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The House Girl Is a Spirit

You visit the land of the dead

Sometimes you do it via a friend
Mama Emeka or Iya Segun

You demand for a female spirit
Because men spirit are vengeful,
And are generally useless

You want a female spirit
But on a condition that she is young
With no voluminous breast,
It won’t do to have your husband fall for a spirit,
So the uglier the better

You don’t say all this, but Mama Emeka knows because this not the first time

After a long day of cleaning the house
The spirit is provided with half the portion of food her effort actually demands
Spirits don’t have much need for nutrition after all

You don’t allow her sit on the chair in the living room
Who wants their chairs to reek of death?
You make her sit on the floor instead,
Because you once heard spirits are more well behaved that way

This spirit is constrained to four dresses,
Probably to keep her undead powers in check
Except during parties with important people
And even then,
Her new clothes are only to be seen by her reflection on the pots in the kitchen

You scoff at the idea of school when your husband mentions it
What does a dead person need education for?
Only the living, like your children, need to go to school

No one can blame you if you start thinking
Maybe she’s not ugly enough

It isn’t long before an imaginary necklace goes missing
It doesn’t even have to be necklace, the truth is that it doesn’t matter
As long as whatever it is disappears

After that, you exorcise the spirit

This time, Iya Segun voyages into the land of the dead on your behalf.






O.S. Ali is a scavenger roaming the desolate lands that is earth. He once fancied himself a writer and a philosopher, but now, he sees the folly of his make believe. Ali often finds himself thinking about the time he was longlisted for the 2018 Union Bank Writing Challenge and his work that appeared in the iWrite’s Write of Passage. When he isn’t daydreaming about relatively normal days, he is tracking down his lost copy of Brymo’s discography with a facemask covering his cavities in a state formally named Abuja. If ever a civilization rises up from the ashes of this one, you can find his last tweets with the handle @_thelazybaron.

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