Okay, so Ghana, Imma need a “The Justice” series, like, ASAP

What the title said.

The Justice is a novel by Ghanaian author, Boakyewaa Glover. It’s marketed as a “political thriller” as indicated on the cover, but I’d probably call it a political romantic suspense-drama. But that’s a lot, so let’s just go with what the cover says, LOL.

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For me, it was one of those books that looked intimidatingly large at first, made me think it might be boring and difficult to trudge through, but ended up being an exhilarating read that made me feel like I was effortlessly drinking up the words. It was a wild ride. I remember excitedly ranting to my best friend about it nearly from beginning to end.

Most events occur around the attempts of a man called Joseph Annan (also known as “The Justice”) to rise to the position of presidency in Ghana. The Justice, however, isn’t quite the main character. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to narrow “main character” down to a single person. I feel like s/he changes throughout the different sections of the book.

When I first started reading it, I thought it would make a great Ghanaian movie. It worked perfectly. The premise—a man trying to become president while his daughter does scandalous things, his wife is ill and unstable, and the opposition is being, well, oppositional—was such a good one, and Glover set the stage up excellently. Besides, the way we like politics in our Ghana dier, I could already see this movie’s publicity taking off if handled well.

But then as I continued reading, the number of plot twists grew wildly, the twists themselves were increasingly mind-blowing, and the stakes kept rising relentlessly. It reached a point where immediately starting another chapter after I’d finished one began to feel exactly like binge-watching a suspenseful Netflix show, just skipping credits and moving on to the next episode. The end of each chapter had me so impatient to find out what would happen in the next one, and I could so clearly see this becoming an excellent TV show!

I’ve thought about a The Justice TV show almost every day since I finished the book. The novel itself is so underrated and underpublicized! I wouldn’t have known it existed if it hadn’t been lent to me by a friend (shout-out to TrueCoaster!), yet it’s easily one of the littest Ghanaian books I have ever read.

I have only two particularly critical things to say about it: firstly, that final plot twist just seemed a bit over the top. Everything else could fly—but that final one just had me going, “Wei dier, wo boa.” The other thing is about the characters’ speech. Every character spoke in standard English, no matter their background, the social context, their names, whatever. This is probably not something I’d have complained about if I’d read this book a few years ago, before I started being really conscious about such things. I, too, have written many things where the words coming out of characters’ mouths could just as easily have come out of the mouths of generic wyt characters. Basically, the characters’ speech didn’t have enough character. No pidgin, Twinglish, Ewe, etc., so that’s one thing I’ll advocate for the screenwriter of The Justice TV show (yes, I’m speaking about it like I already know it’s going to happen) to take into account when adapting the novel.

I have so much hope in this series, faith in its potential to be a smash hit and revival of Ghanaian television. No series has made sense to me since Home Sweet Home, to be very honest. And, if done right, I can’t see why The Justice won’t work. If we adapt this novel, we shouldn’t have much to worry about, with regards to the story being wack, because it’s already not. If someone has the resources to make something as visually stunning as An African City, I don’t see why The Justice can’t be just as good quality-wise. Maybe acting and accents could be problematic, but again, I’ll say, if the scripts are written correctly, dialogues should sound so natural and colloquially Ghanaian that it would make it at least extremely difficult, if not impossible, for actors to deliver them unnaturally. Also, if Ghanaians are consistently hooked on suspenseful dramas, from Game of Thrones to Stranger Things to How to Get Away with Murder etc., I honestly can’t see why The Justice should fail to appeal to the same audience. What I’m saying is: This series go beeeee!

I beg, a human being who has loads of money should get in contact with Boakyewaa Glover as soon as possible, find a sensible screenwriter and set this process in motion, please and thank you. (I really beg.)

Just in case you’re thinking of volunteering me as screenwriter, let me just make it clear that I don’t have the faintest clue how to screen-write. (Okay, that’s not entirely true. But the very faintest is the best I’ve got. Which is not to say that if you offer me tons of money, I’ll refuse to learn, don’t get it twisted.)

Also, read the book, because, you know, it’s lit!

Akotz the Spider Kid

 

Afordzi (A Short Story)

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Edem had breached her agreement. She was now suffering the consequences, paying her penalties through nausea, sweat and convulsions. She had already spent several hours going back and forth between her bed and her trash can, dry-heaving over the latter for minutes at a time. She felt like she was going to die.

