Death had come for us. His smell clung to the air like rotting flesh. We heard him call each one of us and we answered in piercing wails silenced by falling debris. For those of us who clung to life, we coloured the night sky with the music of breaking bones and shrewd cries. We had howled for the government as our houses were torn from the ground and hurled back to us like missiles; called out to loved ones as our breaths became ragged and stopped. All was in vain.
I had counted ten silenced souls in the past hour. Among them was Amina my next door neighbour. She had recited the Koran the whole night. When death came for her, her voice was low and cracked- defeated. Just like my spirit.
I knew I was next. With each spurt of pain, I felt his shadow loom closer. I welcomed him. Take me quick I yelled. My body was hot and feverish, awaiting the cool springs of the afterlife. The little hope I had left, leaked out in spasms.
He came in silently. I could feel him creep up my legs like tiny spiders. As he perched on my heart, calm washed over me. My mind whispered, “God has abandoned us.”
How did the picture of a yellow rose on a piano lead you to writing about death?
ADANJE: Death fascinates me. It is one of those constants in life that we wish was a variable. So when I saw a yellow rose and a piano I equated it to the unstable relationship between life and death. I imagined them meeting in the music of sorrow and pain when death came to claim its victim.
What takes up your time, when you’re not writing?
ADANJE: I punctuate writing with lots of music and reading. Music speaks to my soul, reading feeds my mind.
Which writer would you like to meet?
ADANJE: At the moment, I would like to meet Abubakar Adam Ibrahim. I just finished reading his collection of short stories, The Whispering Trees and let’s just say I would like an audience with his mind. Oh yeah and halfway through reading The Whispering Trees I ordered Season of Crimson Blossoms, that’s how good he is.
Andanje Wobanda is a lover of everything art. She works as a the Fiction and Non-Fiction Editor for Lunas Review. Andaje was a contributor for the Storymoja Hay Festival 2015. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in True Love (East Africa) magazine, on the Storymoja blog as well as on other online platforms.
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Interview by Tiah Beautement a.k.a. @ms_tiahmarie