The first rain of the year was tapering off and Eppy was about to discover a truth that was to mark the rest of his life. A cool wind breezed through his slit-eyed louvres, calling out the child in him. He resisted for a moment, all Management Trainee of him, then he caved in and passed through the kitchen, shedding layers. He took a knob of soap from the sill. His feet slipped into the yellow slippers on the stoop. No longer nude, he stepped into the delicious drizzle and paused, arrested by memories of childhood. The catarrhal tap had dripped a bucket full, and was dripping still. As he crossed the yard, a distant mongrel howled at the incontinent moon. Eppy dipped a bowl into the bucket. He let his body drink the water. The memory of the day’s vicious heat was dead. The bathwater was cooler than the rain. He let his body savour the breeze. The breeze was cooler than the bathwater. Then he searched his memory for the food or the sex or the thrill that approached the present pleasures singing in his stunned body… and that was when he knew: he would never write the grand theory of marketing, or make a billion naira, or gain the office of managing director, or save the world. Not when the greatest pleasures of this sinful world could be had for nothing, in his birthday suit, by the broken tap in his village house.

6 Replies to “Midnight's Revelation”

  1. su'eddie says:

    Ah! This is an original! Sweet and sooooo cool. In the times of so much wahala in the air and too many ambitions, this makes sense. Thanks Chuma.

    PS: Sure speaks to me.

    Reply
  2. Voodoo says:

    This is no flash in the pan, Chuma. Something delirious this piece brews.

    But some housekeeping chores:

    1. Darkness, night, where is the image of darkness? The setting is worse the wear for lack of it. Since our own darkness is of a special breed, it needs a special treatment, not gimmickry.

    2. ‘Eppy’ needs the Kunte Akinte treatment.

    3. – ‘by the broken tap in his village’. In the earlier progression he had walked away, bucket in hand, from the broken tap, right?

    Congrats on the centenary stunt.

    Reply
    1. Chuma Nwokolo says:

      Hi there, Omni,
      Image of darkness apart from the dog howling at the moon… hmmm… One early version of the flash started: ‘Midnight. The first rain of the year was tapering off…’ But of course, I like to make my titles do some heavy lifting so having kicked the ‘Midnight’ into a title role, it was redundant as a first word in the piece. The result of course is a ‘lighter’ or ‘full-moon-type’, less ‘inky’ night in the mind of a reader, which also works as setting for a midnight bath.

      Kunta Kinte… ha ha… you’ll be amazed how ‘indigenous’ Eppy can get…

      Actually, the flash ends with the bather by his bucket, probably still holding the bowl…

      thanks for your perspectives. Always valued.

      Reply
  3. Grazza says:

    Hmmm!
    In summary, this is the tale of how Eppy caught his Epiphany.
    Eppy shed layers as he passed through the kitchen, but this Eppy of a man was not nude as he stepped into the delicious drizzle.. No wonder I struggled with literature in school.

    Reply
    1. Chuma Nwokolo says:

      Hi Grazza…
      Eppy… Epiphany… good catch!
      as for the nude man who was no longer nude, the key is in the puzzle: ‘His feet slipped into the yellow slippers on the stoop. No longer nude, he stepped into the delicious drizzle’ his footwear was the key…

      Reply

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