He paced uneasily around the length of the room..back and forth..and back again.
He was sweating profusely despite the coldness of the room and the cold weather.
It’s been hours since they took her in..
He could hear her cries even if he was smiles apart from here..
He couldnt bare the sound of her cries..
He could literally feel her pains.
As though his heart was contricting by itself..
The midwives ran in and out..
With more cloth
It was about 11:35 pm. .
It been like this since 6am this morning..
He didnt know what to do..
And he couldnt be in there even if he wanted to..
He knew he was supposed to be a man..
But for the life of him he couldnt stop the fear that was creeping up his sleeve and threatening to wrap it’s hand around his throat and choke him to death..
He feared the worse..
He knew the worse..
But by God he wished he could avoid it..
He did try..
They both did for years to avoid it..
But how can a man avoid a woman he loved.
A lover of his youth..
A mother to his sons
Just because they didn’t want another child that would end up being a daughter…
The stories they have heard..
Myth or facts..
Prophesy or not..
They didn’t want to take a chance..
Not because they didnt want a daughter..
Ofcos they did..
To have her Tiny hand wrap around his..
To have a long blond hair combed just like her mother’s. .
To have her perfect dentition and smiles..
To have her look up to him and call him “Da-Da’…from her first tries.
To have her love her mother and help around with chores and keep her company.
To have her meet her brothers and have them dote on her..
Who woundnt want a daughter?
Everyone but them..
Because they feared the worse..
Not just for them..
For her innocent life..
That would be ripped out of under her..
For being born into a world that would completely ruin her and require of her much more than she could give..
Rid of happiness.
Of a family..
And most important…of love!!
She will never have a normal life..
And that’s not what he wanted for his precious little daughter that was unaware of this evil world which just wants to take and keep talking until it drains you of essence and then of life..
And for what??
To satisfy their blood thirstyness
He continued pacing and breathing hard..
“Hold on my love “…He prayed..
“Just a little more…stay with me”..
The youngest of his sons called out to him as he was wrapped in his Nana’s arms..
He walked to him.
And bent to his level..
“Will momma be okay?..
“Why is she screaming so much…Please go and make her pain stop…Nana woundnt let me go to momma….”
“Sshhhh now”…Nana cooed…as she tried to rock him because he had begun to cry..
He raised his hand to wipe his tears and placed a kiss there after on his head..
“Don’t worry micheal..momma will be fine…just for a little while”…He reassured his 5 year old son..
He looked at the far corner of the room. His eldest son stood transfixed ..staring into space..
He knew what he was trying to do..
To block out the noise..
He did it too but he didn’t succeed.
He knew he wouldnt fare very far either..
He walks up to him..
And holds his shoulder shaking him gently..
His son’s handsome face slowly turned to him..recognising him..
“Am afraid father..
Am really afraid for her life father..
And for mother’s too….”.
His father gave him a weak smile..
“So do I son..
“So do I! !!…
He slowly walks away as christian looks at his father. .
He was worried for him too.
From this morning till now he had looked visibly old..
Christian was fifteen years old…
But he knew everything..
His parents had brought him in the know by the time he turned 10.
He was too young at the point to understand anything and by right to young to know..
But they had no choice when he had walked in on his parents with a scaring old woman who appeared out of no where..
Who smelt of death and eyes that shone bright but she covered it with a blindfold and didn’t remove it while she walked around the garden and spoke with a voice that sounded as though she was squeaking and snaring at thesame time..
The words she had spewed was what had hunted his family for years..
Way way before he was born..
And that wasn’t the first time she had come to his family..
He wasnt supposed to see her..
No one sees her unless she wanted them to..
But he had..
His parents never understood how but he did..
And for that they believed that…He had a divine purpose of some sort..
So they had brought him in..
After the dark figure left and they told him everything..
Though he was scared..but he understood..
He understood why his father had stayed away from his mother’s bed for years…
Because it didn’t matter if they used any form of protection..
She would conceive..
It doesn’t matter if she tried to get rid of it..
She will remain.
As long as it’s a girl..
She will be birthed..
And she would be taken..
And used …and drained..
For the blood thirsty and that was what scared them the most..
And for that reason..
They had vowed never to have another child after their two sons..
Never to give into the feelings of love and physicalness
Never to ever again enjoy the warmth and feel of each as man and wife.
His mother’s shrill cry broke into his thoughts. .
He clenched his fist..trying to inflict some pain on himself. .
to try and stop the throbbing pain in his heart and head..
It was past midnight now..
He walked over to his whimpering little brother and rubbed his head trying to shush him somewhat from crying..
And began to slowly sing to him as his mother always does..
His Nana looked up his eyes and squeezed his hands reassuringly as she joined in to sing softly too..
Micheal slowly began to stop sobbing and his eyes began to close…while his Nana continous to rock the Young one.
His father had buried his head in his hands as the screaming continued..
At exactly 1:05..
They heard another cry..
Not of the voice of a mature individual
But a shrill cry of a child..
The wind has begun to blow
The candle light lit had suddenly blown off
The same time the room became icy cold…
The curtains and shutter begun to sway back and forth..
The cupboards open and doors began to ride on it hinges and flip open and shut on its own..
Far away they heard the howling of a wolf
And dogs began to bark for no apparent reason
And chickens crowed even if it wasn’t even near time yet..
The sky above became brilliant blue..
And the moon was as white as snow..
And a few droplets of water fell from the sky..accompanied by stones..swept up from the ground and landed on roofstops..
If one wasnt mistaken…you would have believed the heavens rained down stones…instead of tears of joy.
