Ripped From the Headlines


Jan 14

Ripped from the headlines

Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.



Headline: No Abortion is Complete Until Evacuation is Done, says NIMR Boss.


Alimosho, Lagos.




Musa stared at the quit notice pasted on his door. The words were written in English and in Hausa. ‘What exactly is this landlord trying to imply?’ He thought. He looked down the dingy corridor and sighed. He had lived in this flat for more than 5 years, ever faithful to his landlord and to paying his rent. But things went bad this year at work and they had not paid their salaries in 5 months. He would always hear his father’s voice, ‘Dana, government job is not for you. Maybe for Alhaji Usman, Maybe for Aliyu. Maybe even for that wretched karuwa, Safia. But not for you Musa. You don’t have the strength and wisdom to wriggle your way up to the top of the ladder’. In his heart, he knew his father was right, but he had long concluded that his core purpose on earth was to prove everything his father said about him wrong. It was the reason why he was in Lagos, the reason why he got a perm in secondary school in Yola, the reason he dated that girl in SS2, the reason why he turned down job offers from private firms and chased the job at the Ministry of Works.


Now he stared at the eviction notice and smiled, ‘Musa the Wawa… idiot’ he whispers to himself. He rips it off his door and goes in.


‘At least I have somewhere to lay me head this night… ‘ he smiles.



Babcock University, Ogun state




Kelechi was furious and he could not hide it. He kept shifting from one foot to another. ‘Guy, you sure say you no wan sit down?’ Bode asked taking a short break from polishing his shoes. ‘No.’ Kelechi said tightly.

He did not like how he was feeling. He had promised himself to shame all the boys in the hostel this semester. The rumors last semester about his short-fuse temper had reached the girls and he got a feeling that the girls started to see him as a violent psycho-maniac. So what if he had some little disagreements with almost every guy in the hostel the previous semester? People are just stupid. There are certain behaviors that should be ingrained in every man, Kelechi liked to call them ‘innate wisdom’. In his opinion, all the boys in his hostel lacked it. And it was for this same reason he was waiting for Udoh in his room.


The night before, Udoh had gone to Kelechi’s room and ‘begged’ for his laptop and flash drive. He wanted to see a movie. Kelechi, remembering the vow he made to himself, had consciously persuaded himself to lend both the computer and the accessory to Udoh. After congratulating himself on his emotional maturity and faith in humanity, he forced himself to sleep without bothering to collect the laptop and flash drive from Udoh.

When he woke up this morning, he saw the laptop on his bed… the lid was closed… but the flash drive was still injected into one of the ports. He looked at his roommate, Charles, and said, ‘Cha, abeg, you sabi whether Udoh dey watch movie straight from my flash?’ Charles nodded and shook his head almost immediately, ‘No… the flash still dey plugged in when him dey watch the movie but him tell me say he don eject am’


Kelechi’s face clouded over as he said, ‘I dey go him room, go tell am say, for my own thing – my own laptop and flash, ejection no be the same as removal. If he dey do am for him papa’s house, make him no bring am here. I no dey treat my gadget like that….’



General Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos


Mr and Mrs Badmus


Mr Badmus has never been more horrified as he is this night. You see, he only wanted to get home and talk with his wife. Lately, they had been talking about the future, a lot. They were pregnant and were super excited. The only quarrels they ever had now were quarrels on the names and nicknames of the child. Mrs Badmus would say, ‘Sophia Badmus, think about that’ and Mr Badmus would say, ‘See you, what’s the meaning of Sophia. No! Don’t check google o. Tell me from your head. Can you see? How can you name a child a name that does not mean anything to you?’. Then Mrs Badmus would laugh and say, ‘Ah… this man, you’re really from the bush o. Oya what are we going to name her’. Then Mr Badmus would stand up, walk over to where his wife was and say the most traditional name he could think of, ‘Labake, Abike, Ajike, and so on’ And they would laugh.


Mr Badmus had never cried as much as he did this night; when he rushed his bleeding wife to the hospital he thought about how he only wanted to tell her how his day went and suggest some more traditional names for their baby. But all he got were screams, flowing blood, a blur of events and a haze of memories.


The doctor tells Mr Badmus to be grateful. ‘It could have been worse’ he says. ‘Be happy and celebrate with your wife. She had a near shave with death. Thank God that only the baby was lost. My condolences…’

Mr Badmus nods and says, ‘Thank you doctor.’ And as though it suddenly occurred to him, he said, ‘Thank you God.’ Then he looked at the doctor and said, ‘So can I carry my wife home now?’


The doctors shakes his head vigorously and says, ‘No, no, we still have to lift out the foetus from the uterus… the womb. If not, it would cause infection and eventually blockage of the womb…’


So Mr Badmus just nods and says another ‘thank you’. He is thinking about how he is too young to bury his own child…




In three different parts of Nigeria, three different individuals with three different stories and life situations read one headline news and nod in understanding and agreement….


‘No Abortion is Complete Until Evacuation is Done, says NIMR Boss.

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