Tag Archive | writing ideas

His Flanges Got Propped!…. A short story

Defeat

It’s been quite a grueling competition! Sebastian is determined to win the championship even if is by the skin of his teeth!

He has come far and this is it! The moment of his life and his dreams!

He could almost taste the victory and the fame at the end of it all.

His face would be splashed all over the papers and television. Instant celebrity status stamped on him as he turns into the toast of the town.

Endorsements would fly in from here and there. He could imagine his preening and the ladies cooing after him; his companionship sought by all. He could see it all! The pause to pose for silent brooding pictures for the paparazzi. The constant request for interviews. The frenetic social calendar. What a success it would be!

For just a split second, his wandering mind drifts off from the game at hand. In that split second, the ball comes sailing through the air and his delayed reaction causes him to over-reach. His legs fly out under him! He sails into the air, landing with such a heavy thud at an odd angle.

Pain pierces and radiates through his entire body. He struggles to rise but this legs crumble under him as the excruciating pain keeps him down.

The medics rush to attend to him and a quick examination is carried out.

Through the haze of the pain, a sober voice filters through;

“Well my young man, it appears you have popped a rib or two!” Said the Voice.

”You will be needing a FLANGIPROP  for support for several months or more.” ”Unfortunately you cannot continue with the game.” The droning voice continued as he administers on-site first aid.

He is quickly holstered on a stretcher whilst he writhes in pain and anger. This is not the way it is meant to end he argues in his mind.

The flashes of the camera keeps popping in his face as the paparazzi catch every wince of pain and misery that is etched on it.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha.

In response to The Daily Post – Invent a definition for the word “Flangiprop,” then use the word in a post. 

The actual definition of Flange: An external or internal rib or rim which is used to add strength or to hold something in place.

The actual definition of Prop: An object placed against or under another to support it: anything that supports.

Fare Thee Well my Dear Polo Park…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ode to a Playground.”

New face of Polo park.

New face of Polo park.

When the news of your demise filtered through,

That the bigwigs had finally purchased you,

To plant their mega buck superstores and install new, expensive play toys,

To charge and enrich greedy pockets so much more,

I was dismayed, I was disheartened, through and through,

How dare they do such a thing to you!

Such appalling steps taken to deface,

Attempts to erase decades of a joyful place!

Of laughter of children that echoes in the heart,

Of scrapes and bruises,

Of hides and seek,

Of swings and slides to your utmost delight.

The birds squawk in harsh protest,

 No more crumbs from the little ones,

Even the trees weep in anguish from such assault,

The glee and joy of young scrambling ones,

Would they know no more!

Yet you live on in this grown child’s heart,

Always fond will your memories be,

My Polo Park, you were a treat to me,

Where friends were found,

Fostered and Flourished.

Maybe you have gone somewhere else to be,

Where you will gladden the hearts of other young ones.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

A Step back into Childhood….

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Life’s a Candy Store.”

BookstoreWhat a delightful day this would be! I am six years old again and I get to spend it as I please and with whom I choose.

Well! Well! Whoever says that life doesn’t have it’s pleasant sweet spots and that the lines don’t fall in the right places is a big, fat lying Pinocchio! Just watch me 🙂

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. Of course, I am still young enough to get excused from doing serious chores, apart from brushing my teeth properly, taking my shower and eating sumptuous helpings of mummy’s homemade pancakes with dripping drizzles of maple syrup, nicely done omelets (no vegetables please), sausages, baked beans and a nice warm cup of cocoa.

We all pile into my daddy’s lovely blue Renault Saloon car. It has seen a lot of good mileage and made lots of beautiful memories.

Off we go to Leventis super stores in Enugu; a forty-five minutes drive from our abode in Nsukka, through the old road and past the Milken hill.

Milken hill is a verdant wilderness and as I peer through the wound up windows of our beloved Renault with plate number ”ECH 480” winding, its way through the snaky, precarious, hilly road with its scary drop, my child eyes imagine the trumpeting Elephants, the roaring Lions and the curious monkeys that inhabit that wilderness.

The scary drop seems like a bottom less pit and one must negotiate it with care. Many cars have been known to meet a fatal stop on this part of the road.

We make it safely to Leventis. It is a store of a child’s dream and every book and toy that my mind can conjure is stocked here.

Chinny, you and your siblings can go and select three items each for yourselves.” ”Two books and one toy each.” ”We have two hours to spend before we go to visit your cousins, daddy says to me.”

Daddy is such a wonderful man. He knows I love books and he stokes it rather nicely by buying lots of them for me 🙂

I make a beeline for the huge outlay of more books than I have ever seen.

