Fiction

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In 100 words or less…or more!
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In 100 words or less…or more!
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Unseen
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Uncovered
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Unparalleled
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Unprofessional
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Unassumed
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Unpublished
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Unscheduled
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Unplugged

Unseen

The creaking sound of a door opening broke into her sleep. She had been literally ‘falling’ asleep when her extra – sensitive sense of hearing picked up the sound. Now she was wide awake. Ordinarily, Dame Dafinone would frown at being disturbed from her mid –day siesta but not today. Instead she felt fear creeping up within her as the sound continued from somewhere in the front of the house. Weekday afternoons saw her entirely alone in the house; her son and his family having gone to their respective places of human endeavours – be it their work stations or learning institutions. Weekday afternoons were silent and peaceful times for her to rest and rejuvenate. All alone in the house, it always afforded her the quiet she sort for her own peculiar mental and spiritual tasks. She looked forward to weekday afternoons. The solitude and aloneness helped remind her a bit of the serenity and calmness that characterized the simple, village life she missed but knew she might never return to. At least for as long as her first son had breath in him, which would be a very, very long time from all indications! The creaking sound continued but this time a lot less than before. But a sound nevertheless. Dame Dafinone’s fear climbed a bit as her mind began to race. From her calculations, the first person due back home wouldn’t be until 3:00pm. The clock on the wall of her bedroom had struck noon a couple of minutes back. No family member would return at this time and try to sneak into their own house! And even if one did, the person would have called out to her immediately. To alert her of their presence. It was a standard rule in the house. So who could it be? The creaking sound stopped with a click and Dame Dafinone’s ears picked up shuffling feet and voices in whispers. Who could it be? Not a very optimistic lady, her mind climbed hills and valleys as she provided herself with answers, and damaging ones too! House breakers! Intruders! Strangers who”more

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Uncovered

A smile played on his lips as he emerged from his car. A smile that always made its appearance every time he thought about Roli or was about to see her. He effected the security measures on the car and turned towards the quaint shop he had parked in front of. Toju passed a hand over his head as he walked and the smile widened into a grin. In her opinion, there was always nothing to be cut on his head but then she wouldn’t know. She wasn’t a man. He’d feel filthy if he didn’t have a haircut almost every week. It would be a slight on his personal hygiene program and well, his image. More importantly, it was an excuse to see her as often as he could manage. Their first meeting was forever etched in his memory. No, more pertinent were her first words to him. “Good afternoon.” Her voice almost as bright as the sun blazing that day. “And this is a barbing salon.” Her sharp eyes were trained on his head. “I wonder if you’re in the wrong place.” His once – foul mood at the time had been dispelled by her attitude and outspokenness. It was a first for him, coming in contact with a receptionist whose wit was just what  he needed. And he played along with her. “I wonder if YOU are in the wrong place, young lady.” He uttered, leaning on the table she sat behind. “Cos I need a haircut.” And he rubbed a hand over his barely hairy scalp. At that moment, they shared their first laugh together. Then they both proceeded to share a lot of other things which included jokes, anecdotes, ice- creams, pastries, personal experiences and most of all, time together. In the one month they came to know each other [with him going to the salon an average of twice weekly], he had never met any one so lively, so mischievous, so intelligent and yet so content with her job as a receptionist. She was new in the job but extremely wonderful with clients of”more

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Unparalleled

At a fast – food place ‘Unaccompanied?’ The voice came out of the blue. A strange male voice. She looked up from her almost finished drink, giving the tall stranger a quick, sharp once – over. ‘Uninvited.’ ‘Unoffended.’ A slight frown marred her brows. ‘Unappealing.’ ‘Undisturbed.’ He was smiling confidently now. ‘Undergraduate?’ He inquired. She had very misleading youthful looks. However, her curves helped out most of the time. He couldn’t see her completely. She was sitting down, half covered by the table in front of her. ‘Unlikely.’ He tried again. ‘Unemployed?’ Now he was getting on her nerves. ‘Unacceptable.’ ‘Unattached?’ He queried once more. She uttered not a word for fear that it would be scathing. He proceeded to draw out the chair opposite her. She halted his action with a look that could kill. ‘Uninvited,’ she repeated with emphasis. ‘Unwise.’ ‘Hmm…unapproachable.’ ‘Unasked.’ ‘Unventured, ungained.’ A slight pause, then. ‘Unacquainted.’ He stretched his hand towards her. She ignored it and finished up her drink. She rose to her feet, a lovely shaped feminine figure in a pair of blue bootleggers and a denim top. ‘Unnecessary.’ ‘Unfriendly,’ he told her, watching her. Without another word or glance, she walked away. In her office. Two days later She was walking through the reception area en route a meeting, when she saw a familiar figure sitting quite comfortably amongst other clients of the organization. She hesitated a little, uncertain of his identity. He rose to his feet then, smiling, and confirming her doubts. How had he gotten her address? She watched him approach her. He was a far cry from the casually dressed stranger over the weekend. His grey business suit fitted like a glove, complimenting his height and dark friendly facial features. Fleetingly, she wondered what he did for a living. ‘Unannounced.’ She spoke first, expressionless and not returning his smile. ‘Unexpected?’ He was close enough for her to get a good close of his cologne. ‘Unsurprised.’ She ignored his question. ‘Unavailable?’ He asked, shoving both hands into his pockets. ‘Unavoidably.’ ‘Untimely?’ ‘Undoubtedly.’ His eyes raked her entire figure, taking in”more

