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STORIES THAT TORCH

Stories that “Torch”

Total Writers Yearbook 1

 

Published by Oyeniyi Miriam at Shakespir

Copyright 2017 Oyeniyi Miriam

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The convention began officially on the 18th of December with arrivals and check-ins. Before long, poems and stories began to pour in from different writers and we knew we could not afford to waste them (but of course!), hence the birth of this anthology. Thanks to every writer who diligently participated in the convention and heeded our call for submissions.

To the amazing teammates who gave themselves to the organizing of the convention and paid attention to making sure all goes smoothly from the beginning to the end of the event, mighty thanks and love.

Most importantly, to God, the All-in-all, for the gift of life, health, love and the literary talent, every praise.

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

Prologue

Yikes!

Opening…

The Total Writers Convention is an innovation of the More Minas Worship Group, a Christian organization based in Nigeria with the vision of encouraging writers and gifted folks to put their talents to use.

The group also has the vision of engaging writers in raising funds for charity homes and for the less privileged.

This is us.

Feel to join in? All the qualification you need is to be a child of God and be ready put your talents to use, maximally.

The group is headed by Oyeniyi Oluwatosin Miriam, a Nigerian writer and a child of God.

Well, contact us.

Keep writing!

PROLOGUE

I’m a writer just like most other people at this convention. But there’s one thing I’m not: I’m not a lazy writer. Like you.

I don’t update my writer’s pad only once in a week, but you probably don’t even have a writer’s pad. I don’t write just to apply for competitions, I don’t write only when I feel like writing, I don’t write only when I’m happy, I don’t write only when I’m not hungry, I write all the time. I write in my head, I write on the floor, I write in my Bible, I write on the wall, I write on Facebook, on Twitter, on Google, on YouTube. YouTube, yes. I write everywhere. On everything. At any time.

I don’t write fiction only. I write non-fiction. I write fantasy. I write love. Horror. Flash. Drama. Poetry. Essays. Name it. Yeah, I know the sticking-to-one-genre bla bla bla. Of course, out there, I stick to one genre, but in my bedroom, I’d rather explore.

I’m not like you, that’s why I’m here and you’re there. That’s why I’ve written my 7th bestseller and you’re only just trying to write one article to the finish. Meanwhile I’m 18 and you’re 37. Duh!

 

*Whoever wrote this was definitely sent to humiliate me. And you.

Well, keep reading for more humiliation.

YIKES!

Wonders! You scrolled down. How much of it can you take, really? Except of course if you knew that the humiliation thing was just a joke. But don’t tempt me.

Hello. I’m as excited as you are that this book is finally in your hands and you are just about to have the most exciting anthological adventure of your life. That was a pretty long sentence.

Right, let’s get some organizing done. Here’s the drill; whenever you read something you think is really whack, just pause a second and say: “Yikes!”

Alright now, yikes!

Doesn’t it amaze you too that there is a wealth of talent out there; a lot of people having great potential to do extraordinary things that could make the world wow and all, but these people are just somewhere hiding in the corner of their rooms, burying their heads in their pillows and feeling sorry for themselves? Why? Ask them. They don’t have food, no parents to care, no good grades to boast of, or no money to publish. He! Let’s say it.

Yikes!

Or maybe they have had a load of rejection letters. He! Double yikes!

Wait, wait. It’s not like I don’t get it that life can be disturbingly unfair, ah I know how frustrating it can be, I know, but um…I don’t back down easily and you won’t either.

Writers, we have a special gift, one comparable to none, a superior authority around which Mama Earth herself revolves and you have got to agree with me on this subject of the potent power of words. Okay, maybe that is tautology, but I’ll leave it that way.

Yikes!

We have a voice, an uncanny ability to craft words, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to feed the poor, to save the lost, to bless, to strengthen the depressed, to support the standing and to keep alive the stars, all through the privilege of words.

John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word…the Word was God.”

Mmmm…

Everyone can talk, only a few can communicate. Everyone can write, but only a few can touch. Or torch. Yik…! Okay.

The gift of writing is one so unmildly potent. You better not mind my jumble of words. As a writer, you have plenty of opportunities to succeed and to impact and to leave your name forever sitting in the sands of time. Don’t waste it.

And so as we celebrate all the writers who put their talents to use at the Total Writers Convention 2016, note that this is only a tip of the iceberg. Soon, I’m sure we would look back on this first publication and laugh together.

We “…do not despise the day of small beginnings…” Zechariah 4:10.

Welcome to our first yearbook. Do enjoy the read.

I’m Miriam and I’ll be your…er…narrator…er …moderator, er…anchor, (sighs), I’m sure you know what I mean…through this book. I’ll be with you so you don’t get lost through this engaging maze of words. Stay close and don’t forget that word: Yikes!

HUMOUR STORIES

First off, we celebrate our humour writers.

One of their tasks during the convention was to write a short account of an experience they had with their mothers’ slaps. This was one cubicle worth reading. (Cubicles by the way translates to writing niches for the sake of the convention) Humour Cubicle was led by Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie and you cannot be content with just imagining how funny it went. Well, see for yourself.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie:

Now there is a time in every man’s life when the first few strands of beard start sprouting out of his jaw. At this point, either consciously or unconsciously they suddenly become rude and sometimes begin to talk back at their parents. But please, do not try this with Nigerian Mothers

Because Automatic reset.

Because factory settings.

Because…

Maternal slap.

This is a type of slap served by mothers in Nigeria. Beyond automatically resetting your brain to factory settings, it also humbles a person for some time and if you are unfortunate enough to receive it from my mum, it humbles you for the rest of your life. It also helps in bringing partially mental people to sanity and delivering children from any kind of evil spirit. One unique thing about this slap is that almost everybody can relate with the experience, and I will share mine with you.

This happened when I was thirteen and started noticing the first few strands of hair sprouting out of my lower region. Mehn…. I was feeling so high at the time, it felt like I had become mates with Angel Gabriel. I started talking carelessly to elders and sometimes didn’t even talk at all to the younger ones. I would interrupt a discussion between my dad and his visitor just to tell them that they did not pronounce a word aptly, I would choose the biggest meat even before my elder brother made his pick. Meanwhile, Mum was quietly observing the changes in me until I got to the peak one day.

I had visited the hair salon and returned with a gorimapa hair style. Mum was startled when she saw me.

Mum: Hian! Chineke napukwa ekwensu ike – May God strip the devil of his powers. Bia Ugoo, so you don’t have fear again abi? You have joined all those boys carrying coffin on their head in the name of hairstyle? You have grown okwaya?

Boyant: (Laughs) Mummy this is just a hairstyle ooo. There is no coffin in it. Don’t mind what that nonsense pastor was saying on Sunday.

Mum: Nwokem shatap there! You even have the guts to reply me abi? See ehn, before I close my eyes and open them, you have gone to remove that nonsense on your head.

Boyant: Mummy forget that thing, I am an adult now and I know what fits me and what doesn’t…

Then it came…

Tuuuuuaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!

Tuuuuuaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!

(Two hot slaps)

 

Feeling dizzy.

Feeling dizzy.

The earth is swelling.

Everything is turning round.

This must be rapture.

Black out!

 

Two days later

(A hospital room. Boyant is lying unconscious and his mum is sitting next to his bed. The pastor is also seated, waiting for Boyant to wake up so the deliverance session can begin.)

Boyant: (Suddenly wakes up and starts reciting memory verses) “Children obey your parents… “, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them…”, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of God…”

Pastor: (Turns to his mother with a smile) I don’t think there is need for a deliverance session after all, your slap has done the job already.

….

And people, till this very day, I still go to the children department in church. Oh, and did I tell you? My permanent hairstyle is kids’ punk.

 

Miriam: Hohohohohoho! Yikes!

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mustapha Enesi:

She shook me lightly; I turned and continued basking in my world of dreams where I was being fed chicken. She shook me again, I sat up, spat on her and shoved her —sleepily. Then I took a lap, threw it in my mouth to chew, the chicken was hard and tasteless. Mum watched my madness as it locks in, she saw me chew the pillow like a dog, I chewed part by part, she shook again and this time I threw it at her. Poww! Her palms landed on my face and brought me back to reality.

 

He! Now that is yiiiiikes! I’m not surprised that Mustapha was dreaming about chicken.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Nwanne Agwu:

Mama’s eyes were red, fury showed on them like a portrait.

‘Go and bath your brother,’ she shouted. Her voice sounded like that of someone who sobbed; as if there was water in her throat. There was still much time before the church service. It was as though I was glued to the sofa, my eyes fixed on the TV opera.

‘Wham,’ came the sound of something hot on my left cheek. I saw a vision of the little Jesus playing with a toy car.

‘Stupid child,’ the voice said.

I recovered to see Mama standing before me.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Adeleke Mide Oiynkansola:

I went to Idumota Market with my mum and got lost. I sighted her thirty minutes after crying profusely. On getting to her I was welcomed with an ‘igbati oloyi’. I became dumb instantly, and tears rolled down my face.

A woman came to console me and I found it the best opportunity to speak my mind.

‘Why na, no be she lost me, she con dey slap me, I won dey go house ooi…abeg how I go take reach….’

I was about saying ‘house’ when I sighted my mum with her hands up, like she was about to give another slap.

I smiled sheepishly, cleaned my face and asked her where we were heading to next.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Kingsley Ozil Ekpeha:

4am.

“Nna, wake up,” Mama said as she sprinkled cold water on me.

I groaned and mumbled to myself, half asleep.

