Fiction: Lingerings by Ama Akuamoah

 

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Ama Akuamoah

Kesewa peeped through the trap door again at the man lying on her bed, eyes closed in a cocktail of pain and exhaustion. After all these years and now Yaw Adjei is alive and 2 feet away from her touch. The ramblings of the thunder brought her back to the present as she made a mad dash for Aunty’s room. Her innate fear of thunder and lightning was as old as time and even in adulthood this fear plagued her.

“Our elders say a strong wind heralds a mighty event. l wonder what news they are bringing us this time.” Aunty murmured as the curtains flapped furiously. She looked absentmindedly at the TV. Her room had the air of comfort etched into its walls. The single chair positioned adjacent to the bed ensured whoever walked in and chose to sit down had to look right into her eyes. Perched on the edge of the bed, until a gust of wind startled her, Aunty walked gingerly to the window and closed it gently as the wind sprayed rain into the room.

This room, with its four rickety items- wardrobe, TV, bed and chair – was the unofficial seat of government in the household. Being summoned there could mean anything. It was always the meeting space for all feuds and celebrations alike. All announcements and decrees emanated from her here and in her usual style, long and winding-, but eventually the decree was passed. And if it was gossip, she repeated the now famous lines, “If the person who told me this was lying then l am also lying.”

“Kesewaa,” Aunty whispered, “How is your friend, when was the last you say you saw him again?” The gushing afternoon torrent made it almost impossible to hear. “About two years ago,” Kesewa retorted drearily, hoping that will deter Aunty from asking more questions she did not have the answers to.

Author’s Bio

Ama Akuamoah is a lover of words. She lives vicariously through the characters she reads and writes about. When she’s not hopscotching around continents, she’s people watching and sourcing personalities for her next story. Read more of her work on her website: www.amaakuamoah.com . She is on twitter and instagram as @amaakuamoah

 

WORKS FROM GIRD WRITING CAMP 2016: “PLEASE DO TELL THEM” BY MWAMBA JAGEDO

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We are back from a brief hiatus with more works from Gird Writing Camp 2017. This week, we present a poem from Mwamba Jagedo who was at the poetry workshop facilitated by Prof. Kofi Anyidoho and Nana Nyarko Boateng. And now:

Please Do Tell Them
By Mwamba Jagedo

Tell those who wished my downfall
that I have awoken from yesterday’s slumber
that their devilish thoughts
couldn’t consume my hunch flesh
I am still standing

Yes, tell them
Those who vilified me in long sleeps
And sold me cheaply in towns
When the day hasn’t dawned for a chicken crow
That they have done well
For out of Egypt, came Joseph

Though the path I walk on is shaky
And silently do I doubt greatness a bit
But I have found solace in the Lord
He whom I put my faith in

Ancient as Abraham
Warrior and fearless as the Zulu
He will be my comforter
And lead me through these destructive trials

They may be populous
my foes may be countess as sand
like an army wanting to claw my bones
and smear shame on my blackness
but do tell them
that their backbiting won’t keep me from fighting
Do tell them
their backlash won’t stop me from forging forward
They are not my God
and they simply cannot wipe me off.
Please do tell them.

James.jpgAbout Mwamba Jagedo:

James Robert Myers writes under the penname Mwamba Jagedo which means “Builder’s Rock” in Swahili and Luo languages respectively. He is an Amazon author of two global anthologies, trained software engineer and founder of MwambaJagedo.com; which is a Tech StartUp. He believes in his nation that has failed to appreciate talents like him.

Works From Gird Writing Camp 2016: “Secret Ceremonials” By Maame Adwoa Amoa Marfo

 

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This week’s featured piece from Gird Writing Camp 2016 is a short story by Maame Adwoa Amoa Marfo. Maame attended the Fiction Workshop with Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo and Dr. Martin Egblewogbe. And now, to Maame’s Secret Ceremonials.

 

Secret Ceremonials

By Maame Adwoa Amoa Marfo

Seffy, we did cartwheels in your honour.