Rows and rows of beautiful, vibrantly coloured story books fill my eyes. A browse and a selection of the two books that I want to go home with are made. I then settle down at the children’s corner where I quickly digest  another one whilst waiting for mummy to finish making her purchases.

I debate in my mind whether to exchange my toy option for a third book. I know that on a good day when we are not squabbling, my sister will allow me to play with her new doll and I want all the books in the book store to belong to me.

I negotiate very nicely with daddy and I end up with four books instead of two. I have diligently checked the prices on all the girly toys and they far outweigh the price of two extra books; somehow, I feel sensible and smart. I think daddy appreciates my consideration.carousel

Don’t be mistaken, I love toys like all children, but my love for books far outweighs my love for toys. Besides, I already saw my parents looking at Raleigh bicycles. I know that they would be purchasing one for each of us.

Our shopping is done! We make a quick stop at No 1. Chief Alex Ekwueme street, the home of my favorite cousins. They don’t need too much coaxing to join us for a picnic party at Polo park.

At the expansive Polo park grounds, we take turns on the rides, on the swings and slides. We play ”Swe” and ‘‘Uga” until hunger pangs kick in and it is time to tuck into the goodies that mummy has dutifully packed.

The picnic basket  bulges with all sorts of goodies – enough to feed an army.  Fizzy pops, cake, cookies, sandwiches, jollof rice with chicken, etc are generously marshaled out on paper plates by mum. picnic at the park

Daddy has a sweet tooth (I think the sweet tooth thing is genetic) and never fails to get those lovely ice lollies on cones for us for dessert.

Our palates are sated and our tummies nicely rounded from food.

Evening is fast approaching. A quick decision on whether to drive back home through the Milken hill or to spend the night at the cousins is made. Auntie Christie always graciously opens the door to her home.

She would always say “Jay-Jay, Alberta (shortened for my dad’s name: James Joseph and my mum’s name Alberta-Bianca), it is too late to go driving back to Nsukka o, you guys must stay over till tomorrow o.”

With delight we turn the house upside down with our horse-play until we were tuckered out.

They had a very big house, with lots of room.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

P.S. This article is based on ”my real life story” as recalled from my minds eye as a child.

Quick Glossary

Milken Hill: These hills are found at Ngwo in Enugu North LGA, they are 100 meter above sea level, offering beautiful standpoint for a panoramic view of Enugu metropolis, especially at dawn and dusk. The hill was named after one of the earliest colonial administrator in Enugu. The first road into Enugu city winds through the foot of the hill bounded by a deep gully. Underneath the hills are relics of coal mines and its beautiful tunnels. Beneath the Milken hills is the Iva valley. The hills are good for mountaineering. However, drivers are advised to drive slowly with caution through the meandering roads.

Enugu – One of the State’s in the Eastern part of Nigeria.

Nsukka – A town and Local Government Area in South-East Nigeria in Enugu State

Chief Alex Ekwueme: Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme is one of Nigeria’s most respected statesmen alive today.

Swe – I think this is what is called hopscotch.

Uga – synchronized clapping rhythm of hands followed with feet competition to outwit the other.

Jollof Rice – A popular meal eaten in most West African homes, a one-pot meal made with fried tomato and pepper stew, rice, meat and spices

Its a Hardworking Love….

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Yin to My Yang.”

Good relationships

There are no perfect relationships! They all require some modicum of work!

Some relationships are fantastic, some are marginally okay whilst some are an absolute lesson in “who not to be with” and probably meant to be tossed into the garbage can.

The term soul mate is a misleading concept that hints at perfectionism, which is not a word that can be ascribed to any human.

We all are works-in-progress, who spend a better part of our lives trying to figure out who we are and this process cascades down to everything that concerns our lives. ”There is always room for improvement.”

That said, The Yin and The Yang of soul-mating, are those parts in our relationships that keep chipping at each other, until their rough surfaces are smooth enough for the jigsaw puzzle of our characters to blend in seamlessly, or, alternatively, they chaff at each others bits until the edges are so jagged and worn out that ”would be” Soul mates become Stab mates.

It’s a reciprocated effort.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

That Thing That Niggles Me…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Must Not Fail.”

Not failingThe fear of failure when it comes to the aspects of life’s material wants has ceased to bother me, because I have really come to realize that we can exist on far less than we tend to surround ourselves with.

I literately and completely believe in the word of God in Ezekiel 34 v 26: that says: I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send showers in season; showers of blessing.

I have seen this proven true time and time again in my life even when I neither earned it nor deserved it.

