“If we do not now dare everything, the fulfilment of that prophecy, re-created from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us: God gave Noah the rainbow sign.

No more water, fire next time.”

— James Baldwin

It began like those spy movies, where the authorities finally have the criminal cornered, and he has nowhere else to go.

The door burst open and the man was there, standing in the doorway with his arms crossed. “Get up,” he said. “Get changed. You’re coming with me.”

I put down my stylus — I was painting a self portrait for…

Months ago, a friend asked me if I had ever loved someone. Romantically.

“Yes,” I answered.

And then, I thought about what it felt like.

Love is trying, I think. It’s being nervous as hell to paint her on her birthday because you’re scared you’ll get it wrong and she’ll hate it. Love is doing it anyway.

Love is knowing that every wig is functional art, and knowing that there are frontals, lace fronts, closures, wig caps, stands and all the work it takes to really make one. Love is watching, smiling, not completely understanding, but watching them come to…

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Dear Ejikeme,

It has been years…and for that I have only myself to blame. I was not a good father to you. How are Anita, and the twins? I hope they are doing well. The last time I saw them, they could fit in the cusp of each of my hands. I’m sure they would be at my knees now. Ndudi and Ndidi — good names you both chose.

Powerful names.

The doctor says I have a few months, maybe more, maybe less, but time is an arrow that neither falters nor reverses, it only marches on. And with each…

“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.”- Audre Lorde

After being in Covenant for three years now, there’s this familiar shock I have whenever I see our school being praised…

Ẹni tó ńbẹ̀rù àti ṣubú, àti dìde á nira fún un.

Whoever is scared of falling, would find it difficult to rise.

As Ṣàngó, god of thunder, lord of the storms, commander of lightning itself, walked to his death in chained hands, chained feet and a heavy heart, a small thought prodded his back:

Who do the gods themselves pray to when the end is nigh?

The chains that bound him were made of pure Aru — the metal of The Above. They were forged for forty years in the heart of the sun and cooled in the eternal rivers…

Coal was in the church that night as the rain outside threatened to blow the whole world down and he held the stone in his hand, feeling it ebb.

He knew the words to the spell; he had studied them for years waiting for this moment and now he had it. The Guardian could only be summoned using a stone from hell itself, and those were hard to find. But he had found one after so many years of searching and he would finally have his answers once and for all. …

Doreen was peeking from behind two buildings to make sure Star saw the necklace and when she did, she breathed a sigh of relief as she started to perform the spell to get her back home.

Then she smelt the sulphur.

The odour of burning tyres, and she spun.

“I can feel you,” she called into the dark alleyway. “Come out,” she commanded. “Show your face.”

“Are you sure you want to see us?” A voice asked.

“Are you very sure?” another asked. “It has been very, very long.”

Doreen held the dagger in her hands and she wished she…

she crept into his room, careful not to make a sound and almost whelped when she tripped over a bottle of Bailey’s. She held the dagger in her right hand as she moved to his bed. She climbed on top of it. She faintly remembered how he used to hold her at night when she couldn’t sleep, and he’d sing her songs that would sooth her mind. She put that out of her head now.

He was staring blankly at the ceiling and Star wrinkled her nose; he reeked of alcohol. …

He had come back home drunk; his head felt like spaghetti but he had miraculously found his way to his car, then his place, then the room and dropped fitfully on the bed.

He didn’t realise he was crying until he felt the tears roll across his cheek and over the scar on his ears. When they were younger, there were three of them, the children. Their birth mother had died while giving birth to him; he had been the youngest. But one day, his oldest brother went to go and fetch firewood, but he never came back. …

Anthony Azekwoh

Anthony Azekwoh is a Nigerian-based author and artist. He has written five books so far, and is now working on the sequel to his fourth book Ṣàngó, Oya.

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