A Room with a View

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A resounding slap reminded me of my duty. I was supposed to be fanning Hulk Horgan! I don’t know how I managed to wander off in thoughts in this crowded little room. Another slap was coming my way and I swiftly ducked.
‘you dey sleep while standing?’, he roared.

At previous times I would cower at his voice, but not anymore. I hissed and slowly stood up. I looked him in the eye and he grinned wickedly.

‘I don’t blame you!’, I murmured through clenched teeth.
‘I no blame you,’ he mimicked.

I shifted my gaze off him to the slimy wall. The walls were dark and stained with sweat, oil, graffiti and blood.
‘today is the last time I’ll be here.’ I said to myself.
I stared at the haphazard graffiti. A particular writing scribbled with blood caught my attention “the walking corpse “, it said. I winced, feeling bile rising through my throat and I quickly shifted my gaze to the dirty floor.

‘This is going to be my last day here.’ I told myself again.

The floor was littered with all dirty things you can think of, bandage, rotten food, tissue, paper, plates, dirty clothes and dirty ragged men.
One started coughing hysterically and I turned away, positioning my face in the direction of the room’s only window.

The window had nothing on it save the iron bars that kept we the insiders inside. A spider was spinning a web across the window making sure even a housefly would stay outside.

Everyone seems to be mocking me. They all seem to be saying the same thing. Mocking me for my naivety & stupidity!

‘Butty, You’ll rot in jail,’ I heard someone whisper.
‘No I won’t, I immediately replied. ‘today is my last day here. ‘

‘-last day on earth? ‘ the old man coughed and everyone burst into laughter.

I shut my ears to them all and stared at the only iew where I believe sanity stood.
prison window
The only window in the room provided me with a saner view. I could see the rising sun in the horizon and it reminded me so much of my room from which I usually watched the sunset.

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I was watching the sunset two days ago day when Scuba came with ideas on how I could be better and bigger. He told me I could become a ladies man in spite of my bulgy size if i wouldn’t mind doing some things.
Now I want the attention of ladies and I want to roll with the Big Boyz and lots more! who cares if I’m not yet 18!

So his idea required that I borrowed my Dad’s money without dad’s consent , I bought wraps of stuffs I know I shouldn’t be handling. We went clubbing and I got so drunk I couldn’t run when the police busted the party!

I woke up at the police station in an overcrowded cell with hardened criminals.

I know my Dad would have heard of my arrest and He is still really angry at me for stealing his money. But he’ll surely come and bail me… my kind hearted mother would surely nag down his ego till he comes.

Till he comes, I’ll enjoy the only good view available. When next I get to watch the sun setting in the horizon… I’ll remind myself to remain me and to keep only good friends

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (Proverbs 27:17 KJV)

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The Marketplace

in the market

…in the market place

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A place I like to go for a stroll -the marketplace. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from this place. Rowdy though, but filled with weird experiences that sometimes make me laugh.
Every time I pass through this marketplace. I can’t but notice how many different faces fill this place -diverse people from diverse places.

Everywhere around me,
People were buying and selling
Some haggling and cursing
Some were just window shopping.
But everyone was busy with something
Or they just continued walking

Diverse people with various shapes;
Male and Female, young and Old:
The beautiful and the not-too-beautiful (no ugly person)
The light skinned and the dark skinned.
Then the short and the tall!

and Oh! Talking about the tall,
I dunno why I easily see the top of everyone’s head?
Most people here are like five feet plus,
Yet, only a few can look me in the eye without tilting up their heads.
…that’s by the way anyway… we’ll describe me later!

Awestruck at God’s unfathomable creative awesomeness, I didn’t know I had stopped moving.

“Hey! …Excuse me! …tall man, are you asleep on your feet?” she quipped. I looked down and saw this woman trying to squeeze through the crowded path.
“Here is another spectacular God’s creation”, I thought.

Short, plump and round; she looked up at me like I was a skyscraper. She was hugging grocery bags and gasping for breath whilst trying to get to her car parked few metres ahead.

I offered to help and judging from the way she dumped the bags on my chest, I knew she was more than grateful. I was just the perfect Balm of Gilead to ease her pains.

“Thank you mister, you are a rare kind!” she said, squeezing into her car.

“You are a rare one too” I drawled, waving goodbye to the woman and the market.

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PS: Did you notice the absence of adverbs all through this post? Well …I couldn’t believe it myself!. I just scribbled a post without using adverbs!

