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Flash fiction

A TASTE OF HAVEN

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crop barman pouring drink into glass

Didi abruptly woke up from sleep sweating profusely. Anyone standing an inch close to him would hear how loud his heart was beating. He was panting like he had just completed a marathon. He did a quick scout of the room and took a deep breath. It was another nightmare. He stood from his bed and walked to and fro the room, doing everything in his power to avert another round of sleep. As usual, he was afraid to fall asleep.

The other guys he shared the room with were all sound asleep, oblivious of what he was passing through. After a few minutes, he laid back down on the bed and fell asleep almost immediately.

The noise from outside the room woke him up the next morning. It was another day to hurstle. He sighed as he took his shirt and made his way out. He was literarily the only one left in the room. He wasn’t surprised no one woke him up. In their line of work, time indeed was money.

As he stood behind his colleagues infront of their little compound, the thought of his parents took a strong hold on him. The screams, the agony, the sorrows as they fought for their lives before finally giving in to the piercing bullet already buried deep in their chests. The assassin had stood beside them, making sure they took their last breath before scurrying off.

The tears found their way down Didi’s cheeks. It was one thing for ones parents to be assassinated but another to witness the assassination! He had been there but there was nothing he could do to help. He couldn’t even show himself infront of the assassin. The trauma was too much for a sixteen year old boy.

Even now that he was twenty, he still didn’t think he could handle it. The murderer wasn’t far fetched as he had taken over his father’s business almost immediately. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! He was Didi’s father’s business partner. Convincing Didi’s dad to get a huge lone from the bank, using his entire property as collateral to save their business from closing up, only to assassinate him the very day he withdrew the money. The bank had of course come the next day to collect what was now theirs, leaving Didi a destitute!

The excalation of the noise in the background jilted him back to the present. A woman, a beautiful woman who also seemed opulent was addressing them. As expected, everyone wanted to work with her – perfect explanation of the uproar. This was their lives now: wake up every morning, sit infront of the compound with minds set for any type of work and hope a customer shows up. Even though they had become quite popular in the neighborhood, there were still days they went without any patronage.

The woman was different from their usual customers. She obviously ranked high in the social ladder, making Didi wonder what type of service she required from the likes of him.

“I will work with him”, came the woman, pointing at a particular young man behind. All eyes followed the direction of her finger. Didi was still lost in thoughts that he didn’t realize everyone was starring at him. The young man standing right next to him gave him a quick kick on the foot drawing his attention right back to the matter at hand.

Didi looked from one person to the other, confused. He couldn’t understand why everyone was starring at him at the same time. He was beginning to think that he might have voiced his thoughts to their hearing.

“You wouldn’t be needing your instruments. Just get your bag let’s go”, came the woman. She immediately turned and headed for her car, giving Didi no chance for the loads of questions going through his head.

It was a short drive to Mrs. Onyeama’s house. She alighted the moment her driver opened her door and without saying a word to Didi, went straight into the house. Didi’s mouth was wide open as he stepped out of the car. His family house had been beautiful but nothing to compare to the mansion infront of him!

As he sat on the seat offered to him by his boss, he kept asking himself what his job in this edifice was. He couldn’t think of a single skill he could apply in an environment as perfect as this.

“I know you must be wondering what your job here is” Mrs Onyeama started. I know you saw my gatekeeper at his post and had equally seen my driver. My house help had equally showed up to offer you the drink you have right now. I will save you the trouble of further bothering that brain of yours by going straight to the point.

My daughter, Melisa is the only child I have got. Her dad is barely around and I also have some stuff I will be busy with this evening hence your job: pretend to be a relative to someone she does not know and had come into town to live with that relative of yours to prepare for your upcoming jamb examinations. I ran into you today and couldn’t help but notice that you looked like an old friend I used to have in the University and had probed to find out. You turned out to be my friend’s son, hence your visit to my house. You tell the story exactly like that, have I made myself clear?

Didi’s jaw dropped. He wasn’t sure he heard correctly. “But ma, I am not your friend’s son” he tried to complain but was immediately cut short.

“Listen and listen carefully. The only reason I hired you is because you did not only look younger but also more responsible than the rest of your colleagues. I assumed you were smart but maybe I was wrong. If you don’t have the boldness to take up this job, just let me know and I will find a replacement immediately. Before I forget, if you rapport well with Melisa, you might just have another opportunity to work here. The choice is yours” she readjusted to take a sip of her fresh juice.