Whatever was wrong with her was not a job for a physician, especially not an American one. The diagnosis was certain to be incorrect, her symptoms erroneously summarized as a reaction to an as-yet-unidentified allergen. There was no medicine that could intervene on Edem’s behalf. This kind of sickness could only be endured, not cured. So she waited, entertaining no anger and succumbing to the exhaustion. She would bear the cross, for she had brought it upon herself.

In the part of her brain that was still capable of rational thought, she calculated that she had perhaps twenty minutes more of this torture to sit through. She wished she would pass out and wake up an hour later, when there was nothing left to suffer but the residual ache of her diaphragm – but unconsciousness was not one of the mercies available to those in her strain of practice.

Yet, for all the pain and suffering, did she regret a single thing she had done?

Without a doubt, absolutely, certainly, not.

***

The bathroom didn’t look any different than usual. The toiletries haphazardly packed into the cubicles were perpetually threatening to avalanche. The half-drawn shower curtain afforded a glimpse of the shower’s floor tiles, upon which clumps of brown and blond hair were scattered. The puddles of water around the sink basins, contaminated with strands of hair, toothpaste and only-God-knew-what-else, were in the process of congealing into discolored masses of goo.

You had to love gender-neutral, communal bathrooms.

The tidiness of the bathroom had never been a prevalent issue in Paul’s mind. Whatever his purpose in there, the only thing that ever side-tracked him for a second was the mirror. He had an instinctive ritual of stopping and staring for a few seconds at his reflection whenever he came in, briefly absorbing his green eyes and curly, light-brown hair before carrying on with his business.

The image of his own face lingered in Paul’s mind as he walked into a toilet stall and neglected to close the door. Thus, it escaped his notice when the click of the lock sliding into place sounded anyway. With the automatic familiarity of a boy who had been executing the same motions quite literally since he was potty-trained, he unzipped his fly, pulled out his dick, and the steady spray of yellow-orange liquid began.

BEEP!

Penis detected. Activating automatic male urination sequence.

The deep, female voice startled Paul to his core. He jerked so violently that he lost hold of his penis before he had the chance to consciously pause the spraying. The stream of urine deviated from its graceful, arched course and splattered onto the toilet seat, in the very same moment that the seat itself instantaneously lifted without being touched, completely confusing the urine’s trajectory. Before Paul knew it, he’d been splashed on his face, arms and clothes. The stall’s walls and door hadn’t escaped the shower either.

Eugh!” he yelled.

Targeted urine stream no longer detected. Automatic male urination sequence paused,” said the voice. It seemed to be coming from all around the bathroom at once, vibrating in the very walls, floors and ceilings.

With his penis still dangling outside his shorts, Paul spun in every direction, searching for a speaker or hologram or something – any telltale signs of the source of either speech or telekinesis.

He confirmed, to his terror, that he was completely alone. Immediately, his skin transformed into gooseflesh and his mind went static. He grabbed the stall door and yanked it. It rattled in response but didn’t open. He gave the lock a rough jerk, but it remained fixed in place no matter how frantically he pulled and shoved.

Exit denied. Sanitation levels insufficient. Kindly sanitize and try again.

Panicking harder, Paul continued to jiggle the hopelessly locked door.

Exit denied. Sanitation levels insufficient. Kindly sanitize and try again.

Near tears, Paul gave up on the door and exhaled. He leaned his back against it, having forgotten that it too held droplets of his urine, which the back of his head and shirt were now soaking in. Despairing, he closed his eyes. His breaths had become quick and shallow. For several minutes, he was entirely at a loss for what to do, or how to even begin understanding what was happening.

Sanitation levels insufficient. Kindly sanitize and try again.

Instantly, his fear of the disembodied voice with the weird African accent was completely replaced by fury and frustration. He pounded on the door behind him with his fists as he bellowed, “The fuck am I supposed to ‘sanitize’ with, bitch?”

In the most infuriatingly calm and levelled tone, the voice responded: “Processing inquiry.” Then, after a beat, “The user will find disinfectant wipes on the floor, to the right of the toilet.

Paul was initially so startled by the fact that he’d received a response at all, that he was unable to process its content.

It took a few more minutes for him to let go of the notion that this was merely a dream. He really was locked in a toilet stall, listening to an African Robot Ghost Woman trying to tell him what to do. This realization stunned him all over again, so that for even longer, he could only stand still and process.

