Desemba, 24, 1818
The sun cast its golden rays down upon the clouds of billowing smoke, turning them fire red. The flock of birds in the red sky fly above the blue sea, in search of something to fill their stomachs. Their white bodies, blending so well in the sky. The tides on the sea were racing among each other to reach the horizon from where the mighty godlike sun appeared. And though time continued, the emotions that flowed stilled my soul. I smile at the beautiful view, trying my best to keep this site forever in my memory.
The horn of a juggernaut blares, assaulting my thoughts and ears.
“Natasha,” Nadir calls my name, wrapping his long dark arms around my waist. “My love, why aren’t you at the gathering?” He questions me. His warmth sends an uneasy feeling to my stomach. The smile on my face fades away and I’m snapped back into reality.
I scoff, unwrapping his arms from my waist. “Je!” I say in my native tongue. “Do not touch me. Never touch me!” Pushing him aside, I begin to walk but Nadir pulls me back to him.
“Usi jitende kamkwamba Natasha.” Nadir pleads. “You know I love you. You also know that this isn’t my choice, I have no say in this.”
“Mkundu!” I spit. “You do have a choice. Don’t get married... run away with me.” Nadir flinches, hearing my words. “Just you and me, we can be free. Probably even have Watoto together.” I grab the palm of his hand. “We can be a family.”
Nadir pulls away. “Natasha I love you, but this cannot be. I’m next in line to be chief, I cannot disrespect my father like this. I’ll be damned all my life.”
I pull away from him. “Then you do not truly love me.” Nadir reaches for me, but I take a step back. “Stay away from me Nadir. Go to your stupid marriage gathering. Kutomba wewe! And kutomba whoever you marry!” My feet pound the sand with all the grace of a sack of wet concrete. My eyes burn with tears, as a thousand thoughts race through my mind. Running into my small hut, I slam the door shut.
Nadir bursts through the door, he slams it shut. “Woman you drive me insane!” He yells, furiously. “I do love you!”
Wiping the tears from my eyes, I turn to him. “Then show me!” I yell, angrily. Desperation clear in my voice. “Show me that you love me!” Nadir steps forward, his hand cupping my cheeks. He buries his head into my neck and his hands rove all over my body. Our breathing then becomes rough and fast. His breath is on my lips, and I quiver a bit at the odd sensation. It’s like we’re about to have our first kiss all over again. Without another moment to spare I realize that he’s pressing his lips to mine. My stomach twists. This kiss feels different, almost like he’s saying... goodbye.
“I love you,” Nadir says. This time I look into his eyes, searching for the truth. I find it. No, I see it. I know him. He’s Nadir, son of Damian Rashid, next in line to be chief of the village... the man that I so dearly love. I know him, everything about him.
“I love you too,” I respond back, begging to whatever God that hears me, to help me through these final moments. Nadir places his hands to my hips, guiding me towards my kitanda. He lays down first, then sits me on top of him. “This is wrong!” My body shouts at me, but I ignore it.
I need to do this, maybe then he’ll truly love me.
“You feel that?” He asks, referring to the bulge in his pants. I shake my head yes. “That’s how I’m going to show you how much I love you.” He captures my lips, kissing me deeply. Nadir unties the back of my dress. My breast is now shown, my nipples erect. Nadir touches my breast, his mouth nibbles on them, causing me to feel something I’ve never felt before.
The door to the hut bursts opens, and I gasp jumping off of Nadir. My head lowers in shame as I try to connect the top piece of my dress back together. “What is going on here?” Says a voice. I mentally start to panic. It’s my mother.
“She tried to take advantage of me.” Nadir blurts out. I gasp, looking at him.
“That’s not true mama.” I stand tall, tears falling from my eyes. “He’s lying.”
My mother walks forward, a glare settles on her face. “You sicken me!” She yells. The palm of her hands connects with my face, causing me to lose my balance. “You disgrace of a child.” Mother gets on her knees, turning to Nadir, pleading for forgiveness. “I’m sorry she has done this to you Nadir. Please forgive my family for this treachery she has committed.”
Nadir nods, sweat dripping from his face. He quickly puts on his clothes. “I’ll pardon you all.” He looks to me. “I’ll not tell my father of what took place here in this room. Ever.” He says.
My mother stands up. “Thank you Nadir, I am so very grateful.”
Nadir turns to me one final time, his eyes full of regret. I turn my head looking down at my feet. How can he do this to me? We are lovers. He said he loves me. I can feel my hands shaking, my body wanting to attack him. Nadir clears his throat, walking out the hut. My mother waits a moment, before casting her eyes on me. Her eyes pure of rage as she steps towards me. “You msichana mjinga!” She yells. She grabs me by my hair, causing a scream to escape my lips. “Everyday I asks the gods why in the world they would let me give birth to such a disgrace like you.” Mother admits. “I knew that the second you were born, you’d cause trouble. You and your disgrace of skin.”
“Mama please, I’m sorry.”
“Shut up!” She yells, the palm of her hand connecting with my cheek once again. “I’ve dealt with your foolishness for far too long, demon. Your seventeen years of life is no more.”
I shake my head. “Mama you don’t mean this. You love me, I am your child.”
