Blood On My Hands

NB – This is an initial draft of a Work in Progress (WIP) and I would very much appreciate sincere critiquing as it will go a long way to help me panel beat the whole thing into something readable and likeable. Regards;

**Yes I may be a graduate but when there’s no job, of what use is my certificate?

An idle mind, they say, is where the devil likes to stay. I’ve tried my hands on few odd jobs, but when at the end I got my pay it’s barely enough to put a smile on a face that’s already dying of thirst and any decent meal to eat.

Then soon enough things began to change. Election time drew near again; Politicians and their ilk quickly overwhelmed our streets, trying too hard to outsmart themselves in a game of lies and promises even they don’t believe.

The one would say, “I will build thousand houses to shelter your folks from all the rains and blinding sunshine.”

Another would add, “As for me it’s a job for every citizen, whether at home or abroad.”

And yet a third would shout at the top of his voice, “Please vote for me. I’m the one to beat. The rest are just a bunch of fakes!”

Of course we were left to feign support for each of them as they took their turn in the show of shame while on the hurriedly arranged elevated podiums they chattered away like the ‘monkeys’ they were. For after all, that’s usually the only time they would willingly dip their hands into swollen bags and dole out stolen cash to the teeming crowd.

Politics in my clime was analogous to a do-or-die warfare, which was why decent people feared to invest their time, not to talk of their dime, in such a corrupt venture that could turn bloody in the twinkle of an eye.

I knew of an iniquitous goon-turned-a -money -bag -overnight. He traded his ill-gotten wealth just to bribe his way to occupy a seat in the state’s assembly. But when at the end of the day, the result was announced and his name was noticeably not there, he could not take the shame or the apprehension that he was suddenly as broke as before. So to save his face from the neighbor’s wicked slurs he hurriedly left the town and the next we heard his body was floating down the stream. Suicide? Only he could say. But dead men, they say, don’t tell tales.

Honestly, want and lack can cause a man to easily compromise. Even a priest, if not for God, can down his cloak and become a crook.

Well, as you read my tale don’t curse me yet; you may as well heap the blames on the powers that be – our Ogas at the top – because they will never stop to think that my types abound in drove that, after leaving school, have got no job to do.

My name is John, and by some twist of fate I was naturally built like a farmyard Ox. Lest I forget to add, it’s good you know that if pushed to the wall I fear myself what a blow from my fist could do to even a mule.

But I was yet to use my strength in a violent way, maybe because I obviously abhorred the repulsive sight of blood, or the pains on the faces of injured mortals as they lay in their pool of gore, knowing well that death had come – that was, until things went from bad to worse in my quest for a decent job to do. Even myself I didn’t know that my life was about to spiral and bring me close to the gate of hell.

You see, while in school I never faltered but did my best, as my grades can attest, and finished with remarkable grades. In fact, I did so well and even won a prize… I think in business math.  I also did a bit of sport; I could run like a horse in the track and field events, and throw discus as if it were just a piece of wood.

I have not come to boast, but rather to set the record straight; that my story may have been different maybe if fate had not treated me like a sore on the nose of a dog.

But after my school and no job in sight, the despondency doubled so that my faith began to wobble. As a last resort, I turned to God, angrily I must admit, and poured my cries to the heavens above, “If You truly care for me as the bible says of You then visit my case, my God, or else I will tempt myself and put all the blame on You!”

Now I remember my blessed Mum used to say, “Son, employ your brain or use your strength or maybe combine the two to help you move ahead in life.”

I’ve tried the former – I mean my brain – which was why I went to school. But that never took me far, except for the laborer job at the building site just behind my house. So I figured it was time I try my strength. But how or where to start from I had no idea till on this uneventful day, the month of September it was, the devil sent my way a long forgotten friend. His skin was as black as tar and the build as thick as sin, really an ugly chap; a shadowy figure from my recent past. He was so adept at vices he could swindle even himself. Though I knew him to be Samuel, he told me over and over again that he preferred ‘Virus’ as his alias; not exactly a terrible name for someone as hideous as he. He confided in me that what he loved most about his alias was the effect it had on friends and foes.

“I relish the jitter on the faces of those niggers every time they take to their heels on hearing Virus has come to town,” he explained to me and chuckles like a horse that’s about to chew some hays.

I was sitting all by myself and wondering where next to submit job application when this strange knock on my door jolted me back to here on earth. It was Virus at my door. He sneaked in like a ghost and made himself felt at home, even before I’ve offered him a handshake. Anyway, my room had got not much to offer; the best I’ve got was a bed and chair. The bed was a cheap bargain from a neighbor who got a better one from the carpenter along our street. Okay, I’ve also got a radio that only played few tunes at intervals because the speaker or something else inside was already too tired to work.

“Good news to you, my guy…” he began with a grin, exposing a wicked gap where his molar should have been.

9 thoughts on “Blood On My Hands” by Leekwid (@myself)

  1. A very good story.
    The character has a great voice.
    You need my brutal critique or the usual pats people give here? Ok, let me be nice.

    First, there is too much telling, and no showing. Secondly, a few sentences had mixed tenses. There were too many cliches too. There are more issues. I may come back to give you details later.

    If you have good editors, this would turn out very well.

    Go to, there are some good editors there, i can put in a word for you.

    Well done.

    1. @Kaycee. Honestly i rather prefer the brutal critiquing because only that way I would improve on my writing skills; I’ve always reiterated that i am here to learn.

      Thank you for opening my eyes to areas I naturally may have overlooked.

      Actually, the idea just flashed on a quiet, sleepless night and I figured I could beat it into something readable.

      I promise you and, especially, myself that I will rework and rework until something good comes out of it.


  2. I trust you can.


  4. Tense issues; the others have been pointed out.

  5. Hope you take the corrections and improve.

  6. There were a few grammatical errors like…”made himself felt at home”.
    You tried to create suspense at the beginning, but it ended up dragging on the story. My interest mostly picked up when Virus entered the scene.
    Your style of narrating is interesting but I would say there’s a distinct lack of ‘showing’. Pictures didn’t spring up in my mind as I read and the descriptions of the surroundings are vague.

  7. I think most of the critiquing has been done already. You just need to keep working it and you’d have a great piece on your hands.

  8. … a well-thought out story… I hope it continues…

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