Source: A sleepless night..
Category: Short story
The Birthing…A short story
Nagging painful pangs wake her from sleep. It is still a week to the Expected Delivery Date (EDD) but she knows that it is time. A cursory glance at the half parted window curtains shows the pale orange hew of the rising Sun. The day has dawned and it seems like it will be an interesting day.
The contorting of her stomach compels her to tap Desmond on the shoulders in an attempt to wake him up. He hardly rouses. He sleeps so deeply that wild horses would enter the room and take the bed under him and he would sleep through it all, she thinks to herself.
“Desmond!” “Wake up!” She orders loudly; wishing that she has a bell to peal close to his ears.
He grunts, snuffles and rolls over to his left side.
“Desmond!” “Desmond!” “We have to get to the hospital, right now!” “Except you want me to have the baby here in bed, you need to wake up.”
That magic word baby! His eyes quickly fly open, the cobwebs of sleep recede fast as his scrambling thoughts quickly process the information.
“Baby, as in baby?” “Right now?” His eyes fly to her contorting belly in stupefaction.
“Yes baeeby, dear.” “I think we are having the baby today.” “No more false alarms this time.”
He gathers his wits and quickly jumps into a pair of jeans, throws on a shirt, a hasty mouth wash and helps Debbie to the car.
She walks funny and sluggishly. Her belly feels like it is being ravaged from inside out and her stiff lower back, as if an ill-fitting screw is being tightened into it in slow degrees. She is panting and trying to keep calm, but this is her first baby and all the lessons taught in the birthing class fly out of the window.
They manage to get to the car, without baby popping out when Desmond realizes that he doesn’t have the keys and rushes back inside to pick it up. It is a good thing that they place a stick-on hook on the cabinet in plain sight. Too many times of searching for the keys have been reduced and less gray hairs sprouted!
He spy’s the cute new baby bag that Debbie has put together with things that she wants to take to the hospital still sitting by the new cot and grabs it, rushing out to his doubled-over Mrs. who was looking quite red in the face and growing waspish by the minute.
It is a hair-raising and palm sweaty drive to the hospital, the early morning work rush and the frequent traffic stops are not helping matters along.
”Honey, try the Lamaze breathing” he suggests, tapping his fingers on the wheel as he counts the minutes for the light to turn green; it wouldn’t do to run a red light, he had nearly run a red light at the other junction.
“And just what to you think I am doing?” ”Practicing my ballet steps?” She snaps at him.
The sudden rush of warm fluid down her thighs, her exclamation, growing pants and whimpering all turn Desmond’s stomach. He feels like using the loo all of a sudden, however, spying the hospitals cross a few meters across the road, calms him down a notch.
Hopefully, the hospital will be ready for them. He had remembered to place a call to Debbie’s Obstetrician.
A quick dash to the reception and with the help of waiting attendants, they are whisked to the labour room. A quick examination and a disappointing observation. “You are 3cm’s dilated.” “You should be ready in a couple of hours” the mid-wife intoned. She sets up of an IV line and a heart rate monitor.
The hours are crawling. Debbie is almost hyperventilating. The pain has grown hydra-heads and the waves of doubling contractions are like the twist of a hot rod. She now wishes that she had opted for an Epidural instead of satisfying her desire for a natural birth.
No one had explained precisely that it would be this excruciatingly painful and so mind numbing, that she begins to see pin points of white light zooming in and out of her pain riddled brain and Desmond is driving her crazy with his placating words.
At a point, she wants to jump off the birthing bed and run away. As if her running would leave the pain behind.
“Bend you legs and breathe deeply” Debbie, “Let’s see how things are getting along” the OB/GYN directs. A quick swipe with sterilized swabs, some pokes and prods and he expresses a satisfaction that things are moving along rather well.
You are 7cm dilated. Almost there! Almost there! Just hang in. The baby should be coming within the hour or so, he pronounces.
The back rub helps and annoys her at the same time, the poor dear Desmond is trying but nothing seems satisfactory at the moment. She wants him there but not standing on her last nerve.
Her short, smart bob is now damp. The tendrils hang in lanky strings like limp noodles. The herculean effort not to scream her head off can no longer be contained as the desire to bear down and push grips her.
