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#Fiction - #Hope & #Humanity - (Large -Print)

Updated: Jul 9

Episode - 1

26.06.2021


Simon, with his wavy curly hair neatly trimmed in a youthful and boyish haircut, stood tall at 6 feet. He was dressed in desert brown combat trousers and a white V-neck t-shirt that draped over his athletic frame. His look was completed with desert brown Timberland moccasins, and the sunny spells highlighted his milk chocolate skin. His hazel brown eyes carried a sensual gaze. On his day off, he was preparing to shop for dinner for his beloved. Samantha, with her creamy olive skin and moderately petite stature, shooed away a ladybird that tickled the side of her sandy brown hair, which was tied up in a bun. She embodied the charm of summer in her yellow dress adorned with peach patterns, her smile radiant. Her kind ice-blue eyes held a longing that whispered 'see you later' as she waved goodbye to Simon, having just finished her shift at the Leeds General Infirmary.

1.


 

Episode - 1

26.06.2021

Samantha packed her navy-blue scrubs into her bag, sighing with relief that another workday had ended. She was eager to unwind with her favorite soaps and a nice dinner.


"How was your day?"


"Well, it was a long one at work," Samantha replied, exhaling deeply.


"How come?" Simon asked, his interest piqued.


"We're overwhelmed with patients and, as usual, understaffed."


"I thought medical school was tough."


"Dealing with the real world seems like a bigger nightmare than I expected," Samantha groaned.


"Sometimes, I wish I'd never pursued a career in medicine."


"People assume that as a doctor, you can cure every ailment and know everything, just like Google. They seem to think we possess a magic wand that heals the sick."


"Today, one of our patients passed away, and I wept bitterly. Sadly, there was nothing we could do to prevent his departure from this harsh world."

2.

 

Episode - 1

26.06.2021

Mr. Sable was admitted to our ward with a high fever, severe breathing difficulties, and persistent coughing. Accompanying him to the hospital was his wife, who had a lithe figure and smooth, milk chocolate-colored skin, as well as a pair of warm brown eyes. Mr. Sable's two children, twins with bright caramel-toned skin and hazel eyes, were endearing, their presence bringing joy. The twins, with their neat curly hair, wore yellow and orange pedal pushers paired with desert brown sandals.


Initially, we managed to stabilize Mr. Sable's critical condition, and there were hopeful signs of recovery. However, his condition deteriorated as his heart weakened and his breathing became increasingly labored. He was transferred to the intensive care unit, where we monitored his vital signs closely for four weeks. Despite our efforts, it became clear that the kindest course was to let him pass peacefully, a heart-wrenching decision we had to accept.

3.


 

26.06.2021

Simon extended his arms, and Samantha, blushing, nestled into his warm embrace, inhaling the scent of his aftershave mingled with sweat. Samantha shed a few tears as Simon tenderly held his 'belle' in their sitting room adorned with magnolia decor.


"Darling,"


"What's for dinner?"


"I've prepared grilled salmon with a ginger glaze, herb-infused new potatoes, and sautéed asparagus with a white wine sauce."


"Oh dear! Thank you, I'm famished."


Simon and Samantha took their places at the dining table, eagerly devouring the delicious meal. Later, Simon served homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert. Samantha stretched out on the sofa to watch 'Emmerdale,' snuggling with a medium-sized beige teddy bear.


"Honey," by the way,


"How was your day?"


"Stressful, as always."


"A young woman gave birth. We nearly lost both the baby and the mother in the process."

4.

 

26.06.2021

We were incredibly fortunate to have halted the mother's bleeding and carefully unwrapped the umbilical cord from around the baby's neck. Our quick-thinking nurses and colleagues were instrumental in this; otherwise, it's daunting to think of what we might have had to tell the woman's frantic husband had the situation turned out differently.

Samantha , Are you ready?

'Ready for what?'

I guess know what I mean.

'Oh! yesterday was my time off and I promised you today'.

I've been looking forward to this all day.

ha ha ha , you are always looking forward it .

‘I’ll be ready in a bit.’

Samantha and Simon had a shower in the bathroom and cuddled up to each other afterwards. Samantha unwrapped her night-gown while Simon massaged Samantha's full breasts gently, it was not long before they began to explore each other’s bodies as sodium skies emerged with a constellation of shiny white stars dotted around a crescent shaped moon , they were sated and catching their breadth by time both of them came to a climax. Samantha squealed with delight and caught her breadth as she came. Samantha whispered in a silky voice, ‘I love you’, Darling, I love you too. Both husband and wife held tight for a snuggle and snored the night away.

5.

 

 26.06.2021

Simon and Samantha offered a prayer as they woke to the cool, crisp morning air, fragrant with the scent of fresh flowers and grass.


As they were about to leave, the intercom buzzed.


Simon answered the intercom, saying,


"Hello,


Who is this?"


"How can I assist you?"


"It's Fisher, your neighbour. Could you come over quickly, please?"


"What's the matter?"


"I need your assistance."


"What's happened?"


"My wife doesn't seem well."


"Alright, I'll be there shortly; won't be long, mate."


"Sorry to trouble you, but Carlie has been unwell since last night. I thought it was the flu, but this morning she's burning up with a fever of 41°C. I checked with a thermometer. She's also experiencing severe chest pains and is having difficulty breathing."


"Oh dear, that's terrible. Poor Carlie."

6.

 

26.06.2021

"Fisher," I'm on my way to work. I can give "Carlie" a lift to the hospital. I'm heading to St. James to pick up a few things before going to Leeds General Infirmary.


Carlie's husband, Fisher, was a burly man with creamy skin, salt-and-pepper hair, and a ring of baldness. He wore a sky-blue hooded top, faded blue jeans, and black suede loafers. Mr. Fisher, who ran his own private courier business and traveled across the UK, had known Simon and Samantha for five years. Overcome with emotion, Fisher choked on a sob, muttering a profound 'thank you' as he wiped away tears and prayed fervently, hoping his wife of thirty years would survive her critical ordeal.


