Mahoganies and Phones

I turned to the other side and moaned, the springs below my mattress squeaking as I did so. The loud laughter and conversation coming from the next room had long ceased. Nighttime sounds soon eased my body into much needed sleep. Mondays were my most hectic days, with lectures running from 8 am to 6 pm with only a one hour break. Tuesdays were much better but 7 am classes had never been my turf. I thus needed to get as much sleep as possible.

I tossed and turned, trying to sink myself deeper into the feathery embrace of sleep. My wrapper turned with me and soon, half of it hung downwards. I was in a brightly lit room, cracking melons and jokes with my mum. We still had a long way to go and it appeared to be evening. Kate had that pinched expression she always wore when hungry. Mum made a joke about her looking as though she needed the toilet. I laughed heartily, breaking off half of a melon seed with its chaff in the process. I simply put it aside and continued with the others. Kate was obviously too hungry to retort. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a blazing fire the colour of an overripe orange. It was puzzling since we had electricity supply. I turned my head fully to look at it and almost fell off my bed.

My eyes widened in a blend of shock and fear. The surface of the wooden table in the centre of the room was on fire. I jumped down from my top bunk with an agility I never knew I had. As I ran to our balcony to get some water, the scream “Fire!” flew off my mouth. I returned with a bucket of water and doused the flame, Fiyin and Jane from G60 hurriedly entering in my wake. Ugo would have to forgive me for using the water she slaved to fetch. Our room was seven floors up. Toyin tried to salvage our blackened books that were on the table while Ugo sat with her back to her pillow, still rubbing off sleep from her eyes. At least, she was not repeating the sleeping feat she displayed when Mr. Queens visited.

The table was badly burned, its rich mahogany colour now ashen black. Its smoothness was now something of the past. I felt bad for it. Apparently, the little candle we all forgot about the night before had cruelly reminded us of its power. I made my way to the back door, passing Fiyin and Jane as they kept asking no one in particular what had happened, hands on hips. I got the broom that was behind the door and started sweeping down the casualties. A second later, I was screaming my head off and holding a blackened, acrid smelling version of my Blackberry Q10.

31 thoughts on “Mahoganies and Phones” by Shawty (@ehiabah)

  1. Nalongo (@Nalongo)

    Oh no!!!!

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

      Oh yes!!! Glad you identified with the story.

  2. @ehiabah : I enjoyed this. Come on, dude. Your life is worth more than the Blackberry. I particularly liked the descriptions like the orange color of the fire, and how he moved from feeling sleepy to dreaming. But, I am still confused as to what caused the fire. Am I missing something here?

  3. bunmiril (@bunmiril)

    It’s better the phone got burnt instead of a life.
    Nice one.
    Well done.

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

      @bunmiril, thanks.

  4. Oopsy, Sharon missed her description of the forgotten candle. A good, descriptive piece.

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

      Thanks, @hymar.

  5. lol…

    And while @SharonWrites missed the description of the candle that caused the fire…I couldn’t tell at what point the MC fell into the dream…I only came to the conclusion at the end of the story.

    Then others seem to be reffering to the MC as a ‘He’…I thought it was a ‘She’. I think you always have to define that. I felt more convinced it was a female because of the female friends and the agony over a blackberry – something girls cherish more than guys.

    1. @Afronuts & @Hymar : I got the candle part o! I did not miss it at all. What I did not understand was how the candle caused the fire. Did he knock it over in his sleep, did it burn something else, which caught fire? That’s what I meant.

      … I have four eyes, so … ;-)

  6. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

    Thanks, y’all for reading and commenting.

    Ok, about the gray areas. @SharonWrites, what I had in mind was that the candle made contact with the books on the table and that caused the fire. You’ll notice the roommate salvaging burnt books. The characters are all definitely female. My use of female names, a room number G20(I had a school hostel in mind) and well my allusion to Ugo’s sleeping feat when ‘Mr. Queens’ visited were my pointers to that.

    And @afronuts, I intentionally made the transition to dream state subtle. You only noticed she had fallen asleep when she noticed the fire, shey? That was intentional. By the way, I really thought both sexes are equally attached to BBs.

    1. @ehiabah

      Okay, I now understand what you aimed at with the explanation you gave to @SharonWrites but I feel it can be better. It shouldn’t take you explaining it like you did for us to understand it.

      And on the BB matter – men are also attached to BBs but not as much as women oh. You know their social well-being of an average Naija chic thrives on gossip and gists…women gist a lot more than men and thus a BB is a perfect tool for the hobby.

      1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

        @afronuts As much as I agree with you that my writing can be better, I don’t think I should have to spell everything out. There should be room for guessing, I believe. Concerning how the candle caused the fire, for instance, the mc couldn’t have explained it and since it was her pov I narrated from I could only hint at the presence of a candle and let the readers fix the dots. Thanks for the advice though.

  7. You should copy my style.

    *I sleep with my phone by my side*


    1. @kodeya

      I doubt you ever get a good nights sleep at that!

      1. @Afronuts

        Who told you so. I use my phone a lot. Most of the time, I read the pages I have saved during the day, when I was too busy to read, before I sleep.

        I also use alarm heavily. I can’t imagine sleeping without a phone *except it is dead- which is rare*

        1. @kodeya

          Ehn ehn! That’s what I’m talking about! Many people don’t use their Phones pass just talking and texting and pinging and twittering and facebooking…

          You use the phone to the fullest just like me.

          Don’t worry…dem go soon invent phone wey go get pressing iron join

  8. cool story…well done

    dnt even give a thought to @kodeya ‘s style….. its outcome will be worse…

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

      @soogun thanks. Lol

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)


  9. Very well delivered.
    You will make a formidable writer if you keep at this.

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

      @kaycee Hmm… I hope so. Thanks.

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

      Abi. Thank you.

  10. Another good piece. Nice job.

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)


  11. Another nice piece. Good job.

  12. Bibbie (@Bibbie)

    This is really good.
    Well done!

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

      Thanks dear.

  13. I doubt I’ve met anyone who would leave a blackberry phone on the table when he/she has roommates and just go to sleep. Lotsa pips learnt their lessons like I am sure the MC did. @Kodeya your style is what I am used to jare. Nice descriptions.
    Well done, ehi abah.

    P.S the funniest thing was making out the meaning of your name in igbo.

    1. Ehi Abah (@ehiabah)

      Oh, I have met someone. I once had a rommate like that. She didn’t leave her phone on the table that often though.

      Thanks for reading, enjoying, commenting…

      I’m definitely curious about what my name means in igbo. I’m not Igbo though.

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