The 2014 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop

Hi, If you are a writer and you want to improve your skills this is a good platform to do so.
Thank me later.

Farafina Books

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Farafina Trust will be holding a creative writing workshop in Lagos, organised by award winning writer and creative director of Farafina Trust, Chimamanda Adichie, from August 5 to August 15 2014.

The workshop is sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc.

The Caine Prize winning Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, Aslak Sira Myhre and others will co-teach the workshop alongside Adichie. The workshop will take the form of a class. Participants will be assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises. The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of writers and to encourage published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspective to the art of storytelling.

Participation is limited only to those who apply and are accepted. All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please, Do NOT include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be…

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By Irekpita's Cover Posted in Fiction

Ichabod (1)

“The arrow is not beyond you.”

The first words he heard said since he had been hunting with him. His voice was loud. Rather loud for a man of his frame. The sand beneath their feet the same as the twilight that settled over them. Ine thought he was speaking to someone else, he turned around and saw him standing afar off looking into the thick bush behind him.

He watched the prince’s soliloquy and hoped he hadn’t gone mad. The petite prince signalled for Ine to carry their catch back to the village. He chuckled as he watched as his svelte boy servant buck under the brown buck’s weight as he journeyed back to the village.

The prince stayed back in the clearing. Once out of sight, he dropped the buck, crouched behind the bush and waited to see what the prince was up to. A minute later, a tall slightly built man with bristled hair in white linen holding a writer’s ink horn and six fierce looking men came out of the bush and held the prince in a tight embrace and began to cry.

As their embrace unlocked, Ine picked the game and the arrows and hurried back to the village.

It wasn’t until three days later, that he understood the significance of that meeting after -almost- the whole village had been wiped off by six armed-to-the-teeth warriors led by a man in white linen and a writer’s inkhorn: old, young, maid, children, livestock, every soul in the royal house even the Prince’s; destroyed in the twinkle of an eye.

Ine was spared, because Prince had been sent on an errand out of the village the night before the massacre in search of healing pebbles from the river on the outskirts of the town.

Ine got to the court that housed the village’s sacred temple,Rewe, the thatched roof had collapsed and the mud walls with the drawing of beasts of different kinds surrounding the temple was vertically split in half, so that the roof was directly on the altar. He walked towards the northern gate of the temple, at the entrance the weeping women – the women who wept day and night outside the temple calling on a reincarnated god’s invasion lay in ashen heap one on the other.

Stepping over each stray body with trepidation, he staggered to the inner court and paused momentarily at the door not because the debris hindered his movement but to retch at the sight of disgusting mass of tissue, bone fragments, ashen body parts, and stray genitalia of the twenty five men, who usually stood between the porch and the altar facing the east worshipping the sun. It was the evidence of a futile and foolish resistance.

It was clear that the six warriors were no ordinary men. He clutched his stomach and emptied the mud-coloured digested food on the bamboo and palm fronds matrix on the ground.

Rewe, the temple that housed darkness and light had been ruined along with the all the people with the people who served it, except for one.

He could save nothing, no one, so he took nothing and left the town. He walked down the lonely path, far away, never looking back at his place of birth.

Ine stopped by an oak tree, straightened his back, wiped his brow, brought out a coconut from the sack he was carrying and ate. He heard a rustle in the bush behind him- voices. He crouched behind the large tree, but it was too late the hunters had spotted him.

“Hey you…who are you?” The bulkiest of the group bellowed. Beckoning on him to come forward.

Ine walked slowly to the men clad in animal skin. Stopping a few meters, drooped his head and remained silent.

“Can’t you speak?”, the shorter one with a constantly twitching mouth demanded.

Ine raised his head, stared blankly at the huge bare-chested men. Words, meaningless words flashed sporadically in his mind. Finally he spoke, “My name is Rewe”. Immediately he acknowledged this, He felt his form percolate, engulf the hills and crevices, trees and shrubs. His eyes became blue chasms, wider and wider, deeper and deeper into a terrifying abyss.

The men in animal skin seemed unaware of this.

“MY NAME IS REWE”, he repeated. This time, it was the men that bowed their heads.

The temple and the man had become one.

