By Amah’s Heart.
The priestess was busy with visitors all day. She had planned to see Dembe earlier but waved it off.
Some of the visitors wanted her to consult the gods for them and also to present their gifts both to her and to the gods.
She was cold in carrying out her normal duty. Despite she has served as a priestess all her life which was passed down from her mother to her and she was supposed to passed it on to her first daughter or the one who has the people’s interest at heart.
Aprin fit into the role perfectly but instead she chose her own just curse. An unseen God who does unimaginable things according to Dembe.
And now the mixed feeling she gets about this God is disturbing.
Her heart was greatly troubled even when she is carrying out little tasks in the temple like burning incense or her early morning worship to the gods it wasn’t as it used to be
Consulting the gods for her visitors and presenting their offering becomes difficult which was uncommon.
It used to be a thing of joy for her before but she was gradually loosing interest.
The priestess wondered how Dembe’s God had so much influence on her or did he cast a spell.
With all this trouble crowding her heart she decided within her that she was going to summon Dembe.
The moment she thought of doing that she saw Dembe walking towards the visitors lodge where she was.
He stopped to say something to Phatsy and she smiled sheepishly.
“Is Dembe picking interest in Phatsy? That will also mean the slave girl’s freedom if Dembe decided to marry Aprin’s personal maid…
The priestess wondered as she sat and waited for Dembe to come.
“My kind greetings mother…”
Dembe greeted and waited for her permission to enter.
After he was asked to sit he began to speak.
“Thank you once again for the other night with lady Sheila. You came just in time. I’m here to give a complain. I’m still not permitted to step out freely like I wish to do. The men guarding the gate said you have not lifted the ban… that I have to take permission from you for every movement that will involves stepping out of the gate.
“Very true Dembe. You are bonded to this household. Marriage to Aprin makes you part of the priestess household. I know Aprin, my daughter is no more but it changes nothing because your royalty lies in this place. I also…
Dembe quickly interrupted.
“Pardon me for interrupting. My greatest desires is to travel back to Gwali someday. My parents and many other people might have died or captured during or after the war but I still want to go back home to know how the land is faring. Gwali blood still runs in my vain not Kebra… I want to take my son back to my people so that he will know where his father originated from. Is over a years that Aprin passed. I really want to step out of here once in a while and know what the outside world looks like…I beg of you great mother. Sometimes it feels like I’m in prison and only limited to this long walls…
“Okay Dembe. you can step out once or twice in a week but that will be without Caleb. You can’t expose him to the public eyes. He is a special seed.
Dembe look up at her with a straight face.
” Every child is special. I hope you are not still considering him for some barbaric offering to your gods because that will never happen. Pardon my tone but my word is my bond except you will kill me first. Caleb belongs to the God most high. Just like me and Aprin too before her transition. I will obey every other law here but I will keep my distance from shedding of blood or anything like it…
He expected the priestess to flare up or curse him like she used to do in the past whenever he challenges her but she did not react negativily.
Instead she said calmly
“Your stubbornness is just like that of Aprin. But very soft at heart. For Aprin sake no harm will come to Caleb. I give you my word on that. You are free to take a peep at the city anytime but make sure you return on time and do not leave with Caleb. Remember is once or twice within the week. About going back to your home town Gwali, I doubt how possible that will be. I have alot I wanted to ask you Dembe… is a good thing you came Just in time because I have been wanting to summon you up here. Is about your God…is it the same God your people worship in Gwali? Please tell me more about this invisible God…
Dembe was surprised to hear her say that. he looked into her eyes and saw that she was serious about knowing the true living God.
He breathed deeply, bent his head for sometime before saying.
“My people worshipped Zulu until the greatest change came through some missionaries. I saw God use this people to do great things… their words were like prophecy which later came to pass. They said hard time will come but we should be in good cheer and that hard time was the war that broke us into pieces. We couldn’t cheer or rejoice in it…I was angry with God for so long because I don’t understand why a loving God will watch us go through so much trouble and hardship without doing anything. I didn’t understand much then untill I met a young servant girl here in Kebra…. called Lydia who led me to Jon the tent maker. This people opened my eyes to the deepest things of God. Jon thought with the holy spirit direction and every if his teaching was an eye opener….it sink deep. God is real…is only a foolish person that says there is no God. Every other God bow down to him because he is omnipresent. I have experience him and he erased every fear and doubt that sat on my salvation. The greatest loss in life is not death, is dying without embracing the through light. See… every thing in this life will eventually pass away but the word of God stands firm forever. God is a loving father who does not want his people to perish in sin and that was why he sent his…
There was a clap sound coming behind Dembe.
He turned and it was Sheila, she was smiling mischievously and clapping her hands.
The priestess did not even noticed her coming, she was taken by every of Dembe’s word and was hungry to hear more.
“Oh I see, you finally got acquainted with my mother. I see why mother took a defensive wings over you instead of me which was really unlike her. I hope you are not selling those cheap lies that you sold to Aprin before she died….I hope you aren’t selling them to mother? Anyway, I trust mother… she is a priestess, a dedicated one. A mouth piece to the gods. She can never show interest in another God aside the one she is bound to serve for the rest of her life and the same one I will worship and even draw blood for….
“What do you want Sheila??
The priestess asked interrupting her.
“I’m here to see you mother. Send this infidel away because I need to speak to you privately…
Dembe stood before the priestess will protest over Sheila’s word.
