As mentioned in my last post on my visit to the NYSC camp, I organised a writing contest for Corps members to test their creative juices, get recognition, and also get some little change to spend in mami market :).
If you don't know what mami market is or what the NYSC and the camp are, then you should probably get a copy of my book "Twenty-One Days" and experience it.
Anyway, Corps members were invited to send in their short stories of not more than 300 words, within four days. There was no theme, so they needed to be creative... and their stories needed to be a complete story, and not a prelude or an introduction to another story.
We received tons of entries for the contest, and our judges went through them thoroughly. Although the judges noted that ALL the stories were not really up to par, were not creative, lacked imagination, and needed a lot of improvement, they were still able to pick the top four... they had to, so that the prizes would be awarded.
So here goes:
1st Prize: The Unknown by Emmanuel Eshamogbo Ojub
|Emmanuel got a copy of Twenty-One Days and 5,000 Naira|
There was a sudden movement in the tall grasses, quickening her heartbeat and forcing the young woman to slow her steps. She was instantly calmed by the sight of a small lizard scurrying across the small walkway that parted the bush into two. Breathing a huge sigh of relief, she took three long strides into the midst of the grassland and sat, allowing the exhaustion of the past four days take over.
It all started on that fateful day in Karu village, a vibrant farming community five kilometers south of the Great Lake. She had been heading to her brother’s farm when the terrorists struck. Her captors had told her she was lucky – her new husband was a man of valour, and would provide a good environment for her to raise young, strong men, dedicated to the advancement of the Islamic Empire throughout the world.
Initially, her new king had tried to be charming, determined to win his way to her heart. But when she had refused his first attempt to entice her to bed, he became a savage beast, slapping her hard across the face and threatening to kill her at the next refusal.
“There would be no next refusal,” the young woman had said to herself then, and she was saying out loud now, steeling herself for the days or even weeks that lay ahead. She would continue her journey into the unknown until she was found by soldiers, recaptured by the same terrorists, or eaten by vultures.
With the exhaustion finally setting in, she lay down and succumbed to the pull of four days’ worth of sleep.
What do you think? Please leave your comments... good, bad and ugly, and they will go a long way.