He met Adoo long ago, a stunning beauty: petite but full in every other office. Hers was a chocolate dark skin that shone through any season; glistening and moist. She had the most beautiful set of legs seen anywhere, complemented by a full back and perfect waist. An ample bosom that showcased a full chest and an endearing heart followed up and ended in a most rounded ever smiling face that delighted the weariest of souls. She also had a heart of such endless depths to match. Yes, Adoo was all of this and so much more. He—Ngusha—was not the beast, either. Well, not in any deformity. He was a hunk with a height to compensate for hers, and strength to show for her every frailty. He shared her complete smile and perfect denture in a remarkable face that brought older and younger opposites to obeisance. They seemed to complete each other, as everyone said. Nature seemed to agree for a rough wind always seemed to mellow to a loving whisper at their sight. It seemed a union made in heaven, as indeed they made it.
HIS MORNING James took his time thoroughly in front of the mirror placed at the back of the door of his room. He put his red tie excellently like he had learnt in the video. On a navy blue suit and trousers with light blue shirt, he decided he had made a statement and everyone from the front of his house to his office would take note of “the man who moves.”
He goes to the table in the kitchen and sets his food down to eat. He made sure it was cereals with milk and sugar so he does not have to stain his cloth. James swears that by the time he is done today, people’s heads would move. He eats and then leaves to stop a taxi. On his way, down the street to where he could get a taxi; he starts to feel something is wrong. After eating, he had gone to the toilet and came out, so what else could be wrong?
Anyway, he does notice people looking at him…some with eyes bulging, most especially the ladies. Bulge your eyes out, he says in his ears; you have never seen me kill like James Bond in a party at night. He wasn’t friendly with the neighbors so
they only wave and he waves back, says some good mornings too.
He stops a taxi, enters, hoping for the taxi driver to turn around and look at what he wears or how good he looks. Nothing. Unserious driver he thinks. Drops and pays the demanded fair as said by the driver who seemed more concerned with the cleaning of the inside and outside glasses of taxi.
He enters the building and every lady coming ahead of him, have their eyes away from him. Some keep the stares, start adjusting their shirts and walk away quickly. James, James, you just are too handsome for your skins. He laughs and then…
‘James, can I have a minute with you?’ Finally, his female colleague who has been secretly admiring him now would tell him the truth.
‘I like your outfit.’
‘You ate cornflakes with milk this morning right?’
‘Yes, how did you know?’
‘That’s what you bought yesterday evening and brought to the office before leaving…’
‘Okay, I bought that but still how did you notice that…’
His colleague becomes uneasy and decides to tell him what she really has in mind.
‘I know, I know…’
‘No, you don’t know anything; you don’t need a mirror to notice…’
James interjected ‘That I poured milk and cornflakes on my clothes instead of rice and stew?’
‘James, I wish…please try and fix or put your zip properly, no one wants to know if you wear sponge bob under pants!’ with this, his colleague, walks out shoulder high; at least she has done what his friends couldn’t do instead of laughing behind him.
(From A Basket of Tales: A Benue ANA Anthology which can be downloaded for free by clicking HERE)
As he kissed her hands, he carried his eyes up and looked into her eyes. Deep within the filmy glints, sat sadness. She laughed but the innocence of her cheer wasn’t there. He blinked as he smiled to wipe the looming sorrow that he felt in her. He laughed but this time the tears were no longer in her eyes alone. They reflected those twin lines streaming from her face into the deep recesses of their hearts:
‘No one deserves your tears.’
‘I know. I just don’t understand. I just don’t.’
‘Find someone who loves you for you. Whatever you do, be happy.’
‘I will try.’
He walked her outside and flagged down a commercial bike. He asked the cost and turned his attention to her. The unshed weight laid a burden on his thoughts. He wondered if he had killed that which he had prayed for. More words poured till she climbed the bike.
He took her hand, and in the second prayed all the fortunes and joys of heaven upon her.
‘Aôndo una lu a we.’ She didn’t hear him. He repeated himself changing the ‘would be’ to ‘is’: ‘God is with you.’
He paid the fare despite the disapproval she showed. She was too weak to argue. He noticed and knew she wouldn’t fight. He placed the small change from the notes. It wasn’t a gift, just a gesture:
‘You might need the change. By the way, you are my guest.’ He flashed a huge smile ‘You look tired.’
‘Physically and emotionally.’
‘Aôndo una lu a we. Aôndo would be with you.’ As the bike took off, she nearly fell off and there was that look on her face again: fear. Again, he wondered if he hadn’t made the biggest mistake of his life. It was the gazillionth time he confirmed that he truly loved her. The last time he saw her. The first heartbreak that never healed.
There’s a whole lot of work going on, that’s on the SEVHAGE Publishers front that I am a top part of, and in my personal et writing life. Wow! Really crazy, but well, we can smile. It is all for good.
That said, I have been hosted a record four times by the brilliant blogger, Ololade Olatuniji on her Loladeville site. Click HERE to check the stories and do leave a note.
Thank you for being out there and remaining a part of this existence.
