The Experience–#FridayFictioneers

Caveat

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This Week, my story is way beyond 100words, please note. It’s a story i submitted for a writers’ conference back in school days, you may read all (if you’ve got the time) or just hop into the part after the picture, that’s actually my entry this week…

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“At a certain stage in our lives, having come of age and fully imbibed the values of the society. Certain responsibilities are bestowed on us. And to prove our mantle in he community, we shouldn’t shy away from such. Our people will say: ‘when a child is due to own a farming implement, it is the duty of the parents to provide one’. The beauty of such bequest doesn’t lie in just the giving but in the usage instruction for future profiting.

“Manusa, I will like you to open your ears to all I am about to tell you today. You are my only daughter; as it is I know what troubles come with such status. Your current stage may usher in more troubles for you depending on how well you manage yourself. As your mother, I am glad that you’ve come of age and the beats of womanhood have started reverberating around your body; in no time you shall have many dancers—admirers and lovers—of good music flocking around you as ants do after sugarcane. The beauty of womanhood is in keeping your pride. Mind your body, be courteous and be friendly. And most especially, be a good ambassador of your family.”

That was my mother, as succinct as always. She isn’t a woman of many words. How do I describe the early morning sermons that mother nurtured me with? Well, I can say the last forms the preamble to the scenario you are about to read; though, I was hardly aware of its meaning then.

It all started a few days to my fourteenth birthday. I had gone to the stream like every other child on that Saturday morning to do the week’s laundry. As usual with such adventure, it was segmented into phases: the Israelite-like trek around the Ugboju forest (with chattering among the females and the well mastered act of the males “kidnapping” us); the actual washing and the swimming at the end of the day’s task.

Of course, we reacted to the males arm-bushes with so much hilarious excitement, even though we were aware of such plots the fun wasn’t lost on us.

Attempts had been made to stop this game by the elders, due to an incident that happened some years ago. Eneh, a young village maiden had been tactfully kidnapped by neighbouring Apan community who had declared a cold war on Otukpo, our village, for our acceptance of counsellorship of the town council—a position that the indigenes of Apan have come to know as their birthright, owing to many years of occupation.

During one of such Israelite-like treks, as it has come to be known (actually christened by Aladi—a very mischievous character—after the Sunday school’s lesson on the journey of the Israelites, who used 40years on a journey that could have taken 40days), Eneh was kidnapped by some masked men and taken across the boarder into Apan; even though she was screaming and struggling with all her power her friends continued cheering and clapping for her assailants thinking it was the usual village pranks.

Ugboju Forest

Today, our now modified Israelite-like trek is restricted to Ugboju forest areas, with the boarders of the village kilometres away.

On that fateful day, I was the target of the kidnap. As usual, I had the fun of it all, relishing the pleasure of being kidnapped to the riverside. In no time the second phase of the adventure—the washing—was done with.

It was during the third phase—the swimming in the river—that the story changed. As I was putting my bucketful of washed clothes down from my head to participate in the swimming, a sharp pain shot through my lower abdomen and caused the members of my body to quaver in shock. I looked around to be sure I had not been struck by a stray bullet but the pain left as quickly as it came.

I stepped out to the bank of the river I felt a gentle gush of some kind of liquid creeping down my thighs. Instinctively, I closed my thighs as I halt in my steps. Could it be urine; but I wasn’t that careless not to be able to control my bladder?

Being conscious of other children I slipped the index finger of my left hand down my thighs going through the top band of my skirt. Alas! It was no urine; it was thick!

Bringing my hand out, I knew I was doomed. It was there spread on my fingers: Black-red! I looked around in apprehension, my eyes caught Yeye’s and she read meaning into it that all was not well. She started out of the river towards me.

Can I stand what was to befall me, I thought. “No!” I took to my heels taxied down the slope of the Atunga hill the other side of which the river is, in a frightful intention to boycott the Ugboju forest and making it to mother’s comfort quickly.

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This is a contribution to #FridayFictioneers hosted weekly at Madison Woods blog, feel free hit in and have a wonderful reading experience.

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18 thoughts on “The Experience–#FridayFictioneers”

  1. I’m a bit confused – I’m not sure whether the narrator has been bitten by something in the water and badly hurt (especially likely since the story mentions a “sharp pain”), or whether this is meant to be a young girl reaching puberty (since she(?) seems healthy enough to run some distance, which doesn’t fit with being injured). The character’s panic is well described, anyhow.

    Thank you for commenting on my story – http://newpillowbook.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/friday-fictioneers-a-walk-in-the-woods/

  2. What I love about your writing is that it gives a glimpse into other lives of people different from the life ordinary for me. V.L. does that with her native American and western stories too.

    I think if you change the pain from being sharp and feeling as if a bullet might have struck her to more of a sudden cramp in the stomach that doubles her over, it’ll come across as intended. Many girls feel no pain at all at this onset, though, but only discover the bleeding as you described. The fear of reaching child-bearing age is why I interpret her her running away – because her life is going to change after reaching that stage. Am I correct?

      1. I want to second Madison Woods on this – true, there are billions of women in the world and other peoples’ experiences might be different from mine, but the “sharp pain” just didn’t fit.

  3. I started by just reading the bit after the photo but had to start at the top and read all of it the second time. I found it very interesting. The panic was well-described. An eternal subject in (for me) an exotic setting. Well done.

  4. What a beautiful rendition of childhood’s end, and well woven with the political tensions. I may borrow some of her mother’s speech for a few years from now. Thanks for visiting over the weekend,

    Kathy

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