Category Archives: Stories

It’s Not Time Yet!

Retirement is a stage of life that most workers look forward to. It’s a time to rest from regular work for the rest of one’s days. For some, it means rest but for others like ninety-year-old Nwana, it means death.

He believes that the moment he stops working, he will die. 

He’s a painter and painting makes him feel the blood in his veins. He loves painting houses and old age has not changed his passion and expertise.

It began when he turned seventy and refused to retire, his children did not understand why he kept working at his age. It became a thing for concern when he turned eighty-five. They knew what people were going to say – no one caters for his needs. But all their effort to stop him failed.

‘Force your father to stop now  before he dies working!’ People say.

And his children try all the tricks they know to make him stop, including soliciting with his clients to stop giving him work. Nwana finds out and summons them and says, ‘ I know you care about me but if you care about me, let me live my life the way I want. It’s my life. If I die living my life, it’s my death as well. Please, let me be..’ 

‘No papa, you must stop. It’s not good for you. And People are talking!’ The youngest says.’ They’re laying blame on us!’

‘Well, let them talk.’

‘You must stop or I’ll make you,’ the eldest says. 

In the night while Nwana sleeps. They gather his painting tools and burn them to ashes. Nwana wakes up early in the morning with no tools for his day’s work. He searches for them until he finds out what happened. His children burnt his tools. I force-stop him. 

He stays at home the whole day in silence and his children think they have won. But he calls them again in the night and gives them a warning.

 ‘Before tomorrow’s dusk, I want to see all my tools in my hands. That’s all I have to say for now.’ 

He gets his tools back and keeps working into his 90’s, and everyone fixes wide and condemning eyes on his children, who are in the position to support his used life. 

But each time Nwana sees their sympathetic stare, he wonders if they think old age is a time to sit around and depend on others. He’s not tired. He’s strong and healthy enough to work. Why do they insist on retiring him?. 

Nwana turns 92 and his strength fails him. He’s forced to stop painting. He only stared at his tools.

Ten years later, he’s still alive and knows that what keeps him alive is neither work nor rest, 

It’s not yet his time.

The Only Family He Had

Ikem beamed whenever his father drew close to him and told him stories and gratified his curiosity while his stepmother burned with something he understood well.

His father brought her because his mother could not have a child. She got Ikem when his half brother was already four. But she passed the next day when he was yet to see her face. Now Ikem was eight years and happy his father was always there for him.

With his father by his side, he had no fear.

 But from the day Ikem heard screams at midnight and the hushed voices that followed, he knew something terrible had happened. Afterwards, he searched for his father to ask what happened; he found him sleeping on his bed. There was something strange about the way he slept on his back with his hands stretched by his sides. He was so still. 

‘Come out. Go to your room.’ Someone had said. 

In the morning, lots of people gathered around a long brown box and his stepmother wailed like she had gone nuts. He didn’t see his father in his room and never saw him again. 

A few months later, when he got hungry and wanted to eat, his stepmother said, ‘ Tell your father to give you food to eat.’ When he asked where he was, she dragged him by the collar of his shirt to a mound of red dirt and let him slump on it. ‘There he is. Ask him for food.’ He had laid there for a while and wondered if his father was down there. 

The days that followed were terrible. His major problem lay because his stepmother, whom he called mother, had a son. He was his half brother, but evil, more brutal than his mother. He mocked him, called him an orphan and beat him and sent him on difficult errands. Ikem allowed him to do all the evil things to him, until one day, the unimaginable happened. 

As soon as his mother gave him his bowl of rice with a drop of stew on top, his brother followed him and hit the food off his hands.

 What made Ikem’s heart char with excess anger was not that his food had scattered on the sandy ground but the roar of his mocking laughter and the hands he kept on his hips as if daring him to a fight. Ikem picked something which felt heavy in his hand. And by the time his stepmother screamed and neighbours gathered, he was looking at his brother, who lay still on the ground. He was panic-stricken.

 The brick in his hand seemed to be glued to it as he ran through the gate and into the bush. No one chased him. They were all by the side of his brother, calling his name and pouring water on him.  

Ikem crouched on the ground and peeped through the long grasses behind their mud hut. His wide eyes depicted horror.

He heard them say, ‘Where is he? Where is he? Where is the evil child? He did this to his brother. He must face due punishment.’ The sudden screams of women and the wailing of his stepmother slashed his heart in two. Those noises sounded like the end of his life.

Night came and mosquitoes attacked his legs, arms, and face. They cried in his ears and seemed to mimic their voices. ‘Where is the evil child?’ 

