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“The Murder of My Mother” — A Flash Fiction by Somtoochukwu Benedict Ezioha

Don’t ask me to explain who I am, because I can’t. All I know is that I have a consciousness; I don’t have a body, nor a soul, I am not even a spirit either. I am just being. Without a past, no future, only the present, which is like… always the present.

My name is Cheryl. And before you ask, I don’t have parents, no siblings either. The only thing I remember about coming to being was that suddenly I just saw myself here. I had opened my eyes and saw this endless darkness stretching forth in all directions. The only light available was coming from me. I was glowing, but not much. The glow was enough to illuminate my immediate surroundings. I was barefooted, and the ground was fluffy. I heard some voices calling out to me. They told me to follow the sound of their voices.

After walking for about two hundred yards, I saw a bright light that suddenly lit up the horizon. I broke into a jog and in no time, saw people like me. They sat on the ground in a circle, and in the middle, a young beautiful boy beckoned to me. When I reached the edge of the circle, they parted to allow me pass. The boy took my hand and I felt a jolt of electricity through me. I looked around at each of the faces in the circle; strangely, they were familiar, as if I’d known them all my… existence.

Finally, my gaze settled on the boy’s face. He looked into my eyes as he said, “Cheryl, welcome to the Beforelife. This is where those who were unfortunate to go into the world of mortals reside.”

“I… I don’t understand,” I stuttered.

“In the world of mortals, we were forcibly prevented from living. To use the most common name, we were aborted.”

I had never heard of the word before, but somehow I knew what it meant. And with that knowledge came a sudden question, “But you people are not children, how did you grow if you’re not mortal?”

“Growth is a natural law, it doesn’t matter where you are.”

Another person, a young woman, stood up and said, “Tell us of how you came here. We’ll love to hear it.”

“I don’t know,” I said.

The boy cut in, “It is a tradition that anyone who is a newcomer tells of how he or she came here.”

“But I don’t remember anything apart from waking up here,” I insisted.

The woman just touched the tip of her right thumb on my forehead, and told me, “Sit down and tell us what you remember.”

I sat down in the centre, closed my eyes, and was shocked as images I didn’t know of flashed by in my mind. I saw myself inside a container filled with some liquid. The walls of the container were soft and squishy. The strangest thing about the image I was seeing was that I had no recognizable form; I was no more than a little red stone. It couldn’t be me, yet for some unknown reason, I knew that I was looking at the earliest images of me.

As I watched, something devastating happened; something that went against the laws of nature occurred. I was forcibly pulled from the container. The most appalling thing about this event was that, as I looked, the container was getting torn apart and with me inside it. I could not comprehend the whole thing. As I was pulled out, there was also a force that was intent on keeping me inside where I was.

Suddenly, I felt the life slowly ebbing from me; the force that was pulling me out was winning, my tenuous hold on human life was sheared. I was dead. Before my life began.

Then I began my story, “As you guys know, I would not woken up here had my mother been alive in the mortal world. It was her death that woke up here. We have a strong bond, one which binds our essences together. Our lives are intertwined.”

They all chorused, “Yes.”

I continued, “On the day my mother died, she had come into a room with a young man I suspected to be my father. The reason I suspected so was that I felt a life pull towards him immediately he surfaced. Anyway, they had come into the room kissing. As I watched, they had rounds upon rounds of sex. After the sex, my mother had informed him that she was pregnant with another child. She was scared because the doctor had informed her that should she attempt another abortion, she would lose her life.”

There was a general audible gasp of “Aaaah!” among the people who gathered around me.

“Your expression of horror was exactly how I felt when she said that. But it wasn’t what happened; something else more sinister befell my mother. While she was sleeping, the boy — I can’t call him father after what he did —took out a piece of yellow shawl and covered her face with it. He then started chanting something that can be best described as an incantation.

“Shortly, he brought out a butcher’s knife and hacked at my mother. He stabbed her face through the eyes, shattering her skull, and proceeded to cut off parts of her body. He sliced off both her beasts, her tongue, and her ears. Finally, he brought out an egg and slotted it inside her vagina.”

One young boy asked, “But why did he so brutalized her? I thought he was her lover?”

It was the boy who I had talked to first who answered, “Sadly, mortals place so little value on such lofty ideals these days. He wanted to sacrifice her for his own greed.” As he said this, he glanced at me.

“Yes, that was his aim. After he was done with his mutilation, he packed up the pieces he chopped off into a bag. He then took his bath and left the room with his trophy, my mother in a bag.”

This time, it was a girl who asked, “What later happened to him?”

“That I do not know. I have little link to him, so I cannot see his movements. But I do know that nature has a way of righting inconsistencies in its world. Let’s wait and see what happens.”

I looked towards the horizon, there was a river, and beyond it, scores of people were there. I knew that my mother was amidst those people, waiting for the time she would be free. Free to continue her sojourn in the spirit world. I badly wanted to join her, but I could not. We were not the same. She had severed that bond that would have made me to be with her. Maybe we would get to see, maybe not.

For now, another girl was beginning to tell us her own story.

Read Also==>“The Remedy for Love” — A Short Story by Somtoochukwu Benedict Ezioha.

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