the corpse

Last night I had a bad dream, in which I was attending my cousin’s funeral. He was drowned. My aunt and my mother were crying their eyes out over the shabby coffin. I was watching all this, without shedding a tear. The corpse was dark purple and drab, rusty brown, wrapped in a transparent plastic film, underneath droplets of water from his decaying body condensed. Suddenly, the corpse moved, its mouth opened in a fruitless attempt to go out of the bag. My mother and my aunt told the corpse, in unison, that it had died and it had better stay there in the bag in a disciplined way. Then it stopped moving and lied still, without making a sound.

In a flash, it dawned on me that this was a dream, but I could not say for sure, nor I could do anything about it. It was all the more harrowing that I could not even wake myself up from it, I was trapped in the dream. I was scared stiff because that was the corpse of my cousin, who was of the same age as me, and that I knew that some of my dreams would become true, somehow, if I did not tell it to anyone; all unfathomable. My phone rang, it was a call from my uncle, my cousin’s father. He cried and told me over and over again that he would revive his son then he hung up.

After a while, I found myself standing perplexed in the middle of the back court in my home where I had cried when a litter of rabbit kits died in my hand. It was sunny and dry, and I could smell a whiff of fetid odour in the air, supposedly from the coffin.

I woke up, in the end.