Friday, February 24, 2012

Make Each Day Count For Good - The Winning Story

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Do you remember the Make Each Day Count For Good contest? It was set up some time ago by Dianah's Place to encourage writing and reading in Nigeria. The winner of the contest was recently announced and I think this story totally deserved to win. It is titled 10seconds. Keep a hanky ready, you may need it by the time you finish this.

{1st second} 

I turn my head and see a little child reach for her doll in the middle of the street oblivious of the speeding molué heading straight at her.

{2nd second} 

She looks up and sees the bus and freezes on the spot

{3rd second} 

JULIEEEETTTTT!!!!! Her chaperon; maybe her mother or her elder sister or her aunty or her cousin, screams the girls name from the other side of the road

{4th second} 

I run, without thinking, towards the little child

{5th second} 

I can see the bus reaching me from my side-eye; I know I don’t have time to carry the girl out so I push her as far away as I can

{5 ½th second} 

I feel a massive blow on my whole left side

{6th second} 

I feel myself flying in the air. I cannot scream… and I know I am about to die. I don’t believe this is happening today. Today of all days! Today the doctors finally confirmed I am pregnant, after waiting seventeen years. Seventeen years! Do you know how long seventeen years is? Do you know how much longing for something you want so much but can’t seem to have hurts? For seventeen years I have prayed, hoped, sort out the latest science, and the earliest traditional procedures. For seventeen years I have wanted my own child. And now I die? Life is such a bitch.

{7th second} 

I am still flying. I have flown before, but only in my dreams. And in my dreams I didn’t feel so much pain and anguish at the same time. I think to myself that I must look really funny right now, swinging stupidly in the air and I laugh at myself in my mind

{8th second} 

I feel myself descending. I feel a sense of déjà vu, like this must have happened before, and I make a mental note not to let my instincts push me to save anyone from a speeding bus again… if I come back to earth.

{9th second} 

My mind’s eye can see the ground before I hit it. My real eyes catch a glimpse of the now wailing little girl I had just pushed out of the way. Why did it have to be a little girl? I love little girls. I have always wanted a little girl of my own. Someone that would finally be able love and appreciate me, someone I could teach about life and how to live it. Someone I could leave a little part of me with before I die. O shit! I remember I am about to die!

{9 ½th second} 

I start to break a smile I reason that this isn’t such a terrible way to die. And in a way I guess I got my wish. The little girl I just saved would probably love and appreciate me for the rest of her life. She will probably tell her children and her children’s children about me. She’ll probably go about being good to others because of what I just did. At least I hope she does go about doing good every day because of me… wouldn’t want to have died for nothing. I reason I have left a small part of myself with her.

{10th second} 

My smile is half done. I can hear my mother’s voice. She’s singing to me. It’s the song she always sang when I did something right. It’s a song I haven’t heard in years. She would be proud of me. I feel the right side of my head connect with the ground. I hear the ‘crack’ sound. I think ‘it’s either my skull or the pavement’

Everything goes black.


This short story has also been published on Naijastories, and you can read more of the author there.


  1. I love how so few words are used to tell such a profound story. I only wish she could have not died. Can't help thinking how her husband and family would feel. I can imagine they'd be selfish (and rightly so too) and think, why did she have to save that girl? Why didn't she think about us. Sad.

    Congrats to the writer.

  2. Wow! succinct, powerful story. Thanks for sharing, Myne.

  3. Wow this is nice and interesting..

  4. A powerful piece of writing - ten seconds - well done.

  5. Just Wow! Totally deserving to win.

  6. I'm just shell shocked. This one's a knocker and deserves that win.

  7. WOW! I wonder hoe people can package such art into few words. Nice!

  8. wow! very interesting and sad :(

  9. the message?...if u had ten seconds btw life n death, hw would u utilise it?

  10. Now this is one of the most interesting piece I have ever read. I wished she didn't have to die.


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