The Floating Bottle

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The Floating Bottle
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)

Author: Alexandra Esimaje
Institution: Benson Idahosa University, Nigeria


She yawned all over again, opened her eyes and rubbed them as if trying to punish them for refusing to close in the sleep her tired body needed like a famished man needs food. Nwanta stared steadily into the heavy darkness that drenched the small room. The same hazy figures that seem to find their way into her room filed in again. One by one they began to take and change shapes, move round the room in a circle and mutter and chant sounds she cannot comprehend. As their chants and mutterings got louder, Nwanta felt her head grow as big as the drinking water pot in her mother’s room. She sat up like one stung by an agbusi, grabbed the torchlight beside her sleeping mat with shivering hands, and immediately, the room was bathed in light. Her eyes flew to the bare hard floor and to the almost lifeless bodies of her children, Chukwuebuka and Chinonso. She sighed and smiled weakly. Then she turned the torch and her gaze to the yellow clock hanging above the only window in the room. 2.00 am! She muttered and sighed again. It was a good time to enjoy a sweet sleep but how could she with the heavy rock of worry in her heart. Last night she had taken to bed ‘21st April,’ marked in red, on the calendar her church distributed after the Last Sunday of the Year Service. Every year she marked the same date in red and kept one calendar after the other in the wooden box that accompanied her and her children to Lagos, from the village. Neatly tucked inside the box were sixteen old calendars, each bearing one marked date: April 21st. On Saturday 21st April 2005, seventeen years ago, Albert took that journey.

Pages: 199-217
ISSN: 2698-654-X
ISBN: 978-3-96203-308-8 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-309-5 (PDF)