I know that as long as life exists that hope exists. That faith and perseverance will sustain me.

It is always wise to keep in mind that failure is only a setback and not the end of the street. It is an invitation to learn from, to grow from and an opportunity to start again.

However, as a mother blessed with lovely children, there is a fear that niggles my heart each day and that is the fear in my ability to do a good job in raising my children.

With the amount of corrosive erosion in human ethics and values, I am concerned and wonder if I am doing enough to raise upright children who will be blessings to their generation. Therefore, I must continue to try.

On a personal note, I live with the fear of failing as a Christian in the true sense of the word. Not the picture of me that the World sees through the acts of Earthly Godliness but the intrinsic me that no one else is privy to.

I however remind myself that it is only by the Grace of God that I am redeemed and not by the arm of my flesh.

These two thoughts drive me everyday and if I do not fail in these two things, then I must count myself as extremely successful.

Let us not fail to remember that success is relative. What count’s as success for me, may be viewed as idiosyncratic nonsense to another.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Keep it Moving Forward…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pay It Forward.”

pay-it-forward2

Splendid prompt! Splendid timing!

I like this prompt because paying it forward just happened to me today, out of the blues. Whilst going through posts on my reader, a little note popped up and I saw this comment:

Congratulations to JACQUELINE who is the Giveaway Friday winner!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

With the most comments on alocovivavoce.com, Jacqueline has emerged the winner of Giveaway Friday for the month of September 2015. Congratulations Jacqueline!

As a special prize, Jacqueline gets one of the following:

A 2000 (two thousand) naira recharge card of any network of your choice.

Or

A promotion of anything of your choice on alocovivavoce.com. Whether a product, service, idea or writeup, just let me know whatever you choose to promote and I would be at your service.

So once again, congratulations Jacqueline for being the top commenter for September 2015.

Sincerely speaking, I was quite surprised. I thought it was spam. Then I saw the name of the blog that it came from, so I gingerly clicked on it, reminding myself that April fools day had come and gone.

Anyways, I decided to play along and Viola! It is real. Now that certainly put a very big smile on my face 🙂

My initial thought was to ask her to promote my blog, but a little voice whispered to me: “you have received some pleasure and delight from this warm gesture, so why not put a smile on the face of another unsuspecting person” and I decided to go with the voice, so I responded to A Loco Viva Voce:

Goodness gracious me! This is a very pleasant and warming surprise. Not expected in the least and that is what makes it extremely lovely and appreciated.

My dear lady, thank you from the depth of me. This is such a heartwarming gesture. How I wish I could claim the recharge card, but since I am not in Nigeria it’s okay.

Better still, I can pay it forward and bless someone else over there with the recharge card.

Please let me know what you think and once again, thank you. God Bless

She came back with the response that it’s fine to send the gift of the recharge card forward to another recipient 🙂

So there you have it! Easily done and all in a days job 🙂

act of kindness

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Those Wicked Contraptions….

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Night and Day.”

corset-itch2 Stilettos 2

An A-class rated event, coupled with the desire to cast a captivating, svelte, alluring figure all rolled-in-one *pun intended* led me down the path of purchasing a slinky dress to go with the anticipated moment.

The rolls and bulges needed to be folded in very nicely and the cute shop attendant introduced me to the wonderful corset. A piece of nip-tuck body magic, body shaping contraption (not garment in my opinion) which promised a smooth finish and an immediate downsize of several inches. Everything looked real good!

Now, a pair of stilettos which were required to complete the fashionista look were obtained (at a bargain, I must tell you).

Party, here we come!

It’s was a lovely evening. We were good to go. I was no longer so sure of my choices but with husband practically tapping his toes in the bid to go, I chose to brave it and all nicely trussed up like a turkey, off we went.

I don’t think I have spent a more miserable evening at a party before! I could barely take in sufficient gulps of air. Needless to say, the pins and needles poking at my ribs all evening were absolutely no fun!

All the lovely finger food passed me by with regret (the food regretted and so did I). Any attempt to take a meaningful bite would have caused some things to burst loose.

I couldn’t even comfort myself by dancing either! It appeared the stilettos were not quite as comfortable as they had been on the day they were bought.

I sat upright all evening like a nob or better still a snobbish aristocrat and using the restroom was not a mean feat at all!

Most of the conversation floated over my head because my entire thoughts were “Oh my God, when would be the reasonable time to leave so that I can disentangle myself from my self-imposed cagey nonsense.”

Those items never saw the light of the day again. A lesson not to be repeated.

Just in case you are interested, I have this lovely corset and killer stilts that would complement your wardrobe. It’s available for auction. Going! Going! Going….to any bidder please!

