end of the month and could not get home early. The last okpa I had tasted had been ready in my presence. Mama never bought edibles from people she knew with the slightest string. This, I thought, prevented her from making new friends or continuing with the old ones.
I hurried through the first five spoons as she stood watching. Although I was hungry, I had no appetite for rice and stew on a Saturday morning. However, I never complained as other children did. I never protested when she laid out my clothes. I never complained when there was too little salt in the food.
“What happened downstairs?” she asked, pulling out a chair to sit beside me.
I gulped some whole rice in order not to look like I was hesitating.
“We cut grass and moved boulders to support the fence,” I said. I drank some water, waiting for her reply.
“Your grandmother is doing better now,” she said quickly as though she had been waiting for me to finish my statement.
I looked at her, gulping some more whole rice. She had a strange look on her face, as if she was neither happy nor sad. As if she did not know what she said.
“Oh,” I said, “Very good, mama. Very good.”
She crossed her fingers on the table. “Yes. I appreciate God.”
After breakfast, I took my bath in our creamy bath tub, put on the clean clothes she had laid out for me on my bed, and lay down. I thought about the fathers downstairs. How they laughed when I could not use the cutlass. I thought about how the little girls sat on their laps, reaching down to the ground with a stick, while the men prevented them from falling or hurting themselves. The fathers of our yard were mostly young. They came out very early in the mornings to jug and smoke cigarettes, their calves jutting out like split coconuts were stored in them. On Saturday mornings, they went down the street to have palm wine at Omasili’s restaurant. I admired them walking together, especially when they invited their young sons to join them. They had invited me once but Mama had thanked them on my behalf, while I was taking a nap.
Mama came into my room while I was falling asleep. The sound of her feet jolted me fully awake. They were strong and firm like that of a man. She sat on my bed and asked whether I was still awake.
“No, Mama.” I looked up. There were traces of tears on her face. I wanted to ask but I knew she would say nothing reasonable to me. However, I knew what must have been the cause. It was either Papa had refused to pay my tuition fees or that someone had reported his activities to her. The last time, M’moge had told Mama that she had seen Papa with a beautiful recent widow. He had dropped by at her house with loads of beverage provisions. The sound of Mama’s catching throat that evening stayed impressed in my heart. She told M’moge that I had no beverage provisions at home. Every morning, I went out to buy sachets of powdered milk and choco.
As I looked on at Mama, I imagined Papa’s prayer had worked. I imagined that Mama were dead. I imagined what I would be doing if Papa was planning her burial. I imagined he would invite those strange women into our house to replace Mama. I could recall vividly how he had looked over Mama’s bed in the hospital when she regained consciousness and prayed that she would die so that he could use some freedom.

Later that evening, Nana sat close by me at Prof’s house. She smelled of soft, milky lotions mingled with light dust. I saw her as a statue with that smell. She came by Prof’s house every week last year. Early this year, she began to come every day. Prof said she was at a stage when most girls did not know how to sing well, so, the slightest chance Nana got, she sang down buildings. Her tiny voice was not swell or even well mannered. In fact, she smote keys, knocking them together, then raised them on G flat, her usual way.
The manner at which I fool myself by believing I can tell music notes apart is the manner at which Nana believed she could sing. I had heard her sing so much that after three full months, I could not tell if she had improved or whether I had simply got used to her singing. I had learned to nod in the light manner in which Prof did. However, my nod, however light I stream lined it to be, could not carry as much glory as Prof’s did. It could not make one shudder at the volumes of books I must’ve read. Books as heavy as pregnant goats. It could not make one imagine the level of authority I had in English Language. Prof did not speak like us Nigerians; neither did he speak in the accent of the Whiteman. He was of a strange breed; the well educated breed. Watching him speak gave me a strange sense of satisfaction, and although he employed bogus words sometimes, the context in which he used them gave me clear understanding of what they could mean. Yet, when I think of it, it’s possible that when he spoke, the manner at which he pampered and cushioned words made them sound bogus. I would rewind my brain, overturn those words, weigh them, and then understand them.
Prof was often free at 10am everyday including Sundays, as he did not attend service except on Christmas day. He had a little maid, Oruoma, who swept the house, bought him newspapers and local drinks, and grinded tobacco for him.
As the early sun rose every day, he sat in his comfortable chair, lodged beside aloe Vera plants on his veranda, with his pipe, newspaper on his lap and a local drink by his side. With every puff of smoke into the fresh air, he took in deep breaths and then beamed of satisfaction.
In the evenings, he spent time with the children living around us, who like me, enjoyed the movement of his head and the manner at which he seemed to drift to sleep at the most interesting point of his stories. When he came all awake all of a sudden, he claimed to have risen from the dead again. Because of this, we thought he not just had authority here on earth but even more hereafter.
I wanted to rest my chin on Nana’s shoulders as the sun fell. She was looking out into the yard. For several moments, she seemed lost on the spot where a mother hen was scratching out her last meal while her chicks squeaked, ready for the last dose of the day. I had often laid down, pictured Nana and I looking over Prof’s veranda, at the sunset. Each time I thought about this, I could feel her warmth; Nana’s soft breath stroking my neck as she leaned on my left shoulder. I hoped that she would sing, while I backed her up no matter how badly or sadly we did so. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, Nana only knew me as the boy with the poorly matched rubber slippers. She would watch my feet when the other boys made fun of me, with no emotion. I knew the boy she liked; Okigbo. She never sat next to him or the other boys. And when Prof asked us to choose partners for an English game; only then did she notice me. She would then trail her left palm over my khaki shorts like I was something she held down while she sought what she wanted.
“Why do your preachers say, Jehovah overdo?” started Prof, watching me. He had had his third drink for the evening. The one he claimed gave him a good night sleep. Sometimes, he spoke to us in the manner of someone who was only speaking because he had to.
I moved my lips and held them shut, staring back at him. I did not know why our preachers said Jehovah overdo. I had never even heard them say so. Besides, if I thought long enough, nodding internally, Prof would turn to someone else as he mostly did; slowly and with an edgy smile on his face.
“I want answers because I’m worried,” continued Prof, still watching me. I stared further, counting the veins on his forehead, wishing to be one of them so that he will not have to look at me till he brought a mirror to himself. “Has God erased something out of His good conscience, only to bring it back to life?”
Prof’s stare was daunting, disrobing. Whenever he watched me, I felt like a city set on a hill, and my body burned with a slight fever.
“I think our preachers mean to say God does more than we ask of him,” Okigbo said from far behind. He was in the company of the boys who sat next to the railing.
“You know why I ask?” Prof began again. “You Nigerians rely on God for everything.”
Okay, first; Prof was a Nigerian. Again, it was the instruction the Bible gave us. I leaned closer to hear him defend his assertion. He laughed when he saw me leaning closer.
“See? This is the problem. We Nigerians have itching ears. We go about listening, looking for the truth whereas the truth lies within. Have you tried connecting with this truth? This truth may be of a different opinion from what the general public holds to be true. But then, that’s why we are individuals. And if at all the truth we tell ourselves turns out to be a lie, then, we can still rejoice,” Prof said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you have made use of yourself. The precious brain that God has given you. He wants you to make use of it. It’s not just for collection of data…”
When we retired for the night, Nana could not leave my mind. I knew that if I told her of my feelings for her, Mama would kill me. Her mother would kill me. I had a lot to talk about but no one to listen. I pulled my notebook to myself. In it, I sketch my mind and initialled all the data it had collected; from Papa to Nana; from Nana to Mama.
Soon, I was writing. For a moment, I looked up. No one was judging me for the things I said. And I felt a lot lighter like one of the boulders had been removed from me. I wrote about the things I wanted. I wrote about how many children Nana and I would bear. Till I was ready to be listened to, I slid that notebook under my dresser. It became my best friend. It knew me.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

8
Votes



11:45 AM

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

11:45 AM
Author : Eze Nwa

09034477790

Ezenwa is a vibrant and creative individual with an interesting personality. A penultimate student of University of Benin, he can’t help being ambitious. He possesses a blend of outstanding qualities which distinguishes him as a youth living in this present day society. Known for his great sense of humor, he connects with people. He is free spirited, passionate about writing, art and poetry, interested in sports and fuels an undying love for books.

Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

A Friday night turn up with the guys gone wrong. A one night stand triggering a slippery slope of unpredictable and grave events.

NEPA decided to be angels and restored power that morning. The sharp brightness emanating from the bulb right above him pierced deep into his sealed eyelids. Shielding his eyes, he squirmed under the sheets, slowly drifting back to consciousness. Opening his baby brown eyes, he could only see an undefined blur. Struggling to sit up, he carelessly let out a yawn and outstretched his lean frame. Raising his left hand to his eyeline, he peered at his Black Edifice Two Tone watch and he still couldn’t make out the time.
Yawning again, he felt a mild pounding resume on his temples and a tinging sensation buzzing in his ears.
“Goddamn! Another Hangover!” He cursed. He threw aside the rumpled sheets and prodded up on wobbly feet. Still rubbing his crusty eyes, he managed to make the trip to the bathroom without a scratch. A steady gush of water oozed out of the washbasin’s tap as he twisted the head and bent over to wash his face. The warm water felt like stings upon touching his face.
Straightening back up, he twisted the tap again, killing it this time, and stared at the mirror right in front of him. A pixelated picture of his shirtless, skinny, mocha toned reflection was all his brain could register. Suddenly trickling into his head were bits and flashes of his wild revelry and brazeness some hours earlier. He turned to the door and dragged down what he knew to be his soft towel.
“Phew!!!” He whooped as he stepped out of the loo, with his blue towel veiling his sight as he wiped his wet washed morning face. Dragging his feet lazily on the carpeted floor, his left foot caught something. Something taut like an elastic and upon further feeling, he noted it had this foamy texture.
What could that be? he wondered with his face still buried in the towel. Uncloaking his face, his eyes darted to this entangled foot. It was a black blur. Bending over, he picked up this “thing” with his left and felt it again. Foamy with a lacy material.
No. No way. It can’t be. He denied in his head as a wild thought crept into his mind. He wiped his eyes vigorously with his free and looked at this object again. He certainly had to be seeing wrong. His denial was downplayed as he still saw the same thing. It wasn’t his blurry vision playing tricks on him. He was actually holding a bra a black, sexy, lacy cup.
How on earth did this get here? I mean, what’s a bra doing on my floor? was the query on his now troubled mind.
Instinctively, his eyes roved about the room of his self contained apartment and met a not so pleasant sight. Everything was thrown about in a big mess. His red shirt from last night was lying on the floor twined with his singlet. His Jean trousers was on the edge of the plastic table. His shoes were in another corner. But that wasn’t just all. It wasn’t just his clothes littering the place. He saw that his 32 inches flat screen TV was partly veiled by a red dress.
“What the hell?” He spat in confusion, as he walked towards the TV. Unveiling his tv, he looked at the dress with a frown. He gasped loudly as another wild thought hit him.
“Slow down. Hold up a second,” he muttered as he tried to work it all out rationally. He woke up with hangover solid proof of him being definitely high last night after all the shots he downed. The room was a mess. He was holding a bra and a dress. So, a drunk him, a scattered room plus the bra and dress equalled …… He trailed off.
“Hell no!” He shook his head vigorously in negation, not wanting to concur with his drunk skull’s analogy.
“Only one way to find out…” He thought. Taking a deep breath, he slowly spun around with his heart thudding like spontaneous booms from an Ak 47 rifle. The bed slowly came into full view and he stopped dead. His eyes bulged. His jaws dropped. His knees jerked out of control. Goosebumps materialized all over his skin, although the fan was not causing enough chills. And his deepest fear was confirmed. What he deeply wished was only an illusion. He knew that was what it was but still couldn’t help but wish it was all a mirage.
Right there on his bed, the conspicuous curvy outline of a female’s 8 snuggled under the sheets was undeniable. With her curly perm scattered about, she lay peacefully asleep with her face to the wall and her round ass to his face.
But no part of his flashes and memories of last night included him bringing a girl home. So…..
He snapped out of that realm of thought when he realised that she was also naked underneath the sheets. A naked girl in his bed? Did he just have sex with some random girl from the club he just met? He wondered. At the thought of this, he felt his gorge rise.
Good God! He wanted to scream but no sounds escaped his agape mouth. Nervous and nauseous, he was pacing about the large room, lost in his pool of thoughts.
“Who could she be? What if she’s someone I know? Maybe I a stranger? What if we didn’t have sex?” His head was certainly going to explode from all those thoughts running through. His footsteps were now becoming loud enough as she stirred unconsciously and tossed around, bringing her face into full view. At this point, he nearly passed out. His sub conscious whispered, “Well done, Boy. You just had sex with some strange chic from the club.”
He was still dealing with that shock when an even bigger one hit him. What if they didn’t use a condom?
“No, No. No freaking way! Hell nah! It couldn’t possibly be!”
“Hey, Denzel,” a slurred throaty voice called with some urgency. “Your yell woke me up. Are you alright??” she queried, squinting at the figure backing her. She struggled to sit up with one hand clutching the sheets to her chest while the other served as support. A startled Denzel sharply spun to see the face of his one night stand. Good Lord! She was pretty! Her face was like a masterpiece of art like Day Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Her charming brown eyes, perfectly chiselled nose and titillating little Cupid’s Bow lips all in one visage. Damn! She was adorable!
But Denzel was blind to all that beauty, he didn’t notice. He didn’t even care at the moment. With eyes wailing of anxiety, desperation and fear, he gazed deep into hers. Heaving heavy breaths, he took a step forward, advancing towards her. Finally finding his voice which was now cracked by despair, he asked, “Please, tell me we used a condom.”
Scratching her eyes with one, she covered her mouth with the other as she yawned. “Good morning to you too,” she sounded sarcastic.
“Now is not the time for pleasantries. Tell me, did we use a rubber last night?,” he pressed on.
“That’s supposed to be your call. You’re the one to wear the condom, remember?” she was now getting tipped off.
“Please. Don’t evade. I’m the last person you want to play smart with right now.” He was sweating now.
“Denzel, What’s your problem? Why are you acting up this morning?”
“You know my name?” He couldn’t hold back his amazement.
“Seriously?” She scoffed.
“Who, in God’s name, are you?” He finally asked, scratching his head and looking all dumb.
“I am the girl whose name you were screaming the whole night,” she said with sass. “You don’t remember, do you?” one could now note the hurt in her voice.
“Perhaps, I had too much to drink,” he said with regret.
“And you don’t remember a thing?”
“I remember some things. I just don’t remember you or bringing you home or having sex or anything,” he fessed up.
“Seriously?” She scoffed, rolling her eyes. “Typical. Very typical.”
“So we had the time of our lives and you don’t even remember? Do you even remember my name?” She questioned sternly.
“Just tell me we used protection.”
“No, we didn’t. You were too high to get the rubber on. The moment was all too steamy for any lagging so you just went ahead anyways.”
“Eeeehn? You mean we hit it raw??” He couldn’t believe his ears.
“Mhmm hmm,” she affirmed.
“I think you should leave,” he stated plainly, handing her the dress.
“Oh, yes. I plan to. Can’t be with a guy who blames the alcohol for everything,” she spat as she snatched her clothes from his hand and started getting dressed. He watched her get dressed, silent and dumbfounded. In a matter of seconds, she was done. Climbing down the bed, she picked up her bag and shoes.
“Uhmmm,” trying not to sound off, “So, what’s your name?” Denzel asked. No response. “Hey, I didn’t mean to ……”
“Denzel, stop,” she cut him off. “Let’s not make things much more awkward than they already are,” she said, still with sass.
Sighing, he knew he had messed up. “I could get you an Uber.”
“Never mind, I know my way around,” she refused.
“I insist,”
“And I refuse. Never mind,” she shot back.
His silence was the response she needed. Buckling the last strap of her heels, she walked out the door without another word.
Denzel was still rooted in the a same spot as it all unfolded like a movie right before his eyes. Picking phone, Denzel dialled a number. After a couple of rings, the connection went live.
“Denzel!” The other Husky voice hailed.
“Yo, Faust! Wargwan?” Denzel responded.
“You no dey sleep?? You’re disturbing my sleep o. What is it?”
“Its past 11 in the morning. Faust, we need to talk.”
“About?”
“Last night”
Faust broke out in a giggle. Denzel grew hot. “I’m serious.*
“What about last night?”
“What were we up to last night?”
“We went for night vigil at Redemption Camp,” Faust shot back, stifling a laugh.
“I’m being serious nau!”
“What exactly are you talking about?”
“Did I take some girl home from the club?”
Now, there was full blown laughter on the other side. “You were the champion last night. You went home with the trophy.”
“Damn!”
“Any wahala?”
“No ooo. Make I call you back abeg,” he said in pidgin.
“Later now. Sofrii o.” He hung up. Jesus! So he actually did bring home a girl from the club and smashed without the rubber. Immediately, he sent a group text to the squad, telling all 5 of them to meet up at the spot at 1 PM. He threw his phone on the bed and collapsed in the plastic chair. Staring at his ceiling, he was blank. His stomach churned loudly. Damn, he was hungry.
****************
“Yo, Tony!” Denzel called. “Pass me the lighter.” Tony immediately tossed the lighter towards him and Denzel sharply caught it in the mid air with his left hand. He raised it to his lips and shielded it with his right hand. Just one flick with his left and a little orange flame with blue base jumped out. Guiding the flame to the tip of his rolled blunt lodges between his lips, he successfully lit his blunt. Swirls of smoke danced off the burning tip into the hazy air. Puffing hard, Denzel reclined in his chair and took the joint from his lips as thick white clouds oozed from his nostrils and parted mouth.
“Abu, pass me the Benylin, Biko,” he hollered at another of his friends in the corner.
“Denzel, slow down o. That’s like your third wrap. You’ve had one bottle of Lin already. Easy, man!” Abu warned.
“Are you sure you’re fine? This one you’re acting pregnant,” Tony jeered at him.
“E clear sey Na the weed dey do you abi?” Denzel shot at Tony.
Finally speaking, Faust said, “Alright, people. Denzel, what is it? You called this gathering. We’re here because of you. So what couldn’t wait?”
“Nothing really, bro. I just needed the company,” you could tell he was lying. “So who had fun last night?,” He threw the question, trying to subtly get answers to the bigger question bugging his carefree mind. Faust saw this and decided to stay mute, quietly sipping his own glass of Hennessy and Lin mixture. Tony whooped.
“Last night was mad real!!” Tony jumped right in. “Mad, bruh! We certainly killed it yesterday!”
“Dude, I can’t even explain. It was lit as hell. That DJ was killing me the whole time!” Abu picked up too. “We were just popping bottles and downing liquor. Then this mad man here,” he was pointing at Faust, “took it to a whole different level and ordered a full casket! You dey craze o!!”
Faust stifled a chuckle. “What to do nau? Denzel’s own business was the shisha. The guy was just sucking the thing like it was breast milk.” Everyone, even Denzel, laughed at this as he remembered that part.
“What? You can’t blame me. The flavour was too good!” Denzel justified.
“And the girls were all over you eehn! All of them were just drooling over you as though you had chocolate dripping from your body.”
“Seriously o! You were stealing everyone’s shine yesterday,” Abu seconded.
“Can’t blame me for being a fine boy,” Denzel winked.
“Idiot! Why didn’t you take all of them home with you na,” Voke shouted from behind, just coming out of the toilet.
“Hope you flushed that toilet well?” Denzel teased.
“You can come and check o. Fool!” Voke clapped back. Another bout of laughter.
“In the end, after all the fine boy shakara, was it not only one girl you took home?” Faust finally struck the chord looking deep into Denzel’s eyes.
“I couldn’t take all home. I’m not a Hilux pick up truck,” he tried to maintain composure.
“So how was it?”
“It was good, I guess.”
“Good?”
“Great. Memorable.”
“So I’m guessing you won’t be forgetting her name anytime soon.”
“Now that’s where there’s a problem. I don’t remember,” he fessed up.
“Its no biggie if you don’t remember her name. I mean it was just a hit and run thing,” Tony stated.
“No. Not that. I don’t remember anything. Like I don’t remember shit from last night.”
“What??!” Faust couldn’t be hearing right.
“I blacked out”
“Hell nah!” Voke squealed.
“No freaking way!” that was Abu’s.
“Hold up! You took home the hottest girl in the club last night and you don’t remember what happened afterwards,” this was Voke being rational.
“Exactly. I just woke up and saw her in bed with no clothes on,” he explained, taking another puff of the weed.
“You definitely hit it,” Tony wouldn’t stop. Maybe Denzel was right about him being high afterall.
“But you used a condom, right?” Voke asked.
“Are you deaf or just a numbskull? I don’t remember!” He was sweating again. “She said it was raw.”
“Damn!”
“No way!” They gasped.
Faust was silent the whole time, sipping his mixture and watching the drama with such amazement. Not as much as a cough did he let out.
“So, what did you do?”
“What was I supposed to do? I showed her the door in panic,” Denzel was not even holding back bits of gory details.
“That ain’t right,” the rational Voke said. “You should call her.”
“With which number? Ehn? I don’t even remember her name.”
“Denzel, chill,” Faust finally spoke, stroking his beard. “I think you should get tested.”
“What for?” Denzel didn’t want to believe it was what he thought.
“HIV. Herpes. Hepatitis. You name it,” Faust listed.
“Hell No! No freaking way I’ve got all that from one careless night,” he defended.
“Well, hate to break it to you, baby boy but once is enough,” Faust reminded him. “Just get tested.”
“Besides, when was the last time you got tested,” Voke asked.
“Not anytime this year?” he said shrugging.
“What the hell??! Dude, its July already and you ain’t even tested??”
“Never saw a reason to till now,” he sounded grim.
“The Deadly Denzel!” Tony hailed. “If woman no kill you, you’ll live forever.”
“Something must kill a man,” he responded with a smile, puffing another cloud out of his nostrils.
****************
Nenye settled into one of the seats at the bar, right in front of the bartender. Ever enchanting, she blew the poor dude away with her smile.
“I’d have a martini, please,” she ordered.
“Classy!! A martini coming right up,” he concurred and disappeared behind the table only to reappear moments later with the lady’s requested drink.
“Thanks,” she winked. He flashed a smile and walked away, not taking up her light for a quick flirtation. She smiled at the thought of this. She hadn’t even taken the first sip when her phone rang. Looking at the screen, there was no caller ID. That’s strange, she thought as her finger slid through the screen.
“Hello?” Nenye picked the call from the unknown number and saluted, but the other end of the phone remained quiet.
“Hello? Anyone??” She tried again.
“Hi,” a husky voice finally came through.
“Hello there. Sorry, who am I on to?”
“Nenye, you need to get tested,”
“Tested? What are you talking about?”
“Yes, tested. You know what I mean, Nenye.”
“And who are you to tell me that?” She was visibly pissed now.
“Its me, Alex. Remember?”
“Huh?? Alex??” Her frown dissolved into a gaping expression of shock.
“Yes, Alex. I know I promised to stay out of your life and I know it might not be a good time, but I certainly had to tell you. Go get tested.” He hung up.
“Uhm, Alex??” The response she got was a static beep signalling the dead connection. She couldn’t feel her face. Why would Alex tell her to get a tested? What is this happening to her? Why’s her life taking such wrong turns? She couldn’t help but ponder. First, it was an unprotected one night stand with some random queer guy some weeks ago. Now, a call from her estranged ex who she ditched months ago that she needed to get tested for HIV. “God! Where’s my life headed,” she cried within. “Could things get any worse?” She just sat still in that same spot for unaccountable moments.
Finally, she picked up her phone and ordered an Uber. Destination? General Hospital, Ikoyi. She couldn’t believe she was actually going to take the test because he just told her to, but she knew she had to. Moments later, her black “chariot” pulled up outside the bar and she downed her drink in one gulp and left a generous tip on the table before heading out. Getting into the Uber, she was dead quiet with her face to the window. So lost was she that she didn’t notice when the 15 minute drive was over as they rolled into the Hospital premises.
“Madam, we’re here,” the driver alerted.
“Oh.” she said, snapping back into reality. “How much is my fare?”
“1,350, ma.”
Pulling out two one thousand naira notes, she handed them to the driver, “keep the change.”
“Thank you madam,” the driver cheered but she was already out and headed towards the front door. Walking in, she ignored the smell of drugs and aura of sickness.
“Hello, Good afternoon. I’m here for my HIV test,” she said at the front desk.
“Go to the Counselling Room. Last room on your right,” the male nurse directed.
“Thank You.” With every step she took towards the Counselling Room, she could hear that little voice telling her to just turn around and go back home. Stubborn as a wild mule, she knocked twice on the door, turned the knob and walked in.
Some minutes later, she stepped out with a piece of paper and headed to the lab where she met a grave, unsmiling woman who took the slip from her and offered her a seat. Seconds later, a little needle pricked the tip of her thumb and droplets of her gore were taken on a piece of glass. She was told to wait at the lobby for her results. Just as she stood to leave, she felt nauseous. Her gorge was rising. She was going to throw up. Covering her mouth and holding her stomach was her futile attempt to stop it from coming. The unsmiling woman immediately gave her a deep iron bucket and in a second, she filled it with her vomit. It was a seemingly endless stream of throwing up. Spitting out the residue on her tongue, she wiped her mouth and looked up at the unemotional woman.
“Thank you ma,” she was really grateful. Gesturing at the bucket of mess, she asked “Where do I take care this?”
“Don’t worry about it. Just drop it and wait outside for your results,” was the reply.
“Thank you, ma,” she repeated and was about to leave when the woman said, “You should do a pregnancy test too.”
************
She stepped out of the hospital a whole different person. She was now unusually conscious. She now savoured each breath, she felt aware of every step. Everything became brighter and much more alive. Or is this what dying feels like? She had seen movies and read books of how terminally ill and dying persons happened to see life differently from a deeper perspective and how they happened to suddenly be fascinated by the little things.
Both tests had turned out positive. HIV and Pregnancy. She just had a pronouncement of her death sentence. To complicate issues, there’s a life in her. Men are scum, she thought. How foolish she was to believe Playboy Alex would stay faithful and let him hit it without protection. Virus has been there for some months now about a year, the doctor said. But what about the Pregnancy? 3 weeks old. And the last time she had sex was exactly 3 weeks ago. She gasped loudly at the thought of this. 3 weeks ago, she had an unprotected one night stand and now she’s 3 weeks heavy. “Goodness, Nenye. Why do you have to be so stupid?” she kept on asking. Getting another Uber, she zoomed off to her destination. Climbing up the short flight of stairs, she walked up to the door. She suddenly stood still. Taking deep breaths, she tried to maintain her composure. Finally, she knocked hard on the wooden door. She listened but there was no response. She knocked again. And again. And again. Till a voice called from the other side, “Hold on a second.” Her heart skipped a beat at the sound of that voice. Her hands were now fiddling.
The sounds of the door being unlocked were like bullets to her head. The door slid open and Denzel came into view. Denzel could not help the bulging of his large eyes. What is she doing here?, he thought.
“Hi,” she finally said.
“Hello,” he said, surprised he could talk.
“Uhmm, can I come in?”
Denzel stepped aside and opened the door a little bit more for her entrance. Walking in, she noticed the apartment was neater.
“Please sit,” he gestured.
“Thank you,” she said, lowering herself into the chair.
“So what can I get you?”
“Nothing. Water should do,”
“Water coming right up. One second,” he excused himself to the kitchen.
“Relax, Nenye. Relax,” she thought. “You’ll just tell him like you were told too.”
He reappeared with a bottle of water and a glass which he set right before her.
“Thanks”
Sitting down on his bed, he waited until she had drunk a reasonable amount of water before he spoke. “So, to what do I owe this visit?”
“Denzel, we need to talk,” she said after a deep breath, setting down her glass.
“OK?”
“About the other night. We didn’t use protection and…….” she trailed off.
“So?” he shrugged.
“Denzel, I’m 3 weeks pregnant,” she finally let it out.
His face squeezed in a frown. “OK, cool,” he stoically said.
“No. You don’t get it. I’m 3 weeks pregnant for you,” she stated a lot more plainly.
“Huh?? What?”
She nodded her head.
“How is that even possible? I don’t even know your name,” a dazzled Denzel queried.
“We had sex, remember?? Its been 3 weeks since that night.”
He stood up from the bed and stepped away from her. “Who gets pregnant from a one night stand? I mean, who does that?”
“Once is enough, Denzel.” She was unusually calm and her voice was still as she handed him the test results.
“Wrong guy! You’ve definitely gotten the wrong guy,” there was certainly no way the child was his. I mean, he certainly isn’t ready for that kind of responsibility. Besides, how sure is it that it was even his? He definitely isn’t the only one hitting that, he thought.
“Listen up, uhhh,”
“Nenye,” she helped him out.
“Oh, Nenye. Nice name, by the way,” he gave flattery a shot. “Listen up, you might be pregnant. But that life in your stomach is certainly not mine. I’m sure there’s a boyfriend somewhere responsible for it and not that little incident of ours. Besides, that night was a mistake. So, Please, for the love of God, I’d appreciate it if you just cut this out. I really can’t take this bullshit,” he said with emphasis looking deep into her eyes as each word cut her deep.
“Denzel…..”
“I think you should leave,” he walked up to the door and dragged it open.
*Sending me out again? Very typical,” she fought back a sob.
“This time, you’ll leave and never return. Erase every bit of me from your thoughts and memories. Because the next time you’re 100 yards close to the door, I’d make you see the devil in all his glory. Now, out!” He thundered.
Sniffing, she stood up and smoothened her braids. She walked up to him at the door with the prowl of a tiger and stood toe to toe with him even if he was 2 feet taller.
“I didn’t just do a pregnancy test. I didn’t even plan to do a pregnancy test,” she smirked. “You should get tested, Denzel.” And she walked out, giving him one last view of her provocatively alternating hips.
************
The dark outline sharply contrasting her fair skin drew down both cheeks. She had been crying again. Streams of tears washing off her mascara guzzled down, leaving indelible impressions. Her eyes were lucid. Lucid, hard and dry. Her face was an expressionless mask blank with clinical cynicism. Heaving rhythmically, her chest told of the steady breaths she took.
This outward calmness was a lie a deep betrayal to her visceral chaos and conflict. Her eyelids blinked reflexively in quick flaps. Maybe as a reaction to the harsh wind raising up the dust and bellowing across the city especially at this altitude of over 700 feet above the ground. The view from this height was breathtaking. Lagos looked beautiful that night. The roads were lit by solar streetlights, headlamps and brake lights of zooming cars like electrum. The other skyreaching structures and bright lights, all reflected by the still waters underneath the Lekki Link Bridge. But she was blind to the city’s beauty, too numb to be enchanted by its electrifying vibes. Too lost to even notice the school of bats that just flew overhead. She was buried deep in the anarchy of her troubled soul.
She let out a long sigh and took a step forward. A step closer to the edge. Her dry eyes looked straight ahead of her, hard with resolve. She took another step, pushing stones and dirt off the concrete edge. Conflicting voices were clanging like cymbals. Another step. She let out one deep, long breath and spread out her arms like an eagle about to take flight. She closed her eyes, savouring the chilly air and let go of everything. Through her parted lips, she spat, “Its over now, Nenye. Its over.”

I-agree-to-terms-conditions

6
Votes



Broken

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Broken
Author : Osita James Uche

+2348036470810

Uche Osita is a graduate of law from the University of Nigeria.He was the president of the Nwokike Literary Club UNN and has had his stories published in Lionspot, Kalahari Review, African Writer, Ynaija, Scriggler, and Okadabooks. He is a freelance writer and is the founder of the Okike Prize for literature
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

A 12 year old girl loses her mother and subsequently goes into depression, occasioned by the imperious treatment she receives from her stepmother. She finds succor in a priest and her diary, but she may never find out why her father chose to remarry barely a year after her mother’s death.

Golden rays of Sunlight passed through the stained glass of St Gregory Parish, Enugu on a cold September morning. On a kneeler, beside a wooden cubicle was a 12 year old girl. There was absolute quiet, except for the chucking sound of Yusuf working his shears on the overgrown hedges in the church premises and the indistinct whisper of the little girl to the man in the cubicle.

“Father bless me for I have sinned against you, my last good confession was yesterday. I have sinned before heaven and earth, and my sins grow heavy on me and burden my heart. I come forward this day to ask for God’s forgiveness and these are my sins.”
Father Patrick frowned, he recognized the voice and he knew what was coming next. He however made no attempt to stop her.
“I tried to forget Mama.” A pause.
“I have been writing in my diary, and I wrote that Mama is a horrible person for leaving, for making me suffer so much.”
“I still hate Mama Dubem.” Another pause.
“These are my sins.”
The priest sighed. He could feel, rather than hear her crying.
It was the 10th time that she had come forward to make the exact same confession. And he had tried to talk her out of her grief. He had told her that the true pathway to peace was through forgiveness, that Mama probably hurt her by dying, but that she should forgive her.
After the confession, the priest came out hurriedly to meet Ann before she skipped off to God knows where.
“Ann!” He called as she crossed the wooden door at the end of the Central Isle.
“How are you today?”
“I am fine father.”
“How is your father?”
“He is very well, father.”
“And your Stepmother?”
A pause.
“She is fine.” She said finally.
He laid a hand on her head, she looked up.
“I hope to see you tomorrow after morning mass, I have a story I will like to share with you.” Her face brightened.
“Yes father.”
Alright then, send my regards to your father.
“I will father.”

**************************************

11th September, 2010
Dear Diary,

The world was pretty and colorful, full of love and peace. There was laughter, and there was joy. Then, all I felt like doing was laugh and smile. To take in as much as I could of the bliss all around me. Mama was in the centre, dishing out dishes of love like a goddess of festivity and stirring and stirring the deep broth of happiness. Papa was a jolly partaker, just as I, in the times before there was darkness.
I want Mama back. Even though right now I don’t know how I feel about her, but if she were here it will all be alright. I wish sometimes I was there, on that day Papa and Mama went to visit Aunt Amaka. Maybe she would still be here.
I wish I was there when the accident happened, when Papa somehow came out alive and left Mama behind, to die.
I see her everywhere, in my dreams, in the faces of people I see in the street, on the face of my teachers and in the mirror when I go to the bathroom. Am I wrong to want her back? Am I wrong to wish that the last thing I told her was not that I hate her, for not letting me come? Does God really care? Father Patrick promised he loved me. Did he love me enough and yet let Mama die? Did I do something so wrong, this had to be my punishment?
I wish I have been dreaming since last year. That Mama Dubem, Dubem and Kenneth are not real and that Papa has not changed.

****************************************************

Ann flipped a page of her text book idly. Her mind was wandering, from school to the loads of chores Mama Dubem had given her and the fact that the boys got to sit around and watch TV while she did their laundry, cleaned the house and did the dishes. She flipped the second page, something about calligraphy and many artistic letters that she was supposed to imitate in the next class.
She sighed and closed the book. She then pulled out her diary from underneath her pillow. She went to the door and peeped to be sure no one was coming, then she settled down to write.

September 15th ,2010
Dear Diary,

Today is the day Mama died a year ago.
I remember the beeping sound of the machines I pleaded with to keep Mama alive. They kept their words for 2 months, though she never actually woke up. I remember that Papa was not his cheery old self. That his clothes were ruffled and because he was always in the hospital, praying and holding Mama’s hand, he exuded a stale sweaty odor that made the nurse that was assigned to Mama cringe her nose whenever she saw him, disgust written all over her face. I recall how dispirited Papa was, when the Machine betrayed us, and stopped beeping. How lifeless Papa looked kneeling at Mama’s bedside, too astounded, too surprised to cry.

**********************************************

Father Patrick sat across the room from Ann. She was holding her knees and watching him expectantly.
“How was your night, hope you slept well?”
“Yes father.”
“No bad dreams?”
“No father.” He raised an eye brow. “No bad dreams.” she insisted. She had complained of bad dreams in the past, dreams in which she was been pursued by a faceless person.
“Ok. So, today I want to tell you a personal story.”
“Of course you know I was a boy once, as young as you?” She nodded twice.
“When I was young, nine years to be precise, I lost my father.”
There was silence.
“I am sorry for your loss father.”
“No need for that, you see it was all part of God’s plan.”
She looked down, she didn’t seem to agree.
“Yes, it was.” He insisted. “If my father had not died then, my mother would never have sent me to live with Father Christian. I would never have become a priest.”
“So, God killed your father to make you his lifelong servant?”
“That is not what I said.”
“I meant that his dying was because it was his time, but God works in mysterious ways. It was that string of event that eventually led me here to this place, this day, here with you.”
“Father, who decides when it is a person’s time to die?”

He thought about it for a while and then said;

“God ultimately does my dear.”

“Father did God decide that Mama had to die?”
“Good Lord, No! Why would you think such a thing? God is not a killer.”

“What I mean is that every time a person comes across a life threatening situation, if their purpose is not yet fulfilled, God often saves them. If not, he allows events to run their course.”
Silence.
Then she spoke up;
“Father is that the story you wanted to tell me?”
“No, not at all.”
“Are you ready for the story?”
“Yes Father.”
“Ok, here it goes.” He cleared his throat dramatically and she laughed, this made him smile.
“A long time ago when I was just in seminary, in my third year if I can recall correctly, there was a boy that every one hated because he was strong. He could bully and beat up anyone who got in his way and he was often in a lot of trouble because of his behavior. We used to call him bulldozer. He had earned the nick name after he had been accosted by a senior seminarian during assembly for flying out his shirt. He had continued to walk forward even though he was been called, to go to the back and await punishment. When the seminarian accosted him and attempted to force him to the back as instructed. He then thrust his leg behind the seminarian and tackled him to the ground. He was Bull dozer ever since. He had bull dozed the formidable seminarian to the ground. As was customary, when the session ended we were instructed to write the names of people we felt were no longer fit for the program, and as was expected, we all wrote his name. But in the night of the last day of the term before vacation, the rector’s house was set ablaze by unidentified persons. No one was brave enough to try and save him. Seminarians were busy rallying students about to fetch water to quench the thirsty fire, Bull dozer however, ran straight into the burning house and came out some minutes later with the unconscious body of the rector. Today, Bull dozer is a priest, just like me”
Her eyes widened in amazement.
“Really?”
“Yes.”
“Now, what lesson did you learn from this story.”
“That bad people can be good”
“Well, yes and?”
“That sometimes, some things need to happen for the good in people to come out.”
“No! That is not it.”
“Do you want to try again?”
“No Father.”
“Are you sure?” He said looking in the direction of the bowel of sweets he always kept for the occasion.
“Yes father?”
He sighed.
The lesson is forgiveness. Bulldozer was already on his way out of the school. He was not going to return for the next session. He was done with the seminary and it was the rector that sanctioned it. But when the rector was in danger, Bull dozer came to the rescue. If he had not forgiven earlier, he would never have been moved to help at all.
But there is also something else I must tell you
“Do you want to know what it is?”
“Yes Father”
“Do you remember the part in the bible that says; love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Yes Father.”
“Good, very good.”
“Forgiveness also works the same way.”
“If you carry anger or hatred in you, your heart never truly knows peace. But when you forgive those who have offended you, your heart is freed and the burden of hatred and anger is gone. But sometimes, we start to feel bad for having not forgiven all those times. It brings sadness. For instance, a father who is angry with his son and later forgives and reconciles with him is often sad that he held unto that anger for so long. Even if he has eventually forgiven his son, he did not forgive himself. It is therefore important that as we forgive others, we should also learn to forgive ourselves and accept the things we cannot change.”

***************************************************

Ann came home one evening to see her diary on the floor of the living room. Dubem and Kenneth were still both watching Tv. They didn’t even hear her come in.
“Ann!” Mama Dubem shouted.
“Ann!” She shouted again, before Ann replied.
“You are back, good. Here” She said, giving her some money. “Run downstairs and buy maggi cubes from Mama Kosy.”
By the time Ann came back, she could not find her diary.
“Dubem!” She shouted to draw his attention. “Where is my diary?”
“How am I supposed to know he retorted, slightly irritated.”
“I saw it on the floor when I came in.”
“Then get it from there then.”
“Did you hear me, I said I saw it on the floor. How did it get there?”
“How am I supposed to know?!” He said, this time loud enough to attract the attention of his mother
“Aunty” She started when the woman demanded an explanation. She never called her Mother or anything of the sorts.
“I can’t find my diary.”
“And so?”
“Please, I can’t find my diary”
“So because you can’t find your wretched book we can’t have peace in this house again.”
“It was in my room when I left, but when I came back it was in the living room, on the floor.”
“And so what.”
“After I came back from the running the errand you sent me on, I came back and now I can’t find it.”
“I really couldn’t care less about your suspicious diary. All I know is that you will not disturb my peace in this house over some nonsense diary.”
Silence, even the TV seemed to have taken the cue.
“Do you hear me?”
“Yes Aunty.”
“Now go and get a broom and sweep this house. Your father is about to come home and God knows he hates an untidy house.”

*********************************************************

1st November, 2010
Dear Diary,

Maybe Father Patrick does not understand. How do you forgive a person that does not want to be forgiven?

***************************************************

Ann was sitting at her table writing. She had found the diary after three uneventful weeks in a pile of laundry in Dubem’s room. At the time she had felt many things; anger, pain and relief but now, she was simply grateful. Papa had been in the room earlier, he had complained of being called by Mrs. Pet, Ann’s form teacher and told that she was performing poorly, in comparison to last year. He had taken one look at her diary and started; that spent all her time writing on it than studying and how much of a bad daughter she was becoming.
She had not been able to concentrate since he left. Each time she opened her books; the pages swam into one another, and often turned a bright creamy colour – the colour of her mother’s coffin. She only ever read after she had written on the diary to her satisfaction and there was no emotion left to tell. She ever so wished the diary would not ever go missing again. And Seeing Papa yell at her like that reminded her of the things she could not have, an understanding mother that took time to find out what the problem was before laying blames.
In the evening, she went for choir practice at St Gregory. Father Patrick had finally convinced her that she could serve God better that way, and that he who sings well, prayed twice. At first it was a drag having to learn solfa notes that sounded like a bunch of organized noise. With time , she came to enjoy the labour of learning the notes, in other to get the songs right, with a conscious musical precision. She found that each time she sang, a part of her was lifted and united with God. Her smile grew wider and her demeanor brightened.
Mama Dubem forbade her ever sing in the house, as though to ensure that the gloom she escaped every Monday and Thursday evening still remained. She would later tell Father Patrick about it and he would tell her that happiness was not something people could give and take, that only a person could decide whether or not to he wanted be happy.

*********************************************

16th May 2010
Dear Diary,

Papa is getting married. I have no say in this but I know this is a betrayal to Mama. I cannot understand how Papa intends to replace her. I have refused to go along with it, even though he has come to tell me and introduce me to the new wife. The wife has two children. Kenneth, a six year old boy and his brother Dubem, aged seven. They look like we will never get along. I wish Papa had other siblings, I would have told him I want to stay with one of them. I am stuck; I have nowhere to go, no choice, no hope. I have not even been given enough time to mourn Mama. Papa has said he is only doing it for me, but I don’t understand him. I don’t believe him. This is going to create a rift between us, I do not know whether I will ever forgive him for this

**************************************************************

Father Patrick drove silently to Parklane hospital. He had earlier received a call from Ann; she had said her father was in the hospital and that he had been involved in an accident. He was not used to running to the aid of every single person that called in the middle of the night, but this was Ann and her father’s life was in possible danger. They last saw each other just this evening, right before choir rehearsal. And as he drove, he tried to recollect exactly what she had said. He recalled her saying, that she was finally ready to forgive Papa. It came as a surprise to him; he had always known how strongly she resented her father for marrying Mama Dubem. But then she had explained that Papa had come very early this morning and sat at her bedside as she slept. When she had woken, she was shocked to see him but he had said he had something he had to tell her. He recalled how she couldn’t continue because she kept crying in between words. He had told her to take her time; that she didn’t have to tell him then. She had however motioned to her diary, a little red book she seemed to carry everywhere. He had been hesitant, a diary was thoroughly personal. He even suspected an entry describing him as a glorified servant, with inferiority complex incapable of logical reasoning unconnected with faith. She had however turned some pages in the book and stopped at one and given him to read. It read;

1st December 2010,
Dear Diary,

Papa came today and sat on my bed as I slept. I know this because when I woke up he was there staring down at me. I was confused. And when I greeted him, he barely nodded in reply. Annabel, he had called me. No one called me that since Mama’s death. In the times before her death, I remember being called Annabel for a treat, or a reminder that tomorrow was someone’s birthday, or to try on a new cloth, or any other good thing possible. Always something good and it was always Mama. He told me that he loved me. He said that he was sorry for everything that happened and that he wished he had told me then, but he was too consumed in his grief that he never really came around to doing that. He said that he loved Mama very much and would have done anything in his power to save her. I was mad at him for saying that. How could he say that, how could he, when all he had done was stay silent and tell me that he was going to marry Mama Dubem. But he told me that when Mama was in comatose, that he was in dire need of money. That after he sold his car and his properties, we still didn’t have enough money to pay for Mama’s hospital bills. He was desperate, the doctor threatened to pull the plug and we were up to our neck in debts. That was when Mama Dubem had come into the picture; she had come bearing Greek gifts. She was Papa’s one time love in the past and was eager to help. She paid every bill that came afterwards, down to the day Mama died.

As he drove, he hoped that Ann’s father lived, after what had happened, he was certain if he didn’t she may in the end never forgive herself.

*********************************************************

1st December, 2010
Dear Diary,

I do not know at this point exactly how am feeling. I have been sitting silently in this room beside Papa and holding his hands, urging him to live – for me.
Father Patrick, Mama Dubem and her children are all here. And their presence gives his silence a certain finality.
I wish I had more time before it was time for school this morning to tell Papa how I felt, how trapped I was in my grief, and how sad I had felt when streaks of happiness seeped into my being – betraying Mama’s memory. I wish I had told him this morning how much I loved him; of the deep seated emotions I have harbored these past few months, of how difficult it was for me, to want to cry but know that it was futile, of running into a void that seemed to harness and amplify all the emotions I detested, of hope and of despair. I wish I had known all these while, that he did what he could and understood his sacrifice.
And even though I am not certain of many things, I am certain of just one thing; I will wait.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

7
Votes



86400, My Last Seconds Alive

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

86400, My Last Seconds Alive
Author : Samuel Sope

08088516272

I’m A student of the University of Lagos studying Quantity Surveying
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

A young boy commits suicide and his best friend finds a voice note detailing the horrors of his last seconds on earth.

PROLOGUE:

I was trying really hard not to think about how the day went and the things that could have changed the decision I’m about to make.
The pocket knife in my hand was staring at me, almost seeming alive. It was as though it was beaming with excitement at the thought of what I was about to do. I picked up my phone and went through my gallery once more. I couldn’t control the tears that fell from my eyes on seeing my friends and family. They were all very important to me, and they were the reasons I’ve survived this long. I saw a picture of mom and dad smiling on my matriculation. Another picture of my friends and I on a boat at Takwa bay, laughing like we had no Care in the world.

I dropped my phone on the bed and locked the door. I didn’t want anyone accidentally walking up on me. Not like that would happen tho. I picked up the pocket knife and smiled at it. It would end it all. Such a tiny object had the power to save me from the grievous mistakes I’d made in a single day.

I pressed the pocket knife against my wrist and watched as my blood was dripping slowly onto the bedroom floor. All I felt was a little sharp pain that lasted for a really short while. The small silver knife was my only way out.

I sliced both my wrists with the pocket knife and placed my head on my pillow. As I was about to pass Out, I heard a knock on the door. I was too weak to open my mouth, so I just lay there hoping the person would go away.

I looked around my bedroom and I realized there was blood everywhere. Suddenly the door burst open and someone came rushing to my side.
“Why” I heard the person say. All I could do was point at my phone and hope the person gets the memo.

CHAPTER 1:

I got a phone call from Temi telling me that he loved me, it wasn’t like it was unusual tho.
I decided to go visit him at home since it’s been almost two days since we’ve seen each other.

On getting to his house, I realized the gate wasn’t locked which was quite weird. I went inside and headed straight for his room. I got to his door and knocked, but there was no reply. I knocked again, thinking he was probably asleep. When I didn’t get a reply I tried to open the door and realised it was locked. I was about turning back when I Heard sounds of someone gasping for air.

I forced myself into the room to meet my best friend lying in a pool of blood. A silver knife was beside him. As I rushed to his side still confused, the only question I could ask was “why”?

He pointed at a phone on his bed and he suddenly went limp. This could not be happening. How I got my phone out to call Temi’s mom and Dad for help, I do not know. The only thing I remembered doing was picking up Temi’s phone and putting it into my handbag.

In a very short while, Temi’s parents rushed down with an ambulance. The look of utter despair on his parents face could not be missed. His mom gasped and started wailing when his body was wheeled out of his room. His Dad just closed his eyes like it was all a dream as though when he opened it, his beloved son would still be alive.

I was still in shock at the whole procession. The only thing I could do was to hug his mom. It felt comforting, I think. Suddenly and without warning, his mom started gasping for breath and before I could do anything she fainted. The medical practitioners on sight rushed to her side and started giving her first aid treatment. In a matter of minutes she was conscious.

She looked at me with deadly eyes, a coldness seeping into her being. “You killed my son!!!”she shouted. She said it with so much venom that I’d to step back from her. She picked up a stone and threw it at me with dead accuracy. The stone connected with my chest and the pain I felt was excruciating. The strenght behind that throw was unnatural. She looked at me with no remorse and she kept advancing towards me. “You killed my son” she kept saying. The people gathered around finally came to my rescue. They held her down and she was forced into the ambulance.

“Go home” one of the adults on site said to me. I looked around and what I saw was a look of sadness and confusion on everyone’s faces. I brought out my phone and ordered an Uber. In a matter of minutes, my ride was there. As I sat down in the black Mercedes, I felt the pain of the throw once again. As I closed my eyes in the vehicle, the horrors of the day came flashing back at me. The tears I’d been holding back all day suddenly began to flow and as I reached for the tissue in my bag, I felt Temi’s phone.

My hands were vibrating after coming in contact with his phone. I brought the phone out and unlocked it. The first thing i saw was a picture of us at Takwa bay, we were having so much fun.

I was about pressing the lock button when I noticed something unusual, a single message on the notification bar. The message read, “Voice note saved.” I realised that the voice note was saved as 86,400. I’d no idea what that meant.

I searched my handbag for my earpiece then plugged it in, it was time to listen to 86,400.

THE DEAD TALKS:

Hello, so I guess you’re listening to the voice note I left behind. To get access to my phone, Dara must have unlocked it. She’s the only one who knows the password. “I love you best friend.”

As you already know, I’m dead. The small silver knife was the only thing that could save me.
You must be wondering why the ever smiling Temi killed himself, why he decided to commit suicide, well it all happened in the space of a day.

Back in primary school when we were being taught how to tell the time, we were told that we had 24hrs in a day, 60mins in an hour and 60 secs in a minute. That was just the basis. At that point in time we weren’t taught that there were 1,440 mins in a day neither were we taught that we had 86,400 secs in a day.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I saved the voice note as 86,400, you’ll get to understand once you’re done listening. It all started by 1:15pm:

I woke up to a knock on the door. It was Dara. She’d come to visit me as usual. We were supposed to go see a movie later in the day. She sat down on my bed, looking all dolled up and pretty as usual. I stared at her and smiled. She made me happy.

She forced me to get up and go take a shower while she went through the videos on my phone, yes we were that close. I didn’t take time taking a shower. On getting out, I saw that Dara had taken her jacket off, and she didn’t have much clothing under. She may be my bestfriend, but damn!!! The girl has got some package. She caught me staring and looked straight at my face then proceeded further down to my towel and smiled. “I can tell you like what you’re seeing” she said.
She was teasing me badly and I couldn’t take it.

With my towel still on, I ran towards her and started to tickle her. She was begging me to stop, but I wouldn’t. This was her punishment. Maybe I should have stopped though, because something not quite unexpected happened. While I was tickling her and she was laughing, we inched closer, laughing in each others face and smiling like crazy. In the heat of the moment, our lips touched. It felt so good. This was something I’d wanted for a long time.

She pulled my towel and gasped. “Wow” she muttered. I just looked at her smiled. I got to work removing her top, there was no going back now.

3hrs later, we were both lying on the bed breathing heavily when I whispered “I love you Dara.” The next thing I knew she was throwing her top on and trying to get out. I’d to run after her. What’s wrong I asked. She looked at me with a sad face “I don’t love you Temi, at least not in that sense.” That hit me hard. She came closer to me, hugged me and she walked out of the room. That literally became the worst moment of my life, or so I thought.

I was in shock at what transpired between Dara and I some minutes back. I sat down on the bed regretting every action I took that afternoon. I didn’t know what else to do so I brought out the codeine hidden under my bed and mixed it with the sprite I’d left. I slept off after downing an entire bottle. It was the only way to forget.

I woke up later that night with a crazy headache, I needed to get out of the house. It wasn’t helping matters. I took a quick shower and picked a T shirt from my wardrobe. It had the inscription “love me not” written boldly on it. Even the universe was messing with me.

THE DEAD MEETS A STRANGE GIRL

I stepped out of the house to get some fresh air. I couldn’t stay inside brooding all day and night. The evening air was chilled, I decided taking a walk was better than standing outside. I got out my earphones and played my favorite playlist. The first song that popped up was “Beware” by Big Sean. I just nodded my head and my mind was in sync with the song. In time, I wasn’t thinking about Dara anymore. Music is life and with the right songs, you can forget the worst moments.

I was so engrossed in the music that I got runned down by a cute girl in a Lexus R350. A car worth about 5million naira. The girl parked the car and came up to me asking if I was injured and all that. She had a slight British accent which was hot. She insisted she take me to the hospital for a check up just to be sure.

I got into her car since she wouldn’t let me be. We got talking on the way. She told me she just got back from coventry university hence, the slight British accent. Her name was Seun by the way. Her dark brown hair with light brown eyes and a slightly chubby cheek with a very large dimple made her look like she was from another race of superhumans.

The hospital was a drag. After the test and all, the doctor confirmed I was ok. By the time we were done with all of this, it was quite late. Seun insisted I spend the night in her house.
Apparently, she had an apartment which was close by.

When she said apartment, I’d no idea she meant a mini mansion. We got inside and I was like wow. By now, I’d forgotten all about everything that transpired between Dara and I.

Everything about the building indicated class. I could see Persian rugs and French doors all over. She looked me over and asked me to feel at home while she changed. I switched on the TV and started watching Trace. Music was my escape. It always will be.

A gentle tap on my shoulder woke me up. Seun was standing over me, demanding that I wake up and try to eat something. I didn’t even realise I’d falling asleep on the couch. While I was asleep, she’d gone ahead to make a dish for me. She brought out about 5 different dishes and placed them before me. The first had rice in it, the second had ofada sauce with exotic meats, the third was fried sauce with pork, the fourth had salad in it while the 5th had a barbeque sauce in it. I just stared at everything and opened my mouth. What did she expect me to do with all this.

I ate as much as I could and drank a bottle of wine. Seun just smiled and made small talks all through the meal. She was pretty good at holding conversations.

By the time I finished eating, it was around 12am. We spoke for a while, talking about our childhood, school and family. Her father was a Politician, a member of the house of rep.

We decided to retire for the night and she showed me to my room. I was so tired that the moment I laid on the bed, I slept off.

I woke up the next morning to a very silent house. The events of last night being a blur. I was glad that somehow, Seun made me forget about Dara and I.

I went into the bathroom to freshen up which was easy since the room I was staying in was ensuite. After freshening up, I decided to say thank you to Seun and take my leave. I called her name but no one answered. I decided she was still asleep and proceeded to her room to wake her up.

I knocked about three times but nobody answered. “She really must have been stressed” I thought. I opened the door quietly and noticed that the entire room was still dark. The light was off and the curtain was drawn down. I looked around for the light switch and found that it was behind the door. I switched on the light and what I saw was horrifying.

I met a naked and crying Seun lying on the bed. She was tied and strapped to the bed, her legs wide open indicating that she had been raped. her mouth was covered and the bed was blood soaked. I threw up almost immediately. I walked up to her, threw a blanket over her and started to untie her. I did away with her mouth gag first and immediately a heart wrenching scream came from her. “Leave me” she screamed. You did this to me, it was you. “Temi you raped me.”

I didn’t understand what was going on anymore. I tried explaining to her that I didn’t do it, but she wouldn’t listen. she started screaming for help and I had to call an ambulance on her behalf and ran away. Before I left, She looked me in the eye and with a voice as icy as death, she promised to get revenge. “I regret my last 86,400 seconds” she whispered.

I got to my apartment around 10am. I was out of breath.I sat down on my bed and thought back on everything that had happened.

A few minutes after I got home, I received a call from an unknown number. I picked up the phone with a shaky hand. “I know where your parents live, they die tonight and so do you. You’ve a beautiful sister by the way.” The voice on the other end said. I couldn’t comprehend what just happened. Some moment later, I got a text showing my parents in their vehicle. These were things that happened only in the movies I thought to myself. This was really happening.

There was nothing I could do to protect them. I couldn’t bear to have them killed because of me. Seun’s dad is a politician which means he has connection and money. My parents were nobodies in d society. I got out the small silver knife from under my pillow and somehow, I knew what I’d to do.

Dara if you’re listening to this, I want you to know that this was partly your fault. If only you’d stopped me when we were about having sex. You knew I loved you even before that night and you knew you didn’t love me back. But you still slept with me. Dara, you’re scum and I want you to know it. You were the beginning of the end for me. The countdown of my last day alive started with you. I still love you tho, I always will. And just like Seun, I regret my last 86,400 secs.

I love you mom, l love you dad. I hope you understand why I did what I’d to. We shall meet again.

THE VOICE NOTE ENDS

It was evening already when I finished listening to the voice note. I couldn’t breathe as I got down from the Uber and made my way into my apartment. I killed my bestfriend, I killed Temi. I’m nothing but a scum. I should have told him to stop, I should have pushed him away when we kissed. I should have checked up on him later, I should have done something.

I sat down on the floor and the tears came out freely. The truth was, I really did love Temi but I was scared we’d lose our friendship if I allowed him, if I allowed love.

I stood up, went into the kitchen and brought out a bottle of sniper. There was no way I could live with myself after this. I opened the bottle and dropped it on the table. I picked up Temi’s phone and added a last voice note.

“I don’t deserve to live anymore.” I killed my best friend.

I saved the voice note and drank the bottle of sniper I opened earlier. It was time to join my best friend, the boy I loved, the boy I could have spent my whole life with. “This is the story of my last 86,400 seconds alive.”


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

66
Votes



The Woman in White

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

The Woman in White
Author : Ada Nnadi

+(234)8134660427

Ada Nnadi is a writer and an obsessive reader who gets high off the smell of new books. Her works have been published on a few online platforms.
Submission Category:

The Future of Africa

A mysterious woman in white tries to dissuade passengers from boarding a commercial bus.

If the day was scalding, the woman in white did not notice. With her white cap at a jaunty angle, the balloon like hat barely containing the light brown ropes of hair twisted into a knot, tip looking like a hand in a fist, flipped to one side of her shoulder, she wielded a big Bible in one hand and a gold coated crucifix in the other.

Standing by the side of the road, she spewed messages of hell and brimstone as commuters shuffled past her, some scurrying along in a bid out run their counterparts for a coveted seat in one of the many commercial buses that called out different streets and locations whilst trying to avoid getting shoved aside and unto the busy road.

The sun had risen, its rays strong enough to heat up the tar that paved the road but not enough that they’d leave a lasting singe on the woman’s bare feet. The small twinge of pain in her feet had reduced to a dull throb but every time she changed directions, feet hitting on a hotter part of the road, the throb gathered momentum, a stinging she chose to ignore. Her mission was more important.

“Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand! The Armageddon has come and we do not even know it! I tell you brethren, there are spiritual forces all around us, working against us! Ha di n’ihu, dikwa n’azu, di n’ebe n’ile!” White dress billowing about her, she gave three pumps with the huge crucifix in her hand and careened about the road, dangling in the line between drunk and possession by the Holy Ghost. An art that took years to perfect.

Almost a hundred yards away from her, a yellow with black striped commercial bus was parked.

The first in a line of others, its conductor’s cries of “Oshodi Isolo” nearly rivalled with her loud shouting. Although they did not know it, she was in constant battle with these people for the souls and money of their customers. This bus stop was the perfect location for evangelism and a morning cry session and most importantly, those that needed her real services.

With the help of the nsibidi symbols tattooed on her hands and on the leather bound Bible she waved around, they quickly recognised her and what she could do and would come calling but more often than not, these… conductors were winning.

On a normal day, she would have paid them no mind, but something about the bus this conductor managed, moving from side to side on the busy road, screaming “Oshodi Isolo” as loud as he could, trying to entice passengers to board his bus caught her eye and the woman stopped.

She adjusted her cap and narrowed her eyes at the bus first in line.
She blinked at it, turned to look at the road, at cars zooming past and then back at the bus, shuddering as a cold feeling washed over her and a tingling started in her hands, in the places her tattoos were drawn.

She looked at the bus again and shook her head.
“No,” she whispered. She was not going to interfere.

The tingling in her hands stopped as if they’d heard her, before starting up again, metamorphosing into a small buzzing feeling. Her locks of hair suddenly felt heavy, sweat had gathered at her brow, even her Bible seemed to be pulsing.

The woman gritted her teeth. She knew the drill. If she stood and did nothing, choosing to let what she thought was about to happen, happen, the buzzing would get worse and she’d be ridden with a severe fever for a week.

Muttering under her breath, finally reaching a conclusion, she sighed and grudgingly plodded her way to the bus. Her hand latching onto the arm of the nearest potential passenger, she said,
“Do not enter this bus.”

The man stopped to look at her, confusion furrowed in the space between his brows. “Eh?”

The woman let out another longsuffering sigh, pulling at a single strand of dread before repeating, a slight emphasis on each word, “I said, ‘do not enter this bus’. Take any bus apart from this one.”

The furrow in the man’s forehead deepened as he paused to study her, taking in her dirty feet and all white attire; Bible secured under her pit, hand gripping a crucifix, and appeared to ruminate on her words. That is, until a woman peeked out from the bus.

“Emeka,” the woman said. “Wetin happen? You no dey come again?”

Emeka turned to look at his friend, running a hand through his crew cut. “Na this woman o. She say make ah no enter the bus.”

At Emeka’s statement, the passengers in the bus who heard him murmured amongst themselves as the woman in the bus swivelled her head to glare at the woman in white, her eyes narrowed into malicious slits.“Eh hehn, what happen?” she asked.

The woman in white took a step back, the scrunity forcing her to feel a little self conscious. This was not what she wanted. It was why she had been so reluctant to walk up to the bus. She knew this would happen when she finally caved in and decided to intervene. This wasn’t the kind of attention she wanted.

She turned away from the woman in the bus and picked at the rhinestones in her crucifix as she replied,
“I just wan tell am and anyone wey wan listen sey make them no enter this bus. Na their choice to believe me or not.”

