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Night was drawing very near. Ogonna ran as fast as his limpy legs could carry him. It was still very far from home. As he ran through the Bush path, he was in deep thought about his capacity that if he made more effort  his head will blow into a million pieces. His heart was pounding so hard that one could hear it from afar. He wished dearly that he could turn back the hands of time. He blamed himself for leaving late. He laid a thousand curses on his heart who led him astray. As he ran, flashes of sufferings flooded his mind…….

***********

“Ogonna! Ogonna”!! Shouted my step mother. “Yes ma”! I responded. I suspended my work and ran to answer her. I will be going for my friends marriage ceremony as usual, I will not leave you idle while I’m gone. I want you to sweep every single room in this house, wash my children’s clothes, mend the clothes on my bed and prepare supper.Yes ma!I replied. She took her bag and left.

I washed the plates which was the previous work I  was doing before she called. I swept the house and mended the clothes on her bed. I dragged out four headed baskets of clothes which were in her children’s room and began to wash them. I had finished washing and it was already dark oh!I  had not finished my work. I ran to the kitchen and boiled water in a pot to prepare supper. I  couldn’t believe it, I had done all my chores on an empty stomach. I was so exhausted and worn out.Soon I became dizzy and dozed off.

I woke up after a thunderous slap landed on my face. “Ogonna! What have you done to our supper? Look at the mess you made.What will I serve my husband and kids when they return? I will teach you a lesson you will never forget in your life”. She began to flog me mercilessly. I felt the pains all over my body. The flogging soon ceased and she took the pot of hot water and poured it on me. I screamed and cried for help. Soon a crowd had gathered our house. My father arrived just on time to salvage the situation. I was taken to the hospital, treated, recuperated and returned home afterwards.

***

I got home to meet my stepmother waiting for me. “Ogonna where are you coming from?” I was speechless.

“Ogonna for the last time where are you coming from? Was it the food stuffs I told you to buy that kept you out so long?” I just stared at her like a moron. How could I explain to her that the bus I boarded broke down on the way?

She got up,went into the house and threw out my belongings. “Ogonna today marks the end of your stay in this house…..”

My story is not different from countless children who go through the same in our society. l conclude my story with the question “Is there hope for the helpless child in the society?”

c AGHA

Good Luck Chioma Agha ! :D

JUDGE’S REVIEWS

Simple but scanty work...

★★☆☆☆
2 5 1
A short write up, more of a hasty job. Nice use of English though, and simple but obviously scanty work and barely told enough of Ogonna’s story to enable readers consider what seems to be some gruesome ordeals of the poor boy.

Strong storyline and effective message!

★★★★☆
4 5 1
Take note to insert punctuation marks where necessary. Use of signs for speeches and so on should be implemented. All in all, storyline is strong and effective with a message.

Decent effort!

★★★☆☆
3 5 1
Decent effort! Story was left hanging and plot could have been better explored to further illustrate the theme.
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