Fiction Fridays

The Ghost of Death

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large
Photo credit: weheartit.com

The hair on her neck prickled, she got a feeling that there was something hovering, weighing on her. She shook it off-she was NOT superstitious, forget she grew up under a superstitious mother. Still doing the dishes, she began to whistle a happy tune and bob her head from side to side.

Instantly startled by the heavy pounding on her apartment door, just behind her, she dropped the dish she was holding. For some reason, her heart pounded and the banging on her door persisted, a tiny voice whimpering ‘please, please, help me!! He’s coming’

She turned, heart pounding, frozen. But a force pulled her towards the door-what if, what if she could actually help? What if she put herself in danger? As thoughts raced in her head, she heard it again, a sob, a whimper, just against the door, please help….

She just got into action and unbolted the door; a small, disheveled girl pushed past her but that wasn’t the scary part, she was covered in red. She turned to stare at her, to ask the questions if her lips could utter them and the girl cried ‘he’s coming, he’s coming’

If only she knew then, what she knew now, she would have bolted out the door, herself, leaving the girl behind. She wouldn’t be staring at the hard unforgiving lid of a coffin. The clawing certainty she was going to die.

‘Who-o-o?’ she asked. There wasn’t need for an answer, the hair on the back of her neck prickled. This time, she didn’t feel a presence hovering. This time, the hot, sticky, heavy breath behind her neck was real.

*****

I’m sharing this post written by my friend who entered for a competition. Please vote for her by clicking here. 

PS: I dedicated the Fiction Friday Posts in November to my friends who wrote for the competition. Please be kind and vote for the stories you like. ❤

Thank you! 🙂

Have a fabulous weekend!

~M.

Fiction Friday

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Iridescence

iri
Photo Credit: thekidshouldseethis.com

Too many waters have indeed passed under this bridge. The red-brown of walls and hues of indigo on paths to dyers’ homes have become the stuff of funerals, the despondent and those dreadful workplaces.
It has been three days since the burial and ten since I found my youngest son’s body in a pool of faeces and vomit. I have grown tired of being asked how my heart is faring. How does a heart fare at times like these?
My oldest child would not look me in the eye; he fears I may recognize the mix of grief and relief his’ carry. If only he would look cautiously, he will see that it is not his secret alone to keep. I wear mine in dark corners of rooms.
Efuna, I do not pine for you. We made a pact we both must honour.
Adulthood makes fools of us all; it makes martyrs of some and beasts of others and we each have a hand in which we become. You should have chosen carefully. My child, a woman’s life is difficult. She bears the weight of her children’s choices. It is only fitting that she be allowed a veto in such lives; adults or not.
So I strolled into your room and requested your audience, I said to you “a child’s fingers are not scalded by the piece of hot yam which his mother puts into his palm”, I presented you the empty calabash; that ancient symbol of a people’s desire for a life that has outlived its usefulness. In a final demonstration of self-piety and perhaps cynicism, you accepted and here we are. Why the tugging?
Efuna, I am the mother-duck that has left behind her corrupted late-budding duckling. It is the way of things that surround us.

*****

Here is another lovely story by one of my friends  for a competition. Please vote for her by clicking here. 

PS: I’m dedicating the Fiction Friday Posts in November to my friends who wrote for the competition. Please be kind and vote for the stories you like. ❤

Thank you! 🙂

Have a pleasant weekend!

~M.

Fiction Friday

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Hotel in the Middle of the Street

hotel
Photo Credit: ghostcitytours.com

So I desperately flagged down a taxi. To the driver, I said ‘take me to the cheapest hotel here.’ After what seemed like days, he finally reached a hotel in the middle of a vibrant street, bursting at its seams with shops, kiosks, food stalls, and lots of what looked to me like vagabonds.
How did I get here? First off, in an unsafe hotel on a bustling street. Lastly, in a petite room with only 3 stupid channels. I spent my whole day cooked up here gasping for some oxygen and praying that I don’t pass out or that I don’t get jacked. Thinking back on the fact that the only meal I’ve had was an oatmeal bar. I guess that’s why I am not in grouchy bear mode. Smirk!
I just can’t sleep. I keep tossing and turning from one end to the other of my bed. I keep hearing footsteps go past my room. Now this was a real doozy, all that stood between me and any impending danger was a flimsy wooden door. The night seemed against me, the heavy, cloying heat dragging my skin. I think a movie is on, “7 pounds”. I am looking at the screen but they are just images flashing by.
The real movie was in my memory. I remember her; her lovely heart-shaped face. The one I thought could do no wrong. Forever was her name, or so I thought. I remember her face, her smile. That cold, rigid smile as she pulled the trigger, never breaking eye contact with me.
And then my breath stops. I can feel it, as I hear a set of footsteps stop right outside my door, waiting. Is this what bass drums sound like; my heart beating heavy against my chest.
And then—
SMASH!!