The murmuring of the passengers grew louder and the woman in the bus giggled before falling into fits of laughter. Her amusement in the quaking of her shoulders, she clapped her hands in the typical Nigerian display of disbelief.
“Hei, see me see wahala oo. This one don become your new form of begging eh? Are you not that woman that usually stands by the side of the road preaching about spirits and rapture? To stand for road don tire you? Is the sun too hot? You want money for pure water?” The woman asked, derisiveness shimmering in her tone. She slipped off her handbag and rummaged into it, bringing out a two hundred naira note and flinging it at the woman in white. “Madam, abeg take, go buy yourself Gala and one Viju milk and leave us alone abeg.”

Catching the money in mid air, the woman looked at it, studying it carefully, eyes moving from money to the woman in the bus before grinning. “Thank you, thank you,” she said. “But ehn, I have said my own o. He that has ears let him hear.”

Emeka watched the woman walk away before turning back to his friend. “Erm, Blessing,” he said nervously, adjusting the straps of his backpack. “E be like sey wetin this woman talk carry water o. Persin no dey know these days.”

“Emeka,” Blessing began, her voice cutting as she shifted her simmering gaze to her friend, the corners of her mouth turned up in a sneer. “You are not serious. You no serious at all! If you want, you can listen to the crazy cele woman. As for me, I am late for work.”

Emeka scratched his head, his concentration flitting from the bus to the woman in white and then back again, before choosing to move away from the bus and entering the one behind it. Some of the passengers who had watched the exchange, shuffled after him.

Rooted to her former spot, the woman in white played with her hair and watched the bus as it filled up. Her attention never leaving it, she continued watching as the driver ambled into his seat, revved up the engine and swerved the bus sharply into the road. He was switching gears and preparing to turn the steering wheel, when a truck, its tires screeching in protest as its driver tried to pull the brakes zoomed in from the intersection in the road. It crashed into the bus, pushing it a good mile from its original position before slowing to a stop.

A bang and the explosion of glass had been the loudest things following the crash before the screams of onlookers rented the air and an angry mob made for the truck driver.

The woman studied the bus, reminded of agege bread whose middle had been pressed in from holding it too tightly. Still, she continued watching, past the broken glass glistening like pieces of diamonds on the black floor, past the huge truck embedded into the side of the bus like parts of the same contraption, past the blood that had begun to drip from the bus unto the tarred road.

People in various stages of injury began stepping down, walking through both vehicles, confusion a prominent emotion on their faces. The bus conductor had taken the worst hit. A part of his skull was missing, brain matter dripping onto his face and clothes. The woman stared, taking care not to hold the gaze of any of them until her eyes found who she had been looking for.

Pain was the last thing Blessing could remember, screaming was the last thing she had heard, the last thing she had done and then there had been darkness before the flooding light came on again. She thought she had survived the accident but her jaw was dislocated, a huge gash ran from the side of her forehead to her left cheek, and there was a piece of glass embedded in her right eye. Her white blouse looked like she had soaked it in crimson dye.

When realisation dawned on her, panic began to flood her senses. She was dead. She was fucking dead. Whose fault was it? Whose fault was it?

And that was when she saw her. The cele woman. The peculiar way the woman looked at Blessing, a smirk on her face, made Blessing think that this woman could see her. ‘No,’ she thought. ‘This is all her fault.’

Rage blurring her senses, Blessing was in the woman’s face in her instant, growling and snarling. Her dislocated jaw could do nothing for her. It clamped in one direction when she wanted it do something else like form words.

“This is all your fault!” she tried to bark out.

The woman in white blinked innocently at the dead woman before her. “What? You want your money back or something?”

Blessing tried to get her mouth to form more words but all that came out was gurgling and more blood. Impatient and eager for revenge, she swung her hand instead, catching the woman in her face.

“What? What the hell was that?!” the woman in white said in surprise. “Wetin be your problem?” The place where Blessing had hit her throbbed. She was sure it’ll bruise later.

Ignoring her, Blessing gave the woman a grotesque grin and swung again but the woman in white leaped out of the way in time, catching onto her hand and throwing her forward. Both of them landed on the hard ground, Blessing on her back with the woman in white sitting astride her. Brandishing her crucifix, she brought it down on Blessing’s open jaw.

“Begone, you foul spirit,” she commanded, twisting the crucifix as Blessing writhed under her. “I am not thy enemy,” she paused, a small smile playing on her lips. “But shaar, it’s nice to know your life is worth two hundred naira.”

The woman laughed. She got up and dusted the dirt off her clothes, inspecting them as the blood from Blessing lingered on them for a while before dissolving into tiny wisps of smoke. “Human being go dey him own wahala go come come fine trouble,” she muttered.

With both hands wrapped around the crucifix, she pulled and quickly stepped out of the way just as Blessing tried to lunge at her again. A move she didn’t complete because her image grew dim, shimmering for a while before disappearing entirely.

The woman in white rearranged her clothes, trying to look as kempt as she had been before this whole ordeal. She studied her nails and daintily blew at them before collecting her Bible from where she had dropped it.

This was what she got for interfering. She was done for the day, tomorrow was another day.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

41
Votes



The one last king.

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

The one last king.
Author : Rexpeters22

2349077928390

Name is Onowu Nonso rex, I picked up writing as a hobby several years ago, although not yet published I have several projects which I believe would make an interesting read.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

An unprepared prince is called upon to lead his people against the cruelty of a powerful enemy, following the death of his Father the king, murdered by this encroaching enemy’ led by his uncle.

It began with the great division, when my father’s father divided the one great kingdom amongst his three sons. To his eldest son, my father karrion he gave the north alabroth and the east elanorrh To his brother warrith he gave the west banarrokah And to his third son balpapah he gave the southern kingdom ingkonarh All were pleased but one… For the king had a fourth son nurmenah, and to this son the king left nothing not land, castle or name … peop Nurmenah was the king’s bastard and the king recognized him not as his own… Ashamed by the disregard of his father nurmenah left the one great kingdom with a promise on his lips’ that one day he shall return to the one great kingdom if only to watch it burn. Afraid that one day nurmenah would return in fulfillment of his promise to bring about the destruction to the kingdoms, my father karrion together with his brothers hunted down the king’s bastard for many years … And when at last they found him… They were not prepared for none that day live now to tell the tale of the death of three kings and over four hundred men… Of my father’s house I am the only living heir to the northern and eastern kingdoms as I am my father’s only child… And of his brother’s warrith and balpapah I hold the singular legitimate claim to their kingdoms as they were never so fortunate to have had children of their own for they were young and yet to bond by marriage. Now the one great kingdom of three kings and three houses now has but the one…
My name is Karriwill and I am the one king of Aarmenan.
The four kingdoms still mourn the death of their late king’s and of all who weep my mother grieves the most for her and the king shared a togetherness that even the scribes with all their skill of words cannot illuminate… I try to comfort her but she is already one with the pain, one with the sorrow… But still I try anyways for hopefulness sake no matter how infinitesimal it may seem… Today I shall meet with the four generals of the four kingdoms, we must pursue this mystery, to understand how four hundred men lost their lives without even so much as one slain enemy on sight. My king the generals are here my aid informed me, good I shall be with them shortly… As I walked down the immense vestibule of my father’s castle proceeding to the war room I felt the walls closing in on me, I feel a fear inside of me that I may not be as great a king as my father or as his father I fear I am but a lesser man untaught wholly in the edifice of leading a people…
But I know I cannot show this uncertainty to my people I must be strong… I must be like my… No I must be better than my father… As the sentry pulled open the chamber doors all anxiety absented me and as i sat on my father’s chair I knew I was not alone. You all know why we are here I addressed the council…
Four hundred Aarmenan’s dead and we have not the slightest awareness of by whose hand they met their end… We cannot sit back and hope that whoever attacked my father and your kings would not soon visit us on the door steps of our homeland…
And also we cannot sacrifice more lives by sending them to recover an enemy they know nothing about… So my generals I must seek your assistance what must we do… It is not a matter of what we must do but how we do it said Glajiu general of the eastern kingdom… We are all aware of whom our kings where hunting, nurmenah your grandfather’s bastard… Should we not assume that your father and uncles met their deaths by his hand…? But it cannot be responded Roineeh general of the southern kingdom… Nurmenah was cast out without so much as even a bronze to his name… He possibly could not have prearranged such a Machiavellian scheme… Is it so complicated to understand…? Is this ruthlessness above such son, rejected by his mother, cast aside by his father, and hunted down by his own brother’s inquired the northern general Slangreh… If a man is desperate enough no limits are above or shall I say beyond him… So what you all are saying is that my uncle Nurmenah is behind this said the king… But how can we be certain that it was him and not another…. We are certain about nothing my liege said Roineeh but we do not have the luxury to wait and do nothing… Then it is settled we shall send ten men and not a soul more to find my uncle and bring him to stand trial for the murder of my father and his brothers… Do we all agree…? But my liege if four hundred men could not kill nurmenah then what well would be ten men, Dreneor general of the west asked the king… These ten men are not to kill my uncle, but simply to bring him to order… But if your assumptions are correct then we would have saved countless lives from the unkindness of a gruesome death… Let them begin their search at once from the plains of Eiesthrow where the kings were found… Do we all agree…?
Aye sire… Then it is done the king commanded. Three days now have passed since we sent out a party to pursue my uncle and I am yet to receive word of neither progress nor failure… I fear the worst, but still I hope for the best… However if by tomorrows ending I still do not receive word from they that were obligated with the arrest of my uncle I shall take matters into my own hand and hunt him down myself… For if I am to surrender my father’s throne I rather it be in battle with a helmet on my head, armor on my back and blood dripping off the top of my head… Than a crown on my head and a carpet beneath my feet
As I sat in the shadows anticipating a necessity I must ensure… I received a validation of my fears… Of the ten that were sent only one returned and I the most dismal form… Who did this to you I ask the legionnaire… Forgive me sire the soldier pleaded to the king… They were too powerful… Who the king asked, who do you speak of he again retorted… Tell me soldier so that we may avenge your comrades… You cannot defeat him, He is not alone; who do you speak of anxiously again the king asked… Nurmenah the legionnaire tenderly told the king before his broken body unconfined his essence.
Despite the despondency of such an unwelcomed matter I am pleased for I now know the slaughterer of my kin and by the gods this day I swear he shall pay for this betrayal… there shall be no rock, no mountain, no tavern, and no hole for him to crawl into and hide… if not tomorrow or the day after or the day after that, then be it one hundred days or a hundred years be it after I am long dead and buried and my son sits on this throne be it after he too is gone and his son sit on the throne of our father’s we shall find nurmenah and if we find him dead and rotten to the bone still shall we cut off his head and place it on a pike for all who travel our roads to see and my sons shall tell their sons that their grandfather Karriwill made this promise and indeed It must be satisfied for my father and my uncle’s to rest in peace and for our enemies to fear the kings of Aarmenan it must be satisfied.
What now must we do my king Dreneor asked the king…?
The legionnaire made mention of an alliance between your uncle and another, I believe his passing words were “he is not alone” nurmenah! My king is just a singular piece to the puzzle, whoever he has allied himself with clearly has a well trained military, equally disciplined as our ranks or even better…
Is it still unclear to you what we must do eastern general king Karriwill spoke softly to Dreneor…
Nurmenah has declared war on Aarmenan and we shall oblige in kind and as for whomever it is that supports his ambition we shall be prepared on the battle field when we meet this enemy we shall be prepared…
Is this truthfully, entirely for the good of our people my liege asked Slangreh of alabroth… assure your generals that this willingness to confrontation is not but for the juvenile purposelessness of revenge…
Would this haste to war righteously shield our sons and daughters from the pandemonium I fear nurmenah could bring? Say yes my king and we shall follow you to whatever battle you desire…
Yes king Karriwill replied Slangreh; to protect your sons and your daughters must we go to battle, but why too cannot this be for the glorious delight of revenge…
Begin preparations the king ordered, we leave for Eiesthrow at the break of dawn, this inanity would go no further.
Tomorrow we rally for battle I am self assured that my army would be victorious but I would a perjurer if I am to say that I am not unsettled by uneasiness…
I am without spouse or siblings my only living relative is my mother, perhaps I should meet with her tonight before I set out tomorrow, for fear that I do not return from my duty to my kin so that she may remember that I too like my father loved her dearly…
As I entered my mother’s chamber, I could sense that still grief consumes her, mother I called to her lightly hoping that she would deliver me relief or consent I to do same for her but she paid me no mind, as she sat by the edge of her window starring at halved moon with a shock in her expression I said to her…
Tomorrow I leave Eiesthrow, we have reason to believe that father’s brother may have gathered an army outside our boarders… we intend to halt them at Eiesthrow before they invade us here on our homeland, do you hear me mother? Again she said nothing, frustrated by my mother’s silence I spoke bitterly to her without any sense of reason or pity…
This is insane I said to her, your silence is deafening, if this is what I must return to then I pray the gods be so kind that I fall in battle, yes father loved you dearly, but do I not love you still? Is my affection so insignificant that it moves you not, are you just my mother and I just your son? Do I not mean more to you than a parasite you carried for nine months? Goodbye mother I said to her gloomily as I left her chamber, then I a moment before I departed I heard a voice I haven’t heard in a very long time, my mother called to me Karriwill my son, pleased at her calling I turned my gaze to her hopping that she would say more than just the sounding of my name and indeed she did, “Tarem Anudo Fer” slaughter them all she said to me, unsure how I am to respond to such a request I simply nodded my head in promise and proceeded to my bedchamber for a good night’s rest for I do not know how many nights this battle may span so tonight I try to enjoy the peace of home and family for tomorrow war!
I barely could slumber through the coldness of the night as I lay on my bed twisting and turning all I could think of was the joyous contentment killing my uncle would convey me when I put sword to his treacherous neck and watch him bleed like a goose without a head, oh yes this will indeed satisfy my want for revenge for my father and justice to my uncle’s nurmenah must pay for all the suffering I now endure this is but a worthy son’s duty to his father.
At last morning, as my servants fastened me with armor I am absent in gaze at the king’s sword “Errolith”, many myth surround the dented edges of this legendary weapon, some say it fell from the heaven of the gods, a gift to my great great grandfather Karre when he beseeched Thodunetheth the supreme at the battle of mandrarelle in a moment of downfall when all hope seemed lost and twenty thousand Aarmenan’s lay dead around him, Karre looked up to the heavens as the rain lashed his face and irritated his eyes he said to the gods am I to see my sons no further and hold my queen no longer, am I to die at mandrarelle and never to feel the gentle breeze of Aarmenan pastures, will you allow this distant people to build their temples where we have sacrificed you ox and cattle, will you not aid us, will you do nothing, shall Aarmenan burn? And then it happened with maddening strikes of thunder and fearsome bolts of lightning Thodunetheth tore open the heavens and Errolith came forth majestic as the grace of sun and terrible as like the darkness of the night, at the mercy of the mandrarelle army my great grandfather took up this divine weapon and with it they say he alone defeated the armies of the mandrarelle people.
The army is ready for you my king said Glajiu of the east to the king Karriwill…
And at once the king made way to the upper tier of his castle without so much as a hurdle of doubtfulness he began to speak to his people;
Brave soldiers of Aarmenan, today we are delivered an opportunity to avenge your bothers and your kings and to defend our people from the lunacy of an avaricious imposter who wishes death upon you and fire upon your households… today I do not ask you fight for gods, land or gold, I ask that you fight for the simplest of things, a sons love for his father and a father’s pride in his son.. I know I am young and lacking in the skills of war, but I am determined to the end to see that justice is served to the murderers of my father and uncles for I valued them profoundly… and if you too valued your father’s and thought prodigious of your sons then there would be no better day for you to show your quality… And when we meet this enemy in battle I shall say to him my name; Karriwill son of Karrion for remembrance before my sword pierces his armor and punctures his filthy malodourous heart so that when he journeys to the afterlife he shall know my name for whenever he comes across my father he shall convey “gono pittu amennille Karriwill nib a” it was your son Karriwill that sent me here and the king said no more.
The kings’ only desire in his rallying cry was to absent fear from the hearts of his men and stir courage and devotion in all that were called to do battle that day, but he stirred more than just these sensations, as he rode out to the streets on his prized black stallion Aclaunde a fire began to burn in the hearts of his people.

Eiesthrow at last, as my armies take foundation on the meadows of Eiesthrowin acreage there is no sign of my uncle or his army anywhere; I have sent several scouts to uncloak the enemies’ camp all to no avail, my generals plead me caution, they fear that if our armies’ should advance past the open fields of Eiesthrow and continue into the mountainous terrestrials’ of Kaulangdhe that all advantage we hold would be lost, I see reason with my generals, for to go further is to forfeit equipment and worry the men from end to end with fatigue and blistering feet… here then must we stand our ground said the king we shall continue to wait readily for nurmenah to come, and what happens if he fails to show himself asked Slangreh to the king, then we shall go home northern general and no Aarmenan life would be lost this day. And so we waited for hours vigilant, our eyes focused on all approaches of Eiesthrowin land but not a single being approached, as daylight turned into dark, the king ordered his armies to stand down… soldiers of Aarmenan he said our enemy is only but a coward and a crook, let us return to our homes with the re assurance of authority in our hearts buoyant that we won this battle not by our swords but by the thundering echo of sixty thousand Aarmenan might… Then synchronously there was the sounding of horn not our own and thumping of drums by not our batons, through the unclear haze we could see blurred kindles of flames oncoming towards the kings armies… I don’t believe it Dreneor said in awe; the bastard actually came… how many fighting men you estimate fill their ranks, he asked Glajiu who sat on horse next to him, we cannot be guaranteed of any numeral, the torches at a distance could only but be an illusion, they could be of a greater number or less as well we cannot know for certain until we draw swords and all is but a memory, but by my count I say thirty to forty thousand fighting men give or take the misdirection of illusions or the reliability of authenticity, either ways my friend the advantage is ours… My king Karriwill; general Roineeh called hungrily to the king; we lie in wait for your orders sire, yes of course the king replied, send a herald to this army with these my terms; I ask not for gold or land as payment for your incursion on our lands but simply surrender nurmenah to us and none but he alone would lay dead headless on this field tonight, decline and all your armies would perish on these our lands for I the king made a promise to my mother that no man wearing your colors would so much as live to see the break of morning.
And at once Mawetii the king’s herald galloped to enemy position to convey the kings’ message, but as he drew closer to the enemy’s ranks he began to feel an unnatural sensation in the atmosphere a coldness that reeked of lifelessness and torment… The herald tried heartily to show bravery and hide his fear from the enemy’s sight but he was already consumed by it… Who holds authority here Mawetii said shakenly to this frightening army but none stepped forward; my king offers terms to whom shall I present them? And as before none acknowledged the herald… Anxious to absent himself from the presence of this unusual militia Mawetii began to read the kings terms to all of the army so that all present may hear; My king Karriwill the fourth, the herald commenced, demands neither land or gold as terms of surrender, for he values them diminutive, he instructed I deliver you these his words… but before the herald could continue he was distracted by a movement in the enemy’s formation as they began to reposition their footing thus creating a path in the central of the army, then momentarily an imposing figure began to originate from the murkiness of the enemies defence… Mawetii yelled are you the one accountable for this army, but the shadowy character said nothing as he sustained his onward stride, very well then Mawetii said as he continued to state his king’s demands; all my king requires from you is but one man and none this day shall bleed on these fields, surrender to us nurmenah and only he shall die tonight, refuse and… Nurmenah is dead the man in the shadows interrupted the herald as he edged closer to the fore of the army, he died by these my two hands the shadow further simplified as he held up his hands to his face exhaling on them with an unsettling delight of fulfilment, who are you the herald startlingly inquired of the shadow; who am I? The shadow chuckled, you know who I am herald; it is what I have become that you must ask yourself the shadow responded as he stepped out into the light and the herald Mawetii could see that the man from the blackness was nurmenah; Nurmenah! The herald hollered, you traitor he accused the kings uncle, you shall suffer greatly for the betrayal and murder of your kings, for our now sovereign Karriwill son of karrion has made this promise to his mother and his peoples, so what say you traitor to the standings of our king; tell this to your king nurmenah irately said to the herald as he pulled sword from its safeguard and displaced poor Mawetii’s head from the rest of his body.
Meanwhile at the other end of Eiesthrowin land the king Karriwill and his army linger, oblivious of the unforeseen dire alter of proceedings;
Why does the herald take so long the king asked his generals… perhaps maybe they do not speak our tongue and find difficulty in the understanding in his conveyance of your terms Slangreh replied the king… But still, even if that were to be the case he has been gone for far too long Dreneor grumbled to the king, maybe we should send another herald the general suggested, but before the king could decide on whether or not to send another bearer of news, Roineeh declared to the king Karriwill; sire here comes the herald now riding hastily, something is not right the king observed, whatever do you mean sire Glajiu asked the king; does my vision deceive me the king continued or is there truly no rider on that steed, by the gods, the king said with a quiver on his tone; my uncle has gone mad, steady that horse the king then rapidly ordered his men, there could be a message from the enemy; what message could they possible want to express more discomforting than the return of an emissary’s horse without the emissary who rode it, Dreneor whispered to himself as the kings soldiers steadied Mawetii’s horse… My king an infantry quickly called to the king, I think you’d want to see this yourself; what is it Karriwill asked the soldier; It is the herald sir the soldier answered, what do you mean the king again inquired of the soldier as he came down from his horse and paced towards Mawetii’s steed, and as the king laid eye upon the heralds beast, he felt an uprising in his abdominal expanse, for nurmenah had placed the amputated head of Mawetii the kings herald on the rearmost end of the herald horse, with a lettering on his fore head that read “Wadulia Durunan” come and get me; Enraged by this further meaningless of cruelty on his subject the king roared “Buavela Nor Tu Aarmenan’s” Aarmenan’s to war he cried.
And so the kings’ army began their assault on the adversary, firstly they rolled out the catapults and impelled fire downwards on the enemy, the king then ordered Glajiu of the northern kingdom to take his horse regiment and begin battering the enemy from the leftward border in a strategy to segregate the enemy’s lines, whilst Dreneor and Slangreh control an onward hammering on the enemy’s frontward formation… with this manoeuvre the king is hopeful that nurmenah’s defences would be broken as his army would be unaware of a fourth division of infantry and heavy cavalrymen infiltrating from the north eastern perspective, the king intends to capitalize on his advantage of superior numbers in this confrontation, he is confident that by isolating nurmenah’s army into four proportions he could draw their lines thinner than a thread of silk, therefore leaving the enemy exposed at the midpoint, then in this moment of opening the king Karriwill himself together with his general Roineeh would reinforce Dreneor and Slangreh with a battalion of their own soldiers in the middle whilst remunerating all four Aarmenan divisions in an attempt to hold a single line and hem in the enemy into surrender…
An outstanding strategy, straightforward and proficient too, any military would fall under this watchful and exceptional plot, but as the king would soon discover Nurmenah’s army is no ordinary army…
General Glajiu and his men were the first of the kings’ army to engage Nurmenah’s defences as they advanced closer to enemy’s lines the general observed the fiery catapulted debris of their earlier assault burning in midst of Nurmenah’s men, a few of his men were even on fire as well but they did not wince or alarm to the scorching of the flames, they maintained a perfect formation just standing there waiting…
By horse Glajiu and his men broke down a portion of the enemy’s lines stabbing and severing as they rampaged through the leftward flank, but nurmenah’s men did not fight back, they just stood there without so much an effort to retaliate, observing this unusualness general Glajiu calmed his stallion to a halt; what devilry is this he said horrifyingly to himself, are these not men why do they not fight back, just then the generals lieutenant called his attention to more bizarreness’ in the enemy’s flanks, my lord look he said frighteningly, the dead soldiers are getting back up, cut them down again general Glajiu ordered his men; you there he then pointed to a fellow of his cavalry, report what you have seen here to the king tell him there is a devilry at work here, these men do not fight as they do no die go now hurry Glajiu commanded his man… but before the soldier could go there was a shouting in nurmenah’s army “Tarem Anudo Fer” kill them all and at once the unmoving army came to life and suddenly they began to overpower Glajiu’s division; Retreat Glajiu then commanded his residual force, fall back to the king he ordered and at once they began withdrawal from nurmenah’s lines and as they fled so did nurmenah’s army follow marching steadily behind them, and when Glajiu regrouped with the king Karriwill’s army only with but a handful of soldiers; the king in astonishment inquired of the eastern general what happened where are the men? Dead Glajiu replied the king, there is an evil at work here my liege he further clarified to the king, nurmenah’s men would not die, tumble them down and again they would rise; sire the enemy advances a watcher informed the king; if what you say is true then this army must not pass our defenses the king soundlessly said to Glajiu, let the whole army advance he commanded his generals and at one they all rode out to meet nurmenah’s strange army but just as the general Glajiu’s cavalry proved to be ineffective against this unnatural force, so too were all of the kings army… And when this battle of Eiesthrow was over, every single man, beast or mechanics carrying the kings; crest laid eviscerated on the battle field… But of all sixty thousand men that nurmenah’s army did slaughtered on the battle field they spared one, their masters nephew king Karriwill, perhaps nurmenah’s feels a sense of family or remorse or maybe he wishes to spare the young king’s life whilst he takes over every other belonging of ownership to the king; Hello nephew, nurmenah derisively said to Karriwill, grandfathers bastard Karriwill replied his uncle, Ha Ha nurmenah ingenuously cackled, am tempted to let you live son I really am, if for nothing at all for your wonderful sense of jest, it pains me to kill you Karriwill, you are a man of fine quality, am sure your father would be so proud; coward Karriwill in rage barked at his uncle don’t you dare speak of my father, he was a great man and you are but a swine, immoral and undeserving of our kin’ I will not beseech you nurmenah do what you must; oh I intend to nurmenah boasted to the young king as he pulled out his sword, any last words he then sarcastically ask his nephew Karriwill; yes the king retorted to his father’s brother, you will not succeed bastard he said to his uncle with a smile on his face; oh but I think I already have his uncle replied before shoving his blade through the trunk of the king, fatally marring him at the spot where he knelt.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

1
Votes



Èjìrẹ́

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Èjìrẹ́
Author : Oyindamola

234 8160786558

Ajibike Oyindamola is is a writer cum art enthusiast born and living in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. She blogs about her multifaceted life at lifeofdammy.com
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

They say a parent’s love is the foundation of bringing up a child but when a child has to fight to be understood by her parent? Ejire tells the story of conflicted twins and the journey of a daughter in finding herself.

As I sat beside his bed, I couldn’t help but notice those features of his I had not paid attention to before. His nose was flat like a deflated ball and his lips which used to be plump were dry and look pale. His sighs came in five minute intervals and he sounded like he had difficulty breathing. That’s how mother must have felt like, the last minutes in the delivery room, birthing a set of twins. They called me Kẹ́hìndé, “the one who came last”. Mother had taken her last breath as I took my first, passing on life to me. Táíyélolú, my earthly companion was a boy and so we began our sojourn in the land of the humans. Our father, the headmaster was a respected man yet vague in knowledge. Flaccid and stone hearted, he had landed a wife in my timid mother. Her crater sized dimple capturing his heart, emboldening him. A month later, they were Mr. and Mrs., starting off what many would describe as marital bliss, until I came along and ended it. The agony that ripped through headmaster’s heart had him shivering at the news of his wife passing away. How it happened, he had been told and as he stood by the hospital cot, he couldn’t help the salty stream that flowed down his cheeks, down the sides of the crown of his nose which headed his quivering mouth. How can people see you weeping over the death of a wife when you’ve been blessed with two, èjìrẹ́? They who stumble into the home of one with rags and turned it into one with abundance.
He hated me, every bit of me. Even my long slender fingers that were a replica of his and the gap between my front teeth which looked nothing like mother’s perfect ones. I know because I have seen her picture. A framed browning one hanging on the wall in the living room in which she had on a floral gown. She had the smile of an angel, one which I wish I could be. Many times I had tried to picture what she was like. Perhaps carefree, with a spontaneous laughter and a talkative like Iya Risi next door or solemn like the Vicar’s wife who was always peered at me over her rectangular glasses, I would never know. I strived to get his attention. I would come top of my class and father would train his cane on Táíyé, fuming at how he was letting a girl beat him, creating a rift between us. Every other evening, I’d squeeze the ewúro extra hard, washing out the bitterness to prepare ẹ̀fọ́. As he downed the last of the amala off his plate, I’d wait behind the door for compliment that would never come. Father being the head of our secondary school was rather strict. I brushed off negative interaction so he would see me as the good child I was, unlike Táíyé whose friends frequently dominated the last three positions in class.
He would sit, cross legged, on the bamboo chair on the veranda, catching up on the dailies. In between pages flicking, he’d read out some portion to himself and shake his head. Sometimes, his friends when present would start a debate off it, talk about politics and who was stealing what. I’d hide my face behind my history book, willing to join in the conversation and share what I knew, wondering if this would make father beam in adoration of my intelligence. But no, my voice was not to be heard, except in response to when my name was called.
As the years went by, one would expect that I would realize how futile my efforts were but no, I was my father’s. I just had to make him see how much of him I had in me. The years went by and we sank further into strangers who only lived together and had few to say to each other. I finished secondary school, went to one of the best universities in the country and shortly after graduation, was proposed to. Perhaps, marrying a wealthy man would show father just how much of a better child I was, compared to my twin brother who was a carpenter’s apprentice.
A year after, I watched my father shrivel under a thick duvet, in that same bed I’d watch him lie in year after year, willing him to talk to me. Wanting to reach out and hold his hands, caress them in mine and tell how much I loved him and lived my life for him. How miserable I was and how I’d lie in bed with my husband, rigid and emotionless underneath him. How we’d argue and he would call me names. How much I wanted to speak back. How I felt like I couldn’t fight back or save my marriage. To tell him about the first time I caught my husband cheating and how much he begged. How I forgave him so I wouldn’t be seen me as a weakling.
They say no one ever fully recovers from a broken heart. My father battled against his sickness but passed away two days after. I had been by his side through it all, Táíyélolú said to be somewhere in Malaysia. A small funeral was organized and I buried my feelings with my dead father. I would have reached out to my brother, never feeling as lonely and in need of my èjìrẹ́ as I did that moment but where would we start piecing our relations? That night, I stifled sobs as I watched my husband sleep. He who should have been a comforter, my savior, if only he understood. If he wasn’t a selfish bastard. My body shook in rhythm to my sobs and I hated him so much in that moment. I hated my late father and the human he had made me.
Today, I place a kiss on my husband’s forehead, looking away from his features and casting a glance at the machine monitoring his gradually faltering heartbeat. He wouldn’t make it. I know because of the doses of poison I’ve been feeding him. I want to live and not just survive.

I-agree-to-terms-conditions

130
Votes



The Fight for the Black “Whites”
Author : Rufus

23408060135621

I am Rufus Muyiwa, I am currently a final medical student at the University of Ibadan. I hailed from Omuo Ekiti, Ekiti State. I live with mother and my two other siblings. I love writing poems, short stories and articles for publications. I also enjoyed public speaking and listening to music. I have tried singing but not my thing. I love honesty. I dislike cheating and deceit,
Submission Category:

Human rights Free speech

Do you know that albinos are hunted down like animals in some part of Africa? You probably will not know because they are the minority. In Tanzania being an albino is a terrible crime. if you escape death from the midwives, you face your parent if you escape death from your parent then you fall into the hands of kidnappers who want only part of your body for fortunes. The story is about the ordeal of an albino, he never survived the persecution!
where are the human rights for these people?

The Fight for the Black “Whites”
Some memories fade and become difficult to reminisce on, while others, though distant, stick like glue. Sam’s memory was one of those I could not let go. It was the 5th of May, 1997; exactly two decades ago, yet it seems just like yesterday.
It was the first day of the long awaited final examinations in the college. Of course, only a handful of us had managed to get to the examination hall thirty minutes earlier than the scheduled time. Everyone kept to themselves, occasionally moving their lips and drawing up last minute mnemonics. Once in a while, you could hear someone throw random questions as a check on how much they know and of course as a scare for their average colleagues. The tension in the air was gripping as we approached 10 o’ clock, that morning. We had taken different positions, some sat on the desks, some on the staircase and others just roamed as they memorized their notes so intently. The examiner walked in quietly and demanded that we organized ourselves and took our seats, which we did. The roll call accompanied the distribution of questions. I noticed that my best friend and seat partner was nowhere to be found. What could have happened? Did he forget? Did he sleep off? I was very worried. He was hard to miss, anyone would notice unless nobody cared, which of course, was obviously the case, nobody cared. This was not the first time I would be sitting alone, but I would know where he was, especially, on Tuesdays, when he would go for his medical checkups and medications. I did not hear my name being called as the question papers were distributed. I was drowned in my thoughts!
Sometimes, he overslept and missed classes when he took his analgesics. Had he slept off, nobody would wake him up. Sam’s roommates, John and Idris had left the room since the beginning of the semester. This was an unexpected backfire of their initial plan to send him out of the room. He was made to sleep outside the room for a couple of times under the pretext that he was responsible for their incessant nightmares, poor school performance and some other outrageous beliefs. I reported the case to the school authority immediately I got wind of it, this warranted their dismissal from the hostel. I subsequently became an enemy to many for this but I did not care. My dad had taught me to always stand for the right cause even if the whole world was against me.
I looked around with frank anxiety, wondering if for some reason he took someone else’ seat or was sitting outside. Sam was nowhere to be found. Perhaps, I could have known where he was had I been his roommate, only if my father had allowed me to enroll as a boarding student. I had always wanted to be his roommate but my father objected and would not let me live in any boarding house not even for a day, since I was the only child of my parent. My mum nearly died trying to bring me into this world, an experience she never liked recounting. She seemed not determined to deliver again.
I stared blankly at the question paper; I was deep in thought. I made a bold step to approach the supervisor, Mr. Ajayi, for permission to check him in the hostel. “Oh, our white boy, I didn’t even notice,” he exclaimed. How could he not have noticed his absence? I was moved to pity for my friend. Even a blind man would have noticed!
Samuel was very famous because he has albinism. Albinism is a rare inherited genetic disease which leaves its victim with no melanin the dark pigment responsible for our dark skin colouration. Obviously, our Yoruba teacher, Mr. Ajayi, had a different theory. He explained (during one of his classes) that albinos are cursed by the gods and anyone who relates with them is likely to be unfortunate. This fuelled the already existing prejudice, my classmates had against Samuel. In class, he was always picked on and was a focus for ridicule.
“No, you are not permitted to leave until the exam ends.” He replied. Since we had commenced the examination, his response was not unexpected; also considering the fact that many students in the past had used this style among others, to carry out examination malpractices. As I returned to my seat, I made eye contact with Sam’s roommates, their uneasiness made me suspicious. Ever since that incident occurred, when I reported them to the authorities, they vowed to retaliate.
“Who knows what they have done to Sam!” I was confused. I thought of previous horrible things they had done to him. They ostracized him from their social activities, but that was nothing to worry about since he had me. About the name calling, he was getting used to it; although the molestation and ridicule reduced after I filed a report to the school’s head. I became even more pained and sorrowful as I walked to my seat. Have they not done their worse?
I remembered the first day I saw Sam. He came during the mid semester. He would not look up; he was as timid as a mouse. When the Principal introduced him to the class, we all could not help noticing that he was the first and only albino in the school. His first challenge was where to sit. No one would allow him, we made it so obvious that he was not welcome; some moved their bags to occupy where he would sit, and some shifted swiftly to fill the space. It seemed my seat was his only choice and I probably would have done like the others if I had not been the class representative. I needed to set the right example for others. A decision I later regretted throughout that day. I had never been close to an albino before; he looked terribly ugly to me. His pungent smell was horrendous; he had sores all over his body, especially on his lips. The large dark freckle like spots on his face were hideous and repulsive. He turned to me and said “Thank you.”
I forgot to respond, his eyes were funny to me. They were pink and would not focus on a point, they were jerky. It was indeed appalling.
His eyes were moving rapidly, I felt every strand of my hair standing, I felt goose bumps, but I wouldn’t believe it. I feared my skin was in transition as if I already had what he has, even though I had shifted to the extreme to avoid any contact. I might have hated Sam more than anyone for this, but we soon became very good friends. My dad had explained his condition to me, at least everything he wanted me to know. I could remember crying to him that day. “I think my skin is going to peel off, I am going to be an albino.’’ I had lamented in my ignorance. I narrated all about Sam to him with so much exaggeration, in an attempt to make him realize how badly I needed treatment or at least to earn some tons of pity. My pathetic story was not getting the appropriate response. He smiled at my naivety – that same smile he usually gave, the minute my mum threatened to give me over to a ghoulish masquerade when I was much younger. He had decried all my superstitious beliefs about Sam. “Sam is sick and sick people need…” He paused like he always did for me to complete the line; he had taught me that since I was five. When I would see a sick person in his hospital and run “…love, care and empathy,” I replied reluctantly, not what I expected. I thought he would ask me to stay away from him like some parents did. My dad told me that the sores could have been from physical assaults and that people like him are vulnerable to the harsh effect of the sun because of their sensitive skin. This could cause a skin burn and chronically resulting in a skin cancer. For Sam, both factors came into play. A constant punishment in my school was standing in the sun and Sam was always a miscreant because of his poor performance. In addition, two times, I witnessed some students throw stones and sand at him because they thought he was a ghost and they wanted him to disappear. I stayed to watch, I thought he would actually disappear.
Sam and I later became close friends and even closer when he was tested positive for a skin malignancy at my dad’s hospital. Dad had connected him to a government health insurance which had taken responsibility for his expensive drugs and sunscreens. I was always there to encourage him to take his medications as prescribed and more importantly how he must not give up.
“Hmmm” I signed deeply. I was still deep in thought. My eyes shifted to the answer sheet. I had written nothing, I could not bring my mind to focus on anything else. The first question was to write on “The British Colonial Rule”, nothing was coming to mind, not even the meaning of “British”. I was full of hatred. I had developed a great contempt for everyone including the examination supervisor who couldn’t spare me five minutes to wake my friend up.
What if Sam was not sleeping? What if something bad had happened to him? I was having an expansion of thoughts, terrible ones though. Sam and I had talked a lot about his pasts. I called him Sam because his real name was not easy to remember even much more difficult to pronounce. He came from Tanzania, his torment started on the first day he was born. His parents were astonished; never had such existed in their family before. The first death threat on his life was from his father, who could not believe he gave birth to a white boy. He accused the mother of infidelity with a nonexistent white man in the family, and he wanted the abomination gone for life. His mum stood strongly against him, she would die before she allowed anything happen to her son. The birth of Sam erased every iota of peace in his family. Mother and the son were victims of constant physical and verbal abuse by the father.
“3 fingers” was a popular nickname Sam was called in my school, his little and index fingers were maimed. This was when his father realized his abomination could fetch him a fortune but only in bits. In Tanzania, an albino has no right to live than an animal. The persecution against them is not equaled in any country, based largely on propagated superstition and misconceptions that some albino’s parts bestow fortunes and wealth. Therefore, they are sought for like gold and hunted down like animals. These evil perpetrators cut the part requested and leaving the other parts. Some bury the albinos, safekeeping their bodies in a marked grave in case other parts are needed especially the bones, which the gold miners used as their luck charm.
So Sam’s dad connived with some men in desperate need of albino fingers, it was after this incident that his mother moved him away from his home to a special school founded by the United Nations, this school ensured the protection of albinos from harm and offered some formal education. Sam was moved to the school when he was just seven, and he spent eleven years in the school. In the later years, the school got compromised and some of them were kidnapped. He was part of those kidnapped; they were all taken far into a forest, the albino black market, a notorious centre for lucrative trade in albino parts. There, he met many of his kind locked up. Most were children. They believed the younger the albino, the greater the potency of the magical power. Almost all of them had been amputated with at least one limb gone. They cut the parts of live albinos; they needed their victims to scream for the witchcraft to be effective. The young females among them were sexually violated by men with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It is a popular belief among them that these could cure their HIV. They were given little food, no care or treatment at all. Sam described his time there as his worst experience ever. Every night, they would go to their cells to harvest the parts they needed. He had only been lucky not to be disembodied because of his age, he was eighteen then, nobody knew if such parts were potent for rituals. Witch doctors, their business partners, preferred the younger ones.
“Such is not a place for animals.” Sam said. Fortunately for him, they were rescued by the Tanzanian police force. They had been searching the forest for days. The United Nations declared the country unsafe for albinos and moved some of them from Tanzania to other African nations believed to be relatively safe for them to live in. That’s how Sam got to my country and my school.
Midway into the examination, I felt a hand on my left shoulder, it was Mr. Ajayi’s. He asked me to sit upright. I had wet the table and the examination papers with tears. He could not say anything; He checked my answer sheet and found, I had written nothing. “Five minutes, just five minutes” he agreed to let me go. I jumped up from my seat as I ran to the hostel; I was very excited at the same time worried. In no time, I was in front of his room, I started knocking. There was no response. That was the only place Sam would be. He would not dare go out at that time, with the sun at its peak. I tried peeping inside through the window maybe I would see him but the curtain obstructed my view. I went to the door again to knock, at this time I realized the door had been locked from outside. Clearly, he must have left his room. I noticed I had stepped on a sticky fluid; it couldn’t have been water because it was viscous. I had only one guess, blood! Spontaneously; I screamed “help!” I continued screaming as I banged the door. It was as if I was still knocking but I intended bringing the door down. I guess I was not as powerful as I thought. Some guys from other rooms came around and we were able to break through.
It was the most horrific sight of my life, I saw Sam on a chair beside his bed in a pool of his blood. He must have cut deep enough to split the wrists open, judging from the source of the bleeding. His eyes were wide open but they were not moving rapidly as they normally do. It was a terrible image; it haunted me for years. “Let’s move him to the hospital” I shouted.
The room was already full of people, all at a distance as I made effort to lift Sam off his chair, everybody could hear me but nobody was responding, even when Sam wasn’t in this state they wouldn’t dare touch him. How would they touch him now?
“Get out all of you, out! if you wouldn’t help…” I cried.
At this time, some teachers rushed in and we carried Sam out of the room. Mr. David, our biology teacher had agreed to us using his vehicle. As we moved Sam to his car, one of the students gave a letter to Mr. Michael, our vice principal. It had fallen off Sam as he was being moved. I knew he had written it to me but, I was not interested, and he was not dead yet. The car started, other students were asked to go back to their different activities, but none of them dared send me back. I was in a dreadful mood. The journey to the hospital seemed to be taking forever; it felt like the car was being pushed. I had enough time to check if Sam was still breathing, his heartbeat had stopped, he became cold to touch, his skin is usually cool but this was different.
“Sam, you aren’t dying” I whispered into his ears, Mr. Michael must have heard me as he looked back.
“He will be fine”, he responded.
I have a sixth sense that helps me to know when adults are lying. He had just read the letter, at the moment I was dying to know the content. We got to the hospital and the medical team attended to him. I asked the doctor if he was alive.
“He is not dead, we just need to resuscitate him, and he will be fine.”
I believed him, doctors are not supposed to lie. Sam will be fine.
Mr. Michael walked towards where I was seated,
“Take, this is for you.”
It was the letter, I was not eager to read, at least, not in front of him, I put it in my pocket. He returned to his seat. I gently brought the letter out with so much eagerness and great curiosity.
Dear Raymond.
I woke up this morning and I found out the hope I had held on to for many years had gone. I must have woken up late because I read through the night. I reached out for my glasses, then the nightmares began, the pieces of lens were gone, only the frame was left. It seemed like a dream. Looking up, my wardrobe was open, with all my clothes gone, who would rob a cursed man? I rushed to the door to see if I would get help. To my ultimate amazement, the door was locked. I looked through the window trying to reach people outside for help. I watched them pass by acting deaf. Some just laughed. I felt unbearable pain as memories of my bad days at Tanzania flooded back. I felt exactly what I felt there, except I had enough space and time and I could end the pain once and forever this time. I had made several death attempts. I could only wish this would be successful. I have a lot of questions to ask my maker.
I know you will feel so bad, but I don’t want you to. Turn your pain into strength. You have stood up against many people to defend my rights and annul their misconceptions, now you have to stand up against the world to defend the course of thousands of me. You have to raise a voice for us, a voice people like me are too weak to raise. Young and adult everywhere must know that albinos are humans and nothing less.

You have to create a world where people like me will smile and never cry again, such world I would not mind coming to again even as an albino. If you could get to my mum tell her, never does a day pass without me thinking about her. I love her so much… I appreciate you for everything.
Your Sam.
The doctor could not resuscitate him; he had lost too much blood. It was getting difficult to find someone to donate blood to a dying albino, and mine would not just match. I heard Sam had taken all his analgesics at once to numb the pain as he slit his wrists.
“Perhaps, if I had been allowed to see him earlier, he might still be alive.” I lamented.
That was it, his last voice that rang continually in my head; I would never get to hear from him again. But his message was enough to set me on a cause; I now have something to stand for, something to live for. This is where I find happiness and fulfillment. Sam’s words turned me into an activist for albinism, I could not think of any other cause to fight for. I promised Sam every albino in Tanzania and other African countries would be cared for with love care and empathy. I had sworn to fight his cause throughout African as I watched him descending into the grave during his burial.
I hope to create such world he desired, a world in which albinos are not only protected from attacks or abuse but are reintegrated into the mainstream of the society. A world in which, ignorance, myths, and superstitions about albinism are replaced with adequate education and full awareness about albinism. A world in which social, cultural and educational marginalization against albinos would not exist, violation of their rights would be a criminal offence with the swift prosecution of the offenders. Parents would be mandated to educate their wards rightly like my father did. No albino child would have to go through what Sam went through in school. Such world I have been building for two decades, going from one African country to another, establishing different institutions to fight against the massive violation of human rights against albinos. I could only hope Sam would see this world and smile wherever he is now.
Today is 5th of May; it was when Sam, my best friend, died and it still feels just like yesterday.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

159
Votes



Reign of cursed blessings?

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Reign of cursed blessings?
Author : Adeyera Damilola Samuel

2349034526873

Adebiyi is a true believer of nature. He does not conform with the word “stupid”. He believes no one is stupid and learning came got from anybody it’s just upto you to select what you learn.
Submission Category:

Human rights Free speech

Nature used to man’s best friend until civilisation came to put asunder.

Reign of cursed blessings?
And it came to pass when blessings began to feel like curse. It was then clarity began to appear in the eyes of the blind. For before this moment the blind one has been living in a state of total darkness filled with great ignorance. Although, no one can blame the blind for lack of insight, what shall we therefore say is the problem of the one who has sight but refuse to see. The society would choose to call such a person foolish because it is only a fool that has such a gift.
In the words of the fool, you get understanding of what it is like to have poor judgement. As for the wise, in his words you get beautiful wisdom which helps in building your intellect. The wise is one with great insight. So therefore, when the fool speaks listen but when the wise one preach pay close attention. At the end, you learn something one way or the other from the fool or the wise. We all have something to learn from each other both foolishness and wisdom. No one is stupid.
Allow me to introduce myself, I am Sad. Not that it was a name given to me at birth but rather it is a name which depicts my state of mind. I feel a level of sadness especially of an introspective nature. As I write this, am affected with great sadness laced with sorrow, low in spirits, depressed and mentally uncomfortable. Music is for the sad man. My lady sings ballad filled with melancholy in its rhythm. Am sad because of my fellow human. He has refuse to love his neighbour nature the same way he love himself which is why I write to you.
I write to bring wisdom to my fellow human. I return all glory to the Most High who is the beginning and the end of my depth. Dear Lord, thank you for keeping me and my lady during hard times like this. It’s been long since I had a talk with the Lord. So, I had to take this time to be alone with Him. For without His blessings I remain a foolish fool who gad in his ignorance and lack of understanding. If only my fellow human could respect and honour the great God, this Sad man which seeks to bring to light to his darkness would not have been ordained.
Most assuredly, the greatest economist, physician, Spiritualist and academics in the history of man agrees on this one point “Man’s want are forever insatiable”. For very accomplishment or failure comes a new desire for something.  Of all the burial you’ve ever attended, if you observe or listen closely to conversations going on about the deceased you tend to hear one or two regrets or unfulfilled dreams which followed the dead to his/her resting place. It just physics, nothing more. We’re never complete, only accomplished. The achievement of one milestone leads to the beginning of another milestone. Its a continious process till we all cease to breath. Lesson one.
Truly, no one knows a mistake has been made until that mistake occurs. We all humans and are therefore limited to depending on the past for judgement about the present. It is our experience either good or bad we rely on for learning No one can predict the future accurately only the Most high. In the search for greener pastures it is filled with a great amount of uncertainty in which mistakes are bound to happen but we never know. Come to think of it, there are somethings we get blind to not until nature decides to open our eyes to the beauty of light. Thats just the same thing that happens when we do not realise that the things we doing at a particular moment are nothing but total mistake. Indeed ignorance is a disease. Lesson two.
Surely, it always been proven that for every action you get a reaction. When you throw a stone towards the direction of the sky one thing we are all sure of is that sooner or later it is going to come back down to earth. It is a two way process of communication which ensures that when encode a message, the receiver decodes the message and sends back a feedback to the source of the message. That is why when you breathe in you breathe out when you eat you excrete. For every action you get a reaction. Lesson what? Lesson three.
As you journey through with me it will be my greatest joy if your remember all this lessons.
Am taking you through this lines so you do not get lost in my thought because if you get lost my whole effort would have been futile.
As much as we can decide to fight and keep malice with each other when it comes to Nature its very different. If you decide to start a war with it you naturally end up killing yourself. Life goes on. You can decide to fight with water and say “You this water henceforth we will no longer share a common bond”. That day you begin to die a slow death of thirst. “Water no get enemy” Baba 70 used to say. You may also decide not to breath in Air again. That very moment you begin to die. Or you think artificial oxygen would adequately supply your need. Do not be deceived. Again, you may decide not to eat anything. Yes, eating also is another gift of nature. If you do not eat you and i know the end result such a person would die of hunger. Love Nature wholeheartedly, it will love you more.
“All things bright and beautiful all creatures great and small. All things bright and wonderful the Lord that made them all.” my fellow human children joyfully sing. Nature at this time was Man’s best friend and man equally treated her with respect. Both parties involved followed the terms and conditions of their contractual agreement. There was harmony in the music they both listened to.
Today makes it 98 days since my fellow human and I last saw the rain. It’s been very long. The level of water in the well is beginning to decrease. My crops is but a pale shadow of its former self. It’s leaf is beginning to look sick. Failure to get my crops it desired nutrient would lead to the death of my crops and that would lead to bad business for a farmer like me who depends on this crops for a living. I would have nothing to sell at the market and then would have nothing to puttinh food on the table for my lady and I to eat which again makes me less of a man in the society where I come from.
On Planet Earth, naturally occurring clouds are composed primarily of water in its liquid or solid state. On other planets, clouds may form from other compounds such as the sulphuric acid clouds on Venus. Now in the cloud, there must be growth of cloud droplets to sizes that can fall to the ground as rain. Red sky at night is a shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning is a shepherd’s warning.
Looking through the window of the room as I admire their children sing the weather seems to change to signal us that the Lord is about to send down the rain. When I was a child anytime it was about to rain my mother and I would place our buckets under the roof so the rain could fill us with it’s blessing. This used to save us from the stress of going to the stream fetch water. These days nothing like that seems to exist.
A part of me leaped for joy when the information got me. At last my dying crops would get the highly required nutirent to grow. They’ve been very thirty.
Before now, my fellow human have been exploring other means of surpassing their own wisdom. The result “They” called it Civilisation and anyone that chose not to buy into the ideology are reffered to as Third world country/person. This kind of the country the western media would only show their lack of basic social infrastructure thereby painting in the media of non inegine a narrative of abysmal sufferring. This has always been the narrative thrust of this third world country. Unknown to my fellow human who seeks to surpass his own wisdom, they will soon become prisoners of their very own conscience. Well, who am i to judge?
I speak in parables, I know just ride with me.
The closer it gets the faster it seems to fade away. Tomorrow might give hope but today is embedded with certain uncertainties. So, the fight is for today if you care to see tomorrow. Let’s get high today and forget the pain that comes with tomorrow. Maybe today a belief in something that is in fact not true might soften the sorrow of tomorrow. The wolrd is on a race and then look at you running very fast to catch up with it. This just by the way side, let’s go back.
As I sit in one corner of the room with joy in my heart awaiting the fall of the rain.My fellow human in another corner of the room goes on his kneel begging the Almighty whom he once despised to let the rain be minimal or if possible let it not rain at all. The rain which brings me blessing brings curse to my fellow human. Two sides of a coin.
Soon “thier” wisdom began to bring blessings to them. New inventions were discovered. These inventions were sold to those with heavy pockets first. When the face value of these inventions has reduced then they are sold to the rat in church so they could also relish in its euphoria. Little by little the sands of the earth could not accomodate “them”. Again my fellow human always trying surpass his wisdom decided start a War against it own. Nature. Remember Lesson one?
Since the sands of the earth could not accomodate “Them”. “They” started exploring the dark part of earth. This is the genesis. Soon they discovered crude, gold and other numerous minerals. All these discoveries went to those with heavy pockets. The demand increased as the supply reduced. The beginnin of the end.
Like the Messiah they decided to not just walk on water but also live on water. “We shall send the sea on an errand” they said. Soon the seas began to give way for more land. Those with heavier pockets purchased this new invention. Massive structures began to float on water. I hope you remember lesson two.
“Rain, rain go away come again another day little children want to play” my fellow human persuade his children to sing maybe the Most High would listen to thier innocent cry. They used to hear the Lord speak with them suddenly he went silent on them father have mercy. By this time, the wind was blowing with rage.
“We interrupt this program to bring this breaking news. Residents in the other corner of the room are hereby advised to evacuate imediately as the floods and hurricane seems to be spreading to other parts. It is advised that each residents puts on a life jacket because the sea that we sent on an errand is back. No one is safe. Let us pray” said the voice from my radio set. What does lesson three say?
And it came to pass when blessings began to feel like curse. Just a little wave 🌊 🌊 of water has destroyed the great wisdom of my fellow human with no one to save them from this great pandemonium. None of “Their” greatest wisdom could even beat time that ignoble bastard. To what end then?
“Reign of cursed blessings?” in the other corner of the room, I ask myself as I admire my crops dancing in the rain. They’ve been very thirsty.

Adebeeyii


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

1
Votes



Lesson I learnt from my barber

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Lesson I learnt from my barber
Author : Toluse

2347067670371

Toluse Dove Francis obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Bowen University, Osun State Nigeria.

He knew he wanted more than a degree in Biochemistry hence he enrolled with Alison Institute in the Republic of Ireland where He obtained diplomas in Mental Health Studies, Human Nutrition and recently in Psychology. He is a Certified Life Coach and Practitioner, Neuro linguistic programming by the American Union of Neuro Linguistic Programming.
He is an author of books selling across the globe on Amazon and Lulu among which is Beyond Blue: a step by step to coping with grief and loss, preventing and managing depression.
His new book is a short guide on managing stress.
Toluse is a speaker, blogger and podcaster. He blogs and hosts his podcast, Eat Fit at www.tolusefrancis.com.
Asides writing, he is a mental health practitioner who helps people overcome grief and loss, depression and past.
He is the current holder of the Health Writer for the Year organised by the Nigerian Writers Award and a past winner of The Best Health Blog by the Nigerian Blog Awards

Submission Category:

The Future of Africa

John is a skilled Nigerian who had to push himself to become multi skilled. People like John are the the future of Afirca

Learning isn’t about sitting down within the four walls of a classroom except otherwise we are not on journey to versatility.
Anywhere I find myself is another opportunity to learn because for me it is the window to wisdom and gives me the ability to sit with elders.
I listen to people talk and share stories even if I won’t say a word.
I may be passive at listening (to the speaker at least) but my brain is always active and willing to pick salient points.
Now, I’d visited the barber’s shop to have a haircut because I decided I wanted a new look. My barber is good at his craft and that’s why he’s my barber.
John is a young man who probably would be in early twenties but didn’t have the opportunity of attending beyond secondary school. He however didn’t take to the streets to cause mayhem but chose to learn a skill and this skill would endear him to the heart of his customers.
John once told me how nobody wanted to teach him during his days of apprenticeship.
John had signed up to train as a hair stylist when to his surprise he saw female barbers. It is rare to see a man who is a female hair stylist yet John chose to tread the path only few men tread.
He decided he was going to learn barbing as well because he felt challenged seeing female barbers but they would turn him down. He walked up to them but was turned down several times with the excuse that he’s good at one, he should focus on that.
Being multi skilled isn’t a curse. Hone as much as you can.
Nevertheless, I feel strongly that what Africa needs now is a system that encourages youths to hone skills and use them to build viable businesses. It is not enough that they attain secondary school level of education but also key that they possess one or two skills.
White collar jobs aren’t as available as they used to be yet mouth must be fed and society developed therefore skills must be developed.
Moreover, learning a skill and still having the white collar job is an added advantage to any individual in Africa where the cost of living. It is imperative that we see skill building as part of the curriculum on our educational system.
Perhaps I should mention here that skill acquisition here doesn’t have to be limited to barbing, hair styling etc. but other technical skills such as metal fabrication, painting amongst others.
Skill acquisition is needed in the education sector. It contributes to the development of the nation’s human capital and is seen as essential for preparing one for employment. Thus an educated man is expected to manifest worthwhile disposition in the society, for his own development and the development of the society.
Significance of Skill Acquisition
Two decades after Nigeria’s independence, opportunities for employment abound for Nigerian graduates. In facts, it was the case that each recent graduate had at least three jobs from which to choose. Furthermore, the movement from school to job was virtually automatic. Today, it is very pathetic that the story line has changed as there is a disconnection between the world of learning and the world of work. Each job that appears in the labour market is now pursued by many old and new unemployed individuals because of the growing population. It is clear that there are increasingly fewer occupational opportunities for the unfortunate youths who lack the basic skills and knowledge. By implication, unemployment rate will increase which will be a menace to the society, thereby, slowing down the pace of development because of untapped potentials or talents that are lying idle. Therefore, there is the need for the unemployed individuals to learn and acquire new skills which would make them self employed by setting up their own businesses to create jobs for others too. In some cases, where the few ones get a job, they are trained to acquire special skills before they can go ahead with the new job. I would opine that skill acquisition help people already on a job; intending to work in any of the varieties of occupations needed by the society. There is no job that does not require its own skill for manpower development.
The importance of skill acquisition to the development of the nation is of no small measure. Many of these construction industries, manufacturing industries, production industries, etc. are in daily need of trained personnel, technicians, technologists, engineers, etc. to carry out one job or the other. I am of the view that our industries need skilled and well trained workers to ensure that goods manufactured in Nigeria are as good as those manufactured in other parts of the world.
The skills acquired by these young folks will prepare them for any specific job with a lifelong opportunity for self development. This is because there will be competency, interest and job satisfaction to the highly skilled person to effectively and efficiently carry out that job successfully for higher productivity.
The acquisition of skills will prepare the individual to fit in readily to employment in all sectors of the economy.
Skill acquisition can help in the formulation of ideas, their integration for national development and the interaction of persons and ideas.
Prompt application of appropriate skill acquired would no doubt help to solve many of the perennial challenges arising from inadequacies and deficiencies of the traditional methods of teaching related subjects in our various institutions of learning.
The acquisition of skills for a particular job will provide for people who could apply relevant knowledge to be able to make positive changes within the society. Skill acquisition in other words could advance the nation in the following ways:
A well trained worker will be much more productive within the society, if he/she receives the required guidance in picking a career. Such an individual will no longer be a burden to the nation, it will make an individual to cultivate better attitude to work
Any individual who acquires skill will be able to show case his/her talents, make intelligent use of the brain in terms of new discoveries and innovation that will even upgrade individual status within the society.
When a skill is acquired in any discipline, it is assumed that the future gains that would result from it are of greater significance to productivity.
The growing concern over globalization, among other things, has made the acquisition of lifelong skills imperative for all categories of people. This is considered very important for future professionals’ growth because it will determine how successful and productive a person will be in the work place. Human capital is created when they acquire transferable skills that can be applied in many settings and occupations. It is an important index of sustainable development of any nation. In view of this, consider it as both a social prerogative and an economic necessity. With skill acquisition, one acquires capabilities to compete favourably within the context of globalization.
It is however not enough to talk about these skills but catching the young ones to hone these skills. You can imagine what it would look like if by primary school you have kids who are being trained in various skills formally. This would go a long way in bridging the gap between the aged and the youth.
Furthermore, this initiative would help build talents in the younger generation of individuals.
In light of the above, the following recommendations are made:
1. Entrepreneurial development must be mandatory in our schools to solve the problem of economic meltdown in our country.
2. Recruitment of more technicians should be encouraged to gear their interest.
3. Government, through the ministry of education should introduce these entrepreneurial skills into the school curriculum.
4. There should be more practical work to complement theory in our tertiary institutions of learning, to provide skilled labour for the economy.
5. Enough training facilities need to be provided to replace obsolete training equipment in this era of digitalization, in order to meet modern standard.
6. The wide gap between the classroom and the industry should be bridged by skill acquisition policy in every ramification. In fact, the ratio of theoretical to practical should be 30:70 because you learn what you see, you remember what you touch.
7. Secondary and post secondary institutions curricula should be developed to suit the demands of labour market.
8. The Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) programme should be extended to the secondary schools during school vacation period while the fresh graduates go for one year industrial training after graduation.
9. Uneducated youths should be equipped with such skills as repair skills, maintenance skills, technical skills, accounting and record keeping skills and procedures of operation skills in order to be self reliant.
10. Government should look into and improve programs that will encourage skill acquisition for our youths.

Back to my friend, John’s story
He left at the end of his training but didn’t give up on his quest to be skilled at barbing.
Today, John makes both males and females look good and it’s never a dull moment with him.
My dear friend, John’s story challenged me thus:
1. Let no man tell me I am skilled enough if deep within I want more
2. I can hone my skill and be the best I can be.
3. Give my customers a reason to always come back. Not just for the sake of the product, but for the way you warm their hearts.
Impossible is only a word you allow.
People like John are the future of Africa. Young men and women who go all out to hone their skills and make hearts glad while they make the money.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

207
Votes



Upon Your Graves

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Upon Your Graves
Author : Tijani Olufunmilayo

2348169101748

I am a final year student of English language at Obafemi Awolowo University who is devoted to using the art of creative writing to reflect positively on our environment.
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

A young boy is thrust headfirst into the realities of the brutal world we live in and will struggle to make sense of it while fleeing from a bloody insurgent massacre.

Pa Aliyu looked on with disbelief as the men came to deliver the message. He looked on as Iya Usman broke down in tears, sobs wracking her tiny frame, she sat down heavily on the floor with a sharp cry and grabbing a fistful of her blouse tore it in two sharp jerky motions then let out a sharp piercing scream drenched in agony. Her husband stood by her side a blank expression on his face. Several women came out of the surrounding huts to see the cause of all the commotion and upon hearing what had happened; what had caused the normally stoic and in control Iya Usman wailing and tearing at her hair and clothes like someone driven mad, they joined her in crying, by now they had managed to attract a small crowd, he wouldn’t be surprised if the whole village was now gathered in their small compound.
The two messengers of doom who had come all the way from Bunkum looked decidedly uncomfortable and stood up to leave saying a few short words of condolences as everybody ignored them. Pa Aliyu followed closely behind, no one else was in a mood to see them off, he still wondered how he was keeping it together himself; I am an old man, he thought, I have seen too much and heard too much; not much surprises me anymore, though he could feel his chest tighten at the prospect of what had happened.
The taller man cleared his throat, “it’s not foolproof yet”, he said in a futile attempt to lessen the blow.
Pa Aliyu almost snorted at that, even he had heard it on the radio this morning but till now he had been hoping against hope, but he said nothing only making a small sound of agreement.
“You must leave for Bunkum as soon as you can”, the other man said, he hesitated, “you have to take heart baba these things happened”.
Pa Aliyu nodded, the blank expression remained on his face, I might be old but am not stupid, he knew what leaving for Bunkum would entail what it would mean; the final abandonment of hope, the final call to glory.
They needed to start preparing for their journey immediately, it was a long road ahead.
** * * *

“Shehu please escort me, I’m pressed”, Usman pleaded with his friend tapping him gently on his shoulder, he had woken up with a pressing need in his bladder which refused to be ignored urging him to seek relief immediately. He breathed in as he pressed his leg together and shook his friend awake again.
Shehu responded to his efforts by sleepily pushing him away, “leave me alone, Usman I want to sleep”, he turned away and faced the other side.
Usman sighed deeply, though he never said it out loud, he was deathly afraid of the dark, when he had been a child, he used to cry awake whenever the oil lamp in his room gutted out, as he grew older he got used to it but the fear still remained lurking somewhere within him. He checked the watch his father had given him for his birthday which he always wore to sleep then realized it was a futile endeavor, the night was pitch dark and they had been warned against putting on oil lamps in the middle of the night, nevertheless he tried to reassure himself it couldn’t be that late though they had been specifically asked not to leave at night after lights out.
“You don’t know what is out there”, Mr. Kareem, their head teacher, had said that first week he and all the other staffs had finally left, “since the government has abandoned us we must be extra careful”.
Mr. Kareem and the other house masters no longer stayed with them, not since the earlier incident, they had moved to town where it was safer for them and only two local care takers remained with them at night while the teachers only came during the day.
Grumpily, Usman slowly shuffled to the next bunk which housed Wale, at this rate, he would probably wet himself before he found someone to follow him outside in dangerous territories, three of the boys had already turned him down.
“Wale”, he said in a hushed whisper as he shook him awake jarring him from his sleep, “I need to go outside to wi wi, please follow me”.
Wale cracked his eyes open, annoyance glinting in its depths, his voice came out throaty, “Ooohhh, what is it Usman? I can’t go out; I want to sleep”. And then he promptly fell back asleep.
Usman sighed, he had no choice now, he would have to brave the dark alone. He headed out, the whole compound was dark and felt deserted, he shivered as he gazed at the surrounding forest which looked menacing in the pitch darkness, he started to step out the door when he heard a sound coming from outside and fear gripped his throat and he froze, “who is there, he called out fearfully”. A figure came into view though it was hard to make out the face in the darkness, Usman held his breath until he heard a voice call his name and recognized it. Usman sighed in relief, “Ahmed, is that you?”
“yes” the voice said and he recognized his friend Ahmed as he stepped towards the door”
“what are you doing outside?”, Usman asked as his heart slowly calmed down.
“I went to wi wi”, Ahmed said defensively, “what are you doing?”
“I want to ease myself too”, he replied
Ahmed nodded and moved to step inside but Usman grabbed him. “please follow me”, he pleaded
Ahmed yawned and glared at him “I want to sleep”, he said, though he didn’t look sleepy.
“please I won’t take long”, Usman begged, wondering why his friend was acting unusually aggressive that night, he was always s so jovial, well I am dragging him into the cold night again so he’s not bound to be happy, however, he had finally found someone who could follow him and he intended to seize the opportunity.
“Oh all right”, Ahmed said, “but you must be quick okay, I have other things to do”.
Usman sighed and asked jokingly, “what do you have to do this night”, but Ahmed didn’t respond and gestured for him to come out, Usman quickly followed him.
They both went out closing the door behind them as the other boys slept on.
*****

The waiting part was the hardest, Pa Aliyu thought to himself, then the sorting and the choosing, he almost felt sick as he thought of it all, beside him Baba Usman sat stiff and quiet, lost in thought of the challenge that lay ahead. They were in a bus that was headed to Bunkum, finding a direct transport was surprisingly easy; paying for it harder, it seemed people were always ready to capitalize on people misfortune, the fare to Bunkum and been hiked over three times over. Pa Aliyu was beyond disgusted but he knew it for what it was, the sins of desperate men, everybody was desperate and dying in this country. What should have been a three hour journey was already stretching to six hours, the road was jam packed with several travelers and a stop and search session on the high way by heavily armed soldiers didn’t help matters much. Pa Aliyu sighed as he gazed at the barking soldiers and weary travelers; desperate indeed.
The bus shook alarmingly and he wondered at the sight that would greet them in Bunkum, the horror story that had been filtering through was something he didn’t want to think about as it was, but the sight would soon greet his eyes and he did not look forward to it, he hadn’t even wanted Baba Usman to come insisting he could handle it alone, but the bereaved man had insisted and Pa Aliyu could only pray his heart could take it when they finally arrived.
*****

Usman and Ahmed headed back to their hostel wearily, the air was frigid and dark and all Usman wanted to do was sink into his bed until the rude awakening they were sure to receive from the school bell the next day.
Suddenly he froze as he heard the screech of ties and loud voices and the compound was suddenly flooded with motor headlights, he looked by his side to see Ahmed had heard it to, they watched as several burly men dressed in military fatigues and some in dark clothing jumped out of two jeeps, cheering loudly, they made a strange posse of warriors; most carried guns but some were clutching machetes whose blades glinted sharply in the dark night. Ahmed quietly tugged on Usman’s shirt and as if by mutual agreements they steadily stepped back into the bushes and watched as several of the men barged opened the door to their hostels followed by the scream of the boys being dragged out, Usman opened his mouth to speak but Ahmed shushed him gesturing to two men who had come to stand by the bushes were they were hiding; so close that if he reached out he could touch them, he held his breath nervously, his heart pounding laboriously in his chest.
One of the men hefted his machine gun to his shoulder and began to speak in Hausa “they are all there just as he said they would be and no teachers here”
The other man nodded slowly, he had a thin, wiry build and his face was obscured by a scarf, the first man continued, “his son told him everything you see, he goes to…”, he was caught off by the sound of rapid gunfire, Usman watched as a boy fell down in a heap on the floor and groaned heavily, the men burst into laughter all around
“Stop that”, the second man spoke loudly catching everyone’s attention and the compound fell silent except for the slight whimpering of the gathered boys, Usman felt as if he would vomit he was shaking with fear and he sensed the same tension from ahmed beside him
“We will do this the proper way”, he said firmly, “we will treat them how infidels and traitors should be treated”, all the men nodded enthusiastically, “but we do not punish boys because they do not know what they are doing”, the man continued, “we will punish only those old enough to know better and perhaps the boys will learn but if not…”, he left it at that. but Usman could feel the fear from all the boys who were now gathered in the middle of the compound shivering more with fear than from the cold, their caretakers nowhere to be seen.
The men moved in precise tandem speaking in rough guttural tones as they grab the boys one by one and started roughly pulling at their clothes checking their armpits and genitals for body hair moving those they deemed older to the right, some didn’t bother checking for anything and just pushed some boys to the right and some to the left. By now all the boys were crying and Usman felt silent tears running down his own cheeks, all the months of fear and panic and it was actually happening now, the man who had been talking earlier faced the one who seemed to be the leader as the grouping continued, “I do not see the boy here”.
The leader grunted, “if he was wise his father would have told him to leave, although it might look suspicious, we can’t worry about the boy now”.
Usman could barely comprehend what they were saying his eyes on the tearful and wailing boys.
Once the exercise was over, the younger boys were ushered back to the hostel, prodded with the guns and machetes they went back mute, they had promised to cut off the hand of anyone who dared to make a noise.
The compound was eerily quiet now, the leader surveyed the remaining boys then gave a short order, what followed next was the sound of sporadic gun fire so loud and sudden that Usman couldn’t contain a small scream and Ahmed hurriedly clamped his mouth shut, he briefly wondered how Ahmed was acting so calm, he had barely made a sound since the men arrived. “We need to go Usman, we need to leave now”, he said urgently in a hushed whisper. The boys groan and screams filled the night air with wrenching agony, he watched as his friends and classmates were riddled with bullets, their blood soaking the ground as the few who were still alive started to crawl and the men with machetes ran after them and began to hack at their limbs. Tears poured down his face, the stench of human flesh filling his nose, he was vaguely aware of Ahmed’s insistent tug on his arm.
Ahmed’s tugging became more forceful until Usman turned to face him angrily, “we can’t help them Usman”, Ahmed said, “we need to leave now!”.
Tearfully Usman allowed Ahmed to drag him through the bush, the smell of petrol filling the air as the men began to douse the screaming boys, it was a miracle none of the men had noticed them yet but they were to consumed with hacking the dying boys, their faces filled with a mixture of obsession and hunger.
Usman’s mind wandered as they began stumbling through the bushes further from the chaotic scene, it still didn’t feel real to him, it felt as if he was just in a terrible terrible nightmare, all his friends were lying there now as the acrid scent of fire and burning flesh rose up to fill the night air and the screams increased in sharp crescendo. He wiped at the tears on his face as they fled through the night.
*****

It was too much, Pa Aliyu thought; the stench, the sight, it was just too much. They had arrived at Bunkum today after nearly eight hours and it was too a most unpleasant sight. He had thought by now all the sorting would be over and they would simply be directed to the mortuary but what had met them was instead a gory sight of workers still attempting to sort through it, amidst a chaotic environment filled with doctors, soldiers, mourners and several onlookers.
Baba Usman stopped beside him his face ashen in the fading sunlight, Pa Aliyu saw what had caught his attention and his own face turned ashen, before them was a huge mound of burnt bodies being pulled apart by volunteers, the acrid smell of burnt human flesh hung in the air and “the mound” was still smoldering. A wave of anger filled him at the incompetence of the workers, no parent should have to see this, in fact they had come with several parents from their village who all had children in Government Boys Secondary School in Bunkum, the sight was too distressing by half, made worse by the fact that the workers were too few and too ill prepared to take care of the mounting task before them.
Heaps of charred flesh laid all around and several of the bodies were mangled together and would prove a nightmare to separate no doubt, he did not envy the rescue workers in this situation. Oddly, a few corpses lay strewn about untouched by the fire but so soaked in blood as to be unrecognizable.
Pa Aliyu shuddered, he had fought in the civil war and not even that war managed atrocities like this, he tried to imagine Usman somewhere in that horrible heap of mangled burning flesh and felt a wave of dizziness at the thought, he only wondered how Baba Usman was coping, this was a sight no parent should see
The younger boys were unhurt and relayed what had happened in hushed fearful voice as though they expected the perpetrators to come back for them at any moment, amazingly three boys had survived mainly with bullet and machete wounds and were in the hospital, they had somehow managed to flee into the bushes during the commotion. All of them related similar tales of masked men who had arrived like phantoms dressed like military men and had decided to teach the infidels a brutal lesson. The state governor had given a televised speech that morning; the highlights of which Pa Aliyu had heard on the radio during the journey, as soon as his voice had come on many of the passengers had hissed in anger and laid curses on the governor and his entire cabinet, this was the third such incident to take place in the last year, the first and seen the brutal rape and murder of 62 schoolgirls over a two day period and yet nothing had been done.
The families of the boys were mostly wailing off to one side, Pa Aliyu suddenly heard a high pitched scream as a woman ran into the compound, she clutched at something on the ground and began wailing shedding uncontrollable tears as the attendants try to pull her off, “my son , my son” ,she kept screaming, she turned slightly as she struggled against the workers and what she was clutching fell and rolled on the floor, Pa Aliyu nearly jumped out of his skin as he saw that it was a human head, its eyes sunken, staring emptily ahead with its mouth opened in a silent scream of horror completely detached from its body, the woman was dragged away amidst hysterical laughter mixed with tears.
He turned around to look for Baba Usman and saw him staring off where a smaller crowd had gathered, “Baba Usman”, he started, “it’s better we leave now that…”, he stopped as he noticed he wasn’t paying any attention to him, “what is it?”, then he saw what had caught his attention and saw him staring at a mangled body on the floor.
The body was badly burnt but in a bizarre contrast, the head was nearly untouched and if not for the circumstances, looked as if he was just asleep, it was Wale whose mother had come with them from their village and who had gone straight to the hospital after hearing that her son had been one of the few survivors, she had even taken the time to console Iya Usman before leaving safely assured in the knowledge that her own son had survived.
He and Baba Usman stared at each other silently, “it is wale”, Baba Usman spoke for the first time, “his mother doesn’t know, they said he survived, that he was in the hospital”.
Pa Aliyu laid a heavy arm on his great nephew shoulders, “they are all dead”, Baba Usman said heavily, “all dead, my son…my son is laying somewhere there”, he gestured wildly at the human heap and for the first time since the incident broke down in tears.
*****

“I can’t run anymore”, Usman declared as he stopped to catch his breath his lower back and legs felt as though they were being set on fire and beaten with heavy chains and his soles hurt badly, they had been running for hours now, barely stopping to catch their breath, Ahmed had seemed to know where he was going taking several winding turns and narrow paths much to Usman’s annoyance. He had begged Ahmed that they should head for Binima road which lay to the west of their school, it was a very busy road connecting other states and with a police station close by they could have easily flagged down a vehicle to convey them to the station but Ahmed had for some reason insisted that they head to the village of Reno insisted.
Usman jerked accusingly to look at Ahmed, “I told you we should have taken Binima instead, we could be at home by now at least we would have eaten something”, he said painfully aware of the fact that he hadn’t eaten in hours and the cramping in his stomach. Ahmed looked angry frustrated and strangely panicky, “are you okay Usman? you saw what happened there, they would have killed us to and all you are thinking of is food”.
Usman lashed out at Ahmed’s insulting tone, “my own is that I said we should go to Binima, we would have reached a police station by now”
Ahmed glowered and for a moment the two boys stared at each other with undisguised anger until Ahmed said quietly, “we are already at Reno, my uncle lives here, Binima is not all that safe and it might be attacked”.
“And how do you know that?”, Usman asked heatedly although his anger was already abating the prospect that they were already at Reno with the added expectations of food and a means to contact his family giving him some much needed excitement.
Ahmed stared ahead blankly ignoring his questions, “my uncle’s house is just above that ridge, you can hear sounds coming from there, we have reached Reno”.
Usman nodded and tiredly followed Ahmed as he walked towards the ridge, foremost on his mind; his parents, their dead friends and more immediately food and rest.
*****

“It wasn’t just here”, Pa Aliyu said, shuffling towards Baba Usman, he wore a gaunt and empty look as he had for the past two days, “they also attacked Binima, people say they forced travelers from their vehicle and shot them at point blank range including women and children”.
Baba Usman looked on blankly, there were in the small hut, haven declined dinner, the past two days had been hell itself with the commission set up saying they couldn’t be certain of Usman’s body since a lot of the remains were mangled together and that a notice would be sent for claim when all the bodies had been sorted they had spent over a day in Bunkum amidst all the tears and pain before they had been forced to leave.
“Binima’s death toll meanwhile hit sixty this morning, they say the attack was very brutal and that drivers were ordered to drive their cars over the men crushing their bones while all the while the insurgents laughed and cheered, several passengers who managed to escape say they called the police and some even ran to the police station for refuge but they say the police themselves started to hide as they claimed that their own ammunitions were not enough”.
Pa Aliyu eased into his chair with a sigh, it seemed the nightmares of the last few years would never end, already the governor had declared a day of mourning for all the victims ironically around the same time several newspapers had done an in depth story of one of the governor’s sons birthday party in London which had seen an array of exotic cars and had taken place in a world famous hotel. Pa Aliyu didn’t even have the energy to summon anger and curses towards the wretched politicians anymore, he left that in God’s hands, this country had a way of ensuring one’s belief in God or else one would have either killed themselves or killed everybody around them.
Iya Usman was nearly mad as it was, she hadn’t eaten since the news was delivered and she seemed to have aged ten years over night, all she did all day was stare blankly with a haggard look.
At night he wondered about Usman, what that night must have felt like for him, how he must have screamed, how much pain he must have been in, last night, he had woken up sweating profusely from dreams of fire and blood and dead little boys.
He laid a reassuring arm on Baba Usman’s shoulder, like his wife, he hadn’t said or eaten much since their return from Bunkum, he rose up to give him some time to himself and was jarred by loud screams from the compound, he frowned and got up to see what the commotion was all about and was stopped as the door was suddenly banged open and several of their neighbors rushed in, “Pa Aliyu, Pa Aliyu”, Amina said, breathlessly a wild look in her eyes, he was about to ask what the commotion was all about when he saw who had followed her in.
He froze as Usman stepped in and prostrated, “Papa”, he said, his voice soft.
Several things happened at once; Pa Aliyu let out a scream, Usman burst into tears and Baba Usman fainted.
*****
“I wonder if anyone will ever go back, it’s been months”
“You mean you still plan on going back to school”, Ahmed asked beside him aghast, he had come to pay a visit to Usman to see how he was doing and they were now in the way to the village square to see if the oranges were ripe for plucking.
Usman couldn’t help but reflect on their miraculous escape, the news had spread like wild fire as far as Maiduguri and a journalist had even asked Usman to give an interview and though he had been excited to do it, his father had forbidden it, stating that the last thing they needed was extra publicity and unwanted attention.
He still thought of all the boys that had died that faithful night, wale, Aliko, Musa, Shehu, Tunji; all dead.
By now the nation had already practically relegated the incident from the front page material it had been for several weeks prior, it wouldn’t be the first time such a thing would happen and at the rate the country was heading, it probably wouldn’t be the last.
“Usman”, Ahmed said quietly catching his attention, “I want to ask you something”.
“What is it?”, Usman asked, curious at the change in tone in his friend’s voice, he sounded almost fearful.
“you know that night we heard those two men talking”, Ahmed asked, “did you…eh, did you see their faces?”.
Usman struggled to remember, wondering why Ahmed was asking him such a strange question, truth be told he had tried to do his best to scrub all memories of that night to ease his pain, at times he still woke up sweating profusely and screaming in the dark much to his embarrassment and his mother’s smoldering attention. His fear of the dark seemed to have increased tenfold, he couldn’t close his eyes at night without seeing armed men bearing down on him and the acrid scent of burning flesh filling his nostrils.
“No”, he answered, “it was dark remember”
“Of course”, Ahmed breathed in with a relieved sigh then said almost to himself, “it was dark of course we didn’t see anything”.
Usman stared at him in curiosity but said nothing as they continued walking on, the breeze blew gently in the evening air and he shivered rubbing the goosebumps that rose up on his arms as he remembered a cold night months ago he wished buried, then suddenly a memory struck him.
“Ahmed”, he said looking at his friend with a strange mix of curiosity, suspicion and fear, “that day you knew Binima would be attacked, how?”
Ahmed looked at him with a strange look for a long time, then sighed and turned away, “I just… I just knew”
Usman stared blankly, fear growing in his throat.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

2
Votes



A DAY IN OUR LIVES

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

A DAY IN OUR LIVES
Author : Julie Onoh

234 7066616433

Esther Akheituame is a writer who also freelances for magazines. A graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Benin, she hopes to make a mark in her world. She resides in Ogun State, Nigeria.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

Life in Nigeria can be funny and sweet. Find out in this comic drama about Nigerian citizens and NEPA officials.

”They are here oh!”

That powerful sentence sprung everyone into action, as nobody wanted to spend the next few days or even weeks without electricity. Mama Ada was the first to reach the gate carrying Ada who was tightly strapped to her back with a worn out wrapper …she stood with all confidence as she waited for the “NEPA” officials to check her bill that had been paid to the fullest.
(Before i continue, you are probably wondering why I used NEPA instead of IBEDC. Well in Nigeria, when a name sticks it sticks no matter how many times you try to change it,infact who has time to say IBEDC when you can easily say NEPA and the message would still be conveyed).
The officials finally arrived just as Sisi Nene was getting out of her house. They weren’t even smiling on seeing that these people were already prepared for them. The only person who had a bigger frown was Ebuka, he didn’t talk much but his actions were enough to pass a message, sometimes his neighbours wondered how the girls who swarmed in and out of his room daily communicated with him as one only heard his voice in greeting. Mama Bose on the other hand seemed to make up for Ebuka’s quietness in the compound as she chattered non stop daily, the only time she was ever quiet was in sleep or when her husband was around which was a rare occurence. The story making the rounds was that he had a family elsewhere and this had prompted Mrs Effiong the caretaker’s wife to advise her, a decision she had definitely regretted. You see Mrs Effiong in an attempt to help had sat Mama Bose down one day and advised her on her physical appearance telling her to minimize her tying of wrapper all day especially when her husband was around stating that it was hard to keep a man these days and she should give him something to look forward to. She also advised her on make up and how men liked having classy wives. Throughout this lesson, Mama Bose had nodded continuously but the next day we heard a different story as Mama Bose went around telling everyone that Mrs Effiong wanted to break her marriage stating that she had advised her to stop being covered up and to start putting on spaghetti tops and bum short with make up so she could show herself off to the community. People listened to her story but no one believed her as she was known to be a habitual liar who would say  anything to make a story juicier, so it was little wonder to see Mrs Effiong standing as far away from her as possible. 
“Where are your bills?” An official asked.
“Right here oh!” Mama Ada echoed.
One could see that she took pride in having a fully paid bill all the time.
The official sneered at her and then moved on to the others.
“Show me your bill” he kept asking. It turned out Mama Bose had paid only half of her fee and kept going on and on about how she had sent her son to the bank to pay the balance and that he would soon be back, but still expected to be commended for at least paying half of her bill. Sisi Nene could not find her bill and asked if they could check their records as she always paid her bills promptly. Everyone knew Nene never owed even though nobody knew the kind of business that she did. She was obviously the perfect tenant because she always paid her bills on time. The official was staring at her as she chewed her gum so seriously that her fake lashes seemed to rhythmically move along.
“Madam, I dont have time for this, he said  in an irritated tone. Show me your bill or we will cut your light.”
“Sisi Nene look for it well na”,  Mama Bose implored her.
“Madam you had better make sure your son is back in five minutes or i will cut your light off as well”, the official said as he turned back to face Mama Bose.
“Ahn Ahn, why are you behaving like this na”, she said as she eyed him maliciously.
“Oya aunty, we do not have time to go through our records”, he said turning back to Sisi Nene with an outstretched palm.
Everyone knew the official needed a tip, but this time Nene didn’t even budge.
“You have time to cut light abi, let me see you climb up that pole”, obviously Ebuka had the hots for Nene so it came as no surprise when he rushed to her defence.

“Are you threatening me?”

“Well, you should do your job properly if you do not like being threatened.”

“Do you realise you are speaking to an officer?”

“Indeed! an officerof corruption, he sneered at him. What happened to the prepaid meters we paid for months ago?” Ebuka asked amidst stutters.

At that moment,the whole compound realised why ebuka never spoke much. He was a chronic stammerer and with the anger that surged through him, he threw all caution to the wind and started an argument with the official. 

Ovie was just returning from work when he saw the crowd that had gathered.

“Wetin dey happen here?” he asked.

“You don pay your bill?”, Mama Bose replied with her question.

(Answering questions with questions is a usual thing in this part of the world and it even makes conversations more interesting according to research *winks*)

Ovie never paid his bills and as such there was no need for the question.

“So wetin kan dey happen” he replied

“You see that ladder so, na your light dem go first cut” was her  fitting reply.

“Why dem go cut light when christmas don dey near?”

“Go ask them”, she replied and walked away from him.

Ovie said nothing but just headed straight to the kernel behind his flat and brought out his rottweiler. He headed straight for the electric pole, hooked its chain on to it and then went inside his room to watch television.

No one was aware of Ovie’s actions until they had all gotten tired of the fracas. The realisation had dawned on them that this official was hell bent on cutting off their electricity supply irrespective of how much they argued. Mama Ada was the only one who wasn’t bothered though as she knew that she was safe. The official didn’t even bother to check Ebuka’s bill but was going to punish him for daring to argue with him, the man  just turned straight to the pole with his shoulders set high with pride, enjoying  the one minute of power and fame he had just achieved, he was about to climb the ladder when he noticed the dog waiting to pounce, he sprung back immediately. With fear registered on his face he asked, “Who put this dog here?”

Everyone knew who but nobody said anything, they all kept staring at him, well Mama Bose wouldn’t have missed the chance to speak up if only she had paid her bill. At the moment, she was envious of Mama Ada but also knew that being quiet was necessary at this point.

“I said who did this?”

“Oga comot the dog and do your job na” Mama Bose shouted at him mockingly.

Everyone tried so hard to stifle their laughter.

After staring at them for minutes that seemed like hours, he picked up his ladder, went to his van and shouted “I will be back” as he drove off.

Finally, some peace and quiet had been restored. They all returned to their apartments but not before Sisi Nene had given a really wide smile to ebuka which only Mama Bose noticed. She would make up a story about what she had seen soon. In the meantime, she went to inform Ovie that the officials had gone, who in turn moved out to get his dog.

The landlord laughed long and hard as he looked on  at the whole  drama that had ensued from his balcony. There was never a dull moment  with these tenants,  he thought to himself as he strolled into his room to read the newspaper that had arrived an hour ago.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

39
Votes



SUMMER ROSE

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

SUMMER ROSE
Author : Akandu Chinenye

2349023096863

My name is Akandu Sarah Chinenye. I am currently studying mass communication in Nnamdi Azikiwe University. I love acting, singing and writing. My family is my greatest motivation. My aim in life is to be a great motivation to others. i am a fun loving person.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

Summer Rose is story about young lady whose heart was shattered by the one she loved. She never knew that fate had something in store for her. As she tried to find a new life, she met a man who redefined her love life.

Chapter One

Rose picked up her phone and scanned through the message that came in. It was from her boyfriend, David.
“Dinner at 6 o’clock!”
She quickly turned off her computer and dashed out of the office, leaving files littering on her desk.
She hailed a cab and hopped in. She relaxed on the car seat and shut her eyes. Her mind immediately went into rewind.
Rose had gone to Carrefour City Ecole Militaire, a supermarket in Paris to shop for groceries. She pushed her cart towards the cashier at the counter to make her payment. As she approached the counter, a young lady appeared to attend to her. Minutes after several taps on her computer, the cashier finally spoke, “That will be fifty Euros only.”
Rose rummaged through her handbag for some cash but found none. She stepped out of the queue and searched through the store. A voice came from behind;
“Looking for something?”
Startled, Rose turned around immediately and her eyes met his, she gazed into his dark brown eyes that seemed to have enchanted her. He had impeccable features, his bone structure was perfectly symmetrical. He had the kind of face that stopped you in your tracks. He has got an excellent brown skin, and a glimpse of his proportionate face made her weak at her knees.
“Yes, I’m looking for something. You actually startled me!”
“I’m sorry. I saw the whole incident at the counter and I thought it would be nice for me to help.”
He handed her two bags full of groceries.
“Here, I already paid for them.”
She felt embarrassed. She raked her fingers over her hair and stared at him for a while.
“Are you going to stare at me until I melt?, he teased.
“I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. Can I drive you home?”
A smile etched into his face.
“I would love that.”
He immediately collected the grocery bags.
“Come with me please.”
As he turned around, she looked over at him. She had to admit he was an attractive man, and women would swoon with just one look at him. Getting to where his car was parked, he opened the car door and ushered her in.
“Thank you.”
“You are welcome.”
He hopped onto the driver’s seat and drove off.
“My name is David Olawale. What is yours?”
“It’s Rose Dike”, she replied grinning.
He gazed at her, her smile captivated him. As he stared into her eyes, her hazel eyes flecked with gold, her lips were full and slightly parted below her straight nose.
“Are you a Nigerian?”, she asked.
“Yes, I’m here on vacation.”
Her eyes widened in surprise.
“Wow! Me too.”
She smiled and pointed at a house by the roadside, “I will get down over there.”
The car immediately came to a halt.
“Would you like to come in?”
“Not today dear.”
“Well, I will love to have you over. Thanks again.”
“You are welcome. I will come over soon.”
As she headed towards a black gate, he watched her, he saw a certain grace of movement, an ingrained lithe fluidness in her posture which he admired.
He didn’t fail to visit Rose the next day, and from there, their friendship bloomed into a romantic relationship.
“We are here madam.”
The driver’s voice intruded on her thoughts, his voice jolted her back to reality. She paid him and zoomed off. Rushing into her apartment, she immediately took a cold shower, and hurried out of the bathroom. She rummaged through her closet and took out a red mini dress. She had waited impatiently for two months for tonight and she only wished that he would finally propose to her as he had promised to do on his return to Nigeria. He had made the promise to her the night before he left for England to inform his parents about their relationship.
Rose slid the dress down her body, applied a light makeup and left her apartment immediately.
On getting to the restaurant, the skies darkened and it started drizzling. The restaurant’s doorman opened the door and ushered her in.
“Good evening madam, welcome to Cafe Cassata.”
As she walked past him, his stares followed her. She was used to people gawking at her and that made her proud. Her eyes searched through the restaurant until they finally found David, he looked as handsome as always.
Easing closer to him, she sensed a negative feeling in the atmosphere. The mood was ominous.
“Hi, I’m sorry for being late.”
“It’s alright”, he replied looking out of the glass window.
She looked at him for a while, his eyes were gloomy.
“How was your trip?”
“It was fine.”
“Is anything the matter?”
“No! Stop asking me silly questions!”
Rose’s eyes widened in surprise, the man sitting right in front of her was totally different from the man she used to know.
“Rose, I know we have dated for two years now and I know that you must have had a lot of fantasies but I’m sorry, you are not what I want anymore.”
His words shattered her heart. She felt lost and empty.
“David…”
He cut her short and drove her words back into her mouth.
“I’m sorry Rose, but it all ends here, I will pay you off if you want.”, he said in a tone of finality and left.
The drizzle turned into a torrential downpour.
“Where do I go from here?” she wondered.
A few seconds later, with her purse in one hand and scarf in the other, she dashed off into the rain.

Chapter Two

Daniel Efe was driving home at a snail’s pace, battling with the striking rain that slammed against the windshield of his car. A call came into his phone; it was from Mr. Kunle, his private investigator.
“Hello?”
“It’s me, Kunle. If you really want answers to your questions then I suggest you go home now without delay.”
The caller immediately hung up before Daniel could utter another word. He stepped on it at once, the night seemed darker than usual and his headlights could barely illuminate the desolated roads. Suddenly, a figure darted in front of his car, he slammed on the brakes and halted at the edge of a pavement. He clung on to the steering wheel and his heart began pounding. When his pulse slowed, he opened the car door and rushed towards the figure he had knocked down.
“I’m really very sorry. My name is Daniel, please let me take you to a nearby clinic.”
“I don’t need your help!”
She clutched at her purse and limped into the dark streets. He wasn’t able to see her face in the dark. His conscience nagged him as drove off.

* *
Daniel made his way into his apartment, he heard voices coming from the bedroom upstairs and he hurriedly climbed up the stairs. He entered the bedroom unnoticed and what he saw dumbfounded him. His beloved wife was lying in with a strange man, with the both of them unclad. His jaw dropped in amazement.
“Good lord!”
His voice jerked the young man off the bed; he picked up his clothes and dashed out. Daniel stared at her for a while.
“Ada, why?”
She abruptly ran out of the house. As she ran out, her hurried footsteps sounded across the apartment as the door opened and closed.

Chapter Three

A month had passed but Daniel still found it difficult to forget about the incident that transpired in his bedroom. The sudden disappearance of Ada troubled him for a moment but he tried to brush the thought off his mind. He wasn’t excited about his life anymore.
As he lay in bed, a ray of sunlight slanted through the grimy windows of his bedroom. The cheerful beam of sunlight tickled his eyes until he finally opened them. He stood up from the bed, moved into the kitchen and made himself a hot cup of coffee. Taking a sip from the cup of coffee, he winced in pain as the hot liquid burnt his tongue. It seemed like the burn on his tongue added to the pain in his heart. He lifted his head and glanced at the wall clock that rested on the wall of his sitting room.
“7 a.m!”
He exclaimed and zoomed off into the bathroom. He hasn’t been to work for the past one month but he had placed the affairs of the company in the hands of his trusted general manager, Mr. Taiwo Adekunle. He had decided to take some time off to clear his mind. As soon as he made his way out of the bathroom, he dressed up and hurried out.

* *
At work, Rose found it difficult to concentrate, she was lost in her own thoughts, she sat in front of her computer and stared at nothing.
The new boss walked into her office unannounced, she was unaware of his presence, he stood close to the door and watched her for a while. He felt a sudden gust of anger as he watched her sitting idly in the office at the early hours of the day. The sight of files lying unattended to on her desk irritated him.
“Young lady!”
The manly voice rang in her head and shocked her back to life. She jumped off her chair in fear and tried to compose herself.
“Who are you? Where is Linda?”
“My name is Rose Dike sir and I’m the new assistant secretary. Linda has gone on a trip to Abuja with two other employees to represent the company at the general conference. I’m only filling in for her.”
His eyes widened in bewilderment.
“Is this how you plan to work for this company? As early as 8 o’clock in the morning, you are just seated there doing nothing?”
“I’m very sorry sir”
“If you truly have the intention of working for this company, then I advise you to buckle down. I don’t have a space in my company for indolent individuals”
“I’m sorry sir.”
“Prepare the documents of our contract with China Corporation and send them to my office in the next fifteen minutes. Bring me a cup of coffee too.”
As soon as he left for his office, she immediately went to work on her computer. She prepared the documents carefully. She ran to the coffee shop across the street and hurried back to her office with a cup of cappuccino.
With the cup of coffee in her right hand and the documents in the left, she headed straight to her boss’ office. She made to knock on the door but the door flung open immediately and she bumped into her boss who was on his way out. The lukewarm coffee spilled on him. Anger filled him at once. One glance at him, fear gripped her and she moved a few steps away from him.
“I guess I will be seeing more of your clumsiness around here.”
He snatched the documents from her and before she could utter a word, he slammed the door on her face. Rose felt embarrassed and frailly walked to her office.

* *
Rose entered her apartment; she walked past the living room and headed straight to her bedroom without saying a word to Lilian who quietly watched her. Lilian was surprised at her sudden gloomy countenance. She has been married to Rose’s elder brother for two years and she’s known Rose well enough to know when something was troubling her.
Some minutes later, Lilian entered Rose’s room and she met her lying in bed.
“Are you okay?”
Rose managed to sit up in bed.
“No. I think I must have gotten on my boss’ bad side. The thought of David distracts me from work.”
“My dear, you have to. You need to get your life back together and forget about him. The bastard is definitely happy now.”
“You think so?”
“I know so. Trust me, you will find a better man”, Lilian reassured her.
And with the reassurance, Rose’s spirit took a dive.
“What will I do without you?”
“Without me, you will grow old because of worry”, she teased and both women laughed.

Chapter Four

It was a sunny morning; beams of sunlight made their way through the curtains and crept into Daniel’s room. He groaned as they forced him out of bed. He stretched his muscles and climbed down the bed. He moved towards the window to open the curtains, he stood still as he watched an unknown figure climbing down the porch, there was a certain grace in her movement that captivated him. Her face glistened in the morning sun and her blue gown gave her the perfect curve that would leave men drooling at the sight of her. He wondered who she was. It was his friend, Ifeanyi who lived next door with his wife, Lilian. As he watched her, she stumbled and fell.
“She is just as clumsy as Rose”, he said amidst chuckles.
Sensing that someone must have seen her fall, she quickly rose and straightened up. As she raised her head to look around to see if anyone saw her fall, Daniel immediately hid behind the curtains.
“Why am I even hiding?”, he wondered.
He moved back to the window but couldn’t find her there.
Unbidden, the image of Ada flashed through his mind. A dark skinned young lady, attractive and deadly as a viper. She ripped his heart apart and left him helpless. He had never known hate until she swept through his life in a flash.
He suddenly heard a loud rumble in his stomach which distracted him from his thoughts. His eating habit lately had suddenly become dicey. There was a hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach which reminded him that he needed to scrounge up some food. He headed straight to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.

* *
Daniel was curious about the woman he had seen earlier leaving his friend’s house; he wanted to know more about her. As he was about to head out, he decided to drop by at his friend’s place with the hope of seeing her again. He knocked on the door and the door immediately flung open. It was his friend’s wife, Lilian that he saw. She stood at the door in her white transparent nightgown. He could see virtually everything underneath. He tried to avert his eyes which seemed to have pierced through the nightgown.
“Is Ifeanyi home?”
She enjoyed the attention she was getting from him.
“Are you here for Ifeanyi or for the lady you were staring at this morning?”
He was shocked to know that someone saw him gazing.
“I’m here Ifeanyi.”
“He’s not at home. He’s gone on a business trip, he will be back later tonight. Do you want to come in?”
“No thanks, I will be back later in the evening”, he replied and immediately zoomed off.

* *
Later that evening, Daniel decided to drop by at his friend’s place. He wanted to see the young lady that spellbound him earlier in the day. He knocked on the door, and in a few minutes, he heard someone unlocking the door. He silently prayed that it wasn’t Lilian who was at the door.
He stood motionless in amazement.
“Rose?”
She was shocked to see him; her legs became too weak to carry her.
“Hi boss”, she managed to dredge the words up.
His friend immediately appeared behind her and took him away. They hadn’t seen each other in a while so they had a lot of catching up to do. They were engrossed in their discussion that they were oblivious of Lillian’s presence as she entered the living room with a bottle of red wine and two wine glasses. It was then that Daniel popped the question.
“What is Rose doing here?”
On hearing the question, Lilian felt a pang of jealousy. Her hands trembled; the wine glasses fell and shattered into pieces. The shattering sound interrupted their discussion and they both turned towards Lilian.
“I think I feel a bit ill”, she excused herself and left.
Rose later reappeared to clean up the place and Daniel couldn’t take his eyes off her as she worked.
“Stop staring at my sister like that. I don’t want those eyes of yours to create a hole in her skin”, he teased.
“Sister? That’s Rose, my secretary in the office.”
“Yes, she’s my sister. She had issues in her last relationship and it affected her at work.”
“How?”
“Her ex boyfriend was her boss in the office. After their break up, she decided not to work there anymore.”
“I see.”
“I never knew she was employed in your company, you know I have been away for three weeks. I haven’t really had the time to talk with her.”
Daniel felt remorseful; he never knew she was having a hard time like he was. The two friends decided to put Rose’s issues aside and talk about other things. The two friends enjoyed each other’s company and laughed at regular intervals.
“I will be leaving now.”
“Alright. Thanks for coming over.”
“It is my pleasure.”

* *
On his way out, he bumped into Rose who had gone out to empty the waste bin.
“If we keep bumping into each other like this, we will end up breaking each other’s bones”, he teased.
“I’m sorry. I…”
He held her arms with his hands and her words trailed off.
“You don’t have to be sorry. I totally understand what you are going through.”
She winced in pain and he immediately unhanded her.
“Are you okay?”
“Not really, your hand slightly brushed my wound.”
She pulled up her sleeve, the wound emitted droplets of blood, he grasped her hand and pulled her towards the well, he gently helped her to wash the droplets of blood off.
“How did you get this?”
“I had a car accident a month ago.”
“Where? When? Did you see the face of the reckless driver?”
“Like I said, it was a month ago. It was around Cafe Cassata, I think it was on a Friday night, it was raining and the skies were pretty dark. I bet the driver didn’t see me. Funny enough, he mentioned his name was Daniel, but I didn’t get to see his face in the dark.”
He stood in shock. Sensing the sudden change in his countenance, Rose asked, “Are you okay?”
“I was the one”, he muttered.
“What?”
“I was the one that hit you with my car that night. I’m truly sorry, I wanted to help but you took off even before I could do anything.”
“You don’t have to be sorry. I know you wanted to help.”
He took her hand and held it in his.
“Am I forgiven?”
“I was never mad at you anyway.”
She gently withdrew her hand from his.
“I will be going in now. Goodnight boss.”
“Goodnight Rose.”

Chapter Five

An image of Ada flashed through his mind, he paused and heaved a deep sigh. The thought of her distracted him from work.
Rose walked into his office to drop off some documents on his desk. She had been knocking on the door but there was no answer. She decided to go in and drop the document. She was surprised to see him seated at his desk. Daniel was so intent in his thoughts that he was unmindful of her presence. She looked at him and her nurturing instincts kicked in. She felt his pain. The news of his wife’s infidelity had circulated around the company and she guessed it must be the reason for his despondence.
“Good morning sir.”
Her voice shattered his pensive mood.
“Good morning, Rose. How long have you been here?”
“A minute.”
She placed the documents on his desk and made to leave.
“Rose…”
She stopped and turned around sharply.
“…How did you get over your ex?”
His voice was shaky.
“I wouldn’t say that I have completely gotten over my ex, I’m still trying to move on, you should too. You will find someone who will love you wholeheartedly.”
He moved closer to her and hugged her tightly. A warm flush crept up Rose’s neck as she tucked her face into his chest, she could hear his racing heartbeat, his cologne captivated her. He stared into her eyes, her striking brown eyes were vivid in the daylight. Her glossy lips were soft and full. He bent over and kissed her softly. She couldn’t help but kiss him back.
Suddenly, a knock came on the door and disentangled them. She instantly straightened up and left his office.

* *
That evening, Daniel went over to Rose’s place to apologize to her. Outside her house, he met the gatekeeper, Kola, in front of the gate.
“Is Rose in?”
“No sir, she isn’t back yet.”
“Please, can you give this to her when she gets back?”
“I will sir.”
Daniel handed the bouquet which contained a card to him. He shoved his hand into the back pocket of his trousers, took out some naira notes and tucked it into Kola’s hand. The gatekeeper was full of thanks.
“This will definitely get to her sir.”
Daniel left and Kola made his way into the house. Half way into the house, Kola halted at the sight of Lilian.
“Good evening ma.”
“Good evening Kola. Who gave you that?”
“Mr. Daniel did. He asked me to give them to Rose.”
“Hand it over. I will give it Rose when she gets back.”
He handed the bouquet to Lilian and went back to the gate. She placed the bouquet on her bed and took out the card which read;
Rose dear, I apologize for what happened in the office.
I promise to make it up to you. Please let’s meet up at
Elis restaurant by 8 o’clock.
Daniel.
In anger, she picked up the bouquet and card, and dumped them into the waste bin.

* *
Daniel sat in the restaurant waiting for Rose. He took a peep at his wristwatch, it was 8:45 p.m. He ordered for a glass of wine which he slowly sipped. Hours passed and he grew tired of waiting.
“I guess she stood me up.”
He emptied the glass at a gulp and walked out of the restaurant.

* *
Lilian and her husband, Ifeanyi had gone out on a date that evening. She returned home drunk. He carried her into their bedroom and gently placed her on the bed. When he turned around to leave, she held his hand, drew him closer and kissed him with her eyes closed.
“I love you, Daniel Efe.”
His eyes widened in astonishment. He couldn’t believe what he heard. He raised his weary eyes to look at her but she was already fast asleep.

Chapter Six

Ifeanyi couldn’t fall asleep after hearing his wife profess her love for another man, he stayed awake till the next morning, trying to figure out what must have gone wrong with their marriage. He moved over to the bed and gently tapped her.
“Lilly, we need to talk.”
She struggled to sit up in bed as she was still having a great hangover.
“Honey, can’t it wait till later in the day?”
Her voice was soft. It melted his heart. He looked straight into her eyes.
“Are you in love with my friend, Daniel?”
Her heart started racing fast. The room stood still for a while as they both stared into each other’s eyes.
“I think I’m falling for him.”
“Haven’t I been doing enough for you?”
“You have dear but I need your attention. You are barely around. We have been married for two years without a child of our own. I love you honey. I only wanted someone to give me the attention I need. I swear to you, we haven’t done anything.”
“I’m sorry that I haven’t been living up to my duties as a husband. I love you Lilly and I promise to change for good.”

* *
That morning, Rose decided to take out the waste bin. As she picked it up, she stumbled and the garbage flew in the air. She noticed a bouquet and card in the bin, she read through the card and instantly ran out to Daniel’s house.
She knocked on his door and the door flung open. She was surprised to see a woman at the door.
“Hello. Who are you and what are you looking for?”
”I’m Rose. Is Mr. Daniel in?”
“Oh! You are the pesky little dirt who wouldn’t let my husband be.”
Rose was taken aback by her words. She never knew that they were back together. She became speechless and dejectedly left.

* *
Rose decided to channel the whole of her mind to her work in order to get over her growing feelings for Daniel. When she was about to leave for home, she bumped into Daniel on the stairs. She tried to walk past him but he held her back.
“Why didn’t you show up? I waited for you all night at the restaurant.”
“And why didn’t you tell me that you and your wife are back together?”
“What?”
“Don’t even try to pretend. I went over to your place on Saturday morning and I met her there. You …”
“We are getting a divorce…”
His words cut hers off.
“…She only came over to pick up her stuffs.”
“I’m sorry Daniel. I couldn’t show up that night…”
“Let’s not talk about that anymore.”
“How can I make it up to you?”
“Dinner at 8. I will pick you up at 7:30 p.m.”

Chapter Seven

There was an incessant pounding on the door, the noise roused her from her sleep. She was alone at home. Ifeanyi and Lilian had gone on a romantic trip to Dubai, and Kola had gone his one week leave. She wondered how the person got through the gate and to the front door. She tiptoed closer to the door and peered through the keyhole. There was tension within her. She unlocked the door and gently opened it. He pushed his way through the door and slammed it.
“Are you having an affair with your new boss?”
Anger was emanating from him.
“So what? We are not together anymore!”
“We recently broke up and you are already into a new relationship?”
“You brought another woman to the office as your fiancée, you even made me watch every day!”
“I never wanted to end things with you Rose. My parents…”

When it was 7:30 p.m, Daniel rushed over to Rose’s place. He was surprised to see the gate wide open. He heard noises coming from inside the house, he immediately increased his pace. He leaned on the door and listened.
“… Rose, I want you back. I have realized my mistake.”
“Too late! I’m in love with someone else.”
“Who?”
“I’m in love with Daniel Efe!”
He slapped her across the face. She shrieked, her cry jolted Daniel, he pushed through the door and made his way into the house. He pounced on David and released punches on him. Rose called the police and in no time, the police arrived and took David away.
“Was that your ex?”
“Yes, that’s David Olawale, my ex boyfriend.”
“David Olawale?”
“Yes. Do you know him?”
“I’m not certain about that love, but I will have to find out.”

Chapter Eight

David sat in the station’s waiting room, he was badly bruised. He was still trying to recover from the punches he had taken, his face had doubled. A voice came from behind;
“Olawale Bankole David!”
There was only one person who called him by his full name but he hadn’t seen that person since their secondary school days. David turned around instantly in surprise.
“Efe Daniel?”
They ran towards each other and hugged.
“Man! Where have you been?”
“It’s a long story bro.”
Daniel talked with the policemen and got his friend bailed. They moved over to a nearby restaurant to sort things out over some drinks.
“I made a mistake to have left Rose. My parents talked me into it. I know I can’t have Rose anymore because she’s in love with you now. I just want you to take care of her bro.”
The bitterness emanating from him was palpable.
“I promise I will.”
They both became quiet for some minutes until the bartender appeared and disrupted the stillness around them. They decided to push the topic aside and talk about other things.

* *
He sat in the restaurant and patiently waited for her. They had dated for several months and their feelings for each o6ther had grown swiftly with time. He couldn’t imagine life without her by his side.
At the sight of her, his heart took a flight, his gaze fixated on her and the lights in the room illuminated on her skin. Her caramel skin glowed under the lights. She looked like an ever blooming rose. His heart leapt as she walked towards him. He stood up and pulled out a seat for her.
“You look beautiful.”
“Thanks darling.”
After a lovely dinner, sweet classical music filled the air, he reached for her hand and took her to the dance floor. The spotlight rested on them and he got on one knee.
“Rose, I can’t describe how lucky I am to have you. Without you, my life wouldn’t be complete.”
The sight brought tears to her eyes. Her joy was immeasurable. He took out the ring and uttered the plea;
“Will you marry me?”
His heartbeat increased as he waited for her response.
“Yes Dan! I will!”
His joy was without bound; he pulled her closer and embraced her. His lips parted and met hers, he kissed her for a while and his tongue melted her. The whole room stood still as they kissed. It seemed like the world was at their fingertips.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

1701
Votes



Broken

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Broken
Author : Osita James Uche

+2348036470810

Uche Osita is a graduate of law from the University of Nigeria. He was the president of the Nwokike Literary Club UNN and has published his work on several platforms, including Kalahari Review and African Writer.
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

A 12 year old girl loses her mother and subsequently goes into depression, occasioned by the imperious treatment she receives from her stepmother. She finds succor in a priest and her diary, but she may never find out why her father chose to remarry barely a year after her mother’s death.

BROKEN

Golden rays of Sunlight passed through the stained glass of St Gregory Parish, Enugu on a cold September morning. On a kneeler, beside a wooden cubicle was a 12 year old girl. There was absolute quiet, except for the chucking sound of Yusuf working his shears on the overgrown hedges in the church premises and the indistinct whisper of the little girl to the man in the cubicle.
“Father bless me for I have sinned against you, my last good confession was yesterday. I have sinned before heaven and earth, and my sins grow heavy on me and burden my heart. I come forward this day to ask for God’s forgiveness and these are my sins.”
Father Patrick frowned, he recognized the voice and he knew what was coming next. He however made no attempt to stop her.
“I tried to forget Mama.” A pause.
“I have been writing in my diary, and I wrote that Mama is a horrible person for leaving, for making me suffer so much.”
“I still hate Mama Dubem.” Another pause.
“These are my sins.”
The priest sighed. He could feel, rather than hear her crying.
It was the 10th time that she had come forward to make the exact same confession. And he had tried to talk her out of her grief. He had told her that the true pathway to peace was through forgiveness, that Mama probably hurt her by dying, but that she should forgive her.
After the confession, the priest came out hurriedly to meet Ann before she skipped off to God knows where.
“Ann!” He called as she crossed the wooden door at the end of the Central Isle.
“How are you today?”
“I am fine father.”
“How is your father?”
“He is very well, father.”
“And your Stepmother?”
A pause.
“She is fine.” She said finally.
He laid a hand on her head, she looked up.
“I hope to see you tomorrow after morning mass, I have a story I will like to share with you.” Her face brightened.
“Yes father.”
Alright then, send my regards to your father.
“I will father.”

***********************************

11th September, 2010
Dear Diary,

The world was pretty and colorful, full of love and peace. There was laughter, and there was joy. Then, all I felt like doing was laugh and smile. To take in as much as I could of the bliss all around me. Mama was in the centre, dishing out dishes of love like a goddess of festivity and stirring and stirring the deep broth of happiness. Papa was a jolly partaker, just as I, in the times before there was darkness.
I want Mama back. Even though right now I don’t know how I feel about her, but if she were here it will all be alright. I wish sometimes I was there, on that day Papa and Mama went to visit Aunt Amaka. Maybe she would still be here.
I wish I was there when the accident happened, when Papa somehow came out alive and left Mama behind, to die.
I see her everywhere, in my dreams, in the faces of people I see in the street, on the face of my teachers and in the mirror when I go to the bathroom. Am I wrong to want her back? Am I wrong to wish that the last thing I told her was not that I hate her, for not letting me come? Does God really care? Father Patrick promised he loved me. Did he love me enough and yet let Mama die? Did I do something so wrong, this had to be my punishment?
I wish I have been dreaming since last year. That Mama Dubem, Dubem and Kenneth are not real and that Papa has not changed.

***********************************************

Ann flipped a page of her text book idly. Her mind was wandering, from school to the loads of chores Mama Dubem had given her and the fact that the boys got to sit around and watch TV while she did their laundry, cleaned the house and did the dishes. She flipped the second page, something about calligraphy and many artistic letters that she was supposed to imitate in the next class.
She sighed and closed the book. She then pulled out her diary from underneath her pillow. She went to the door and peeped to be sure no one was coming, then she settled down to write.

**********************************************

September 15th ,2010
Dear Diary,

Today is the day Mama died a year ago.
I remember the beeping sound of the machines I pleaded with to keep Mama alive. They kept their words for 2 months, though she never actually woke up. I remember that Papa was not his cheery old self. That his clothes were ruffled and because he was always in the hospital, praying and holding Mama’s hand, he exuded a stale sweaty odor that made the nurse that was assigned to Mama cringe her nose whenever she saw him, disgust written all over her face. I recall how dispirited Papa was, when the Machine betrayed us, and stopped beeping. How lifeless Papa looked kneeling at Mama’s bedside, too astounded, too surprised to cry.

***************************************************

Father Patrick sat across the room from Ann. She was holding her knees and watching him expectantly.
“How was your night, hope you slept well?”
“Yes father.”
“No bad dreams?”
“No father.” He raised an eye brow. “No bad dreams.” she insisted. She had complained of bad dreams in the past, dreams in which she was been pursued by a faceless person.
“Ok. So, today I want to tell you a personal story.”
“Of course you know I was a boy once, as young as you?” She nodded twice.
“When I was young, nine years to be precise, I lost my father.”
There was silence.
“I am sorry for your loss father.”
“No need for that, you see it was all part of God’s plan.”
She looked down, she didn’t seem to agree.
“Yes, it was.” He insisted. “If my father had not died then, my mother would never have sent me to live with Father Christian. I would never have become a priest.”
“So, God killed your father to make you his lifelong servant?”
“That is not what I said.”
“I meant that his dying was because it was his time, but God works in mysterious ways. It was that string of event that eventually led me here to this place, this day, here with you.”
“Father, who decides when it is a person’s time to die?”

He thought about it for a while and then said;

“God ultimately does my dear.”

“Father did God decide that Mama had to die?”
“Good Lord, No! Why would you think such a thing? God is not a killer.”

“What I mean is that every time a person comes across a life threatening situation, if their purpose is not yet fulfilled, God often saves them. If not, he allows events to run their course.”
Silence.
Then she spoke up;
“Father is that the story you wanted to tell me?”
“No, not at all.”
“Are you ready for the story?”
“Yes Father.”
“Ok, here it goes.” He cleared his throat dramatically and she laughed, this made him smile.
“A long time ago when I was just in seminary, in my third year if I can recall correctly, there was a boy that every one hated because he was strong. He could bully and beat up anyone who got in his way and he was often in a lot of trouble because of his behavior. We used to call him bulldozer. He had earned the nick name after he had been accosted by a senior seminarian during assembly for flying out his shirt. He had continued to walk forward even though he was been called, to go to the back and await punishment. When the seminarian accosted him and attempted to force him to the back as instructed. He then thrust his leg behind the seminarian and tackled him to the ground. He was Bull dozer ever since. He had bull dozed the formidable seminarian to the ground. As was customary, when the session ended we were instructed to write the names of people we felt were no longer fit for the program, and as was expected, we all wrote his name. But in the night of the last day of the term before vacation, the rector’s house was set ablaze by unidentified persons. No one was brave enough to try and save him. Seminarians were busy rallying students about to fetch water to quench the thirsty fire, Bull dozer however, ran straight into the burning house and came out some minutes later with the unconscious body of the rector. Today, Bull dozer is a priest, just like me”
Her eyes widened in amazement.
“Really?”
“Yes.”
“Now, what lesson did you learn from this story.”
“That bad people can be good”
“Well, yes and?”
“That sometimes, some things need to happen for the good in people to come out.”
“No! That is not it.”
“Do you want to try again?”
“No Father.”
“Are you sure?” He said looking in the direction of the bowel of sweets he always kept for the occasion.
“Yes father?”
He sighed.
The lesson is forgiveness. Bulldozer was already on his way out of the school. He was not going to return for the next session. He was done with the seminary and it was the rector that sanctioned it. But when the rector was in danger, Bull dozer came to the rescue. If he had not forgiven earlier, he would never have been moved to help at all.
But there is also something else I must tell you
“Do you want to know what it is?”
“Yes Father”
“Do you remember the part in the bible that says; love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Yes Father.”
“Good, very good.”
“Forgiveness also works the same way.”
“If you carry anger or hatred in you, your heart never truly knows peace. But when you forgive those who have offended you, your heart is freed and the burden of hatred and anger is gone. But sometimes, we start to feel bad for having not forgiven all those times. It brings sadness. For instance, a father who is angry with his son and later forgives and reconciles with him is often sad that he held unto that anger for so long. Even if he has eventually forgiven his son, he did not forgive himself. It is therefore important that as we forgive others, we should also learn to forgive ourselves and accept the things we cannot change.”

Ann came home one evening to see her diary on the floor of the living room. Dubem and Kenneth were still both watching Tv. They didn’t even hear her come in.
“Ann!” Mama Dubem shouted.
“Ann!” She shouted again, before Ann replied.
“You are back, good. Here” She said, giving her some money. “Run downstairs and buy maggi cubes from Mama Kosy.”
By the time Ann came back, she could not find her diary.
“Dubem!” She shouted to draw his attention. “Where is my diary?”
“How am I supposed to know he retorted, slightly irritated.”
“I saw it on the floor when I came in.”
“Then get it from there then.”
“Did you hear me, I said I saw it on the floor. How did it get there?”
“How am I supposed to know?!” He said, this time loud enough to attract the attention of his mother
“Aunty” She started when the woman demanded an explanation. She never called her Mother or anything of the sorts.
“I can’t find my diary.”
“And so?”
“Please, I can’t find my diary”
“So because you can’t find your wretched book we can’t have peace in this house again.”
“It was in my room when I left, but when I came back it was in the living room, on the floor.”
“And so what.”
“After I came back from the running the errand you sent me on, I came back and now I can’t find it.”
“I really couldn’t care less about your suspicious diary. All I know is that you will not disturb my peace in this house over some nonsense diary.”
Silence, even the TV seemed to have taken the cue.
“Do you hear me?”
“Yes Aunty.”
“Now go and get a broom and sweep this house. Your father is about to come home and God knows he hates an untidy house.”

******************************************

1st November, 2010
Dear Diary,

Maybe Father Patrick does not understand. How do you forgive a person that does not want to be forgiven?

********************************************

Ann was sitting at her table writing. She had found the diary after three uneventful weeks in a pile of laundry in Dubem’s room. At the time she had felt many things; anger, pain and relief but now, she was simply grateful. Papa had been in the room earlier, he had complained of being called by Mrs. Pet, Ann’s form teacher and told that she was performing poorly, in comparison to last year. He had taken one look at her diary and started; that spent all her time writing on it than studying and how much of a bad daughter she was becoming.
She had not been able to concentrate since he left. Each time she opened her books; the pages swam into one another, and often turned a bright creamy colour – the colour of her mother’s coffin. She only ever read after she had written on the diary to her satisfaction and there was no emotion left to tell. She ever so wished the diary would not ever go missing again. And Seeing Papa yell at her like that reminded her of the things she could not have, an understanding mother that took time to find out what the problem was before laying blames.
In the evening, she went for choir practice at St Gregory. Father Patrick had finally convinced her that she could serve God better that way, and that he who sings well, prayed twice. At first it was a drag having to learn solfa notes that sounded like a bunch of organized noise. With time , she came to enjoy the labour of learning the notes, in other to get the songs right, with a conscious musical precision. She found that each time she sang, a part of her was lifted and united with God. Her smile grew wider and her demeanor brightened.
Mama Dubem forbade her ever sing in the house, as though to ensure that the gloom she escaped every Monday and Thursday evening still remained. She would later tell Father Patrick about it and he would tell her that happiness was not something people could give and take, that only a person could decide whether or not to he wanted be happy.

*******************************************

16th May 2010
Dear Diary,

Papa is getting married. I have no say in this but I know this is a betrayal to Mama. I cannot understand how Papa intends to replace her. I have refused to go along with it, even though he has come to tell me and introduce me to the new wife. The wife has two children. Kenneth, a six year old boy and his brother Dubem, aged seven. They look like we will never get along. I wish Papa had other siblings, I would have told him I want to stay with one of them. I am stuck; I have nowhere to go, no choice, no hope. I have not even been given enough time to mourn Mama. Papa has said he is only doing it for me, but I don’t understand him. I don’t believe him. This is going to create a rift between us, I do not know whether I will ever forgive him for this.

***************************************

Father Patrick drove silently to Parklane hospital. He had earlier received a call from Ann; she had said her father was in the hospital and that he had been involved in an accident. He was not used to running to the aid of every single person that called in the middle of the night, but this was Ann and her father’s life was in possible danger. They last saw each other just this evening, right before choir rehearsal. And as he drove, he tried to recollect exactly what she had said. He recalled her saying, that she was finally ready to forgive Papa. It came as a surprise to him; he had always known how strongly she resented her father for marrying Mama Dubem. But then she had explained that Papa had come very early this morning and sat at her bedside as she slept. When she had woken, she was shocked to see him but he had said he had something he had to tell her. He recalled how she couldn’t continue because she kept crying in between words. He had told her to take her time; that she didn’t have to tell him then. She had however motioned to her diary, a little red book she seemed to carry everywhere. He had been hesitant, a diary was thoroughly personal. He even suspected an entry describing him as a glorified servant, with inferiority complex incapable of logical reasoning unconnected with faith. She had however turned some pages in the book and stopped at one and given him to read. It read;

1st December 2010,
Dear Diary,
Papa came today and sat on my bed as I slept. I know this because when I woke up he was there staring down at me. I was confused. And when I greeted him, he barely nodded in reply. Annabel, he had called me. No one called me that since Mama’s death. In the times before her death, I remember being called Annabel for a treat, or a reminder that tomorrow was someone’s birthday, or to try on a new cloth, or any other good thing possible. Always something good and it was always Mama. He told me that he loved me. He said that he was sorry for everything that happened and that he wished he had told me then, but he was too consumed in his grief that he never really came around to doing that. He said that he loved Mama very much and would have done anything in his power to save her. I was mad at him for saying that. How could he say that, how could he, when all he had done was stay silent and tell me that he was going to marry Mama Dubem. But he told me that when Mama was in comatose, that he was in dire need of money. That after he sold his car and his properties, we still didn’t have enough money to pay for Mama’s hospital bills. He was desperate, the doctor threatened to pull the plug and we were up to our neck in debts. That was when Mama Dubem had come into the picture; she had come bearing Greek gifts. She was Papa’s one time love in the past and was eager to help. She paid every bill that came afterwards, down to the day Mama died.

As he drove, he hoped that Ann’s father lived, after what had happened, he was certain if he didn’t she may in the end never forgive herself.

