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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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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.

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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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