This short story was published in Tuck Magazine.
He’s injuring her and Peye was aware and that night she decided to turn to a stream of blood. She decided she would break all odds ,fight the angels, flow into her and be her pregnancy and be her daughter and save her from sexual and social discomforts
For weeks now Peye perched on the cashew tree and from a wig of amber leaves she peeped and watched Enebeli wept all day, gathered little children from Cross street, gave them akara balls from enamel bowels and sang sonorous songs to them. She sang to them songs of hope guaranteeing them a coming day when they would no more roam, romp and sleep in broken shacks and soak garri without suger,of a day they would sleep in cold−proof mansions with TV sets and lightings, where mosquitoes have no dominion. And of the day she’d have the child of her own so her husband’s people would call her a barren tree no more.
Peye followed Enebeli from trees to trees everyday to her farms of ewa and ugu vegetables. From the short elm tree with jade foliages dropping like the long harlequin dreadlocks of Diro her queen mother, she watched her sang, danced and wept. She watched her spoke to the trees of the forests like they were humans with ears. She heard her beg the trees to give her a child, even a crippled , so she could be called a woman, and her man honorable in the eyes of Kwantala and her daughters.
She watched her scrunched ewa leaves from their erin soft trunks. She watched her used her sharp knife on the snake−shape spinach leaves and often Peye wished she could turn to the beautiful, fair−skin girl she was and help her lift the mauve basket of vegetables home when she’s done. She wished to fly down and transfigure from the bird, the cerulean hummingbird to a little girl, to be her daughter, and stop her from weeping so long. She fancied to clob to potsherds the burden of childlessness ripping her apart.
Peye watched her sell the vegetables in the market and watched her sobbed round the market the afternoon mama Chichi came to warn her to stay away from her children ,to stop sending them errands, to go and born her own children, stop draining Omakachi her husband and stop being a beautiful tree with no fruits.
She was there when Nnedia ran out for Omakachi in his shop, she saw when Omakachi scuttled in and slapped mama Chichi for insulting his wife,for preening at her self−esteem, at her fear and misery. She was there when Omah−Mbachu,Mama Chichi’s husband appeared from nowhere to prod his behind. She watched them fought energetically like men with burly muscles. Peye was there when they got separated by the members of the market peace−keeping group. She perched there on the verdant igrish tree beside the market master’s office as the market master blamed Omakachi for slapping a man’a wife without having the moral thought to wait for her husband. Omakachi nodded his head to agree he was at fault. Mama chichi was largely blamed for touching Enebeli that deep. Omakachi was fined. He paid ten thousand naira with a jar of palmwine . So did mama chichi and Omah for not reporting.
She was around when Enebeli wept and wept because she’s aware what caused the embarrassment, lack of a child, boy or girl, imbecile or crippled. Peye was around when they returned home and Omakachi mopped her face and begged her to stop weeping, that he’d love her forever wether she’s pregnant or not . She was there when Omakachi ate properly, smoothed his chest and bragged he’d do it tonight until the day breakes. She stood beside the window and heard Omakachi groaned and roared. She felt a pity for Enebeli as she gasped and growled. Peye wept wishing Omakachi would stop and leave it for her. He’s injuring her and Peye was aware and that night she decided to turn to a stream of blood. She decided she would break all odds ,fight the angels, flow into her and be her pregnancy and be her daughter and save her from sexual and social discomforts.As she tried transfiguring, Laraba her twin sister appeared on a branch beside her. She returned back to her senses. Laraba told her Queen Diro, from the moon saw the way her emotion runs,her love for the poor barren couple. She told her Queen Diro was livid and fuming. Very angry for her.
Peye was sent as usual to enter a big wealthy family so the Moon could be made full of earthly goodies. Not the family of barren struggling poor couple. You did not belong here, Peye be careful,Queen Diro is watching you. Laraba said. But I feel for these people, they’ve suffered. I want to be their daughter. Enebeli loves little children. She’d take good care of me. She cook sweet soup. She’s obedient to her husband. Omakachi loves her so much and for sure he would love with passion whatsoever that was able to restore his wife’s sanity. Peye said. Be carefull, I know this woman has trapped you with her love for children but Queen Diro is restless in the moon. Laraba said before flying away. I belong here Peye said to herself, and Queen Diro should be aware. Peye did not belong to the moon or she hates the moon.
The following week she invisibly followed her to St. Peters Hospital for another check up. The yellow doctor repeated the same thing. She’s well. She’s fruitful. She’s fertile and she’d see what se wants in due time. In due time ,she’d not and never remain barren.
