Enestera Chronicles: Weeping Coffers Part 1

This is the first in a series called Enestera Chronicles: The Weeping Coffers. It is a sci-fi story set on Enestera,a fictional literary paradise planet modelled after Naijastories. Some characters in the series might seem familiar but they are entirely fictional and bear no semblance to any humans dead or alive.

The Weeping Coffers – Part 1.

Queen Myna studied the graphs and charts in the large observatory with a frown. She was at the Galactic Exchange Office (GEO) for a surprise visit and she was not entirely pleased with her observations. Actually she wasn’t pleased at all. As she examined the giant screens showing all the activities of the planet in the previous season one thing was clear; beneath the cloak of festivity and prosperity the planet wore, trouble was brewing. The monitors for travel and new immigrants showed a robust boom. In the past month 52,345 had visited and over 345 had taken up residence on the planet. Publicity indices were also fine, with a daily mention in at least fifty blogs in addition to the planet’s Twitteratti and Facebooshi accounts. One thing that had plummetted was production,not the quantity but the quality. Not that submitted works were lacking ,in fact they abounded.

Each day a host of works assailled the Production unit from all over the planet. Many of the works were dismal pieces scribbled without much thought or care. Ever so rarely there would be that typo-free, painstakingly written,brilliantly edited, profoundly inspired work of fiction or poetry submitted for review, but they were scarce and unpredictable.

Over the years she had found herself relaxing the strict publication requirements to boost output. Crashing word counts, waiving nudity and vulgar language ,anything thatwould keep submissions flowing. The galaxy was hungry for more – more poems, more stories, more series,. Competition was fierce amongst planets vying for relevance in the Googloic litterati rankings and devotion from ever fickle, ever critical, galactic surfers swift to label a site dated.
In the process her standards had dropped, she became more intent on getting new voices, new writers, new posts.
Each day she wanted to put up new things for offer so the planet would stay relevant, fresh, innovative, exciting…

Enestera, land of the bold and free, harbour of the weary writer. She loved every bit of the planet she had discovered and nutured from scrap to celebration. She had always desired a place where her own people could write in peace and freedom. That is why Enestera was formed. The planet itself was as old as time but it had taken time energy and talent to craft it into the galactic paradise it now was. An afropolitan naijapolitan planet where all could come and practice their craft or enjoy the gifts of others.

In doing so, something had died. She had lost the confidence of some of her most trusted artists. Many had left quietly, boarding the inter-planetary space ships at night never to be seen again. Others had grown restless pledging allegiance to other Kingdoms in other domains , giving the planet a pittance to keep up appearances while their true treasures were displayed elsewhere. Thre they were, forgetting that they were the reason the planet existed, they were the reason Enestera thrived….

Queen Myna sighed. She was suddenly very tired. Each day she poured out herself to serve the people and now it seemed her sacrifice was all in vain. If the trend continued their existence as a sovereign entity would be threatened. Wordprensa the regional Warlord, would not tolerate that. They would be offerred colonialization or extinction. Myna couldn’t bear the thought of that. Something had to be done to stop the quality drain, something had to be done very quickly.
But what? She asked herself.
It was difficult to force people to create. Even more difficult to force people to polish their works till they truly shone , till a third, fourth, seventh draft was done. She did all she could within her resources to keep her people productive and happy . She was one of the first nobles in galaxy to offer her citizens compensation for their works. She asked no tax from the settlers who sought citizenship on her land. She charged no fee for the services provided by her government such as storage, safety,communication,publicity, encouragement,camaderie and more. All she asked was that the create their best writing and submit it to the planet Yet that little was too much. Maybe it was all useless, maybe they were better off extinct.
Never! Her spirit responded. It was too late to give up. There must be a way round the problem, there had to be a solution.
She knew what must be done.
She had to summon The Council.
She lifted her Z30 and called her secretary
“Convene a meeting of the council for Tommorrow evening. Tell them it is Code Black. Venue and time are as usual. Absence and Lateness ll be fined a million and half a million nestras each.”
“Yes Madam, shall I copy the Regional Secretariat?”
“No, just The Council. And tell Mena to send down my masseur”
“Yes Ma, immeadiately.”

