I used to say that I wished I were a vampire… A chance to live alone, brooding and forever… time enough to be everything I wanted to be.

On January 22nd 2019, I saw forever flash before my eyes. I watched my world crumble beneath my feet. I watched as people’s lives left their eyes. On January 22nd 2019, I became a vampire.

Walking home that day, thinking about how much I really didn’t like that boy, Donald from work. The way he stares at me with the side of his lips turned up, as if he knows something about me that I didn’t. The way he always tried to touch me while talking to me. I had caught him the other day, smelling me. Eyes closed, head hovering around my neck while I was hunched over my laptop. He had startled me and when he opened his eyes to find me staring at him, he had the decency to look like a trapped animal but only for a split second.

I must have been thinking about him with so much anger and I knew I was frowning because even those guys that were always out at Okey’s store, drinking away all they had made for the day didn’t make an attempt at cat calling and some of the people I passed on my way, made a point of getting out of my way while some looked at me in the face with concern.

I suddenly felt something so hot, like my anger was generating so much heat, it was literally radiating from my back. It felt as if I had hellfire tucked under my shirt. I was almost home now. I could see it down the street. I could detect movement inside. I knew it was mum. Taking things apart and putting them back together, never quite satisfied.

I turn halfheartedly because it felt as if the hair on my back was getting completely roasted off, and as I turn, I catch a glimpse of the sky. The Sun was falling… fast. As if it was being fired off from a rocket. But it was not the Sun. it was a fireball, travelling at a speed faster than the speed of light. One look at it as it flew over my head taking the rest of my hair and my skin with it and I knew it was going to hit my house. It was going to burn my house to the ground.

I turn, running, screaming for my Mum, for my siblings, for my Dad to leave the house but the words hardly leave my mouth than there was a huge explosion, a deafening ‘pow’ as everything I knew and loved went up in flames and time slowed. I watched in slow motion as people ran out of their houses, as mothers hid their little kids behind their backs, as my house with everything and everyone in it crumbed before my eyes like a pack of cards. Still running, hoping my little brother at least had the time to ask God to forgive him for all his trespasses which was what he usually did on the days the thunder got too loud and he was convinced God was going to end the world.

For a split second, the world was silent and then, it started raining and everything was chaos as more fireballs fell from the sky, houses that took years to build raised to dust in split seconds and that strange smell? ‘This isn’t rain’ I thought and then I realized how much easier everything seemed to go up in flames like the fire in all its viciousness was having a field day.

Standing among the rubbles that was once my home, waiting to go up in flames like the people all around me with fear in their eyes, and their hearts in their mouth. I watch as Sandra, the girl who sells fish with her mother on the other street run out from God knows where and into the street, seemingly looking for something? A place to hide? A fireball landed right where she stood, the smell of charred skin and smoke filling the air, leaving nothing in its wake. Not a single evidence that life had once stood there.

After what seemed like eternity but what I would later find out was five minutes, the world was silent again and everything for as far as the eyes could see was dust. Five minutes! That was how long it took! That was how much eternity was worth. That was how fickle life was and somehow, drenched in something that was definitely not rain, I sank to my knees.

Recently, there had been talk about a revolution. A need for a change. The youths were getting angry, tired of being promised a tomorrow that would never come. At work, Donald had once said that the best thing to do was get them all in a room and set it ablaze. We all had anonymously agreed. It was something we agreed with but had decided in our hearts was impossible.

On my knees without tears or words, the only living thing as far as the eye could see, a voice came on. Like the fireball, it seemed to be coming from the sky. The voice was saying that ‘they’ had gotten valid information that since the election was imminent, all the old leaders were meeting, lodged in different parts of my state, ‘they’ had to take the law into ‘their’ hands as it was now or never. That they had agreed that sacrificing a state seemed a small price to pay for the salvation of a nation.

src: nytimes.com

It took a while for me to realize, the voice was apologizing. It was an explanation. A eulogy to the innocent dead, to the youth of the state that had unknowingly but willingly given their lives for the cause. It was a rendition to me. Telling me that in a way, I had become a vampire, I had gotten my wish. I had seen millions of lifetimes flash before my eyes. I was alone, brooding and I had lived forever.

I eat. I read. I write. I code. Never in that order

I eat. I read. I write. I code. Never in that order