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Aduloge bent down as he dug out another yam, examining the tuber closely to see if it was suitable for presentation at the Yam Festival. He was quite content with his plan to circumvent Eguologo, but was at the same time trepidatious. Can a man wrestle with a god and win?

He was mulling over this when Okumale staggered into the garden.

“Enoku has taken Akuela ooo, “ he sobbed.

Aduloge dropped the yam and interlaced his fingers over his head. What he feared had happened. Quietly, he picked an axe and headed straight for Ologo, the sacred ancestral tree.

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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“Aduloge, why do you tarry in announcing this year’s tribute? Granted, she is your daughter, but that doesn’t make her any different from the others.”

“Nwalibe, I have heard you. I will let the village know at the right time.”

“Remember, the leaves that hung above us are the very ones trodden underfoot when they die.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“No one is above the laws of nature. Not even the High Priest of Eguologo.”

“I have heard enough. Leave!”

Nwalibe left Aduloge’s hut very embittered.

Aduloge sat quietly, gnashing his teeth as he planned his next move.

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Mother Enoku, please grant as safe passage. And if either of us or our relative has sinned, don’t hold it against us…”

The boatman jiggled the fare of two cowries before setting out. Akuela asked Okumale why they were on this journey. Before he could answer, the river became tempestuous. Fickle Enoku was at it again.

They saw the log too late. It smashed into the boat, capsizing it immediately and hitting Akuela on the head. She resurfaced, gulping for air and beating the water frantically. When she submerged again, there was a flickering of bright light followed by darkness.

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The windblown trees whistled as Akuela trudged the path through Anilisi, the sparse forest abandoned by Eguologo when the people of Animo refused to worhip him any longer. The incessant whistling was a heart-wrenching reminder of Akuela’s undying love for Odumalu, whose whistling was the signal for their occasional nightly rendezvous behind her father’s compound.

Akuela’s young eyes had only seen Abrokwa twice since birth so Okumale, her eldest brother, accompanied her. In her right hand, she carried a fowl to be sacrificed for safe passage across Enoku, the capricious river goddess, who separated the east villages from the west.

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Aduloge, I salute you,” Nwalibe greeted as he entered the High Priest’s hut.

“Eeeh,” Aduloge replied nervously, knowing very well the purpose of this visit.

“Is your family well?”

“They are,” Aduloge replied curtly.

“And our daughter?”

“The side of a drum is not beaten when it has a surface. Get straight to the point Nwalibe.”

“It is the cock that crows at dawn, but the hen also knows it’s morning.”

“How can you possibly know the pain I’m in? I am in the fire, and I know how it burns.”

“Even in the desert, there is an oasis.”

“Seriously?”

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Akuela, do you love me?” Aduloge asked searchingly.

“You know I love you, Papa.”

“Then you must do exactly as I say. Go and stay in Abrokwa, your mother’s village, until I send for you.”

“But father, our in-laws have begun the year-long marriage rites. How can you ask me to leave?”

“Listen to me. A man who cannot tell when it’s sunset will stumble in the dark because he carries no lamp.”

“Papa, I don’t understand.”

“Only a slave is shackled with chains. We are free people who determine their own destiny. Leave tomorrow morning… if you love me.”

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The fufu and palmnut soup had tasted like ashes in his mouth. The moon shone exceptionally brightly, a time when children sat in the compound to tell Anansesem. Through the window, he could hear Akuela’s distinctly melodious voice singing an mmoguo in the middle of her story.

Aduloge tossed and turned as he listened to the song. It was about lion, who had caught hyena stealing from his barn and was deciding whether to spare his life.

Can Eguologo’s mind be changed? Of course not! Aduloge now knew how the other parents felt when their daughters were chosen for sacrifice.

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Akuela hummed the bridal song merrily as she wove her third basket that week beneath the odadee tree. Odumalu and his male relatives had already completed the knocking ceremony, paving the way for the rites and rituals that led to the marriage ceremony itself. Not that this came as a surprise. Akuela and Odumalu had been betrothed since infancy. Now that Akuela had bled, it was time for her in-laws to claim their prize.

As the only daughter of the High Priest, Akuela had been groomed to be the quintessential lady. The time had now come to show her off.

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

The seven elders walked solemnly into the shrine, each bowing his head in reverence to Eguologo. No one dared spoke a word; each hoping the lot would not fall on them. They sat on their goatskin mats in a semi-circle, facing the god.

Finally, the oracle spoke.

“Elders, I salute you,” Aduloge greeted, also looking solemn and melancholic. “It is customary for a virgin to be sacrificed annually to pacify our land. This year, the lot has fallen on one of us.”

The others’ hearts throbbed agonisingly, beads of sweat trickling down their faces.

“Akuela, my daughter, has been chosen.”

[100 words]

To read the series, click here

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Ababio dreaded the trip from Kumasi to Accra. He had tried his best to circumvent his boss so he wouldn’t attend the conference, but nosey Nana Yaa had thwarted his plans.

As they passed through Nsawam, he clenched his fists and started gnashing his teeth. They were nearly there; that spot near the town square where he smashed his car and got his fiancée killed. If only he didn’t have a photographic memory.

He could still see her mangled body being pulled out of the wreck.

Tearfully, he asked the driver to stop there so he could pay his respects.

[100 words]

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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