Simon took "Carlie" to St. James' Hospital and placed her in a wheelchair, allowing her to sit slightly upright while she was immediately seen by a nurse and doctor.


Dr. Gilad, a respiratory disease consultant of Jewish heritage, clad in light-blue scrubs with a thick moustache, sharp brown eyes, and light honey skin, gathered vital information from Carlie and spoke with a distinct Cockney accent.


After consulting with Dr. Gilad, Carlie was placed on a mobile bed and taken to a specialist ward for patients with respiratory illnesses, awaiting the results of various tests, including blood samples and saliva swabs taken by one of the assigned nurses to her .

7.

 

Characters Journey

11.08.2021

Dark clouds clustered in patches of grey, interspersed with sprinkles of blue skyline, appeared as gale-force winds whistled ferociously. A torrent of tropical rain lashed down, driven by easterly winds that roared through the lush green forest five kilometers from the Liberia-Sierra Leone border. Troops in green camouflage, red berets, and black boots marched in unison, arrayed like checkerboard squares. Armed to the teeth and holding their AK-47 rifles across their arms, they chanted war songs. Morale was high as the warlord, Charles Taylor, with his fair chocolate skin, sharp hazel eyes, and curly dark brown hair, looked every bit the rebel leader in his military camouflage t-shirt and desert brown combats. Charles delivered his customary daily briefing with fervor and enthusiasm as the sodium skies signaled the onset of dusk and the approach of nightfall.


Cecil, with her creamy brown mulatto skin, long dark curly hair in plaits under a green beret, and a moderately athletic build, wore combat camouflage trousers and a long-sleeve shirt. Her sharp hazel brown eyes gleamed as she cleaned her rifle and magazine, ensuring she had enough bullets in her cartridge. Sheldon, with his milk chocolate skin, bright brown eyes, small mustache, and tightly curled short hair, had a medium athletic build. He wore a leafy green camouflage shirt and combat trousers and looked utterly absorbed in his task as he meticulously checked his weapon to ensure his ammunition was ready for action when duty called.


"What the hell are you doing here?" Cecil demanded.


"Excuse me!"


"What are you doing here?" she retorted.


"Your guess is as good as mine," Sheldon replied with a smirk.


"By the way, Cecil, seeing you in the house is annoying enough."


"Hmm, look who's talking."


"Just look at the kettle calling the pot black," Sheldon countered.


"Cecil, guess what's happening today?"


"It's Simon's birthday."

8.

 

 Character Journey

11.08.2021

 

Two hours after Cecil and Sheldon shared a brief kiss, troops lay in parallel trenches, setting up a spiderweb-shaped ambush after hearing shots fired 750 meters northeast of their location.


"Cecil, back off! Now!"


"Mayday! Mayday! We're under attack!"


Frankie shouted, and Daley, the field commander, messaged the other troops.


Cecil and Sheldon fired off a few shots. The heavy exchange of deafening gunfire and artillery continued as the intensity of the fierce fighting escalated relentlessly.


Gradual advances were made as Charles Taylor's faction gained some ground, but as time went on, casualties began to mount.


"Frankie, I've been shot," was all Cecil could manage as her fellow trooper pulled her to a more secure location within the thicket of the forest, where enemy fire was almost non-existent. Cecil received first aid for her injuries, and frantic attempts to stem her bleeding progressed as tourniquets were applied, hoping to halt her hemorrhage.


Sheldon fought back with all his strength, firing volley after volley of artillery, struggling to hold back the surge of government troops. Within hours, he was hit below his left rib, at the waistline, and in the back.


Sheldon grimaced in pain, drenched in blood from his waistline, as he managed to roll onto his back into a trench, barely able to speak after the heavy fighting subsided.


Cecil and Sheldon were transported to a medical center by a British Red Cross ambulance, which had been delivering supplies to an orphanage in a town called Careysburg.

9.


 

Characters Journey

 11.08.2021

Despite her trembling hands and the pain she endured, Cecil requested a pen. She had lost a significant amount of blood, and the bullet wounds near her right shoulder, lower rib cage, and waist had stained her camouflage attire with blood.


After receiving a morphine injection, Cecil felt woozy and slightly dizzy but mustered the courage to fight for her life, even as her breathing became labored.


"I thought I asked for a pen," Cecil repeated, her eyes pleading and her voice hoarse. "Please, it's important that I have something to write on, a piece of paper?"


"Why do you need a pen and paper when you're in so much pain, and can barely hold a pen steady?" inquired one of the nurses tending to Cecil.


"Nurse, I need to send a message to 'Simon,' my son—he's my only child. It's crucial that I reach him quickly."


"Okay, here you are. I've managed to find a green pen, an A4 white paper, and an envelope too."


"Thank you so much, you're a star," Cecil gratefully responded to the nurse.


"Simon, my prince and warrior, my one and only treasure beyond measure. You have always been a gift to motherhood. I am proud to be your mother any day, any time. Even though I went through hell and back to give birth to you, I would do it again if given the chance. Ever since I nursed you, you have been a joy to behold and care for. I want you to know that no matter what happens, my love for you is unconditional and priceless. Sammy boy, you will always hold a special place in my soul. I don't think I'll see you grow up to become a successful man because I am fading away gradually, despite my valiant fight to live. My wounds have taken a toll on my body, which is, unfortunately, in pieces due to this dreadful war we are fighting against Samuel Doe's evil government. However, I pray that all will be well with your soul.

10.

 

 Simon

11.08.2021

Sheldon, Cecil's husband, was still breathing faintly, clinging to life by a thread. He had sustained several bullet wounds to his back and waist and was grimacing through as much pain as he could bear. The medics administered a dose of morphine to ease his suffering. Sheldon, looking subdued, requested the presence of his brother, Mr. Sawyer, at the hospital in Careysburg, Liberia.


