The trees swayed violently in the strong wind and there was a scent in the air that signaled coming rains. The talisman on Massassi's staff shook and dirt from the road swirled around her in a perfect circle rendering her motionless until it subsided. "I have to hurry back to the shrine before the rain starts" she thought to herself and she attemped to pick up her pace but her legs failed her. Her body seemed foreign to her these daysÔÇŽslow legs, aching back, tired hands and blurry vision; signs that her age was finally catching up with her. She knew that her failing body could spell disaster for the oracle because she was regarded as the "omnipotent messenger of the gods with unmatched powers". It was very believable because even though she had witnessed over eighty yam festivals, she moved like she had only been around for half that number. Massassi was always full of energy. She often trekked from one village to another and it took her half the time it would take most young men. There were rumours going around the village that Massassi was visited by the great goddess and was given an elixir that made her ageless and powerful. Lately, her body was reminding her that she had been around for too many moons but she knew that she had to continue to appear strong. Her strength was indeed her power and any sign of weakness would make the King and the villagers doubt her messages. As she made her way back to the temple from the Kings Palace, she pondered on the discussion that had taken place. Her summon was not a good one. The King was angry and anxious and rightfully soÔÇŽthere was a bad wind coming towards their direction. This storm had been brewing for decades and its coming was inevitable. It was now only a question of when it will come and who will survive it but it was definitely headed their wayÔÇŽthis day of reckoning felt closer than it ever did before and it scared Massassi but she could not show her fear in front of the King. She needed to appear unshakeable especially in these difficult times as the stability of the Kingdom depended on her. She abruptly stopped in her tracks and whispered under her breath "Yes, it is upon usÔÇŽgreat goddess, protecting your children". She could smell danger; just as she could smell the rain. She saw a flash of lightening and roaring thunder with a few raindrops followed shortly. She shivered in fear as if the rain was a confirmation from the gods that inescapable doom was heading their way. She began walking again and this time, she did not attempt to walk faster.


Massassi had a keen sense. She sensed a change in Udo. She seemed very absent minded lately and had gotten a few slaps from her this week to remind her to pay attention. The other day she overcooked the leaves for the medicine rendering the whole pot useless and today she just stared blankly into the air as she broke nuts for the soup at a snail's pace. "What has gotten into this girl?" she wondered. She looked at her again, this time, examining her body and she suddenly realized that the little slave girl that she had taken in was now becoming a woman. She never looked at her this closely, until nowÔÇŽShe had little time for the girl and she viewed her as more of an irritant than any help but now, looking at Udo closely, she realized that the young girl that was brought to her a few moons ago as a malnourished child with tattered clothes, was quickly becoming a womanÔÇŽa very beautiful woman. She would have to speak to the King soon before one of these sex starved village men had their way with her "The time has come. Yes, the gods are beckoningÔÇŽ" Massassi thought to herself. She picked up a stick to draw lines in the sand. At the same time, she chanted some words and danced in a cirle to summon the mother goddess.


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Re: Alu Part 3
Iyke posted on 02-09-2011, 13:29:59 PM
My little opinion: I guess you should maintain the use of "shrine" and avoid "temple." Reason: temple conjures up the image of oriental religions or christianity. Shrine seems perfect and switching for the sake of diversity of word may be superflous.
Re: Alu Part 3
Prof penkelemess posted on 02-09-2011, 15:52:04 PM
like the OSUN shrine in Odogbolu:

they don't have a 'temple' there...

Prof of Shrinonolgy
Re: Alu Part 3
Anwulika posted on 02-09-2011, 16:04:06 PM
My little opinion: I guess you should maintain the use of \"shrine\" and avoid \"temple.\" Reason: temple conjures up the image of oriental religions or christianity. Shrine seems perfect and switching for the sake of diversity of word may be superflous.