His stomach gnawed as he looked for where to sleep. He walked far away to a lonely house in farmland and slept on the veranda of a small house. 

When the sun flooded into his eyes in the morning, a voice so soft asked, ‘Who are you, my child?’ He sprung to his feet. 

‘Please don’t take me home. They’ll kill me.’

‘Who will kill you?’

‘My stepmother and everyone.’

‘What did you do?’

‘I hit my brother, and he fell.’

‘He died?’

‘I don’t know.’ The old woman picked him up, gave him water to take his bath, and gave him a satisfying meal. 

‘It’s time to return home.’ She said when evening came. ‘I’ll please for forgiveness on your behalf. I’ll make sure they don’t touch you.’ The horror returned to Ikem’s face. 

‘No. I can’t go home.’

‘You can’t stay here. If they find you here, they’ll say I kept you because I don’t have a child of my own.’

So he left. 

But he did not return home. He walked a long distance, day and night, in an unknown direction, until he collapsed in front of something that looked like a house. 

‘My child, who are you? Where are you from?’ A woman said when he opened his eyes. She wore the most beautiful gown and a crown, and her smile gave him little hope.

‘I’m lost.’ he said as his eyes scanned his surroundings. It’s the kind he had not set eyes on, beautiful, rich and clean.

‘Where are you from?

I don’t know.’

‘You remember nothing?’

‘No,’ he said this because he knew that if she found where he came from, she would take him back.

‘Ok. We’ll keep you here until we find your family.’ Ikem knew that day would never come. Nobody would look for him.

The woman took care of him, sent him to school.

 Ikem grew into a handsome young man with a dominant personality. But when the King gave him preference over his two sons, who were a lot older than him, the queen’s attitude towards him changed. 

He was twenty-five when the queen sent him away with lots of money.

He returned home at twenty-five. The mud house was still the same and his stepmother was no more. His half-brother lived alone. When he told him who he was, he broke down and sobbed. 

‘She said she regretted having me as a son and spoke well of you till death. But I’m not bad anymore.’ Ikem wrapped his arms around him.

He was the only family he had. 

No Regrets

There were times

I walked through recall

With a sharp digger

In the hands

of my yearning

To exhume values 

Of time past,

But I dug in vain.

They were things

I wanted to have,

Where and what

I wanted to be,

And what I wanted to

Stick with for a lifetime,

But which slid through

My fingers like grains of millet 

and fused with history.

Taken away.

With them, I could have 

A different life.

Perhaps better than

What I have now.

And my mind kept whispering

To me about what

I should have done right.

If I did this instead of that,

I could have gotten it right.

But that’s history too.

All I have is now

to get things right,

Change what  

I couldn’t change.

And shun the voices

Dragging me into the void

to relive history the same way.

I should have regrets,

But of what use

Is going back and forth ?

Whatever didn’t work 

Might work if I tried again.

But I must not go

 through the same 

Process on 

that same road

Which led to nothing.

No regrets.

2nd POV Is A Shocker!

I’ve not read many novels written in second pov and I have plans to read more. Today I tried writing in second pov and it felt and sounds arkward. It authomatically makes The reader the main character


Your friend is more than a friend to you. She’s your best friend. Both of you have been together for more than a decade. You have gone to places together, done lots of things together and sacrificed a lot for each other. 

She’s the best friend you have ever known and will probably know. With her by you, you don’t have to worry because she has always got your back.

On fifteenth of October, three days before your birthday, you go to her house just like you used to do.

You knock on the door and she steps outside and closes the door behind her. You gave her a silly smile, because you think she has a special visitor and needs to be left alone, but she says, ‘Look, I don’t want you to come around my house anymore.’ She says this in such a way that you think she’s playing a prank on you. You say, ‘Come on! I understand! I got it. I’ll be on my way.’

‘No, you don’t understand. This is not because I have a special friend around. I don’t want to do this anymore. Period.’ Now she says this with a firm tone you don’t know she possesses. 

Your eyes go wild and your smile makes you uncomfortable. And took two steps to your right and another to your left. You don’t know what you’re doing, you’re trying to make sure you aren’t dreaming.

‘I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m sorry.’

‘Do what? What do you mean?’ You’re not sure it’s a prank anymore. 

