Bloody Rose Strewn Aisle

She stirred in her sleep pouting flawless full lips. As he watched her, tenderness rose in his chest. He smiled, shaking his head in mock disbelief. In a few hours, they’d be married. Watching her made him feel grateful. And scared. He hadn’t thought he would make it through school alive. But here was he– Seychelle Udoka, Don Scorpio–getting married. His eyes grew misty but he brushed away the tears. A Black Python don mustn’t be caught getting wet. Never.

A flash of blue caught his eye and he rushed to the window. Apart from the expansive well trimmed lawn and a few egrets he couldn’t see anything. His inner censors began to hum. This must be serious, he thought. His sensors didn’t lie. He made for the door.


Chineze was awake. He exhaled in a low whoosh and turned to meet her luminous eyes boring into his.

“Jewel, you are up. Nice. Get ready. We leave by ten.”

“We do ?” Chineze said, stifling a yawn and walking over to bury her face in his neck. “I feel like I am bursting with joy, honey. You are such a gift. I love you.”

“As are you Jewel. I love you too. I always will, with my heart and all the blood that flows through it. I will love you till my heart cam pump no more.”

“Such poetry…”

“Is not worthy of you my Jewel. But I mean it. I love with you my life.”

Giving her a peck, he inched towards the door. “I’m going for a little walk. Get ready, the make-up artiste and her crew will be here soon. I’ll be right back.”

Without waiting to hear her reply, he was out of the door.

Outside, the sun was perched above the hills casting a golden glow over the expansive golf course that was the pride of Le Meridien, the regional five star hotel. Acres of rolling hills, exotic flowers, merry birds and glorious clouds greeted his eyes. He was about abort the phoney stroll plan when he saw it.

On the sand between the house and the garden, someone had made some markings on the sand. Nsibidi, an ancient code of signs and symbols used to pass messages to members of a sect.

The markings had been made with a vulture’s feather. Its message was clear: We are here.

Fear punched him in the gut while rage coursed through his veins. He came to marry Chineze in the remote village of Idu to stay under the radar. He had tried to get visas to London but it didn’t work. The embassy said he couldn’t justify the large amounts of money in his account wit his sketchy work history…. Now this.

Many people wanted him dead, souvenirs from a five year career as a Black Python hitman. But who wanted him so badly? This badly?


Sometimes it felt like his life was soundtrack of blood and pain. From his mother discovering she was pregnant with him and not having a clue whose it was, to his drunk ‘Uncle’ Lazarus throwing mom and him out under a rain of punches one dark night.

He could still see his mother weeping and retching into the overflowing gutter till she fainted. The land lady, bless her soul, had rushed then to the hospital.

He could still hear the sounds of women groaning in cold ward: the sick, the hurt, the dying.

He could still smell the blend of antiseptic, uneaten food and body fluids.

He could still feel the cement floor beneath his back– cold, hard, cruel.

It changed him. Even before he was told his mother was dead, he vowed never to be weak. He vowed never to let others dictate his life’s choices. He would dictate theirs, instead.

It was no surprise, when he got into university on a scholarship (his third) he joined the Black Pythons. The cult made him feel less vulnerable. It gave him a sense of belonging and power but at a price. He was happy to pay. He had so much rage twirling in his gut, sending people off was therapeutic.

Now, that was unimportant. He didn’t want to carry his bloody past into the future. That’s why he had changed towns four times in the last six years. He kept no cell phone and no permanent address. He knew the lengths rival cults could go to avenge a perceived slight. An ex-hitman was a prime target. In spite of himself, his hands were quivering.

He erased the marks and went back to get dressed. He had just an hour before his wedding. On the way he would make a few calls for back up from the hotel lobby. For the first time in years he said a prayer. Lord, keep Jewel and baby safe. Amen.

The beginning…



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Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize, Dressed Like A Prince (excerpt).

We need new clothes, Godspower and I. He needs them more, with his tattered trousers and red T-shirt turned brown. My gown is torn, but it’s still blue.

It’s Independence Day, so there’s no school. We play and goof around. Godspower sings ‘God Bless Nigeria’. His voice is a kite lifting me to the heavens. He wants to be a musician when he grows up, like MJ or Fela.

“Grace, let’s go to America.” Godspower says.

“Okay.” I reply, and we set out.

America is a boutique beside the new stadium. We like sitting across the street; watching wealthy women shepherd fussy well dressed children in and out. We watch and ache.

Godspower says our parents will bring us clothes from Yobe, when they return. It has been nine months now. Their phones numbers are unavailable, their whereabouts, unknown. Grandma says we should pray. I do, but fear swallows my faith.

