Flash Fiction

The Law Student, the Learned Driver, and the Mopol

passenger sitting in back seat of car

The Zeal

A law student who had just passed his bar finals was at the Supreme Court in Abuja to have his name registered on the roll of legal practitioners. At the Supreme Court, he was given a prerequisite document which had to be signed by the Nigerian Law School. It was around noon and it’s about 45 minutes drive from the Supreme Court to law school. He was hoping he could make his way to the law school and still come back in time to the Supreme Court to complete the process the same day.

The law student, the learned driver, and the Mopo

Park Well

On his way out of the Supreme Court, the law student saw a taxi that seemed to be heading out of the Court premises and he quickly waved for the driver to stop. The driver pulled up by the kerb and he jumped in the taxi. No sooner had he shut the taxi door than a mobile police officer (Mopol) who was like 15 meters away approached quickly. “PARK WELL!”, ordered the Mopol. “Didn’t you see the no parking sign?”, he said to the driver.

No stopping sign
No parking sign

The law student hadn’t seen it coming. He was so zealous about completing the registration at the Supreme Court and wasn’t ready for any sort of drama that could occasion delay. “Sorry Sir, we sincerely apologise”, said the law student.

“No, don’t apologise”, retorted the taxi driver with notable eloquence. “Let’s just beg him to save time”, said the law student.

Swayed

The driver proceeded defiantly. “I stopped to pick a passenger, I did not park”. “There is a difference between stopping and parking”. “The road sign you are referring to means no parking”. At this point the law student was nodding slowly in approval, seemingly following the driver’s argument.

Passenger sitting in back seat of car

“If it were intended that no one should stop or park in these premises, the appropriate road sign would been placed here” the driver added. “Such sign is usually a red x on a blue background rather than a single red line”. The Mopol paused for like 5 seconds then smiled and said, “Okay, just find me something”.

As they headed for Bwari, the law student was still perplexed and wondered how a cabbie could speak with such eloquence. “I am a university graduate, I started driving a taxi in Abuja due to unemployment situation in this country”, said the taxi driver.

‘The law student, the learned driver, and the Mopol’ is a fictional short story inspired by real-life events. The images used are stock images for elaborative purpose only and the characters had nothing to with the actual story.

Between right or wrong – Henry’s choice

Between right or wrong
Between right or wrong - Henry's choice
Between right or wrong – Henry’s choice

He was shocked, amazed even. Was this real? He looked from one face to the other and read determination in their eyes. They meant what they were saying. Over the past few months, he had been applying for jobs at several companies all to no avail. They always said he was good and they would get back to him but they never did. Then, he had come across Limelight Incorporated and had sent his CV. They had called him for an interview and here he was expecting he would be given the job. Well, he was going to be given the job but there was just one small obstacle in his way.

The agreement

He had aced his interview and his letter of appointment had been shown to him. What was left was to sign an agreement before he could be given the letter. He had agreed of course to sign the agreement and it had been brought. It was only when he had the good sense to read the contents of the agreement that he realised what he was about to sign and then the colour drained from his face. He read the agreement again, thinking he had probably not read it well or his eyes were playing tricks on him. He even adjusted his glasses so he could be sure. The words were still the same.

Between right or wrong

“Mr Oke, I don’t understand this.” He said addressing the man who had asked him questions most.
The man laughed. “Mr Henry, what don’t you understand? Look, in life, one has to be smart. If you get this job, you’ll earn 50, 000 a month. Can 50, 000 solve your problems for a month?”
“No sir but how does this relate to…”

His other interviewer, a woman cut in. “We are trying to help you Mr Henry. If you agree to sign this deal, when the profits come around, you’ll be earning in six figures and even an illiterate knows that beats 50, 000.”
“So, you want me to sign a deal that means I’ll be duping the company I’m working for?” He asked aghast.
“Precisely.” Mr Oke replied.
“And if I don’t?” He asked again.

The woman answered again this time by tearing his appointment letter. “You’ll lose this job Mr Henry.”
“But…Sir, ma, this is wrong!”
“Yes we know. It’s your choice. You can choose between right or wrong. Right might retain your integrity but you’ll lose this job which I’m sure you can’t afford. Wrong on the other hand will give you this job and the only thing you’ll lose is probably your integrity, if it means anything to you.” Mr Oke said with a nonchalant shrug.

Henry’s choice

Henry got up. “Mr Oke, Mrs Onah, I thank you for your offer but I’m afraid, I have to decline. Signing this deal goes against my code of conduct and like you, sir, mentioned earlier; my integrity is everything to me.”
Mrs Onah spoke up. “Young man, do you know what you are doing? If you walk out that door, you are saying a definite bye to this job.”
“Oh, I know. Thanks.” Henry replied and with that, he walked out of the room. He got into the lobby of the company and was surprised to see the GM of the company waiting for him.

