A Box of Chocolates: A Collection of Short Stories

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Trafford Publishing, 2005 - Fiction - 234 pages
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A box of 18 chocolates; each on carefully made, painstakingly wrapped and methodically packed. Each chocolate with a unique taste, each one representing a different story. In the box, sits a plethora of colours, a myriad of aspirations, a landscape of experiences.

A Box of Chocolates is a collection of short stories that transports the reader into the lives of various individuals, trapped in different psycho-social situations, who require serendipity and a touch of the spiritual in order to obtain freedom.

It travels across the fields of love, hatred, oppression, corruption, homosexuality, AIDS, rebellion, spiritualism, slavery, migration, life and ultimately death as it seeks to capture in one snapshot the reality of the helplessness of man when confronted with the unpredictable nature of Fate.

Borrowing from Shakespeare "All the world is a stage. And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and entrances; each man in his time plays many parts." This in itself captures the essence of this collection.

 

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Contents

DARK CHOCOLATES
91
TRUFFLES
191
Acknowledgements
233
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Born and raised in the teeming tropical metropolitan city of Lagos, Nigeria, Jude Idada immigrated to Canada in 2001. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts, A P.G dip in Human Resource Management and is currently working towards a Masters degree in Business Administration.

He has published some of his short stories in several journals in Nigeria and his poem "Gracias O Canada" is included in an anthology published in the U.S. He was a finalist in the MNET New Direction scriptwriting competition and the Goethe Institut Afrika Projekt.

Jude Idada is a prolific poet as exemplified in his yet to be published anthology of poems "Meditations of a Travelling Mind" and has penned two screenplays. He has also written three plays. He acted in several in Nigeria and was part of the Toronto premiere production of Wole Soyinka's "Death and the Kings Horseman"

He lives in Toronto, Canada. Table of Contents & Excerpts

A Will is A Will
They Came to set the Captives free
I stood on the threshold of pain
Einsteins's last law
Tepid Water
April is a Fool
Eve was a Woman
No more an Uncle Tom

STORY ONE

It wasn't the blinding sunlight that made the afternoon scorching hot but the power outage that had made Emeka's ceiling fan immobile. The blades were motionless. A continuous stream of steaming air flowed through the wide open window, that stood like a gaping wound in the back wall of the shop.

The perspiration from the moving traffic of people that sashayed in front of the shop didn't make the heat any better as Emeka, with rivers of sweat digging canals down his face, threw his voice above the din that enveloped the market, trying desperately to attract bits of the crowd to his displayed wares. He looked at the weather beaten plastic wall-clock. Desperation seizing his already jarred nerves as comprehension sunk in. 3.15 p.m. He hadn't made any sales yet.

"Buy your African carvings..." he screamed

"Original.." The crowd continually flowed on

"Cheap..." No one stopped

"Ancient Bini bronze masks..." His voice was rising

"Terracotta heads..."

"Wooden Efik gods..."

Pure carved ivory..."

Anything you want..." He was moving closer to the fringe of the human flow.

"Buy something African for your friends back home..." His eyes were darting at the bunch of white folks that populated the crowd.

"Good afternoon Madam..." He caught her eyes

"Bonsoir Monsieur.." She replied with the popular tourist smile

"Je ne parlez francaise," he replied fluently, his eyes greedily sucking her to him. She unconsciously stepped out of the moving crowd.

"There it is" Habib quietly said, pointing at the white giant that stood bobbing on the tepid waters of the quay at Apapa.

Akeem gazed at it, his eyes darting from stern to bridge, back to starboard then finally resting on the flag that stood gyrating against the cool, westerly wind whistling over the quay that Thursday morning.

"Is Liberian?" Akeem asked, referring to the flag it was flying.

"Yeah. But it's heading for America." A faint smile was dancing around Habib's lips as he spoke. He could see from the constriction of Akeem's brow that he too was interested. The thought sent the smile spreading across his face.

"When does it leave?" Akeem was now staring intently at Habib. His eyes questioning. He wasn't about to trust someone he had only met a fortnight ago.

"Tonight," came the reply.

"When do I get on board?"

Say around 10 p.m. That is, as long as I get the money early."

"I told you I ain't paying until I see myself on board"

"Heard you." Habib was getting fidgety, the thought that he'd lose all if he didn't tow the line, sent his pulse racing.

Akeem looked at the lumincescent dial of his Casio wristwatch. It said 11 a.m. He turned, walking back towards the seamen's quarters

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