Author Archives: tolutalabi

The Invisible Boy by Tolu Talabi


John was 15 when he discovered he could turn invisible. He dropped out of school a year later, on a quest for quick money.

He was 18 when he was caught. Trapped in a bank vault naked, amidst huge bags of money, unable to figure out how to carry them out unseen.

He cried throughout the trial, interrupting the proceedings with loud outbursts cursing his fate. He slipped in and out of sight as his mood oscillated, the bright orange prison jumpsuit and handcuffs hanging empty in the air when he was invisible.

He got 20 years in prison.


No Shelter


I saw the rat again tonight. I saw it two nights ago, but I had chosen to convince myself that I was just imagining things. How could a rat have gotten into the house?


A.V. says I can’t write a story about a rat.
Why not? I ask.
“Because it isn’t poignant. If you’re writing, it has to be about something important. ”
“Important? Important like what?” I am genuinely puzzled.
She says, “well, for example, the rat can be a metaphor for our failed government.”

Now I’m really confused.
“Huh, what failed government?” I think as I start over.


I saw the rat again tonight. I saw it two nights ago, but I had ignored it and hoped it would go away.
Tomorrow, I will buy some poison or a trap. And I will kill it.

Every so often


This is sort of the start/teaser for something longer I’m working on.
Let me know what you think, questions, comments, even suggestions on the general direction you think it should go and what you would like to see explored.


Every so often a young girl disappears.
It has happened enough times that the people who live around here know it to be a pattern. But that hasn’t stopped them from living their lives. And it hasn’t stopped us from continuing what we do.
We pace ourselves, careful not to strike too frequently from the same place. Careful not to pick too often from the local populace. Careful not to stir the people up enough to act. Nigerians have typically been lethargic, rural Nigerians even more so. Things like this typically get attributed to supernatural forces. But I know better. We know better. We get paid well to do this. Read the rest of this entry

WS 6: Spa Day by Tolu Talabi


I hear the sound of water splashing and I open my eyes. I’m lying in a lounge chair by a pool. The girl standing across from me squeals as her friend in the water splashes her again. It’s a hot and sunny day, perfect for being in the pool.


But not for me… at least not yet. I just want to lie here and rest.


I lean forward lazily and adjust my sunglasses. I notice more people streaming out of the resort’s main building headed towards the pool.

Read the rest of this entry