A bloody night

I can almost taste the blood. I feel nostalgic following the trail of blood that seems to lead nowhere. I hear the distant barking of a dog. Maybe it’s lost. Just like I am. My heart thumps bizarrely as though I just did a hundred-meter sprint and won first place. Thick dark clouds sprawl across the sky, proclaiming the start of the rain promised since morning. Stillness swamps the street and for a moment, everything stops. Even the wind holds its breath. Then the rain lashes down, unforgiving, carrying the trail of blood with it as it formed a little stream that ran down the street. I should have listened to my roommate. I raise my hand to wipe the large raindrop that just sat on my nose.

***

His body lay like a morbid mannequin. It looks as if some special effects have been done on his body for Halloween.  His face is bruised, covered with great blotches and lacerated. There is fresh dirt under his nails, dark like compost from an abandoned garden. I should be in bed by now, my subconscious seems to be louder than usual tonight.  I should have listened to my roommate. So many I should haves but I didn’t. I should not have trusted my instincts over the weather channel. They made shitty predictions sometimes so I couldn’t be bothered when the lady with the badly-worn red lipstick cautioned that everyone remained sheltered.

***

“Where are you going, looking like a hot mess?” Mel asked, with a strident tone. She is a frizzy- haired girl who looks older than her age. Her face gives away her youthfulness but her body tells stories of years of fat accumulation. I swear she is two full seats. She lives her life as if to dismiss any suggestion that fat people should always be jolly and high-spirited. She is sulky half of the time and keeps to herself. On days when she isn’t sulky, she is nosy.

We met at a seminar on West African Post-Colonial Literature during our fresh man year in college. Sitting lifelessly in that boring class, the only thing that kept me awake was the occasional squeak of chairs against the shiny floors, the sound of the clock as it tick-tocked and the faint murmur of the Professor who looked like he could do with some good years of retirement. She spoke to me for the first time, asking me what the last trailing words of the Professor were and I couldn’t help noticing an undertone of a somewhat Nigerian accent, unsuccessfully camouflaged by the British accent. When she turned to resume her initial state rather disappointed that I couldn’t answer her, my eyes roamed about the class, wondering why everyone else hadn’t dropped dead yet from this boregasm. Later that day, we bumped into each other at the students housing office and to my surprise, our names were displayed on the notice board, with Mel and I, paired up to be in one room.

“I am going out with a couple of friends.” I spoke to her as I was getting dressed in the half light of the room.

“Do you know it is gonna rain today?  You better stay in girl.”

“I’ll be back before you know it.”

I was not back before she knew it. I had stayed to drink with my friends. I was the last to leave and quite drunk, I hurled myself down the stairs and walked towards home. Or so I thought. My mind wrote cheques that my actions could not cash that night. I knew how to get a cab home, but my body just wouldn’t stay in check and follow my mind’s lead. My phone gave up on me hours ago at the party and my squinted eyes were too happy dancing to a drunken tune that I couldn’t recognize a pay phone even if it stood right in front of me but my other senses were heightened. The pungent smell of the blood that stuck on firmly to the edge of the sidewalk and did not get washed away makes me want to throw up there and then but for whatever reason I can’t. I stand there motionless, shocked and horrified for a good five minutes, I read about stories of dead people left on streets in novels and watched them on CSI, I never for once thought that I would come face to face with a dead body. My first instinct is to yell for help and I do. I scream at the top of my lungs but I am in the middle of a dead street on a dead night. There was no other sign of life apart from mine. My throat is lined with sandpaper and aches for water. For somebody to show up, for anybody to show up.

In the shadows about twenty meters away from her, unknown to her, knelt a person on the sidewalk despite the fact that the rain-sodden sidewalk was caked in filth. He had a revolver in the one hand and a semi-automatic shotgun in the other hand. The silhouetted figure of the man walked steadily towards her. His big boots made a rhythmical noise against the sidewalk, solid and regular like a soldier. His face was stern and he wore a troubled look. The smooth metal in his hands glimmered with callused fingers wiping its surface, feeling the cold.  He kept swinging the gun in his hand, while walking towards her. As though by some divine intervention, Karen swiftly turned and saw the figure walking towards her and her heart did a full flip.

“Stand back” she said, almost in tears. Out of habit, her eyes wandered around him and then she saw it, the revolver in one hand, the shogun in the other. “Who the fuck are you and what do you want?” she asked holding back tears and choking on her words. He laughed boisterously and kept walking towards her, then suddenly, as if on instinct, he started sprinting towards her. Her feet slipped outwards on the sidewalk as she rounded the corner, the cold evening air shocking her throat and lungs as she inhaled deeper, faster.  “Please God let me live.” She cried aloud, throwing herself forward with even greater force. Her lungs and heart were pumping, but the air didn’t seem to be enough as he sprinted forward, panic and trembling in her exhausted limbs.

The bullet gobbed out of his hand, red in the darkness and with great force. The accompanying sound was enough to send her berserk. It hit her in back, propelling her even more forward in an awkward cartwheel.

She let out a loud shriek and Mel rushed to her room in the apartment that they shared. Her forehead glistened with sweat and she was trembling. “Are you okay” Mel asked with an exaggerated look of concern.