**************************************************
1st December, 2010
Dear Diary,

I do not know at this point exactly how am feeling. I have been sitting silently in this room beside Papa and holding his hands, urging him to live – for me.
Father Patrick, Mama Dubem and her children are all here. And their presence gives his silence a certain finality.
I wish I had more time before it was time for school this morning to tell Papa how I felt, how trapped I was in my grief, and how sad I had felt when streaks of happiness seeped into my being – betraying Mama’s memory. I wish I had told him this morning how much I loved him; of the deep seated emotions I have harbored these past few months, of how difficult it was for me, to want to cry but know that it was futile, of running into a void that seemed to harness and amplify all the emotions I detested, of hope and of despair. I wish I had known all these while, that he did what he could and understood his sacrifice.
And even though I am not certain of many things, I am certain of just one thing; I will wait.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

283
Votes



Our Hands Are Sticks And Our Chests Are Drums
Author : Adebayo Adesoji

08093864685

Adesoji Adebayo is a creative writer, editor and motion graphics artist. He currently resides in Lagos, and grew up reading different kinds of books.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

Our Hands Are Sticks And Our Chests Are Drums is a story about a young boy, Chidi, who was kidnapped by his mum’s twin sister. Along the journey, he meets Lanre and together they forge a powerful relationship.

Even though I feel like jumping into the river in front of me, the muddy color of it puts me off. So I resign myself to an abandoned canoe nearby and watch the kids in the water swim delightfully. The color of the water is clear around where they are, the middle, yet I don’t think of joining them there.
The banana I ate this morning was my first food since three days ago when Aunty Remi, my mum’s twin sister, came to school to pick me up. She handed me a milkshake as usual when we got to the car, and the last thing I remembered was waving at our school security men as the car exited the premises.
When I woke it was almost night, and Aunty Remi was outside the car arguing with two men. As I looked on, one of the men slapped her really hard. Hard enough that she fell and tried to stand and fell again.
The other man helped her up, while the one that slapped her walked back to the car and sat on the bonnet; his back was directly opposite me, thereby shielding his short friend and my aunt from sight. Quietly, I sneaked out of the backseat door, entered the bush next to it and never looked back since then.
A distant humming in the sky jerks my attention back to the present. Out of the corner of my eye, I check for the skinny kid in a canoe across the river all by himself, several meters from the group of kids I’ve been envying since I arrived at this spot.
As the humming gets closer, the swimming kids all pause to look up and back at one another. Then as if on cue, they race towards me together. By now I can see the cause of the sound: A helicopter, growing bigger as it approaches.
One after the other, the kids reaches the shore and file out. Then they all space themselves, and spread their hands as if they are about to fly. When the copter reaches directly above us, they start to rotate about their positions just like its evasive blades.
I’m guessing this is routine for the kids, so I try as much as possible to not be moved by the magnificence of the fleeting moment lest I waste precious energy. Another glance at the kid in the canoe again, still sitting in the same spot in the middle of the river, and I ask myself, “Why not join your happy friends over here and be happy?”
He looks in my direction for a second, and then turns away. I think he hears me, or maybe my thoughts, so I keep my eyes on him. I watch as he wipes his face with the hem of his cloth, stands and jumps into the water.
I’m speechless for some seconds. When I’m able to speak, I scream, “Help! Help that boy!” The kids around me stop their activity, and turn to look at me for the first time so I point to the water. Then leap out of the boat and race into it fully clothed.
I hear splashes behind me. But I don’t look back, I swim to the canoe as fast as I can and dive under. I see the boy still sinking and go after him. Amazingly, three of the kids get to him before me so I return to the surface and lean on the canoe for a while before joining them on the riverbank.
The kids are not around anymore when I reach the shore, just boy and me now. He seems dead, so I move to him and press his belly like I see on television. He sputters, and coughs out water, then bends over. I’m thankful he is alive, but I’m exhausted so I lay on the ground beside him to regain some of my lost energy.
I stay like that for a while until I hear the movements behind me; I guess the boy is fully conscious again. He is moving away already when I turn to check him, limping and there trails of blood droplets in his wake.
Alarm bells chime in my head, and I hurry after him. He halts, and hands me the opportunity to catch up. I quickly make him seat on a big stone nearby and make him tilt his head backwards in order to stop his bleeding nose like we were taught in health education at school.
After a while, I head back to the river then tear off my shirt’s pockets and wet them. In my mind, I picture the boy’s light brown face with parsimonious red spots plastered on it. There are more of the dots all over his body, which reminds me of a picture my class teacher once showed us in class as an example of someone having leukemia.
A thought occurs to me, if father can treat him. Leukemia or not, he’ll first have to carry out tests on the boy to know what his real sickness is. But I’m a long way from home, at least I can tell that based on the mud houses I’ve been seeing so far, including men and women carry simple farming implements.
The boy must’ve read the distress signals on my face; he immediately grabs my elbow and looks at me inquiringly as I use the wet cloth on his stained face.
“I want to go home,” he says.
His perfect English startles me; it evokes myriads of questions I’ve been dying to ask all day. The few people I came across in the morning didn’t even glance my way, except for a young girl carrying a huge bunch of bananas even she didn’t understand what I was saying until I pointed at the fruits in her hands.
He tugs my elbow again, and this time I quickly decide what to ask as I help him to his feet.
“What is your name?”
“Lanre,” He says weakly.
“Okay, Lanre. My name is Chidi and I’m hungry.”
He smiles at me for the first time, and takes one of my hands in his. Together, we take the path I took to the river, but instead of turning right at a junction of four roads (I arrived at the river turning left) we turn left. We stop by a pawpaw tree on the roadside and I watch as Lanre climb it.
The sun is almost leaving the sky when Lanre throws me the fourth pawpaw. He descends afterwards and we share the fruits equally between us after which he signals it’s time to leave.
We turn left again at the junction, and this time I see only mud houses on either sides of the road ahead after passing by only trees for some minutes. Mud houses with adults mostly women outside cooking, mud houses with half naked kids in the doorway scratching their belly and teasing one another. At every house we pass by, I see pots sitting on fire outside.
I try to focus on the road ahead as we trek; Lanre’s presence makes me not to bother about memorizing the road anymore and I don’t want to remember my parents and siblings at home as a result of the people I’m seeing.
Although the pawpaw fruits are starting to weigh in my arms, I don’t complain. I feel I should be grateful to have a bed tonight. I feel the weight will keep my mind occupied from the sadness tugging my heart.
My heartbeat increases with anticipation as we turn towards a house; four kids are outside it eating eba from the same bowl. Lanre signals me to pause, as he heads inside alone. Very soon I hear an adult woman’s voice, probably his mum’s, scolding him I think.
When Lanre reappears, the two fruits in his hands earlier are not with him anymore. He relieves me of one pawpaw, and leads me behind the house. We pass through the bush again for some time and come out to a path wide enough to allow two cars.
Lanre points to a car ahead, parked by the roadside, “That’s my bed.”
I settle next to Lanre in the backseat of the burnt vehicle silently, wondering why we’re both so laconic about our situations.
“The owner of this car taught me for five years; how to speak English,” he says, looking at me, “and how to write it. She was here to receive treatment for mental problems at where I’m receiving treatment too at the herbalist’s place. The women here killed her, when they find their husbands were liking her all the time.”
He hands me a picture I can barely see in the dark, and starts to peel one of the fruits with a knife he picked from the dashboard.
“I like her too. They burnt this car when they saw her driving me to Lagos. She says my sickness need hospital, doctor, not herbalist. She…”
I feel pity for him as he sniffs quietly. The silence is more welcoming to me though, since his voice wass becoming too emotional for my liking.
Carefully, I collect the half peeled pawpaw from his hands and slice it into long pieces. I pass some to him, and quickly devour my portions ravenously.
“I wish to see the yellow buses she spoke of. The traffic lights, the police men, the bus stops, the markets, the restaurants, the bar beach…”
I wake to find myself hooked sideways in the space between the condemned car’s backseat and the front seat. A slight headache tingles in my head as I scan the scorched interior of the vehicle to verify where I am: The sight of Lanre dozing in the front passenger’s seat refreshes my memory sufficiently.
I try to find solace in the rendition of the birds outside, but the loud engine of an approaching vehicle spoils the morning peace. I stay by the window to watch the wretched thing go by; when it finally arrives through the fog, shock bolts through me as it disappears again. Just then another vehicle, a car, goes by more discreetly.
Fear mixed with surprise paralyzes me this around, and I look back to check the car. It seems familiar to Aunty Remilekun’s own, and the two men in the front seat…. The driver’s afro hair looks just like that of the man that slapped my aunt.
The sound of a vehicle returning alerts me, and I quickly slide down back to the position I woke up in. The vehicle arrives, but doesn’t disappear off like the others. The engine gives a loud roar, waking Lanre, and I watch as he rises to look out the window with my heart in my mouth.
Almost instantly, the sound of the engine disappears off in the distant again. I spring up immediately I don’t see it anymore, and exit the car through the window. The mannerism of my movements seems to alert Lanre as he jets out of the car too to my uttermost amusement.
“What’s wrong; why’re you laughing? Why were you running?”
“Are you okay?”
The genuineness of his facial expression nearly infects me with more laughter so I turn around to get my thoughts together.
“Were you the one those men in the car were looking for earlier? They match the description of the ones you told me about last night,” He says.
His words quickly wipe the smile from my face. I nod my head: “Yes…”
“I also saw a van with a snail drawn on its side pass by too. It usually delivers snails to a restaurant near our house. My mummy told me and I recognize the driver,” I reply meekly. “A blue van; it’s like a bus, but it is …”
“I know what a van is,” Interrupts Lanre impatiently.
He looks at me with disbelief for a while until the realization of the events hits home.
“Your place in Lagos?” he says, eyeing me suspiciously.
“Yes, Lagos,” I answer back with a scowl. “Surulere, Lagos.”
I watch him as he reenters the burnt vehicle and return with the picture he gave me last night.
“I have to help mother at the farm today. We’ll find the van later.”
I try as much as possible to hide my unhappiness with Lanre’s statement as I trail behind him. So I focus on memorizing the routes we’re taking as we head back. I soon point out his house ahead, courtesy of his four siblings who share no single resemblance to him whatsoever.
When we arrive, Lanre disappears into the house and immediately returns with a hoe. We head out once again, through the bush again. Few minutes later, we come out in a road and cross to the other side. I try to imagine what’s going in Lanre’s mind by stealing glances at his face but it is blank.
We soon meet men, women and teens carrying simple farm implements on a narrow path. I notice his normal mien return after exchanging greetings with people we pass by. He pulls me off the road when we get to a farmland filled with endless rows of cassava plants. And then he signals me to sit by the stump of tree nearby, while he bends and begins to dig the sand around the stem of a cassava plant.
In a little while the man that slapped my aunt walks by: Afro Man! I quickly stand from the stump and slip into the trees nearby. From where I am, I don’t see my friend anymore, so I peep to see and nearly faint with shock when I see the short friend of Afro Man smiling at me.
I try to step back and run, but I stop turning when a big hand rests on my shoulder from behind. Short Man hooks my stiff face in one hand while he places an upright finger on his thick black lips with his other hand. Together they lead me away from Lanre, away from the farmland through the trees.
I think of screaming, but I worry it will not be loud enough to alert anyone. I think of biting Afro Man’s palm, but Short Man is nearby waiting to strike. Besides, I don’t want to infuriate Afro Man, lest he thinks of slapping me. So I succumb to the fingers around my wrist, and try as much as possible to not catch up with their fast pace.
Afro Man soon stops and carries me on his shoulder when he realizes I’m slowing them down. With my head on his shoulder, and my weight in his arms now, we move fast, too fast for my liking. For unknown reasons, I see satisfaction in Short Man’s eyes as I peer at him from Afro Man’s shoulder, so I shut him out.
“Chidi…!”
The familiarity of the voice pierces my subconscious; it challenges my senses, and bids me awake from a state semi slumber, to know who the owner is. The faces of the noisy strangers approaching me, Afro Man and Short Man seem somehow familiar as Afro Man drops me from his shoulder.
“Chidi…!”
I turn to check again; I’m surprised to see Afro Man and Short Man going down on their knees as the people circling us advance closer. At last, I spot Lanre’s head, peering at me through a man’s leg. He waves and beckons at me, and I gladly oblige.
I finally heave with relief when I successfully force my way through two thick women. Right then it occurs to me that these people are some of the farmers Lanre and I met on the way to his mother’s farm.
“How did you find me?” I ask him, keeping my eye on the bloody shirt tied around his nose. He looks at me but doesn’t reply me. Instead, he prances forward and drums his two hands on his chest continuously. The joy in his actions strikes a chord within me, and I follow suit.
We break into a slight run together, smiling gleefully at passers by as we go. We pass the farmlands, cross the roads and slice through overgrown bushes still drumming our chests. When I finally look up, I see Lanre’s deceased friend’s condemned vehicle in the distance and wonder why we’re going back to it instead of going after the snail van from this morning.
“The van usually parks in front of a brick house at the junction of this road,” Lanre says.
Then he points in the direction the van and Aunty Remi’s car headed to this morning.
“The house used to belong to my friend,” he says as we reach the car. He brings out the deceased woman’s picture now, and hands it to me again. She is smiling back at me, the woman in the picture. I give it back to him solemnly.
“The people staying there now are snail farmers. I help them sometimes.”
I don’t like the new look on Lanre’s face; it is as if he is not going to take me to the brick house. This prompts me to pull his hands instead of asking him; he removes his hand from mine and enters the car instead. Even though I’m hurt by his rejection, I follow him inside.
“I’m bleeding too much today,” he says weakly now, and turns to me. “My eyes are turning and my body is paining me. I don’t have blood again…”
“Go and look for the van before it leaves.”
The fear and pain in his eyes, nearly brings me to slap him angrily. I ignore myself, and make him put his head on my laps. Just then the van zooms by, and I watch it become smaller till it vanishes. Lanre’s sobs reach my ears but it’s hard for me to tear my eyes off the horizon.
Tears gather in my eyes now as I replace the blood soaked shirt around Lanre’s nose with mine. He’s silent as I rock him to and fro. The more we both weep the more words start to form in my head by themselves, so I speak them out loud.
“Our hands are sticks and our chests are drums, we beat our chests because we are warriors. Our hands are sticks and our chests are drums, we beat our chests because we are warriors…” Lanre’s voice alerts me as he chants along now “Our hands are sticks and our chests are drums, we beat our chests because we are warriors. Our hands are sticks and our …”
The sound of footsteps passing by makes me raise my head: The driver from the van with deep tribal marks on his cheek! He soon disappears in the direction of the brick house. I’m speechless as ideas somersault in my head and I can only watch as Lanre continues to chant alone.
I summon courage to stand, and then I kick the door next to me open with a leg. Lanre’s eyes are shut now, and he’s not chanting anymore. I try not to pay attention to new thoughts forming in my head; instead, I focus my energy on lifting my fragile sleeping friend from the condemned car.
Luckily for me, he’s astonishingly light as I carry him with my two hands even though he’s slightly taller than me. As we set out down the road, I silently pray we meet the snail van before the driver returns.
After walking and stopping and walking for an hour or so, I finally see the bus ahead. Energy to increase my pace surges through me, spurring me on. I lay Lanre by the roadside bush when we get to the bus, and search around for a stone to break the padlock of the van’s backdoor.
Lanre doesn’t stir at all when I place him behind the innermost plastic container of snails in the van, next to the partition between the driver’s seat from us. I open the windows a little wider, latch the door shut from inside, with the hope the driver will return in a great hurry and not bother to come around.
I’m half asleep when the smell of petrol chokes my nostrils. Curiously, I peek through the window and see the driver peeing, as he balances an upside down keg against the bus. I return to my former position feverishly, and shut my eyes when the engine roars to life.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

47
Votes



Mind abuse

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Mind abuse
Author : Favour Olinya

2348163313512

I am Olinya Favour.C. I am a student of law at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

Writing becomes a source of relief to the troubled heart of a 9 year old boy whose father prays for his mother’s death at her hospital bed#abuseofwomen#brokenhomes

MIND ABUSE
THE POWER OF WRITING
(CHILDREN’S FICTION)
I gave a lot of strength to a kick; enough for Mama to know I was there. And when it was time to slide through, I did not struggle with the midwives. I often assume Papa was there sitting behind the curtains when they are pulled shut to cover the bed area. I often assume his hands were pressed close while he said a loud enough prayer to God. A prayer which might as well change my life.
Papa nodded as if suddenly recapping something. “Where are even the nurses? There is Madrid’s match this evening.”
Whenever he said something of that nature, I took a sip from the water bottle on the wooden desk. The warm water inside the bottle had assumed the role of alcohol. It gave me pseudo relief. It dragged my mind away from reality. Away from the truth. Away from the incident of that morning. Away from the incident of every other morning.
As typical with every other morning in families in the East, our family rose for morning devotion a little after 5am each day. Papa always woke Mama and I while immersed in a queer, frightening sense of sobriety that seemed to possess him early every day. After waking us up, he chose a popular Psalm and sitting in the middle of the three seater couch, he recited it to our hearing. Afterwards, he knelt down and prayed while we watched morosely. His prayer was basically always of confession; strict confession such that but for ‘is’ and ‘was’ and different names, I could recite his daily confession after him each time. Papa was candid in the best way I had experienced. He did not mask words. He censored nothing.
He simply threw his head up, stretched his body and shouted a prayer, “Father, thank you for today. Thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for the gift of family. Lord, forgive me for all my sins. Look at my poor family. Convince them to forgive me for all my sins; all my misdoings to them. Father forgive me for sleeping with women who are not my wives. Forgive me for sleeping with the landlord’s daughter yesterday. Forgive me for touching the sales girl down the street. Forgive me for sleeping with Uchendu, my wife’s cousin the day before yesterday. Forgive me also, Lord, for the sins I am yet to commit. I will be meeting with Chizoba today. Help me not to fall into temptation with her body, Lord. But if I do, please forgive me through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
This morning, however, at a little above 5am, he did not wake me up. He did not turn on my light and walk away in his revealing boxer shorts. The boxer shorts with which he had slept with one of Mama’s friends some time ago. He did not walk into our spacious living room and start the Hail Mary. In my dream, I struggled. I was flatulent and this drove everyone around away from me. There were three storey buildings around us, and I was still wondering why I had to sit outside on benches with the other children while in the buildings, I could hear school classes on when all of a sudden, there was a storm.
The sky sounded funny. It struck thuds and thuds; sounds that seemed to come real when I rolled over and opened my eyes. My head was drenched with my own sweat or whatever liquid was on my pillow. It was dark but I could tell that the action thuds were coming from the bedroom I shared with my mother when I was much younger. I could not hear any voices but I was sure Papa was there. The only unusual thing that happened, however, was that I could not hear Mama’s voice.
I threw my legs down from the bed, slipped them into my slippers and made for the passage connecting the bedrooms. Although I knew the interiors of our flat better than anyone else having stayed indoors most of my life, I chose my steps as though I were touring a strange road at night. I could feel some air penetrate the fancy blocks at the passage. I could even perceive the soup of the previous night. Beside the passage door, there was an old plastic cup with a syringe in it. And then there was a bottle of otapiapia, rat poison. Every night, Mama sucked some of the poison into the needleless syringe and with it applied the poison in every corner of the kitchen. When we woke up, we met lifeless cockroach bodies lying around the kitchen floor, and a hangover of the stench of the poison. Once, the poison had killed a rat.
As my toes touched the hard, red cement floor nearer the door leading to Mama’s bedroom, my heart throbbed. The thuds soon became slaps and slaps, blows, I could not tell what exactly he was doing each second that floated by. I could not tell whether I would be able to breathe; what I would do when the victim turned out to be Mama. Water gathered in my eyes.
When I got to the door post, I could hear sprinkling. I was too scared to move further so I pressed my back to the wall, while subduing my heavy breaths. What was Papa doing? Was he urinating on Mama? Why would Mama even let him urinate on her? I imagined I was an American child. At this point, I would call 911. I would shriek like they would over the landline. I would cry into the phone speaker in polished English and have a concerned voice calm me down. In about two minutes, I would hear an ambulance which would take Mama away for intensive care.
However, for those two minutes, I stood still. My heart stood still also and my spirit seemed to have entered the bedroom and watched the sprinkling go on and on. My spirit had just entered and seen Papa in his regular sky blue office shirt, when there was a glow. A yellow glow over the walls.
Although I willed to stay still and take everything in, I saw my legs hurry into the bedroom. There, Papa stood in his revealing boxer shorts over Mama. He looked at me.
I did not know whether to run, hide or take hold of the coke bottle containing petrol, sprinkle it over myself and burn with Mama.
In the hospital, a different story was spreading. The doctor told the nurses that Mama was suicidal because Papa had cheated on her.
I took another sip from my water bottle. Papa was flipping the newspaper more nervously, floating his eyes over the pages. It was easy to imagine him as a younger man in search of love but not as young man in search of Mama.
Mama had told me stories of how Papa had come for her hand in marriage. She said that she had never wanted to marry at the age of eighteen but living with her aunt as a servant, she had been pushed to marry Papa. She said that Papa used to come around when her aunt was not around, to help her do the laundry. He would buy her gifts and force her to receive money from him. However, although Papa owned a car and showered gifts and love on her, Mama insisted that after six months, she still wanted nothing to do with him.
By then, Papa worked with the government house as the special adviser to the governor. For this reason, Mama’s aunt and indeed her entire household worshipped the floor on which Papa walked. Being a young orphan, it was not long until Mama began to yield to him.
After two months they courted, Mama got married to him. One afternoon, however, after I was born, Mama got a phone call from a woman who claimed to be Papa’s legitimate wife. She told him that she wasn’t even the only woman, who had borne Papa a child. The only difference, however, between them and Mama was that Mama had given him a male child.
When Papa returned from work that day, Mama had confronted him. Mama told me that that was the day she lost favour with my father. She told me that he had left the house after two weeks and had returned, according to her, a “changed person”.

I was vehement enough with the boulders in the yard, two weeks after Mama’s discharge from the hospital; lumps that had vowed to defy the strength of two men and a jug. Nana was watching me. I tried to twist the ankles of one of the large stones, noting how I would possibly break my back if I tried lifting. Troops of sweat slid down my spine brook. The other fellows were watching me. I lent my face one palm, which I used to swipe across my forehead, ready to burrow sideways. I was as well praying. Praying that the boulder would not toss me across the street to the area where the girls packed up grass into wheel barrows, which the younger fellows would then convey to the NO PARKING ZONE, where the public service trash van would find them.
As I stayed still, ramming into as many calculations as my brain could manage, someone approached me from behind. Now was my only chance to prove my ability, otherwise, if another shadow fell over the boulder, I would later be said to have been helped. I tugged at the stone, pressure overwhelming me. My head felt hot like the lid of a boiling pot. I tugged again. Sweat oiled the feeble hairs that sprung from my arm. Then, spreading my legs as far apart as they could go, I lifted waiting for the snap. It did not come. Instead, I was overcome by glee, hoping Nana had not averted her eyes. I did not mind the pool of sweat pouring into and smarting my eyeballs. I burrowed the boulder sideways. Surprisingly, it moved. The half moon grass underlying the stone had turned to the colour of earth as I pushed. Now, I could hear Nana’s voice, although unable to make out her words from the sweat gushing into my ears. She sounded frightened, and I knew she was still watching me, her knees clenched and eyes pent up.
Nana was yellow and prim all the time. She had a dark, tall mother. Her father was late five years after Nana was born. Many said he was yellower than Nana, with a golden hair and ash teeth. Although Nana had only been five when her father passed away, she spoke of him as though she had spent a lot of time with him, as though he were still with her. When she spoke about him and I looked at her, I could tell that she still missed him. The other fellows and I never saw her in the mornings. She was always indoors with her mother and a little, old maid, Sera.
I was heaving non stop now, as I had to guide the boulder if I did not want to lose the tips of my fingers. Although I willed, I could not burrow further. I had only to mark time before dropping. The spreading of my legs had reached its limit. When this happened, I remembered that I had had nothing to eat yet. The other fellows too; probably why they stood watching me. I took in enough air through my mouth, bloated my chin and let the air roam the inside of my mouth. My sweat was now as thick as blood, I could nearly hear the thuds against the earth. Securing the safety of my toes by shaking my legs and looking over to see their position, I dropped the boulder. I could do this again. I could do it till the boulders all around got to the fence, three yards away.
When I looked up, however, I was shocked at what I saw. My chest was heaving greatly and I was not sure whether all that effort was commensurate with the half moon of earth I had secured. The older fellows were lifting the boulders, two by two, like they were merely air bags. I was nearly, however, going to congratulate myself for burrowing mine a half moon closer to the fence alone when I looked beside me and saw Odera. He was touching his knees, and doing some sort of waist exercise. Before looking at Nana, I had to be sure whether he was the reason I had lifted the boulder. He winked at me.
“Ariel and seven other good spirits are inside this one,” he chimed. “Look at how our fathers are carrying theirs.”
I nodded quietly and looked away. My neck could not help me locate Nana’s eyes now. I imagined how silly she must’ve thought we were; two fellows lifting the youngest boulder with such difficulty. Even the tortoise would have hit the fence earlier than we had secured the half moon of earth.
Odera had lately begun to attract my senses. When his family arrived two years ago, I could worry less about him and pleasing the girls. He had been short and small by the arms; it had never mattered to me what good face he had until he finally outgrew me. One could not find a fault with him though. He was plain and funny and sensitive. He was also good with himself, as though he were maximizing the use of an affordable product he had purchased with his own money. He visited everyone equally, and worked nights to find everyone a nickname which he felt they would enjoy. Only lately had he begun to step beyond my boundaries. Boundaries I had recently readjusted without informing him.
He was looking at me for a while, waiting for a reply. I did not want to look at him. I did not want to look at anybody. I wished Papa were there. I reasoned that if he had participated in the lifting as did other fathers, he would wipe the shame off my face. At least, Nana would know that when I grew up to be like him, I would be able to lift a boulder way past a half moon of earth.
“Do you see what Nana is doing?” Odera asked, and I did not realize he had abandoned his patience for my reply. “She is trying to lift one of the boulders. Do you think she can do it?”
I glanced at Nana. She was laughing with the other fellows across the street, her flay skirt dancing with the comely breeze. Her spotted legs were hidden in a pink hose. As her eyes averted towards us, I swept my eyes away.
“Sure,” I said, folding my arms.
Before we all went upstairs after the Sanitation, the fathers bought us okpa, wrapped in hot banana leaves. Odera sat on one of the boulders as he ate, wagging his chin in reaction to the hotness of the meal. I opened my wrap, contemplating on whether to eat it downstairs or upstairs. I watched as smoke sprayed my eyes and the aroma of the meal leapt out. The mothers were already calling my fellows in to bathe and to eat proper food. One of the mothers, Mama Kamsi unfolded the hems of her wrapper as she got to where I was.
“Okigbo,” she said, “Your mother wants you now.”
I looked up. “Good morning, ma.”
Then, I closed my wrap and ran into the yard, upstairs to meet my mother. As I ran, I imagined I was in a lot of trouble although it was out of place to think so. I imagined she was disappointed in my inability to move the boulder to the fence. Disappointed in the manner I had responded to Odera, and in the manner I had envied the fathers. I did not know what she would say about the okpa I had received but although I had enough time to hide it in my pocket as I knocked, it could not leave my palm.
She looked at my face as she opened the door. The old electricity bills pasted on our door made our house too familiar to me. Most times, we found geckos hiding behind the papers. I had been pursuing them for years now.
“Nno, welcome,” she said, “Did you find the work too hard?”
I shook my head quickly and entered the house, quietly placing my slippers under the wooden structure supporting our fridge. The kitchen had been swept. The curtains had been held aside, and the lights turned off. As I walked into the dining to have breakfast, she touched my arm.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“Okpa.” I laid the wrap on the table and waited for her sentence.
“Who gave you?” she went, watching the wrap as one would a blue moon. Then, as if to lend the moment entrance, a ray of sun glided across the dining table and landed on the wrap.
“The men bought it for us. I received mine directly from the seller,” I explained.
She looked at me again. “A random seller?”
“I wouldn’t know, mama,” I responded.
She looked at me again, longer than the first time although I had until then failed to record her eyes avert from me for once. She then leaned forward and touched the wrap as if by touching it she could detect the randomness of the seller.
“Throw it away,” she said, “Eat your food and go and bathe.”
I could not argue with her, and I could not vouch for the random seller because if I did, she would attribute my utterance to my being a gourmand. I dropped the wrap in the waste bin in the kitchen, pulled out my chair and sat down. My spoon was laid out neatly beside my plate, on the tray. Mama was still watching me as I picked it up and plunged it into my rice. I knew why she was watching me. She was watching me to know if I had appetite for the food, in order to be able to tell if I had somehow eaten outside. Mama never gave me money. She always gave me enough to eat and enough water to drink. Those were my major needs according to her. She bought me every other thing based on her discretion. Those other things were tagged, wants.
I was still thinking about the okpa, which I had been ordered to throw away. My nose had imbibed the aroma of the meal. Mama did not make okpa at home. She only bought me some when we went to the market at the end of the month and could not get home early. The last okpa I had tasted had been ready in my presence. Mama never bought edibles from people she knew with the slightest string. This, I thought, prevented her from making new friends or continuing with the old ones.
I hurried through the first five spoons as she stood watching. Although I was hungry, I had no appetite for rice and stew on a Saturday morning. However, I never complained as other children did. I never protested when she laid out my clothes. I never complained when there was too little salt in the food.
“What happened downstairs?” she asked, pulling out a chair to sit beside me.
I gulped some whole rice in order not to look like I was hesitating.
“We cut grass and moved boulders to support the fence,” I said. I drank some water, waiting for her reply.
“Your grandmother is doing better now,” she said quickly as though she had been waiting for me to finish my statement.
I looked at her, gulping some more whole rice. She had a strange look on her face, as if she was neither happy nor sad. As if she did not know what she said.
“Oh,” I said, “Very good, mama. Very good.”
She crossed her fingers on the table. “Yes. I appreciate God.”
After breakfast, I took my bath in our creamy bath tub, put on the clean clothes she had laid out for me on my bed, and lay down. I thought about the fathers downstairs. How they laughed when I could not use the cutlass. I thought about how the little girls sat on their laps, reaching down to the ground with a stick, while the men prevented them from falling or hurting themselves. The fathers of our yard were mostly young. They came out very early in the mornings to jug and smoke cigarettes, their calves jutting out like split coconuts were stored in them. On Saturday mornings, they went down the street to have palm wine at Omasili’s restaurant. I admired them walking together, especially when they invited their young sons to join them. They had invited me once but Mama had thanked them on my behalf, while I was taking a nap.
Mama came into my room while I was falling asleep. The sound of her feet jolted me fully awake. They were strong and firm like that of a man. She sat on my bed and asked whether I was still awake.
“No, Mama.” I looked up. There were traces of tears on her face. I wanted to ask but I knew she would say nothing reasonable to me. However, I knew what must have been the cause. It was either Papa had refused to pay my tuition fees or that someone had reported his activities to her. The last time, M’moge had told Mama that she had seen Papa with a beautiful recent widow. He had dropped by at her house with loads of beverage provisions. The sound of Mama’s catching throat that evening stayed impressed in my heart. She told M’moge that I had no beverage provisions at home. Every morning, I went out to buy sachets of powdered milk and choco.
As I looked on at Mama, I imagined Papa’s prayer had worked. I imagined that Mama were dead. I imagined what I would be doing if Papa was planning her burial. I imagined he would invite those strange women into our house to replace Mama. I could recall vividly how he had looked over Mama’s bed in the hospital when she regained consciousness and prayed that she would die so that he could use some freedom.

Later that evening, Nana sat close by me at Prof’s house. She smelled of soft, milky lotions mingled with light dust. I saw her as a statue with that smell. She came by Prof’s house every week last year. Early this year, she began to come every day. Prof said she was at a stage when most girls did not know how to sing well, so, the slightest chance Nana got, she sang down buildings. Her tiny voice was not swell or even well mannered. In fact, she smote keys, knocking them together, then raised them on G flat, her usual way.
The manner at which I fool myself by believing I can tell music notes apart is the manner at which Nana believed she could sing. I had heard her sing so much that after three full months, I could not tell if she had improved or whether I had simply got used to her singing. I had learned to nod in the light manner in which Prof did. However, my nod, however light I stream lined it to be, could not carry as much glory as Prof’s did. It could not make one shudder at the volumes of books I must’ve read. Books as heavy as pregnant goats. It could not make one imagine the level of authority I had in English Language. Prof did not speak like us Nigerians; neither did he speak in the accent of the Whiteman. He was of a strange breed; the well educated breed. Watching him speak gave me a strange sense of satisfaction, and although he employed bogus words sometimes, the context in which he used them gave me clear understanding of what they could mean. Yet, when I think of it, it’s possible that when he spoke, the manner at which he pampered and cushioned words made them sound bogus. I would rewind my brain, overturn those words, weigh them, and then understand them.
Prof was often free at 10am everyday including Sundays, as he did not attend service except on Christmas day. He had a little maid, Oruoma, who swept the house, bought him newspapers and local drinks, and grinded tobacco for him.
As the early sun rose every day, he sat in his comfortable chair, lodged beside aloe Vera plants on his veranda, with his pipe, newspaper on his lap and a local drink by his side. With every puff of smoke into the fresh air, he took in deep breaths and then beamed of satisfaction.
In the evenings, he spent time with the children living around us, who like me, enjoyed the movement of his head and the manner at which he seemed to drift to sleep at the most interesting point of his stories. When he came all awake all of a sudden, he claimed to have risen from the dead again. Because of this, we thought he not just had authority here on earth but even more hereafter.
I wanted to rest my chin on Nana’s shoulders as the sun fell. She was looking out into the yard. For several moments, she seemed lost on the spot where a mother hen was scratching out her last meal while her chicks squeaked, ready for the last dose of the day. I had often laid down, pictured Nana and I looking over Prof’s veranda, at the sunset. Each time I thought about this, I could feel her warmth; Nana’s soft breath stroking my neck as she leaned on my left shoulder. I hoped that she would sing, while I backed her up no matter how badly or sadly we did so. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, Nana only knew me as the boy with the poorly matched rubber slippers. She would watch my feet when the other boys made fun of me, with no emotion. I knew the boy she liked; Okigbo. She never sat next to him or the other boys. And when Prof asked us to choose partners for an English game; only then did she notice me. She would then trail her left palm over my khaki shorts like I was something she held down while she sought what she wanted.
“Why do your preachers say, Jehovah overdo?” started Prof, watching me. He had had his third drink for the evening. The one he claimed gave him a good night sleep. Sometimes, he spoke to us in the manner of someone who was only speaking because he had to.
I moved my lips and held them shut, staring back at him. I did not know why our preachers said Jehovah overdo. I had never even heard them say so. Besides, if I thought long enough, nodding internally, Prof would turn to someone else as he mostly did; slowly and with an edgy smile on his face.
“I want answers because I’m worried,” continued Prof, still watching me. I stared further, counting the veins on his forehead, wishing to be one of them so that he will not have to look at me till he brought a mirror to himself. “Has God erased something out of His good conscience, only to bring it back to life?”
Prof’s stare was daunting, disrobing. Whenever he watched me, I felt like a city set on a hill, and my body burned with a slight fever.
“I think our preachers mean to say God does more than we ask of him,” Okigbo said from far behind. He was in the company of the boys who sat next to the railing.
“You know why I ask?” Prof began again. “You Nigerians rely on God for everything.”
Okay, first; Prof was a Nigerian. Again, it was the instruction the Bible gave us. I leaned closer to hear him defend his assertion. He laughed when he saw me leaning closer.
“See? This is the problem. We Nigerians have itching ears. We go about listening, looking for the truth whereas the truth lies within. Have you tried connecting with this truth? This truth may be of a different opinion from what the general public holds to be true. But then, that’s why we are individuals. And if at all the truth we tell ourselves turns out to be a lie, then, we can still rejoice,” Prof said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you have made use of yourself. The precious brain that God has given you. He wants you to make use of it. It’s not just for collection of data…”
When we retired for the night, Nana could not leave my mind. I knew that if I told her of my feelings for her, Mama would kill me. Her mother would kill me. I had a lot to talk about but no one to listen. I pulled my notebook to myself. In it, I sketch my mind and initialled all the data it had collected; from Papa to Nana; from Nana to Mama.
Soon, I was writing. For a moment, I looked up. No one was judging me for the things I said. And I felt a lot lighter like one of the boulders had been removed from me. I wrote about the things I wanted. I wrote about how many children Nana and I would bear. Till I was ready to be listened to, I slid that notebook under my dresser. It became my best friend. It knew me.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

14
Votes



Dare

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Dare
Author : Eminorni

2348162619559

Emina Bamiyo, I was born in Lagos, still live there (Eko all the way). I have always loved reading, followed my Abinibi and wrote my very first book.
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

An adventure surrounding some kids battling peer pressure and a village myth.

It was a cool afternoon, the sun was hiding behind clouds like a bride in her veil, the wind raced across the land throwing dirt and bending trees to its whim, the grasses whistled as it sang about the joy of life, rodents scuttered in the underbrush foraging, toads were about their business around the pond close to the big Fruit tree. Sitting on the branches of the The Big Tree were four children around the ages of 10 to 12, three boys and a girl, they sat in a fashion that they were all facing each other across various branches. the leader of the group who happened to be the second oldest Kunle had a mischievous glint in his eye as he recapped how they were going to carry out their mission.
‘so we go home first, eat, then meet at Tobi’s house. You all know omo mummy Tobi wont be able to leave his house unless we break him free’ Tobi groaned at this and they all chuckled. kunle continued ‘we walk very fast to Jegede’s farm take a look around first to make sure that no one would spot us, then we can pluck the African apple to show that mumu Abass and his ode friends that we are not scared of any juju’.
‘Oya let us do quick quick and and finish it before time will go’ Shewa the girl amongst them said. ‘You know my mum will kill me if i get home late besides Matanmi said he has to go help his mother to pack from the market’. With that they descended from the tree making a game of who would be last to hit the ground.
‘Ekasan ma, we are looking for Tobi, is he at home ma?’ Matanmi asked Tobi’s mother. ‘Like you don’t know she replied, is it not all of you that used to run around together? Shewa you don’t know that you are a woman sef, you should be at home helping your mother but you run around with boys instead, anyway i know that if i dont call him, the lot of you will find a way to get him out. so make sure you are back before the sun goes down.’ At that, Tobi ran out from the house laughing to join his friends.
They talked about this and that, joked and wrestled which Matanmi won before they got to the farm which was located in the outskirt of town. Jokes stopped and they stood quiet glancing nervously around when they arrived. ‘Well we are here’ said shewa, ‘we might as well get it over and done with.’ They hunched their backs, stuck low to the ground and ran looking out for anyone who might spot them, they found no one in the area, then they made for the apple tree which stood proud in the middle of the farm like a dark idol watching over its subjects. They ran along ridges dug for yam cultivation avoiding beds of waterleaf and efo, stumbling to a halt before the apple tree.
The lone apple tree in the village had always been there, it was old, even Atijo Akanbi who was so old that he could not walk, eat amala and was bed ridden due to his age said the agba in the village he knew while growing up did not see the tree planted. So it was public opinion that the tree has always been there. It looked like any other local apple tree, it bloomed and fruited at the same period like normal and the fruit seemed normal or so villagers who had been opportuned to travel and see another like it say. Unlike other mountain apple tree though, it was ewo (taboo) to climb, pluck or eat the fruit of the village’s own. Parents warn their children about the tree as soon as they are old enough to start playing and wandering about. Stories were told about evil that have befallen people that disobeyed and broke the taboo.
The stories they have heard passed through the minds of the children as they stood staring at the tree, they had seen the tree from afar in the past when they had curiously came to peek at the famed tree but not from this close. It looked normal like any other tree Tobi thought but he noticed the abscence of birds on the tree, even insects were not on it. ‘Guys look, no birds, lizard or even ant on the tree’ shewa said. ‘What they say might be true, i think we should just go back, if Abass askes us about it, we would tell them that we plucked it but Jegede caught us as we were coming back and seized the fruits’. Tobi quickly chirped, ‘You are right Shewa, if they call us liars we will just ask them to come along so they can witness us doing it up close. They will chicken out if we go close to the tree and act like we are about to climb’. Matanmi was scared as well, he liked what Shewa and Tobi proposed but as the biggest and oldest in the group, he liked to act tough. ‘Hey Tobi’, he said, ‘cant you be brave for once, Shewa is a girl, we understand if she is a little afraid but must you show that you are a get inside fear fear mommy’s boy every time’. ‘Ahn ahn Tanmi that is too harsh, you are just jealous because Tobi is still being breastfed’ Shewa said, ‘you are just forming that you are not scared like us, kunle shey we will do as Tobi said?’ Kunle had been silent all through, he had been thinking about the stories he had heard and it all said the fruit was plucked and eaten. He started, ‘Tobi your idea is good but what if they come with us next time and dont back down, we will be the losers and be laughing stocks all our lives but if we pluck it,dare them to eat and they chicken off, we will become the coolest and turn everything around on them. Before you guys start saying no, remember the stories we have heard, the people all ate the fruit after plucking. so what if we throw sticks at it then make sure we pick up the fruits with leaves, we dont touch the tree or the fruit,’ he gave each of them his michievous smile nodding as he looked at them. ‘If you are scared then i will do the throwing, with that he picked up the closest stick and without aiming threw at the tree.’ On seeing this the others scrambled to gather sticks around them. Shewa sighted a clump of fruit not so high and she flung her stick at it, the stick connected and some enticing pink fruits rained down. The children looked at themselves and shewa still waiting for a lightening bolt to strike her said ‘we have done it, can we leave this place now before before Jegede catches us’. They gathered four fruits with plantain leaves then ducking they ran off to the stream where Abass and his gang usually hang out swimming.
On getting to the stream they heard shouting and sounds of play in the surrounding forest. Matanmi bellowed, ‘Abass, Abass where are you? Kehinde! you people should come oo, we have the thing here’. Someone from the bush replied ‘if i hear, matanmi is that you? we are coming to see for ourselves’. Abass, Kehinde and six other boys emerged from the bush on the other side of the stream laughing. They swam over to meet matanmi who was in front of his own friends, holding out the fruits wrapped in plantain leaves. One of Abass’s friend Otirin on seeing this guffawed, ‘they cant pluck the fruit so they came to bribe us with agidi, even if we take the agidi we wont still tell others that you guys plucked it, besides matanmi move back a little, your leg is touching the water and you know until we confirm it the stream is ours’. Tobi who was getting angry took the package from Matanmi, placed it on the ground then unwrapped it shouting ‘See, see, see, have you seen it?’ His eyes met theirs as he said so. Abass was stunned, the look on Kehinde was priceless and the only thing that passed through one of the boys mouth was ‘You plucked it, you plucked it, we didnt think that you would. its Ewo!’ Kunle beaming all the while spoke out, ‘Yes we plucked it and we can now play in the stream again, no more name calling from now on and you call us sir and ma for a month as agreed, am i right Abass?’ The pained look on Abass face was answer enough but he went on, ‘we are generous and good people, we know what this would do to your reputation at the end of the stipulated e sir and e ma one month, so we will give you guys a way out when we meet at night for stories’. Abass immediately took it up, ‘yeah, tell us what you want so we can do it sharp sharp’. ‘Why dont you want to wait till evening?’ shewa asked, ‘its our call to do it in the evening, we want everyone to witness it besides i didnt hear sir when you addressed Kunle, better start putting our title’. With that they turned and left picking up their fruit.
Night came not so quickly for Abass, after kunle and his friends had dropped the bomb, all thought of play had fled. He had been thinking of how he would be made to stoop and scrape to that sorry lot. Those women wrapper that even played with a girl, the mumu Kunle had gone to give him a lifeline. Whatever they said, he would do and do it well that people will remember that he is the lion here. Let them bring it, oo they should bring it on. He thought about this as he headed to the village square, his mother had made him go late because she insisted that he ate before he left the house. The food had taken ages to be prepared because the wood they had in the house was a bit wet. He looked at the moon and sighed, Baba Ayo would be telling stories now.
When he got to the square, he saw Kehinde and Otirin sitting together, they adjusted to make space on the mat beside them for him. Otirin name was actually Deji but they called him Otirin because he was small but he is not to be crossed, the guy was fierce. ‘What kept you so long?’ asked Otirin, ‘the other kids know about what Kunle and his gang did so they were making fun of us. the oshi Kunle did not want to tell us what to do to make it even until you got here, anyway stories would end soon and we will get it over and done with. all i know is i cannot say yes sir and yes ma to those yeye people’. The stories dragged on like it wouldnt end, Abass was a fan of them normally but today it was just disturbance, all he wanted was for Baba Ayo to round up. Like Baba Ayo read his mind, the stories ended and children clapped for the old story teller. Its about time said Kehinde, now we can hear what they have to say. Their friends had come to flank them at this point and their rivals led by kunle came towards them. Other children formed a circle around them to listen to the challenge because they had heard word of it. ‘Good evening Sirs and Ma’ said Abass to Kunle’s group, ‘if you all would be so kind to drop the gauntlet, i find myself in serious need of going home on equal footing, so stop dallying and shoot.’ His friends laughed at this and Otirin ever the boisterous one shouted ‘Oya talk’. Tobi with all smiles on his face passed something to Kunle who held it out to Abass. ‘This is the challenge, we dare you and your friends to eat the fruit’, unravelling the leaves as he said so. there were gasps from the children watching, with some urging them on and the rest saying they shouldnt. Otirin in one smooth motion grabbed a fruit and bit into it, he chewed, took another bite and swallowed, the children stood still, blinking became difficult for all as their eyes followed the chewing motion. Abass broke the spell by taking a second and biting into it after a brief pause. Otirin who had finish his was smiling and playfully asked, ‘can i have another?’ With that there was loud cheering from the children and Abass who was done with his started waving regally and posing. The look of horror on Kunle’s face was evident and Abass ever one to take advantage said ‘Kunle you look like you have seen a ghost? are you okay, otirin and i ate the apple but on seeing your face, one would think you did. People, they planned to shame us in front of you all but look at how it turned out, we have crushed this set of get inside children. anyone can pluck the fruit but not everyone can eat it so with this i wish you all goodnight and to you smellos, shoe get size, winners will always be winners, just as gold will still remain gold even if you rub it in dirt, scratch it or burn it’. Otirin and the others chanted ‘tell them, tell them’ as they went home.
A week had passed since Abass and Otirin ate the Apple, Kunle and his friends had from looking to be the coolest to being bottom dwellers because equanimity with Abass meant being treated poorly. it was night and Kunle lay sleeping, he was dreaming about playing pito with his friends and some other kids. He usually finds the hidden sticks faster than others but Matanmi tends to stick close to him when he searches so he has to run really fast so as not to be over taken by Matanmi. while playing Abass walked up to him, all smiles and hands him an apple, ‘Eat’. He declined but Abass insisted, ‘Eat!’. As he was about to take the fruit so he would not appear rude, he saw Abass’s eyes, it was all white and there was no black. He withdrew and turned to run but Abass appeared before him screaming ‘Eat, Eat, Eat, You must Eeeeaaattttt’. He woke up whimpering and across the village he heard screams from various directions then crying. From the corner of his eye, he saw something move but when he faced it he saw nothing, the image remained around the periphery of his vision and he kept jerking kis head hoping to get a proper look but scared of what he might see. He thought about Abass, Otirin and the other children that ate the fruit on a dare after nothing happened to Abass on the third day. ‘We are dead’ he said.

I-agree-to-terms-conditions

3
Votes



Drumsticks

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Drumsticks
Author : Favour Olinya

2348163313512

I’m Olinya Favour. A student at University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus
Submission Category:

Human rights Free speech

One of the rights of a human is the right to life. This has grossly been denied citizens. This story captures a native sacrifice of a young female#ayoungfemalevirginwhoturnsoutnottobeavirgin

DRUMSTICKS
HUMAN RIGHTS
(HISTORICAL FICTION)
Amid a scenting promise of food in green plants and measures of yam tendrils lay Ojimba, land of the brave, multiple acres of milk coloured earth from neighbouring towns, Emeta and Ekeota.
She was tagged great in trade, in war, in art and in music, and although always known to harbour the slimmest terrains in comparison with other lands comprising the present Enugu; her works had been hoisted by fame, echoed by joyful shouts, told as tales, impressed in young hearts.
At the tail of every year, Ojimba celebrated the death of a young female virgin, whose death was set to appease the great god, Odiame, hence, an impeccable selection of virgin daughters of the land was made every year for sacrifice in worship of the great god, Odiame.
Anticipation as was the pounding of drums echoing across the horizon fastened above the land was spreading in quick shafts as the people gathered around at the bank of the gigantic Ebene river; the river dedicated to the high god, Odiame.
There, the yearly sacrifice to the high god was to be made at the dawn of the fourth market day, Nkwo, a month to the close of year.
This year, scores of market days away from a recent victory in war against the people of Emeta, Ojimba chose to celebrate this victory in style.
But, in the most horrid pitch of actions, Obiageli’s arms worked faster than they’d ever done, in quivers; thistles felt like warmth. Sweat drops as thick as cowries, dripped with an unusual efficacy –an efficacy uncommon with a cold, blistering morning –from her damp braided hair. She was panting heavily. She unfastened the tiny piece of clothing wrapped around her breasts to stare at the stream of blood flowing from her side. The warrior who had appeared suddenly, pulled her up with so much force, throwing the mid arc of her body against his right shoulder swiftly. She dropped with a jerking sound. He was the emblem of ‘danger’.
“Please, kind warrior. Do not let them kill me ” she groaned in a whisper, trying hard to collect her breath which birded off like a collection of vultures feeding on a corpse: suddenly hearing approaching footsteps. She had never had strong wine for a drink all her life but she no longer needed to taste any to catch a glimpse of what a hang over tasted and felt like now,
” –for I am not the one. For I have defiled myself and am not fit for the sacrifice.”
The warrior did not say a word. He nosed up and kept moving, like a prize winner who did not mind the surprises that came with his prize. Like all he cared about or ever lived for, was the prize. The thumping of his body as he skived through the forest, gave the impression of being bagged in the abdomen of a kangaroo in flight.
Whenever she shrugged her body from all the pain that darted through her, he struck her face diligently like someone capable of slaughtering one merely to prop the food appetite of another, drawing blood from her teeth; enough blood to cover the dark tone of her lower chin. She dabbled some of the blood in one palm, felt it between fingers as if checking whether it had spurted from her flesh for sure. The acidity of the taste of the blood that soaked her tongue following its perception, raided her nostrils. She felt the blood some more between fingers as if, if the stretch of red on her palm hadn’t been hers, she’d have paid no attention to the pounds of blistering pain that hurled her world right down to its base in one feeble toss and made her feel unlike the very beautiful Obiageli, born to late Mazi Ugwu on a good eke market day.
Her childhood had been warm, with lots of physical and mind massages that’d built her up to be the tall, slender, ebony beauty with the infamous neck as of the stem of a vegetable stalk. Her mind fell blank now from too many thoughts. Thoughts that merged in to form letters she struggled to recognize. She fainted.
The warrior kept trampling heavily through the thick forest of uneven bushes lying in thinner beds each step towards the heart of Ojimba being the great Ebene river, and flagging down not so fresh leaves amidst the sound of squirrels rustling their limbs across the stems of trees which creeped into the walking paths long cleared by any age grade. Birds whistled and warm breeze cooed above their heads as the warrior who bore Obiageli on his shoulders, wafted through the forest. He made use of a dagger to clear paths for himself when certain hairy leaves and horticultural bitches, stood in the way.
At different angles of the forest also, there were other warriors with the same tight grimace bringing eyes, nose and mouth too close together, and they pranced ahead with the speed of an average sprinter once they discovered that the sacrificial lamb had been apprehended. It had been easy to sight the cargo laden shoulder since the acre of land was steep. The warriors’ physiques comprised all bones and muscles. They held spears longer than a normal human height and sharper than the tooth of a tiger, and had thumb sized strokes of black paint running under each eye. They equally had piercings on their ears, beside their eyes, and their nose breaths came in bowls of wooly smoke.
The rustling sounds of dry cane bushes touching on each other, met ridges of actual plants that lay closer to the great big river, surrounded by several people; women, children, and men, dressed alike, dancing alike, breathing alike, talking alike. The sun had scorched cracks into the farm ridges: cracks that took a convincing semblance to a sketch of lightning drawn in black lead.
When the warrior who brought the girl on his shoulder like a game from a successful hunt, came into sight of the joyful villagers, some women began to wail, their voices rent in knitted echoes. Some of them had prayed silently that Obiageli would cross the border of Ojimba but they still would be distraught to release their virgin daughters either, for the sacrifice. Something of a human female virgin had to be sacrificed, they knew before striking off prayers they could not quite explain themselves. They however, wanted whatever was to be sacrificed to have nothing to do with them. That was how ‘ruthless kindness’ pried on some women every year on the day of sacrifice.
Their pitches fell to the hot air –created by dancers who fisted the dusty ground with their legs, twisting their bodies in all possible angles –that hung low in form of sorrowful lyrics in a strange language. The neighbouring towns knew Ojimba to have dance groups believed to be demons in human form as a result of how well they danced. They were said to be possessed by the spirit of the drums.
A particular woman cried even harder and louder than any other, her tone ripping through any breath of quiet that survived somehow in the midst of the joyful chaos. That breath which protruded any sound larger or weirder than any other in existence, flapping her wrapper loose, head thrown back as if to empty her throat of any more tears left caught in there. Hair was sparse on her head, woven into few lineal haggard cornrows that wouldn’t make it up to the sprinkles of hair bordering her hair line round her head. She was Echeta, Obiageli’s mother. She had found it difficult to believe the news of her only child’s selection as the sacrifice to Odiame the previous day when the news reached her ears. Nwakego, Obiageli’s bosom friend had delivered the news to them as they were crouched outside on a long raffia mat, having dinner. Nwakego had nearly choked from the shock.
The selection by the oracle was always an open secret, and the maidens chosen, were enjoined to rejoice and sing praises to the gods for being selected to die for Odiame, the high god because their selection brought glory to their various families. It was however regarded as an honour to die as sacrifice to Odiame.
Echeta had never imagined that her only child –the only relative of hers alive aside her own younger brother, Obiageli’s uncle, Ezenwata, who was paralyzed on one foot –would be chosen for the sacrifice. When the news of the maiden selected by the oracle got to the families where selections had been made, funeral rites were observed before the day of sacrifice because after the sacrifice, their bodies no longer belonged to their individual families. Their bodies belonged to the god to whom they were to be sacrificed.
“Have you killed my child before the sacrifice?!” Echeta cried, flinging her body down to the ground again, snot oozing from her nostrils, dust coating her bare feet which she grazed about her as if intending to make smooth fire from the abrasive contact. Her shoulders heaved non stop.
“Look! Look!” she yelled uncontrollably, raising and dropping her right arm in frustration.
“There is an arrow in her left breast!”
With that, she dashed off towards the Igwe, an elderly man sitting at a corner slightly apart from the crowd on a low chair with a high back support natively embroidered with a massive carved face of a golden tiger head clasped to the chair above his head, and a dominating red cloth. He was a wrestler in his youth, a famous one at that. Many believed he fought with his spirit, soul and body, and it was not long before he was nicknamed, ‘Ojinduemegini’ –a rhetorical question implying an abject sacrifice of oneself to the extent that life means nothing. Around him were elders sitting on low stools conveyed to the center of sacrifice by their sons.
As Echeta threw herself forward, a couple of young warriors grabbed her quickly, tossing her backwards in rhythm of a song children used to play in Ojimba, whereby a couple of children holding onto the limbs of a third child, swung the hanging child this way and that, chanting, “Tufuonu nwa rere ere; orecha amutaozo” –Toss away a rotten child; after he has decomposed, another will be born –after which they found a soft spot on which they dropped the swinging child.
“Those blessings you want, all you bloody people of Ojimba! ” Echeta wailed further, clambering up and pointing, her wrapper falling off to reveal the ogodo underneath her outer clothes, an inner wear. Her face was covered in dust up to the eyes and a string of saliva trailed from her lower lip with the weak, indecisive up down movement of a damaged yoyo. She was a mouthful of bitterness.
She did not seem to mind her state though, and women standing nearby, rushed over to help cover her nakedness, to make efforts to, or to at least show some concern.
It was an “alu” for one, especially men, to see the ogodo of an elderly woman.
” You will get those blessings in reverse, for you take my only child; the only seed of a fallen soldier of Ojimba, because we do not have a say!” She paused to steady her voice.
The elderly man jumped up now from his seat, the numerous beads and cowries all over him, dangling, yelling out the slightest movement he made. He held a handfan encircled by probably polar bear fur, and was as bare foot as the rest. His gray hair pushed in glossily, aided by the smarting sunlight and his eyes glared with the raw milky faintness of that of a cock. He reeked of adamancy; adamancy from staunch traditionalism. The curt, short wrinkles that cut across his face looked every inch carved twice carelessly in one impression by a sharp razor blade.
The women paused their tears. The men paused their cheers. The drumming died down right after the drummers could not help wasting their piled efforts by lashing down to a weak finish and not beating the final ‘dum’.
“Take this mad woman away quickly!” he thundered in the new quiet. Some noise rose amidst the encircled crowd. He was angry, everyone could feel it. Two babies cried at opposite angles of the crowd. Those two warriors instantly hooked on her arms again and dragged her in the dust towards a guava tree that hurled down guava fruits, ripe and unripe with the aid of the mumbling wind.
She wailed further. Then tossing around in a split second, spat in one warrior’s face.
“If this truly is the will of Odiame, then curse Odiame!” she yelped. “Curse Odiame for bringing this calamity upon me! She is my only child – “
Echeta burst afresh into tears.
“Quiet, woman!” a man from the side lines said curtly. “It is an abomination to insult the great Odiame; alu!”
People around him affirmed to that fact with strong nods. It was indeed an abomination deserving death. First, women were forbidden according to the customs of the land, to speak loudly in public, let alone speak ill of a god in such foul language. Secondly, it was blasphemy, and blasphemy was worthily punished by immediate death.
Echeta’s head dropped that moment like it had been emptied of that which held it firmly from the inside.
A young warrior from a distance had quickly shot an arrow and it pinned down one of the two soldiers. Then he had shot another arrow, and it finally pressed into her chest, making its way through her body. The arrows had flown like a fast harmattan wind, too fast to transport as much dust as it carried from the onset safely to where it dropped like a hurdle sprinter, only to pick up again in a different dimension. The arrows had waited for the judgement of the gods to fall from the mouth of a faithful, before slicing through the air towards the victims. Her body began to tremble. Dark red blood spurted from her mouth in thick clots, her teeth as though she’d taken zobo, a reddish local northern drink from scorched zobo leaves. Air seemed to be escaping from her head, she felt as though her skull was being compressed, squeezed like a wet clothe ready for the line. Women shrieked.
Her dazed eyes in death, steadied on a crisp leaf floating to the ground from the tree. Her eyes did not follow the side by side movement of the leaf flattening to the ground. They were however, still, dazed. The living warrior dropped her in fear and took to his heels. Everywhere remained silent for a few more minutes, only interrupted by women who could not control their sharp breathing. Everyone stared. Such a thing had never happened before throughout the history of Ojimba. First, a defiant maiden, then two people shot to death aside the sacrifice. It was too much of a fact that no one cared to talk about it or rather, dared talk about it.
When a cock crowed within a generous space of distance, everywhere relapsed in an uproar, everyone scrambling for safety, children crying aloud.
The Igwe raised a short, white horn after a while, and there was gradual quiet.
“Is the girl still alive?!”he inquired of the chief priest, his voice quivering from old age or fright, or old age and fright.
The chief priest, a short wrinkled man coughed at the other edge of the gathering, closer to the wooden altar. He was appareled in a cloth fastened across one shoulder, and cowries the size of molars strung to a necklace, were tied around his neck and around his right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot, all limbs. The sacred nzu chalk encircled his left eye.
He coughed again. “She has greatly been stubborn just like her mother. But she is still alive. Her breath is however faint.”
He was looking up with courageous sanctity as though he had been carefully selected to look at something mere mortals should not see lest they die.
There were movements at an angle of the crowd. A male youth swept his way out of the crowd. His right foot was shriveled. Women had tried their best to pause his movements, thinking he was going to do something stupid to himself. They had grabbed tips of his cloth which he shrugged away from their feminine grasps, hobbling on a shrunk right foot which tossed back and forth as he moved on. He stopped on getting far enough from the crowd where everyone of average height could see him clearly. He did not raise his voice. He did not bat an eyelid.
“Oh, so my sister is dead too? Did Odiame not require just one sacrifice? Will he not take me too? Or have I been spared because of my bad leg? Let him take me someday when sacrifices will roll. When he no longer would require one sacrifice to satisfy him but also the heads of many. In that, may he spare the plant and wipe out the seed.” His tone fell in solemn notes, and on saying that, he riveted his eyes towards the platter of sacrifice. He would run if he could but he only walked away in the midst of the crowd.
The Igwe ordered that he be left alone and that the sacrifice ritual be continued. Then the chief priest moved forward towards the girl, tied up with ropes and fastened to a pile of rough wood.
Her left breast was out, bearing the hole gored by the short arrow as she’d moved quickly through the dense forest of Ojimba that morning when day had just begun to break and early birds chirped song greetings amidst the still air.
The sky had been dark blue, casting a shade of frosty blur around which hung low, dropping dew. Hens scrambled for worms in the ground, scratching off wet dust to pave way.
Obiageli had listened all through the night, studying her mother’s art of losing sleep, hearing interwoven snores from the neighbours’ huts. She was sure the wetness of her skin was not as a result of a leakage in the roof because she had hardly slept a wink all night, listening to her mother groan bitterly. But there was nothing she could do then, having got the news very late in the evening when chickens had begun to retire into their open cages for the night. The stars had had minutes to unravel in the dark blue sky. Naked flames of fire floating above oil lamps all across the village, were drifting from the soft breeze that upset them. Obiageli had just been commenting about the sounds of drums coming from a far end of the village when Nwakego, her bosom friend dashed in, quivering.
“Nwakego, are you well? What has happened?” Echeta asked anxiously, dropping the morsel of fufu that clung to her fingers, ready for swallow. Her eyes hovered swiftly over Nwakego and around the entrance of the compound. “What pursues you?”
Nwakego’s wrapper was damp when Obiageli touched her.
“Did you urinate on yourself?” Obiageli asked on a plain note like she had narrowly forgone sarcasm.
“Oby, get her some water to drink,” Echeta instructed, getting up from the mat. “Nodu, sit down. You have been running, haven’t you?” she said, turning to Nwakego.
When Obiageli got up and left to get some water from the clay pot, ite odo positioned in an angle in her mother’s bedroom – the pot that harboured the drinking water: it kept the water cool despite the heat of the temperature –Nwakego leaned towards Echeta.
“Ifemekwalu, something happened. It’s dreadful.”
Echeta stared. “What happened?” Her eyes were already filling up with water. “Gini melu?”
“Please, don’t tell my friend yet lest she collapse,” Nwakego said in a faint whisper. “Take her as far away as possible tonight when the light of the sky has fallen completely – “
Echeta could not take the suspense any longer. “Nwakego, go straight to the point. Tell me what is wrong!”
Nwakego looked around briefly before breaking the dreadful news.
“Obiageli has been chosen for the sacrifice of tomorrow.”
Echeta froze to the tips. She immediately wanted to ask, What sacrifice? Or Who is this Obiageli? Anything to get Nwakego to continue speaking. She suddenly felt her bladder filling up quickly. Her armpits itched. The breeze swaying in the satisfactory evening had suddenly felt frozen in the air around her. She knew what sacrifice Obiageli, her daughter had been selected for but still found it obscure to reasoning.
“Or don’t go tonight because I heard the warriors are everywhere. Taking her away this night would be a predicted move. They will catch her – “Nwakego continued.
Obiageli, on her way back from getting the water from the hut behind the dilapidated hut in front of which they sat, had stopped to drop ears into what Nwakego had been saying, in hiding.
The dilapidated hut just in front of the compound had been where her late father, Mazi Ugwu had received visitors while he remained alive. It had served as his obi.
The hut had been ripped through by the last rains, creating a brief passage through it.
Obiageli could not believe her upcoming plight either.
The warriors of Ojimba were infallible, she thought as she lay down in the dilapidated hut that night, looking up at the blank yarn of raffia ceiling nearly a match to the sparsely starred sky through the darkness. They would find you no matter how swift you were. Girls chosen for the sacrifice never attempted to run away for fear of being treated with so much dishonour before their actual deaths. Stubbornness according to custom, was a bad omen. It lessened the positive effects of the sacrifice on the land. The prayer and purpose of the sacrifice was for fruitfulness all across the land, so who was a simple harmless maiden to alter that?
Obiageli was. She would be the first maiden to alter the sacrifice. But would she know how? If the arms of death would be cold, she could feel them blistering through her veins in stretches of ice; awaiting a literal actualisation. Perhaps to stop her breathing. Perhaps to stop her thinking about the relevance of her death. She could not tell anyone, not even her mother. She had hidden an affair with a young farmer, Okafo. In fact, no one except Nwakego, knew about the secret affair. If she let herself die as sacrifice, the gods would inflict a great pain on the entire natives of Ojimba, and an even greater pain on her family. So, the next morning, she awaited the sky to brighten faintly so that she could see the stretch of earth leading out of Ojimba.
She peered outside –when the sky first spat a glow of light down on earth, tiptoeing nervously as though the floor had gripping abilities and yet was some light sleeper –at a clay pot covered by an unfitting lid bearing rough impressions, balanced on the fire place on the left side of the compound. Then, she looked the other way towards the bathroom at the opposite edge of the compound, fast losing the raffia palms bordering it. It was built inches to the shrine of Odo, whom her father worshipped while he remained alive. After his death and after Fesi, one of her uncles brought a white man in a cassock who was slaughtered three market weeks ago, Echeta restrained from paying obeisance to the god of her husband. To her, the gods were bloody and always caused death. They ravaged the innocent, even someone appareled in a garment of peace! The incident of the Whiteman had caused a quarrel between Ojimba and Emeta, leading to severed relationship in trading, etcetera.
Consequent upon that, a young man of Emeta defied the disagreement of the two lands and filtered into the Orie market at Ojimba. He was slaughtered in cold blood, and that remained the last stroke that broke the camel’s back. But although Emeta ravaged Ojimba many nights ago, unexpectedly; Ojimba’s warriors proved themselves to be infallible.
Obiageli saw no one around. Her feet began to suddenly feel too cold against the clay floor, her nervousness shaking the cowries on her thin long neck. Tension as well as doubt, rose in her. Doubts about the authenticity of the news of the choice of the oracle. But although Nwakego was the village gossip who knew something before the rest of the maidens in the village judging by her knowledge of many rumours in the past, her stories had ab initio, been factual.
Her stomach churned from emptiness and loss of a whole night’s sleep, eyes rattling about quickly. Hatred for something she could not place, welled up in her and dried the sweat of indecision that spotted her firm skin. She recalled what her mother had said were the signs of impending death. She could feel them, those signs. Restlessness was one of them. She muttered something under her breath before taking off suddenly.
As she made through the forest quicker than the flash of lightning, thorns caught on her clothes, shredding right through the short wrapper that stopped way above her knees.
She’d seen the border of Ojimba as daylight began to stream generously from the sky, when she felt a strong thrust through her left side. Then footsteps. Then fire scattering through the bushes. Her heart leapt, the blazing thumps in her chest, weighing her down too quickly.
The main action seemed to be going on inside of her, she found herself withdrawing by way of thoughts from all that transpired in the thick forest, where tall grasses hovered above certain shrubs.
The icy pain from the zip of the swift arrow, slashed through her whole body like the strike from a sharp sword left to cool in the freezer before being employed for battle. Her feet felt suddenly cold and too sensitive, goose bumps sprinkling her like holy water. A strong headache gripped her skull. She fell. Her panting was quicker now, and her vision blurred like a bowl of clean water was splashed at her face. She placed her arms on the ground again, the early sun burning her back, then took off, like an animal on four limbs or the biblical Nebuchadnezzar. Thoughts of a local dagger being thrust through her abdomen during the sacrifice to shut her up forever, tore strings of rationalism in her. Those thoughts weakened as well as, strengthened her: the strength of a blind beast or a wounded lion. On feeling brisk footsteps nigh, she moaned a silent prayer.
It was the end, she knew. She could feel it in her bones, in the allergy fragging her skull but she could not stop now. She pulled down her breast wrapper. She firmed her grip on the stem of the rough palm tree nearby and tried to climb up. Her attempts failed. Her fear rose. Her arms trembled with more effort, her stomach souring like the taste of bad soup. She tried to climb up again till like a flash, a strong arm swooped down on her, wrinkling the skin of her upper arm, getting a near full feel around her bones.
When the chief priest had drawn near enough to her as she lay still on the platter for sacrifice like meat for barbecue, he lifted a short, visibly sharp dagger lined with a film of the smarting sunlight, a shimmer at its canine tip. The handle of the dagger comprised tiny pieces of cloth of different dull blends fastened together around it. He raised his head and thrust it into her abdomen.
Instantly, there was cheering, bleeding on Obiageli’s part, and wailing of many women.
There would be drinking. There would be eating. There would be a feast at the Igwe’s palace. Then plenty would follow the harvest.
However, the plenty which was scheduled for in the minds of the natives of Ojimba being the usual outcome of a successful sacrifice, was altered owing to the fact that just one tiny mistake was made. One mistake too many, had been made. And that mustard mistake later became the king of the forest, a tarnish of image to the great Ojimba. That mustard mistake single handedly wrecked the whole land in months and few years to come, leading to a massive exodus of its natives to other lands as a result of the indelible dent on their image. That tiny mistake was the abominable sacrifice of a defiled ‘virgin’.
Consequent upon ‘the treachery of the people of Ojimba’ in the eyes of Odiame; it was widely believed that children of abomination were unleashed on the land. Children who would die at a tender age and return again severally in order to inflict pain on their parents. Those children of abomination were known to be the ogbanje.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

12
Votes



CHAINS ON A BROOMSTICK

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

CHAINS ON A BROOMSTICK
Author : Favour Olinya

08163313512

My name is Olinya Favour. I am a student of law at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

Daughters are in constant neglect whereas they have a lot to offer. Control, constant chains on a child don’t bring parents any closer to them. This story thus briefly captures the thoughts of a young female #fatherinhuntofthewealthofason.

CHAINS ON A BROOMSTICK
NOLLYWOOD 2.0
DRAMA
(May, 2014)
I was on this long ATM queue on one fateful Tuesday afternoon, when a race broke out. The queue was so long that the line of people waiting their turns trespassed into the main road so that some of us had to cross over to the other side of the road to continue the queue, in order to avoid casualties. The ATM machines of the other banks around us were out of service, hence, every eligible withdrawer in need of one hundred thousand and below within the vicinity, crowded the area.
I had nothing above my head to serve as shelter from the sun, so, helplessly watching the blazing sunlight clean out my skin’s fairness, we waited for our line to move another inch. But now for nearly two minutes, it didn’t.
Everyone was getting impatient, and as time rammed into the third minute, I began to hear whispers all around.
“What is this man even withdrawing?” people asked, “Does he not see the myriad of people here?”
“I wonder oh! Some people can be wicked!” a particular young woman with a child fastened to her back, upheld. “He wants to clear all the money in the machine so that every other person here can go to hell!”
I had had several of these encounters with citizens who decided to withdraw their salaries or ‘close down their accounts’ through the ATM, so I kept silent for a while in order to keep my nerves from getting angry.
I however, stole that moment to glance around at some of us squatting by gutters, a balding young man whom I feared was feeling the heat much more than everyone else, and the women who were sitting, who constantly tucked some more cloth between their laps to ensure their bodies weren’t being exposed. I listened to a police siren come from a distance, and watched hawkers stroll by several times. I even daydreamed about my boyfriend, Hillary whom I was supposed to meet anytime soon, for a nice evening at a fancy restaurant.
Yet, after about the seventh minute, the mysterious fellow remained at the ATM machine, reading each instruction on the screen with care, and pushing the buttons as though they were made out of dew. That was the moment my nerves got angry.
I followed a woman across the road, to see the face of that fellow, and if need be, shout. By then, our line shook with fury as a couple of youth corpers led the protest.
“Baba, how far you na!” one of them shouted, “Are you withdrawing or are you typing something there?!”
The man in question, however, took his time, taking no second to turn around and look at us. From behind his head, I could see his cheeks bulging out like a tired bracket or like a severe case of mumps. He had no neck, just fat, and his shoulders were padded by small patches of sweat. On his belt was a little bag where he kept his phone, and occasionally, he jingled his bunch of keys and adjusted his belt.
On an impulse, I paused to look at him thoroughly. How could someone be this annoying?
The woman I had walked up with, left my side and went ahead to scold him. “…ekum nwa, I’m carrying a child!” she was saying.
“Madam, please!” the man retorted in response after ignoring her for a while, propping up his index finger, “The money in this account is my money, therefore, it is my right to withdraw when I need to…”
I inspected how often the veins on his neck rose and fell. How long his bushy eyebrows remained suspended.
“Keep quiet, oga!” a man from the other line blurted out. “Keep quiet! Do you not see the line of people waiting for you? Do you not have a conscience…”?
The ‘oga’ fellow turned around calmly, as if consciously in control of his own emotions. “My friend, keep to your business because I was not talking to you. You are not even on this line…”
“It is because of selfish people like you that our country refuses to move on! How can you colonize a public facility? Or have you not noticed the chain of individuals trailing after you?” cut he in.
“I will lock you up, this man!” the ‘oga’ fellow threatened. “Keep quiet and mind your business!”
“You cannot lock me up arbitrarily. It is unheard of. I know my right!”
The oga fellow pressed further, “I will call my boys to lock you up if you make another statement about this. If you do not shut up!”
The man from the other line was let loose. “Telling me to shut up? In this era of democracy? I will not shut up…no! I will speak up even if it means losing my life! If I shut up, what kind of example would I be setting for our children; the future of this nation, to follow? If our fathers had shut up, would we be a nation, a state…”
He stirred this way and that, like a titled chief saluting a reputable umunna, refusing to pay attention to the women who tried to calm him down, or rather shut him up, when the ‘oga’ fellow took out his phone from its little bag and dialled for a short while. I felt the click of the bag’s magnet.
“Ola, I need you at that UBA bank beside…”
Everyone fell silent now, including the patriotic citizen, and withdrew to watch him.
After a minute of silence or two, and after he had dropped the call and stood aside, I was almost sure the citizen who had challenged him was at unrest within, and prayed for his turn at the ATM quicker, so that he could withdraw and leave before the boys arrived. I was almost sure he wished he had not spoken on the subject after he was instructed not to. I was also almost sure he wished he could swallow his pride and sprint away.
I crossed the road, back to where I once was, waiting for the worst to happen, and for my turn at the ATM. And indeed it happened…
The citizen who had protested was just going up for his turn when a pick up van, tires screeching, landed at the scene. I had very little time to take another quick glance at the ‘oga’ who had delayed at the ATM because everyone took to their heels, and there was a rampage. Young able bodied men flew down from the vehicle like hawks, swooping down on anyone and everyone they could lay hands on, and soon, they drove off with two male victims.
I had quickly begged to enter a small boutique when the race broke out, from where I had watched all that had happened.
Although lucky to have escaped being caught, everyone that remained still feared nearing the ATM machine for an additional thirty minutes, so, people gathered around to discuss the recent happening. A woman who sold oranges nearby seemed to have had a fair share of the story.
“One of the boys they caught was not even on the line,” she lamented. “He had just asked me for directions, and was walking along the road when the race broke out…”
“Ndi anwa bu ekwensu; agents of the underworld!” a woman blurted reflectively. “They were all in black.”
“I pity the parents of those young boys they caught,” the owner of the boutique said. “That is why it is good to pray when one rises in the morning…”
The orange seller spat out beside her, and used her foot to brush the spot.
“Eleghianya, those people are kidnappers…”
“Are you asking?” someone asked. “Of course they are kidnappers!”
At this, I stopped, something quickly flashing through my mind. Something cloudy. Something choking.
I suddenly cared less what anyone else had to say, and for a minute heard in mumbles. Ripping out my cell phone from my pocket, I could feel wet heat settle on my thighs. Hillary. He was supposed to meet me any time soon. I had told him to ask for directions or better still, call me if he needed help finding me. He had then complained that his battery was almost flat.
I quickly dialled his number and waited anxiously, tears of anxiety filling my corneas. It rang for a while and stopped. I dialled again. I did that a couple more times but received no reply.
Upon the tenth trial, someone picked the call. It was not Hillary’s voice I presumed because a replica of his rang in my head even at that moment. Hillary and I spoke so often in a day that sometimes we feared something. Something we could not quite place. Something we did not seem to want to know.
We met in the University, and became really close in our third year. We were so close, however, that one of my attractive friends, June, became my worst enemy. As tacky and unlikeable as I assumed June was, I hated any moment her breath trailed off in Hillary’s direction. The softness of her eyes reminded me of the mild soap I used. They were transparent, and the engravings in them were like those of a map drawn in brown paint. Yet, those eyes spilled courage, or something I could interpret as fearlessness.
Once, she had tried to take off her blouse in his presence, she had called him constantly during holidays, and had even suggested things. Their chat broke my heart although Hillary allowed me to see. And when they talked, my heart stopped.
The moment we left school, I triumphed over the fact that they were never to meet constantly ever again. And the love spree between Hillary and I sailed across the seas. However, roughly four months after, there was a tempest. This tempest…
JULY, 2013
It was in the early hours of a drizzly Monday morning, so like Garfield the cat, I hated the new working week ride. One of my sisters was by the ironing board chatting on her phone with the iron on, while another was hushing her for that. Our family had just concluded a short devotion in the parlour, and Oluchi and Chidimma were preparing for school, while Emilia my immediate younger sister was to leave the house to check and to print her screening result.
“I discouraged them from buying you that phone while still in secondary school,” Emilia was saying, wringing her blouse to stretch. “I did. Because if you burn down this house!”
“You talk like you are in the University,” countered Chidimma, “Kukuma mind your business…”
“Wait. Kukuma…as per…”? Emilia mocked.
Chidimma dropped the phone, turning a lot redder in the light. “I would be wasting my time answering you…”
It was usual to have them bicker. It was unusual however, to expect every morning to be peaceful with four girls in one bedroom, in one home. At five years of age, even I could feel the tension in the house when my mother was pregnant. It was obvious when three days after Chidimma was born, I came fourteenth position in class. My father was so furious that he had made me repeat that grade.
In his words, “If I cannot have sons, then, my daughters shall be reasonable!”
That incident somewhat set me apart from my baby sister because each time I remembered her, I recalled the name my classmates, who even came lower positions than I, used to call me. “Mama ndi Grade One”. The mother of Grade One.
Shuffling into the bathroom, I had a lot more stuff to worry about though. Hillary had for the first time since we began to date, expressed anger. The provocation of last night was nothing as always but he had it pinned to the wall and called ‘quits’. And ever since 2am till I slept off, I had been calling without receiving a reply.
The provocation was simple. June’s wedding pictures were all over Facebook, and Hillary wanted to go back to school!
…I had encouraged him at first till I perceived his mean plan. My mother had said a lot on this subject. Even the society knew better. He wanted me to wait for him to graduate as a medical doctor, and then we could get married. And I had asked aloud,
“Would I be that stupid?”
Then, he had switched off, calling it quits. He said I wasn’t worthy to be called his wife. He called me a disappointment. I was mad as well, at first, but the moment he dropped the call, I broke into hot tears. Tears so hot they scalded my face.
I had picked up my phone next, and rained calls on him but he wouldn’t pick up. I cried some more till I was too weak to continue. Then, finally, I drifted to an uneasy sleep.
In the dream, I was the mayor of a strange land, whose floors were made out of fire. It was hell I presumed, the moment Oluchi, my youngest sister’s shrill voice knocked me out of bed, but I still appreciated the fact that I hadn’t thought of him for three straight hours of sleep.
However, although I hoped to move on with my life, I still hoped even more that when I looked my phone in the face, I would see a red light beeping by its right ear. But when I looked, I saw nothing.
MAY, 2014
The local women had rounded up in their numbers by my side, and were consoling me. And whenever I stopped weeping and turned to my phone, they fell anxiously silent. What was I to do? Where was I to go? To whom was I to run?
That was the moment I discovered the tragic relief new widows derived from sitting on the bare floor to mourn, because no seat could carry me.
Hillary lived in Lagos. He had just arrived Enugu the previous day, and we were going to hang out till the evening of that day. But first, I needed to withdraw some money for my mother, who for two years had not summoned the courage to use the ATM machine all by herself. She was terrified of people looking over her shoulders, so, the few times she tagged along with me, the four pin number was guarded like it was the key to the holy of holies. She would efficiently cover the keypads with one arm, look sideways with suspicion, and then punch in the wrong keys for lack of concentration.
Summarily, I was to be held accountable for Hillary, whom my parents had no idea came to town. I did not however, forget to tell them. They did not just have to know.
From the very first day I mistakenly mentioned his name, my mother’s first found fault was with his name. Giving your child the wrong name was to her, equivalent to signing them up for hell. And what was her reason? She could not tell the meaning of Hillary. I was treated differently from that day henceforth, and a single absence from Bible studies in church meant ‘the art of backsliding’.
However, what I feared the most, which prevented me from informing my parents that Hillary was in town, was my father’s reaction. He could make me repeat life! His words during our morning devotion a couple of years ago still rang in my ears,
“Anyone who disgraces me will be immediately disowned!”
It was obvious that he had been raising us for our husbands, hence, doing anything to hamper a befitting marriage was metaphorically a felony.
I dialled Hillary’s number again, and the women held their breath. Surprisingly, someone picked the call. The moment the sturdy voice fell upon my ears, I jumped. The women jumped with me. The voice was familiar, calm and serious,
“The person who has this number,” it said, “…had an accident, is dead, and is in fact in the mortuary.” Then like it had done the previous time, dropped the call…
…The first time that strange voice had replied my calls, the background was rowdy, and I could hardly understand what it said, so, it’d dropped the call.
I finally became that widow; rolling this way and that on the bare ground, getting dust on my clothes.
I wailed with some of the women who cared to wail with me, and soon, the news began to spread.
“Imana those two boys that were kidnapped right here, now now now, are dead…”?!
“What happened?!”
“Accident!”
“I saw how those people were speeding. Agents of the…”!
…I remained in that spot for a while, staring at nothing in particular. In that short moment, I viewed my life in a full stretch. I even heard voices in my head. Wrappers crossed my face, and soon, the boutique owner was closing down her shop. Then, I heard another voice. This one was a little different from the previous ones, and seemed even more external, more outside my head. It sounded like Hillary’s for a second, then like my favourite lecturer’s while in school.
I sat still and remained unyielding in case it was death calling. I was going to sit still till it went away. But again, it rolled at my ears –this time louder and was accompanied by the blare of a car’s horn.
At this, I flinched and turned aside. Lo and behold, it was my father!
He came out of the car the moment I turned to look at him, and helped me up, however ignoring the questions being thrown at him by the market women.
At home, I feigned great illness in a bid to reduce whatsoever punishment he had in store for me, but for one straight hour, he said absolutely nothing on the subject. He only served me some food, ran me a bath, and helped me with clean clothes.
At the third hour, as I stared at my curtains clueless of whom to mourn, myself or Hillary, my phone buzzed. I crawled to one side of the bed where it lay. I had been expecting my mother’s call from Imo state, where she was attending the funeral of one of the teachers at the school where she worked because my father had called her the moment we got home, to inform her of the incident. But as I looked at the screen, it read ‘Hillary’ as the caller. I shuddered, and gazed at my phone. It rang the first time, the second time, and the third time. Then, as it rang the fourth time, I summoned courage from the fact that perhaps Hillary was not found to be dead. And if it was his ghost, then, my father was in the house. My spirit filled father. I picked the call.
“Hello,” my voice broke into brits as I awaited the voice of the caller, maybe angels singing in the background.
The caller began to laugh. I knew that laughter. He laughed so hard that for a moment, I felt as though I was outside my body. I didn’t know whether to join in the laughter, keep silent, or wonder at the origin of the laughter.
“Who’s this?” I managed to say after sometime.
“Babe, it’s me na!” the caller went, a little sober.
“Hillary?”
“Ya.”
I dropped the call. Now, it became clear whom I was to mourn. Myself!
My father’s intentions by prolonged silence, dawned on me in a jiffy. Silence on his part was a ploy. Prolonged silence on his part, on the other hand, was a scheme. What was I going to tell him was my reason for sitting on the floor with dust in my hair while unschooled women attended to me? If I banked on the tragedy at the scene, he would wonder why I was the one it hurt the most. I thought about telling him that a distant school mate was involved. But, I recalled that particular orange seller telling him that two boys were involved in the accident. His next question would then be,
“What was your attachment with a boy?”
I shivered under my blanket. Then, an idea came to me. ‘Pretend your phone was snatched. If he asks why one of the women told him about two males who were kidnapped, then, tell him you knew the women would not understand the grief of losing a Samsung galaxy x5, and that’s the reason you did not bother telling them’
However, that plan had a dead end. It was either my father had heard me on the phone as Hillary called, or not. Besides, if he hadn’t heard me on the phone, I would have to be without a phone always, in his presence. I would have to configure my sisters’ minds never to mention my phone. I grew weary already.
Emilia was the first of my sisters to come home. As she dropped her hand bag, I saw a perfect opportunity to introduce her to the plan, the configuration. But, it would be futile and would attract another problem if my father had actually heard me on the phone. Another plan crawled by.
“Did you go out with your phone?” I asked Emilia.
She made a face, and continued with whatever she was doing by the dresser.
“Emilia!”
“As if you do not know that what I went out to do would involve my phone,” she responded firmly, carrying her gown over her head, and placing it on a chair. That was odd. Her clothes on a chair! Emilia was the most irritable of my sisters. She stammered a little when under pressure, never cared for make up, and never kept her clothes on a chair. Her clothes were kept arranged like the file containing my CV. I stared at her, ruminating over her response. I had no single clue on what to say to her; how to frame my words.
“When did you start browsing? Or have you joined Facebook?” I teased, as I knew nothing else to say. She slumped onto the bed, and buried her head in a pillow. It was a tease alright, as she was neither on Facebook nor was she ever found browsing. She was our ‘father’s daughter’.
“Mimi, ogini?” I pressed for pressing sake.
She turned aside. “Is life unfair?”
“Why is that?” I turned to look at her properly. Her eyes were the shape of two cones lying on their sides, and her brows rammed into each other, creating small letter, ‘m’.
She lifted her head, “Life seems unfair to me. Do you know Mmeso?”
I nodded. Mmeso was Emilia’s definition of an unbeliever. She put on trousers, painted her face, and attended parties. Mmeso also owned the twentieth position in Emilia’s class while in Secondary school.
“I ran into her today.” She buried her head again, something catching in her throat, “She knows I’m not a student…”
Emilia’s sobbing broke my heart. Now, Chidimma was to take the screening test with her this year. She had lost respect in the house, and many times our mother gave her a hard time. Unlike her, I had entered school on my first attempt. I was a heroine in those days, and my words were decrees. I chose the chores I wanted to do, chose everyone’s meals, and got extra money from my mother. To my father, however, I was just whiling away time, as he insisted that my course of study was barren.
“And so what? What if she knows? Will you stay home forever? It’s just a matter of time!” I consoled her. But who was to console me?
The curtain at the door of our bedroom shook. Someone stood at the door. I stiffened. Not only was it going to be difficult to convince Emilia to lie on my behalf, it was going to be even more difficult to convince her now that she was in pain. My initial plan was to make her say out loud to the hearing of my father, that she had forgotten her phone at home thinking she had lost it, so that if I later told him about my phone incident, and he claimed to have heard me on the phone, I would easily attest to having made use of Emilia’s phone. The other entirely different option if this one did not work out was the idea of taking up the symptoms of a Cerebral malaria patient in order to pretend I had been saying things if he had heard me on the phone. But now, a Cerebral malaria patient had no reasonable advice to give, hence, Emilia was bound to stand against me in judgement. And what was even wrong with me!
I lay still, struggling to figure out who was at the door, who did not want to come in, when I heard my name from the living room. My father was beckoning on me.
“Who is at the door?” I whispered to Emilia, who at that moment let off a snore. She had fallen asleep with her nose slammed into one of our hard pillows. The first night I used that particular pillow, I could hardly sleep, and in the morning, woke with a minor pain in the neck.
Throwing my feet down from the bed, I headed for the door, wondering who was at the entrance of our bedroom even as my father’s voice came from the living room. The intruder was scratching the jamb of the door with a supposedly sharp object. I swallowed saliva as my feet froze. Had my father bought a dog? Or had he hired a Rottweiler maybe, to devour me as my punishment? He could have at least heard me out!
I flapped the curtain aside and there, beside our door post sprawled a little boy. He smiled when he saw me, then, ran into the living room. I swallowed my curiosity from the myriad of thoughts running across my mind, and stepped into the living room.
“Daddy, you called me.”
The look on my father’s face frightened me. He had his forced smile on, and his eyes seemed a lot smaller, as though the bags under them had been recently inflated. The last time I saw that embarrassing look on his face was when he ran into one of his creditors, before he got a government job.
The living room was partly coated in darkness as all the windows were shut. It looked like a photo studio, only I had begun to suffocate from the tied smells of watery perfume, sweat, and shoe stink. My father had the company of a middle aged woman in heavy make up. She was looking away as though refusing to mind that I was there. Beside her were two big travelling bags, one half filled jute bag, and one leather bag. I greeted her and she grunted something.
Normally, I would worry about her coldness but my problems weighed a ton, took up all the space I had left to worry. I looked at my father.
“Nnedimma, this is my cousin. My father’s brother’s last daughter,” he said.
“Oh,” I went, “Welcome, ma.”
Again, she snubbed me.
“And this is her son.” He reached out and pulled the boy close. “Tell her your name, boy.”
The boy stopped to look at me. Then, something odd happened. He turned back to my father and called him ‘daddy’.
“Take me to the zoo, again!” he pleaded, jerking.
My father for a moment seemed to be avoiding my gaze. I swallowed saliva just to make sure I was still there. The man fondling the little boy was not my father. He was an alien trapped in my father’s body! My father had never played nor fondled us in that manner, even while we were toddlers.
In my faint memory of childhood, he was like a statue who kept watching me, and would not let me eat off the ground or bite anybody. At night, he bathed us, and lifted us off the ground by our armpits, letting our legs hang free till he wanted to drop us. With him, my limbs hurt back then.
I waited for him to say, ‘I Am Not Your Father!” but he kept calm, even promising that he would take the little boy to the zoo when next he had time.
I hurried back to our bedroom, crashing down on the bed when I was discharged. The lower half of me felt heavy, so I hurried into the bathroom to urinate. The tiles on the walls were daunting as the face of that little boy appeared on them. I felt different, as though my life had suddenly changed. I felt like our little family circle had just been thrust through by a sinful, shameful spear.
When I went back to the bedroom, on an impulse, I wanted to wake Emilia. I wanted her to see the little boy, and tell how much he looked like Oluchi and my father. His skin was the shade of black a polished shoe has before it is brushed thoroughly to shine, his eyes were evading, and his hair line was curvy. But as my arm reached out to touch her, someone pulled my hair from behind. I shook visibly.
“My daddy is calling you,” the little boy said, then ran off.

I-agree-to-terms-conditions

12
Votes



Evolution

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Evolution
Author : Rexpeters22

2349077928390

My Name is Onowu Nonso rex, I picked up writing as a hobby several years ago, although not yet published I have several projects which I believe would make an interesting read.
Submission Category:

The Future of Africa

A young pilot circumnavigating the globe is trapped in a lightening storm over the southern Atlantic ocean, desperate to stay alive, he flies his airplane into the Bermuda triangle where meets a higher evolved race of mankind.

Nineteen years ago a twenty eight year old Nigerian pilot Peter Onyewu attempted to become the first ever African born pilot to circumnavigate the globe, his journey began at the Muritala Mohammed international airport Lagos, Nigeria on the 21st of febuary 2003, four months into his record breaking travel (June 07 2003) peter was flying over the southern Atlantic ocean when suddenly a storm began to manifest along his flight projectory, worried that his cirrus sr22 airplane would not survive the storm on a head on collision Peter attempted to fly over the storm a routine aviation procedure rudimentary to every qualified pilot.
As peters cirrus sr22 towered over the south Atlantan storm he began to notice that his navigational instruments had began to severely malfunction due to the electromagnetic interference of the storm.
Blinded by the storm and almost empty on fuel peter continued to press onward desperate to conquer the Storm, hoping to survive, but as peter continued in his struggle to overcome the tempesteous weather the direness of his situation became increasingly clear to him that he may not survive the storm, frightened by this crashing reality Peter attempted to radio for help:

“Mayday mayday this is peter onyewu cirrus sr22 do you copy”
“Mayday Mayday this is Peter onyewu cirrus sr22 I am trapped in a storm and low on fuel does anyone copy”

But there was no reply, relying solely on his instincts Peter continued to press on and then in a moment when all hope had seem lost’ peters gaze was drawn eastwards by a bright white light he immediately and unsuspectingly assumed that what he was looking at was his way out of the storm(daylight) and so without any hesitation peter flew his cirrus sr22 towards the light, into the light, and as he flew into the luminance of the source he felt an unusualness in his physical and mental composition as the light which he had at first believed to be daylight on closer examination looked to be more of a fluorescence white than the yellowish sunny bright which he was familiar with.
And just when peter thought things couldn’t get any weirder or more critical his aircraft ran out of fuel, but instead of descending downwards as in compliance with the laws of gravity peters cirrus sr22 remained airbound neither ascending nor descending suspended in the bright white light.
Of all the thoughts that ran through Peters head one stood out above the rest “I am definitely dead” peter thought to himself as this thought ran through the young pilots mind summarily a subtle voice from the light sounded “step forward” believing that his mortal self had transcended beyond the physical realm where the laws of gravity, speed, sound or matter no longer exists, without any hesitation peter alighted from his aircraft and found himself standing on light, step forward the voice from the light again sounded and in compliance peter began to walk towards the subtle voice, that is forward enough the voice from the light then cautioned peter bringing him to a halt, who are you? The voice inquired of peter;
Convinced that he had died in the storm and was standing before God to be judged as required of all who die as stated by his christian religion, Peter thought long and hard before he answered , who are you the voice again sounded this time louder than before’

My name is peter onyewu; lord, heavenly Father I know am a sinner the young pilot plead, but If you oh lord can please allow me only to sit at the gate of heaven I will praise you forever.
Lord? Heavenly father? Gate of heaven? The voice from the light amusingly retorted, where do you think you are human? The voice anxiously asked peter, heaven the young pilot replied, Ha ha ha, the voice chuckled, this is not heaven he then said, its not? Peter stuttered, of course not, you’re not in heaven! If this isn’t heaven sir then please where am i? As soon as Peter asked that question he lapped his fingers one over the other in a cross like loop whilst closing his eyes and whispering repeatedly to himself;
“Please don’t say hell”…
You are inside the Bermuda the voice from the light comfirmed Peters location to him, yes! Peter excitedly cheered with a sigh of relief but as he recovered from his reflex jubilation the word Bermuda began to form a ring in his head, so he asked the voice from the light; sir what Bermuda island in particular am I on?
Island? The voice from the replied, you’re not on an island, you’re inside the Bermuda, yes o know you’ve said that before but am a bit confused as to what you mean by inside the bermuda’ peter, the voice then called out to the young Nigerian’ you are inside the Bermuda triangle’…
As soon as peter heard those two words put together “Bermuda and triangle” his knees became weaker and his eyes rolled backwards into his head and then simultaneously peter passed out on the luminous floor.

June 07 2003 peter Onyewu is declared a missing person by the Nigerian government.

A few hours later Peter regains his consciousness, he finds himself laying on a table in a confined space in what seems to be an examination theater;
Good to see you’re finally awake a voice unlike the one from before adddesed him and as the blur faded from his eyes he could see a physical presence with him in the room, unlike his earlier encounter with the inquirer at the entrance of the Bermuda.
You’re human the Nigerian pilot spoke excitedly to the medical officer, yes I am she replied, how are you feeling she then asked Peter, what is this place he replied rather than answer the officer, it is completely normal for you to be curious…
Are you aliens peter hurriedly again asked the examiner, all your questions would be answered by a learning droid as soon as my examination here is concluded, so please sir answer only the questions I ask you, is that okay by you sir the medical officer asked peter, yes that’s fine he replied and in a few minutes peters medical examination was concluded .
A learning droid will be with you shortly you can ask him any question you want.

As peter waited for the learning driod to arrive, he began to ponder the veracity of his current predicament, unsure if he was to be thankful for being alive or terrified with this his newly discovered reality, as he continued to thinker on this dream like world peter was greeted by a floating spherical contraction(droid);
Salutations sir, I am B3N113 also known as (Benie), I am your guide in this facility here to answer all your questions and provide you with company.
Where would you like us to begin sir? You can start by telling me everything about this place peter replied, very well sir: accessing Bermuda database.

History:
8billion years ago, there was a race of super intelligent organic beings known as the “Reccure” a humaniod specie who are largely responsible for setting in place the physical and chemical precursors capable of sustaining life, a perfect example of this is your solar system sector 39A47(Earth), on completion of each sector the Reccure would set in place a inter dimensional portal(wormhole) which served as both a gateway and an observatory.
For several millennia the Reccure’s reach grew vastly throughout the universe bringing light to a dark cosmos.
However the growing influence of the Reccure did not sit well with a certain race’ only recorded as the Primordials as they were very unwelcoming and easily provoked; Thus making them highly unaccessible to collect data.
The primordials perceived the Reccure’s growth as a threat to their species and their agenda of universal dominance .
And so a war between the Reccure and the primordials became unavoidable.
The unpredictable savagery and unrelenting force of the primordials proved to be most advantageous over the calculative prospection of the Reccure, it was a war in which the Reccure were not prepared, thus losing the conflict and consequently paying the ultimate price the extinction of their species and the termination of several other sectors as well (47,763,32 to be exact). Word of this massacre traveled quickly across the universe, with all of the Reccure’s Armada and people’s obliterated, there was no longer any force powerful enough to challenge the primordials and so smaller sectors like earth decommissioned their travel gates and completely deleted their star signals from the Reccure’s database as a precaution to prevent the primordials from finding them.
This inter dimensional portal now only serves as an observatory to monitor and preserve the evolutionary pace of 393A47 indigenous species.

Wow that’s a lot to take peter told the droid, as fascinating and terrifying as all this sound’s…
Umm, how soon would I be allowed to leave this observatory, leave? The droid replied with a shock in its expression, why would you want to leave sir?

Elsewhere:
The medical officer who examined Peter earlier while analyzing the samples collected from the Nigerian pilot as mandated by the Bermuda medical specie safety regulatory board (BMSSRB) discovers an anomaly in the Nigerians DNA, unsure to make of this anomaly she performs a secondary analysis on the collected samples, as the medical office waits for the medical (A.I) to process the sample results she is highly unsettled as she paces left, right and all about. Finally the A.I informs the medical officer of the recalculated results and just like the previous results the summary remained unchanged.
Contact the councilor the medical officer instructed her A.I; Establishing connection the A.I prompted’ and summarily communication between the medical officer and the observatory councilor was established:
Hello magerie, I’ve found him sir she excitedly informed the councilor, found who? The councilor inquired, (GFW) she replied, I’ve found him sir, I’ve found him she again retold the councilor.
This is wonderful news the councilor replied at last we finally have an edge over the enemy, prepare him I will be with you momentarily the councilor instructed.

Meanwhile:
Peter and his designated learning droid ccontinued their tour of the Bermuda facility before they were hurriedly intercepted by some Bermuda security operatives.
Peter onyewu? The forerunner inquired, yes that’s me am peter’ is there a problem the young pilot asked, No the forerunner replied, we simply need you to come with us sir he requested, Turning to his learning droid Peter frighteningly asked “What’s going on benie, what do these men want, but before (B3N113) could reply a security operative overrode the droids programing with a (E56) security override protocol, disengaging him from his user and returning him to the droid storage facility (DSF) whilst taking peter to the councilor.

As peter arrived at the councilors chambers he immediately noticed the medical officer who attended to him earlier alongside several other unfamiliar faces ;
Mr peter the councilor called to the Nigerian, I am councilor Darius Areia, please accept my most sincere apologies as it regards your conveyance to this council but we simply couldn’t wait to meet you, what is going on peter aggressively asked the councilor, there is no need for incivility the councilor replied, we mean you no harm, hmm peter scoffed, knowing the nature of politicians to deviate from the truth by thus exaggerating it’s importance or deflecting it, so I should be concerned peter replied the councilor, shouldn’t we all? Darius responded, take a walk with me he then told peter, as they strolled down the immense vestibule of the council halls, Darius began to retell peter the cosmology of the universe and the fragility of life itself, yes I am aware of this history peter informed the councilor, of course Darius replied, how old do you think I am? the councilor softly asked Peter, early forties peter replied, Ha ha, if only Darius chuckled, I am seven hundred million years old, as a matter of fact every one I’m this facility is seven hundred million years old, that’s impossible Peter unbelievably responded, you look so young, yes but looks can be deceiving the councilor informed peter, this is incredible peter still in awe told Darius, how did you achieve this imortality? We are not imortal Darius corrected peter, circumstances forced us to adapt this unnatural longivity for the sole reason of preservation, do you understand what i mean peter? You know I don’t the Nigerian pilot replied, very well Darius then said let us continue this conversation tomorrow then I will furthermore explain the circumstances surrounding our longivity…
My domestic droid ( C5T) will lead you to your quarters, you are now a guest of the councilor feel free to request for whatever you desire.

June 10 2011 9:42 Am.

Peter who hardly slept through the night wondering about the truthfulness of the councilors claim hurriedly got dressed and set out to meet Darius so that he could further understand the complicated history of the people living in the inter dimensional portal observatory (IDPO).
As CT2 led Peter to Darius’s chambers he informed him that the councilor was ready to see him. Welcome Darius greeted peter, I hope you slept well? I couldn’t Peter answered but that is irrelevant, you promised to tell me more about your longivity, that is all i am concerned about right now. I see you’re a straight to the point kind of man, Darius complimented peter, very good he then said have a sit let us begin.

History II

After the primordials obliterated our ancestors we decided to tap into the little that remained of the Reccure’s mainframe downloading all that we could as a means to sustaining their legacy, our data technicians ran through quantum’s of Reccure data searching for whatever kindle of hope we may find to survive in a universe that had suddenly turned hostile.
Many years later the Recidivist cell alteration data (RCAD) was discover and many years later it was finally decrypted, as we gained access to these files we discovered that they contain millions of DNA ranging from unintelligent organisms, plants etc to a more intelligent life form of which you represent.
It was our belief that we could recreate the Reccure’s race and so we began to experiment firstly within ourselves but the outcomes were less than successful and highly dangerous, so we decided to put a stop to the to our biological experimentation for a while, but then soon after we received news that a star system not very far from ours had come under attack from the primordials and as is their destructive nature not a single soul or planet was left standing.
With the threat of extinction this time more vivid than ever before the third IDPO council recommenced the bio experiments, the specimens under went several evolutionary alterations, promising but still quite dissatisfying.
Moving on we did not relent, but then however in the post sapient era we were forced to discontinue the (RCA) and retreat to the IDPO as we were faced with a problematic severity of our own.
For billions of years our biological feature had remained unchanged neither evolving or devolving, biy after six billion years our race began to de evolve as our mental and physical abilities began to wane…
Unaware of how to tackle this frightening reality the third IDPOC initiated a recrudescence decree to restart afresh our race from a single celled organism back to our former glory, but that decree ended in a disaster as we lost a third of our population to an unknown viral outbreak, when it became clear that a recrudescence will not work, the council then passed an oroborus decree thus extending the life of all peoples within the observatory as we continue to search for a solution to our internal dilemma.
So we are not the same Peter naively asked Darius, not even slightly the councilor replied.
What about your experiments are you still attempting to recreate a Reccure peter inquired, yes Darius answered we are, and your progress? Peter again asked, hindered Darius replied, due to consistent failures on the Reccure project we decided to reanalyze the RCA data to better understand it, a strategy which proved most effective, after several adjustments we were able to recreate the the DNA of a Reccure, that’s wonderful peter excitedly told Darius, not quite the councilor replied, you see we were able to only assemble the DNA of a Reccure , we are still unable to nurture a bodily feature in which the biological precursors may thrive and so we fell back to the RCA and after many years of harrowing through raw data our analysts discovered the break through we needed to finally complete the Reccure project, they called it the (Generic forty three window) (GFW), our scientists concluded that although we may never be able to fully recreate a Reccure with the GFW an organic host can be taught to mimic a Reccure’s physiology, at that time we believed that our work was finally complete and so several volunteers were infused with the RCA DNA, but their bodies rejected the recidivist cells as their GFW percentage read to be too low, after several calculations and reanalysis it was ascertained that the IDPO population could not carry the Reccure’s DNA as a matter of fact no species could carry it, the probability of that ever happening was one to an infinity, so there is no hope for the Reccure peter sadly confirmed, yes Darius replied that was our belief, but things change he further added, what we know now is not as what we did before, confused by the councilors babblings peter sort clarity and so he asked; what do you mean Darius?
I do not know how you were able to come here peter, the councilor spoke mildly, or how you survived the ultra climatic rage generating weather (UCRGW) specifically designed to keep outsiders… Outside, however that is now all but irrelevant, it is that you are here now that is most important.
What I am about to say to you now peter may seem unbelievable but i assure you it is the total truth, go on Peter urged the councilor to continue…
After carefully analyzing samples collected from you on your arrival here we discovered that you are that one to an infinity of probabilities of persons that can sustain an RCA DNA, impossible Peter replied, I know this may be difficult to believe but I assure you it is the truth, okay let’s assume that you’re correct and this is true, what does this mean for me? There are no assumptions here Darius spoke convincingly our analysis are never incorrect, you’re never going to let me go, are you? Peter asked Darius, we cannot hold you against your will he replied whatever you decide to do we shall respect it.
What is the recreation process like? What am I to expect, would I die? Of course not, will I still be me afterwards what are the dangers involved if I agree to do this?
There is no danger in the procedure and no you will not die but there will be changes to your being, but that does not mean everything has got to change, Darius spoke softly whilst pointing his arm to Peters heart.
Am sorry Peter apologized to the councilor, I do not think I can do this he said frighteningly, I have my own life to live am sorry.
Disappointed by Peters unwillingness to sacrifice for the good of others, Darius said these his final words to the Nigerian;

The simplicity of life is often overshadowed by its complicated nature.
The simpleness of good, the malevolence of evil…
The selflessness of sacrifice parallel to the in relentlessness of greed.
Every being is born inherent the consciousness of right and wrong, it is however our individual decisions that evolves us, some of us more human than the rest.

I shall make immediate arrangements for you to return to the outside world, but before you are allowed to leave magerie would have to extract three days of memory from your cerebral cortex, a necessity to ensure that our facility remaims undiscovered, I hope you do not mind? No Peter replied, very well then I believe you still remember your way to your cabin? Yes Peter responded, and as he was about to leave Darius’s chambers, Darius called to him and said; peter in case you change your mind you know where to find me…
I will not change my mind Peter replied before he left to return to his cabin.

June 11 2003 09:37 Am. Memory Removal.

As peter arrived at the medical bay he was met by Darius and magerie.
I have informed magerie of your request to leave the facility but before the memory deletion begins I just have to ask again is your decision final? Yes it is Peter replied the councilor, very well Darius then said Magerie would take it from here.
Momentarily Peter was set to have his memory deleted, hold on Magerie said to him this would sting a little, but before she could initiate a memory swipe a level 5 alarm went off instructing all personels to go to the evacuation centers, what’s going on peter asked, I don’t know Magerie replied but its definitely critical, we have to go now, go where Peter asked, irritated by peters persistent questions Magerie rudely told the Nigerian; just keep quiet and follow me as she hurried out of the bay and headed for the emergency evacuation unit (EEU) as she and peter aarrived at the EEU alongside several other IDPO personnel they were greeted by Darius who addressed the crowd;

My friends, my people, I fear I have only but sad news, our time here has come to an end and we must begin to immediately relocate to another sector…

Why Darius the crowd shouted…
What is the reason they yelled…

Please Darius plead with his people, if you would give me only but a moment to speak then you will understand! And at his request there was decorum in the hall as Darius continued to address his people;

The primordials have entered the milky way and we have only but thirty two hours to evacuate before they reach our sector…
And as soon as those words broke from Darius’s lips there was panic in the EEU.

Where would we go the crowd shouted…
There isn’t enough time…
We are all going to die…

Please everyone remain calm, a habitable sector has already been sselected years before now as a contingency for such a time as this and there is enough time to evacuate if we maintain a civil and orderly fashion, every personnel in this facility has been designated to a life shuttle, check your logs and know your departure schedule and we shall continue to survive against this unrelenting enemy, we shall continue to survive.

With over three hours to go before the primordials arrival, the IDPO was completely evacuated with Peter boarding a shuttle with Magerie.
summarily they arrived at sector (8323B) as the final shuttles arrived all personnel made way to the observatory monitoring unit watching the timer countdown with earth in view, with only a minute to go on the counter Peter thought to himself maybe the alarm was a false alarm maybe earth wouldn’t be destroyed, but on the 22nd second mark an enormous ship appeared out of nowhere; oh my god peter wailed as the ship exposed it’s frontal canons and with two shots one from each barrel earth was destroyed.
Overwhelmed by grief, Peter was lost in thought, petrified by recent events, watching the debris of earth scatter in space Peter with a tear rolling down his cheeks turned to Magerie and said; I’ll do it, make me a Reccure.

22 01 017 (sector 8433B)

17 days later the RCA fusion had reached a 73% completion, but the physical alterations which were expected to manifest with the progression levels were yet to be seen, worried Magerie collected a sample from the Nigerian pilot as he remained dorsal in a hibernation pod, quickly she took the collected samples to sector 8443B’s laboratory where she conducted further analysis on the samples and then inputed the test summary into the laboratory’s A.I and promptly a caution was displayed on the screen alongside an algorithm to furthermore simplify the results and as soon as Magerie saw the test conclusions the expression on her face turned from worried to frightening, immediately she ran back to peters pod in an attempt to halt the RCA fusion, but as she arrived at his fusion pod the Nigerian was no longer in the pod, immediately Magerie set off the facility’s alarm.
Shortly she was met by Darius and security operatives, what’s going on Darius worriedly asked, he’s gone she replied, what do you mean gone, is the procedure complete, no Magerie replied, then what do you mean he’s gone, search the facility find him Darius instructed security.
Darius! Magerie then softly called to councilor we’ve made a mistake she informed him, go straight to the point, Darius angrily responded to Magerie, The Recidivist cell alteration data was not what we thought it was, how Magerie how? We have not created a Reccure she fearfully told Darius. what then have we created the councilor replied… A primordial Magerie concluded.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

12
Votes



Burning Miracles

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Burning Miracles
Author : Gideon Chukwuemeka Ogbonna

2347039690840

Gideon Ogbonna is an aspiring writer from Ebonyi who alternates between being a Pharmacist and writing stories. For him, his life is a tug of war between his Pharmacist’s Oath and his pen.
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

Burning Miracles is a captivating story of pain and the need to be loved. It captures a tale of Kambili, a sickle cell patient and her hurdles through life.

Burning Miracles

1
At 10 you heard you were going to die. If they don’t die before 21, then they will live long, you overheard him say. He said this, unaware that the message was for you. Yet, you never lived in this burdensome knowledge that death may come for you anytime. Maybe this ability to deny this knowledge was what your mother called faith. Because there were nights when death taunted you; when you felt the shallowness of your breath; when your heart became fading pulses, and all you whispered was, I shall not die.
You knew what faith was through your mother. Faith was trudging to church on Wednesday evenings to see her pastor and to pray. Faith was nodding to the pastor when he blinked his palm nut shaped eyes and asked, do you believe this thing can be changed?
Good, he would say after you nod. Keep praying. God answers the prayers of little ones quickly.
But you knew why God did not answer yours quickly – your innocence had been scalded by the heat you felt every night when you guided your aunt’s hand to the tender ridges under your pajamas, as your hand found way into her own bristles.
You are convalescing when she first fondles you; she massages, with a cloth soaked in hot water, the many punctures that dot your buttocks then dabs the streak of your innocence with the cloth, and later a finger. And you do not know what the touch should make you feel – pain or pleasure. But the way she closes her eyes – as if savouring an aroma tells you – it is something sweet. Sweeter than the pain you are recovering from.

2
You were 11 when you first came close to dying. That evening, there was a throbbing pain on your waist like it was another heart in your body. The pain lurched from your waist, squeezing and tearing through your blood vessels, and settled on your chest. Strapped to your mother’s back in the hospital, as she sung praises with a voice hoarse with tears, you couldn’t tell if the heat you suddenly felt was from the dimly lit room, or from the cloth that strapped you, but you felt hot and gasped for breath. And soon, everything seemed ethereal. It was like the sun took up a white resplendence and no longer sunk beneath the clouds with a fierce, orange glow; like this resplendence shone in the room, painting the walls white like heaven, and the brown tiled floor like gold. Like it enveloped you and made your body saunter in air. That was before the pain traveled to your throat, strangulating you.
Mom, I love you, you said with tears, like you regretted not saying it on better days. But I love you was not what flew all over the place at home. Your father and mother never said it to each other. No endearments whatsoever. Not even for you. Sometimes, your mom, pliant, would be teased by family friends and on days like your dad’s birthday, you will hear her say, Happy birthday my lord, unfurling the words with effort like a child struggling to open a gift. She made ‘my lord’ (flushing like a new bride when she said it) less audible than ‘happy birthday.’
And your father? Stoic. Bespectacled from much studying. Rotund from alcohol. Endearments were not for him. Kporo’m nne gi, call me your mother was what he said to you when he needed your mother. And when he decided to call her himself, he would say, his face impassive, enyi, biko bia go di, friend please come.
That was the language of love you knew – silent and strong. So when you told your mother you loved her, it had a taste; even a profound taste when she cried, I love you too.

3
At 15, you were a woman in a girl’s body. Loneliness – the bane of an only child – thrummed in your heart even more and you wanted love because of it; because you didn’t want to die without love stranded in your bones; because your aunt had stopped touching you in places that made you warm and left you with cravings that rocked your body. Every night, she would reel out the events of her day to her lover, giggling and squirming on the bed, then falling asleep with a smile flickering over her ginger colored face after saying, I love you too. You wanted to be like her; to have a man.
You knew your aunt stopped touching you because of her lover. She had hit your hand when you tried getting under her skirt the night she blushed after a call. You tried again, and she hit it again without uttering a word. And when you dressed for school the next morning, she told you that what you tried doing wasn’t proper. You are too young for what you wanted to do last night. Moreover, it is not proper for a woman to touch another woman in that way, she said. You replied with a nod to stifle the bile that rose up your throat. You felt like a little pawn for pleasure, and you expected an apology. Instead she said, holding your shoulders, that you are growing into a beautiful woman, and soon a man will come for you. Then with a wintry gaze that gripped you, she added, but remember that everything that happened between us is in the past and no one should hear of it, and she left. The finality of her words made you shed a tear. That was how you knew how people magnified their importance by etching deeply into your heart, then yanking themselves off it.

4
You were 16 when you learnt that the language of love was the eyes. But you were never proud of the sallow smudges that were your eyes because they reminded you of palm oil smeared on a white cloth. Was that not why you wore glasses to glance at Tobey during Sunday service, willing his brown, graceful eyes to meet yours, as the pastor hopped from place to place, heaving words in that vibrating way peculiar to Pentecostals? On the day Tobey’s eyes lingered on yours more than usual, you thought it was because of your hair, which you made to cascade down your shoulders in brown, fluffy tufts, making more evident the moon shape of your face. That was the day he asked your name with an obvious effort to repress his stutter. Kambili, you said, flushing.
The kind of love you and Tobey had hid behind the bone white walls of the church – for that was the only place naiveté allowed you two to meet – to plant a kiss on each other’s cheek. It was a love that kept secrets; you never told him about your health and when he’d come to see you in the hospital, you would tell him, almost in a whisper, that the doctor said it was malaria. Tobey did not tell you that he had not been with a girl before but you knew in the way his fingers trembled and his lips quivered when he gave you a peck. That was the extent Tobey’s holy body could go; a peck. And because you could not tell him that your body had held pleasures that went beyond hidden, sloppy pecks; because you knew how (too much) sensuality tainted the beauty of love, you pretended, for a while, that your body was holy too. However, it worried you. You had thought that Tobey would douse the sensual cinders that smouldered in your body. You could not understand how a boy like Tobey, 18 and handsome, withheld himself from discovering the pleasures wrapped in a girl and the ones within his body too.
So one afternoon, you are home alone, and you invite him. It starts with a peck. Then you dare him to kiss you. He does, scowling his face the same way you do when served porridge beans. You giggle. Close your eyes and follow my lead, you tell him. And soon both of you, enraptured by soft kisses, unlock the sensuality fallow in your thighs. Then it is all over. Your heavy breaths are drowned by the rain. You look at his face and it holds guilt and embarrassment. Maybe it is because he realizes that he is naked before a girl; or maybe it is because of the blood trapped within the sheet, but whatever it is makes him hurry out of your house, not minding the rain, as if the rain would douse any passion left in his body and cleanse him of the filth he has known. And this is the last time you see him.

5
There was a day you said to your mother – your eyes evading hers – that miracles do not exist. She had asked if you still prayed for your health. You were 18 and in your second year in university.
Well, maybe they exist. But a miracle is not just for me, you calmed her because she had exclaimed, Oh God! Have mercy on my daughter, clutching her chest.
Never lose hope, Kam, she sighed.
So you were tethered to a pillar of hope and fed on unseen evidences until death came again the second time. This time it was like the pain unhinged your lungs and you felt them floating in your body. And when the pastor came to the hospital one afternoon and told you that your faith was weak, you wished him this pain. And he felt it. Or did he not say it one Sunday as he preached? Saying he never knew that a bone pain could hurt that much. And when he despised drugs and dismissed what he had felt with, by faith I became healed, you shook your head in revulsion.
When death came this second time, two men clad in black told you: Thank your mother for her prayers. But we will be back again. Then you woke up with an itch on your big toe, the one that came with the drug the nurse administered. You made nothing out of the dream, yet you told your mother about it. And she, her hair covered with a shawl, knelt down and gave thanks to the God who had done this.
She rubbed your big toe with olive oil. This itch will pass too. The enemy has failed, she snapped her fingers and watched how far the blood transfusion had gone.
You muttered Amen because you wanted to please her. But you had escaped the tether of hope. And you never blamed God for not sending a miracle to you. Because for you, God’s phials of miracles are not for sinners. Because a sinner was what you saw when you gazed at the mirror on some mornings, naked. You would feel your bones through your skin that sometimes had the color of ivory. The anemia shrunk you into a short girl, thin like a twig. Your body was one that had been sentenced to pain so all you wanted were pleasures. And in your diary, you wrote:
Miracles don’t stay here because my body is a bag of pleasures burning miracles.

6
They say the world is fraught with peaks and troughs, and you knew this late in life. Perhaps, it was because the troughs chose you; or it was because you did not know that you could, sometimes, create peaks for yourself. But after you knew, you did. Was that not how you learnt to love yourself? How you quelled your addiction to the pills that eased your pain? How you knew that there was a glowing beauty to your skin, one you never saw before? How you freed your hurting scalp from the twists of braids, and wore you black weaves with all sleekness and straightness and style?
But these were after your mother told you those banal words – settle down, and asked you to find a man like men were fruits littered on the ground after a windy night; after you met Clement on a day when the dusts of Nsukka made people wear brown eye shadow; after he slipped a wedding band on your finger on your birthday; after he warned you not to make weaves but braids because that was how he wanted his woman to always appear. After he stopped you from wearing your snug shirts because they revealed parts of you only he should see. After love leaked out of your body through your eyes when he said, a stutter to his voice, I can’t do this anymore. You are a sickler, I can’t bear to watch you die; saying ‘this’ with a tastelessness that formed a ball in your throat.
And these were before you died. You were 21.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

22
Votes



Evolution

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Evolution
Author : Rexpeters22

2349077928390

My Name is Onowu Nonso rex, I picked up writing as a hobby several years ago, although not yet published I have several projects which I believe would make an interesting read.
Submission Category:

The Future of Africa

A young pilot circumnavigating the globe is trapped in a lightening storm over the southern Atlantic ocean, desperate to stay alive, he flies his airplane into the Bermuda triangle where meets a higher evolved race of mankind.

Nineteen years ago a twenty eight year old Nigerian pilot Peter Onyewu attempted to become the first ever African born pilot to circumnavigate the globe, his journey began at the Muritala Mohammed international airport Lagos, Nigeria on the 21st of febuary 2003, four months into his record breaking travel (June 07 2003) peter was flying over the southern Atlantic ocean when suddenly a storm began to manifest along his flight projectory, worried that his cirrus sr22 airplane would not survive the storm on a head on collision Peter attempted to fly over the storm a routine aviation procedure rudimentary to every qualified pilot.
As peters cirrus sr22 towered over the south Atlantan storm he began to notice that his navigational instruments had began to severely malfunction due to the electromagnetic interference of the storm.
Blinded by the storm and almost empty on fuel peter continued to press onward desperate to conquer the Storm, hoping to survive, but as peter continued in his struggle to overcome the tempesteous weather the direness of his situation became increasingly clear to him that he may not survive the storm, frightened by this crashing reality Peter attempted to radio for help:

“Mayday mayday this is peter onyewu cirrus sr22 do you copy”
“Mayday Mayday this is Peter onyewu cirrus sr22 I am trapped in a storm and low on fuel does anyone copy”

But there was no reply, relying solely on his instincts Peter continued to press on and then in a moment when all hope had seem lost’ peters gaze was drawn eastwards by a bright white light he immediately and unsuspectingly assumed that what he was looking at was his way out of the storm(daylight) and so without any hesitation peter flew his cirrus sr22 towards the light, into the light, and as he flew into the luminance of the source he felt an unusualness in his physical and mental composition as the light which he had at first believed to be daylight on closer examination looked to be more of a fluorescence white than the yellowish sunny bright which he was familiar with.
And just when peter thought things couldn’t get any weirder or more critical his aircraft ran out of fuel, but instead of descending downwards as in compliance with the laws of gravity peters cirrus sr22 remained airbound neither ascending nor descending suspended in the bright white light.
Of all the thoughts that ran through Peters head one stood out above the rest “I am definitely dead” peter thought to himself as this thought ran through the young pilots mind summarily a subtle voice from the light sounded “step forward” believing that his mortal self had transcended beyond the physical realm where the laws of gravity, speed, sound or matter no longer exists, without any hesitation peter alighted from his aircraft and found himself standing on light, step forward the voice from the light again sounded and in compliance peter began to walk towards the subtle voice, that is forward enough the voice from the light then cautioned peter bringing him to a halt, who are you? The voice inquired of peter;
Convinced that he had died in the storm and was standing before God to be judged as required of all who die as stated by his christian religion, Peter thought long and hard before he answered , who are you the voice again sounded this time louder than before’

My name is peter onyewu; lord, heavenly Father I know am a sinner the young pilot plead, but If you oh lord can please allow me only to sit at the gate of heaven I will praise you forever.
Lord? Heavenly father? Gate of heaven? The voice from the light amusingly retorted, where do you think you are human? The voice anxiously asked peter, heaven the young pilot replied, Ha ha ha, the voice chuckled, this is not heaven he then said, its not? Peter stuttered, of course not, you’re not in heaven! If this isn’t heaven sir then please where am i? As soon as Peter asked that question he lapped his fingers one over the other in a cross like loop whilst closing his eyes and whispering repeatedly to himself;
“Please don’t say hell”…
You are inside the Bermuda the voice from the light comfirmed Peters location to him, yes! Peter excitedly cheered with a sigh of relief but as he recovered from his reflex jubilation the word Bermuda began to form a ring in his head, so he asked the voice from the light; sir what Bermuda island in particular am I on?
Island? The voice from the replied, you’re not on an island, you’re inside the Bermuda, yes o know you’ve said that before but am a bit confused as to what you mean by inside the bermuda’ peter, the voice then called out to the young Nigerian’ you are inside the Bermuda triangle’…
As soon as peter heard those two words put together “Bermuda and triangle” his knees became weaker and his eyes rolled backwards into his head and then simultaneously peter passed out on the luminous floor.

June 07 2003 peter Onyewu is declared a missing person by the Nigerian government.

A few hours later Peter regains his consciousness, he finds himself laying on a table in a confined space in what seems to be an examination theater;
Good to see you’re finally awake a voice unlike the one from before adddesed him and as the blur faded from his eyes he could see a physical presence with him in the room, unlike his earlier encounter with the inquirer at the entrance of the Bermuda.
You’re human the Nigerian pilot spoke excitedly to the medical officer, yes I am she replied, how are you feeling she then asked Peter, what is this place he replied rather than answer the officer, it is completely normal for you to be curious…
Are you aliens peter hurriedly again asked the examiner, all your questions would be answered by a learning droid as soon as my examination here is concluded, so please sir answer only the questions I ask you, is that okay by you sir the medical officer asked peter, yes that’s fine he replied and in a few minutes peters medical examination was concluded .
A learning droid will be with you shortly you can ask him any question you want.

As peter waited for the learning driod to arrive, he began to ponder the veracity of his current predicament, unsure if he was to be thankful for being alive or terrified with this his newly discovered reality, as he continued to thinker on this dream like world peter was greeted by a floating spherical contraction(droid);
Salutations sir, I am B3N113 also known as (Benie), I am your guide in this facility here to answer all your questions and provide you with company.
Where would you like us to begin sir? You can start by telling me everything about this place peter replied, very well sir: accessing Bermuda database.

