For A Vote

For A Vote

It is dark, and it is quiet. Night-time has come, and here I am, walking home, tired, dejected, alone. Down this bush path I walk, in a bid to avoid the madness of the streets. It is my only hope of survival, this bush path.

If only I can make it home unnoticed.

I look up. A half-moon; no stars. The moon is silent as it casts its half-eye on me. Only the crickets deem it fit to keep me company down this uneven road. The plants and bushes for which I have no name brush against me; a thorn scratches me on the cheek, but I am too weak to flinch. Instead I raise a feeble hand and feel something wet. I look at it, and my blood is a dark smear on my fingers. I rub my hand on my trouser to clean it.

I can still hear the far-off songs and cries of jubilation; I have been hearing them ever since I left the vicinity of the stadium. I look at my thumb. The smudge of ink is all but gone now.

I am tired. It has been a very long and disappointing day, one I will love to forget, although I don’t see that happening. Not for a very long time. The election earlier in the day had been a very messy business, and now I fear I have engraved myself negatively in the minds of the opposition supporters, particularly in the mind of their leader, Jerry. I said things, did things…things that I am ashamed to think of, even now, as I walk down this path. And for what? An amount of money that won’t last a month?

Now I have sold my vote to a man who in retrospect wasn’t worth the trouble. Listening to his speech at the stadium in the afternoon had made me cringe in disgust, both at his words because they had come out like balloons and they had floated up into the sky, and at myself for working for him. For being his arrow, his dog.

For being his thief, for being his champion.

I’d had to hide out somewhere close to the stadium, from where I could monitor things, and I had not been surprised when the other guy had won. If only-

The thunder startles me, and then it starts to rain. Running is futile. My only worry is my phone, but I don’t-

I never hear the gunshot. All I feel is a low, hard punch on the left side of my stomach, and the world stands out in perfect clarity for a moment.

The rain on my skin, coursing a wet trail down my back.

The moon, rippling in the growing puddles on the ground.

My leg gives way, and I fall down on one knee, as my arm comes out to support me.  Curiously, I don’t feel any pain. All I feel is something warm and wet slowly running down my leg, and I know it is not the rain.

I can smell the earth.

My other leg eventually gives way, and I am now on both knees. I grunt, trying to force my body upright.  Almost there…

The world is clear.

The world is wet.

The world is dark, and the darkness is bright.

I feel another punch, this time to the right side of my chest, and I sag backwards, my knees still tucked beneath me.

Is the moon smiling down on me, or is it frowning?

I want to know.

I think I am crying, but it must be the rain…

 



55 thoughts on “For A Vote” by Raymond (@raymond)

  1. nice use of language here… Nice concept. The only issue I have against this piece, is that it sounds like a BBC correspondent’s report… However, this is brilliantly written…

    1. Hehehehe…..Thanks Mr. Idoks..

  2. Raymond, what I like about this is how you were able to infuse the story with the genre you like to write(i.e the dark side of things). loved this all the way, and especiall the fact that it left a lot unsaid.

    well done!!!

    1. I love that phrase, ‘…the dark side of things…’. Thanks Mr Lawal…Thank U very much…

  3. Real emotional stuff. Nice story.

    1. Hmm…..Thanks Jay.

  4. @idoko, BBC kuma? @raymond if this doesn’t win a trophy….hmmmm?! you killed it!
    a few prob.s though
    The rain on my skin, coursing a wet trail down my back.

    The moon, rippling in the growing puddles on the ground.

    DID YOU WRITE THESE AS POEMS OR PART OF THE STORY…BOTH ARE INCOMPLETE SENTENCES AND I DON’T SEE ANY PUNCTUATION TO MARRY THEM TO THE PRECEDING OR FOLLOWING SENTENCE….THEY PASSED THEIR MESSAGE AND MADE SENSE QUITE ALL RIGHT BUT THEY ARE INCOMPLETE WITHOUT THE PUNCTUATION BRO.

    COMPARE THEM WITH THESE LINES, SENTENCES I MEAN:

    The world is clear.
    The world is wet.

    SHORTER BUT COMPLETE AS SENTENCES…YOU GET WHAT I MEAN?

    1. @xikay, Oga Xikay, thanks. As for those lines, well…
      I like working with incomplete sentences sometimes. For me, it adds a surrealistic feel (maybe?) to it. So, it is intentional. As for them being poems, like I’ve said b4, I’m not a poet, so any poetic stuff U detect in my work is unintentional, even though it might be good (hehehe).
      Thanks, once again.

  5. To be sincere Raymond, this reads more like a poem (or maybe a prose poem.) And I was left still waiting for its climax. I was half-hoping you’d surprise me at the end. Besides, I feel its a lil too preachy, too documentary-like. Neat attempt shaa *winks*

    1. Preachy? Hmm. To me, it’s anything but. As for it being like a poem, well, sue me (hehehe). It came out that way, so, who am I? I’m just the messenger. As for being surprised, well, I dunno what in particular U were looking for…Anyways, thanks for reading.

  6. Neat use of Language Raymond. Nice work as usual.

    1. Thanks RemiRoy…

  7. Your words always pierce the soul with distinctive precision… Nna ee… Very goose-pimple-giving story.

    You are the highest contender for the competition… sheyyyy, and with a wonderful story too…I don dieeee

    I love it!