We sat for a long, silent moment after the solemn service was over with our fingers intertwined, a chain of misty-eyed, sixteen-year-old girls, unable to look away from the pile of fresh dirt. We couldn’t leave you just yet. We couldn’t move. So we sat there in those ridiculously uncomfortable plastic chairs and tried to find some trace of you somewhere, some sign that you were somewhere better, somewhere other than 6 feet deep in the earth.
___ Linda stood up first. She slipped her feet out of her shoes, raised her hands to the dying sun and turned her first perfect circle. We didn’t need any more prompting than that. One by one, we left a cluster of discarded high heels underneath the lone canopy and followed suit. We turned and turned and turned, repeating the dizzying circles until the entire cemetery was covered by darkness and we could barely tell the difference between the sky above and the ground below.
___ We collapsed in an inelegant heap next to a crumbling headstone rows away from where we’d started and waited for the world around us to settle. We laughed then, and in the near-hysterical sound of it I heard the endless patter of our six-year-old feet against the ground of the hopscotch court, the shushed tones of our ten-year-old voices over phone lines during group conversations long past our bedtimes and the thick sounds we made as we tried to speak around the lumps in our throats moments ago, reading out our wholly inadequate words to a mourning crowd, trying to show them all that you were – all that you would always be – to us. We swore we could all hear you in the whistling of the wind and something about the hollowness of that sound dissolved our laughter into tears.
___ We’re a little bit older now, all of us somewhere around 22, and even though it feels like almost everything has changed. One thing hasn’t. Our form isn’t quite as perfect and we don’t do it for quite as long as we used to but we’ve never stopped. Every year ends in cartwheels and laughter and your spirit calling to us on the wind.

 

About Maame Adwoa Amoa Marfo:

maampictureCurrently a teaching assistant at the English Department of the University of Ghana, Maame Adwoa Amoa Marfo was born in London and raised in Accra. She is the last of seven children and a member of a remarkably large extended family. Her childhood was characterized by a love of the written word and a need to consume as much reading material as possible. Her work is informed by her lived experiences and the literary pieces that she herself has read and loved. She hopes to continue in her growth and development as a writer and an appreciator of literature.

Works From Gird Writing Camp 2016: “A Fool’s Paradise Grows” By Rita Siaw

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We hope you’ve been enjoying the pieces from participants of Gird Writing Camp 2016. Today, we have a poem from Rita Siaw. Rita Siaw was in the Poetry Workshop lead by Prof. Kofi Anyidoho and Nana Nyarko Boateng. And now, to her poem:

A fool’s paradise grows

She swings around her emotions like wild fire
catching every cold stick that needs a skin’s warmth
her dance pleases every eye, even when the music fades
She is golden only when the liar desires her touch

In her eyes, life is butterfly and flowers
her physical appearance is the primacy of her life
She wears an infinite gear of seduction
Her beauty is but a passbook to her stomach

Her joy depends on the cookers of lies
A pool of parasites she embraces as her guides
When will her sleep wash off to behold the true nature of her lover?
Her future withers even before she limps into it
Wake her now if you can!

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Rita Siaw

Rita Siaw is the assistant head teacher, curriculum leader and guidance and counseling coordinator at Likpe Nkwanta M/A Basic School. Her NGO, Feminine Star Africa, educates girls and empowers women to promote change and development. She is a part time radio show host who talks about issues concerning youth development. It is her dream to build a center which helps empower women, fight for their rights, prevent teenage pregnancy and shelter abused women and children to heal from trauma and live meaningful lives. As a writer and public speaker, Rita hopes to help raise a generation of thinkers and problem solvers through her books, seminars and trainings in schools and communities.

 

 

WORKS FROM GIRD WRITING CAMP 2016: CREATIVE NON-FICTION FROM PORTIA OPARE

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Today we’re featuring work from the Gird Writing Camp 2016. This Creative Non-fiction piece was written by Portia Opare, who attended the Creative Non-fiction workshop with Prof. Esi Sutherland-Addy and Mr. Kobby Graham.