It was time for our daily morning devotion. I really wanted to sleep but Mama won’t let me. While prayers were going on, I was sleeping and shouting “Amen”.

Mama noticed my incoherent Amens. She walked up and gave me a resounding brain-reset slap. I jerked fully awake but I didn’t see Mama in the sitting room, I saw my dead grandfather.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Grace Mpamaugo:

It was going to be my biggest ‘do the do’ for the year. Mama had prepared a pot of stew with assorted meat. I’d eat enough and by morning when it sours, Nneka the maid will get beaten as always. I sneaked in…12:30 am. Mama was still in the parlour, reading. I didn’t know. I was about dipping my fingers into the pot when it came from unexpectedly behind:

Tuuuuuuuwwwwaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

6stars

no signal

Shishushushushu *no signal*

3days later

signal returning

Me: Where am I?

Doctor: In a hospital. You’ve being diagnosed with Heremonidum katafigorosis, aka maternal slap syndrome!

 

He! Hahahahaha!

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ojukwu Chibueze Justus:

Our maid Nkiruka – front is greater – deserves her name. She is also the reason the presidential villa is Aso rock. Although twenty, she prefers twelve year old clothing. She reveals things that should be hidden from fragile mortals’ eyes: the almost fading gap between the moulds on her chest and the vibrant electric movements her behind makes. Today, I just grabbed her in the kitchen; blinded to the fact that mama was there. My consequent face was like scientists were testing to see if starch was present in my cheeks because all I could see was blue-black.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Abel Zamani:

Ok, Here goes. My favourite device as a kid was the TV. I could stay all day watching movies nonstop. But my escapades never went unnoticed by my dad’s omniscient eyes and his omnipotent koboko, followed by a sermon on the mount. My mom never said much except to briefly state that she’s not comfortable with my behaviour. I thought that was all I’ll get from her until the day she proved me wrong. I was on duty, as usual, when she spoke to me and I boldly ignored her. Then it came… I really can’t remember how but I remember I heard the sound of the TV being turned on…weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenn!

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Fame Odey:

After stealing a piece of meat from Mama’s pot, I hurriedly put it in my pocket, all set to go. Then I heard familiar footsteps coming towards the kitchen.

“That is mum!” I rushed to the sink, jittery, pretending to be washing dirty plates.

“What is it you’re hiding?” Mama asked immediately she entered the kitchen.

I became scared. How did she know? I wondered if she had a monitoring lens following me.

She didn’t allow me to say anything when she dipped her fingers into my pocket and brought the piece of meat.

I became even more scared.

"Please forgive me mum, it was the devil’s work"- was what I wanted to say but what I said instead was: “I don't know how it got into my pocket."

I woke to discover my face in bandages.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Aderonke Enitan Adeyeye:

That Saturday afternoon, some of our yard kids and I were playing with our landlord’s old Volvo that has been on the mortar for a long time and we refused to come down. Against our parents’ warnings, we took turns to jump from the Volvo singing Iya mi kolebe, Baba mI kolebe, eminikan kolebe, bebebe lomodenbe!

“Your ancestors will jump with you if I catch you today”, mum warned for the umpteenth time. I ignored her as I continued to play. Climbing to jump again, I missed my step and fell. I didn’t know what brought the cry, my fall or my mother’s unexpected slap that came from behind.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Teedy Debby Kenny:

Who would have seen Mama’s hand and known it had the ability to format memories? I blinked twenty-one times before I could remember my name, my location and ‘the why’. ‘The why’ five finger prints were engraved on my cheeks.

Mama had asked me to accompany her to a friend’s house. It was a first and I was drunk with happiness to the point of stupor. If I had known Mama would press the format button that evening I would have given her the key to the house without a word. If I had known my brain would reset I wouldn’t have replied Mama with-

“Shebi you too have lost key before.”

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Francis Nnadozie:

Mama’s slap glittered, but it was not gold.

It was a Wednesday morning after morning devotion. Mama called me into her room. She wanted to know whose call I was answering all night.

Then the spirit came again; the same spirit that made me burn our launch three days before. This time, the spirit was strong. It told me to tell Mama how I was now a big girl that can talk to anybody I wanted to on phone. I obliged.

I didn’t see it coming; Mama’s slap sent me rolling on the floor. Before I blacked out, I saw the spirit run out through our door.

I was delivered by mama’s slap.

 

Hehehe!

Yikes! Yikes! Are these guys hilarious or what! Thanks for reading those. Hope you laughed as hard as I did. Their second task was to create puns and paronomasia expressions, for the intention of humour. Here they go.

PUNS

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I’m at d peak with my three crowns and they are about to bring me low.(milo)- Peace Awojobi.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When you visit Florence in Turkey, do good to call her Italian Turkey-- guess she finds that funny- Ola W. Halim.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Read and get rid of it; reads made from reed are meant to be rid of, of course after reading! – Ola W. Halim.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. She was lying down and lying that lies lie lower than the lice on the liar's head.- Ola W. Halim.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A certified graduate washing things in Washington is a graduating certifier! – Ola W. Halim.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Them like my shows like ah be skit (a biscuit) because I got 'em all sweetened up like Yale- Peace Awojobi.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. He got involved in an accident with the Rev. Father which caused his car to lick. (CATHOLIC)- Fame Odey.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Victor is not a victor without a victory- Christian Nkem.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Trump won Hillary Hilariously- Fame Odey.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I am a closed-open minded fellow- Fame Odey.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Agent Tina lives in Argentina- Fame Odey.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I was assigned to the last watch, so I watched my watch so that I wouldn't miss my watch- Abel Zamani.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The other day was fun @ d pool side, until all went out of order. i was scared just lik others but afraid of some others even as they give order. i had to leave ASAP cause of otherwise- Oyinloye John.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Man: The dude got busted again for stealing computer wires.

Me: Seriously? He’s a silly con (silicon).

-Akunna James-ibe

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I dont need a day time to read the daytime; just need my time by day- Oyinloye John.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Even a prey prays, but whose prayer preys the prank? – Ola W. Halim.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The prison warden was shocked when I charged at him suddenly from my cell – Abel Zamani.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. While waiting for a waiter at the restaurant, aren’t you a waiter yourself? – Jimmy Silicon.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Buhari will watch us boo Harry. – Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. My burden is Light- Abel Zamani.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. “Your stupidity is as long as Nile.”

With a kid's voice he answered, "Is it da lung?"- Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Get the books, let’s show Yinka. (Soyinka) – Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Friend: Jim almost burnt the bar to the ground.

Me: Well at least he smoked a joint- Abel Zamani.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Are you OK? Oh yeah, Niyi replied. (Oyeniyi). – Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Give Abel a bell. – Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A cheetah would never cheat on his wife but a Tiger wood. – Fasusi Ayobami Folakemi.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I need a hanger to hang my dress- Obiajulu Nwodo.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Hang the hanger- Oyeniyi Miriam Oluwatosin.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I told the board of education that I’m bored of education- Jimmy Silicon.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. “Hey, you! Split the meat and don’t spit on it!” – Obiajulu Nwodo.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. – Debi Eneyi Eriba.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The fact that Banky W wasn’t nominated for Headies this year shows the award is a crap…I mean the guy is one hell of a Header! – Jimmy Silicon.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As we fell off the cliff, I asked him if he knew the gravity of the situation- Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I saw a horse and thought of fixing a ponytail. – Obiajulu Nwodo.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Why must you complain about my numerous girl friends? Trust me, I am the Solomon you know! – Solomon Bobby Dauda.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I asked Bob to get a haircut so he wouldn't look like Bob Marley anymore- Obiajulu Nwodo.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Atila spear-headed the attack with a spear in hand- Abel Zamani.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. On our way north, I drove them nuts. – Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie

*
p<>{color:#000;}. This harmattan is the complement of the season- Chinaecherem Michael Obor.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I saw a pride of Lions in South Africa, I began taking pictures of them with the thought that if they attack me, I'd die with pride- Obiajulu Nwodo.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don't get it twisted, I could twist your neck- Obiajulu Nwodo.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. That you have a nose doesn't mean you should be nosey- Oyeniyi Miriam Oluwatosin.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tell your son to look at the sun; it’s time to go home. – Obiajulu Nwodo.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. They say the best thing ever that happens to Nigeria is Solomon Dalung but I think it’s Mama peace because the truth is, I will rather die than commit suicide but that will be after I have spent all my money. – Jimmy silicon

 

Alright, I enjoyed those puns. Think you can do one yourself? Go on and try.

Right, now let’s slide on to the next cubicle: Children Stories. Oh, yeah. This one was led by Obiajulu Nwodo.

Did I forget? Yikes!

CHILDREN STORIES

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Grace Mpamaugo:

Once upon a time, there was a family of four: the mother (Mama Nkechi), Nkechi and her two younger ones.

Every time Mama Nkechi cooked a pot of soup, by the next morning, all the meat in the soup would have disappeared. She would call her children and ask them who took the meat but they would all deny and claim innocence. This repeated itself severally. On one occasion, Nkechi had suggested it could be spirits responsible for the mysterious disappearance of the pieces of meat.

One day, Mama Nkechi got fed up. She went to the market and bought a magical pot that would help her catch the thief. That night, she prepared a pot of soup with the magical pot and set watch. Close to midnight, Nkechi as usual sneaked into the kitchen to eat from the pot. Once she touched the pot, it began to scream, “I have caught you….you are a thief! I have caught you…” Nkechi began to beg the pot to let go of her, promising she’d never do it again but it was too late. Her mother came in and saw the scene. She was disappointed at Nkechi.

