Dead Men Who Make Demands

Hello Guys,

Here is a new story I wrote for The Musty Corner. It was edited and published by them first, but I decided to publish it here also because i do not want to deny you wonderful people the chance to read this story which i enjoyed writing so much.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much.


A few months ago Priye thought she was the luckiest woman alive. The state of utmost contentment she was in made her not to want anything else or aspire to a greater situation. She felt fulfilled, happy, satisfied – quite complacent if you like, but she was comfortable with that. Everything was good.

In the present moment only the presence of Santan gives her anything close to joy, one that is pathetic when compared to her previous state.

Clingy, selfish, demanding Santan. Priye was not unaware of the look of irritation bestowed on Santan when people thought she wasn’t looking. If she was another’s offspring, not hers, Priye would have felt and acted the same way, but there’s something about the love a mother has for her child. It does not diminish, not even if the child were born with horns and a tail. Only a mother will understand this feeling. Continue reading

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The Smell of Fear

Fear has a smell. The realization that you’ve lived with it for the bulk of your existence dawns gradually. The familiarity of it. It’s like an old friend you do not like but have to stick with because no one else will be with you.

It was there, hovering just around your nostrils, one of those nights when you had been locked out of the house, again, and you witnessed a murder in your notorious neighborhood. You plastered your body against the wall of your fence, as if to merge with it and prayed not to be seen. Continue reading

Don’t Sing My Praise

I am hungry. It happens a lot these days. I have nibbled on enough snacks to conclude that no amount of food will fill the longing in me.

Giving up on food I seek company, not just anyone’s, only from minds that can sate a fraction of the hunger. I keep my phone close, staring at it with longing and wonder why no one has reached out yet. I consider reaching out then check myself. I won’t grovel. That which is not given freely I do not want. Continue reading

The Bloodthirsty Highway

“God please, please God help.” Desperate, you look around for what to do and your gaze meets a face you can’t recognise. It’s your reflection contorted in agony, like you have the weight of the world and not just the weight of two strangers on your shoulders.

 

Two strangers to you, but family to some who don’t know that their fathers, husbands or brothers are lying on concrete, their life’s juice slowly seeping out of them.

 

You call on God and on Mother Mary and pray The Memorare, reminding every heavenly body that they have never failed and shouldn’t start now.

 

The curious crowd are increasing in number, yet decreasing in competence. You become angry and scream.

 

“Please do something now.”  They don’t even hear your thin voice. They are keener on laying blames; who ran against the one-way traffic and who should have been slower. Most of them weren’t even present when the accident happened and were all telling stories as they imagined it to be.

 

You were there before it happened. The car you rode in had broken down and you got restless about being late for work.

 

This green jeep, obviously in a hurry to get to work too, had left his lane and ran against one-way traffic ramming straight into a bike.

 

Your heart flew but not as high as the bike rider and his passenger. They flew past the windscreen of the jeep, landed hard on the top of the jeep then got thrown even harder to the concrete floor.

 

You got down from the car and rushed to the men on the floor. They were bleeding, their clothes torn and you looked into the torn trousers of the passenger to see a bleeding gash dangerously close to his penis. With shame you take off your eyes and concentrate on his twisted broken leg.

 

From the corner of your eyes you see the culprit trying to escape with his jeep and broken windshield. The mangled bike beneath the car kept him from escaping and attracted the attention of onlookers.

 

“You wan run?”

 

“No, I just want to park well.” He denied.

 

“Obara Jesus, Obara Jesus…” The passenger called repeatedly and you echo same in your mind.

 

“O kam si je?” He queries. You want to assure him that this isn’t the day he would die, but you don’t even trust yourself to be convincing enough.

 

The hausa biker is mouthing something you don’t understand, yet you understand he’s begging God to spare his life. He is all bloody and stares ahead at the sky.

 

A look at your watch shows it is seven minutes since you last checked the time, roughly about the same time these men have been lying on the road for. Enough time to be dead, enough time to have them saved by rushing to the hospital.

 

Cars pass by, slow down to glimpse the incident, murmur their pities and speed off again hurrying to wherever. Somewhere in your mind you remember you are late for work. You realise these men might be ‘Late’ soon.

 

“My ID card is in my pocket.” A number of men surround the wounded passenger and search his pocket. Some suspicious looking ones make for his fat wallet in his front pocket.

 

“No, my back pocket.” He manages through the blood gushing out of his mouth. The one with the wallet surreptitiously makes away with it, while others search the back pocket for the ID Card.

 

“Please put them in the car.” You hear yourself say.

 

They put the bike rider at the back of the jeep and look around wondering where to put the passenger.

 

“Put him in the front seat “You offer. They all look at you like you are stupid. You don’t care if the man is lying comfortably or scrunched up in the front seat.  All you care is that he gets to the hospital safe. And back to his family.

 

O lord his family! Please keep him safe for them.

 

“Come and enter the bus it has started.” Someone touches your shoulder.

 

Listless, you get into the bus, all the while focusing on the injured man on the floor and the jeep housing the other and as your bus moves off all you can see is the large crowd surrounding them.

 

You wonder how one can be surrounded by this much people yet be helpless.

 

Other passengers in the bus recount the experience. Some shake their head in pity, others laugh. You are angry at those laughing. Don’t they realise it could easily have been them or theirs lying on that floor, scared and helpless, surrounded yet alone, wondering if this would be their last?

 

You get to work still in the same listless state, wishing you had done something to help.  The smooth voice of the CNN news anchor filters into your consciousness.

 

“Flash flood in Las Vegas…” Quickly you look up at the TV screen. Sudden flood coming out of nowhere had two cars drowning in them. Fire, Police and Airforce personnel were at the scene to help immediately.

 

You think back at how this contrasts with the situation in your country. How could men lie on the road for minutes and no one in authority was able to come to the rescue? Who could have been called and how close were they to the scene of the incident? How fast would they have gotten there?

 

But of all the thoughts running through your mind, none beats the realisation that despite the ample technology available to make life easier, if you ever were in danger, the able bodied men rather than run around to save you would opt to take a picture with their mobile devices and the car owners would rather worry about their car seat than rush you to get help.