Mr. Sawyer, with short curly hair, smooth honey-toned skin, and electric blue eyes, stood tall with a slim frame. He arrived at the hospital dressed in a simple blue denim shirt, jeans, and loafers. Speaking with a distinct Americo-Liberian accent—a blend of Creole and American English—Mr. Sawyer began to weep upon seeing Sheldon's condition.


He brought Sheldon some rice and chicken stew, which Sheldon could barely eat but managed to consume a little.


"Brother, I am sorry to bother you."


"Sheldon, don't be daft. I am here for you," Mr. Sawyer reassured.


"How are you feeling?" he asked Sheldon.


"Pain," was all Sheldon could muster in a hoarse whisper.

11.

 

Characters Journey


11.08.2021


 

Sawyer , I am desperately fighting to stay alive for ‘Simon’ my prince of a son whom I love to bits , however , I don’t think I will make it till tomorrow no matter how much I struggle to pull through this ordeal. Right now , I feel grey . My hands are pale with a strange anaemic feel that makes me feel dizzy ; Uncle Sawyer , I am giving you these keys to go to my house and open the safe where I have £3000.00 stashed away. I guess you are the only man I can trust .

I request to have ‘Simon’ be given the amount of £3000.00 so that when he migrates to ‘England’ as an ‘Orphan’ ,Hopefully , he can escape this precarious war and start a new life. I hope one day that these 'bastards' , 'Samuel Doe' and his evil cohorts would pay for the destruction of our beloved country ,'Liberia' . Send my love to ‘Simon’ . I earnestly pray that 'Simon' becomes a medical doctor one day . Tell ‘Simon’ , I love him dearly. Uncle Sawyer please kindly do everything to show that Simon is valued and cherished as if he is your own son . Sheldon closed his eyes and looked peaceful as he gave one last jerk and final breath. Sawyer tried to choke back tears and failed as he wept like a baby . Now Sawyer was shouldered with the responsibility of conducting funerals for his sister-in-law ,Cecil and his brother ‘Sheldon’ in addition to planning and organizing ‘Simon’s’ journey to ‘England.

12.

 

 

Characters Unfolding  

05.12.2021

Simon, with his small stature, hazel brown eyes, and skinny athletic frame, had milk chocolate baby skin. Dressed in desert shorts and a coffee brown t-shirt, the 9-year-old looked mischievous as he reveled in catching frogs in the back garden of a simply built village house with a thatched roof of palm tree shavings.


Lizzie, Simon's childhood friend, had bright grey eyes, a lithe frame, honey brown skin, and curly long brown hair styled in plaits. She wore a yellow dress adorned with peach polka dots, featuring pockets on each side. While building a sandcastle, she suddenly felt a moving lump by her left pocket.


Curious, Lizzie reached into her pocket to investigate the disturbance.


Simon chuckled as Lizzie swiftly withdrew her hand and let out a scream.


Mary, a close friend of Cecil who cared for Simon, was a tall, fair-skinned woman with bright brown eyes and a rotund build. She rushed out of the house, wearing a sky-blue dress.


"What's wrong, Lizzie?"


"There's a frog in my pocket!"


"Simon, was it you?"


"No, I didn't do it."


"Then who did?"


"Simon, are you the cat that swallowed the canary?"


"Seriously, it wasn't me," Simon replied with a cheeky smirk.


Mary was skeptical of Simon's denial.


"I don't know," Simon said, his expression blank.


"A frog doesn't just end up in Lizzie's pocket by itself."


"Simon, tell me the truth, or there will be no dinner for you tonight."


"Okay, it was just a prank on Lizzie."


"Simon, why would you lie?"


"Do you think I was born yesterday?" Mary asked, her gaze piercing into Simon.


"Apologize to Lizzie and start behaving yourself."

13.

 

Characters Unfolding

05.12.2021

Knock, knock.


"Who is it?" Mary inquired.


"It's Mr. Sawyer."


"May I come in?"


"Of course, come in, Mr. Sawyer."


Mr. Sawyer requested that Simon be excused.


Mary offered Mr. Sawyer some apple juice, and they both settled on the brown settee, engaging in light conversation.


"Mary, there's something I need to tell you."


"Mr. Sawyer, I'm all ears. What is it?"


For a moment, Mr. Sawyer's face turned ashen, and his expression grew cold.


"Tell me what happened," Mary urged, grasping Mr. Sawyer's hands.


"It's about Cecil and Sheldon," Mr. Sawyer said, his voice dropping to a whisper, his somber gaze locking with Mary's.


"Please don't say Cecil and Sheldon are gone," Mary pleaded, her eyes searching Mr. Sawyer's for answers.

14.

 

 

Character unfolding

05.12.2021

Regrettably, I must announce that today, Cecil and Sheldon have passed away.


"Oh my God!" Mary began to sob uncontrollably, tears streaming down her face. She screamed and clung to Mr. Sawyer.


"Mr. Sawyer, how did Cecil and Sheldon die?"


"They sustained gunshot wounds during intense combat with forces loyal to Samuel Doe."


Simon entered and found Mary weeping next to Mr. Sawyer.


"Where are mummy and daddy?" Simon inquired, his face etched with curiosity.


"Mummy and Daddy have gone to heaven," Mary replied.


"Aunty Mary, what do you mean my mum and dad have gone to heaven?"


"Your mummy and daddy were killed by bad people during the war."


Mr. Sawyer wept, embracing Simon tightly for a long moment.


Simon, Mr. Sawyer, and Mary clung to each other, crying and praying together afterward.


"Simon, I want you to understand that your mum and dad adored you immensely and wished to be here for you, but tragically, they are no longer with us. You have a letter from them, Simon."


