Let the Day Break by Chukwuebuka Ibeh (3rd Position – Flash Fiction Category)

Let the Day Break by Chukwuebuka Ibeh (3rd Position – Flash Fiction Category)

Let the Day Break by Chukwuebuka Ibeh (3rd Position – Flash Fiction Category) 

3rd Position –  Let the Day Break by Chukwuebuka Ibeh

    Today, your wife would kiss you at the doorway, a firm press of her lips against yours, lingering and unsure, and then her tongue sliding into your mouth, not the usual breezy kisses hurriedly planted on your cheek often. She would lead you into the sitting room and tell you she had made something special for you herself. Would you like the Onugbu soup or Oha or Jollof rice? When you say, still unsure what exactly she was up to, that you didn’t want to have anything, she would pause to stare at you briefly, and then she would ask in a small, defeated voice, ‘Would you like to have a bath straightaway then?’
   She would watch you closely while you undressed to use the bathroom. There was something about her stare that unnerved you.  When she asked you if it was okay to join you in the bathroom, you would say, a bit too quickly, avoiding her curious stare, that today had been particularly uneventful and you’d rather be alone in the bathroom. She would touch your arm gently and kiss your cheek. Take it easy baby, she would say as you shut the door tentatively against her.
   These days, you avoided her. Ever since the doctor, a pleasant gentleman who seemed too young and too handsome to be a doctor, had held out an envelope to you and had told you in measured, solemn tones that this was not the end of the world, that you could still live a healthy life and enjoy a lovely marriage, you had begun to spend less and less time with your wife, conjuring imaginary business trips so you could lodge yourself in a hotel in GRA and drink yourself to stupor, bringing up tales of being too tired or sick or not really in the mood when she reached out for your flaccid penis beneath the sheets. And she was sweet, this wife of yours. She would caress your cheek and call you her poor baby. You work too hard sweetheart, she would say before she rolled over to ponder over one more night of disappointment, of implausible excuses that a child would doubt seriously. She was too much of a believer, this woman. Her optimism had always unnerved, even irritated you. But now, with your status hanging over you like a scepter, you were grateful for this optimism that surrounded her, this lack of questioning on her part.
  You would sit on the bed and watch her comb her hair in front of her dresser, swinging this way and that to get rid of the water in her hair. You would look at her legs, the smooth fairness that you ached to run your tongue over. But then, how could you possibly explain to your wife why you needed to use a condom in having sex when she was on pills and you had never needed an additional contraceptive in the past?
Babe, you would say, finally, barely louder than a murmur. But she would hear you and she would turn and walk up to you, smiling in that seductive way of hers that made your heart skip, already slipping the white towel off her body.
Babe, wait. You would say, fighting the urge to break down. So ignorant was she, so blithely unaware.
Is something wrong, sweetheart? She would say, standing directly in front of you now, cupping your chin in her palms.
 No.., you would begin. I mean.. yes. I went to see the doctor yesterday, you would say slowly, staring at the tiled floor below you because you could not bear to hold her gaze, the bewildered confusion in her hazel eyes. ‘There’s something I have to tell you.
I know she would say and for moments, the air in the room would float above you, too far from your reach. You would sit there, numb and unmoving while she slipped a pack of condom out from the drawer and dangle it before you. I got them yesterday, she would say, finally slipping the towel off her body.
   Later, after you came into the condom, you would prop yourself up on one elbow to watch her calm face, and you would ask her how she knew.
I saw the results of the test in your shirt pocket. She would say. Let’s not talk about it now, sweetheart. It’s better to have this discussion in the morning. Let the day break.
     Your relief would creep up slowly, gradually taking up the space of unbelief. You would look at her eyes and see your weakness in them. You would think of those times you came home late to find her asleep on the sofa in the sitting room while waiting for you. You would think of her persistent silence, her clam looks when you rambled about late meetings and traffic.  You would think of how undeserving you were of her goodness. You would think of the future, try to imagine what it would feel like now that she knew your status.
You would reach out to her as though to hug and kiss her at the same time, but you would bring her palms to your face instead and you would weep your gratitude into them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chukwuebuka Ibeh studies History and International relations at the Federal University in Otuoke. He has had pieces published in New African Writing Anthology, Dwartsonline, Jotters United and elsewhere. He is a regular contributor with Bella Naija, Woke Africa and the New England Review of Books.

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.

Lights Out by Chiamaka Nwangwu (1st Position – Poetry Category)

Lights Out by Chiamaka Nwangwu (1st Position – Poetry Category)

Lights Out by Chiamaka Nwangwu (Winner – Poetry Category)

