One song

This picture was captured from a clip I watched on Facebook a few weeks ago. It was such a profound experience watching this woman work magic with that guitar, and it inspired a story out of me. My very first Flash piece …


One song

Nceda, Theresa … just one song.”

She hid behind her hands and shook her head slowly from side to side, like a shy virgin on her wedding night. Through her fingers, she peeped into the camera lens. “Kuphela enye?” Just one?

Ewe,” the man affirmed in his terrible Xhosa. The rest of the crew behind him nodded in unison.

Securing the guitar beneath her right armpit, Theresa began to play.

The cameraman rose from his crouch, camera forgotten on the tripod; his astonishment mirrored that of the entire crew. Theresa had seen it before.

The first time she saw such awe, she was only fifteen and her folks had taken her to play at the local inn. She was only seven when she started playing with the old guitar Dada kept hanging in his room – a gift from a former Portuguese boss. ‘Odeku’ hung by the strap on the wall, its stringed nose angled downwards. And Theresa stood on tiptoes and tugged at the strings.

She was gifted, Dada said, and so they took her to play many times at the Ingonyama’s palace and that one time at the inn. Richie was in the crowd that day. A few visits and many promises later, she was with a group of girls en route Jo’Burg where Richie said they would ‘blow’.

Blow, she did – the drugs, liquor, split lips and broken arms blew her mind, body and soul. And a ‘forever’ later, she returned with one suitcase and a viral infection to an empty home.

And so she turned back to ‘Odeku’.

“It isn’t just her obvious talent,” the CNN African Story anchor was saying into the camera, “it’s the ease – near boredom in fact – with which she makes such beautiful music.”

A Flash, by the way, is a really short story, usually anywhere between 20 and 500 words. ‘One song’ was also featured on ShortSharpShot … see it here

If you loved it or not, say something about it below. And depending on your feedback, I just might do this again. 

Thank you 🙂



13 thoughts on “One song

  1. Well then Chisom, the verdict’s in ‘ Flash fictions look mighty good on you! You rock it oh sooo well, almost like a second skin; you coulda actually fooled me! Nice one, do more! 👏👏😂

    I love the setting of the story in the South of Africa and the lines of one of their dialect as featured here! Taking classes in Xhosa then?! 😄

    I read this tale that’s got all the trappings of the great expectations nursed by an innocent and naive young talented country girl, dreams shattered when she rolls with the wrong crowd and perhaps hope; having returned home and back to the drawing board, with her old faithful and ever loyal friend, her guitar; just waiting for her!

    This sorta scenario plays out in real life a lotta times, when folks leave their comfort zones and find themselves thrust into the big city! Its so easy to lose inhibitions and just go wild! Especially ones who attend auditions in big cities and wind up as overnight sensations having gotten their big breaks almost instantly! Thumbs up Sir, this grabs! 👉😉

    • Hehehehe…thanks Yem-yem. Sometimes ehn, I wonder: those who take it a step at a time, crawling painstakingly towards stardom and those who ‘blow’ in one fated moment, who has it better?
      Cos it really hurts to imagine what returning penniless to dust would feel like, after one has tasted stardom

      • The latter has it better I think! Chances are that they wouldn’t find the fame too hard to handle as its basically a means to an end with all the hardwork they’d hitherto put in! Thus, they’re better prepared than the former! With the former, and especially for ones really young and restless; its more often than not a case of ‘easy come, easy go’! Except, they have a real visionary manager and chaperone, unlike our Richie portrayed here, to help steer, guide and guard ’em towards making better choices and remaining grounded and level-headed! Otherwise, fat chance! They’d fall faster and harder than they rose….from grass to grace to weed! Yikes! 😈😆

      • Yeah, I figured you meant that. Grace to grass to weed indeed … LMAO. I agree with you joor, if only we would learn from the mistakes of those gone before us. Smh

  2. and he does it again…making me feel like i’m righy there in the audience and everything is happening before me. You are good!

  3. Nice, really nice. A really good one, but mehn!! It still can got on my nerve oh. When you said ‘Flash’, you were NOT kidding.
    A second read granted me closure sha.
    I hope Theresa gets a second chance, all she needs is a little spark to reignite her fire.

    • I was waiting for you ni!

      Yeah, if only … that’s the story of many a ‘wasted’ life, isn’t it?

      Thanks for reading, Jay, and liking…and commenting. 🙂

    • That was hard, man … but it’s the sweet thing about Flash, isn’t it? Forcing you to condense, trim, take out all the ‘wasted’ words. I am so glad you loved it, Tom. Thanks

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