.

That was how the mysterious thief was caught. Nkechi was punished and she promised never to steal again.

 

Thank you, Grace. The moral of the story? Do not steal. If you steal, you will get caught. Oh, don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time. Yikes!

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Abel Zamani:

Once upon a time, there lived a man named James who had no wife or children, but he was very nice and every one in his village liked him. The children were very fond of him. Even naughty children were not a problem to him. He seemed to get along very well with them even when they were very stubborn. Well, not every one of them, for one of them who happened to bear the same name as James was the most stubborn and had sworn that no adult will ever make him obedient. And truly no adult could control him, not even James. Every adult, including his parents, was hostile and unfriendly to him. He was trouble. But big James was always kind to little James. One day, big James was very ill and seemed close to death. This made little James troubled as he knew he would have no other friend should big James die. This made him decide to make friends with every adult. So that was how little James turned over a new leaf and now, every adult likes him.

 

Oh, yikes again. The lesson of this? Be friends with everyone.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Oluwafemi Daniel:

A STORY ABOUT GOLDELOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

Once upon a time there were three bears, Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. They lived in a small house. mama bear cooked porriage for breakfast the porriage was very hot, so they decided to take a walk in the woods. Baby bear said he wanted to walk up the mountain. They now went up the mountain. Then Goldelocks, a Girl discovered the three bears house. She saw the porriage that mama bear cooked for breakfast and then she was hungry she said I shouldn’t but I am truly hungry. She tried papa bear’s porriage she said this is too hot. then she tried mama bear’s porriage. She said this is too cold. then she tried baby bears porriage. She said this is just right. She now ate it all up. She went to the next room…

 

Oh. We won’t finish this one as it was written by my kid brother who is only six and it is a very long story. Way to go, Daniel! The moral of this story? Well, figure it out.

 

And quickly now, we move on to my especially beloved genre: Inspirational Stories. I love inspire!

 

INSPIRATIONAL STORIES

The task assigned to the folks of the inspirational cubicle was to encourage a certain widower named Fola, providing some comfort over the demise of his beloved. Alternatively, they were to write a story telling how they finally got to attain a long awaited goal.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chisom R. Ogugua:

Medicine had always been my passion, just like I loved to maintain my integrity. I was jeered by classmates and friends when I failed WAEC exams twice. I passed the third year but still failed JAMB. That was because the course was very competitive, and not necessarily because of a low score.

I thought about quitting and pursuing something else because as I probably wasn’t made to be a doctor. But something in me kept lurking. I picked up JAMB twice more and failed. Today, I’m a third year medical student and one of the best in class. I’m happy I hung on.

 

Oh, my, that is one inspiring story. If you want it, go for it, right? Slow yiiikes.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bryan Allen

She told you she had cancer, Fola. Death didn’t viciously take something away from you, it took what it already owned from the start. That doesn’t help the pain of loss; love isn’t rational.

What it does is show that you’re strong. You married her anyway, you didn’t let her lose you. You proved to her that not even death’s threat could take you away from her.

She’s not gone. She’s in this room— in your heart— with you, always.

 

Mmmmmm….

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Fame Odey:

I SAVED A LIFE, THAT NIGHT.

‘Stop dying, young man’, I urged.

He had been drinking mixtures of filtered beer and dry gin and he had already consumed six packs of St. Moritz cigarettes.

‘What’s the problem?’ I asked.

‘Waiter! Your sister is a betrayer’. He said with strenous effort, trying to pull himself out of the pool of drunkness.

i wasn’t offended as I was not a waiter neither did I have a sister.

‘Waiter! Your sister…she left me stranded in this lost world.’ He lit up another ciggerate.

I perceived he was emotionally bereaved.

After my long fruitless consolation, he was still insisting that it was my sister that betrayed him. I came up with a trick.

‘Who told you my sister is dead? She is at home. Come on let me take you to her’.

He reluctantly heeded, I took him home and I succeeded in saving a life that night.

 

Mmm…mmm…

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Grace Mpamaugo

Dear Fola,

Death is an inevitable demon,

Announced by so much wailing,

Confirmed by apathy,

But must we continue to hide in our shells because we’ve been hurt?

35years!!!!!

‘Life’s ahead of you!

If not for your sake

For the sake of your child.

Leave the night behind you,

Night’s gone,

Go in faith,

Go into the day,

Not alone,

But with hope

Let us hope

By some good pleasure

Safely to arrive at Happiness.

 

(Breathe…)

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Francis Nnadozie

Beads of sweat rolled down Fola’s face. He tried to act alright but his tears kept betraying him.

He had just lost Abike. That morning, before she was wheeled into the theatre, she made Fola promise to be strong no matter the outcome of the her operation. He wanted badly to cry. He wanted to roll on the floor and weep but he knew he had to keep the last promise he made to his dead wife.

 

Wow, mmmm…

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Abel Zamani

Hi Fola!

The pain you currently experience, I have too. For to lose one’s love to death can be devastating. While I must console you, I cannot bring myself to tell you ‘Bear it, soon it won’t hurt’, because that would be heartless and false, for such pain is heavy to bear. But remember the good times you had together. Gather strength from your memories of her to face your tomorrow. It will be fine.

Yours sincerely,

Abel.

 

Mmmm….breathe, breathe.

I can’t even yike right now. I love inspire! I know, second time.

FLASH FICTION

And this was the best cubicle of the convention, according to the judges anyway, but really, we had an awesome time with those duels and drills. Yikes, Flash!

Following are the stories we received in response to the writing prompt given them by their leader, Utukwa Bemshima Ichiban Benedict, which goes: One day you come back from work or school or wherever you have been, and the moment you step into your room, you notice a mysterious looking lemon green box in the center of your bed. Tell us a story. What is in the green box? Who put it there? What does it signify? Is there a mystery behind the box? Is there a backstory? Just take us on a journey. And now the stories:

 

Oluwaseyi Ayodeji Isaac:

Tasting Second Stew

The good old days; days when blood splurted the imbued air like monsoon, days when life was a lottery ticket not just a gift, days when men wielded guns like they were essential clothing accessories. He remembered the time he and his six brothers raided and injured the degenerates in the neighboring village that molested one of their sisters and tagged it “tasting first stew”. Now, he’s just a gateman. No blood, no weapon, no slashing and no guts; life was stupidly boring. He pushed open his door, walked into his room and saw it on his table; the same thing that incensed him and his brothers into action years ago. A green box that had a white tag atop. It read “tasting SECOND stew”. A surge of anger brewed in his soul like fresh beer but buried deep in his heart was relief. Relief that life just got interesting.

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

Pandora’s Box

Father sent me to this world five years ago to unleash chaos, but instead I fell in love. I thought finding love will make me less of a son to him but he killed my family to remind me of my duty. ‘You’re Azhaphab, the son of Lucifer; dreadful things should be your doings, not love’, he had reminded me.

Today, I walked into my room and saw the Pandora’s Box from father again. The Pandora was a gift at my birth and it’s my duty to open. I can’t run forever, that I’ve come to accept. “Open your gift to the world and have your family back, or I make them a wood to my fire,” his whispers came to my ears. Now, I’ve the chance to save my family, I’ve to take it. I grew my wings and they stretched in glory. …And upon the world, I let chaos fall.

 

Hillary Okoye:

When Rest in Peace is Impossible

My older brother, Okwudili died on the Wednesday after Easter, three years ago. Mama found him and her hoarse shriek alerted Papa and me to his room where he laid dead on his bed. Autopsy result revealed some rat poison in his system and his cause of death was ruled suicide. I came home yesterday and found a lemon green box on the floor of my room. Papa and Mama said they weren’t the ones that dropped it. I pondered on it and decided to open it today. When I opened it, I saw a piece of paper and on it was scrawled, “Papa did it.” I laughed at the absurdity of the prank someone was trying to play. As I stood up, the paper fell and on its other side was written. “It’s me Okwudili, Papa is gay”. And in that moment realization dawned on me.

 

Whoa! Which is your favorite?

The next two stories were in the flash duel on the subject of mystery. Enjoy!

 

Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie:

Bermuda Mystery.

I have always watched people try to uncover the mystery behind the Bermuda Triangle and I laugh at their futile efforts. How do you understand Satanism? How do you understand divinity? Stay away, mortals, steer away. Bermuda is bigger than your mortal sense. Remember the lost ships? Remember the lost researchers? That’s what you get for trying too hard. You get lost in the knowledge. I am Lucifer, Bermuda is my fantasy spot with God. In your quest for knowledge, do not interrupt our coitus; you will drowned. The sight gives us orgasms.

 

Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji:

Gallery

A droplet of blood per stair as you slink your way to the art gallery on the second floor. A pungent smell attacks as you push the door open but you persevere, walk in and see two pale swollen bodies with severed throats wielding a bloodied knife apiece. You crane your neck around for more clues but there’s nothing else of note. You don your gloves, bag the knives as evidence and head out of the room. If you turned over both bodies, you would’ve seen the skull images branded through their shirts onto their backs. You drive away thinking the case is just a fight gone wrong but the homeless boy you flung 50 naira at on your way in saw a dog leave the building the night of the incident. The dog turned to a naked lady that walked away without looking back.

Wee! The next two are on the subject of horror. Hey, time for goose bumps!