A flurry of organized movement, the OB/GYN utters words of caution and encouragement not to push so that the cord around the babies neck can be gently disengaged to avert the danger of choking her wind pipes. Seconds, minutes tick past in a blurry, a surgical episiotomy cut…. at last, with that big push and heave of the uterine muscles, the hardworking baby slides out of her mom heads first, in a slippery bath of amniotic fluid and blood.
The squalling perfect cherub is placed on her mothers semi-concave belly. A crying and laughing mommy, a dewy eyed proud daddy admire the sweet red-faced bundle that nature just gifted them.
They sigh in gratitude, pleasure and relief.
“She is ours,” Desmond whispers in utter amazement. “Our Mary-Louise” – the combined names of the little one’s grannies.
It’s been an exciting, hardworking nine hours since dawn.
In fulfillment of Writing 101- Day 14 Assignment: Recreate a Single Day
An Artist for Nobility….
Desire to paint was compelling. She couldn’t stop even when there was hardly any coins left to purchase supplies. Grocery change finagled to buy a paint or two.
Thoughts flowing from fingertips onto the easel with boundless verve, leaving people in awe of the elemental depths of her works.
Mama had urged her over and over to focus on a sensible trade. To pull her head out of painted clouds.
Mama’s fear, was that she would end up a penniless and hungry artist, if she had nothing else to do.
To please Mama, she had learnt a sensible trade. A governess to spoilt brats and dabbling in her painting away from prying eyes.
“If only Mama could see me now!” Georgiana fervently wished for a moment.
Her works had won the National Art entry and gained public acclaim!
….And here she is on the palace grounds, painting her ladyships gardens. Appointment notes chock full with sittings for portraits and the likes!
Who would have thought! I Georgiana, the daughter of a green-grocer, would be an artist for nobility!
In response to the photo prompt from Graham Lawrence for Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers.
Thank you to Priceless Joy for providing this challenge platform.
HUSTLE….A short story
Ikem couldn’t stand the penury anymore! He stared at his worn out T-shirt with the words “making a difference” printed on it’s back in disgust and dissatisfaction. He had purchased it three months ago from the bend-down-select aka flea market to add to the other two that he possessed, but frequent use and wash had slackened its neckline and faded it’s vibrant colour. It was time to visit the man with the bell; he sold good second-hand clothes from a heap of clothing on the market floor.
With that dissatisfaction dragging him down, he pulled the T-shirt over his head and shoved his feet into an equally worn out pair of rubber soled slippers. Picking up his wooden pallet, he hastened off, making quick strides to the bus-stop where he could hitch an early morning ride by hanging partially on the side of a Molue. Sometimes the conductors were difficult but on a some good days, they also showed their humane sides.
It is a main market day at Ahia Ogige today and there would be a throng of lorries bringing in goods from neighboring villages. If he rushed, he would probably make a good turn around from customers who needed their goods carried from one end to the other.
Yet, as his strides swallowed the distance from his living quarters at the shanty, to the bus-stop, his grumbling mind would not cease to taunt him. How much difference was it really making in his life, eking out a living that was barely enough to put food in his stomach, pay his own portion of rent and minor bills, not to talk of sending money home to his folks? He queried himself.
Christmas was fast approaching. It would soon be time to go to the village to celebrate, but he wasn’t sure he was up to that this year. He thought he would have achieved more by now and he didn’t want to watch in envy as some of his clansmen came home with their new motorcycles and garbs to show off. Chukwudi had really irritated him last year with all his loud talk of making it big.
His angst grew within him as the day wore on. Wearied of carrying back breaking heavy load for peanuts at the end of the day, he stretched out on his small mattress which had a pride of place on the floor and slept like a log of wood.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Ikem – An shortened version of an Igbo name for a boy; Ikemefuna – which means, may my strength not go missing.
Chukwudi – An Igbo name for a boy and it means; God lives
Ahia Ogige – A market in Nsukka. A town in the Eastern part of Nigeria
Bend-down-select: A heap of mixed used clothing where customers literally bend down to scrounge through the pile and select an item they want to buy.
Molue: Are the locally redesigned and fabricated 44-seat old buses that ply the roads of the city. The original buses are disused school buses imported from other parts of the World
In fulfillment of Writing 101 – Day 12 Assignment: Play with Word Count
I tried to keep my story within 500 words and I think I did it!
