Category > To Cut a Long Story Short

To Cut a Long Story Short

Piano Blues - A Short Story

By Echezonachukwu.Nduka on Fri, 15/08/2014 - 17:00

This short fiction piece by Echezonachukwu Nduka tells a young woman's story of slowly falling in love with the piano - and the unintended consequences. If you're a writer and would like to be featured on the ZODML blog, send a pitch to [email protected].

From my childhood days through my adolescence and time at university, I never attached any special importance to the piano. It never fascinated me. During my formative years in the convent where I had my secondary education, there was a Yamaha upright piano installed in the school auditorium which was often played by Mr James, a bald man in his mid-fifties who made piano-playing laughable and sometimes, mysterious. During morning assemblies, as soon as the morning hymn was announced, he would introduce the hymn and nod indifferently to the rhythm, moving  his left foot sideways until it ended. Some of us would watch the man closely, abandoning the hymn, and, sometimes, laughing discreetly at intervals. He looked like a lunatic with a mental disorder that erupted at the sight of a piano, or at the strike of the first note.

Gall - A Short Story

By ZODML on Fri, 25/07/2014 - 23:33

We're kicking the weekend off with another great story from Adewunmi Adekanmbi's Kool Story blog. Writers, send your short fiction, poetry, opinion pieces and book reviews to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on the ZODML blog.


Ephesians 4:31 - “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice…”

“Your paper is almost worthless.”

I was in Dr. Ejike’s office standing with my hands behind my back, a sign of false obeisance. He couldn’t see the fist my right hand had formed as he spoke.

He tossed my project on his table and it slid to the floor with a smack. I bent and held on to it, doing all within my power to keep my expression clear and unchanging. I hated the man. Hated him deeply.

A Beer Called Life - Short Fiction

By dami.ajayi on Sat, 19/07/2014 - 19:00

This short story from writer and doctor Dami Ajayi captures life in a Nigerian village where people drink beer to while away the time. Are you a writer? Send your fiction, poetry, book reviews, and opinion pieces to [email protected] to be featured on the ZODML blog.


In Anambra state, there is a beer called Life. Now, I do not mean this figuratively. Life is a brand of lager that comes in a green bottle, like other brands, but at a remarkably cheaper price. It is preferred by artisans and stacked in crates in the country homes of Igbo merchants. Life is also available on the street, in bars worthy to be so called. Life is a beer.

Shortbread - A Short Story

By ZODML on Wed, 11/06/2014 - 18:00

Another great short story by Adewunmi Adekanmbi, the voice behind the fantastic blog Kool Story - share your thoughts in the comments. A writer yourself? Send your short stories, nonfiction pieces, book reviews, and poems to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on the blog!

Shortbread - a short story on the ZODML blog, prostrating

Matthew 6: 1 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.”

I put a lot of crushed ice into the tumblers on the tray. Two bottles of semi-cold Coke stood beside them, as well as a Sprite-branded opener. Hopefully the ice would melt and dilute the Coke, filling up the guests quickly so they couldn’t finish their entire bottle. Some visitors drained the bottle as though determined to swallow the Coke brand with it.

Madame started counting the bottles of soft drinks three weeks ago so I would be unable to steal one. She counted the noodles packets also, and the plantains and yams. But she couldn’t count the rice so I eat a lot of the rice. I make stew too, without meat. I slice the pepper and onions and fry them in perfectly heated oil. She couldn’t count those ones either.

Let Us Pray - A Short Story

By Abraham Atawodi on Fri, 30/05/2014 - 18:31

In this gripping tale, a hospital stay becomes the stuff of nightmares thanks to a sinister nurse. Want to be published on the ZODML blog? Send your fiction, poetry, non-fiction/opinion, and book review pitches to [email protected].

Let Us Pray - Short story on the ZODML Blog, hospitals

She roams the lonely corridors, her fangs bared, her core boiling with insatiable desire. She hunts another unsuspecting soul, searching for the fear in your heart, the terror that paralyzes you. When she finds you, she says a quick prayer and devours you mercilessly, ridding you of the essence that is your life, smacking her lips greedily. Or so it seems.