 

Obiajulu Nwodo:

The Night

His visit was accompanied by an eerie impression that left my cardiac walls frozen, almost dead. I as usual had said a prayer that night, glad to become familiar with a habit I had neglected for many years. Moonlight rays seeped through my glass windows, together with a chilling breeze; obvious witness to that night’s activity.

I saw him.

“Chika.” He cooed.

I watched in fright as the titanic shadow made visible by the rays strode towards me in one stride. I hid under my blanket, but after a while I peeped, in a moment we began struggling. It wasn’t a struggle though. He overpowered me. The strength of the supreme being he had. I tossed and turned in weakness, in stillness. But my spirit husband had his way on me. My bed floated ,the chilly weather heightened my fear. What fear is greater than being made love to by a spirit.

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

The Ho-rrific Visitor

It was 11:57pm. I was almost asleep when the sound of a creaking door came from downstairs. My first thought was my cat or the push of a violent wind. I ignored it, but then came the sound of a breaking glass.

I walked downstairs, all was dark so I put the switch on. The light came and I saw the “Merry Christmas” writing on the wall. I was terrified.

Who could have written this? At this time? I lived alone and had no intrusive friends. I carefully looked around and my gaze fell on something. I screamed my heart out on seeing the horror before me. It was my cat in a puddle of blood. Something wasn’t right, so I tried to run outside, into the open, but I was stopped by a man in Santa’s costume. He smiled, flashed a bloody knife, and said, “Merry Christmas, ho-ho-ho”.

 

Oh! I warned you! Okay, yikes! Thank you, flash fiction-ers.

We proceed. The next category examines the synergy between creative art and writing. We had works pitched to us by our guest artist, Ponmile Pelumi, a Nigerian painter who is well recognized and blessed with the talent. Yikes! So, he gave us three artworks and we simply converted his paintings to stories. Right, we believe everything should be able to tell a story, including art works. And here goes.

ART AND WRITING

Pitch 1:

Esther Okorougo:

Mama was looking so depressed and lonely after her only son died mysteriously. She had left the house unkempt and was unable to prepare her meal. She had become so frail and weak. Mama was ready to meet her beloved son wherever he maybe in any way she could. But there’s a way other than death, she’d close her eyes and open it, then she’d find her son standing right in front of her. A new hope will be born, the hope to live once again after death.

 

Adeleke Mide Oiynkansola:

Mammie looked at the mirror and felt her beautiful face turn horrible. She could see nothing but evil. She regretted why she never spared little time for her little family. She cherished her family but couldn’t take responsibilities of her family as a wife.

Her only son has been arrested for trafficking hard drugs.

Her first daughter was accused of murder and her last daughter womb got damage.

Her husband who happens to be her last hope has been proved HIV positive.

She find no meaning in her life. She took work too seriously, her life, her family has been crumbled before her very eyes.

‘I wish I could turn back and restart’ she lamented to her reflection, sobbing.

The mirror slipped from her hands and crashed.

‘It crashed the way my family did’, she murmured to herself.

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary:

The Magana Festival

It was the Magana festival, a festival that brought all sorts of people to Umuariwa kingdom. Ugonma was to lead the women and young girls in the dance where she will dance in the square in front of everybody and welcome the visitors. For seven consecutive years, she had led in the dance as the prettiest woman in Umuariwa; fair as the moon and bright as the sun. That morning, she majestically took her bath, applied many salves, balms and creams that helped to smoothen her body and wore her blue cultural blouse. She tied her blue ejioke wrapper and blue ankha head tie to match. She sat on the stool beside her dressing table and picked up her hand mirror, smiling and admiring herself. Then she saw them; irregular faint lines of age across her forehead and cheek. Crying out, she lashed at the table knocking down everything but the calabash of water and her green pot of Nzu. Her scream attracted her husband who came and saw his wife lying on the bed undressed. That was how she celebrated her Magana festival.

 

Adebajo Babafemi:

Scarred

Holding up the mirror, Mama realized her face still appeared drab despite the make-up. She had been crying all night about her piling woes. Perhaps life would have been more bearable if her father had considered her good enough to go to school. Maybe she could have avoided the problems marriage presented her with if she’d been allowed to follow her heart. Again she had to grit her lips to prevent the tears that welled up inside from falling. Her mind was made up: Even if she died trying, the lot of her daughter, Bisi would be better.

 

Francis Nnadozie:

Nkechi took one last glance at her house before she joined her fleeing kinsmen.

What had started with a minor quarrel over a piece of land had developed into a bloodied communal war between Aniocha and Obedi kingdoms.

She stared at the keg that contained the concoction. She tried to hold the tears that had gathered in her eyes. She tried to be strong for the soul of her only son who had died in the battle.

She needed to just take a few drops of the concoction and she’d wake up smiling close to her son again.

 

Mustapha Enesi:

Mother.

She is the coolness of our eyes.

Soft and mild.

She brings peace after war..

She tell us “do this and be happy”.

She is the woman of her children and the woman of her man.

The daughter of her father, as she gave love- immeasurable.

When she says “I love you son” and fix her Goggles.

She is true, her love is true – also pure.

Like they say “who sat and watched my infant head when sleeping on my cradle bed?” mother, yes mother.

Pitch 2:

Ajenifuja Adetokunbo

I Need A Man.

Taking a final look at the mirror, something strikes me. My face. In my early thirties, I’m aging from emotional starvation. Once a full-blown beauty, but now getting shrunk by the weary hand of time.

My husband! Staying chaste after four years is enough to honour your departure; to prove my loyalty.

During your lifetime, my face was not the mask of horror I’m seeing here.

A woman, Father says, is a rose. When a rose is deprived of water, what next?

Now there are many devilish men. Nevertheless I need one.

Perhaps, at my cousin’s party, I can fetch water to revive my dying rose. Good water, I pray.

“Aunty Nkechi, we’re getting late,” a voice says from behind me. It’s my sister, shooting a look at my mirror. “You’ve been dressing for over two hours…Hah. You need Jesus.”

“Thanks Sis. At least, Jesus is a man!”

 

Adeleke Mide Oiynkansola:

If I was told my loving husband would get married to another lady I would argue, making them understand he won’t. Ten years after our marriage I couldn’t conceive. His family threatened to send me packing but my husband kept telling me nothing like that would happen.

It was a shock to me when I got home that fateful day to meet my husband relative with a strange lady. At that point I need no prophet to prophecy to me that she was married for my husband. I took it as ‘what will be will be’.

The look on my husband face was making me understand that he couldn’t help.

I honestly couldn’t help the evil thoughts that keeps coming across my mind whenever I see her. Not even the evil eye I casted on her on her engagement night.

 

Fame Odey:

A Poem

Catty fatty blusher

Blush hush runs down the lane

Painting a faintly perception

On a misty face

i heard you’ve grown into a devil

That eats green bean

I heard your hole is a pond

Where man’s animation is knocked

Is it true?

Your chest is a bouncing castle

Though mild and damped

Voiced from the market women

Is that an anthem?

How come you dance?

To the beat of strong demons

Isn’t that the bald shadow you summoned for sermon

How come do you smell?

Why have you locked yourself?

In the pit behind humane?

 

Abel Zamani:

You’re To Do That

Though the stream be far, and the night dark, we must get water,

And you’re to do that.

When the gods be hungry, and must be served a sacrifice,

You’re to do that.

Young mature pretty; you now walk around like a cat,

But the choice of whom to marry?

No you’re not to do that!

 

Mustapha Enesi:

Nemesis

“I love it when you’re angry mum”, I said. For a split second, mother’s stern look dissolved into a smile and like lightning, the smile was gone again. “Listen to me. You have to get this right or we’re both done for”. I nodded to show I understood after which she brought it out from her purse. I quickly took it, slid it into my bra for safe keeping in case Chief’s henchmen decided to search me and stepped out of the bathroom to join the party.

Pitch 3:

And this third pitch is a very much celebrated painting of the artist’s. Enjoy!

Adebajo Babafemi:

The Water Point

“We will now take the defendant’s closing speech”

Barr. Lamuye! Lam!

“Ala wo lo nla to n rerin? Ogbeni wake up!”

Water splashed on my face and I immediately sat bolt upright. It was the morning of my final exam and my classmate had come to tell me it was time to go. I hurriedly stood up, mumbled a few words and ran downstairs with my bucket.

Getting to the water-point, the long line of buckets and people changed my mind. I quickly turned and said to myself,“For the last time, I’ll let my perfume do the magic”.

 

Abel Zamani

Opportunity Cost

“Oga wetin you think say you dey do?” queried Jackson a.k.a. Jax who was next in line.

“We dey here for line since and you jus come with your bucket jump line, who you think say you be?” He added angrily.

But the stranger replied back, ‘Na you get this tap? Come no try me oo before I…”

Tchwai!

That was a slap from Jax, and a fight broke out.

Fists thrown, buckets flying, insults hurled, it all spread like an infection and soon everyone was involved. But somewhere in all this commotion, Deji just arrives, walks to the tap, fills his bucket, and walks away unharassed.

 

Haha! Now, I loved that last story. Gentle Deji, what’s his business?

 

Adeleke Mide Oiynkansola:

I lived as a poor church rat. I was so poor to the call. My father fled away from home and my mother is paralyzed. I had to survive and also to feed my mother daily.

I’m used to jumping from house to house asking if they’ve got any job for me to do so I could be paid with a token.

Fetching water seen to be very unkind. Boys form different race striving for survival also come to fetch water to earn the same token I also earn.

There was no peace as we always drag to get our buckets filled up first.