Fremai dropped the call and sat swivelling in her seat for a moment. Without hesitation she lifted her personal phone and dialed a secret number, quickly, she relayed the previous conversation to the person at the other end.
“Hmmm” A rich male voice replied “It seems all is not well with the beloved planet …. Very well, record the proceedings and send me a copy once they are through. I ll be putting a little something in your account by morning. Call it a thank you note. Keep this up and you ll be retiring earlier than you dreamed. I am already looking for a contract for you with some of the bigger planets. Just keep the information coming”
“I will sir.. Thank you so much. ” Fremai gushed, but the line was already dead.

In ten minutes an electronic message was sent to all the Councillors.
Chemkai, Kakai, Subla, Tokai and Kyla.
The summons were brief and urgent. Each councillor called to the defence of the planet, that they had once sworn to love. Different reactions met each missive for the love they had once sworn was sorely tempted and tossed. Soon they would have to choose , to prove their love to the planet they all called home.

To be continued….

This is my first attempt both at sci-fi and at writing a series. I know i still have much to learn about both. Please give me your sincerest comments, and please make the corrections as gently and as humanely as possible. Thank you for reading and thank you for visiting naijastories.



77 thoughts on “Enestera Chronicles: Weeping Coffers Part 1” by Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

  1. Hehehe…. I don’t know why, but this had me laughing…in a good way though, nice one. “I” emphasis on “I” see nothing wrong with it. I think its well written. Keep it coming

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Hi @Olan , @wendeekay, @Kaycee Part 2 is out!

  2. Muah! Thanks @Olan , you dont know just how encouraging your words are this morning. :-)

  3. ‎​ℓ☺​ℓ! Lovely! It seems contrived here & there but it’s generally a great effort! Well done

    1. Thank you @wendeekay , how do you mean ‘contrived’ , you know i appreciate your input, it is a work in progress :-)

  4. By contrived, I mean ‘forced’, from an objective view; like the tale was forced to fit the author’s idea; I feel there are gaps not explained which would cause confusion for readers like me if you hadn’t put that intro to the tale. For sure, a non NS reader would flounder. Just my opinion… But I warmed to the plot considerably

    1. Hmmm, That’s serious, well, i ll try to reduce/remove that , so help me God.

  5. Oh my lord!
    This is so very interesting. I remember you, I remember you promised to write this. I just love it.
    @admin, yeah, call a council of elders, this place could still be as interesting as it was before.

    Respect.

    1. looool.
      thanks for reading :-) , i look forward to your input every step of the way.
      I pray it ll be even more interesting.
      @babyada @howyoudey @chemokopi @lulu @drzhivago @layrite @shaifamily @ all my ladies what do you say?

  6. Was going to give you a few hard punches but your pleas mehn! Hahahaha. Everybody prefer constructive criticisms and I’m beginning to see more of that on the site now unlike some not so palatable ones that I used to see.
    Few typos but really good job.
    Will love to see more of this…

    1. Loool, thanks.
      kindly point out the typos/ corrections or better still send a PM. (private message)

  7. Hehehe! You actually carried out your ‘threat’.

    I feel the story needs more sci-fi appeal to make it shine. You’ll need a sci-fi critic to point out the specific issues with the piece as I’m far from being one. Anyway, I read a lot of sci-fi novels and I know how difficult it can be to write one. In fact I have even tried some myself but only ended up with a mismatch of nonsense. So this is pretty much an amazing job for a first timer Sunshine. I’ll give you that. Looking forward to the next episode…

  8. @francis! It was not a threat o!
    I agree with you on the sci-fi bit, on second thoughts let’s just call it speculative fiction, a blend of sci-fi and fantasy and reality…
    Next episode coming soon :-)

  9. Hehe…ok let’s go there. NStera! Lol.

    I have read one sci-fi from you on NS. Maybe it was fantasy.

    I think this needs work. First, there were quite a number of typos, especially those that had to do with multiple adjectives. Read up on coordinate adjectives, and you will get what I mean. Seeing this is on a particular theme, action should do much of the speaking: I am talking of clinical precision as regards weeding out errors. Secondly, in my opinion, this leaned more towards an allegorical article than a short story. I feel you could have made it more realistic, even with the allusions, so that it can be elevated to really brilliant fiction.

