The skies had been whispering all morning but I hadn’t been listening. They tried to tell me to stay indoors. They did. They even cried when I was trying to fit into my skinny jeans.
I was halfway to Ronke’s apartment when I saw it. Mallam Mudi’s son, or what was left of him, at the middle of the street; limbs separated from torso, eyes gorged out, tongue split in two. There was a perfectly carved gaping hole where his genitals used to be. I could only imagine the degree of composure and calmness his assaulters had. His body lay at the center of two neatly drawn concentric circles – one made with ash and the other with chalk.
I stood there, shocked to my bones at how malicious but organized someone could be. Was it an individuals work? Was it a ritual group?
“What do the inscriptions mean?,” I asked the man next to me.
“Igue gbe mtu lina,” he said, without turning to look at me.
The crowd had started to disperse slowly. The rain clouds still hung overhead.
“I’m sorry, I obviously don’t speak that language. English, please.”
I felt the grip on my wrists before I felt the pain. Two men held me and another two cut off my arms in a flash. My screams choked me. I fell to the ground, next to the body that made it there before me, heaving and breathing like my life depended on it before, wriggling.
I lay there, waiting to exhale; memories playing back in reverse with my neck hanging, throat slit and arms sliced.