They…He and his father rushed to the opened door which was closed just seconds before..
As a midwife ushered them into the little room..
Filled with lamps…and five other midwifes..
They walked in and saw his mother
His father’s wife..
Wrapped in a clean cloth and a bundle of a tiny baby in her arms..
Smiling lovingly while tears ran down her eyes..
While his father bent over to plaster kisses over his mother’s face and that of the baby..
He had a sudden urge to cry too..
He crunched beside his mother..
And waited for his mother to give him permission to touch her..
He noticed just then that the commotion just before has abated and everything went back to its calm original state..
The women began to leave the room slowly. .
Clearing the room of cloth, bowl and water. .
Leaving the family to revere in their bliss of having a new child..
Just a small child..
Why did it take almost all day to come forth..
Why did it need five women to help with the birth of a small child..
He looked around the room and noticed the ropes …though not tired to anything..but he wondered what it was doing there in the first place..
His attention was diverted to his mother’s feet..looking at her ankle.
when he noticed the bruises..He didnt gasp untill he checked her other feet and saw the same rope bruise mark when it once was…
Looking up he saw her wrist had the same bruises..Both wrist as she held the baby up for her husband to carry..
He now understood why five midwives..
One helped with the birth and the others held her down..
He knew it had nothing to do with his mother’s strength because she was strong at heart but not physically…
“Was it the child?..”
He thought to himself..
He became visibly scared and begun to shake..
When his father beckoned for him to come closer..
He was reluctant for a second untill his mother pulled him closer..raising his hands ..spreading his palm…using it and ran it over the baby’s face…Once and the twice and only let go when he did it a third time himself..and then a forth..
He placed a finger inbetween her tonny ones.
And suddenly she squeezed tight..so tight..He felt or imagined his finger numb..
He couldnt tell…
But he didnt pull away…
And just then…He knew..He didnt know how…but he knew…
That he would do anything…anything..when it came to it…to protect his little sister…and he knew he would give his life if it ever came to it..
“What should we call her?”…his mother’s words cut through his thoughts..
“Maria!!..his mother asked?.
His father laughed..kissing her..and shaking his head.
He couldnt blame them.
They weren’t oblivious of the impending danger.
But they also needed to dwell..even for a little while..The joy of having a newborn and the joy of a normal family..
Even though their family was far from being normal..
“Or maybe Anthonia. ..After your mother? She asked hopefully..
His father chuckled.
“What about vinada ?…
“After her sweet mother Srivinada…who brought this beautiful bundle of love to us…
Christian was looking into his sisters eyes..
Wave of love washing over him
Waves of the will to protect her consuming him
Wave of the Sense of responsibility. .
Not just that of a big brother.
But of protector..guide..flooding him..
While his parents went back and forth with baby names..
He was smiling…his eyes shone bright and his didnt realise when it did come out…
He only looked up when he noticed the silence..
And his mouth opened again before he recognised the reason for the silence..
Before he recognised his voice speaking..
Before he could register what came out of his mouth. ..
And he said it again..
More confidently now…
His parents exchange looks.
He seemed puzzled by their stares..
“What is it?
“Is something wrong? He asked.
It was his father who spoke..
“Do you know what that means of what language it is..?
He shook his head.
For the life of him he didn’t know where it came.from..but now that he repeated it..He had all confidence it meant something tangible in the names family ..but he didn’t know what..
But all his senses and feelings pulled and formed that word on his mind and he opened his mouth and didn’t know it untill he said it..and knew she must be called that..
“Its our ancient language that has been extinct for centuries and decades
We have somehow left that behind..my great great great father’s generations.. and embraced a new tongue that was somehow diluted during the invasion..between the old and new world..
And over time our language became.dead and extinct because we embraced the new culture and mother tongue..
And all the early people who spoke them and understood them are long dead…buried and decayed..and forgotten..
“But how is it possibly ….?…his mother was asking but trailed off…
Christian still looked puzzled and trying to understand what it was his father was saying..
How can he know to speak what he never knew..
His father wasn’t done..
“Redeva. ..in our ancient tongue means..
“Death or light!!
“Its a combination of words…fused in together…so in essence. ..its “the chosen one who is like fire…who’s blood would be the death or light …to her people..”..
His father finished..
His mother began to sob..
His father began to rock her with the child in her arms..
“How do we protect her from all these..??
“Why our little girl?
Why….my little one??..
It was comfirmed. .
Where ever the inspiration for the name..
It was a comfirmation of the inevitable..
Looking into her eyes and praying the evil one never comes..
But his heart was already out of his body and almost feeling crushed. ..
The fear had creeped up to him and was sneering at his face..jeering at his family as though the battle was already one..
Somewhere far far away in a mystical land of evil and spite..
Deep in the forest of the beyond and the land of the dead..
A black hooded creature was smiling..
Just as the empty pot of sand began to spring forth a plant root and blossomed right infront of its eyes into a red flower..
It’s root had turned red…it was a baby plant..its petals were tiny …but it was undoubtedly red…
He began to snarl and then chuckle and he began to laugh menacing and wickedly all in one breath…untill it was a shrill cry that was deafening …causing the bats to awaken and fly out of the his hidden cave it has been calling his home for centuries..
Though it was barely human..
Barely visibly except for bones and shredded white hair and claws for nails..
It knew it’s time of being barely human had come.
The end of all things…
And it would take what it desired and longed for..
“Finally the prey is out of its cage”…He snarled.
it spoke to a slimy creepy snake like-body next to him..
“Shall we begin?”..
To be continued.