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Tales From The Other Side; exciting short story collection!

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Tales From The Other Side; exciting short story collection!

From Seun Odukoya (on Facebook)

“I wonder which of us he summons now,” one of the figures – one that closely resembles what we call ‘female’ speaks.

Several other figures gather around it, looking through the same crack in the wall – a crack that widens itself as more of them try to look.

“Be ‘ware – see that you do not out-fall,” a large one cries. As though preempted, a tiny version of the same image forces its way between two bigger figures – and screams; a keening sound, as it loses its footing.

“There, there,” the large one that spoke before grabs the tiny one’s foot in time and pulls it backwards. ‘Large’ hugs ‘tiny’ to itself – and makes small cooing noises.

It’s a weird image; I know. But it’s a real one.

The object of their curiosity is one more familiar – it is a man bent over a book and writing furiously. He looks famished – like the last leaf on a dying tree; something badly in need of a lifeline; water maybe.
His clothes look slept in – very much slept in. He probably stinks; I’m not close enough to tell – but with the myriad of stains and stripes that spot his shirt, it isn’t hard to imagine that he is ripe. His painfully-thin frame folds over the back of the chair he’s sitting in – he looks limper than a used rag.

His surroundings, however tell a different story.

The book he was writing in is neat; his handwriting is clear and beautiful in an unsettling manner. The table itself looks like the survivor of a cat-fight; scratches mar its leather-bound surface. A few candle-smudged burn marks show his tendency to be absent-minded; as the neatly-stacked books and arranged biros attest his attention to detail. A few darker stains – spilled coffee and something else enhance the weather-beaten look of the table.
The only thing that seems out of place is the box of pills lying innocently beside the shut laptop. Of course, ‘out-of-place’ is relative.

Like almost everything else, really.

The room is frustratingly spotless. Clothes are properly hung or folded; shoes neatly arranged in a corner, books stacked underneath the well-laid bed. Dirty clothes make a tidy pile beside the door – the only incongruous note is struck by the pieces of ripped paper that surround the table and chair.

They stand out like rash on a baby’s ass.

The limp right hand rises slowly from the tired thigh it is lying on – and proceeds to scratch the corresponding side of the head. Heavy eyes flutter desperately – but remain closed. The hand; having concluded its mission
falls to its master’s side.

And all is still for a moment.

And then – with a startling abruptness; as though attacked fiercely in the posterior by an angry needle, he jumps up. The watching figures cower – even I stumble backwards in my shock. But in his self-absorption he takes no notice.

He is; after all, a writer. Unfortunately.

His limbs straighten – a flame rouses itself in eyes that looked slumberous moments ago. Impatiently he sets himself at the table once again. Grabbing the notepad, he gives it a hurried glance – and discards it.

And then, he grabs the laptop, jabs it awake with an unkind finger – and begins pounding the keys; very much like an impatient man who does not wait for his wife to be turned on before…

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“Ah,” the largest of the watching figures sighs, smiling fondly. “Alas, it is but a love story.”

The others turn – and watch; as the tiny figure the giant is still holding begins to shimmer – to glow; throwing all sorts of color all over the vacuum.
‘Tiny’ becomes blindingly bright – and then vanishes altogether, leaving behind a smell we would describe as ‘oranges’ – but is obviously foul to them as evidenced by their frowning visages; what little they have in the way of that.

And then; as one they all touch their foreheads and blink rapidly.
“So gone is love,” the female-looking one sighs. “Next is who?”

Read Tales From The Other Side. Find Out.

Or not.


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