“They all have to strive, they all have to survive, they all have to live”, a passer-by said with sorrow.

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary

My Peaceful Village

Our village has been known for the peaceful coexistence between its inhabitants; children playing together in the sand, elders discussing with smiles over a keg of palm wine, women sharing gossips as they prepare the evening meals. The main source of our water supply had been the chigono stream until chief okonta mounted the foreign water container near his mansion. Before, we use to go to the stream, each person with their buckets, scooping water and not waiting for turns as the stream is very wide but now, due to the long distance we walk to the stream,all we do is to walk up to chief okonta’s mansion and queue up our buckets, chatting and waiting for our turn. The idea of water coming out from a very big calabash was very fascinating. We will stand, hands akimbo and watch as the water flow into our buckets. Some even bring their laundry along as they will see friends to help them out.

 

Fame Odey

A Poem

Queues on the stream

Queues in my dream

Queues in my struggles

Queues in my hustle

As I take the fast shuttle

To attain my lofty height

The bustles went viral

As we cuddle to get water

The gods are selfish

For gulping our timid river overnight

Even our well and our GP tank isn’t innocent

We are fucks

Thirty one tonnes of smelly grumblers we are

Let’s attend our birthday ceremonies

With the worst scent; stinky

Or use the devil’s perfume

For a god’s scent

No water blessing

Count it with your smelly mouth

Erudite parties

Cavort to the beat of your smelly armpits

 

Francis Nnadozie:

Tonight, like every other night when you came back from class hungry, you’ll take your parboiled rice to wash in the water tank meters away from your lodge.

A student whose thick Hausa accent places as a northerner will wash his leg raising dirt on your food probably in a hurry not to miss his dusk prayer.

Your anger will be born out of irritation not because you can not wash off the dirt but because you’ll remember the gruesome murder of your aunt two years ago by an extremist group in the north.

You’ll use the sharp edge of a spoon to stab his neck several times not realising he’s the student that helped put out the fire in your chapel few months back.

 

How about those? Writing itself is a form of art, you know. Yikes!

Let us proceed to….

LOVE STORIES

Wowers! Who doesn’t like this one? Love stories, “torching” hearts since 19infinity. Yikes! I wrote a few stories in here myself. This one was led by our own Oluwaseyi Ayodeji Isaac, writer of the Storried.com prize winning story, Sticking with the Sad Girl. For the moment, let’s talk about love stories, you will LOVE them.

 

Hillary Okoye:

EVERGREEN

My lips curved into a smile as I watched her. I studied her facial features closely, features that I knew by heart and could in a well depicted manner, divulge its essential contours. I gently rubbed my hand across her face. My Index finger rubbed the corners of her lips that were smeared in ruby-wool lipstick. I touched her dimples and kissed her eyes that were emboldened with courage. I thought of her laughter; that sharp, croaky laughter of her’s that seemed unladylike and showed off her perfect dentition. Quietly and gently I bent over and sealed my love for her with a kiss. I felt the smooth-woolly texture of the canvas on my lips and the memories of May 5th, the night Munachi died from a ghastly accident conjured up in my mind. Smiling with a glassy eye, I whispered; “I Love You,” to the portrait of Munachi.

 

Abel Zamani:

‘Sweet, we’re here’ Frank said with excitement written all over his face. They were here at last. Belinda pinched herself to make sure this wasn’t a dream; it wasn’t. Who would’ve believed that they would get to this point. Belinda could not help crying as she remembered all they faced. His dad’s rejection, her aunt’s disapproval, his brother’s treachery, her sister’s jealousy and, also there’s Deji, who had made her run mad just so she would marry him. ‘Sweet why are you crying?’ Frank asked, and before she spoke he guessed why, ‘sweet don’t worry they can’t harm us any more, we are here now’ This made her sob even more, for it wasn’t tears of pain, but of joy. After all, this was not a funeral, it was her wedding day

Oyeniyi Miriam Oluwatosin:

He holds my hand in his and I realize fearfully that I want the moment to go on forever. This little tingle that runs up my spine makes me want to stand on and just live in that moment.

There’s nothing like having your best friend, your honey, sunshine, sugar and husband-to-be look deep into your eyes and maintain that gaze with a smile playing around his lips.

Butterflies.

Pinning me to the opposite wall, he speaks softly, his hands shaking. He wants me. He says so, but he knows it isn’t time. This is a package reserved for that special night. We vowed it to each other. But we can’t possibly stop now. Though we want to share the first kiss on our wedding day, in four months time, though we want to keep the petting and necking till the time is right, though we’re defying public opinion to keep our own union special, though, though…but right now we’re not so sure. The heat between us is maddening… We can’t stop now.

I swallowed his scent and waited for the inevitable kiss. But the moment he slipped his hand into my back and tried to find my bra, I knew we could stop, and with my last strength I pulled away and backed towards the door.

“I love you too much.” I said.

 

Utukwa Bemshima Ichiban Benebict:

When Dan finished shopping—buying things he didn’t need, he walked towards her usual spot by the counter.

“Thank you for shopping with us sir,” she said, handing over the pink polythene bag to him.

He got home feeling irritated. She had never looked at him for once in all the months he had shopped at BennyMart. He dumped the polythene bag in a corner and proceeded to pack his bags. Tomorrow he had to leave for Amsterdam.

Three months later he was back. Cleaning his room, he discovered the polythene bag was where he had dumped it. He poured the contents on the bed and a piece of paper slipped out. It read;

Dinner by 7pm at the Royco Café? Table 4. Ciao.

He jumped up from the bed and rushed to BennyMart.

“Sorry sir, she left two months ago. No, she left no forwarding address.”

 

Oyeniyi Miriam Oluwatosin:

Wonder L V E

“What’s that art class about again?”

Maria asked for the sixth time.

Drey breathed. “Advanced drawing, baby.”

“Of naked women?” She shot.

“Ain’t only women we draw, Maria, the male models pose too.”

“What in the world! I find it outrageous.”

Drey shifted on his seat.

“It’s nothing outrageous, Maria.”

“It’s not nothing outrageous, Drey! I insist. How the hell!” Maria was up.

“Babe, we are in a restaurant, stop making a scene.”

“Damn you! Quit that ridiculous class. It’s me or the class!”

And she was off.

She had actually walked out on him. At least, it was a good thing that the eatery was almost empty that evening.

He sat still. Maria. Jeez. She was jealous. They don’t even get a chance to talk to the models, what then was the clamour for…if even he wanted to talk; he would never be able to. Way, he had paid a big price to enroll for that class, there was simply no way he’d quit.

He was ordering his third cup of black coffee when he sighted Jim walking into the restaurant. Who waved and trotted towards him.

“Waddop, bro? Where’s Maria?”

“Gone,” he supplied.

Jim pulled out a chair.

“Another fight?”

“Uh,” Drey grunted.

Jim studied him awhile.

“Leave you to it then,” he made to leave.

Drey motioned quietly. “Buddy, what did Anna say when you told her ‘bout the art class?”

Jim settled back down. “Nothing.”

Drey raised his eyes.

“Nothing?”

“Yeah.” Jim shrugged. “What did Mary say?”

“She called it outrageous. She threatened me. Said to choose between her and the class. Because of the naked models.”

Jim was quiet. He stared.

“What?” Drey demanded.

Jim curved his lips.

“Just wondering what you’re peeved about.”

“What d’you mean?”

“You’re lucky, don’t you think? Because I wish Anna had showed even a hint of jealousy.”

Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji

Just like the troubled dark sky spreading above, Mike’s mind was disturbed and only a few worries away from bursting into a full blown emotional emergency. He kept thinking about the stupid thing he did about twenty minutes ago. It hadn’t seemed stupid when he had thought about it as he struggled with his calisthenics that morning, in fact, it had seemed romantic, brilliant and noble; something Jack Dawson or Romeo Montague would be proud of.

“Get a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates and a kitten and then, hang a letter outlining your sincere intentions around the cute feline’s neck”.

Mike bit his lower lip in anger and his stomach grouched in agreement.

“It’s going to be a bad day,” it must have said.

A blurred version of the stupid letter he wrote reappeared before his eyes

Dear Rachael,

I know my words are like small pockets of breeze slinking into one ear and departing through the other without a pit stop for any form of rethink or consideration. But I’ve refused to give up. Why? Because each night, I have dreams where I have dreams where I have dreams where I have dreams where we are a lovely couple kissing passionately with a beautiful little girl tugging at your skirt. I’ve refused give up because obviously, our love transcends several realities and it’s only a matter of time before it sublimates into this reality and you’ll finally give me the chance I crave…..

As he reads each words, a wave of sickness wrapped around him and he surely would have puked if not for where he was.

 

Obiajulu Nwodo:

He would drink amidst his cough and brag about the cough not hurting his chest. I do not mind this. If only he could stare into my eyes and see the desperate yearnings in them for his affection. If only his breath would fan my face and I’d be intoxicated by it. And no it isn’t lust on my part. No disgust. Who says love isn’t a spirit.

But he is a solider from the Eastern part of my country and I am only a young teenager; amateur, inexperienced…but love is a teacher. Love breaks…

 

Oyeniyi Miriam Oluwatosin:

I met her in grade six. She was a happy girl. I thought she could be my best friend. I thought she could be my sister. I summoned courage to ask her. Then, I met her mom in the store on Friday and said, “Ma’am, I’d love if you could give a message to Mary for me”, she stared at me hard and long, then bursted into tears. I was transfixed as she walked away muttering, “Mary is no more.”

