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    Copyright © 2016 by Jodi
    All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
    without the express written permission of the writer.

    The Message

    #Flashfiction

    For five years, I roamed the streets of Lagos aimfully but always ended up disappointed. I didn't...
    Copyright © 2016 by Jodi
    All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
    without the express written permission of the writer.

    The Message

    #Flashfiction

    For five years, I roamed the streets of Lagos aimfully but always ended up disappointed. I didn't understand how as the best graduating Student in Surgery from the Premier University in 1994, I would be without a job. I always got turned down in all the Hospitals I applied to over flimsy reasons. It was a difficult period.

    As I sat on my chair reminiscing on the past events of my life, I recalled when my Father lay ill on his deathbed, he had called me to have a man to man talk. I was barely Eleven. He had wasted no time in telling me that my fate was sealed the day I was born - the village Dibia paid us a visit and informed him that I was born to save people from dying and I must learn the act in the big city with lots of flowing water. The message was from the gods and in my Village, we obey the gods. Such, is part of our way of life.
    That was how I found myself in Lagos where I trained to be a Surgeon, hoping to save lots of people from dying.

    One sunny day in 1999, I had gone to the beach to meditate and reflect on life. While lost in thoughts, I heard a loud siren and people ran in every direction confused. I got wind of the situation; a couple having a pre-wedding photo session were drowning. The photographer raised the alarm. Without a second thought, I dived in and saved the day; all thanks to the swimming lessons I took in Sea school while on scholarship at the Boys Government College.

    That turned out to be an unscheduled interview for me. I was employed as a lifeguard with a very good package and promising returns.

    Looking back now, it all makes sense. The Dibia delivered the message well, my father only understood what he wanted to.
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    Jodi
    GLUTTONIA: LARA'S NARRATIVE

    Copyright © 2016 by Jodi
    All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
    without the express written permission of the writer.


    It was the D-day we had all waited for. The day my eldest brother got married, my happiness had...
    GLUTTONIA: LARA'S NARRATIVE

    Copyright © 2016 by Jodi
    All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
    without the express written permission of the writer.


    It was the D-day we had all waited for. The day my eldest brother got married, my happiness had known no bounds. Preparations had been on for ages, we all had done our best to see to its success.
    Dapped in my well tailored Iro and Buba with gele that pointed to high heavens, I was all smiles as I walked into the Church; the world seemed to be at a standstill for me, I slay always. Feeling myself, I catwalked to the third row where a seat had been reserved for me and sat gracefully. I enjoyed the attention I got.

    The sermon was getting too long and I couldn't help but think of all the delicacies prepared for the day, oh how I loved food. What seemed like eternity eventually came to an end when the priest pronounced my brother and his big, black and beautiful 'orobo' wife the latest couple in town. We all clapped, cheered and danced, it was such a beautiful moment. That day, I got convinced that size truly doesn't matter, my sister-in-law gave all the 'Agbani Darego's' present a run for their money.

    We moved to the venue of the reception and were greeted with the blaring sound of highlife music from the band of legendary King Sunny Ade, it was heavenly. I danced, rocked and rolled. I hardly sat down for two minutes. It was dance, dance and dance - and well, exchanging pleasantries - sometimes, that gets boring; it felt like a chore, haaa!
    I forgot about my initial hunger until item 7 was announced. Food! I couldn't resist it, I love to eat and when I do, I eat like a King - Solomon's portion can't be compared to how much I can devour. Little wonder my Mother nicknamed me GP tank while my Sister calls me Storex at will, such betrayal! Let me not remember that my Mother's talker of an aunt that hails me anytime she comes visiting. 'Uh-um, Konga Konga' she would always say. 'But I am not a well', I always retort to which she would say, 'True, I underrate you so much, you can hold more than a well in this your small stomach. Lake!' I prayed not to come across her at the wedding but my prayer was not answered. She was right there, surprisingly though, calmly sitted. I later found out she had been duped of a huge sum of money three days earlier. Awww, such pity. I still thanked my stars no one would disturb me while eating.

