One 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:
Nneoma 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.