*****

This was a story written by a friend of mine for a competition. Please vote for him by clicking here

PS: I’m dedicating the Fiction Friday Posts in November to my friends who wrote for the competition. Please be kind and vote for the stories you like.

Thank you! 🙂

Have a pleasant weekend!

~M.

The Fixer of Broken Dreams: Grand Finale

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Previously on The Fixer of Broken Dreams

Three long months. Three months of silence, of sleeping apart, of slamming doors and empty stove tops. Ani had lost so much weight that her hair was starting to fall out in clumps. Gabe had still not spoken to her and she was so tired, her bones were weary. She felt like she had lost her husband along with her child. 7: 55 am; Saturday morning. I have to at least make my hair, she thought to herself and she managed to get dressed and gather her hair products for the salon.

She wore her over sized shades to hide the bags under her eyes so she couldn’t see Gabe walking into the kitchen and she walked smack into him. Her first reaction was to apologize to him and walk away but she was tired and oh Lord she had missed her husband. So she stood right where she was. Gabe apparently was as tired as Ani because he didn’t move away either. And for the first time in three months he put his arms around his wife and they stood together, clinging to each other for what felt like forever. Finally, the tears came and for the first time they cried about their daughter and talked about her. Ani finally had a chance to explain to Gabe that Eno’s death was nobody’s fault, that she had checked on her before going downstairs to pack his lunch and she was sound asleep. ‘These things happen’, the Doctor said. They were just unfortunate it happened to them.

love
Photo Credit: iscreamsundae.com

After what felt like an eternity, their house started to feel like home again. Gabe ate his dinner and he carried his lunch to work. He was still sleeping in the guest room but it wasn’t radio silence anymore. They talked, watched the news together and life was gradually returning to normal. Ani smiled at herself in the mirror, it felt so good be laughing instead of crying. Her cheeks were rounder and her eyes had regained their sparkle. She turned off the light and went to bed but she couldn’t sleep, she missed Gabe sleeping beside her so she got up, gathered all her courage, went down stairs to the guest bedroom to meet her husband, and that was the last time Gabe slept in the guest room. All her prayers were being answered, one by one. Her little angel was definitely looking out from heaven. Gabe and Ani could walk into Eno’s nursery without falling apart, they started going to church again and the laughter had returned to their home.

It was Gabe’s thirty-fifth birthday and their fifth wedding anniversary. Ani was in the mood to celebrate and throw a party, but Gabe didn’t want any noise, he just wanted a quiet evening at home with no fuss and that was fine. Ani smiled to herself with a twinkle in her eyes because she had the perfect birthday/ anniversary gift for her darling husband. When Gabe walked in from work on his birthday, he had one thought. The house smelled amazing. Ani had gone all out; she baked him his favorite coconut cake and made his favorite meal and she had colorful balloons and a giant birthday card. In that moment, Gabe was so grateful for this second chance that God so graciously gave to them as he kissed his wife hello.

So they ate, and they drank, and he read his card and they ate some more and then she handed him a white sheet of paper that was wrapped around two sticks. Gabe opened the paper and the two blue sticks fell out, with pink plus signs on them, she was pregnant! Gabe fell on his knees and cried and Ani knelt with him and cried with him, and through their tears they managed to say a deep prayer of gratitude to the God that had healed their broken hearts, restored their marriage and bestowed upon them a new beginning, a new child, a new dream. You see, God is a fixer of broken dreams…

Written by Adaugo from Adaugo Diary.

PS: I hope you enjoyed this amazing series by the gorgeous Adaugo. She writes beautifully on every aspect of life, love, God and everything in between. You’ve gotta check out her blog! 😀 Thank you again Adaugo for making our August fabulous with this! 

PPS: Please remember you can still submit stories or articles in line with the vision of this blog. Submissions can be made to contact@daintym.com. Gracias! God bless!

Have a fruity weekend! 🙂

 

 

The Therapist- Thoughts of the Past

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Previously on the therapist…

After too many sleepless nights to count and another appointment with Richard, I struggled to stay awake. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up; trying to solve other’s problems when under the surface, I was one giant time bomb ready to explode.

If anyone needs a therapist, it’s me.

