Continued from; What is a god? #19
By Mutebi Wilson
Like a feline hunting its prey under the cover of the night sky,I crept into Walumbe’s hut. I was sure that the only way for me to make it without bringing any trouble to the two of us; was to do everything in secret. Otherwise, there was no turning back once you got into Gulu’s bad books.
That was his basic nature, he was shrewd and there was always hell to pay for any act of defiance against him. This had in the end made him a man of his word. I was sure he loathed the fact that his daughter was looking out for this weak creature but if all the tasks were done; he could not fail to fulfill his word. In fact, he was so good at this that I knew he could shelve his own emotions to fulfill a promise.
I inched closer to Walumbe, making sure to avoid stumbling into any furniture or ornaments that decorated his hut.
My mission was to be as discreet as possible in order to warn him of Father’s growing suspicion. This was a bit difficult considering the presence of the guards and some of the servants that were going about their nightly duties. No one needed to know of this , and if a servant caught sight of me, by the time the sun graced the sky with her presence, Gulu would have my head.
Gulu was a lover of truth and he already suspected that a god had helped the hapless human. All he had to figure out was which god had had the audacity to do such a thing. My plan was to caution Walumbe of what awaited him once he was before Father and after that, he was to be on his own. I would have played my part.
I had nothing but the light of the moon to guide my steps towards what I assumed was Walumbe’s outline but judging by the eerie silence of the room, I began to suspect I was wrong. Maybe Walumbe was not here as I had assumed.
I bent down a little and stretched my arm towards the hurdled outline. In a blink of an eye, I found myself trying to stay grounded as Walumbe caught my outstretched arm in the air, pulling me towards himself with surprising strength.
“Who is it?” came Walumbe’s gruff voice as he got up.
He was the most violent person I knew. This reaction was expected.
I immediately sprung into action and soon got the upper hand as we both struggled to out win the other in what had become a small wrestling match. I used my weight against Walumbe and held him tightly until he gave up. I realised that this was a trick and put my hand against his mouth to prevent him from calling out for help. He tried to struggle again as I smirked, I was older than him for a reason. He was strong but I was stronger. We were both breathing in heavily by the time Walumbe decided that he had indeed been defeated and drops of sweat were beginning to form on my brow. I bent towards his ear and whispered
“It is me,” Walumbe tried to turn his face to mine in order to make out my features in the dark. “It is me, your big brother, Kayikuzi.” I whispered again.
His body that was tightly strung relaxed against mine, allowing me to remove my hand from his mouth.
“What is it?” he asked this time in a low tone, his voice laced with concern. I could not see his face but I was sure he was frowning. I had never disturbed him before at such an ungodly hour.
“Father,” I said, “He has somehow mapped out that you helped Kintu in the previous task and if you were to ask me, he is not happy about that.”
There was a moment of silence as Walumbe looked around as though looking for an answer to an unasked question. He was troubled and the air in the hut was full of trepidation. Yes, he was a god but Gulu was a king of gods. No one would dare to willingly face his wrath.
“What?” he wondered, “How?”
“I do not know yet,” I answered, “But the human’s footprints and the disturbing movements of the ants must have given you away. I saw him myself sticking a finger into one of their holes. There is no other explanation to it.”
“Or you told him?” he asked, casting an accusatory glance in my direction.
“Why would I?” I asked, “I even thought that you wanted the measly human to lose”
“How can I trust you?” asked Walumbe.
Well, it had never dawned on me that this wicked thing had some bit of fear in him. This seemed pretty obvious with all the questions that he was asking. I found it disturbing that he had the nerve to interrogate me like a mere servant. I was here to save him and not to be questioned.
“You know what?” I said, “You should just get up and face Gulu before his suspicion grows. He sent me to fetch you and you are irritating me with your questions”
“What am I going to do?” he asked.
“Well, you better find some suitable words to save your poor soul,” I smugly said though I knew that he would never find such words. Yes, Walumbe was mischievous but he was a foolish god as well. He had always gotten himself in trouble with his violence and I had always been the one cleaning up his messes as his big brother.
“Please,” he got up, “What do I have to say?”
The smirk I was wearing turned into a wide-toothed grin. I could not help but smile as Walumbe came to the realisation of his own foolishness. I decided that I would let him suffer a bit and stood up to leave his hut.
I looked down at him as he struggled to take in the information I had given him and felt a slight tug at my heart-strings, he was my brother after all. I stood at the door to the hut, took a deep breath and cast him a backward glance. I could slightly make out his dejected outline, the moon it seemed had gotten brighter.
“Simply assert your innocence and if the old man insists he needs evidence to support your claim,” I paused looking sternly in his direction “promise your undying faithfulness to help him get the flesh of his prey. He will surely let it go.” Then I left him to his fate.
To be continued next week on Wednesday