Four weeks had passed and it felt like Deji had been at the camp for years. He wanted out as badly as a junkie needed a fix. His life had become a blur of orders and inadequate sleep, coupled with bad food and deadly angst – his. He was ready to implode. In discussions with the other recruits, he had labelled the camp their jail often alluding to a jail break sooner or later. Everyone thought he was a fool for entertaining thoughts of escape, except Mosunmola Badru the one good thing that had happened to him in that dreary place.

After the summary dismissal of the first recruit whose name no one remembered, ten others had been let go due to their inability to keep up pace with the rest of the pack. The boot camp was no respecter of persons, you either completed a task early or get brushed aside.

Of the ten that were let go, four had broken bones from the rigorous exercise campaign that they had to undergo. They were sent home to recuperate and sergeant Bala had promised they would be given a second shot at the training. Deji could not imagine himself agreeing to a part two of that kind of ordeal.

The six others were either tardy, had a wrong attitude and two had actually been caught having coitus. It was as though hell had invaded the earth. Sergeant Bala had raged like the devil himself and it took all his restraint not to shoot the couple. He had subjected them to the most demeaning and deadly corporal punishment. It was a sad day.

Deji had survived long enough for two reasons, first, he had a mission to prove the devil (sergeant Bala) wrong. And second, Mosun, she was easy on the eye and he found himself feeling again in her company. Love or not, it was for her that he remained, chiefly.

He had escaped the camp a week earlier, when the eleventh recruit had been dismissed. Since he had talked about it and gotten no response, he worked on a plan, studied the outbound routines and learned just how the dismissed recruits were transported along with shift replacements. He waited.

That fateful day, after jumping through hoops, climbing the overhead wire mesh that almost killed Dotun – another recruit, he felt he had had enough and quit. He hid under the truck just like in ‘POW The Escape’ and rode with the truck for more than twenty minutes. Then he started having second thoughts, thinking of Mosun and the other guys who hadn’t quit the program. His resolve to escape shattered whilst he was under the truck.

He made a new plan then; he would not quit until he was dismissed. He slid off when the truck slowed a little and began following the tyre tracks back to base. He got there after thirty minutes of jogging, running and walking. He slipped quietly into base and would have gone unnoticed except for one little fact, sergeant Bala was sleeping soundly in his bed.

Deji was at a loss, how could the man have known he wondered, superfluous. His sting operation had taken less than two hours, a little over an hour actually, still the commanding officer had caught on. He felt like smothering the man in his sleep and damning the consequences. He steeled his nerves from actually going through with the thought and silently turned away.

As he made to move away, sergeant Bala roused. He froze.

‘Young man, where did you go?’ Sergeant Bala was smiling.

Deji had never seen the man smile before, never seen him amiable, he represented everything that was evil. So why was the man smiling at him? His guard went up.

He wanted to lie, but something urged him not to, so he blurted, ‘I just escaped from the camp and decided to come back.’ He had a defiant look on his face, daring the man to dismiss him.

‘Okay. Hope you’re back now.’ The man slid off his bed noiselessly still smiling as he walked away.

That incident rattles Deji still, as he could not fully comprehend why he had not heard anything else on the matter. He was sure that sergeant Bala was cooking something sinister for him, and strangely, he was not one bit bothered. It might be a welcome development to be kicked off the boot camp.

Over the last week, he had found a new vigour for all the exercises and trainings. Dotun and Isah his friends there wondered how he was able to reignite his passion having bet that he would be the next to go. Still, not one person had deserved the boot, yet.

He had become a better lover too, becoming attentive and patient with Mosun. Their sexual tension was now palpable. He had been awed by her beauty the first time he saw her. And seeing her naked daily was not doing his members any good. His soldier had actually saluted the first time he saw her naked. That incident had been both embarrassing and awkward for him. She just smiled and pretended like she did not see.

Two days ago she had brazenly touched him in the showers, and washed his back. Deji had cringed at first thinking it was his ‘suspect’ gay friends only to see her smiling under the downpour. He calmed a little and it ended there. Throughout the drills that day he was distracted but had managed to complete his tasks on time.

That morning she had smiled at him again, taunting him to touch her. Daring him to defy sergeant Bala’s orders and copulate with her. He was living on a fool’s island and did not know what to do really about the situation. He was contemplating his line of action when private Jimoh came into their bunk house.

‘Okay guys, it’s time to hustle, let’s go!’ He was clapping to punctuate the urgency of his demand.

Deji planted his feet on the floor, this was one activity he had earnestly looked forward to. Shooting and marksmanship, he was going to be a world class sniper he thought as he joined the others on the way out.

19 thoughts on “Reverie” by Daireen (@daireenonline)

  1. Em…I can’t say much about this because there are too many grey areas.

    You can write and you know, so i won’t bother patting your back. I’ll instead smack it.

