Nana Yei motions for the midwife and points at the child.
The midwife takes the baby away from the nursing bosom of Ndana who protests weakly as the child’s mouth is removed from her pendulous breasts. Perhaps too tired from the pushing and groaning that brought forth the child, she does nothing more asides struggle to sit up and watch her baby given to the old woman in apprehension written all over her face.
Nana sits in front of the hearth, the heat warming her gnarled hands, highlighting the grim look on her etched, aged face. The midwife presents the baby and she accepts, cradling her head gently.
“Ah…” she whispers immediately, eyebrows knitted. “You again…”
She pokes the child in several places with bony fingers.
“Nana what is it?” Ndana whispers softly to her grand mother, her eyes fixed on the child illuminated by the fire.
The sense of foreboding in the room thickens and curdles, turning the room chilly, causing her to shiver.
Nana moves away from the fire, her chair scraping on the floor as she turns to Ndana. Her face is hidden in the shadows, inscrutable.
“Kill her or be killed” she croaks with such finality, Ndana and the midwife are jolted.
Ndana gasps, as the first trickle of many tears to come begin to form at the corner of her eyes.
“If only it were easy to dump her into this fire” Nana mumbles to herself, still cradling the baby, staring intently at the guileless face of the slumbering child.
Shaking, Ndana stands up. “No…”
Her face contours into a mask of pain momentatily, a reminder of the ordeal she had just done through bringing the child Nana just condemned to die, into the world.
Gritting her teeth, she takes tentative steps till reaches Nana and with jerky movement, snatches the baby away from her.
The baby kicks in protest, toothless mouth opening the beginning of a cry. Ndana cradles her, murmuring softly and stroking the soft cheeks until the baby quietens down, tiny fist grabbing at her thumb.
Ndana smiles as teardrops fall on the child’s forehead as if in anointing, running down into her thick head of hair.
All this while, Nana turns her scrutiny back to the fire, fingers fiddling restlessly against each other.
“She has to go” she whispers sadly.
Ndana looks up, her coffee brown eyes flashing. “Over my dead body! Not this one! No!”
“Over her dead body she says” Nana gestures at the fire as if in conversation, chuckling softly. “Then she will die. By that child’s hand. And it would really be over her dead body”
Ndana walks back to bed, choking on a small cry as her arms shake, holding the child to her chest as if to protect it.
“You’re wrong” she whispers fiercely to her Nana, the seer. “You’re wrong”
Nana sighs.
“If only it were that easy. I want to be wrong, Ndana. If only I can unravel the threads, de-tangle it maybe? Undo what has been done? Set it straight? No. Words spit out like saliva cannot be swallowed. I have said it as I have seen…”

Nana’s words would ring in her ears even hours after she’s left.
She would forget them but they would ring in her ears again, moments before her death.
Ndana would smile up at the face of her wild-eyed daughter, wielding a knife.
“You came seven times” she would whisper. “But seven times, I killed you. Nana would have made it eight but…”
The knife would plunge into her repeatedly.
She would gasp at the pain. “I had to…have you. You would…kill me but…ah…I had… to hav-…”

The eight year old girl would wake up on her feet,wondering why her fingers are wrapped tight around the handle of a knife.
She would stare with incomprehension at the bed and in seconds a blood curdling scream would crawl its way out of her throat as she realizes the soaking mass of blood and flesh on the bed is wearing her mother’s clothes.
“I told you not to kill her!” she would scream.
“Fate, my child. She was fated to die as her mother died. Just as you will die…” a voice, only she can hear, would whisper.
“Why! Why! Mama! Why!”
“A son. Get a son…”
The girl would drop the knife, falling to her knees.
“Alas, it is a cruel game the gods play with your family. Demand a son and yet, cause the daughters to kill the mothers. Unless the mothers kill the daughters first… Cruel game of the gods…”

——————————————————

Hello!
This story was originally posted up on Musedminds.com. If you follow me on twitter, (@Weird_oo), you’d have noticed the links that pop up every morning that are not from here. Lol.
Musedminds is a literary blog and liking the idea, i decided to join the partnership with other amazing people.
Whenever you have the time (i.e now) do pop in there and give it a look about eh?

That being said, do have a lovely weekend.

Jana!

Advertisements