By Aine Susan
Walumbe sat in a pit below his father’s throne. With time, he had become accustomed to holding the title of “black sheep”; prone to the disdain in people’s eyes or the curves in their cringing faces every time his aura shadowed any atmosphere.
Every time he loved, it was so much that it erupted into obsession; every hurt dissolved into rage and destruction; each breath he took deprived another living creature of life. Could he help it if bad luck stuck itself to every one of his actions? Was it actually true that the universe demands balance… and that every society must have a “monster” to build the “heroes” into the tormented victims they make themselves out to be? Who was responsible for all this anyway? For making a child ask himself so many abstract questions; yet remain the receptor of negativity in its entirety?
Father was too stern to show any care besides reprimand and horrid punishments. Only Nambi could scrape husks of any kind of affection or favor from his cold heart. For some obscure reason, she brought the best out of everyone; from the tiniest flea to the great immortals who lived in the clouds.
Immortality another absurd reality for Walumbe. He had tried, so many times to end his worthless existence. None of his siblings could know, though. “Frail and pitiful” never flattered anyone. The ground was his only haven_ safe from Father’s dreadful commands, from Kayikuzi’s suspicious gaze and Nambi’s scorn. What other choice existed besides curving out beautiful spaces in the ground for comfort.
The balance… Nambi was messing the balance. It wasn’t her place to rebel… hers was to keep a little sanity among the immortals; with that face and involuntarily considerate looks; the way she could always calm Father before his tantrums, or stand by Kayikuzi as he shared one of his “sensible” opinions, and most of all, the way she could calm Walumbe’s fury with no more than a quick glance. Father wasn’t doing anything about it… tasks? THAT WASN’T ENOUGH.