REALITY CHECK

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I am seated on a blue coloured plastic chair – boldly written made in Nigeria, while a made in China white table sat before me.
My dinner of “meshaid” bread and egg and a home brewed hot cup of green tea and honey decorated the table.

The moon in half her glory shone on me as I felt pangs of pity for her wondering why the cloud would hide the other half of her glory on this glorious eve.

My right leg flung North beneath the table while the left bent slightly fitting perfectly in between two legs of the white table to the South.
Lying haphazardly on the chair like a drunk who had just emptied four crates of beer, assorted bottles of spirits and various brands of other unnamed liquor, my eyelids met in a warm embrace, I could vividly see myself lying lifeless on the cold sandy ground outside my house.

“Baby”.
First it was gentle and cozy, the type that could lure you deeper into another realm. Thus, it lured me till I heard it again,
“Berry” , this time it was timely and louder, yet melodious like the splash splash between Rivers Osun and Ogun as they battled on.
It was this voice that jerked me back to reality .
Opening my eyes, I saw myself lying in the pool of my own blood.

Just then my phone rang, it was that voice again but this time it was real; my ring tone.

MORAL OF THE STORY
-not every voice is good for business.
-these are uncordinated thoughts of a light-starved Nigerian

DEAR RUKAYAT

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DEAR RUKAYAT

I whistled happily as I packed Bisi’s bag.

**
Bisi is my only child and daughter in my marriage of fifteen years to Otunba.

Seventeen years ago when we met, he was a handsome and intelligent young man and I, pretty and brilliant in my own right. We soon became a couple on a rollercoster kind of love affair, two years after our first meet, we were married. Happy. And perfect too.

**
Dearest Rukayat,

It’s been ages since I last wrote you, now my hands wobble for shame and guilt.
Dear Friend, I never forgot you. Marriage took the better of me and before I knew it, I lost track of time.

I know you’d be wondering why I didn’t reply your last letter, well, my only excuse is marriage.
You remember Otunba, my husband? Of course you do, you were my chief bridesmaid at our wedding.
He became a shadow of his old self three years into our marriage. I thought it was the birth of Bisi, so I bore his harsh treatment with a smile on my face and soon it escalated to wounds on my back.

I wore submission like a robe-it was overflowing, yet, I couldn’t satisfy him. He would complain of white soup , which used to be his favourite, then when I switched to black soup, he’d call me a witch.

I became a punching bag, where he always exercised his manliness and like a lamb led to its slaughter, I bore it all.

I couldn’t talk back. I couldn’t cry , for if he saw my tears, mother said he’d call me weak and in Africa, a woman is not supposed to be weak. So I stuffed it

all in.
I served him like a god – a dreadful one at that. My place was in the house, I had no friend. None came visiting, and I wouldn’t dare look twice at other women as they passed or I’d incur the wrath of my god.

I thought of leaving. Yes, I did. But this is Africa, a woman who was once married is like a filthy rag fit to be trampled upon by all, so I stayed put. Hopeful.

I have lost my essence of womanhood and now worse than an eye sore to be looked upon. Black eye upon black eye. Scars upon scars. My tears never dried before a fresh pool would rain down my swollen eyes.

My legs hurts for the many nights he forced his masculine strength on me as he devoured me like a hungry lion. I have been pregnant four times and four times have I lost them to his beatings and unfair treatment.

Do I sense pity rising within you? Let it go. I am a strong woman. Just like mother says.

Tomorrow, Bisi will be coming over to your place for the holiday.
I heard you never married. Otunba taunts me every day with it and forbids me ever mingling with a cursed woman as you.

She should be with you till my torment has been settled and my shame put to a stop.

I am a strong woman, mother always says. Today, my strength shall be tested.

Do take care of Bisi, like your own.
Dear Rukayat, I never forgot you. And never will. Even in death.

Yours mentally deranged Friend,
Bose.

**
2:06am.

I sealed the letter with my spittle, walked into the room where Bisi slept. I looked at her longingly as tears trickled down my swollen cheek.
Shutting the door behind me, I walked into our bedroom. Otunba, my husband slept peacefully like a man with no worries -did he have any?

He who has lost every touch of humanity.
I wiped the tears from my eyes. Released the kitchen knife from its shield. It was new and glittering.

