Hazy eyes’ peered through the glass, gazing at acres of palm trees disappear as they sped past. The bleak look in them grew with each mile covered, widening the gap between her and home, between the known and unknown.
They told her that she is heading for better things; for greener pastures. They told her that she’s the only hope for the family, they told her many things…
Yes, Akunnia wanted to help the family. Indeed, she truly wanted to be a saving grace. Yet, she couldn’t stop the incessant trickle of hot tears and the lump in her throat from getting bigger with each speed bump the van took as it gradually wound its way away from the dusty paths of her village to the big city.
How did greener pastures leave her feeling like a chattel used to repay family debts to a grouchy tradesman well-known for his poor treatment of others? The weight of her looming situation sat heavy on her slight sixteen-year shoulders.
The frilly purple underwear fought the peg that held it to the clothesline as if in protest against being held down. Its vigorous flapping attracted the attention of several eyes’ – it was simply the prettiest thing in sight.
Casting second, third and fourth stealthy glances, imaginary thoughts of its softness encasing and caressing the skin was worth taking the risk.
With no one watching, in a quick flash of hands, the clothes pin was removed, but the gust of wind was faster and the flowery slip sailed over the fence and attached itself to the radio antenna of a van zooming past.
In dismay, he watched the van weave its way down the street with a purple slip of silk waving in mockery.
© 2018 Jacqueline
From the confines of the van, they watched as the embers spat, crackled and popped furiously.
‘Do you think they will ever find out?’
‘Except someone tells them and I expect you have no such plans,’ the veiled threat in Vladimir’s words barely concealed.
His pale blue eyes shone with satisfaction in the darkly lit van. The mission has been successful. All the evidence has either been eliminated or burnt to cinders.
‘Of course not,’ Helmut quickly replied. He pulled his cloak a bit tighter and took a long sip from a small bottle of Vodka, the warmth of the fiery liquid unable to stop the frisson of chill he had within. He knew his days were numbered.
Written in response to the FFAW photo prompt above. Thank you, Enisa for the photo and PJ for hosting.
In chase of a dream, he kept funnelling their money into his bogus projects and his wife thought he had simply gone mad.
The Daily Post prompt – funnel
Mama counted the coins carefully and tied them in the old handkerchief which she always tucked into her thick cotton half-slip hidden under several layers of wrapper to keep them safe.
I sprinkled water on the freshly harvested pepper and pumpkin leaves, arranging them in the basket; their luscious healthy colour would attract the eyes of good buyers.
With ease, mama balanced the basket on her head, her headscarf formed a cradle and she set off to Orie Ozuda; she would walk tirelessly for miles and that basket would stay put.
‘Nwamaka my daughter, I hope today’s market day will be a good one and if I sell all my goods, tomorrow I will buy you that shoe for running that you’ve been asking for.’
‘Thank you, mama,‘ I replied with happiness ringing in my voice. I imagined my feet encased in the white canvas and I could hear the voices of my schoolmates cheering me on as I raced to the finish line; they always say that I run like 440.
Tomorrow never came. Mama never made it back. Her crushed body was brought back to the compound with her coins still carefully tucked under her half-slip. Nwamadi’s 440 car killed mama. I never ran again.
Run like 440 – a term used to emphasize how fast she ran.
Orie Ozuda – a market day
Nwamaka – an Igbo name for a girl. It means beautiful child.
She is called many names; the wandering woman, mystery lady, the medicine woman, the mad woman of Katoke or the nuisance.
She always appeared in the neighbourhoods for a couple of weeks before the start of each season bearing numerous pots and bags of exotic plants. Each boiling pot served broths that cured various ailments and all that was required for any to work is faith.
Whenever she visited the poorer quarters, the inhabitant’s welcomed her presence. They would come bearing little gifts in exchange for helpings from her healing condiments, but the experience was the opposite at the more prestigious parts of town where the policing guards did their best to discourage the charlatan ‘as she was called.’
On various occasions, they ran her off the premises with a stern warning of arrest if she kept visiting but at dusk, these uppity members of high society went to the poor side of town to see her secretly.
Thank you Yarnspinner for the interesting photo prompt and PJ for hosting.
The sparse cupboard with the solitary pack of Batchelor soup and canned beans stared back at him as if in mockery. His posh apartment was a sorry mess. Take out boxes and dirty mugs littered the kitchen and George wondered when his life had become so empty.
He was fatigued from months of insufficient sleep and taking work home; the promotion came with more responsibilities than anticipated. He was tired of eating out of paper boxes, he missed having a decent relationship with anyone and would have given a tooth for some helping of the curry flavourful dish that floated down the corridor from his married neighbours’ apartment; his tummy grumbled at the thought.
The ping of the microwave interrupted his thoughts and the cup of overflowing soup that looked more like lava made him swear. With a sigh of resignation, he picked up the phone to call Chinatown. The hum of voices and laughter from next door sharply reminded him that a robust bank balance did not make up for loneliness.
Thank you artycaptures for the photo-prompt and my lady P.J. our amiable hostess.
Check out my latest book ‘Unbridled.’
She was almost convinced that the Reverend’s sermon on giving up one’s sins was directed at her; a Church service had never left her literally feeling the heat of the brimstone.
Heaving a sigh of relief at the end of mass she rushed to the bus-stop and boarded the city bus back home, tussling in her mind whether to continue going to Church or to give it a break for a while.
As the bus wove its way through the city, the first message came in.
Beads of sweat popped out on her forehead, her heart accelerated and she developed an urgent need to use the toilet when she stared at the undeniable photo of her finagling money from the Church till.
Every hour that passed was a stab of fear; messages promptly came in from the unknown number at the turn of each hour.
Stretched Part 1
Cassie’s excitement grew as she boarded the flight. Her boss had grudgingly approved her time off after making her feel as if she was indispensable and her vacation was a time-wasting venture.
She knew Ian would be surprised and pleased to see her since he had given up on their having the vacation together due to her intense work that never seemed to abate.
Daydreaming as the plane made its way to Seychelles, she imagined all the exciting moments that they would have; surfing, kayaking, sleeping in a little longer, lounging in her bathing suit sipping some fruity cocktail, catching up on her reading and just enjoying being together. Who knows, maybe he would get round to proposing; a girl could always dream.
The holiday resort looked fabulous, but the concierge did his best to burst the bubble of her surprise by insisting on calling Ian before giving her a key.
A flustered, unexcited boyfriend joined her in the lobby. The mere look in Ian’s eye’s told her that something was wrong.
Thank you, TJ Paris for the photo prompt and PJ for hosting.
Check out my latest book ‘Unbridled.’
Cyril was disgusted at the oily surface of the water and the amount of trash he fished out of it.
The debris grew worse with each passing day, dead fishes turned up at an alarming rate, the waterway was drying up; the livelihood of the little town has been on the decline and asides for selfish gains, he just couldn’t understand why the Governor signed the controversial pipeline contract with the company responsible for dumping waste into the water and destroying the ecosystem.
The more he thought about that corrupt fellow, the more his anger festered and he wished he could grab the greedy bagger by the collar of his oversized, expensive jacket and dunk him in the foul mess.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Thank you, Louise, for the photo and PJ for hosting.
Check out my latest book ‘Unbridled.’