    But it’s a start. Let’s see how the others turn out.

    Well done, sunshine. Keep improving your art just as I know you always do.

    1. Thanks prof @chemokopi I ll attend to thy corrections . I must warn that i might not go too allegorical, I want people to understand the message more than to create a Caine prize story.
      As the bible says, i want this to be so simple that even a child gets it. That we all get it :-) . Many thanks for your honest comments.

      1. You are welcome sunshine. The ironic thing though is that when a writer gives his message far more weight than the craft that ships it, the tendency is there to create something less compelling. I think that is one of the reasons why many young writers churn out works that are really sub-standard: they think if the message is tight, the craft can sink for all they care. So they refuse to learn the rules before deciding if they are worth breaking, refuse to read widely, and most importantly, refuse to open up their minds to new knowledge or ways of thinking. The master writer, in my opinion is he who blends his craft and message so well that all we see is a beautiful symphony floating across our vista.

        Off course, I believe you know I am talking generally now. :)

  10. Me likey! Needs work but who cares? The message is loud and clear ! NS needs strategizing! We’ve become blasé and jaded! Can I suggest a short story competition? Hell I’m willing to put up 100 usd to see the creative juices at max thrust! Admin una hear? I can see it now…., Lulus Quest! Lets go there’ and thanks @sunshine for jolting me reverie’ SF has been my domain since I discovered comics and noting gets me going more than lasers and faster than light travel!

    1. @Lulu, we will hold you to that. :)

      1. I no run! You could send me a mail at vongtaululufa@yahoo.ca to engage

    2. @Lulu,

      While your suggestion of a competition is cool and – , I don’t think a ‘competition’ is what NS needs to counter the issues you raised. In your words, “We’ve become blasé and jaded” and it’s not a competition that will fix that.

      My opinion anyways. The thing to do will be to ask questions. ‘Blaise and jaded’. How? Why?

      And then. Only then.

      1. @seun-odukoya i sense you have some suggestions! Lets hear them, or you want to take a minute to put them together?

        1. @Lulu,

          That’s all I got. Ask questions. Why is NS the way it is now?

          Meanwhile – you should ascertain you’re not the only one who has issues with the way NS is now. I recall the last time something similar to this was discussed – and the conclusion was that the goals of NS are not necessarily the same as the goals of the writers/readers.

          My point? Ask @ogaoga if anything has changed for the worse. You can take your learning from whatever response you get.

          You dig?

          1. Recently i was meditating on the mystery of parenthood! We have a saying in my village, and it translates loosely as…..dem no dey kill bad pikin….. No matter what the boston bomber did, he still has a mother that will love him and hope! There are flaws in this life but it is a tragedy to throw out the baby with the bathwater! My two cents worth!

            1. a competion is always a good thing, a competion sponsor a better one. @lulu ,

      2. @Seun-Odukoya @Lulu and everyone else….but this had been talked about, screamed at the highest mountains and some definitely went hoarse and maybe dumb from doing so….so, dey went away quietly. Since no one cares to “listen”. To be truthful, I av never cared for comps…at least not the way it is run here. I will not proceed more than that…for fear of running into the zone I always run into when I mention this stuff….

        1. @shaifamily I must have missed the memo, or debate as it were! Probably good for me as I can attack this issue(s) with a fresh perspective! My argument is simple, while I am not a fan of discord, I would create and manage chaos just to get debate going! Machiavellian but in my ‘real life’ i have been opportuned to manage diverse people, and aligning them to a goal/objective is not the easiest thing in the world! In a debate, no matter how racous, once you get someone to say something, its easier not to feel disenfranchised, no matter the outcome of the meeting! Lets have fun folks, its not everything we can schedule or control! @wendeekay if there is space for more than 1 villian can i suggest my bosom friend @seun-odukoya? He he he! Let the games begin! Or like the gladiators who salute Caesar in the Colloseum “we who are about to be flayed, salute you!”

          1. @Lulu lol….u r a ‘loose’ one!

