We have had a wonderful year of reading and writing on this blog. The Team has been pleasantly surprised at the raw talent and level of creativity displayed in the submissions we have been privileged to review in 2013. When the idea for Flash Fiction Ghana was conceived, we looked forward to a wide variety of themes in the stories we would publish on the blog. It has been a delightful experience and an extreme honour to have these many and varied stories on the blog.
All year long, we have made it a point to comb the internet and elsewhere for Ghanaian writers in all possible genres. The intention has been to encourage a mass foray into Flash Fiction. We believe that, as writers, we owe it to the Ghanaian literary scene to keep writing our stories. We have tried to maintain an adherence to Ghanaian context in our stories and though this remains difficult, the majority of the submissions we received this year leaves us very hopeful about Ghanaian fiction in the future. The adept expression of universal literary themes in Ghanaian context has been especially comforting. We have seen exceptional imagery and diction in the most unusual Ghanaian contexts. We look back at some of these stories and consider it an honour to have read such beautiful Ghanaian writing. Here are excerpts of some of the amazing words strung together in our published stories:
The old man’s eyes swept the narrow living room. It was quite well-furnished. Its soft, comfy sofa with handsome embroidery rested in a carapace of an Ivorian mahogany frame; legs tipped in golden stands. The ceiling fan was the latest Binatone, and the floor was turfed with a red carpet flaunting beautiful zig-zag patterns. The light-blue bulb illuminated the room, painting their silhouettes against the impeccable wall where their engagement picture hung uncertainly.
-“The Well” by Nii Moi Thompson.
It was exactly six pm in the evening. Every ardent lotto lover knew what such a time on a weekend meant; winning lotto numbers! We were all attentively glued to father’s Agege radio set. He had bought it on his return from somewhere in Nigeria called Agege many years ago. “Agege is like my first son. He cost a fortune!” he would always remind us. It was one of those few possessions of his which he cherished most.
-“Lotto Agege” by Kobina Amoa Ansah
“Do you know what it’s like to be dying?”
The question was asked so innocently, it wrenched my heart to realize that it came from none other than a sixteen year old girl.
“I’ve known that feeling since I turned 65,” I reply, in a gruff voice. I can’t handle being in the room. I’ve worked long enough at the hospital to know not to talk to dying patients. It made their deaths just routine, and never to be taken personally. I try to leave again. My fingers are on the door handle when she speaks again.
“I’m dying,” she states simply. My grip on the door handle slackens a bit.
“We all are,” I say, “from the time we were born.” I mean only to be frank.
“Marie” by Antony Can-Tamakloe
“Maa Adwoa.” He called out. She hadn’t noticed he was already by her side.
“Mawuli.” She smiled- the type of smile that hides faint sadness.
“Me pa wo kyew, ma me-”
“Airtel.” She cut him off, as she did nowadays.
“-airtel five cedis.” She handed him a used card. He would not know the difference.
He tried to explain when he couldn’t find any money, but she waved him away. She let him stand under the cool shade of the umbrella, fumbling with his card and his phone. Then she watched him walk away finally, shaking her head sadly.
“Airtel Five” by Edem Dotse.
Asem rattled throughout the dawn until the first golden ray pierced the dawn and broke it. He wanted to rush home to tell his master the strange tale of the birds and the twig-men, but his limbs were too weak from shock.
When his master finally arrived on the field to lament his loss, Asem tried to recount the horrid episode to him, and how the scarecrows he made had become allies to preying birds. Yet, all Ntow could hear were the exasperating barks of a found dog that got lost in the woods.
“The Wily Twig-men of Asempa” by Nii Moi Thomspon
I heard the car door slam shut before I even saw him coming. I was staring anxiously at my phone screen. My eyes were squinted, partly from the back-light and partly from the last blazing rays of the setting sun in the distance. A trotro horn honked loudly, and inaudible obscenities were hurled behind me as he climbed in. I revved the engine, and jerked forward only to be stopped by the row of stagnant vehicles.
“Steel Arrows” by Edem Dotse.
When her eyelids parted, she wasn’t even sure she had really opened her eyes. Lying still, all she could see was a disturbing pitch black. Slowly, her tiny hands registered feeling. Then her back. Then her buttocks and legs. She felt folds of cloth beneath her, but the surface underneath the cloth was hard and rough. She was lying in a warm, funny-smelling liquid; the cloth had done a poor job of soaking it up and it was all over her legs and thighs. Confused, she sat up sharply and in panic. Her eyes tried to focus and adjust to the darkness but the best they could identify were oddly shaped silhouettes randomly moving about.
Konadu shifted from one foot to the other. She stared, confounded. This was not how she had imagined it.When she was buying her plane ticket, she had imagined him being remorseful, beside himself with grief and unable to bear the pain he had caused; full of excuses, none sufficient. When she boarded the flight, she dreamt of him offering the heavens to make amends, which she naturally refused. She didn’t want anything from him- or did she?
“Open Closure” by Maame Abenaa Agyekum
Funerals are the fuel of family feuds. The intensity of a funeral is an emotional fire hazard. In the Duah family, Adwoa had always been the fiery, outspoken one. No-one was surprised to hear her yelling near the coffin on the day of Daddy Duah’s funeral. The drummers did their best to mask the disorder but stoutly-built Adwoa had a powerful voice that rose above theirs. The dancers also tried, alternating between drowsy and delirious dancing. But Adwoa’s large limbs in mad motion held the attention of the mourners. It was to be expected. The only surprise was in the victim of Adwoa’s anger: her own younger sister Akosua, who was kneeling in fresh tears at their deceased father’s side.
“The Selfish Child” by Yaw Busia
My mother woke me up that day. It was dawn. “Sesi…Sesi,” she called me. I looked at her face. In her eyes was a light I hadn’t seen in a long time. My mother was happy. “Let’s go,” she said, “It’s time.”
Even for a little girl, I understood. The rules were down and unwritten. But we knew them. Take all valuable things, the rest got left behind. No torches. Women should carry as much food as possible. Children should remain silent. But the one rule I thought to be most funny, was the most important: Everyone should escape, walking backwards.
“The Walls of Notsie” by Antony Can-Tamakloe