Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Through the Maze

Posted by Lola on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in | 33 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. 


  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!

    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?

  2. One word....Brilliant!!

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

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

      Thank you...

  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!!!

    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.

  4. A story deftly strung! That ending though, I never 'experred' it🤣. The work of a very strong and vividly imaginative mind.

    Well done Mami!

  5. Words deftly strung. That ending though, I never 'experred' it🤣; the work of a strong and vividly imaginative mind.

    Well done Mami

  6. Words deftly strung. That ending though, I never 'experred' it🤣; the work of a strong and vividly imaginative mind.

    Well done Mami!

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    Read More -

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    In terms of influencer channels, Instagram and Twitter are cited as the most effective platforms. This statistic should be important to any brand that either has women as their primary target audience or within their scope of ideal customers. It seems if you want to reach more women and get them to buy your product or service, you need to be present on social media and aware of the influencers they are interested in. And this behavior is growing, as 78% of women are active on social media with a preference for Snapchat and Instagram.

  22. You can’t fix gaps in your marketing if you don’t know where the “holes” are. So listed below are the essentials of effective eCommerce marketing that fill your funnel. But regardless of the market you’re in - and no matter how much people’s tastes change, or how many new strategies and tactics are released, the goal is the same... Each one requiring a complex set of skills to wield effectively. Making it easy for any store owner to feel like he’s sinking in an ocean of information, with 100lb concrete blocks cemented to his feet.
    And no ecommerce business can succeed without a solid strategy, so be sure to have that outlined as well. By now you should have a great idea of what your business will look like. You have your target market, your product niche and your brand name. Before you invest in the product, though, evaluate it carefully.
    It’s an obvious question, but asking yourself this will help determine the approach you need to take. For some people, they need to sell now to fund something in their personal life. Whether they’re paying off debts or buying a house, what’s appealing about selling is receiving a lump sum that can be anywhere from 20 to over 60 times your average monthly net profit. Another positive to note is that the desire from buyers also appears to be growing. Over the same three-year period, the average sales multiple has increased by 9%, reaching 25 in 2019. At Empire Flippers, we use a monthly multiple rather than the annual multiple that other business brokers use.

  23. The Web certainly contains explanations of carrying the “1,” but GPT-3 isn’t able to incorporate those explanations. GPT-3’s statistical analysis of examples of arithmetic enables it to produce a superficial approximation of the real thing, but no more than that. But for now it’s exciting to see what ChatGPT has already been able to do. At some level it’s a great example of the fundamental scientific fact that large numbers of simple computational elements can do remarkable and unexpected things.
    How to Start an Online Business: Tips for Success + Growth Strategies
    Online entrepreneurs need multiple ways to reach their audience. Email newsletters are a popular way to stay in touch with customers. You can design templates for other online business owners to use with their email lists.
    Specializing in a niche helps to establish authority for a particular type of travel or a specific region. With a platform like TuneCore, songwriters can get published and distributed without a record deal. Plus, they handle royalties, so you’ll get paid every time someone purchases or streams one of your songs. If you’ve got decent camera equipment and an eye for photography, then you can get paid for your photos. Many stock photography websites purchase photos from photographers like you and a percentage every time your images are used.

  24. The tool analyzes a patient’s medical history to predict almost 80 diseases up to one year prior to onset, according to insideBIGDATA. SAP's Benjamin Stoeckhert reveals the most common types of blockchain applications, explains SAP product offerings and gives tips... As data governance gets increasingly complicated, data stewards are stepping in to manage security and quality. Crossrope faced hardware, software and marketing challenges -- along with the need to satisfy data-hungry fitness enthusiasts -- ... From consumers to employees to investors, more people are choosing companies that prioritize environmental, social and governance... The late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries brought forth the foundational work that would give rise to the modern computer.
    Deep Learning Engineer, Data Scientist, Director of Data Science and Senior Data Scientist are some of the top jobs that require AI Skills. Automation – AI can automate tedious processes/tasks, without any fatigue. 2020 – During the early phases of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, Baidu made its LinearFold AI algorithm available to scientific and medical teams seeking to create a vaccine. The system could anticipate the virus’s RNA sequence in just 27 seconds, which was 120 times faster than prior methods.
    Computers are extremely efficient at calculating these combinations and permutations to arrive at the best decision. AI and deep learning are the foundational future of business decision making. The development of artificial neural networks – an interconnected web of artificial intelligence “nodes” – has given rise to what is known as deep learning. Artificial intelligence is not just about efficiency and streamlining laborious tasks. Thanks to machine learning and deep learning, AI applications can learn from data and results in near real time, analyzing new information from many sources and adapting accordingly, with a level of accuracy that’s invaluable to business.
    Many of the features and capabilities of AI can lead to lower costs, reduced risks, faster time to market, and much more. Developers use artificial intelligence to more efficiently perform tasks that are otherwise done manually, connect with customers, identify patterns, and solve problems. To get started with AI, developers should have a background in mathematics and feel comfortable with algorithms. Because hardware, software and staffing costs for AI can be expensive, many vendors are including AI components in their standard offerings or providing access to artificial intelligence as a service platforms. AIaaS allows individuals and companies to experiment with AI for various business purposes and sample multiple platforms before making a commitment.
    Google Cloud Backup and DR Managed backup and disaster recovery for application-consistent data protection. Local SSD Block storage that is locally attached for high-performance needs. Workflows Workflow orchestration for serverless products and API services. Mandiant Products and Services Cybersecurity technology and expertise from the frontlines.