She laughs dryly. “I do mean it, I mean all of it. I do not love you, I despise you. You are not my child, you are the child of Satan.” She sneers. “Do you not know how much humiliation you’ve caused me? People laugh at me. Whisper that I’ve been unfaithful to my mume. That I’ve laid with killers as pale as you.” Mother rages. “Do you know how it feels to be questioned by the one you love? To be asked by him if you laid with another?”
“I’m sorry.” I cried. “I didn’t ask to be born with this skin!”
“It doesn’t matter demon.” Mother pulls me forward, attaching chains to my risk. She places a cloth in my mouth, muffling my screams. Dragging me out the hut, she looks back to me. “You will pay for your sins.” Mother continues to walk, making sure to push me every step of the way. We make it to the forest just as night falls. The forest was ancient. The trees thick and old, roots twisted. Everyone knew to not be in the forest during the night. Ungodly things happen here. A trembling gush of wind inaudibly drifts across the skyline. The night was starless and the moon covers the murky clouds that blend in with the rest of the sky.
When we are deep in the forest, mother pushes me to the ground. I land in the thick brown paste mud. The mud was not cold enough to freeze, yet clung to my body sapping what little heat I had. Mother looks back and forth worriedly at her surroundings. “I have to finish this quick. You know what they say about being in the forest at this time.” She walks towards me, a dagger in her hands. The dagger was small and somewhat unassuming with its plain fabric wrapped handle. “I’m happy that I’ve finally gained the courage to do this after all these years. kwaheri demon.” She drives the silver dagger into my chest, and I release an agonizing scream. Without warning, she jerks it all the way into my chest, until the shiny metal disappears. Mother pulls the dagger out and looks at it. She looks down at me, my blood spilling from my chest. “You will die here tonight demon, and not a soul will hear your cries.” She walks away, leaving me to bleed to death.
I stare at the moon, unable to move as blood gushes from my chest. Sharp pain laced through my body and colorful spots flash in front of my eyes. My screams are muffled by the cloth in my mouth.
“Oh honey, you must’ve really pisssed someone off.” A voice says in the dark. I hear some of the twigs snap as someone walks near me. “That looks like it hurts.” The voice says. This time I can see who said it, it’s a woman. She appears in the forest with a long black dress that, clings onto her body. With curly blonde hair, her head held high as her face showed no emotion. She looks down at me, her crystal blue eyes staring into my soul. “You poor thing.” I try speaking, but she stops me. “I already know what you’re going to say. You’re gonna want me to go find help and help save your life. Yeah, I already know.” If I could frown right now, I would. “Here’s the thing sweetie, I’ll help you. But it’s gonna come with a price.” She removes the cloth from my mouth. “So do we have a deal.”
“Y...yes.” I stutter.
She smiles at me, showing off her pearly white teeth. “Excellent choice.” She reaches into her cleavage and pulls out a small dark red bottle, nearing it towards my mouth. “Drink.” She commands.
I look at the bottle then back at her. “What is it?”
“Something that’ll help you live.”
I nod, signaling for her to pour it down my throat. She does and I swallow every drop of the liquid, ignoring the burning sensation it causes in my throat. A numbness creeps into my brain, and everything slows down. The woman pulls away from the bottle and wipes the remaining red liquid from the bottom of my lips. “What was that?” I question her. She ignores my question, pointing to my chest. I look down in amazement and watch as my wound starts to heal. “Amazing,” I whisper.
“Indeed it is.” The woman says. “You may want to brace yourself, hun, your about to feel some pain.”
I frown. “What are y--” I’m cut off talking by the scream that erupts from my mouth. My mind screams out as the pain drives through my back. The burning pain licked up my back like a scorching fire. I cry at my own suffering, begging for the pain to subsidies. I rolled up in a ball of self-loathing and pain, wishing for this to be over with. “M..make... It...stop.” I plead.
The woman rolls her eyes. “It’ll be over within a few minutes.” My throat gurgled as I struggled to breathe, spitting out blood. My body was shaking and sweating. Eventually, the pain settle into a sort of sharp throbbing in my heart. There is a burning sensation in my throat and it grew more each second that past. “I’m guessing it’s over now?” The woman asks.
“Yes,” I whisper. “I’m...hungry.”
“Excelente.” She says smiling at me. She grabs my hand, helping me up. “My name is Odessa, I am Queen of the underworld.”
I look at her confused. “Underworld?” I questioned. “What did you do to me?”
“I have so much to teach you.” She chuckles. “The Underworld is a place where I create every supernatural creature. Well not every, considering the fact that you were created on earth.”
“Yes, you hun.” She says. “You are a hybrid.”
“What does that mean?” I question, confused.
The woman groans, clearly angry. “My God it’s like talking to a baby.” She sighs. “I took blood from half of the creatures I created and mixed it. I made you drink it and you survived, which makes you a hybrid.”
My throat burns, causing me to groan. “Hungry.”
Odessa nods, smiling. She sticks out her hand for me to take. “Come with me, I’ll help you eat.” I take her hands, and together we walk back to my village. “Soon my darling, the world won’t know what hit them. They’ll worship you and kiss the ground you walk on.