    The speak of the story feels mostly distracted – as though you cannot make up your mind whether it is a short story or an intro to something larger. After reading, I cannot tell what the story is really about. I mean, I know the character is in some training camp – but why? For what? To become a…sniper?

    Hope you understand my opinion.

    1. Daireen (@daireenonline)

      @seun-odukoya Point noted. Will try and remain focused on a certain theme. I guess I wanted to project a bored, uncertain outlook for the protagonist by making him look jaded with the entire program. I think I refocused towards the end.

      Thanks for pointing that bit out though. I really need to write the full story and send out for editorial analyses walai! Just that me and laziness and procrastination seem to be good buddies.

      Thanks for stopping, Will make you proud henceforth :d

      1. You always have, Daireen.


        Its a honor.

        1. @seunodukoya, long time bros. I think the story felt that way to you because this is the first post you are reading on Deji. It is some sort of series.
          @daireenonline you should have labelled this as a series so people can follow.
          Good story. Meanwhile is it a novel, novella or a kind of long short story

          1. Daireen (@daireenonline)

            @osakwe it’s supposed to be a series like 24. just that this one chronicles the transition of the recruit into a full blown spy. And I think @seun-odukoya knows that it’s a series. About not putting it in the series category, that was an honest mistake, I thought I did. Thanks for stopping.

            1. My problems with this have all been laid out exactly by @seun-odukoya. And I think the focus got lost even more when you inserted the protagonist’s affair with Mosun towards the end.

              Of course you can write and the story has much potential. Keep improving your art. There is no end to learning.

  2. Oga! Yes you can write, and very well too. ‘That incident rattles Deji still’ should have been, ‘That incident rattled Deji still’

    1. Daireen (@daireenonline)

      @ohmston English na bastard walai! I initially wrote it that way and changed it later as I felt that was more appropriate. Now, I’m not sure I can face my secondary school teacher. The welts she’ll leave on my buttocks ehn…

      So it’s back to the drawing board, gotta get this right, and consistently so.

      Thanks for stopping.

      1. You welcome, sir.

    2. “that incidence rattles deji still”…
      Does this mean the incident rattled him back then, and still rattles him as he recollects?

      1. The story from the way i see the plot is taking place real-time. and these events are chronicled by the author using the third person (past tense). The only way, i think, that the original sentence would have worked was:

        (1) If the author was telling the story in light of past events. But from the tone and mood of the plot, one can safely assume thats not the case.

        (2) If the story was being told in the present tense, then “that incidence rattles Deji still…” would have been in place.

        (3) If the story was told using the first person narrative technique. Then it would have been, “that incidence rattles me still…”

        And @Kaycee, do not forget that Deji aint the one recollecting. Its the authors voice, telling you about an event that occured that still rattled his hero. I dont know if i’ve been able to clarify.

        1. Daireen (@daireenonline)

          @ohmston, was trying for past continuous tense ni oo. Thank you for clarifying and enlightening me.

          @kaycee, I think I understand him better now. Your question clarified loads though, thanks for asking it. (y)

  3. Insert the second disc please!

  4. This is getting interesting. I had the same thought expressed by @kaycee here too.

    Keep ’em coming!

  5. Since it’s a series, how then do I get to know which story is the ‘season 1’?… Need to read that up and then get in line with your plot… Well done….$ß

    1. Daireen (@daireenonline)

      @sibblywhyte the first story is CHANCE MEETING, the second is EXCURSION, third is BOOT CAMP and REVERIE’s the fourth installment. It’s the only one that I forgot to post under the series category. Thanks for stopping, will look forward to your comments on the stated posts and others.

  6. Daireen, you write nicely, I like your flow…but I’m wondering if the reason for Deji wanting to abscond boot camp is realistic enough.

    Why do I say this? Because despite whateva wahala he might be going through, the desire for Mosun should have been a reason never to try and escape from the camp. Though you established it as a reason later on when he changed his mind, I feel the desire for Mosun negates the need to abscond camp…unless there’s a stronger reason that can overwhelm the desire for a woman…and we know how a man’s desire for a woman can warp his senses…lol

    I like the silent humour employed in the story…you couldn’t help but laugh at the antics and happenings on the boot camp. I can also see that this story seems like a sequel to an earlier one you wrote…is it a series or an extract from a novel, work-in-progress?

    You’re doing a good job of wanting me to keep reading if its a series.

    1. @afronuts I can’t stop laughing oo. This your analysis ehn… Thanks for taking the time to read it. Check the reply to Bubblinna’s question. you’ll see the series in full. Somehow, I have stopped writing though. Trying to get the juice for the story flowing again.

      As per camping, the only camp I’ve been to was the NYSC camp oo, and I was dodging drills like James Bond dodges bullets. :) Thanks for taking your time to go through this. Appreciate it.

  7. I forgot to ask…did you ever have a boot camp experience? You tell it so well.

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