Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Accident (Blogfest)

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So this is a Body Language Blog Fest by the Lobotomy of a Writer. I almost didn't take part because I was too busy to write a new story. Also stories without dialogue take more out of me, I just love doing conversational pieces. Anyways, I had a chat with a friend on FB and remembered this short story I had worked on earlier to practice a workshop. These are the rules for the scene.
The scene cannot have any dialgoue at all whatsoever. There must be a conversation or some sort going on in the scene, obviously, but the characters must use body language! (Telepathy and sign language don't count!)

Oyoma stood quietly between her two brothers very close to the side of the busy road. She thought a break must be coming up in the traffic when the human mass surged forward. She let out a relieved sigh and tried to hold on more securely to the brother by her right as she allowed herself to be carried closer to the road. The children were among a crowd of pedestrians, all waiting for the chance to cross the four-lane expressway safely. It was late evening and most of them were coming from their farms.

The thirteen years old Oyoma was carrying a tightly bound plastic bag of melon, freshly harvested and cleaned by all three earlier that day. The boys, both younger than her, were burdened by firewood but the bundles were not overly heavy. They were more twigs than chunky branches. Their mother wouldn’t be very happy with them since those didn’t last in the fire. But Mama would know it was no fault of theirs, in fact Oyoma looked forward to the warm leafy yam porridge that would be waiting for them at home. Oyoma was brought back to the present when people began to move.

A 7.5-ton container trailer screamed down the express towards the junction with music blaring from the radio. It had been a grueling drive from Lagos made worse by several hours’ delay at Shagamu caused by a faulty brake. The mechanic had expressed reservations with his decision to continue but Babatunde had waved him off. Now, he had smile on his face as he drove. Mama Pauline was waiting for him at her shack beside the Motor Park. She was a magician in the kitchen and in the bedroom. He imagined an amorous visit with her as he rolled his shoulders to Orlando Owoh’s “Iyawo Olele”.

Babatunde had eased off the gas pedal when he had earlier noticed the cars in front stopping to enable the crowd to make their way across. Lost in his thoughts, he pushed back down on the accelerator. Cursing the moment of distraction, he again stepped on the breaks in a reflex to correct the mistake. The break did not respond. He spun the wheel and the trailer fishtailed. The container rear end swung sideways while the cab raced ahead knocking the cars before it in all directions. At the road side, he saw chaos as everyone ran for dear life. People screamed and dived away. Those who couldn’t see what was happening reacted to the shouts of warning and fear that rent the air.

Oyoma wondered why her brother pulled away so quickly without allowing her to hold on, she had been born deaf and had gone completely blind just last year. She tried to call her brother but someone pushed against her and she stepped forward. She would move with the tide till they got to the other side. After that it would take about 10 minutes to get home to food prepared by their mum. Oyoma took two further steps before the side bumpers of the trailer tossed her into the air. The melon bag burst open with a loud plop as it landed on the road scattering wet melon seeds over the tarmac.

Before Oyoma knew what was happening, the weight of the rampaging container crashed into her displacing the comforting image of food waiting at home. She went up screaming at the top of her young lungs and in the next instant fell onto the path of the oncoming traffic in the next lane. The force of the landing cracked two ribs and dragged her a few feet on the hot tarmac. The skin on the exposed parts of her arms and legs peeled away like soft fruit. Her whole body was a mass of pain.

The first two cars in whose way she fell managed to avoid hitting her but the third couldn’t. A guttural moan escaped momentarily as the bones of her legs snapped audibly but she was soon beyond any sound. By this time all the cars had stopped, and some semblance of quiet cloaked the gruesome scene. Some of the pedestrians trailing back to the spot couldn’t help their cries of horror. Her brothers wailed and yelled her name. But it was all over; Oyoma was dead.


ps, I don't know how clinically correct this story is but it was coming across this article on wiki that inspired the primary character Oyoma.


  1. FIRST! Hahahaha... Now I feel like one of those lame people I make fun of... lol. OK.. Off to read it now... :)

  2. Why now??? :( I can't imagine the guilt the brother must feel for leaving her in his confused state... I liked the description... It was just like any dense market area in a typical city in Naija- could have been Aleshinloye or Bodija market back home in Ibadan... That was why I was sucked in to the story...

    P.S. I'll see if i can lengthen my entry... don't know if I can go any longer without dialogue, though... :s Thinking of fleshing the story out or making it a chapter in a series... We'll see...

  3. Damn! F i was the first jo it was my serve that was messing up.

    I like the description of the scene, it sounds soo real. Nice one Myne.

  4. lovely, your stories always make me feel like i'm there too, I guess that's why you're on eof the best

  5. LOL... Shorty no vex... na so people steal first position from me before... ndo... lol.

  6. peeled away like soft fruit...oh man, that was a very vivid scene. So heartbreaking, no only her death but the guilt I'm sure is coming for her brother. Great job.

  7. oh wow!
    dats just tragic...
    suprising how a story with no dialogue can turn out so good...i never noticed that there were stories like this...

  8. wow
    this is sad
    i didn't think this is the way it would end

    so sad

  9. Intense. I like the way you wove in all the other people and their significance.

    Good work.


  10. Thanks for the comments.

    @Kafo, sorry it made you sad.

  11. been too away frm dis family. arghhhhhhh. OH MYNE... JST WANA WRITE LIKE U SUMDAY.

  12. oh so sad....i felt i was there.... it hurts MYNE....why? why was more attention not given to her since she was deaf & blind? WHAT A PAINFUL & TRAGIC DEATH!*Sobbing*

  13. I love reading your blog, and I'm happy to have come across it in the randomness of the web. Such a unique POV you have.

    - Eric

  14. See? And you said MY subject matter could be disturbing :P

    Nice work. Disturbing (heh!) and nicely executed.

  15. I sort of saw the ending coming but I didn't want to. :(
    Nice job! That brother must feel terrible now. (not to mention the truck driver).

  16. Thanks for the comments, sorry it is sad, I know I usually prefer lighter themes.

    @Fragile, welcome back. I missed you.

    @NG, pele, don't cry. It's just a story, lol.

    @Eric, thanks for visiting, I'm glad you like it.

    @Ice-pick, lol. Thanks

    @Iapetus, that was the plan, right from the title. It was a sad day writing this too but I'm glad it came out well.

  17. Wow, great job. Awesome detail! I saw the end coming but I tried to believe that it would be okay! Oh, how naive I was!

  18. Hi Harley, I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the Blog Fest.

  19. this is sooo sad...*sobs*.
    really lovely piece, couldn't get distracted...spellbinding from the first line to the last word

  20. Darn...This was sooooo descriptive that it felt like i was there...i loved every minute..

  21. OMG! You are a talent!!!! I love!

  22. i have mad respect for you
    that was well written

  23. Thanks you for the comments.

    @Beautiful, don't cry please? It's just a story OK?

  24. This has me feeling melancholy..and the sad fact is...that's actually a compliment....I like it, not because its sad, but cos i can actually "feel" it....but really u've made me melancholy...was that your plan?

  25. Ah, hope you're feeling better now? It wasn't my plan o, lol.

  26. This was well written Myne but quite sad....

  27. This was poignant, very sad but a beautiful and very descriptive piece...i really got into the story. Its like my best of yours, and you have many good ones. no dialogue at all, yet no dialogue was needed.

  28. Thanks Enkay and Miss Natural!


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