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Sons of the gods #14

Continued from #13

By Aine Susan

P.S. *Taata : male parent

        *Ntagura : Spider

“Please,” Katabani begged, “Let me come with you, I’m really fast…”

“I told you it’s dangerous! Go back home, boy. The battle-field is no place for brats!” he shouted, shoving him as far back as his unarmed wrist could allow.

“You didn’t even know her! All you’re interested in is your stupid cows!” 

“Keep quiet!” Father jeered, raising the back of his hand so close to his face that the wind screeched in his ear. “You really are your mother’s son, yet not nearly as irritating,” he mockingly laughed, dropping his arm.

“I hate you,” Katabani hissed, behind a foam of spiteful salivation. As the rain pelted his face, he watched his father closely. A beating was inevitable.

“*Wahandiika aha maizi,”father murmured, turning his back to him. Katabani’s face twisted in confusion. You’ve written on water? Was Shwenkuru somehow talking insanity through his father?  “One day, you’ll understand. Munywani, take this one home,”he sighed, pointing in Katabani’s direction. One of father’s steadfast friends stepped forward grudgingly, and took Katabani by his arm.

“Munywani,” Katabani muttered, his heels scrapping the ground, “What did Taata mean?”

“What you are doing is useless,” Munywani coldly replied.

“Useless?!”

 The man barely flinched. Not everyone was like Shwenkuru. Together, they embarked on a brief trip to safety; however, father’s  friend could only take him so far before he got fed up with babysitting. “You know the way back from here, right? Get there safely, son. You’ll have your chance one day; it’s just a matter of time.” He muttered as he tapped the withered boy on the shoulder.

Katabani watched the huge man walk off into the bushes that would, in a few hours, hide them against their foes.

“Useless,” he murmured to himself

Settling on a buttress root beside him, he remembered grandfather’s story – the  one thing that seemed to soothe him these days.

…There had to be something wrong with Kintu; or perhaps a little scheme he was cooking – this was the last moment the boys expected anything remotely close to a smile, let alone a laugh. With a deep breath, Kano the first sighed, “Father, I can explain…”

He was silenced by a raised palm before him. 

“All I need is a moment alone,” Kintu murmured, stroking the mud and wattle entrance. The first Kano stood in shock, wondering why after all this time, his father would extend their agony over what his final decision would be. The other two put down their pots before the old man and rushed out of the hut.

“Father, I tried; I held on to the pot all night. I…” Kano the eldest tried to save himself, seeing as nobody else would. However, again, he was stopped by a raised palm.

The young man’s blood boiled in an instant. His blood shot eyes bulged as his lips erupted, “This is what you wanted, right? To see us weak? Begging you to accept us? Or had you actually planned for all this… to see your favorite son holding the pot full of milk, while we watched, like fools? I’ve done everything I could to even get an approving look, yet still, you stand there and judge me!”

 There was no way to predict Kintu’s reaction, but he took the chance to catch up with his treacherous brothers while he still had enough fury to tell everyone off. In his haste, he almost ran over his mother as he rushed out. Nambi was so stunned by her son’s behavior that she turned back to see where he was going, stomping his feet upon the ground, like a mad bull. Whoever was going to face his anger would not like it, she thought, shaking her head.  Her gaze went back to the hut, where she could see her husband with a sullen look on his face. It seemed like someone had already gotten a taste of Kano the first’s fury.

“Did you finally do it?” Nambi peeked into the hut.

“You know I can’t do this without you,” Kintu smirked, stretching out his arm to help her in. “They hate me!” he sighed, “Perhaps it’s better to have a parent who simply feeds and keeps one clean, afterall.”

 Nambi chuckled, “Try and see how that goes.”

“I think it’s about time I sought your father’s help in this matter,” He said, searching his wife’s eyes for an answer.

“Hmm, all he’ll do is turn those boys against each other. It’s all he knows – strength versus stealth. He’ll probably take your tasks and convert them to battles to the death,until we end up with just one traumatized son to name.”

 “I thought you were over any issues you had with your father,”Kintu laughed.

The comment earned him a painful nudge to the shoulder, but his pain was soon forgotten as he watched his wife’s face turn thoughtful. It seemed she was done playing and now,was going to do what had brought her to the hut in the first place.

 “*Ntagura , come tell me what you’ve heard and seen,” she whispered, bending close to a crack at the entrance of the hut. From it, a small voice came, one so familiar with age and wisdom.

The boys have seen what their father wants

Yet still they blind their hearts to his call

*Endongo y’amagara; The song of life

A call to embrace their talent

To change from hesitance, conformity and pretence

To reveal their skill

And insert a piece of heart into each task they set to accomplish

The first repels his urge to serve, to help even those capable of helping themselves

The second runs from his call to guide; correction flows through each vein beneath his skin

The youngest denies his ability to lead; his quick-wit lies in the shadow of perpetual escape from responsibility

Nambi, to this day, I ask myself why we lowered ourselves to this scourged earth…

“That will be all for now, my dear spider,” Nambi cooed,ushering the cantankerous creature toward her precious crack.

“What did she say?” Kintu asked anxiously.

 Kintu’s eldest son had expressed how hard these tasks had affected them. Any opinion he gave now would be taken as biased and rigged. He simply had to involve a third party, whom the boys would have no choice but to obey. This would definitely help him set a new pace.

The boys sat stiffly round a wooden block. They had never actually met their grandfather face to face. A few glimpses of Kayikuzi, their uncle, had made them aware of some secret dealings the gods still had with their parents. This was a clear sign that the matter had gone way out of hand.

“Perhaps father is enraged by my outburst and couldn’t stand the sight of me anymore,” Kano the first thought to himself.

“Maybe father is fed up with all my complaints and bickering,” Kano the second pondered.

“I always knew we were royalty – I’m sure there’s going to be a feast here,” Kano the last smirked.

“And I’m sure your father has spoken hell and fire about me,” Gulu bellowed, as though reading their minds. His poise and authority could make anyone shudder at the thought of crossing him.

“I hear you boys have no names,” he cleared his throat, taking his seat at the throne, so the boys had to stretch their necks to look up at him – Yes,he had gotten their attention.

“What names has your wretched father cooked up for me; ‘dreadful’, ‘selfish’, ‘conceited’, ‘conniving’?”

“Actually,” Kano the third jumped, “he calls you Ruhanga, the great creator”

The statement caught Gulu by surprise “Does he, now?” He watched the little one firmly set himself back into his chair and laughed heartily, “I like this one!” 

He stroked his beard and resolved to make sure at least one of the boys stayed back with him in heaven after all this. It made perfect sense, seeing as Kintu’s action had cost him not one; but all three of his own.

To be continued next week on Wednesday

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Written by The Muchwezi

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    Thank you for all the love and support. This chapter was Edited by Aber Elizabeth and Mugabe Victor
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