Write Pad

Read my chicklit and speculative fiction flash stories straight from my write pad.

THINGS WE DID

We had done the book squad movie and theatre dates to see adaptations long before Nigerian Movie Producers began adapting bestselling Nigerian literature. We’d travelled first class with just a handbag. Only lace lingeries hidden underneath joggers and Lagos Fashion Week treasured tshirts buys kept us warm. We’d emitted grace, wealth and resilience long before they were bottled in affordable glass jars. We’d been worth millions long before they knew what networth, stock portfolio. mutual funds, trading rates of treasure bills, gold bars meant.

We’d engineered, innovated, destroyed, failed and excelled before they wrote to society, through exams and applications, requesting entrance into society’s conditioning. We’d been fluid with our lives, pursuits, love and appearance..long before hashtags morphed to be cyber-economic-political tools. Seeing them do the things we did pulls out to shove in truth. The truth that life is a cycle. From the iced cloudlike particles from the top of Mount Everest to murky, brown bottom of the Dead Sea. Change circles up and down. It’s a privilege to see you all today, the first colony of African Union delegates take the things we did to Mars.

The pride in the soft female voice didn’t fall like the ozone layer that dissolved over Lagos. The headsets beeped red and the cabin filled up with harmattan fog as the pods closed off. I never flew first class on a shuttle pod in Nigeria, I think to myself as stasis is induced. My last thought was of Ayinke, I knew she and her pink frames would be watching the sunny, blue skies for a bird nestling me and other young brilliant minds from across the African continent.

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Her Unusual Snap

Two male nursing students daintily walk out of the wide gates of Alimosho General Hospital Igando manned by stout, dark uniforms. A white clothed pair laugh while walking away from the lawn path where many persons disappear. A short, curvy, glowing-light brown woman gets down from a grey car minutes after them. She locks the door with a clicking key. Then walks towards the lush lawns and green shrub bordering them. Other smartly dressed people hurriedly walk by on the cool, cement coloured interlocked brick pavement. Three old men in faded brown, orange, blue patterned Ankara buba and trousers are sitting on a wooden bench chatting in soothing Yoruba.

It is a calm morning but Lagos hoots, zooming by; trades, exchanging naira notes and bustles about. The wind catches falling green leaves and large, bright, pink petals, swaying them softy to land on the lawn. The curvy woman is walking by the strong, dark, brown branches of my hibiscus tree then stops to admire me. Although nature has plucked a quarter of the flowers, littering the floor under the trees. The floor looks like a bowl of Efo Riro.

Centuries ago, when Lagos was known as the Pepper Station and the Lagoon fishermen trade hub for neighbouring pre-colonial African cities. Long before those metal ships captained by Greed stole safety. Àwa Èmí, we spirits, had to be appeased before our physical properties and hosts were tampered with by curious humans. But even the millennium environmental regulations don’t stop wandering fingers.

My breath slowly exhales through my red stalk as I wait for the usual warm tug-snap of a deathly pluck. But it did not come that way. Snap! A white, square device emits this sound thrice. Through the damp morning air I note that the white is pristine like my petal edge streaks. “Artistic beauty! Each petal is an intricate blend of vibrancy. I’m so going to hand paint a fabric patterned after this large hibiscus.” She says while moving the box around my face.

Finally, she moves away her pretty face and gives her attention to the white metal box. For once the numerous, tiny ants that run in formation on my branches irritate me. I’m jealous this human and her piece of tech, as the butterflies who stop by to pollinate the yellow pollen tell us, are leaving. Butterflies feature in nature shoots unlike me who hardly gets that much attention in front of the hospital.

Later, the wind brought my friend’s usual brunch whispers, the Red Hibiscus tree spirit would narrate what she saw on the inside of the peach wall. While I’d note how many vehicles recklessly drive, carrying Death unknowingly. Sometimes I’d complain of the noise but not dark clouds of carbon large, yellow, burping, danfos emit. Or which child dropped a flower they’d plucked screaming as ants run around, painfully stinging their murderous fingers– punishment for disrupting life. Today I’ll excitedly chat about being immortalised in painted fabric. Out of small, popular red hibiscus trees, it’s exotic white hibiscus cousins and dried purple hibiscus usually featured in Zobo product photography, I get chosen. And of course, the white metal box that snaps without killing!

I could still see the woman pace behind mustard kabu-kabus at the taxi park, holding the white box to her small right ear. Sighing, she’d wait three hours for a male portly medical consultant. The Red Hibiscus tree spirit told me a bespectacled, portly man waited inside the buzzing human populated, sectioned iroko-tall buildings, lush maze-like lawn and murky filled porthole General Hospital compound for her.

Her Unusual Snap is a short fiction piece of African magical realism and speculative fiction that encourages you to respect and care for flowers and our plant environment. Inspired by this unusual but beautiful hibiscus tree and it’s flowers outside the Alimosho General Hospital Igando in Lagos Nigeria. A place I had to stop a small boy from plucking the purple flowers growing at its Laboratory Block.

