By Dan Akinlolu (South Africa)
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In the beginning when there was no time, our land was in total ruin and desolated for full disobedience and condemnation. For the line between the living and the spirit was thing and transparent, but soon rivalry emerged and the contest was bent on destroying man- the most visible, the most articulate.
Then we needed the wise one to heal our land that has refused to yield seeds and our flat-breasted women with no milk for the new borns and our lazy warriors with blunt daggers and assegai.
But who will go and bring the wise one?
The high priest cast his beads across the polished ivory board. He pointed his withered finger at me,
“Go and bring the wise one! You shall be ordained!”
All eyes turned to me. The worshipers from the sacred grotto pointed their withered fingers at me and in unison they thundered,
“ Go and bring the wise one!” I fell on my knees before the divine oracle.
“ These are seven cowries,” the high priest said then he gave them to me.
“ Meaning seven lives to cross the mountains.”
Then bid me to swallow them.
Again he plucked three strands of hair from his grey beard and with three nuts from the skin bag he said,
“ One is the voice of wisdom, one the voice of courage and the last, voice of beauty. As you go into the world they will remind you of one thing …your legacy. For through one man death came into the world and through another life is given.”
Immediately I swallowed the seeds of life, the kettledrum thundered a calculated rhythm and threw me into an ecstasy. It was a reversal of human into the world of spirit. My head swirled, my eyes are shut in the darkness of eternity as echoes from the abyss of the earth shot across the sky in a flash of lightening. I was lifted off the ground while I hold my head that was tossed by a raging storm.
I was transformed to a shadow king of the labyrinth with braided hair smelling of myrrh and frankincense. My head was ornamented with gold chignon, bangles, earrings and nose clips all shimmering in the moonlight. Necklace with strings of jewels studded with carnelian and sardonic adorned my ebony neck. Then a voice thundered from the breast of the sea saying,
“ This is anaesthesia, the scientific cycle of death and birth.”
I could feel the shadow dancers, all stripped to their waists kicking the desert dust, sweating from rigorous dances.
They danced to bid me farewell and to search for the wise one. I nodded in hypnotism. Then a strange delicate tune caught my ears. Complex musical notes and difficult harmony drew me closer to the dancers that were born from the mirage into a weird climax.
I refused to open my eyes. I didn’t want to see weird things around me. The obscure chants and incantations seduced me to a world of absurdity. My teeth gnashed hysterically under a power beyond my control.
Then I grew the third eye. It emerged from my temple. The desert suddenly cracked and three genies emerged from the crevice.
One legged genie with hazel eyes, two legged genie with eyes made of chrysthelum and three legged with sapphire eyes.
They wanted to touch me. I screamed…
* * *
I woke up sweating. I wasn’t sure of myself. It was a dream. It was too real. There was a soft snore beside me, I turned and saw James Crawford, a patient from Las Vegas lying on the surgical stretcher that did my surgical operation.
I was still in New York Hospital. With a splitting headache I rose to my feet and staggered to the wards window. The snow settled peacefully outside.
“ I must go home, ”-I whispered
“ They want me at home.” -I concluded.