Friday Fiction: Adding Salt to the Wound of a woman waiting to have a Child

saltTwenty four full moons had passed; the gossips continued. Even Kala my friend asked me if it was true that my husband was impotent. It was the end of our friendship. In the village I felt embarrassed to walk among the people and at home Manya treated me like an enemy. I prayed that the gods would bless me soon.

One evening while thinking about my troubles, tired from the day’s farm work, I nodded off on the wooden chair in front of our hut. The gentle breeze was comforting. Suddenly, I felt a strong arm grip mine, Manya was back. I quickly got up and welcomed him. He took my place on the chair.

He was hungry and I hadn’t cooked. “At least you can cook my meals, since you are an empty barrel”, he said. I felt pained in my heart and tried to speak, “The gods will shine on us soon” The words were still in my mouth when I felt a sharp pain across my face. Dizziness and darkness engulfed me and I staggered backwards. I felt his hands all over my body and heard his furious voice,” You will never challenge me again …lazy woman”. My screams must have been heard ten compounds away, but it is a man’s business what he does with his wife.

Excerpt from my short story “Face in the Mirror”.

It is already emotionally stressful wanting badly to have a baby why add salt to her wound by physically assaulting again. Oh what some women go through…!!!

Photo Credit: Weknowyourdreams.com

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

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Her Seeds won’t Grow

PLANT IN THEE EARTH

Twenty four full moons had passed; the gossips continued. Even Kala my friend asked me if it was true that my husband was impotent. It was the end of our friendship. In the village I felt embarrassed to walk among the people and at home Manya treated me like an enemy. I prayed that the gods would bless me soon.

One evening while thinking about my troubles, tired from the day’s farm work, I nodded off on the wooden chair in front of our hut. The gentle breeze was comforting. Suddenly, I felt a strong arm grip mine, Manya was back. I quickly got up and welcomed him. He took my place on the chair. He was hungry and I hadn’t cooked. “At least you can cook my meals, since you are an empty barrel”, he said. I felt pained in my heart and tried to speak, “The gods will shine on us soon” The words were still in my mouth when I felt a sharp pain across my face. Dizziness and darkness engulfed me and I staggered backwards. I felt his hands all over my body and heard his furious voice,” You will never challenge me again ….lazy woman”. My screams must have been heard ten compounds away, but it is a man’s business what he does with his wife.

Excerpt from my short story: Face in the Mirror

Thoughts of concern:

How is it that it is a woman’s fault every time she can not conceive?

It is everyone’s business when a man displays violence towards his wife.

Adebisi Adetunji

A Girl’s Story…3

A GIRL
A girl staring into the distance from the film, Lake Los Angeles.

While Gbade struggled with the best course of action in his thoughts, the silent lips of the woman sitting beside him moved. “There are others”, she said a midst tears. He decided to give her time to unburden her heart, but her lips stopped moving again.

“You can trust me”, he encouraged her to go on. She shook her head and replied, “These people are dangerous”. Gbade’s mind told him trouble lay around the corner but his heart wanted to protect her. “We can go to the police”, Gbade said, offering her a ray of hope. She chuckled and in a pained voice said “You don’t know these people, they are everywhere”.Gbade pressed her to at least tell him her name. She turned to look at him for a while contemplating whether she could trust him. Then she found her voice and said, “Linda”. Gbade drove on in silence wondering whether that was her real name.

“Please take me with you”, Linda begged. “My house?”, asked Gbade. “Please” , she stammered pleading. “I don’t know you”, replied Gbade. She took a deep breath and tried to stifle the tears that where threatening to pour again. Linda began her story. She started from the very beginning when she had to stay with an uncle and his wife because she had no one.

Her mother had just left the country for greener pasture abroad and promised to come for her when she settled down in the country she was headed. Linda never knew who her father was. The day her mother left she was in tears hoping that it wouldn’t be long before she would join her mother in the land of promise. The first few months were filled with fun since for the first time she had her cousins to play with.

Six months passed without getting word from her mom. Every time she asked Uncle Mark whether her mother had called he would reply that he hadn’t heard from her. Meanwhile Uncle Mark started to buy her things and treated her nicely so much that his kids and wife became jealous. After a year with no word from her mother aunt Mary became cold towards Linda. She began to snap at her about almost everything. Linda continued to tolerate Aunt Mary’s onslaught on her. Things took a down ward turn when Uncle Mark began to touch her in a way that made her feel uncomfortable whenever they were alone in the house.

Excerpt from the short story: The Journey

Adebisi Adetunji

A Girl’s Story…2

A GIRL
A girl staring into the distance from the film, Lake Los Angeles.

She stood by the road side waving frantically at cars, buses, trucks. “Stop anyone her heart screamed”. Gbade saw the be-deviled lady waving. “what in the world’s name is wrong with her? As he drove by his foot suddenly stepped on his break pad. His fingers stirred his gear towards his reverse point. “I might regret this”, he thought as his car reversed and stopped right in front of her. She jumped in breathless. Her eyes said just get me out of here. The car took off with its Tyre screeching like a car on a rescue mission. She continued to pant as he sped off. “What I’m i doing” Gbade asked himself again.

“Who are you?” Gbade asked but she just seemed lost somewhere not answering him. He held the steering tight as he still drove on asking about what could have happened to her. She doesn’t answer. He took a quick side glance to see her face yet not taking his eyes off the road and the rear mirror watching out for any tail behind him. This time he saw tears flowing down her face then she broke into heavy sobs. He didn’t ask any more questions. Somehow her pain flowed to him so he drove on in silence wondering whether to take her to a police station or a hospital. She looked very fragile.

