Writers Note: Happy 2017. The year I started re-branding this space (2015, I think), my resolution was to use wordpress to better my writing anyway I could. That meant different styles of writing, different perspectives to write from and as is being attempted today – different genres of story-telling. The fire that inspired that resolution though, I must admit, has died down a considerable amount, together with my inspiration to write generally, this year especially, but hey, here we are.This is only my second science-fiction, or fantasy… no, this is more science fiction (you would probably agree if I actually wrote out everything I had in mind instead of fragments but, just trust me on this) but I’m happy for it. Who knows, I just might come back to it one day one day. Also, because I am so lazy and full of shit, I decided to use names that hit close to home.
From the top of the stairs, Somuah stared down at head and shoulders that grew closer with every step, a look of severe intensity in his eyes. He stood there, wondering whether to continue down or turn back around. He couldn’t decide whether he felt like going through the seemingly compulsory “chaley long time, how are you?” formality or otherwise. At the last second, Zachary now on the stairwell directly underneath the one he stood on top of, he readjusted himself and skipped down as if not having stood there a good 30 seconds deliberating on something as seemingly irrelevant as crashing into someone.
“Aye, bro, I see you ch33 ooo”
Had anyone? He grinned and nodded, meeting Zacks warm palms, with the cold deadness of his own. He felt Zacks eyes shoot up immediately their palms met, and withdrew. “Du – “, Before anymore could be said he jogged down, feigning a lateness.
Outside, a cold breeze raised the hairs at the back of his neck. He dug his hands into the pockets of his jumpsuit and hurried towards his car. The Chevrolet’ doors couldn’t open fast enough, he collapsed into the drivers’ seat and closed his eyes. His hands were shaking so badly he had to rest them on the steering wheel. He should have turned around.
Loud music thumped through the walls of the nightclub. He slammed through the door in a coughing fit, his hands tracing the edges of the wall till he got to its very end, there he finally let out the hot vomit inside of his throat, his back heaving as he strained to get the last bits out. The club was a single brick structure surrounded by woods. He looked up and saw only trees and darkness covering miles around him. He was in the middle of nowhere. The realization hit him hard, forcing him unto the floor beside his own mess. He lay there on the dirt a while, ears to the ground as if listening. He was losing his mind, he whispered it to himself, “I am losing my mind, I am losing my mind” over and over again as if to convince himself it was all real. Colored circles danced around his eyes, this was how he was going to die, surrounded by strangers, choked on his own vomit.
He noticed Zacharys car as he pulled into the hostel, it reminded him of the uncomfortable encounter on the stairs. Everything was different now, he felt different. He saw Zachary, he saw the people he used to call his friends and they were all complete strangers. He could not identify with their reality anymore. He sat silently in the car, staring out the window, the engine off, his windows rolled all the way up. Almost on instinct, he raised his hands from his side and stared at them, his left eye twitched.
A dim blue light grew from inside the car, slowly rising till it burst into white light. He gave himself to it, the car imploded.
Siren sounds mixed with the cars alarm, disturbing the transience of an average 4 a.m. Heads burst out of windows, the more daring stepped out their rooms with morning gowns and flipflops, marching towards the parking area where police men and firefighters run around in what looked like a clustered haze of uniforms. I watched from above the clouds the life-form undergo its final metamorphism by fire.
“What is your name?”
“Where are you?”
He pulled the arms of his hospital gown to his shoulder and stretched, blue light immediately surrounded the tips of his fingers.
“Welcome, I have been waiting for you.” And I had.
The screen is completely dark. A violin plays in the background, crisscrossing gently as the camera fades into a scene of Mr. and Mrs. Somuah sitting behind a doctors’ desk. Only their backs show to the camera. Mr. Somuah has his hands draped around his wife, who is leaning slightly towards him. The doctors’ lips move but the voices stay muted, just the violin notes still as it slowly begins to rise in crescendo. The camera pans out and reverses through the doorway into a hallway full of mentally disabled men and women in hospital gowns, walking around, staring at the screen quizzically. The camera zigzags and bursts finally through the main door, sharply rising to the top of the building. Camera dims and focuses on “ Accra Rehabilitation Asylum”. Screen immediately goes blank.
Mrs. Somuahs voice, quivering, barely a whisper: “he thinks bolts come out his fingers Joe…”
Image: Kevin A Williams, Still Standing