If you’re into twitter and things like that, you may have come across a particular trend in the past few weeks. I’m referring to the #endthestory competition coordinated by published writer Seun Salami who blogs here. Well, apart from media publicity purposes (of course!), the competition is also meant to showcase latent and obvious literary talent—which is a very nice thing to do.
The competition works something like this: you read the story “The Sex Life of a Lagos Mad Woman” written by said Seun Salami and then end it. Simple, really. A lot of fine writers did just that and as at the time of writing, the top ten “enders” have been selected. If you are also into things like that, you can catch up on all the exciting stuff going on with the competition here. Meanwhile, it’s time to stop the links and pingbacks to seunwrites.com and really end that story. My way.
Wait. Before you continue to the “ending”. Dash over and read the beginning of the story here. Seriously.
“Do you believe anything she has said so far?”
“Hell, no! It would take a lot more than a pathos inducing sob story about the seedy underbelly of Lagos to convince me, sir. I tell you, that woman is as clear-headed as an acrobat on a tightrope—if not more. The intelligence we received is good stuff and her story cannot change it. That girl is a spymaster.”
Complete with sunglasses specially borrowed from the cloakroom to intimidate the suspect, Inspector Steve and Sergeant Abu of the intelligence branch of the Nigerian State Security Service wore their crisp jackets with the air of busy men who had little time for shit, especially shit of the faking lunacy kind.
“I am a busy man and I have little time for shit. Especially shit of the faking lunacy kind.” Inspector Steve said.
“I agree, sir. We have no time for this shit. The fact we pulled her from under a rubbish heap only shows that she is undercover. It does not make her innocent.”
“If that was meant to be a pun, I don’t find it funny.” Inspector Steve frowned.
The two men were standing outside Interrogation Room 8, the one-way mirror in front of them allowing them a total observation of the room while preventing them from being seen—exactly like the kind of stuff you see in kickass shoot-em-up movies.
Inside the brightly lit interrogation room sat the rough looking female who was the subject of the well-considered conversation between the men outside. The woman looked just like what the cat dragged in—if anyone has any idea of what that is. But on the assumption that everyone understands the metaphor, this description will be sufficient.
She sat with a blank look at the mirror, as though staring into the wall behind the men observing her.
“Now, what do we do with this girl and her funny story?” Inspector Steve asked Seargent Abu.
“Well, she told a good story, it has everything in it: nudity, sex, murder, drugs and Lagos traffic. I rate it 18.”
“Yeah, the dreadlock pubic hairs was a nice but gory touch. Its the most fantastic mixture of sex and horror since Cossy Orjiarfor stopped wearing bras. ”
“Urggh. You can say that again, sir. I keep seeing Ras Kimono’s head staring from between her legs. Our suspect, that is, not Cossy’s.”
“Of course. But don’t let’s get carried away. The question is: is she mad or is she faking it?”
“I stand by my earlier assertion, sir. She is sane. Listen to her again: her story is as lucid as daybreak. Mad women can’t conceive of that right touch of atmosphere, mood and tone. If we even analyse the story carefully, sir, we will be able to bring out the essential elements of a short story: character, setting, plot, conflict and theme. Her statement reads almost like a published writer’s online blog.”
“That’s interesting but not conclusive. Maybe she had a degree in literature before succumbing to madness?”
“Well, only mad people study literature in the first place. Sane people enjoy it. She is sane, and therefore she could not have studied literature.”
“Abu! There’s a fallacy or more in that statement! One: ignorantio elenchi! Two: affirming the consequent! Three: denying the antecedent! As an officer and a gentleman, never commit the crime of fallacy!”
“My apologies, sir. But if I may say so, you, sir, instead have been indulging in semantics, which we have sworn to avoid.”
The two men stared at each other for a few seconds, before Inspector Steve capitulated.
“Alright then, no fallacies and no semantics. Now what the fuck are we going to do with this woman and her story?”
“I’ll tell you what to do with the story, gentlemen. We’re gonna end it” said a booming voice behind the two men.
The two men turned round to see who had replied them.
Abu’s startled “What the—” was cut off by Inspector Steve’s sharp “Who the fuck are you?”
The newcomer was dressed in the most badass of commando customs, again as seen on TV. In both hands were two silenced handguns.
“I am Rosco”, he said. Then he shot dead both Sergeant Abu and Inspector Steve, who both followed their fedoras backward to the floor and forever lost interest in literary criticism. Rosco unnecessarily checked the pulse of the two men before moving forward and drop kicking the door to Interrogation Room 8.
“What took you so long?” The occupant of the room spat out as she jumped off the chair, the blank expression gone, now replaced by a stern look. “These guys were not buying my story at all and I even had to swallow the pills to induce a fake morning sickness.”
“My apologies, ma’am. Headquarters was listening on the wiretap and wanted to see if you could convince them to let you go. However, and with all due respect, ma’am, for a woman who was supposed to be mad, that was a very sane story.”