 

Obiajulu Nwodo:

“Mary” he whispers today.

I pause and allow my breath come in chokes. I know what is on board, I also know the Operation Sweep Off Boko Haram leaves his body in strain. I can’t look behind at his eyes, those eyes the color of blood! I can only wait as his hand feels my back.

 

Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji:

She walked in through the big black gate and I almost went into syncope. She was like she’d always been; tall, busty, donning a dark cuticle that reflected the sun’s rays into a canopy of glowy, fiery wonderness that encapsulated her in totality. Our eyes met and immediately she wore a frown that spoke one word. A warning. A red flag. A swear word perhaps.

She turned away to the right towards the stairs that led to the staffroom,-- where I dropped the stupid letter, and just when I was about to heave a sigh of relief that I was free from her gaze, she turned back again, her eyes shot in my direction like lead bullets..

Obiajulu Nwodo:

I saw the tears in her eyes and had the impression she was acting. Unmoved, I shot right back at her even though my palms sweated. She made for the letter in unsteady steps and picked it up. Her delicate hand was swift at it, but I could have sworn it was a huge effort picking… I saw her confidence return; her eyes were now dry and colorless. A pout played around the corners of her mouth.

At least she’d keep the stupid letter.

 

Yikes to love stories. There’s more!

 

Oyeniyi Miriam Oluwatosin:

I watched Mom go through a hard day. She had a headache at noon but could not rest as Faith was ill. She needed to clean the house, do the laundry, run groceries, buy Faith’s tonic, pick us from school, oversee our homework and prepare dinner.

Sweaty, she ladled burnt rice unto Dad’s plate, apologizing profusely. Dad smiled and scooped my sister into his laps.

“I like my rice burnt, Honey”.

Utukwa Bemshima Ichiban Benebict:

Andy leaned back on the wooden head rest of the bed and watched as Linda slept peacefully; her chest heaving ever so lightly. He reached out his hand and gently swiped at her temples, pulling back stubborn wisps of hair.

She stirred and slowly opened her eyes.

“Hey Owly,” she said, stifling an incipient yawn with her hand.

He smiled. She had given him that name in primary four when the only way he had known how to express his love was by teasing her.

She got up and planted a kiss on his lips, then rolled off the bed. She turned at the bathroom door and winked at him, and like a shy school girl who steals her first kiss, she giggled and closed the bathroom door.

Andy smiled. Suddenly, everything was perfect, and not even the fact that he had lost his job a day earlier meant anything.

 

Oyeniyi Miriam Oluwatosin:

He would labour seven years to have her, because he was only a servant boy.

“Prove your love if you’re so desperate,” her father had spat in his face.

The terms were clear. He would do it. If it was just seven years, he would do it, it’s nothing. Anything to have the virgin daughter of the priest, anything for the only lady that ever captured his spirit. He knew her scent, he knew her shadow… And he told her these things the time he sneaked up to her window in the sixth year of waiting.

On the morn after the wedding, when he found out his consummation of the last night was with Bini her sister and not Fibi his love, his mind failed him. More did it when Fibi sent a letter through the cook:

“I thought you knew my shadow.”

 

Utukwa Bemshima Ichiban Benedict:

“I’m sorry I failed you Chris. I should have trusted you,” she said, sobs racking her body as she lay on the hospital bed. “When your mother showed me pictures of you and th…the white lady, I felt betrayed. I thought you had abandoned me.”

“She was just a participant at the workshop. We were just fooling around with selfies,” Chris said.

“Your mother made me believe differently. She told me you didn’t want anything to do with me and the pregnancy. I tried to call to reach you, to tell you, but when I couldn’t, I believed the worst.”

Later, in the brightly-lit corridor of the hospital, the doctor said to Chris, “Her uterus was perforated when she dried to abort. We did all we could but sepsis had already set-in. She couldn’t have survived the excessive hemorrhage.”

Thereafter, screams of, “Oh mother!” could be heard throughout the hospital.

 

Mmm…

And so love makes the world go yikes!

 

MORE WORDS

Next are lectures that were delivered in the course of the convention. Thought you might like to have a bite. I delivered most of them as my friends had their hands quite full.

 

THE CHALLENGED WRITER

This is for the writer who’s going through the unpalatable.

What is it you that you are having to deal with? Disability? Sickness? Money challenges? Family challenges? Multiple rejections? Or maybe plagiarism issues.

Now those could be tough. You envy the others, I know. Wish you had that thing they use so easily, so carelessly… My word is this: You’ll be fine.

Do you believe in God? That’s the only way I know you can go through this and emerge conqueror. I can’t give what I don’t have, only what I do, and what I have is His grace.

You really can’t let this stop you from being who you desire to be. I have no idea what you’re battling with but I know God understands it all. It’s deeper than just a little tiny writing but it’s okay.

This one is dedicated to you.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.

Stay fine.

 

HOW DO I KNOW I’M READY TO COMPETE?

Simple. If you want to know how ready you are to compete with other writers, simply enter the competition. By the time you get kicked out before you even get to sit down, you’d understand how ready you are.

That’s just the fastest way to know.

If you cringe from competitions, you’d never know how sound you really are. You’d be feeling yourself in your own bedroom, a city of one where you’re king. But if you put your content out there and discover you’re way behind, you’ll understand faster how much farther away you are from being professional and then you can decide to go tighten up your laces.

That’s just to tell you that in 2017, compete as much as you can.

You’ll learn faster and smarter that way. You’ll come out fully baked, bold and daring.

As much as God gives you the grace, compete.

One more thing: Compete to improve. Any other reason may bring you trouble. The prizes and popularity, those are just the added juiciness of the offer. Makes it totally worth the stress. It’s not wrong to want them but don’t make them your main motivation.

Happy convention, and I’m loving those duels

 

THE WRITERSDREAD

This one is about writer’s block. We’ve got to clarify that load of rubbish here and now before I snap. I’ll TRY to be brief.

Now this writer’s block thing has had plenty definitions and it has even been said to be a myth. Let me tell you now what you need to know about it.

It ain’t a myth, it’s real…ah, but hold on!

We know we get tired sometimes, clueless, or just plain lazy. At times we don’t want to go to work, to class… At times a person gets stuck in an exam hall, (brain failure or so), a person enters a room for something and absolutely forgets why he went in, or a lover forgets his lines the minute he sees the smiling beauty…so also a writer at times just does not know what to write.

Meaning, it’s like any other occurrence, stop making a big deal out of it.

Liken it to hiccups. Yeah, hiccups, that sudden chasm that occurs somewhere between the diaphragm and bla bla bla making you go hic…hic! The hiccups has no known cause, it just happens to us and the cures for it differ from person to person. Some may have to drink water, some may have to get a friend to scare them and some just simply do…nothing. Everyone has his best method.

Same with our subject matter. For me, writers’ block is only real when I don’t have obligations and deadlines. But becomes mere word when I have content to write and the deadline is close and I’m competing for a prize. So here’s what I do. If it was a myth once, it can be a myth always. I make it a myth all day long. If I can’t write, I relax, I read or do other things. Yeah, big deal.

If you pet your “writer’s block”, you can’t wait to use it as an excuse for every sad thing you’re feeling and you’re searching all over the internet for cures, then you may just be bound to always have it.

If you realize you can’t write, just relax. It’ll be fine.

If you ever have that writer’s block, whatever it is, drink chalk.

But don’t say I told you so.

Bottom-line: People, we are not machines; everyone gets tired at times; needing rest, clueless; needing advice, lazy; needing motivation, and bothered; needing comfort. Writer or not, it’s what it is: life.

I’ll just end this awkwardly. There.

 

WHY DO YOU WRITE?

A number of stories and poems have so far been written during this convention. Each has its own theme and that’s what this lecture is about.

This is closely related with your belief as a writer. What do you and what do you not value? What kinds of lessons would you pass on from a story or write-up?

Why do you write? To inspire, to tell about your experiences, to entertain, to inform, to motivate, to encourage or just to show off? This is one important thing you’ve got to settle before you dive headlong into the world of writing. This helps you not to be a jack of all trades, competing in every contest, writing aimless content or being any kind of writer without a game plan. Yeah, niche-related, but even after deciding you want to write poetry, you should know why you want to write it. What do you want to say with your poems? If you’re a love-story writer, why do you want to do it? To discourage heartbreak among the masses, to discourage divorce? What will it be like? Would your love stories encourage sex outside marriage? Would you be the puppy-love specialist, or the friend-zoning specialist? And if it’s inspirational you do, why do you? Is it about religion and faith, morals or academics? Or do you simply just want to write poetry for kids? Or stories for women? Or articles for fashion? Or simply cookery books?

Why would you write?

Well, I, write for one thing: To inspire. And that’s why most of my stories contain morals, according to my belief as a Christian.

Either I’m telling stories or writing poems or giving a lecture, I aim to inspire. Is that obvious?

Writers, stick to your reason any day, including when you are competing for a prize. Don’t lose your reason for writing, focus and don’t be bothered.

Cares…

 

THE WRITERS NETWORK

It is very important to maintain a good relationship with other people, after all, you can’t exactly just write for yourself. A solid network with your readers as well as with other writers is one gift you can give yourself. Don’t you think? It’s not a hard thing to do, just be yourself, flow, then keep these in mind:

CHOOSE PEOPLE YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH.

You may not be comfortable with every kinds of people. So choose the ones you find it easy to talk with, ask questions from, rub minds with and laugh with. They don’t all have to be your age mates but should be your teammates, all working towards a common goal.

