TO PULL A LION’S TAIL by Boloere Seibidor

TO PULL A LION’S TAIL by Boloere Seibidor

TO PULL A LION’S TAIL

by Boloere Seibidor

Shortlist (Top Six) of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Flash Fiction Category)

Two days ago, there was another cold-blooded murder down Wellington Drive, riling up trepidation in the city.
What bothered him wasn’t the killings per sé, but the killer; a seemingly smart assassin. The victims—particularly ladies—were stripped naked before strangulation with their wrists slit open, and bore a neatly clipped paper, with a number inscribed on it, patched to their forehead with blood. These numbers, he’d surmised, bore a significance. What that could be, scared him too.
All these he’d narrated to his wife, Yemi, last night, made her neglect dinner. He understood her fears; they had a teenage daughter too.
His assistant, detective Rena, who’d been recently transferred down from the Uyo’s SCID, also lost her crave for nicotine, she stabbed her half-burnt cigarette in an ash bowl. Perhaps he should remind her this was the garden city, and to expect more, viler, mishaps.
His phone rang, jolting him from his disconcerted thoughts. A frantic Yemi was on the receiving end. He excused himself, and returned minutes later.
His expression, full of angst, gave him away.
“What is it?” Detective Rena frowned.
“It’s my daughter. . . she hasn’t returned.”
“From?”
“School.”
She chuckled and checked her watch.
“It’s 8:45, Bakpo. Something’s wrong.”
His skin grew ashen against the keen spikelets of the harmattan breeze. He quivered.
“I know. . .”

The drive home was incautious. He’d asked detective Rena to come along. . . just in case. He found his daughter by the veranda when he arrived. On seeing him, she sprung to her feet and rushed forward. She was safe!   His relief was insurmountable.
As she drew close, he noticed she’d been crying. On her forehead was a red blot, and her blouse was stained with blood. His pupils dilated as his body’s mechanism built a reaction.
“What happened, Rose?”
She cried in heavy torrents, shaking her braids.
“I’m. . . fine, daddy.”
“Tell me! . . .there’s blood.”
Detective Rena tried to calm him; an abortive attempt.
“Rose!”
She sniffed back sobs then finally conformed. She led him to the parlour where he found Yemi lifeless on the floor in a small blood pool. He grew ashen. Numb. Perhaps he died that instant. Detective Rena moved closer and retrieved the paper on her head.
“Number 8,” she said softly. She didn’t know when she offered him a cigarette; she didn’t know what else to do.
* * * * *
Four days later, with the intervention of officer Yakubu Jed, a police general, the killer was found. His last killing seemed hasty, and his DNA imprints were caught.
“If it’s any consolation,” the general said to him during a lunch he merely poked at, “he’ll rot in prison.”
He nodded and acknowledged condolences from nearby colleagues.
He looked up when he saw Detective Rena running in, covered in sweat.
“There’s been another murder.” She breathed.
The general froze, looking from one stricken face to the other.
She lifted a small paper, “number one.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Boloere Seibidor is an undergraduate at the University of Port Harcourt. Boloere was born, brought up, and writes from the city of Port Harcourt, where she still resides. She is inspired by virtually all things; from music, to paintings, to people.  
Her poem has been featured on SprinNG, and her other poems are upcoming on other online magazines. Her story was shortlisted for the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Writing Competition, where she won honourable mention.
When somber, she listens to Ed Sheeran and James Bay. And at the grimmest hours of the night, Boloere enjoys reading/writing suspenseful stories.
Meet her on Instagram @b.s_vinnie
WHAT IS YOUR BODY by Onyekwelu Chiwenite

WHAT IS YOUR BODY by Onyekwelu Chiwenite

WHAT IS YOUR BODY

by Onyekwelu Chiwenite Kingsley

 

Shortlist (Top Six) of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Poetry Category)

And he throws my body open, the way you
move into a river
when someone is drowning. And my body
is a dark room filled
with rotten birds that spit blood through their
wings.

