Behind the Dark Cloud

Behind the Dark Cloud

As the clouds began to rumble, we began to mumble. A moist scent engulfed the air and the atmosphere felt like an ocean-ride. From a distance, the hills seemed to be covered with snow. To the best of my knowledge, Nigeria had never experienced snowfalls. I actually saw that topographical-aspect as a mirage. Even the chilly weather couldn’t disenfranchise the electorate from exercising their rights. We kept on discussing global warming, the scarcity of petroleum products and the economy. While other voters were condoning the fear of a heavy downpour, I drew nearer to a woman who looked twenty-years older than my mother.

She looked like a scarecrow and wore rags as clothes. She could barely move and kept on shivering as thunder-claps formed a silhouette around the voting arena. I tried not to show her too much pity as she spoke of her husband’s demise intensively. “He died during one of the federal government organized exercises for pensioners. It must have been pneumonia”, she said. Her fair command of English suggested that she was quite learned. Her only child had travelled to Asia in search of ‘greener’ pastures. Ever since Ikemdi’s journey to Taiwan a dozen years back, no one had ever heard from him. “I believe the white men have killed him, he can’t snub me”, she said in a very pitiful voice. Teardrops rolled down my cheeks as we sat under the pear tree adjacent to the polling booth. The tree reduced the intensity of the rainfall which eventually drenched us as it washed my tears. I tried to console her with kind words but I ended up speaking off the tangent. While some voters read damp newspapers, others got embroiled in heated discussions as the rain subsided.

Hand-in-hand, we trudged towards the queue. I made sure she stayed directly ahead of me on the queue. I excused myself as I went in search of a seat but she stopped me when she realized my intentions. “It’s a price we must pay”. She spoke passionately of our nation as she clenched her lean fists around her voter’s card. As she spoke of the hope she had for a new Nigeria, heads began turning backwards. The Governor of the state had just arrived amidst a lot of media brouhaha and had simply joined the queue. Journalists scrambled for scoops as people waved at the state’s first citizen. We were approaching our turn as the sun began to descend on us its scorching heat.

It was over a week since the election and the results had been announced. This time around, the popular choice amongst the masses had been elected as the nation’s president. Smiles had been sprinkled to the wrinkled faces of Nigerians. Love had been rekindled across the country. The clouds were once again gathering and I remembered that this weather was akin to that of the Election Day. I reached for my wallet and brought out a sheet where 82 year-old Ahudiya had scribbled down her residential address. I reminisced on how she had squeezed the address into my hands when I alighted at my bus-stop that day.

As I walked down Teniola Street, my eyes toured the length and breadth of the vicinity while searching for house No.20. The thoughts of seeing my friend came to an abrupt end when I got my gaze fixed on a wall. Her obituary paper hung loosely against that wall. My legs were glued to the spot as a flood of tears gathered within me. But deep in me, I knew she was happy wherever she was.


49 thoughts on “Behind the Dark Cloud” by Augustine Ogwo (@caesarjayjay)

  1. Fred Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Wow! Loved this. Deep

  2. Very good one. Love the relationship the two had. The rain and all, very good too. Very nice story.

  3. Loved that you were able to capture a lot of emotion in this one, even with the limited word count.It shows how good a writer you are.

    Well done!!!

  4. @oga fred, thanks so much for your comment

  5. @grayshores, thanks and u know how we do it

  6. @jaywiter, nice to know i got you through the realtionship

  7. @Oga Lawal, you make me shy
    Thanks a lot
    God bless you


  8. Love this. Very positive. It would be nice if we could have elections like that.
    Very emotional stuff too. Heart-wrenching. Some of the descriptive passages felt overdone to me but overall, this is wonderful!

  9. @gboyega, thanks so much
    I tried to do my best but the word-count issue limited my descriptive prowess. I am quite suprised that it was ‘overdone’
    Thanks a lot bro and please make that vote

  10. Through this story, Augistine Ogwo tries to weave an embroidery with the wool of the untold and unsung sufferings of the common man, nay, common woman, a woman whom the voting hubbub should be all about anyway. Her arrival at the polling station is subtly juxtaposed with the markedly different advent of a paparazzi-possessed big man. The writer compares the noise of victory with the silent sorrow of death, yet within the boundaries of scarce words, we are assured that the late friend is “happy wherever she was”. Suspense and twists appear in the delaying of names. Clouds and snows symbolically show that all is not well. And the untoward rain continues after the election. And life goes on. We clean our tears because we are assured that the truth is “happy wherever she was”. A deep one, a deep manager of emotions, is this Augustine. Good luck!

