Short Fiction

Lucky Ones

In the days before the sun bursts and drowns the Earth in oceans of roaring fire, Bola and Chris grow apart and a lot of people die.

Death – with his bitter black shadow and glimmering blade – flies latched to their ankles like disease; when she kisses Ikenna from down the road, his heart breaks and blood pours from his lips like demon wine. When he trails kisses down Funke’s belly, thorns burst forth like desperate arms. Prickling thumbs and longing drive them down the asphalt back to Abuja.

“They say the sun is going to explode soon.” he whispers as they lie on her battered Toyota. Meeting had been inevitable, and it had finally happened under Ibadan’s rust-blood roofs.

“The oath worked. Someone died.” She feels Ikenna’s ghostly hands press down on her chest and regrets letting the Needle ever prick her thumb.

“Baba Fagbeja warned us.”

“We were in love then. But we are not anymore.”

“I still love you enough for the both of us.”

“Have you been reading Nicolas Sparks again?”

Their shared laughter is warm and fills the air like fireflies.

The day the sun explodes they are riding back to Lagos. Her caramel skin glows softly in the gold light and an afro like a stormcloud shrouds her skull. He’s smiling at her when the police sirens wail and chill his blood in sweeping waves of ruby and sapphire. The first gunshot claps across the empty expressway in triumph. The murderers duck and cry as glass shatters in soprano. The car twists and bloodstained metal pierces lungs and thighs.

In the distance, the police car is a specter through shimmering waves of heat. The lovers kiss one last time – teeth nip and tears flood throats.

Their souls expire while the sun shatters.

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