 

 

JOURNALISTIC PIECE

On Thursday some women of the University of Ghana reported getting harassed by residents of the Commonwealth Hall. The Commonwealth Hall held its homecoming ceremony at the forecourt of the hall. The ceremony was massively attended by the old boys of the Hall, most of who were now politicians, business men and respectable professionals. During the ceremony, the passage through the forecourt of the Hall was blocked to women. Current members of the Hall stood at vantage points and directed women through an alternative entrance. Some women who entered through the blocked forecourt, which lacked a sign to show that there was a blockade, were heckled by some students of the Hall.

 

CREATIVE NON-FICTION PIECE

 The Akan name for vagina is a hard thing to say. If I could say it out loud, I’d do it. That’s what the boys called me.

Boys younger than me; boys who could have been my brothers.

That’s the name they screamed at me when the tips of my feet touched the paved forecourt of the Commonwealth Hall. I had been reduced to a body part; all of me- my ambitions, my fears, my dreams, my hopes; my mind. I was a body part; a part unworthy of honour from the way they spat out the name. And my crime?  I had trampled on their manly shrine, entered their holy ground with all of my femininity.

Normally, I’d pause and question; I’d be curious enough to want to question what gave them the authority to block off a piece of this communal earth with the virtual barricade of jeers and vulgarity.  But that Thursday evening I had little energy left in me to be incensed. I wasn’t intimidated by them or their cat-calls. I blamed our society for their actions. Why blame those boys? They were only victims of a system that insisted on drawing sharp divisions between superior and inferior, between man and woman. I was especially not surprised that the dignified alumnus looked on as filthy name after filthy name was thrown at me. They were big men, these politicians, lawyers, educators; yet they needed the balm of my shame to stroke their manhood.

So I ignored them, and kept on walking. Call me names, reduces me to whatever suits you. I will just keep on walking, and keep on moving.

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About: Portia Dede Opare is a part time student and a full time thinker of all things sane and insane. Sometimes she puts some of her thoughts on paper. When she writes,  she makes sense of the world.

WORKS FROM GIRD WRITING CAMP 2016: “ODDINARY INDIFFERENCE” BY DANIEL KOJO APPIAH

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We bring you more featured work from participants of Gird Writing Camp 2016. Today, we have a poem from Daniel Kojo Appiah, also known as O’Zionn. This poem was written at the Poetry Workshop with Prof. Kofi Anyidoho and Nana Nyarko Boateng.

 

Oddinary Indifference

There are those who do not realize

That being extraordinary

Isn’t for everyone

 

For there are those

Who choose

Not to have anything to do

With their potential

 

Being ordinary is

What we are by default

And I have met those that

Choose to stay that way

 

 

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Bio: Daniel Kojo Appiah is a literary enthusiast, poet and lexivist. He enjoys interacting with literary works and sharing his thoughts on them as much as possible. He spends much of his time promoting literary arts in the motherland. He is known on the literary scene by his stage name O’Zionn.

10 Ghanaian Writers Who Write For Children

If you have ever lost yourself in the magical world of children’s literature, you will admit, first of all, that children’s literature is a special kind of literary work. You will also wish that there were more Ghanaian writers who write dreams into realities for children and young adults.

It is tempting to think that children’s literature is easy work. After all, who couldn’t come up with stories to entertain impressionable little minds? However, the reality is that writing for children is real work that requires a lot of creativity and skill. We’ve put together a list of ten Ghanaian writers who have put their creativity and skill to work to create beautiful stories for children.

 

 

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1.       Meshack Asare– Meshack Asare was born in Ghana; he taught in Ghana for a while and currently resides in Germany. Meshack Asare’s works as a writer of children’s literature has received international acclaim.  On 24th October, 2014, Meshack won the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature becoming the first African to receive the award. Some of his works include The Brassman’s Secret, Noma’s Sand: A Tale from Lesotho, Meliga’s Day Nana’s Son, Sosu’s Call and The Magic Goat.

 

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2.       Ruby Yayra Goka – Ruby is a dentist and a multiple award-winning Ghanaian writer. In the 2010 and 2011 competitions of the Burt Award for African Literature, two of her works The Mystery of the Haunted House, and The Lost Royal Treasure won the third and second prizes, respectively. Some of her books for children include The Step Monster, When The Shackles Fell, and A Gift for Fafa. Ruby doesn’t only write for children, but also for an adult readership. Her books, In the Middle of Nowhere and Disfigured, have been published by Kwadwoan Publishing in Accra.

