Monday, December 5, 2011

Instalment 2 - Instinct

Instalment 2
Nyasi lit the night fire for the small village although it has not yet grown dark. She was accustomed to the almost blanket-like nightfall that would occur regularly so the timing of the task wasn’t unusual to her. The fire not only helped as a light and cooking source but kept them warm in the cool night breeze with the added benefit of keeping the mosquitoes at bay.

Nyasi could feel the tension mounting in the village as they awaited the return of two of their members. It was a long journey to the valley from the hills and it was rarely made. The villagers had owned their hillside land for centuries and had hardly seen the need to venture away from the area. The winding road was an unwelcome addition and they did their best to keep from being viewed from it, not that it was used much these days. Solwani and Nilozi had sworn to make their journey to the valley as far from the roadside as possible and no doubt they were coming back the same way.

The elder of the village, one hundred year old Zani, had been unwell for some time with the witchdoctor’s remedies not taking effect to cure her hence the decision was made for Solwani and Nilozi to venture out in search of help. The villagers wouldn’t usually allow the use of western medicine but they had heard from travellers that the cures were almost magical so they had to take the chance. Zani had been the mother of the village for so long and with her spiritual link to the ancestors, the villagers believed that she was the one keeping them out of harm’s way.

“The soil is almost saturated, the pain in my bones tells me that our time is coming”, Zani preached as the village gathered around the fire for their evening meal. Nyasi didn’t understand this and because Zani was so much older than her seventeen years, she dismissed this as an elder ranting. “Solwani and Nilozi will be the last hope for us, let us call to our ancestors for their safe return” and with that croak, Zani collapsed back onto her mat, her exhaustion making her incapable of holding herself up against gravity.


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 Copyright © 2011 Marilyn Curzon

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