FICTION:Dead Men Talking (Cont’d)

“My daughter, our men are brave in the mind, but we their mothers, their sisters, their wives are the only ones who can protect them.”

“My daughter, our men are brave in the mind, but we their mothers, their sisters, their wives are the only ones who can protect them.”

Weeks after Gorretti, Teopista’s younger sister who Teopista’s mother had sent to marry him had left, Teopista came again. She had pushed besides him under the old Raymond blanket as soon as he had blown off the tadooba, the paraffin lamp, with the promptness of an anxious teenager in her lover’s bed.

Odwori had never come to terms with his wife’s death. Now that he was having regular sexual intercourse with her, he realized that someone ought to know or else he was going to go crazy.

This lightness that Teopista used to infuse into his days had suddenly overwhelmed him, lately.
When he told Aserena, she took it to be one of his cold hearted jokes.

“She always comes as soon as I dose off.”
“Wooih, you are running mad, my brother.”
“Why should I lie to you about such a thing? Eeeh!”

His mother beat her chest repeatedly and cursed the gods for ruining her only son’s life.

This time Teopista had not been as angry with him for betraying her with her own sister, Gorretti when the earth on her grave was still loose. She lamented her failure to give him a son, letting him have her way with her in a genuinely sensual and intimate way. Without words, she told him how she wished they would have been, giving both of them pleasure without a hint of regret.

Her luggage had been neatly wrapped into two lesos. When Odwori woke up, he did not search for her scent because he did not find the bundles of short-lived joy.

“Why don’t you try talking to her mother?” His mother said. “Mothers know a lot of things.”

Yes, they know a lot of things. Odwori’s mother did not tell her son when her husband told her things in her dreams. Things like, how he had been fighting Teopista’s great grandfather now trapped in a python’s body.

He told her how they fought over who the granddaughter would remove from the grave.

“It’s my entire fault, that morning he wanted to kill the baby. He would rather it was dead rather than being possessed by my spirit.” Wafula continued. “But our son’s wife has very strong and good natured spirit. All the time he attacked the child, her spirit managed to deflect the attack to herself.”
“One day she will not be there for her.”

“So how can we protect her?” She asked.

“His wife is directly in the lineage of witches. He can afford to finish the baby because she can have another one to carry on the lineage before we possess it”.

Wafula paused in the manner he used to before saying something serious.

“There is only one way to save our grandchild.”
So when the wails began, Odwori’s mother knew it was all for the better. She knew that Wafula had done what he had to do.

Just like her great grand father, Teopista promised never to allow any woman have his first love, if he could not have him. She promised to possess him forever.

Trust mothers, when Aserena told her mother what Teopista’s mother had advised in low embarrassed tones, she approved of it immediately.
“My daughter, our men are brave in the mind, but we their mothers, their sisters, their wives are the only ones who can protect them.”

Like a girl who had suddenly been given the secret to womanhood, she listened with astonishment and a rare excitement.

He needed to be cleansed by uncontaminated, familiar blood.
“Without us they are weak, useless. We must protect those that are dear to us.”

That night, as soon as the moon lit the sky, their mother escorted them to Teopista’s grave and made sure they undressed as she had been instructed and left them to their business. They discarded all the jealousies of seducing partners for each other. They devoured each other, animal-like, on Teopista’s grave.

The spirits watched and wept. 
END

Email: kelviod@yahoo.com

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