A Fallen House

by Joseph Ikhenoba


This is a story about a family whose disunity led to their ruins.

Richard Johann recumbered on his dying bed. That morning he summoned his five children to his side. He knew he had few moments to speak with them. His Lawyer, Barrister Cranfield sat on a wooden chair beside him with a box containing his will.

"I've gathered you here to talk about togetherness. I had made my mistakes but I have this moment to correct them. I have to tell you that nothing is as binding as a family that stays in love. When I leave this world, please, love and care for one another. See one another as true blood of this family. My Lawyer will read my will when I am gone." He coughed heavily. Leonard gave him a cup of water. But that was his last breath. The family wept profusely. Few days later, he was buried. Everyone waited for the will. Richard was one of he Second world War veteran and had invested his fortunes on sugar and cotton plantations. He had several estates and plethora riches. His five children came from different mothers.

After reading the will, Leonard the first child inherited the largest chunk of his properties. He was also assigned the role of presiding over the family's businesses. The other children were given theirs as well. However, Leonard tried to unite the family and told them his plans for the businesses. They weren't interested and thought their father was biased. Ann, the second child went to Trieste in Italy with her boyfriend. Hoping that she would marry her, she spent her fortunes on him. However, he disappointed her. She couldn't recuperate from the heart break. So, she committed suicide. Mark, the third child had always been a party freak person. He partied daily and squandered his fortunes on alcohol and cigarettes. One evening, he went to a club and got into a fight, only for him to stab a young man to death. The court found him guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Belinda the fourth had a terrible marriage. She started a jewelry business. But her husband stole her money and beat her in return. She loved him so much. He never loved her. He womanizes. She became depressed and took to hard drugs. All her savings went into hard drugs, until she slumped on a fateful morning in her bathroom after taking over dose of methamphetamine. She died before getting to a hospital. Leonard also couldn't maintain the businesses. He became alcoholic and depressed after finding another man on his matrimonial bed with his wife. As if that wasn't enough. Paternity tests showed his three children weren't his. He shot his wife, children and himself before the police officers could arrest him.

The sky remained dark as wind of regrets whirled across the earth.

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