    I ate to my fill at my Brother's wedding reception, no food passed me by. From the small chops to jollof rice to pounded yam and efo riro to sushi to cake to fruit salad to ice cream to sweets, I couldn't just resist. I also drank to my fill until I almost puked and gave a loud belch. I looked for a comfortable space and dozed off. I needed it so badly, I was too heavy to walk about.
    I got up to go to the ladies when I ran into an old family friend. 'This loquacious matter', I thought, not very pleased to see her.

    'Lara, you look fabulous in your pregnancy, I didn't know you were expecting' she said.

    'Oh really', I frowned.

    'How far gone are you?

    'Seven months'

    '... Wow, and the baby daddy? Don't tell me it is Umar, I was rooting for you and Ray you know ...'

    As if that statement upset the baby, my water broke and I went into immediate labour. Luckily, my extended family consists of Midwives and Doctors. In no time, I could see amidst the gruelling pains I felt Uncle Layo, Aunty Bisi, Aunty Awawu, My elder Sister - Sister Bidemi and Brother Gbenga. There were some other faces I could not recognise.

    'Her EDD isn't in a month's time, I wonder why she went into labour now' Aunty Awawu, a US trained Midwife who is my Father's twin sister said.

    'We have to rush her to a nearby hospital, though we have here qualified doctors and nurses but no one prepared to deliver a seven months old baby on Ola's wedding day' chipped in Uncle Layo, our Paediatric Surgeon extraordinaire.

    'Moreover we don't want her using that her Konga mouth to shout this place down' joked Aunty Bisi. Really Aunty Bisi? She just had to bring that up despite the fact that she is mourning her missing millions.

    I felt a sharp pain and screamed, I couldn't take it any more. It felt as though I needed to pass out excreta. The feeling of discomfort was too much, I tried to hold myself from pushing but Aunty Awawu pressed further as she positioned herself in an experienced manner ready to catch the baby any time it pops 'You have to push further, I see a crown, pushhh puussshhhh'
    With the last energy I could muster, I gave a hard push and out came the baby. What a relief!
    Before I could hear the baby's cry, I passed out.

    Someone must have sprinkled water on me or so I thought. I opened my eyes, weak from the supposed labour pain I felt. I turned my legs slightly , trying to get up and felt a warm substance in between my legs, I touched it with my left palm, but I was too weak to raise my hand to see it. It was sticky. Blood? Haven't I been cleaned up? I asked myself.

    My baby, where is my baby? No one answered. I noticed the same faces that had gathered to deliver me of the baby still standing in the exact position, looking down at me but this time with disgust written all over their faces while they put their palms over their noses. It was then I realised that I had been in a dream, there was no delivery. Heck! I wasn't even pregnant. I had overfed myself.
    There was a foul smell in the air so I copied them using my right hand but I noticed they were all looking in the same direction. What I didn't understand was why it was in my direction, below my abdomen. I felt uneasy and decided to lower my gaze to where they were looking. It was then it dawned on me that I had just touched my own poop.

    I let out a choking sound and feigned passing out. That was the only way out, I thought and it worked. My heartbeat had tripled. 'Her pulse is too high, have this key Sola, get me my emergency work box, we have to fix her on a drip, she is dehydrated. I think she has diarrhea. It is no fault of hers that she messed herself up, I mean take a look, vomiting, sweating profusely, running feverish and defecating uncontrollably with an unstable pulse are all indicators of any of dysentery, diarrhea and cholera. I am suspecting diarrhea' Uncle Layo said. Continuing, he firmly said no one should blame me yet, blames would be shifted later. I heaved a heavy sigh hoping no one had noticed. I was later rushed to the Hospital. I saved myself from the embarrassment that I deserved. Lucky me!

    That day remains etched in my memory forever and since then, I had learnt to eat in moderation and look the other way if the temptation becomes too much. The only other time I ate too much after that incident, I had a saviour with me, a satchet of Tetracycline capsules. Once beaten, twice shy!

    Moral of the Story:
    * Learn to eat in moderation.
    * Gluttony is deadly, desist from it.
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    Jodi
    THE ORPHANS OF JESUIT

    Written by Jodi

    Copyright © Jodi (Pen name)

    All rights reserved. The Contents herein may not be reproduced or rewritten in whole or part using any format without the express permission of the writer.