          2. @Lulu, here is one of the memos

              1. @chemokopi I didnt see any link or anything

    3. @lulu I don’t think a competition is what is needed, rather, strictness in the criteria before a work is published and then constructive criticisms from the masters (and by the way, it’s been a while you checked in on a story and looked at it under a microscope)… That is what will make every writer wanting to be published sit up and post a story only when it has been well polished

  11. Where is mr Seun Odukoya

    1. @Lulu,

      Right here. You called?

  12. The sci-fi this is supposed to be did not exactly leap at me.

    And then your disclaimer is absolutely hilarious. I mean, you bother to tell us that there’s no resemblance – and then bother to remind us that we know this people?

    Hehehehehehe!

    There’s no need for the disclaimer. It’s a satire – I don’t think you need to explain yourself to anyone.

    It’s ‘interesting’ sha.

  13. @Seun-Odukoya Thank you, sha.
    I get your take on its Non sci-fi ness, i think it is more of fantasy, or lets just say speculative fiction.
    Thank you for reading.
    You can share your ideas for why Ns is the way it is and solutions as a PM, who knows it might help the plot. :-)
    thanks for reading.

  14. Also inviting @TolaO

    1. @nicolebassey, first of all, I have to wonder who Chemkai, Kakai, Subla, Tokai and Kyla really are :)

      Regarding the story, it is well written as I’d expect from you. But Is it sci-fi?

      I think that it has some similarities to the genre, but it can’t make up its mind whether it wants to be a proper science fiction story or an allegory about Naija Stories, and unfortunately for me, this prevents me from really enjoying it as a pure science-fiction story.

      And in a way, it’s a shame that the allegory side of the story is so intrusive, because I think the idea of a planet of writers by itself is a great one.

      Let’s see how this goes, though…

      1. @TolaO I knw all bt one: @chemokopi, @kaycee @sueddie
        @TolaO respectively… Don’t know kyla though

        1. Na wa o… This one that even ghosts are called forth…
          Let’s partake of this feast…
          @topazo: sup? Been forever, ja?

    1. dem dey sleep for …..

      1. @shaifamily loooooooool , LADIES!!!!!

        1. Still sleeping I guess….

  15. Here I am, @nicolebassey.Nice work you did here. You really are a true NS patriot.May we be as loyal as you are.:-) Amen. This first part of your story is based on reality…but it seems subsequent parts will have to be based on fiction. I look forward to seeing the reat of this. I know admin is, too.
    Really fresh of you to take on this issue in this way. Way to go, sista!

    1. @queenNobo Thank you for answering the call :-) . You saw right to the heart of what i was/am trying to do, smart babe. And i am still blushing from all the praise

  16. @nicolebassey, I love this. I like the whole idea of tackling a real life issue creatively. I am new to NS and still enjoying this site, but ofcourse I get the issues.
    A writer once said after she has written a short story and edited it over and over again. She puts it down and then comes back to it with fresh eyes, weeks later. If it still appeals to her she will work on it some more and perhaps do another draft. She will then have a friend who is an editor read it.

    My point is, new writers have to learn their craft first. Not all good storytellers can write perfectly. And the best way to learn is to write and read, right?

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      you are very right, @olajumoke , the problem is that most of us dont even read through our first drafts. We type straight from our phones to the publish page …. :-(

      1. @Sunshine, I suppose it can be so hard to find time to get ones work reworked to exactly where we want it, when we are also doing a million other things…work, study, social life…..

        Welldone on this piece. You clearly spent time on it. Hope you are having a good weekend.

  17. @nicolebassey, I forgot to say welldone, you write well and I look forward to reading more from you.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Thank you @olajumoke , your comments are most flattering.

  18. This is a great Satire.Interesting.

    1. Had to look that word up-satire :-) , thank you @khadijahmuhammad .

  19. Oh yea! Please is there a villain? Please there has to be one o :D

    1. Ofcos there is @weedeekay

    2. i like your thinking

  20. Yeah, I finally make it down here to this Ernest…wetin call…..Ok, @nicolebassey can I make a suggestion? Just write @kaycee as they other guy…the one on the fone!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    1. @Kaycee what do you say? ;-)

  21. Hahahaha
    @shaifamily, shey na u get mind abi?
    @Lulu, heed @seun-odukoya. This talk about quality and other issues on NS has been overflogged to nonsense. I personally…never mind that. You should have been here when this site was young. What is happening to NS is the same thing happening to Nigeria. @admin has a good heart, but they are like President Jonathan, which is a pity. I cannot kill myself, I will just jump and pass.