History:
8billion years ago, there was a race of super intelligent organic beings known as the “Reccure” a humaniod specie who are largely responsible for setting in place the physical and chemical precursors capable of sustaining life, a perfect example of this is your solar system sector 39A47(Earth), on completion of each sector the Reccure would set in place a inter dimensional portal(wormhole) which served as both a gateway and an observatory.
For several millennia the Reccure’s reach grew vastly throughout the universe bringing light to a dark cosmos.
However the growing influence of the Reccure did not sit well with a certain race’ only recorded as the Primordials as they were very unwelcoming and easily provoked; Thus making them highly unaccessible to collect data.
The primordials perceived the Reccure’s growth as a threat to their species and their agenda of universal dominance .
And so a war between the Reccure and the primordials became unavoidable.
The unpredictable savagery and unrelenting force of the primordials proved to be most advantageous over the calculative prospection of the Reccure, it was a war in which the Reccure were not prepared, thus losing the conflict and consequently paying the ultimate price the extinction of their species and the termination of several other sectors as well (47,763,32 to be exact). Word of this massacre traveled quickly across the universe, with all of the Reccure’s Armada and people’s obliterated, there was no longer any force powerful enough to challenge the primordials and so smaller sectors like earth decommissioned their travel gates and completely deleted their star signals from the Reccure’s database as a precaution to prevent the primordials from finding them.
This inter dimensional portal now only serves as an observatory to monitor and preserve the evolutionary pace of 393A47 indigenous species.

Wow that’s a lot to take peter told the droid, as fascinating and terrifying as all this sound’s…
Umm, how soon would I be allowed to leave this observatory, leave? The droid replied with a shock in its expression, why would you want to leave sir?

Elsewhere:
The medical officer who examined Peter earlier while analyzing the samples collected from the Nigerian pilot as mandated by the Bermuda medical specie safety regulatory board (BMSSRB) discovers an anomaly in the Nigerians DNA, unsure to make of this anomaly she performs a secondary analysis on the collected samples, as the medical office waits for the medical (A.I) to process the sample results she is highly unsettled as she paces left, right and all about. Finally the A.I informs the medical officer of the recalculated results and just like the previous results the summary remained unchanged.
Contact the councilor the medical officer instructed her A.I; Establishing connection the A.I prompted’ and summarily communication between the medical officer and the observatory councilor was established:
Hello magerie, I’ve found him sir she excitedly informed the councilor, found who? The councilor inquired, (GFW) she replied, I’ve found him sir, I’ve found him she again retold the councilor.
This is wonderful news the councilor replied at last we finally have an edge over the enemy, prepare him I will be with you momentarily the councilor instructed.

Meanwhile:
Peter and his designated learning droid ccontinued their tour of the Bermuda facility before they were hurriedly intercepted by some Bermuda security operatives.
Peter onyewu? The forerunner inquired, yes that’s me am peter’ is there a problem the young pilot asked, No the forerunner replied, we simply need you to come with us sir he requested, Turning to his learning droid Peter frighteningly asked “What’s going on benie, what do these men want, but before (B3N113) could reply a security operative overrode the droids programing with a (E56) security override protocol, disengaging him from his user and returning him to the droid storage facility (DSF) whilst taking peter to the councilor.

As peter arrived at the councilors chambers he immediately noticed the medical officer who attended to him earlier alongside several other unfamiliar faces ;
Mr peter the councilor called to the Nigerian, I am councilor Darius Areia, please accept my most sincere apologies as it regards your conveyance to this council but we simply couldn’t wait to meet you, what is going on peter aggressively asked the councilor, there is no need for incivility the councilor replied, we mean you no harm, hmm peter scoffed, knowing the nature of politicians to deviate from the truth by thus exaggerating it’s importance or deflecting it, so I should be concerned peter replied the councilor, shouldn’t we all? Darius responded, take a walk with me he then told peter, as they strolled down the immense vestibule of the council halls, Darius began to retell peter the cosmology of the universe and the fragility of life itself, yes I am aware of this history peter informed the councilor, of course Darius replied, how old do you think I am? the councilor softly asked Peter, early forties peter replied, Ha ha, if only Darius chuckled, I am seven hundred million years old, as a matter of fact every one I’m this facility is seven hundred million years old, that’s impossible Peter unbelievably responded, you look so young, yes but looks can be deceiving the councilor informed peter, this is incredible peter still in awe told Darius, how did you achieve this imortality? We are not imortal Darius corrected peter, circumstances forced us to adapt this unnatural longivity for the sole reason of preservation, do you understand what i mean peter? You know I don’t the Nigerian pilot replied, very well Darius then said let us continue this conversation tomorrow then I will furthermore explain the circumstances surrounding our longivity…
My domestic droid ( C5T) will lead you to your quarters, you are now a guest of the councilor feel free to request for whatever you desire.

June 10 2011 9:42 Am.

Peter who hardly slept through the night wondering about the truthfulness of the councilors claim hurriedly got dressed and set out to meet Darius so that he could further understand the complicated history of the people living in the inter dimensional portal observatory (IDPO).
As CT2 led Peter to Darius’s chambers he informed him that the councilor was ready to see him. Welcome Darius greeted peter, I hope you slept well? I couldn’t Peter answered but that is irrelevant, you promised to tell me more about your longivity, that is all i am concerned about right now. I see you’re a straight to the point kind of man, Darius complimented peter, very good he then said have a sit let us begin.

History II

After the primordials obliterated our ancestors we decided to tap into the little that remained of the Reccure’s mainframe downloading all that we could as a means to sustaining their legacy, our data technicians ran through quantum’s of Reccure data searching for whatever kindle of hope we may find to survive in a universe that had suddenly turned hostile.
Many years later the Recidivist cell alteration data (RCAD) was discover and many years later it was finally decrypted, as we gained access to these files we discovered that they contain millions of DNA ranging from unintelligent organisms, plants etc to a more intelligent life form of which you represent.
It was our belief that we could recreate the Reccure’s race and so we began to experiment firstly within ourselves but the outcomes were less than successful and highly dangerous, so we decided to put a stop to the to our biological experimentation for a while, but then soon after we received news that a star system not very far from ours had come under attack from the primordials and as is their destructive nature not a single soul or planet was left standing.
With the threat of extinction this time more vivid than ever before the third IDPO council recommenced the bio experiments, the specimens under went several evolutionary alterations, promising but still quite dissatisfying.
Moving on we did not relent, but then however in the post sapient era we were forced to discontinue the (RCA) and retreat to the IDPO as we were faced with a problematic severity of our own.
For billions of years our biological feature had remained unchanged neither evolving or devolving, biy after six billion years our race began to de evolve as our mental and physical abilities began to wane…
Unaware of how to tackle this frightening reality the third IDPOC initiated a recrudescence decree to restart afresh our race from a single celled organism back to our former glory, but that decree ended in a disaster as we lost a third of our population to an unknown viral outbreak, when it became clear that a recrudescence will not work, the council then passed an oroborus decree thus extending the life of all peoples within the observatory as we continue to search for a solution to our internal dilemma.
So we are not the same Peter naively asked Darius, not even slightly the councilor replied.
What about your experiments are you still attempting to recreate a Reccure peter inquired, yes Darius answered we are, and your progress? Peter again asked, hindered Darius replied, due to consistent failures on the Reccure project we decided to reanalyze the RCA data to better understand it, a strategy which proved most effective, after several adjustments we were able to recreate the the DNA of a Reccure, that’s wonderful peter excitedly told Darius, not quite the councilor replied, you see we were able to only assemble the DNA of a Reccure , we are still unable to nurture a bodily feature in which the biological precursors may thrive and so we fell back to the RCA and after many years of harrowing through raw data our analysts discovered the break through we needed to finally complete the Reccure project, they called it the (Generic forty three window) (GFW), our scientists concluded that although we may never be able to fully recreate a Reccure with the GFW an organic host can be taught to mimic a Reccure’s physiology, at that time we believed that our work was finally complete and so several volunteers were infused with the RCA DNA, but their bodies rejected the recidivist cells as their GFW percentage read to be too low, after several calculations and reanalysis it was ascertained that the IDPO population could not carry the Reccure’s DNA as a matter of fact no species could carry it, the probability of that ever happening was one to an infinity, so there is no hope for the Reccure peter sadly confirmed, yes Darius replied that was our belief, but things change he further added, what we know now is not as what we did before, confused by the councilors babblings peter sort clarity and so he asked; what do you mean Darius?
I do not know how you were able to come here peter, the councilor spoke mildly, or how you survived the ultra climatic rage generating weather (UCRGW) specifically designed to keep outsiders… Outside, however that is now all but irrelevant, it is that you are here now that is most important.
What I am about to say to you now peter may seem unbelievable but i assure you it is the total truth, go on Peter urged the councilor to continue…
After carefully analyzing samples collected from you on your arrival here we discovered that you are that one to an infinity of probabilities of persons that can sustain an RCA DNA, impossible Peter replied, I know this may be difficult to believe but I assure you it is the truth, okay let’s assume that you’re correct and this is true, what does this mean for me? There are no assumptions here Darius spoke convincingly our analysis are never incorrect, you’re never going to let me go, are you? Peter asked Darius, we cannot hold you against your will he replied whatever you decide to do we shall respect it.
What is the recreation process like? What am I to expect, would I die? Of course not, will I still be me afterwards what are the dangers involved if I agree to do this?
There is no danger in the procedure and no you will not die but there will be changes to your being, but that does not mean everything has got to change, Darius spoke softly whilst pointing his arm to Peters heart.
Am sorry Peter apologized to the councilor, I do not think I can do this he said frighteningly, I have my own life to live am sorry.
Disappointed by Peters unwillingness to sacrifice for the good of others, Darius said these his final words to the Nigerian;

The simplicity of life is often overshadowed by its complicated nature.
The simpleness of good, the malevolence of evil…
The selflessness of sacrifice parallel to the in relentlessness of greed.
Every being is born inherent the consciousness of right and wrong, it is however our individual decisions that evolves us, some of us more human than the rest.

I shall make immediate arrangements for you to return to the outside world, but before you are allowed to leave magerie would have to extract three days of memory from your cerebral cortex, a necessity to ensure that our facility remaims undiscovered, I hope you do not mind? No Peter replied, very well then I believe you still remember your way to your cabin? Yes Peter responded, and as he was about to leave Darius’s chambers, Darius called to him and said; peter in case you change your mind you know where to find me…
I will not change my mind Peter replied before he left to return to his cabin.

June 11 2003 09:37 Am. Memory Removal.

As peter arrived at the medical bay he was met by Darius and magerie.
I have informed magerie of your request to leave the facility but before the memory deletion begins I just have to ask again is your decision final? Yes it is Peter replied the councilor, very well Darius then said Magerie would take it from here.
Momentarily Peter was set to have his memory deleted, hold on Magerie said to him this would sting a little, but before she could initiate a memory swipe a level 5 alarm went off instructing all personels to go to the evacuation centers, what’s going on peter asked, I don’t know Magerie replied but its definitely critical, we have to go now, go where Peter asked, irritated by peters persistent questions Magerie rudely told the Nigerian; just keep quiet and follow me as she hurried out of the bay and headed for the emergency evacuation unit (EEU) as she and peter aarrived at the EEU alongside several other IDPO personnel they were greeted by Darius who addressed the crowd;

My friends, my people, I fear I have only but sad news, our time here has come to an end and we must begin to immediately relocate to another sector…

Why Darius the crowd shouted…
What is the reason they yelled…

Please Darius plead with his people, if you would give me only but a moment to speak then you will understand! And at his request there was decorum in the hall as Darius continued to address his people;

The primordials have entered the milky way and we have only but thirty two hours to evacuate before they reach our sector…
And as soon as those words broke from Darius’s lips there was panic in the EEU.

Where would we go the crowd shouted…
There isn’t enough time…
We are all going to die…

Please everyone remain calm, a habitable sector has already been sselected years before now as a contingency for such a time as this and there is enough time to evacuate if we maintain a civil and orderly fashion, every personnel in this facility has been designated to a life shuttle, check your logs and know your departure schedule and we shall continue to survive against this unrelenting enemy, we shall continue to survive.

With over three hours to go before the primordials arrival, the IDPO was completely evacuated with Peter boarding a shuttle with Magerie.
summarily they arrived at sector (8323B) as the final shuttles arrived all personnel made way to the observatory monitoring unit watching the timer countdown with earth in view, with only a minute to go on the counter Peter thought to himself maybe the alarm was a false alarm maybe earth wouldn’t be destroyed, but on the 22nd second mark an enormous ship appeared out of nowhere; oh my god peter wailed as the ship exposed it’s frontal canons and with two shots one from each barrel earth was destroyed.
Overwhelmed by grief, Peter was lost in thought, petrified by recent events, watching the debris of earth scatter in space Peter with a tear rolling down his cheeks turned to Magerie and said; I’ll do it, make me a Reccure.

22 01 017 (sector 8433B)

17 days later the RCA fusion had reached a 73% completion, but the physical alterations which were expected to manifest with the progression levels were yet to be seen, worried Magerie collected a sample from the Nigerian pilot as he remained dorsal in a hibernation pod, quickly she took the collected samples to sector 8443B’s laboratory where she conducted further analysis on the samples and then inputed the test summary into the laboratory’s A.I and promptly a caution was displayed on the screen alongside an algorithm to furthermore simplify the results and as soon as Magerie saw the test conclusions the expression on her face turned from worried to frightening, immediately she ran back to peters pod in an attempt to halt the RCA fusion, but as she arrived at his fusion pod the Nigerian was no longer in the pod, immediately Magerie set off the facility’s alarm.
Shortly she was met by Darius and security operatives, what’s going on Darius worriedly asked, he’s gone she replied, what do you mean gone, is the procedure complete, no Magerie replied, then what do you mean he’s gone, search the facility find him Darius instructed security.
Darius! Magerie then softly called to councilor we’ve made a mistake she informed him, go straight to the point, Darius angrily responded to Magerie, The Recidivist cell alteration data was not what we thought it was, how Magerie how? We have not created a Reccure she fearfully told Darius. what then have we created the councilor replied… A primordial Magerie concluded.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

1
Votes



AGGIE

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

AGGIE
Author : Julez King

234 8161294760

Julez King is a writer and book reviewer with the Online Book Club. A lover of books even from an early age, she is a graduate of the University of Benin and runs a blog that chronicles the experiences of single ladies in Nigeria. She lives with her family in Ogun State and you can reach her via her blog which is www.julezkinging.blogspot.com.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

Do you believe that every person has his/her own twin somewhere in the world or is it just a myth? Find out in this captivating romance fantasy that will equally prove to be educative.

Just like the cold harmattan breeze of July that was tugging strongly at her scarf, Aggie Yusuf had no inkling that change would be blowing in her direction thereby turning her world upside down. She was a kindergarten teacher at Presley Nursery and Primary School and was loved by all of the school children. Why wouldn’t they? She was such a sweetheart. She had a kind soul, a cheerful nature and was always decked out in brightly coloured clothes along with a plucked flower tucked behind her ear to accompany her look. She was of the opinion that bright colours aided a child’s brain development in their beginning years and since she was always around them, she might as well be dressed that way too. It didn’t just end there. Aggie also had a sonorous voice and crooned like a nightingale. She knew an endless number of nursery rhymes and the children loved to sing along with her. The kindergarten classroom where she taught was was as bright and colourful like her. There were posters and mural designs splattered here and there on the walls but she had a special way of making all of these colours come together without making the room appear outlandish or crazy. Her classroom looked like one happy world you never wanted to step out from. Parents who came around while scouting for schools for their kindergarten aged children usually signed up with the school after meeting Aggie because they instinctively felt they could trust her. It probably had to with her love for bright colours or her warm nature but so long as it brought in good business for the school, the proprietress was okay with it. Unfortunately, it seemed that her success only lay with children and never with the men in her life. She always seemed to choose the wrong men and after a series of heartbreaks, she had decided to stay off men for a while and focus on her own self development. It was not as if she was bad looking. Infact she was quite beautiful with a caramel coloured complexion and a lovely mane of hair that was quite long even for an african lady. Although she had a flat nose, it blended well with her full dimpled cheeks, full lips and doe shaped eyes giving her this innocent cherubic look. Aggie stood at five feet eight inches with a lovely figure that even her friends envied and it seemed a sort of wonder to them that even at the age of thirty, she could not boast of having a serious relationship but she didn’t seem bothered. It had been two years since her last relationship but she still didn’t feel the need to start a new relationship even though she had many admirers . They just didn’t seem to click with her. ”It will happen at the right time and all things will fall in place” was the fitting reply she always gave to friends and family whenever they tried to pressure her but sometimes she even wondered herself if she wasn’t too choosy.
Her thoughts shifted to her pupils as the school building came into view. An all white pillared twin two storey building structure that had big black imposing gates, the name of the school was bold and visible on the walls of the top floor underneath the windows which was displayed for the world to see. The school didn’t have drawings painted on the walls of the fence which Aggie quite liked but on getting in, you would find a grassy field which served as a playground for the children as well as sidewalks lined with shrubs, Aggie who was a lover of nature had fallen in love with the school environment on the first day she had stepped in there. The building had a commanding presence on its own and was considered one of the elite schools in Lagos.
She got there just in time as the pupils filed out to the assembly ground. Today, the morning assembly would be conducted by the proprietress herself so she hurried on to stand in front of her own pupils who had formed a line. After the prayers had been said and the national anthem sung, it was time to sing and dance. Just as she expected, one of her spunky pupils named Spencer raised his favorite song which the school band took up and the rest of the children danced to. They sang,
”Today is Friday
Today is Friday
Is everybody happy?
Today is Friday.”
On the way to their classes while still dancing, a child of around three years of age ran across to her and held her legs screaming ”Mummy! Mummy!” She smiled and picked him up in her arms as she was naturally prone to do when she heard a loud gasp. Looking to her right, she saw a tall man in his early forties staring at her with shock written all over his face.
”I can’t believe it”, he said and she wondered what was going on. ”You look just like my wife”, he spluttered. ”my late wife”, he amended hastily.
”Really?”, she asked. Okay, this is creepy, she thought to herself. Aggie was sceptical about the whole situation although the way the way the child clung onto her was beginning to give credence what this goodlooking hunk of a man was saying. Standing at over six feet, the handsome fair skinned man with well chiselled facial features made her uncomfortable with the way his eyes bored into hers as if he could see her soul.
”Try and act professional”, she reminded herself and then turned to face the child in her arms with a smile on her face.
”What’s your name, darling?”, she asked.
”Cosmos Okoye”, the child replied.
”Cosmos Okoye”, she repeated. ”That’s a beautiful name. How old are you, Cosmos?”
”I am three years old.”
”You are three years old”, she asked in awe. ”You are such a big boy. I’ll take you to your class now where you can meet with other big boys and girls. You are going to make plenty of friends.”
Turning to face Cosmos’ father, she asked. ”Have you cleared things off with the headmaster.”
”Yes, I have. I can show you my receipt.”
”There’s no need. I’ll discuss with him later. I guess it’s just pure coincidence I look like your late wife. I’ll take Cosmos to his class now. Do have a lovely day ahead” and so saying, she turned away from him and walked towards her classroom.
She was already at the threshold of her class when she heard ”Wait”.
Turning around, she saw Cosmos’ father walking towards her.”I have a picture of her here with me. It’s always in my wallet.” He opened his wallet, pulled out a picture from it and handed it over to her. She received it hesitantly and looked at the picture. She drew back in shock. She was more or less looking at herself in the photo. She had heard a myth about every person having his or her own twin in this life but never in her wildest dreams had she expected it to happen to her. The only difference between her and the woman in the picture was the scar on the centre of the woman’s forehead and her round eyes. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she could easily see that the woman had a long mane of hair just like her. This was indeed a wonder.
”Her name was Leah. She died in a plane crash last year. Cosmos was told she had travelled when she died and that’s the reason why he’s clinging to you this way. He thinks she is back from her trip. ”
”How old was she?”, she asked while still staring at the picture.
”She would have been thirty four this year.”
Okay. That rules out the possibility of us being twins, she thought to herself.
”I don’t even know what to say.” Shaking her head, she handed the picture back to him even as myriad thoughts ran through her head.
”You don’t have to say anything. I just wanted you to understand where I and my son are coming from”, he said in a voice quite overcome with emotion.
She shook her head in understanding and watched as he walked back towards the car park. She kept watching him even as drove out of the school premises in a red Mustang convertible and long after he was gone, she still stood there looking with Cosmos in her arms.
*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
It had been six months since that fateful friday morning that had brought Rodney and Cosmos into her life and she couldn’t imagine how she had lived life without them. Cosmos was such a sweet and intelligent child who was a source of joy to her both in the classroom and at home. He had naturally assumed her to be his mother and was always asking her when she would be coming back to live in their house even though she was at their place almost everyday and had her own key to the house. After school hours, Rodney’s driver or Rodney himself always came to pick them up and although she never slept over, she made sure to stay till Cosmos had gone to bed before she would leave for her own home. Rodney was another matter entirely. Everyone around them knew that he adored her. He had kept at her back then after meeting her until she had finally accepted to be friends with him. He was eager to take their relationship to the next level but she kept holding back. This wasn’t because she was in doubt of her own feelings for him but beause she felt like she was living in his late wife’s shadow. Would he have loved her if she hadn’t looked like his late wife? Was she just a suitable replacement for him and his family? These were the questions that often plagued her and sometimes dampened her spirits. ”I need to have this talk with Rodney. I can’t continue like this”, she said to herself as she brought out the gingerbread cookies that were fully baked from the oven. Cosmos cycled into the kitchen just at that moment. He had helped her with the preparations and they had made various shapes such as stars, flowers, man, woman and others. The first one on Cosmos’ list for consumption was the gingerbread man just so he wouldn’t run away like in the stories and she had smiled at his refreshing naivete. After she had put the batter in the oven, he had hurried off to do his homework and was here now. He always seemed to have an innate sense of timing when it came to food.
”Mummy, are the cookies ready?”
”Yes, darling.”
”Can I have some?”
”We’ll have to wait for them to cool off first. Okay?”
”Okay.” He turned back towards the sitting room and then asked ”Can I put on the TV? I’ve finished my homework.”
”Not yet. I need to inspect your work first” and so saying, she removed her apron and walked to his study area with him cycling beside her. He was always on his bicycle. He ate, watched TV and even took his bath in it. Rodney found it irritating and sometimes regretted getting the bicycle for him but she had assured him that it was just a phase that would soon pass. After checking his homework and making some corrections, he put on the TV. His favorite cartoon which is Jake and the Neverland Pirates was on. He was only allowed to watch the Disney Junior channel because they had non violent cartoons which was also educative just like Doc Macstuffin. In this era, one needed to be careful with what a child was exposed to and she always shared this advice with the parents of her pupils about monitoring the kind of programmes their children watched. Cosmos was only allowed to watch TV for two hours a day so when it was seven pm, it was time for him to take his bath and eat.
”I don’t want to bathe”
”Why am I not surprised? Come to the bathroom with me or else you won’t be tasting those cookies again.” He had already had some when he was watching television.
”Will I get a cookie if I bathe?”
”No, but you can take some to school tomorrow if you bathe now.”
He considered it for a moment and then shook his head in assent ”Okay” before cycling down to the bathroom. They sat down to dinner afterwards which consisted of rice and turkey stew. Rodney had called in earlier that he would be coming home late. After dinner, they both brushed their teeth and then headed down to Cosmos bedroom. This was the part of the day that Cosmos cherished and always looked forward to. Aggie would get into bed with him and they would talk about his day in school. They would also make an analysis of the cartoon programmes they had watched and what lessons they had learnt from each one after which she would read him bedtime stories of the great Benin Empire and then sing to him. Her voice always lulled him to sleep no matter how much he tried to stay awake and this night was no exception, he yawned a few times and then finally fell fast asleep. Aggie felt tired herself. She needed to go clean up the kithen but Cosmos’ bed was so soft and comfortable that she really didn’t want to leave it just yet. She decided to take a quick nap before she would clean the kitchen up. By the time Rodney came back, she would be ready to leave. With that thought in mind, she faded off into a dreamless sleep.
Rodney found them that way when he came home two hours later and stood transfixed by the picture that was cut out in front of him. Aggie was fast asleep with her glorious hair spread out on the pillow. This was the first time he had seen her sleeping since they had met and she was beautiful even in sleep. She had her arms around his son who in turn cuddled her. He was suddenly jealous of his son. Lucky guy. He’s getting all the action and I, his father has not been able to go that far. Shaking his head, he turned around and walked to his bedroom. He wished he could always come home to this picture and couldn’t for the life of him understand why she refused to marry him. She knew he loved her and even Cosmos was happy with her being around because she was his mother in his mind. He would learn the truth when he got older but even then he was sure he would still love her as a mother. Financially, he was equally well off. He owned this six bedroom duplex they lived in right here in Osborne Road and also owned his own oil and gas firm which he had started from scratch and built up over the years. So what exactly could be the problem? ”We really need to talk”. He said to himself and then walked down to the kitchen to help himself to a meal. He was surprised to find the kitchen messy. It was quite unlike her. She must have been really tired, he thought. He found the gingerbread cookies still lying in the tray and ate one which he found quite delicious. He then took another and put the rest away in a jar. He patted his flat stomach and reminded himself that he would need to visit the gym more often so he could maintain his physique. He quickly cleaned up the kitchen and then dished his food. He sat on one of the stools and ate right there in the kitchen. He had just finished his meal when Aggie walked into the kitchen. She looked so beautiful even with her sleepy eyes and hair tousled from sleep. He suddenly desired her.
She looked around the kitchen.” Wow! You’ve cleaned the kitchen up already. Sorry about the mess you had to clean up.” She sat down on one of the kitchen stools.
”It’s no problem. Besides, you must have been exhausted.”
”I was. I just didn’t realise it.”
”The casualty of war. Dealing with a bunch of kids is not an easy feat. I salute your bravery.”
”Are you mocking me?”
”No, I’m not. I mean what I’m saying. I can’t handle a bunch of kids so I respect those who can. Besides I got the opportunity to watch you sleep today. It’s not something that comes around everyday.”
Aggie ducked her head feeling suddenly shy. She asked, ”will you still be able to take me home?”
”I won’t. It’s close to midnight already. You can sleep in one of the guest bedrooms.” You can sleep with me, he thought to himself.
”No. I’ll sleep with Cosmos. I’m sure he won’t mind. Can I borrow a clean shirt of yours? I don’t have any clothes to change into.”
”Sure. It’s not a problem. I’ll drop it on Cosmos bed. Are you using his bathroom or the one in the guest room.”
”Haba. Am I a visitor? I’ll use Cosmos’ bathroom.”
”So you know that you are not a visitor.”
”Of course I know that.”
”Then why won’t you marry me. I need an answer from you today. You keep giving me different excuses and I won’t take it anymore. Are you taking advantage of me because you are aware that I’m crazy about you?”
”No. How can you say that?” She looked pained. ”It’s not that.”
”Then what?”
”I just don’t want to live in your late wife’s shadows knowing that you are only with me because I remind you of her.” she admitted quietly with her head bowed and her hands folded on the table top.
Rodney was stunned. It had never crossed his mind that she would feel this way. His throat suddenly constricted with emotion and he reached out and placed his hands on top of hers rubbing it reassuringly.
”I’m sorry darling. It never crossed my mind for one second that you would feel that way. I just assumed you knew I loved you without even thinking….”, he broke off quite overcome with emotion.
”It’s okay”, she said.
”No sweets, it’s not. Leah doesn’t even hold a candle compared to you. The only good thing that came out of my marriage with her was Cosmos.”
”Stop that. You shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.” She said this with a frown on her face.
”I don’t do that. This is the reason why I never speak about her. She never gave me peace. Come with me. I want to show you something.” He pulled her up with him and took her to his bedroom.
His bedroom was massive and there was a huge bed in the middle which she found inviting. His room was splendid but definitely masculine. Bathed in white which was her favorite colour, there was no further time to admire the room because he had opened the safe there, brought out some papers and thrust them into her hands.
”Look at them. I was going to divorce her before her accident.”
Aggie looked through the papers and was shocked to see that they were truly divorce papers. She looked back up at him.
”Why? What happened?”
”Everything just went wrong few months after our marriage. I realised she never loved me. She stopped pretending like she did during our one year of courtship and I got to see her for who she really was. We were always fighting even over petty things and as if that was not enough, she began cheating on me. When I found out, I knew I had no marriage anymore and prepared the divorce papers. Unfortunately because of the accident, I never got to find out the truth of why she married me in the first place.” He shook his head, ”and that is something I’ll never get to know.”
He sat there on the bed looking so miserable. She had never seen him like this before. She went over to him, sat down by his side and held him.
”There are some truths you can definitely do without”, she said.
He shook his head in agreement. ”Yes but there are also some truths that we need with us such as my love for you. Naturally, with the experience I had with Leah, I ought to have stayed away from you just like Usher’s lyrics from his song, you remind me of a girl that I once knew”, she laughed at that and he went on ”but I couldn’t. There was this aura about you that made me feel at peace with you. It’s probably the same reason that makes children love you and just like them, I wanted to be around you all the time. You can imagine my joy when you finally agreed to be friends with me. The more I got to know you, the more I had more reason to make you my wife. You came into my life and brought me sunshine and happiness.”
”I wish I had spoken to you earlier on about my fears. We have wasted so much time apart. I want you to know that I love you very much. I was only scared that you didn’t love me for me.”
”I’m sorry, darling. It was my fault. I should have made things more clearer.”
”Let’s stop with the blame game. We have each other now.”
”So will I be getting any action tonight?”, he asked with a wicked look in his eyes.
”Is that all you can think of?”
”What else am I supposed to think of? I’m a man, you know”, he said with a wink.
She threw back her head and laughed. Rodney just couldn’t help himself anymore. He captured her lips and kissed her and although he took her by surprise, she relaxed and enjoyed his kisses. Being in his arms was right where she was she was supposed to be. She was finally home. The path she had taken before she had found her true love had been worth it. There was nothing like being with someone who loved and valued you. This was the dream of many women and she considered herself the luckiest woman alive.

THE END


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

14
Votes



Awake and the golden book

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Awake and the golden book
Author : Elemure

07034783336

Currently an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan studying Pharmacy. Inborn passion to write.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

Plot begins as a children fiction but ends with the story of a woman with a passion.

Asake and The Golden Book.
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful and inquisitive young girl named Asake in a far far away village. She was so named. Asake was so pretty that everyone who met here gave her a gift. She also had a lot of friends, however only three of them were very close to her. The names of Asake’s three close friends are Ajoke, Sade and Yetunde. Every Sunday morning, after breakfast in the morning, Asake and her friends would go through the village singing songs that each of their grandmothers thought them the week before. After a while, they would venture into the Iroko forest not far from the town square.
The Iroko forest was a deep, thick forest. It housed trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits, birds, butterflies and animals of many kinds. The forefathers had passed down stories about this forest. Many tales of war, hunt and discoveries were born from this forest. It had three sections. The first section of the forest was the only portion the people of the village were permitted to visit. It had been beautifully decorated with mats and beads of many colours hung on loose threads. It’s beauty was what attracted Asake and her friends to it. They would sit, dance around and dream of their future husbands and children. The second section of this forest was however secluded. It was rarely visited by the village people. The only people permitted to enter or stay in this portion were the keepers of the forest. These people were usually men, hefty and dreary looking. They were paid to keep watch of the forest. This was so as to prevent wild animals and bandits from coming into the village. The third section of this forest was never visited. No one ever stepped foot into this part of the forest. The forefathers had told tales of some magical forces that lived in this section of the forest. Asake and her friends never left the first section of the forest. After a long afternoon of talking and dancing, they would pick up flowers and race back home. This was what the four friends did every Sunday.
One Sunday morning, after breakfast, Asake ran to the house of Ajoke as usual (Ajoke’s house was the closest to her’s) to pick her up so they could call the others and go through the village and to the forest. However, Ajoke had fallen sick. Her mother opened the door with smiles and informed Asake saying she would not be able to join the girls that day. Asake was very sad leaving the house quietly. On getting to Sade’s house she was informed that she (Sade) had travelled the night before with her grandmother to a neighbouring village. Yetunde had gone to the market with her Mother to buy some foodstuffs to be used at an upcoming event in their household. Asake was alone for the first time on a Sunday Morning. Asake was so sad but she did not want to return home. She thought on what to do. After a while, she decided to go into the forest alone. Everywhere looked so deserted. A few people were present but everyone seemed to mind their own businesses and no one offered to play with her or make friends with her. For the first time in her life, Asake felt very lonely. She danced alone for a few minutes but she soon got tired and bored. Suddenly, Asake noticed a path she had never seen before. It was hidden among shrubs made into a kind of roof. Inquisitive as she was, Asake decided to follow this path and find out where it led to. The path she was on was in no way similar to the forest she had known all her life. There were no beautiful flowers here, only dried, brown shrubs lined the pathway. At this point she was very scared but she still did not want to go back. She came into a section that was demarcated as the one she had known only this time, there was no one here. It was also not decorated. The demarcated was made of wooden logs arranged on each other and covered with raffia mat. “What was on the other side”? Asake wondered. A part of her told her to turn back but another part of her was surprised that all these had been hid from her. She had thought she knew the nooks and crannies of the village. How wrong she was! Pressing on, she decided to find out more. This demarcation was hard to climb but the satisfaction of seeing what was on the other side gave Asake the courage and determination to climb. The other side looked so strange. Nothing had ever appeared so strange. The grasses here were very tall. There was no sign of anyone here. At a distance, she could hear some scary sounds. She had no idea what propelled her forward, but she decided to keep going further into the forest. She had not passed two trees when she found a book laid by the root of a tree. It had a gold colour on its outer cover. Asake picked up the strange book. The front page of the book had these words written in bold:” ABIDE BY THE GOLDEN RULE”. “This is a strange book”! Asake exclaimed. Silently she wondered at this golden book with a golden rule. Questions came racing through her mind. “What was the golden rule”?, “who would have dropped this here “? What would happen if she took the book away?…”would the owner come searching for her”? It however seemed like no one had been here for years. The loud howl of a wide animal loud made her jump as she came back to reality. She had long forgotten her environment, engrossed in the book. She had to hurry back home now else her parents would be worried, moreso she did not want to be hurt by the wild animals in this forest. She wrapped the book carefully in her dress and started to head back. She realised she was lost. She had only thought she moved a few distance from the demarcation but now it seemed she could not sight it let alone locate it. She was very scared. Asake had no idea where she was nor the route she came from. She began to sob. She took care not to cry aloud because she was scared some animal would hear her and come to her direction. Suddenly, she did not feel alone anymore. It was like someone was present with her but she could not see any one. The Being whispered silent to her to go in a particular direction. She was sore frightened but the whisper seemed to calm her a little. She started to sob again as she began to move in the direction she was directed. Every step appeared she was going deeper into the forest but she continued down the route. Before long, she sighted the wall of demarcation she had climbed from. Although she was tired, she ran as fast as her legs could carry. She carefully maneuvered the wall and she got into the section of the dried, brown trees. A measure of relief flooded her heart until suddenly she was face to face with a fierce looking man. All the relief she earlier felt washed out. Fear gripped her as he approached her. The man spoke roughly to her in her native language demanding who she was and what she was doing there. She had not even opened her mouth to answer when the ferocious man grabbed her by the arm and nudged her in the direction of the decorated portion of the forest. When they got to the decorated forest, the sun had already begun to set and the forest was very quiet. Still gripped with fear, Asake held onto the book she had gotten from the strange forest ensuring the fierce looking man did not see it. They soon got to the entrance of the forest and the man let go of her arm. With an angry look, the man warned her in their native language never to leave the first section of the forest again. Asake nodded her response amidst trembling. As the man turned to leave, Asake started off in a sprint. Her tiny legs felt so light. By the time she got home, her family members were in in a state of panic. A search party was just being organised to search for her. On sighting her, her mother let out a scream that darted all looks in her direction. Relief flooded her father’s face when he saw her. He had been searching the for her for about three hours now. Ajoke, Sade and Yetunde’s parents had also joined in the search. Although tired and hungry, Asake was glad to be home. Food was prepared, she ate and retired to sleep. The search party was dispersed everyone grateful for the safe arrival of Asake.
Asake lay in bed awake. She could not stop thinking of her experience that day. Images of the strange forest lingered in her mind till she felt she was currently there. She She had safely tucked away the golden book to hide it from everyone. She remembered the voice that spoke to her in the forest and whispered her thanks. “Whose was that voice”? She wondered. Whoever the person is, she had that fellow to thank for her safe arrival else ahead would have still been lost. She tried to recollect the event again. Before long, she fell into a long, deep sleep.Asake
The next morning as Asake woke up, the golden book was the first thing on her mind. She picked up the book from where she had hidden it and opened to read. The same word written in bold began to stare at her again. It was then she saw a name, location and date. David Brainfield, East Coast London, 1910. She had discovered the owner of the book and it was not for one of the village people, It was for an English man! “How long had that been there “? Asake questioned. She had been told stories of English men that served as missionaries many years back. Some of them were killed by wild animals, the natives or bitten by mosquitoes to death. She was so amazed at this discovery. She decided to keep and study this little piece of history till she could tell it’s story to her friends. As she picked up the book to read that morning, that was the beginning of her life.
Many years have passed since she discovered this golden book. Now she knew the golden rule and the voice that whispered to her that first night was no longer strange. The Being was now a constant, loving companion. Her life changed since then. It’s also safe to say, so did her family’s and friend’s. The golden rule kept her at peace with this Being, her family, village and her country. Now she advocates for the needy, abiding by the golden rule.

The golden rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

3
Votes



Utopia

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Utopia
Author : dubemenaruna

2348183109525

As a lover of literature, i enjoy writing as a hobby. I appreciate ingenuity and tenacity in anything that’s worth doing. I hold a Bachelors degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin.
Submission Category:

The Future of Africa

As a young graduate, Nathan had a vision to change his world and with the help of his friends and former university professor, he embarks on an interesting journey to make his vision a reality.

“This is not a dream, this is not fiction, this is a carefully thought out model which is highly attainable, I just want you to give me a chance”. Prior to this statement, Nathan had spent the past thirty minutes expatiating on his vision for a prosperous and self reliant state, country and ultimately, the African continent. Nathan is a towering young lad and very light in complexion, he was often made fun of for being too light skinned. “What is the time frame?” asked Commissioner Patricks. Theresa Patricks was Nathan’s university professor and the current commissioner of works and housing in Rivers state, Nigeria. She is a scholar par excellence but sometimes referred to as crazy by her peers because of her penchant for taking risks. In fact, she seems to be the only one in the entire state willing to entertain Nathan’s “crazy” idea.”I’m looking at a year, we’d have to start small and then expand seamlessly into the larger society” replied Nathan. “It’s alright, i have a meeting with the governor later today and I’ll fill him in on your proposal” said Patricks as she got up from her seat and walked towards Nathan extending her hand for a handshake with the “boy genius” as she fondly called him when he was her student.
As she left the YB conference centre with her five men entourage, Nathan heaved a sigh of relief and a few moments later, he picked up his phone and called his mother, “Ma, I think I might have a chance, don’t get too excited yet but in a few years time, I am going to impact the world positively”. “Amen o, God bless you my son” said Nathan’s mother, Mrs. Ngozi, a very pious woman who strongly believes that our very next footsteps are ordered by God. After the call, Nathan spent the next few minutes pondering on what his next move will be, how to break the news to his team and what part of the state could be chosen for the trial phase on implementation of the model. The next call was a conference call with two of his closest friends and associates; Bernedicta ‘Bernie’ Omor, a data analyst and Bill Obi a tech wizard, he informed them of the latest development and to be ready because they might get the green light anytime soon. The rest of the day was uninteresting for Nathan and he spent the most part of it checking his phone for missed calls. He had kept his phone on the “sweet spot”, a small area in Nathan’s house where the network reception is strongest.
At about 9.15pm, his phone rang, it was the call he had been expecting; Commissioner Patricks called to inform him that after much deliberation, the governor decided to earmark a relatively urban part of the state for his model to be tested and with the absence of unforeseen circumstances, they can commence the project the next month, she also assured him of the full support of the ministry. This was followed by an unusual silence on both ends of the conversation which prompted the commissioner to ask, “Nate, did you hear what I just said?””Oh yeah…” said Nathan, “… sure I did, I was just processing, this is huge for me, thank you for helping me”. The commissioner ended the conversation by saying that she’ll have her staff email a copy of the paperwork the next day.
After the call, Nathan was still in awe of everything that had happened; if everything goes according to plan, he will achieve a feat that no man has ever attempted to. The question still remains, what is this model all about and why has the commissioner of works and housing taken so much interest in it up to the point of presenting it to the governor of the state? Firstly, this is an economic model albeit a quite complex one and like every other economic model, there are underlying assumptions associated with it but we get to see some of them as the story progresses. Of course, undertaking such a project would require funds which is why Nathan went to the state government. In the process of executing the project, a lot of infrastructure will have to be built thereby further developing the area, it was a win win situation for all the parties involved. That night before Nathan went to bed, he made another conference call to his team and told them to start getting ready because in a month, they’ll set up shop at Ika town, the designated area for the project. The next month couldn’t have come any quicker for him; he has been in such an upbeat mood since getting the news and was ready and raring to go as early as possible.
The D day finally came and Nathan arrived Ika town with his team by 10am then went to the town’s council office for a meeting with the councilor, he presented the paperwork from the works and housing ministry as well as a copy of the project proposal to him and the councilor lauded him for such an amazing initiative and reassured him of their commitment by informing him that a lot of his constituents were thrilled and will try to be co operative to the best of their ability. Before this story progresses further, it is time for a brief overview into Nathan’s model; think of Ika town as a machine while every individual, business, government agency and infrastructure are cogs that must work hand in hand to make this machine work. Also, this machine is not rigid but highly flexible in the sense that other external cogs can fit into it because they will play a part in making the machine bigger, the machine will get so big until the whole continent becomes this one big machine.
Back at the council office, Bill launched a biometrics software which would be used to create a database for the entire town while Bernie on her end launched a new work file in her “R” software. At exactly 1.15pm, Commissioner Theresa arrived at Ika town for a meeting with all the stakeholders in the town to discuss the kickoff of the project. She gave a short introductory remark and thanked the people of Ika for their openness to such a unique experiment of sorts. Afterwards, she introduced Nathan to elaborate briefly on the model and as he walked towards the podium he could feel every eye in the hall focused on him. He was a bit nervous but knew that this was not the time to be nervous. This is it, the moment he had spent the last few years of his life working for. He thanked them once again for their co operation and willingness to work with him and his team and assured them that if this project should succeed as it has been designed to, their lives will never remain the same.
Nathan immediately delved into the business of the day, he started by telling them that for any state, region or nation to attain self sufficiency, agriculture must be given utmost priority and this why the business of agriculture as far as the town was concerned will be handled by the town’s council. He further explained that not everyone in the town is expected to be involved in agriculture since they must all work together to achieve a common goal. Also, an individual may not have more than one job and in line with one of the cardinal assumptions of the model, there will be a fully functional sports team, football to be exact which will be registered as a professional football club with the National Football Association. A section of the town will be used and developed as the team’s home stadium and on game days, majority of the people of Ika will go and support the team by purchasing tickets, buying the team’s merchandise so as to generate enough revenue to be able to pay both the playing and non playing staff. Nathan was convinced that agriculture and sports have a very high revenue generation capability which can be sustained in the long term.
He structured the town in such a way that there will be just one of every essential business and service in the town, that is to say, one school (nursery, primary, secondary), one pharmacy, one gas station, one beauty salon, one bank which could have two or more branches to ensure ease and adequate service provision.
One might start to wonder if the residents of Ika town would be so willing to quit their existing sources of livelihood to be assigned new ones however, prior to the arrival of Nathan and his team, they had put in massive man hours conducting surveys and data crunching in order to figure out the communities in the state with high unemployment rates, the least commercial activities and average income because it will be easier to convince these ones to change their businesses if they are guaranteed a higher income than they were previously earning. It wasn’t easy and took Bernie’s quintessential data analysis skills to come up with three towns, Ika being one of them. Ika, a relatively urban area has an estimated population of three thousand residents and is located in the eastern part of the state.
One of the things Nathan left out whilst addressing them was that not everyone in the town will be employed, he did this on purpose so as not to create unnecessary panic but he did it with good intention because even in theoretical macroeconomics, an unemployment rate between 1 and 2% is still considered “full employment”. This is because if there is, say a 0% unemployment rate, it could lead to unsustainable wage and price inflation from a structural standpoint. To put it in easier terms, if workers feel they are irreplaceable or there is no one available to easily replace them, they will most likely be tempted to work less or engage in non productive activities at work. So by allowing an unemployment rate of at most 2%, Nathan did so to keep them in check so to speak but on the upside, only those that were previously unemployed would still remain unemployed but this time there would be unemployment benefits paid to such people. The meeting got to a conclusive end at around 5.30pm and before the commissioner left, she once again assured Nathan that he and his team had the full backing of the ministry and in line with this statement, she issued a cheque of half a million naira as a part time mobilization fee.
The first three months after the meeting were very tedious for Nathan, his team and the entire town because all the necessary foundations were being laid, the farmlands were being tilled and planted, the market square was being enlarged, the only commercial bank in the town expanded their operations and had to even employ more staff. Over sixty percent of the residents of Ika were involved in this building stage and were fairly compensated. Work on the would be stadium complex commenced as well and every day, there would There would be trainings/trials to select the 23 man squad that would make up the football team, the town council also filed the necessary paperwork to the National Football Association in order to be registered.
By the fourth month, things actually began to fall in place and the “machine” started to work. Nathan would sometimes go to the different facilities to get the situation report on how things are coming along. His favourite is the beauty salon which had three barbers and six hair stylists, not only does he enjoy the weekly taper on his hair, he was more interested in checking on them and get feedback on how to make things run more smoothly. Some of the crops planted earlier were due for harvest three weeks into the fourth month and the town had quite a bumper harvest such that people from neighbouring towns came to buy and sell in the market square while the remaining ones were properly stored. By the fourth week, the football team which was named after the town had their first football match and as earlier agreed, the residents turned up in style; the unison amongst the supporters thrilled the players and gave them the very much needed motivation to win the game comfortably by three goals to nil. Even though the stadium was yet to have the ideal number of seats installed, most of the supporters gladly stood from kickoff till the final whistle. Over one thousand spectators graced the Ika stadium with their presence and at five hundred naira per ticket, the football club realised staggering revenue of half a million and this is without merchandise sales and other commercial activities that took place within the vicinity.
After the game, there was a surge in the sense of optimism amongst the people of Ika; those that previously had doubts about the actualization of the plan started to believe. By the fifth month, word about Nathan’s work in Ika swept around the region and even trended a few times on social media platforms such as twitter, facebook and instagram. The twitter community dubbed the model #ProjectUtopia and just like that, Ika town became a little tourist attraction; people would pay for tours around the stadium complex, farms, processing centres and other facilities associated with the project. Not even Nathan nor any of his associates anticipated this but since it brought in money to the town, they were happy with it but remained coy especially when explaining in details, the transmission mechanisms within the model. Social media often starts a “wildfire” of sorts on positive campaigns such as Nathan’s and the Project Utopia hashtag continued to garner huge social media attention such that it started getting noticed by some international organizations such as the International Economic Society (IES) which send a letter of commendation to Nathan for his great initiative.
Billionaire businessman Ben Jimoh took notice of it as well and did not just want to be part of it, he wanted to own it so he sent some envoys to Ika town for a meeting with Nathan, his associates and the councilor. Jimoh’s representatives told them about his plan to acquire the model and the entire project for the sum of one hundred million; this left Nathan, his associates and the councilman astonished. Nathan knew his model had undeniable potentials but he did not know it would be valued so highly at such an early stage. His first reaction was that he wasn’t going to sell but wanted a second opinion so he quickly left to call Anita, a very close friend and an investment banker and she advised Nathan not to sell a model he had worked so hard to build prematurely as she was convinced that owing to the continued success of the project, the model would be worth billions in a few years. Nathan came back to the meeting and gave Jimoh’s representatives his answer; a resounding “No”. This did not go down well with Jimoh because for the first time in a while, someone stood up to his bullying tactics and said an emphatic “no” to him.
Ben Jimoh was a young and very successful businessman who inherited his father’s fortune and has been on an acquisition spree ever since his father passed. From telecom to agriculture and oil, just name it, Mr. Jimoh was an active stakeholder in almost every sector of the economy. He also held significant portfolios internationally especially in the United States and has been placed under surveillance by the CIA amidst rumours of his very dirty business tactics. Jimoh felt that if he could not be part of Nathan’s model, then it should not exist at all so he began to plot on how to sabotage it. Jimoh had a vast amount of resources at his disposal but had a myopic view on things such as loyalty. He has never had anyone that was truly loyal to him but most of his subordinates were loyal to him because of his money. His first step towards tanking the project at Ika was to use his government connections to stop the project in the state. The Rivers state house of assembly speaker owed him a few favours so he tried to use his position to initiate a bill to stop Nathan’s and similar projects in the future. In one of the sittings, the commissioner of works and housing, Theresa Patricks was ambushed; she was summoned to explain why she had spent so much of the taxpayers’ money on a project that was destined to fail but the proactive commissioner put up a stunning and sturdy defense, backed up with facts and evidence that the project was not a waste afterall. By the end of the sitting, the house voted in favour of the continuation of the project, Jimoh and the speaker failed but the unrelenting billionaire launched a charm offensive towards Nathan’s associates; Bernie wasn’t having any of it though but Bill agreed to a secret meeting with him at a six star hotel in the city. Before he left, he told Nathan he was going to meet with an old school friend. He got to the hotel by noon and was properly frisked before he could meet with Mr. Jimoh who tried to convince him that he had better plans than what Nathan was doing and even promised to make him a very rich man and the managing director of the project. Bill told him that he would think about it and handed him his card which had his personal phone number on it. Jimoh was very pleased with the meeting; at last he is going to get what he wanted as he always has.
However, the following morning, he learnt a lesson on loyalty that he would never forget in his life, his entire plan to sabotage Nathan’s project as well as all his dirty tactics in acquiring businesses, bribing of public officials were leaked online; #JimohGate they called it and you could almost guessed who leaked it… yep, it was Bill, when he handed the card to Mr. Jimoh the previous day, he slipped a wireless chip into his pocket; the chip would infect any electronic device within a one mile radius and make it very easy for a tech savvy guy like Bill to be able to remotely access it. Bill and Nathan’s loyalty to each other was one of the things that had kept their friendship so closely knitted.
They say any publicity is good publicity and with the kind of publicity #JimohGate attracted, Nathan’s model was noticed by the United States state department. Mr. Jimoh, in trying to sabotage Nathan gave him the greatest gift ever, a massive opportunity for a major advancement for his model. Nathan and his associates were invited to the Commonwealth of Nations’ secretariat for an interactive session with some of the best minds in different sectors in the world, one of them an economics professor of international repute who admitted that he’s had similar idea as Nathan’s but did not factor in agriculture and sports rather he focused solely on technology which is why it didn’t even pass the beta stage.
The secretary general on behalf of the commonwealth pledged to support the continued development of Nathan’s model and he will maintain full ownership of it but asked for permission to launch similar projects in member countries. This is what Nathan had always dreamed of; his model has suddenly become an international model being studied across various disciplines. He was called to be a guest speaker on various universities all over the world. He had access to the vast resources in the best universities in the world and by the second year, he had achieved a fully functional model on how to develop a totally self reliant state.
In reality, Nathan’s model redefined the word utopia as we know it especially the part that concerns social conditions and status. The peak of its achievement was that it sought and succeeded in providing a clean alternative to everything; energy, water supply, the list goes on and another underlying assumption was that truly, no state can live in total isolation because even if you do not seek help from external sources, they would come seeking for one from you and that was the case in Ika town, a one time relatively urban society that transformed into a metropolis in the space of two years and was responsible for supplying clean energy and water to almost one third of the state. Nathan truly changed his world and went on to make a positive, significant impact in the Africa.

I-agree-to-terms-conditions

3
Votes



The Doomed Diary

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

The Doomed Diary
Author : Kanmi Omosuwa

2348180137477

I am a pharmacy student of the University of Benin and an aspiring writer
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

Thomas and Duchess are cousins from a wealthy Nigerian family. They are also best friends and lovers. Provoked by Thomas, Duchess seeks revenge by prying into Thomas’ diary, where she learns about Thomas’ dark secrets.

Thomas lay sprawling on the bed. The events of the previous day had left him weak and exhausted, but it was the sexcapade that had followed afterwards that had left him near dead from exhaustion. His mistress had been absolutely magnificent in bed but highly demanding at the same time. Despite having partied hard all day, she still hadn’t been satisfied with 6 rounds, so they had ended up at 9. And it had lasted the whole night.

And yet Thomas hadn’t found her by his side, when he had woken up in the early hours of that morning.
I’m still tired as fuck, and she’s already up?
“Well I did all the stroking, and her the moaning” Thomas had said to himself, nestling closer to his pillow and had fallen asleep again.

When Thomas woke again up 2 hours later, he had found his mistress in the bedroom.
She sat over the table and was just finishing her breakfast.
Still on the bed, Thomas propped up on his chin and admired his mistress. She was looking very lovely in her white nightgown.

She’s looks even lovelier naked. Thomas had thought wickedly to himself.

He faked a cough, and this had alerted her of his presence. She turned around and gave Thomas the most seductive smile in her arsenal of smiles.

That was enough to make Thomas hard again. Then he returned the smile while savouring her body with his eyes. His eyes soon settled on her breasts, which was barely covered by the loose nightgown, giving Thomas an ample view of her cleavage.

The mistress soon followed the direction of his eyes, and then she hissed in feigned disgust when she found them on her breasts.

“Pervert” she muttered and turned her back on him to concentrate on her breakfast.

Thomas chuckled and then settled back in bed.
“Baby… Only you could throw a damn party all day, fuck 50 men all night and still manage to murder all 50 of them before the break of dawn” Thomas sneered jokingly.

In which the mistress had replied without looking back.
“While you fuck like a beast and sleep like a baby”

Thomas had laughed and although he hadn’t known why he was saying it but had still gone to say in gratitude.
“Funny but Thank you”

Then the mistress had turned around and said in reply.
“For what exactly? For giving you the best sex of your life?… That’s like the 100th time, Thomas” she added with a sly wink.

Thomas had laughed again but said nothing in response. He had thanked her not because she had given him a bomb sex, but because she had given it free of charge. Out of all his mistresses, Duchess had been the most willing, cooperative and the most loyal. And he was endeared to her too. Maybe that was because she was his cousin.

And speaking of best sex, the previous night’s had definitely fallen into Thomas’ top 5, but it had not been his best sex. That honour was still currently being held by a village beauty in a remote town in far Eastern Nigeria.

“I was thanking you for being a loyal companion to me” Thomas opened up, and then sat up.

Duchess shrugged and said in reply.
“Well to be fair, your brother asked me to”

“And, you’re doing one heck of a job, babe” Thomas remarked with a sly grin.

Thomas knew why his brother had asked Duchess to come be with him. It hasn’t been more than 2 years since the loss of their sister; Tiffany, and his brother had knew how close Thomas had been to their sister. Much closer than his brother will ever know though; so close that they had kissed. Anyways, his brother had arranged for their cousin, Duchess to come over from the States and provide some sort of solace to Thomas. Having sex with their cousin around the globe, had certainly not been what his brother had got in mind, but Duchess had presented the “additional benefits ” on her own, and Thomas himself had always had a weak spot for ladies who shared his blood.
Thus for the last 2 years, Thomas and Duchess had toured around the world partying, whoring and having sex with each other. Although the pair have been quite committed to each other, they had never considered themselves to be in a romantic relationship, on the contrary they were in an open relationship. During their many travels, Duchess had brought many other men into their bed, while Thomas had done the same with women. While Thomas was strictly straight, Duchess was openly bisexual, in which Thomas had often found himself in bed with Duchess and her girlfriends in steamy threesome and foursome sex on more than several occasions.

Thomas smiled to himself as the memories of those events unfolded in his head. Then he got up, and in the process the bed cover fell off and uncovered his nakedness. Thomas didn’t care though, afterall there was nobody currently in the room who hadn’t seen him naked before.
Still naked, Thomas left the room into the outer house.

Moments later.

“Duchy!” Thomas called out loudly from the outer house, and barked
“What the hell happened to my booze?”

“You mean our booze!” Duchess corrected before continuing in a raised voice. “There’s still a bottle of Scotch left from the party you hosted yesterday”
Whenever Thomas was too lazy to attend parties, he hosted one in his home at his exotic penthouse located in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Meanwhile Duchess who was since done with her breakfast, produced a package and opened it. Inside she found a letter, some photos and a note which happened to be written by a medical doctor.
After putting the package aside, Duchess then produced a small book. Thomas recorded all his life events in this book. It was Thomas’ diary. Duchess had seen Thomas write in it once or twice, but apart from then, Thomas had always been extra careful not to do it in her presence and had refused to divulge any details to her, when she had inquired about it. More so, Duchess was a nosy person and had a habit of snooping around Thomas’ personal stuffs when he was out of sight. Thomas knew this of course, so he always kept Duchess close with him and was extra careful to keep any important stuff of his out of her reach, especially his diary.

But earlier today, when Duchess had gotten up early to fix breakfast, she had stumbled upon the diary on the kitchen floor, where it must have fallen from the pocket of a jacket, because she had found the jacket on top. This had been the same jacket, Thomas had worn the previous night at the party. He had made out and had sex with one of the party guests in the kitchen near the end of the party the previous day, and must have probably been too drunk to remember he had left the jacket containing his most confidential information, lying carelessly on the kitchen floor. Although Duchess had always been curious about the diary, she knew the danger of Thomas walking in on her, so she had decided not to read it then, but had still kept it with her. Also later when she had been putting the house in order, she had stumbled upon the package containing the letter, which she had taken too.

As footsteps approached, Duchess quickly hid the diary but left the letters and photos at sight. Thomas soon shows up, holding a bottle of Scotch in one hand and a tray carrying his breakfast at the other. Thomas was still naked.

“Get some pants on! Will you?” Duchess snapped, irritated.

Thomas smirks, and then dangles his manhood in front of Duchess, who turns her face away in feigned disgust.
“Admit it Duchy, you prefer to have me look like this everytime” Thomas remarked, still smirking.

However, Thomas ignored Duchy and then went on to have his breakfast in his bed.
After a few mouthfuls, Thomas remarked in compliment.
“Mmmm.. mmm.. This is really good babe”
After taking a sip from the scotch, Thomas then added humorously.
“You cook better than Abigail, babe.. Perhaps there wouldn’t be any need for a new maid Eh?”

As if pricked by a thorn, Duchess immediately swerved around on her seat and then said hotly to Thomas.
“You must be crazy if you think can use me as your little house help, Tom… If you don’t get another maid in by next week, i’m moving into a hotel”

Thomas laughed and continued eating. Abigail had been Thomas’ maid and cook, until he had to dismiss her after he had gotten her pregnant.
Thomas couldn’t stand kids.
“We won’t be needing another maid, Duchy” Thomas said in between mouthfuls and then announced. “We’re leaving this awful city, babe…This year’s family convention is holding in Paris this weekend, we have to attend”

But Duchess wasn’t listening anymore. Instead she picked up the letter, and waved it at Thomas, till he eventually looked up and caught sight of it
Thomas grinned and then remarked.
“You’ve been nosy again, Duchy”
Then he remarked while smirking. ” Be careful Duchy, Snooping can get you killed “

“And keeping secrets can make you a killer, Tom” Duchess countered.
Still smirking, Thomas winks at her.
Then Duchess asks.
“Did you ever intend on reading it?”

“Maybe” Thomas replied disinterestedly and took another sip. A postman had brought the letter in a package almost a week ago. Thomas had completely forgotten about the letter until now.

Duchess chuckled and then gushed in admiration.
“Awwn… Look at these babies, so cute … They seem to be triplets.. Wow Tommy, are they yours?” Duchess asked sweetly with a pleasant smile, while holding up the photos.

Thomas suddenly became curious. He sprang up to his feet and approached Duchess.
“Gimme that” Thomas demanded curtly, and snatched the letter and photos from Duchess.

After going through the photos and letter, Thomas suddenly exclaimed.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“What is it, what does the letter say?” Duchess inquired, curiously.

But Thomas didn’t answer.

“Lemme see” An impatient Duchess snatched back the letter and then read the contents.

“I’d thought you’ve read it” Thomas remarked, and then returned to his meal.

“Who’s Zinachidi?” A puzzled Duchess suddenly asked, looking up from the letter.

Who’s Zinachidi? Really? Thomas was amused by Duchess’ poor memory. Zina was the village beauty who had given him the best sex of his life.
However he answered.
“That hot village girl from that festival in the East, the one you had us attend a year ago”

Duchess whose face had been beaming with smiles, suddenly creased into a deep scowl, as realization dawned on her.
“You mean that bitch who had us spend 6 months in that stinky village” Duchess’ ranted bitterly. .
Thomas only smirked to himself. Duchess had never liked Zina, and had also been jealous of her. And rightly so, because Zina was miles more beautiful and hotter. That had happened a year ago, and details of the events had become vague to Thomas. But what still remained fresh in his memories, was that she had given him the greatest sex he’d ever had. And of course those captivating dance steps and pure grace she had displayed at the festival still rustled his brain till now. Zina had been the most beautiful lady at the festival, and possibly in the whole town as well. Although she’d never admit it, Duchess had been attracted to her and basically all the men at the festival had been too. Long story short, it had taken 6 months for Thomas to get Zina to spread her legs for him. 4 of which he had spent wooing her, the highest he’s ever had to seduce anyone. People had warned him of her pride and stubbornness and Thomas had seen that firsthand, in which that had compelled him to be at his best behaviour. Zina had been immune to his looks and public display of wealth and Thomas had never known a girl to have had him wrapped around her finger as Zina had done; to the extent that Thomas had jilted Duchess. That period had taught Thomas humility, a virtue Thomas had always been stranger to. Sometimes the frustration had become too unbearable for Thomas, such that the evil notions of raping her and getting done with it, had eventually crossed his mind more than once. But having done it once already, Thomas had been reluctant to go through the ordeal a second time. Besides, he had somehow relished chasing after Zina. And in the end, all the efforts had been worth it, because he had gotten Zina to fall madly in love with him and that had been a key factor in finally getting her to bed. Although Zina had been a virgin when he took her, she had given a performance worthy of a veteran. Thereafter, they had gone on to have intercourse a couple of more times, and Thomas still relished every single moment of them. Had she not started babbling about marriage and talks of missed periods, Thomas knew he would have stayed with her for a whole year. In the end, Thomas had fled the town with Duchess after spending half a year with Zina. Although Zina had been his greatest trophy, Thomas had never loved her. The only woman Thomas had ever loved was his sister and his sister was dead.

“What does she want?” Duchess asked curtly, snapping Thomas back to reality.

“You’re holding the damn letter, read it” Thomas snapped back.
The mere thoughts of Zina had awoken a strong arousal and desire in Thomas that he could not begin to fathom.