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Unprofessional

He was talking as he walked through the door. ‘Is this the last one, Seke?’ He waved the file he was holding in the air. ‘Can I take a bit of a break then?’ He walked towards the counter she stood behind. ‘I’m a bit peckish.’ The two ladies at the counter both looked at him; Seke , the lady he addressed, was the older one of the two – a middle-aged, matronly woman – looked up from her scribbling on a pad while the other lady, the much younger one standing by it, turned slowly to look at him as well. Momentarily, there was a halt in his tracks, then he continued. When he spoke again a smile could be heard in his voice. ‘Well, hello there.’ The timbre of his voice dropped noticeably. His smile came naturally, effortlessly, expanding his fleshy, friendly facial features. The lady didn’t return the smile. The bland expression she had on her face, while watching Seke write a while ago, was still intact. She regarded him with cool, brown eyes. ‘Hello Osawe.’ Her voice matched her eyes – cool, very low – toned and husky. ‘It has been ages.’ He turned and addressed Seke again. ‘Is she the last one?’ He wanted to know as he reached the counter and placed the file on it. ‘For now, yes, but she…,’ Seke began but the other woman cut her short. ‘I was postponing my appointment,’ she informed him. He put both his hands in the pockets of his dark trousers. ‘Why? Are you in a hurry?’ His gaze was fixed on her. His big, dark frame loomed over her petite one. The difference in their statures sharply obvious: the huge dark man and the little, light – skinned lady. ‘Sort of.’ His slightly – hooded dark eyes raked over her. ‘You look healthy enough. I’m sure this won’t take long.’ ‘But I…,’ she began. He wasn’t listening to her. ‘Do you have her file, Seke?’ ********************************************************************************************************** She preceded him into the room and he shut the door behind him. He was the first to”more

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Unassumed

The conversation started out as friendly banter. Then it turned serious as the man still refused to pay for all the drinks he had consumed. The woman seller looked like her patience was running thin. She attempted one last time to reason with a customer past the normal reasoning level due to intoxication. Dragging on a fresh stick of cigarette, Rasheed watched the unfolding drama from his corner in the dingy makeshift bar. It would not be the first time he was witnessing such. As a regular and a likeable one too, occurrences like this were all in a day’s work in the bar. He blew out a tiny cloud of smoke as he settled comfortably into the white plastic chair he occupied. He could almost predict the outcome of the scene in front of him. By now, the drunken customer was riling against the bar and its seemingly expensive drinks. The woman had summoned two men to her side; she was always prepared for moments like this. They were occupational hazards she had grown accustomed to. A smile was forming on Rasheed’s lips as the drunk rose unsteadily to meet the two men who now approached him. Fleetingly, Rasheed looked away to knock off some ash on the tray in front of him. The presence of another male seated quietly at the table he occupied startled him momentarily. He dropped his cigarette stick onto the ashtray instead. A frown marred Rasheed’s otherwise smooth forehead once recognition set in. “Man, you scared me!” He retrieved the stick, and popped it back into his mouth. The other male was smiling. “It was intentional.” His very dark skin colour contrasted nicely with the spotless white djellabah he had on. An equally white hausa cap completed his outfit. The entire ensemble did little to add to his seventeen years and his petite stature. “What are you doing here?” Rasheed expertly exhaled smoke rings before answering his friend. “Thinking.” “Of your life or of emptying the pack?” His friend’s gaze bounced off the opened pack of cigarettes that lay on the table between them.”more

