“Each of the combatants within him had decided that rather than end up being the underdog, it would do its utmost to push the other out.”

This is just a humorous short short to lighten your day. You are blessed!


Mazi Okeke had really missed his favourite food. A lingering attack of fever had deprived him of his appetite but currently in the middle of treatment with anti-malaria medication and multivitamins, his whole body had been shaking until he requested for, first a bowl of fufu(cassava) with ora soup, followed up shortly with another bowl of the same and onugbu (bitter leaf) soup.

He had scarcely downed the last morsel of fufu before a rumbling erupted in his stomach followed by a loud belch. Surprisingly, it was the whiff of ora soup that he got.

He patted his tommy and coaxed, “N’odu nwayo, ora, i to tago nwa,” meaning, “Be quiet, ora, you have a younger sibling now.”

But the ora was not in an agreeable mood. It was probably miffed that it had been submerged under so much onugbu. Who would blame it? To have to endure all that bitterness! Presently, a battle of supremacy ensued because the onugbu couldn’t understand why the ora was pushing and gasping for air.

Alarmed, that the contest was about to result in something he didn’t want to think about, Mazi Okeke screamed, “Stay down!” in his mind.

Then, “No, no, no! Don’t you dare!”

All the while, he clamped his mouth shut and flared his nostrils to get more air in. Yet he got more and more restless.

“Pleeease, stay down,” he whimpered silently but it was no good.

Each of the combatants within him had decided that rather than end up being the underdog, it would do its utmost to push the other out. And so the next thing he knew, his mouth was full.

“Waaaaah!” His wife came running with a bucket but before she arrived, “Waaaaah!”

“I warned you to be careful with that fufu.”

“Waaaaah, waaaaah, waaaaah,” he went again, clutching the bucket.


The retching continued. It was as if he would spill his guts, literally. After several more minutes of being violently sick and coughing to clear his throat, he collapsed on the armchair and began to pant with beads of perspiration on his brow.

-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016

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