Meanwhile, Duchess finished reading the rest of the letter and then laughed.
“Really? Tom… One would have thought you would have the sense to have used protection” Duchess sneered.

“The bitch believed I was going to marry her, so she hadn’t seen the need for protection” Thomas said in his defense, before adding smugly
“Besides I was too drunk with her body to have cared anyways”

“And now you’ve earned yourself bastard triplets, Bravo” Duchess scorned and then gave Thomas a mock bow.

“At least she’s not barren like you” Thomas fired back harshly.

Duchess’ face immediately turned scarlet red, and in anger, she tore the letter into shreds, and threw them at Thomas.
“Hey… I wasn’t done reading that” Thomas protested.

“There’s nothing to read about anymore!” Duchess glowered. She was near the point of tears, but she still managed to say “Your precious Zina wants you to help your sick children…. So if I were you I would go back to her, afterall she’s very beautiful and she gave you children while your barren cousin is just your whore!”
With that, Duchess stormed off and slammed the door behind her.

Thomas knew he had hurt Duchess deeply and he felt genuinely sorry for her. Duchess highly sexual lifestyle had earned her 6 abortions which had eventually cost her the use of her womb. And Thomas had been directly responsible for 3 of those abortions.
Notwithstanding, Thomas did not feel inclined to apologize to her especially for something that had been true. Besides this was not the first time they had quarreled, and anytime they did, Duchess had always crawled back to his bed at night. Sometimes they’d apologize to each other, most times they made over with sex. Today would be no different.

Meanwhile, Duchess locked up herself in the bathroom and sobbed. This was not the first time Thomas had called her barren, he’d actually made it a point of duty to remind her every now and then, especially when she insisted on protected sex. On one occasion, Thomas had laughed it off and scorned.
“Why? You scared of getting pregnant? Where are you going store the baby? Your stomach? “
Then she had laughed too. But calling her barren now had hurt deeply, especially when you’d just read about someone giving birth to triplets. And especially when that someone was a person you hated and envied.

Still acting in anger, Duchess decided to have her revenge on Thomas by reading his diary. In the safety of the bathroom, Duchess brought out the diary and began reading. After reading the first few lines, Duchess felt a sudden jolt of guilt and she closed the book.

This is not right. Duchess thought to herself. Thomas hadn’t wronged her enough to have his privacy violated.

But curiosity had always been Duchess’ weakness, and eventually she succumbed to it. She opened the diary again and continued reading.
As she read on, the expression on her face began to change.
Her expression first went from sadness to pity, then from pity it gave way to anxiety, anxiety soon parted way for fear to come in, and fear quickly led to fright….
By the time she closed the book finally, Duchess was horrified.

Thomas had turned out to be right. Although Duchess had avoided him through out the rest of the day, Duchess had still showed up to his bed at nightfall, to lie beside him.
When Thomas tried to touch Duchess, she recoiled and faced the other direction.

Seems there won’t be make up sex today. Apologies it is then..
Thomas sighed and then recited his planned apology.
“I’m sorry Duchy, it was stupid of me to call you barren at that time, please forgive me”
Apologies never came easy to Thomas, and he had just spent the whole day rehearsing this one.

But when Duchess refused to answer, Thomas grunted silent curses and turned away to sleep.
Just when he was about to doze off, Duchess finally spoke out.
“I’m sorry” she said very softly. But Thomas had heard her all the same.
“Sorry for what? I was the one who wronged you” Thomas remarked.
“No you don’t understand” then Duchess turned and faced him.
She was sad, Thomas noticed.
After a very brief passing silence, Duchess finally confessed.
“I’m sorry for prying… For prying on your privacy”

Thomas understood at once. My diary…
It has only been few hours ago, when Thomas had finally noticed the diary missing. Then he had prayed dearly to God that it been he who had misplaced it and not because Duchess had stolen it.

God why? She is my best friend… Thomas lamented to himself.

However, Thomas remained calm and then asked coolly.
“How much do you know”
Please don’t say everything…. Thomas had prayed desperately.

” Everything ” Duchess had answered truthfully still.

Thomas suddenly felt like crying. Duchess had no idea what she’s gotten into.

“And?” Thomas asked in a strange sudden calmness.

“I saw what you wrote about yourself and Tiffany” she replied meekly.
Thomas sighed. That part he had hoped no one else to know, but it was not as implicating as the latter parts.

“And?” Thomas asked calmly again.

Duchess remained silent for a while before answering soberly.
“I know what you did to her and her fiance”

Thomas sighed. He had hoped Duchess would have stopped at the point he had wrote about his activities with his sister. But it seems snooping was eventually going to get Duchess killed.
“Why are you still here?” Thomas asked half in surprise and half in anger.
She must have read the diary much earlier in the day and so must have had all day to run. Any sensible person would have fled as soon as seeing the contents of that diary.

You should have ran, you fool… Thomas thought angrily

“Because I want to be here” Duchess replied and nestled closer to Thomas. Then she continued defiantly.

“I don’t care what you did to your sister and her fiance, Tom…”

No Duchy, you should care. Thomas thought sadly.

But Duchess was still speaking.
“I also read about what you wrote about me ” Duchess revealed with a sweet smile and then said. “About how you hope to love me one day and settle down with me…”

Until now… Thomas thought bitterly. Because now you know too much Duchy….

Duchess then lay on Thomas’ bare broad chest and said to him emotionally.
“But I already love you Tom, I have always loved you, and I forgive you for your past deeds just as you will forgive me too for prying”

You know too much Duchy…

Duchess sat up and looked into Thomas eyes pleadingly.
“Please say something, Tom”

You know too much Duchy…

“Tom please, I’m sorry” Duchess pleaded passionately, and then shook Thomas vigorously.
When Thomas looked at Duchess again, he noticed her eyes was glistening with tears.
She had the opportunity to run away and rat you out, but she didn’t. Because she loves you, Tom… A part of his mind appealed to Thomas, but the larger part kept singing… You know too much Duchy…
The song played for another while and then stopped.
Then Thomas sat up to face Duchess.
Facing Thomas was the girl who had helped him get over the loss of his dear sister, who had willingly accepted to be his sex partner, who had then become his best friend, who had travelled all over the world with him, who had remained committed and loyal to him, who had lost her womb due to an abortion in which he had been responsible, who had stuck by him despite his obsession with the village beauty, and who had not run away even after discovering he was a murderer…. This girl deserved so much better…

Then Thomas smiled lovingly at Duchess and declared.
“I forgive you”

Without another word, Thomas gathered Duchess in his arms and kissed her hungrily.
Relieved, Duchess flung her arms around Thomas and kissed him back with equal ferocity.

It was few hours past midnight at the Third Mainland bridge when a black sleek Range Rover pulled over. And Thomas stepped out. He was clad in a black overcoat and wore a black hat with dark shades. The air was chilly but Thomas only felt cold because of what he had done than because of the weather.
After making sure no one else were present, Thomas opened the trunk of his car and revealed the dead body of Duchess.
Thomas had suffocated Duchess with a pillow while she had slept.
Even when dying, she had resisted so little against him. Afterwards, Thomas had held her in his arms and wept for hours. The last time Thomas had wept, he had been mourning his sister, and now it was his cousin.
“So beautiful and peaceful” Thomas remarked sadly to himself as he watched over the corpse fondly.
Then without another word, Thomas lifted the corpse on an arm and shut the trunk. Bearing dead Duchess on his arm, he walked over to the bridge rail, which separated the lagoon from land. After hesitating for half a heartbeat, Thomas eventually dropped the corpse into the lagoon, and watched as the waters swallowed her up.
She knew too much… Thomas mind had said to console him repeatedly, but deep down, Thomas knew that hadn’t justified his actions and was almost regretting it.
After reflecting for a while, Thomas dipped his hand into a pocket and then produced the diary. This little book had cost the life of Duchess and him, his best friend.
“To hell with you” Thomas cursed bitterly, and then flung the diary into the lagoon, in which the book sank within seconds.

I killed my best friend and now I am alone…. Thomas reflected sadly.

Thomas dipped his hand into another pocket, and produced a can beer. He opened it and drank heavily in huge gulps. As he drank, he rummaged through some thoughts. Attending the annual family convention in Paris was now out of the question. His brother would be there and his Aunt Tonya who was also Duchess’ mother would definitely be there. His brother would demand why Duchess wasn’t with him while his aunt would ask about her daughter. And these would lead to a whole lot of other questions and unwanted secrets would start opening up.

And then I might have to continue killing family members… Thomas thought wearily to himself.

No. Thomas decided.
Thomas had a better idea. He was going to disappear forever.
With that resolved, Thomas flung the can beer into the lagoon, returned to his car and sped off.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

7
Votes



ON A SHARPENED EDGE

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

ON A SHARPENED EDGE
Author : Victor Chinedu

234 8120259430

I am Victor Chinedu, born and bred in Lagos state. I am currently a 300 level student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,studying Mass Communication,i hail from Imo state,Nigeria.I adore writing as a passion, I believe its an irreplaceable art,I love singing too.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

This story explores the travails of a fifteen year old orphan boy struggling for survival in a post colonial Nigeria, his struggle leads him to a further turbulence which he is unable to handle.

You blinked your wet eyes momentarily, the purple grey of early dawn filling the room with shadows. Cradled on the armchair you sat,with a painful glare as tears of despair streamed down your cheeks.Your tears flowed a mighty dam,so unrestrained. You felt those tears would leave you with clean layers,you felt the tears would dislodge the pain that clogged your chest until your sullen pain became rinsed,until your raw stretches of grief were wiped. Your itchy tears flowed.
You mourned your losses,your ills,that life you had always wanted but never had. So immersed you were in your sorrows and choicelessness that you lived each day characterized by the utmost darkness that pervaded your life. You were a victim,a victim of circumstances, emaciated by life’s hurdles, a lone voice in a wild shell,your pain choked your being,left you shattered, left you aggrieved, left you craving for redemption but it was all too distant. You deeply wanted to grasp hope but hope was a far flung object beyond your reach. On the armchair which you sat in the small room,thick with the stench of urine,you had not the slightest idea of what was coming next. Your eyes burned,your heart thumped, you stroked your index finger as you slipped into memory lane,a sojourn of sad recollections.
You had grown a posthumous child,your father had been snatched by cold deathly claws in a boat mishap two months you opened your eyes as a newborn. You had never known your father though a star shaped photo of him himg in your mother’s room. You had the terracotta glow of your father’s skin,even possessed your father’s large piercing eyes but you took after your mother in height and a sturdy frame. Your mother was tall and had that stunning dexterity for a woman,she told you how widely revered she was then,and indeed,your mother’s personality exuded strength and confidence,with those small lips that curved perfectly.
Your mother had been a grocer,though barely educated, she was intelligent. An industrious woman your mother was,and had always strived to see you through school. Things were not so rosy,your mother’s trading suffered hiccups most times but undeterredness had always been your mother’s watchword. Uncle Lawrence, your mother’s only sibling had assisted in every way he could,an editor your Uncle was for a thriving newspaper establishment, helping with your fees sometimes but of course not always. Your Uncle had mouths to feed,a family of five.
Life wasn’t in anyway pleasant, you had always moved around with an air devoid of cheer,unhappy at how your mum toiled hard to make ends meet, you detested such life,it was never the standard you wanted but you were not privileged with many choices,many options. Your eyes had always been misty,your emotions hurt seeing children in comfortable homes,in luxury, this was a life above your reach,a life you could never have. Your country was in an ill state,the administration weighed menacingly on the citizens, restrictions ruled every utterance. Your mother fought for survival, your wellbeing mattered a lot more she had always said,through thick and thin,you both waded,your mother’s strength marveled you,you admired her strong will for positivity,you loved her solid hope.Your mother’s strong stand made you covered ,sometimes made you feel wrapped in a shawl of near positives. Leaving in the morning and returning in the evening had been your mother’s struggle,your mother fought to make things right but life remained a drudgery to you both.

One harmattan morning when thick brown dust created a blurry film on the outstretched roads,when Vaseline became a duty due to cracked lips and dry skins,your mother had returned home with teary eyes,delineating the brutal way soldiers had stormed the market with some engineers and with caterpillars,pulling down stalls. Your mother’s tears flowed fast as you listened,telling you how people that had tried to fight back were severely beaten with long,thick whips. According to your mother,men,women and children had been hysterical, pleading, even babies strapped to backs. Your mother told you how the women including her had felt so bad,aggrieved and had resigned to fate. Your mother’s tears had hurt your soul badly, ripped it and filled you with the rash thought of murder, yes you felt the urge to kill,to make the right thing prevail, to bend the universe according to your will but you knew you were helpless, you knew that life had served you thorn and thistles to chew,you felt totally broken,you soliloquized bitterly, asking if a god really existed or a hovering piece of cloth. You clenched your teeth in sadness as your mother cursed the government for wrecking much havoc to the Nation, how the Head of State kept embezzling the Nation’s funds without restraint. Your mother had went on and on pouring insults on the man,saying the man’s belly was so filled with shit and that nothing worthy could ever be produced from that government.
How shocking indeed when your mother fell Ill the next day,shivering all over,you became frightened even seeing how thickly lined with bruises your mother’s skin was. You feared for the unknown, you feared that the future was very bleak,you feared that your mother might drift away leaving you in this cold world alone. Notwithstanding, you bought her drugs but the illness grew worse,you became confused, you didn’t know what to do or where to go. You were stunned when your mother died that evening as the sun receded to the horizon, your world came crashing down, you felt alone,a long floating stalk. Your mother’s demise had made you feel a mixture of rage and intense sadness, you knew the brutality of the soldiers whips had made her weak, the anxiety had killed her. You cursed the government with tears in your eyes,the dictatorship was really something else, very cruel. Your mother’s only friend on Macaulay street where you lived,Aunty Ijeawele, had come by,consoling you in her own grief. Aunty Ijeawele, a light skinned lady fond of blonde weaves,had been your mother’s closest friend,your mother’s stall and hers had been close at the market, your mother and the semester had always gone to the market together and most times,returned together.
Aunty Ijeawele had consoled you,telling you to have faith that things would turn out well,but you felt faith was an elusive world,something that never even existed. Shortly afterwards, your uncle,Uncle Lawrence,planned the wake keep and funeral and your mother was buried amidst tears and sobs,you had even jumped wildly into the six feet grave,crying and asking that you be buried alongside your mother,wailing that your world had torn apart but Uncle Lawrence had held you,promising you better things to come;almost everyone consoled you, telling you to be optimistic. People had felt pity for you,your story was that of woes,mother gone,father gone,an orphan child you had become.
Your mother’s funeral passed by and you moved into Uncle Lawrence’s house. Your new home brought you a new surge of hope,and soon you began to look lively, your cheeks even filled out, you became happy. Your Uncle took care of you very well,your Uncle’s wife was nice too,taking care of you like a sin. You respected the woman very much, you went to school with your cousins, your Uncle always emphasizing on the importance of education. You were a bright student and your Uncle loved you for that. Even through busy schedules, your Uncle always made out time to talk to you,to counsel you, even telling you many stories about the country. The civil war stories had always frightened and fascinated you,your Uncle told you how tough life was then even though your Uncle had witnessed those times as a twelve year old. The tales of the war had always left you with goosebumps, always made you feel a deep seated ache. Your Uncle had always told you about the children of those days with big bellied fragile frame,with kwashiorkor, sickly yellow skins,parched lips and sunken eyes,eyes attached to large heads. You felt very sad when your Uncle told you of Aunty Nnenna,your father’s elder sister that had been raped and cut open with a protruding belly somewhere in the North where the hostilities between the Ibos and the Hausas begun.
The war tales irritated you,angered you and had once made a barrage of tears stream down your cheeks. Your Uncle never knew how unhappy and frightened the war stories made you feel,you never let him know. Your Uncle had also told you about the toughness of the journalism profession,how truth was regarded as sin and lies,accepted. Your Uncle’s face would always contort whenever those words rolled out,lined with anger. You were shocked when your Uncle also told you about a Yoruba friend of his that had been assassinated by a parcel bomb,your Uncle told you how the man had been dedicated to the media world,very committed to the journalism profession,a just man he had been. You had cringed at the thought of the man’s cruel murder,you imagined charred bits of flesh scattered all over the place, you imagined blood splattered on white walls; you imagined yourself punching sun warmed stones.,you felt haunted.

Your Uncle was always there for you,ensuring you lacked nothing, you felt covered, you were like a son to them.You followed your Uncle’s wife even to the market, you did the house chores, you even cooked; and for once you felt like someone that belonged, that had a family.
But you were gripped by a sickening fear most times when your Uncle returned home with an angry look,an awkward stare. You had even overheard your Uncle complain bitterly about how very tough things were becoming, how journalists were treated and degraded as trash,how two editors in the newspaper establishment had been imprisoned, everyone uncertain about the fate of the two. You were very scared when your Uncle talked about a renowned environmental crusader and human rights activist that had been executed by hanging alongside others, nine in all,your Uncle had stated. Your Uncle’s wife confirmed what your Uncle had said, stating she knew about the man quite well. Your Uncle even told you that the activist had been imprisoned earlier for several months without trial by the military government. You stared wide eyed as your Uncle told you how stunned he was that the activist was imprisoned again for over a year before being sentenced to death.
Your Uncle emphasized that everything was falling apart and your Uncle’s wife had advised with bulging eyes that things be done very carefully. Your Uncle talked less,soliloquized around the house, you could sense the fear all over the place. You had always felt a choking fear seeing military men on patrol with long guns and very stern looks,you had also detested the sight of them,you hated the sight of those thick, grimy boots. Seeing them reminded you of your mother,it made you clouded,made you frustrated. Your Uncle soon stopped you from going out, you were always within the house,your Uncle’s insecurity made you insecure but life moved on till that Friday night when it rained in torrents,slanting showers that sounded like pebbles on the roof,that gloomy Friday,the day your Uncle was gruesomely murdered by unknown people. Your Uncle’s death had happened like a flash ,you were stunned, frozen. An eyewitness had said three muscled men had double crossed your Uncle,destroying his whole body with bullets. Your Uncle’s wife had been hysterical, neighbours kept trooping in to sympathize with you all. You never saw it coming, once again, you were shattered.
Your Uncle’s wife kept screaming wildly, refusing to be consoled, to be controlled, the grief was intense,you felt so hurt. The woman kept calling names you could not fathom, saying “they have succeeded”. Your Uncle’s wife kept calling more names referring to them as bloodsuckers, you couldn’t hold her,till you began to weep too,suddenly uttering deafening screams.

Soon,your Uncle was laid to rest at a distant cemetery. Your confusion nearly made you crazy, you felt anger, acid in your veins. You kept asking questions, why your Uncle had died,why everything had dwindled, no one had an answer. You felt so sorry for the children your Uncle had left behind, the younger child just a year old,your little cousin would never be able to know his father just like you never knew yours. You wished you could avail the situation, you longed for answers to your questions, you longed for grace.
You had always moved around the house very moody,with a weak expression, things kept going bad by the day,your Uncle’s wife changed towards you drastically, you were worried but you knew that your Uncle’s demise had stolen something so precious from within her,you felt so sorry for the woman,the trauma was great,you felt the pain. Many times,you woke up with teary eyes, a tight pressure choking your chest,your breath,and you would struggle frantically, sometimes screaming. Your nightmares haunted you,making you wish for something different, and soon you began to contemplate suicide, yes you felt suicide was the best option, to put an end to the misery you were going through.
While searching for a rope to end it all,you stumbled upon a short story your Uncle had written probably a few years back,about a young boy fighting depression and had wanted to commit suicide but the poor boy had later discovered that suicide wasn’t the best option, that their was more to life. You had felt guilty that instant,weeping bitterly from the bottom of your heart, wishing your Uncle were still alive,but the story filled you with some kind of peace, you decided against taking your life,for two days you felt better. Your Uncle’s wife’s behaviour towards you grew worse,always finding fault with whatever you did,always nagging. You gave the woman time, thinking she would stop but nothing of that sort happened, you became exasperated and left the house one afternoon with no destination in mind,you felt that leaving would be better,you felt you were inconveniencing your Uncle’s wife and the children.
You took a train headed for another city,you were not bothered by how congested the train was, your priority was to go far away. You were only fifteen but you were pained because you knew you had really seen hard times,tough situations. Heading to another city had filled me with hope,you wanted a new beginning, a new life. You finally got to the city and you smiled weakly,half revealing your dentition. Your wandering began,you knew no one,you had no place at all to rest your head but your zeal for new life emboldened you. You slept in an uncompleted building till you met Rogers. Rogers was short and thickly built with a dark skin that had the smoothest sheen. You thanked your stars when Rogers accepted you and took you home,Rogers’s hospitality baffled you in a world where wickedness abound. You told him how you needed help,at least a menial job to keep you going and he had promised to help. You stayed with him for a week and then he informed you that you both would go to someone who would help you and give you the life you deserved. You became excited, and the next day you both set out to a faraway town to meet with the person.

Seeing Aunty Ijeawele stunned you,you were astonished when you saw her, you hadn’t expected she was the one Rogers was taking you to,but you were surprised because she hadn’t looked pleased seeing you, her countenance fell,she had even struggled to maintain a balance. You shrugged it off and you settled down with her comfortably. Three days later,Aunty Ijeawele still did not change her countenance, happy this moment, sad the next,their was something not right about the young lady,but you decided to be perturbed.
One starry night, Aunty Ijeawele informed you that you both would be traveling far away and you accepted the news with mixed feelings, totally oblivious of where you both were headed. Things were happening too fast and you hoped for the best,you hoped for more salvation. That night, you had slept off,after a light dinner,dreaming when you went to a foreign land and became a prime minister. You chuckled the next morning, remembering your dream,it was quite foolish, strange.

Ghana hadn’t been anything you expected, but you loved the energy exhibited,the smiling faces of the people, the hustling energy. You both went to Accra where Aunty Ijeawele had handed you to a white man going to Europe. The mention of Europe filled you with glee. The white man was Carl and the sinister grin on his face filled you with a kind of trepidation. Aunty Ijeawele bade you farewell with twinkling eyes and you looked forward to the sojourn to Europe,a place of ecstasy and magic you thought but the man’s grin kept making you nervous, uncomfortable but you had dismissed as something of less importance. A week later,you were airborne, headed for Europe and you prayed things worked out fine. The journey had been a long one but you both soon touched down and you ended up in Manchester where you met other young boys and girls from Nigeria with depressed looks,later it dawned on you that you had been trafficked. You shuddered when you remembered Aunty Ijeawele, the lady had planned this from the onset,you remembered her sad countenance, everything explained itself already.
You followed Carl home,a quiet wooden house beside a lake,and he informed you that you would be working for him till you could pay up all the money he had spent on your flight tickets. Those words sounded strange to you,you grew frightened,you felt lost in the dark,all alone in a foreign land where you would be exploited anyhow. You hadn’t seen it coming, you had longed for a new life, devoid of turbulence but the reverse had been the case. Rogers and Aunty Ijeawele, even Aunty Ijeawele, your mother’s closest friend,had hidden herself in a facade,leaving you to destruction. You wished you had taken your life when the chance presented itself. You had thought that Europe would bring your fantasy of a comfortable, luxurious life to fruition but you had been oblivious that it was a devious plan to steal your innocence and trap you in a web of psychological blackmail, you knew you had lost it all,you were already a neglected child,shrouded in helplessness, not cocooned in any sort of way.
Carl had turned out a monster as you were subjected to hard labour each day and you were also flogged mercilessly at the slightest provocation, you became a slave to a dangerous man,with nowhere to run to for solace. You were bewildered and shattered the day Carl had come into your room with a malicious grin,you were tied up and sexually abused. You cried bitterly after the experience and was even wide eyed,seeing blood ooze from your anus,it had been very painful and soon it became continuous, Carl was a beast!
You completely abhorred the numerous bouts of abuses he meted out to you,sexually and physically ,you became totally drained,always bleeding. Anytime you protested,you were beaten severely, with gagged mouth, bound hands and legs. You shivered whenever you remember the abominable act,you had always felt an alien awkwardness. Life had so unfair, so degrading. You were a child trampled by hurdles, bound by shackles,your life was a collection of anxieties, a catalog of disasters, you could not help yourself, you were always locked up. You kept wishing to be saved,to be redeemed because for you,redemption was perfection, redemption was a need not a want. You desired grace but it all seemed blown by the wind.

You were jolted to the present by the loud slamming of the hard,wooden door. Carl stood before you,a tall well built man with long fighting arms. Your heart thumped furiously at the sight of the leer in his eyes;the deep rash list. Your fingers suddenly grew cold at the tips,you were afraid of this moment. You clenched your fists,your teeth and shut your eyes,it burned. You were stricken with sheer agony to open them, to even blink. Carl grabbed you by the arm as you pleaded for mercy amidst tears, you were taken to the adjacent room, lowered to a bed,and immediately, the intense thrusts began,so wild was he that you writhed in pain,screaming. You were gagged immediately and the thrusts continued; a fiery monster.
After the ordeal, you felt nothing but a choking hate,you collapsed on the marble floor and wept bitterly,your name Good luck,never mattered any longer.
THE END


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

65
Votes



National Renaissance

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

National Renaissance
Author : NerfertitiKing

234 8084923057

Elhassan: Altine Jojo studied Surveying at the University of Wolverhampton; specializing in Environment and Sustainable Development at the University College London. Since 2009, she has committed herself to writing about socioeconomic realities of living and working in modern Nigeria often times from a female’s perspective using satire and humorous imagery.

Submission Category:

The Future of Africa

#Future of Africa # Her Excellency # Unified Republics of Africa # electricity generating thread mills # 2036 #2037 # Ministry of Traditional Affairs # mobile capitals #dance with the cannibals # Team Ace #training schools # Public Service # Civil Service

It is the year 2036 in my continent, the Unified Republics of Africa whose capital is currently Nigeria. Too many Africans over the decades had voted shamelessly and were subconsciously trained to crave for power in a bid to commandeer a life of luxury and possibly escape the realities of the charms of day to day living within their individual Republics. The debauched actions of too many policymakers over the years had motivated daring, stereotype breakers and trailblazers in various climes and fields to join in the financially productive game called politics. Now, a group of young professionals, with Her Excellency Emeritus at the lead, hungry to deviate from the norm, believed they had to fashion a new path for the last four politicking decades had taught them the bleakest of tenures always gave way to a new dawn.

***
Six hundred and eighty five aspiring Senators and Representatives jostling for seats in the National Assembly across the Republics have successfully passed the three hour webinar and Skype interviews on eight core modules namely Basic Sciences, Ethics & Current Affairs, Entrepreneurship & Legal Studies, Poverty Mitigation Techniques, Household Ecology of Financial Regression, Sustainable Financial Management & Control, Investment Appraisal and Communication & Key Skills. They have also enjoyed the hospitality of various motels across the capital, and are set for the final interview at their respective Arenas as stipulated under the African law that mandates candidates fully engage and excel in field activities to validate their practical dexterities and intellectual proficiencies.

The field activities are strategically designed to promote swift and rational thinking in the face of complex challenges that have kept several middle and lower class families waltzing through endless balls of adversity whilst constantly trying to douse the flames of the menace labelled poverty. It is hoped that these activities at the National Arena, a brainchild from the Ministry of Youth & Social Development and endorsed by over ninety seven percent of the African populace would meet its goal of exposing aspirants to some curve balls most Africans tackle whilst toiling at a range of occupations from dusk to dawn in a bid to maintain some sustainable form of livelihood.

This new administration is hopeful the proposed activities will also ascertain fitness stamina levels amongst other soft skills so the nation experiences an extraordinary decline in medical tourism amongst others that have slowly morphed into the norm. Her government is confident the anticipated batch of driven, result oriented intellects should efficiently resolve the multidimensional challenges that have plagued the United Republics of Africa since the amalgamation two years back. More importantly, the results of the aforementioned should achieve the secondary objective which is a verification of intellectual capacities against stamina levels in the face of unanticipated crisis especially for those with muscles enfeebled from spa treatments received over the weekend.

***
A weather friendly Monday morning accompanies aspirants to the National Arena specially built for the second phase of this validation exercise. Our expatriate team of uniformed ushers consisting of a hundred registered cannibals living on the brink of an endangered Amazon forest warmly welcome guests with smiles and nicely, filed teeth. Dismay not, for they would have sworn oaths to traditional rulers densely populated across Africa not to indulge in what could potentially be a nourishing feast. They have also signed blood covenants with the Ministry of Traditional Affairs not to devour the work in progress policymakers kitted in three accessories namely drive, dark green shorts and Nike sneakers. These are mandatory emblems that should hasten movements, fairly limit guaranteed trips and showcase marathon skills to the legions of spectators who booked two months in advance to secure seats at the National Arena.

In a nod to humanity and corporate social responsibility tenets, the aspiring policymakers showered in quinine syrup to prevent tear and wear for some obstinate cannibals who may chance a lick when they eventually catch up with any. Do remember that the cannibals would have agreed to a no consumption clause for the shades of meat on the run. The Presidency reiterates a zero tolerance for bites or scratches; however, hugs and amicable pecks from our expatriate visitors are permitted and encouraged. They are also mandated to terrify sufficiently to better stimulate brain cells, bottom limbs and possibly activate upper limbs.

The appointed jury, resident in the capital Nigeria, would comprise Wole Soyinka, Aliko Dangote, Daniel Amokachi, Sunday Oliseh, Oby Ezekwilisi, Ngozi Okonjo Iwela, Folake Alakija, Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nwankwo Kanu and two others who are yet to confirm their availability for this historic event. Enoch Adeboye would declare the event open after Aliko Dangote croones the new National Anthem with vocal support from 2Face, Davido, Dbanj, Harry Song, Wiz kid, Lagbaja, Mavin crew, P square, Phyno, Samsung, Simi, Shina Peters, Terry G and the few others who have paid off outstanding dues to the African Music Guild. These creative celebrities will provide unending hip hop tunes that would last the course of the event and hopefully, stir the feet of both spectators and aspiring policy makers.

Immediately after the national anthem has been prayed, the artistes in no particular order turn up the steam and esteemed spectators shall appreciate the art of Physical Education. Celestine Babayaro, Oby Ezekwilisi and Taribo West play supervisory roles with the latter playing the lead role to ensure proceedings run smoothly and participants pay heed to health and safety regulations as medical aid is limited to a ten liter keg of iodine, a five liter container of spirit, some balls of cotton wool, hand towels and small containers of glucose tablets to boost energy levels as and when necessary.

International media and indigenous paparazzi present to record this historic occasion are Aljazeera, BBC, CNN, NTA International, AIT, Channels, Silver bird and a few radio stations including Hot and Cool FM’s. It is hoped citizens get a chance to watch the event live at least once a lifetime having considered tones of related pleas, advice and suggestions.

At the conclusion of the hour long exercise, the referees namely Anthony Joshua, Blessing Okagbare, Jay Jay Okocha, Mikel Obi, Nwankwo Kanu, Tijanni Babangida and Victor Ikpeba would end proceedings. The lead referee, Blessing does the honours with a trumpet after a prompt from the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development. A member of the jury, Chiamanda unlatches the exit doors to release all who failed by fainting or falling twice or more. This group would be eliminated whilst bona fide athletes are awarded handshakes and certificates from Ngozi and Wole who sat through proceedings with disgusted looks on their faces.

The winners shall proceed to the second stage of this phase, a thirty minute Question and Answer session chaired by Dangote and Oby whilst the cannibals would be given a drink of zinc flavoured nestle water and bush meat heavily laced with banned sedatives. On maximum consumption, all would be further sedated intravenously, strapped on planes and exported back to the Amazon whilst the successful squad will be prepared to proceed for screening by Her Excellency Emeritus, the President of the Unified Republics of Africa. She reckons aspiring policymakers should do justice to the Self Developing and Empowering exercises especially in the wake of the recent, very unfortunate lapses across the Civil and Public Service in the various Republics.

At the close of this exercise, I am certain future aspirants would embark on apt self examinations prior public displays of largely fictional athletic prowess and mental incompetence on a grand scale. Some members of her cabinet believe this is the best way to choose individuals that would do her Presidency proud. A highlight on her does not do justice to her achievements so far, nevertheless Her Excellency Emeritus, is the first female President of my continent. She is currently based in a new capital which many consider to be the “heart of Africa” and the envy of several being abundantly blessed with both natural and human resources. She aspires to boost the continents economy to much greater standards but the powers that be still try to curb her steady progress.

A majority of her rural dwellers have ploughed away the fertility of mother earth, infecting the land with readily available, inorganic fertilizers. This is not solely their faults but greedy, middle men who have fed off their labors for a long, long time. Unsurprisingly, this vicious cycle of doom had been incessant for centuries as a result of intergenerational hallmarks of semi literacy, ignorance, a glaring lack of know how, corruption, greed amongst other deplorable vices. The rurals, discontent with their standard of living and deep sated hunger for more spiraled her party into resounding victory based on what had been termed ‘core sustainable, campaign promises’ and her track record as a formidable and accomplished entrepreneur with branches in all four war torn Republics. She would leave her mark on her motherland. It was the dawn of a new era whether the voodists liked it or not.

Her training schools in the Republics of Niger, Somalia and Congo were equipped to support aspiring policy makers with diverse skills that repel intellectual redundancy, rebuild and refine essential ethics. Her Excellency Emeritus needed diligent and courageous leaders who were committed to executing poverty mitigating techniques while meeting the needs of the masses within their communities. Female farmers in the rural areas, especially those who had recently been bereaved due to inter tribal conflicts had had an unfortunate history of being swindled by unscrupulous third parties. Her government also aims to offer sanctuaries to marginalized individuals at the peripheries of their communities. By championing women as the “master keys” to building formidable societies and positive growth through empowerment, Her Excellency was steadily rousing the sleeping giant, better known as sustainable development. She had also begun to scale up their means of livelihood by providing multiple benefits which included scholarships for children under 18, medical insurance and tax free discounts on purchase of modern farming machinery. She felt a bottom up approach was the only solution to revamping the semi quagmire that was the nation’s economy which she had inherited. This is why she resides in each of the Republics for a month to familiarize herself with the issues stagnating growth and development within the ward.

In compliance with protocol, I extend a warmer welcome to Her Excellency herself to highlight her findings on the most fundamental and final phase of her nine month selection process. Your Excellency, Miss…

***
I believed I had found the key to unlocking a go slow/who cares mentality across my continents, my campaigns from republic to republic meant deciphering and offering bespoke antidotes to the multi hydral challenges partially unique to each ward. From capital to capital, I invaded and surveyed to bring an end to the Bronze Age mentality. I disbanded my Field Research fellows and whipped up another team to bridge the gaps responsible for keeping the continent in hibernation mode. I had too much on my plate for myopic legislators. I almost bled out during negotiations for a single currency and very extensive translations into what it would mean for the African economy. For the first time in history, all Republics were on the same page. I had shunned the international media who had hounded me for interviews truth is, I was too busy to spare time. My continent needed my undivided attention perhaps I could fit them in when my tenure elapsed. I cannot even begin to disclose how grave some Republics are, it’s akin to stepping back into some unexplained history. Good grief forgive my manners:

I am sitting President of the Unified Republics of Africa, South African by birth, Ghanaian by education, Nigerian by residence and Senegalese by livelihood. I travel often. In answer to your other question, yes, I needed four passports at a point in time in my life. No surprises as to my first course of action after my vigorous campaign and win to become the first female president of the continent. At the risk of being arrogant, I was born to push at the frontiers of the impossible and possible. I remain committed to addressing the complexities and diversities of the somewhat fertile challenges plaguing my continent. While my privacy has been lost with the wind, I am pleased to say the price has been worth it.

I have to admit I was saddened I missed the dance with the articulate cannibals hopefully someone remembered to record the event before it was lost to history.

Solar panels have not gone cheaper over the years; so, I looked forward to each Republic generating their power. My administration has paved the way and validated the importance of slogans. It was one that has proved popular and remained on the lips of all including the convicts who had voted me enmasse after assuring them a speedy sentence, free dental treatment, healthier and tastier meal portions, better living conditions and firm mattresses. I believe the latter were responsible for the back aches and bad postures. Moreover, these were partly responsible for convicts lying idle in cells. I have also approved mass production of electricity generating thread mills from Cairo, Dakar and Pretoria in a bid to boost and maintain power supply across the Republics. They were also for the range of mischief makers spread across my continent. I could already conjure them uniformly dispensing electricity to homes and offices after a three hour run a most sustainable way to eliminate delinquency.

***

The month of October 2037 in my capital ushers in a wintry weather called ‘the harmattan’. Thus, I am pleasantly surprised watching the enthusiasm and level of commitment oozing off the fifty eight successful aspirants on my screens. I shake my head as I recall the series of intensive activities they had executed over the last nine months, now this

The first team, Team Ace, who had embraced carpentry, had crafted something that could best be described as a hanger on. The veteran carpenter on the panel of judges had almost lost his vision at first sight of the contraption. He grew dark black with rage at the team when they insisted it was a shoe shelf. Excuses eventually ranged from running out of nails to several members stepping on a couple of them a day prior to the final whistle. I stifled coughs when I heard one of the judges, Folake Alakija enquire what business their feet had with carpentry. To crown their efforts, the team ended up losing sawdust they had generated to the rains as they failed to gather their proceeds early enough for their ally, Team Best.

This second team, who were billed to kick start their activities with sawdust for the poultry were at a loss as to where to source for materials for their birds. Due to haste and reasons best known to them, they had overfed and forgotten to debeak them. We watched in near horror as several team members sustained injuries battling chickens the size of turkeys. Team Best had also forgotten that they needed warm weather and care to spur their chickens into producing large eggs. The hidden cameras revealed large, noisy, unhappy looking layers in shabbily curtained sheds birthing cracked, average sized eggs on to a cold, stony ground covered with worn out mats. It didn’t take any sibyl to deduce the last team, Team Conscientious would have insufficient eggs for the king sized national cake they had been contracted to bake in celebration of our successful amalgamation. It was a shame the team had failed after their lengthy nine month run. Nevertheless, I looked forward to assessing the next batch of finalists.

Going through some submissions, I selected some sixty five persons who had passed similar exercises in Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Freetown, Juba, Kigali, Kinshasa and Niamey. They sounded apt, met other criteria and seemed to have grasped the notion of proactive synergy. I hoped they did me proud and understood winning meant getting it right from their first exercise. I shook my head wryly at the A names the other teams of the previous batches had come up with: Acme, Accomplish, Accountable, Accurate, Active, Addictive, Advance, Alpha and Aid amongst others. Yawn.

The teams so far had failed to realize the tasks were generated to decipher proficiencies as challenges across the Republics were cross cutting. So far, I had recorded abysmal losses that had had me cringing; seasoned experts indeed! My attention returned to the screen when I heard the bakers in Team C, better known as Team Conscientious raise their hands to the skies in anguish. I almost sympathized with them as they had waited forever for a certain number of eggs. Seems we would be having more buns than cakes in celebration of the long awaited results.

It was a pity none of the teams so far had been able to sustain some team spirit in under a year. It was time to put a stop to the sight seeing and merry go round. Switching off the screens; I immediately placed a call for my team of advisors to converge in my office as I monitored projections from the future. I couldn’t wait the monthly move to the beach endemic Victoria next month to mull the dispatch of the power generating thread mills across my Republics.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

2
Votes



The hope that almost died

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

The hope that almost died
Author : Lerato Matshwane

072 482 9565

Lerato is a budding South African writer who is learning to find her voice.A lover of both numbers and words :she wears an auditor’s hat by day and writes as the sun sets.Aspiring to publish a collection of poems,she is gradually giving herself over to the process.She is a passionate woman who enjoys being a wallflower:and so her inspiration comes from these. She loves watching people live and tell untold stories. She loves figuring out the beautiful chaos she holds inside.
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

Hope is yet another person who experienced tragedy early on in life,this sets him off on a path he believes was chosen for him. The trouble boy grows into a young man with issues,falling into the all too common trap that most traditional men struggle with. He sees expression and being true to his emotions as weakness. When he meets Mathapelo things change..More than a romantic love interest she opens his blind eyes to the beauty of vulnerability.
This study builds on many misconceptions my African people may hold. They are hidden yet ever blatantly weaved into the plot…Pray the power of the written word will carry it’s weight and inspire readers to do something anything,just do something to change these.

Hope Mooketsi was always the inquisitive one amongst peers. A fond collector of slimy, live frogs and lizards. Jars upon jars were kept in his room, his mom often afraid that the animals would escape slithering through the pots and bedspreads .Some mornings the new day was welcomed with screeches from the frantic woman shouting “fire” prayers at the “snakes”.”Eiiu…in Jesus name”! At the winding of time our wide eyed lad bestowed names upon these. Not the sentimental, but the kind that always left a stench of awkwardness in the room. One was named “The One that is fit to be drowned” and another “Tail less”. Hope’s grandma had once taught him that names somewhat had deep meaning, so he was fully convinced it was well fitting to call them by what he planned to do to them. This initially had his mother, Kedibone, indifferent and she dismissed this with “boys will be boys” expressions .It was soon undeniable that he was prone to destroy anything or anyone he came across. Animals, objects and people alike, could not be spared from the wrath of his jealousy. He struggled to grasp that love could be rooted in appreciation, not being possessive. If it was different, he had to have it. Kedibone spent days refuting neighbour’s suggestions that the males within the Mooketsi clan were bewitched. “What with your husband and his brothers dying tragically and now look your only son has gone mad .Poor woman, reconcile and visit the witchdoctor uBab’ Mlangeni heee.”

Generations of the Mooketsi family were renowned as great farmers in Khutsong village. Hope’s father, Kagiso Mooketsi was late. Having passed a few years ago from a tractor accident, his family still lived in the aftermath. The suddenness of his death was a sharp thorn, with the strength of its prickliness being that this accident was due to foul play. An investigation into the accident had revealed that the brakes had been tampered with. A malicious loosening here and there and our formerly tightknit family was broken. It was resolved that further probing would only leave the wound of loss open. Distraught, overcome with the seemingly funereal Kedibone had to pick up the pieces .Rre Mooketsi had crashed into a wall and met his untimely demise. The man with green fingers was no more and it began to show.

There had been no replacement for Hope’s father and our widow tried her utmost to uphold its glory unfortunately her grieving time had not yet expired. Cultural requirements dictated that Kedibone wear black mourning garb and cease all hard labor’s help was hired but his lack of diligence bore fruiters Mooketsi, who was well acquainted with the labours of tending vegetation and cattle, had been patient and committed. Without him the farm struggled eventually running through the ground into insolvency.

Hope’s father, affectionately known as “sir” or “Rre” was also highly regarded throughout the region and in neighbouring villages alike as a wise counselor. A man of upright stature who lived a selfless life. It was not unusual to hear that a stranger visiting the greenly village of Khutsong was welcomed into his home. The stranger was treated as fondly as you would a long lost friend. With just enough to feed themselves, the Mooketsi saints would still share. Kagiso was a model husband and father. Hope would be sat down on his lap and endowed with recollections of valuable life lessons. He was the best friend any little boy could have asked for. Hope aspired to be just like his father when he was older.
This was until Kagiso died at the hands of men, he had called brothers.

Hope resolved to write off the world. First, the company of childhood friends that would climb trees, play soccer and go swimming through the marshes in youthful jubilation. Hope could not continue with life as though the core of his being had not being flung from its axis. He reasoned that fun would never be as appeasing. His grieving mother and sister would try to comfort him but even their affection couldn’t make things right. Kagiso’s killers were never arrested; instead they freely roamed the streets, while his family hung onto the little they had. Thus began Hope’s isolation, spending much of his days being cast off and distant. “Far off from the people, as close as could be to his late father. Maybe Papa still exists in this world. “Clenching his delicate fingers in fists every time the pain resurfaced, salty tears would roll down his ivory face. Sometimes a lump would form in his throat sometimes he masked the pain dressing it in unreasonable fury. Hope was angry, but he was more hurt than anything. A sobbing Hope numbed himself to sleep, smothered in the bedcovers. He liked waking up to a lizard crawling against his burning skin. This, though momentary, cooled off the burning within.

When Hope reached his teenage years, he was a loner that never quite enjoyed the company of others. Hope discovered that he was at best comfortable when left to take long walks, along the mountain trails as he herded cattle. It was as though the beauty of nature gave him strength to climb into his chaotic thoughts and meticulously organise each memory, whether faint or vivid. These sessions would end with Hope returning home to take care of his schoolwork. Mrs. Mooketsi and his sister had given up trying to draw him out. Kedibone also cried herself to sleep every night as she lived through the loss of her husband. She had begun to believe she had also lost her son. Attempts to converse with Hope were met with a firm resistance as though she was prying, knocking at a closed door. Hope hated that he couldn’t find the words to express what he was feeling. In the place of these, was the heavy, loathsome lump that grew with time.
He might have wanted to close out the world, but his mother and sister were the best reasons to continue living. The years went along the same pattern with Hope then turning 21 years old. Hope had found a stable job as a freelance writer for the local newspaper, a development the chieftaincy believed would create better social cohesion. This meant interacting with exceedingly more people than introverted Hope would have preferred. It was a “necessary evil” Hope reasoned he knew he had an untold story and it was agreed that he had a way with words. Up to that point, his years of pain lay hidden within.

One sunny morning, the local pastor stepped by the offices to place an advertisement. He intended to put up his house for sale. The newspaper staff encircled him in shock he was a father to many. Yet Hope continued to work as he found nothing extraordinary about these news; many people were taking up houses in the city. The rural life was fast becoming exhausting and the pastor was in his grey years. Hope wondered if he had any family in their lonesome village.
A few days later, an unknown lady visited the newspaper offices to follow up on the planned sale. Hope, being the wallflower that he was, rarely missed details. The girl before him had the widest of smiles. With eyes big and bright and skin of earthly hue. She introduced herself as Mathapelo, the pastor’s daughter. Mathapelo needed to enquire if prospective buyers had contacted the newspaper. New developments meant that she needed the advertisement to be cancelled.
Hope admired how her feet lightly lifted off, and then kissed the ground as she walked. One could tell she had been through much as the lines on her edges of her face testified. Yet it was as though her trials left her golden. What many could have mistook for a bony face, curved softly as though sculpted. Mathapelo was moving to the village.

After this encounter, Hope and Mathapelo became close friends. It just happened, fitting into both of their lives as though it has always been. Hope would act as her tour guide, showing her the highest and most luscious parts of Khutsong village. Mathapelo, in turn, would share the spiritual lessons her father privately shared with her. It was magical to watch how she relayed these and added her tidbits of insight. Mathapelo lost her mother at a young age to a terminal sickness and could relate to his pain. She eloquently found words his tongue had never uttered. She could even sit with him as he went through his quiet moments and savor the sanctity of the silence. The effect she had on him was undeniable: Hope’s mother kept insisting that Mathapelo be invited for dinner. She was in awe of this “angel” that spoke the same language as her son. Hope fabricated an excuse to his mom’s requests on each occasion. It left his palms sweaty to realize he had let someone in so close.
Hope was afraid that she would see his brokenness and reject him, so he began to distance himself. Telephone calls and mail ceased. Hope made his errands at times he knew she couldn’t walk about. Khutsong became alive with gossip, Mathapelo was rumoured to be suffering from heartbreak. “She had fallen for a man her father would not approve of. Her character saintly, him the opposite –such that their relationship would drag her clan name through the mud.” said some. The harder she tried to reach out to Hope, the harder he resisted her. She broke away, taken to adapt to this change.

Hope’s mother noticed signs of conflict and asked Hope if things were alright between the two. Shots of gossip had reached her ears not enough to uncover the issue so she felt justified .Kedibone had passed some motor mouths going off about the pastor’s daughter and a love interest. Anger rose through Hope’s veins, “how could Mathapelo be in love with another man?” They were supposed to be friends, close friends –at that. ” Sleep was fleeting that night. Hope broke the drought of communication, asking that Mathapelo meet up with him at the popular farmhouse milk shop. He needed to hear this from Mathapelo and a part of him wished she would admit to being interested in another man. “It would be easier, safer” he lied to himself.

The appointment date came. The milk shop was a makeshift restaurant the two had fondly dined at months before. Wooden floors that ached as visitors walked over to benches, a clock that hung at the corner of the main area with its frame built as a drooping bottle made splashy sounds as it turned and Mr. Buthelezi, the quirky farmer were just some of the things they repeatedly laughed over. A gentle touch on his shoulders signaled Mathapelo’s arrival .He had picked the corner table, choosing to have his back to the door. She was dressed in brown. A knee length dress that complimented the bronze of her appearance. A slanted hat was on her head covering her eyes. Feeling their intensity, Hope looked down to his hands. Any bystander would have laughed at the awkward pause. The two were lost in contemplation of each other.

“You asked to meet.” she stammered in an enquiring voice. It was unlike her to be this casual. “Who is this stranger” a thought rushed through his mind.
“Yes, I will not beat about the bush, I heard about him. Your romantic interest. Who is he…”Hope coughed out even forgetting to offer her a seat. He had not finished the last sentence as she interjected: “Are you that blind? You nothing about me. Haven’t even made an effort. You don’t care. You’re so guarded it scares people away” she shrieked.
Mathapelo took off her hat, revealing those stunning eyes of hers. He felt naked and fragile. Tears were now streaming off her face, as she waited for him to say something. He wanted to reach out and wipe the tears away. He wanted to apologize for misleading her, or rather awakening an interest in her then holding back. “How could it be that in his trying to protect her, he inadvertedly hurt her?” Mathapelo abruptly turned her back to him and ran off.

Hope stood there, his feet not giving way. He was cemented. She need not say it. She loved him. He could have run after her right then he wanted to it was the most sensible thing to do. But he couldn’t. It dawned on him.

His icy heart had melted without his knowing. This dark, tall statue of a man had found the boy within. Young Hope never died. He was always below the surface, waiting for the perfect time to float to the surface. He no longer saw in monochrome, but in the bursting colors of fresh rainbows. The birds sang, the wind whistled. The milk bottle clock dripped. The world was beautiful, it had always been. He finally saw that beauty was not to be captured but adored. That pain deserved no pedestal. That vulnerability wasn’t always a bad thing. The evil of the world was not reason enough to write off the good.

Hope was scared, frightened at walking out of his comfort zone…the big world of Mathapelo, was waiting for him. His family would be overjoyed. And so he ran after her, tears of joy even though his healing wasn’t complete, slid down his face .He was ready to show her his ugly and the beautiful beneath it.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

7
Votes



The Dreamer And The Contrasting Fortune Of Two Sisters.
Author : Kelechi Kaycee Ajaero

08057142583

My name is Ajaero Kelechi. I am 21 years old, a final year student at university of Nigeria Nsukka. Born to Mr and Mrs L. O Ajaero. My email address is staceyajaero@gmail.com. I attended Louisville Girl’s Secondary and St Aloysius Primary schools.
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

THE DREAMER AND THE CONTRASTING FORTUNE OF TWO SISTERS tells the tale of two sisters whose destinies take a different twist as one becomes the village seer while the other a proud mother.

The DREAMER AND THE CONTRASTING FORTUNE OF TWO SISTERS …..
I found myself in the midst of strangers, walking and talking, and I was the smallest one amongst them. “This is getting too much!” one of them exclaimed. I tilted my head to the direction of the voice, recognizing him at once. He was Mazi Okonkwo, one of the oldest men in my village. Everyone knew him as someone that spoke with a lot of wisdom and confidence. He was the leader of the “Agu na eche mba Group” and the co founder of the “Mbirolu Support Group” that led the massive protest on the welfare of the indigenes that shook the whole of Mbirolu autonomous community. He was a great activist and was always called upon for deliberations when issues concerning the wellbeing of the community arose. I always admired his oratory and wit and his delivery was second to none. He was the only educated “ichie” or as the white man calls them “titled man”. My admiration for him was further strengthened as he continued talking but this time the tone of his voice changed from the usual soft soprano to a high pitched treble. His eyes were getting red, his veins visible and I could easily pluck out one from beneath his skin. Nobody needed a soothsayer to tell him how angry he was and what thoughts were going on in his mind.
“How can we sit tight and fold our arms when our children are being taken as hostages and slaughtered in the middle of the night? How can we pretend like we don’t know what is going on as day after day, indigenes of this great community lose their lives?” He paused for a brief moment before adding, “We must take the responsibility as “ichies” and act fast before our heads will be added to the stock pile.” With that, he kept his calm in order to allow thinking and contribution from his fellow elders. Walking round the village town hall with no response from the elders, he decided to reflect on the constituents of Mbirolu as a community.
Mbirolu is a small autonomous community in Ikwuogwu state. Unlike other autonomous communities, though the smallest, it blossomed with cash crops, plantains, and palm trees and of course beautiful maidens gracing its roads, streams, market squares and schools. In general, everywhere you find a maiden, you must see an Mbirolu maiden as the prettiest of them all. It was the center of all attractions as many young men leave their villages and the maidens there to come and marry from Mbirolu. It was a thing of celebration each time it happened as several festivals and ceremonies will be held that day with plenty to eat and drink. There was a tradition that whoever performs a certain ritual to the taste of the bride to be will be accepted as the husband. The ritual could be in any form depending on the household of the bride and the bride herself. Men who were lucky swept their brides off their feet immediately while others had to try some other time. The Igwe made it a tradition to always grace the occasion as it was done in the village square which wasn’t far from his palace, so as to ensure that no ritual, demanded of any suitor, would be abominable or would cost the life of another individual. It was a thing of joy and above all, on the part of the suitors, they take their brides home with them after the ceremony.
The houses in Mbirolu were mainly thatched houses and houses built with red bricks. It was only the wealthy ones that used cement and corrugated sheets to build their houses. Notwithstanding that, the people of Mbirolu lived in oneness and shared almost everything together apart from husbands, wives, lands; even though they shared the produce together. They had electricity, schools, town halls and both the rich, poor, young and the old; all came together to make use of these utilities. There was no discrimination among the people of this community and everything was done by everyone including sweeping of the compound and cooking which were said to be chores for the girls were also done by the boys. Saturday mornings and during the holidays; girls, boys both young and old would be seen heading to the farm for either harvesting or planting.
After a long time, when Mazi Okonkwo looked like he had a good description of the community, he turned to look at his fellow ichies. “Why have we been so quiet since?” he asked. This time, he received a response from Mazi Ojemba, a man that hardly talks at meetings. “Ndi ichie m, our community is no longer the safe haven we used to see it as. It is now occupied by evil minds and those that want our wealth for their own. We are in trying times, and everybody is terrified. Just look at how lonely our streets have become, like we are taking a walk in…” as he was interrupted by ichie Uzodinma. “Our women and children are even scared of going to “Idenmiri” stream to fetch water for the family. We can’t even be greeted by the presence of our maidens walking the street of this community,” Maazi Uzodinma interfered. “Exactly,” Maazi Ojemba readily agreed. Oge niile bu nke onye oshi mana otu ubochi bu nke onye nwe ulo,” which translates into “Every day for the thief, one day for the owner of the house,” he added. After a long walk and having listened to what the others had to say, the elders agreed on the day to meet the Igwe, table these issues before him, hear his thoughts on them and possibly the go ahead to rally all the youths in the village…. The sound of approaching footsteps woke me up from my dream. I could hear whispers coming in through the opened window. “They must have done their chores,” I thought aloud. I laid on my “ute” or as the white men call it, mat, with my eyes closed but fully aware of my environment, I began to wonder who these people were, why I have such dreams, what message was addressed to me and what they meant?” I stood up from my “ute” and folded it neatly and hung it up against the wall with the others and knelt down to say my morning prayers as I habitually do. After a brief prayer to my “chi,” I got up and set for my daily activities. I picked up the broom that was made of dried trees with an old wrapper tied round its head to prevent it from falling as one uses it and started sweeping the room. I was the last to get up so I had to sweep the room. Dusting the bamboo table and lifting the burnt out candle from the floor, I swept graciously like mama would always teach us. “As a lady, you should learn to sweep graciously like a lady who will become a wife someday. Don’t sweep viciously like the boys or like people without home training,” as mama’s word rushed through my mind. Within few minutes, I was done with the room. I walked past the veranda and straight to the backyard where our goats were bleating. I entered the kitchen and emptied the dirt I was holding and brought out some dried leaves and rice to feed the goats and chickens. As I was doing that, I heard the sound of footsteps rather hurriedly towards me.
“Onye?” I asked as Nkechi poked her head out of her hiding place. Nkechi was tall, had long brown hair, full lips and dark skinned; a complexion she got from papa. Her dimples were prominent whenever she smiled. Her nose was pointed and she had fine sets of open teeth. Her hair was neatly made with beads at the end of each weave. Though she was my junior sister, the expressions she made at times made me wonder if the reverse shouldn’t have been the case. She was fun, cheerful, full of life and above all, not having weird dreams. I could say the gods really took their time in creating such a beauty as her curves were perfect, straight legs with no spots and a slim tummy unlike me, robust, had a protruding belly and spots from a disease I once contracted. I was the exact opposite of her; light skinned a complexion I got from mama, averaged height, short black hair a lucky trait from papa. My cheeks were fat and I had no open teeth. “You can never be scared,” she blurted out. “Fear is for the weak,” I told her as she threw her hands on my shoulders. “You have been having those dreams again!” Nkechi wasn’t asking a question because she already knew the answer. “Was it a different one this time?” I pretended not to hear her and continued my chores. Nkechi knew well to accept defeat and left me to my work not without muttering something to herself. I decided not to pay too much attention to what she said and went into the house to greet mama who was now in the kitchen making pounded yam and “onugbu” soup.
Mama’s features were the opposite of Nkechi’s; short, light skinned, plump and with small lips. She was in her mid fifties and had short brown hair. Her nose was flat almost touching the line of her upper lip. Mama had her hair twisted all forming a single knot in the middle. Mama was always filled with smiles, hence she earned herself the title “Nwaanyi Obioma.” “Nkechi tells me it has started again?” mama asked without even waiting for me to enter the kitchen and say my good morning to her. “Mama don’t mind her,” I said trying to cover up but I wasn’t as smart as I had sought to. Mama just shot me a quick stern and returned to removing the onugbu leaves from their stem.
An awkward silence fell in the kitchen as neither of us had anything to say to the other. “Mama,” I began, “Why do I keep having these dreams and who are these people that pay me unexpected visits?” Mama certainly didn’t have any answers to give me as she stopped what she was doing and stared calmly at me. For a while she was doing that and I became uncomfortable, like I was someone under surveillance. I had to think of something to get her gaze off me. “Here mama, let me help you with that,” I said making gestures to the onugbu she was removing. To her, she thought I was offering help, but what I actually wanted to do was to distract her.. Nkechi came into the kitchen and the tension between mama and I minutes ago disappeared. In about thirty minute’s time, mama announced that food was ready. Just then, papa was coming into the compound from visiting Maazi Utenkwu’s house. Papa was a tall, dark skinned man with age failing him. He was in his late sixties and gray hair had the greater number on his once black hair. Papa was a hunter, though he had to give up hunting after he was bitten by a wild dog while trying to catch an antelope. The mark was still very visible on his right leg, though it had started fading slowly because of the herbs he applied on them. Papa had a pot belly and was often teased by people saying that it only developed because he married a good wife.
“Papa!!” we all shouted as we rushed out to collect the chicken and keg of palm wine that he was carrying as a souvenir from his visit. “Nnaanyi welcome,” mama fondly called him as she reached for a side embrace. “How was the visit? Hope it was fruitful?” she asked as she led him into the house and into his obi. As soon as they were out of eyeshot, Nkechi dragged me by the wrist and took me into the kitchen. “Do you think it was successful?” she asked as her voice was shaking with fear. After a long pause, I answered her. “My dear sister,” I started as I watched her closely as her eyes were dancing in their sockets and her trembling hands and feet began to return to calm, “Which of the Mbirolu men will look at you and not have a second stare and probably a third? Which of them can stand your beauty? Ehh, my “Asa Nwaanyi!” I hailed her meaning beautiful girl. Of course I know it went well and there’s no need to be worried,” I told her as she pulled me close to herself and hugged me passionately. “Whenever I tell you that you have a big part to play in our community, don’t ever doubt me,” she said as mama’s footsteps were approaching and we quickly pretended like we were bringing out food. Mama already knew our gimmicks so she wasn’t even angry when she saw us fiddling with the plates. All she did was smile at Nkechi and helped us in serving papa’s food.
Papa never allowed anybody serve him food asides mama as he believed that we weren’t of age to serve a man food. Papa told us to watch and learn as mama served the food and all we had to do was take it out, one person carrying the food and the other water to wash his hands, either to papa’s obi or outside the hut where Papa would stay and receive fresh air. Papa would sit us down while eating and tell us how to act like mothers. This particular day was different. It wasn’t about the normal lectures of becoming a mother, it was becoming a wife. I could tell from the way Nkechi listened with rapt attention that she was very happy, as the evidence showed from the way she sat with brightened eyes as the words left papa’s mouth, her dimples becoming visible, nose red from excessive smiling, flushed cheeks and how she unconsciously played with the beads on her hair. I was very happy for her. Papa began by telling us about the visit as he assumed that we had no idea, but that was made impossible by inquisitive Nkechi who pestered mama until she let the cat out of the bag. He told us of his ordeal with Maazi Utenkwu and his son Nnamdi, and further went ahead to narrate the conversations that occurred during his spell with him.
After a brief moment, papa paused and looked at Nkechi who was waiting anxiously to hear the news. All the arrangements have been made and after our next meeting, we will schedule a date for the “igba nkwu” and all other preparations that will be done thereafter, papa concluded taking the last piece of meat and eating it. Papa licked his lips afterwards. “Nkechi get me water to wash my hands,” papa said as Nkechi hurriedly got up and took the calabash with the water papa used to wash his hands before starting to eat and went into the house. She returned later with a clean water in the calabash and a cloth with which papa will use to wipe his hands. After washing, papa took out his chewing stick from his sack bag that hung on his favorite bamboo chair and put it into his mouth. We watched him keenly as he did that. After picking out one or two strands of meat that stuck in between his teeth, papa looked sternly at us and started talking.
“My children,” papa began addressing us, “You all have paid close attention to your mother all the while she has been in the kitchen. You have watched as she prepares food, how she keeps her kitchen clean, the surrounding both inside and outside. You have listened with rapt attention the way she addresses her husband and how she is quick to tender apologies when she is wrong. You have learnt how not to interfere when men are talking and the various duties exercised by her when her husband returns home from a day’s job. You both are no longer little children of yesterday still sucking at your mother’s breast. You are ripe for marriage and all praise to the gods, Nkechi has found a suitor, Nnamdi, who is hardworking, responsible, successful and very reliable. Papa held Nkechi in high esteem and told us that we will one day, continue the legacy that he worked hard for…” Papa talked for a very long time and I was becoming bored as most of what he said was directed to Nkechi. I began to stray as my thoughts took me to one of the previous dreams I had where I had an encounter with a faceless person who spoke briefly to me and without mixing words. Though the creature had no facial appearance to distinguish between a ghost and a human, I found the creature very much interesting. Listening to the creature speak with deep bass voice and a protruding Adam’s apple, it dawned on me that the creature was a man. He had on him white overall. On his neck, hands and legs, neckpiece coloured black and white dangled. He had two colours of hair, brown and white and I concluded he was an old person. He spoke with lots of riddles and I began to wonder if he really knew who he was talking to. I was puzzled as I lost my comprehension, but that didn’t seem to bother him. At last he finally said something that got me confused. “Don’t bother too much of what is happening. Rather, think much of the things to come.” Though it was said in the words I could understand, it still pretty much sounded like yet another riddle. With that, another disturbing dream came to an end. I was still trying to reconcile the dream and the previous ones when Nkechi chuckled. It was then I realized that I hadn’t moved from where I was sitting with my legs spread out and the left one sitting comfortably over the right. In other not to look lost, I stifled a laugh, quick enough to join Nkechi. I did my possible best to listen and get what I could get from what was left of the topic papa started hours ago.
Towards the end, I quietly heaved a sigh of relief as papa made a statement that took me by surprise. “Today has already been spent and the mistakes made, tomorrow determines how best we rewrite the errors that were made today.” With that, he took his sack that was strapped around his bamboo chair and made straight for his “obi.” I couldn’t believe what just came out from papa’s mouth. “Was he the faceless man? How then did he make the same statements that the faceless man made? Was he talking to me indirectly?” There were so many questions to ask but then again, I would receive no suitable answer. The thoughts of talking to “Nwaanyi Nma,” the oldest woman in Mbirolu came rushing with the speed of light like it was about to explode in my chest, or going to see “eze mmuo” (chief of a spirit) to ask for a medication for the dreams I keep on having was another option. There were so many ideas running through my mind but papa’s voice disrupted them all as he told mama to get water in his earthen pot for his bathing. Papa shot me that look that signified what you are still doing there before entering into his obi. His countenance disqualified my thought of him being the faceless man and decided that what will be will be. Just then, Nkechi moved towards me and made a bickering statement, “Everywhere you go, all you do is to dream. Both the useful and the useless. Better know what is wrong with you before it is too late and you are chased out of your husband’s house because of your inability to control your dreams that don’t even make sense.” Though painful as each word came out of her mouth, there was every atom of truth in it. I therefore made a resolution to find solutions than resort to the fate of becoming an object of ridicule to Nkechi and heartbreak to my parents.
The igba nkwu ceremony was fixed after two Eke market days. But before then, Nnamdi and his family became frequent visitors to the house. They came to perform the required “omenala” (traditions) and also for Nkechi and Nnamdi to get used to each other as their living together would be eminent soon. They grew very fond of each other and one could tell by mere looking at their eyes, the happiness that radiated from the soon to be couples. A week to the ceremony and excitement filled papa’s compound as both friends, neighbours, age grade members, association of Mbirolu market women all came in their numbers, both those bearing gifts for the bride to be and those who came to convey their good wishes. All assisted in the cooking and preparation for the event. It was going to be grand.
Finally, the long awaited day arrived. And there she was in her short red wrapper and blouse, adorned gracefully with beads and bangles on her neck, hands and feet all dangling with each step she took. Her hair also benefitted in the embroidery as they were beautifully knotted into big bubs and red beads ran round each bub. I will give a lot of credit to her makeup artist who tried in adding to the original beauty that was already there. Her lips were painted black, and there were some drawings by the side of her eyes, on her nose, forehead and her tummy as was the tradition of every Mbirolu maiden who was about to be given out in marriage to her warrior. As she walked out of the room, I couldn’t help but shed a tear. I couldn’t believe that finally, “nkem” will be leaving me for her husband’s house. It all looked so much like yesterday when we were still kids running round the house. All that was gone now and I was standing behind a new Nkechi who was about to exchange vows and drink from the elephant tusk, palm wine, which she will in turn give to her husband as an open declaration of their consent to the marriage.
As she stepped out of the house heralded by the large crowd in their chants, music and dancing, the ceremony took off immediately. Walking towards the direction of papa, mama and the elders, she knelt before them and the music stopped. Papa gave a brief speech as a sign of opening the occasion while Nkechi was still on her knees under the scotching sun. She didn’t mind if it pierced her skin or if the pebbles mixed with the sand bore into her skin. It was her day and she was all smiles. After some minutes, Nkechi took the elephant tusk filled with palm wine that was given to her by papa and immediately, songs started playing in the background. She danced till she spotted Nnamdi, waiting patiently for his bride. She knelt down before of him, took a sip and handed the rest to him with her head bowed down. Nnamdi gulped the remaining down his throat and put in kola inside the tusk. Taking Nkechi by the hands, they danced to the rhythm of the music and to the louder cheers coming from the anxious crowd. Then the unexpected happened. Eze mmuo suddenly emerged.
At once, everything came to a standstill. “Eze mmuo in my wedding?” Nkechi asked perturbed and I could tell that was the question on the minds of everyone present including myself. We waited as eze mmuo walked straight to where my parents were and spoke in whispers to them. From the look on their faces, it was somewhat serious. I walked closer to see if I could eavesdrop into their conversation.. It seemed eze mmuo had an inkling of what I was about to do and they conversed in parables instead. The sudden change in language made me realize that it had something to do with me. After a long exchange of parables, eze mmuo made his way to leave but not before smiling at me. “Chineke mee!!!” I exclaimed. “Had my parents just offered me as a living sacrifice to the shrine? Why would eze mmuo, of all things to do, smile at me after having a heated conversation with my parents?” I thought to myself as everybody turned towards me after hearing my scream. I clasped my two palms together signifying sorry and papa signaled for the ceremony to continue not after rendering some words of apologies to his guests. In no time, the ceremony continued like nothing was ever interrupted. The merriment lasted till evening and everyone departed for their homes including Nkechi and her husband.
Weeks passed and nothing was heard from eze mmuo and likewise nothing was said to me about the incident from my parents. Neither did my dreams stop happening. Instead, they became worse. It was an everyday routine, if not in the early hours of the morning, it will be late in the night or worse still, during the day when I decide to take a quick nap. This time around, they brought something new with them. I found myself conversing during my sleep and performing some rituals which when I was asked, I had no answers to provide. One faithful evening, papa called me into his obi and offered me a seat. He beckoned on me to tell him the truth about the dreams I have. I started narrating the dreams to him starting from the very beginning to the end without missing out any words. He listened closely and with undivided attention till I finished. He heaved a sigh and said not realizing he was shouting, “Have the gods decided to take what they gave me? Do they want to punish a man for the sins of his father…?” Papa went on and on and didn’t realize when mama. stepped into the obi to find out the cause of her husband’s shouting. Mama seeing me there instantly knew and went and wrapped her arms around papa. I watched with utmost confusion. Nobody was talking to me, nobody seemed to notice my presence anymore. It was as I adjusted on the stool where I sat that they came back to reality. “What is going on? And why are you people acting like you have lost a child?” I asked them as mama took me in her arms and sat me down. She sized me from head to toe and she started talking. “You were very small when it all started. We thought it was a mistake the very first time eze mmuo walked into our hut on the dawn of a new day. He said he came to deliver a message and it concerned the next “Anya. Ishii” of the community. He said we had found favour in the eyes of the gods and that you had been chosen to carry on that task. Efforts proved futile to make the gods. change their minds. It was a fate we had to accept as we had no choice. He told us of the last family that refused to heed to the call of the gods and the calamity that befell them. All we could do was to beg the gods for some time since the Anya Ishii was still alive. Eze mmuo told us that the gods agreed but that immediately Anya Ishii dies, we will hear from him again.” With that, she concluded her story. I placed two and two together and realized that was why eze mmuo came. Anya Ishii was dead. It was my turn to resume from where she stopped. It turned out that my dreams had all these while been about my life and they had certainly played out their part. Hence, I didn’t know if I should hate my parents for hiding such a big revelation from me or I should be angry at the gods for making such a huge decision without consulting my parents. All the same, what is done is done.
The following month, after the community mourned the death of Anya Ishii, my parents and I marched to eze mmuo’s shrine to begin the ritual. We took with us, one white cloth which I will put on for the ritual, four white cocks, and three lobes of kolanut, four alligator pepper, two brown goats, two white doves and money equivalent of the items we couldn’t find. On getting there, I was asked to put on the cloth and walk into the shrine. Scared as I was, I obeyed. He offered the items to the gods not after he had poured libation and done his incantations. I couldn’t believe that would be my fate afterwards, making incantations and acting as the village seer. Unbelievable. Well, like my parents said, I had no choice and it was better to be alive serving the gods than to pray for death to come but it was far away. The ritual was done and there I was, dressed, not in a wedding attire, but in a seer’s attire, holding my staff and beholding my parents who wept bitterly as I was led to my new abode.
In my heart, I wished my sister well in her world while the journey to mine began. Who could have thought that a journey started by two sisters would end up as contrasting as Nkechi and I.