This write-up was inspired by the Writing 101 prompt , Death to Adverbs’
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Prince A. T. ™

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Smart, Yet so Dumb!

smartest meets dumbest

smartest meets dumbest

“why?, Mr paaki, why?… Why you come here?,” M’basi asked, wiping the sweat off his fore head with the back of his hand. The hot sun showed no mercy to the men in the boat.

“pardon?” looking up from his map, eyebrows raised. Park asked,
“what did you say, ‘him-basin?

“My name is M’basi! …Merem-Abasi Saun-San, not a him-basin!” he retorted.

“likewise, I’m Park not pa-pa-ar-keey…”, Park stuttered, his British accent preventing him from perfectly mimicking M’basi.

* * * * * * * *
Park is a controversial man, well known for his doggedness and obstinate refusal to compromise. It was rumoured that he never gives up; that, that was how he was able to get the Queen of England’s approval to explore the River Niger basin.

* * *
M’basi was the only guide in the village who could speak english. The village chief had warned Park of his ostreperous attitude and his weird disposition to learning new things before he gave him to Park as a guide.
“He never loses an argument”, the chief said through an interpreter.

Park didn’t really have a choice, ostreporous or not, winning arguments was also Parks turf.

* * * * * * * *
Still expecting an answer, M’basi repeated his question.
“Why you come here? Why you want to see the end of our river?”

“Well, I am an explorer, I love to discover new grounds… you know I like to kinda break records…” Noticing the confused look on M’basi’s face, Park asked, “…You understand me?”

“Nor, nor! but me know that break be something like destroy… abi?”

“Hmmnn …yeah, something like that”

“…but the catechist been say…” M’basi continued, holding the paddle with one hand and spreading out his other arm like a preacher, “the thief cometh, but to steal, to kill and to destroy!”

“what?! ”

“so are you a stealer, a killer and a destroyer, Mr Paaki?”

Park scoffed at M’basi’s conclusion, “no, no, no… I didn’t mean that kind of break”

“Then what you mean?” M’basi pressed further, his dark innocent face squeezed quizzically.

“You have to understand that break does not always mean to destroy”

M’basi didn’t blink, he was still confused and he kept his gaze fixed on Mr Park. Mr Park ran his hands through his hair, folded the map and said,
“You see …sometimes in english language a word can have more than one meaning…”

“-huh -more than one?”, M’basi cut in. “But the Bible is in English language, abi… is not it?”

“It is, but it exists in many other languages!” Mr Park curtly answered, trying to find the link between the Bible and what they were discussing – English language.

“Because the catechist been read to us from the Bible, that say, let your yay be yay and your nay be nay…”

“hey, hey -let me explain, relax okay?” Park said, Shaking his head in admiration of how much M’basi remembers from the Catechist’s Bible classes and also at how dumb and confused the bare chested black man was.

“no, no, no,… what is hey? I say catechist tell us say- yay be yay and nay be nay -not hey!”

“Forget it!”, Park snapped.
The best thing to do is to keep quiet, teaching or arguing with M’basi is a futile fruitless endeavour”, Park thought to himself and concentrated on his map.
Although he so much hates to lose an argument/ debate, he knew silence was the best move to outsmart M’basi.

Sailing silently across the River Niger, the two men rowed in unison. Distinct yet similar. One was clad in only shorts and the other in a three piece suit. M’basi had the big head, wide eyes, broad shoulders and the intimidating biceps. Park however had a small figure, slumped shoulders and tiny eyes – accentuated by his round specs.
The only thing they had in common was their quest for knowledge and of course, neither of them likes to lose an argument.

They kept mute for hours until lunchtime unlocked their mouths.

Mbasi brought out a calabash to drink some palm wine when Park suggested that he washed it.
“what you talk?” Mbasi asked innocently.

“Wash your bowl… you understand me?”

“Nor! what is warsh?… Yay! me been see it for catechist hand”, M’basi said pointing to the band on his left wrist. Park could see that M’basi was describing a wrist watch

“No, noo, noo o! that is a wrist watch, I mean wash! Wash!”

Warsh?” M’basi repeated, cracking his brain. Then he suddenly exclaimed!
“yah, yah, Waaarrrsh!”

“You understand me now?

“Yay! Catechist been say, warsh and pray, that ye enter not into temptation!

“No, no, no, Wash, to clean,… Not like WATCH!… watch?! That’s like look- look out!”