Didi, as expected jumped at the offer. It was a day he would never forget in a hury. He had assorted food, meat and drinks to his full. Melisa equally turned out to be really nice and friendly. Most of all, she didn’t suspect any loophole in his story. For the first time in years, Didi didn’t think about his parents.

Knowing how he had struggled to complete his secondary education after his parents death and how he had fed from hand to mouth ever since, he kept praying and hoping for another chance to visit the Onyeamas again.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Buchi victor

    April 24, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Nne, I love ur storyline… Higher higher dear

  2. ViKtorsobe

    May 4, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    To be continued right?

    • Dera

      May 4, 2021 at 7:35 pm

      Smiles
      No dear, that’s the end.
      I think taking a closer look at the title will help you understand it more.

  3. Hertz

    May 14, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    This one deserves a part 2 abeg

    • Dera

      May 14, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      Smiles.
      Sorry dear, that’s the end.

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Flash fiction

Bridge water Candle Christmas Bliss

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a woman lighting a candle
Bridge water Candle Christmas Bliss

Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss was always it for Nora. Andrew, her boyfriend had always made it even more remarkable for her by always making sure he made these candles available for her each Christmas. Her love for bridge water candles has made her undoubtedly in love with both Christmas eves and the eves of Christmas days. As she lit the bridge water candles, she couldn’t help smiling. For one, it was evening and again, the time Andrew had promised to visit had reached. She wanted everything to be perfect – a perfect Christmas for the both of them.

Bridge water Candle Christmas Bliss goes way down to her grandmother. It was the first gift she had given her for her birthday. She could still remember the old woman’s voice: “it’s a magic candle that makes your Christmases magical. Always light them during your Christmas celebrations and all your wishes will come true.” Even though Nora was now all grown, she still subtle believed in her grandmother’s words. And so far, it has favoured her.

“Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss” she smiled. The name always made her so happy. She got the food together, placed everything on the table – well arranged and sat just at one side of the table. She constantly looked at her watch and then at the door, waiting for Andrew to walk in any minute but that didn’t happen. Her surging adrenaline wouldn’t let her wait anyone so she grabbed her phone and dialed his number. When a female voice came from the other end of the line, she paused, took the phone out and looked at the number to be sure she wasn’t calling the wrong person. Certain that it was her boyfriend, she put the phone back to her ear. But this time, it wasn’t only a female voice in the background but Andrews. The duo were arguing over the reason another female had called Andrew’s phone. Apparently, Andrew was dating some other lady as well. The phone gradually slipped off her hand and went for the floor. The cracking sound of the screen filled the air but Nora wasn’t bothered. She felt the entire joy she had felt moments ago turn into penury. She sank to the floor, a rain of tears cascading down her chest.

RELATED STORY – Finding Christmas Bliss

The Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss turned into a bridge water candle for festival of tears. The tears wouldn’t just stop flowing. She kept crying and wailing – worst part was, she was home alone – no one to console her. A knock came to the door and she thought to ignore it but it persisted. She sluggish got to her feet, wiped as much of the tears as she could and walked to the door. A young man, black, handsome looking and seemingly cheerful stood at the other side of the door with a gift box in his hand. “Yes, how may I help you?” She married – a signal to show the young man that she was in no mood for merriment. “Delivery for you.” He said and flashed her another smile, displaying his perfect set of white teeth. “From who?” Nora furrowed her eye brows. The young man shrugged. “It doesn’t say. Anyways, you will have to sign for me.” He fumbled through the short diary in his hands until he opened to a particular page. “Here,” he said, looking at Nora. “Are you alright ma’am?” He asked as though noticing the marks of dry tears all over her cheeks. Nora simply nodded and without saying another word, grabbed the diary. Halfway into the signing, she paused. “You know what, you should come in. I really do need company. I’m all alone for the first time on Christmas day.”