Image Source: AmethystShotX for Amethyst Saw

Chopping Board

On the chopping board of life stands sweet and lays sour ‎things. They are chopped, cut, diced and served up delicious with tangy bits. I mused about life as I continued typing my research paper. I could pause my music player to listen to your voice notes. All your voice notes. You see, I love voices, listening to their sultry, cheery or silken smoky tones‎.

On the chopping board of life we all lay here. Either dissected or being prepared to be prodded by tools ie. persons or experiences that bring out ourselves. ‎I pause Ella Fitzgerald infamous sensual jazz ballad, At Last. Then my right fingers play your voice note. While my left palm reached for my cold glass of pink yoghurt. Sweet and sour. Sour strawberry creaminess coat my curling tongue like a French kiss. Sweet, sweetness is your voice. The moment passed like how I missed making your acquaintance about ten times before I did a year ago.

A DJ turn table or photo editing app is what ‎life uses these days. Chopping up beats and mixing pulses of daily life. Cropping and feeding filtered gradients that gradually alter reality’s real. So I listen to Sufjan Stevens’ hollow singing thrown in after your voice like sour yoghurt sipped after chewing sweet, soft chocolate cake bits.

CHOP! the knife slices into the small brown circumference. ‎Like my excitement shorten night’s rest. CROPPED, ‎I now have another taste of life for myself.

NNEOBI’S LITTLE ONES

When you meet Nneobi you will see she always has little ones on her.

They add a certain charm to her rather mismatched, curvy, dusty brown appearance. From the beginning of her narrow metal gates that look like stretching feet you see small brown-dark , scrawny, dirty or even semi-naked boys and girls running around gleefully. Often times these little ones silently stoop low under firm hands of their mothers pouring water and rubbing soap lather. If you drive further down some bubbles from the scentless gutter side bath might float to your car window.  Don’t resist the urge to continue driving slowly and stretching your hand out to pop a few bubbles close by. But do not stop there, that is just my Buka customer’s morning routine. You will drive on her dusty, bumpy, pure water littered, uneven street down towards crater-like port holes. I know you’ll say it looked like Eru tried pulling out corruption from Nigeria through the gully like portholes. Don’t say it.

You’ll drive further down Nneobi, skirting around her two murky, chocolate river portholes. They look like breast but the children with shaven heads that wear faded denim skirts and trousers avoid them. You’ll see Nneobi has a green compound painted with ‘artistic’ Mickey Mouse, fruits, Alp-Ha-Be-Ts and numb3r5 to school little ones. You’ll wonder with all the children spilling out, preteens playing in the small shops and stalls paving both sides of the street there could be more children. I’m sure you’ll shake your head when you see the blackboard on the wall calling for volunteers to teach crucial subjects. While lost looking skinny and fat women in ill-fitting skirt suits that resemble those at Staff School decades ago–welcome more rowdy uniformed ‘shouldrens’ into that compound. Drive on without turning to the left street beside the green primary school.

In this stark communal landscape where men can be seen sparsely but always sitting staring probably into futures they missed. You will find new red, tattered green, stained yellow network providers’ umbrellas brightly dotting Nneobi adding a mismatched pointillism effect to the scenery. Don’t bother stopping to buy my airtime at any of those umbrellas. Park at the wooden shop with steps sited on by unclear plastics of sweets, chewing gums, etc. Buy my airtime there. You remember how much right? Right. One you drive a bit forward you’ll see black iron gate with Feni’s sculptures (from her Water Bodies Exhibition we went for) leaning against their stems. Peep the pink duplex inside? That’s my house. To be sure it isn’t Lady Pero’s pink house. There are no bare chest, shrieking children with white 5 ltrs kegs or small buckets milling around the water pump beside its gate. If you are at the water pump still drive further down.

You’ll pass the white bungalow with a placard ‘buy chilled zobo here’. Last time, yesterday evening after work, that I drove pass there I saw two small boys probably packing in clothes.Probably brother because they had matching buba and sokoto, native top and trousers. The taller and older one carried a bench to step on. He still had to stand on his tip toe to reach the wire. It was such a comic sight! I had been parked waiting for change while a burgundy filled Miranda bottle numbed my palm. Laughter almost choked me as the zobo ran down my plumb throat with what the boy was doing. He would remove the pegs, throw them behind him to the floor for the smaller boy and sling the clothes over his skinny shoulder. All with precise seriousness while the younger boy would pick up the pegs from the sand and clip them to his buba’s edge.

Anyway, opposite the white house is a left street, a street on the left. Do you see the artsy black iron gate and Feni’s sculptures? That’s my place. I didn’t ask what you’ll like to eat for breakfast. Or why you are visiting my no-longer-a-site for the first time this early in the day. I know you’ll say I still don’t know how to give directions but whatever. Welcome to Nneobi! Do you know my house has a name? You guessed right!

Nneobi’s Little Ones is a ‘My Yellow Eko’ entry. My Yellow Eko shares stories of adventure, yellow sights, bustling sounds and hustling people in Lagos, Nigeria