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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: BACK TO THE WOMB!
By HARUNA ABDULMALIK
01/08/08


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BACK TO THE WOMB

It’s pitch-dark here. The blackness exerts such excruciatingly strange pain, so painful that I needed seeing some light but my eyes wouldn’t open. My eyelids are lead-heavy or even glued together. The darkness remains real; I can’t wave it away. I can’t even visualize light, at all. The vague pain keeps rising, rising, from within with such distinct vagueness.

Everywhere is dead-silent. Even the sound of silence is absolutely absent. Dark silence cries out! A shouting silence, an absence, that hurts, paralyses, that even burns, deeply. Any whisper will be helpful, timely, therapeutic.

My throat is very dry, desert-dry. I am impotent, paralyzed from the hairs of my head to the nails of my toes. I am shut in, feeling no external pressure, completely anaesthetized , oblivious of anything but the inner self. I must be lying motionless in mid-air, a dead-still air; I feel so light, extremely light to be existent!

O---h, lord!

I thought I screamed. I know, but the entire range of the sound was absorbed, completely, or stopped by, say, a cotton wool or gauze stuffed in my oral cavity. No sound. I can’t hear. I think I need some help here, some relief.

I tried catching a breath but couldn’t… I don’t want to choke to death. My chest is too heavy for a mortal to bear. A strange tightness wraps my upper trunk. The need to breathe persists, not getting better or worse. I feel like a quadriplegic invalid immersed in an ocean, slowly, helpless sinking to an unreachable floor, being at the mercy of gravity. My nostrils are totally sealed up. My heart is extremely burdened. I feel a wave of nausea, something heavy within. Oh! I wish I can let it out, but I can’t… I can’t… .

I can’t breathe! I didn’t realize this before now. Am I going to die? But my heart has not been beating all along, or am I… ? God forbid, I don’t want to die? No, no, I am not dead!

Wasn’t I supposed to undergo a kidney transplant or, maybe…no, no! I need a surgery! I need a transplant! That’s all, I need a… no, not this!

Heeellppp! Some… . No sound.

I know I must be lying down, lifeless, maybe cold in rigor mortis, on the surgeon’s table, in the village mortuary, in our traditional coffin, or … my God, I don’t want to be buried; something will happen if my prayer group prays. But, didn’t God tell us that my “sickness is not unto death”, that is … if they pray? Or , didn’t they? Or, maybe… .

They never prayed , no, not even once.

The evening sun hesitantly crawled to sleep among the towering forest trees in the distant horizon of tropical Africa.

… Mother Earth carefully cuddled him.


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This article has been read 303 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/10/08
This is very effective, and when I got to the line about "They never prayed, no, not even once" I gulped.

The only things that threw me a bit were the occastional switches from past to present tense, and the switch to 3rd person in the last line when all of the rest was in 1st person.

This is very strong writing, one of the best in this level.
Yvonne Blake 01/11/08
Wow! This is poetical prose! The words and feelings are strong.
The last two lines seemed out of sync with the rest of entry.
Good job...Keep writing.
dub W01/15/08
Good poetic prose, nice use of language for illustration. Watch the tense shifts. Good stuff, keep writing.