Sun-dance.. Flash fiction
Benjamin assessed the corralled horses, his mind deeply disturbed.
”Who could have done such a dastardly thing,” he mulled over and over. His disturbed mien hardly taking cognizance of the rain that soaked him to the skin.
”It is only three more weeks to the Steeplechase competition and some mean snake got it into his head to contaminate the horses oats, now my best mount Thunder Hoof is down.”
”Could it have been Lucas, my ever envious neighbor?” ”Or that oily tongued land grabber, Max?” He debated.
The answers were not forthcoming. He scratched his head in indecision.
”I need to choose a good horse and very fast too.”
His mind quickly settled on Sun-dance, whose silky white mane swam down his neck like waterfall, and his tail swept carelessly with pride.
He almost stood apart from the rest in confidence and regal posture, with muscles that rippled under his white coat.
It is rumored that his sire is the direct descendant of Crazy Horse, an Apache Warrior’s mount.
In response to Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers
If the dead could talk…
I am not crazy. Just mad. Yes mad!
Mad as mad can be, that I allowed this to be me.
You cheated on me, playing hanky panky, with all the fancy ladies.
I took it with stoicism, and a whole bunch of Catholicism.
You walloped me up, and pummeled me down.
I tried to run, but never got far.
I turned to you, yes you, you, all of you.
Y’all said to return, have faith and pray some more.
I fretted, I pleaded, but deaf ears could not hearken.
I prayed, I cried, I fasted and I called on all the Gods.
But it seemed neither Heaven nor Hell cared to hear my call.
Now I am here, trapped in this bubble.
My soul is anguished, raging with fury.
Do the dead talk? Who knows?
Soon enough you will know!
My name is Nnedimma and I have a lot to say. I would however, like to ask you a question: How do you fix something that has been so broken? I tried to do so. Hanging on with bare tentacles to a union that had gone down the slope faster than a flash flood.
I was a starry eyed bride, full of hope and anticipation of forever after. It was a splendid wedding ceremony, with all the required glitz and glamor. The honeymoon at Obudu Cattle Ranch was filled with raunchy moments as was anticipated, but we soon touched down to planet Earth several months thereafter.
Let me take you down memory lane just a little bit. I met Fidelis one Saturday afternoon at a gas station. The petroleum product scarcity in Lagos was as impossible as ever and I was scared of purchasing black market fuel that was sometimes adulterated. I had just bought my car through a loan scheme that was offered by my bank and did not want to take the chance of buying road-side product that might lead to the breakdown of my newly acquired ride. I therefore preferred to queue up at an impossibly long and rowdy fuel line. I was practically the only female in a maze of rowdy men who were struggling and maneuvering to secure their own purchase.
After what seemed like hours of sitting in the car under the sweltering sun, the Manager of the station decided that they were closing sales after a few more vehicles, and everywhere just became a mad house. The men rushed to the pump, jostling each other for vantage point, and even passing a few bucks as bribe to the attendant so that he would fill their jerrycans. I tried to jostle along with the bunch of men who were a mixture of the good, the bad and the downright dirty. Unable to make any headway, I was tired of being pushed back and forth, I dishearteningly turned to go back to my car and drive away; resigning myself to the use of public transportation until things eased off, when this good looking guy approached me and asked if he could be of assistance.
I emptied my tale of fuel woes and frustration to his interested ears without really expecting much help. He asked me if I could be patient for just a little while and assured me that once the cars thinned out a bit, he would help me procure some fuel, since the station manager was a friend of his. I happily complied and got the promised assistance in exchange of my phone number – I felt grateful enough for the help to graciously give him my number.
Gradually, he warmed his way into my life. He would call to ask if I was in need of fuel or just to say hello. I was not in any relationship and my life seemed to revolve around my banking work, attending social engagements, church activities and more work. I sometimes felt lonely and was looking forward to having my own man. My long standing relationship had fizzled out when he left for Malaysia in pursuance of greener pastures and I was not eager to pursue an affair that was on the road to nowhere.
Our relationship blossomed very quickly and soon after he was hinting on tying the knot. As far as I knew, he was working as a Real estate agent cum business man who brought in cars to sell and lived in a nice two bedroom bungalow in Abraham Adesanya. That was enough for me. We would pool our resources together, I told him, besides I thought that as a team we could achieve a whole lot. Seven months following courtship, we walked down the aisle. In retrospect, I now realize that he had stylishly coerced me into footing the bill for our marriage.
