The Dare

The Dare

The monotony of that cold morning was suddenly broken by the grand appearance of the milky-white sun which had all the chickens that inhabited Okukoland momentarily blinded with its rays. .The ground smelt fresh and new, promising warmth while some of the cocks, perched on resplendent, prehistoric trees who had, hours earlier begun practicing the prologue to their wake up calls, were, one at a time, making their way down to join the rest of the birds.

The ripe nuts which had, during the night, made their one and only downward journey toward mother earth, were already being done justice to by insects and their sharp smell drew some of the birds to the trees which housed these delicacies. The trickling sound of the little stream by the side, which had almost dried up due to the harmattan season, captured the interest of the rest. A little part which had rebelliously separated itself from the main flow and had formed a little stagnant pool was home to millions of abandoned tadpoles which were busy wriggling their way to maturity. The birds were at one with nature and they all basked in all it had to offer.

But the tranquil state of this haven was suddenly shattered by the sound of running feet and all the birds cried out in protest at the unwelcome intrusion. They all glanced around, with the full intention of letting this mischief-maker have a piece of their minds but on setting eyes on the source of this disturbance, their protests dissolved and all but a few returned to their interrupted activities. It was Shekele, the most beautiful female Fowl in all of okukoland. The rest of the birds were already used to her being chased around by suitors and the present happening held the interest of a few. She as usual, would, after teasing her current interest to no end, outrightly reject him or give him an impossible task to perform.

Shekele was renowned for her beauty which could make the head of any cock spin but her arrogance and reputation as a tease also made her even more infamous. But this sprightly cock, Ugo who had fallen head over claws with her, had no intentions of letting go. It was either her or no one else. Tired of being chased around, she finally laid it out to him. She wanted him to cross the boundary which separated the two lands and get her a precious gem. Shekele had been known for concocting outlandish ideas in the name of the demands of courtship but this was shockingly different. The boundary, from time immemorial had always separated the two worlds, Okukoland and Mmaduland. No creature had ever crossed it and so it had remained for centuries. Even the eldest of chickens could not recall if anyone had ever crossed it or what exactly lay in store for anyone who did. But no one ever bothered to find out.

It was just one of those unquestionable and unexplainable laws which the universe seemed to be suffused with. It was simply not done. By this time, her outrageous utterance had already caught the interest of a sizeable number but the rest carried on, sure Ugo would dejectedly walk away, but little did they know their morning was about to get very exciting. Ugo looked into the eyes of Shekele and something which he, only saw, erased any trace of hesitance in his proud mind and flapping his wings and crowing loudly, he walked towards the road, his head held high. The eyes of every bird were now on Ugo, daring him to carry on, a few even cackled mockingly but Ugo strutted on. Disbelief was instantaneously substituted with terror, hot white terror as one of Ugo’s claws suddenly touched the road and in an instant he had made it across.

Then, not far from Ugo, something which seemed like an apparition immediately came bounding towards Ugo. It stood on two legs like Ugo but had featherless wings which seemed more like sticks. On one of these wings was tightly clutched a shiny object which reflected the sun. The monster which was the very definition of filthiness, suddenly froze, firmly rooted to the ground on which it stood as it watched Ugo warily darting its head from side to side as it made little clucking sounds. Behind him Ugo had urgent cackles, clucks and crows for him to return but encouraged by the stationary posture of the monster he decided to carry on with his perilous task. Probably thinking the hunter had lost interest in the hunt, the hunted then concerned himself with bits and pieces strewn on the forest floor, attacking them hurriedly with his beak and claws in a bid to come across one precious jewel.

From the monster’s stooped stance, it was clear to see that it was about to make a break for the bird. Its forehead was furrowed, nostrils were flared and eyes bulged with intensity as it glared at the bird. One of its feet slowly moved forward and the next second it moved like the wind, succeeding in catching only air and loose feathers as it scrambled after the poor bird. Probably discerning that the beast had come too close for comfort , the bird decided to employ the services of his rarely used wings to outrun its pursuer and end the chase. With his characteristic deafening cackle and laborious flap of his wings, he got lifted off the ground but the monster deftly grabbed hold of him in mid-air and and Ugo felt the cold, clammy claws of death encircle his poor neck. The beast held fast to him while Ugo cackled and fought for freedom, loosing a few feathers in the process. The monster paused for a moment, savouring its heroic act. Ugo was now quiet.

He had probably resigned himself to the inescapable end which he seemed to have foreseen. The beast bent down and pinned the legs of the doomed bird to the ground with its right foot, pulled out a few neck feathers and then reached for the shiny object, paused for a few seconds, obviously relishing the moment, then went for the kill, driving the object in an up and down motion as blood pumped out from the ill-fated bird’s neck in spurts and starts. Then it suddenly let him go, and everyone witnessed one of the weirdest death dances ever as the poor bird struggled to get up, rolled over and flapped his wings, his nearly severed head with his distinctive pink-coloured comb dangling about while dark-red blood slowly soaked his white feathered neck.

Shekele and the other birds looked on in sheer horror, too stunned to utter a sound. The barbaric act they had all witnessed, they knew, would, like a shadow, forever stick to their memories. Shekele, turned and looked into the eyes of the other birds and what she saw in their eyes instantly told her that life, for her, would never be the same again. She pondered if the wise step to take wouldn’t be to cross the boundary like Ugo and dine in the same table of doom with him.



