by Joy Okwori, published 2 days, 20 hours ago

Dipo hates the beginning of each new day because it reminds him of the things he fails to achieve but yet all he does is; sit at home all day, and wish that somehow, help will come to him. Don't you wonder if a person like that can ever achieve anything at all?

It was a new day, mama watched him in silence because the many times she had advised him, he had screamed and threatened to leave the house. “Don’t you want to achieve your goals, do you want to live like your late father when there are so many possibilities out there?” she had asked him, just like a good mother would do. Dipo had screamed at her, throwing his hands in the air and kicking an empty bucket that was right in front of him.

“I know you are tired of sharing your food with me. I will go, I will leave you here!” Mama shook her head in pain. “If you have chosen to live your life on the crumbs from the tables of other people , life will build you a mountain of trouble. You should listen to my advice and work hard while it is yet day, so you can make your generation proud.”

He hissed. “Mama, there’s no point saying all of these things to me. God gave me an elder brother who is doing so well in business so that I won’t have to suffer, he should send me money. After all, I am a graduate with no employment from the government yet. It will be unfair of him to think only of his wife and besides, they have no children yet.”

Mama is stunned at Dipo’s response. “Your brother’s money is not your money! You must never forget that, go out there and make your own money, your brother has a life of his own to live! Dipo said nothing but finds himself a place to sit. The stool was dirty, instead of using a rag to wipe the dirt, he carried the empty water gallon to sit on. That same attitude of not wanting to sweat so as to be comfortable, is the reason he will rather wait for his elder brother to send him money rather than work for his own.

The backyard looked like it had not seen a broom for years. Mama’s back hurts from years of hard labor, she sometimes wishes that Chioma will decide to come live with her instead of staying in a hostel, but the cost will be more and the stress as well. Dipo will rather complain all day in his room and afterwards wait for mama to make something for him to eat and if she didn’t, he’ll walk to the nearest shop to get himself 'garri' and sugar.

Ever since he came back from his youth service, he caused mama nothing but pain. His elder brother had wanted to be of help to him so he sent money for him to start a business, but Dipo spent the money on his girlfriend. One who slept with all kinds of men for money. Mama stared at Dipo, tears welled up in her eyes as she wondered where she must have gone wrong in raising him to be a man.

He was different from his other siblings. Even chioma his younger sister had started a small scale business so as to reduce the workload on her elder brother. The neighbors were gossiping about it already, because each time they heard Dipo’s voice, they feared he will beat mama who was already frail and needed more peace than she got. Mama looked at the paw-paw tree that stood at the backyard whistling as if it was trying to tell her a secret; she smiled and asked Dipo to pluck the brown pawpaw leaf that was almost falling off the tree.

Even that, was a simple task but Dipo complained before he stretched his hands towards the tree. Mama let the tears fall from her eyes, as she couldn’t hold it back anymore. She however said to him: “Dipo my son, you are just like this leaf and because you have let your brother carry your weight, one day you will fall down. The reason is because your brother will have to carry the weight of others too, and it will be time to let go of you, but if you are wise, you will work hard so you can become a giant tree yourself.”

Mama had just said some wise words and waited for Dipo to respond. All he did was laugh. “Mama, this thing you have said, is arrant nonsense. You are getting old and you are beginning to talk out of sense. How can you compare me to a withered leaf?” Mama failed to answer him, she was breathing too fast but he didn’t notice. Even when she fell off her chair and passed out of this world, all Dipo said was “aha, I knew you were sleepy as to why you were talking nonsense.”

He walked away to hang out with his friends, using same money that was sent for mama’s treatment cause she was hypertensive. Dipo did have eyes, but it was obvious that his mind was blind, and that there was a limit to what he did see.

™ Joy Okwori.

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One beat, the outbreak.

by jibilla, published 5 days, 20 hours ago

The story begins with the most anticipated event (OneBeat) with stage lights dancing in many directions, hype, excitement, screams and shouts, just about to announce the winners, then a sudden flash back into precedence.

Ben-dancer is chased by a group of guys, whom he usually report to, this time he needed some personal money and that got him into trouble. Trying everyday to survive, feeding from hand to mouth, he goes around campuses with the idea of doing menials but then most times stealing things.

In the process of time he met a girl (sally) who enjoys the company of the trees whilst working out. They got along and in no time helped Ben focus on his talent,mixing up sounds for his local performances. He started getting famous, started a small group and then the shot at ONE BEAT.

They needed to meet the criteria to register and did not have the money, sally offered to help but because of her many nights out she was grounded by her rich Dad, only way was to steal one of his ATM card.

