An Abiku was born when the hands of an alien clock joined palms. Her blind parents couldn’t decipher what the dancing cowries of the great diviner said when he rattled them over an old white piece of cloth. They shunned him when he came to appease the road for the arrival of the Spirit-Child. He smiled to himself when he saw the Abiku’s shadow lurking through the void between the land of the living and the dead.
She was an ancient continent made of black earth. Beneath her bedspread of many lives and many forms, the Abiku once transformed into a night-bird with seven eyes bounded for a lunar pilgrimage of the shedding of weights.
On the night of the full-moon, when her spirit companions from other climes beckoned on her to rise, take her silver throne chair in the confederation of moon-faring nations.
In the beginning she soared, spread-eagled, first above tree-tops, above skyscrapers into the folds of silver-lit cumulus clouds, a luminous space-plane blazing through the galaxy of stars.
But the air grew denser as she made her astral pilgrimage. All the cries and sufferings of her own land began to drag on her astral flight; the wailings of the undead, the tribulations of red sap-blooded trees, the secret ill-will and backstabbing of her own foreign parents. The cursing and insomnia of the caravan of wild wandering spirits dislodged from their centuries old sleep, spreading diseases, famine and violence in their wake.
She became a deadweight hanging, her momentum effectively neutralized by the gravity of the toxic night-space.
She uttered a great cry when her night-bird form suddenly descended in a free-fall out of the clouds and crash-landed on the boulder-strewn earth.
Then she stood up, dusted her body with an air of resignation, and retired into her hut to await her complete ascension. By the next full-moon, she would be reborn in a future life.
Yazeed is a writer of African Speculative Fiction and Black rights activist. He lives in Abuja where he works as a Realtor and Nollywood scriptwriter.