The flash fiction pieces below are the ones that meet the submission guidelines as approved by the Moderators. Remember, the theme is MISTAKEN IDENTITY. Winner shall be declared on Sunday 16th June, 2019.
The Pentinent Team
My name is Mmesoma and I attend Keystone Primary School. Three months has passed in our school since our Common Entrance class got a new class teacher. But I have been fondling his penis ever since I grew breasts, especially after school – years before I made it to Basic 5.
He zips down when everyone is gone and slips it out of his boxer.
It felt so warm the first time I held it, but afterwards – after he jerked and poured his white cream that smelled like JIK – my palms itched.
During class, he always looks at me as he teaches and says “Mesoma, do you understand?”
I always do, because there’s always that bulge in his trousers when he asks. But these days, my palms itch so badly afterwards. So, tonight, I have decided to tell mom.
* * *
Mom has just returned from work. She’s usually tired at this point, but she looks like she’s ready to listen to the important announcement her daughter has to make today. Dad steps in. His face is alarming. He looks like there is an emergency. I wonder if anyone already told him about what I was going to tell mom.
“Mesoma, your mom and I need to talk. Go and pick that beans,” he says. “Do you understand?”
I look away. Of course, I do. There’s that bulge in his trousers again.
Later, in my room, I know I will pretend to do my homework while I am really wondering if all fathers made throaty noises like my father when they poured their white cream.
Then I will walk to the mirror and put on a lip gloss again, hating my father but still wanting to look good for him. This I don’t understand.
I heard knocks on my door. At first it was soft but the subsequent ones were loud and threatening. I was in the toilet and so couldn’t answer immediately.
By the moment I was through defecating, the knocks had escalated and turned into bangs. I quickly cleaned up and put on my shorts then hurried to my door.
“Who is that?” I asked.
Recognizing whom the voice belonged to, I unlocked the door. The door was barely open when it was roughly kicked and I was hit. The impact sent me wobbling on the floor as armed police officers stormed in.
The policemen encircled me. And before I could say anything, I felt a sharp pain run through my body and I passed out.
I woke up later after been unconscious to what felt like eternity and I tried to sit up but was stopped.
“Don’t move,” I was instructed.
I obeyed and that was when I became aware of the environment. I was in a hospital and my parents, siblings, John and two policemen were staring sympathetically at me.
I expected an explanation from my parents but instead it came from one of the policemen.
The policeman moved closer to me then started to speak to me. “We are sorry about what we did to you. In fact we regret our action that’s why we are here to make sure that you are fine… You were mistaken for one Patrick Ogu that happened to be involved in a robbery. At the course of our investigation the names of the robbers were enlisted and we tried to hunt them down. But unfortunately your name matches with one of the robbers and…” As he explained, I stared blankly at the ceiling as I felt bile rise in me.
(ABBAH VICTOR OCHE)
It was the third day of May in the year 2000, my friend Richard who I share an apartment with dressed up, he told me he was going to a club, he was really dressed up, he put on his neck chain, wore his perfume and put on his earrings, wrist bands and bangles, he then applied gel to his artificial dreadlocks. His choice of clothes that day was out of this world, I told him to remove his earrings and change his crazy jeans but he refused to listen to me.
I never knew he wouldn’t come back home that day.
I was in a taxi going to see my girlfriend the next day when I saw some people around a body. I asked the taxi driver what the matter was and he told me that some guy was killed last night at the club my friend told me he was going to. My heart skipped a beat. We both agreed to alight from the taxi and take a look at the body. When we got closer I almost fainted, but on a closer look I discovered that it wasn’t my friend as I had thought. His dressing was a lot like my friend’s, the only difference was his shoes.
The body was soon taken care of. I got home that day quite worried, and then after getting home, my friend showed up an hour later, he was in disarray.
He explained what happened to me and I got to find out that he had committed a crime at the club and someone else paid dearly for it.
Later on that day, we heard a knock on the door and when I opened the door, I saw the police, and we were both arrested.
It was late in the evening, and the only thing lighting the sky was the moon and a handful of stars.
Dare walked freely towards the line, slowly eyeing the clothes. His eyes were as though he was searching for his soulmate.
“A-ha!” he caught sight of a black hoodie at the end of the line. He moved closer and grabbed it. Putting it on was little stress, it fit perfectly on him.
He made way for the Love Hostpot; an area where boys and girls met under a tree just halfway between both hostels. His eyes scanned through. Apparently, every guy was there with his babe.
He sighed softly and tucked his hands in his pocket. He sat at one corner; watching everyone carefully from behind, and waited until everyone left. Just when he was about to leave. She came.
A girl putting on leggings and crop top. It was dark but he could size her breasts. She looked around, obviously she was waiting for someone.