Fast forward to six months after wedding: He claimed Realty business was not moving so well, he claimed that his business partner that sent the vehicles was cheating him and that he was no longer interested in dealing with him. I totally believed him and empathized with him. I did not mind using my income to support both of us hoping that the flow of the tide would change soon enough. I would leave early for work as usual, whilst husband dear would occupy himself getting his groove on with the neighborhood chicks and the tide continued to ebb as the days trickled by and I began to get worried.
I cajoled him to seek a paid job and that earned me the first beating. The first slap seemed like a joke as shocking as it was for me. I excused his beatings, penciling them down as frustration. I tried not to nag; he said I did not care. I tried to encourage him; he said I was talking to him in a condescending and arrogant manner. There seemed to be no right way, and the beatings continued. I tried to hide my misery and predicament until I could no longer hold back.
Turning to close friends and family for support, I got asked a lot of questions and a sack full of advice. Stop nagging him. Pray harder. Fast for him. Are you giving him enough sex? Does he like your cooking? Why not hand over your salary to him, so that he can feel in charge? Have you tried to stop getting home so late? What of a baby? When are you guys planning to start a family? On and on it went; but the most common advise was that marriage was for better for worse; to just stick it out and it will get better over time.
I chose to stick it out and finally got pregnant. Feeling as sick as a dog, I excused myself from work to go home and rest. Yours truly was very busy engaging the neighbors nanny in a torrid afternoon sexual session and I became privy to the distasteful scene. We had a bad fight, and the early pregnancy came down. I took off home to my sisters house, distressed and broken.
Weeks following, he came begging cap in hand, promising change and every possible promise. Tired of feeling like a failure for not making my marriage work and with advices ringing in my ears, I chose to try again. I obtained loan with his constant cajoling to assist him start a new venture and he simply applied the loan on ventures unknown. Months passed down the line and when there was nothing to show for the venture, I decided to play detective to get to the root of the matter, my trust in him had wavered badly.
My discoveries were very discomfiting. The neighbors nanny was fully expectant and my money was financing an apartment for her. I lost my cool, in total fury, embarrassment and bitterness, I fought. I fought with all my might, biting, scratching, screaming, crying until the lights went out and here I am.
Yes, I am alive but motionless. I can hear from a deep void, the consistent repetition of the Holy rosary from my mother as she petitions Heaven to wake me up from my deep slumber. I can hear the whoosh sounds made by the strange machine close to my narrow bed. Sometimes, I feel myself float out and come back to roost, searching for dear Fidelis to teach him a lesson or two. I cannot wait to burst loose from my motionless state of nothingness.
I blamed myself for my ignorance and naivety. For falling in love with the notion of love, that I failed to identify badly damaged goods. Filled with the confidence that I could influence my man to positive change through the mere force of my love, little did I know that it took far more than loving a man, far more than looking good, far more than satisfying all his sexual cravings as much as is humanly possible and far more than cooking delight-some meals to keep his roving eyes, his furious punches and his profligate manners at bay.
Little did I know that I was not the one that could bring a change within him if he was unwilling to change.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Foot note: The Obudu Cattle Ranch known presently as the Obudu Mountain Resort is found on the Obudu Plateau close to the Cameroon Border in the northeastern part of Cross River State of Nigeria, approximately 110 kilometres (68 mi) east of the town of Ogoja and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from the town of Obudu in Obanliku Local Government.
Just whose type are we?.. A short Story
Meera dipped the second stick into the collection of urine and within minutes the line appeared again. The instant pregnancy test read positive a second time.
Her suspicions were firmly confirmed. Butterfly flutters of excitement filled her stomach. She couldn’t wait to tell Kevin her good news. It would be a nice surprise, she hoped. He would be back in two days from his visit to his hometown – New Orleans. He went to see his ailing mom. It was not news that she wanted to share on the phone. His expressions mattered. Apparently, their excitement at graduating summa cum laude and having jobs already lined up at the prestigious Texas medical center has yielded dividends. This was a bit unplanned, but that is the likely result of getting carried away.