    1. Aaaaah…For U to think so, I am flattered…And Ur story was very good too. Thanks for reading…

    2. Who talk so Ukamaka? I havent read all the entries, but from the ones I have read, you are a contender o!

      1. Hahahahaha. Oga Lawal, all of us na contenders naa. Hehehe. Ok oh! Is U that talk it oh!

  8. Nice work Ray. I am no writer but do check out Xikay’s comments, he’s captured all I had to say in CAPS. I think the sentences are too broken and you might want to connect the words with conjunctions. I also thought it was a poem at several junctions. Brilliant writing.

    1. Thanks bro. With regards to Xikay’s comments, I have already replied them, so U can check out my reasons for those issues there.
      Thanks for reading once again…..

  9. again i say : BRILLIANT…@raymond is just the right man always

    1. @xikay…..U seriously are flattering me bro…Thanks a lot…..Really…

  10. ray o ray!
    can you ever stop amazing me with ur write ups..?
    Guess not.
    I love the way u ended it.
    Well done…

    1. No Posh, I’m afraid I won’t stop amazing U. Thanks!!!

  11. My master talked and killed it… Keep shinning like the ray that u are!!!

    1. My Oga, ya apprentice is highly honoured to receive ya compliments….

  12. Good Job Raymond. Loved the imagery you created. You have already tweaked what needed to tweaked. The only thing was that I wanted more. Maybe you could do a follow-up story later?

    1. @yejide, Thanks. I’m glad U like it, and I’m even glad U want more. Hehehe…Well, I’ll try to do what U said, however, it’ll take some time, cos I’m a student, and I have soooooo much to do right now. But, I’ll do my best. :D

  13. Great use of imagery, descriptive words & lovely narration in this story. I feel Xikay made a valid point about one or two of the sentences & it is worth seeing things from another angle. I know you have your own style but to a great extent,we bound by the rules of grammar. Lovely piece bro.

    1. @afro-price, Thanks bro. I know there is ‘Poetic License’. Well, I’m makin gmy own license, hehehe. It’s the way I see these things in my head, and the way I hear them when the characters speak. If I don’t see it, if I don’t hear it…if it doesn’t flow, then it’s not going in. It’s just the way I write, and once it feels good to me, then I have to put it down. No sense in putting down something I won’t enjoy, hoping that someone else will.
      Thanks once again bro…

  14. amazing diction i must say.good command and control of thoughts capturing and sustaining the readers imagination.This is a great craft.i am learning…

    1. Wow!!!!! Thanks @sambright!!!! U think this is CRAFT? Wow….I really am flattered…

  15. Just registered ysterday and u were one writer that immediately caught my attention. You’re good! I wonder where i’ve been? Something this good is happening in Naija and i had no idea? About ur write-up… It’s award-deserving!

    1. @gloria…Wow, thanks, Mis Rola. I am humbled by Ur words…to think that I immediately caught Ur attention…Thank U very much…

  16. Niceeeeeeee. When I grow up I wish to be to write like you. Good one Bruh

  17. Niceeeeeeee. When I grow up I wish to write like you. Good one Bruh

    1. Seriously? Wow, thanks!!! Don’t worry, who knows, U may even write better than me, unless U enter the dark side like me; then, Ur sanity will be at risk, just like mine is…

      1. crazy guy…lol

        1. @posh, U r now leaking my secret abi? Hehehehe…

          1. nah, not close to it…just saying the fact…loool

            1. Hehehehehehe….Ok oh!!! Is U that talk it oh!!!

  18. TAKING A PEEK INTO THE ROOM AGAIN,…

    1. This man, U too like key-hole…Hehehe…No worry, look 1 million times, and tell ya 1 million friends to look one million times each.

  19. This story is one of the best I’ve read under the vote chronicles so far.You may not think that you are a poet ray but your infusion of poetic language states otherwise.I love it!
    Plus your ‘show not tell’ technique is off the hook.You don win as far as I’m concerned oh!

    1. Wow….. Thanks Estrella. I was really hoping U would drop by….Thanks for reading. Meanwhile, Ur thoughts flatter me…..

  20. IF I GET 1 MILLION FRIENDS, I FOR DON INVADE YA COLONY OF ODD CHARACTERS TEY TEY

    1. I no fear U n any friends wey U go use oh! Hehehe…..

  21. Ray, what i really like about this story is the way you managed your tenses. It shows mastery. Very nice plot, well developed. kudos

    1. Thanks Nnenna…

  22. Thanks everyone, for all Ur comments…

  23. and who is @everyone, i don’t think i’ve added him/her as friend

    1. LOL, has he injected u? U sound like him, LMAO. @Raymond, I hail! U live words in an exceptional way. And the story? Well crafted!!!

      1. @4ran6, thanks Boss. Have U read the other one that was posted within the week? The Mental Hallways Of An Assassin. Check it out n let me know what U think!

        1. @Raymond: I haven’t o, just returned from a break off NS. Wld do so b4 I visit dreamland.

    2. Hehehehehe. U no well @xikay!

  24. I think this is a brilliant work. Brilliance of style and beauty of diction.

    Personally, I have no problem with incomplete sentences as long as they add to the temper/mood of the story. Personally, I dont keep to any rules when writing. Whatever helps me tell the story better is okay with me. Reasoned deliberation most times can get in the way of spontaneity.

    1. My words from Ur lips/keyboard, @eyitemiegwuenu. Thanks…

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