by Peace Nkanta

Bertha had two children: female and male, aged fifteen and ten respectively. When Jessy, her daughter turned two and was able to speak well, she withdrew from everyone and remained so.

She would suddenly scream at night, or amble about with a wide grin which broke into short, dry laughs sometimes, or walk to the dinning room and pull mugs off the table.

Bertha tried to make her speak about what bothered her, but she wouldn’t and so, Bertha gave up, thinking her a lost cause.

A cold morning, during school holidays, her son ran to her, wailing, blood trickling down his fingers.
Jessy had broken a mug, and used a fragment of it to skin his fingers.

Bertha was furious.

“You have been f**ked from birth, witch!” she screamed to Jessy who was shut in her bedroom.

“Literally so, mother,” Jessy heaved quietly.

Years later, Bertha would find that the broken mugs amounted to the times her husband had their daughter in bed.

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