The outcome

“Congratulations.” The man said shaking Henry’s hand.
“On what?” A befuddled Henry asked.
“On your new job.” Mr Oke who had come out of the interview room with Mrs Onah replied, shaking Henry’s hand.
“I thought…”
“You my dear are just the man we’re looking for; a man of integrity who can stand his ground. Despite the fact that you were desperate for a job, you chose to do the right thing, congratulations once again.” Mrs Onah said shaking his hand.
Henry was speechless. The only thing he could think was if he had failed that simple test, if he had chosen to do the wrong thing, if he had thought to put away his integrity for just a while, he would have definitely lost the job, if not more. It really did pay to be a person of integrity.

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A lesson for Thelma: living right

A lesson for Thelma: living right
A lesson for Thelma: living right
A lesson for Thelma: living right

A lesson for Thelma

The forewarning

Thelma was a young girl of 16 years who gained admission into University to study Mass Communication. She came from a comfortable family where she was the only child and so she was cherished but disciplined. Before leaving her home in Abuja for Lagos, her parents had warned her about all the distractions that could entice her in the university. They had also warned Thelma to be careful about the friends she kept. As we all know, bad company corrupts good manners. Thelma solemnly promised her parents that she would make them proud and she would watch the company she kept while in school. Thelma’s parents knew they had trained their daughter well and so they thought they had no cause for alarm.

Life on campus

Unfortunately, Thelma’s parents they were wrong. Thelma got to her school with the notion that she was at liberty to live however she pleased. She believed she was free from parental guidance. After all, she was almost an adult. She threw all the words of counsel her parents had given her to the wind. Eventually, she got mixed up with the wrong crowd.

Patricia and Judith were twin sisters who studied Mass Communication too at the University of Lagos. Both came from very rich homes and they were spoilt kids who lacked manners. They thought the world revolved around them. They noticed Thelma in their class one day when she was talking noisily at the back of the class though there was a lecturer in the class. The twin sisters decided to make Thelma part of their little gang.

Temptations

At first, Thelma was reluctant to join them especially when she found out they were ardent clubbers, alcoholics and drug addicts. But they knew she didn’t come from a rich family and so they used money to entice her into joining them. Eventually she did. Because of their wayward lives, their academics suffered and again Thelma was worried about her poor results. Patricia and Judith told her that with money, even good grades could be bought and they continued living reckless lives. Several times, they were warned by friends to desist from their bad behaviours but they turned deaf ears to these warnings.

On February 14, they planned to attend a Valentine house party which was to hold somewhere on Lagos Island. When their hostel matron saw them leaving the hostel at 11:45 pm, she called them to her office. She spoke to them about the dangers of such late-night outings. After she had talked a while, Thelma decided that she wasn’t going again and she would begin to live responsibly. Patricia and Judith were bent on going. Though the matron tried desperately to dissuade them from attending, they walked out on her. They eventually left for the party.

The Aftermath

At the party, due to the influence of alcohol and drugs, things went south and Patricia was gang-raped to death. Someone alerted the police and they showed up, determined to arrest the rapists and the other party-goers. Judith quickly left without Patricia and drove off with some of their friends in order to escape the police who were chasing. Due to reckless driving and the fact that the person driving them was drunk, they had an accident and they all died.

When the news got to Thelma, she knew she had cheated misfortune by an inch. That taught Thelma to live right and heed good counsel. If she hadn’t, well, she would have ended her life miserably just like Patricia and Judith.

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Too Late to be Sorry

Too Late to be Sorry
Too Late to be Sorry
Too late to be sorry

Chidi stepped into the room and glimpsed his brother playing with his favourite toy – a small wooden soldier – which he had carved out for himself and which he held dear to his heart. His brother looked up startled and anything he wanted to say before froze on the tip of his tongue.

“Are you mad?” Chidi asked.
Only then did Ebuka’s tongue loose. “I-I-I am sorry brother.”

“Sorry my foot!” Chidi said and before his brother could reply he had given him a backhand slap which sent Ebuka rolling on the floor. He picked up the wooden soldier and began hitting his brother several times while poor Ebuka could only scream and shield his face with his hands.
“Chidi, sorry, sorry, I will not do it again.” Ebuka wailed pitifully but Chidi seemed to hardly hear and continued beating him.

“Chidi leave that boy this instant!”
He stopped on recognising his mother’s voice. He stopped and turned slowly to face his mum who looked at him like he was insane.
“Why were you hitting him?” She asked him.
“He was playing with my toy.” Chidi said.


“Toy? That was why you hit him so?” And before she knew it herself, she had given Chidi two hot slaps. “Who at your age keeps a toy to begin with? Ehn? That hasn’t shamed you enough. You saw your brother playing with it and the next thing that comes to mind is to beat him senseless with it abi? Let me even see the toy.”
That was when Chidi saw that the toy had even broken while he used it to beat his brother.

“You see yourself? It has even broken. Good for you. This anger will put you in trouble one day. Don’t ever beat your brother again, you hear? Ana m ado gi aka na nti! Ehen! Ebuka let’s go.” She stormed out of the room.
Chidi sat on the bed muttering “I’ll teach him a lesson” several times.

