A short but eerily powerful piece by Abraham Atawodi is top of our reading list this weekend. Are you a writer? Send your fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and book reviews to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog. The wind whistled a soulful dirge as it danced lazily around the dark neighbourhood, dodging rooftops and treetops. It ruffled the leaves, shook them spitefully off the tree limbs, and arrayed them haphazardly on the parched ground in a carpet of brown. The sun had blazed with fury in the afternoon. Now, the wind had taken the reins, chilling the starless night, and causing men’s hearts to stir within them. Stir, and boil, until their own self-loathing drowned them.
It continued to whistle mournfully, picking up the tempo and beating against window frames in frenzy. This was the night of vengeance, and the wrongdoers were shaking in their pants already. Their fear tonight was solid and legitimate. Who wouldn't be afraid? The wind had never been this enraged. It kept dancing, kept whistling, until it descended before Toyin’s window in a spiral. As Toyin watched through her window pane, the wind slowly morphed into a very shapely figure. The sight did not alarm her. Nothing alarmed her anymore. Though she had never seen her mother’s face before, Toyin recognized the dead woman's features as she saw her in the wind. More disturbing was the fact that Toyin could see herself too: her almond-shaped eyes, her full lips, and the sharp angle of her nose. She reached out and placed her hand on the cold pane of glass, watching the wind intently, peering into the face of the petite woman who gave birth to her and died because of it. She sighed as her shoulders drooped from the weight of her sin. The wind reached out too, and placed its hand on the other side of the glass, tears streaking its face. Its eyes had sunk in; its beauty had faded. Toyin watched in consternation. This was not the visitation she had longed for and anticipated every year when she visited her mother's grave. The wind was grieved? She had expected fire, not tears. As she watched in bewilderment, the wind threw back its head and uttered a deafening scream. Instinctively, Toyin put her hands to her ears and bent over but the piercing sound was already in her ears, splitting her head, rocking her entire body. She fell to the floor in a heap, and in that instant she knew everything. She hadn't killed her mother, after all. The murderer was roaming freely, oblivious of the judgment stalking him, lurking dangerously in the shadows. But he would know the wind's fury tonight. Toyin struggled to her feet and stood facing the window, her face expressionless. The wind was still howling, its tears were still flowing freely. She unlatched the window and climbed out to meet it. They locked in a tight embrace that spoke volumes words would never be able to convey. Then the wind carried her in its thick arms and began to dance again, feverishly now, weaving its way between houses, shaking off more leaves and the tree limbs that feebly bore them, whistling eerily. Death was near... Image source