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Koye Oyedeji

Koye Oyedeji’s writing has appeared in a number of publications including Wasafiri Magazine(UK), BRAND (University of Greenwich, UK) and the Washington City Paper Fiction Issue. He has also contributed to anthologies such as IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (Penguin, 2001) and Closure (Peepal Tree Press, 2015). He was recently shortlisted for a Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarship and is currently at work on a collection of short stories and a novel. 

Author

Illustration by Krit

Natural Disasters

Winter 2017 | Fiction

You’re clutching your left side when you arrive home late Friday evening. You bring some of the outside cold with you into the living area of the house. Small traces of snow run along the creases and folds in your coat, and flakes thaw along the fur trim on your hood. Your dress pants are soaked beneath the knee, snow lines the space between your shoes and your socks. Your toes burn and the inch-wide gash on the left side of your forehead continues to bleed. Alexa is making her way down the stairs as you enter. She stops at the sight of you. 

You think about what you have left out there, the dark-haired Latina woman propped behind her air bag who was motionless for what seemed like a long time but then began to groan and call out for someone—or something—in Spanish. The front of her vehicle was mangled, like a crushed soda can, and the entire passenger side of your Honda Accord had caved in on impact, the frame twisted into savage metal tentacles that clawed toward you as though summoning you to your death. You had climbed out of the car and cast your eyes over the pieces of shattered glass, spangled in the road’s track marks, iridescent under the streetlights. Having something to focus on had helped the shock subside, and your heart rate had begun to slow as oncoming headlights approached. That’s when you felt a sense of urgency and the need to be home. That’s when you shuffled toward the sidewalk, away from the wreck and its debris, and started on the quarter of a mile left between yourself and the house.