Today, we are horrified. America has been …

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The Making Of A Writer

Some began to write in their teens. Some began in primary school.
Some began to write at four.
Some began in their diapers.

You read these things and fear fills your heart. Older than thirty, you are considered a middle aged writer. If you had a british passport, at least you would have the Granta 40 under 40 to dream off. Now it is just a void, a chasm of missed opportunity and a glyph of wasted youth. A tragedy of ignorance, science-subject-fixation, and the buying of lies: You must be a doctor. Best grades guarantee a good life. Writers are hungry. Nigerians don’t read. Who reads Africans?

Then, you hear a whisper: soft but sure, solemn but loving, coming from somewhere below your right ear.

It says:

You aren’t a middle aged writer. You aren’t a writer when the world says you are one.

You were a writer before you were born.

When God foreknew you, thought of you,

When you awaited a family in His Mind,

You were a writer.

He designed you for your purpose with the care and skill of the Ultimate Precision Engineer.

He placed you in that home where books were loved, honoured– nay– worshipped on purpose.

He placed the library on your daily walk to school’s route. (Made sure they still had books in them at the time) for a reason.

He put Aesop’s fables, Nurudeen’s adventures and dozen’s of Enid Blyton books in your hands because your destiny needed them.

He gave you Law lecturers as parents. You spent weekends reading the Nigerian Constitution and Law Gazette’s aloud while Dad nodded and corrected your pronunciation. You spent weekdays perfecting spellings while Mom stirred her pot of Atama soup and passed you bits of dry fish, because that was the childhood you needed for your calling.

You had magnets in your hands and books were drawn to you all the time: Pacesetters, Onitsha Market Literature, Babylonian History,My Book of Bible Stories, A Good Sex Guide, and so many Agatha Christie whodunits .

You skipped from school to dorm saying your poems, your rhymes and you made up songs. The songs outlived your brief six year stay there. Your book of poems, wasn’t so lucky.

Even as a science student, you tried to study Geography. After a single class and you ran to Literature where you belonged. There you outshone the art students without meaning to, like a fish that found a stream.

“I’ll make you Minister Of Literature when I am President” your bosom friend said and both of you giggled into packets of Okin biscuit and diluted Ribena ‘juice’ concentrate.
Such dreams weren’t SSCE compatible.

You joined the Press Club, the Wazobia Club, The Drama Club, The Debate Club too. You days were full of words, themes and expression– a rainbow from literary heaven.

To be continued.

Thank you

God Bless You!

Win Prizes In The Dressed Like A Prince Quiz!

Hello there,

Etisalat is doing something amazing for unpublished writers and we are glad to be a part of it.

Our story ‘Dressed Like A Prince’ is one of 480 stories up for votes on the Etisalat Prize website.

We are giving away some nice prizes to some lucky winners.


Read: Dressed Like A Prince (DLAP)

Vote: Under the story, Click Vote For Me.

Then send an email to with the answers to theses questions.

1. Name 4 Book titles you saw mentioned or alluded to in the story DLAP.

2. What Colour changes did Godspower’s clothes undergo?

3. What 6 themes could you see?

4. What were your favourite lines?

All the best. Contest closes by Sunday October 27 2013.

Will He Find You At Your Place Of Assignment?

This week the #La130 Family is studying Luke. I have read the book countless times so I wanted to skim and skip; the Teacher prompted me not to, so I decided to read casually, then something hit me.

In Luke 1, we are told of the events that led to the birth of John the Baptist. The fairly well known story of Elizabeth, Zechariah and Angel Gabriel. Everything is just the way I remembered it, but verse 8 and 11 jumped out and hit me. The New Living Translation says and I quote.

“8. One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. ”

“11. Zechariah was in the sanctuary when an angel of the Lord appeared,standing to the right of the incense altar.”

What hit me was this: God met Zechariah at work. Not being a busybody, not sitting at home cursing government, not roaming to and fro looking for handouts. God met him serving, in the place of his calling. In a place far from the public eye and changed his story.

Then the Teacher reminded me that indeed that’s how God has always worked.

He called Moses when he was at work tending his father-in-law’s sheep.

He called Elisha while he was ploughing with his twelve oxen.

He called Gideon while he was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress.

He called David while he was out working in the field.

He called the disciples while they were fishing, collecting tax, treating patients.

He called Saul when he was busy persecuting Christians.

He knows where you are. He is thinking about you and He cares for you.

The question is: Will he find you there? Serving faithfully? Or will he find you complaining like an unprofitable servant? Selling your birthright for a plate of beans? Filled with envy as Cain was for Abel? Roaming to and fro the whole earth? God forbid.

