Category Archives: Story Sunday

Inktober: Week 1

After a long dry spell, I’ve decided to dip my toe back into some creative writing. And how fortuitous, it’s Inktober! The good folks over at Kugali Media have been kind enough to come up with prompts for those of us on the Mother Continent who need a little inspiration. So, for this month’s Sunday installations, I’ll be using selected prompts for the week and trying to bring them to life!

Do yourself a solid and go check out kugali.com for some awesome African storytelling!

ANCIENT – a poem

“Do you think about us?” whispers the grave

A question and indictment;

a truth which burns – for I do not

In quiet times, perhaps I hear

In dark of sleep, perhaps I see

There is so little thought, given to these

Truths of the soul and soil

Yet from them we are born and live

Back to them our breath we’ll give

FAVOURITE FOOD – a memory

I remember less of the taste, or the smell, than I do of the feeling. Warm, and full. Sated and smiling after a heavy meal of sadza and more beef, tomato, onion and veggie stew than someone my size should have been able to ingest – these were good times. Food brought out the best of us. On a full stomach my father was hilarious, my mother magnanimous and my siblings happy. I was content, after a fashion.

But things change, don’t they? Sometimes over long periods of time – a young man with ambitions and dreams wakes up one day burdened by the ghosts of the man he should be. A young woman with hopes and goals wakes up one day to realise that she lives in a gilded cage. Other times change is fast. Night to day. The best in us sleeps and neglects to wake the next morning and we are once again tip-toeing through a maze of triggers and pain.

Then the day fades and the night comes, and once again the best of us wakes. We sit around the table, we eat and we breathe. Then my father makes a joke and we laugh, my mother pours wine and my siblings smile.

Today, I made my favourite food. I sat at my table, and I brought out the best in myself.  

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Poem: If

If I could forget Just one sliver of time

A fragment of space

A token of thought for the taken

Then it would be you

You as a memory I cannot have had

Yet I do

 

If I should regret

Just one action of fate

A moment of hate

A token of thought for the taken

 

It is that

Memory silent

As real as a stone

 

Is that you?

Afemi: Prologue

Prologue

***

“Hello?”

She blinks into consciousness and stares in the space occupied by the voice. The voice echoes in her head for a brief moment before clicks of recognition begin. Speech. Conversation. It is a capability which she possesses. The space occupied by the voice lacks a body. Perhaps that is normal. She speaks in its direction, at a black box hanging just below some form of  shining cylinder with a red light coming from it. “H-hello.”

She can hear the box and the cylinder whirring in her head, and reaches up to silence the sounds. A long finger first tentatively touches at her temple, then another, and another, until the entirety of her left hand rests just below what should be a hairline. But there is no hair. Has she always lacked hair? Isn’t baldness a male trait?

Maybe she’s not a she? For confirmation she reaches her right hand to her chest. She is not a man.

Who doesn’t know their own sex?

What is her name?

“D-do you…” A pause to consider the fact that she is having so much difficulty with words. “Do you know my name?”

“Do you?”

That’s not a real question. She blinks. “Is this mocking?”

“Do you feel mocked?”

She is confused. “What is my name?”

The voice does not respond right away. Instead there is a click and a brief moment of static before another voice comes from the same box. “What do you think your name is?” This voice is kinder, softer. She thinks she remembers it from before she woke up in this room. Where was she before this room? No matter. The voices seem to think that she should know her name, and so she should. Concentrating on the concept of who she is, there is mostly cloud and confusion but slowly sound emerges.

“A… Fem… I.” She has heard herself be referred to with that name before. “I am… Afemi.”

The click. Static. Click back. “Yes! That’s your name.”

Afemi looks to her confines. She is in a spacious room, too well lit. The bed against the right wall shows signs of use. That must be where she slept. Why is she here? “Why am I here?”

The click. The static. She waits for a response but none comes.

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