****
The crowd around the temple was dense, stifling. The temple was surrounded by the weak, sick, dying, poor, rich and the power greedy. In their midst, an entranced svelte man danced to songs only he heard assisted by the drums played by temple’s drummer boy.

The hunters had returned to Umuru, with not just dinner, but a deity. Rewe, bore upon his body, from head to toe a schism of two opposing powers: darkness and light portrayed by drawings of animals of various kinds, each graffito inked under his skin by invisible hands. The other part of his body: spotless, blameless and ethereal in beauty. The exact replica of the temple; Rewe that had been brought down.

No other living thing knew Rewe had actually existed as a village.

In the year Rewe’s first seed, Adanna could stand upright; pass her arm over her head to reach her other ear, the missionaries came to Umuru. Ada’s brilliance and intelligence marveled the catechist. As the years went by, he pressed the priest to send her abroad for further studies. Her taut, olive skin and short well-rounded frame was always by the side of the catechist absorbing knowledge about the church, the white man, the white man’s language and biology.

Twilight had begun to chase sunset away, when the catechist brought her news that an anonymous donor in the United States had paid full scholarship for her University degree in America. Umuru threw a feast. Their daughter had reached heights where no man had attained.

“So, you’ll be leaving me, nana… just like that?” Ginika asked suddenly. “Dibia definitely harvested everybody’s intelligence and planted in you”
“I love my father, but I am nothing like him. I am just me”, Adanna said ignoring her tease.

“Besides, who else if it not you?”, Ginika said gently poking her best friend in the rib.

They sat on fallen tree trunk as they watched the drunken men dance with the village dancers after her father had done his customary dance. Many were healed of their diseases; others were possessed of unknown spirits. This unusual phenomenon puzzled her. It was the anticipation of the dance that brought the crowd not the send forth. Most were jealous of her.

“At least you can say ‘fuck’ without anybody scolding you”, Ginika said.

“What’s that?”

“Something the priest’s cook said when he dropped the priest’s meal. He said they say it in America. He scolded me when I repeated it”

“I am not going to America to say learn how to say ‘fuck’. I am going to study and become a doctor”, she smiled and fantasized

“Or you could do it too…”,Ginika said. Something in her mischievous friend’s eyes told her it wasn’t just a word you say when you dropped plates. Her hand flew out smacking her friend on her arm before she ducked.

Unlike her, Ginika was a beauty, like she was sculptured by the hands of a god. Clear, seductive eyes, gap between the teeth, long immaculate arms and legs, her gait was stunning. Eligible men had their eyes on her, but she had eyes only for the priest’s cook. She claimed he was her only passport to America.

****
University of Washington, Seattle | March 3rd, 1988

The chill from the rain blew through as Adanna sat by the window of the library, sucked her teeth and tapped her feet as she read through, checking for errors on her application form for part-time time job at a geriatric care home. It was a Thursday morning; she needed to hand in her application before the week ran out.

She made funny faces as Eileen, her Danish roommate walked up to her in her usual feline suppleness and whispered in her ears that she had a phone call from her priest. She rolled her eyes, shrugged and pulled herself to receive her call.

Adanna thought it was rather early for him to call to check up on her. The quinquagenarian Portuguese priest on the other end of the phone hesitated, shook his head and shut his eyes. “I need you to come to the chapel today.”

“No, Father I can’t. I need some time alone this morning. The rest of the day is booked.” she continued “Is anything the matter? Please tell me”.

He paused. A long awkward pause. He knew this situation all too well. Adanna was the most stubborn and unflinching African woman that had been placed under his care.

He thought she was going to be an attorney or some human right activist, instead she had been obsessed with medicine and neurosurgery since the mission brought her to America. Hard as she may seem, telling her such tragedy over the phone was not his idea of breaking her.

“I just got news that your father passed on early this morning”. He could hear her crying. Hoarse sounds coming out of her mouth each time she tried to speak.

“What happened?” she croaked.

He was quiet, he spared her the details.

“What-“, she began and she could say no more.

Each step on the staircase up to her room appeared steeper than the previous, her breasts felt heavier, then her arms, then her legs, then her head. Her body dragged itself to her room as she collapsed on the bed clutching her pillow over her head to stop the loud screeching sound, like an overturned bottle top dragged on concrete floor that threatened to slice her into soul and body in two.