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Unpublished

Jan. 1st Happy New Year, diary! I ended last year on a sad note. Pere and I broke up. I’m so unhappy. Jan. 9th Haven’t seen or heard from Pere in more than a week. Not that I expected to. After all the horrible things I said to him! Jan. 11th Diary, Seah was here today. She asked about Pere. Rumour has it that he was posted to Port – Harcourt for his NYSC. Jan. 14th Pere came today. He wanted to make up. I didn’t let him in. I told him off through the window. Practically shouted at him to leave before I sent the dogs after him. As I watched him leave, I wondered why I said those things to him. What is wrong with me? Jan. 22nd Seah said Pere left for Port – Harcourt yesterday. This is what she said and I quote: “Esi, you’re a total and complete fool for letting a good thing pass you by.” Jan. 24th I miss Pere. I love him. And I hate him too! Jan. 30th School’s a week away. Can’t wait! It would help take my mind off thoughts of Pere at least. Feb. 4th Diary, I’m finished! I’m done for! I’m ruined! I’m pregnant! March 5th I can’t help wondering about Pere frequently these days. As his body grows inside of me, so does my concern for him. How is he doing? And what is he up to? How is his NYSC coming? Is he coping well? Does he like…? And why am I concerned? For all I know I may never go through the NYSC programme. Thanks to him! Here I am, a single, unwed, drop –out with a two-month-old pregnancy wondering about the father, who has his whole life ahead of him. While mine ended before it begun! April 10th I hate being pregnant! I hate being unable to do anything for myself! I hate Pere for doing this to me! And I hate the cold in this county! I’m yet to adjust to the weather conditions of this country. Doesn’t the heater work any”more

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Unscheduled

The prospects of the day looked bleak. It was barely 9am and her back hurt intermittently already. Didi stretched slightly, placing a hand on the small of her back in a vain attempt to kill the pain. Her shoes were off and lost somewhere beneath the row of tables she worked on. She wished she could shed the red jacket she had on as well. If only she were at home she would have, but in the office? That was pushing it, she thought, as she looked at the red miniature camisole she had underneath the jacket. Small beads of sweat on her forehead gave testimony to the amount of effort put into the task at hand. The room she worked in was cool, constantly being made so by two air conditioners which were on full-blast. She stretched again, this time arching her back to an almost bowed angle. She not only looked tired but also felt the effect of fatigue rake her small, slim frame. And the day had only just begun. Her list of ‘things to do’ was endlessly intimidating. Not desirous of dwelling on them to increase her gloomy perspective of the day, she massaged her neck gently for a bit before turning back to the table in front of her. Papers arranged neatly in about fifteen stacks stared back at her. They contained the necessary information for the much – needed exposure the organization she worked for sought. In addition to these were publications explaining the organization’s operations and its reason for existence. All of these she put into a sky-blue file, thus making an informative pack about the organization She had a hundred of these to make! She had been on her feet since 7.30am that morning! She had been hard at it for the last hour and a half! At her last count, she had forty down and sixty to go. Earlier on, a colleague of hers had put in five minutes of assistance time before leaving to her work station and Didi was back on her own. She heaved a sigh. And this”more

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Unplugged

Besides the monotonous ticking of the clock at the far end of the room, the only other sound was soft moans in response to the pressure of hands. Hands – feminine, soft, delicate yet firm – moved with precision and expertise in rhythmic motions on a large expanse of dark, smooth, muscular and masculine back which bore no signs of its tensed condition. Expert fingers found tensed and displaced muscles and strained ones as well, exerting pressure on them and massaging them into relaxed positions. Just then the clock struck mid–day, and she sighed deeply. As though a signal he had been waiting for, Safona flexed his muscles abruptly, interrupting her work. She stared at him in silence, expressionless, as he manoeuvred himself into a sitting position. A wall of chest just as dark, as large, as expansive as his back came into breathtaking view. Besides a white towel knotted at his waist, his upper body was bare. ‘You’re distracted, Enae.’ His voice was husky, matching his somewhat brutally attractive facial features and heavily – built stature. Big, brown, brilliant eyes set in a round, babyish face met his black piercing ones for a while before falling away. ‘I’m not. And how would you know anyway?’ Hers was a low- toned voice, laced with dullness. She began to walk away from him and the rows of little white beds arranged horizontally. He let out a little smile that she missed. ‘Not only have you been my professional masseuse way before your degree…’ He didn’t see the small sad smile that chased briefly across her mouth before it disappeared. ‘…but also my best friend for the last decade and a half. So how wouldn’t I know?’ There was absolute certainty in his voice; he flexed his muscles some more. ‘Talk to me Enae, I’m listening.’ She was by the wash hand basins now, and the sound of rushing water filled the room for a while as she washed her hands, partially drowning some of his words. Above it, she spoke a pitch higher, still maintaining the dull tone. ‘I’ll be fine,”more

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