The Race To The Finish Line

The Race To The Finish Line

Group A
Duel 1

Your votes have kept them IN the game so far.

How much farther can one of them go?

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A 400-word story on “A Conversation Between gods”

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The RULES are easy

* Ensure to READ all stories

*Vote the one you think best interprets the theme.

Vote only ONE story

* No cajoling for votes. DO NOT influence public opinion.

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Story 1

The god of broken children.

Canto 1

On a fiery night, at the mountain that was the beginning of things. The god of life and the god of death have convened for a supper of roast yam and peppered oil. And while the people rest from their toils in far away huts; their labored breaths keep the gods warm. And they talk.

‘I hear the voice of a young boy’ begins the god of death ‘he calls me day and night. His screams quake my peace. He invites me to his nightmares and the grip of my cold deadening hands is his hope of redemption. What do you say, friend?

The god of life even in silence is imperial. But this night is no other night. The sheen in his eyes is dimming and he looks despairingly at his foil whose ogling eyes are red and intense with hunger…

‘Stay away from him. Do not touch that boy. I have so much for him. He is the hope of his village. I have looked into his future and all I see are dandelions, thistles, and violets. If he can wait…if he can survive the howling storm, I will make him bloom.’

The god of death belches. He knows fear. He wields fear. Through the raging hues of lightning, he strikes fear. He faces the god of life and their passions meet in a bolt, creating a spark as vicious as the big bang of creation.

‘Tell him the truth! He has lost you! He has lost hope! He is walking on a tight rope. I can save him from this agony of life. Don’t you see? That his nights are a deluge of tears; that his songs are solemn dirges—an ode to grief. Allow me to give him rest, or well, he is hopeless. I don’t think he will survive the test tonight.’

‘Douse your flames’ the god of life replies. ‘That boy is an unripe fruit, you won’t pluck him. If he can go beyond this night, just past this night; and tomorrow shall bring, thousands of reasons—to live’

Canto 2

The boy says to the songbirds, ‘sing songs of my dying. Tell the world that I tried but I was not enough. The world will come looking for me, tell them that I didn’t drown; I am the water.’

The boy looks at the world around him. It is haunting and empty. When he finally leaves, he will leave nothing but emptiness.

The god of death whispers to him, ‘Do not fail me this time. Come…come to me.’

The god of life screams the boy’s name, ‘Stay! There is hope, life can still bear meaning for you, stay!’

But it is too late. The boy grabs a gourd full of poisonous things and drinks his way to the god of broken children.

 

Story 2

HEDYLOGOS:

Sweet goddess! Wave your magic wand and stimulate this mind with your amazing floetic juices. Visions of romantic classics come to me in watercolor and I just want to drown in the essence of your enticing word-play. There’s a poetic uprising inside my mind. Rioting words amid chaotic sentences corrupt my thoughts and drain inspiration. Invite me inside your mental erogenous zone.

PEITHO:

My soul bursts with pride, my wordsmith. Let your guard down and meet me on plain canvas with nothing but your conscience. With my quill pen, I’ll write instructions to your heart. Metaphors will seep through your veins and your thoughts will shoot everywhere in the comfort of my exciting eloquence.

HEDYLOGOS:

The canvas is our stage- let’s indulge in the horror of our descriptive language.

I’ll leer at your well-crafted sentences like nude skin.

Together, we’ll create mind-blowing masterpieces containing our vulgar, artistic designs and patterns.

PEITHO:

Your flaming passion illuminates my soul, enlightens my mind and provokes my fleeting coquetry.

Your poetic finesse tickles my imagination I bask in the warmth of your inspiration.

HEDYLOGOS:

My heart, soul and mind delight at your smooth floetic appearance.

Like chocolate and cream, we compliment each other in a smooth flow as our tongues interlock in enchanting kisses.

You’ll come to me again,

Now,

I desire to build a more enduring, lasting commitment to your heart, soul and your beautiful mind.

PEITHO:

I have built a wardrobe of memories for us.

Call for me when the thugs of writers’ block attack your mind’s and mess with your creativity.

I’ll stand outside the windows of your soul with my juicy word-play.

We’ll spit words, split sentences as our thoughts merge in a duet.

Stagger across canvas like drunks, as our words bleed on paper.

We’ll poeticize our thoughts and imaginations and let inspiration take over.

Pages will close, theatre’s doors will shut but I’ll forever stay engraved inside your mind. Our words are immortal.

HEDYLOGOS:

Here’s my poetic tribute to you in words-not

Just mere prose for the beautiful, talented goddess that you are.

