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Fiction Friday: “Twisted Luck” by Obinna Udenwe

Voices From My ClanThe Dancing BirdNigerian writer Obinna Udenwe, author of The Dancing Bird, regularly writes short stories for Brittle Paper, a website which aims to be part of the “global literary movement promoting and shaping the way we produce, appraise, and consume African literary works”.

Read “Twisted Luck”, one of Udenwe’s stories – “a dark and funny piece” – that recently appeared on Brittle Paper, which features a corrupt policeman’s wife as one of the lead characters:

Your husband is a police officer. He is a thief too. At least that is what people may call him, but you don’t care. Who is not a thief in Nigeria? Even in America? Everywhere in the world, people are stealing now. When he comes home with rumpled naira notes, you help him stretch the notes and count them, arrange them in five naira, ten naira, twenty naira notes like that. He gives you some of it, for the Ankara wrappers you demanded the other night, for the egusi soup that you need to cook, for that lap of smoked bush meat you saw hanging in front of Mama Kosi’s shop. Always, you smile and prepare water for his bath. And life goes on.

Today is Friday, like every Friday, he returns early in the evening, because he has another business to conduct. You count the money quick, quick and prepare his bathing water. He sits on the torn cushion in the sitting room, stretches his legs on the centre table and uses the TV remote to surf the channels while you boil the water for his bath. He will eat when he is done with business. His customers are on their way. He informs you. As soon as he is done saying that, there is a knock on the door. He makes sure you conceal yourself in the room; he moves quickly to the door. You turn down the stove so that the burning water will not make any noise.

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