He says I want to love you.
He says why won’t you let me love you?

But there is something rising into my tongue,
it tastes like fire,
it tastes like knife blades slitting my skin into
halves. And in my
body it’s drizzling I can’t find my voice.

He says you have to understand.
He says you have to let me in.

And my body bursts apart the way a river
flows out of your
mouth, the way a song drowns inside your
throat. It’s bleeding
and soft and filled with pain.

He says what is wrong with you?
He says lie down let me love you.

When your body is a pathway, you build walls
inside it to obstruct
the steps of sleepwalking men. But what is
your body when it is a country?

What is your body when he spreads you out
like a map to
claim a whole nation for himself?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Onyekwelu Chiwenite Kingsley is a Nigerian essayist, poet and storyteller. He studies pharmacy at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He holds a certificate in essay writing from Lifesaver Essays, Oakland, California. He was the 2nd prize winner of the Newman Writing Contest, 2017. In 2019, he made the top-100 poem list for Nigerian Students’ Poetry Prize, and was shortlisted for the Kreative Diadem Annual Writing Contest. Chiwenite was recently shortlisted for Christopher Okigbo Poetry Prize 2020.

REMEMBER US by Chibueze Obunadike

REMEMBER US by Chibueze Obunadike

REMEMBER US

by Chibueze Obunadike

Shortlist (Top Six) of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Poetry Category)

“Someone, I tell you, in another time will remember us” — Sappho

 

a drunk man walks into a room and hits his lover till she begins to look

like all the love that has left him.

somewhere in the rotten underbelly of this city, a man is forcing himself

into the body of an under aged girl and claiming that

she looks like his wife’s ghost.

 

my father takes his wrist and cuts it open with his teeth

until all the memories escape and the floor is again red with him.

we begin again, and it’s the same old story. 

the villain. the world falling apart. the hero only trying to do 

good and ending up as the very thing he wanted to destroy. 

the villain and the hero and how they are 

us. all of us.

 

i am tired of writing the scenes where we save the day.

where we make it back alive again. 

where we come back and act like the blood on our hands

isn’t even our own.

humanity is blood and only blood. i told you this the first day we met.

i also told you i loved you.

 

and how that too, is bloodshed. only of the heart.

i took you to my mother’s garden in the backyard and showed you the roses.

how they bleed red and bloom through it. i still remember how the light flickered 

in your eyes as you said how much you loved them.

how in that moment i wanted to be nothing but a rose, not minding the blood,

my heart in your hands.

 

this is how the story goes:

we meet years later, in a bookstore, or a coffee shop, or on a street out in the 

middle of nowhere, i don’t know, 

and i tell you i love you. i tell you i never stopped.

your eyes are still and bloodless. you nod yes but you don’t say a thing.

somewhere, a boy is holding his father’s gun to his head and trying to outrun 

his ghosts. he comes close, but doesn’t die. doesn’t die at all.

 have you learnt nothing yet? the story is coming to a close

we were just kids. we didn’t mean to fall in love.

we certainly didn’t mean for all this blood.

 

i take your hands in mine and tell you i love you. you nod yes but you don’t say a thing.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chibueze Obunadike is a young Nigerian writer and poet who is still learning all the ways life has to break him. His work focuses on the search for self and the fragile nature of human identity amongst other things. He has often been described as a love poet even though he does not know what that means. His poems are published in the Best New African Poets 2018 Anthology and won the 2018 UBA Africa Day Poetry Contest. He was also the joint first recipient of The Singing Bullet scholarship award 2019. He resides in Enugu, Nigeria, and you can find him wandering the lamplit streets at night, laughing.

Winners of 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest

Winners of 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest

Winners of 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest. Now in its third year, the prize seeks to recognize the best writings by Nigerian writers aged 21 years and below.

This year we received 92 poems and 57 flash fiction pieces from which our guest judge, Kechi Nomu, selected three winners for the poetry category and the flash fiction was judged internally.

Here are are the winners with comments from the judges:

Poetry Category

Winner: “Ode to Our Body on Fire” by Anthony Okpunor

Okpunor’s voice is a revelation. He does what all poets struggle to do: make timeless language of the present, sentient moment. Picking any one of the three winners was hard because they all deserve to be on this list. But, Okpunor manages with almost every line of this poem to take risks with language without losing the reader. I look forward to reading more poems by this poet.

1st Runner-up: “Grief Will Remake” by Ernest Ogunyemi

Ogunyemi’s poem is unexpected and tender and not afraid to get lost in itself.  Without devaluing his subject matter, he offers readers many lighthearted moments. The language of this poem is beautiful and surprising always.

2nd Runner-up: “Falling Waters” by Lade Falobi  

The transitions of Lade Falobi’s poem were assured. The poem is trancelike, full of grace and the innocence we lose when we take on the hardness survival demands. I did not want it to end. 

Honourable mentions:

“What is Your Body” by Onyekwelu Chiwenite
“How Last Tuesday Became Black Tuesday”  by Praise Osawaru.
“Remember Us”  by Chibueze Obunadike.

Flash Fiction Category

Winner: “Ayomide” by Nneoma Mbalewe

Nneoma Mbalewe’s piece is a captivating portrayal of a small, intimate apocalypse; pulsating with a  delicate urgency.

1st Runner-up: “Born Again” by Tunji Akande

Akande’s story is deeply-imaginative, it has an engaging voice and impeccable diction.

Second Runner-up: “The Fallen Angel” by Ebeigbe Brian

Ebeigbe Brian tricked us into speculative fiction delivered in such liquid prose and vivid imagery it hardly requires suspension of disbelief. 

Honourable mentions:

“How Bodies Become Fluid” by Obasiota Ben Ibe.

“To Pull a Lion’s Tail” by Boloere Seibidor. 

“Shey Sugar Wey Enter Tea Dey Come Out” by Ife Olatona.

Congratulations to the winners!

We are grateful to our guest judge (Kechi Nomu) and everyone who sent in their work.

Interviews with the contest winners will be published at a later date.

The maiden edition which held in 2017 was judged by Sueddie Vershima Agema (Flash Fiction) and Okwudili Nebeolisa (Poetry).

 

Isolation

Our third issue ever, "Isolation" is out. We had thought-provoking conversations with Alexis Teyie and Tobi Nifesi. It's a collection of works from some of the finest minds out there -- poetry, short stories, interviews, and creative essays.

Do you love our published works?

You can add your literary work to an endless list of poems, short stories, flash fiction, and essays.

THE FALLEN ANGEL by Ebeigbe Brian

THE FALLEN ANGEL by Ebeigbe Brian

THE FALLEN ANGEL

by Ebeigbe Brian

The Fallen Angel – Second Runner-up of the 2019 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest (Flash Fiction Category)

The door let loose an agonizing creak as it slowly leaned open. Crumbled paint and what he could only assume to be mice droppings lay scattered the floor. It was funny to think that despite all that had happened, he could still return to this cave. A sanctuary that had sheltered him from the barrages of the unforgiving and unapologetic reality that was his life.  He switched on the mains only to notice the cobwebs. It was better to ignore the terrible state of the place. A sudden fluttering of wings as resident bats swarmed out due to the surprising presence of a new entity forced him to crouch in astonishment. Some things can’t be ignored.

A pen, some books, a broken pencil and a few notes scribbled on old pieces of paper littered the table. He sighed, dropping his satchel. Pulling out a dusty record case, he walked towards the vintage record player. Two things struck him as his eyes darted across the old machine, his record although taken with him everywhere he went was still as good as new and his bird bath seemed to house a new creature. As to what it was…that would be left for later. He dusted the record player and blew at the dusty record. It read “Viva La Vida and all the melancholy of the institution.” There was only the initial scratch, the coarse sounds eventually blended out into a harmony echoed throughout the orifice in the mountain.  Stripping down to just his tattered jeans, he sighed in relief as his broken wings clumsily fanned out creating all sorts of shadows that seemed to stun the little mice scurrying about. He lowered himself onto his seat next to the table. The old chair creaked and buckled but didn’t collapse under his familiar weight. Reaching into his satchel revealed three items. A cigar, a matchbox and a photograph.