She shrieked as a mixture of an azure and murky schism tore through her. Lightning struck indiscriminately everywhere.

Unable to open her eyes, she groped for a bottle of water to quench the fire that razed through her. Her search was cut short as her body was dragged upwards feet first, upside down suspended mid-air, in the middle of the room.

Eyes open, she squeaked, “Onyebuchi gi ugbua!”

Who is your god now?

The temple and the woman had become one.
****
To be continued…

Grace’s Mirror

I need no introduction.
From the exterior there was no semblance of an ongoing war in the room with the partially closed window in the penthouse apartment. There was none on the interior either. I could tell you it had scaly, parched feet with brownish-grey talons but my sub-conscious must have registered this. They were pressed firmly on the midriff of my plump, fair-skinned naked body whilst I lay on a bed mumbling a few incoherent words struggling with an arboreal descendent of the Leviathan.
With eyes partly open, I could see its blood thirsty clenched teeth, dark brown light-absorbing scaly skin, in contrast with its incandescent anger. Body parts unknown to me were the infinitely endless body that extended far beyond the reach of my penthouse and even my world. Parts I would not recover from if I saw. This was an angry demon. If Succubus was a wicked demon, this was her god.

In a battle with a spiritual being, physical weapons are useless; the only word that came to me: ‘Jesus’. But this had been anticipated for; there would be absolutely no need for such a word. Fierce, firm and furious, the demon fought me as the rest of me lay rigidified till my mouth faintly tried to mutter the only word that could save me; ‘Jesus’

Slowly, my head turned away from its face the image of a clergy, a man appears in my sub conscious. My captor’s anger is amplified, lets out a wild cry, disintegrates and disappears.

The air I take in, the loud thumping of my heart and the reality that I am naked brings back memories of my lover’s naked body next to me a few hours ago. I swing my feet off the bed, supporting my plump frame with my palms on the edge of the bed. Wondering how the image of just one man could, in such a manner, frighten a demon so powerful away. I grabbed and pulled on my fallen night robe from the floor beside my lamp stand. I needed a drink.

Solemnly, I wondered how the image of one man, a pastor could destroy such a powerful demon.

I hated pastors.

The magnitude of this demonic visit was directly proportional to the kind of legal ground that had been open. I had been tried to be delivered but with my knees on the ground, hands in the air and the upside down invisible cross there, deliverance was futile.

I,Eche had been served and I was not surprised but fear wouldn’t let me go.
I was Succubus’ puppet.

***

The praise session had ended when Pastor Alex ascended the altar and began to mentally make plans to shorten the time allocated to the ensuing thanksgiving session, After all, the General Overseer could reschedule plans whenever and not be questioned. As the congregation settled, the word of knowledge came to the tall, middle-aged clergy, “God says there is someone here, by tomorrow there will be an important visitation that will change your life”

Shouts of ‘Amen’ filled the air.
***
In the office of the General Overseer.

Pastor Efere walked briskly to the G.O’s side whispering about a young woman needing counselling. All Efere heard from his boss was a response of a person deep in thought when he passed the information.

Pastor Alex’s eyes and fingers were still working the final drafts of her soon-to-be-released book when the young lady was ushered into the office. The middle-aged woman in flowing navy blue, gown with white frilled bands at the sleeves gave a firm smile as her guest sat opposite her.

“I am sure you already know who I am”, the younger lady said as she sat down. Her voice was clear and austere.
“I am not sure what you mean”, the older lady said trying to maintain eye contact with her guest, whose eyes were fixed on her desk name plate. ‘G.E Alex, General Overseer’, it read. The younger woman slid her hand into her purse, brought out a bottle from her purse, paused for a second and took a swig of alcohol from it.

“Is there something you want to speak to me about?” said the puzzled older lady asked.

“I am oppressed”, the slightly drunk woman blurted as she slid her hands again into the purse; this time coming up with hands caked with congealed blood and a lit cigarette. The rules of counseling in a mega church as Pastor Grace’s involved cases been taken to other senior pastors wherein only difficult cases or cases absolutely insistent on been attended to by the General Overseer where taken there. It had been two years since Grace Alex assumed position of G.O from the now deceased former G.O, only thoroughly screened cases were brought to her. The media had not been friendly. There was no way this young woman had been screened.