 

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3.       Sami Gyekye – Is a United States based writer who was born in Ghana to a Muslim mother and a Christian father. His works reflect his exposure to different religious and cultural values. The premise for his first book, South: Halo’s Journey was drawn from having spent half his life in Africa and the other half in his current residence in the United States. Since then, he has published six other books including, Whatzis and the Beyond series. He tweets often using the handle, @RecklessWeasel.

 

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4.       Malaka Grant– Malaka Grant is a Ghanaian-American writer. She not only writes children’s literature, she writes fiction for adults as well as non-fiction. Some of Malaka’s works for children are Yaa Traps Death in a Basket, which was published in 2015 and Sally and The Butterfly. Sally and The Butterfly is a ‘choose your own adventure book’ where readers go on adventures through lands unknown, and are invited to be partners in saving their world.

           

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5.       Franka Maria Andoh – Franka was born in Accra in 1968. Her first short story was published in the Caine African Writers Anthology ‘Work in Progress and Other Stories’. In 2011 she published two children’s stories Koku the Cockerel and Dokono the Donkey. She was recently awarded a grant by the Ghana Denmark Cultural Fund to publish her collection of short stories I Have Time and Other Short Stories. Franka is the founder and Editor in Chief of an annual magazine for women entrepreneurs called AWE.

 

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6.       Elizabeth Irene Baitie – Elizabeth is Ghanaian and an acclaimed writer of literature for young adults. Elizabeth writes for preteens as well as older teenagers. She visits schools and has worked with organisations like the Young Educators Foundation to promote reading. Two of Elizabeth’s works has won the Burt Award twice; The Twelfth Heart in 2009 and The Dorm Challenge in 2012.

 

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7.       Roberta Turkson – Roberta Turkson writes under the pen name Robbie Ajjuah Fantini. Robbie released her debut collection of poems titled Talking Robbish in 2014. Her second book, The Children of Abuta Village is a folktale styled children’s reader.  She has just completed another book for children, The Forbidden Fruit, which will be available on her website; robertaturkson.com in a few weeks. Robbie can be found on facebook and twitter at @talkingrobbish

 

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8.       Ama Ata Aidoo – With a writing career spanning over five decades, Ama Ata Aidoo is no new name to readers. What isn’t so well known is that aside her plays, novels and poetry, Ama Ata Aidoo has written stories for children. Her collection of stories for children, The Eagle and the Chickens and Other Stories, was originally published in 1986 by Tana Press. More recently Smartline Publishers released her children’s title, The Days, inspired by her poem which bears the same name.

 

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9.       Adwoa Badoe – Adwoa Badoe is a Ghanaian writer and storyteller, based in Guelph, Ontario. Adwoa writes children’s literature and literature for young adults. Some of her works include Crabs for Dinner which was published in 1995, The Queen’s New Shoes, The Pot of Wisdom and Aluta, a novel for young adults.

 

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10.   Mamle Wolo – Mamle Wolo is the pen name of Martina Odonkor, a writer of Ghanaian and German ancestry. She has also written stories for adults under the name Mamle Kabu. Mamle’s work for young adults, The Kaya Girl, won the Burt Award in 2011. The Burt Award recognises excellence in fiction for children and young adults.

Public Mind II

Demonstration.
The leashed goat bleats.
Tweets
inundate the timeline.
Annual flooding of the streets;

The mere fact that history
repeats itself. . .

History
repletes it’s shelves with books
yet to be written by enthusiastic writers
having taken on a different occupation.

Job application
Unemployment. Self-employed. Entrepreneur.
Like if I take that money start that business.
Business plan.
You dey wedge Obama make he come talk say “YWC” – Yes We Can.

But anytime people dey give you thumbs up
you for know long time say
yes you can!

Voter’s registration.
The Ballot boxes. But how many people dey vote for the right reason sef?