    *****************************************************

    His mission is...
    THE ORPHANS OF JESUIT

    Written by Jodi

    Copyright © Jodi (Pen name)

    All rights reserved. The Contents herein may not be reproduced or rewritten in whole or part using any format without the express permission of the writer.

    *****************************************************

    His mission is to bring down just eight corrupt Government officials so that normalcy can return to thier lives. To him, these corrupt officials were better off non existent. His ultimate target is the Prime Minister but he knew that would be an almost impossible mission. Efosa is an orphan, he is one of the orphans of Jesuit.

    The past few years have been daunting for all the Children of the orphanage. The life they have become accustomed to which they did not create. For them, if allowed to rewrite their destiny, they would not choose this path.Twenty-four Children; with nobody to run to and nothing to hold on to but their fate, all they could imagine is what the future holds for them as their only source of survival is about to be taken from them. In a few days time, Kobe - their strenght, guardian, counsel, father, mother, teacher, supporter and protector would be facing the hangman's noose in faraway Indolusia, at only twenty-five. They could only guess the method that would be used in killing him, none was sure.

    "I read in the papers that it is going to be through Electrocution" a teary eyed Soma said, not even sure of what she had just said.

     If anyone was more devastated upon hearing the news, it was Soma because she has a very strong bond with Kobe, the young Man she has come to see as her god. If everyone forgets, she does not because Kobe, it was who helped her triump dyslexia, a condition she had as a small child at the Orphanage. A man who could be so patient with her up until she overcame her troubles and even after, took up the responsibility of catering for her and her sisters and brothers when trouble came must be an Angel in human form. He must be heaven sent. She totally worships the ground he walks on.

     "No, I think it is going to be by firing squad" Joyce added.

    Joyce and Soma were brought to the orphanage at about the same time. Both had a common story, they were both abandoned as babies. While Joyce was abandoned very close to a canal in the slum town of Makoro, Soma was dumped on a dump site close to their old orphange.
    A note had been left in her basket which read "She is called Somadina". The Orphanage had accepted and nurtured them. They are very close because the staff of the Orphanage treated them as twins. Or how else does one explain it? Brought in on the same days as babies, common story, about the same age.At Eleven, they had experienced what most eighty year olds would not experience in two life times - such was their path, a tough one.

    "No matter the method that would be used, no one deserves to be treated like that, no one!" Rewalekun cuts in.
    She, like others has also been crying for days. Since the news broke, she has refused to eat. Instead, she has chosen to fast and pray until something positive happens. She is one of the oldest girls in the Orphanage. At nineteen, she understood what lay in wait for them. She saw the future, it was bleak. As Rewalekun spoke, she broke into tears.

    "Ha, life is so unfair. Why can't Kobe be given a fair hearing? Why can't justice prevail? He said he didn't do it, so why can't they just let him be? May those who put him in this trouble never know peace. If Kobe dies, they will also die, their generation will be ..."
    "Hey hey hey, enough Rewa" Efosa cuts her short as he walked in on them from the adjoining room. "For how long are you going to keep doing this. Now is not the time to lament but pray. The days are numbered, we have to be strong for later. Anything can happen now. If you keep crying, what do you expect of Blessing, Daniel, Shalom, Jemima, Samson, Caleb, Soma, Joyce, Kamsi and your other brothers and sisters?" Efosa asked pointing to all the children gathered in groups, sitting on the floor of the living room.

    For the past one week, that had been their position, only getting up once in a while to do one or two things. The children had grown so lean all of a sudden because even though the food was there, they couldn't bear to eat knowing very well that Kobe was on death roll for their sake. Life couldn't be more difficult for the children.
    Efosa continued "Let us all stop lamenting and keep our faith strong. Let us hope, let us pray and pray. We shall overcome!"

