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|Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Nnenna1(f): 7:54am On Nov 25, 2008|
[center]The Living Game[/center]
[b]Ogbunabali snaked through the narrow, winding path in the bush and stopped on his toes when he reached clear ground. All around were leaves, grasses, irokos - silhouettes in blueish twilight. He waited.
The first one to appear was female. She was short, and even in the dimness he could tell that she wasn't that pretty. Uneven features, middle-aged, short, frizzy hair, meaty build. She lopped her head and staggered to a fall, bare breasts and stomach folds touching the earth first. She placed her hand on her forehead and moaned.
He cleared his throat.
The woman was still.
"She's coming awake," he thought with amusement.
Her eyes caught his and she opened her mouth - wide. Then, with a sudden jolt of shock, her arms rushed to cover her breasts and womanhood. "Oh my God," She said - and she was loud - "What is this? What is this? Who ah you?"
The second one, another female, appeared. She was noticeably thinner, a little taller. Short hair again. He sucked his teeth. She was less of an eyesore, with curves that flared at her hips and tapered at her waist. Ogbunabali judged her to be in her mid-twenties - her gait was worldly. Jilted lover? He couldn't tell whether she had a pretty face. The fat woman looked up at her. The younger lady shook her head and rested her face in her palms. And breathed. Awareness took hold as she raised her head and scanned her surroundings, stopping when her eyes met his. She gasped. She was pretty, he noted somewhat happily.
"Greetings," he said, smiling. He was almost embarrassed at his gruff voice. Almost.
"Where am I?" She stammered. Her arms rushed to guard her womanly parts when she realized her indecency.
"What am I seeing 'ere?" The heavier woman struggled to stand up, arms shielding her privates. Ogbunabali's smile retreated. She shivered - it was hard to tell if it was from the cold or from fear. The younger female turned to the direction of the fallen lady and watched as Meaty awkwardly shuffled her way up.
Ogbunabali heard pattering footsteps from close ahead. The women heard it too, turning toward the direction of the thick bush behind them. Leaves were ruffled as the incomer rushed into the open space.
It was a male this time. Underwhelming in appearance, heavy at the waist. His hands over his manhood. His eyes widened in confusion.
"Jesus--God--this must be a dream!" He noticed the ladies and jumped in morbid shock. "Is this a joke or something?"
Ogbunabali snickered. The slight man turned towards him and jumped again. "What in God's name are you?" he blustered.
"Two more," Ogbunabali yawned in reply. He stretched his long, narrow, golden arms and widened his mouth. He knew the trio stared in wonderment at his queer, freakishly thin appearance.
And two more came. Both male. Same awkward attempt at covering themselves, same dismay, same freak outs. The first wasn't anything of note - he had an average, forgettable appearance. A nonentity. But the taller of the two was formidable in appearance, darker, Ogbunabali thought with a degree of loath. The god hoped he would be a loser. He derived a evil sense of pleasure from seeing the big man cower in terror under the eve night. Frightened elephant, he chuckled to himself.
He waited for a little bit and watched the mini-chaos. Panicked questions rippled through the bushes. Some sobs, awkward gesticulations and face-covering performances were the rage. He afforded a glance at lady lovely. She had apparently been staring at him for some time, eyebrows creased in puzzlement.
"Okay people!" He bellowed. The panic died almost immediately.
"If you're smart, you should have guessed that you're in the land of the dead," he said simply. "But I know that none of you are smart. So therefore, I'm telling you that you're in the land of the dead."
"You're here because your deaths are death-taboo related - you know, suicide, murder-for-murder, manslaughter for murder, vice-versa, et cetera. No need to tell you what you already know." He knocked his head. "Crack your skulls to remember, and fill in the blanks."
He waited for their acquiescence. They looked at him with muddled expressions.
He sighed. "I meant what I said," he said with contempt. "Knock your heads."
"Eh?" The nonentity spoke up.
When the god didn't reply, they reluctantly obeyed. Tapped their heads. For a moment there were still blank expressions. Soon realization dawned on their faces. Confusion turned into sadness, and sadness gave way to dread.
"So this is hell?" The tiny man with the large waist asked. "Are you Satan?"
"You see why you're foolish?" The god responded. "I'm not Satan. This is not hell."
"What?" The word slipped from the man's mouth.
"You're here because you've been selected to receive a chance at a grand prize." Ogbunabali smiled. "One of you is going to live again."
They glanced at one another. As if that would have provided some clarification.
"Once every century or so, by random selection, folks who traverse the deadlands to the sky or to the abyss come here. They are usually grouped in categories - accidents, good old natural deaths, diseases, sabotage, wars, mishaps, et cetera. I give them a chance to solve a special riddle. There are, of course, many obstacles but what large-scale puzzle hasn't got some? All you need do is shine your eyes, be one step ahead, and be observant. And you're guaranteed a chance to be reincarnated into the life that is assigned to you."
"What happens to the losers?" The beautiful miss asked. There was a hint of sadness in her voice.
"They die violent deaths. I mentioned obstacles? And then they go on to their final resting places. For most of you, it will be hell."
"Oh," she replied meekly.
"Think of what a good life could bring," he burst into enthusiasm. "A fresh start, cleansed souls, another chance at heaven. Another chance to do things you would have done. Live a life you should have lived. You subconscious reflexes will always turn to this moment, and you will be guided by an invincible shove to right direction. That push, my dear friends, would be derived from this once in a blue moon opportunity."
His speech was met with continued silence. Soon the large man spoke.
"This is too much to take in. Forgive me." His voice was hideously feminine.
"Understandably so. I wish I could render a more involved performance. But there it is."
"What challenge ah whee goyin to face?" The fat woman asked.
"That's for me to decide soon," He said curtly. "I'd use the free time for reflection if I were you. You will need a lot of it."
"Um, " his favorite spoke ever so softly. "Are we going to do this, like this?"
"I mean, no clothes?"
"Oh! Clothes, " He ran his eyes over her curves. "Yes, clothes. Yes, there will be clothes if you like." She looked away, obviously uncomfortable. Not that he cared.
"We like, please," the other woman spoke. The others nodded in agreement.
"Okay. Wait here, I won't be long."
He turned away and retreated into the bush. Their eyes followed him.
Soooo, here is my first installment. I might have committed a few grammatical blunders ( + cliches, stilted sentences et al) but I hope you enjoy. I usually write impromptu. If I plan out a story I'll get bored by the time I set out to write it, maybe that's why I'll never settle down to really writing a novel, but who knows, eh?. Will post a second part if I sense (mostly) positive reception. I'm making this up as I write, so I'm also in the dark.
Feel free to conjecture. I could do with a few ideas. I have some clamoring to get out though. Good night!
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by doyin13(m): 8:14am On Nov 25, 2008|
hehehehe. . . .
You do a lot better than I ever will.
Great story I must say, and I can barely notice a mistake
Can't wait for the next instalment
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Nobody: 2:33pm On Nov 25, 2008|
this is outstanding. the best i've seen on this lit-section, so far.
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by chitzi: 4:53pm On Nov 25, 2008|
First of all let me express my "newness" on Nairaland.This, though, does not mean am totally a fresher;my online pre-occupations have mainly been on Nairaland.So, my pleasure for this literary participation.
Nnenna1, let me begin by saying that this is a good story, albeit incomplete.The style is unique. Your use of such words as "incomer" and "underwhelm" are creative, but I don't know whether they would be absorbed into the English lexicon.
Of course, there are mistakes.But expect these.Its, afterall, a first draft. I think I like what you said about writing impromptu. Apart from articles, I rarely sit down to map out my writing.Once the muse knocks I open.
Finally, I do not share the opinion that a work in progress, such as this, will gain much credit by being reviewed when,in reality, it is unfinished.Won't it be better to just get through the creative process before reviewing its product?It were best nothing interferes with this unique process.My opinion,with respect.