Mr. Sawyer, along with friends and family, arranged a fitting funeral for Cecil and Sheldon, who had requested to be cremated, with their ashes interred near their home. Despite the ongoing war, guests were briefly entertained, and Simon moved in with Mr. Sawyer.


Forty days after the deaths of Cecil and Sheldon, Mr. Sawyer collaborated with some ECOMOG Generals to place Simon on a military flight to Lagos, Nigeria. Simon was then transferred to another plane bound for London after obtaining a visa and plane ticket.


Mr. Sawyer, with the support of friends and family, organized a dignified funeral for Cecil and Sheldon, who had wished for their remains to be cremated and their ashes buried close to their home. Despite the conflict, guests were briefly hosted, and Simon went to live with Mr. Sawyer.


Forty days following the demise of Cecil and Sheldon, Mr. Sawyer worked with ECOMOG Generals to secure Simon's passage on a military aircraft to Lagos, Nigeria. Simon was subsequently placed on another plane to London after securing a visa and plane ticket.and plane ticket .

15.

 

06*03*2022


Calm sunny spells adorned the distinct skyline, a canvas of light blue dotted with flaky clusters of white. The air was fragrant with the scent of freshly trimmed grass and wildflowers, as Roundhay Park reveled in the glory of spring giving way to summer. Butterflies delighted in their feast on the pollen of peach and purple florals.


Fred, with his dark brown curly hair, bright hazel eyes, milk chocolate skin, moderate build, and at 10 years of age, wearing navy-blue denim shorts and a sky-blue t-shirt with matching blue canvas shoes, beamed as he captured a brown creature with a prickly demeanor. A smirk crossed his face, and a mischievous glint appeared in his eyes as he slyly deposited the creature into Solomon’s bag.


Solomon, also 10, with bright grey eyes, chocolate fluffy curly hair, smooth caramel skin, and a slim athletic build, dressed in black jean shorts and a yellow t-shirt, approached his bag after returning from the restroom. He searched through his bag for the bird feed he had saved for the swans at Waterloo Lake.


"Ouch!" Solomon exclaimed, flinging the hedgehog from his bag.


Fred turned away, attempting to stifle a chuckle but failing. A burst of uncontrollable laughter overcame him.


"Fred!"


"You're an idiot!"


"It wasn't me, I swear!"


"Liar!"


"Then who?"

16.

 

06*03*2022

"Solomon, I bet you found it amusing when you slipped a frog into my bag the other day."


"Fred, I'm going to get even. Trust me!"


"Really? Maybe we should bet on who will come out on top and who will exact the most revenge."


"Fred, you must be joking."


"No, seriously, Solomon, I show no mercy."


"Solomon! Wait! I can hear a strange noise."


"Fred, I think the noise is coming from across the park."


"Solomon, there's a brown basket over there, wrapped with a pink cloth. Let's go check it out."


"Fred, that noise sounds like a puppy whining."


"Solomon, we won't know until we investigate. Guessing won't help."


Then, a tiny being with bright blue eyes and creamy pink skin appeared, its tiny face wet with tears. The infant seemed calm, lying there, moving its little fingers, dressed in a yellow onesie.


"Fred, it's a baby, not a puppy, you silly."


"What are we going to do?"


"Honestly, Solomon, I have no idea."


"We can't just leave it here alone."


"Fred, we have to help this little one."


"Like what?"


"Background: Samantha. Character Journey. 06/03/2022. www.israelthestoryteller.com."


"Scream for help."


"There's nobody around to hear us."


"Solomon, do you have your mobile on you?"


"Sure."


"Let's call an ambulance at once."


"You reckon it won't take long."


"Hopefully, they'll arrive in 5 to 15 minutes at most."


"Solomon, what if someone left the baby and they come looking for it?"


"What are we going to tell the owner?"


"Fred, we can't take chances. Besides, if someone shows up, then we're off the hook."


"Solomon, it looks like there's something that resembles a pipe attached to the baby. It looks as if the baby was born recently."


An ambulance with yellow and green checkers was blaring from a distance and parked close to where the baby was stationed.


A tall man with a lanky build, creamy smooth skin, wearing a leaf green combat paramedic uniform.

18.


 

 

06 .03 .2022


 

"Hello, I'm Ian. Let's see what we have here.


Wow, it's a baby.


Ian performed the vital checks on the baby and nodded in approval when he finished. He then placed the baby in the ambulance, bid farewell to Fred and Solomon, and drove to the hospital.


At the hospital, the nurses took excellent care of the newly found infant. She was a calm and easy baby to tend to. Efforts were made to locate her mother; the police issued an appeal, but unfortunately, no one came forward. Even a news broadcast at 10 pm requesting the mother to come forward yielded no results. The nurses found joy in caring for the baby, and after six months with no one claiming her, they decided to draw a name from a hat to name her. The name 'Samantha' was chosen, and from that day forward, she was known as Samantha."

19.

 


 20 - 06 – 2022


A chorus of trees whistled from the cemetery blocks away from St James Hospital as westerly winds reached the front. In moments, white clouds darkened, and a deluge ensued, with rain pelting the pavement, accompanied by lightning and thunder.


"How is our baby doing today?"


Dr. Regina inquired, locking eyes with 'Precious,' a Paediatric Nurse.


"Which baby are you referring to? We have many children in the Paediatric ward."


"I'm referring to the baby found at Roundhay Park some months ago."


"Do you mean 'Baby Samantha'?"


"Yes, that's her."


"How is she doing?"


"She seemed fine when I checked on her six hours ago."


"In that case, since it's been quite a while, let's go see how 'Baby Samantha' is doing now."

20.

 

20 - 06 – 2022


"Wait a minute, Precious."


"I can hear some teeth gnashing."


Precious stopped in her tracks to listen to what Dr. Regina was hearing.


"Oh, my word!"