Finally, when he made mental progress, he thought to himself: The ghost girl said there were wipes at the…

He looked down and, to his intense surprise, found a packet of disinfectant wipes exactly where the Robot Ghost Woman said they’d be. He could have sworn those hadn’t always been in here. (Not that he’d ever tried to find any before.)

With the sluggishness of a creature unexpectedly caught in viscous liquid, he bent down to grab a handful, lowered the toilet seat, and began to clean. When he was done, he dropped the used wipes into the toilet, then gingerly stepped back and waited. Nothing unexpected happened. He reached out and barely brushed the flush handle with his index, quickly snatching it away as though electrically shocked. Still, no unexpected phenomena. Finally judging it a safe action, Paul placed his palm on the handle with a little more confidence, and applied pressure. The urine and the wipe disappeared with a wholesome swoosh.

Without prompt, the lock slider slowly grated to the left with the squeak of metal-on-metal, and the door swung open. Paul whirled and bolted like the devil herself was after him. Fast as he ran, though, the bathroom door didn’t shut soon enough for him to miss hearing the voice say, “Initiating thorough self-sanitation sequence…

It would be a while before Paul recovered enough to realize he’d run off with his fly still unzipped and his penis still hanging out of his shorts.

***

Ryan was going to be late. Again. He knew it the moment he set his ass down to take a shit, fifteen minutes before his class was supposed to begin, in a building as far away from his dorm as it was physically possible to get, within campus limits. If he left this very second and ran, he’d probably just be able to make it. After all, it wasn’t a huge college. The problem was, of course, his desperate need to poop.

Ryan was a dumbass, and he knew it. How many times had Alison told him last night not to eat the spicy Indian food? How many times had she told him he’d be better off with some slices of pepperoni pizza or a bowl of Caesar salad? But noooo, he’d wanted the rice with the sauces whose names he couldn’t even pronounce, and the samosas which, after every bite, he’d had to chug cold water to keep from exploding into grains of White pepper. Instead of heeding Ali’s wisdom, he’d decided to be an idiot instead. Now, the universe was teaching him a lesson.

There were long periods of silence. Then sudden bursts of splrrrbrrrsplaplapsplrrr, like somebody was emptying thick marinara sauce very loudly down a sink. Ryan didn’t even want to look at the half-liquid mess of badly-processed excrement coming out of him right now. He just wanted all this to be over with, so he could go to class. His GPA was at stake.

Ryan was a pretty good student, but his tardiness was very rapidly working against him – not to mention his case wasn’t being helped in the least by the glares Ms. Martinez gave him every time he walked into the room in the middle of her sentences. If there was one thing Ms. Martinez detested, it was interruption.

Ten minutes had passed now, and that was enough time for Ryan’s nose to have grown used to the pungency. A few minutes later, finally, it was over.

He wiped his ass and rose, and then, carefully avoiding examination of the toilet bowl’s contents, he flushed in one swift, fluid motion. He turned to leave, but the door’s lock refused to budge.

Goddamn it! It was literally the worst possible time to get accidentally locked in a fucking bathroom! Imagine having to text an RA to come bail you out from the toilet. And if there had ever been a chance of redemption with Ms. Martinez, he’d sure as hell blown—

Exit denied. Flush state unsatisfactory. Kindly flush again.

Holy fucking shit. Where had that come from?

For a second, he thought he was hallucinating. It wouldn’t be an unusual occurrence for him, and admittedly, he’d gotten slightly high last night. But his hallucinations never carried on until the morning after. And he’d bet his ass that even his subconscious wouldn’t know how to conjure up such a thick African accent. Nah, he couldn’t be tripping.

Ryan continued jimmying the lock, thinking maybe he unintentionally fumbled the first time. The door stayed shut, the lock remained immobile.

Exit denied. Flush state unsatisfactory. Kindly flush again.”

What? What was the mechanical voice saying? And where the hell was it coming from? Ryan looked around and found signs of neither person nor machine.

It suddenly occurred to him that this was a scene straight out of a spy film, and he was a suspect of some sort of heinous crime. Some intelligence company had clearly been monitoring his every move with surveillance equipment and was now trying to intimidate him into confessing. It was the thought of someone sitting behind a desk, watching him shit, that provoked his hysteria.

“Oh my God, get me out of here! Fucking CIA! I swear it wasn’t me! I didn’t do anything! Get me out of here!” he screamed.