She fretted a bit over how it would affect her new job. She wondered if she would make a good mother. For some reason, she felt sure Kevin would make a great dad. For a huge guy, he was very gentle and caring. Meera daydreamed. She could visualize the adorable bundle of joy. The baby’s features would be a merge of Kevin’s dark handsome looks and her delicate Asian look. For a moment, she paused a bit on how her baby would be classified, but she did not ponder seriously on that question. This is America, where everything is almost possible. Her child/children would have the best upbringing that they could possibly afford to give them; and they would be loved very much – that was the most important thing.
They had dated secretly for a while but she was tired of pretending that he was just a friend in front of her friends and family. Their love affair had blossomed from their respected friendship as two medical students studying together. They were both very intelligent and supportive of each other. They found they shared a whole lot in common except their race, and religion, but Meerah felt that these issues were not insurmountable.
Kevin, made her feel very cherished, and most times, in the duration of their relationship, he deferred to her a lot. His handsome, calm and confident demeanor had left her tongue-tied at the onset of their study, but his dogged, and positively infectious attitude had finally managed to draw her closer. She knew she had found her soul mate.
It was time to introduce their love to the World. She hoped her parents would grow to love Kevin as much as she did. Especially when their grandchild arrives. Her parents are enlightened and educated. Her father is a talented surgeon whilst her mom who has been a home-maker all through was quite abreast with the changes in time.
Kevin’s reaction was as expected and more. He was ecstatic but expressed his concern about her family. Assuring him that her family would come around, she advised that they break the news to them as a team over the weekend.
Saturday evening’s dinner ended in a fiasco. Kevin had been to the home of the Misra’s before, but that was in a party of other friends. They had come for Meera’s birthday as well as the festival of light – Diwali and the festival of colors – Holi. Now seated as the only stranger in their midst was not a very comfortable feeling. Meera’s mother did not appear quite as warm as before and Dr. Misra was very polite to the point of distant.
He liked curry, masala and all the Indian dishes that he had tasted in the past, but tonight he could hardly swallow a bite. The meal was barely over, when Meera decided to break the news of their engagement to her parents.
Her mom flew up in surprise, knocking over the flask of black tea, her brother flew into a tirade and the situation went downhill very fast. Tears, table banging and hot invective exchange of words in Hindi flew up and down the room. It was chaotic. Kevin could not understand what was being said but knew that it did not sound good. Dr. Misra asked him to leave and out of respect he left with a lot of unease.
The heated argument went on with a lot of acrimony and blame passed from one end to the other. Mrs. Misra chided her husband for not supporting her proposal to find a husband for Meera earlier than now. Now she was about to lead them into a mess. How would she live it down, she wondered.
”You cannot mean to marry him?” she queried her daughter harshly.
”I do mama, I love him” Meera replied.
”No you cannot”, she continued. ”We always marry our own”.
”What is wrong with him”? ”Just who is our own”? Meera wailed. This was not the reaction she had expected. She knew they would be taken aback but not this difficult.
”Deepak, please talk to your daughter”, Mrs. Misra implored her husband.
”Well, I am pregnant and I would like to marry my baby’s father”, Meera declared adding fuel to the fire.
Her mother squeaked very loudly and sank in the couch in a half swoon.
Her brother promised to kill Kevin.
The dog ran and hid behind the big potted plant.
Sanjay’s wife Amira shrank into her seat like a frightened mouse, her kajal darkened eyes standing out starkly in her face.
The only person who seemed to maintain a semblance of control was Dr. Misra, the only sign of his distress was the increased tick of the veins by his temples.
Meera stormed upstairs to her room. She fumed as she thought through the whole scenario. She had never really liked the clannish, caste systems of her people, where the discrimination even amongst her people was so visceral. Their caste system was so wickedly divisive that she still could not understand why some people were considered ”Dalits – untouchables”.
She hated the arranged marriages of two strangers; her brothers marriage was a case in point. Amira, her sister in law never looked happy and never spoke much. She suspected that Sanjay was being too overbearing towards his wife. She suspected that he beat her, but nobody said anything.
She could not understand her parents, especially her mothers vehemence towards Kevin. They got on fairly well with their African American neighbors and the handsome Sudanese couple that taught in the school district. She was glad her orientation was not like theirs. It would be a rough path to take, but if running off to be with Kevin would be the answer, then so be it.