This is also to say you should:

CHOOSE THE RIGHT PEOPLE

You get to choose your friends even if you can’t choose your family

You should choose carefully and intelligently. It’s better to have three great friends than twenty useless ones. I’m just saying.

Don’t pack a load of losers in your team. Reach out to the focused ones, the diligent ones and the purpose-driven people.

You’ll then need to be:

OPEN TO COMMUNICATION

Make sure there’s a way your team can always reach you, to pass info, ask a question or just to laugh. Don’t be aloof even after you get them to be your friends. If situation permit, well, you may have lunch together, just keep the communication lines open and respond promptly to messages.

Next:

BE KNOWN FOR YOUR INTEGRITY

If you say you’ll do a thing, then make sure to keep your word, i.e. Don’t be a liar, nor should you be a bluffer. Give your word and follow through, otherwise, don’t give your word at all.

Do I really have to tell you about this next one?

BE NICE

Don’t be cocky, rude or proud. What do you have anyway that you were not given? (The Bible asks). You can’t be approached, can’t give a compliment, just all wrapped up in yourself. Don’t be like that, or you won’t have too many people to work with and “woe to him that is alone”…the Bible says.

Finally,

BE CAREFUL

Yes. Take care of yourself. You’re trying to build up your network but be cautious, don’t get a suicide bomber on your team, who’s all the way pretending to be interested in your writing. Draw the line, you don’t have to meet everyone, you don’t have to give everyone your number, and…you don’t have to respond to every message.

Pffft… I’m sure you know.

Finally finally;

HAVE A GOOD PROFILE OUTLOOK

Your profile page is important, as is your display pic and welcome words. Make your visitors know what you do at a glance, and you may like to employ my style: Big smile…with your teeth showing!

 

Utukwa Bemshima Ichiban Benedict:

ON FLASH FICTION

Let us write!

The best way to write is to write.

No matter how talented, skilled, or inspired you are, if you don’t write, nothing will be written.

Read and write!

Write!

Can you really be a writer without being an ardent reader? I doubt.

Reading does something to you, plants things in your subconscious that spring out when you start writing; it gives you perspective and a sense of what is, should be, and what can be. At some point you wonder how you knew the appropriate word to use, how to arrange a sentence, and how to twist a plot.

You learn different styles by reading.

You build your vocabulary through reading.

You stretch your imagination through reading.

Also, you get frustrated through reading (When you read a great book, you shout “God, why me!)

Write!

Flex your writing muscles; stretch yourself. Writing teaches you more about writing than reading a thousand books on writing. Read all you want, but until you start writing…well, nothing will be written.

Write, write, and write. Stories are like women, they like attention, the day you stop writing them, you lose them—probably lose them to me.

What is flash fiction?

But before we get to that, what is fiction?

Fiction is prose (writing) that employs the imagination to describe people, places, events, or things. It is often invented and untrue.

This however, does not mean that works of fiction are entirely based on falsehood. Most fiction writers also draw on their experiences, observations, and knowledge to write their works. The more believable a work of fiction appears, the more it is appreciated.

If a writer of fiction can take you into his imagination and make you see the things he sees and feel the thing he feels, then he has done a great job.

Now, what is Flash Fiction?

There are many schools of thought on this one. Some say Flash fiction is a work of fiction that is two thousand words or less. Some say a thousand two hundred words or less. And some say a thousand words or less. But for the sake of this convention, we will define flash fiction as a work of fiction that falls between a thousand words and six words.

Now you know the goal of this Cubicle; brevity—telling a story using as few words as possible.

 

Thanks, Benedict. And during registration, we had this short story from Oluwaseyi Oyetunbi.

 

I wouldn’t know it was Christmas if I didn’t see Dad with a vast white cock, having a crest that is as sparkling as the crown the queen of England carries. Oh yeah! Since 20years ago of my knowledge about this day, that’s been my reason for the celebration of the season.

At around 7:30 am, on the 25th of December, the aroma that springs off the kitchen relieved my alarm from duty. Even before I got up from where l kept my body, I already knew it was time to take-in all I could as it usually happens just once a year.

What I still ask myself is, the reason why Jesus was not conceived and given birth to again so that, we can enjoy all Christmas holds at least twice a year.

Am I the only one with this ridiculous thought?

 

Yikes! Oh yeah, I think that last one was ridiculous indeed.

 

Ayodeji Oluwaseyi Isaac:

NOTES ON LOVE STORIES

1. They are just like any story i.e. they must have heroes (the hero and heroine) who are looking to satisfy their internal and external goals, there must be high stakes, conflicts, an exponential progression of oppositions and so on. Love happens when they realise their goals or needs can be satisfied in the other.

For example:

A quadriplegic lady who wants peace and release (internal goal) by dying and leaving the world (external goal) as she is fed up of the reality and pain of not ever walking again. And there is our guy, a physiotherapist with who’s tagged mediocre by colleagues and bosses because he makes silly clumsy errors a lot. Our guy wants to be respected (internal goal) by doing something magical or phenomenal in the physiotherapy profession (external goal). So the quadriplegic lady is given to him to manage but because she is fed up with life, she doesn’t obey his instructions, she is purposely dormant in treatment sessions and does all she can to frustrate the guy. Guy struggles to help but he keeps at it…we all know how it ends, he cures her and earns respect while the lady falls for the withstanding guy and gets her peace. (Permit the haphazardness, anybody can develop the story o but pay me a commission or I will go legal.)

2. Most love stories have the happy ending i.e. the guy (hero) gets the girl (heroine). Some might not end that way though, but we must know they will end up together or we must understand why they cannot end up together in spite of the burning emotional tension between the duo .

3. The more the different or apart the position of our persons of interest on the spectrum of life and personalities, the better. A sad girl and a live wire, an athletic lady and a podgy young man, a prince and a street beggar etc. BUT this doesn’t mean normal, similar people cannot be your focus, they just have to want different things; We are all tired of two people who are obviously looking for love. How about a guy who doesn’t want love but he falls in love or something with a twist. Don’t make the need for love too obvious.

4 Your love story should be multi-layered. It should be more than just a love story. An aplocalpytic love story would turn heads so would a political love story, horror love story and so on. Mix genres

 

Right. Hope you’re learning. Come with me.

POETRY

I have to admit, I was saving the best for the last.

Poetry cubicle was led by Kareem Omoboriowo, a very poetic storyteller. Enjoy!

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

AN ODE TO A FINE MISTRESS

Thy beauty reflects from within

Thy body tempts a saint to sin

Skin as soft and tender as silk

Thy breast is rich in flesh and milk

 

Thy crystal clear heart is love-filled,

Blessed with greens like Eden field

Thy spoken words are as bold as brass

Smooth but rare as a treasure glass

 

I plead to be lured by thy glares,

For thy eyes are two gleaming pearls

Thy mild embrace is a warm toast

Thy pleasure night I desire most

 

To long live in my illusion,

Fill my throat with thy love portion

As sincere as an infant weep;

Love is blue as the ocean deep.

 

Toby Abiodun:

They say joy comes in the morning,

Your girlfriend, Joy, comes at night for the money,

You had better be worth the ‘change’ or won’t find it funny.

The last guy who had her knew hell,

And you know in relationships you don’t kiss and tell.

He knew how men break body parts when they fall in love,

Even masochists would seek help from above.

“Back to sender” na the prayer dem dey give bad thing,

Your babe bad gan but you nor wan send her back

You aren’t the guy with a muscular body or a six pack

(Wetin dem dey use am do?)

All you have are records of Biggy and TuPac.

To keep you from bouncing off the wall when she brings her plenty wahala

You can die getting her NAIRAS ‘cos her sex poses blow your mind and make your heart pound,

At the mention of money she offers you another round,

She’s one pro that you’ve found,

Everything on her body’s profound:

Her behind puts your exes behind,

On her chest are two mountains you can’t describe,

Her lips are a drug all doctors would prescribe,

Her figure makes your BP rise,

She wouldn’t need to strip for your manhood to rise,

Her heart is as light as morning meals but it won’t break fast,

Her voice so satisfying, you almost never need breakfast.

You steadily “grind” for her to live a “soft life”,

Give her all she wants even your life,

But a girl who wants it all must get it all,

Her dreams are of Dubai malls never about a wedding hall.

You’re spending your Naira on a girl in need of Benjamins,

So one awful afternoon you find her in your room with Ben, jamming,

You think it’s a dream but it’s really happening,

The girl who you had fallen deep into a chasm for,

Was on a bed going through orgasm,

Your night remained a night,

Worse still you couldn’t even fight.

 

And after that I told them: Y’all make me love poetry all over again.

 

Akunna James-ibe:

NEVER NEVER LAND

This is where I love you,

Where rainbows are lightening streaks,

Where stars are music lyrics,

Where tears taste like honeydew.

 

This is where I love you,

Where words are paint brushes,

Where flaws are divine blotches,

Where skies are never blue.

 

This is where I love you,

Where time dances ballet,

Where age is young and gray,

Where the heavens seeks to woo.

 

This is where I love you,

Somewhere I can’t show,

Somewhere you don’t know,

Just know it’s somewhere beautiful.

 

This is where I love you,

Somewhere I can’t show,

Somewhere you don’t know,

So it’s okay if you don’t love me too.

 

Yikes!

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary:

MY DILEMMA

It began the day I was given birth to,

The very day I was raised from Mother Earth,

When I chose a life so calm and cool,

Quiet and crystal clear like the moon.

