She stared at the stairs and in her mind’s eye, she saw it as it was back then; hidden in the quiet corner of the park and surrounded by thick foliage. Leaning on her cane for support, in a slow, emotion-laden voice, Alice told her son a secret she had harboured for too long.
‘I’ve battled with myself whether to let you know or not, but with my diagnosis, I can’t put this off any longer.’
‘You’ve always wanted to know who your dad is and the truth is that I don’t know who he is.’
‘For many years, these stairs represented the stairs into a private hell.’
‘Thirty-two years ago, I was attacked here by two strangers and you were conceived that evening.’
‘Circumstances that led to your birth were difficult and changed my life, but once I held you in my arms, I couldn’t give you up for adoption.’
‘You’ve been such a blessing to me that a situation meant to destroy me was turned around.’
Thank you, J.S. for the photo prompt and PJ for hosting.
Stumbling across details of his secret family – a mistress and two sons, twelve and seven-year-old boys ensconced in a nice town house downtown, whilst she played Martha Stewart at home – had been beyond a rude shock.
Cecilia was still dumbfounded at the turn of things.
How did she not see the tell-tale signs, a consistent barrage of questions raced back and forth in her mind.
Her emotions were all over the place as she struggled to reconcile with the enormity of Tom’s treachery and how he had managed to live a lie for so long.
Their twenty-five-year-old marriage was now confined to a file in a divorce lawyers office.
As an adrenaline junkie, Ash was always in search of the next rush. He lived for daring feats and had literally done all sorts of daring stuff to the constant chagrin of his mother.
Diving off building tops was tame considering other adventures he had embarked on, but today was different. In response to the challenge of his long-standing competition Todd Kemp, it was a record-setting moment for his fastest free fall so far.
With safety harness all set up and onlookers gathered to cheer, he was about to step off the ledge, when the flash of his mothers repeated pleas echoed in his head.
She had warned him over the past several days not to engage in any dangerous attempts based on a recurring nightmare that she had, but he waved it off as one of her usual entreaties.
Shaking off the fleeting cold feet from hearing his mother’s voice in his head, he stepped off and tumbled down into a blackout. The last thing Ash remembered was the cacophony of voices and an insistent voice urgently cajoling him not to let go.
Thank you, Grant – Sud for the photo prompt and PJ for hosting.
‘Don’t move!’ Ted ordered in a low tone, but Rita couldn’t help the terrified squeak that escaped her mouth when she followed his pointed gaze and saw the mean looking snake flicking its forked tongue repeatedly, poised to attack at the slightest provocation.
Rita despised creepy crawlies with a passion and snakes topped her chart.
Kaboom! Ted’s aim blew the snakes head off and as its writhing body fell to the ground Rita threw up violently.
She knew that not only would she have creepy nightmares for weeks to come, but she will not be going on a hike in the wild anytime soon.
Thank you, Kecia for the photo prompt and PJ for hosting.
She was excited to see dawn break.
Sweet anticipation at finally getting to meet him in person had kept her sleepless for several nights.
They had skyped often over the months but nothing beats real face time.
In no time she was at the airport to pick him up but several hours later, he was a no-show.
Sandra dreaded the thought, but somehow, she knew that she’s just become a victim of online love fraud.
Emma’s relationship with water is best described as fearful fascination. It’s taken more than two decades to get her to accept to sit by the waters without having an anxiety attack.
The doctor feels that part of her therapy is to reconcile with what happened and Jack buttresses this opinion with frequent plans to visit the seaside and the suggestion that the children should learn how to swim well in water bigger than their bathtub.
Commonsense tells her that’s the right thing to do, but dread always sits in her stomach like a huge lump of rock.
She likes to watch the boats and the kids play happily in the sand. Occasionally she even dips her toes into the water.
If only she could get past the horror that tends to paralyze her mind – watching her twin sister Ella drown when they were seven years old is a memory that she doubts she would ever forget.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
In response to the FFAW photo prompt above. Thank you, Louise, for the photo and Priceless Joy for hosting this challenge.
Scalding hot tears spilt out of Ifueko’s swollen eyes mingling with the salty dribble from her nostrils into her mouth.
She wailed in reckless abandon, her swaying form gathered into itself as she interjected her pitiful cries with grief-lade idioms ‘Chi mu o, ewu ata mu igu n’isi – My God, the goat has eaten palm fronds off the top of my head’.
‘Why? Chukwu Okike. Why has such calamity befallen me, she asked her God of creation.
The repeated echos of ‘ndo, sorry’ and other words of commiseration from the growing gathering of neighbours and friends fell on deaf ears.
Her five young ones surrounded her on the bare ground of their uncompleted home, their young minds unable to comprehend the gravity of their situation as the men of the compound struggled to bring out their father’s body from the well.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Chi mu o – My God
Chukwu Okike – God of Creation