No!- no!- no!

No!- no!- no!

“But you say before that warsh is a hand rope?!”

“yes, that’s a different word, what I said is wash not watch!” Park was frustrated, “you know what?! -Forget it!”

M’basi stroke the paddle as while he pondered on the warsh word that has so many meanings. “I should warsh?

“Yes! like clean with water! wash!”, he scooped up water to demonstrate. “Wash!”

M’basi nodded and grinned, “yay catechist been say…”

“-No! Not again! Oh!” Park interrupted,”I have had enough catechist said this, catechist said that today… so just forget it!”

M’basi assumed that to be an order and he replied,
“nor, nor, nor! that one me can’t do! It not do-able! you cannot force yourself to forget something.”

“Oh!”

“yay!” M’basi continued, “to forget take time, I cannot obey that now!”

“I have had enough; can you please keep quiet for the rest of the day?” Park screamed and loosened his tie. It was a hot day and dumb M’basi was making him sweat!

M’basi opened his mouth to say something, “keep quiet?! I been think say-”

“ -Pleeaase, I beg you …no more talking please.”

How Park hated succumbing to people… how much he hates to beg, Oh! How he loves to teach people what they don’t know!

But how would he teach a dumb obstinate smart-ass?
When Smartest meets Dumbest…I guess -some rules are bound to bend!

yay or nay, not hey!

yay or nay, not hey!

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Prince A. T. ™

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Dear Familiar Stranger

I met this stranger on the walkway.
She was walking fast, bouncy and springy in her lively gait. She held a coffee cup in one slim hand and her phone and a novel were in the other hand when she bumped into me.

Or rather I kinda bumped into her actually… unconsciously!

It was more like we bumped into one another… We were typing on our phones before the good collision. I really won’t blame fate for bringing us together that way.

Dressed in a hand dyed Batik jacket, with a fitted top, jeans trousers and a pair of black tennis shoes, I thought she was just the type that would probably beat me up.

I was expecting an outburst, some swearing and maybe insults too. But instead, a genuine “Ooh!” formed on her lips and when she swiftly bent down to pick my files, repeatedly saying, “I am very sorry! I am so sorry” -I knew my expectations were so misguided.

I swiftly joined her in the squat and replied, “I am sorry miss” as we picked up my folders.

She looked up and smiled; a beautiful and reassuring smile; emphasised and made more cute by her gap teeth. She waved her hand in a reassuring gesture and like a magic wand it blew my fears away.

Beautiful Gap Teeth Smile

Beautiful Gap Teeth Smile

“no need to be…” she said as her eyelids fluttered to hide her shock.
Her book was stained with mud.

“Its alright”, She said, patting my shoulder as I helped her up. Then we saw it- the black coffee stain on my shirt. I sensed the warm black coffee had low fat; just the way I like to have my coffee too. But not good enough to be poured on my chest!

“Oh! I am so so sooorry!” she apologised, frantically brushing the stain with her handkerchief.

“Its okay!” I said, “I’ll take care of it”.

She bent her head to a side, raised a quizzing eyebrow like she was asking, “are you sure?”

Her confident gaze peered through poor shy me and I lowered my eyes pretending to focus on the stain. “yeah, I’ll be fine… You can go on”

Before she hurried off, she came over to me, gave me a hug and whispered something about being sorry and Thank You. She is so nice! You would probably think we’ve been buddies for years!

There I stood, on the walkway, disorganised files in hand, tie thrown back and a big black coffee stain on my chest, smiling sheepishly.

She definitely is one homely stranger I would love to meet again. Dark complexioned but pure in heart!
She was long gone before I remembered I didn’t even ask her- her name!

Days and many more days after that day, I watch her affect many lives with her radiant smile. Bouncy and lively as always, she walks across the walkway and she gives out novels and other books to some motherless kids. She also takes warm coffee to an old woman on the street.

The pure kindness and selflessness she radiates is natural, just like her dreadlocks. She carried her 5ft 4in body with so much grace.

Day after day, I familiarised myself with this kind, selfless stranger without speaking a word. I kept a distance and only shyly watch her from afar.

I feel like she’s my friend already, though I haven’t asked her.
I know I am shy, but I guess that’s why I desire a bold friendly stranger.

I plan to summon courage someday, someday soon, bump into her and say, “hello stranger?”
or better still,… “Hi, Dear Familiar Stranger!”
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→Prince A.T.™

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