 

Then I went to school and it dawned on me,

How can I just so lonely be,

In the midst of noisy ladies and men,

Who only joke and play with a pen?

And now I’m torn apart,

And soon I will break without doubt,

Between two lifestyles to choose,

A quiet simple life with no friends.

Sitting alone on the fence

Or a social busy noisy one,

With no crown to be won,

In between the devil i see,

And the deep dark blue sea,

I stand like an old Grandma,

Waiting to be judged like a performer,

And that is my dilemma.

 

Arewa Eniola:

SOMEONE I WISH TO MARRY

Someone I wish to marry,

She’s been on my mind for a while

But not until now

I love her deeply in my heart

But situation persists

We snubbed each other

We never talked for months

But deeply in my heart I missed her.

Someone I wish to marry

I can’t deny that

I just can’t tell

I’m really in love.

 

Oyeniyi Miriam Oluwatosin:

Three Verses and a Tear.

Stop!

Rub me taunt.

More!

Numb me daunt.

Sore!

Hurt me blunt.

Bore!

Blunt it brunt.

Halt!

Warm me burnt.

Love!

You christened it.

Toil!

Re-christening it.

Soiled!

Me fleeing beat.

Spoilt!

We reaching pit!

~

Far!

Whisked me off.

And!

Dreamed fine days.

Bang!

Begged me stay.

Said!

You’d make blaze!

Ah!

Your sweet tale!

Ball!

You played me.

Mare!

You rode me.

Bare!

You stripped me!

Near!

You stilled me.

And where?

It’s all gone!

 

Lust!

Weird myth.

Call!

Try rubbish!

Fall!

Your problem!

Leave!

We’re over!

Forgive!

In your dreams.

Achieve!

Wish you bads!

Life!

Robs you blue!

Tears!

Leak over!

 

Bryan Allen:

A tear,

A stranger to the word, I am

No need to vent when you another’s soul can rent

For whenever the thought I cannot bear

Then comes a friend whose heart I slam

Pay heed and listen lest I vent

When I am down, be there to bear.

 

Bryan Allen:

I Watch From Above

The World has come to naught!

Or is it the word? I never can tell

Do the very foundations of the Earth crumble or not?

Or is it just my mind? I never can tell

A world I forged from Genesis to Malachi

Just lacks that plot to propel its elevations

Shall I remain content before I die?

Or shall I still search for my Revelations?

My pen I pick up and my world I bring down

To build it again from scratch and from words

Some say a writer bringeth life

But I know I am become Death destroyer of Worlds.

 

Oyinloye John:

Many young amidst few older ones; with dazzling exhibition of perversity.

Worn in half torn dresses and stilettos of diverse inches;

They wonder the roadside as mobile advert.

They are the fayre of night, enchanting the eyes that set on their seemingly nudity.

Tarty nightwalker; hawking their goods of lust and, lacking essence of remorse.

They embrace shame dearly and exchange their pride for cowries.

City virgin; goddess of purity!

Ruler of night; why take hostage of idle husbands, lost of decency.

Mistress of the street; the housewives bid you gallant.

Your ways are obscene, and accountable to none.

We wait patiently for your revulsion; that you home no more on the roadside.

We wait until then; when our homes are no longer maped.

We wait still, city virgins

 

And now to the ABAB Scheming, these guys are cool, yikes?

 

Kareem starts:

The sky is dark

The wind is chill

Our fears are back

and hell is real.

 

Your turn…

 

Oyinloye John:

Tik-tok the clock sings slowly;

Yet the sun is fast ridden by time.

The sun left us with darkness;

Says a companion for the night.

We were caught amidst the loneliness;

As Adam before Eves’ slime.

Awaiting, awaken from long rest;

For morning returns with light.

 

Toby Abiodun:

Showing the world your lips

Is teaching the dumb to speak,

The deaf love it

When you sing…”

 

Arewa Eniola:

The crown of Queen Medulla

Seating on the Far East wall

There goes the king of Persia

Posing with an enemy’s skull.

 

Bryan Allen:

Fire! Fire!

Fire on the Northeast wall

But to rise from bed the King does not desire

And so the kingdom shall fall.

 

Bryan Allen:

To err is human

To vomit is reviled

Though the stomach betray the man

To forgive is divine

 

Arewa Eniola:

Long live the queen

When the bell rings

In the land of the being

Where there are no kings

 

Akunna James-ibe:

The Fire crackers;

Bomb blasts and gun shots.

The Santas;

Soldiers bearing relief and evil plots.

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary:

Yet without being called he came,

He sent his only son,

To make known to them his name,

To make them shine like the sun.

 

Akunna James-ibe:

So to that tree let’s flee,

where his blood was shed like autumn leaves,

So in that pain let’s see,

Hope and love, the freedom he gives.

 

Arewa Eniola:

Sound is quite different from noise

But our noisy neighbors are back

Let’s make a better choice

But don’t let’s move outside the rack

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary:

And with that tree as our sign,

Lets show the world his love,

By sharing our bread and wine,

By living a life he will be proud of.

 

Akunna James-ibe:

Then when the cherubim sound their golden horns,

He’ll turn our dirges to joyful poetry,

He’ll renew the rose petals on our crown of thorns,

He’ll remold us, his broken pottery.

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary:

And we shall sing with the saints

Aye, dancing round in gowns of white,

Singing songs of endless Ave,

For we have won the glorious fight!

 

Abel Zamani:

A heart of gold to make me bold.

And overcome this slavery.

But I’ve been cold since I was sold,

And betrayed, i lost my bravery.

 

Bamitale Adekunle:

Deep in the abyss of the deep,

Sat I, here in the prism of self,

My soul taking a dip,

And my heart only left.

 

Akunna James-ibe:

I saw the light but I shielded my eyes,

I saw the rains but it reminded me of my tears.

I’ve been torn by stabs of lies.

I’ve been caged by my fears

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

Friendship is fire, time is a stream

And deep beneath it, memories are lost

The things we once loved becomes a dream

Thing we once dreamed disappears with the dust.

 

Oyinloye John:

Friendship rode on time.

Friendship grew weary.

Friendship fell off time.

Friendship and forgiveness, never weary.

 

Bamitale Adekunle:

Punted and hunted and by grace live,

Not of him,

But of things greater than the wisest men

No man can understand grace.

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary:

The longer I sat, the more I thought,

Thinking and sitting on the mat,

Of the inner wars that I have fought

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary:

Who will judge my case,

And tie me not in knot?

A rose in a vase,

Or the king in the north?

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

Who will heal their rot?

Who will forgive their sins?

Will you give your trust

To those heartless beings?

 

Chukwudi Raphaelmary:

Not the rich man in his haven,

Eating from a golden platter,

But the Almighty in Heaven,

With the heart of a father.

 

Arewa Eniola:

He was officially blind

But he could see the sky

Then how could he be blind

Till I heard love covered his eye

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

They never called for mercy

They hid behind their sin

They thought their lives were too messy

For the heavenly Father to clean.

 

Chikelu Chino:

My pen is bleeding

From a piercing cut

The world is waiting

For my first shot.

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

The monsters are back

More fierce and ruthless

They come when the hour is dark

And make a precious night sleepless

 

Chikelu Chino:

The night is cold and lonely

Like a dream without end

I can laugh and smile if only

I have you as my friend.

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

Friendship will only last a while

As long as death still exist.

Who then will make you smile,

When life walks me through its exit?

 

Chikelu Chino:

True friendship is like glue

That binds us together still

Even when the sky is red or blue

There’s what death cannot kill

 

Kareem Omoboriowo:

If the bound of friendship survives death,

Time will soften its strength and memories,

Even if it is as far back as the birth of Earth,

Into silence will the wind fade its melodies.

 

Chikelu Chino:

Friendship is fire,

Time is the ash.

Nothing can ruin our desire

Even time’s fleeting dash.

 

Arewa Eniola:

The king whispers,

Be afraid of the storm,

Under the palace slippers,

There was a dorm.

 

Those poems were some of the best things that happened in that convention. And that convention was one of the most memorable events we ever had in the write-world.

Thanks for reading. By the grace of God, we are coming back with better stories, and pentameters that will daze you.

We will “torch” the world.

Oh, of course, yikes!

2016 Convention Team.

Top, from left: Ugochukwu Boyant Nnadozie, Oyeniyi Miriam oluwatosin, Kareem Omoboriowo.

Down, from left: Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji, Obiajulu Nwodo, Utukwa Bemshima Ichiban Benedict.

 

 

Thanks for being there, guys.

Thanks for getting a copy of this. Keep your eyes peeled for the Total Writers Convention 2017. We hope to see you there. You can connect with any of the writers whose works you have read in here through Miriam on Facebook: https://mobile.facebook.com/oyeniyimiriam or simply email her via [email protected]. If you enjoyed this anthology, could you please drop a review on the book’s page through your favorite retailer? We would so much love to hear from you. Okay, yikes!

 

 


STORIES THAT TORCH

Humour. Yeah. That's in the entire book. This is the result of joint efforts of young writers from different places... And there, I really don't know how else to describe it but we all know that when writers come together to achieve a goal, except if they are high on weed, they usually emerge victorious. Besides, you can judge this one book by its cover.

  • ISBN: 9781370415090
  • Author: Oyeniyi Miriam
  • Published: 2017-01-27 09:50:20
  • Words: 15424
STORIES THAT TORCH STORIES THAT TORCH