The Locked Door

Submitted into Contest #130 in response to: Write a story titled ‘The Locked Door.’... view prompt

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Crime Black Fiction

My younger sister penny can be described as an introvert and timid. She doesn’t have any known friends as she matures into a young lady of . Some of her known friends had either been married and relocated or travelled abroad. 

She has turned into what I considers quasi-maid living with our aging mother. She foresees for the cleaning of the house and cooking for other 6 members of the family has relocated with their families to other states.

The family house in the city was left in tact because, at times usually two years intervals during general break or any other holiday time, my other siblings used to bring their kids to spend time with their grandmother so, every space is needed usually then.

Actually, I never knew if it had ever entered any of my siblings head to rent out one flat to the tenants for at times, no one sleeps in one part of the house for along time. But, I guessed due to the family arrangements of the rooms there when we were Young, the tradition continued.

The house has two wings of four rooms on the left side and five on the right including parlors, kitchens, toilets and bathrooms in each. The left room part of the kitchen had been the one on use since the house was built. The right wing kitchen was turned into store room, never been put into any other use since day one and psychologically, it is not even seen as kitchen anymore. I guessed it had been the reason renting never crossed anyone’s mind ever.

This my small sister had been close to me more than other members of the family who view her as being stubborn or something like that. She is a person that doesn’t usually take being security conscious serious.

Our country can’t be said to be secure by any standard: physically, spiritually and economically. Nah, it is not in the category of those nations that has conquered any of the three enemies above since Independence.

The model of houses being built clearly attested to the assertion above. Tall and thick fences, iron gates both on the entrance gate and the main building itself. If it happened to be an upstairs, from ground floor to the top would be decked in the same format. Thick iron doors. The era of wooden doors went away for very long journey since three decades and is yet to be back. After being in other countries, it reminds me of prison buildings.

It has became a culture of the people both poor and rich. To everyone, it is better to be in prison alive than dead a free man. It is a kind of mantra to everyone these days. Virtually, 90 percent of the houses in the country is in that format and citizens were happy to be living in their prisons. It is even an outdated news, old normal, old culture and tradition people embraced with open arms from the abyss of their hearts.

Did I mentioned that each countryside and city streets has vigilantes Manning the might iron gates that led into various villages and streets? Well, they do each day. I wonder if you got the image am painting.

It is important you do for you to understand why mentality, behaviors of people from various nations differs a lot. Characters, speeches and reactions of each nations, tribes are shaped by things they identifies with and actions they repeat repeatedly from childhood to adults.

In case of Nigerians, it is like those from prisons. Erratic, introverted, timid, violent and brutal.

Hence, the increase in the number of violent attacks, criminal activities of every kind, psychologically disturbed individuals. So, since the government is one of us, they has their own problems. Their motto had been: 'to your tents oh Israel’ so masses weren’t even waiting for them on any police including security. They came out with means of protecting themselves hence their houses.

I hope I have not diverged so far away from my small sister and family i was telling you about. The descriptions were important for the whole story. Like I mentioned earlier, our family house that was full with people while we were growing up suddenly became empty except of my mother, sister and I. I wasn’t even living with them for I was away from the country for a long time and when I came back, my former room was waiting for me empty. 

Our countryside parish organized what they termed birthday celebration anniversary for all it members that were 70 years and above. My mother happened to fall into that blanket and was invited. She needed people to support her and she invited all her kids and their families. So they congregated in our countryside house for the occasion.

But due to the trend the security has taken in the city, we needed to be there. My sister penny was chosen by others to do that work. The general idea is that lights and radios needed to be on in the night to the knowledge of everyone to scare away any hungry thieves with ideas in mind. 

  But penny lives an 'I don’t care' life. She is in the habit of leaving the doors closed but not locked for about 20 to 30 minutes while away. She is equally in the habit of leaving the doors not blotted while in her room or kitchen. In Nigeria, such acts were regarded as expensive oversight.

Stories in TV and Papers were there daily to attest to that. She considers such news as things that happens to other people not her. I am sure that those her other people were in the same reasoning wavelength with her until they became victims and turned to those other peoples.

Before leaving for the anniversary, I called her and talked fear into her for I have seen that it is the only route to her consciousness.

     “ look here penny, I am going to the village to join

       Others, you are alone here. You have heard how 

      Kidnappers and rapists operates nowadays. So,

      Whatever happens for this two days you are alone

      Stay inside and lock the doors till we come back”

From what happened the following day when my other sister came from her base around 7pm, knocking and shouting Penny’s name showed that my strategy worked with her. She refused to open the gate despite street still alive with people. My sister Chery spent almost one hour shouting and knocking without success. 

Whether she switched her phones off or the thing had problems, no one knows. Chery who supposed to come direct to our countryside house thinking that we were still in the city went to the city instead. After knocking and shouting to the locked door, went to her friend’s house to pass the night from whence she joined us the following day.

January 21, 2022 21:05

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5 comments

Darrell Grant
13:53 Feb 03, 2022

Nice it shows that sometimes you can't teach or convince somebody something. Sometimes they have to learn the hard way

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Philip Ebuluofor
19:01 Feb 03, 2022

Yeah, thanks a lot Darrell for the read. Highly appreciated.

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Darrell Grant
13:51 Feb 03, 2022

Nice it shows that sometimes you can't teach or convince someone of something they have to learn for themselves sometimes the hard way

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Boutat Driss
09:34 Jan 24, 2022

well done! I love it.

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Philip Ebuluofor
18:01 Jan 25, 2022

Welcome.

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