“Bridgewater candle Christmas Bliss hum” the guy said the moment he sighted the candles. Nora smiled. “Old family tradition – my way of keeping my grandmother close.” She unwrapped the gift and was surprised to see the bottle of wine inside. She turned to the guy. “Why don’t you uncork it – a great part of the meriment.” “My name is Tom.” The guy said and extended his hand for a handshake. Nora smiled. “Nora.” Sue said and shook his hands. “Now that we are acquainted, I can uncork the drink.” He said and Nora burst out laughing.

a man by the table holding a bottle of wine
Tom on Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss

He soon uncorked the wine and poured it out for them both. “Cheers to more acquaintances, friendships, and many more joy-filled Christmases!” Tom said and they raised their glasses. Nora was the first to take a mouthful of the food and then signaled Tom to join suit. “So, why the tears, or you just like to cry while you celebrate?” He asked as he reached for his own round of the food. Nora shook her head and paused for a while before she continued. “My boyfriend is cheating on me. Just got to know about it today.” Tom’s eyes widened in surprise. “I’m so sorry honey.” He muttered in between a mouth full of food. “It’s fine. I’m kind of glad that I found out. I can’t even begin to imagine what would have happened had I not found out. I will be fine.”

“Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss.. What might I do to replenish the idea of a perfect Christmas?” Nora burst into another episode of laughter. “Trust me, by agreeing to spend Christmas with me, you’re already doing more than enough.”

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Flash fiction

Finding Christmas Bliss

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family decorating their christmas tree
Finding Christmas Bliss

Finding Christmas bliss is always the heart of the holiday season. A typical young girl’s perfect Christmas was always that spent side by side her man. Kelly Armstrong was no different except in her case, she wasn’t only young but a mother. Being a single mother, though bothersome at first has now become the most interesting aspect of her life. She has come to love and cherish her little girl, Olive to the extent that no single decision of hers was concluded without putting her daughter as top priority.

Finding a Christmas bliss was one area she hadn’t thought about for a while now. Maybe for years even. “Pass me the flour,” she said to Olive who gladly did. Olive was just four and her expertise in the kitchen was already overwhelming. Scary even. Her mum has always been careful enough not to leave anything at her reach – a lesson she had learnt the hard way. She could still remember the fateful day she had walked into Olive trying to make an omelet. If she had been a few minutes late, they probably would not only been homeless by now but she might have lost her dearest daughter. She let out a sigh and looked at Olive – a fresh load of thankfulness filled her heart.

Finding a Christmas bliss for her at this point was spending more time with this huge blessing the Lord had given her. Sometimes she felt she didn’t deserve it. “Mummy, someone is at the door.” Olive’s voice distracted her from her thoughts. “Is that so honey? Why don’t you go get it?”. Olive scurried off immediately. ” Mummy, it’s a man. Should I let him in?” Her voice revibrated through the entire house. Hold on honey, will be right there.” Kelly dried her hands in the napkin and hurried off.

RELATED STORY – Bridge water Candle Christmas Bliss

“Finding Christmas bliss,” she thought in her mind the moment she sighted the stranger leaning on her door. “This man is fineeee” she said in her girlie tune before asking the man who he was. He flashed her a smile that swept her off her feet. She found herself feeling exactly as she had felt five years ago when she met Olive’s dad. Though it didn’t work out between them, it had been love at first sight.

The whole idea of finding Christmas bliss awakened in her. She kept starting even as the man spoke. “Hue. Who did you say you are again?” She said when she finally realized herself? “Mummy he is new in the neighborhood. He is kind of lost.” Olive’s sharp reply came, causing kelly to almost bite her tongue. Kelly managed a smile. “So, how may we help you ehmm..” “Charles. My name is Charles.” The man said and extended his hand for a handshake. After a few seconds of procession, Kelly took the hand. “I’m Kelly and this is my daughter, Olivia.” She smiled again.

“I’m on a mission of finding the perfect Christmas bliss and I have reasons to think that the lord might have just led me to the perfect place. I’m here to see my cousin Scotch but it seems he is running late. He says I can wait for him here. ” Scotch our neighbor?” Olive asked and Charles nodded. “Right. Come in. Just a minute, I have something on fire.” Kelly said and rushed to the kitchen. It was until she got back to the kitchen that she let out a deep breath. She got back to the dough she was mixing and tried to focus. The sound of approaching footsteps soon filled the hallway and Kelly was forced to look up. She was shocked to see Charles approaching with Olive on his hips like they had known each other for years.