'Baby Samantha' is running a fever and rolling her eyes.


I've never seen 'Baby Samantha' look this ill or behave in this manner.


"Regina, let's change Samantha's pink and orange onesies for a lighter dress."


"Precious, we need to act fast. Please get me a teaspoon."


"Why don't we give her a cool shower?"


"No! Baby Samantha's condition is worsening by the second!"


"Dr. Regina, take it easy."


"Sorry, I can't!"


By the way, 'Samantha has started convulsing.'

21.

 

20 - 06 – 2022

"Please find me a teaspoon quickly!" Dr. Regina exclaimed with a look of exasperation.


"Okay, sure! Let me check the cupboard."


"Great! I found a teaspoon!"


"Oh, my goodness! Place the spoon between Samantha's teeth quickly!"


After the commotion, Dr. Regina regained her composure, standing firm in her petite stature as she reached for her handbag. She pulled out a small, dessert-brown face towel and wiped away the sweat beading on her smooth, milk-chocolate skin. Dr. Regina also dabbed at a few tear drops from her sharp hazel eyes and pushed back her long, curly hair as she made her way through the corridors of the Pediatric ward, dressed in light blue scrubs, a V-neck top, blue trousers, and striking blue canvas shoes. Regina updated her case notes and engaged in a lively chat with Nurse Precious, an Irish woman with shiny grey eyes, a mane of red hair, and a medium build. Regina, of Sudanese descent, was born in Leeds after her parents escaped the regime of General Omar El-Bashir in the late '80s.


Dr. Regina and Nurse Precious shed tears as Baby Samantha's condition stabilized. Following three frantic hours of battling for Baby Samantha's life, a trail of snores ensued as the child lay down and slept soundly.

22.

 

05 . 03 . 2023

Character development

Sherry and Cage were unable to have children despite numerous IVF attempts. Mr. Cage, a military officer, was happily married to Sherry for 20 years until he perished when a roadside bomb hit his convoy in Basra, Iraq, during the Gulf War.


For the past ten years, Sherry has carried on, adopting widowhood. She decided against remarrying, despite her friends' efforts to arrange blind dates. Sherry has lived as if still married to Mr. Cage. Over the years, she dedicated herself to caring for terminally ill cancer patients, retiring after 40 years of service. Before Mr. Cage's death, they fought hard to adopt Samantha, who was found abandoned in a field shortly after birth.

23.


 

05 03 2023

Character development

Simon, athletic and 6ft tall with tightly curled dark hair, flashed a cheeky grin through his hazel brown eyes. He was dressed in a white shirt, brown cardigan, and navy blue trousers as he played a prank on Samantha. She, tall with sandy brown hair and ice blue eyes, was wearing a black cardigan over a long-sleeved white shirt. She chuckled and playfully tickled Simon, causing him to twitch slightly.


Sherry, with auburn hair, olive skin, and green eyes, was clad in a cream and orange dress with matching shoes. She parked her blue Ford Focus and immediately pulled Samantha aside when she saw her chatting with Simon at the entrance to her house.


"Hi Mum, how is your day going?"


"Okay," Sherry replied curtly.


"Mum, is something wrong?"


"Everything is fine."


"Mum, you look upset. Why? What's up?"


"Sam, how many times do I have to tell you?"


"About what?"


"Simon."


"Yes, it's about Simon."


"Mum, what's wrong with Simon? He's my classmate, and we're the same age."


"I've told you I don't want to see you with Simon anymore, but you won't listen."


"Why?" Samantha retorted, glaring at Sherry.


24.


 

05 03 2023

Character development

 

 

Mum , I borrowed ‘Simon’ some instruments for a knitting project and he’s come to return the instruments he borrowed from me.

“I just don’t feel you should be seeing Simon regardless.”

Mum , if Simon was white would you approve.

“Samantha , I want what’s best for you.”

Mum , ‘Simons’ my friend and classmate I am in love with ‘him’ , don’t you understand.

“Sam , I don’t get it. You are only 16.”

Mum , tell me you don’t approve of ‘Simon’ because he is ‘black’.

‘Simon’ greeted ‘Sherry’ who responded coolly.

‘Sam’ , I will see you in class tomorrow ,thanks a lot. ‘Simon’ confirmed to ‘Samantha’.

Samantha stormed off after her exchange with Sherry and slammed her bedroom door so loudly that the walls shook once she jumped into her bed. Samantha sent Simon a text and switched off her phone. Samantha cried briefly and slowly calmed down after taking a few deep breaths , ‘Samantha' dosed off after which she woke up later to do her homework from school .

25.

 

05 03 2023

 

Character development

 

 

Sam , “I have not been feeling well for some time , my dear and eating normally has been difficult , maybe food does not like me”.

Mum , maybe you should go to the doctors and do some checks.

“Don’t say that” , Sherry muttered .

“I’m fine.”

Mum , you look poorly.

Oh! by the way , you think nurses don’t get sick .

They sure do .

“Sam , I’ll be okay .”

‘Mum’ , you have been saying “I’ll be okay” for the past three months.

‘Sam’ ! give me a break ! , you’re annoying me.

‘Mum’! calm down ! you don’t have to shout , I’m not deaf , I can hear you?

“’Sam’ ! behave!”

Sherry booked an appointment to see her GP and waited for 2 months before she was able to do further medical tests . Two weeks after the tests Sherry had a follow up appointment with her GP who gave nothing away as he gave her an update on the medical tests results.

26.

 

05 03 2023

Character development

Sherry booked a taxi home and encountered Samantha, who was knitting at the kitchen table. Samantha greeted Sherry with a hug and they engaged in light conversation, catching up on the day's events in their lives through gossip and casual chat. Later, Samantha and Sherry devoured a homemade cottage pie followed by white chocolate cheesecake for dessert. They snuggled on the sofa as they watched Emmerdale. After the soap opera, Sherry locked eyes with Samantha, a grave seriousness between them.


