Tag Archives: Fiction

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. 

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. 

Why You Should Avoid Adverbs In Your Fiction | Golspen

In fiction writing, adverbs are bad word choice. The more the number of adverbs a writing contains, the poorer the writing gets.

But why are there such things as adverbs  in the English language if a writer can’t enjoy the freedom to use them in writing? 

The problem  with  adverbs is its overuse. Adverbs modify verb, adverbs, other adverbs, clauses, phrases and sometimes, a whole sentence and is hence the overuse.

Keep Reading – Golspen

The Reckless Smoker

Eno glared at the cars stretched ahead of him while impatient drivers manoeuvred their cars, shouting curses, making movement almost impossible.

He looked over his shoulder to spy on his teenage boys sitting in the rear, talking with each other. They seemed not to care about the outcome of the heavy traffic. It should be his headache if they reached school on time or not.

A nonchalant young lady puffed at her cigarette a couple of feet away. Eno knew the smoker was taking an enormous risk. The probability of the cigarette igniting the fuel was very low. A certain amount of fuel vapour existed there.

“An angel of death,” he said. His boys followed his gaze to the girl in her early twenties, puffing at her cigarette.

“There’s no flame in her cigarette, dad,” his younger son said.

“What does she think she’s doing?” Eno almost shouted, and his kids looked at him, wondering why he was overreacting.

“Dad, I think she’s standing a suitable distance away from her fuel tank and meter hose. She should need a good amount of hot fuel vapour to ignite the area. It’s almost impossible for a cigarette to ignite a filling station.”

“Well, that not safe. What if she catches fire doing that? Think about what will happen. If she catches fire, there will be explosions.”

“Not a chance, dad. Stop fretting.” Eno Junior said.

“Do you see that giant cooking gas cylinder over there? Do you see that fuel tanker? They’re going to give the most disastrous damage to lives around here when they blow. Do you see this traffic queue? It’s going to burn to ashes.” Eno said.

“How on earth will all this happen? Eno Junior said.

“It will not happen because of a mere cigarette with no flame,” his youngest son said.

There’s fuel vapour everywhere around that area, boy, including her hands, clothes, car, surrounding and so on,” he argued as the traffic moved once like a snail. Eno sighed again. That meant another couple of minutes’ wait.

Eno watched the smoker puff non-stop. The attendant was about to drop the hose at the meter when he saw the smoker rummage for something in her jean pocket.

“Boys, watch…watch her, she’s fighting another cigarette…oh, the girl is so damaged. How could she smoke like that at that young age? She must be out of her senses. “

“Well… that’s insane. Someone should hurry to stop her.” His younger son said.

“Watch! The security is rushing at her with an extinguisher… wow.. wow, her hands are on fire..she’s on fire….wow….wow. Move out of the car, boys. Run to safety,”

“Easy dad. Stop panicking. This is a filling station. They should sure have measures, perfect measures to stop the fire. Please let’s not run for no reason.” Eno Junior said.

But Eno had no time to spare for unnecessary arguments. He stepped down from the car, opened the rear door and dragged out his younger son, who was giggling at him for his fearful rush.

Eno was fast. He screamed at everyone to run to safety as he ran.

“Dad, everything is under control, look they’ve brought the girl down and have covered her with a fire blanket. The fire has gone off.”

“No Junior, her car is on fire too. Listen to your father,” he said, already dragging the younger one along, screaming over his shoulder at Junior to follow suit. Better safe than sorry.

The smoker’s car blew up in seconds. Many motorists ahead and behind them stepped out of their cars in confusion and everyone ran away from the station.

Eno thought about what next. It could be the fuel tanker that just arrived before the gas cylinder – he was sure both of them would blow up.

“Run! The gas station is on fire! He screamed to others as he ran down with his hesitant boys who thought he should have said fuel station instead of the gas station.

Boom! It was an explosion. Eno looked back at his Honda civic as fire engulfed it. Then something blew up again. This time, anyone and anything, up to ten meters away, wwer3 swallowed up in thick smoke, including Eno and his boys.

“I tried Ernie. Goodbye, my love.” He said to his wife, who wasn’t there and fell in the thick smoke, feeling the burns in his feet, and listened to the moans and cries of many before oblivion set in.

~~~~~

Eno stayed calm during the recovery period and thought about what could have happened to them.

He visited the scene of the disaster. Over forty skeletal cars stood there – evidence of the damage that ravaged over fifty people. The filling station looked like history from ancient times. One person and one-act can destroy the entire globe.

Life can end. A time no one expects.. that was his most persistent muse, and he often looked up to whisper- “You who pulled back the furious fire that nearly consumed me and my boys, I live for you alone, my God!”

Cast Away

It was a cool evening on 5th October, the same week Nigeria got her independence and transition spirit filled every street of Aba. Helen’s twenty-first birthday was on the way, in addition to that, she was bursting with the loveliest news. When she tapped on his door, he opened it. She jerked on seeing his scary face. 

‘Sit down. We need to talk,’ he said. She dropped her bag on the cemented floor and lowered herself beside him in the colourful fabric cushion. her eyes were glued to his eyes, searching for a clue. 

‘Is there anything you would like to let me know? Concerning your background?’ her mind raced and her eyes rolled and the only secret she kept from him popped up in her mind. She was not going to tell him. Not now, not ever. A month ago, he proposed to her and she was not going to end the fascinating relationship with the truth.

‘Nothing that I know of?’

‘Are you an outcaste?’ she pulled her eyes from him and cast them on the floor before plopping her knees on it sniffing. 

‘My great grandfather was. He’s long gone. Does that make me one?’ 

‘Yes, it does and you knew this and didn’t tell me all along. Marriage between us is impossible.

She stood up.

‘What if I told you that your child is growing in me?’

‘That doesn’t change anything. Nothing can. You know what to do–’ he went the door and opened it for her to leave.

She went on all fours and crawled his feet and clutched on them. He stooped and held her shoulder and looked into her eyes. 

‘Marriage can’t happen between us because of who you are. Understand this and leave.’

‘What about our baby?’

‘I can’t have it. But if you want to keep it, that’s your decision. I’m not and will never be a part of that child, ’ he plucked his hands off her shoulders, opened the door wide, picked her arms and dragged her to it.

When she anchored her hands and feet on the door frame. He left her. She staggered back to the room. He rushed at her and pushed her out and slammed the door shut.

When he threw her bag out through the window, she knew it was over. She went crazy in the street. Residents peeped at her through their doors and windows. She knew what they thought of her; she was nothing but the girl who threw her body at a man who had not paid her bride price. She was shamed as she went home.

Four days later, she went back to his apartment but to her surprise,  he had moved out. Someone else occupied it. He was nowhere to be found.

Her tears fell on her mother’s laps for weeks. Eight months later, she had her baby girl.

She later put her in the convent where she would never experience the humiliations due to the people of her kind.

~~~~

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