While Gbade struggled with the best course of action in his thoughts, the silent lips of the woman sitting beside him moved. “There are others”, she said a midst tears. He decided to give her time to unburden her heart, but her lips stopped moving again.
“You can trust me”, he encouraged her to go on. She shook her head and replied, “These people are dangerous”. Gbade’s mind told him trouble lay around the corner but his heart wanted to protect her. “We can go to the police”, Gbade said, offering her a ray of hope. She chuckled and in a pained voice said “You don’t know these people, they are everywhere”.

Gbade pressed her to at least tell him her name. She turned to look at him for a while contemplating whether she could trust him. Then she found her voice and said, “Linda”. Gbade drove on in silence wondering whether that was her real name.

Excerpt from the short story: The Journey

Adebisi Adetunji

A Girl’s Story…

A GIRL
A girl staring into the distance from the film, Lake Los Angeles

The prospect of making extra money looked good. I wanted to go back to school. One day when she came home I told Sade that I was interested in the job. She laughed and said it was a tough job and that I was too young but I insisted that I could handle anything. Life was already hard for me.

When we entered the room there were other girls. They looked more gorgeously dressed than I. They all chatted on waiting for something or someone. As I stared around the room wondering why so many girls worked overtime, Sade whispered in my ears, “Here he comes”. I turned and saw him. ….

The man was huge and had a cigar on his hands. He took his time to pull at his cigar , puffed and scanned the room filled with young girls. When his gaze fell on me I felt a shiver run through my spine. Sade whispered into my ears, “He is our employer”. I looked hard at him and wondered what it would be like working for someone like him. “So long as I can make extra cash”, I thought to myself. I did made a lot of money in the end but it came at a price, something I soon discovered.

There was no signing out of this job once one started. Any girl who tries to get out of the business was either found dead or disappears. The man whom I later came to know  to be Mr. Joe took the business seriously. The girls who worked for him had to service his clientele of men most of whom where drug dealers. There was no turning back once a girl enters the room Sade took me into.

Excerpt from the short story: The Journey

Adebisi Adetunji

The Cleansing Rite Part 1

SPIDER AND WEB

Early in the morning in Ikuku village the elders of our clan gathered to decide about the cleansing rites that needed to be carried out urgently. In the room where I was, having not slept for two days, numb by the recent events, I heard grandma’s shout: “Tufiakwa, over my dead body. It won’t happen.” The elders tried to placate her but soon she began to weep asking the gods why they had allowed her eyes to see this evil. The circle of cleansing was about to begin again. Now there are three spirits that must rest in peace.

I looked up to the ceiling where dark cobwebs hanged. A fly was caught in the web and a big spider circled around to feast on its prey. Obinna and i where now as trapped as that fly. I turned to look at his tear stained face and then my eyes monitored the rising and falling of his chest as he slept. It was necessary to assure myself that he was still breathing. We were both lying down on the wooden bed with the flat dirty mattress. My eyes went back to the ceiling where the spider had now reached its prey. The voices of the elders mixed with grandma’s plea to the gods to have mercy on our entire clan were now even louder. I felt a choke in my throat and then fresh tears began to flow down my face. Their voices became distant as my mind traveled to that night I was stirred from my sleep by the raised whispering voice of mother. “I won’t do it Ebuka”, said mother. “I’m only trying to fulfill the cleansing rites”, replied Uncle Ebuka. “Please leave now”, mother said in a harsh tone. I heard Uncle Ebuka’s short clipped laughter as he said, “Chinwe, you know the elders have spoken” and I heard his footsteps leaving. Mother started to sob quietly. I laid down not saying anything and my mind went back to the time father was still alive.

Excerpt from my short story – The Cleansing Rites

Photo Credit: Reusable Art – Spider and Web

Adebisi Adetunji

 

Face in the Mirror Part 1

FACE IN THE MIRROR

Cocks crowed, it was the dawn of anew day. Carrying a bag of corn seeds I dragged my tired body to feed the chickens. I took in the cold wind of the morning not looking forward to the heavy farm work that lay ahead for me. “Tarra”, my mother called. I knew there was trouble again. Why was I born first? It was always Tarra! Who did this? What happened to that? I hoped nobody would get thrashed this time. My mother always bore the brunt of papa’s stormy temper that was often triggered by any opportunity to show that he was the man of the house, ruler of his kingdom.

I came running to stop the storm from blowing us all away, it turned out one of our pigs was missing. My heart started to race. In a voice that was shaky I said, “Papa maybe someone might have stolen it”. Only a brave and strong person would dare to do that in my village. I watched my father’s face change from anger to puzzlement, then to a dawning understanding. A smile crossed his face, and he said, “the culprit will show up soon”. We all knew that meant the thief would come revealing himself and with that declaration, name the girl in the family whom he intended to marry. At 17, I was old enough. Who could this man be? I hoped that it would be one of the good men in the village.

A few days later he came, in the company of two men to ask for my hand in marriage. He was Manya, a prominent hunter in the village. My father, raised his shoulders up like a proud peacock and received the suitor who as custom demands could only prove he was worthy of the girl he wished to marry by stealing a pig.

Excerpt from my short story

Adebisi Adetunji