It was a drizzle then the gates broke and a flood beat you from every side. You watched, helpless, as your name was dragged in the mire of convoluted minds and warped imaginations. You want to scream at them, your attackers, to tell them you were fighting for the cause of Improved Sponsorship For Unpublished Writers. No one paid you mind.
As the downpour worsened, betrayals followed. Some swift and painful, some slow and insidious, all, thrusts of a dagger under your scapula. You were bewildered with all the venom.
What was going on?
Hadn’t these people read the terms and conditions?
The prize was announced four months ago, why hadn’t anyone raised these concerns?
Wasn’t better sponsorship what we had all be asking for?
And wasn’t it true that the more writing contests, the merrier? Afterall what were judged contests but the votes of a few. And why can’t vote driven contests exist with judged?
The questions swirled in your head and the pain pummelled your heart.
You took many deep breaths, and counted back and forth from ten, then fifty, then a hundred, yet the anger boiled in your belly like oil in a cauldron.
Until you remembered, Tusabi was getting all the kicks she wanted. Already she had a spike in her blog traffic and contacts with top officials in the sponsoring body.
Her entry was still up by the way, and should this rather ugly gambit work and voting is discontinued, it could very well be declared the winner.
Or it could be aided by the internet technology skills of her geek admirers.
With the secret ballot the sponsors adopted it could very well be a ploy to get folks distracted and discouraged.
Guerilla warfare. Neutralise threats, confuse and sabotage the competition. Give them a false trail to follow. Make gains and votes elsewhere.
Fresh chills raced up your arms and you slump into the nearest armchair. The sunk chances of so many blind followers and their squandered opportunities cackle at you, goading you, spitting at your feet.
You bury your head in your cold hands mourning all that has been lost–aborted, never given a chance.
The platforms many writers would have built.
The healthy discussions and critique that would have flourished.
The impact of 480 ambassadors of Literature: sharing, convincing, assisting and advocating for reading.
New fans and readers that now remain unknown and unreached.
When you rise from there, you pick up your keypad and begin a letter to Mufutua.
A sequel: Dear Mufutua, A Most Robust Response will here on or before Saturday. Let us know if you’d like to be notified when it is up.