Highly Commended Story - Sub-junior Category
“Akin Makes A Break For It” by Funto Odunkanmi, St Mary's International Schools, Nigeria, is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2020.
Funto Odukanmi just turned 9 years old. He wants to be a pilot when he grows up. He loves reading, drawing and is a great debater. His favourite TV cartoon is The Lion Guard and he wants to be a leader like Kaion the lion. Funto wanted to write a story about what it means to do the right thing no matter what and he is so happy to have achieved that with his story of Akin.
Akin Makes A Break For It
Akin and Abi were busy watching Saturday morning cartoons when their Mummy called out ‘Akin! Go and buy some bread for breakfast!’
Akin groaned, ‘But Mummy I bought the bread last week. It’s Abi’s turn to go.’
Abi opened her eyes wide and threw a throw pillow at Akin which he dodged without looking away from the TV screen.
Mummy came into the room and pulled Akin up by his ear.
‘Don’t be silly. Take this money and run across and buy the bread my friend!’
She shoved some money into his hand and turned him towards the door.
Akin left in anger. He grumbled as he walked the short distance to the small shop. Why did he have to be the one to run these silly errands and not his sister? He had to wait a while for change and he got angrier with every passing second. He grabbed his change from the shop girl and with the bread in his hand he started to walk very quickly home. Of course by the time he got back, he wouldn’t have any chance to watch his shows. He hated the shop keeper for wasting his time. He hated the bread he had to carry home. He hated his Mom sending him out when he really wanted to watch TV and he hated his little sister for not being the one to run these silly errands. Out of frustration, he kicked a small stone along his path and cracked the windscreen of a car that was being washed by a tall dark young man.
Immediately Akin realized what he had done, he tried to make a break for it as the man yelled in anger. The man was faster. He grabbed Akin by his shirt collar. Akin dropped his bread and his change, wriggled himself out of his shirt and ran away as fast as he could. He couldn’t go home as his mother’s wrath for losing the bread awaited him there and also, he did not want the man to know where he lived. He ran as fast as he could and docked in an alley to hide. It was a long and dirty space between two houses but it was a good hiding place. From here, he looked out for the man who chased him. He started to back away towards the other end of alley when he heard voices. He turned to notice some boys about his age bullying a small girl hawking bananas. They pushed her about and spoke harsh words to the little girl who fought back as much as she could. Akin wanted no part in the squabble and tried to slink past, pretending he did not notice the people in the alley with him. As he passed, the three bullies paused in their actions and looked at Akin in defiance as they blocked the girl from moving. Akin continued to walk on, his face down. He happened to glance up at the last minute and his eyes met those of the little girl. They were very large, opened very wide. He turned away and continued to walk on. Then he heard the boys laugh and he stopped in his tracks.
The man looking for Akin found him when he heard the terrible squabble in the alley. He walked back towards the ruckus and ducked just in time as a boy flew by, thrown by Akin who was too busy fighting of the bullies, he did not notice the car owner close in. The man grabbed Akin by his skinny arms and heaved him of the third bully. He held Akin’s arms behind his back as Akin kicked and shouted in frustration. He looked about and saw no sign of the girl. The bullies too had run away.
Eventually, Akin was taken home and after his mother learned what happened, he was grounded for a month and forbidden to watch television till further notice. He never told anyone about the little girl he helped in the alley that faithful day. He never saw her again either but one day as he and his sister arrived back from school, they found a bunch of bananas on their doorstep. The little girl had followed Akin home and had paid him back for his kindness the only way she knew how. Akin smiled and shared the bananas with his skinny little sister with the big eyes.