Poetry Category

1st Position –  Lights Out by Chiamaka Nwangwu

I wish that I could capture brilliantly the art that was 21 road yesterday
Of the lone fueling station surrounded at all angles by hundreds of cars waiting for fuel.
The sweat trickling down the brows of the tired fueling station workers
Hands cramped up from hours of injecting fuel into cars and jerry cans
I wish I could capture the ebony coloured face
Of the little child still scurrying along the streets of Festac at night
Jerry can in her hand and determination on her face
Desperate for ten litres to last her madam’s family the night
I wish I could capture the sigh of the tired single mother
Gazing at the empty fuel sign in her car
Thoughts on the absent father who won’t provide
And on the children for whom she can give so little
I wish I could capture the controlled expression of the middle class worker
Foreseeing another night of darkness
Of rumpled clothes and hot pure water to drink
Another day the children have to take a public bus to school
I wish I could capture the worried look of the bus driver
The frustration in his eyes and slight crease of his brow
Unsure of his tomorrow
Of the empty seats that will greet his now empty fuel tank
I wish I could capture the teary eyes of the little boy
Riding shotgun in his father’s car
Thinking no cartoons for the night
No excited squeal when his father draws the rope that pulls the generator
I wish I could capture the determined gait of the market woman
Wrapper half undone, trailing along on the dirt road
Making her way along the zigzag route of long car lines
Hand absently on her bra, stuffed full with crumpled Naira notes.
I wish I could capture the graceful strike of the match
Of the teenage girl lighting a candle from the flat across the street
Younger siblings clustered around her
Resigning to the fate of another day without light
I wish I could capture the tired smile of the grandfather
Entertaining his grandchildren with stories on the veranda
With just the moonlight to shield them
From the darkness of this night

LIGHTS OUT (1st Position - Poetry)

by Chiamaka Nwangwu | Creative Writing Contest

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chiamaka Chukwudire Nwangwu is a contemporary Igbo-Lagosian. She is currently in her fourth year of a romantic relationship with the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan. She is a budding public speaker. She loves to read but particularly enjoys reading contemporary Nigerian fiction, history, and poetry.

Her poem, “Defiance in Death” was published in the 1st edition of the top 100 poems of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize Anthology, “The sun will rise again” in the year 2016. She won 1st place in the Kreative Diadem Poetry Prize for her poem “Lights Out” in December 2017. Her essay, “Savior” was published in the “My Book Affair” section of the literary blog, theafroreader.com

Chiamaka is absolutely certain that she is supposed to write.

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.

Things Your Uncle Left Inside You by Stephen Ogunfoworin (3rd Position – Poetry Category)

Things Your Uncle Left Inside You by Stephen Ogunfoworin (3rd Position – Poetry Category)

Things Your Uncle Left Inside You by Stephen Ogunfoworin (3rd Position – Poetry Category)

3rd Position – Things Your Uncle Left Inside You by Stephen Ogunfoworin

Your uncles touch you while you sleep
And the walls wail as they mangle your innocence
You are eight
Olatunji sneaks in at midnight
He pulls down your underwear
And thrusts two fingers into the flesh between your thighs
You listen as his breaths quicken and thicken
And pretend that the sound is your mother scrubbing the kitchen floor
You are twelve
Olarinde comes in the early hours of the mornings
While the Imam calls out to Muslims to say their prayers
He gently spreads you open
And you hold your breath, quietly awaiting his entry
Olarinde never lasts more than seven thrusts
You know this because you count them.
One. Two. Three. Four. Faster. Five. Six. Seven.
When he climaxes, he cries into your hair and begs God for forgiveness
He closes you up again and scurries off into the darkness
You are fifteen
Adebola visits on Thursday nights
While everyone is watching Super Story in the living room
Bola uses his tongue
Or his tongues perhaps, it never feels like one
Sometimes your body betrays you and a moan escapes your lips
Sometimes he shoves himself into your mouth
When he finishes he whispers into your ear
‘Don’t pretend you don’t like this’
This confuses you
Because you almost believe that you do
And when you finally tell Mother, you tell her everything
You do not spare any detail
But you soon realize that this is a mistake
Mother, who is a deaconess and a spiritual leader
While you talk, she holds her head in her hands
And bellows like an animal in agony
She takes you to church, where the evil spirits are flogged out of you
Your uncles touched you while you slept
It has been seventeen years now
And you still have nightmares about the things they left inside you.

THINGS YOUR UNCLE LEFT INSIDE YOU (3rd Position - Poetry)

by Stephen Ogunfoworin | Creative Writing Contest

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.

Winners of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

Winners of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

Winners of the 2017 Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest

With barely five days to the end of 2017, the maiden edition of the Kreative Diadem Annual Creative Writing Contest gradually comes to a close. We organized the competition with the sole aim of inspiring originality and ingenuity in the creation of literary works. We focused on the emerging clan of young Nigerian writers because of their peculiar spot in the future of literature. Of course, we got more than we bargained for.
At the beginning, we were expecting a sprinkle of entries but we were handsomely rewarded with a massive shower of excellent pieces. Looking at the numbers, we received a total of 98 poems and 73 flash fiction stories. For the judges, it was a tough battle to sift the tares from the wheat. According to the judges, they were on the lookout for originality in the entries and they never settled until they found the spark.
We are here to keep our promise. This is the unveiling of the winners of the contest – the top three in each category.

Flash Fiction Category

Only the winners will be contacted. Congratulations to all the winners!

We want to use this opportunity to sincerely appreciate all those who took time to craft wonderful literary pieces and submitted towards the contest. You are all winners!

Our profound gratitude goes out to our highly esteemed judges for the maiden edition of this contest: Okwudili Nebeolisa and Su’eddie Vershima Agema. We are grateful for the immense gift of your time.

We would also like to appreciate our sponsor for this contest – Engr. Johnson Aina. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to making sure that the rare talent of young Nigerian writers is constantly celebrated.

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.

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