Flash fiction ~ Heirloom ~ Adesina Ajala

Photo credit: Aminu S Muhammad

BY ADESINA AJALA

He writhes violently on the bed like a dying fowl slithered in the throat, blood spurts from a ragged hole in his chest. He starts to gasp, mumbling unknown words before he goes drowsy.

She feels the edge of the knife again and rubs the sticky blood between her fingers. Her heart speeds, as if it were crashing into the side rails, as if it were about to tumble into the sea. She takes a glimpse at him again. He's drooling thick saliva now.

She saunters to the bathroom and kneels under the pouring shower. She washes her guilt into the cesspool. Like Pontius Pilate. She inches to the side of the bathroom; the mirror reflects her demons back to her. She bites her lips. The crown of her wedding ring carries a stain of his blood. She moans and whimpers, then let her voice starts to climb high, a coarse cry breaks from her throat. Sweat, blood and tears.

Grief overwhelms her now. Her conscience stings her. She runs downstairs, clutching the knife, blood trails her sweeping nightgown. She runs still. Hairs haggard like a lunatic, eyes red like hemp – addict and palms sweaty like a patient with hyperthyroidism, she clasps the steering.

She stands at the main entrance, a thick drop of blood falls from the tip of the knife with a soft plod on her foot.

"For seven years I've begged him to give me a child, not sex alone." She turns the knife towards her Tommy, its tip clicks on a button. "I don't want to trend with my sisters, my aunts and my grandaunts. No! No! No! I want to be a mother! Like my mother!"
 
Two policewomen at the station draw close to her; they adjust their Corona-virus-induced face masks and pull guns from the cases hanging on their waists.

The knife rips the button off. She pushes it further.

******

Adesina Ajala has works in Brave Voices Poetry Journal, Writers Space Africa, The Wild Word, Opinion Nigeria, NMA MediNews, The Quills, Featiler Rays, Eboquills, Praxis, Parousia, Libretto, AFAS Review, The Heart of Flesh, The Shallow Tales Review and elsewhere. He was co-winner TSWF Writers Prize (2018), winner Freedom Voices Poetry Writing Prize (2019), winner Splendours of Dawn Poetry Foundation (January 2020) and Second runner-up Shuzia Creative Writing Contest(3rd Edition). Adesina shares his time between treating sick children as a medical doctor and creative writing. He is on Instagram and tweets @adesina_ajala.

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