Mrs. Misra calmed down and started plotting. She knew that antagonizing her daughter would probably incite Meera’s rebel heart into eloping with that black boy. If it was a nice white boy, maybe, it would be easier to condone. But this! It was unacceptable. Now she could see why Meera always took her recent supportive stance against the police for what she perceived as a persecution of the black race. The whole situation was still incredulous but she had to thread with caution. She still felt angry with Deepak for failing to heed her advice, but as a mother, she had to take charge and correct things before they got out of hand. They will be off to Mumbai as soon as she can make plausible arrangements.
There was an uneasy calm in the house. It seemed as if everyone including the dog tip-toed around each other the following day. Having thought through her plan, Mrs. Misra made her daughters favorite soup, which was strongly laced with herbal condiments to stimulate uterine bleeding and take care of business. She knocked on Meera’s door, waving a flag for truce and invited her to come and eat with her.
Thankfully and mindlessly consuming the steaming, tasty bowl of broth with chapati, Meera listened to her mothers chatter.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Derailed…. A Short Story For You..
It was just the perfect opportunity. Disaster had struck unexpectedly in his favor and he intended to grab it immediately. The past few months had become very harrowing as the noose around his neck got tighter that at times he felt out-rightly choked.
To sleep was proving more difficult for Eric and as each day passed, he spent insomniac nights chewing Pepto Bismol to calm his nervous stomach. The unexpected wave of staff lay-offs at the firm was getting a bit too sporadic and uncomfortable and the forthcoming audit would surely give rise to a whole lot of eyebrows and dust trail.
It had been cool running’s over the past years but disappearing without trace was no longer as easy as before. Now it seemed luck was smiling at him with the massive train wreck that had just occurred. The ensuing inferno and mangled wreck had left so many dead and burnt beyond description.
It was simply luck that his appointment in the neighboring city; San Francisco which was a three hours train ride away from home had been delayed and he had missed catching the train by mere minutes. He had tussled with the idea of changing his ticket for a later train or hanging out in town and scratching some itch, when the news of the accident broke.
Eric felt it was providence; even though he really didn’t believe in God. It was time to move on and to cover his tracks as usual. His steps grew lighter as he turned back and caught a cab back into town, his thoughts firing on as he quickly made his plans.
He pondered briefly on which color of contact lens he should use this time around. Should he grow his hair a few inches with a nicely trimmed goatee moustache or a full beard? He had fancied the scruffy yet debonair look of George Clooney a couple of months ago. Paired with scholarly glasses, he could definitely cut the image of a confident man who had it all figured out.
Having to keep up appearances over the past few years and maintaining Emily and his two little girls in style meant dipping his fingers deeply into the company till. A closer scrutiny of the accounts will definitely nail his coffin and he could not afford the beam of light which would shine on him; it could open a whole can of worms which were better left firmly closed.
He was also almost a hundred per cent sure that someone had been watching him very closely of recent. Anonymous little notes had started appearing in odd places with names and words supposedly known only by him. It really was time to skip town.
A little part of him would miss his daughters, he thought. “No matter, they will have to get by without me”, he quickly reassured himself. They were the reason he had tarried a bit longer than usual. Emily was not known for her brightness and she would never think beyond the fact that he died in the train wreck. She would mourn him appropriately.
It was still a sore point for him when he thought of how he had been had. He hated to think of the time he wasted courting Emily and how quickly she had succeeded in hustling him down the aisle, only for it to turn out that his father in law was actually not as wealthy or as generous as he had anticipated.
With only Emily as her fathers sole heir, he had been sure a life in the lap of luxury was guaranteed, and it was a rude shock to help the old man kick the bucket only to find most of his wealth tied up in useless stocks and paying gambling debts. Settling down to a job was novelty and in no time, he was back to his old tricks.
He was feeling very upbeat as he first went to the town’s library to research the deaths and births records. He settled on the name Karl Sutton. It had a nice ring to it. His next stop was at the bank where he withdrew some of his booty and then to his rented storage space where he pulled out another stash of cash he had been tucking away.
Checking into a nice motel, he decided to freshen up and enjoy a bit of the town before buying a ticket to check out to Boston. His mind had settled on Boston; it was far enough.