They needed an expert so Yemi came in, but like they say, “deal went south” he doubled them both. With the news on the street, the mafias needed their cut as well now all searching for Ben.

Now the law enforcement,will they be able to track and deliver justice?

PLOT: A modern day setting, with a lot of love, emotions, tension, anxiety, the big event, betrayal and fear. Will they break out?


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BRICKS by Emmanuel Ozavize Peace

by paz, published 1 week ago

"Imagine you were five again and you'd just discovered the meaning of the word 'love'. How do you feel?" The guest speaker asks, "what is your fantasy?"

The long hall of middle aged women buzzes with excitement that can almost be touched except for the last seat on the last row where I am seated, clad in a simple grey colored gown - this, in a bid to stay invisible. A wetness on my hands shocks me and I trace the source upwards through my cheeks and to my eyes. Its been so many years since I last cried that it feels strange. Distant. I look up to see the women putting their hands up, bubbling with stories to tell and my tears fall harder. This is probably because I have no memory of who or how I used to be before the bricks began to fall in place.


The first time I had sex, I didn't realize I had the choice of saying "no". He was way older than me you see. And he loved me - so he said amidst thrusts into me after which he'd roll away and fall asleep leaving me to wonder if that's all to love. Subsequently, it became all the relationship was about and the first brick began to take shape as my acting skill developed.


"Come here and give me a hot hug," the ageing old man said, rounding the table in the small office in record time. He had the beginning signs of a potbelly. A "hot" hug it turned out to be. I could feel his breath, thick with the cloying smell of raw garlic accompanying his tongue as it found its way down my neck and through my lips. His hands gripped my waist then began the journey downwards. What was happening here?

With the guilt that came along with the first brick's birth, I came to talk to a "pastor" who happened to be a friend of my father. It only resulted in the fall of a second brick.


I found love!

It came in the form of a man with voice as deep as Vin Diesel's. From constant calls to walks to picnics and more, it felt like pure magic.

Then the changes arrived.

A slap. A scratch. A bite leaving teeth marks. I became good at covering it all up. People couldn't find out, you see. They'd call me a weakling and more would say I was stupid. I liked to believe I was in love - and forgiving : an apology came after each action. Oh! And no one could ever guess the level of fear that accompanies it all.


And so I've lived, a shell of myself, year after year after year with my bricks taking the form of a wall with no door. People say I'm hardened. Some wonder why.

"Love is beautiful," the speaker interrupts my thoughts.

I wipe my eyes and smile. I might agree with her if only I can remember what life used to look like before the brick wall.


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Sentenced (Beautiful Chaos)

by joygirl, published 1 week ago

Sitting behind, knowing I was the sinner of the year, I could never move. I couldn't even open my mouth to sing, while praying was on a whole different level for me. In my little mind, prayer was at the peak of hierarchy of holy things to do. However, being at the rear gave me an eagle's view; I could see everyone's actions. I once saw Mrs Okoye, the busy-body, who was always looking for a girl to embarrass because of her dressing, trying to scratch her butt without anyone noticing. It was hilarious but laughing was forbidden to me as I would have been perceived as unrepentant. During the praise session, Lois danced as though she was already in heaven, only I knew she was just trying to draw the attention of the new guy. Onyeka was busy chatting, and I could swear it was with his girlfriend, I was sure he did not hear a word of what pastor had preached. And of course, I saw the ones who really came to church to worship God and I wondered why I couldn't just concentrate like them?! I saw everything and when there was nothing more to watch, I retreated into my head.

As I sat solemnly upon my humbling throne, I reminisced upon all the events that led to my present situation.

I was a good girl, - I honestly still am - leaving that exemplary Christian Life, as I was raised to do. I went to church every Sunday, was a dedicated chorister. For a girl in my generation, I was pure, and there was no pretence in my purity and innocence. At school I was still the same girl I was at home; I was either in class, in the hostel, at my place (I lived off campus) or in church. People thought me boring but, I really was not. Fun, to me, meant reading my novels, cooking, dancing rhythmlessly and acting in my room. I was reserved, yet liberal.

The peace I had enjoyed for years ended the day I decided to show people that I could have their kind of fun.

The day I was sentenced, I stood in front of the whole church, defenseless, while the verdict was passed. How could I have defended myself when I knew I had made way for the devil to wrought his work. How was I supposed to tell my parents, my pastor, the entire congregation that I was only trying to show some people I could have fun too, and I didn't stop at going to a club, I went as far as sleeping over at a guy's house. I had refused to go with my friends to this random guy's house because I didn't trust easily, I rather chose to sleep at an old friend's, a friend I believed I could trust. How do I tell them I got raped by that same friend and that the pregnancy was as a result. They wouldn't even believe me if I told them I had never visited him without company. My parents would be devastated!

