Short Fiction

Beside Kam Salem by Adédoyin Àjàyí

I had been dining in Ma Mabel’s bar for three months before I saw Bimpe. But nobody spoke about her. They all spoke about Ma Mabel. Yet it seemed no one knew her. Her bar was on Moloney Street, near the police academy. It wasn’t too far from my workplace in Marina. Everyone came to Old Ma Mabel’s bar. Different people, from various walks of life, Lagosians troubled with Lagosian problems – financial worries, overbearing bosses and cheating spouses, not to mention the long lines of traffic that lined Third Mainland Bridge every other day. No one knew Ma Mabel. Her bar had been near Kam Salem for longer than I remembered. Some of the patrons said she had died, others said she was an old woman confined to a wheelchair, and only came out of her house at night. She was elusive, a poor imitation to Fitzgerald’s Gatsby. I doubt she had Gatsby’s boundless charm though.

Continue reading “Beside Kam Salem by Adédoyin Àjàyí”
All Stories, General Fiction

Expressway by Simon Bell

He could recall years before, when he was working down south, there had been this exhausted and exhausting expressway, the Togo-Badagry A1. As you curve out of the greater Lagos conurbation you eventually hit the track, a cheerless concrete, four lane highway which if you stayed on long enough took you clear out of Nigeria and would allow you to proceed along the coast road, looking out at the Bite of Benin, to Togo, Ghana and beyond. He remembered one occasion when he got so far as the Benin border, but it was not a good time to travel. He was young, mid 30s, and Nigeria was plagued by bad politicians, bad policies and bad law enforcement. Not a helpful combination if you are a young professional man from upstate, travelling alone.

Continue reading “Expressway by Simon Bell”