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Kintu and Nambi; Darkness and The Rainbow #32

Continued from; The Game’s End #31

By Aine Susan

The sound of shuffling feet welcomed the rising sun, paving way for the eve of the worst day the heavens would ever see. Walumbe’s dark cloud still hovered over the palace, growing darker by the minute. Everyone ran about, seeking to get as far as they could from his wickedness.

The bustle of activity made Kayikuzi’s journey less bearable as he found himself bumping into more people than he cared to count. It was everyone for him or herself. A war was coming and one had to be prepared to survive.He finally made it to the palace farm, and headed straight for the chicken house where he was welcomed by their  agitated clucks: even the animals could sense the palpable tension in the air.  Besides the chicken was a bag of millet, something Nambi surely needed on earth, where there was very little that could be called edible. He lifted the bag to his chest, holding the chicken in his other hand. He wondered  how the bag of millet had found itself at the farm, but  guessed that Nambi must have forgotten it there in her stupor of happiness. The things love could do to people’s heads,he mused. Kayikuzi then got out of the farm, a look of determination on his face. He was a man on a mission. This clearly showed as people moved out of his way, and continued with their scurrying.

“Brother!” Nambi gasped  as she bumped into him. At first he thought he must have lost more blood than he had assumed. There was no way Nambi would have returned that fast. However, when he looked down,at the figure that had called out to him, he breathed a sigh of relief, he would live and she was indeed before him. Her eyes were filled with tears. “It’s chaos out there.”

“My sister,” he sighed, staring at her affectionately.  “You shouldn’t be here! You shouldn’t see this! You shouldn’t have come back!”

The tears flowed over at the sight of her brother. “What did he do to you?” She rushed to embrace his scarred face. Kayikuzi had never looked like that, broken like a twig. “I can’t leave you alone with that beast.”

“Yes, you can.” He murmured, setting the chicken and the bag of millet down to wipe the tears off her cheeks. “This battle was long overdue, you know that. Go with your man and be happy. This is the fate we must bear. Stand tall and fight for your love; for the nation you must mother.” He transferred the bag of millet into her trembling arms; turning away. 

“Follow me, Ssekoko” she whispered and ran.

Meanwhile, Walumbe clutched at his spear, in a struggle he would have never believed.

“Pinned down by servants,” he scoffed. “Kayikuzi!” he growled, pushing out against the servants. His mind was filled with darkness; and his soul with a burning hunger for the justice he’d been stripped of since childhood. His perpetual desire for a pinch of affection had been replaced by sheer rage. Channeling his pain, anger and depression made him firmer at the core; even strong enough to defeat the witty Kayikuzi.

No one would ever look down on him again – absolutely no one!He roared as he stood up from the ground.

 Kaikuzi’s eyes widened, the hair on his skin rose and he turned his head to the direction of the awful sound: A thousand times more horrendous than that of the lion. It stood as a warning to whoever dared to rise up against him; a threat to Kintu, who had started this entire mess and a rebellion against Gulu, who had raised him with nothing besides contempt. Walumbe was angry and there was hell to pay for those who had crossed him. 

“He’s coming!” Nambi yelled as she ran towards Kintu who waited anxiously at the rainbow, pacing back and forth. The donkey that carried the rest of Nambi’s property had gone ahead of them, at her instruction; so had Kintu’s cow and a number of fascinating domestic animals. She had assured him that these meant the start of a better life for them.

Nambi had often shared her fantasies of living by the water with him; counting each grain of sand at those shores for the rest of their lives together. He believed it all; and just hoped for this stage of their lives to be over; so they could be free from the constraints of the heavens.

They were close to the end when they heard another roar that froze Nambi at her heels. “It’s Kayikuzi,” she clasped her mouth. Walumbe will destroy him if I don’t help ,she cried, trying to pull away from Kintu’s grip.

“He’s doing this for you. Going back will simply invalidate his sacrifice,” Kintu whispered, against his better judgment.

“Kintu, I’ve seen him disintegrate gods with that spear; just for the fun of it. Kayikuzi will…” she broke down in tears. 

“Fine, fine,” Kintu sighed; “but only if I go with you.”

They hurried back to save the same god who thought he was holding back Walumbe for their sake.

Walumbe and Kayikuzi weren’t so far behind the lovers. The two reached the spot in time to see Walumbe lunge a spear through  Kayikuzi’s chest. 

“You Monster!” Nambi screamed.

Walumbe turned, wearing a smirk as wide as the moon. With tears running down his face he giggled. Nambi, haunted by confusion, cast a quick glance to Kintu for reassurance, but he was as equally troubled as she was by the look on his face.

“Nambi,” Walumbe called out, reverence in his voice, “you came back, you came back for me”

“You hurt Kayikuzi, your own brother,” Nambi scolded, careful to keep at a safe distance, “how could you?”

“He is not my brother,” Walumbe whispered, briefly turning to the groans of the wounded god, “My only relative is you,”

“What do you mean?”

“I am not Gulu’s son,” breaking into strange strangled chuckles, “it finally makes sense.”

“A beast, a fool, and a creep…,” Nambi stammered as the truth from spider’s riddles slowly sunk in. Her heart raced, she could hardly tell whether she was feeling the relief of knowing that it had led her to the right path, or  anger towards Walumbe for harming Kayikuzi. 

“You knew.” Walumbe muttered as he studied her face, “You knew and you didn’t tell me either,”

“Why?,” he begged , the grip around his spear getting tighter, menacingly moving forward. Nambi, aware of his rising temper held out her hand towards Kintu. A sign , reminding him to keep a distance. She could feel the ground beneath her shake with small tremors as she watched him close in; his chest rising and falling.

“You do not want to do this again Walumbe, I am not as feeble as you think,”

“Feeble?” Walumbe growled, “I made that error once, never again!”

Kayikuzi’s body was numb with pain. However, the sound of his sister’s voice teased his mind to the thought that she had thoughtlessly ignored his warnings. His finger twitched a little signaling his return to reality. A battle had been won, but the war was still going on. His eyelids struggled to open as the sight of his worst nightmare came to life.

 Walumbe,standing over Nambi, with a spear running straight through his chest. He’d fallen prey to her deceitful innocence. She held his own spear up before her, ready to thrust it.But he beat her to it, and rammed his chest through the glistening spear head. His blood dripped onto her white bark-cloth as he choked while trying to talk. “The fool”, Nambi thought, “quickening his own death.” Eventually he managed to speak, and said words that would haunt her forever.

“I am Death , dear sister! Death can’t die!” he laughed, sending a shiver up her spine. 

“It’s over!” she yelled at him, in an attempt to convince herself. Moving back, creating distance between them, there was no way what he said was true. She could not believe it. 

“No, it’s not!” A wicked grin spread across his face as he gripped her arm and pulled her towards him, as close as the spear impaled in his chest would allow. “I see it…” he burst into laughter again. “The child in your womb will be mine!” 

She could feel the strength leaving her body; suddenly, she couldn’t move. He was taking something from her, she realised, and with only a simple touch.

“You feel it too, don’t you, dear sister. Only you can fill this space in my soul. We share a soul; our very essence is intertwined. That is why I always felt at peace when I was beside you. Your body is a vessel for both our souls. You were my balance, my middle ground, yet you wouldn’t even share that. You despised me, yet I am a part of you. My soul will also be a part of your children. How does it feel mighty Nambi? My evil will live in each and every one of your children. Perhaps that’s why you were drawn to this pathetic human: he is also like me; what you called weak. You thought you were better than me, yet we are a part of each other!” He burst into laughter and cast Nambi aside. Using both his hands, he pulled out the spear from his chest. 

Nambi was still in a trance, and lighter than she felt when she let herself float on the water at the river. Kintu hurried over to her while Walumbe was still regaining his strength, his wound slowly closing up.  The human pulled his wife away and carried her almost lifeless body, rushing back to the end of the rainbow.

Kayikuzi had witnessed his worst nightmare. He’d lain there, helplessly as Walumbe harnessed his full potential. Now he crawled after the lovers, hoping to regain his full strength, while their protector still lay helpless.

“I must follow them,” Kayikuzi thought. His hands could still move. He felt the slight prick from the colorful rainbow on which his back rested. Walumbe had channeled Nambi’s power to heal himself, almost draining her. This was not how it was supposed to end. 

Finale To be continued next week on Wednesday

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Blacks matter.