I believe in finding Christmas bliss – it’s why I got you this. He handed her a piece of flower. “Would have given it to My cousin’s wife but since they aren’t here, I thought I should give it to the woman who took me in. This is me saying thanks for letting me stay. Also, I’m a good baker. Can I help?” Kelly’s eyes widened but soon realized themselves and got back to shape. “Sure. I was having trouble with the dough already. I guess I missed a step again – it’s too sticky” she said as she stepped aside. Olive laughed and Charles joined suit.

“Finding a Christmas bliss! Which could be more perfect than this?” He muttered as he folded his sleeves and got to work. “Come on, let’s make some pie!” He said and Olive jumped up. He gave her a high five and they began. Olive ran the little errands while he did the mixing himself. When he was done, he let her stir the dough a bit, her mum’s contra expression not withstanding. Kelly only watched from the sidelines. In a matter of minutes, the pie was in the oven and baking. “Anything else?” He looked at Kelly who shook her head.

The idea of finding a Christmas bliss continued even outside the kitchen. Charles carried Olive above his capable shoulders. His muscular nature, Kelly could guess, would take her weight twice and not crack. He played with Olive around the Christmas tree, both laughing hysterically. Kelly followed with a tray of food at first, and then a letter with pie and other baked goods. She saw herself fantasizing about this handsome, well-built man once again. His deep brown eyes were so perfect and welcoming that it was as though she belonged there. The three sat together at the dining table, chatting as they are – the first time Kelly had felt that free with anyone in a long time.

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Flash fiction

THE ONLY WAY OUT

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woman standing near window in balcony

As Lydia hid behind the giant art work just behind the closed door, voyalge of thoughts ran through her head. Misconceptions after misconceptions. She couldn’t believe she let herself get so belittled! The perfect plan she had in her head was the exact opposite of what the world seemed to have in stock for her. The moment she heard the sound of the car as its driver drove out of the compound, she hurriedly picked up her stuff and dashed out of the house. Derrick’s voice, in all its sweetness could not stop her. She couldn’t let it. Her brain went from memory to memory, revoking every single time they had spent together to the detriment of her mental health. She couldn’t believe it had been a lie all along! How could Derrick do this to her, to her of all people!

The annoying sound from the forcefully closed door as Lydia made her way into her little sized self contain room alerted Zara, her roommate and long time best friend. The anger that sprout out her system, one she was ready to unleash on the intruder demystified as quickly as it had formed the moment Zara sighted her roommate. No words needed to be spoken, Lydia’s face said it all.

“Babe, what happened? Is something wrong with Derrick?” She asked the moment Lydia managed to take her seat.

The reply she got wasn’t encouraging. Lydia couldn’t talk. Tears poured down her eyes like a fresh downpour from a secluded spring. More tears found their way down her cheeks each time she opened her mouth to talk. Her heart was beginning to beat fast as she was beginning to choke as she drowned herself in her own tears. Zara’s heart was beginning to skip some beats, she was elated. Only one thing was capable of making a lady cry this way over a man. How she wished her guess was wrong. She knew how much her friend loved her fiance. She could still remember how brightly her eyes glittered the day Derrick had proposed.

Memories upon Memories flooded Lydia’s mind. She couldn’t get herself to understand how an already married man with a kid could lead another lady on, promising her heaven on Earth and even go to the extent of engaging her. To what end? How much more callous can a man be? She was caught in the midst of piercing emotions yet, no clue as at what to do. She pulled out the engagement ring off her finger and flung it to one corner of the room screaming: it is over!

Zara’s guess was confirmed, the worst of her fears… She was still yet to understand what could have led to the severance of a perfectly endowed relationship.

As though reading Zara’s thoughts, Lydia screamed :”can you believe that the idiot is married? His wife visited his house today. He had no idea she was coming. I’m sure if he did, he would have found a way of meeting me outside the house. Zara’s palms hugged tightly to her open mouth. The shock on her face was palpable. She didn’t see it coming. None of them did. It was the last thing she expected from Derrick.

Lydia stared in confusion, her brain turning like a wave under the influence of a multidirectional wind. Amidst the chaos going on in her head, one thing was clear, the only way out of this mess. She needed to move on, she needed to let go. Then comes the big question: can she? How would she embark on that journey of picking up what was left of the pieces??

As she wept, the realization began to creep through her system, the presence of her saviour. She felt His strongholds supporting her weak body. She felt relived knowing that the Lord was with her, the only thing standing between her and and life!

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