'My sentences have become tauter.' An Interview with #WriterPrompt winner Ezeani Chucks


I will pierce your finger, you will pierce mine, and together we will bleed our souls in a blood covenant. Worry less about getting caught; the star-studded night and the walls of this basement are perfect enough cover.

Our love has seen better days, Sugar. Rainy afternoons that had everyone out of the house, save the maid having a nap and us two little lovers in the raunchiness of our tiny room. I loved the taste of your tongue and you loved mine.

And as the rain trickled down our window-panes, we played a game in which we threw a die. Aim at a six, three times in a row; get the first shot at separating your thighs; the loser would lick you up. You would roll up my skirt, Nkem, crawl into me and lead me to seventh heaven, the juice from my pussy slobbering down your mouth.

Here we are now in our faculty basement, seeking shelter from the world’s eyes. We’ve done well keeping boyfriends, trying to fit into the flawed values of flawed humans. Who wants to be before a judge in a courtroom slamming his gavel and spluttering one dreary sentence for our double taboo of incest and lesbianism?

But let’s just pretend all that isn’t real.

As we seal our souls tonight under a pleased milky moon.

#WriterPrompt is a flash fiction event run on our Facebook page. Writers post stories, then workshop the stories with other participants and members of the SSDA team. We spoke to #WriterPrompt 9 winner, Ezeani Chucks.


You, like most writers, have a day job. How does writing fit into your life? Is it a hobby, a passion, a not-so-secret indulgence enjoyed in scraps of time?

EZEANI: I pay a lot of attention to writing actually. If for instance I have all day free to myself, when I am not reading or finishing up chores, I should be thinking of or actually completing a story.


What has been your experience of #WriterPrompt thus far?

EZEANI: My sentences have become tauter. I now watch out for filler words and scenes that, at best, skip around a story’s heart. Suggestions from fellow writers have also been priceless; I apply them in my other stories not on #WriterPrompt.

Plus the Nerine Dorman link you shared about editing is now on my Saved Webpages. I didn’t only find the advice useful in editing this, but I have tried it on my unpublished stories. I may not know much about editing, but hers happens to be the most valuable piece of advice I have come across.


Lastly, what contemporary African writers are on your must-read list?

EZEANI: I am through with Chimamanda’s Half of A Yellow Sun and about to start with Americanah. I also hope to get Namwali Serpell’s Seven Modes of Uncertainty, Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers (to be released 23rd August) and Caleb Somtochukwu’s Safe Journey, also forthcoming.


Ezeani Chucks is charmed by what words can do. His stories have appeared on ShortSharpShot and Kalahari Review. He is optimistic about what his own words will do.


Participate in #WriterPrompt by following Short Story Day Africa on Facebook

Interview by Tiah Beautement a.k.a. @ms_tiahmarie