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Out of The Deep…a short story

Statue

He wanted to nestle in the snug, cocoon of floating senselessness, the insistent voice wouldn’t let him be.

It kept pulling at him; nudging him back from sinking into the deep abyss which beckoned with it’s twinkle of light that beamed at the end.

The nagging voice grew stronger and stronger and his unconscious state was reluctantly dragged to the fore.

His struggle to rise was weighed down by heaviness. Beeps of machines, his mothers anxious voice and the drone of uniformed voices brought it all rushing back.

He remembered. That single minute of distraction checking his tweets; the tumultuous collision, rushing pain and weightlessness.

He remembered floating through the sea of pain, the sweet calming voice of the fair lady who came to his rescue and cradled his head.

He wondered why one of the Saints his mother honoured daily had cradled his head?

He stopped believing those things for a long time, but humored his mother when she dragged him along.

Now he didn’t know what to believe. All he knew was that somehow, she had saved him.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

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In response to the FFfAW photo prompt above. Thank you Sonya and Priceless Joy for this challenge platform.

 

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Love In A Hopeless Place….a short story

The scented candles are down to a nub. His favorite casserole is cold and the soufflé has fallen flat.

She looks at the phone for the umpteenth time. Not a buzz. As the minutes tick slowly, the wait becomes unbearable. She knows that it would be another no-show. Another empty promise broken, another lie told and a birthday ruined.

She feels angry frustration for falling in love in a hopeless place. He has been stringing her along all these past year with his sweet tongue.

If she is honest to herself, she knows that he is a consummate liar.

He claims not be in love with his Missus any longer yet Fiorina’s recent findings is that Missus is heavy with the 3rd child.

Enough! I am worth more than this! Emptying the wine glass, she adjusts the zip of the gorgeous red evening gown; a gift from him.

NO more! She said as she slashed it into jagged strips!

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

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In response to the FFfAW photo prompt above. Thank you Priceless Joy for this challenge platform.

Just One of Jane’s Days…

staying up lateIt wasn’t a good idea to turn off the alarm clock for a few more seconds of snooze, Jane chastises herself as she huffs and puffs downhill in a haste to catch the bus. The few seconds of snatched snooze turned into a lost hour of precious time.

Her pencil skirt is not designed for hurried steps and neither are the heeled pumps made for sprinting, but hurry she must.

An attempt to hike the skirt up her thighs for more leg room yields a rip at the slit and it is not a joyful sound to hear.

”This is simply dreadful!” ”Not today of all days.” ”I can’t afford to be late.”

The tail light of the bus leaving as she arrives leaves her gaping unhappily and hoping the next one will keep to it’s fifteen minutes interval schedule.

As the next bus runs late, her plan to arrive for her interview looking composed and capable dwindles by the seconds and to top it all, it starts to sprinkle.

Rummaging in her bag for her pocket umbrella – which she stores for days like this, when the showers come unannounced, she discovers she has the wrong bag in the first place.

Whoever, created this nonsense of carrying different bags in the first place? She sighs in frustration.

Out of habit and in her haste, she had grabbed her usual every day carry on, leaving behind the nice office tote containing her file, purse and umbrella.

With a sinking feeling in her stomach and her sensible bun fast turning to loose tendrils like limp noodles in the rain shower, she trudges back uphill to her tiny apartment but she cannot get in because her door is a jam-lock and the key is inside in her purse.

What a fine morning and why do these things happen to me?” She mutters in exasperation, forgetting that she stays up late to watch all the reality shows on television.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt Comedy of errors and bonus assignment

Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!

Bonus assignment: do you keep a notebook next to your bed? Good. Tomorrow morning, jot down the first thought you have upon waking, whether or not it’s coherent.

Her Tiger Butterfly… a short story

Intense look from his eyes caused Brigitte to peek over her shoulders. No one there, except the wall.

“The gentleman from the symposium.” “Of course, it couldn’t be me that he is admiring.”  “No one notices wallflowers or do they?”

Mama despairs that she would be left on the shelf.

”Don’t slouch Brigitte!” ”Wear a smile, you shouldn’t scowl so much!”

Auntie Agatha tut-tutted at her bumbling attempts at playing the piano, violin or knitting.

”Don’t frighten off possibilities with too much knowledge of tomes, ruins, horses and butterflies.”
”Men do not appreciate too much intelligence her sage counsel.”

Tired of no dance, a breath of fresh air is required. A flitting moth of unusual colour catches her eyes and she ventures to discover; new addition to my glossary she thinks.

Over voluminous skirts she trips into the Rose bush.

Strong arms encircle to help her up as she mouths her thanks into intense gray eyes.

Unwittingly, she has captured her own Tiger butterfly.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

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In response to the FFfAW photo prompt above. Thank you TJParis for the photo and Priceless Joy for this challenge platform.

It’s just the beginining…a Short Story

The Sun sets, leaving wisps of orange and lavender ribbons across the blue tinted sky.

Anastasia leans on the rail of the promenade deck of the cruise-liner, her soft floral dress blowing in the breeze. Alastair’s muscular arms wrap around her, sharing his warmth in the gentle breeze.

It’s a beautiful day. Their wedding day.

A clear Autumn sky without a gloomy cloud in sight. The aisle and pews decorated with hues of Autumn, in orange gold, red and faded green; her best season of all.

She felt like a fairy princess floating down the aisle to a wedding march of soft tinkle of waterfall and chirping sounds of birds, accompanied by the choristers well modulated sweet rendition of their song. The wedding party was sublime. Everything! Picture perfect!