He hadn’t truly expected an answer, so he was partially sobered when he heard the disembodied voice respond, “Processing request…” Then, a moment later, “Request denied. Flush levels unsatisfactory. Kindly flush again.

“Argh!” Ryan yelled. What was she even on about?

He ran his hands over his face, and tangled his fingers in his long, messy, blond hair. His eyes rolled up into his head, his natural response whenever he felt like he was losing his mind.

Flush levels unsatisfactory. Kindly flush again.

Kindly…flush again?

His eyelids snapped open, and his gaze settled on the contents of the toilet. He had flushed his excrement, but thanks to the sheer amount of initial shit and its weird solid-liquid state, even after the first flush, several tiny pieces of poop had resurfaced and were now floating about in the bowl, and the toilet water had turned a sickly yellow-brown. He was disgusted by the sight.

I could have gone my whole week without having to know what that looked like, he thought to himself. He inhaled and exhaled deeply as the stupid spy machine’s voice reminded him, “Kindly flush again.

“Okay, okay! I heard you the first five hundred fucking times! I’m flushing, God!”

He yanked the handle again, and the loud sucking mechanisms drained the toilet bowl of its contents. This time, the water that refilled the bowl was clear, and stayed that way. When the toilet once again fell silent, the voice returned.

Flush levels sufficient. Exit granted.”

Behind Ryan, the locked door opened itself up, granting unhindered passage out of the bathroom.

As fast as he could, Ryan sprinted to class, trying to avoid admitting to himself that there was zero hope of salvation with Ms. Martinez now.

***

Someone was knocking on Liam’s door at one a.m. It was a good thing for them that Liam never slept early. He had been in the middle of resolving the bugs in his latest programming assignment when he got up to find out who could possibly be visiting past midnight, and wondering if he’d have to call an ambulance.

Paul?” Liam asked, astonished. “What are you doing here? Don’t you, like, crash by ten every night?”

His friend seemed distraught and his face was filled with some other disturbing emotion that Liam was having a hard time defining.

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Paul panted. “But hey, I have to ask you a favor. Can I, like, use your bathroom?”

“Use my bathroom?”

“Yeah. It’s, um, kind of urgent.”

Liam had one of the most coveted dorm rooms on campus – unsurprising, since he was an RA. Not only was it a single, but it also had its own unique bathroom, something Liam’s friends were wildly envious of.

“Bro, did you seriously just get up after midnight, walk past the bathroom in your hall, ignore literally every other bathroom in your dorm, cross the street to get to my dorm, and come all the way to the fourth floor, to use my fucking bathroom?”

“Listen, Liam, it’s complicated. Just, please, can I use your bathroom?” Paul looked like he was on the verge of a breakdown.

“Okay, whatever, weirdo. Sheesh.”

Liam stepped aside, and Paul rushed in.

Well if he needed to go that bad, why’d he come all the way here, Liam thought to himself.

Right before Liam shut the door, a black girl with an Afro and a curious mark on her cheek passed by on her way to the elevator, clutching a stack of folders. Liam recognized her. She was African. From Ghana, if he remembered correctly. Their paths crossed on campus sometimes because they had a major in common, though they hadn’t yet been in a class together. Some of his friends had, though, and they told him she was a computer science genius. From a distance, he’d always found her intensity intriguing.

Right before the door obscured his view of her, he thought he saw the African girl crack a half-smile. Since he couldn’t figure out what would have given her a reason to, he dismissed it as a figment of his imagination.

***

Edem had caught a snippet of the conversation between Paul and the RA boy as she was returning from her meeting with her CS partner. After working for hours, they had finally called it a night, assured that their presentation the following morning would not be a total flop-fest.

All day, she had been waiting for a letter from her teachers back home; those who had initiated her in the traditions of African Electronics and had made her promise not to misuse her skills. In addition to the consequences that were already woven into the fabric of the art itself, there were usually extra punishment doted out by the elders. She’d been preparing to receive hers all day, but so far, nothing had come.

Distressed and paranoid, she picked up her phone and called Fafali, the sexagenarian Anlo woman who was both her mentor and the elder she had the best personal relationship with. She wasn’t worried about the time; it might be late in Texas, but in her GMT zone, Fafali would already be up and on the go by now.

Fafali picked up a half-second through the first ring – she always knew when a phone call was coming – and didn’t bother wasting time with pleasantries.

“Let me guess: you’re wondering why you haven’t received notification from the elders, even though you know we are surely aware of what you’ve done,” Fafali said in rapid Ewe.