No time was wasted in lighting the cigar.  A cloud of smoke enveloped his face although his glowing brown eyes were still visible in the mist. Looking at the picture the stitches in his chest began to bleed once again as he beheld once more what he wanted but couldn’t physically have. Turning the picture over he read again the note written on it.

“[4/27, 10:21 AM]: Let them hurt. Let them molt and wither. Then, when the time comes, let them grow. The muscles surge and the feathers strong. They will lift you again and the sky will be your friend

Signed

The Eleventh Gentleman”

Would the council find him before it was too late?
Would jealously consume him?
How many more demons would he have to face and seal in his scars?
Would she be worth it?
Thoughts like these and more struck his mind like a rain of flaming arrows. However, before the cigar would finally find that one neural path straight to his brain, he could feel his skin being branded with one more curse. Unlike all the others on his back

Pain

Loss

Grief 

This one was different.
…It was a name.
Overwhelmed, he dropped his head into the choking fog that was never just the smoke; it was pain. Pain searing and hot as his eyes shifted from glowing brown to smoldering red.
********

Elsewhere in a place just as derelict, a form could be seen kneeling in snow. A man dressed in a dark coat knelt amidst corpses. Corpses that could only have been victims of his wrath. Upon closer inspection anyone would tell you these three things; accompanying a truly terrifying groan, his eyes had slowly transitioned from murky brown to a vicious red. His coat seemed to burn, but from the inside and upon his kneeling he had spoken in a garbled tongue.

They would tell you upon his strange exclamation his then red eyes had cooled to an eerie green. They would mention that he had raised two fingers to hi temple and then spoken clear unmistakable English.

“He is slowly losing his grasp on the words of Power Merion. If we do not find him soon, he will be lost to us. I refuse to lose my brother to fate. I have only just regained my wings, so I leave his rescue in your hands”

They would tell you that he walked towards one of the corpses and slowly retrieved a sickle-like blade. Those strong enough to watch would recount how he cut an unforgiving gash on his neck, how he spoke without moving his mouth. Yes, if they were strong enough, they might even remember the words.

“To The Craftsman of Original Sin. Lord of Deceit. To the true Marquee of Snakes. To Lucifer’s Bane. Come forth”

Now for the rest of the story it would be best to visit the underworld, for if there were men foolish enough to listen to this chant. To watch the hand signs. They were undoubtedly dead. However, if you did manage to raise a witness, they would mention one thing before crumbling away into the nothingness. They would speak of the emergence of a dark figure that seemed to tug at their exiting soul. Whose aura foretold the song of death and the chant of anarchy. They would tell you of its sickening grin and hoarse whisper of a voice. Most importantly, as their soul was dragged to hell for whatever sin, they would scream on and on about how our unidentifiable winged killer had looked this being of darkness straight on and spoken only two words

“Hello Mother”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

From The Eleventh Gentleman:
My name is Brian as you now know and I’m a medical student at the University of Benin.
I’ve long-held dreams of either changing the world or setting it ablaze with my work. Childish and overly ambitious I’m sure. Writing and indeed the arts in general for me have served as an outlet for my erratic emotions. It’s been an honor participating in this year’s competition and I hope to try again next year.
I’ll push the line a bit to thank my Council Members: The Angel after whom this piece was fashioned, The Prince who is an idiotic yet heavenly Gift, to Percival and the Last Councilman… thank you for your wisdom. To naMe who even in absence pushes my pen. My last words will go to Sosa… I’ll continue to thank God for having met you.

Pin It on Pinterest