As the ocean-liner cuts through the waters to a blissful honeymoon, Alastair nuzzles and plants a soft kiss behind her ears. She wants the moments to last forever.

This is just the beginning of their new life.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to the FFfAW photo prompt above. Thank you Sonya for the photo and Priceless Joy for this challenge platform.

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A Day in the life of a Maid…..a true recount

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When we came here for a look-see in December, to help facilitate our migrating decision-making process, we spent weeks in a glitzy, glam hotel having a tour of the lovely city.

Hotels spuriously dot Dubai’s landscape to meet the needs of a teeming tourism industry which keeps blooming by the day. From the 0 stars to 5 stars and the only 7 Star hotel in the World!

Naturally, I got a bit friendly with a few of the staff, especially a young lady that tended to our room. I have no idea if I was drawn to her because she is of African descent, but I remember observing her very earnest yet polite demeanour as she rushed through her duties like a fire-ball in a haste to get her job done in record time.

The little tips that I gave her were highly appreciated and by the end of a few days, we became a little more friendly. I even suggested to her that I would like to share a day working with her for the heck of the experience to her alarmed and vehement refusal.

Out of piqued curiosity an interview ensued on one of the days that she was making up the room, little did I know that I would use the excerpts one day!

I will keep her name different and no mention is made of the hotels for privacy sake:

Me: “Lydia, where are you from?”

Lydia : “Somalia.”

Me: “How long have you been living here?”

Lydia : “Three years now.”

Me: “Wow!”  “That’s been a while!” “Do you live close by?”

Lydia: “Not at all.” “The outskirts, after Sharjah.” “It’s too expensive to live in the city.”

Me: “That’s far! (I exclaimed with the little idea that I had to the terrain). ”What time do you leave home?”

Lydia: ”Most times 5 or 5:30 in the morning!” ”I have to be at work by 7:30.”

Me: “And I see you here till late evening around 9.00pm or so when the bus is taking a bunch of you home.” “Doe’s the bus take you home?”

Lydia: “No it stops us at a metro station and we find our way from there.”

Me: “Oh good!” “So how do you like it living here?” “Was it easy to transition from your place?” “I thought it was a bit difficult to move here as a single woman, given the rules and regulations?” A battery of questions came from my end and all these while she busily went about her duties in the apartment, changing sheets, fluffing pillows etc.

Lydia: “It’s okay to live here even though it is more expensive than Somalia, but this place is better.” “An employment agency engages a lot of us.” “We cannot apply directly by ourselves and they are the ones that obtain the visa after medical tests and other requirements have been satisfied.” ”The agency gets a fraction of our income – they are actually our employers and they deploy us to work in places where they get contracts.”

Me: ”How did you get to know about the agency?” ”Are you happy with the work?”

Lydia: ”My cousin told me about them.” ”We were searching for a proper way to leave Somalia because of certain hardship due to conflicts.” I observed the flitting of emotions on her pretty face, but I didn’t interrupt as I was regaled with bits and pieces of what home meant to her.

Me: ”So what about the job?” ”Is it tedious?” ”Is it okay?” ”What has your experience been like?” I asked leading questions trying to probe a bit beyond the surface.

Lydia: ”Sometimes, I do about 35 check-outs in a day.” I got to understand that, that meant putting rooms in immaculate states when an occupant has checked out.

Some days can be very stressful especially when some occupants are difficult and don’t want you to disturb them until when they are ready.” ”Then they call and tell housekeeping that nobody has done up their rooms; meanwhile, they are the ones that put a do not disturb sign on the door.” ”What can you do?” ”You just have to manage.” She stated philosophically

Every job has it’s problems, but if I get money, I will open a hairdressing salon.” ”I know how to make hair very well.” Her face lit up at such an anticipated prospect.

This is actually my second place of work.” ”At the first hotel that I worked in, I was nearly assaulted by a client.” ”It was during a festive season and the hotel was fully booked at that time.” ‘I was assigned to work that floor for the week and this man kept making overtures but I ignored him.” ”On one of the days that I was cleaning up the toilet (and he is a very messy guest), he followed me into the bathroom, got aggressive and tried to force himself on me.” ”I barely managed to extricate myself without getting seriously hurt, but the Indian housekeeping manager informed me two days later that I was fired for upsetting a customer.”

I was lucky that the agency was understanding and they deployed me to this place.” ”This is a better hotel, she enunciated quietly in her sing-song drawling accent. ”The manager is a nice Egyptian Christian.”

I was very disquietened and left the interview at that with a bigger tip than usual.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt FAQ

Interview someone — a friend, another blogger, your mother, the mailman — and write a post based on their responses.

To Chase A Dream… a short story

Boat

For quite a while, she stands at the breezy quay watching the boat weave its way gradually away from the shores; every watery mile creates more distance between them.

The aquamarine gray water is calm and the weather quite pleasant, but, Madeline’s thoughts are far from calm.

She is not so sure that her decision to send him away is the right one and even as the white stern of the Wayfarer moves beyond swimming reach, she feels a powerful urge to call him back.

Her boy’s waving hands are now a speck in the far distance (in her motherly mind, he is still her little lad who clutched onto her for guidance).

She wants so much for him. A brighter future she sees in his tomorrow and their small fishing town is nowhere to chase his dreams.

Her hope is that under the Maestro’s tutelage, he would rise to his true potentials like his late Papa.

With a heavy sigh and a whispered prayer, she trudges up the stony pavement back to her cottage.

It will be a lonely time she thinks to herself.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to prompt photo from The Storytellers Abode for Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers. Thank you Louise and Priceless Joy for providing this platform.

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