The Lullaby

 

I used to watch him, knees pressed into the red rug, trying to diligently catch the words that fell off his mouth. His face was like that of a cat, fierce and wicked with an underlying innocence. Sometimes he was sane, drawing us fine sketches, buying late night suya, spooking us with village tales and soothing us with folk songs. Other times he was like a poltergeist, swallowing his words leaving a path of vicious destruction. The night he struck, It was raining and we sat in the living room passing our fingers through candle flames breathing in the acrid smell of burnt hair. The windows were rattling, the gate swung open and there were three sharp knocks on the door. My mother adjusted her wrapper, sweat glistening on her chest against the light. She sighed deeply; the man was not dead, thank God? Continue reading “The Lullaby”