#1MinFiction – Don’t touch

donttouch

What is it about signs that say Don’t touch, wet paint? You instantly get the urge to reach out and touch, is it really wet?

Bats breeding. It said, nah,  someone’s trying to stop me from getting my fix of mangoes, trying to spoil my healthy food diet!

I ripped the sign off and shook the tree.

Woosh!!!, flapping wings, high pitched screeching, they descended with my precious mangoes.

Droppings, gunk, baby bats looking dazed,  angry momma and papa bats.

I’ve learnt my lesson.

#1MinFiction- how many times?

Howdy,  long time no write. Yep, life seems to get in the way and the world is getting crazier by the day.  To ease myself back in, I’ve decided to join  Nortina@lovely curses 1MinFiction.

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How many times have I looked at his picture, read his letters and smelt that empty bottle of cologne?

He never came back, mama got tired of waiting. So did I.

It’s time to put his stuff away, no more just in case.
Pops, your little girl just got married.
#1MinFiction

Short story Day Africa -Story prompt Galaxy

Hi there,

My contribution to the following image prompt.

galaxy

Life sucks and then the Ogbunigwe galaxy claims you. I’d been waiting for its counterpart – Death. It was scared of me. I’d claimed my space twice.  It let the others in.  It took the strong, it left the defenceless. Its agents were my people. They weren’t faceless, their scarifications told their stories.  The Yoruba, Nupe, Igalas and people from the other side of the delta. I see you.

Betrayed by their voices and high on pot, my country men – took the strong and left the weak.

Did they forgot me. Cowards? Did their hands betray them? Or were they too blood stained already?

They took him – best father in the world – shot down on market day, felled like a skittle, who will make my hot chocolate tonight? – Who will give me away when Emeka finally plucks up the courage?

‘Wait oh, have they’ve taken Emeka?’

The gunshots get louder and the agents get bolder. They’ve started on the weak.

‘Wetin we go do?’ cry the women, ‘They’ve taken the men, they’ve taken our food, now they want our daughters.

I keep looking for a sign, Ogbunigwe continues its journey dropping thunder on a burning town.

Why? I ask, just finish the job.

Meteor rubble burns my clothes. I strip and wait for it to take me.

The women copy me. They think it’s a sign. They strip. We stand naked as we came.

We sing the battle songs our mothers sang fighting the colourless agents.

They raise their instruments to shoot. They stop.

Short Story day Africa – Writer Prompt 13: Pink Bubblegum

pinkbubblegum
Short story day Africa writer prompt 
What a web we weave when we seek to deceive. I’d heard that many a time and now I was caught in it.
Her tone went from annoyance to disbelief. She was looking for me, she must have found him.
How stupid were we? I thought he liked mama, she always went a bit overboard when he visited. Preening and pruning, Ama and I just laughed at her attempts to wax her hairy legs. Why bother?
He had tried it on before, I told her. She did not believe me.
Uncle Stephan bought us gifts, he looked after us, he fixed the car, he bought me my first phone and he bought me packets of pink bubble gum.
No, don’t be silly, she said. I had misunderstood. He’s French she said, they’re always kissing and hugging.
There was a lot to eat when he was around, mama bothered, she cooked, and she showered. he said my behind was getting bigger, mama said I took after her. I didn’t know where to look.
The veterinary clinic was open, people came, animals were treated mama made a living and everyone was happy.
That day started with a pinch, a swipe of my behind and what he called his daddy bear cuddle. His spidery hands invaded me. I was enveloped in fumes of Marlboro lights, gin and bubble gum.
‘I’ll jab you with this’ I said, waving the stun gun in his face.
He laughed. More fumes.
‘You wouldn’t dare’.
And so I did.
The tranquilliser dart went in like a hot knife in a slab of butter. He legs turned to jelly, his mouth went slack and that was that.
Another scream. Yep, she had definitely found him..
‘Savannah, what the heck have you done?’
It’s funny how she knew who’d done it, but yet, she never believed me.

Short Story Day -Writer Prompt 10: 7 – 21 August -Mardi Gras

Hi there,

This is my little bit of pure flash fiction for a Short Story Day Africa prompt of a Mask.

mask
Short story day Africa

Mardi Gras
My dear, I’ll weep when I hear of your demise. I’ll throw myself onto the floor and tear off my clothes. People will think grief has driven me insane.
They will shake their heads in pity and say “Sorry oh, my sister”.

