For the ones tethered by wispy threads.
We, the Others
This is our home; this is where we come to sit,
This is where we laugh and shout and scream and point fingers; this is where we be.
This is where we play the drums, hit the shekere with a vengeance, and stomp our feet in glee.
This is us; this is our house.
She, the mother
You must not let them thrive. To give them an inch is to give them your lands,
To heed their cries is to spell doom for yourself,
To ignore them is to carve out a hollow madness for yourself,
Tis’ better to not have lived.
They, the people
They called her possessed.
The cowries were unlike any they had ever seen; they were translucent and warm to the touch.
They said it was unnatural – a child does not mutter to itself in isolation; it ought to cry and scream and then sleep.
She wore waist beads that did not break, spun by her others. And each time her cousins tried to make the same designs, their beads broke.
Only Mama knew.
He, the griot
The others were flitting about in the space between here and now, past and present, avoiding the future because it was better to not know what you already know when she came.
Her light was dim; one other had called it sorrowful, another termed it a suppressed spirit, a sadness anchored firmly on a low sense of self —- others like to attend private therapy sessions in fancy hospitals. And they watched as she stripped herself of clothing, as she lay naked as the day she was born in the wet sand and begged the Others for mercy.
We, the others
Yet, they call us unnatural!
She, the possessed
She hears the drums in her head. a high that is not of this world envelops her. A drunkard’s synced footsteps are apparent in her staggering movements.
The others cackle with glee as she dances, she weaves in and out of consciousness, and her audience is enraptured…man’s emptiness is filled in these brief moments.
Mama, the distraught
You have done enough in this life; now take her. Mama pounds the brains and the heart, the sheep lies in a pool of its own blood. She is furious yet methodical.
The pestle slips from her tired hands.
He, the griot
The others are sympathetic.
They know what it means to love and not be loved in return; they understand the hurt that comes from rejection, and they swallow the bitter pills every time that men come to beg them for mercy. But a being cannot deny itself, and another can not deny others; this kinship is forged in water and blood and bones and transience – a bond that only some little words can break.
She, the possessed
Do you believe in spirits?
I think that I may be one, that there may be more to me than this present self. Sometimes I see the ones that I have seen before, thousand times over. Sometimes, they recognise me; at times, they do not – their new bodies have subdued them, scarring them forever.
I think that she may have covered a fire, and now my body emits unending smoke.
About The Author
Peace Osemwengie is a writer, musician and art enthusiast. She enjoys conversations centred around Africa, religion, spirituality, society and culture. She also likes food and fancies herself an upcoming gastronomist if such a word exists. She also writes a blog, publishing original pieces and not-so-original thoughts.