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

P.S. Thank you WordPress for reminding us of good times spent 🙂

Come into my parlour…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Home Turf.”

1442851943369I have a fine home, I think I do,

With nice gadgets and knick, knacks too!

But not my spiffy new home, with all the pots and pans,

Not my lovely, comfy bed and not my TV too!

Its just a nice living space, if it was just for me,

My home lies with those who share my space,

They make it worthwhile too!

Their Warmth,

Their Energy,

The Laughter,

The Frolics,

And The Squabbles too!

Without these my lovely ones,

There would be no home at all!

If you were to visit us,

You would be captivated too!

Not by the lovely new gadgets

But our smiley tooth!

Life-takes-you-to-unexpected-places-Love-brings-you-HomeJacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Keeping the embers of love glowing hot…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Take Me to the Moon.”

love to the moon

Would I go to the moon for you?

Not so sure about that, since I am not an Astronaut!

Would I want you to go to the moon for me?

If you fancy a jaunt at zero gravity, you are most welcome!

I promise to love you till we are both long in the tooth!

I promise to love you even when you snore and keep me awake!

I promise to love you when you hog the blanket and my butt is out in the cold!

I promise to love you and laugh at re-runs of your dry jokes!

I promise to love you, wrinkles, warts and all!

But don’t get any ideas about holding up the bank!

I have no plans to go to jail for you!

I will be right here!

Keeping the kettle warm!

Until you return.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Come On Over, I’ll Get The Mugs…

1442564797239[1]

At long last, I get an opportunity to ask you to come over for a cuppa coffee. We need to catch up on a lot of stuff.

You and I know that I take coffee in spare quantities. That I am an Iced-Tea babe or a sinful Caramel Macchiato chick. It gets me to loosen up and share every delightful morsel of gist that I have been saving up to share with you..

If you were to come over for a cup of coffee, I reckon we wouldn’t settle for the living room; there would be too much distraction with the children and the husband underfoot. We would probably go to a spot that I discovered by Dubai Marina where we would imbibe in several cups over laughter and enjoy watching the scenes of the Marina dotted with expensive yachts.1442565055964[1]

Alternatively, we could opt for Starbucks at one of the Malls (The Village at Dubai Mall is my favorite) where we catch up with gossip and people watch too. We could equally feast our eyes with window shopping until they glazed over with all the beautiful over priced goodies beckoning to us. Sounds like a good deal right?

Of course, you know that we won’t have just a cup of coffee without something chewy to go with it. All the lovely smell of baked goods would cause some rumbling in the tummy and I bet my last dirham that we would convince each other to add a slice of something nice. We might settle on a carrot cake and red velvet or anything that appears decadent…we can always walk it off together, tomorrow 😉coffee and cake

Settled down in a vantage position for people watching, I would listen to you regale me with tidbits of the current goings-on in your life and I would interject with an aah, ooh, or you don’t say! It would all depend on the expression that fits the moment.

If we were having a cup of coffee right now, we would cluck over the abysmal situation of migrants and the sorry state of affairs of the World, and possibly end on an optimistic, philosophical note that things would hopefully look up soon.

Over that warm mug of drink, I would share tales from my last visit back home and my experience so far in moving from Houston to Dubai. I would tell you how the search for a new abode went and how expensive living spaces are over here.

1442564921742[1]I would tell you about my fascination for the new culture that I am experiencing and my plans to immerse myself in learning Arabic language whilst I am here, so that the snippets of conversation shared by passers-by would make meaning to me.

I would tell you fascinating tales of the places (like the Underground pub, the Gold Souk, the Safari) that we have been to and would urge you to come for a visit longer than a quick cup of coffee so that we would share a memory.

About how at odds I feel having my Sundays as a work/school day and today, Friday is a weekend – I am still struggling to adjust to the change. It’s only been six weeks anyway!

I would tell you how much I minded having my status classified as ‘house-wife‘ instead of ‘writer‘ because my resident permit comes under my husbands own and you know how things are in this part of the World.

I would share the thoughts warring in my head about diligently seeking full-time employment over here or should I focus on my writing and the little things that I do to earn some income? What do you think?1442565344603[1]

If we were to have a cup of coffee right now, there would be so much to share. So what do you say? Are you coming over?

Lest I forget, I would tell you of the blogging ideas bouncing around in my head, then I would share this link: A little pick me up with you as well as little bits about the fascinating people that I have met so far in the virtual World and how husband has grown used to my bursts and cackles of laughter….

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to Writing 101 – Day 10: Update your readers over a cup of coffee