by Joy Okwori, published 6 months ago
Will the colourful birds of noon cease to flap their wings, will the moon sing her a song tonight?
This, Tiri could not tell, as the gentle breeze that came in through the open window behind her, blew her long black, already dirty hair off her face.
Uncle Dunji had come to visit after a long time yesterday, not like anyone had wanted him to come around anyways.
Now, Tiri wished she had not gone to open the door, when she heard him knock.
It all seemed like a nightmare after that.
He had followed her dad to the kitchen, when he had gone to get a bottle of wine last night, during supper.
After that, this happened, and that followed.
"You look more beautiful than the young shy Tiri that I use to know."
He touched his beards, obviously enjoying the look on her face.
"You are so smart aren't you? Trying to even run away but just take a look at yourself."
He took a step towards her.
"You look so much like her now, and it reminds me of the days I used to have her in my bed.
I wish to grant you the privilege of replacing her, but you are not all that smart anyways." He laughed.
There was no way Tiri's angry voice could be heard.
The force of the gag, held back all the words.
Words that she desperately wanted to spill in his ugly face.
The beast! She thought.
The cut on the bridge of his nose, the one her father had given him before he had fallen hard on the kitchen floor, was still so fresh.
She shook her head, turning this way and that way.
Her hands were held by shiny silver handcuffs that was connected to chains, fastened to the iron bars of her window.
Each move, made her to wriggle in pain.
He touched his lower lip and raised his right brow.
His darling sixteen years old Tiri wants to talk, and he'll let her, even if it's for the last time.
"You will so rot in prison; bastard!" She said at the peak of her voice.
"No Tiri, don't be so rude, you should first of all thank me, for letting you talk, so those words don't give you a heart attack."
He let his tongue trace the shiny metal, and used his fore finger to play with its sharp edge.
"I will slit your throat the next time you fail to wisely select your words, before throwing them at me."
"Let me go, you sick bastard!" Tiri screamed.
He smiled. A smile that was meant to warn Tiri.
"You killed my mother, shot my father on his leg, leaving him to die.
Isn't that enough payment for not getting married to a gem like my already dead mother?"
"I am amazed that you remember so well what I am capable of doing, yet, you still toy around with me."
He shook his head, as he gave her a stinging slap on her left cheek.
"What exactly, do you want from me, why don't you go ahead and slit my throat, or isn't that enough satisfaction for your evil soul?"
Tiri asked staring at him in the eyes.
"I am Dunja, I revenge, I torment, and I will watch you suffer before I finally kill you like I killed your-"
"You will do no such thing to my daughter Dunja!"
Tiri stared in shock at the figure behind Dunja.
"Mother?!" Tiri gasped!
"Dunja, move away from my daughter immediately. I am not Ayo the daughter of Lamisi for nothing!"
"Mother, you are alive! How?"
"Oh my darling child, death can not take me away from you."
Tiri was overwhelmed by joy, and at the same time, struck by the events of the last fourty hours.
The tears trailed down her cheeks.
"The bullet only brushed through my arms, I survived it. I haven't lost much blood."
Ayo explained to her daughter.
Her brown lacy dress, was soiled in blood, her eyes were so red, she looked like a ghost.
Tiri stared at her mother, still looking beautiful, even when she was a total wreck.
It was dark and Dunja had broken her light bulbs three hours ago but she could still make out her mother's face in the darkness.
"Dad?" Tiri could barely see with her swelled eyes.
"Your dad. He's uh-"
"I am right here beside you."
Tiri had not even felt his hands on her skin before now.
The whole room was dark and she was getting numb.
Dayo was working on the handcuffs that held her.
"So I see; love is stronger than the bullets I drove into your bones right?"
Dunja was obviously confused and directed his question at Ayo.
Where had he gone wrong, how had they entered Tiri's room without a single sound to alert him?
His plan was to kill father and daughter, then take Ayo his love along with him.
He did fire his shot, but Ayo had run towards him and had gotten hit, instead of Dayo her husband.
The second shot, had driven a bullet into Dayo's leg, he had bled profusely.
He had left Dayo to die slowly, and not to be up strong and breathing.
The man was limping, but he had the strength of ten soldiers.
He can't face a military man who is now well armed.
He had no more bullets and he was fast losing strength.
His attempts to kill Dayo had failed for the sixth time.
He had poisoned him before, even hired a killer but the man seemed to have something that protects him.
He and Dayo use to be friends from high school, down to the university.
He had planned on marrying his girlfriend Ayo after their youth service, but Dayo had gone behind his back to be introduced to Ayo's family.
Years have come and gone, but his life has not been complete without Ayo.
He got no stable job, his dreams to even be one of the top musicians in Nigeria, had also failed.
