Story Contest 2018 #1 - Outstanding Stories (Senior) »

Shrunk into a Choice

“Shrunk into a Choice” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Owoh Ugonna Alexander, College of the Immaculate Conception, Nigeria.

Shrunk into a Choice

As a child I grew up understanding something through a looking glass about mama’s mouth. How words left them to seek solace into a man’s heart. She had learnt to borrow my prayers and then offer them to God, maybe she thought I had shrank into the blossom of sleep, or perhaps she was borrowing my name to sing to God. I grew understanding she was a woman whose body was placidly wrapped into God’s blossom. And when she did borrow my name, lending her throat to songs and praises to God, I did wish I was a son of God, but that was a choice to make.

Each morning I woke up, I did fold myself like a cloth and scuttled to mama’s door, tip-toeing to thwart my presence. And when I placed my ears gentle on the wooden-made door of three feet tall and spring paddle, I will hear her mouth finding its way into sounds and rhythm. She will sing my name to God so loudly to awake the sun and the birds from slumber. And she will sing “Onyedikachi ooo, Onyedikachi, You are the risen lord, there is no one like you”

And on hearing so, my heart did invite joy to dwell in it. I chuckled so long, drawing my silent laughter like ribbon and then ended with a smile, while scampering into the kitchen to wash the dishes, throwing away the sorrowful thoughts that had screwed my mind the previous night.

After mama’s praise and worship, she will screech like a person who met a greeting snake. “Dikachioooo!, what is happening?” I did sold the tawdry look to my winds that I was so happy she sang my name to God for the umpteenth time, and clump my face like a nut. My cheekbones did wallop for such streaks and I looked her deep in deluge and say.

“Mama good morning” she will only fling words at me and respond “good morning” turning her back on me and heading to her room.

To avoid adding diesel into her furnace of anger and annoyance, I did every doable in the house, before crouching down to pick the stones and pebbles, drenched into the bathroom.

Thwarting Mama’s thoughts against knowing I was deep-breath end to my chores, I did tranquilly fold my body into shreds of paper so squirmy while creeping into my room like a squirrel to prevent Mama’s shrieks of the door. I did that so well and loved myself for doing so. Because if Mama did knew I was a nut-head of all those, she did wish my hands did more than desired. And all she could do was to find my name on her lips, in which she did, summoned me, only to send myself to the toilet, to do the thing. I did hate washing toilet, it was no choice doing it, but Mama did swear to me for breakfast if I failed doing so.

So I did run into the bathroom and so long I was with my busy self inside their, mama’s lips wouldn’t dream of sending me on another chore.

I did took my bath and scampered to my room, placing cream on my skin, matted myself so well in my school wear, ran to the kitchen, ate my breakfast and flew with my bag to school. School was always a stressful thing. But I was glad I was far away from home.

At evening, I walked like a zombie, staggering like a drunkard, while keeping my legs moving through that rough-belly path, matted with stones and rocks. When I got home, Mama wasn’t in. I ate lunch. I had remembered how mama had asked me why I hated prayers. And my weak response to her.

“Mama I love God, who said I hated prayers” She did look me into the eye and sighed.

“Let’s see about tomorrow” she whispered.

Besides, the truth I did flung prayers as words, as I did to my friends at school, but speaking to God as well was speaking to my friend, perhaps he’s my friend and knows I love him, but it is a matter of choice.

That night I had shrunk into charades that I was asleep, but Mama’s voice, scared my pretences away. As I drug myself up in a glint. And realize God was watching me through mama’s eyes.

“You love prayers now show me you love it so” Mama said staring into me like the bulb shining adjacent to me. I stood up and went flaccidly to Mama’s room and realized my choice to love prayer. Besides I did enjoy that night prayer, as mama’s voice were drawing my name so romantically to God, she sang in adagio and I loved here soprano, so soft and sweet like a cherub’s . That night I did realize that things were matter of choices and I did choose that choice to love prayer and sing to God with Mama. Hope we all make our choices.

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