It was a sad irony that continued to haunt me. I could solve other’s problems, but I could never seem to fix my own. At the same time, I’m pretty sure it’s this very job that gives me the courage to get out of bed every morning. They say that helping others eases our own pain. I believe this is true.

Today, Richard began to open up about his childhood, which was more difficult than I could have ever imagined. He was abused as a child by parents who were hardly around. He often went to his best friend’s house after school, hoping to escape the pain, but lost his friend to a drunk driving accident at only seventeen. I could only imagine the pain that would come with loosing a friend to a reckless, irresponsible driver who should never have gotten behind the driver’s seat to begin with.

Little by little, I’m beginning to learn his story, and discover the demons of depression and anxiety that he battles on a daily basis.

It seems that so many of our battles start in our youngest years, as our experiences and personalities mix to create the person that we are today. I still remember the day that my dad walked out on us. My mother begged him not to go, as my youngest sister cried. My older brother tried to be aloof, but I found out later that he took it the hardest of all of us.

I suspect that my dad leaving may have something to do with my difficulty in forming relationships. Psychologists have said that we learn through imitating those around us. Without a healthy relationship to imitate, how could I be expected to form one of my own?

I don’t mind it though. The extra time gives me the chance to think and reflect; something that’s almost as essential as breathing to me. There’s a familiarity in the solitude. I know what to expect from it.

The same can’t be said about people.

I often wonder how God creates plans for us when He knows we’re so prone to screw them up. Why does He allow us the privilege of carrying such great responsibility in the midst of our fallen state? How can we be image bearers of God when we can barely keep up our own image?

These are the things that weigh on my mind when I’m alone too long with only my thoughts to keep me company.

I climbed into bed and pulled the sheets over my head, trying to shield myself from the storm that was making it’s way into my mind. There was a time to analyze my life. This wasn’t it.

Now was the time to get some sleep. I have a big day tomorrow with a new patient, in addition to my regular appointments with Richard.

If I wanted to be of any help I would need to be well rested and alert; which meant that I would somehow need to catch up on a week of lost sleep overnight.

When my head hit the pillow, I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it.

The next morning, I came to the realization that I could.

©Courtney Whitaker, 2016

I was so happy to have Courtney help out with the series. It takes a brilliant writer to be able to pick up from where another stopped and run with it! Thanks again Courtney.

Lesson for the day: It doesn’t hurt to ask for help when you need it!

Have a pleasant weekend! xoxo

The Fixer of Broken Dreams 2

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Previously on The Fixer of Broken Dreams

2:65 pm; Exactly one month since Eno’s death. ‘One day at a time, one day at a time’ Ani whispered her new found mantra over and over and over again. She had said it to herself so much that it stopped making sense to her but she had to keep saying it because it kept the silence away and she couldn’t stand the silence. The silence gave way to memories, the day she found out she was pregnant, all the fun she and Gabe had fixing up Eno’s nursery, the day they brought her home from the hospital, her first smile, first tooth, her first…no, she didn’t want the silence so she continued to mutter; ‘one day at a time, one day at a time’. She had given up driving entirely after she hit a pole twice in two days so she just took the bus and walked the rest of the way home. She was so tired, tired especially of all the pity that was being piled on her, everyone walked on tip toes around her and treated her as if she were breakable and she was so sick of it. She was already steeped in grief and she didn’t need the constant reminders of the child she had lost, she and Gabe just wanted… she and Gabe, sigh…

couple apart
Photo Credit: 360nobs.com

Gabe hadn’t said two words to her since the day the buried their daughter. It was almost alarming how much they had grown apart in the space of a month. The tragedy that was meant to bring them together had driven them apart like the earth from the sky. That first night that they spent without Eno, Ani tried to cry with Gabe or talk to him even so they could grieve and mourn together but he wouldn’t say a word to her. He had shut her out completely. One night she was jerked awake from her fitful sleep by the sound of Gabe dismantling Eno’s crib, she heard him sobbing and when she went to put her arms around him, he got up to leave the room but he turned around and walked back in and yelled. He yelled at her with such viciousness that she nearly passed out. He blamed her for being negligent and that if she had paid more attention, Eno would still be here and when he couldn’t yell anymore, he turned around and walked out, leaving her with the broken pieces of the beautiful white crib, broken pieces of their dreams.

