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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