Rhythm of the Wild Drum

8.At another edge of the Eli’ikenueze, Ité stood over his wife’s grave in her father’s compound. She didn’t have a child so she had to be buried in her father’s compound as was his tradition. Her family didn’t object because she didn’t officially leave the compound with her husband’s people and they wanted their daughter buried in peace. He reminisced on their difficult path to marriage and sighed ruefully. She had once told him it wasn’t meant to be. To him, it was, and he fought to be the man her parents approved of since he was from a distant land.
He cried again.
For hours he sat gloomily at the edge of the grave staring into the distance.
It was a week and her parents were worried that he had died of hunger. They decided to go and carry his body. When they got close they found him standing and waited. Ité pulled out a flint. The bride’s mother made to stop him, but her husband restrained her. Ité held the naked flint tightly and pulled it with the other hand. Blood started dripping from his closed fist. He dropped the flint and wiped his eyes and inhaled deeply.
Blood is life, and life is blood. A curse on him and his generation to come. Death …”
His mother-in-law wiped her tears. “Blessed to a mother’s sacrifice, a daughter’s grief, a warrior’s fate…” She started to sob.
His father-in-law wrapped his arms around his wife and shook his head. He always believed in forgiveness just like his daughter, his only child. “The compass of love will find you, but inherit it you will not, until you find the virtues of adulation.”

In the skies, in the temple of the King of all Imperials, Living and Dead folks was Awele. Awele the Avenger stood like an imposing statue, tall and regal when he was asleep, which he usually was. Unless he was awake then he walked with wobbly feet. He was always better off asleep, because when he was awake, he was nosy, vile, mischievous and daunting. It wasn’t a bad thing usually, except his mates were up to no good which they usually were. He had become too intrusive, and his colleagues where tired of his springing up on them that they decided to grind the bark of the tainted tree – a two-tone tree that glistened in the night. It was rumoured to keep its victim asleep for hundreds of cycles of seasons.
Awele prided Akanchi as his scale of justice and sins and held it up where ever he went. In his world, it weighed a ton but in the living folks’ world it weighed ten thousand tons. Its weight was the weight of a leaf to him. Cries of a broken hearts had reached the skies and shook it’s foundations until brimming Akanchi became overweight and fell pulling Awele with it. Only then did Awele wake up from his slumber.
Awele was so angry to find out what his colleagues had done that he demanded they be made labourers. Since they had left their powers to reside in one delirious man without intervening. He was so angry and so hungry that he decided to quench his thirst with a little more wine, but Oju-Mmanya, the god of festivity had been bribed with a wench so the wine was drugged.
Half asleep he heard Ité’s prayer and tears spilled out of his closed eyes. He opened his eyes slightly and produced a granule from his waistband and spat in it. Then he blew into it with unsteady hands. He missed Okpararebisi’s compound by miles. The granule in his hand was the size of a man in Evóvuotu. It had landed on an untilled land, west of Eli’ikenueze; a mountain rose from its impact and then heaved like it was being sucked in from within. Thick black smoke billowed. Then around it jagged hills rose. For days, the mountain shook just as Awele shook in his stupor.
If it was possible to have mood swings in your dream this was an epitome of one. As he sailed away in irresistible slumber, he willed an answer to Ité’s prayer but Nwaneri the messenger not paying attention outside the sumptuous buffet ahead of him ordained Anyanazuvuanyamgbede’s prayer too. Realising what he had done he decided to get to the world of living folks, he would need the Sceptre of Wealth and Duty to change what he had done. His stomach was so full that it shone with smoothness like a baby’s bottom. He resolved to wait a few more hours until the food in his stomach had been assimilated.

To be continued.


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