To those writers pacing up and down, left and right, trying to find a way round the urban fiction obstacle, sometimes wanting to turn back and head home.
I kept on refreshing my home screen, oblivious that I would run out of data bundles soon. And I did, to my disappointment. How would I know now? It would make a good afternoon read I believed, to the gradual but sure readership I was already getting.
‘’Connection failed, retry?’’
I almost knocked that notification out of my phone screen. How rude of it! Just when I believed I had submitted the greatest story ever. This would draw me thousands of hits I believed, and a massive three hours after submitting it still hung in there, waiting for whatever he thought was the best final touches he could remould it with. Or it just lay there, waiting for him to go online. Not every day do you see a couple lock hands into each other’s and walk away happily ever after, do you? That’s how my story ended. The best ending I consoled myself. Rare stories earn the best of returns, and my story here, would be big. I couldn’t estimate its success yet, they told us never to count our chicks before they hatch, lest those chicks metamorphose into hawks, and pounce on their mother just after hatching. Like some posts I’ve seen in the past, tearing the writer apart. You’ve got to have guts in this area.
‘’Connection failed, retry?’’
I left the comfort of my room and headed for the shops. Three minutes of ‘connection failed’’ surely my story must have been published in that span.
Save for the drawn out crowing of the landlord’s cockerels, that afternoon was calm. I couldn’t help but notice that one of the cockerels wasn’t into this crowing business. His deft steps saw him lay three hens by the time I was out of sight (pun intended).
Nothing was new when I came back online. The last story published was the same I had seen a few minutes ago. Maybe he’s quite busy today, it will be online soon, or maybe it was full of typos and so I had shamelessly sent my editor on extra errands. It took me two hours to piece up that story, you know I’d never sit that long at a computer screen. Yet at this stage I was ready to accept anything, just so the thought of my story having been rejected could go away. So maybe there were a number of typographical errors. I logged into my account and combed the whole story, comma by comma, reading as I intended the pacing to be. There he was! This bad boy auto complete will one day mess me up. My man and lady character had a scene where the good lad wanted to touch her lady’s birthmark that happened to fall on her dimples. Auto-complete had expertly edited my words to ‘’He stretched out his left hand to touch her nipples.’’
I quickly edited this and emancipated my article free to publish. Maybe that’s what the editor had been wanting me to do all this while. I submitted it once more and relaxed.
I moved to facebook. Nothing was new here too. The jerk always cursing in his updates was still there, cursing. This time he had just said ‘’F*** you all b***s, take the middle finger.’’
That blonde that uploaded near nude pictures of herself was still at it, the last picture posted ‘just now’. I however thought her ass in that dress could do with a little less panty lines. My inspiration guy, the one who knew of Socrates’ birthday had just said in his status, ‘’ Patience is the greatest virtue one ought to possess in life.’’ I felt guilty and logged out.
I woke up from sleep that seemed like odyssey. Ngugi’s ‘Weep Not Child’ still neatly folded in my hands. He had successfully sent me into a plethora of afternoon dreams. But some writers need to be a little quick when describing mirage roads… ‘’There was only one road that ran right across the land. It was long and broad and shone with black tar, and when you travelled along it on hot days you saw little lakes ahead of you. But when you went near….’’ I decided I would find out more about Papa Ngugi’s mirage road later on when my message tone beeped.
‘’Hi Fabian, I’ve seen your story and gone through it already..’’
Then why wasn’t it online yet, why wasn’t it published? Not a single of my stories has ever died in the newsroom. Anything the problem?
I thought I asked these questions, to the editor, and yet they still hung around my room and refused to make a dash to whomever they were addressed. His text was long and what I read had just been the first line.
‘’You write well, matter of fact yours is an impeccable kind of writing.’’
Which writer doesn’t want to hear such cajoling.
‘’This story however lacks a great element that we need especially at this time. The pacing is all good, the anti climax yards off the climax is a massive try. Your story lacks enough ass, if I saw any at all.’’
‘’You know, this is urban fiction, and ass is the order of the day. You cannot utterly ignore the very requisite needs of our readers. Just like Achebe says proverbs are the kola nuts by which words are eaten, I say ass is the aromat by which modern words are eaten. This is the 21st century. It’s the century of the ass. Read James’ story last week? We had 25k hits just from it! A story that leaves readers asking ‘And who’s ass is that? Is it bleached or bought? Who owns that?’ James is currently running a similar story, I expect to publish it tomorrow morning. For yours my friend, am afraid you have to redo your story. Piece up an ass here and an ass there, a voluptuous female who just discovered she has ass here and an effeminate male story there, hopefully that way you’ll break James’ 25k hits. Good luck.’’
I logged into facebook.
That jerk had a new update, cursing as always ‘’I don’t give a F*** what you N*** Ass bitches think! I get mullah’’. My blonde friend also had a new picture, this time the panty line gone, her ass covered the whole of my phone screen. I scrolled down and saw my inspirational quotes guy,
‘’The internet is the Petri dish of humanity. We can’t control what grow in it, but we don’t have to watch either.- Tiffany Madison’’, thus went his status update.
I logged out and picked Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s ‘Weep Not Child’’.
‘’… but when you went near the lakes vanished, to appear again a little farther ahead. Some people called them the devil’s waters because they deceived you and made you more thirsty if your throat was already dry. And the road which ran across the land…,’’