Monday, May 20, 2013

The 400-Word Story: The Beach Man #4


I pull my shoes off at the door before I walk into the room – that’s what the sign at the door says. The room is dimly lit and smells faintly of burning incense. A heavyset woman sits behind a small desk, her face pinched in concentration as she reads the newspaper spread before her, completely oblivious of my presence.

But then she looks up immediately and smiles. ‘Sit down.’

I sit across from her, and she fixes her large eyes on me for a moment, uncomfortable silence stretching between us.

“The beach man,” she says finally. “ You're here because of him.”

I nod.

She closes the paper and pushes it towards me. Then I shift my eyes to the cover; there, I see the headline, printed in big black letters:


Under the headline, the bodies of a man and a woman lie beside each other on the sand, both of them headless. I feel my throat tighten, suppressing the scream building inside me, and then I throw my eyes off the paper and gaze at the floor.

“Isn’t it strange?” Ms. Adenuyi says.

“How do you mean?” I force the words from my mouth.

“He kills only on Sundays, if anyone ventures to the beach. But…wasn’t yesterday Friday?”

I nod slowly, in realization – the beach man has gone against his pattern.

“So, what’s your name, young lady?”

“Ifeoma. Ifeoma Okoli. I was told you could help me. He’s appeared in my dreams twice, stabbed me in the last one and I can still feel the pain in my stomach. I’m really worried. I’m afraid. I hardly sleep anymore.”

“I’ll help you, Ifeoma. I deal with issues like yours every time and this one won’t be any problem.’ She opens a drawer and takes out a bracelet, a small string of cowries. ‘Wear this around your right wrist.”

I wear the bracelet, and after what seems like an eternity, she pulls it off my wrist, slowly, and wears it on hers. Then she stands up and with a stiff gait walks into another room, muttering something unclear.

She emerges from the room few minutes later, frowning.

“What’s the matter?” I say.

“He doesn’t want to kill you. He’s only trying to pass a message.”

“What message?”

“I have no idea what it is. But I know it’s something bad, something you wouldn’t want to hear about.”

Footnote: This is the fourth episode of The Beach Man, a 400-Word Blog Series. 
Click HERE for the next episode.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Awesome! Like all mysteries my mind jumped in with all these what next type questions and automatic guesses. I'm hooked on this series!

    1. Thanks, Robyn. I'm glad you like the series. :) Sorry for the late reply.

    2. My Guy i love it keep it up.i saw it coming long ago back then in fgc azi.the love is us strenght,may he see รป through.

    3. Thanks a lot, Frank. Of course I've always loved writing stories. I'm glad you visited. :)

  2. Dude evry episode has something new,neva knew he killed only on sundays,woww.guess der's no funtime for the villagers.Gud wrk wit d mysteries.Keep it up.E'FACE

    1. Thanks, Eface, I'm glad you're keeping up with the series. Actually, the info about the beach man killing only on Sundays is in the first episode.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Aha! I dropped by to check on the latest update. And here we here!

    Suspenseful? Yes. There is so much packed into this short passage. The more the story unfolds, the more I'm tempted to ask you to write a lil' more than just the 400-word limit.

    You're on top of your game, bro.

    1. Haha! :) Sometimes I wish I could write more, but I think the 400-Word limit is good. Somehow, it has taught me how to use words more effectively in writing a scene. I'm glad you like the story.

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

  4. Perfect. I love this series. Every epeisode is better than the previous one. Good job. Keep writing! It makes me want to read more. I want to know the rest of the story.:)
    Have you finished this story or it's in progress?

    1. Hi, Athina. I'm glad you love the series. :)

      I haven't finished the story. I tend to write a new episode after the previous one. However, I do have an idea how the story's going to end. It's always like that in my WIPs - I know how the journey ends, but I don't know what happens in the middle. Sometimes it's just fun following your character and letting them discover the story themselves. Sometimes they even change the ending. And that's why I like fiction - its unpredictability.

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

    2. You're right. This is happening to me too.
      It's writing's magic. :)
      I like the concept for uploading a story each week. I have a thought in my mind but I will make it a post soon.
      We'll chat again.
      Have a nice week.

    3. Yeah, it's 'writing magic'. I'm glad you like the concept of uploading a new story each week. I'd love to see what you'll come up with. :)

      Do have a great week! :)

  5. Nice. So, the emphasis was on the events at "de mama's" shrine, not so much on the outcome of Ify's trip which we probably knew already from a previous episode -Beacher wasn't probably gonna kill her.

    1. Yeah, and I wanted to introduce that character, the spiritualist, because she plays an important role in the story.

      Thanks for reading. :)