    As if consumed by a spirit all of a sudden, all the children broke into a chorus.
    "We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome......." They sang into the night and soon dozed off one after the other. Food was not an option for them that night. They were fasting, for Kobe. The younger children, Blessing, Kamsi, Daniel, Emma and Sadiq did not fully understand why food preparation had not been regular, one thing they knew for sure was that times were bad, there was bad news in the air and they had to do all their big sisters and brothers did. Breakfast has been regular for them though, so they did not worry much.

    While they all dozed; albeit not peacefully, because some kept rolling and kicking while sometimes, the Children would call Kobe inbetween snores; Efosa paced up and down the adjoining room where he had carried the boys to sleep. He had to act fast. If Kobe must go down, then those who made their lives this way must pay first. He had two options; carry out his own Revenge and damn the consconsequences that would follow suit or wait on the United Nations and International Court of justice to carry out judjudgement and save the children more tears. One had to be the way.If he chooses the latter, justice may never be served, he reasoned. The children of the Orphans of Jesuit would only continue another cycle on suffering. The last thing he wanted to think of was the girls going into prostitution and the boys going into robbery. No, that would only happen over his dead body. It is better he dies, knowing that the children will be safe from the evil hands of the Government officials who had tossed them into this cruel path than for him to be alive awaiting judgement that may never come.He thought in his mind, one thing his parents and Mrs Raman would have wanted against all odds, is for the children to live peacefully without the fear of being forced into child labour and prostitution.There and then, Efosa made up his mind. He chose the former.

    *********************************************

    Dawn came faster, Efosa woke up with a start. He had overslept. The speaker from the Mosque must have woken him up. He checked his clock, it was 6:12a.m. Why hadn't the alarm gone off? He reasoned then remembered he had not set the alarm on purpose to allow the children sleep more.He got up quietly and prepared for his outing. The D-day has come, there was no turning back. It had to be done by someone and he was that person. He would avenge his parents death, Mrs Raman's death, the cruelty and injustice meted out on the Orphanage and other Orphanges in the Country. He had all their names. Kobe had revealed this to him when he went with Mrs Abraham from Angels of light Non governmental Organisation and Mr Harris to see Kobe in faraway Indonesia. The visit was made possible by Mrs Abraham. Ever since the News of Kobe's ill luck reached the country, she had, out of pity and love made it a point of duty to campaign for his release because she too believed he was innocent. Whey the condemned were given opportunities to see their loved ones, Kobe had asked to see Efosa. Luckily, Mrs Abraham had already started processing the visa application for herself and Efosa to go see Kobe. The application had been granted and their Visas ready a day before Kobe asked to see Efosa. Two days later, they had traveled.

    Now harmed with enough evidences to put the corrupt officials behind bars, Efosa chose to do it his way. He didn't want justice to be delayed. He wanted to do it before Kobe is killed. Even though that was not the instruction Kobe gave him, Efosa at this point cared less, he wanted to avenge his parents death badly.All the Officials on his list will be in one place today as one of them is launching his book. It is typical of them to show support for one another - The Eight 'demons' that changed the course of his life and threw the orphans into more troubles. But for their selfish gains, his parents and Mr and Mrs Raman would still be alive. They must all go down, he kept on thinking.

    His mission must be fulfilled no matter the obstacles he faced. He would complete the mission and damn the conconsequences. He hurriedly made preparations, then woke Rewa up. He left instructions with her on how breakfast should be prepared and that she should not open the door for any visitor. He told her to wait for him till 2p.m, if he doesn't return, she should organize the children and quietly go to the house of Mr Eweka, a close friend of their former caregiver, Mrs Raman. He hands her a sealed envelope and says:"When he reads it, he would understand. Just do not make any delays"."Where are you going to exactly? I am scared" Rewa asked. Before Efosa could give a reply, she adds "I had a bad dream. I saw you in a pool of your own blood, you were smiling and waving at all of us when suddenly, a masked man came out of nowhere and shot you dead""That won't happen Rewa and even if it does, the orphanage will be liberated forever and you all can live in peace" Efosa said as he made for the door. He knows that if he continued talking with Rewa, she would convince him not to go out. "Do not forget the instructions I gave you. 2p.m! Make your move if you do not see me".