"Samantha, I need to tell you something."


"Mum, what's wrong? Talk to me."


"Sam, the medical test results came back."


"And?"


"How did it go?"


Sherry paused, offering Samantha a blank stare.


For a moment, Samantha's gaze pierced Sherry's with an intensity that was almost palpable.


"Mum, why the silence?"


"Tell me something I don't know."


"Sam, I've been diagnosed with breast cancer."

27.

 

05 03 2023

Character development

"What?"


"I didn't hear you."


"Tell me it's not true."


"'Sam,' it's the truth. I will fight. I won't give up."


Samantha turned sheet white and nearly collapsed as she embraced Sherry tightly, fighting back tears.


Sherry stifled a few sobs as she managed to keep her composure while hugging Samantha.


"Samantha, like I said, bravery is the name of the game, at least for your sake. Remember, Father Cage is looking down on us from heaven. He would surely be watching over you and me. I have not lost the will to live, nor have I given up the quest to conquer. Yes, 'cancer' is deadly, but I will face my battles knowing that seeing you every day gives me the hope of a possible victory."


The following month, Sherry underwent surgery and followed up with a rigorous regimen of intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She lost her hair and appeared quite weak and sickly throughout her radical treatment. A few months after her mastectomy, Sherry chose reconstructive surgery and received a new left breast, created from fat grafted from other parts of her body to form a natural piece of breast tissue.

28.

 

05 03 2023

Character development

Sherry radiated liveliness and high spirits as she regained her creamy olive complexion and hair growth. Three months later, she received the "all clear" after a new mammogram, conducted 10 months post her chemotherapy and radiotherapy course.


Two years following her celebration of cancer remission, Sherry began experiencing stomach and chest pains. None of the painkillers prescribed by her local pharmacy provided relief.


A week later, scan results revealed that Sherry's cancer had returned with a vengeance. It had metastasized rapidly, affecting her liver and pancreas, and she was given a prognosis of three months to live.


Samantha, 18, tall with sandy brown hair styled in a bun, struggled to see through her tear-moistened eyelids as tears streamed down her soft, creamy cheeks.


Dressed in yellow denim dungarees paired with a matching orange top, Samantha walked gracefully to the reception of St Gemma’s Hospice, carrying a shopping bag. She brought treats that Sherry had requested from "Hotel du Chocolat," including passion fruit and white chocolate slices, cherry and dark chocolate liqueur, and milk chocolate bars. Samantha greeted the hospice staff and Nurse Jayne, a petite woman with golden brown hair, dressed in a purple uniform.

29.

 

05 03 2023

Character development

Jayne was diligent in caring for Sherry, checking on her periodically throughout the day and night.


Sherry writhed in pain, her stomach swollen, as her body battled the relentless advance of cancer. Despite the agony that consumed her, Sherry remained brave. Samantha clasped her hand, offering comfort as Nurse Jayne administered a morphine injection. The drug's effect was evident as Sherry's pain eased, and she drifted towards sleep. Samantha embraced Sherry, offering chocolates which Sherry savored with delight. As the day's pale blue sky darkened to the deep hues of night, they both admired the stars. Amidst the encroaching night, Samantha and Sherry exchanged playful jokes, their laughter mingling with the night air, while Sherry gazed into Samantha's eyes with affection.

30.

 

08 04 2023

 

Character development

 

The easterly winds howled as the beige and olive "Hercules," affectionately known as "Flying-Eagle," landed at the domestic terminal of Murtala Mohammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. The plane, a behemoth compared to its fellow aircraft, was a dedicated workhorse for military operations. Having participated in numerous global missions, "Flying Eagle" was now on a humanitarian task, delivering supplies for ECOMOG's peacekeeping efforts in Liberia. After collecting some provisions in Ghana, it was now in Lagos to gather more aid, a godsend for the Liberian people yearning for relief amidst the civil war. "Flying Eagle" stood as a beacon of hope, a testament that even in the bleakest moments, hope persists.


The air was heavy with humidity, and Simon felt the sweat trickle down his creamy chocolate skin, dabbing it away with a towel as he briskly navigated through the arrival lounge with his navy blue travel bag. After a few blocks, he reached the air-force barracks, just a short distance from the airport. Exhaustion from the lengthy flight was evident in his gait; all Simon desired was a refreshing shower and a restful sleep.

31.

 

08 04 2023

Character development



As ‘Simon’ walked, he noticed a young man standing along the pedestrian pavement . ‘Swagger’ , an air-force rifleman , tall and skinny, hazel brown eyes, olive-brown skin, and curly hair, wearing khaki-brown shorts and a yellow t-shirt, brown socks , brown canvas shoes. Simon got closer, and saw that ‘Swagger’ was letting out puffs of silvery white smoke whilst he held a brown and white stub , the size of a finger . Simon stopped in his tracks looking startled and bored into ‘Swaggers’ eyes giving ‘Swagger’ a fiery stare .

Simon held his gaze at the man and pointed out the “No smoking” sign on the wall to ‘Swagger’.

"Akata"

“Who the hell are you ?”

I am Simon .

“How dare you talk to me like that?”

Oh! Dear! , I was just pointing out the ‘sign’ on the wall.

“I am smoking a cigarette , and so what?”

But the sign on the wall says, “No Smoking”.

“I don’t give a f#*?”.

I thought you would at least smoke somewhere else.

“Are going to report me?”

‘Swagger’ , I just thought you would be reasonable.

“Reasonable my foot”.

‘Swagger’ , you don’t have to lose your temper.

“Of course, I will flip”.

By the way , what does “Akata” mean?" Simon asked “Swagger” with interest.

"It means 'black American'."

‘Swagger’ , Why are you calling me “Akata”?

“Because it is a term used for black American ‘Assh?%#*s’ like you.”