Peye was around when she told Omakachi that she wasn’t pregnant yet, but she is fruitful and in due time would be pregnant. Omakachi smiled and said he’s not worried, he’s simply worried about her own worries .
The following two weeks Peye did not see them. She did not watch them, Queen Diro summoned her in the moon. She Begged Queen Diro. Peye told her she wished to stay with the barren couple just for a season, to winch shame off their eyes then come back to continue from where she stopped. Queen Diro bolted up from her gold−upholstered diamond throne . Her eyes loomed and heavy fumes of tangerine radiated and mingled in her eyes; she was furious. Queen Diro told her her sisters are starving. Mirano−lax needs more jewelries of gold and silver for her wedding coming up in a month and she’s aware she would be wedded to Prince Miflix the son of PlutoKking. The regent of the sun needs earthly money or he’d not release any of his jewelries of fine gold. Your other sisters Jumo−lux, Olive−aska and Opra−tan need their favorite Makmayonisse food all day and the Queen of M ekury needs earthly money before and look at me I need Diamonds to glow, it’s the secret of my power and radiance and Jaba, the lord of the great Jupiter need earthly money too and here you stand telling me of a poor couple,dying for Omokachi and his barren wife. Go and enter Medina’s womb and fetch us money. She’s the wife of a prominent Nigerian senator. That’s your mission Peye. Let me not see you perch around those barren things. God’s above us let him do his job. Now go back to the earth and do what you have to do. The mission execute it.
Peye knew what she was to do in Senator Odenigbo’s family. What she has always done. What she did in Abdul’s family in Dar es salam, Tanania.what she did in a family so wealthy in Califonia. What she did to a congress man’s family in Mississipi and what she did to a Jamaican family . Now it is Nigeria and she’s aware what she must do. She’d be born and she’d be rambunctious. She’d always cry. She’d grow fast and always demand for much and anything she got she’d enter a corner and give them to Laraba and Laraba would fly with it up the moon. It was their home. The moon. When in Califonia she got much dollars from Segnor Hugo Boliva and she ate expensive cookies, pissamayionesse with delicious sandwiches. She flows into the family that do not pray fervently.
And for weeks now she had patiently waited for the prayer life of Enebeli. She waited for a weakness in her prayer life. If she becomes prayer−weak the shimmering angels wearing ivory gowns coming from a place Peye vaguely knew would fly away and she’d have all her way. But Enebeli continued to pray and imperceptibly preserved these strange peach fellows who seemed not to care for her tears nad childlessness at any rate. All they do was to shimmer and shimmer about.
Peye has decided to face the drum. To ignore the orders of Queen Diro. To stay here. She’s aware of the consequences of flaunting Queen Diro’s Orders. You’d die . she’d kill you and hang your soul in the hottest planet, the sun, where you’d burn all day long. It was Laraba she revealed part of the secret to. Jaba the lord of the great Jupiter , the regent of terrific storms and dusts has given her the power to choose where she wished to go and belonged on the deal she’d always let him have all other children of Enebeli as soon as she delivered them. If she’d agree with this then Queen Diro’s witchmagic powers would do her no harms.
These were the forces she would have to stand just for loving Enebeli for loving little street children and Omokachi for loving his wife even without a child for him. Laraba told her she should then be prepared for the hottest conspiracy and combat in the space. I pitied Enebeli who is not aware of the controversy about to flow into her womb Laraba had said before flying back to the moon
From the moon Queen Diro would be sending a thunderbolt tonight on this cashew tree. Laraba told her this and Peye wondered what instrument lord Jaba of Jupiter would be sending for defence and how Queen Diro would feel understanding her daughter had gone haywire to the height of compromising with lord Jaba to flaunt her orders. And now,though she’s certain she’d be safe, the eight lords of the eight planets had always feared Lord Jaba, she was worried, worried Enebeli would feel bad and plummet hearing the boom of a thunderbolt, the shot of storm then the heavy bang of both on the tree very close to her window. Enebeli might faint, it would be better she flys to another tree far away from the cashew tree. She hummed the flied to an ukpa tree a distance away.
And now on the tree of plenteous chartreuse leaves she felt she should fly down and turn to a human, Laraba would be here very soon for her dinner and with more news about Queen Diro’s plan. She was indeed beautiful. Shaffron skin with eggshaped face,long jaw with hooked nose. She can’t wait to slid out of Enebeli’s womb, she can’t wait to be her pride, her glory and her moonbeam. She cant wait to be different in the Cross city of dark flatnose children. She cant wait to be watched and praised steadily for her hyper yellowness. She cant wait to be the magic and robot girl she dreamed. To do terrible things to terrible people. To predict the future and finally to await the fury of Queen Diro, her clash with lord Jaba of the great Jupiter and the regular deaths of Enebeli’s children. And in this regard she was empathic for the woman she relished loving , but she’s helpless, it’s what Enebeli must have to stand to have a child as quick as possible before Kwantala and her daughters would throw her out. Who’s Kwantala. She’s Omakachi’s mother.