Thank you Iyke! Noted.
Re: Alu Part 3
Chi2 posted on 02-09-2011, 16:15:58 PM
Glad you took Iyke's advice seriously. I have nothing to add to your beautiful story other than to call your attention to the last line of your piece for typo error:

"At the same time, she chanted some words and danced in a cirlecirle. You may have wanted to write (circle) but the godess from the shrine captivated your attention.
Re: Alu Part 3
Abeg posted on 02-09-2011, 19:40:15 PM
Massassi sounds abstract. Where does the name come from? Does it fit into the society about which you are writing? And, King? Definitely not in Igboland? Because I see the name Udo. How can you explain that? Your story flows well.
Re: Alu Part 3
Anwulika posted on 02-09-2011, 19:54:30 PM
Thanks for your comment abeg. I describe this writing as "purely fictional with some influences from reality". There is really no society per se, as I gather inspiration from everywhere in my writing. Here is a breakdown of some of the characters, their names, the origin of the names and it's meaning:

Negasi (m) Main male character-Ethiopian meaning "he will be crowned".

Udo (f) Main Female Character- Ibo meaning "peace".

Ajani (m) Main male character's rival- Yoruba meaning "Warrior".

Kambili (f)-Ibo meaning "allow me join this family".

Kaaria (m) Village Wiseman/royal adviser-Kenyan meaning "one who speaks softly with wisdom".

Massassi (f) Priestess- Zimbabwe meaning "first woman on earth".

Ismitta (f) Messenger from Udo's hometown-North African name meaning "southern wind".

Chiku (f) Village gossip- Swahili name meaning "talkative".

Machupa (m) Village drunk-Swahili name meaning "one who enjoys drinking".

Matata (m)-Swahili name meaning "troublemaker".
Re: Alu Part 3
Zebrastripe posted on 02-09-2011, 21:23:11 PM
Sister, fine work. I'm definitely proud of you. May you infinitely succeed!
Re: Alu Part 3
Iyke posted on 02-10-2011, 01:50:01 AM
Anwuli, granted that you are writing a fiction, it has to be contextualized. Even the title already suggests an Igbo context. From that point of view Abeg is really right. Fiction must reflect a bit of reality if not it strays into the nebulos zone of delusion.

I love your idea of pan-africanism, for sure you will not be the first at that. Soyinka did that in his OGUN ABIBIMAN though that is a poem and he gave a kind of explanotary notes at the end, stating that Abibiaman is from the "Akan" etc. I think that Prose may not go well with such clossary. But you can take a clue from Chimamanda who ofetn and subtley disects the meaning of a name and the context in which it arose.

You may just give a subtle reference to the meaning and context of such names. For instance, "story has it that he was named Negasi after the respected king of the Ethopians etc" or he earned the name Ajani owing to the structure of his nose akin to that of Yoruba warriors etc. no definite mode but a subtle and stylistic contextualization.

Finally, am sure I have come across "Kambili" in Chimamanda's work. A change of name may assert originality. "may." No shortage of names with the same meaning.
Re: Alu Part 3
Chi2 posted on 02-10-2011, 08:27:40 AM
Anwuli, Iyke's latest input into your literary work should be treasured. The resemblance to a name in Chimanmada's work "Kambili" might either be coincidental or deliberately done. Whichever, do all you can to change it in order not to offend the literary pride of your colleague. You can as well maintain a shortened form of it, if you can't shop for more Ibo names. "Kambili" can be written Bilikam or just Bili. You can also consider the name, Nonye or Nonyelum. The final choice is yours.

Your fiction has a continental underpinning, I would love to see more of its Africaness by injecting African scenario and phenomena such as the effect of raindrops on our soil - ..."with a few raindrops" (aroma of wet soil and shrubs), the connection of our god of thunder, Amadioha in relation with your expression of "..a flash of lightening and roaring thunder.."
A love journey of 50 miles may be tiresome but but rewarding.
Good luck.
Re: Alu Part 3
Prof penkelemess posted on 02-10-2011, 08:28:13 AM
Dante, Shakespeare, Hafiz and Soyinka are all


prof penke
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