‘Swagger’ , how rude of you .

“Simon, you are an “Assh?*#* because you never mind your ‘f#*&?%+$’ business”.

‘Swagger’ , how would you feel if a stranger called your children names?

Simon took a deep breath and Swagger blurted the words , "I'm sorry," I didn't mean to hurt your feelings .

Simon turned and walked away, feeling shaken. He had never expected to be called a derogatory name in Nigeria.

32.

 

 

  

08 04 2023

Character development

Simon took uneven steps, yawning as he approached a block of red brick flats with brown and grey interiors. He buzzed the intercom and was greeted by Sandra, a petite receptionist with bright brown eyes, seated at a mahogany desk marked "Receptionist." She wore a yellow dress and shared a sheepish smile and small talk with Simon while copying his Liberian passport details. Simon then pressed the elevator button and ascended to the third floor, making his way to room 202, marked by a grey laminated sign on a brown wooden door.


Simon placed his black suitcase down and entered the bathroom, where he turned on the shower, sighing in relief as warm water streamed from the metallic showerhead. He massaged soap into his sticky, creamy chocolate skin, lean and toned. The recent minor confrontation with Swagger, who had derogatorily called him "Akata," left Simon unsettled.


He struggled to relax and could barely doze off, his mind replaying what might have happened if the situation with Mr. Swagger had escalated.


Simon began to question the friendliness of Nigerians, feeling the need for caution. He didn't want any more trouble.


The following morning, Simon rose early for a run, seeking clarity and a plan of action.


As he ran, he reflected on Swagger's words. He acknowledged his Americo-Liberian identity and the mixed reception Liberians received in Nigeria, despite the kindness of most Nigerians he had met.


Simon resolved to be vigilant, to monitor his words and actions, and to be ready for anything.


But he also knew that he couldn't let fear dictate his life.

33.

 

 

08 04 2023

Character development



Simon was queuing at the post office, clad in a turquoise denim shirt and jeans, waiting to purchase stamps for a parcel destined for his uncle in Ghana. Abruptly, a man with salt-and-pepper hair, a moderate build, grey eyes, and chocolate skin, dressed in blue jeans, barged in and cut the line. Simon, incensed, fixed a stern gaze on the man and calmly requested him to take his place in the queue. The man dismissed him and insulted Simon.


Shocked by the man's impudence, Simon was uncertain how to proceed. He contemplated confronting the man but wished to avoid a commotion. He also considered ignoring the incident, yet he didn't want to permit such behavior.


Ultimately, Simon chose to address the man. He blocked his path and stated, "I'm sorry, but you cannot bypass the queue. It's your turn to wait."


The man, Coker, sneered at Simon, taunting, "What are you going to do about it, 'tough guy'?"


Another patron, speaking in Pidgin English, chided the queue-jumper.


"Oga! Sir! Which kind behavior be this!"


"We no be fools here!"


"Oga, we dey follow order for line here."


Simon inhaled deeply and declared, "I will ask you once more to join the queue, or I will involve the police."


"Relax, young man," another intervened.


Coker scoffed, "Call them. They won't touch me."


As Simon reached for his phone to dial emergency services, Coker relented, "Alright, I'll queue. But you're still an idiot."


Coker positioned himself behind Simon, and silence ensued. Moments later, Simon apologized for any earlier rudeness, attributing it to frustration.


Coker responded, "It's alright. I was simply in a rush."


Following a handshake, Simon proceeded to the counter for his stamps.

34.

 

  

08 04 2023

Character development


Simon was walking down the road after leaving the post office when suddenly, the sound of crying caught his attention. He stopped short and couldn't ignore the cries that sounded like a child in distress. 'Lo and behold,' Simon saw a boy lying under a tree. The boy could hardly speak when Simon tried to talk to him. The child was bleeding profusely from his left thigh and clutched his leather brown school bag; the injury resembled a stab wound. It was 2 pm, and the air was filled with the scent of ocean water and aquatic life under the bright sunny spells.


Knowing he had to act quickly, Simon used a clean cloth to apply pressure to the wound. He then noticed a nurse, Charity, with a distinct Ibo accent, wearing her sky-blue uniform and having lunch about 200 meters away. Simon beckoned for her attention, and she quickly called her hospital, informing the resident doctor of the situation. Soon after, a yellow and green ambulance arrived, and the paramedics took over, bandaging the boy's wound and transporting him to the hospital.


The boy was fortunate to survive, having lost a significant amount of blood, but he was going to recover. Simon felt relieved that he could help and that the boy would be alright, confident that he had done the right thing.


The following day, Simon visited the boy in the hospital. Now awake, the boy conversed with Simon, sharing that he was attacked on his way home from school, unable to identify his assailant or the reason behind the attack. Though still traumatized, the boy expressed his gratitude to Simon for his aid.


Simon felt content knowing he had helped the boy, reassured that his decision to assist was correct.

35.


 

08 04 2023

Character development

Clad in Cherokee brown denim and suede shoes, Simon stood at the departure desk of Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. He had obtained a visa for the United Kingdom to embark on a new chapter of his life. During his nine-month stay in Lagos, Nigeria, he had navigated the highs and lows of Africa's most bustling city. He had savored the local delicacies of jollof rice, pounded yam, and Suya, and had indulged in the nightlife of Ikeja and Victoria Island. He had endured the city's notorious traffic and encountered the diverse characters of its population, absorbing the unique energy and vibrancy of the metropolis. The memories of both the good and challenging times were not likely to fade quickly.


Having checked his luggage at the Virgin Atlantic desk, Simon swiftly passed through security. He was now proceeding to board his flight to London Heathrow Airport.


On his way to the gate, Simon reflected on the aspects of Lagos he would miss—the cuisine, the music, the people, and the city's dynamic spirit. Yet, he recognized that it was time to turn the page.

