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6873438799_8a09dfbffd_oOne night, NEPA-replacement mosquitoes and eating-jollof-in-dream-syndrome woke me up to hear our neighbor, Daddy Lagos, flying after his houseboy like ojuju, a malevolent spirit. GBIM-GBIM-pata-GBIM-GBIM beat his feet, rattling the uncertain wall by my bed and stealing salty, garlic dreamtaste. Round and round they went, like an upside-down version of that birthday party chairs game. When this dance floored at our verandah, my father’s old bed protested—

my father did not.

I still hear the boy’s sob-running and a pathetic shrill barking that sounded like Uncle please now, biko, because he was summoning seven siblings, that very moment dreaming the same dream on the same tired mattress in a nameless Owerri village, who needed him for food

and Daddy Lagos, panting after him sang, in doleful high-tenor:

‘’Come now o, when I catch you I will kill you o.’’

And it was true.

 

********

Post image by Lucy Maude Ellis via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - NjokuNneoma Ike-Njoku is a Nigerian writer and freelance editor. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Transition Magazine, The Kalahari Review, Ya Afriika, Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts, and Afrikana.ng.

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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  1. 2016 Miles Morland Shortlist Announced | people who write - December 3, 2016

    […] for Nina;  winner of the 2016 Nigeria Prize for Literature; included in the Africa39 Anthology) *Nneoma Ike-Njoku – Nigeria (Author of the short story “Daddy Lagos;” Recipient of a Writing for Peace […]

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