Secof fight go fi pai for there,
you no go go there go vote saf.
Filled with so much trepitdation.

And so it’s now become a case
of sore thumbs and democracy —
you no dey wan vote saf.

Or is it now a gamble of thumbs?
Which government go be less corrupt
so say you go vote give that one;

I mean,
this be some b-s thinking,
anagram of this
still stinking,
and so I go like talk say,
What . . . the . . . *sighs*

Consternation.
You be the Ghanaian,
you be the nation.

The after party be the minority
in parliament’s internal politics.

The primaries no be secondary matter
for this congress of democracy
bringing division in PP’s offices.

So e check like
the losing parties
always be the decepticons,
as the sworn in presido
be the Opitmus….Prime

Prime news. Headlines.

The people’s demonstration
Voters and non-voters frustrations
Entrepreneurs and Job Aplications
Multiparty or the people’s nation?

Right now dier, the way e dey go
You knor know if you for rep the black
or the gold.

Secof this nation be so much green
with passionate youth
wey dema eye red
but I dey wan ask one question,
“Who wey e dey here
go fi give all
for the red?”

Public Mind. The End.

 

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Daniel Kojo Appiah.
Daniel Kojo Appiah (also known as O’Zionn) is a literary enthusiast and a lexivist. He’s been writing poetry since 2004 and has been performing poetry for 5 years now. He spends his time promoting literary events and projects online.You can follow him on twitter O’Zionn.

~WHAT IT REALLY FEELS LIKE~BY AMMISHADDAI OFORI

 

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He announced with a gleaming trace of self-accomplishment in his eyes. It was in the way he said it. It was in the way he always said it. As though announcing a new personality. The one that always surfaced after 3 successful drags.

It was the way he knew that he knew. The way he was suddenly aware of the full extent his knowledge and his encompassing understanding of all things. He was aware that his god-like features were heightened. That he could understand all, know all and be all.

Even the pride in him was known. He could see its colors and he basked in it. It was the high pride. High pride was justified. He knew he was entitled to his self-worship; as long as he was on an elevated platform other humans, devoid of THC, couldn’t attain.

‘I am high’.

That statement would introduce new conversations and different worldviews mostly centered around his opinions. He would talk for minutes about himself, what he thought was wrong with the world, his solutions for mankind, what he really thought of his companions, et cetera. The list was endless. He was endless. He was an exploded version of his thorough self.

It would also boost his already voracious appetite for tasties and sex. And he had to have them in the moment. Delayed gratification would be senseless. Nature’s gift to mankind required him to indulge in what would only last for a few hours and they were infinite; too many things in the world to do before that time passed. His hormones and neurotransmitters were calling the shots on pleasure and satisfaction. And he had no reason to disobey.

The fact that he needed help from foliage to get to this state never crossed his mind. Nor did he explore that section of his thoughts. All his elevated knowledge was dependent on an overlooked classification of plant so cheap they could be bought for less than the price of his socks. That was what was so great about it anyway: the ability to buy pleasure for less. It always made him question why induced euphoria had to be illegal.

 

‘I am high’

A confirmation of his absolute dependence on himself to rule over the circumstances of his life. He was definite he was in charge. No external or internal forces could upset his balance. In this state of chemical intoxication, the only law of the universe was himself. No need to follow all the many rules of men who in themselves were just as flawed as he was, but were denying their weaknesses just so they could save the clay moulds they wore over their heads.

At least he was being real. Admitting that he was a broken shell of everything he had been told he could accomplish. The same society pretending to be perfect was making hard this easier path. So hard in fact, he needed to escape from them. And he needed help escaping without feeling any shame. Because beyond that shame was a state reached by a minority only he could relate with.

His only challenge now was keeping that state without needing to need. The more he needed to need, the less successful he was at staying uninhibited. A High he would know. He had tried too many ways to let the effects last. What if he was finally able to make that state last? What if he stayed in that state for so long he never to come back to earth to relate with the mortals? That was too risky. That was what those people called lunacy. And he wasn’t ready to be called a lunatic yet.