“I was paid a visit by a very terrible demon, legal grounds hard to seal have been opened. It must not return”, said the young woman in progressing stages of skin bleaching, took a puff and blew out grey smoke rings into the air making Pastor Grace grimace with each wayward plume of smoke from the ring. For some reason, she found it hard to caution this woman, but her spirit was vexed within her, as she listened to her speak about her life and demon worship. In contrast to the turmoil within her, her words were serene, slow and chosen carefully.

The younger woman got up and began to pace around the room as Grace spoke, making a stop in front of her bookshelf, grabbing a thin crystal silver golf figurine from the shelf; and instinctively smashing it against the wall.

Pastor Grace leapt to her feet from her revolving chair in an instant; shocked and angry. Her only relic to her golf days smashed in an instant. The younger woman immediately picked her purse and got ready to leave.

“I’ll hand you over to Pastor Efere, he’ll follow you up”, Grace said still visibly shaken and shocked.

Walking to the door, a void suddenly seemed to set them apart. The young woman stopped few steps to the door, with her back to the woman in the flowing gown and spoke in a still, rumbling voice. “Eche, I am glad you made it, it was all me never you, I qualified you. You answer to me”.

The crazy young woman stepped out of the room.

Silence descended in the room as Grace Echeta Alex swooned and steadied her body on the pole bearing the flag of Nigeria in her office. The room still in perfect order just as it was before the day began.

“’Kaego, Can I, please have the details of the woman who just came to see me”, Grace said pressing her secretary’s intercom key.

“What woman, ma? No one has been here to see you all day.”

Shoes flying off her feet, she rushed out of her office to her
secretary’s, scanning the visitor’s entry to see only one word boldly written in the last filled entry ‘Eche’, written and signed in her own handwriting.

The younger, crazy woman needed no introduction.

Wrath (Ira)

Heey fam, I am so sorry i have not been able to complete the ‘THREE IJESHA MEN’ series. i will definitely finish it before the end of this week. Nonetheless, I have been quite busy writing in other capacities. Please drop your comments.

Ekoñ Ñke

William Congreve said, heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. Grab a bite,sit comfortably,and enjoy beef by Anosime (@AnosimeI)

BEEF
He was new, but the street was not. Five years had gone since he last set foot on these streets. He had expected a couple of well-wishers and familiar faces around him but this little girl staring at him with a plastic blue ball in her hands standing in front of him was the only crowd he got. He smiled feebly at her but she only continued staring blankly at him.
Ekene has bigger fish to fry as he searched for any sign of life in Uloma’s house. At last he heard a door slam in the house, there must be someone in there. He had called her on the phone before getting here so he expected her at the…

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By Irekpita's Cover Posted in Fiction

Three Ijesha Men (Episode 2)

Episode 2: Secrets

With my burden I begin:
Lord, remove this load of sin;
Let thy blood, for sinners spill
Set my conscience free from guilt

Reverend Mother, Francesca Zakure hated clutter and dirt; and clearing out the Convent now and then was almost out of routine rather than a duty and the sisters struggled to stifle a grumble every now and then at the incessant house cleaning activities.
Sister Marie-Claire, on the contrary found it amusing seeing her shove the poor sisters around and being second-in-command to her, she had to ensure instructions were carried out to the letter. At the end of morning mass, everyone knew it was that time of the week where they would have to scrub and polish the already clean environment, but Mother Francesca was the gentle-spirited, Continue reading

THREE IJESHA MEN

Never let them see you coming…

She had died twice in one day already. The funeral had dragged on rather slowly; everyone in charge of the funeral at the cathedral seemed clueless about the task they were assigned to. Poor thing, there was barely any family to pay their last respect to except her half-brother, who seemed anxious to leave the cathedral. Her boss was there, with his ever piercing eyes making potholes at her face, watching her every move. The quilt patterned windows was a good form of distraction from all the mild chaotic funeral preparation, as she began to delicately scrutinize it. Continue reading

By Irekpita's Cover Posted in Fiction