  11. My mistakes “Augustine” for “Augistine” and “wipe our tears” for “clean our tears”. Funny I see mistakes after I have gone away and come back to a note. What happens if I don’t have the time to call back?? Thumbs up for you again, Augustine.

  12. My Big brother @Jeff Unaegbu, i don’t know what to write but i will write something. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, I WILL NEVER DISAPPOINT THIS TRUST YOU HAVE THRUST UPON ME. THANK YOU


    I believe the white men have killed him, {he can’t} snub me”, she said in a very pitiful voice. [I WANT TO SAY THAT I WOULD HAVE USED ‘HE COULDN’T HAVE SNUBBED ME’ OTHER THAN ‘CAN’T’ BECAUSE SHE WAS ]EXPRESSING THE BELIEF THAT THE SON WAS LONG DEAD…????]. I may be wrong sha


  14. I can’t say it any better than they have…Very emotional…

  15. Deep and touching. Nice write…..
    I’m learning big time in NS.

  16. @Xikay, thanks for the correction bro. God bless You
    Thanks for your support too. I won’t disappoint you

  17. @Raymond, thanks so much. I can’t believe that even men felt the emotions too.Please Vote when the time comes

  18. @Lancaster, wow! I came here to learn but people are now learning from me. Thanks so much oh! Just Make your vote count in the Nigerian elections and even the NS elections. Thank you1

  19. Wow augustine,am short of words, this is so touching and very impressive.
    well done!!!

  20. @posh, thanks a lot. I will keep burning the candle

  21. Behind the dark cloud- so so touching. Good job.

  22. This is awesome. Nice work

  23. @writefight, thanks a lot and God bless

    Let’s make our votes count


  25. @Augustine Ogwo, U had me from beginning to the end of this piece! Sounded like poetry from the start, really loved it. The end nailed it. Are u sure this goes? ‘Smiles had been sprinkled to the wrinkled faces of’ To?
    I’m still smiling sha, maybe u sprinkled some ON my face by voting and what u did to that woman… I could see the obituary on the wall… Using ‘could’ because u took me to another world, I’m back but breathless! In this competition, contestants don’t earn my praise for nothing, u did BIG time. VERY POWERFUL descriptive and narrative power. Na d sequence abi clarity? Well Done dude, see u in d final!

  26. @4ran6, i don’t know what to say but THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    Thanks for the support
    I hope we will meet in the finals.
    Thank u!

    1. This no b support o… U got it cos u worked for it. Finals? I hardly write stories… I’d only wait to see if my prediction was right.

  27. @4ran6, thanks still.
    @Victor Agbo, welcome to NS

  28. Wow! Poignant! Powerful! Priceless! I totally second Jeff in his rich literary analysis. As for Xikay’s observation on “can’t”, I beg to disagree. Why? Well, the old woman like any mother must still be hoping deep in her heart that her son is alive (or isn’t it possible that he’s serving a long sentence in jail.) She only fears he may be dead. Well done Augustine! And please remember to comment on THE NEO-JUJU. Don’t say you like it just cos I love yours o! Be a sincere critic *winks*

    1. @King kObOkO, I dey feel dis ur campaign o…

  29. Nice use of language… I love this…

  30. @Koboko, thks a lot for your encouragement.
    for NEO-JUJU, NO WAHALA, i will check it out

  31. @Idoko Ojabo, thks a lot. God bless you
    We just have to make our votes count

  32. Great story and nice writing

  33. @KING KOBOKO maybe you need to look at this:

    I believe the white men have killed him,…

    the woman said this .

  34. Augustine, i have read this again and again….you are just too good..too good. Great piece!

  35. Wow! you meant to pass across powerful emotions here and you did it quite well i must say…you’re good! Your masterful use of narration is commendable.I love how you used the character of the old woman to depict the passion that i know is the hearts of many Nigerians for a better tomorrow.well done Augustine!

  36. Nnenna-Ihebom (@Nnenna-Ihebom)

    You display great decriptive ability in thi piece. Very emotional too. kudos

  37. @Ahmed Hassan, thanks a lot

  38. @Ukamaka Olisakwe, thank you dearie
    Yours is also great

  39. @Estrella, i’m honoured by your comment. thks a bunch

  40. @Nnenna, thk u so much
    Let us all make our votes count

  41. I share the opinion of others before me, this was awesome, well done Augustine!

  42. @scopeman, thanks so much
    I hope you can use your prowess to mobilize votes for

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