Dare stood up and walked slowly until he was directly behind her. He could smell her perfume: Perfect line. He grabbed her breasts with one hand and the second shielded her mouth from screaming. He pulled her away to the back side of the tree.
He firmly ripped off her top with his right hand. Her bare breasts was a sight to behold. It distracted him for a second.
She bit his hand and yelled.
He turned around, and noticed a guy drawing nearer. “Shit!”
The guy jumped on him. They rolled on the floor. Dare threw a hard punch at his face, pushed him aside and ran.
Unknowningly, something fell from his hood pocket. The other guy picked it up. It was a student ID card. It read “Samuel Israel.”
Some nights, in my junior secondary boarding school days,my schoolmaster would slap me and sing: Stop doing like bolè; be active! His songs would fill the room and everyone would join in, taunting me and my schoolmaster would make sure I danced to it. He wanted to expunge my sluggishness: my inability to act quickly, to respond to people quickly.
Thankfully his exercise had no long-lasting effect on me. Else, yearslater, when a pair of well-dressed men approached my table in one cafeteria and called me Mr. Yusuf (whichI wasn’t) and said that they were sorry for the delay in delivering the cash prize he had won for the competition he took months ago (I haven’t won a competition in my recent past) I would have set them straight. I didn’t. I watched on, nodding when I had to, saying No problem when they apologized again and again for the delay, saying Yes, I’ll stopwhen they asked me to terminatemy suit against their company. They acted suspiciously, throwing furtive glancesabout once in a while, as though this meeting was illegal.
When they handed me part of the payment (₦500,000; the rest and more will be given when I have agreed to end my suit against their company), I became shocked, then struggled to obscure my surprise, then became lost in the thoughts of what I would achieve with the money.
Until one of them asked for my identification. I stood, angered, shouting, “You want your money? Take your money. You want to insult me further by calling me a con? I will take my case to the Supreme Court if need be.”
Frightened, they ran out. Immediately, so did I.
“I was in front of my house enjoying the night breeze when I heard a gunshot.”
Johnson watched the third witness narrate the scene exactly as it was, but the part where he pointed at him as the shooter annoyed him. The first two witnesses only described what and who they saw; how chubby the shooter is and what he wore. It fitted his description but he still believed he will be acquitted. All he wanted was to take the stand. He’s done all sort of terrible things but he won’t go down for a crime he didn’t commit. The real shooter has something he doesn’t have, a big scar at the back of his neck. He was going to say that, but the lawyer representing the state didn’t give him the chance.
“Why were you with two guns on the night of the murder?”
“I didn’t kill whoever you thought I killed. Why not compare the bullet in my guns with the one in the dead man’s head?”
“How did you know he was shot in the head?”
He was on his was to kill someone that night when he heard the gunshot. The fat man that did it ran past him but he was only able to see his back view. He saw him enter a nice ride and zoomed off. He wished he didn’t went to where the deed was done to confirm. The judge rose after he gave his verdict, and when he made to leave, Johnson saw his back view; the same scar he saw on the fat’s man neck was on the judge’s, too.
“He killed him!” he shouted.
Everyone in the court room stared at him like he’s gone mad. He kept repeating the statement until he got to prison.
‘I have warned you severally to stop speaking with strangers!’ exclaimed Mr Okeke.
Caught up between surprise, shock, Amanda’s mouth was agape.
Her efforts to provide any explanations were hushed by Mr Okeke’s wave of dismissal.
For the records, Mr Osita Okeke is Amanda’s step-father. Since Amanda never knew her biological father, she has grown to love of him as if he were her biological father. Back in her room, she sulked herself to sleep.
Twenty-four hours later, Amanda received a call from an unknown caller.
‘Am I on the line with Amanda Okeke?’ the voice at the end of the line asked.
“Yes. Who is this please?” Amanda responded.
“This is Mr Fabulous, from the Naija Got Talent show. You are requested to come to our office for an audition by 8:00am tomorrow. Congratulations on making the cut. Goodluck.” The call ended.
“Wow, Wow.” Amanda leaped in delight.
She couldn’t wait to tell her father when he returns.
A few minutes later, she received a heartbreaking message.
“Your father is in a coma now at XYZ hospital, please come immediately.”
Without any preparations, she rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, she was told that her father had passed away.
What would she do now?
When will she explain the events of yesterday?
Now, the man that she has called father is gone.
Unknown to her father, the stranger she spoke with yesterday is his second cousin, Matty. He came to offer Amanda some information about what to expect as she prepares for the auditions.
Mr Okeke didn’t meet Matty at home but only saw his silhouette as he left.
What a strange case of mistaken Identity!
Amanda, wake up! beckoned her younger brother Charles. Then, she realized it was all a dream!
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