In other news, Best of luck to the Nigerian Super Eagles. May Aondo keep our country safe.
Deadline for entries: 31 October 2013
CRITERIA FOR ENTRY
(i) The author must be a citizen of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.
(ii) The author must have had at least one short story published or accepted for publication.
(iii) The story submitted must be in English and must not be a translation.
(iv) The story submitted may be published or unpublished.
HOW TO ENTER
Please complete this form and submit it with:
- One (and only one) short story (maximum length 5,000 words), published or unpublished and typed in
- double line spacing, with your name stated on the first page;
- A list of your previously published work including the publisher and date of publication;
- If you would like an acknowledgement, the return of your story, and/or to be notified of the winner
- please provide stamped addressed envelopes marked accordingly.
PLEASE NOTE that entries submitted by fax or email will NOT be accepted.
Send to: Paula Johnson, Awards Secretary, Society of Authors, 84 Drayton Gardens, London SW10 9SB.
BEST OF LUCK PEOPLE!!
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- start short (penguinunplugged.wordpress.com)
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- Opportunities for Writers: November and December 2013 (aerogrammestudio.com)
- Marie Milligan – Three short stories (thegalwayreview.com)
- People Will Talk (thestranger.com)
(by Chinyere Obi-Obasi…NOTE: This is a challenge that also has prizes to be won!! Can you beat that?!!)
Hope you have not forgotten the challenge
One of the reasons why I am a hit with my children is because of my fertile imagination. So while telling the story of Joseph and Portiphar’s wife, I tell them for example that Portiphar’s wife represents a female or male boss who wants to take advantage of you and believes he/she has the ability to sack you whenever he/she feels like it.
Joseph represents you with the fear of God. You believe God will establish your home even if you are sacked.
Develop a short story by situating the story of Joseph’s encounter with Portiphar’s wife in modern times.
Best entry will get a prize from me. Spread the word. All entries will be published in my blog.
TIP: You can read about this Joseph/Portiphar’s encounter in Genesis to appreciate it before writing.
THE RULES FOR THE SHORT STORY CHALLENGE.
1. Open to all ages
2. Not more than 2,000 words.
3. Send to me via firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Closing date for receipt of entry 20th April, 2013
5. Short bio data to accompany entry
6. Winner will be selected by Dr. Eghosa Imasuen
7. Winner will be announced on 1st May 2013
8. The prize is a digital voice recorder.
If I was taking part, this is what I will do;
1. Read the story from the bible to understand and appreciate the woman’s obsession and Joseph’s trauma. Try to capture their emotional state of mind.
2. To replicate it in modern times, I will think of all the superior/subordinate relationships. Father/child, boss/colleague, pastor/member, landlord/tenant etc. a relationship where you have a lot to lose when you say no.
3. I will not just think of sexual relationship. I can think of something that has to do with somebody asking me to do something unethical.
4. I will then do the plot of three of such different scenarios.
5. I will spend another day thinking of which I am more comfortable with.
6. I will then ask myself which voice i want to use. The 1st, 2nd or 3rd person voice.
7. I will then do the first draft early in the morning or whichever time is convenient to me
8. Then do the second and third draft.
9. Use pro writing to edit the work to remove cliches lurking around, excessive use of a particular work, sticky sentences etc.
10. Send it to a critic for his assessment and help.
11. Take some or all of the corrections or advice and rewrite.
12. Keep the draft for a few days. Look at it again for mistakes before sending it off.
People let’s not make Dr. Eghosa Imasuen’s work easy LOL
NOW PEOPLE, get ready to get that Digi Voice Recorder!!! May the best person win! – Su’eddie
- Bath Short Story Award 2013 – Deadline March 30th (getwrite.com)
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- Needed: Your Stories About Decisions (caregiving.com)
- The Rise of the Short Story – Stu from Winstonsdad’s Blog (booksexyreview.com)
- Short Story Spring – Tale #1: Twilight’s Journal, Nov. 11 (newtonandnewtoninc.wordpress.com)
The floods came differently for several people around the world. In Nigeria, it was unusual as the country had never experienced something like this before. So, do you have reflections, thoughts, lessons on the floods?
Do you have any poem or short story on the flood? Do send it in!!
SEVHAGE calls for them!
- A maximum of four poems per poet or two short stories for each short story writer.
- Maximum length is 35 lines for poems and 2000 words for short stories.
- Closing date of entry is 4th December, 2012.
- Expected date of publication is first quarter of 2013.
- Publication would be electronic with hard copies done later.
- Each submission should be accompanied by a sixty word bio of the poet/writer.
- Note that at the close of collection of entries, a selection process would be done and the best entries selected.
- Send to email@example.com – you can also send all inquiries here.
- Email subject should read ‘POEM FOR FLOOD’ or ‘SHORT STORY FOR FLOOD’ depending on category being sent.
- Send as Microsoft Word 97-2003 attachment.
- Picture in Jpeg format less than 1MB accepted but optional.
Thank you and let’s see them come in! Best wishes…
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