Dead Call

By Eze Ifeanyichukwu Peter, Nigeria

Bits of scraps and flesh littered the area where a military patrol vehicle once stood, like morsels of a meal eaten in a haste. I didn’t like that kind of dream. I didn’t like what I was thinking.

When I awoke up, my first instinct was to call, to prove the dream wrong.The screen of my phone brightened to the touch of my shaky hand. I pinned it to my ear.  It would ring. He would pick.

I waited.

I waited for his good-morning voice, soft, to caress me warm, and tame the pounding of my chest. His laughter would breeze in on me, tickle me to deep throated chuckles, and linger on as a lazy smile.

I could see his face. Smiling.  The hushed din in my ears was his full lips shooting out the words of victory over the terrorists. Two days ago. It was over. He would be back to me. And he would see that his seed, our seed, in me,  was growing and kicking.

Our recent yesterday kicked at me with that awkward moment of us locked in our gazes without words. His shy eyes blinking, my lips trembling, until his lips sang the words he yearned to say, and I itched to hear. The evening breeze fanned our bodies under the mango tree. Our lips embraced. The birds chirped approval across the sky.

I dailled again. Silence hummed. Stillness echoed his crying agony. My breath skipped me to stammer wordless notes to his fading face, a dim shade of frorhy red. Only visible, on the body of the casket. When he returned.