“Is okay, I will be out. Please let me know when you need me. I’m taking a short evening walk. Caleb will be with phatsy. I will return soon…
Dembe left. He was going to the tent maker’s house but is going to be a long walk. He decided to ride on a passenger carriage going towards the lone road.
As he got closer, he paid the carrier and went down.
Dembe walked through the rest of the journey before he got to Jon’s house.
“How pleasant to see you again Dembe.
Jon exclaimed happily.
His wife joined in.
Hannah came out to greet cheerfully.
Dembe’s heart was lifted the moment he saw Hannah. She has added extra height from the last time he saw her.
Jon sat to talk with Dembe while his wife makes evening meal with Hannah.
Dembe told Jon about the priestess and her desires to know God.
Jon was very happy as he told Dembe that there is nothing God can not do.
They talked more on deep things about Godly until Dembe began to feel a strong urge to start going.
He was shock to know that Lydia had traveled back to Kish.
He had wish to see her even if just once but she was gone and don’t intend to come back to Kebra.
Jon said they have not heard from her for months now since she went back to Kish with her only brother.
They all missed her and will keep praying for her.
Dembe couldn’t eat the food he was offered. He took the drink and thanked Jon and his wife.
He told them he needed to go he doesn’t feel comfortable with himself.
Jon understood and asked him to run ahead after they held hands and make a short prayer.
Hannah waved goodbye to him as he ran off.
Dembe ran all the way from lone road until he got to the market and paid for a carriage ride that took him home.
He wondered what was wrong, his mind was on his son.
He silently prayed that nothing bad happened to his son.
As he entered the priestess big gate, he saw the servants in great panic.
There were guards all around and they quickly siezed him the moment he stepped inside.
Dembe was confused about what exactly was going on.
He began to hear Sheila’s voice from behind as she approach him.
“Yes, he is the man that stabbed my mother…the great priestess to death. Yes he stabbed her with a knife and ran out but the gods dragged him back. Sieze him because he must die by tomorrow evening for Killing my dear mother. I’m glad she made me the next priestess of Kebra before she died… I’m in charge now. This man called Dembe must die a painful death and I will send the search squared to fish out wherever he hide his son. His son will be offered to the gods… the gods required blood sacrifice for cleansing.
She moved very close to Dembe and said.
“I told you I will deal with you Dembe. You are going to watch me roast you alive. Aprin is dead and mother just died… nobody will save you or your son from my claws. You are totally finished… wretched infidel like you…
Dembe was dumb founded to hear that the priestess was stabbed to death. He was with her earlier before Sheila showed up and wanted to talk with her.
“Before you take me away, please let me see the priestess. I want to see the priestess please……
Dembe cried out in anguish.
Sheila refused. Bash was there and ordered the guards to let go of Dembe but Sheila said she was the one that gives the order and nobody else has that right not even her husband.
As they were arguing
Dembe suddenly pulled away from the guards grib and began to run towards the priestess chamber.
They ran after him, he got to the door and quickly entered inside.
Bash tried to distract the guards from coming after him but Sheila was in action.
Immediately Dembe entered the big chamber he quickly locked the door firmly behind.
He rushed to the priestess whose body was cold and with no breath.
Dembe cried out in terror.
“God no… please no… Don’t let this to happen. She was about to be saved father… please revive her. Please give her another chance. Oh Lord…I beg you. Not for my sake but that your name maybe glorify through this. Oh God please…oh Lord…
Dembe kept crying as tears poured from his eyes.
The priestess had a knife tucked to her stomach.
Blood filled up everywhere, she lay lifeless on her bed
There was a heavy bang on the door and once they break in dembi will be taken away and tortured to death.
Sheila was out to destroy him and everyone that stands on her way.
Dembe knelt beside the priestess not knowing how to pull out the knife from her stomach.
He kept praying and crying out.
He tried a little pull and noticed that the priestess winced in pain.
He was surprised and tried again and again.
“You have to get a physician to do that Dembe… I still want to hear the rest of what you were telling me this afternoon. I’m very much interested now than ever…
The priestess spoke quietly with pain in her voice. her cold body was filled with warm all of a sudden.
Dembe opened his eyes very wide to be certain he heard her spoke because her eyes remain shot.
She opened her eyes and managed a smile at Dembe.
Just then the door was broken apart and the guards rushed in with Sheila to take Dembe away but they suddenly paused when they saw that the priestess was alive.
“No harm should come to him or my grandson… Dembe will remain here with me….
The priestess warned with a shaky voice before closing her eyes again.
Dembe saw she was very weak and couldn’t speak another word.
It was shocking as Dembe began to scream for somebody to fetch a physician.
Bash rushed out with some guards and returned with a physician who managed to pull off the knife.
“The priestess lose alot of blood but she is going to live. Whatever magic power that kept her alive is baffling… she will live because all her organs her responsive….
The physician said shocking everyone even Sheila who stood with her mouth opened.
Sheila cried out with a total shock.
“I saw her die. She was dead…my mother…the priestess died and I confirmed it. How is it possible that she is still breathing. She was confirmed dead….this can’t be happening…. no…no…
Sheila ran out in terror and all the guards that came to take Dembe took a bow at the priestess whose eyes remain closed.
Everyone left the room except the physician and Dembe who remain speechless at whatever that Just happened.
He watched as the physician began to clean the priestess blood and sew up her deep knife wound.
He did not leave her side just as the priestess wanted.