That was the beauty of it all. Good old United States of America was big enough that a man could choose to get lost if he so wished. From San Francisco/California to Boston was a clear cross country journey of four days by train and a five to six hours non stop flight.
He needed to worm his way quickly into the heart of a young impressionable Boston heiress and the way to go about that would be to gain admission into the exclusive country clubs and to attend the prestigious churches within that location.
His stolen booty would be useful in buying a lee way into these staunch epitomes of success. These days, money could buy you a whole lot, even a complete change of sex and identity if and when necessary.
Nobody cared to question the source anymore, except when you choose to run for a political office. That was not in Eric/Karl’s immediate ambitions. He would like to support those in power from the peripheries and with time such meatier ambitions could be achieved.
He made his way to The Dungeon and Skulls; the towns reputed pub with exceptional nocturnal services. In no time at all, he had two delectable ladies keeping him company at the bar. The red head looked very interesting with her charcoal black sultry eyes, the engaging mole on her upper lip and the very tight pussy-cat jump suit that she wore.
She kept leaning into his sides with her generous unbound bosom which he thought would burst out of the deep cleavage of her suit if care was not taken.
Karl was excited! The night was proving fruitful as he made his way back to his motel room with his lady of the night: Miss Red. Pouring a generous glass of brandy for both of them, he went to the washroom to retrieve his pack of emergency condoms and joined Miss Red, who was sipping and swaying gently to the croon of the music from the radio. She treated him to a nice peek-a-boo strip tease, as his light headed and excited body reclined deeper into the mattress. He felt very languid and did not offer much protest when she used silk scarves that she had extracted from her purse to tie his hands firmly above his head.
She crouched lower and he waited with bated breath for the anticipated titillation. She had him in the position that she wanted him. Pulling off her leather gloves which exposed fingers that had been twisted and mangled by fire burns, she removed her red wig, her fake upper lip mole, her eyelashes and contacts, whilst he watched in amazement.
She wiped her face clean of the heavy disguising make up that she had painstakingly perfected how to apply, leaving no illusions of her identity in his mind. She was his former accomplice and second wife in his line of bigamous marriages.
He struggled feebly as flashes of the burning house he had orchestrated came to his mind, his body felt heavy and his head was getting lighter by the minute. He was sure she had been taken care of in that fire; but that was apparently an erroneous assumption.
Opening her purse, she pulled out a .22 Magnum mini revolver— a tiny little five shot revolver, that packed a good punch. His eyes flashed in desperation as he pleaded and tried to negotiate with her.
Laughing scornfully, she told him that she had been waiting for a day such as this for a long time.
“Shh! Just keep quiet and die like a man.” Blowing him a mocking kiss she bid him good night.
Enunciating each of his aliases for each silent bullet that were carefully aimed: two for his groin – Karl Sutton and Eric Godson, one for his temple – Jesse Everness, one for his chest – Kurt McKnight and one in his stomach – Chase Reeves.
She wiped down every possible tell-tale sign of her presence, finished up her glass of brandy and tossed the snifter into her bag. She left a clear finger print free parcel propped by the noisy radio in the room, it was crammed full of incriminating pictures of his escapades.
Grabbing the duffel bag filled with money, she walked into the enveloping darkness of the night.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Photo credit: Vector & Illustrations
Some Edible Mushroom…
The cool early morning breeze seemed soothing and refreshing, but Jen did not think so.
She was chilled to the bones. The night had been very cold with rain drizzles.
Her lightweight jacket and rucksack were barely enough barrier against the chill,
and the park bench was not made for a good night’s sleep.
She knew she could not linger for too long,
constant fear of being accosted by the groundskeeper,
kept her as uncomfortable as a colicky cat,
but she had no energy left to undertake yet another long trek,
to a county soup kitchen.
She had chosen this quieter place, to keep out of the way of the officers,
who diligently monitored the obvious public ones, and were quick to shoo you along.
She stared blankly into the lush green fields,
the early morning tweets of birds, reminded her of home,
of the birds that had built a nest in the old oak in the front-yard.
Her heady dreams of finding that pot of gold,
at the end of the ever elusive rainbow,
had tugged and pulled at her,
until she left her small hometown, to the city of fortune.
She could remember ma’s tears as she stubbornly sought her way.
