Flash Fiction: Claws, a story in pidgin English


By Tade Thompson


Make I nak you story.


E get beast wey dey outside my door now now. Dem dey knock. Dem no go enter, but the power wey dem take nak the wood go shake the door all night. I been check am for early mo-mo so I sabi say im no go break. The door dey kampe. Notwithstanding, the noise dey make my heart cut. Im dey like say the beast dey drag claws across the door.

My babi, Tomike, im dey sleep like person wey dem don poison, like Sleeping Beauty. Im face smooth like calabash, like small child face. Im no worry. When I tell am make im dey with me as I dey look door I’m say, “I care not for mongrels looking for a treat.” Im dey talk like oyinbo, but na true. Im dey sleep when the beast dem dey make noise. Katakata no dey worry am.

I been ask our Fada mak im do deliverance for the evil wey don enter our village. Im talk say im go tell bishop, but bishop say we dey too small and im no do nothing. Na so I write letter to Pope, but the foolish postman open am, go give am to bishop. Bishop vex well well, talk say I no suppose write Pope. Im wan excommunicate me, say na me dey do the evil, dey become beast for night, dey kill. My Tomike say the bishop dey tif money, but na so Tomike dey talk any time wey im no like person. Bishop be tif, market woman be tif, my mama be tif. Haba! Na everybody dey steal?

Na so me I dey here with machete, dagger and shakabula, dey wait for sunlight. For early mo-mo dem dey waka yonder, for bush. The knocking go stop. I go clean my weapons, pray, go sleep. When I waka outside I go see my chickens and goats wey don die, but wey dem no chop. Some dem chop remain. I no vex. At least me I dey kampe, my Tomike dey Kampe.

Tomike go wake, im go yawn like say im never sleep belle-ful, im go look me like say im no know me. Im go scrach imsef for neck, go begin bleed. Im don forget. Na so im dey do.

Im claws no dey comot till afternoon.

 (c) 2014




Filed under diversity, flash, flash_fiction, nigeria, pidgin, story, writing

2 responses to “Flash Fiction: Claws, a story in pidgin English

  1. Is this English? Looks like English alphabets, but some of the words don’t make sense in English.

    • Like I said in the title, it’s pidgin English which is a kind of patois spoken in Nigeria. I’m aware it’s difficult and that some of the words will be unfamiliar, but that’s part of the point.

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