Lights Out, Short Fiction

kilishi blues


We only come out at sundown. Emptying out of lairs lined with the furs of ancestors and framed in the bones of men. Our eyes are luminous blood in the night but we walk human still, because the moon is not full yet. We only come out at sundown, because the suya at Aja Mi Ti Gbera isthe best in West Africa.

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Short Fiction

Sista Taiga

“…today we bring una one special ‘tory about one sisi for Ibadan wey den dey call orisa, den call am witch, call am devil, even call am Superwoman….”

“…na so de woman dey waka for road with new pikin for back dey sell im moi-moi, dey shout “Moi-moi gbona re!”. As people no con call am, she waka fast fast make she take reach de street wey den dey chop de moi-moi wella…”

“…one small truck wey carry many pure water bag for im back dey comot for the same street wey de aunty de go sell im moi-moi, and the road of the street no good na so so mountain and valley, sha, the truck con turn one jagajaga turn, fall yakata…”

“…dem strong uncle and bobo wey dey do correct gym for de area see de accident con dey try remove de pure water make den take remove driver make den fit comot de truck for road. Na so den con hear pikin dey cry for inside de pure water. Den con begin dey dig fast fast make den take fine de pikin wey dey cry…”

“….de no reach de pikin before de truck begin do jim jim, jim jim, con dey raise by insef. Den watch as de truck raise insef finish. Na so den con dey run wen den see wetin den see, some of de bobo even fall for ground…”

“…na de mama carry de truck for one hand like carton wey no get indomie for inside. In carry de pikin we dey cry for im other hand con push de truck throway. Den say im eye red die but no be cry she dey cry. Dem bobo say she look dem like say she fit chop dem. She con run like horse, she run far go disappear inside bush.”

“…dem no see am again. De uncle wey call our station to give us dis tory say na de world wey wan end dey make all dem devils and ogbologbo aje dey get mind dey show for street. E say make we tell una bobos wey like woman wella say make una dey try take de woman go church for deliverance before una begin dey chook unasef.”


When We Go Blow?

This story is for the first true artist I ever knew. I was 11 years old and he was my intro to making wonder and awe out of empty pages and boredom. (King from Niger House also existed, but Tobi had the X-Factor). Recently, he helped me remember the title of a book we wrote together when we were in Junior Secondary and basically saved me from the numbness that has been circling me concerning my future as a writer.

In W. O. Akosile’s recently discovered graphic novel & art project; Kekere, four teens from Lagos find themselves transformed into superbeings after unexpectedly drowning, at various times within a certain week, in an underground pool of sentient rainbow-oil. The cover is painted to look like a rectangular slab of said oil, with thin near-invisible threads which glisten like petroleum on water breaking across the thick paper when it is angled towards certain lights. Gloss, shade and texture give the entire affair an indelible impression of viscous black oiliness. The title glows orange from the centre of the cover, as though made from the brightest rays of a late sunset. Each tiny letter is set a substantial distance from the next and the impression is one of the word Kekere burning within the oil of the cover, or out, in the incalculable ink of space. Continue reading

Short Fiction

The Keresimesi Christmas Miracle

This (traditional Christmas) story has been on my laptop for exactly four years. I was never brave enough to post it because of the single serving of gay in the third verse. Here’s to a year of love, safety, honesty and self-acceptance. Enjoy your rabbit.


On the night before Christmas, consider Odun, the youngest daughter of the Keresimesis, who is accused of robbery by a Christmas tree.

It was near midnight on the eve of Christmas and she had been rifling through the boxes that sat at the foot of the tree, shiny curls disrupting the tree’s plastic needles, searching for the Gameboy that Daddy had promised. The tree was big, and its fake green skirt hid her very well. One particularly heavy box refused to move and she wondered if Mummy had finally gotten her Portable Grill. She crawled around the trunk, bathed in splashes of light; red, blue, green and yellow. The 8-bit music was tinny with the familiar song of dying batteries, and its occasional drift into static and jargon unnerved Odun enough to want to escape back to her room. Continue reading

Lights Out

Inemo Goes Under


“Your mother will not die”, the herbalist says, “if you bring me the yolk of a sea beast’s egg.” Inemo stares in open mouthed disbelief at the wrinkled deadpan old man. After hours of sprinkling his feverish mother with raw eggs, fresh chicken’s blood, crumbled seaweed and sea salt, Baba Felix’s first words are truly astounding. “Baba wetin you dey talk for mouth like this na?” Continue reading


Ireti Futura i.25

This post originally appeared on Ola Toxic’s blog, for a hope-themed anthology series he did. I wrote it while dealing with a new strain of depression, just as my mind began to fray and show more bruises. I often return to read it sometimes. I like how free it seems.


The nature of light is both wave and particle.


Sometimes I’m not sure what is to be done. (Most times.) The world spins at an alarming rate. Inside palm, in words and eyes and skin and heart. (The core is a holiness you can’t permit.) Attempt to sever before it consumes you. (rot.) There are tiny eggs under your skin, they look like pimples.

The world spins at an alarming rate. (ner.vous.wreck.age.) You are so convinced that it will pass before you can get your chance to shine, to glow, to bask in joy. Continue reading


Erin, or, The Great Elephant Parade

The tremors of their approach stop the hot afternoon.

Market women leave trays of plantain and fruit and peppers to stand by the sides of the road. They lean on their waists and stretch their necks to look for what is making their teeth rattle and their wares do tiny shifting dances. Some men leave their electronics and meat and fake shoes to stand behind the women. Children peek through legs and between arms and yet see nothing of what causes the earth to shake and boom like an out-of-rhythm drum. Continue reading