“Yes, Aunty.”

Fafali’s reply was saturated with impatience. “Well, for Mawu’s sake, someone had to put the fear of the gods in them! How can you be twenty years old and so deprived of home training?”

Edem was stunned. “Ah, Aunty, wait oo. You’re saying I’m not getting punished when I come home for the break?”

“Sweetie pie, your program wasn’t nearly severe enough to cause any brain damage. We’ve pronounced your distin resolved already. Cool your heart and go to bed, eh? It will not be good for you to be sleepy in your classes today. You better take your studies seriously, otherwise, you should really start getting fearful of returning home.”

“Yes Aunty! I’ll go to bed right now. Akpe lo! My regards to the elders.”

“Goodnight, eh. And may your afɔdzi never cause you that kind of stress again.”

***

Find more Spider Kid fiction here: On the Ceiling (a YA short story series) & If I Could Kill My Feelings… (a novelette).

My Thoughts: Tail of the Blue Bird

Author: Nii Ayikwei Parkes.

Overview of my thoughts: I think this book was downright brilliant.

Synopsis: Some minister’s girlfriend comes to a village called Sonokrom, where she’s freaked out by some inexplicable remains of what appears to have once been a living creature. (There’s a blue bird feather in the same room.) An egotistical maniac of a police Inspector recruits a Ga forensic pathologist who calls himself “Kayo” to investigate and solve the case. The rest of the story is about what Kayo did and discovered.

The plot is beautifully strange.

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Tail of the Blue Bird is the first/only novel of its kind I have ever read. If there are several detective/crime/mystery novels on the Ghanaian literature market, it would seem my eyes have been circumstantially closed – because I’ve not been intentionally avoiding them. But this novel isn’t unique simply because of its genre in cultural context: it’s the way the mystery genre is executed that I think makes it so distinctively Ghanaian. (I say Ghanaian for the smallest unit of specificity I am willing to narrow down to, but I could have said West African, African, or even Black). Two defining features I think make it a success in this regard are (folk)lore and magic. Those were the things that excited me the most.

“It was my grandfather, Opoku, the one whose hands were never empty, who told me that the tale the English man calls history is mostly lies written in fine dye.” – Opanyin Poku

There is no good reason why there shouldn’t be magic and absurdity in a Ghanaian mystery novel. In fact, I see every reason why there should be. Speaking as someone who, in 2016, entered a committed relationship with African history both as a personal and academic interest, I can honestly say there’s a good amount of our history that is mildly to heavily magical. I consider it a large contributing factor to why wypipo have treated accounts of African histories – especially oral ones – as illegitimate. In a European paradigm, there is history, and there is folklore/mythology, and they are kept in two different places. In a (West) African paradigm, history and folklore/mythology can be and are often legitimately considered the same thing. I’m not sure any Ghanaian who has done JSS Social Studies would need convincing of this, when we’ve been taught in our schools about golden stools dropping from the sky and about entire ethnic groups emerging from underground or being led to their claimed lands by elephants. Et cetera. Tail of the Blue Bird is exactly the kind of mystical Ghanaian (hi)story that excites me, in novel form! (Can you see me transforming into the heart-eyes emoji right now?)

Let’s talk about the story’s style. It’s one thing to have a brilliant idea (the plot). It’s another to have the genius to determine the right style for it, and even multiple styles, if that’s appropriate – as it is in this case.

I think Ghana in its modern state (the book is set in 2004, and I’m a teenager who considers every year I have memory of as “modern”) exists in a kind of duality. I admit it’s probably more spectral than binary. One end of the duality includes metropolitan cities – the Accras, Temas, Kumasis etc. – and the other end includes what we casually refer to as “the villages,” the places we continue to connect to our ancestral traditions, and the places where “the witches in [my] village” try and fail to accomplish our downfalls.

Tail of the Blue Bird was a reflection of that duality, both in setting and in style. On the metropolitan side, we had the modern Accra settings, with the scientific labs and offices, the places police have influence, the kind of setting in which an England-educated forensic scientist can almost comfortably exist, and the novel’s plot being interpreted as a mostly logical and systematic attempt to solve a real-world crime case. But we are frequently removed from the metropolis and transported into the other side of the duality, where we’re in the Sonokrom village, reading first-person narration from Opanyin Poku, a septuagenarian hunter-storyteller who has spent his whole life in said village, thinks in parables, and speaks truth through Anansesɛm, revealing the very same plot through a lens that processes a world where magic and curses aren’t merely fun, made-up fables. Reading this novel was like having a superpower of double-vision: reading the exact same story through two wildly different filters. Crazy.

