2014 has been yet another great year here on the Flash Fiction Ghana blog and we have YOU our loyal writers and readers to thank for it. Your submissions and your readership has kept this blog alive this year also.
We have great plans for 2015 and your thoughts, wishes and prayers are very welcome. We look forward to greater Ghanaian story telling in the New Year. As a little Boxing Day present, we have below a compilation of the first lines from all the #FridayFlash stories we published this year. Happy Reading!
It’s 4am. The entire neighborhood is quiet and those bloody cats are mating right outside my bedroom window, I’ve had to turn the music up although I like to listen to Pachelbel’s Canon with the volume low. Those felines sound too human, Lord, it is very disturbing! Not that I’d rather hear humans do it, but animals should sound like animals.
When Matilda and I got married, I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into. Ewuramma had just left me. I’d lost my job too. Akwesi warned me about this; “too soon chale”, he often said when I started talking about Matilda. He’d listen anyway; who doesn’t love sizzling descriptions of a friend’s passionate side? Oh, I went into detail when it came to Akwesi, and he too he won’t stop me, that foolish guy. But after everything, he’ll tell me that he’s been there before, and it doesn’t help at all. Especially when she wants to move things quickly, get married, the kids, settle, that’s how they put it.
It’s not that I was careless – I was desperate at that time. I didn’t want to be alone. I’d been left stranded. I wasn’t myself. And she was sweet, my goodness!
I stand back deciding whether to take his offer or not. Tonight is the last night. What do I have to lose?
“Ajeiiii!!!” Ama squealed as her ear was grabbed and twisted by an unseen hand. Efforts to free herself made her invisible attacker twist harder.
Kuntu felt his halo turn steadily into a set of devil’s horns. His clerical garbs of neatly pressed Kaspar shirts and pairs of gentlemanly trousers – with lines so sharp they could cut with the slightest brush of one’s finger – were slowly changing into devilish robes.
He saw her. She hadn’t noticed him. That was the way he liked it. Kweku sat beside the wall and leaned lazily on his chair, books opened before him, pen tip in mouth, eyes fixed on her. She was buried in something and nearly oblivious to what was going on around.
It was barely 7am, and I had rushed to the Private female ward to see Nurse Elma. Once again my boyfriend had beaten the hell out of me and I wanted Elma to dress my wounds before I went to my ward. I entered and gestured to Elma to come out. Then someone whispered my name in a tired, eerie, raspy voice reminiscent of ghoulies and ghosties in horror movies.
The first thing you noticed about the room was its dreariness. The dark curtains responsible for the gloom also incensed the study with the smell of mothballs. Large, with an ornate dining table at the center, its meagre light came from a lamp placed in a corner. There were volumes on philosophy, anatomy, and medicine in a bookshelf, as well as several books on paleontology and the breeding of dermestid beetles.
Mrs. Quarshie flipped the page and continued reading as if she couldn’t hear the commotion that was going on in the class. It was Friday and the long awaited weekend was here. It was almost three o’clock and everyone had started packing. I could see the excitement in their eyes; they couldn’t wait to go home. I on the other hand wished Mrs. Quarshie would read on and on, I wished I could freeze time so the clock would never strike three.
The two men sat opposite each other at the little round table in the corner of the café. There was a little bustle all around them, but neither man spoke after their earlier terse salutations of ‘Good Afternoon’. Both men avoided each others’ eyes and they had their reasons. One did not want the compunction to be noticed in his pupils. One did not think his umbrage ought to be revealed in his irises. And so they sat in silence, and looked everywhere but at each other.
Maya had been my best friend ever since we were in Primary 6. That made seventeen years now. Apart for a few quickly-resolved arguments, we got along swimmingly, even to the extent of having a double wedding last year — she to her man, Kwaku, and me to mine, Aaron. Maya had always been an amazing, steadfast friend. I couldn’t ask for anyone better.
Nii Afotey bent over the aluminium bucket with his shovel in hand. He diligently scrubbed the shovel with a metal gauze and soap. He was once a mason but that was a long time ago, when he still had youthful hair on his head and teeth that could bite bones. Now his only pastime was doing menial jobs around his compound and scrubbing his precious shovel weekly.
No one understands why a seventeen year old boy like me has a seventy-three year old best friend. But then again no one shares in the memories I have of Mr. Vic or Old Man Vic for short (which is quite ridiculous seeing how it is longer to pronounce than ‘Mr. Vic’ is). If they did, they would have understood. But we are human beings, we don’t have to completely understand something to dislike it, or label it as weird or abnormal. No matter how wrong that is, it’s something I have come to accept.
She stared up into the sky for the millionth time that day. Well, probably not into the sky, but into the bright gold spots of light that seeped through the canopy of dark green mango leaves. The sun’s rays painted dancing patterns against the background of leaves swaying in the breeze. She felt a bit like them, these leaves that moved not of their own accord, but simply swished wherever the wind blew. Occasionally, one would fall gently to the ground, another addition to the grave yard of varying degrees of rotting leaves lying beneath her feet.
The fiery flame was vaporizing my wax; I was growing shorter by the minute. Cached in one corner on a Milo tin on top of an old wall unit between mold-smeared walls and furniture, under rotting window frames, silhouetted against peeling paint flaunting damp patches, my drooling wax was the least of my concerns. It was the rain. It was threatening the leaking aluminium roofing sheets with torrential patters. As Sima lifted her bathed baby from the plastic basin to wipe it, she realised I was almost dead.
Kwame typed a few words on his phone and hit the send button. He smirked at himself, and gently dropped the phone on the table. As he lifted his cold glass of alcohol to his lips, he stole a glance at the couple happily giggling away in one corner of the restaurant. At such a time of the night and at such a place notorious for cheating mates, there was little to suspect about them.