As soon as we were done saying The Grace, I went home. I couldn't stand the look judgment I saw in people's eyes any longer. I woke up some days later, as I was later told, in a white room with blue curtains, the bed spread was blue as well. " Shebi I committed suicide na, why then am I in heaven?" I asked myself. Then, I turned my head, weakly, to the right and there sat my mum looking so fragile. Knowing I was the cause of her pain killed me, even more.

Though my attempt at suicide was unsuccessful, I ended up committing a more grievous sin, murder!

It's been months now, I look stronger, but I am fading with each passing minute.


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Imagined Eden (Beautiful Chaos)

by soulute, published 1 week ago

You must have heard of the story of a beautiful woman; whose full beauty was never noticed nor seen until the juice from an Apple bite became the education of good and bad. So you must have heard the story of Eden. But you have not heard all. Not the part told by imagination. The tale of chaos in Eden.

The hairs of Time were now grey with age. The Sun was becoming a little bored of drawing circles. Generations of time had raced on, stopped, and begotten more time and more time. Many tales were now dust, dead with the characters that lived them. Crushed under the action of new tales edging out for survival. But the tale of Eden still lived on; in Adam’s journal. Passed through countless minds and hands. Adorned in the beauty of the tatteredness of time. In it was Adam’s plan on how to re-enter Eden and get to the tree of immortality. So a new tale had begun. A continued tale rather; for the quest for immortality had been a long journey that stained the very fabric of time. But this time around, the stain itself was the power-hungry Aain and his group of shady figures. And after many years, the only thing standing between Aain and Eden was the missing Adam’s journal. Stolen nights ago from his abode.

The sky was deeply breathing night. Flace pulled his gaze unto a clock on the wall. It was almost midnight. He closed the almost shredded journal he was reading. It was covered in the rust of time. How long? He knew not. But he could guess it was very valuable. For in just two days, the nameless old book about a man and some weird garden had shattered his jolly life. He had missed a date with his dream girl, had almost gotten killed, and was now hiding in an old house he knew nothing about. If only he knew what made the journal valuable; he could earn some cool cash from selling it. Tired, he carefully wrapped the journal in a fold of cloth and placed it underneath the hard pillow he was going to use. He then laid down with half-opened eyes, expecting trouble before morning.

The specks of sunrise gradually coloured Flace through a window caked in a layer of dirt. He closed the journal again for the fifth time that morning. Those dark figures that chased life out of him two nights ago could not have done it over just an ordinary journal. The voice of the bleeding old man kept ringing in his head. The same old man that gave him the journal and signaled his death with two words, “protect it.” Flace had been on the run since then; trying his best to know more about this mysterious tree mentioned in the journal. A sudden shattering bang at the door threw Flace from the short nap he was beginning to drown in. In an instant, he found himself standing before four hefty men significantly missing the tiniest hint of a smile. Cornered in total surprise; his heart beating furiously as though it wanted to flee from him. He grabbed the journal and made a sudden dash for the open window. A clean dive through it and Flace found himself in the waiting arms of another hefty guy. Held tightly by his jacket, he was unprepared; but getting caught was not part of his plan. He slipped right out of his jacket and dashed away from danger, and away from the journal he had placed in his jacket.

Aain's quest was finally becoming a success. The most sort after journal had been retrieved from Flace’s jacket. Their desperation was finally paying off for the journal contained directions to Eden itself. By the next day, the location of Eden’s entrance had been found, hidden in the heart of nowhere. All that was left was to follow the directions on the Journal’s map. The paranoid group journeyed for days under the guidance of what Aain could decipher from the journal. They were armed to the teeth, ready for whatever resistance would be in Eden.

Meanwhile, Flace had watched and followed closely from a safe distance since his last encounter with Aain’s men. Days had passed; days of preparing himself for the perfect moment to strike. The journal was his to protect; a task he had failed at already. But he was not going to let Aain get anywhere near whatever treasure the tree in the journal had to offer. He watched closely at the roaming men; like a herd stomping behind Aain. They had stopped suddenly and were now trailing in a single file behind Aain. It was just a normal trail of weird-looking people until Aain varnished. And then the guy behind him at the same point where Aain had. And then the next, and another and another; continuously like they were walking into an invisible cave. “It must be the entrance,” Flace said to himself racing from his hiding place as the last of them varnished. He saw nothing unusual at the spot apart from series of footprints that all ended at the same point. Flace followed the footprints and soon found himself stuck in what seemed to be an unending shock of amazement. Before him, was the beauty he could not describe.

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