Vigil | Ope Olum’degun


It didn’t matter that I had the dagger in my hand; that I had stayed up, keeping watch after Grandmother had finally got my sister to sleep and had turned in herself; that I sat behind the front door, priming my weapon, ready to plunge it into whoever bothered us again that night. Big Guy, I hoped. And Small Guy too. The blade was long enough to go through both their necks at once. My arm was strong – I threw javelin in school – and they wouldn’t be expecting it. I had seen Commando enough times to know.

None of that mattered when the door burst open. The teak frame bashed my side and tossed me out of the doorway, sending the dagger out of my reach. Rays from several flashlights found my couched figure as I struggled to find my feet, and then two hefty figures grabbed me and held me up, allowing Small Guy to walk in and stare in my face. I could tell from the collar of his shirt that he was still wearing his school uniform.

He took out a gun and slid the barrel into my shorts. The muzzle rested on the shaft of my penis, and I shuddered as the cold metal swung it left and right. My mouth opened; my lungs froze; I drooled on my chest. Sweat beads quickly collected on my forehead, and then my ears began to whine and ring, perhaps preparing me for the heat and mess that would be left on the floor should he pull the trigger.

Between getting knocked down by a ram at seven and a car at sixteen, Ope Olum’degun claims to have gained all the experience and insight possible into the tragedy of humanity, and there is no shortage of such pretension in his writing. Born in Nigeria, he currently lives in Charlotte, NC, where he teaches English as a Second Language to overly inquisitive 8th graders. He is also an Adjunct Professor of English at Strayer University.

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