16 thoughts on “The Dare” by JAHSWILL 'NYTRO' OBIALOR (@NYTRO)

  1. Wow!
    Poor cock.
    What females will do to males..*smh*
    Well written, with minimal typos.

    1. yea, bro! reason why bruno mars would want to jump out of an airplane for one. tnx man

  2. Wow! This is a very good one, the type of story I like to read, with very good descriptions that transports me into the world of the reader. But careful when you do descriptions, always avoid the tendency to over do them, e.g. Is ‘……the milky white sun……’.My friend, at no time of the day is the sun coloured milky-white. Even the milky-white connotation on its own get as e be.

    Well done!!!

    1. noted! thanks though for finding time to go through it. ‘ppreciate it, boss!

  3. A certain line caught my attention. Well, many did but the first is this one which I think has something missing and not right. Okay, it might be me but I think that this sentence is too complex and needs some breaking:
    ‘The ground smelt fresh and new, promising warmth while some of the cocks, perched on resplendent, prehistoric trees who had, hours earlier begun practicing the prologue to their wake up calls, were, one at a time, making their way down to join the rest of the birds.’
    Why? It would be easier understood that way. Why again? The flow to the lines rings like poetry but seems to have some obstacle hindering its way in the length… Or maybe, you add some punctuation. Furthermore, there seems to be something missing there like I said. If you decide to break it into smaller fragments, you just might find it. After that, you can re-complexise it! 
    The same thing can be said of the next lines too. You have not made things easy with the random use of ‘commas.’ For instance, take a look at these lines:
    The ripe nuts which had, during the night, made their one and only downward journey toward mother earth, were already being done justice to by insects and their sharp smell drew some of the birds to the trees which housed these delicacies. The trickling sound of the little stream by the side, which had almost dried up due to the harmattan season, captured the interest of the rest.
    In my opinion, the commas are not effective. At many points, the commas seem to bring a lull to your flow. I suggest you try reading it and pausing at every comma so you can have a feel of how it came to me.
    To show an idea of how I think your sentences can be made shorter for effect, permit me to use one of your lines: ‘But the tranquil state of this haven was suddenly shattered by the sound of running feet and all the birds cried out in protest at the unwelcome intrusion.’ I would suggest you make it to read ‘The tranquil state of this haven was shattered by the sound of running feet. The birds cried out in protest at this unwelcome intrusion.’
    A place in the tale that really works for me is: ‘It was just one of those unquestionable and unexplainable laws which the universe seemed to be suffused with. It was simply not done.’ The crispness was simply just it! So, why don’t you experiment with doing the same thing in other places?
    There are several more issues with your structure that needs to be addressed…
    It would seem as if I am trying to really downplay your sentence structures and all. Yes, but I do so with no mean intention. There is only the hope that your work comes out better. I think that this work has lots of potential. In this state though, there is still much to do. I hope to read something far better…Oh, okay, we would do it this way. Send me a message with your mail address and I would send you my thoughts on the piece. I mentioned to @mobola that this is a one-time ‘free’ offer and any further one would have come with payment 
    Few people do animal tales but you have done so. I dare add, well too. Great narrative and imagination here Nytro. Well done Nytro…You have my applause.

    1. if this isnt constructive criticism, dont no what else to call it! got it, dude. ill work on them, promise!

  4. @Nytro, @Sueddie has said much of what I might have said already. Don’t use such long sentences; your writing is very good, but the long sentences make it hard to digest.

    Also, you could make the writing less wordy; for example, there’s a sentence where you say

    Probably discerning that the beast had come too close for comfort , the bird decided to employ the services of his rarely used wings to outrun its pursuer and end the chase.

    This would read simpler as

    Seeing that the beast had come too close for comfort, the bird decided to use its wings to outrun its pursuer.

    I liked the idea of anthropomorphising the chickens, but I think this works best when you either keep chickens in character (if they are going to interact with human beings) or you are writing a fantastic fable of a universe that is not like ours. The story you were writing looks like the former, so I didn’t really see how a chicken would appreciate a shiny jewel. It would have been more natural if you had said that Shekele asked Ugo to get a fat worm in the forest.

    1. WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT? WORM, NYTRO! WORM, MAN! NOT FEELING SO SMART RIGHT NOW! ROGER THAT, TOLA!

  5. Interesting read! I enjoyed this…Gives the feel of Animal farm or should I say Chicken run in form of a thriller or suspense story.
    A terrifying story in a funny way. I think you would have categorized it as a short story or Flash fiction.

    I think Ugo’s quest just as Tola mentioned should have been a reasonable item worth pursuing for a chicken. Also I think the story could still have been simpler by reason of your sentence structure as emphasized by Sueddie. If you made them shorter without too much of words you could do without, I thnk you make reading it more attractive.

    Still…well done. Your imagination is impressive.

    1. GLAD YOU LIKE IT! ILL WORK ON MY FLAWS. YOU HAVE MY WORD!

  6. Its been said..I admire your imagination and creativity.

    1. OH, YOU FLATTER ME TOO MUCH, SENOR! HUMBLED . . . NO, YOU GOT ME SWOLLEN HEADED! TANX A LOT, MAN!

    2. oh, you flatter me too much, senor! humbled . . . no, you got me swollen headed! tanx a lot , man

  7. I didn’t really feel this…dunno why. Heed the words of the others anyway.

    1. so, it didnt do it for you? k, bro. they say one mans meat . . . well, you know the rest. cant love everything, not possible. for instance, i dont like carrots, akara(no forming), dont understand understand whats all the fuss about the harry potter movie franchise(dont cringe),etc. thats life. ill try to impress you, though!

  8. went for an interview( on-air-personality tins) and i was asked to record something in audio format( topic; why the chicken crossed the road) and have it submited. why i wrote this. first work of fiction i ever wrote(no bragging)

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