Settling into his seat on the plane, Simon gazed out the window as it began its journey down the runway. With a deep breath and a contented smile, he embraced the anticipation of his upcoming adventure.

36.

 

 Samantha

21 10 2023


Samantha sighed as she left the hospice. Saying goodbye to her mother, Sherry, was always difficult. She was aware that Sherry's condition was deteriorating and that it was only a matter of time before she would pass away. Despite this knowledge, Samantha couldn't shake off the feelings of sadness and fear.


Sherry had been the cornerstone of Samantha's life growing up. She was a steadfast source of support and comfort for Samantha, no matter the situation or challenge. Throughout Samantha’s formative years, Sherry played a pivotal role, and despite any disagreements, they shared an extraordinary emotional bond that was unparalleled. Sherry had always been there for Samantha, through thick and thin. And now, Samantha was facing the reality of losing her.


With eyes brimming with tears that refused to fall, a look of tenderness and closeness passed between Samantha and Sherry, and Samantha found the words escaping her.

"I love you, Mama," she whispered. "I'll never forget you."

As Samantha stepped out into the night, the sodium lamps cast a warm, almost nostalgic light around her. The sounds of the city softened, and the streets seemed to take on a magical quality.

She looked up, drawn to the sky above. The heavens were a canvas of deep purple, like a sumptuous tapestry spread across the celestial sphere. Samantha paused to take in the moment. The night sky was alive with stars, each one a luminous point in the vast, velvety expanse. The world below seemed distant as she immersed herself in the tranquil, glittering beauty above.

Dressed in a navy-blue coat, dark blue 501 jeans, desert brown denim shirt, and a black backpack, Samantha walked with ease. She chose comfortable attire for her walk, not wanting to be encumbered by her clothing. She was going for a walk in the park to clear her head.

37.


 

  

21 *10   * 2023

 


 

As Samantha strolled through the park, the crunching of fallen leaves underfoot provided a comforting cadence. The park was largely deserted, save for a few joggers and dog walkers, affording Samantha the solitude she craved to ponder her feelings.


The evening air was brisk, yet the soft whisper of the wind in the trees and the remote call of an owl lent a tranquil ambiance. Samantha discovered a bench by a small pond, its surface mirroring the faint moonlight. Sitting down, she was enveloped by a blend of sorrow and reminiscence.


Visions of her youth with her mother came flooding back. She recalled the balmy summer days spent in this very park, Sherry's laughter echoing as they tossed a ball or fed the ducks. Samantha's eyes brimmed with tears at the recollection of those joyous times.


But now, those memories were colored with the realization that her mother's days were numbered. A profound sorrow gripped Samantha's heart, the reality of looming loss weighing heavily upon her. She recognized the need for strength, for her own sake and for her mother's.


Samantha pulled out her phone and browsed her photos, landing on an image of her and Sherry snuggled up during a winter vacation. Smiling amidst her tears, she cherished the treasured times they had spent together and the unwavering love that had been the cornerstone of her existence.


As she sat there, fixated on the photograph, a serene calm enveloped her. She understood that although her mother's departure was imminent, the love they shared would forever be ingrained within her. It was a love that would sustain her through the challenging times to come and bolster her as she prepared to bid her final farewell when the time came.

38.

 

21 - 10 - 2023

Samantha gasped as a spooky hand materialized out of thin air and clutched the scruff of her collar.


Her heart raced with terror at the hand's sudden appearance, sending shivers through her. The icy grip of its bony fingers tightened around her neck, stifling her breath. In a panic, she struggled to break free.


The sight of the spectral hand was chilling, yet Samantha knew immediate action was necessary.


She attempted to escape, but the hand gripped her firmly, dragging her into the alleyway.


"What are you?" she stammered, her voice quivering with fear.


The stranger remained silent, fixing Samantha with a menacing stare.


As she dropped her knapsack, Samantha noticed her palms were slick with perspiration, yet she maintained a steady gaze on the unwelcome figure. Her heart pounded furiously, her thoughts racing to predict her next move.


Then, the stranger, a tall man of moderate build with a long mane of sandy brown hair, ice-blue eyes, and creamy skin, dressed in a black hoodie and tattered jeans, gave a smile that didn't reach his cruel eyes—a smile laden with malice.


"You're no match for me," he sneered. "This is going to be enjoyable."

39.

 

21 -10 - 2023

The stranger's chilling words hung in the air as his malevolent smile remained fixed in place. The atmosphere grew tense as the encounter unfolded, leaving an unsettling feeling in its wake.

Samantha pulled the man close and pretended to kiss him, but as she did, she deftly slid her left elbow and struck the attacker with such force that the tall man wearing the black hoodie and tattered black jeans was propelled into the wall. The impact was so powerful that he began to bleed from a fresh bruise sustained as his face scraped past the rough surface of the wall.

The man tried to grab Samantha by the wrist, but she bit deep into his wrist, drawing blood. The man yelped in pain and uttered a few expletives.

“Who the hell are you ?”

Salamander

“Sorry , you’ve come to the wrong place”.

You, of all people .

Samantha was in the heat of the moment, her adrenaline pumping as she faced her attacker. With steely determination, she clenched her fists, ready to defend herself. Her eyes blazed with a fierce resolve as she squared up to her adversary, moving gracefully with a smooth trail of footwork.

The man, his eyes locked onto Samantha, lunged forward with hostile intent. But Samantha was quick and precise. In a knee-jerk reaction, she delivered a powerful blow to the man's groin, causing him to grimace in intense pain. He couldn't help but utter a string of expletives as he doubled over in agony.

Despite the pain, the attacker attempted to regain his composure and swung a few punches at Samantha. However, she moved with remarkable precision, dodging his blows with ease. She deftly shifted left, then right, and back to the centre, effectively avoiding his attacks while maintaining her poised and determined stance.

40.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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