Written with love, sealed with a kiss.

Until next time

PEITHO:

I’ll scribe syllables on every page in remembrance of you.

Your powerful words and inspiration will always pull me from pits of despair.

An ode printed with Xs and Os as we depart momentarily.

To last – to the end, my god.

 

Story 3

The blind nation

Jonah had traveled some miles now. The unrest in the nation had caused him to flee. Little did he know he was in the territory of Mighty, the one his countrymen hated. A discussion which ensued between Zuli and this god had made him repent of his evil and return to help his countrymen change for good that night.

“Can’t you make them see?”

“See what Zuli, god of the hades?”

“That you’re not to blame – their predicaments – you have no hand in it.”

“I think they know, Zuli”

“Then why do they blame you Mighty god of the people rather than turn from their wickedness and evil?

Remember you once sent Yeshua to lead them back to you after they had left this kingdom a few years ago. Likewise his disciples, they didn’t hesitate to follow suit when the people cease not to doubt Yeshua’s message. How long will you watch this evil nation before you wipe them from the surface of the earth?”

“Far be it Zuli! Enough of your heresies. How can I destroy the one I love? If you hadn’t rebelled against my reign in the beginning, would there have existed a devil like you among them today? You’re the despair of saints in crime scenes, the wolf in sheep clothing at worship places; causing division and confusion in the hearts of my people lest they know who to follow. Aren’t you still in the business of devouring the victims of your follies?

“I love these people Zuli. I will not destroy them for Lord Mercy’s sake.”

“I can see how much you overlook their shortcomings.” Zulu chuckled. “Only if you’d take a look at the papers they sold at their vendors today, my opinion you’d consider. How they despise you!”

“You needn’t tell me Zuli. I know your works – the suicide, the rape, the injustice, the unrest and sufferings written on the front pages of their papers and headlines of their news, you orchestrated them.”

“I know you made Judas commit that suicide; having convince him that my pardon he’d not receive. Isn’t it Zuli?”

“Then, why did you let me do all of these if you always know my thoughts?” Zuli laughed hysterically.

“How do I help the blind who has refused to hold my hands? Man must choose for himself Zulu, the god he will serve. Wish they stopped choosing evil.”

 

Story 4

The Carnage

Ala: Not again.  You people should see the blood they are shedding in the North!

Amadioha: I can see this sacrilege. That place reeks of injustice. The air I see there speaks the language of doom. Dead bodies are like logs for sale in Orie market.

Ala: I can’t take this anymore. Something needs to be done. They’re killing the soldiers in the North. I thought they would change when I saw these evil thoughts smoldering in them. Look at the brutality, look at the envy, look at their intentions.

Amadioha: They live off agricultural produce and oil in the south, but they won’t allow them to be. You would have allowed me to consume that white man when he set the premises for this in 1914.

Ikenga: The unity was for disunity.

Ahanjoku:  What are we to do now? The carnage is brutal.

Amadioha: Secession!

Ogwugwu: Secession?

Ala: My people can’t suffer this. They must be on their own. They must not be at the receiving end of this injustice meted out to them. They shall not be part of that country anymore Mba! No!

Arusi: No. It will make things worse. These men in green and white shall wage war against them. They stand no chance.

Ahajioku: Don’t be a coward. What are you doing here if you can’t save your people?

Ikenga: I smell war. Agha di!

Ala: I know a man worthy in the East. He shall lead this cause. I shall give him the courage, tenacity, power. He shall call the new Republic Biafra and the insignia shall be half of a yellow sun.

Ekwensu: Yes! Let them know without us, they shall not survive. Give them war if they ask for it!

Ogwugwu: They enemies have gods too. They’ll run them over with synergy of powers! Let’s thread with caution.

Ala: Anyone not tired of this tribalism and injustice that have consumed them inside out, then they are not worthy to be part of us. Freedom is what I wish my people. I can’t watch these fiends caged them. No time wasting. Amadioha, prepare the man and other brave men. Ikenga, you shall be with him. Ahajioku, bless the yams for their sustenance. Powers shall change hands.

Ogwugwu: I can’t be part of the war I can’t win.

Amadioha: gods don’t fight wars; they win them. The battle line is drawn.

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8 finalists 1 winner

144 COMMENTS

  1. I vote story 1

    Why not endure a little, oh you boy.
    Why not listen to god of life
    Why not say no to god of death
    A lot of why’s
    The story 1 touched me differently.
    It is story that teaches us that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

    I vote story 1

  2. Story 1 is the best among all… It thought me that when there is life there is hope if only we have patience… I vote story 1

  3. I vote for story 1, the story is so emotional and talks about real life events.

  4. A good story is not just a string of “lustrous” words but one that is systematically written.
    Among all the stories, 1, 3 and 4 deserve a second look.

    1 has good creative but the author is suffering from grammatical inconsistencies. He switches between present and past tense in the same sentence. That is bad. Although, the writer may have done it intentionally or out of ignorance. I will encourage him or her to be consistent in terms of next writing. It makes the story to be alive and active.

    And the next story that is story 3 but it lacks real thought because it is a common creative impulse biblically induced.

    Then story 4 is grammatically consistent and interesting. I just want to tell the writer to keep sharpening his writing skills.

    I vote for story 4.

  5. Story 1 on the go, mehn you have a good story line… I vote ya: story 1.

  6. I prefer the story 1 so inspiring and emotional. Story 1 all the way

  7. Story 1 isn’t just a story, IT IS LIFE speaking to us through words💯, cant believe I had goosebumps while reading it😫… I made a mistake be voting at first without reading 🙄, but now that I did am glad…. Story 1 all the way🚀

  8. Story 1 beats others for me. A combination of the core human emotions into a dense and short but powerful package.

    I VOTE STORY 1

  9. Story 1 all the way. If one does not really understand the cruelty of life, then this story is for you. It has an evident representation of real life experience. This is a rich story.

  10. Story 1 all the way. If one does not really know life, this is a story to read. It is an evident representation of life.

    I vote Story 1.

  11. Story 1 got my attention there’s more to life when we don’t lose hope. My vote goes for story 1

  12. This is a well crafted master piece….i give it up for story 1……😍😍😍

  13. The happenings of this days is real to this story, only if the boy knew that living ignites hope..

    Story 1 got my vote

  14. Story 1 is outstanding
    What a wonderful piece of article

  15. I am voting for story 1. Story one is a presentation of our present reality. It got me all emotional

  16. I vote for story 1. Only if we humans can look beyond our present predicament and see the hope at the end. There is always hope at the end of the tunnel.

  17. Story 1 has my vote! How the words enchanted my limbs to tremble and my heart, like a pendulum, to the left and to the right swerved as the words ravaged me.

  18. I vote story 1

    Oh the gods can even interfere in our life’s challenges but the one we feeds most, takes the lead. “douse your flames” god of death!
    So emotional.

  19. I vote story 4.
    I vote story 4
    I vote story 4
    I vote story 4
    I vote story 4.
    I vote story 4
    I vote story 4
    I vote story 4
    I vote story 4.
    I vote story 4
    I vote story 4
    I vote story 4

  20. I really prayed that the little boy endured the night.
    But alas this is the story of most humans, we tend to give up just when the dawn has reached us.

    Story 1 does it for me. I vote for story 1

  21. Story 1 is captivating. It brought my attention to the current situation the youths are passing through these days which is depression.

  22. I love story 1. I guess it’s a way of telling us humans that life is like a bed of roses. There are a lot of thorns but in the end it will still be beautiful if we can endure the pain. It’s so unique

  23. 😭😭 if only he had looked beyond
    There is hope
    Life is hope.

    Story one have my vote.
    Who is this writer?
    He or she is dam good.
    The writer knew the current situation of the country, depression is really,its snatching away our youths,out wonderful tomorrow.

    I vote story 1

  24. I vote for story 1, its just excellent, can’t believe I’ve read it like 15 times already and am still not tired

  25. I vote for story 1. It tells of the recent happenings in our present time. This story ought to be shared on our social media for the youths…when death seems like the best way out, may we remember that we leave nothing but emptiness.

  26. My vote goes to story 1…
    It creates a mental picture of the fights that ensues between gods before a life is lost…

  27. Story 1
    Story 1
    Story 1
    I can’t hold my tears. The th
    eme is superb for the recent times and story one interprets judiciously. I wish this story can go beyond a mere contest. I wish the depressed can hear the voice of the god of life.

  28. Story 1 touched me. Story 2 is good. Story 3 is godly. but I vote 4. Looks like what gods would do

  29. Really tight call between story 1,3 and 4 but Story 1 has my vote….it really caught my attention

  30. The story of Akachi is more like it. The boy’s last hours on earth is a real communication with the gods. Story 1 has my vote.

  31. I vote story 1. The sense of immediacy in the story makes it superb. One could feel the events of the story are happening immediately. I love the craftiness

  32. I vote story 1, filled with so emotion. it’s so sad he failed the god of life. In his next life, i hope he gets a second chance.

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