Her cupboard had quickly run bare, her rent a history to be told,
items of value pawned at such an accelerated rate.
Still pride would not let go, nor a cry for help uttered home.
The intercessions were getting busier by the day,
With people clutching individually inscribed cardboard’s.
Eyes silently pleading, in hope of a hand out.
She had grown tired of the pitiful stares,
Of the leers with suggestive looks on their faces,
Of the eyes reluctant to make contact,
Of the eyes that looked as if they had seen vermin or vomit.
She resolved to find a way to go home to ma,
At least a warm bed and food she would find.
Hunger pangs were gnawing her insides,
Last nights sandwich had barely been enough.
The sprouted dewy mushrooms glistened in the morning light,
Their toadstool shapes looked so pretty, clean, soft and edible.
Grandma gave us some of those, when I was a little girl she recalled,
but grandma forgot to educate the little girl,
that most times, those attractive ones, would surely pack a wicked punch.
She gorged from desperation, and drank from the water fountain,
Several hours later, she slept and was no more.
P.S. Remember to show compassion to the less privileged around you. You might very well be saving a life. 🙂 Thank you.
The other one…
I met her!
At long last!
Now, I can satisfy my curiosity and also put my aching desire to rest.
I fidgeted as we stood in the quiet restaurant sizing each other up. She was calm.
I had chosen an exclusive restaurant, to give our brains an opportunity to assimilate each others presence,
without getting consumed in the distractions that comes from the busy-ness of a crowded place.
My stomach was filled with butterflies. I could almost feel the rushing flow of my blood in my veins.
This was a moment that I had thought of all my conscious life.
The when? The what if? The how?
I felt that meeting her would be a glorious turning point in my stable life.
We would cry, laugh and take selfies.
We would talk non-stop to cover so much ground.
I came clutching the photo album, that I had put together.
I needed to slay my demons and I felt that she had the sword.
Finally, she would bring some rainbow and sunshine,
into the deepest parts of me that had lived for 27 years with the question; WHAT IF?
I wanted to get rid of that feeling of rejection; that feeling of inadequacy and doubt,
which had been constant shadowy companions, peeking over my shoulders.
I searched her eyes,
They were gray like mine; but they bore no warmth in their depths.
The curve of her lips which were shaped like mine; drew hard on the elegant E-cigarette which adorned her lips,
yet they could hardly shape into a smile.
Her raven black hair was devoid of any grey hairs. No strand was out of place. She was perfectly groomed.
She was still a very attractive woman; for her age.
I subconsciously smoothed down my floral Sunday best. I had dressed to impress.
Her facial features were stiff; I figured that it was due to the use of botox and not just the harshness of life.
A puff and a sip later,
Without much ado, she dove right into the matter.
I think you are grown up enough to understand, she said.
You came when I was least prepared to have a child, and the truth is that I am still not sure that I want that responsibility. I have never had motherly instincts, and at my age, I should know. I agreed to meet with you after all these years because I felt that was the least that I could do; so that you can move on.
I do not apologize for my decision to let you go. I did what I did because it was the best thing for me.
Does that make me selfish? Maybe?
But, look at you! You turned out very well. I am happy about that.
She picked up the tab, picked up her expensive looking leather pocket book and walked out of the revolving door,
without a backward glance. Only the whiff of her perfume and the trailing puff of her smoke lingered for a while.
I sat in utmost silence and bewilderment for quite a bit.
I polished off the remaining Cabernet Sauvignon as my idling brain struggled to process the entire episode.
For some reason, I did not feel a heavy crash of disappointment.
Some odd sense of burdened release seemed to be my most paramount feeling.
I felt like a captive whose shackles had been released. Free to love freely,
the woman who has nurtured me all these years, without any sense of guilt or boundaries.
I realized what my biological mother was,
a mere vehicle that providence used to bring me here.
That a good moment of feeling sexy and conception,
Did not automatically make you a good mother.
Through the figment of my imagination, that I had built over the years,
I had accorded so much what if’s and possibilities to her.
I was happy that I met her.
Happy to have the what if’s, the how and the when answered,
All in one fell swoop.
I may not have slain all my demons,
But I left my doubts and shadowy companions,
back in that exclusive restaurant.
I went home to my mother, my mum.