    1. @kaycee u know I get “mind” pass dis small comment I just made…hehehehe

  22. Intriguing Story….

    1. I pray and hope so , thanks @elovepoetry

  23. Interesting piece bt it doesn’t read like sci-fi, it’s more allegorical.

    I think it got to a point that @admin lowered it’s standard and sacrificed quality for quantity.

    Just today I was wondering what the “submit for review” link in the submission page was for, cos I definitely dnt think any “review” is being done before the stories and poems are published.

    We need not be like our country where excellence is relegated to the background. I’m hoping for a time that it will be that to get published on NS, means ur work is standard and a sign that uv got what it takes to write, and then getting ur works accepted as an “editor’s picks” means you are the best of the best… That way people like @seun-odukoya, @kaycee, @TolaO, @enoquin, @howyoudey, @sueddie, @raymond, @chemokopi, and the other masters will love to hang out and newbies can learn from them…

    @nicolebassey this was nice, but make subsequent episodes tighter… Well done

    1. @topazo: a million thanks for the mission. You probably should be co-opted as one of Queen @Myne‘s team!
      Hee hee hee!

    2. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      @Topazo ‘tighter’? How much tighter? Please give examples thank you. :-* :-*

  24. I realIy love this piece. It got me thinking on a lot of things. Maybe it is because of the first timing and all, maybe not too much romance with sci-fi (have you really watched or read it much? just asking…) …
    This was really lovely. @sibbylwhyte (is it @bubbllinna ? Old age :) or maybe Subla :) ) : did you see this? Subla, hmm :)

    @Lulu: Haba! Sup? Where have you been?

    @seun-odukoya @kaycee: guys, who do you think the villain would be? I can only imagine… Hmm.

    I think I totally love this new series. I would have to follow it.

    @nicolebassey: watch out, you got typos there but more than that, you have got my full attention on this. Well done lady. I don’t say this much but well, I raise my fist on your creativity here. No flattery. I have some reservations with the flow but the plot and mind behind the whole process has me wowed! Well done.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Gracias , Merci Beaucoup, Sosongo eti eti Monsieur @sueddie.
      P/s you can inbox me with ALL your flow reservations. Thank you once again.

    2. @sueddie

      I think the answer to that’s pretty obvious…

  25. I didn’t feel the sci-fi vibes oh but this was very nice. I loved the message and its honesty. Had this nostalgic feel too.

    Virginity is something you can never get back. Enestera has shagged and should learn to stay sane somehow, looooooool.

    By the way, Enestera reminds me of the NS username @Estrella.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Hmmmm @jaywriter that is Deep.

  26. Not much oF a fan of sci- fi…but the message and the creativity of this piece, i can feel. Kudos.

  27. sambright (@sambrightomo)

    The tread here is as interesting as the piece that inspired it. What more can one say, bible says because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.I think that is what has happened to NS lately.So many people’s love has waxed cold. I dont know how it can be revived but I think management need to do something.Competition will not solve it.Mba, it will not.

    @nicolebassey continue doing your bit, at least this work has inspired some questions to begin to rear its head.This is what a writer is supposed to do; the social responsibility of inspiring change.WELL DONE>

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Thank you @sambrightomo , So help us God.

  28. @nicolebassey.

    I am a tad late but I have come running to answer your call. I remember the poem ‘Ernestra’. I thought it lovely. This piece here has been written to address the issues that NS is beseiged with. The style is Sci-fi especially when it comes to the naming of character but it’s both a satire and an allegory. We do get the message though and I hope that those for whom it’s intended, read, understand, strategize and implement solutions.

    The thing called life has happened and people have gotten on the onward train… This place isn’t as it used to be. Maybe, instead of casting stones, we can actually stay on and help out. I promise to ‘hitch a ride and get my ass back home to Ernestra’.

    Sunshine, this is a lovely piece with a great theme and intent. The typos and stuff, I am sure by now you’ve dealt with them. Well done, Keep the pen working. $ß.

  29. Good job…I like this…

  30. @nicolebassey please were you born on a writing day?

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