‘If you’ll excuse me, I have something important doing inside.’ You have the urge, a strong longing, to follow her inside. And you took a few steps towards the door but she slams it shut, right on your face. You jerked and froze at a spot. It isn’t a dream. It’s happening real. You’ve lost your best friend! And no one can replace her. No one can take her place. Not just that, you’re fond of her. You love her and her family and friends and you’re going to lose her family too because you can’t visit her house anymore.

And the only answer she gives to people when they ask, ‘What did she do wrong?’ she says ‘She has done nothing wrong. It’s just me. I just want to be on my own!’ 

It’s not her. It’s you. You have done something wrong because she allows every other friend access to her house. They may visit, but you’re not.

Now you live, thinking you have done something wrong, and it’s skin deep, something she can’t forgive and something she’s ashamed to talk about.

There’s no smoke without fire.

There’s a reason for all that happens under the sun.

But there nothing you can do to bring her back. She has slept over her decision and knows it is the right decision.

But you find out you can’t do without her. Moments come and pass and you long to share important moments of your life with her. You want to laugh and cry and- you miss her.

Not that your life would be over without her, but you’re tied to her. You’ve made connections. It’s like a part your life has left with her and life will never be the same without her. 

But you need to move on. And you move on. Few months later, you only remember her in passing and you now understand one thing, Some friendships are not meant to be for life. 

Strange Waking

Nina stirred in the dead of the night and felt the sand on her cheek, arms and legs. Her eyes shot open and went wild. She was outside! On the bare ground.

Thick darkness was all around her and the creepy trees swayed their branches and the leaves rustled in the wind behind the fence around the compound.

She could not withstand the cold chill which ran through her when an owl howled. It was a scary night.

‘Not again!’ She muttered, picked herself up and trotted to the door. As usual, the door was locked. She had locked it before going to bed. It’s incredible to think that whatever that was taking her did not need an open door to get outside with her.

Her eyes darted to the fence when dry leaves rustled on the ground behind it before she heard footsteps and saw flashes of a touch light up in the tree. She clutched her breasts in her palm and sighed in relief. It’s a fruit picker checking for dropped ripe mangoes and apples behind her house.

That was not the first time she woke up on the bare ground outside the house after retiring in the bedroom. In fact, it was the fifth time. She tied her spare keys around her waist now so she wouldn’t be locked out.

Nina was a widow who had five children. They had all grown, established and living in the city.

Her predicament started after the funeral of her husband. She was alone eating her dinner one evening when the food in her bow vanished. That was the scariest day of her life.

The shame of telling someone about her predicament was so heavy that her lips were sealed by it. But at a point, she needed to talk about it.

When she told the neighbours and friends what happened, they were horrified.

‘You could be sleepwalking. There are many people like that.’ Her friend said, ‘You know, you can walk in your sleep, without knowing it?’

‘No,’ Nina said, This is more than sleepwalking. The doors remained untouched each time.’

‘Call a man of God to pray for you,’ her closest neighbour said. ‘It’s not ordinary. Something must be wrong somewhere.’

She met a man of God. The day he came, he said it was an evil spirit. He bound and chained the spirit and told her everything was fine again.

But that same night, her dinner did not just disappear, the plates she put the dinner in vanished with it and till this moment, she had not set eyes on them. The next day, slept in her bedroom but found herself on the bare ground outside the compound. From that day on, she found herself outside once a week.

Deep down, she knew her predicament was contending with a powerful spirit which was bent on disgracing her. She needed to be strong in prayer to put it in its proper place. But no amount of personal prayer and fasting could help her.

Nina’s children took her to a prophet. He revealed its the spirit of her husband’s grandfather whose funeral was not conducted.

Nina could not believe it. The man died many years ago and her husband did not talk much about him. Why did he come to her?

‘You must celebrate his funeral or things will continue the way they are.’ The prophet said. ‘Fix a date for his funeral, invite people, serve them food and drinks and play loud music. Make an announcement that his funeral is taking place. This is the only solution.’

‘Can’t you pray and chain his spirit forever? The dead and the living have no business with each other.’ Nina’s son said.

‘The dead should be properly laid to rest or they would wander on earth, seeking for their rights.’

Nina’s son’s laughter echoed in the prophet’s office. He shook his head and said, ‘Man of God, once a man dies, he has no idea of what is happening on earth anymore and has no connection with the world of the living.

Nina did not believe the prophet either. But she wanted to be free. She could do anything to solve her problem.

‘We’ll do it,’ she said. Her son glared at her as if she had gone insane.

Two months later, they did what the prophet said. That brought the end to her strange waking. Up till now, she found the mystery behind life after death hard to explain.

Mystery in itself is beyond man’s understanding.