Peye changed to a lady wearing long lilac−magenta gown laced with silver beads, ocher ring hanging from a left nose and the maroon satin chest of the gown showing two peach archs. She was noble and gently walked round the tree. Her glory blazed like bulbs. Laraba soon came in the form of a bat-faced nymph black and horrible. Peye was surprised her sister was a nymph and black, people of the moon are beautiful people and the two things they can transfigure to were ,the hummingbird and the dragon. Not a bat-faced nymph. A more frightening thing.
Why a bat-faced nymph? Peye asked Laraba overly afraid of the domineering aura laraba carried and she felt she wasn’t her sister. Peye charged, her eyes gleamed and pink rays,the colour of Jupiter enveloped Laraba . All the while Laraba silently watched her. She knew what she was doing. She was using the pink-power of Jupiter to scan her. To x-ray her system. To be sure she was Laraba. And Laraba loved how powerful her sister had suddenly become just for the sake of a loving barren woman loved by her pressurized husband and how the cord bonding them got thickened by such love and how the love was seriously forcing them to disobey and take nasty decisions demanding frightening sacrifices; She loved Peye hence she’s nymph and black tonight.
The love came from the fact they were never daughters directly from the womb of Queen Diro. And Queen Diro wasn’t aware Laraba has been made aware of it by Onyx the daughter of Marion, the lord of Mars. Onyx told her they would never have the power to be reborned in the earth if they genuinely belonged to the moon. Hence Queen Diro would never send her children born in the moon to the earth for reborn when she noticed the moon people are deteriorating for the lack of earthly money and Peye would not obey her orders. Onyx told her before she decided to fly down for Peye she was a direct twin sister of Peye. That they were different from the moon people, different from the sons and daughters of Queen Diro. Hence unlike the girls and Queen Diro they can live and glow needing no diamond or earthly money. They were fully made. They belonged to the most favoured planet. Hence they have the part of their souls that feel, passionate and compassionate. And despite Queen Diro’s constant grooming of them to behave so wickedly like them of the moon they naturally feel obliged to love and do good. The people of the moon are bloodless. No feeling. No heart. Or if you doubt me press your ear on the hearts of Jumo−lux, Olive−aska and Opra−tan you’d see they do not breathe. But you . you are different. You breathe as Peye. Support your sister’s happiness. Stick to her. Do not obey Queen Diro against Peye’s joy and dream. Laraba asked her to tell her how they came to stay in the moon then her claims would be validated and forever she’d stick to her sister.
Onyx scanned the place they stood in the mars before speaking. According to my mother,the queen of mars and grand daughter of Venus II there was a planet called Shaffron hanging Far away in the south and few meters to heaven. The creatures in it were beautiful, mild and passionate. They loved and loved those that loved. They could do anything for love. Not sexual love. But free agape love directed to loving people. God loved them so much that he valued them above all other planets and the creatures in them. Far away in the north my mother said were large planets inhabited by huge, carmine, beige creatures. They have to visit the sun biannually for invigoration or they’d rust and die. But the people of Shaffron planet stayed in a mild small planet of flowers, ixora, bougavalia, frangipani and chrisantimum flowers. They need go nowhere for muscular and physiognomical invigoration for they were self-sustaining. Always bright and yellow as their planet. So balmy and glorious. People of coral Azalus planet, the first planet, of indigo Luma, the second planet, of periwinkle Plava,the third planet, puce and ruby Ascava , the fourth planet and cerise Molibeth, were banned from marrying and dealing with the people of Shaffron. These grieved them to the point they had a rendezvous of revolution in Azalus planet. There they compromised to revolt. To annihilate the people of Shaffron since they cant have them. Wether God was asleep,no one could tell, then the most fierce combat of excessive massacre was carried out in the Shaffron planet. The people of Shaffron were killed and grinded and burned to rubbles all of them save for a twin weeping babies, the leftovers of an envied and celebrated race the vestigials of hallowed planet a kind man of Molibeth, Rattarat escaped with in a jute bag as the battle rages from Shaffron to Moon planet. Those twin babe girls kept in the care of Queen Diro. You were the one. Laraba and Peye. They were the names given to you by your savior of Molibeth. Laraba wept as she asked of what happened to the planets since such planets were around the space now. And Onyx said God was angry with them. He flung the planets into abyss.