And The Boy Died

The evening whistled sweet melodies to the earth, as the wind mildly caressed the trees, causing them to shy away and bend in total submission; the earth was filled with a sweet song as the wind blew little stones away, making them roll by, scratching the earth’s back. The sun had dozed off; its visibility was no longer special to the inhabitants of my town. The moon’s time to overthrow the evening sun drew near – everything seemed so calm, as though the whole world were going to sleep. There was an idyllic look in the clouds; ever so beautiful that there was no room for disparagement. All these were present…but I longed for noise. However, the only noise I could hear was the one that blared within me. I wanted the outer world to make some noise, but it only whispered cool and soft music. As unsettled as I was, there was still room to wish for noise, to listen attentively for that which was never present. Continue reading

Creation’s Pariah

The birds fluttered angrily, and flew to a nearby tree as soon as the drops of water touched them, kissing the ground. Sands quickly gathered the strength to withstand the heavy thrust by coalescing to make up some mud. I looked at the birds; they looked back with curses in the dimness of their eyes, vengeance in the bluntness of their claws, and warmth in their wings. I looked at the grains on the floor; they lay there, thankful for snatching them away from their unfinished reach of death. They thanked me. I looked at the bowl from which I had poured the water; for the first time, it had a heroic look – a look that claims superiority and responsibility for the way things turned out to be. Then I looked at myself…what a mess! Where’s the world, on my shoulders? I thought to myself.

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THE VOICE OF THE DEAD by Moyosola Tugbobo

We know them! At least that is what it seems like when we observe them. They have white cotton wools in their ears and nostrils and are laid in a white or coloured wooden or metal box depending on their position in the society. We know they would be said to have been killed if they were meagre and assassinated if they happen to be wealthy and highly positioned. Some are even wrapped in mats or raffia while others are cremated. They lay comatose without their breath… they gaze up towards home with a wintry look and lay patiently for their dust to add to the earth’s already plenteous sand. The box is lowered and everyone gives a wail or a squeal of pain and pending or impending doom. Gradually, the flowers are dropped and bags of sand are emptied into the white pit of eternal suffocation and they are bid a final goodbye as they make a safe journey…homewards. Sadly, the troupe gather their already fallen wrappers, pick up the pieces of their broken shades and heart and lean on one another for a comfort untold; a way of taking a stand as the thought of losing someone has paralysed and melted their veins and ligaments… they appear flexible and spineless. No one turns back to look at the residue of the one they cherish but whose path has been pitifully decided for them. This is sad because there is more to death than all these; you can die while enjoying the riches of life! In the box in that white pit lays a man full of life and energy; a living man in a dead man’s apparel… obviously some kind of brilliant mistake! He suffocates in that confined box of fame and cries out in pain and anguish, he cries out in pin- drop silence. His breath becomes really noisy inside of him. No one can hear his silence; who will call unto the dead people above who have just dumped a physically dead man into an eternal pit and have made their ways out of the grave yard in a bid to get on with life? Who? Who will come to his aid? An underground neighbour? Who? Questions hang over his head like a ripe nut and unfortunately, the answers are unreachable because his hands have been positioned at his sides in an almost undeviating manner. He suffocates in hush and prays for the man in him to die. Just above his roof top are dead men walking about with the breath of life and with the thought that they are alive. Realistically, everyone alive is dead one way or the other whether they know it or not and in one field or the other. Just take a good look at the man who has been buried with life; although not physical life. Intelligence and wisdom lingers on with his memories and he’s yet to die the real death; the loss of wisdom! The wisdom in him lives in his sweet repose alongside his credits while the dead man on the top brandish riches with a basket head. Little wonder why they say the Grave is the richest place and people are dying to get in.

OPTICAL ILLUSION by Moyosola Tugbobo

I zoom in to the glassy window from the vantage room on the ninth floor. I notice some movement. Suddenly, the spooky procession comes to view. All decked in black, each member of the solemn gang stretches out a white candle. The white torches and the light they bear seem to be momentarily fixed as the clique trudge on in deafening silence. Questions and emotions hang like wet clothes in the damp air. What has happened? Why the sad look on their faces? I zoom closer to resolve the mystery that has now piqued my curiosity.

There in front is the big one. I quickly assume he is the leader of the cult. He leads the long crooked file holding on to an object – it looks like a picture frame. Someone must have transitioned to the world beyond. Eeyah! It must have been a dearly beloved brother or sister. I strain my eyes further; maybe I could just view the image on the picture frame. I do not see a human being; it isn’t a gorilla either… Alas! There in the frame is a soldier ant! The other men in black are nothing but soldier ants. Soldier ants armed with dirty white grains of sugar.

“Hey, Time’s up boy! I want to lock the laboratory,” the Lab attendant’s stentorian voice jabs my middle ear, sharp and peremptory. I quiver, withdraw my head, and promptly drop the magnifying glass – my window into the world of the black insects. “Good day, sir!” I mutter as I avoid staring for too long into his eyes and walk briskly out of the laboratory. I hurry down the stairs, and unto the dancing sunshine of the summer afternoon. Sunshine and smiles.

I cross from left to right on the boulevard. The leaves rustle as the birds flutter through the trees, some singing melodiously, others squawking. The air smells of melting bitumen as heat waves form a pool of water – a mirage. I recall the adventure at the Lab and think to myself: Tomorrow, I will return to Insectopia.