    *********************************************

    The venue of the book launch is well lit. The music is slow yet scintillating. Guests are just arriving, everyone is chatting and cheering. There is so much to talk about. The security men have condoned off all major roads leading to the venue. To be allowed passage, you have to show them your invite. The event is strictly by invitation. The security measures put in place caused serious traffic gridlock in other areas of the City as all traffic were redirected away from the National Centre for Literature and Theater (NCLT), the venue of the lunch and the most beautiful structure in the Country.

    At the venue of the event, the security is even more stringent. All the entrances were sealed. Guests could only go in and come out through the main entrance. Almost every security body in the Country were present. The Prime Minister's life must be protected like an egg, no scratch must come near him. It is that serious.

    The time is 9:49 a.m, all is set for the programme to start. In about eleven minutes, all will be sitted for the Introduction and opening speech which would have been preceeded by the recognition of distinguished personalities present. That means by 10a.m, the Prime Minister and other members of his inner caucus would be on seat for the recognition.Efosa continued to swim, he was more agile now than ever. If this one opportunity is missed, another may not come in a long time. He swam hastily until he reached the point; he had it figured out. Harmed with a map, he knew all the secret exits of the building. He knew about the tunnel that was also built underground but was sealed off a long time ago for reasons best known to the management of NCLT. With the agility of a tiger, he shot himself up and after a little push, he found himself in one of the locker rooms at the extreme of the building. He knew from his map that it would take him exactly eight minutes to get to the hall the event is taking place. Efosa had come in a speed boat which he carefully tied somewhere, away from the open where no prying eyes could see and all gratification to his swimming skills, he had taken the only route that led to the NCLT which was built directly in front of the Ocean for a nice Ocean view. One thing the Security agents would not have imagined is someone coming in through the Ocean. No one can risk that, they must have reasoned. But they were wrong, Efosa took the risk. He is on a mission that must be fulfiled, his blood was burning so badly, his parents death must be avenged. He made it in time to meet the Prime minister just getting up to go give his speech. It was very easy for him to get close to the hall because he had disguised as one of the workers on duty. Finding a corner, he quickly wore the nose mask he had brought along and made for the hall slowly and stealthily making sure he was undetected by the security cameras, harmed with his shotgun.

    Just when the Prime Minister finished addressing the audience and moved to his seat where the seven other members of his inner caucus were also sitted, Efosa threw in a teargas and at the same time threw a big stone to the back of the hall which broke a glass window with a loud thud followed by the cracking of glass, this he did to divide the attention of the security operatives. Instantly, there was pandemonium in the hall; everyone scampered for safety, gunshots were fired - the security operatives all rushed to save the Prime Minister but it was a second too late. The deed had been done. In the midst of the mayhem, Efosa quickly mixed with the crowd and quickly scanned the hall for a quick escape but there was none. More security had come into the hall, the Prime Minister along with four other Comptrollers.
    There was an immediate mayday cry and in a jiffy, helicopters and fighter jets had filled in the airspace.Efosa's heart raced; he decides he was not going to give up easily, it was a fight to the finish; he would fight with every drop of his blood. As he looked around, a voice came from a Megaphone outside calling for the culprit to surrender."I know you are in there; you have an option of surrendering on your own or we use force on you, I bet you know everything can go wrong if you decide to go with the second option. Also note that the whole building is surrounded by armed military men. You can make no escape; if you are thinking of the ocean, we are waiting for you; if it is the air, you would be a dead mea even at the thought of it. Just walk out quietly and surrender yourself" came the very stern voice from the blaring speaker outside."Do not let us use force on you, surrender now while you still can, surrender while we ask you to because when we find you ourselves, the music will be different" came the voice again. It was the voice of Chief Inspector Jade Lawson, the commanding officer of the Lagoon military base. Trained in the U.S, he is known to be very brutal and carries out assignments to the latter. He is not known to give up; this is largely due to his pride and ego and not because of commitment. Efosa knew all these, he had watched him on T.V a couple of times giving victory speeches and on one such occassion, he had given it a thought to tow his path but that was just a wishful thinking. Efosa's true passion lies in football; he always hoped that one day, he would become and international football player.The voice came again from the blaring megaphone giving instructions that all units should lay in wait while he goes into the hall with some military personnels heavily donned. As if in a fit, Efosa broke into a sprint and starts shooting sporadically. The security personnels counter shoot also. They dodged his bullets and tactfully brought him down. Drenched in his own blood, Efosa slowly falls to the ground wincing in pain. "Kobe, I failed you" were the lasts words he says before breathing his last.