My mistake was not waiting for instructions from the other side. Without clearance, I shot up into the night sky, my thick black hair flapping against my face. Times had changed, and we did not usually fly out at night, on Thursdays or Fridays. It was too dangerous.
Rain is here. I wash my clothes and I wait in fear for the element that desires nothing more than to prove my work futile. There’s nothing like the paradox of a Ghanaian night in May to spark memories. Indoors- ɛhyew wɔ mu: it’s hot. Outdoors-awɔ de me: I’m cold.
Lying in bed, but with his eyes wide open in the dim-lit room, Mawuli stared at the whirring ceiling fan. He shook his head as Mansa’s snores echoed through the bedroom. He turned to look at her curled up in the thick grey covering, and his thoughts immediately transitioned into memories.
He had ordered for me to recite from memory the incantations he had just taught me. I was in the middle of it (stuttering and gulping often) when my boss, Chief Priest of Komkosu, Nana Bonsua fell on the floor of his shrine in what I concluded to be an epileptic seizure.
Aku jolted out of her bed, panting heavily. Her heart was racing, she slowly came to terms with her surroundings and sighed deeply, Not again. Oh God, not again. Maybe I should go and see Pastor Owusu like Frank suggested, she thought to herself, All my reading has gotten me nowhere.
I have always liked the clever ones.
Evenings with Nkansah would always culminate like this. With horseplay fuelled by alcohol and other substances, sitting in his car parked outside my house. He would talk excitedly about how beautiful the country was becoming, that he felt like more and more like a stranger every time he returned. I would laugh and remind him that the rubbish heaps behind McCarthy Hill were still high as ever. He would smirk and pinch me chidingly.
The dress is red. Tight. Actually, it’s more than tight, its seams cling to my body. Its red and my brown could easily be the same fabric, but my brown is skin and the red is my dress.
PaaJoe died on a late Sunday afternoon. When the call came through, I was seven houses away in my girlfriend’s uncle’s house, humping her on a teal colored mat that was unapologetic to my already scarred knees. The phone rang at 3:24pm. It was Junior. Junior never called unless PaaJoe was roasting his ass for something he’d done or screaming from the base of his testicles.
Mrs. Dadzie was first on the scene. Her first reaction was to gasp and then cover her mouth immediately. She turned around and darted into the bedroom to call her husband.
Alone in his grandfather’s cluttered garage, Akpiti flung his arms heavenwards in despair. “I need to train for the big race tomorrow”, he muttered under his breath. But the lawn needed levelling, and the tiles on the roof, some fixing.
I still remember the feeling I got when we talked. When I thought of you. When I was with you. When you texted me, I wonder if you smelt it too. The scent of desperation and hope. My desperation and hope. Clamouring at my insides, the gut feeling that something was wrong. Slowly pervading and eating my insides until it’d wormed its way up into my mind, and before I knew it I was affected with the parasite of depression. I knew you were wrong for me. I knew you were happy with someone else as I sat there alone, hoping, praying, that I was the only one you were texting.
Dark clouds grumbling overhead meant today was going to be a bad day. He had been out a few hours but he had nothing to show for it. His basket was still heavy and discomforting his infant skull. The downpour throughout the night made many oversleep. The streets were not as packed as always. Traffic eased by, which for a street hawker was terrible, but joy for the drivers.
You get home and ask of your sick ma.
She is with the traditional priest.
You sigh. These people have not changed. It has been fifteen years since you left the village. Your kid sister stares at you. She misses you. You tell her to prepare something for you to eat. She smiles. She is a woman now. She will be thirty years old next month and is still waiting for a husband. The village folks say she is either cursed or you sacrificed her marriage to get wealthy. It baffles you that human beings with brains can think like that.
We started Primary Five in high spirits. School was especially fun because most of us had gotten new school uniforms and new shoes and new everything. And most people had the chance to make new friends while the rest settled for their old friends from Primary Four. I got a bubbly girl, Alice, for a best friend. That Alice was smart was a lovely bonus, I knew she would help me with my sums (I hated Math). We were thirty students in Primary Five ‘A’, and our teacher was a pretty lady called Mrs Ellis. At first we all thought she had a big tummy, until Alice told me Mrs Ellis was pregnant, and she knew that because Mrs Ellis was a patient at her mother’s maternity clinic.
Each of us wore a frown on our faces. Each of us had legitimate reasons to be angry. But her frown was different. It had more wrinkles and it formed a more visible web on her brow. But, yes, each of us had legitimate reasons to be angry.
Dela tried as much as possible not to make any noise at all. He found himself in an awkward position, but there was nothing he could do about it. You know how sound travelled far in the forest at night. It was very dark.
It was all my fault. It has always been my fault. It was my fault since the first chuckle at your cheesy one-liners and it has remained my fault since then. And now, especially now, it is my fault.
Abeiku did a quick mental calculation. It was 12:30pm and it was fairly safe to assume there would be close to no police at their posts. A lot of people had used the highway already and they should have amassed enough bribes for lunch. Seeing a long stretch of road ahead, he stepped down on the gas pedal and allowed his Range Rover to show off her true potential.
I kill. Ruthlessly.
I intend to knock, but my knuckles, of their own accord, give off a loud banging sound. He opens the door and recoils as if he has seen a ghost. He mumbles inaudibly. I present my face like a weapon.
There is a scent that follows me anytime I have a cold. But I can’t explain why it is here now. I don’t have a cold. Maybe it is because I’m nervous. Yes, that has to be it. My colds make me nervous around people. This is because of how embarrassing my sneeze has always been. It’s a high pitched sneeze always followed by a loud, involuntary snort that has plagued me since childhood. I used to get laughed at when I was a child, yes. Even up till now, I still get smirks from people. It has to be the fact that I’m nervous.