Lights Out


“Asake! Asake!!”

She lunged through the door and nearly ran into the coal-blackened walls of the kitchen. Her face was smeared in mud, trailing giggles.

“Why are you running inside the hut?! Demon child.”

“I’m sorry Ma’ami. Akin was chasing me.”

“You mean you’re still both involved in your underage love games?” Abike’s tongue was literally in her cheek as she pulled on her daughter’s feet.

“The gods forbid! Love games? I’m not even a thousand moons old yet.”

“That’s true, but your breasts just started peeking through your wrappers, I wonder why he still keeps chasing you…”

“Haba! Ma’ami!! Don’t go and say that one when you’re talking to Mama Akin in the market o!”

Abike smiled to herself, and wiped her face as her daughter tied herself up in knots over nothing.

“See this basket,” She handed over a small basket woven from bamboo — bleached white as bone and filled to the brim with steaming golden-red bean cakes that still popped from how hot they were. “Take it to your grandmother’s hut. You have to go now, remember you’re passing through Irunmole, and it is not called a spirit forest for no reason. I’ll give you something, but still, you have to be cautious.”

“But we’ve been to Yeye’s hut more than once, and nothing interesting happened.”

“We’ve only been over in daylight. Look, she’s sick and needs this akara as soon as possible.” She rose from the smooth black stone that served as her stool and put her hands into the dry leathery grass of the roofing that insulated the low hut.

“Where did you get that?!”

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Lights Out


Ngozi pulled on the painting of a cherub, and as she expected a dark doorway lay behind. She swung the bright white light of her torch into the narrow room and saw nothing. Her curiosity piqued, she left the dimly lit hallway behind and stepped into the stifling darkness.

The painting slammed shut behind her with a bang! and her battery powered torch went out.

She instantly backed up to the painting and tried to pry it open. It didn’t budge. Then as the cold hands of fear started to wrap around her heart, candles lit up along the walls of the room and she saw she wasn’t alone. There was a mask, hanging at the other end of the narrow room. It was a long oval made of pitch black obeche and etched with faces frozen in silent screams. She gasped, still feeling frantically for a way out. When the mask moved, she froze, paralyzed; it floated off the wall, contorting and melting. With it, thick black smoke came, obscuring the little light that the candles gave off.  It halted mere inches from her shivering form, now a creature with blood red eyes that seemed to glow in the dark; floating in thick smoke from its waist up. It spoke; its voice a thousand sounds that made the air tremble.

“To the woman who sets her eyes on the Mask of Oro, I curse. Continue reading

Lights Out


When you begin a journey of revenge, start by digging two graves: one for your enemy, and one for yourself.”


“Move your feet. Prostitute!”

Akweke stood still, tears running down her cheeks. The child in her arms shuddered and cooed in his sleep and the forest before her stood black and still as the bottom of a burnt clay pot. The men behind her were aflame with anger and deep disgust. They screamed and spat at her to walk into the dead blackness. She stood still.

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