    **************************************

    "Wake up Efosa, wake up! You are soaked in your own sweat and why did you make us all scared? You kept on mentioning Kobe's name, did you have a bad dream?" Rewa asked still nudging him to wake up. Turning and stretching grudgingly on the mat, Efosa sits upright, looks around and says "Thank heavens, it was only a dream"He tells Rewa to go prepare the other children for the day as he a place he must get to urgently. After Rewa had left the room, he dashes to a small box that lay on the bare floor in the room, searches his pocket for the keys to open the box. After opening it, he removed the documents which had been given to him by Kobe and quickly scanned through the recipients again. He remembered all that Kobe had told him and vows to follow the instructions to the latter. If Kobe dies, their orphanage must not.His mind drifts back to his meeting with Kobe in Indolusia. "Life is biased" he muttered.

    To be Continued...
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    Masciano57
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    Short Story title: My daughter the racist.
    Written by the Renowned Helen Oyeyemi.

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    It was raining.
    That wasn’t a good sign.
    Her mother had died on a stormy day just like this one.
    As Enitan trudged down the dark wet street, shopping bag in hand, she shuddered. She dreaded coming out on days like these, days when the sky was gloomy and threatening. She noticed little children...
    It was raining.
    That wasn’t a good sign.
    Her mother had died on a stormy day just like this one.
    As Enitan trudged down the dark wet street, shopping bag in hand, she shuddered. She dreaded coming out on days like these, days when the sky was gloomy and threatening. She noticed little children in their Wellington boots and raincoats playing in the rain and she felt anger well up in her. What caring mother would allow her kids play in such awful weather she wondered? She would never have been caught dead outdoors in such horrific weather had it not been for little James. She smiled as memories of him pervaded her thoughts. He really was a cute baby. And she’d brave any weather even this one for him. She had really begun to have strong maternal feelings for him but she had to admit she was still just getting the hang of it. She was far from being a perfect mom. What would the social workers think if they knew she had remembered just five minutes before his next meal that poor Jamie had run out of food? Well, they’d never know, she said smiling. At least she was a better mother than Jamie’s real mother could ever have been. She knew it was bad to speak ill of the dead but she just couldn’t help it. Sarah had always been irresponsible and allowing herself be lured by that no good ex-soldier had proven to be her downfall. She had gotten pregnant at 18 with her baby’s father nowhere in sight. The coward had fled as soon as he realized he was going to be saddled with responsibilities. Sarah had died at childbirth leaving Enitan her adopted sister with the responsibility of raising her son.
    Enitan’s mother had won an American Visa lottery 23 years before and departed from her home country Nigeria where a civil war was brewing with her husband and unborn child. Her husband had died three years later in a car crash leaving her with a three-year-old daughter and hardly any means of support. They had been poor; Enitan remembered that vividly. She also remembered having to wear a tattered uniform to school and do without Christmas presents. Her mother had to keep two jobs and quite sadly she had died because of her job. She had been working in a tobacco factory and all the smell of smoke had finally gotten to her. Enitan shuddered again as she remembered the doctor’s diagnosis. “You have lung cancer and cannot be expected to live for more than three months.” She was all her mother had and her mother had never hidden anything from her. She had begged her mother not to leave her and had done all she could for her mother but her mother had left her. She had died one stormy day. Enitan remembered the storm and as she heard a sudden crack of thunder she jumped. Visibly shaken, it seemed her mind was transported back in time…
    “ Hello can I speak to Dr. Harver?”
    “ Dr. Harver is at home, he has cancelled all appointments for the day because of the storm.”
    “ B…but he’s gotta come, my mother’s dying.”
    “I’m sorry he cannot be reached right now, good bye.”
    And the nurse had hung up.
    To be continued...........
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