Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Through the Maze

Posted by Oyinlola Sobowale on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in | 8 comments



My first attempt at Flash Fiction. I submitted this entry to my Creative Writing Group for a challenge our coach initiated. Enjoy...


********************

Mother died last night.

Even before I opened the email, I knew what it was going to say. The notification icon had indicated the sender was Jessy Otubo, my sister. Blank subject bar, yet I knew.
My sister is younger than me by good 17 years. Striking resemblance as we both take after mother, but we don’t talk. Neither do I talk to our mother. I see them both on Social Media and scroll past. The names are still the same, so is mine – Dilim Otubo.
I wonder why Jessy believes I’ll ever respond to her mails. This is about the 120th from her since we became estranged three years ago. Always short - such as ‘hello,’ ‘where are you?’ ‘I got my A’levels,’ ‘You missed my big birthday bash at 18,’ - kind of mails. Mother also made efforts to call but I never budged. Now she’s gone.

I stare at the unplastered walls of my tiny room for a while, unsure if to call Baba and share the good news.

I first met Baba two months ago when my bosom friend Jiga took me out in search of a solution to my lingering sickness, joblessness and apparent ill-luck. It was in a small town, faraway in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
We had arrived in the dead of the night to avoid being recognized as Jiga is a top politician and in fact, a sitting member of the National Assembly for my Senatorial District.
“Give me your hand,” Baba commanded reaching for my right hand, “àtẹ́lẹwọ́ ẹni kì í tan ni'jẹ, the palms do not deceive my friend,” he droned and chanted some incantations.
“I see plenty obstacles before you. Dark clouds everywhere. Thick dark clouds”. He looked into my eyes, gave an ominous frown then repeated ‘dark’ and wrinkled his nose further for effect. “You see my son, there is a big secret your biological mother is keeping from you and your immediate family. Hmm…she must confess or you will forever and ever be ruined! She has to bare it all before you can enjoy any form of health and happiness”.
“I already know that secret Baba,” I replied with a bit of unease. “Why am I the one suffering for it?”
“You do? But how?”
“I stumbled on some information in her diary and pieced the details together”. I paused, images of that incident flashing through my head. “I recall waking up one night and finding my knickers and bedsheet soiled. It seemed strange and even stranger because my mother was next to me semi-naked, but I dismissed it because we were inseparable at the time and I had grown used to seeing her parade the house naked as a little boy, into my teenage years”.
“My sister is my daughter,” I finished narrating.
Jiga, shocked at my revelation flew to the edge of the couch, hands on head.

“You see, the part unclear to you is that your mother joined a cult to seek enormous wealth and her task was to sleep with you. No matter how potent a charm is, it has its negative effects. Your life has been at risk since then”.
“You will wallow in sickness till you die. Either that or she confesses”.

After our consultation with Baba, Jiga insisted that I visit mother, more like a confrontation, targeting when Jessy would be away from home. I had planned a surprise visit for Monday, three weeks after the trip to Ogbomosho but unfortunately my frail health failed me.
I eventually found an appropriate time and went in unannounced to her big mansion.

“I secretly hoped for this day to come Dilim,” mother said to me from her inner room, her legs still lean and straight after all these years, rested royally on her dresser. Our eyes connected sharply and held for seconds longer than I could take. She stood up, walked towards me and suddenly stopped few metres away from me.
“Now you must know Jessy is yours for you to have become so withdrawn and cold. I always wondered how you figured that out but believe me, that night was a mistake. I swear to you I had too many drinks to think coherently”.

“Mother why are you swearing to what is naught? I know everything and I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!” I flung a pillow in her direction. “The mansion. The source of the wealth. The cult. Yes, the cult. The stupid cult you sacrificed the health and sanity of your son for. The stupid cult you used to salvage your greedy ambition. How could you even for a second agree to such abominable, unthinkable act? I loved you, mother,” my voice caught, “You were my world and pride. I boasted to my friends at school about my strong single mother. A…ab...about how you toiled daily”. I ended up leaving without getting her to confess but I left some pills by her dresser.

She died the next day. 

Reactions:

8 comments:

  1. I thought I was reading Rijn Collins until you disengaged me completely from the story. Suspense from start to finish is the new name for short stories.

    Fine work though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Appreciate the time you spent to read through.

      What can I do next time to improve my writing so I don't completely disengage my readers from the story?

      Delete
  2. One word....Brilliant!!

    Will say more when I have read through this the 19th time..(presently at 6)..Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So tell me did you get to 19? Laughing.

      Thank you...

      Delete
  3. “My sister is my daughter,” this reminds me of Chinatown screenplay/movie one of the best in Hollywood.

    I was invested in the story from beginning to the ending. Such kind of stories are bitter pills to swallow as we shy away from such discussions in the society, yet incense exist all around us...

    ...and he left some pills. WOW!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chinatown? That's an oldie! A lot of things happen around that we never talk about maybe because they are cleverly concealed or because they are too horrifying to talk about. Sighs.

      Anyway, thanks dear. Appreciate the time and love.

      Delete