Tuesday, September 23, 2008

For Her.

10 years ago she asked me to write a story.
It wasn't for her. She wanted to enter it for the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Excited with the idea i grabbed my pen(The good old days before the keyboard.) and proceeded to write as she requested.I ended up writing three short stories which she submitted.
I waited 6 long months for the result.
And i didn't win.
I felt miserable that day. I sat dejected in front of my meal angry with myself for letting her down. Angry with myself for putting my hopes up.
She walked into the room and, noticing my depression,came over and gave me a hug with a soft chickle.
"You're so silly." She said. "They were all good stories. You're a winner in my books."
It took me a while to grasp what she meant.

Today i seek to honor her.
Thinking of what to write,I came to the realisation that i had no idea how to go about expressing my love for her. Words seemed mere beside all she had done for me. Nothing I thought of seemed fitting enough.I wanted something she would love and approve off. Something that told her how much i valued her contribution to my life.
It shouldnt have been dificult.

It took a lot of digging within my box but i finally found them.I pulled out one of the three stories I had written for her. I laughed as I read it. Looking at it now i see how i never could have won.
And yet I did win in a lot of ways.I won a valuable lesson in life.
Never to let my failures get to me.
And she taught me that lesson.

I am posting his for her without correcting my old mistakes.I am proud in my flaws because they can only mean i can get better.I am humbled by the fact that despite my flaws I always been perfect to her.
I am here because of her.
I am me because of her.
Happy Birthday Mum.
This one's dedicated to you.


I ran through the woods.
Cutting out paths were none existed. Branches whipped back slapping against my skin. I had cuts in so many places, I had lost track of where. I could feel the cold trickle of blood but not the pain. There was no time for pain.
All I could feel was fear.
Galvanizing fear.
They were trying to kill me.

Thus far they had been unsuccessful. Perhaps as a result of lack of skill. Perhaps as a result of my luck. Whichever it was, one was bound to soon outweigh the other. The end would come soon and it would star either a blood-spattered me or a dead and still blood-spattered me.
I loved the injured living me idea better and so I ran faster, ignoring my wounds. They would eventually heal once I escaped.
Not if.
I would escape.
They had thrown caution to the wind. Bullets were being fired at me and places where “me” might have been.
I stumbled and fell just in time to avoid a bullet that clunked into a tree above me.
How many where there?
Three, four, five.
I didn’t know.
I was certain of three I had seen. Fleeting glances, but they had stuck. One had a red shirt on and the other two were dressed in army fatigues. I was also certain that there was another ahead of me. Possibly two.
Three, four, five men trying to kill me.
I leaped successfully over a boulder that appeared from nowhere. Behind me, I could hear the panting and curses of the men. They were tiring. I was losing them. There was a secret cave half a mile ahead. If I could just reach it. Perhaps this would be over.
But first, I would have to reach it. Another bullet whizzed by me. A quick streak of light on my periphery. They were hungry,
Must run faster.
I didn’t want to die.
My life was measured by seconds. It had been four minutes since the first shot was fired. A life time ago.
As I took a measured leap over a log that lay in my path, I felt a blurring pain in my leg and realized that I had been hit. I screamed.
In shock? In fear? In pain?
All three?
I stumbled, attempted to keep up with my pace and then I fell.
I refused to yield. I tried to crawl.Ignoring the growing pain. There was no time to stop and cry. I had a plan. All I needed to do was complete it.
Up ahead of me there was a cave. If I could get to it …..
Perhaps I could hide.
Perhaps I could live.
I swore to myself.
I would live.
I would not die.
The harsh rusting of leaves warned of their impending presence. Seconds later three men burst through the woods. Red shirt was one of them. None of the other two wore fatigues.
There were five.
I watched them approach with loathing. Strangely, I had no fear. All I felt was blinding hatred and anger.
“We got him” Red shirt said. He was panting. Out of breadth.
I made him run. I thought to myself. A spasm from my gunshot wound almost blinded me with pain. I gritted my teeth. I would not scream in front of these men.
These monsters.
No. I swore to myself again. I would not die.
I would live.
“Not yet!” Another said reaching for his gun.
I stared at him with hate.
I would live.
He fired.
I died.
Leaving the woods, one deer shy.


Jarrai said...


Jarrai said...

Ok let me go and read

Shubby Doo said...


Jarrai said...

Another masterpiece..to think you wrote this when u were a young one...very very nice...loved the suspense :)

Jayjazzy said...

Yeah! top 5, let me go and read.

bumight said...

today is your mum's birthday. why! she's birthday mates with Pops Naaps!
Happy Birthday to her!

...and i see why your story didn't win! :)....j/k

Jayjazzy said...

NIce, really nice.

Anonymous said...

ah. interesting take, bambi.
i suppose i see the childlike nature of your words, but only in comparison to all the stuff you have on ur blog.
not bad for a ten year old. happy birthday carlmam

Jarrai said...

Happy birthday to mumsy...

Had to log on again cuz my computer went nuts!!!

ablackjamesbond said...

Happy birthday Mama Carlang!

Thank God for mothers...they r such a blessing.

Afrobabe said...

lmao...one deer shy indeed...

Happy birthday carlang's mummy, thank for "making" him..

hey, you should have won...how old were you thn anyway??

Jaycee said...

Leaving the woods, one deer shy...

I don't know how else to commend this excellent and flawless writing Carlang. If u wrote a book, I'd buy it. Same thing I told Naapali. Lol. Loved it!

Jaycee said...

Lolll @ Afrobabe..."thanks for 'making' Carlang"

Happy birthday to ur mum...:)

Shubby Doo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shubby Doo said...

Essentially u are now what u were then...but i can see how you have grown...pls thank mama carlang 4 nurturing this skill...4 teaching u tenacity... & 4 making u as afro says. Warm wishes bday 2 your mum

Naapali said...

Happy Birthday Ma Carlang, thank god you are not Ma Baker.

- we know it must have been hard for you raising Carlang, we who have known him for such a short while cannot imagine what it must have been like being subjected to his wit for so long.

Naapali said...

So does that mean that your mom and my dad could be ....?

Mz. Dee said...

Awww happpy bday to ur mama!!!!

rayo said...

carlang damn, u've always been good, the twist at the end. lol. eeyah, happy birthday to ur mama, jeez i can't imagine how much trouble u musta been growing up, wit ur wild imagination and all, yet she stuck wit u.hehehehehehehe

bArOquE said...

one foolish deer, certain creatures were not made to think like that, that was why you died

...so what did u get for mumsy?

y'Jasmine said...

Carlio..if only they knew ur journeys in life..youare an epistle bros.So..r u sure twasnt beef thatsuch a young lad could splat those kinda words on paper that made em not choose you cos 4 me... i no know the mistake u do here o! Howdy cuz...

eFJay said...

Happy Birthday to your ma!
I see why you won in her books. I suppose great writers don't become great in one day, they are born that way and they get better as they get older.
Loved the post, loved the story even more.

You have a wonderful gift!

Ef babe

Naapali said...

I forgot to mention the story was quite riveting, love the pace, the denouement was classic Carlang in the truest sense.

Now I have seen how you started I am even more excited to see where you are headed

naijalines said...

Happy birthday to Mama Carlang.

Carlang said...

@ Jarrai: I'm glad you liked the story and it's suspense.
Congrats on coming first.
When do i get the massage then?

Yeah. You see it too?
Thanks dear. I'll pass on your compliments to my mum.


I really appreciate the wishes. I'm sure my mum will love em more.

Thanks bro.

@ Afrobabe:
Nice try.
You want me announcing my age over blogspace?
Ha HA!!
Wetin concern you concern my age.

Stop looking for reasons to disqualify me. This me and you thing must happen!

@ Jaycee:
You think it;s flawless?
Aw shucks.
I wish i could write a book. I just dont seem to have any ideas on what to write on.
Do You?

@ Shubbydoo:
Ma Carlang?
Thank God my mum was never called that. lol.
It's such a terrible , delightfully native way of calling parents.
Wait until you have kids and go from being Shubbydoo to Mummy Ezekiel..

Then you'll see!

NO it doesnt mean that your Dad and my mum were....
Although, having said that, i'm still not ruling out the possibility that they were...

Thanks dear.

@Rayo: WHen i called her on the birthday the first thing she asked me was..
" So, IS the Jeep coming now or later on in the day?"

YOU think She has been the one doing the putting up?
I've still got a slot on Ebay for when i tried to sell her!

Nothing she wanted.
Which mainly was.
A Jeep.
A wife.
Grand triplets.

Silly cuz.
I still remember those long holidays.
And the essays that woman used to make us write before she got back from work.
How are you dear?

@ Efjay:
Thank you so much dear.
I'm working hard at being a writer.
Maybe someday.

A mental breakdown if i dont go to bed soon.
Thanks bro.
I've got my eyes set on your future too.

You said we needed to talk?

Vera Ezimora said...


Couldn't stop laughing. From mispelled words to completely missing words to replaced words... lol. If you had won, you sef, you for fear.

The comment you left on my blog had me laughing my head off, and all I could think of was ... who in the world gave birth to this pikin? Well, now I know. Happy birthday to Mama Carlang. I can only imagine what she has had to go thru. *wink, wink*

Needless to say, you're one heck of a foolish deer. You won't cry in front of these men ke? Na who born you? Abeg die jo make pesin chop bush meat. lol.

Vera Ezimora said...

Now, I'm off to blog roll you. I must not lose this mad man.

bArOquE said...

oh this foolish deer, a WIFE??? wetin ya mama wan carry wife do?...but i dey for that grand triplets something sha...meanwhile what is this you & Afrobabe thing business? if tha one na play, make una just stop am oh...i never die, una wan share my property...which kind life be this?

The experiences of an achiever....... said...

the thought..for ur mum..beautiful
and the end..surprising.
ur chockful of surprises aren't u Mr CM?

theicequeen said...

aaw it's a nice story! even if it didn't win any awards, it played an even more important role in the evolution of the brrrrriliant writer that you are now...:P

Sherri said...

Happy belated bday to ur mom.

are u working on her list in the order presented or the reverse. lol

rethots said...

Mother is jewel...........ti a ko le fowora.

rethots said...

Mother is a jewel............ti a ko le fi owo ra