A week later…

Ebuka ran into the room trying to lock it before his brother followed him in but then he wasn’t strong to close the door on his brother who was ten years his elder. Eventually he burst in and he was so angry, Ebuka knew he would be given a thorough beating

“Why did you tell mum what happened? You couldn’t keep your mouth shut abi?” Chidi asked. Without waiting for an answer, he pulled his belt off his trousers and began hitting Ebuka whose screams could wake the dead.

At some point Ebuka tried to fight back and then a struggle ensued. Ebuka bit Chidi’s hand and the pain maddened Chidi so much that all that he could think of was hurting Ebuka terribly. Chidi grabbed Ebuka and slammed him on the wall once. He proceeded to do it again but then he saw red colour on the wall. Where did it come from? He heard a rasping sound and looked down. Ebuka was gasping for breath and his head bled. For the first time panic took hold of Chidi.

Too late

“No Ebuka, no I’m sorry. O di m nwute, biko.” He begged loudly and before he knew it, he began to scream for help as he felt life slipping from Ebuka. His mum rushed in alongside their gateman and well as usual, a scream announced her entrance.

“Heu!!! Chidi, egbuola m, egbuola m o…Heu!!!” She rushed to her son Ebuka and grabbed him from Chidi’s arms. She then ran outside so as to rush him to a hospital. As she was just getting to the car she felt Ebuka gasp one more time and he was dead. “Ebuka, Ebuka, Ebuka!”. It was too late. She fainted while the other neighbours in the compound rushed out.

All Chidi could see around him was chaos but all he could think was that he had been warned about his anger and that it would someday get him into trouble. It was too late to be sorry. If only he had listened, he could have avoided the trouble. Suddenly he saw policemen from nowhere and people were pointing at him. He tried to run away but the policemen were fast and they knocked him down. “My own don finish!”, he said. Then he lost consciousness.

You might also be interested in Flaw of the Women-folk

Flaw of the Women-folk

Flaw of the women-folk

It was our lunch break at LPL Holdings Inc. My friend Miriam and I went to the
company restaurant and ordered for a meal.
“Miriam, anything for me?” I asked knowing my friend for always having gist.
“Yes o.” She replied.
“Oya download for me na.”
She looked around and then began. “Could you believe that the Boss is chopping life
with Clara?”
“Ehn?” I screamed my eyes wide.
“Shhh. Don’t make noise na!” She cautioned me. “Wetin you don hear self?”
“No vex.” I replied.
“Ehen, in fact she just aborted for him last week.”
“Heu!!! Miriam, how and where did you get this information?” I asked alarmed.
“From the horse’s mouth baby.” She replied airily.
“Which of the horses?” I whispered.
“The female one.”
“Why did Clara tell you?” Miriam was BBC in the flesh and everyone knew it so why did
Clara tell her knowing that the news would spread round the company once Miriam
heard it?
“She said she’s tired of giving in to his advances.”
“Tired bawo? E don tey wey e don dey knack am ni?”
“Siddon dia. The last abortion she committed last week was the 5th.”
My face froze in shock. What!!!!!! “Wetin u talk now?”
“Hm. They done dey collabo for like 7 months now.” My friend continued.
“But Clara doesn’t look like an office prostitute, I mean she’s a decent girl nau.” I
thought aloud. “What happened?”
“True she is a nice girl but you know how Clara dresses nau. Not that she exposes
anything but her figure is always out so, the boss got interested and asked her to be his
mistress. When she refused, he gave her two options: lose the job or be his mistress.
Poor Clara that is still managing her life with a job couldn’t afford losing it as it is not
easy to get a job in this country. Na so she gree for oga o.”
I was pained for her. “He took advantage of her knowing she needed the job.” I said as
I shook my head sadly.
Miriam looked at me. “Pele o lawyer. You wanna sue your boss for sexual harassment?”
“Swearz but then I’m more of a business lawyer than a human rights activist.” I
lamented.
“All these things: rape, sexual harassment and the likes is caused by the flaw of the
women-folk.” Miriam said thoughtfully.
“How exactly do you mean? What’s our flaw?” I asked her.
“The way we dress. That’s it.”
I still couldn’t put two and two together.”…expantiate.”
“Women love to dress in a way that will show of all their curves forgetting that men are
moved by what they see. We say they should take their eyes off and some even stupidly
say ‘see but don’t touch’ but we are just kidding ourselves. Say you’ve been hungry,
starving even for 3 or more days, and some delicious food which is not yours crosses
your view, you will agree with me that it will take self-control and in some cases, God
for you to not touch that food. Let me relate it to humans now. A single unmarried,
babeless guy wey konji don dey hold tey tey con see one haunty wey come visit am
wearing next to nothing, if there’s no self control, what do you think will happen or
rather what do you think is on his mind?”
“…sex.” I replied beginning to see her point.
“Ehen and if he can’t get it willingly from her, he’ll forcefully have his way. Check most
rape cases that’s what happened. A lady half unclad was in the presence of a man and
…”
I thought over it. Truly, indecent dressing was the flaw of the women-folk.

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