I heard many stories when I was a little boy; stories of war and famine, stories of vampires that stalked people and lapped up every drop of their blood, stories of mothers who ate their children… but none about nurses. I was enamoured with them. Mother was a nurse, and very kind. She pampered me silly, she made me laugh. Mother was an angel. So, I imagined all nurses to be sponges soaked with pure and living compassion, pampering patients to blossoming health, radiating nothing but the warmth of unconditional love. I hadn’t met Nurse Uju yet.

Mist - A Short Story

By ZODML on Thu, 22/05/2014 - 23:30

We're pleased to feature a short story by Adewunmi Adekanmbi, the voice behind the fantastic blog Kool Story. Let us know what you think of the story in the comments. A writer yourself? Send your short stories, nonfiction pieces, book reviews, and poems to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on the blog!


Ephesians 4:15-16 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

Janet wrinkled her nose and I unconsciously mirrored her gesture. “Can you smell that too?” she asked, looking towards the toilet a few feet from us.

“I’m not sure.” I turned to the toilet trying to decide if I could smell anything.

“Let’s move away from here.”

We moved a few feet away from the offensive toilet and I continued, “no one tells you these things but they really matter. Never use the cups in the tea room…” I noticed her face wrinkling again and asked, “You can still smell it?”

Father - A Short Story

By Abraham Atawodi on Wed, 21/05/2014 - 18:35

Father - short story - ZODML

I do not wish Mother was still alive. She became a ghost after that shameful Saturday afternoon many weeks ago when she learnt of Father’s infidelity with the neighbour’s daughter. I could almost see the thick cloud of despondency hanging over her, causing her to mumble to herself in incomprehensible syllables, her eyes perpetually glazed, until I discovered her lifeless body in the bathroom, a kitchen knife sticking out from her chest. I will never forget the look of her pale, stiff corpse, or the pool of dark, sticky blood that haloed it.

Where to Begin - a Short Story by Abraham Atawodi

By Abraham Atawodi on Thu, 17/04/2014 - 22:30

Where to Begin - a short story by Abraham Atawodi - ZODML blog

I’m not trying to be poetic

There really isn’t much to say

I’ve been touched by love

It’s in my heart to stay

It seems incredibly lame so I tear the sheet of paper and crumple it into a small ball, one of the many I have made today; snippets of creativity aborted ere they had a chance to breathe. I won’t relent. There is no harm in trying again.

Fear - a Flash Fiction Story by Solace Chukwu

By Solace Chukwu on Fri, 28/03/2014 - 20:00

Many congratulations to our community contributor Solace Chukwu whose flash fiction story "Fear" won second place in the Etisalat Prize for Literature flash fiction competition! Read his story below:

Young boy crossing road - fear - flash fiction - Etisalat Prize for Literature

Alex clutched his satchel to his chest, waiting for the class to empty. The throng of little bodies made a beeline for the door in groups of three and an occasional four. Skipping gaily, chattering about what games to play, debating who could do the most cartwheels. No one paid attention to Alex. He had no friends.

The First Scream - a Short Story by Abraham Atawodi

By Abraham Atawodi on Thu, 27/03/2014 - 05:00

Chair in dark room - The First Scream - short story -ZODML

Gerald sat still, unyielding chains binding him fast to the all-metal armchair. He looked around and couldn’t help but admire his captor’s taste. The sparsely furnished room reminded him of a frightful hospital theatre, only the silhouette sitting across from him was no meticulous doctor, and he had an old, rusty saw instead of a scalpel.

Gerald would have chosen a place like this too, to punish a wayward soul, to assert his supremacy over a common thief. He looked up at the lone spotlight that hung a few feet above his shiny, bald head and smiled, confident that the miserable piece of scum sitting across the room could see him, and it gave him immeasurable pleasure to annoy him.


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