****

Gabe walked out of the manager’s office looking deflated. He had just been issued a warning for throwing an object at his secretary. He couldn’t even remember what the poor lady said to him that made him so mad; all he knew was that he was suddenly taken over by a red hot rage that he couldn’t even comprehend. He got back to his office and after apologizing to his scared secretary he shut his office door and sat on the floor with his head in his hands. He was so mad, all the time; mad that his baby girl, his angel died and he wasn’t even there, mad that he was so busy rushing to work that he didn’t even kiss her goodbye like he always did and that he made Ani do it for him, mad that she was all alone in a dark cold grave but above all, he was mad at his wife and it was eating him alive. What was she doing? Where was she? Why didn’t she check up on Eno? Why??? he asked and asked but got no answers so he stopped asking and just swallowed his grief. It was way past close of business but he didn’t want to go home, home didn’t feel like home anymore. Home was just a sad, quiet and empty place. Every night, Ani left dinner for him on the dining table, every night he ignored it and went straight to the guest room to sleep. Every morning she packed his lunch for him, and every morning he ignored the purple lunch bag on the table as he stormed off to work, because in his twisted mind that was just another way of punishing her, of making her as miserable as he was. He finally got up and went home but as he walked past the dining room, he did a double take. There was no dinner waiting on the table, Ani had given up.

Written by Adaugo from Adaugo Diary.

The Fixer of Broken Dreams: Ani’s Story

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5:39am; Ani sighed deeply as she tried for the umpteenth time to find a more comfortable spot to fall asleep on. She had tossed and turned all night and she could only sleep through short uncomfortable stretches of time. She could already feel an intense headache coming and she was tired and oh so exhausted even before she got out of bed. She finally gave up the struggle and felt her way through the dark room until she got to the bathroom and switched on the light. The intensity of the light hurt her eyes and she closed them till she adjusted to the brightness.

ani
Photo Credit: imgur.com

She stared at herself in the mirror and she almost didn’t recognize the agonized person staring back at her. She splashed some water on her face and as she started to brush her teeth, the pain came crashing down on her all over again and she burst into tears and cried deep racking sobs until her tear ducts gave up on her and the tears stopped coming.

Ani was a blissfully happy wife and mother, up until two weeks ago when her sun set in the morning and her whole world went dark…

‘See you later darling’, Gabe said to his wife Ani as he kissed her goodbye on his way to work. She turned around to face him, wound her hand around his neck, stood on her toes and kissed him right back.

‘I love you honey, have a good day at work and don’t forget to carry your lunch downstairs.’

‘Ok babe, I love you too and give baby Eno a big kiss for me, bye!’ He hurried down the stairs to pick up his lunch and as he drove away, Ani stood at the window, with one hand on her chest and the other hand on her lips blowing him a kiss. She knew he couldn’t see her but she blew him the kiss any way and when she couldn’t see his car anymore she turned around, whistling a happy tune and was ready to start her day.

Still whistling and smiling, she made a mental note of all the things she wanted to do before noon and she walked into her baby girl’s room to pick her up and get her ready for day care; but as she got to the edge of the crib she stopped dead in her tracks. She suddenly couldn’t move or breathe and as she forcefully willed herself to look into the crib, her eyes confirmed what her heart already felt. Her baby girl, her precious little angel, lay dead in her crib. Ani’s heart thumped furiously as she stood there holding her cold, stiff baby. She finally let out an ear piercing scream that had the gate man racing upstairs to find her.

‘I’m terribly sorry Mrs Ime but Eno is dead and the cause of death is suffocation, for some reason her air supply was cut off in her sleep and her brain couldn’t survive the sudden lack of oxygen so her heart gave out and…’ Dr Thomas went on and on but Ani no longer heard a word that came out of his mouth and as the last of the adrenaline holding her up finally drained out of her, she passed out and fell right into her husband’s arms.

The rest of the day went by in a blur but mentally Ani had checked out. She was there, but she was gone in her head, she hadn’t shed a single tear and she moved as though she were a robot. The sun was setting as she walked back into her baby’s room to pick an outfit for her funeral. She picked the white and gold dress that baby Eno wore for her christening, it was only right that she wore it to go meet the Lord. Time seemed to go by in such a hurry. In less than ten hours, a plot at the cemetery had been paid for, a tiny little white coffin had been bought and as the last rays of the run reflected on the tiny coffin being let down into the tiny grave, Ani knew that her life as she knew it was over…

The shrill sound of her phone ringing brought her back to reality…she sighed deeply and left the bathroom to brace herself to face the day. One day at a time she said to herself, one day at a time…

Written by Adaugo from Adaugo Diary.

*** Hope you enjoyed the story! I was so excited to have my friend/blogger Adaugo agree to take on part of the Fiction Friday posts this month. She’s amazing and her words are so real! Gee! You could almost see yourself in her stories. Do check out her amazing blog Adaugo Diary  Thanks for reading!

Cheers to a blissful weekend!