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There is a bottle of red wine, two wine flutes and no corkscrew in sight on the table between us.

I watch your countenance change from grim concentration to befuddled puzzlement.

This is not a trick; there are no aces up my sleeves, there is just the bottle of red wine needed to snuff out propriety and no corkscrew in sight.

This is not a compromising situation. I have been here before, time and again; I love the helplessness stemming from the mechanical disadvantage of needing a drink real bad and having some useless cork between you and your desire.

I shrug and smile. You try to toss away a stubborn hair coil that chose to block your left eye. Too late, for it had entangled itself with your Prada frames. I walk into the kitchen and return with a silver spoon. You look at me with disbelief, fluttering your eyelids behind the spectacles. Then you burst into uncontrollable laughter.

“Do you know there are about thirty ways of opening a bottle of beer without using an opener?”

“Is that how you chipped your canine?”

A flash of the canine, I smile my crooked smile. “That was from a misunderstanding in primary four”

“Tell me about it”

I hold the bottle of red wine with my left hand and begin to pat its bottom with my right.

“I brought a ball to school and at break time I was cheated from being the captain. A bully seized my ball. I confronted him. He pushed me. I fell and hit my teeth on the goal post, unfortunate stone.”

“Unfortunate you. Eyah. I suppose a sorry now is too late”

“It isn’t, if it is gestured.”

You look at me again with that eye, that I-don’t-know-what-you-are-talking-about eye.

You need the red wine more than I do. You are clearly uncomfortable in your two-piece suit. The diamond choker on your neck stifles deep breaths, and your stiletto heels still plagues your feet.

“Have I ever told you what I like about heels?”

“Nope. What?”


“What do I get?”

“A small undisclosed gesture”

“The pointed heels?”

I shake my head, still patting the bottle of red wine.

“The velvet of its covering leather?”

I shake my head again, reaching for the silver spoon which I hand to you.

“One last guess?”

I gesture you to dip the spoon’s straight end firmly into the cork and press down.

You grunt as the cork dips into the red wine. Some wine spill on your dress when the cork falls into the red wine and you scream faintly out of surprise and dismay.

“Ha! The ease with which they come off?”

“Yes”, I reply, emptying red wine into two glass flutes.



Kwesi Abbensetts’ is a recent discovery. His body of work is many kinds of marvelous. He describes himself as a New York based Guyanese photographer. Click HERE to see more of his work. 

About the Author

Ajayi, DamiDami Ajayi works on his novella when he is not treating patients or editing fiction for Saraba Magazine.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

2 Responses to ““A Small Undisclosed Gesture” | Corkscrew | By Dami Ajayi | Flash Fiction” Subscribe

  1. Pearl Osibu 2014/09/29 at 04:47 #

    “Dami Ajayi works on his novella when he is not treating patients or editing fiction for Saraba Magazine.” – or writing marvellous poetry. Nice.

  2. mariam sule 2015/10/06 at 11:23 #

    I love i love.

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