- The Storried Platform
HER HEAD – By Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji
These days, my dreams start with the flash of a white light followed by a guttural sound- like a straw grappling with the paltry remnants of a soothing juice. It’s usually at nights when my wife fails to forget to put out the light. That woman is in an amorous relationship with darkness, which is ironic as she’s spotlessly yellow like custard. Without the profound cloaking of the dark, she wriggles restlessly in the bed, hissing repeatedly and when it’s really bad, drums on the bed with the mindless skill of madness.
I, on the other hand, have always hated the dark. It loves to send my mind on needless errands. It makes me imagine things, strange blood-chilling things that boils piss in my groin. Sometimes, I moan. That’s what my wife told me one bright morning in bed as I watched the sun stream through the slit of the curtain to paint half of her chisel face yellow, her swollen eyes squinting in disgust.
Tonight, I watch as she battles the glaring fluorescent, her swollen eyelids fluttering again and again till she eventually yields and her flat chest begins to heave. Her lips are pursed and slight whistling sounds escape. I gently roll off the bed and trudge to the bathroom to piss. The burning sensation in my groin is a bad omen. I remember the bad dream I had last night, where, most likely, roles were switched and my wife, the sly devil, watched me sleep off before sneaking to the switch-box to exert penance.
In the dream, after the customary white light that is, I found myself tucked in a dining table, my thighs brushing the grainy underside. There was a big steel bowl before me and its lid left a small gap that breathed white vapour that snaked up into disappearance. There was a familiar smell. A strong one. It must’ve been Egusi; the one fried with innards of a cow, liver, and intestines to be specific. I looked around quickly to be sure no one was watching, that the happening was all it was: a dream. I reached out to the bowl and slowly pushed away from the lid. A yelp escaped my mouth before filling up with a foamy surge of puke. I could feel my heart wrestling my shrinking chest, punching it sore. It was my wife’s head was on the plate! Her eyes were gorged out and her mouth an endless dark hole missing a tongue and several teeth. A horde of flies buzzed out of her mouth and my feet stretched out into stiff rods. I tried to get up but some unseen force was pushing hard against me.
Eat! A strict voice shouted from behind.
I turned quickly to look. Ahhhhh! I screamed. It was the headless body of my wife. She was dressed in her pink flannel sleepwear and in her right hand was a frying pan. Her neck was jagged at the tip and had blood frothing violently till it spilled out.
Ahhhhhhhhh! I screamed long and hard.
Everything went black for a moment and I was back on my bed, panting heavily. I turned to my right and saw my wife seated up, her hands covering her face.
My head hurts. Like something’s hitting my head.
I froze. Hitting?
Yeah. Like hammer.
I sighed deeply as I stretched out in bed. I looked at her again and for a moment, I thought I saw a red line circling around her neck.
By Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji
These days, my dreams start with the flash of a white light followed by a guttural sound- like a straw grappling with the paltry remnants of a soothing juice. It’s usually at nights when my wife fails to forget to put out the light. That woman is in an amorous relationship with darkness, which is ironic as she’s spotlessly yellow like custard. Without the profound cloaking of the dark, she wriggles