"Listen to me Dunji, drop the knife in your hands, don't you move another step closer to my wife!" Dayo ordered him.
Dunji will rather wipe out the whole family, than watch Ayo and Dayo live the life that they had denied him.
He rushed towards Ayo with the knife in hand, when he felt a sharp pain on his forehead.
Ayo had shot him.
"I will always love you." He said, as he fell backwards.
Those were his last words to Ayo before he drifted out of existence.
Dayo held his daughter in a tight embrace.
He cried like a woman, knowing how he had almost lost her about an hour ago.
Ayo moved towards her husband and daughter.
She hugged them both. The last fourty hours was a miracle.
"We breathe." She said to Dayo, who stared at her lovingly.
"You are more of a soldier than I am. You handle the gun as well as you handle the kitchen."
She smiled, even though she was breaking inside, seeing her husband in so much pain.
"I will clean your wounds again, before the cops should get here."
She said to him, holding his face in her hands.
"I love you Ayo."
That was the only way he could say thank you to his wife, for attempting to take a bullet in his place.
She understood him well enough.
"What is love, if I live only because I let you die?"
Tiri moved away to sit down on the tiled floor of her room, an inch away from her parent.
She looked around her room and took a deep breath.
Dunji had earlier planned to take her life here, in her own room.
All thanks to her mother, who had showed up.
How did her parent get into her room in the first place? She wondered.
Then, she remembered the underground door in her bathroom. Goodness!
She touched the swollen places, where Dunji had hit her over and over again.
She went straight to where his body laid and kicked him here and there.
"He's already dead!" Her parent chorused.
"I wish he'll wake up, so I can kill him a second time" Tiri wailed.
"It's okay now, he's not going to harm you anymore."
Her father assured her, and motioned for her to come sit with them.
It was dark already, so they sat down together in Tiri's room, awaiting the arrival of the cops.
™ Joy Okwori.
by email@example.com, published 1 month, 1 week ago
Eko sat on the brim of the wide bed venting, her face oily and nose runny; her lips corrugated from the harmattan wind. After her chores she had entered the bedroom to stretch her back on the colorful woolen duvet. Her wrapper held tight above her breasts. As she made to the wardrobe, the door creaked and her husband stormed in wearing a caftan with trousers that seemed to have been used more than it wanted. There was grave silence, only for the rotor of the ceiling fan above.
Her husband tiptoed to the wine cabinet and a glass crackled, its amorphous pieces rippling on the floor, "I have the divorce papers on the table" he finally mumbled. As he walked out of the bedroom with the gait of a cat, she knew it was finally over; the cement that had held their wall of marriage for three years had broken like a piece of glass. "think about the children, what will become of them" she said quivering.
"you should have thought of that before your act".
"remember all our promises" her filmy eyes peering at favor and Ira. The affair with her acclaimed cousin was out at last.
by summer, published 1 month, 1 week ago
The small crowd gathered in front of my tailor's shop that chilly Thursday morning spelt trouble.
I hadn't forgotten to sew the expensive aseobi for Lotanna and Owei's wedding. I kept putting it off till we travelled that December. only two days before the wedding, I trudged to my village's market and found a tailor willing to fit me into her busy schedule.
"Madam, don't worry. come Thursday morning. if you don't meet me, you will meet my apprentices" she had reassured me, as she took my measurements.
That Thursday though, when I arrived, I found the gate padlocked.
"na me be the apprentice," a short, stout girl announced loudly "she go nkwo market and she no drop key. O dị ka unu ga-alaghachi"
Some protested and cursed, but the crowd began to dissipate. That was when I noticed the lone daffodil.
It, and the tailor's absence was clearly a sign not to attend their wedding. After all, I had chosen to go just to convince everyone that it didn't hurt that my ex fiance left me for lotanna four months ago.
Laughing, I picked the daffodil with tingling fingers, and stopped the next bike I saw.
by rishama, published 1 month, 2 weeks ago
From a distance one could easily tell the cloaked figure was worried. It was a frail woman, hiding under a black shawl and pacing in front of the two heavy doors that stood before her. On a closer look you would see that she clutched a red rosary in her hands, furiously reciting parts of the Hail Mary that she could remember, as if that would somehow bring her the clarity she so desperately needed. But then again, there was no one around this parking lot for miles except the legal team waiting behind those oak doors of course. Twice now, she had walked away from the doors. Going through them would mean her life was over. But yet, she paced.
Finally, she stopped abruptly and straightened, allowing the shawl to fall to her narrow waist. She was going to walk through those doors, face all seven lawyers and tell them her truth. She paused with her palms on the doors, then she pushed open. Everyone stood up at her entrance, but she held up a hand to silence them.
"Yes" deep breath "I killed Okoro"
Her voice broke " I killed the only man I've ever loved"