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[A Short Story]: Biafra - Nissi Utoh

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The sky is blue, serene. Children stand outside, playing, and their shouts pierce the early afternoon air, evaporating into the sky and lightening the tense mood of the community.

Three women stand, talking to each other, keeping a close eye on the children because here, everyone's child is your child. The sky suddenly darkens and a shadow is cast on the ground.

The sound of the drone sends everyone into action. They all begin to run before it drops its "gifts" onto them and sends them to meet their maker.

Older siblings pick their younger ones and flee from the scene; one young girl is carrying three children, a feat she would normally deem impossible. They run fast, kicking up clouds of dust and screaming.

The three women run behind them to make sure no one is left behind. As they get to the verandah, the first bomb drops from the sky. This is civil war.

This is what the Biafrans have to face now, there is no room for their secession; no one will take it. One of the women begins to call the names of the children one by one and she walks around, touching each one as she calls them. They are all complete.

As she walks past each one, a murmur is heard until whispers erupt all over the verandah of Papa Ada's house.

The woman wonders what they're all talking about and shrugs. She reaches behind her to take her baby off her back and feed him. Something wet and sticky pools on her hand.

She's confused and draws the hand towards her face. Its blood. The crowd parts as she screams and takes the body of her headless baby off her back and begins to weep for his innocence. This is Biafra; this is the struggle.

Nissi Utho is a student of the University of Lagos, Akoka

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