Bounds

joedamla Sat 10 Oct 2020

THE FENCE Grandma's verandah. Softly, a sweet sound dancing through the walls of the poor, old and, mostly quiet house; falling down to the fierce sword of age, wheezed past my somewhat large ears. This symphony breezed with a mighty surge of adrenalin giving life to the forlorn look of the ancient castle. Swiftly, I climbed the wall, feeding my insatiable appetite of curiosity, stealing glances at the being from whose vocal cords wheezed that much serenity. Though we were neighbors, I didn't see much of her. The old wall carried me softly on its back, holding me firm, I feared the moment this little date would have to come to an end. As she tendered the fire, the smoke danced majestically through the tiny nostrils of the kitchen carrying with it her song an offering to the heavens. Her eyes shone and with each passing moment, it glowed from the hollow in her face, her nose pointed to the heavens and, yes her lips- the type that makes you thank God for making you a huMAN being. With Her eyes, she rode me to the heavens, my orgasms sweet sounding melodies, erecting a castle of memories spacious to accommodate more of her. We rode on our smiles, our first date; her glowing teeth shining along our path. I lost my smile and found my voice and whispered into the walls of her compound, "good morning". She turned to feast upon my gaze one last time, had her fill and returned to tending for her fiery furnace, sitting comfortably on three smooth black stones. Perturbed, I spoke again this time louder with a glint of uncertainty. She turned once more and shot me a warning look and paid more attention to her fire, Stoking it fiercely. Although I could see her, Christianity barred my compound while Islam guarded her heart. For the brick wall separated us, our religions caged our hearts. We are metaphors of extremism, heirs of mental flaws. I eased myself off the smooth back of our FENCE and rode myself on the wheels of pain for our religions were at war.

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AYO

@joyokwori100

Fri 04 Sep 2020

AYO

Will the colourful birds of noon cease to flap their wings, will the moon sing her a song tonight?

This, Tiri could not tell, as the gentle breeze that came in through the open window behind her, blew her long black, already dirty hair off her face.

Uncle Dunji had come to visit after a long time yesterday, not like anyone had wanted him to come around anyways.

Now, Tiri wished she had not gone to open the door, when she heard him knock.

It all seemed like a nightmare after that.

He had followed her dad to the kitchen, when he had gone to get a bottle of wine last night, during supper.

After that, this happened, and that followed.

"You look more beautiful than the young shy Tiri that I use to know."

He touched his beards, obviously enjoying the look on her face.

"You are so smart aren't you? Trying to even run away but just take a look at yourself."

He took a step towards her.

"You look so much like her now, and it reminds me of the days I used to have her in my bed.

I wish to grant you the privilege of replacing her, but you are not all that smart anyways." He laughed.

There was no way Tiri's angry voice could be heard.

The force of the gag, held back all the words.

Words that she desperately wanted to spill in his ugly face.

The beast! She thought.

The cut on the bridge of his nose, the one her father had given him before he had fallen hard on the kitchen floor, was still so fresh.

She shook her head, turning this way and that way.

Her hands were held by shiny silver handcuffs that was connected to chains, fastened to the iron bars of her window.

Each move, made her to wriggle in pain.

He touched his lower lip and raised his right brow.

His darling sixteen years old Tiri wants to talk, and he'll let her, even if it's for the last time.

"You will so rot in prison; bastard!" She said at the peak of her voice.

"No Tiri, don't be so rude, you should first of all thank me, for letting you talk, so those words don't give you a heart attack."

He let his tongue trace the shiny metal, and used his fore finger to play with its sharp edge.

"I will slit your throat the next time you fail to wisely select your words, before throwing them at me."

"Let me go, you sick bastard!" Tiri screamed.

He smiled. A smile that was meant to warn Tiri.

"You killed my mother, shot my father on his leg, leaving him to die.

Isn't that enough payment for not getting married to a gem like my already dead mother?"

"I am amazed that you remember so well what I am capable of doing, yet, you still toy around with me."

He shook his head, as he gave her a stinging slap on her left cheek.

"What exactly, do you want from me, why don't you go ahead and slit my throat, or isn't that enough satisfaction for your evil soul?"

Tiri asked staring at him in the eyes.

"I am Dunja, I revenge, I torment, and I will watch you suffer before I finally kill you like I killed your-"

"You will do no such thing to my daughter Dunja!"

Tiri stared in shock at the figure behind Dunja.

"Mother?!" Tiri gasped!

"Dunja, move away from my daughter immediately. I am not Ayo the daughter of Lamisi for nothing!"