Perhaps the most interesting character to me was Opankyin Poku. I thought his slightly verbose tendencies were very appropriate. He would sometimes drop proverbs and deep memories in the middle of his narrations that I thought were rather irrelevant to the plot itself, but extremely relevant to our understanding of his character. He was authentic in that I know people like him in real life, who really do be droppin’ proverbs left-right-center at the slightest opportunity. Opanyin Poku’s narration made the reading experience so much richer and more enjoyable for me, for its denseness, its unabashedly Ghanaian rhetoric, and its musicality. It’s the kind of musical narration that you get when you translate Twi (which is what Opanyin Poku actually thought and spoke in) to English but leave the semantics as untouched as possible.

“It is no mystery that when something leaves your hand grief can take its place; it is the same way that rain takes the place of clouds. What we cannot understand is how heavy the rain can be.” – Opanyin Poku

Beautiful.

But perhaps the one thing I think this novel did exceptionally well was to marry the Ghanaian oral storytelling art with the art of the genre novel. The truth only comes out in folkloric story form, and it is only spoken. The spoken truth is never written anywhere but in the mind of the ones it is spoken to. Tail of the Blue Bird is a testament to what I think is fact: that African history and (folk)lore are intricately tied and are probably not going to get divorced for a while yet, if ever.

-Akotowaa

If I Could Kill My Feelings… (A Novelette)

A novelette is just a really long, short story. And this particular one is romantic African science fiction. Here’s the PDF: If I Could Kill My Feelings.

I hope you enjoy it. But if you don’t, that’s okay too. We can still be friends. 🙂

And yes, the title of this story has an optional ellipsis at the end. LOL.

Art by the absolute GENIUS, Kaz Aninkorah.

Sneak peek?

If I Could Kill My Feelings…

VIOLET.

I was in one of the blackest moods as I made my way to the cafeteria. My face was set in stone and my body was literally radiating hostility. It was rolling off me in huge waves. Everywhere I walked, people gave me a wide berth. It is this thing called instinct that leads you away from things that could harm you if you get too close. And in that moment, I was a threat to everyone around me. It wouldn’t take much to set me off. It was as if I was waiting for that perfect moment, for someone to approach me in just a hint of the wrong way, so that whichever insult I spontaneously generated would slide off my tongue and verbally slap them senseless. I wanted to get in a fight, to throw a punch at someone.

My phone buzzed. I ignored it.

I shouldn’t have left my room at all – in this state, I was far too combustible – but I was really hungry and neither my mood nor any other facet of my general wellbeing would benefit if I starved myself. As soon as I got my food, I planned to carry it to my room and lock myself in there for as long as necessary, until it was relatively safe for me to be around human beings again.

My phone buzzed a second time. I ignored it once more.

There were illogical amounts of distance in the self-serve line between myself, the person ahead of me, and the person behind me. Although I wasn’t looking directly at the person behind me, I was very familiar with the conflict she was internally dealing with. She was teetering, shifting her weight from leg to leg in hesitation, wondering if she really wanted to be in this line, whether she wouldn’t like the food somewhere else a little better. The longer she stayed, the stronger her doubt that she truly wanted to be here grew. Normally, I’d be self-conscious enough that it would dampen the Darkness a bit, then the space would decrease, the internal doubts would diminish, and her feet would start to find balance in sharing bodily weight equally again. Today, though, I was too far into the Darkness to care much about other people.

In a few seconds, I felt the sudden vacancy of energy. I didn’t have to look back to know that the woman who had been behind me was now gone.

The sea of people trying to get fed naturally parted for me as I made my way out of the door and stalked angrily towards my room, irritation at everything and nothing still bubbling in the pit of my gut. The buzzing of my phone restarted, but this time it didn’t stop after a second. It was incessant, and too agitating to ignore. Rage rose within me as I laid my food down on a nearby bench and snatched my phone out of my pocket, fully intending to terminate the call. I couldn’t press the reject button before I saw the ID of the caller, but I already knew it couldn’t possibly have been anyone other than Mario.

***

To read more, download the file linked at the beginning of the post! 🙂

-Akotz the Spider Kid