Fiction: Witch Hunters

March 1, 2016 Fiction , POETRY / FICTION

By

Celestine Chimummunefenwuanya

 

 

When I was ten my mother scurried up my room breathing very fast. I was scared and had been painting the large peach-peak white eagle I’ve been seeing in my dreams lately on the bronze-framed canvass. She snatched my left arm and dragged me outside to see what I have to see for my life she said. Outside, on Cross Street was a mob of young folks mauling an old woman. I hate people maltreating people like they weren’t human and the idea I would have the power to deal with such people maltreating people like they were stones pacified my virulent soul when I realized I was a white-witch. It’s a given am an upright witch, but I’ve always been unhappy because a witch is a witch whether a witch defends or protects. ’She’s a witch. They will kill her. It’s the order of the king. She’s one of those terrible dark cretins tormenting us’. My mother said.

Mummy, am sure witches and wizards inhabit this town with us, but how are you sure she’s a witch. I mean this old woman that have to sell stinking opei  before she’d eat.

‘These Senegalese strangers aren’t playing. They’ve banished demons almost all over the continent.’ ’Are they pastors?’ ‘You will not ask me that. Your father said you aren’t perfect. And am beginning to see reasons with him.’

My father was right, he saw me. But I’ve always told him he’s seeing illusions. He watched me roll the coquina boulder outside the house with my eyes. Five steps I sat, away from the puce rock. I reeled it vigorously. I let it spurn nippily like the fanafrick fan in the last speed.

The dusty whirls like too many rings thrilled me. My head was the carrier of my eyes, the engine. The stimulant. I shook it lightly, the small head holding dark egg-shaped face. It wasn’t rolling enough. I jiggled it erratically and briskly until it was the foliage of elm trees in a manic squall. My eyes and my head spurned until I got zonked and silver sweat splayed in the morning breeze. I decided one more time before a halt, and my father coughed heavily. I bolted up, sweats, flowing in endless beads.

‘Do it again’ he whispered sweating freely. ‘Daddy, what ?’ ‘Yes, that stone, turn it one more time with your head. Shake it and it will roll’ ‘Daddy hope you aren’t seeing things.’

‘Yes like a stone, that stone spinning as you shake your head.’ ‘Stone spinning?’ ‘You mean you saw nothing and you never shook your head a few minutes ago?’ ‘Daddy. I was dancing with my head as for a rolling stone…..’  ‘Ok.’

When I lifted the pot of banga soup with my tongue, danced round the cashew tree at the backyard, blew out black smokes that gushed up the champagne skies in straight line and argued with Castro the invisible pale-guard, my father saw me.

‘Mummy. Am perfect’ ‘I saw you yesterday. You were talking with those banana leaves.’

I was surprised. Mummy saw and heard me? I was telling Castro, something needs to be done, the black witches must be stopped, they’ve hypnotized the king. The so called Senegalese strangers might be them. It was this morning and Castro told me the Queen mother was aware.

Malaki stepped forward with a keg of kerosene. Even Malaki, one of them was there and the so called Senegalese witch hunters were blind to know him, chain him and burn him…and here they are letting a bunch of blind youths clobber an innocent old woman like a tree, a mere tree.

Am not sure, but these strangers may belong to them, tonight I will have to be empowered more to see and know them. He poured out a litre on her, smiled and handed a box of matches to one of the three strangers.

‘This witch…’ ‘Am not a witch’ the woman blasted. ‘This is one of the witches tormenting this land and today she will die.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celestine Chimummunefenwuanya  

Celestine Chimummunefenwuanya, a Nigerian young veteran Photographer, songwriter, organist, poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist and lover of birds and wild animals. A Chelsea fan that enjoys table tennis, football, basketball and frequently romps through woods for scenic animalistic displays. He visits a Nigerian stone mine from which he derives heart-ripping hunches and vibes. African stone mine workers travail in felters of pains and emotional conudrums and he catalogues these in photo-images and as graphically as possible in a new novel ‘Five Fingers’ he currently works on. He’d be happy to share it with an experienced publisher that cares.

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