‘I am high’

He said it every time to confirm one of the few states he was sure of. There was no longer a need to know who he was in that state. What he was, who he was, was high and that was all that mattered. There was too much pressure from himself to be more significant than he already was. To be a better boyfriend, friend, co-worker, church member, son, brother, law-abiding citizen, intellectual, creative, life of the party, the list seemed to be endless and he always felt like he could never be enough.

 

At least when he was high, he was on top of the world. Above every description he had to check off the list to be a human being.

 

 

IMG-20160817-WA0005Ammishaddai Ofori is a tech entrepreneur,writer and spoken word artist. He is currently co-founder and content Manager of Flippy Campus, a social media app for Ghanaian tertiary schools. He is part of the Singers and Speakers Association SASA– a creative group that seeks to inspire the world through art, poetry and music. Ammishaddai’s Twitter handle is @Qubammish@Qubammish.

 

Of Warriors Who Once Upon a Time, Came Upon a Witch

 

akuamoahThey had been travelling for days after a loosing war; had seen brothers slashed to pieces by the enemies sword, impaled on sticks for vultures to devour, cowards! They had been chased out, like dogs from the battlefront.

And so they walked in silence, hungry but too ashamed to ask for food, thirsty, but no one dared speak, walking, limping in pain, the ache of the soles of their feet,

when the witch came upon them.

Gentlemen, warriors, the clouds turned dark as the night in a rush, it thundered and flashed, the warriors came to a halt.

And she sat there, under the oak tree with a smile, Hair gray as the ash of firewood after ananse has gone to sleep, skin as wrinkled as the cracks on a harmattan floor, a cloth draped around her frame, she turned and she spoke, gentlemen, warriors, her voice creaked, raspy, it shook.

You have lost your battle, I see you forlorn at the shame, I make you a preposition, should you be willing to bargain. Take you to the past, I will order time in reverse, you will know what you did not, you will be stronger in your front.

The warriors were quick to decide, they agreed but at a cost, no matter the outcome of the battle they would give her one of them. Atoanika the brave was quick to offer himself, brothers let her take me, for the good of the clan, there was murmuring but in the end they knew, they were all cowards, it was he who had only run when pulled away. Atoanika was the bravest of heart.

Time swirled, the wind blew back, they found themselves whisked away only to be back with their brothers in a chant, marching on to a battle which they had not so long ago just lost.

And so it came that there was the clinging of swords and the racing of hearts, the battle was won but something had gone amiss, something had happened that no one of them could have foreseen; Atoanika had fallen in battle, Atoanika was dead.

The warriors went on as they had before, only a few of them knowing what lay ahead beneath the oak. There were loud chants, dancing and merry making, closer and closer they approached their joint promise that only a few of had actually made.

Those who knew stayed behind in silence, afraid of what was to come. Soon they were upon her, the old witch sat still under the tree.

Gentlemen, warriors, the clouds turned dark as the night in a rush, it thundered and flashed, the warriors came to a halt.

A promise was made me not too long ago, I see you celebrate, where is Atoanika my love? I long for his embrace, as you are victorious he is mine, Let him come to me, let him come to me now.

She turned her head, a knowing smile on her face….

Now in times of old, when men could speak with beasts, when a devils bargain was set it came at but one cost, to deliver on the promise made while in need. It was that you pay up or Sasabonsam Kraman, hounds of the king of demons came to collect, your soul, captured, dragged to the abyss.

And while they stood, the old witch began to laugh, and then the original who knew jumped to bush, running, screaming, pleading for their lives. The snarls of canines rang clear into the night.

listen and you could hear teeth sinking into flesh.The devils bargain had been met.

Sansa Kroma
Ne na awuo
ɔkye kye nkokɔmba
ɔse ɔnnkɔ ye edwuma
Ne na awuo
ɔkye kye nkokɔmba

 

alvin

Alvin Akuamuah is a writer who likes to jab at intuition.He writes with all of his feelings, and invokes the ghost of his grandfather. You can follow him on Twitter @Alvin_wal_crawl. You can also visit his blog:  https://anansesemsesewu.wordpress.com for more of his work.