"Mother, you are alive! How?"

"Oh my darling child, death can not take me away from you."

Tiri was overwhelmed by joy, and at the same time, struck by the events of the last fourty hours.

The tears trailed down her cheeks.

"The bullet only brushed through my arms, I survived it. I haven't lost much blood."

Ayo explained to her daughter.

Her brown lacy dress, was soiled in blood, her eyes were so red, she looked like a ghost.

Tiri stared at her mother, still looking beautiful, even when she was a total wreck.

It was dark and Dunja had broken her light bulbs three hours ago but she could still make out her mother's face in the darkness.

"Dad?" Tiri could barely see with her swelled eyes.

"Your dad. He's uh-"

"I am right here beside you."

Tiri had not even felt his hands on her skin before now.

The whole room was dark and she was getting numb.

Dayo was working on the handcuffs that held her.

"So I see; love is stronger than the bullets I drove into your bones right?"

Dunja was obviously confused and directed his question at Ayo.

Where had he gone wrong, how had they entered Tiri's room without a single sound to alert him?

His plan was to kill father and daughter, then take Ayo his love along with him.

He did fire his shot, but Ayo had run towards him and had gotten hit, instead of Dayo her husband.

The second shot, had driven a bullet into Dayo's leg, he had bled profusely.

He had left Dayo to die slowly, and not to be up strong and breathing.

The man was limping, but he had the strength of ten soldiers.

He can't face a military man who is now well armed.

He had no more bullets and he was fast losing strength.

His attempts to kill Dayo had failed for the sixth time.

He had poisoned him before, even hired a killer but the man seemed to have something that protects him.

He and Dayo use to be friends from high school, down to the university.

He had planned on marrying his girlfriend Ayo after their youth service, but Dayo had gone behind his back to be introduced to Ayo's family.

Years have come and gone, but his life has not been complete without Ayo.

He got no stable job, his dreams to even be one of the top musicians in Nigeria, had also failed.

"Listen to me Dunji, drop the knife in your hands, don't you move another step closer to my wife!" Dayo ordered him.

Dunji will rather wipe out the whole family, than watch Ayo and Dayo live the life that they had denied him.

He rushed towards Ayo with the knife in hand, when he felt a sharp pain on his forehead.

Ayo had shot him.

"I will always love you." He said, as he fell backwards.

Those were his last words to Ayo before he drifted out of existence.

Dayo held his daughter in a tight embrace.

He cried like a woman, knowing how he had almost lost her about an hour ago.

Ayo moved towards her husband and daughter.

She hugged them both. The last fourty hours was a miracle.

"We breathe." She said to Dayo, who stared at her lovingly.

"You are more of a soldier than I am. You handle the gun as well as you handle the kitchen."

She smiled, even though she was breaking inside, seeing her husband in so much pain.

"I will clean your wounds again, before the cops should get here."

She said to him, holding his face in her hands.

"I love you Ayo."

That was the only way he could say thank you to his wife, for attempting to take a bullet in his place.

She understood him well enough.

"What is love, if I live only because I let you die?"

Tiri moved away to sit down on the tiled floor of her room, an inch away from her parent.

She looked around her room and took a deep breath.

Dunji had earlier planned to take her life here, in her own room.

All thanks to her mother, who had showed up.

How did her parent get into her room in the first place? She wondered.

Then, she remembered the underground door in her bathroom. Goodness!

She touched the swollen places, where Dunji had hit her over and over again.

She went straight to where his body laid and kicked him here and there.

"He's already dead!" Her parent chorused.

"I wish he'll wake up, so I can kill him a second time" Tiri wailed.

"It's okay now, he's not going to harm you anymore."

Her father assured her, and motioned for her to come sit with them.

It was dark already, so they sat down together in Tiri's room, awaiting the arrival of the cops.

™ Joy Okwori.


Short Story: A different help

alewahouse

Mon 17 Aug 2020

A really short story written for 100WordsAfrica.com that won 100 USD.

Baba’s been bedridden for months.  I never knew that a human could produce such foul smell.

The farming season is here, and mama is weary.

Alhaji Gambo already has twelve wives, but he is the richest suitor so far, and he has always had eyes for me.

Three weeks after the bride price has been paid, after I felt the shriveled slimy thing go inside me, I became another trophy.

One cold night, I felt warm hands fondle my breast skillfully, arousing my deepest need.

“Let’s help ourselves tonight, our turn is still far” it was Khadijat the fifth wife.