PARADISE IN PRISON (A tale by Arrey Echi)

‘I am a king. I mean who sleeps in such comfortable surroundings? With servants on the go rushing to do their bidding? A King to be sure’.
Moh’Mandem had a smile on his face as he tossed this way and that on his bunk bed.  The loud bang of the bell slowly penetrated his sleep fogged brain and brought him to the land of wakefulness. With a sigh, he dragged his leg off the bed, struggling to hang on to the last vestiges of what brought up the smile. Turning his head left and right, it downed on him that he had just experienced one of those fanciful dreams that momentarily takes his mind away from the reality that is his today.

You see, he was one of those people who left his country Cameroon with such high hopes of making it big in Europe .After all, based on stories and pictures of people living abroad, why should he keep suffering when he can experience heaven on earth? And thus on that one memorable day, after his family did  everything possible to make his dream come true, he was soaring the skies with promises of sending home bucks as soon as possible.
The thrill of the first few months wore off and life became increasingly difficult and stressful. The friend who helped accommodate him was becoming distant.  Even merger jobs were hard to come by. After roaming the streets for months on end, Moh’Mandem had his own experience to Damascus as scales practically felt off his eyes. The blinders were out and he saw the harsh realities of the other side of ‘bush’ life carefully concealed by the seeming glamour and glitter of it all.
‘Saaah this palaver bush na wa oh!’

Finding himself suddenly on the streets one day with nowhere to lay his head and exposed, the beauty of nature was lost to him, his primary focus now survival. Doubling his jackets gives people the impression he looked like an overfed rabbit. But a closer look shows him to taunt and withdrew with this blank look on his face. With hunger pangs grunting at his stomach, he accepted the first job that came to him. Throwing caution to the wind and ignoring that sixth sense that always got him off troubles, the idea of quick cash was quite appealing.

Months roll by and the struggle for survival intensified as he had to keep dodging and keeping his head above-board lest he be trampled upon. He found a certain thrill in dealing with danger but also refused to dwell on the deep-seated fear lodged half way between his heart and stomach and thus with a false bravado he pressed on until that one fateful day when cold irons clasped his hands and he was whisked off to jail for selling and peddling drugs.

And here is where the dreams started. At least, he was assured of a place to sleep and food in his stomach. He could call his people back home and give them the impression all was well and why not? All seemed well in his world. From the cold stone slabs for bed with grunting hunger in his stomach to bunk beds and plates of food, this place looked like Paradise to him.

Arrey Echi

About The Last Immigrant

The Last Immigrant is about writing - writing all about journeys, passion, perception(s). It is about leaving home and travelling beyond, over the seas and above the horizons; of experiences in the foreign and the unknown. Of my view, her view, their view, our views. An enthusiast reader of books, fiction and non-fiction alike, books and stories have been an integral part of my life from the time I was about 8 years old. My passion for literature accompanied me all my life through school and university. With me, you can discuss books from all eras and genres, be it the classics, post-colonial, Victorian, Comedy, Tragedy, Contemporary etc. I don’t limit myself in the world of books. My preferences are the Novel and Short story, but bring on Drama or poetry and I will give it a go. I will be sharing a lot about books in this blog. Books I have read, my take on them, recommendations from me, friends etc. You can follow me on Book Read to see what I am currently reading. I sometimes write short stories and poetry. I will be sharing some of my stories on this blog. Being a mom of 2 teenagers, it is difficult to delve full time into writing; but I try as best as I can to create time for this alongside juggling family and work life. Hope you enjoy the stories. Sports, oh boy, don’t I love sports. I am an avid lover of tennis, football and Formula 1. My favourite tennis players happen to be Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal. I will go sleepless nights singing praises for my beloved FC Bayern München. In car racing, no one drives a car like Lewis Hamilton. You will be getting my take on these great athletes and many others on these pages. Travelling happen to be one of my hobbies as well. I will try and share with you some of the interesting places I go to with a literary twist to it. All in all, you will be getting just about anything that ticks Mbole. I hope you enjoy the blog and please leave comments and notes. Have a pleasant ride in The Last Immigrant’s world and thoughts. Thank you for passing by. Mbole D Nnane The Last Immigrant.

Posted on March 25, 2015, in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Good article and the story of one too many of our brothers and / or sisters who set sail for greener pastures. Delphine is this part 1 to be continued? Could actually be screen played you know !!

    Good write n worth taking it to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahahaha Mbole find pen come we finish this tori 🙂
    Thank you very much Mr Louis. I am happy you enjoyed it and found it worthy of being screened played. It is a thought worth pursuing!.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the story of many an immigrant esp those from Africa.
    Reminds me of the guy who was recently killed in Los Angeles, USA.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rachel Afrika

    Very sad with the bitter truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arrey - Echi

      Thanks for stopping by Rachel Africa. It is indeed a sad reality most of us refuse to listen to because we are blinded by the glamour of the West until we find ourselves face to face with the harsh truth.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You are right Terence. The guy who was killed recently, his story was lurking behind my brain as I wrote this.I guess that will be a story for another day. It makes one wonder is it really worth the lure? These other faces of ‘bush’?.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rachel Afrika

    Same story different heading. Interesting reading especially when coming from a sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great writting. I read it in images.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can imagine what this young guy struggles. Jail was a better option. As you said food to eat and warm bed. Enjoyment for him loool. At least he will come out looking healthy. I love ur writing. Keep it up. I’ll always stick around to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The other side of paradise bush fellas don’t tell you;
    I will call it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you all for your lovely comments and for checking out TLI! More from Ms Arrey will be coming up in these pages. She is an all round fantastic writer. Come for more. Thank you!


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