I-agree-to-terms-conditions

117
Votes



Chosen

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Chosen
Author : AkuchieJerry

2348026089000

Jerry is a graduate of Eduation English. He teaches English Language as a subject in a notable Senior Secondary School. Jerry is a lover of truth, music stories and people.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

The story revolves around the life of a Doctor who once had an beautiful and lovable family but lost everything when he mistakenly picked the wrong bag.

I had just arrived Nigeria and my journey from London with British airways was not as comfortable and stylish as I had expected it to be. The air hostess and crew on board did their best to put smiles on my face but all through the flight I was just skeptical of something. I wasn’t settled. My thoughts kept jumping from tree to tree without perching for a second. I couldn’t fix it. Even while I sat in the comfort of my house, I still felt something was off. I felt within me that something is wrong somewhere.

My wife was already in the kitchen trying to fix dinner by 7:15pm when I heard her yell
“Sugar, go take a shower so by the time you’re down, dinner will be served”
“Ok!! when I’m done with my angel here I’ll take a shower.” I replied as i played with my daughter’s ponytail.
” That reminds me, Daddy where is the toy and the Princess Sophia gown you said you’ll get from London for me? “
my daughter asked with a weeny tinny tone as I sat her down on my thighs. I smiled gave her a kiss on her forehead
“I promised you some presents honey and I got you them for you including the toys and the Sophia dress you asked for but first, Daddy has to rest before he unpacks his goodies from London hmm? So go upstairs, finish up your assignment and when I’m done with dinner I’ll come read you a bed time story. Deal? “

“deal dad”

She smiled, did a Princess Cinderella like turn and danced joyfully away. I watched her leave with pride in my eyes. Kim is just a replica of her mom but a cuter and younger one. At five she could ask a question big enough for an 18 year old. Her brown eyes always seek into my soul. Her smile penetrates my fatherely heart. She has a dimple dip enough to hold a drop of water on each side of her chin, slim cut lips and immaculate dentition to match. Her ebony skin is one gift she didn’t let her mom deprive her of. From my sitting position I scanned my living room it didn’t change a bit from what it was when I left for London two months ago. The white PVC ceiling still held a brown fan with three blades, the TV and the LG theatre system still faced the long couch on which I always sit with my wife whenever we were seeing a movie or entertaining a guest. The tiles were milk and shiny in colour; so where the curtains milk in colour against the grassy green walls.

Finally, maybe nothing is wrong or going to go wrong. My family is in good health. Maybe my unsettled heart is just disturbed because i came back to Nigeria; maybe. I chuckled, made a move to lay on the couch for a while before taking my bath and dinner when I saw my wife rush into the sitting room with a concerned look upon her face

“honey I was unpacking your luggage only to find out that you came back home with the wrong bag. This bag is not yours.” she said as she dropped it to the floor. I sat upright almost immediately the bag landed on the floor and starred at it for long seconds but still couldn’t find anything wrong. The black leather bag was exactly mine in length, width and colour. I smiled before looking back at her to say

“what makes you think it’s not mine? nne that’s my bag biko. I packed up myself and came back with this bag. This is my bag” I said pointing to the bag on the floor.

She already had a scared face, I stepped forward to hold her but she stepped back and in a shaky voice

” unless you’re not telling me the truth about what you did in London for two months, this bag does not belong to us Mike. From the name to the contents, they don’t belong here.”
now she was pointing at the bag. Her cat eyes were almost filled with tears. Why does she want to cry I wondered within myself; is it because of a bag? Psst Women. I exhaled, shook my head in bewilderment and decided to check for the name on the bag tag when I noticed that the name written there wasn’t mine. As a matter of fact there was no name on it at all just a letter and it was the letter “X”. Now it was obvious the bag isn’t mine so out of curiosity i unzipped the bag and to my consternation, beneath the first two shirts spread inside the bag were stacks of money dollars, crispy dollars. The words “F k” left my mouth without permission as I shuddered at the sight of such huge amount of money. We both took a step back almost at the same time. And I just tried to convince myself that I was dreaming when my wife’s phone rang. The sound startled our already graveyard silence, she ignored it and instead asked

“how did it happen? where did all this money come from? “

“I don’t know. I, I I was in London for my medical program nothing else I swear…I don’t know how I got here with this bag or neither did I know there was money in it. You’ve got to believe me… Honey, there’s a mix up somewhere.” I was still talking when the phone rang again and she picked it this time while i just stood there wishing everything will make sense

“Yes?.. ” she sniffled, rubbed her index finger on her straight long nose before asking

“who is this?………………..what?. “

she looked at me with her eye balls full of shock and ready to pop out. She held her heart with right palm to avoid it from sinking into her stomach but the caller kept talking and suddenly she looked at me, snapped her fingers at me and said in a hurry

“Mike put on the TV, Just put on the tv e e eee”

“who is on the phone? who are you talking with?” I inquired as i advanced closer to her.Fear gripped my voice, nne what’s happening?
“I said put on the TV Mike! she stomped her foot on the black center rug. ” She hung up “That was my friend Ozioma and she said you’re on TV”. She was visibly shaking and muttering with unsteady hands
“Jesus, Jesus please let this be a dream. Please, tell me this isn’t happening”

I made for the TV and switched it on, tuned on to the news channel to see a picture of me with a caption beneath it

“Dr. Udochukwu Michael wanted for his involvement in sponsoring the terrorist sect Boko Haram”

the beautiful newscaster went ahead to say…” he was last seen at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport today by 6:23 pm where he successfully evaded security officials.” at this point an enlarged picture of me covered the screen and the newscaster’s voice resounded from the background

“…The police has put a bounty of 10 million naira on him for whoever produces information that’ll lead them into catching him. He is believed to be violent, therefore the public is advised not to engage him”
My mouth was agape, the TV remote dropped from my hand and I couldn’t move nor utter a word. But somehow I heard my wife crying, felt her sit on a couch to catch her self from falling. I was lost yet I heard my daughter come down to the sitting room in her pyjamas sounding frightened
“mom I had a bad dream.” she said. ” I can’t sleep alone I want to sleep with you and Daddy” on hearing her voice I came back to reality, my wife rolled her eyes repeatedly to stop the tears from streaming down her chin, she gave Kimberly a hug and carried our daughter in her arms.

Unlike my wife I didn’t need a chair to catch me I already knew I was falling and I could do nothing about it. I felt helpless, the earth was spinning in a whirlwind and I felt my world crumbling and the pieces dropping around me. My wife’s eyes were red with tears as she rocked Kimberly back to sleep

” Mike what have you gotten us into? ” was all she kept asking rhetorically when suddenly another phone rang. A different phone. One that obviously sounded awkward to our ears because it startled us. The tone was that of a desk phone but it wasn’t a desk phone because we have none. I looked around me and listened intently to get where it’s coming from. I checked everywhere before realizing I hadn’t checked the money bag. The phone was ringing again for the fourth time when I dug it out from the pile of money. It was a small black cell phone with an antenna and a blue florescent screen which was laid next to a black pouch under all the money. Whoever put this phone here has to be the owner of this money and the newly discovered pouch I thought to myself. My wife was still saying don’t pick it when I curiously picked the call. I hesitated for seconds without saying a word then a deep authoritative voice that was obviously computerly manipulated broke the silence

“I assume you’ve seen the news yes? “
I nodded repeatedly, swallowed spittle, took a step forward and another backward, stood in a freeze and asked
“who’s this? “
“I am the one person who has the power to change your destiny Mike, so you’ll do as I say”
“wha…. wha… what do you want? who who are you? I don’t understand….”

“Who am i? Call me the Unknown, You on the other hand need no introduction. You’re Dr Mike Udochukwu, but i prefer to call you the Chosen.” he chuckles, takes a second and continues “You’re the best cardiologist in Nigeria, I know you are a father to beautiful five year old Kimberly and husband to a beautiful Pediatrician wife how lucky. ” He said the last two words with a bit of sarcasm in his tone
“Sir, i still don’t understand? how do you know me? Please what’s happening?

“At this point Mike, i expect you are aware of the fact that I know everything about you. I know you’re the HOD of Cardiology at National Hospital Abuja and I also know that by 10:00am tomorrow your hospital will be launching a multi billion naira surgical room and political dignitaries will be present to witness this ground breaking achievement. And judging by your posts on your facebook account, it is obvious and evident you hate this government with passion. Your last post as at 12:03pm a day before yesterday reads and I quote
“I hate this government. Wish its leaders will just stop breathing. I’ll do anything to support anyone who can make it possible.”

“no! no, no you’ve got things mixed up. I swear that wasn’t me! It’s not me. I swear! I don’t even have a facebook account. I don’t even know how to operate one…”

“I know. I know you don’t have a Facebook account but you don’t have to worry, we created one for you “

“please, please sir I’m just a doctor I, I, am not a terrorist please… please I don’t know what you want from me but i have a family…” I was crying and wasn’t done when his deep voice cut me short

“inside the bag Mike is a mini pouch I’m certain you must have seen. In it is your mission if you choose to accept it. But so you know if you don’t accomplish your task. Your family as you know it won’t be in existence by 5pm tomorrow. And for your own sake, don’t bother calling the police as that will only shorten your time.” he paused and said the last sentence with emphasis “Remember these words: We’ve got eyes everywhere” the phone line suddenly goes dead with a beep.

I turned around like a madman in search of his sanity and made for the black pouch inside the money bag. My wife stood up with Kimberly sleeping in her arms and she kept asking me

“what did he say, who was it? what do they want? how come he knows you? “

but I was too transfixed to say a word so I unzipped the pouch and in it were two items that shocked me to the marrow. When I fully had a good look at them, the only words that came out of my mouth was

“oh my God”

I looked at my wife and back at the two items and I couldn’t believe my eyes. The first item was a black Smith & Wesson’s M&P22 Compact pistol that had a silencer over the nozzle and the second was a picture of a face with an X drawn over it; it was the picture of Nuhu Adbulaziz, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

32
Votes



FIONA

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

FIONA
Author : chiboy

08069040253

A young Nigerian student, with a strong penchant for creative writing.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

A story of betrayal, heart break and self rediscovery.

Fiona was gradually becoming a shadow of her former self. Yet no one noticed ; at least not immediately. Actually , blames were not to be randomly apportioned, as nothing very obvious was yet noticed about her. In the absence of obvious signs, blames could not be randomly apportioned. AS the days rolled by, she appeared to increasingly enjoy her own company. Her close friends began to grow weary of her forced conversations. everyone seemed to think she was going through the infamous mood swings suffered by girls of her age, perhaps some charming devil had ripped her heart into two. she could as well be suffering from a heartbreak, of which no one was in the know.” Well, menstrual cramp might not be unrelated to her condition”, a friend suggested.
Winter had already played out its course for the year; yet the young lady was regularly seen clutching to her teddy bear, as though it were her only trusted companion. She would so tightly hold it, not minding that her friend Rachael, regularly taunted her for that.
“Hey girl relax; he will soon be back”
Rachael would say to her seemingly disoriented friend.
Of all Fiona’s friends, Rachael seemed to be the one closest to her; though she steadily got on her nerves. During those moments of her friend’s numerous teasing, Fiona would naturally not want to overreact. Of course, she knew she was most likely to act like her friend, if she found her legs in Rachael’s sneakers.
In the middle of each night ,a face will so clearly flash through her mind. Regardless of how hard she tried to push it away, the picture would not just fizzle out. Her nights, were then filled with struggles ; struggles she bore all by herself. At such times, she would hear herself groaning so loudly. Hearing statements like;
“ Seal your mouth, little girl”
Her heart sank, into her belly. At her negligible resistance, the voice will come again,
“ It won’t be long”
Regrettably, she wondered why their voices were not heard, even as they daily resounded. Coming in tones of victory and anguish.
The disheartened young lady, had wished the hands of time were hers to turn, so she could make them run faster ________as the wound closer to that day, trust spat on her face. She wished she had the whims, more than ever before. Her mouth seemed stuffed up such that, she couldn’t let out a single word. She had totally lost her power of self will.
With defeat daily putting a strong fight against Fiona, she severally tried to summon up strength and guts from wherever she could. But each time she tried, she felt like someone with broken limbs. And almost immediately, she would quietly crawl back into her shell, awaiting another day when her courage would surprise her.
During one of those her frequent lonely moments, her phone rang, in its usual and unbroken tone. Impulsively, she turned , and went for it, as though she was expecting a redemption call. Seeing the name of the caller, her heart skipped several beats and subsequently bled. With the feeling of one soaked in an ice, she retracted, and tears rolled down her cheeks. Reaching out for her teddy bear, she hugged and bit it, one more time.
At the breaking of each day, poor Fiona saw no need to remain in her own shell. Her innocence had been painfully snatched from her. And reality had given her a big blow .She wanted to strike back _____________ no longer remaining defensive.
“What’s wrong with me? I just can’t continue this way”
Fiona mumbled to herself. She trusted, but was unbelievably betrayed on account of that. So poised she was, to throw trust’ to the wind _____ pretending to believe nothing of such existed.
But then, she wasn’t sure she was going to have a smooth sailing takeoff, while carrying out her plan. Instead she chose to believe she was strong enough to keep up with the role of an attacker. Against all pieces of advice, her mind was apparently made up. Nothing was going to stop her.
All turned out to be products of bitter and irrational moments. Her heart was so fragile to take up such a load. Even her faith, severally hit her away from such a decision. And her skin didn’t appear thick enough, for the pinches she was to expect in her yet to be embraced new life. No matter how hard she tried to dispel that reality, it still came up stronger and clearer.
Further down she went, with a deeper sense of defeat. It got worse, realizing she was almost unable to put up a fight, as it were.
So, daily, she grew angrier with her own self. Even at that, she was yet to make attempts at taking her own life. Maybe she hadn’t totally lost hope in life. Maybe she was still willing to give love a chance _______some time later. Nevertheless, Fiona remained the perfect person , to give clarification to those assumptions.
While she lingered in her life in the shell existence, she managed to put up an attitude of indifference. Such that, majority of the people around her continued to suspect less. They just had no inkling of what the poor girl was going through.
The distraught young lady was now scarcely seen in any outing with her clique of friends. She was proving to be anti social. In fact, she became the quiet girl they never knew. Growing tired of her friend’s increasing queer attitude, Rachael regularly yelled at her.
“What kind of girl are you really becoming!”
And Fiona would on each occasion ,respond with a half baked smile. She alone knew what currently rocked her boat . So tyrant it was, that she couldn’t just let the cat have its way out of the bag _____ so soon. With the passing days, she endured .
During one of the family gatherings, she was reluctant to sit next to Uncle Jeff. That was apparently strange. No one noticed – not even for a second. Probably , the euphoria was overwhelming on all that were present. Such that taking notice of that silent moment, was simply a boring episode, too costly to be afforded.
Uncle Jeff and Fiona, were the best of uncle and niece. Each time either of them visited, there would be long periods of discussions. As in two friends earlier longing for each other’s company. He would shower her with gifts ; such that her mum would jokingly say to him,
“ Please, don’t spoil my daughter with gifts o”
With Fiona putting up a very sheepish smile.
“Mum don’t tell me you’re already feeling jealous.”
The young girl would reply.
The truth was that, the duo grew so close that, Uncle Jeff easily became her confidant. She could willingly tell him of the changes in her body.
“You’re becoming such a big girl”
He would run his hands through her growing chest.
Of course, he was one of the first persons she would tell of her male admirers.
But that evening, the Uncle niece drama continued.
Not sitting next to Uncle Jeff, was very strange to anyone who cared to observe. Actually, it wasn’t really obvious; neither did it ring a bell. But then, no one immediately appeared to care. Even if they had wanted to , they probably didn’t know of the betrayed closeness.
Mrs Abigail _____Fiona’s mum , was the only one close to reading the sign, even as others moved with the flow. She knew her daughter to a reasonable extent, and so could make out something from her body language.
While dinner went on, she would momentarily throw her eyes at her . But within the blinking of an eye, she would be carried away by the euphoria of the evening. And the little uncle niece drama progressed, unnoticed.
Dinner was over. Pleasantries were being exchanged, with the whole place still very much warm. Glasses were still jammed. While the background tunes, softly came on .
Silently, Fiona sneaked into her room, jamming her door. This , she loved and always wanted .In fact, if she was left to her wish, she wouldn’t have been part of the family dinner at first. It reminded her of an episode she would painfully live with.
That night, she was caught, right in the middle.
Sliding into her own embrace, the countenance of defeat, came back on her. As she was once again made to behold the face, she would live to dread.
Few minutes later, she heard a knock on her door. Her pulse rate increased, with the hairs on her body all standing upright, as though they knew the person at the door. The manner in which the knocks came was so familiar to her. The knocks rang a bell.
At least the individual would have said a word, for notification sake, since Fiona kept quiet at the knocks. Instead, the sound made at the door, came at irregular intervals. At this ,Fiona didn’t for a second, think of jumping from her bed. She knew the traitor had come _____the very reason for the coldness that ran through her system. The door remained closed. And soon, the knocks were heard no more.
Such family gatherings, would remain repulsive to her. On each occasion, an unpleasant cord would be struck in her. Her heart was already laden with issues ,she just wasn’t ready for any more.
Fiona kept pining away. And her eyes were becoming more sunken. Instead of sensing anything precarious, her family members took her for one in, for a drastic weight loss. While her friends, concluded they wore same look, when they had their episodes of heartbreak.
“I’m good”
She would respond to people’s inquiry of her welfare.
That soon became a cliché .
As the days passed by, Fiona could no longer withstand the victimization of her own self. She would try beating her chest to action. She no longer wanted to remain mentally defeated; she indeed wanted to be the attacker.
In that frame of mind being built up in her, no discouragement was to be entertained. No piece of advice would push her away from her conclusion .Maybe her skin had gotten thicker as well as her heart.
Her innocence was snatched away from her; in such a shocking manner.
“After all, there is nothing else to lose”
She reminded her broken self.
Her liveliness seemed to have apparently bounced back. And out from her shell, she gradually crawled .
Severally ,she tried convincing herself the ‘transition’, would be likened to picking cherries. With newly found boldness, one would remain unsure, as to whether she actually feigned her readiness for the adventure.
She was to count the cost .This, she claimed to have done.
Waking up the coming day, Fiona’s mother watched, as her daughter , acted outside the box. Her boldness, was at some moments offensive to her middle aged mother.
Mrs Abigail once thought that the whole thing came too sudden. But the next minute, she was glad. She was happy that, Fiona’s social status was being ‘upgraded’. Even if she was fast at it; she was glad that her daughter had finally decided to keep up with the joneses.
“That’s my baby”
She would say to Fiona, whilst giving her a blushing look of approval.
“Oh Mum please!”
Fiona would reply, with her characteristic hand gesture. The tone of the mother daughter rapport was beginning to appear more cordial.
While that lasted, Uncle Jeff grew nicer. Even when his niece appeared not to have be appreciative of his kind gestures, he remained indifferent. He kept coming.
Nevertheless Fiona still felt a sense of defeat in his presence. As it was not clear, if the traitor’s appetite remained insatiable. In fact , no one aside the ‘ victim’ , would ascertain that.
Uncle Jeff kept coming with his moves; though in subtlety . What actually remained repulsive to her, was his ugly sense of bravado; his unwillingness to let go.
During one of Uncle Jeff’s numerous harmless visits, Mrs Abigail saw the unwritten message become more profound. She wanted to pop a question. But then, her thoughts might have flown too fast and uncoordinatedly ,therefore she kept her cool .After all, Fiona was a grownup , she thought not to intrude. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop her from growing cold towards Uncle Jeff’s visits. The actual reason behind this ,she couldn’t just explain.
Gradually, the change at home became more evident; as the mind game increased.
Natasha was not to be forgotten by the totally transformed Fiona. Through her, Fiona was introduced to substances that made her consciousness fly so high. The exact life the young lady earlier vowed not to be associated with.. As usual, her attitude gave rise to the assumption that she didn’t at all care about what people had to say.
A totally different girl was then seen; for which all around her became apprehensive, except for her newest friend Natasha. Even her mother soon became uneasy with the whole episode. But she just couldn’t summon enough courage to point a finger of correction at her.
Initially, Fiona held her new life with loose hands. But soon, she tightened them up. She wanted to make up for her moments of emotional loss. She didn’t want to remain defensive. So, on a seemingly fast pace, she swam with the flow. And kept with the joneses.
It didn’t actually take ages, before Fiona bit much more, than she could chew. The bull whose horns she took was much bigger than she envisaged.
But prior to her senses coming into her control, she already had piles of regrets to face. And so she was unsure ,where to trace her steps from.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

97
Votes



LIFE, A COMPANION

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

LIFE, A COMPANION
Author : April

2347017219260

I am currently an undergrad running a 4 yr programme in the discipline Integrated science education at Yaba college of technology, I write because through writing I am able to express lots of emotions and thoughts and also explore on more knowledge, I love writing because through it, I am given a voice loud enough to be heard and to educate people and help them harness the knowledge around them
That’s me!
April
Submission Category:

Human rights Free speech

This is a non fictional speech which would help you understand the challenges of life that one goes through, and how to harness the knowledge from it.

The wonder of life comes with living such life. Irrespective of whatever happens, one certain thing to know or remember is that “To live is a choice”, so can one day life is the generalized program of choices made?
In my defence, life as a whole is filled with options therefore choices are made, it also comes with it’s own view to the many individual, so I can now boldly say life isn’t what you choose, rather it chooses because of your choices. What life comes with could be identified or described as that fully wrapped gift you get from someone and you are instructed not to open till when you are told to do so, therefore, telling you that you can’t even steal a peek at the contents of the carefully wrapped gift, In other words, I describe life as a “loyal soldier” that helps you execute your choices no matter what they are and gives you the outcome without sympathy. People believe that as life comes with challenges, so also does it come with it’s “luck”, the truth is that, if you don’t give room or space for luck to take place in your life then you could say you were fated with such “dumb luck”.
Life is the wonder and result of choices in the sense that, you choose to become a success or failure due to your choices matter how Slim your options maybe, at most times the problem might not be with the choices but the options, for example A game with carefully hidden clues, certain times you miss out on that part of success because you were unable to know or see where your clues or options were hidden you talk about “one way knowledge “, and I say “diversify your knowledge”, with the latter you are given the avenue to source out and explore opportunities therefore, discovering the possibility of the impossible and seeing the yet unseen.
Without you there is no life, I said earlier that life could be described as a “loyal soldier” knowing that without rules there can be no follower, so the fact life is laced with so many options for your choosing doesn’t make it easier, as a matter of fact it just became harder, but if you could recall I said, ” life has its own view to the many individual”, so at that point you feel is your breaking point or your hardest day yet, bear in mind that people had once been in such situations and they came out victorious not by doing what they thought to be okay by their standards rather, it was what they thought best by anyone’s standards using their principles as guides. You think it’s over for you at this stage of your life and as a result you feel the need for it to come to an end literally, or you feel you are alone with nobody ready to understand you, well to let you in on a secret, what you are going through is just a phase, you don’t have to make it a permanent thing, for when you do then those choices you were meant to make and options that were meant to guide you in order to extinguish such feelings becomes difficult to find and you are left with these words “I had no choice”, buy you will always have a choice, there is the choice :
To feel self pity, the choice to wallow in that self guilt over the choices you made earlier, the choice to self destruct on that examination you flunked or of the time you thought you were being non challant and irresponsible, the choice to remain that same sad self you ‘be always been or the choice to go back to that pit you were dug out from. Breaking news! as a matter of fact, it’s a choice. But of the negative choices you have made there is a constant positive one which is the choice to “SHAKE it OFF and move on by doing the best you can to do so, because no matter the self hate for being non challant or irresponsible, the truth is you are still being irresponsible with the bitter choices you are about making and when you look closely there is still someone out there who deserves and needs you no matter your past. For the past is gone therefore, it is non negotiable, but the present can still be amended so as for your future to be certainly safe. Know thus, the storm has long been over and if it were to return, it would be preferable if it were unable to blow away your houses or investments because this time they are firmly rooted, but afterall it’s your choice.
Life is a constant struggle, buy your choices makes you at peace with such struggle, and such struggle makes life worth living. You aren’t meant to let life choose your battles or struggles for you because it would be giving you a whole lot you never bargained for, living you at the cross roads of permutations.
Life as a whole is regarded as a companion because of the many individual and characters embedded in it who at some point in their lives where regarded as friends or haters in your life, so you can’t stop living for that because, you will always have both friends and haters at every junction. The only solution is to make sure your relationships with such individuals count, make certain it was one to remember and be happy for, because at that breaking point, when you remember the smile you put on those people’s faces and the smile they put on yours, you suddenly realize the world actually needs a beautiful person LIKE YOU, and nothing feels good other than being needed and wanted for good.
But of course I mean the relationships you make with people you call your friends. LOL!!!
So make it count!
Life could either be your companion for good or bad, your choice.

I-agree-to-terms-conditions

30
Votes



Eméré – Spirit Girl

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Eméré – Spirit Girl
Author : Oyindamola Oluwashola Abbatty

09028657332

I’m a blogger, creative writer and song writer with an inquisitive mind and a wild, wild, wild imagination.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

Kola’s wife goes missing on their wedding night. He finds out she’s a spiritual being, and in a true test of love has to figure out if he loves her enough to fight for her.

“True love cannot be found where it doesn’t exist, nor can it be hidden where it truly does”, my mother used to always say that before she passed away. A weird thing to cross my mind as I exchange my wedding vows, I muse. Then I look across at Lolade and all thoughts fly from my head, just my vows.

She looks intently at me as I recite them from heart and she looks so happy, except for…well maybe I’m seeing things but there’s something I can’t place in her eyes. Something bittersweet, maybe she’s going to miss her parents much more than I thought.

A few hours later of dancing and spraying money and another hour of crying and goodbyes, we pull into our honeymoon hotel parking lot, both giggling with happiness. I carry my new wife in my arms, all the way across the hotel lobby and up the stairs, into the massive suite we’re renting for the whole month.
Again, something flashes across Lolade’s eyes. It’s unmistakable this time, I stop and cup her face in my palms.

“Lolade is there a problem? I waited a long time for this, and I can wait some more if you’re not ready. We don’t have to do anything tonight”

“No I’m not worried, I know you’ll be gentle. Go take a shower and freshen up, while I get out of this giant white dress”, she smiles.

I jump off the bed and give her a quick smacking kiss.

“Love you honey, I’ll be back in a sec”

I was going to take a quick shower but I’m so happy I start singing in the shower; 15 minutes later I hop out of shower hoping Lolade hasn’t fallen asleep yet.

But on getting into the room, she’s not there. Sprawled across the bed is her giant wedding dress.

Hmmm, so we’re playing hide and seek now, I see. I rub my palms in delight, I’ll enjoy catching and conquering my prize.

“Hey baby, is this how this is going down tonight? You better have a good hiding spot, because I’m coming for you!”

After a few minutes of searching the entire suite, I give up.

“Okay baby, you win. Can you come out now?”

Silence.

“Lolade!” That’s weird.

I look under the bed, the cupboards, check everywhere again just to be sure. No Lolade. I start getting really worried. Did she go downstairs to order something? But that would be weird, she could have just used the intercom. That’s it, the intercom!

I rush to the bedside and dial the reception.

“Hi, I can’t find my wife. Did you see her in the last thirty minutes? Are you sure? Because she’s not in the room. Okay thank you.”

I sink to the floor in despair. What’s going on? Where could she be?

I begin to panic. I barely noticed I was wearing only boxer shorts when I rushed out of the room into the hallway, I start knocking frantically on any door I can see.

“Please help, my wife is missing!”

Several doors later, the hotel security grab me and take me to my room.

“Keep calm sir, we’re searching the whole hotel as we speak. According to what we can see on the camera feed, your wife hasn’t stepped out of the room since you carried her upstairs. We’ve called the police, they’ll be here soon”

“Oh is that so. I see. If you people are not going to help me. I’ll find her myself. I’m not just sitting here and waiting for the police. Her kidnapper could be getting away as we speak.

I hurry back to my room, pull on some clothes, grab my car keys and rush down the stairs to my car.

“Young man, come here”, I hear a voice say in Yoruba. I turn around to see a young girl of maybe ten; she’s looking straight through me. It took me a few seconds to realize that she’s blind and can’t actually see me.

Probably one of those beggars, why would they let her into a place like this, I think to myself. Then answer her in Yoruba:

“Sorry child. There’s something urgent I have to attend to right now.” I say and turn back to my car.

“Kola. I said come closer” I turn back sharply at the sound of my name. How could she kno
But on turning around there was no one there, I look left and round. No one. Strange.

I turn back to my car

“Your wife is not missing. She left.” The girl appears in front of me.

“How did you ? Did you just say my wife? Who are you and what do you have to do with this?”

“Listen carefully if you ever want to see your wife again. Your wife is a spiritual being, she chose her wedding day as her happiest day and death day. She’s currently on the journey between heaven and earth as we speak. You have little time to reach her. Take this, that’s the key to the portal”, she says and hands me a small strange object wrapped in white cloth.

“An important warning, she must not set foot in heaven otherwise she’s gone forever. Do all you can to get her back. Good luck”, she says and vanishes.

I slump against the car in fear. What just happened? I sob silent tears. What did I ever do to deserve this?

Then I remember the strange girl’s warning: You have little time to reach her. I jump into action. I rush back to the hotel room to find several hotel attendants.

“Please, everyone. Leave now. I need some privacy.”

“Sir, we can’t leave you alone in this condit “

“I said LEAVE! All of you, NOW!”

They file out of the room and I quickly lock the door behind me.

I look at the strange object in my hand.

Now how do I get across to Lolade with this?

I approach the huge bed, and stand over it.

What if this woman was lying? I’m a Yoruba man and I’ve heard about such things but could it really be true? Lolade will never willingly leave me. Maybe this hotel is a ritualist den and they’re trying to kill me.

I toss the strange object away from me as far as I can. I burst into fresh tears, pull Lolade’s dress from the bed towards me and inhale her scent deeply.

Then something dropped from the dress. I stoop to pick it up; it looks like a note. I instantly recognize my wife’s penmanship:

Kola,

I know you must be confused. I’ve not been kidnapped, neither did I commit suicide. I never meant to cause you unhappiness. Every moment I spent with you has brought me nothing but pure joy.
But my time on this earth is up. No matter how much I love you, you can never give me complete happiness. It’s not in the human nature to love unconditionally, feelings change after a while. Therefore, I’ve gone on to my creator. I’ll experience true happiness in heaven.
Farewell.

Lolade.

No, no no….it can’t be true. The woman was right.

I dash to the other side of the room and pick the object, I squeeze my eyes shut tightly and whisper.

“Take me to Lolade”.
After a few seconds, I open one eye, I’m still in the suite. No supernatural realm, no Lolade.

Weird. Let me try again. I speak louder this time.

“Take me to Lolade!!” I keep my eyes open but nothing happens still. All of a sudden, light explodes in my vision. I seem to be standing in what seems like a long forked tunnel, with two sides divided by an invisible barrier. I’m not alone; hundreds of people are on two sides of the tunnel. One with bright light, the other shining as bright but with a reddish hue. I look around me but can’t find Lolade.

I start yelling her name: Lolade! Lolade, are you here?

I start getting weird looks from the people around me. I ask one young lady behind me,

“Please have you seen Lolade? She’s dark with a petite figure.”

No answer. The young lady keeps staring ahead like I didn’t say anything.

I’m on the red side of the tunnel, I start walking fast towards the red light, checking each face as I pass, all of a sudden, the people start getting restless and hostile. It started with a light push as I walk past each person. Then someone shoved me, another slap from behind, very soon I’m surrounded by blows.

“Please no, stop! I’m only looking for Lolade. Lolade! Lolade!” I scream in vain.

Suddenly, a hand stretches towards me and pulls me out through the invisible barrier towards the white light. I cringe visibly expecting to be hit when

“Kola, what are you doing here?”

“Lolade. It’s really you.” I start sobbing.

“How did you get here? You shouldn’t be here.”

“Neither should you, Lola. We just got married, you’re still a virgin. You’ve not even lived life. Why do you want to leave me?”

“You wouldn’t understand”, she says and looks away.

“Lolade, I say and turn her face towards mine. “I meant every word when I said I’ll love you till death do us part, why would you want to die on your happiest day?”

“That’s the choice I made with my creator. I saw how humans betray and kill each other, even those who claim to be in love. People are always happily in love until they get married. I chose to taste the happiness in life and move on to continue my happiness in heaven, before things get worse”

“Lolade you can have a happy life here, we’ll have kids, grow old together and come and continue in happiness after we die. I want to spend my life and my eternity with you. I love you. I love you and I will never stop loving you.”

She looks wistfully at the bright white light at the end of the tunnel.

“How did you get here?”, she asks.

“There was a young girl, she gave me this.” I say and show her the white object.

“Your mother”, says Lolade. “I should have known”, she smiles.

“I’ll come with you. I love you too, Kola.”

I grab her and twirl her around.

“You’ll never regret this. Now let’s get out of here. But before we do, we need an alibi. What do we tell the hotel staff and police?”

“I fell asleep in the cupboard during hide and seek?” she says and we both laugh.

“That’s as good as any lie. Now let’s go home and consummate this marriage, wife. And this time, I’m never letting you out of my sight.”

I carry her in my arms and whisper to the magic object: Take us home.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

74
Votes



Machine Baby

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Machine Baby
Author : Oyindamola Oluwashola Abbatty

09028657332

I’m a blogger, creative writer and song writer with an inquisitive mind and a wild, wild, wild imagination.
Submission Category:

The Future of Africa

An overpopulated Nigeria where parents are forced to have a robot child instead of a real one; and where reproduction is a crime punishable by death, a young couple find out they are expecting a baby.

MACHINE BABY
Our first Machine Baby came in 2047, when I was just 10. It came in a big brown box that said, “Fragile, Handle with Care”. I watched with fear from behind the sitting room curtain, as my parents unboxed the robot.
“Bunmi, come say hi to your little brother”, my mother called. But I wouldn’t budge. I’d never seen one up close but the sight was absolutely terrifying.
It was big…almost as tall as me. Its face was chubby and almost lifelike. It could make some weird gurgling noises which I guess babies are supposed to sound like but it couldn’t talk, instead it had written prompts on a screen underneath its shirt. It looks just like a Tele Tubby, that’s what my 60 something year old grandmother said. I had no idea what that meant, but she says I lot of crazy things so I wouldn’t bother.

M Babies are updated every year. They come a little bigger with the previous years’ memory programmed into them. By the 5th year, TOBI as my parents fondly call it, no longer had a screen prompt. It could talk in a high whiny electronic voice. I found it extremely annoying but my parents loved it.

One thing my parents don’t know is TOBI and all other M Babies are actually spies sent to monitor civilians by the government and keep us from escaping the country, not like there’s anywhere to escape to. But I doubt if my parents would even mind if they find out the government spies on them. You see, my parents love our almighty government so much. They rescued us from the Sun and the Great Famine.
It all started in 2030, when our ozone layer kept getting thinner faster than it could repair itself, major parts of the world became too hot to plant crops or even live. A lot of people died, more than half the country. That was when our leaders, THE CREATORS arose. They invented, a giant square shield, which was like an artificial ozone layer, it could keep away most of the harmful rays but not all, therefore food became scarce. With the help of the military, the CREATORS overcame the civilian government.

Nigeria became a closed country called New Era and we stopped communicating with other countries. Reproduction became a crime because there was simply not enough food and resources for extra mouths, therefore all adults had to undergo sterilisation. While the children were left alone till the maturity age of 18, to reduce the chances of total genocide.

I was just a baby when all these happened, but somehow I managed to survive. My paternal grandparents and maternal grandfather weren’t so lucky.
Instead of kids, our merciful Creators invented M Babies and each family had the right to purchase one machine baby. My parents wanted another child so they worked extra hard at the Crop registry as statisticians till they could afford their very own M Baby.

Sometimes I hate my parents, they seem so content in this world; my grandma told me stories about the old world and how beautiful it was. Some I believe but most of them are just too good to be true. She talks about craving things like sweet frozen water in a cone, she calls it ice cream, such indulgence! Grandma sometimes gets depressed for me because the only thing I’d have to call my own is a robot baby. But you can’t miss something you never had, and I’ve also vowed never to get an M Baby.

But despite life in the New Era being stifling, it’s the only world I know and I have a good reason why I look up to each new day in New Era, Nonso. My lifelong friend and now love of my life. We’ve been friends since we were kids, and lovers since I turned 14. Nonso spent most of his childhood battling for his parents’ affection with their M Baby. He has a theory that the CREATORS want to wipe away all children and create only M Kids instead but I think if they wanted to kill us they would have done that a long time ago.

Nonso and I live in the same sector so we attend the same Sector School but we have to pretend like we are strangers. Our classrooms are divided into two, male seats and female seats. So despite the
fact that we see each other every day, we are not allowed to relate with or even have conversations with the opposite sex.

We’ve been sneaking out to meet every week since we were 14, but we haven’t had a chance to meet up for the past month. To prevent stealing, a crime also punishable by death, security has become extra tight in our sector because we process all the food grown in all other sectors.

After dinner, which usually consists of TOBI yammering away with my parents and grandma dozing in her chair, I wear my grey coveralls and boots, and lie in bed wide awake. I can’t leave my house immediately because unknown to my parents and most New Eranians, all M Babies carry out a general sweep of the
house at midnight.

Like clockwork, TOBI walks into my room a few minutes after midnight. I close my eyes and even out my breathing while he scans my room. It turns to leave then pauses at the door as if suspecting I was still awake. I quickly throw in a heavy snore, convinced, it exits the room. I wait a few more minutes for TOBI to go to its room and re boot or “go to sleep” like my parents’ like to call it. Just in case I make a dummy of myself as a decoy, lower my room window and climb out as quietly as I could.

Nonso’s house is just a few blocks away from mine but we can’t meet there, it’s too dangerous. We have to meet at the millet mill close to the edge of the Sector. After several minutes of running, crawling and sneaking in the dark, I arrive at the Mill to find Nonso waiting for me.

“You’re late, Bunmi”

“Yeah, I know. TOBI seemed a bit suspicious so I had to wait a bit more, how long have you been waiting”

“I just got here. I’ve missed you”, he said before pulling me close for a long deep kiss. A few eternities later, we pulled away and looked into each other’s eyes. On other nights, we would usually talk about our theories on the CREATORS and what our lives would have been like if we were living in the old Nigeria. But tonight felt different, it’s like something has changed between us.

We start kissing again, passionately this time. Nonso’s lips were soft and firm and moved slowly over my lips, I felt short stabs of pleasure travel all the way from my lips down to my core. He grabbed me by the waist and we fell onto a sack of flour. We couldn’t see in the dark but he knew just where to touch me, almost instinctively. We spent the next several minutes exploring each other’s bodies until I couldn’t take it anymore, our clothes disappeared and our bodies melted in a dance as old as time itself. We instinctively found a rhythm and kept riding the wave till we reached a crest.

We both lay on the sacks of flour, spent; we lay there in comfortable silence and didn’t utter a word. After an hour, we both got dressed and exchanged a quick kiss, then said our goodbyes.

The next month, my period did not come. I didn’t think anything about it. And I completely ignored it, until two weeks later when a classmate of mine Hauwa, was caught by their M Baby having sex in her house with a boy from a nearby sector. They both died a horrible public death to teach the rest of us a lesson. That was when I got really scared.
I looked forward to the next two weeks hoping to get my period but it still did not come. I started to panic. The next day in class I risked being suspected by the teacher and walked up to Nonso’s desk in class and walked right past him back to my seat. I hoped and silently prayed that he would get the message that we have to see urgently tomorrow.

I leave the house as usual and hurry towards the Millet Mill. I hear some soft noises and quickly hide behind the tall grass on the path behind the mill. Several armed security men are pacing around the mill. Suddenly someone grabbed me from behind with a hand over my mouth as I tried to scream. A few seconds later my eyes adjusted to the darkness and I recognized Nonso.

“It’s me, we need to go somewhere safer. The mill has been compromised”, he whispered as my heart pounded wildly. He holds my hand and leads me through the tall grass towards an unknown location. We walk and walk, taking several turns until we get to a small clearing in the bush.
Nonso turns to me and looks earnestly into my eyes, my hands cupped within his.
“Let’s elope”
“What?!” I shrieked and jerked my hands away from him, “Are you crazy? We’ll get killed if we’re caught. Have you forgotten what happened to Hauwa and James? They were publicly electrocuted, in front of their families and entire sector”.
“Bunmi, I want to be with you. I want to have real babies with you. I want to be able to see you and talk to you. I thought that was what you wanted too. Wait, why did you signal me yesterday?”

“It was for something else”, I hear myself saying with a small voice.
“What is it? Bunmi tell me. Did TOBI see something?”
“No”, I swallow, “I think I’m pregnant. I was hoping you’d know how we could make it go away”
I watch Nonso freeze in front of me. He was so still, he almost looked like a statue.
“You’re pregnant with our baby and the first thing you want to do his kill ‘him’? This is not a thing or a machine, he’s a human being. Bunmi why?”
“Why?!” I cry out in frustration. “Because I don’t want to die. There’s no way we’re going to make it out of here and even if we do, there’s no life out there, we’ll waste away and die.”

I burst into tears while Nonso gathers me up into his arms.
“Bunmi, I love you and I’d never let anything happen to you. There’s something I’ve not been truthful about, but I have no choice but to tell you now. Or rather, show you.”
He lets go of me and takes a few steps forward to kneel on the ground. Then lifts up a patch of dry grass to reveal a secret door in the ground. He knocks 7 times, twice, twice and thrice. He does this three times and then the ground opened up.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Nonso took my hand and pulls me inside the gaping hole in the ground. At first everywhere is dark then about a tiny thousand blinking lights come on.
Startled by the brightness, I cover my eyes.
“Christmas lights”, says Nonso. “It used to be a holiday in the old world, like CREATORS day but a thousand times better”. He said referring to the annual holiday we dedicate to honouring the CREATORS, we also get an extra meal.
“Meet Hakim”, he says referring to the tall dark boy of about 20 that opened the door for us.
“Where’s this place, how is this possible?” I ask, more to myself than to anyone. But Nonso replies:
“This is THE BASEMENT. There’s so much I have to tell and show you. Come along”

We walk through a small tunnel and it led to a wide room. There are many people there, about 40 of them. There seem to be many other people in other rooms, we can’t see them but can hear them shuffling about, making weapons and fight training.

A dark tall man walks towards me, Nonso and Hakim.
“This is my girlfriend, Bunmi”. Nonso introduces me to the man who looks like he’s in his late twenties.

“Bunmi, this is Dayo, our leader”.

“Dayo, Bunmi is pregnant”, Nonso explains to him and pulls over my top, even though I’m not showing any signs of pregnancy yet.

All of a sudden, we hear muted sounds, gunfire.

“What’s that on your belly?” Dayo asked,

“What?” I looked at my stomach only to see a small chip taped to the underside of my top.

“No. no. no. NO!” I cried, nausea washing over me.

“What’s going on, Nonso.” Dayo asks.

“That f**king machine baby! She’s been bugged. Our base has been compromised! Hakim take her. Make sure she’s safe. I’ll find you when this is all over”.

“Nonso where are you going? Nonso!”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine just go. GO! Wait for me, I’ll join you soon.”

“I’ve been waiting for the past six months. Several of us escaped from New Era safely that night. There were a few other pregnant girls too, some more heavy than mine. We keep moving and hiding from the government’s drones that are searching. My baby keeps growing every day, I hope his father gets back in time to see him, I hope he can find us. But the war has been going on for so long I barely have any hope left. Hakim explained it all, how the ozone layer has been healing and the CREATORS kept it secret from us to keep us under control. How Nonso has been a major factor in the revolution, how they have been stealing weapons right under the noses of the M Babies. But one day the New Era will be defeated, and maybe we can all come to live together in a new and better Nigeria. A Nigeria that seeks to grow and not repress. A new era both in name and in truth”


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

104
Votes



Salem

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

Salem
Author : David G. David

2348069027002

David G. David is a young writer whose principles border on love, which remains the primary reason for our existence. He lives in a house on a hill, overlooking a street of struggling dreams. He has appeared on several personal blogs and websites. He can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/Adewusi.gbollex
Submission Category:

The Power of Writing

A short, powerful tale of love, identity and a quest to escape the magnetic hands of the past.

It is the road you walk; long, dusty and filled with potholes that shake cars of their miseries. It is the clothes you wear, that covers the scars that are lined on your body, like tattoos. It is the songs you sing, the songs you have allowed sink into you, the songs of redemption; songs of freedom.

But maybe it’s all in your head. Or perhaps you are trapped, and there’s no way out of the misery you webbed yourself in.

Do you remember Kola? Your first boyfriend? Do you remember the things you told me about him and the way you said he kissed you? Or the shouts of your mother when she saw you wrapped in his arm?

Were you not just sixteen? Or was I? But do you think you deserved the beating you got that day? Didn’t it break your heart? That your parents were supposed to be happy for you? Or probably delighted that you had found love? Wasn’t the beating supposed to show you he didn’t really care? Or did you ever see him after that day? Did his parents not tell the whole village when they were leaving? Didn’t they? Or you just chose to ignore? Did he tell you? Or did you imagine he did like you always did? What exactly did you make of the whole situation? Did it heighten your love for him? Or only expanded the void that had formed in your heart? What? What, Anike? What exactly did you make of him and what happened?

You were this slender, dark beauty blessed with brilliance and an outstanding wit. Your eyes were glassy things — diamonds in the mud; brown, tiny things overshadowed by thick, black eyelashes — on your perfectly rounded face, above a nose that stood like an arrow. And your lips, they were so thin I used to think you didn’t have a mouth. That stood for years as one of the many jabs we took at each other.

“Show me your mouth,” I would say.

“But you can see it now. I’m talking.”

“There’s nothing there. But I see your nose moving.”

And then we would burst into laughter, letting our shoulders rub each other, and letting our gaze wander endlessly into the air.

I wasn’t ugly if I was placed beside any other girl. I had a beauty that made boys whistle while I walked with a pot of water on my head, on the lonely grass paths. I had buttocks that made heads turn at the market square, and return to its initial position to tell others of how moderate it was. Oh yes! I had breasts. I had tiny, perky things that pointed like a hunter’s rifle when the day had just broken. I also sang, like the birds we even wished to be like.

But it was you.

You were the sun that outshined anything that stood in its path. You were the diamond that lived in a mine of gold. You, Anike, were Sirius, the Dog star. You were the bright ray of hope that shone in the nights. You were Helen, trapped in a mortal frame. The guys always called me first, so they could have a chance to talk to you. If I liked them, yes. But if I didn’t, the case was closed.

But you picked only Kola.

Your love story began blindly; like every other. You were two young, inexperienced teenagers whose quest for love made you find each other. He was handsome, or you just made me believe he was. He wasn’t. He had this enormous nose on a long face; a long body too. I always felt he had too much of everything, ranging from his pride to the size of his lips; including your love for him.

That night, how did you say it? How did you tell me about the rumors? You had a look disheveled, rough — everything not you. Your voice was a shadow of its old self, breaking at every word, punctuated by tears you were trying so hard to hold back. Do you remember? How did you tell me he left for Kaduna with his parents? And you, the brightest star in the mortal system, had become an outcast in your own home? That night, do you recall how you kept pointing to your stomach? How did you keep nudging my shoulders to think? To think of the enormous pit of despair your love for him had thrown you in? How, like a fool, I had stared at you, unsure of what you meant? Or was I afraid of what it said? It didn’t mean your stomach held him, or a reflection of him? Did it?

That night was the last time I saw you. But here you are, unconscious. There are tubes breathing life into you, the life machine beating in a signal that life still passed through your body; like a weak conducting wire.

Your eyes; they still have the same glow. Only now, they are punctuated by brown bags of depression. Your hands — the one you used to let Kola hold and caress; they are thin now, and longer than they used to be. Your brown skin isn’t brown anymore; patches of black have found their way to the once perfect land that your skin was.

People, at times, can be our doom. They are usually beautiful, like Lucifer, and have eyes that see into our deepest secrets. They are usually quiet, eating into your soul while making you smile at every word. But maybe Kola wasn’t any of these. He… he was merely your beginning, and now is your end.

You grow never to find love because you kept finding him. You looked for his white teeth in every man that called you. You searched for his tall, muscular self in the ones who had the teeth. In finding broken pieces of him, you fell, and lost yourself, while dismantling into tiny, uneven pieces. You died. Your baby became a regret because in him was your beginning. In him, you could see the road that you walked that brought you to your present situation. You look at your past. Every morning, it wakes you, reminding you of the mistakes and pains it tortured you with.

Maybe that is why you named your baby Kola, again. Just like his father.


Skit

I am the bag, holding the last naira notes in her accounts, the pen she bought from the stalls beside her house, and the white sheet of paper she have managed to squeeze in. I am flung hard on the bed, making my contents fall to the ground. I am the pillow, soaking her tears, her every night tears, soaking in the sobs and what is left of her soul. I hide her eyes from her inquisitive son, who wants to know why she wouldn’t say anything. She raises me to her face and let the hot tears fall into me, again. I am the bed in which she sinks in, holding her fragile body, lest she falls and breaks.

She stands and walks to the bathroom. I am the mirror, showing a reflection of her battered self. I see the scars, the one inflicted by her new boyfriend. I look at the bags buried beneath her eyes, swollen like the rest of her face.

Her skin. I am the skin covering the battle going on inside of her. I have turned colorless, from the endless dynamites blowing up beneath me. I am weak, and frail from the blows, the trauma, the motherly love, the fake smiles, the… Everything.

I am her phone, flashing colorful lights in her eyes, but it wouldn’t brighten the gloomy soul inside.
I am her. Confused. Broken. Lonely.


***
I sit beside you, watching and reminiscing about the time’s life still reverberated in you. Of how you have failed to live your life, because his life is what you lived, and still living. How you have lost your heart, in a bid to mend its broken pieces. Your whole life was Kola because you made him so.

Did you just move? Did you blink those eyes? Or did my words finally burn into your ears? Or did you see the secret I shielded away from while I talked? Will you ever forgive me? Or don’t you think it is all meant to happen? Don’t you think your blindness then by love pushed you out of you? It made you lose touch with everything, or isn’t this true? Didn’t you ever think that I could get jealous? And do things I wasn’t supposed to?

Did you just move again?

Didn’t you think that one of those nights while you stood under the shea butter tree with him, laughing loud against the whistling of the breeze, the chirping crickets and the croaking of the frogs, that I was dying to be you? What? Didn’t you know I had a heart too? You never thought of that? Did you? That maybe I had shown him the treasures beneath the wrapper, and he had fallen for it, like Spanish miners? Or perhaps I had been the reason he changed towards you? Or the reason he moved? Did you ever ask how? Did you? You never did, or refresh my memory, did you? Did you think of how your parents knew you had a baby inside of you? How did they see Kola was breathing inside of you?

You never asked because he had filled your heart with that poison he planted in mine.

Tonight, you walk your Salem. You will walk with cold tearing at your ears, seeping into your skin. Come night, you fight your past. You will see him, dressed in robes of eternal damnation. He died weeks ago of a heart disease, or whatever I had told the doctor to tell his family or anyone who asked.

Don’t you think, perhaps, I had gotten tired of the acting? Of the pretense that I was you? Of the regret that stayed unmelted in my heart? Do you think it is easy? Or it was? Do you? To be regarded as Anike while he made love to me? To hear him mumbling your name as he thrusts harder into me? To find out all his passwords bore your name? To continually see his social media updates appear with an inkling of you? Did you think, for one day, I didn’t go through double of the misery you have gone through? Do you ever think of how I felt whenever my little daughter ask of you? “Who is Anike Daddy likes talking about?” I suffer daily, or I don’t? Don’t you believe I am just trying to blame my mistakes on your childhood love? Your ignorant obsession you both have termed love? Maybe, one day, I had gone out of patience, and I had pushed life out of him? Or I had put powder — like that one your mother used at the village for the disturbing cats — in his food? Maybe? Just maybe?

I pray you find him. I pray you reunite with your heartbeat. I pray the tears of joy escape the doors of your heart and pour into his. He looked — like you — for a piece of you in me, — who was his darling wife — in everything. In his children. In the various ladies, he fucked at the back seat of his car. In the multiple secretaries, he sacked. In the many prostitutes, he patronized at brothels. He, like you, never found what he looked for.

I will be leaving, my friend. I can’t stay. My kids… His kids will soon be closed from school. I have to go.

Stay still… Sto— Allow me help y— You… Allow me to seep you of air so that you can find wha—. Shhh… Don’t— Don’t push— Hmmm. That’s good, nice and slow… Slow. Rest now, dear. Rest…

I will be leaving now. I hope you find him.


I-agree-to-terms-conditions

47
Votes



THE PLAY BOY

Category : Imbubé 2017 Creative Writing ..

THE PLAY BOY
Author : Onyeka

+2348104660256

Onyeka Okeke is a student of Federal University Of Technology Owerri, an indigene of Anambra state, a young promising writer.
Submission Category:

Nollywood 2.0

This story portrays the lascivious life of brilliant handsome young man, he treaded the wrong path and it led to his downfall.
It’s intriguing!

My name is Richard,”Rich” for short, everyone really thinks I have everything I need in this life.
My fellow guys envy me ,they really wish they were me. All the girls want me, to them, I really am the ideal guy.
My friends, one after the other do tell me, Richie, I wonder why one person is endowed with so much features that could have been distributed to ten different men”
The other would say, “Rich, I really wish I’m you “
I could feel their jealousy with the way they relate with me ,but I really understand what they mean because looking at my life, I would say i am lucky.
Really lucky.
I come from a middle class family, though without much affluence, I can confidently say we are rich.
My father works with the ministry of health, and my mom, with First City monument bank ,Nigeria plc.
She is a chattered accountant.
I have one sibling, a brother who is a practising lawyer. Though he is married,the bond between us is almost strong as it has been.
Life has been very fair to me.
Never have I experienced lack for i got everything i desired. My parents, especially my mom, showered me with so much love right from my childhood. I wouldn’t say i was overly pampered because i was made to understand the principles of hardwork early in my life.
Hardwork here doesn’t mean i cooked, washed my clothes or even the plates ,or did other house chores.
No, far from that.
We had a housemaid who did all these things .My parents made me understand that it was hardwork that catapulted them to their achievements in life, I saw it in their lifestyle, the dedication to their jobs.
They made me value education.
They made me to tread the path.