“No I think I just had a really bad dream”

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Warm Words

Whisper into these aching ears

Warm words for the cold nights.

Paint words on the canvas of my heart

in colours of love

as we lay carefree under the moonlight.

Speak the parables of love

That transcends from ancient Eden,

synchronized beating of two hearts,

triggered by ambidextrous art

that blesses the core of our existence.

Breathe fresh air

that infuses life back into me.

Shoot daggers of love into my melanin.

Cupid will be kind to lend you his bow and arrow.

Whisper warm words into these aching ears

It’s a cold night.

Mysterious Familiarity

In darkness, her voice is light.

Light breeze sweeping me off my feet

Feet sliding to a rhythm, burning slow

Slow dancing in the pale shadow of a tear.

A tear, tearing my heart apart

A note, high pitched and adhesive to my soul

Soul music that makes her whole

And gives her temporary joy

She steps forward to reach the happiness she longs to have.

Then, in an instant, someone’s unkind word sends her

Spiralling back to a world of self- doubt.

A world only she knows too well.

She makes music, all she has is her voice.

A voice that breaks the heart,

Music that fixes the soul

None has seen her

Maybe it’s stage fright, maybe not.

I wonder what is hidden behind the voice

I want to know what her eyes look like

Only because I can relate to her

She is a mystery, a familiar one.

PS: I was inspired to write this after listening to Sia’s music for the first time.

Tomorrow

If tomorrow never comes,

Bury me with sky diamonds for you know I fear the dark.

Bury me with a bulletproof vest for the words that got stuck in my throat

Which were once as soft as the bristles of the brushes that painted the galaxy

but are now words of steel, that threaten to shoot out of my throat.

They may leave a few holes on your body as well.

If tomorrow never comes,

Say to the earth that cultivated me,

“Even the leaves that once scudded along the stony path in nature’s hues of green and gold are nowhere to be found.”

Say to the rain that watered my existence,

”Even Saraswati was silenced”

And sink them in your Warmth of your embrace.

Warmth that makes the future, within its walls, less bleak.

But if tomorrow comes,

Then let’s rise at dawn to gather crooked sticks and draw straight lines.

Let’s call a Spade a Spade while it’s life has not been subdued by rust that fusiforms.

Let’s invite the rain in, cool and fresh

And embrace the deadly pangs of the sun just as deeply.

Voices in my head

My voice has cousins. They live in my head. One tells me that happily ever after is an illusion. The other says dreams do come true. One tells me to work hard and smart and be all that they said I couldn’t be. The other tells me to spend my last fifty on rum and Cola and drink my dreams away on my mama’s Sofa. One tells me to work out and eat fruits and vegetables. The other tells me to binge on junk because I deserve nice things. One tells me to give love a last shot but the other won’t stop yelling about my past experiences.

Looking these two lovers sends me spiralling back to a familiar world of emotional imbalance. Love, a small word with a big concept. I have fallen in and out of love. Some have built thrones for me on cloud nine; others have sent me on an express way to hell.

I recall my last relationship. Kweku was all a daydreamer like me could ask for. Tall, strong and handsome, he was my Hercules. He gave me the best of both worlds and in my eyes he could do no wrong until he cut the ground from under my feet. We both shared a savings account that held my whole life together. Every pesewa I toiled for went into that account with the hope of creating our desirable future together. Then that day came. I went to the bank in high spirits. I made inquiries about the progress of the account only to be plagued with horror.

The account balance had been transferred to a foreign account upon request made by one out of the two beneficiaries and it wasn’t me. The only thing that could calm the storm in me was a chilled bottle of malt but that was the last thing on my mind. Without thinking twice, I called him. It went to voice mail.

My thoughts shuttle between the past and the now. The lovers are still at it. The woman yells some words at the man in fury. The man holds her firmly and says something to her that calms her down. I am not in earshot.

It’s raining heavily with so many thoughts in my head that it leaves a flood of memories. The two lovers talking in front of the bus stop have now become blurred images as my mind drifts back to my world.

Kweku moved out of the country and never contacted me. Since then, love has been a can of worms for me. And who wants to have worms for breakfast? The voices in my head are driving me crazy. To give love another chance is the pain that leaves me numb. The two lovers are in sight again. The man takes out a cheque-size paper and hands it to the girl. The lady accepts it, mutters some words and walk away. The man looks at the walking figure with disdain, laughs boisterously and walks away.

I don’t have the least idea about their problems and differences but I have mine to think about. The bus halts with a screeching sound in front of me. I hop on with the voices still in my head. Only now, the voices in my head have voices in their heads.

#menaretrash

( I threw in the hashtag for the culture *winks*)

Thanks for joining me!

Find what you love and let it kill you- Charles Bukowski

Hi there, You’re probably wondering why I say I’m mad. Well, I’m mad by association. Most writers are seen as mad people and since I’m one…it really isn’t rocket science is it? I’m mad but I’m magic. * Winks*  Charles Bukowski is my spirit animal.I’m twenty something years old and still living on my mama’s couch. On my good days you’ll find me making contributions to political debates because I’m a political animal (You are too). On my worst days, I’m a poet. Occasionally I throw in a short story here and a novella there.

I hope you enjoy my stuff and if you ever find yourself questioning it, remember that I don’t even know what I’m doing.

AJ