Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."
Love Stories(1)

Love Stories from Africa. Cover art by Habeeb Andu. Cover design by Bard Studio.

LUWUM HAD ALWAYS HAD a fascination with the rain. Even though he knew how the physics and chemistry came together to make the skies weep, he still felt like he knew next to nothing about the rain.
On that day, its behaviour was extra confusing; the sun had put in a snarling appearance from morning till noon, then the first tentative drizzles had come, slicing through the sunlight like shy dancing maidens, pretending they were not going to return a few minutes later for a round two which would obliterate any memory of the day’s scorching heat.
The downpour was even but incessant, like a drawn out Lingala song. Luwum was trapped in the shop, staring out of the door over the heads of the people taking refuge under the shop’s veranda, when he saw her.
She was a gust of wind in a vacuum – unexpected, alien and magical. Where everyone else ran, ducking to avoid the chilling touch of the storm, she danced. With bare feet and wild hair, she moved in the middle of the tarmac road to the rhythm of the rain. Her laughter was a child’s innocence, but the way her wet clothes stuck to her curves told tales of decadent womanhood.
Luwum’s breath seized up in his chest. How did the people who ran past her do it? Couldn’t they see her beauty, a force more powerful than nature’s tantrums? Why weren’t they frozen in place by her magnificence?
When her gaze lifted and caught his over a raggedy yellow hat, Luwum realized that she was there for him. He moved out of the shop and through the crowd like a man possessed. He didn’t feel the rain as it hit his shoulders, his bare scalp, his pointed nose which stood away from his face.
Dance with me, her eyes said, and her teeth flashed in a smile as she gathered up her skirt around her knees and danced. He heard the laughter behind him, the voices of the people saying, “See this man dancing alone in the rain in the middle of the road.”
Luwum did not blame them. It was not their fault if they were not deserving enough to bask in the splendor of her beauty. The tarmac was warm beneath his feet, emitting the vestiges of the sun’s blistering kiss. Her joy was a luminous glow in her eyes.
With the rain for harmony and the thunder for a beat, he danced with her. He danced until his clothes were soaked through, all the way to his underwear. He danced and danced, until his legs gave and his heart followed shortly after.
The ambulance came half an hour later to carry away Luwum’s smiling corpse. The people who had watched him dance clamoured to give their version of the story to the news crews which had gathered. Up above the emptied clouds, his soul danced with a woman with bare feet and wild hair, finally free of the tethers of the corporeal world.

 

 

**************

About the Author:

Innocent Immaculate Acan is a third year medical student with the spirit of writing in her blood. She was the winner of the 2016 Writivism Short Story Prize and has been published by Omenana and Afreada. She’s currently working on a collection of short speculative fiction stories.

*****

Innocent Immaculate Acan’s “Rain Dance” first appeared in Love Stories from Africa, a Brittle Paper-published anthology of flash fiction edited by Nonso Anyanwu and with an Introduction by Helon Habila.

Read our other republications from the anthology: Joe Okonkwo’s “Brushstrokes,” Howard M-B Maximus’ “Something Burning,” and Troy Onyango’s “A Lamu Affair.”

Download and read Love Stories From Africa.

Tags: , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. He is currently nominated for the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans Longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize

Lalami_Laila-1

Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans has recently been longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize. Described on the Aspen Prize’s […]

Apply for SBMEN’s Workshop “Literary Criticism: Judging Dynamic Creative Writing in All Forms”| 23 November

Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 8.57.48 PM

The Society for Book and Magazine Editors of Nigeria (SBMEN) is calling for applications to its fourth (and last) editing […]

They Say There are Over 50 Translations of Things Fall Apart. Here are 61.

Achebe Translation Cover

How many times have you heard or read that Things Fall Apart has been translated into over 50 languages? And yet, […]

Vol. II of 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Guest-edited by Yasmyn Belkhyr & Kayo Chingonyi, Now Available Here

20.35 Africa Issue II - graph

In November 2018, we published the debut volume of the 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry series. The first […]

Oyinkan Braithwaite Wins the 2019 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Photo credit: CrimeReads

Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite has won the 2019 Anthony Award for her debut novel My Sister, the Serial Killer. Braithwaite […]

Winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards

nommo

On October 25, the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) announced the winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards. The award announcement […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.