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by tpia: 5:06pm On Nov 25, 2008|
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by chitzi: 7:40am On Nov 26, 2008|
In my last post I did say the use of the noun "incomer" and the verb "underwhelm" are creative.I also expressed the fact that am unsure whether they would be incorporated into the English lexicon.Not that those words do not exist, but they are not often used in daily communication amongst most Nigerians.They are very much part of the English lexicon. But-I stand to be controverted- they are not yet fully part of our Nigerian English lexicon, since their usage is few and far between. For this reason, The Living Game achieves a major point by drawing attention to such under-utilised words.
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Nnenna1(f): 8:18am On Nov 26, 2008|
I read your initial post this afternoon and was confused about what you meant by the creative use of "underwhelming" and "incomer." I now understand that you mean writing with seldom used words. Well, I fear that I come off as pretentious when I do this, but I toss off those worries because I almost write as I think. Unless basic grammatical know-how calls for corrections, I usually don't bother much with first drafts.
I also share the opinion that one guards the writing process from prying eyes, but I can hardly call this next great African novel. I'm having a bit of fun with this one. I have attempted to write full-length novels in the confinements of my apartment in the past, alone, but boredom and a general sense of being isolated put me off. I guess I'm not really cut out to be a writer. I'm excited about this piece and hope it won't be another false start though. Watch this space.
Appreciate your enjoying my first installment. I'm particularly happy that I've played a significant role in delurking you (Ha, now that's a creative use of words ).
Do you also write?
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Nnenna1(f): 8:21am On Nov 26, 2008|
I read some of your London stories and think you're not too shabby yourself! I'm not well versed with writing about realistic themes, so you're one point above me, hehe. I'll put up another installment soon.
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Nnenna1(f): 8:23am On Nov 26, 2008|
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Tgirl4real(f): 10:33am On Nov 26, 2008|
Waiting . . .
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by doyin13(m): 3:43pm On Nov 26, 2008|
hehehehe. . . .
I will take that as a compliment lol. . .
Waiting eagerly as well
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by g4grace(f): 5:30pm On Nov 26, 2008|
O my gosh, Nnenna, dat was so cool, i cant wait to read ur next post i hope it wud come soon though , i would also love to have d book(if dere is one) so i can read it anytime i want. gudluck in ur writin ok
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by hafees: 5:33pm On Nov 26, 2008|
Nice, creative and written intelligently. of course mistakes, but i enjoyed it. things like shine ur eyes, etc should be removed. where exactlt are u going wit this story, cant wait
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by bluespice(f): 6:35pm On Nov 26, 2008|
all to be said has been said
its fresh n diff waiting on ur next installment
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by chitzi: 6:59pm On Nov 26, 2008|
Do you also write?
Yes, I do:poems, short stories and magazine articles.All of them have one character:they are stocked somewhere underneath my bed, inside the drawer of my reading desk, and majority in the trash can.Hope to hit some publisher one of these days, though.
Me too, I just hate being bugged down by so many grammatical worries when preparing my first draft.I settle all that during the latter stage of proof-reading.
I also share the opinion that one guards the writing process from prying eyes, but I can hardly call this next great African novel
Who can tell the future?He was an Unknown when he wrote Things Fall.But now he is Achebe the Father of Modern African Literature.
Appreciate your enjoying my first installment
Looking eagerly forward to the second installment.
I'm particularly happy that I've played a significant role in delurking you (Ha, now that's a creative use of words ).
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Gamine(f): 2:46am On Nov 27, 2008|
I usually write impromptu. If I plan out a story I'll get bored by the time I set out to write it, maybe that's why I'll never settle down to really writing a novel, but who knows, eh?.
the only book i managed to finish was stolen, in Sec Sch.
Ah well, FIRE ON!!
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Nobody: 5:11am On Oct 29, 2012|
Sad that piece was not continued.
Should grow a pair and get back into this...*sigh*
|Re: Fiction Piece: Be Prepared For The Ride Of Your Life! by Nobody: 3:26am On Apr 30, 2015|
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