Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Good Morning Dear,

It's Wednesday. It's Short Story Day. Today, writers across the world are celebrating the beauty of short fiction.

I decided to take part in 'the day'.

Here's my short story (fiction)...


She read the last 6 lines to Maya Angelou’s Poem- ‘I know why the caged bird sings’. Her silvery voice singing each line like she was talking to herself.

‘The caged bird sings with a fretful trill
Of things unknown
But longed for still
And his tune is heard
On the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom’.

‘Thank You.’ she said as everyone applauded. She smiled like always, dimples appearing on her beautiful face. She glided to her seat, hips swaying against her white floral gown peppered with chants of ‘great!’,‘fantastic!’

‘That was wonderful Nana! Mrs Lambou said, pulling her red pen out of her afro to scribble. ‘I loved your pitch and diction as you read that. This is the end of today’s lesson class. We will continue with more Maya Angelou’s Classic tomorrow. Hope you are ready Yemi’.  ‘Yes Ma’am’ Yemi replied. The school bell rang indicating the start of the class break. ‘See you tomorrow’ she screamed amidst scurrying students while packing up.

Nana stayed behind. Reading the book she has come to love, the book that soothes her when she feels the mask coming on. She was lost in its knowledge. Sounds of ‘Nana, Nana!!’ jolted her back to reality. ‘Nana, what is the problem?’ Mrs Lambou asked. And don’t tell me “you are ok”. I can sense the sadness amidst your smile’ she said, as she tried to balance her wide-rimmed spectacle on her nose and stare at one of her best students. Nana smiled sadly, ‘I feel lost. I feel strange and can’t seem to shake off this sadness. It’s like I have to don this personality when I’m with anyone; Smile, talk and feel good even when I don’t feel like. I think I’m strange and it’s wearing me out’. She continued, ‘I can relate to the bird in Maya’s poem, I long for freedom from this mask’.

Mrs. Lambou looked lovingly at this 16 years old orphan that came into the ‘Colourful World School of Poetry’ 5 years ago. She showed great skill at poetry and was her favourite student. ‘Nana’ Mrs Lambou said. ‘It’s good to be strange or queer or different. You children say I am strange. So, you are in good company’. She smiled. ‘Sometimes, we all need that alone time. What matters is coming out of it a better person. You don’t need a mask to be loved. Grow into the real you and love who you are. Everyone will too! Most importantly, never underestimate God in your life’.

‘Thank you Ma’. Nana said, hugging her teacher as she did so. ‘I’ve got to run, see you tomorrow!’ Mrs. Lambou said.

Nana continued with the book, reading silently ‘...It's in the click of my heels, the bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, the need of my care. Cause I'm a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that's me...’

- The end.
Ijeoma Unegbu.

So, what do you think???

Check out Short Story Day Africa for more short story competitions.

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath