Happy Short Story Day, Africa!

Today is Short Story Day Africa and to celebrate, we're posting "The Devil's Overtime," a short story from the collection Nights of the Creaking Bed by Toni Kan.

Here's a taste to get you started:

The Devil's Overtime

MY MOTHER wanted to see the world, but I was like a noose around her neck, a piece of rope that tethered her to the village, a swollen foot that would not let her run with the wind and take flight.

She used to sit outside my grandparents' house, chin in palm, while  her  eyes stared  into the  distance wondering what  could  have  been. I'd sit  and watch,  even though I pretended to be playing with stones.  Most times, when I thought she had fallen asleep, but her long drawn-out sighs would remind me that she was not asleep, just lost inside her own head.

She was happiest and saddest when an old friend, who had left the village, returned with tales of the city and how wonderful things were there. My mother would be full ofquestions, the way a boil is full of pus, and when the friend left, my mother would lie on her bed and cry.

My mother didn't speak much to me. She made sure I was clean and fed and out of the way. I didn't mind, until my grandparents both died two months apart. That was when I began  to  notice  that  my  mother  really  didn't  want  me around.

For the rest of the story, click here.


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