They’ll turn their noses up as soon as my back is turned and think about what you may or may not owe them. Your people will come and demand that I remain in the house for 7 days. They will ask me to shave my head, to wear black and starve myself.
What nonsense I’ll think, I don’t have to wear that face anymore. I can choose my own pretty face, I can wear flowers in my hair. I can put pictures on the wall. I can dance to Fela or whatever the kids dance to these days. I am looking forward to that.

Husband, your journey has been long, but your farewell is nigh.

Your people are here, they look around the rooms and ask if you left money for the funeral rites, I shrug my shoulders and cry. I have other masks– the helpless widow, the dutiful wife or the faceless fool who fetched and carried and cooked and cleaned but was never heard.
I put one on and compose myself.

They pretend to feed my children while siphoning grain from the stores. I notice previously empty bags are now full. My mask slips, I go wild and send your people packing. They snigger and stare.

The imam counts his rosary beads, whispering fake prayers under his breath. I ask him to leave. It IS my house now.

I hear the sounds of Samba in the distance, it is Mardi Gras tomorrow. I will dance to my heart’s content, the shackles have been shed.
RIP jailer. It’s my time to shine.

Sunrise

One day in the Zambesi Bush

The elephant was well and truly in the room or should i say bush!, there was no escaping, there was nowhere to hide, I couldn’t be a wall flower today, I had just found out that today was my day, the day I was to be signed over.

One of the older sisters had summoned me after Morning Prayer, she asked me to sit on a low stool and began to paint intricate designs in henna on my feet and hands, I asked her why, she smiled and said, knowingly. “Your time has come”.

“Time has come for what” I asked, “am I to be released, have I done something wrong or what?”

She smiled again and said “Abdul Rahman has chosen you, you are lucky”

And so it dawned on me, I was to be given to Abdul Rahman, a man child I had never met, I had heard the other women say he was one of the young mean ones, that he was assured martyrdom, he had no qualms about doing anything for the cause, he had tricked some of the girls into speaking in English and then got them punished, just for a laugh, as western education was banned, western languages were also banned.

In my defiance of this rule I thought in English, I prayed in English, I sung to myself in English, I counted each day in English, they could steal my freedom but not my thoughts.

And so I waited for my turn, I was told by one of the older girls that it was to be between Zuhr and Asr prayers – 2 and 4 o’clock, the hottest part of the day.

“It won’t be that bad” she said,

“Just think of past good times, at least you will belong to someone” she said and giggled,

I can’t imagine why she thought it was a good thing, may be the sun had got to her head, she’d been here too long or she was well and truly one of them.

The call to prayer for Zuhr went out and we washed and prayed… and then it started, I and ten other girls were ushered into a room, the youngest was about 13, I knew her, we lived on the same street, her parents were rich, they had the big house on the corner, they had running water and would open the gates between ten and twelve every day to let people fetch water for free, they were good people. Why hadn’t she and the rest of us been rescued, I prayed every day in the beginning and now I just recited the Quran as we had been taught, no-one was listening in this dark dank place, even the birds looked forlorn, the hyenas that used ‘laugh’ at us were disinterested, the chameleons were too hot to move and just stuck their tongues out to catch their prey, we were trapped like bush meat in snares and about to be signed over to the unknown. We were each given a clean hijab, a pair of new shoes and a gold bangle!, the older sisters rubbed our feet with a mixture of sandalwood, camwood and cheap perfume, the smell made me gag, throwing up might put the kunshi off for a day or two, but would also get me punished, this was the bridal shower from hell, the women cackled like old witches and made crude jokes about the men, I thought Muslim women were supposed to be pure.

The imam called my name – my new name which I often forgot – I had gone from Agnes Bakky to Munira, I repeated my name a few times every day so I wouldn’t forget, how could I forget my own name?

“A Muslim husband must look after his wife, she is his property and he is her property, she must do everything he says without question…”. The imam droned on and on for at least thirty minutes.

The men came out and we were handed over, I was led over to Abdul Rahman, he was dressed in white with a black skull cap, he didn’t look at me, his so called beard which all the men were encouraged to grow was a sparse as the hair on his head, he couldn’t be more than eighteen I doubt if he knew one end of a women from the other. The imam asked if he was happy with his choice, he said, yes. I was not asked for my opinion and that was it, he glanced at me and then I knew why he couldn’t look at me, I knew him.
“Be quiet, you will go home soon”

May be there was a light at the end of this dark tunnel, I might be going home soon, but I had a wedding night to contend with, God be with me and my newlywed sisters. Amen.