Free at Last
by Ayodele Morocco-Clarke
The whip descended again and again with vicious ferocity, slicing through the air with the swift precision of a well primed Swiss chronograph. Mama tried to escape the onslaught. In her haste, she tripped over a side stool, then over the coffee table. And Papa, like a lion which had a springbok it intended to devour within its grasp, kept on top of her, following her as she fled out to the landing.
Abandoning the whip, he resorted to using his fist. The last blow he threw lifted Mama at least one foot in the air, propelling her over the top step. Her arms shot out instinctively, trying desperately to clutch at anything – the banister, Papa, anything – that would stop her from going over.
You will forever be haunted by the final look in her eyes. The tormented yet terrified eyes that were almost swollen shut in her battered face.
There was blood, but not like in the movies. It trickled thinly down both nostrils branching out on both sides of her face. But there was considerably more that seeped out from somewhere underneath her head where her skull had caved in, fanning out on the marble floor until it formed a map; a map that charted the story of her journey as an abused wife.
A map which spelled out her death.
And now you feel her spirit soaring high above the clouds, like a beautiful bird in flight. She is free. Free at last.
(Ayodele Morocco-Clarke is a Nigerian lawyer and writer of mixed heritage who has a passion for literature. She is the editor-in-chief of Critical Literature Review [http://criticalliteraturereview.blogspot.com/] and her written works have appeared in Author Africa 2009, Hackwriters (a University of Portsmouth magazine), Sphere Literary Magazine, Saraba Magazine, Storytime and Author-Me. She also has work forthcoming in Mimi Magazine, Saraba Magazine, The Anthology of Immigrant Writing and African Roar [2010 short story anthology, co-published by Lion Press and StoryTime]. Ayodele hopes to publish an anthology of short fiction soon and is currently working on her first novel.)