As his chest rose and fell in his sleep, his snores, loud enough to drown the noise of a moving train, I drew the knife into his heartless chest. I stabbed the heartlessness out of him. As he wriggled in pain, I relished his helplessness till he was lifeless. I smiled in victory, my strength has indeed been proven.

I had a change of clothing, wrapped the knife in a brown envelope and shut the door behind me just as mother always said.

**
6:00am
I took Bisi to the bus park, paid her fare, gave her some cash and a brown envelope and a white one for her aunt, Rukayat.
I strolled aimlessly back home and took a detour towards the third mainland bridge to end the pain, never again to be pained and shamed.

PREDICT AND WIN

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There has been flash challenges upon flash challenges.

I have been alive to witness flash challenges and trust me, each new challenge introduces something deeper, scarier, deadlier, and fiercer.
I have also been alive to read stories that leave you mouth agape and you begin to wonder if the writer is from same planet as you.
They give you chills down your spine if you happen to be a young writer because in your mind, you fear you have no hope of ever being as good as they are , thus you retire your pen, your pad, notebook, and whatever you write with.

Around the Zuckerville (Facebook ) , we have witnessed bloodless battles.
We have witnessed teeth grinding flashes. and we have also read stories that scare the life out of us when there is a power outage at 2:00 am. You shiver and remain glued to your seat for fear of a certain story you have read replaying in your environment -but this time it is real and you are an actor too.

There has been different Flash Challenges organized by the King of Flash Challenges; Hymar David. There has been Flashes 1 and 2:
Flash 3: Titanium,
Flash 4 : The Eclipse,
Flash5 : The Resution,
Flash 6: Trinity,
Flash 7 :Blackout, which The Queen among Kings Ife Olujuyigbe emerged overall winner and Emem Alexander Akpan-nya came second (Both Female).

Before Flash 7: Blackout, four writers who major in horror and grimy stories decided to challenge themselves, it was The Apocalypse. They were The Horsemen -but there was a feminine specie among them. Guess what!;she won. (hehehehehehe. Yes, she did it for us ).

Now to serious matter…
A Flash is up and soon to be running.
It begins tonight 8pm (Nigerian time)
Venue :The Flash Challenge page on Facebook .
It’s tagged the Flash 8: The Dreadful Eight.

They are eight awesome writers -four of which are The HORSEMEN, while the other four are called The CRIMSON GANG.

They all competited in the last Flash 7: BLACKOUT.
This is interesting because the CRIMSON GANG were all in a group during the last flash and they decided and agreed to war against the HORSEMEN from The Apocalypse (WHY? )

They are all going to drop their real names and pick up pseudonyms all through the competition.

Let’s introduce them.
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In The CRIMSON GANG :
Hymar David, Adeosun Adams Mercy, Ikechukwu Eye Kay Nwaogu, and John Jako.

In The HORSEMEN :
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Afere Hannu, Chuks Chuks,
Emem Alexander Akpan-nya, and Joe Aito.

The Pseudonyms are:
The Crimson Gang :
HBK, Blade, Firebrand and Ripper.

The Horsemen:
Imhotep, Hell- catcher , Basilisk, and Hurricane X.

NOW! NOW! NOW!

Predict and win.

1. Who do you think will remain unbeaten all through the competition and why? Winner with correct prediction and cogent reason will win #200 worth recharge card.

2. Which group will emerge winner? The person with the correct answer will cart away recharge card worth #200.

3. Who is who?
Match the pseudonyms and win #500 worth recharge card or more…
Stay tuned.
Watch out for more questions and prices everyday.

SPONSORS WANTED.
If you are led by the spirit to contribute by increasing the winnings, send me a message on Facebook : Maureen Alikor Berry.
or send an email to,
alikorm@yahoo.com
or
Maureenalikor@gmail.com.

RULES.

1. DROP YOUR PREDICTION AS A COMMENT HERE. ON THE WEBSITE. NOT ON FACEBOOK.

2. YOU CAN ONLY PREDICT ONCE.

3. DON’T TELL ANOTHER PERSON THEY ARE WRONG OR INCORRECT IN THEIR PREDICTION. Mind your business, you didn’t buy phone or data bundle for them – even if you did.

P.S. Failure to adhere to these rules, disqualifies you from getting your price even if you win.

Let the dreaded war while we sit back in anticipation and holy fear weave our hair into dreads…