Today, as you go about your business, remember who you are and whose you are. Remember that God is not limited to save by many or by few, at home or abroad, in the city or in the country. And live like it.

Do your work unto the Lord and not unto man, as men-pleasers. And God from whom promotion comes will lift, increase and promote you, In Jesus Name. Amen.


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About #La130

#La130 is a program by Ike Amadi ( designed to help people read and apply the New Testament. This is achieved by reading two chapters of the Bible everyday. To join #La130 visit or tweet at his Twitter handle saying : I am now a part of the #LaFamily.

Please Read And Like Our ICCOM Story!

Compliments of the week!

As I shared with you earlier, our kiddies story on the theme– Together We Are Better– ‘A Show Fit For A King’ has been shortlisted for the ICCOM prize. However to win the prize we need Facebook ‘likes’.

Please Click on the link below to read the 1000 word tales of love laughter and unity.

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Together We Are Better Indeed.

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Edward Please Call Me

The first time he heard her voice, he was in awe. It was a fount of fresh water, refreshing and teasing him all at once. From then on, it became his daily companion, his addiction, on the long ride from Palmgrove to Ajah each day. Its soft, sure lilt made him smile, made him wince, made him laugh aloud.

Before long he knew her schedule, had the outlay of her programs tattooed on his mind. ‘Dream, Live, Achieve, Praise’ on Mondays, ‘Celebrity Spotlight’ on Tuesday, ‘Know Your Self’ on Wednesday, ‘Be The Change’ on Thursday, ‘Kisses and Knocks’ on Friday, ‘Rock it Hard’ on Saturday, ‘Vessels Of Clay’ on Sunday.

When she was away for three days of casual leave, his world veered off orbit.

When she resumed, it revolved again.

When she got a Youtube Channel. He was one of her first fifty viewers. She was as he had imagined her: brown, beautiful, full figured and feisty.

He took in every inch of her honey brown skin, her earthy smile and the slight squint of her right eye. He would give anything to be closer to her… there were no takers.

That is how he would have remained– a faceless, irrelevant online admirer–if she hadn’t opened a Twitter account.

When she did, the dice rolled in his favour, he had clout there and he made it count.

Using his twelve odd accounts he got her 1000 followers in two weeks, it was easy from there. Soon she was an OverLady, ruling over a virtual kingdom 10,000 followers strong.

She followed him, at his official account, but still, it was hard to make the leap. What was he to say, really? The truth would make him look like a common troll, a lie would toss him into the bin, along with all the celebrity mention seekers…

As he re-read the direct message before sending, he wondered why words were such inadequate things, when they were all you had. With two deep breaths and prayers to Cupid and Fortuna, he pressed ‘Send’.

She never acknowledged the message. After a while he sent her another one, again there was no reply.
Impatience gnawed at his gut, and Rejection nibbled his liver. His carefully planned transition from online admirer to real life lover was turing into a Hungarian horror film.

He disliked the thought of mentioning her, of being so obvious. In the end he had no choice, and even then, it made no difference.

The pin that burst his balloon with a bang was waking up to find that his main account had been suspended. Over 6,000 hours of wit, networking, quotes and favourites, wiped out like they had never existed.

Twitter admin cited user abuse and said he had been reported as spam.
Did he mention a certain account more than five times in two hours?

Liquid rage ran up his throat and erupted in a groan as he flung his phone on the bed. The hardy N900 nokia split into three wholes without a qualm. No! No oo oo ! He screamed as the fury rocked him like gunfire.

In the coming days, nothing soothed the pain: not music, not whiskey, not insanity workouts, not the news that his study leave application had been approved.

He logged out of his other accounts and deleted his Youtube App. With the renewed verve, he focused on reading for his professional exams. He did well in them, his scores soaring above those of his course mates,fuelled by the his rage.

A year later, he got an offer to work as Public Relations and Social Media Consultant in a multinational telecommunications firm. It was another welcome opportunity to bury himself in work. He gave it his all.

One saturday evening, at a dinner, he saw her. She was just the way he remembered from his Nokia N900 screen–a burst of colour, animation and bright smiles. A fresh jolt of pain hit him, but he braved it and smiled back.

“Very nice to meet you,Yemi. ” He managed.

“It is ‘my’ pleasure Mr Edward.” She gushed with a wide smile and a flutter of her borrowed eyelashes.

When she left, an usher slipped him her card.

Edward, please call me. It said.

Committing the number to memory, he squeezed the card into a ball and threw it into the nearest basket. At last the pain began to ebb, in its place there sprung a delicious dash of freshly ground revenge.

As he left the dinner that night, he tuned in to her program again for the first time in years. Things were going to be quite different this time, that, he was sure of.


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