When I walk through the city that used to be my home I don't know how to feel anymore. I hear the echoes of the young people, from the school where I used to work, when school was still a thing and education wasn't just how to stay alive. Keep moving - keep dancing through it. Keep singing - keep fighting through it. Quietly. You never know when the dead are listening. But can you hear how the dead scream? Today they want us to listen. Their screams soundtrack the city they force us to remember, to listen. I can't wake up here, wake up at 3am to the sound of the forsaken, their cries, they can't be mistaken for our own screams, they're different, nightmares of this new world's creation and Creation is a distant memory when we just have clashing sounds - the hymns of the undead. Their growls drown out the melodies of the city, the rhythms and rhymes of memory in our heads. The playlist of our past, the days and nights, tough and gritty, these are the things that used to soundtrack our city. It's all white noise now. It's all destroyed now. A reverberating echo of what came before. And they wonder why I say that when I walk through the city that used to be my home I don't know how to feel anymore.
Riziki Millanzi is a PhD student at the University of Sussex, interested in the representation of Black Girl Magic in literature, comics and wider popular culture.