Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Entry #89

At The World’s Feet
by Ayodele Morocco-Clarke


You will never again look at the blighted contraptions in the same way. Ever since that day you attempted to board the moving stairs, clutching tightly to your carrier bag heavy laden with groceries.

You remember the first time you set foot on an escalator at the age of ten in Harrods with your daddy. Many years later, you and your mates had still not tired of taking a ride on the famous escalators. You spent hours going up, then down, then running against the flow and often got chucked out of the store. Your favourite game was giving the security men the slip while dashing up and down the escalators.

There were no signs that this particular day would be any different. Okay, at Seventy-Eight, you are not as spritely as you once were, but surely that was no excuse. Before you could gather your wits about you, one leg had left the other behind, forcing you into a split, the likes of which you never did even when you were ten. You felt like one leg was pulling out of Kings Cross Station leaving the other leg stuck behind on the platform.

Nobody came to your rescue. Instead you saw a group of teenage lads converge at the base of the escalator guffawing. Armed with mobile phones which had cameras, they proceeded to take photographs of your shame. Whatever remained of your pride was left behind lying at the feet of those ignoble rascals, alongside your groceries.


(Ayodele Morocco-Clarke is a Nigerian of mixed heritage currently living in the United Kingdom. She is a multi-award winning Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Some of her work has been published in literary magazines and others are forthcoming in anthologies of short fiction. She is currently working on a short story anthology and hopes to publish a novel in the not too distant future.)

18 comments:

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Awww!Pity how the young forget that everyone has to face it one day.

Well written :)

Ello said...

Nice!!!!

Lena said...

people can be cruel at times, without realizing things like that might happen to them too. Well done!

Jennifer said...

This is very well done!

ayomorocco said...

Thanks Sameera, Ello, Lena and Jen. Your comments are greatly appreciated. :)

laughingwolf said...

love it! :D

Lauri said...

Great job Ayo!

Sarah Hina said...

I love you traced his whole life, and his estrangement from what he once derived endless joy from. So sad, and yet so authentically drawn. Life fails people sometimes.

Such strong writing too, Ayo. This had the natural feel of real life. This character will linger with me.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I liked the cellphone picture taking scene. So many folks nowadays have them.

ayomorocco said...

@ Laughingwolf, Lauri, Sarah Hina and JR, thanks a bunch guys for your comments.

@ Sarah, Funny you saw the character as a man. For the first time, I decided to experiment with the second person narrative style and for me the character was an old lady. But then again, the beauty of fiction is the ability of different readers to take different things from a piece of work and after your comment, I see the story differently. Glad you liked it. :)

Kate Davey said...

I loved this story. Fantastic use of imagery and vivd description made it a really interesting read.

Sisikill said...

Another brilliant work Ayo. Once again, you show us one need not exaggerate reality for effect. I'm a huge fan of the matter of fact way you write, it is what makes the mundane...less so.

Well Done!!!

Aine said...

You've left me with a lovely image of an elderly person still living life fully!

Interestingly, I, like Sarah, envisioned a man. Perhaps it's our American interpretation of "mate". That's the only clue I could find when I reread the story after reading the comments.

Thanks for entertaining me!
:)

Catvibe said...

Funny, I saw this person as a man too. Perhaps that is because I am taking care of my father, so I kind of projected him onto your character. Also perhaps because of the youthful game they played as youths sounded like a boys game. In any case, I enjoyed it very much and felt a real heartache at the cruel game today's youth played with their creepy use of cell phone cameras. I just wanted to reach out to him/her and help him/her up! Really great heart rending writing.

ayomorocco said...

Thanks KAte, Sisi, Aine and Catvibe.

@ Catvibe, It is almost apparent that I am the only person who thought the character female. All my mates say they were surprised it was a woman as they assumed that it was an old man. LOL. :)

ANTHONIA said...

Nice story, well written.

September said...

awww...I imagined my 87 year old mother. You did a good job at describing it all. And those dang kids...but they exist. (this happened to my handicapped Down Syndrome daughter once and it brought back pictures of it)I had to take her right back to get on the escalator again before she developed a fear. Hope this woman did too. (she's still young) Strong writing. Good job.

jason evans said...

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest!