Excerpt for Malawi by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

This page may contain adult content. If you are under age 18, or you arrived by accident, please do not read further.





























Published by Marvin Bryant Publishing Worldwide LLC



Copyright Marvin Bryant Jr. and Marvin Bryant Publishing Worldwide LLC, 2017 All rights reserved


































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Grasp your heart, and then let go to understand


the imaginary part. Open your eyes, and then close them only to be mesmerized. Breathe fast, and then breathe slow, so the figments glow in contrast. Heighten the esteem. Paint a new color scheme, only to find the grand daydream.





-Marvin Bryant, Jr.













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This book is a complete work of fic-tion. Each story is complete fiction, and every character is fictional. Any resemblance to actual events or per-sons, living or dead, is entirely coin-cidental.





Credit to DeviantArt Artist(s)

Sabin Boykinov

Anndr

jrmy2cool

Greenestreet

Mates Laurentiu

isdira


EmiliaPaw5


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Content






Capitulum 1 7

Kayange








Capitulum 2 28

Chiona








Capitulum 3 39

Garionn



















5

Dream Verse

1


Greetings to you all, my name is Navy Brimrant, an owl upon the watcher’s wall, and I think the time is upon us that I apprised you about the subtle age before the tyrants, Chann,


Yandla, Alaric, and Garionn, claimed the continents and its people. In that subtle time, there were tribes, e.g., the Kayang-es and the Chionas, who lived their lives in their own way. These are the stories of those tribes, and these are told by Do-nex and Retulu, before the tyrants came. Enjoy what you can.




















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Capitulum 1

Kayange


Told by Donex Kayange


I am Donex Muku Kayange, and as a young boy my father told me my name means sunset on the moon. Throughout the many lands, the middle name is the honorable family name, and the last name is the sacred tribe name that every family must carry and hold with respect and pride.


We are the Kayanges, and this country of Malawi is not our original home; we came from a country far, far away, called Tanzania. During that time, of our early beginnings, we shared the land with other tribes (i.e., the Chionas, the Sukwas, and the Twinkers). The Kayanges believed that in order to grow our people we must focus on the sciences and philosophies to move forward. The Chionas were obsessed with the worship of their gods, while the Sukwas were self- proclaimed deities who were practitioners of dark powers known as vodun.


The Twinkers were dream- and fantasy-driven people who always threw festivals and parties with loud music and light explosions in the night sky to celebrate life.


However, logic and science were the popular opinions of Tanzania at the time due to the overwhelming number of Kayanges compared to the other tribes. My people thought that such a belief in gods and magic was futile and a waste of good human mind. We decided to not waste our time resorting to violent means because of difference in belief systems; we focused instead on building infrastructure and investing in discovery. Our tribe was split into two factions: Banti, the philosophers and scientists of the tribe who spoke and read in over twelve languages, and Hidma, the architects and builders of the tribe who were well versed in preserving valuable minerals and jewels found throughout the land. Before our tribe could ever prosper the way we planned, we had to migrate away from the futility to a country south of here, Malawi. There is where our legacy truly began.


In Malawi, we began our plans to build two cities, one in the mountains and another un-derground. The underground city was planned to be the largest city in the world, connecting the entire African continent with elegant tunnel transportation systems. The City of Ahune was designed to become the central point of unification for Africa. There were several dis-tricts throughout Ahune where different tribes could meet and unite. The only tribe that chose to never visit Ahune was the Chionas.










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The City of Ahune


The city in the mountains would be used for scientific discoveries and experiments. The city was designed so that there were biology, chemistry, and physics sectors where scientists could study the living organisms and chemicals all around them. The City of Yhune contained the world’s larg-est library, filled with knowledge spanning thousands of cultures. The City of Yhune is the only city in the mountains of Malawi.




















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The City of Yhune


The brightest minds of the Kayanges were aware of the past Roman Empire through the texts they bought from confidants throughout the lands and seas. It was a competition of some sorts to construct a better empire, with stronger walls, better technology, greater minds, and much much more. On one occasion, the Bantis’ spoke on the issue of introduc-ing politics into the society, but a collective decision was made to never introduce potential corruption into their tribe. The Kayanges introduced instead a system known as Noocra-cy, inspired by Plato’s government of the wise. The system of Noocracy is a social system based on the priority of the human mind. Think of it as a kind of central brain configured for governance. Every Kayange had an equal share of power for moving the tribe forward. The main goals for the Kayanges were intelligence, innovation, and wisdom. Under the Noocractic government, individuals were able to have original thoughts without the worry of catastrophe from a tyrant. Everyone was a leader, and everyone had the power to be-come great. Gold and silver weren’t the currency of our society. Intelligence was our cur-rency, the more ignorant, the more broke. Each individual, young or old, tries to strive for enlightenment and scientific discovery. Individuals were able to meet at the City of Yhune


to discuss philosophical ideas and debate each idea. They were able to travel








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throughout the City of Ahune and to meet other tribes to share their knowledge and inno-vation throughout Africa. We would often get visitors from other parts of Africa to come and tour the City of Yhune. Moorish men and Persian inventors would often come to the City of Yhune to consult with our own scientists and do experiments together, but there was one meeting, code-named the Noctura Maxis, which took place with all the scientists, Persian monarchs, Egyptian Sultan, and heads of other tribes. Every important figure was there except the ministers and leaders of the Sukwas and Chionas. They all meet to discuss the problem of the foreign invader known as the phoenix, which is conquering countries on the western hemisphere with an army two hundred thousand strong. They were debating on building chemical weapons to protect Africa from invaders, but they kept reaching the dead end of “what if the weapons cause more harm than justice in the future?.” This was a serious issue for the Kayanges, because they were afraid that if they use their intelligence to begin building weapons powerful enough to destroy thousands of lives, then Noocracy would become a system of ashes. Who would guard the weapons? What if a corrupt Kayange uses the weapons in the name of “justice” to destroy thou-sands or even millions? There are no winners in war, so their meeting took a different direction, and they decided to build several huge nine-hundred-thousand-square-foot underground forts throughout the country of Ethiopia for Africa’s finest minerals. With-in these forts were safe havens that people could escape to, guarded by the world’s most sophisticated traps. Instead of inciting a war with the phoenix, we rather hide all of our precious jewels guarded by sophisticated traps that only we can disable. This meeting taught our people that we have a choice in conflict, to become like the killer and kill or give an alternative option. Some Persian leaders attempted to negotiate a peaceful deal with the phoenix, but the Persian leaders were never seen again.


However, despite this meeting’s success to find a peaceful option, there was a secretive meeting between four Persian and Kayange scientists. This meeting led to a secret, now defunct, program to create a gaseous compound that becomes more toxic when in contact with oxygen; the more oxygen is around, the more it’ll expand and wipe out possibly mil-lions of living beings. This compound would’ve suffocated Africa and each place around it. Legend has it that this compound was created and never used in war but is buried in one of the forts of Ethiopia. If the time ever came, I would have to travel to Ethiopia to use the toxic gas.


A few years later, among the many great Kayanges that arose from this “platinum age” of innovation was my father, Ohcani Muku Kayange. He was a beloved man who was one of the greatest inventors and scientists of our time. He rose from being an orphan to the main scientist of the Banti faction. I recall one evening some years ago, when I was only sixteen years old, when he was baffled with one medicine he was trying to create as a disinfectant to heal the wounds of our builders, more efficiently.


“Donex hand me those water tubes.” He said as my father and I sat in his lab. “Father, what are those little rocks on the table?”


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“Those are baryta minerals I got from the Twinkers, in exchange for some of our wine.” He said.


“Damn partying drunks.” He added.


“What do they do?”


“Well I’ll have to try and send some electrical charges to make a reaction of some sorts happen with those little rocks.” He said. Suddenly an armored gentleman with gold wrapped around his forearms and shins, who they called Ayn, enters with a bow and arrows and proceeds to hand my father a note.




































“Sir, this came from one of your confidants in the West.” Ayn said.


“Donex, I think you should leave.” Ayn added.


“No, he’s a growing boy who will need to know how to deal with this.”


My father opened the letter and it read, “Time is of the essence, the phoenix is closing in on our homes. The phoenix has an army of two million men strong now and the army grows with the more he enslaves. After the War of Persia and the War of Egypt, the phoenix has conquered Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, and the Ivory Coast and will be moving in on central Africa soon and before long the east.”



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“Ohcani, how bad is it?” Ayn asked.


“What’s bad? What is going on?” I asked because at the time I was ignorant on the pending threat. I began to worry more and more every second after hearing those words. I’ve never been more terrified from just words on a piece of paper in my life.


“We’ll need to meet with the leaders of the other tribes.” He said.


“You know damn well they will not listen. The Twinkers ceased communication with other tribes years ago; the Chionas will just ignore it, and the Sukwas will probably think it’s a trick.” Ayn said.


“We must try! We’ll need to gather evidence.” He said.


“Son, there is a foreign enemy coming to seek and destroy but we cannot and will not let that happen.” He added.


“The phoenix” I said.


“Yes, and he and his men are coming to claim what is not theirs and we will not let that happen…okay?” He said.


“What will we do?” I asked.


“We’ll have to unite with our foes if we want to survive.” He said.


“Ayn, send three letters to each tribe to alert them of the phoenix.” He added.


A soft knock was heard at the door. I looked toward the door as my father approached the door to open it. A group of Ayn’s confidants was at the door. I slowly walked toward my room with a deep feeling of fear and confusion, but I wondered how I can fear some-thing or someone I don’t know. I assumed fear has no bounds. When I entered my room, I looked at a portrait I painted of my friends, Retulu and Nivram. I thought how could someone come and bring evil to end all the good. I then overheard my father’s meeting. In retrospect, I never heard horror in a person’s voice until that meeting. These confidants were telling my father and Ayn stories of what the phoenix had done. It was a relatively short conversation; after that my father left with the men to take on a trip to Ethiopia. I was left with my mother at home to await his return.


As I sat at home awaiting his return, all different kinds of thoughts were running through my mind. I would often go through my father’s notes and attempt to recreate the experiments he did. I nearly killed myself on one of the experiments with red iron oxide and aluminum powder. I was young trying to prepare just in case the phoenix ever came.




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I would practice every night, tirelessly, trying to understand physics and chemistry more and more. My friend Retulu would visit to go fishing in Lake Malawi, but I was always too tired from staying up all night, and when he returned two weeks later, ev-erything in our tribe changed. I don’t know what happened in Ethiopia but that trip led the scientists to begin building weapons. This entire situation was bizarre because my father was one of the individuals who fought for not using chemical weapons during the Noctura Maxis, but this was the first time I saw him go against his beliefs. The reality of death coming for his loved ones changed his moral code. He began to have this demeanor of focus and worry as he worked in his lab day and night trying to perfect more chemical weapons. When he would fall asleep in his lab from hours of work, I would come behind him and try to duplicate his work. My father grew older every week due to the stress of trying to save everyone. I pondered on the num-bers; the phoenix allegedly has millions of soldiers and the population of the Kayang-es is only two thousand. Should I form a militant group and go fight the enemy? Should I negotiate peace with the enemy? Should I pretend like everything’s alright? Should I build chemical weapons and attack? Despite my numerous attempts to du-plicate my father’s work, I wasn’t as fluent in the sciences as my father is; as a child, I preferred philosophy, but I didn’t know how philosophy could stop a madman.


Once enough weapons were created, Ohcani, Ayn, and a Persian scientist sent in eight hundred men with several tons of chemical weapons as an attempt to end a war before it starts. This attack ultimately fails with the phoenix capturing the eight hundred men by ambush. The phoenix rained hundreds of flaming cannonballs from above using their war balloons. In minutes, eight hundred men were slaughtered, and the chemical weapons were taken by the phoenix. Many have tried to shoot down their war balloons with spears using guerrilla warfare, but all have failed. They all suffered the same fate.


Six months passed, another attack was in the works of being initiated. One day, my father received a letter from several scientists and builders urging him to com-plete the calculations for new chemical weapons. He was reluctant at first because the weapons they were trying to create could burn millions of innocent Africans. My father decided not to partake in this attack, so I did. I went behind my father’s back and worked out equations for the new weapons. It took me some time to figure out the physics, but I had to make the decision to save Africa. Once I sent the remaining calculations to the scientists, my father received a letter of gratitude, but he was con-fused since he didn’t send any calculations. Two weeks later, the attack was initiated; though it was a success, the people that were killed were Africans enslaved into the phoenix’s army. Over seventy thousand Africans were killed due to my decision. I found out that the phoenix uses the people it conquers as “human shields” for its army. Once my father received word that


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“his calculations” had led to a “successful” attack that murdered his own people, my father declined mentally and physically. I didn’t know how to tell my father that it was my work. I felt guilt and pain for what I’ve caused. I should’ve...I don’t know.


A few months passed, the hysteria of the phoenix began to die down. My father hasn’t heard any news of any recent threats; it’s as if the phoenix stopped its conquest after that at-tack and settled in northern East Africa. As the hysteria died,... so did my father. The thought of him getting the credit for killing thousands of his people just to try and kill one man broke him. He was stressed out day in and day out from being held responsible for that attack and the worry of the phoenix still being out there. He traveled a lot trying to consult with oth-er tribes, but to them, they considered the phoenix a myth and a bunch of rumors. He tried pleading with other tribes to get them to listen, but some either left the problem to their re-ligion or others simply dismissed it. This angered and saddened my father simultaneously. How can somebody choose to ignore the smoke from the fire? Unless they’re blind; hence, hear no evil and see no evil. The night before he died, he last told me that to do what I can to survive the coming storm. Fear, guilt, and regret are on my shoulders every day. I questioned my decision to attempt to save my people.


A few weeks after he passed, I walked to his grave during the night. I looked at what re-mained of him and I didn’t know how to express my feelings. I didn’t know whether to cry, scream, be angry, or be afraid. The haunting thoughts of my decision killing my people tore my insides apart. All I can imagine was their agony from my choice to hopefully...save my father. This moment brings back memories of the Lilongwe River. The longer I stood there with the thoughts of what I caused, the more tears flowed down my face. As I stood there in silence looking at his grave, I was spooked by the hoot of a giant owl. I turned in anger to see this monstrous bird staring through my guilt, but once I looked back into its eyes, anger turned to fear. I started walking back slowly, and as I was walking back, I stepped on my father’s grave. I stopped and looked down at his grave and my fear began to disappear. I walked forward and began to yell at the owl telling it to go away.


“Why are you here?!” I yelled.


“Look at what you made me do!” I continued.


As I stared in the eyes of this owl, I heard a voice in my head. “Look at what you did to your-self. Everyone has a choice.”


My mother approached out of the shadows. “Are you okay?” She asked.


I told her, “Yes...I was...it doesn’t matter now.”


My mother and I walked back into the house, and I went into my room to lay in bed. As tears came pouring down, I looked around realizing that I’m living in a glass house.





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In just three years, as I turn nineteen, our tribe still has heard no word of the phoenix. So our tribe has begun to give birth to a new generation of different philosophers who have vary-ing ideas of the nature of man and the world around us. One of these new philosophers and also a close friend of mine is Nivram; he believes that the way to define a man, to see his true character, is by leaving him alone in a room for a month with his greatest enemy; by then that man would have been revealing who he really is. Others have taken the more scientific route of believing the universe is this fluctuating isotopic plane of potential. Nivram became a very popular philosopher among our people, especially after the legacy his father left behind. He would hold rallies that encouraged people to think outside the world they create. He was one of my closest friends as a kid, being second to Retulu. Nivram taught me many things I never knew.


These philosophers are beginning to change the landscape of how we think. Although they faced a lot of criticism from the Chionas who felt they were trying to change their perspec-tives for the worse, there was a change for the better in the overall reaction. The two questions that Nivram proposed that addled me and even Retulu for a while are (1) “Is cruelty real or a figment of human imagination?” and (2) “If there were no humans, would there be a universe and how would you know?” The first question we knew, since we were kids.


I remember once when Nivram and I were sitting on a bench by a patch of double-flow-ered daffodils with butterflies flying around, while eating June plums, Nivram looked at me and asked “Have you ever wondered, if there were no more butterflies in the world, would there still be an Earth? The answer is ‘yes’ because as humans who can perceive different things we could observe that the world would still be here without butterflies, but let’s go bigger. If there weren’t any more humans, would there still be a universe? How would we know? Are we not the ones deemed the most intelligent in the world, who have given names to different things, including to the word ‘universe,’ or is this reality a dream or fictional place of some sorts?”


I was caught off guard by his questions. My initial thought was that Nivram might have had too many June plums. I couldn’t even reply with a suitable answer probably because I didn’t have one. However, apart from the philosophy and science in our tribe, spirituality be-came a factor as well. That’s why some felt that the change in perspective was for the worse. Many began to worship different deities and they also began to fellowship anywhere in the community. The philosophers didn’t see any problem with this because they believed in the objectiveness of belief and opinion, although some religious people called the philosophers liars and the philosophers refused to entertain the drama or should I say the trivial drama.


You may be surprised that despite the difference in opinions and beliefs, our tribe is still able to come together and love and support each other in rough times and good times. It took many years to get to this place of compromise that is both reasonable and rational and that benefits both religion and philosophy. Decades ago, they would argue and belittle each other, trying to decide how one should live in our society. They would also have a huge dispute on how one




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should think, dictating perception, but they were both blind to see that they needed each other just like oxygen and hydrogen need each other to make water, but if you really think about it, it is exciting that these different ideas truly exposed the nature of who we are. Our tribe is not the best tribe, none of us are perfect, but it is our duty to take care of one another and to make each other smarter by challenging ideas that push us to new limits. That’s the type of reinforcement that helps us grow. Even Nivram believes that, considering the lim-ited time we all have on this planet, we cannot afford the luxury of dividing ourselves over trivial matters; he believes it simply shows our stupidity as a species.


Another current aspect of our culture is the dispute that divided our ancestors many years ago: this all has changed, for me at least. I was able to learn from our ancestors’ mis-takes to change for the better.


Just a few weeks ago, we had a few visitors from the Sukwa tribe of Ndali. They came to help plan defenses against the phoenix and build more homes in the underground city. The encounter with such a small tribe baffled me for a moment. Our historical records showed the tribe to have a population of hundreds but only a few showed. The Sukwa tribe settled in Malawi a few centuries ago. It’s believed that their powers originated from Sapphire La-pis, a visitor from a parallel world. Though this origin is believed to be mostly a myth told by elders, some of it may hold some weight to it. A few philosophers from our tribe, e.g., Yeuhn, believe in the idea of infinity, specifically infinite worlds.


At the age of sixteen, I met up with an old friend of the Sukwa tribe who was quite unique. Macabre was the nature of her whom I befriended; her name was Xentina Lazuli Sukwa. She wore all black with four stones on her forehead: the first one was a citrine stone, the second was an emerald stone, the third was a ruby, and the fourth was a lapis lazuli. Her skin was the color of the enstatite gemstone with eyes the color of the aventurine feld-spar. She always had nails the color of aventurine quartz gemstones. Every boy was breath-less when she calls out their names. Xentina and I became friends when the Sukwas of Ndali visited the Kayange tribe for a festival that the Twinkers hosted. Her close loved ones gave her the nickname of Sumu. They never told me what it meant in their language of Cwaahilli, until I asked Xentina herself. One night, when Xentina and I were walking through an aban-doned flower tunnel, we had a discussion.


“Do you remember the time when the moon wasn’t full?” She asked.


“I remember the time when guys and even girls didn’t smother you with attention.” I said.


Xentina smiled and looked at me as I said, “So, yes, I do remember when the moon wasn’t full.”


“You are the only one who is always honest with me; the rest just tell me what I want to hear.” She replied.


“Like you’re beautiful and what not” I said.


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“Yeah that’s like the number one pickup line I’m told.” Xentina said.


I laughed and asked her “What is the reason you don’t need to be told that?”


“What? You don’t think I’m beautiful?” Xentina surged.


“I think you should come with a warning label.” I admitted.


Xentina mimicked me and then asked, “What does your family think of me? Honesty is what I want to hear, Donex. I know your family has a history of disdain for vodun and religion.”


“They love you…despite them thinking you’re a witch.” I answered.


“Witch?”


“Oh, yes.” I confirmed.


“What gave them that impression?”


“You’re more of an enchantress.” I said.


“Donex, what gave them that impression?”


“No, no, you are the nymph of all lands.” I exclaimed.


“Donex?”


“Why does your family call you Sumu?” I asked.


“It means ‘the strongest poison’ in Cwaahilli.”


“That is about right.” I said.


She laughed at me and said “shut up.”


“They know about the day you caught J’uahi cheating with another. They know when you saw him you conjured up bats to attack him and locust to attack the girl.” I continued.


“How do they know?” She asked.


“A few of my cousins saw you and ran in fear to go tell my family.” I said.








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“I am amazed that many know but still pursue me.” She said.


“Yeah, they must be under your spell.” I said.


“I’m surprised they let you around me.” She said.


“Well I try my best to defend you in front of them.” I said.


“Really?” She asked as she looked at me with a look of sincerity.


“It’s the least I could do.” I said.


Xentina then proceeded to grab my hand and looked me in my eyes. “One of the best ways to try and trust in the world is by trusting the heart of another. Donex, you should trust in me and my heart.” Her eyes began to turn deep blue as her breath began to smell more and more like jasmine and vanilla. The clouds began to cover the moon and the night butterflies flew around us both as I asked her “Is this the best thing you can do yourself?”


She smirked and said “I am not a witch. I don’t want to be…Donex, I’m just different.”


“How did you become the strongest poison?” I asked.


“My grandmother and great grandmother are practitioners of vodun.”


“Isn’t your grandmother’s name Zik…, Zall… something?” I asked.


“Yeah my grandmother’s name is Zaila Lazuli Sukwa and her mother’s name is Weleni Lazu-li Sukwa.”









Weleni Lazuli Sukwa



















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Zaila Lazuli Sukwa


“What about you?” I asked.


“I am not…I try not to practice vodun and neither does my mother.”


“So how did you…” I tried asking.


“When I was born, my grandmother stole me away one night and performed a ritual on me. Then she returned me before my mother knew I was gone, and when you mentioned every-one pursuing me, it was my grandmothers’ doing.”


“What about your mother?”


“As a child, my mother hated the practice of vodun; she preferred the teachings of the Kayanges than magic, and each person that confronted my grandmother and great grand-mother were turned into wooden puppets and her garden statues. My mother tried to con-front her but she placed a spell of obliviousness and dubiousness on her.”


I looked at her in disbelief and asked “She placed a spell on her own daughter?”


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“Yes, but she did it to protect her and the irony is when I conjured those bats and loctus, I cried after, and the only person I could go to that night was my grandmother because my mother wouldn’t even know what I was talking about.”


“What did she say when you went to her?” I asked.


“She told me, ‘O dear grace-eyed one, since that man doesn’t appreciate your presence, I will deal with that little underwhelming boy. Let me show you my children.’ She then took me and showed me every statue and doll of all who hurt and opposed her. She knew every single one of them and told me, in great detail, the story of each.”


“Why didn’t you come to me that night?” I asked.


“I tried looking for you but I couldn’t find you. Where were you?”


“Where is the boy who cheated?” I asked.


“My grandmother called upon the one person who is more powerful than her to put a spell on him.”


“Who?” I asked.


“My great grandmother”


“Why didn’t your grandmother call upon you?” I asked.


“She did, but I don’t have the heart to hurt people like she does. I don’t want to be like that.”


“But the bats and locust” I said.


“That was done out of anger in the moment, Donex, and when she told me about what she wanted to do, I wasn’t angry anymore. I am not like my grandmother.”


“What did your great grandmother do?” I asked.


“My grandmother had my great grandmother force him into six generations of laughter.”


“What?” I asked.


“For every breath he takes, he is forced to cry tears of blood and laugh nonstop when the night comes, since I caught him with another girl in the night. This curse is a curse his future generations will inherit. My grandmother said ‘Since he took you as a joke Sumu, I shall make him laugh at his own joke every night with every breath he takes for the next six gen-erations.


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Every child that carries his blood will leak his blood from their eyes in the night when it’s their turn to share his joke.”


“He tried to kill himself several times.” She added.


“Let me guess. Your grandmother put a spell on him, so he couldn’t kill himself.” I said.


“Yeah.” She said.


“Then why would anyone have children with such a curse upon them?” I asked.


Xentina looked forward in silence and then she exhaled and said “The girl he slept with is pregnant.”


“So the generational cycle of the curse has already begun.” “Yes.” She said in a melancholy tone.


I looked at her and said “Shouldn’t you be happy that he’s getting what he deserved? I mean, he cheated on you.”


“I love my family but I’m not like them. I don’t want to be. I was angry that night, and from that six generations of innocent children will be punished, all for one man’s mistakes.”


“If you’re more powerful than her, why haven’t you stopped her?” I asked.


“During the ritual at my birth, Weleni and Zaila placed a spell on me rendering me to never forsake her or her mother. Two or more Sukwas are always more powerful than one.”


“Who else knows vodun in your family?” I asked.


“Just my grandmother and great grandmother. When my grandmother was a younger wom-an, she teamed up with her mother to combine their powers to take out all who practice vodun, which makes her so dangerous. The era was called the Crying Magnolia. My grand-mother made that call to slaughter those people.”


“Why would Weleni agree to something like that?” I asked.


“There was an uprising.”


“Uprising?”


“You see when my grandmother was young she would get hurt by so many boyfriends that she started turning them into garden statues, but the group of Sukwas who practiced vodun didn’t


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agree with this, so they ordered to give up her practice of vodun for the safety of the commu-nity. They were planning to ambush her and forcibly take her powers away.”


“What happened?” I asked.


“She admitted to her crimes and lied to them and said she would stop, give up her powers, leave the town, and isolate herself away from the tribe. The tribe negotiated and thought of this as a good option for her to just leave and never be a part of the Sukwa tribe again. Just four months later when everyone thought they were better off, she returned with her mother, taking each and every one of them out one by one. She did it strategically and in a calculat-ed way to where she made it look like it was an accident or some type of natural cause. She would take one person out, then the next five weeks later, and then the next two months later. My grandmother is a patient woman when threatened. However, it was too late before peo-ple could respond to her actions. My grandmother painted her house with the blood of those who rose against her. She wore their upper bodies as jackets and feet as socks.”


After hearing that story, I didn’t know whether to stay or leave. I was frightened and con-fused. Xentina and I continued to walk throughout the flower tunnel. She said “When a per-son has so much pain and anger bottled up inside him or her, her or she will begin to take it out on innocent people, and until that person fully releases the anger out on the people that actually hurt them, he or she will continue to attack those who he or she deems as a threat and possibly hurt them even more. So she took them out I guess to prevent anymore hurt to be brought upon her.”


“And Weleni tolerated that?” I asked.


“A mother will do anything to help and protect their child…no matter what.”


“Did your mother inherit the powers?” I asked.


“My grandfather strongly disagreed with my mother getting such powers, and one can only be given such powers within twenty four hours after birth. So my grandfather took my mother away and hid her from my grandmother, but what is surprising is she didn’t kill my grandfather. She still loved him similarly to how she didn’t kill my mother when she con-fronted her…I guess that’s her weakness, the love for her family.”


“I want you to show me your power.” I said.


“Why?”


“We have been close for some time now. You always tried to hide your powers away from me. Well no more, I want to understand you on that level. There is no need to hide that from me.” I said.





22

“Are you sure?”


“Yes.”


Xentina placed her hand on my chest as her eyes turned into the shade of deep blue again; she whispered in my ear “If you trust in the wind like you trust in me, it will make your dreams of dreams look like nothing ever before with what the breathtaking air can show you in reality.”


She closed her eyes and took her hand off my chest and I then grasped her hands and said “I’m not afraid and you shouldn’t be either.”


“Stand…there.” Xentina positioned me and then looked at the moth on the flower and said “Mimi naona, huwezi.” She then blinked her eyes and then every flower around her turned the hue of the gems on her forehead. Her gems began to glow the same as her eyes, enchant-ing and breathtaking. She made every dead dwarf bittern rise from the dirt just to fly one last time in the glowing air. Xentina grabbed my hand and lead me out the tunnel into the field covered by the pale moonlight. Xentina sat me down on a rock and then sang a hymn which made every dead dwarf bittern and living collared dove fly around us. Each bird sang to the hymn as the air began to fill with scents of vanilla and cherry oranges as Xentina’s breath flowed through the inviting wind. I sat there amazed as Xentina then showed me a large magpie with purple and red eyes that was the size of three jackfruits. This magpie fluttered its wings at me and off its wings came this chartreuse mist that flowed into my nostrils. I smelled the mist and the iris of my eyes went from dark brown to the shade of chartreuse. A triple moonbow appeared behind Xentina looking radiant but Xentina easily outshined the moonbow itself. I closed my eyes and then opened them. I was in a new environment; the moon was red; the sky began to play a trick on my eyes; it seemed as if it were falling toward me. I was surrounded by white rabbits with chartreuse eyes, as mine, and double mirrors. The white rabbits had a marking above their left eye that read 66342 and I found such a mark-ing strange.


























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Even the mirrors, in one of the double mirrors, I saw the name Gracejo marked from an angle of view, on a navy blue marabou. I looked around and didn’t see Xentina; the only things I could see were the white rabbits and mirrors. Xentina then called out in the air. “Donex not even my grandmother nor her mother can create new realities for people. I have the power to unleash magpies all over the world and trap the people of the world in a reality molded in my image.”


“But you’re not your grandmother.” I said.


“You’re right, Donex; that is why I showed you a piece of my capability.”


“A piece?” I asked.


“Oh, yes! This is child’s play; I can do much worse but I won’t. I never hurt the innocent.”


“Xentina” I said.


“Yes”


“How long has your family been practicing vodun?” I asked.


“That is a special story my great grandmother told me to only tell on the night of my wed-ding when I’m with the one…Donex I want to wait to share it with you. We have always been great friends who treated each other like more than friends. If you and I are written in the moons to be together, then on the night that we finally are one, I will tell you that special story.”


Xentina returned my reality back to the night where I can see her, the moon and its moon-bow, and the birds. She grabbed my chin with her right hand and placed her left hand on my chest and looked me in the eyes and said “Remember about three months ago when you asked me what I keep in my heart?”


“Yes and you replied daydreams.” I said.


“Yes, daydreams; as a child I would always daydream and not want to be bothered. My grandmother understood that part about me. I remember when the music players of the tribe would gather their instruments to flow rhythm throughout the hearts and souls of the Sukwa














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tribe, and little me would just close my eyes and bob my head, taking in the groove of the song and daydream away. Imagination has always been a crucial part of my childhood and life as a young adult. Whenever I have my daughter, I want her to understand that. I can’t wait to tell her that daydreams open up the door for a person to have a world of their own. If the physical world isn’t the world you like, then build a world that fits your liking. Day - dreams are better than dreams because everybody can control them. There are only a few lucid dreamers who can control their dreams, but that’s a few not all. All individuals can con-trol their daydreams; it’s a place they can go to be themselves without judgment or negativ-ity. Daydreams can keep you young at heart, always remembering what really counts. Time may age you physically but daydreams will never age you emotionally and mentally. Youth-fulness is important because it’s the awe inspiring positive relics of childhood that keeps you pure. Daydreams are paramount because they are pure and wondrous. One’s daydream of a brighter tomorrow brightens one’s heart to be better, to love better, to work better, to think better, and to know better.”


I looked at Xentina and just gave her a hug and told her “I know you’ll be a great mother.” “My grandmother wants to use me as a weapon against the phoenix.” She said.


I released from the hug and looked at her and said “I didn’t know that you know about…um the phoenix.”


“Are you okay Donex? You look sick.”


“That’s because I am, of this whole phoenix thing…”


“What do you think I should do?”


“Well you’re powerful enough to end this.”


“I heard the phoenix has an army of two hundred thousand men, women, and children.”


“Yes! Most members of that army are our people that has enslaved and forced to fight for him.” I said.


“How can I use my powers to destroy my own people? I can’t…I won’t be a weapon to harm innocent people.”


We both sat down beside each other and I said “So I guess this leaves you with a terrible op-tion to either kill the innocent or be killed by the innocent.”


“This was the same problem my father struggled with.” I added.


She looked up and said “I’m afraid…not of the phoenix but of the choice I’ll have to make when


25

the time comes.”


“Until then, we’ll have stick together as one.” I said.


I proceeded to hold Xentina in my arms as that night proved the bond between a Kayange man and a Sukwas of Ndali woman. A few years passed, Xentina and I are blessed with a daughter and named her Anuli Bluephyre. Now at the age of 20 and 22, we have a beautiful family together. Xentina and I joined tribes and decided to create a new one, the Bluephyre, combining innovation and science with the powers of vodun. We intend to unite all our tribes as one no matter the beliefs and practices. I convinced Xentina to allow Anuli to have the ritu-al conducted on her so she may continue the legacy of vodun. The night Anuli was born, Xe-ntina, Weleni, and Zaila all performed the ritual that made Anuli the most powerful Sukwa. At such a young age, she is able to travel between astral worlds and different dimensions and even control animals. Xentina and her grandmother were proud to see the next generation of the Lazuli family so powerful. Zaila pulled me aside the night Anuli was born and said “You have aided in bringing the most powerful Lazuli of the Sukwas in existence. That baby will be more powerful than Xentina and I combined. I don’t have enough power to stop the com-ing war with the phoenix, and Xentina is unwilling to kill a few good to save the many good, but that baby, that goddess will have enough power and intelligence to make every knee bow. I’ve devised a plan that will aid Anuli in ending the coming war when she’s of age. The Grand Sacrifice is what you’ll need to pass down to her.”


Zaila hands me sealed booklet as I respond to her, “Yes, of course” because Zaila isn’t the type of woman you say no too. I took the booklet and went inside the other room and wrote a note giving Xentina instructions on what to do with the booklet, and placed the note and the booklet in Xentina’s yellow sack.


Her grandmother taught Anuli special tricks that are generations old in the Sukwa tribe. Xentina and I taught our daughter about the different tribes, although Xentina’s grandmother disapproved of the teaching of the Chiona tribe. She despised them for submitting to false gods when Zaila considers herself, each Lazuli woman, a God.


In retrospect, I never found myself to be hateful of the Chiona tribe unlike other Sukwas and Kayanges. I try my best to be universal and rational as much as possible, which brings up a great friend of mine, Retulu; he is a very hopeful man from the Chiona tribe that has this calm demeanor about him that shows that he may be blinded by his faith. He has deep love for his family’s history. I respect him for his loyalty and love him as a brother.


When I was thirteen years old, Retulu and I were walking alongside the Lilongwe River. We were discussing the future of each of our tribes. In a way, I was attempting to better the reputation of the Kayanges with the Chionas. Retulu asks, “How can your people thrive with-out a creator?” I looked at him and said, “I guess the same way all of life has thrived, by just keeping moving forward.” After he heard that, four wild dogs are seen approaching us. I am, at first,




26

nearly suffocated in fear, and then I look at Retulu and I see him with his eyes closed pray-ing. His lips are shivering in fear. I pick up a thick tree limb and grab Retulu’s wrist and I slowly walk back into the river. Dogs are better fighters on land than in water. As we walk back further into the water to where it is reaching our thighs, the wild dogs begin to charge. I tell Retulu to swim across the river toward safety. I then proceed to strike the first wild beast on the top of its head, as the next one charges toward my forearm. I nearly killed the animal with such a blow to the head that it breaks the stick in half. The high-pitch scream of agony is heard from the wounded dog. The sound of the animal in pain gave me a sudden dualistic feeling of both anger and remorse. Should I have just escaped instead of injuring an animal? Nevertheless, the other dogs flee the scene as I do the same by swimming across the river to reach Retulu. As I was swimming, I stopped and looked back to think of my choices to cause pain. Once I reached the other side of river, Retulu thanked me for saving his life, but I had this strange feeling whether I should either accept or regret the gratitude. Retulu and I walked back home after that, but on our walk back home…


Despite it all, I find it a little negligent to not consider the possibilities of what can hap-pen to our tribes. Every time I bring it up to him, he simply dismisses it and leaves it in the hands of his god. However, I haven’t seen Retulu in a while and I’ve been looking for him so we can talk. I hope he is okay. I’ve tried contacting his family and all they could tell me was that he was on a spiritual journey or some kind of “find yourself thing.” Further-more, some of the similarities that both our tribes have in common are honor and liberty; you know; we honor those who have done remarkable things in our lives and also liberate those who feel that they have had unjust things done to them, but it still bothers me because Retulu has been influenced and misguided by his tribe to dismiss real danger. I encouraged Xentina to take Anuli and migrate to Ethiopia instead of Ahune, because the phoenix has taken the Northeastern district of the city by Niger. Who knows how long until he reaches the Southwestern district of Ahune? I need to find Retulu and head toward Ethiopia. The toxic gas maybe my only chance to end this. I couldn’t live with myself if I left my friend behind. I just received catastrophic news from a survivor of the Twinker tribe of the East. Several possums in cages where found several miles from Yhune. It was believed to be sent from the phoenix…I have to find him before it’s too late.
























27

Capitulum 2

Chiona


Told by Retulu Chiona


Our tribe was founded on the principle of a greater power beyond ours. For decades, we’ve lived in the southern region of Malawi alongside Lake Nyasa. The Chionas are consid-ered crazy fanatics by other tribes, but it’s easy to judge from the outside looking in. There is a God who helps us when we’re down, who heals our sick and protects us from danger. For a while, our ministers would receive letters from the Kayanges warning us of this “phoenix.” Our ministers would tell us, “Never worry my brothers and sisters. Our creator warns us of all deceptions by the wrongful ones.” I never considered my best friend, Donex, a wrongful one like other Kayanges. His father would often visit our tribe to warn us of this myth. He even brought us a human head wrapped in feathers as “proof’.” It all seemed like nonsense to us, nonsense without reason. However, something has changed about Donex after the death of his father. He started to do things that are unlike him, and now I question his char-acter since he has been hanging around Nivram more, and he even started this fling with that witch of the Sukwas. My only best friend, now trapped with a misguided freethinker and those evil people. The Sukwas have a history of doing horrible things to my tribe. Hell, the witch’s grandmother turned one of our previous ministers into a wooden toy because they supposedly dated and he cheated on her, but I don’t believe that. Why would a Chiona date a Sukwa? It is our responsibility as the Chionas to care for nature and animals around us, but the Sukwas disrupt that with their magic. How can I believe Donex after he chose to be that thing? It’s hard to believe the “truth” when it’s sleeping with lies. My family would never lie to me. My grandfather especially has been through quite a bit. I loved him dearly; he would always be honest with me no matter what.


One evening, I was outside by Lake Malawi with my grandfather, Gamilo Shak’i Chiona. We were praying for good fortune; however, I asked my grandfather if the phoenix was real. He told me no such thing exists. It was no surprise he would tell me that; him and my grand-mother are more alike than different, spiritually. My grandmother, Nakitha Oweyrin Chiona, was a very spiritual woman, and she’s the one that taught me everything I know about faith. They eventually had three children, my father; my two aunts, aunt Ndwele, who is married to the family of Twinkers of the East; and aunt Ngula, the last born daughter, who is married into the Twinker tribe of the West. The marriage that took place between the Chionas and the Twinkers was a secret and hidden from my grandparents and the Twinkers’ leaders because of the oath that all Twinkers must abide by. The oath establishes that Twinkers shall only marry Twinkers. The Twinker tribe was a community of people who partied, danced, and drank wine all the time. They used silver to pay for prostitutes, and all they did was celebrate life. Everyday being alive was a celebration to them. It was an amoral place my grandfather and the Chionas hated. There were barely any laws or decrees for a stable system, just wine, fireworks, food, sex, music, and






28

dancing. Everyone slept and danced with everyone, men with men, women with men, and women with women. According to the myth, the name originated five hundred years ago from a lost, young in love couple, Pascal and Pandora, who created their own music, wine, and fireworks. They both accepted the idea that life is pointless. In time, after your physical body and legacy have decayed, your existence will be washed away from the history of time. They believed that creating goals, empires, religions, and systems was all a pointless venture. So they decided to create a free society known as the Twinkers. This society was created to celebrate the present state of life, not the past, not the future, but the now. Though the mod-ern Twinker society has contradicted their founders’ ideas, they are invoking a national de-cree. But then again, the story of Pascal and Pandora is from an old storybook, though some believed it’s a prophecy for the two lovers to return to unite the world and throw the world’s greatest yet last party.


However, when the leaders of the East and West found out about the secret marriage, they both agreed to ban all other tribes from entering their land and from communicating with any other Twinkers.


Our grandfather was not a rich man; all the little gold and silver he did have were taken by the Twinkers of the East and West for violating their sacred oath. The leaders didn’t take from my grandmother because the Twinkers felt that the man is the supreme of the home and all events that occur out of that home, the man is responsible for. Many years before, my grand-father and his daughters, the Twinkers, signed a continental decree with each tribe stating that no other tribe shall interfere with or violate Twinker doctrines. Despite being boisterous and lustful people, they were extraordinarily selfish. This decree was established decades ago that Twinkers were only supposed to marry other Twinkers. Unfortunately, my grandfather took the loss for his daughter’s disobedience. In the decree, there is a clause that states that every tribe is obligated to pass down the rules to each new generation so everyone can be aware. Many of the other tribes only agreed to sign the decree because the Twinkers owned land that had resources and minerals the other tribes needed. My grandfather told his daugh-ters, but they insisted on how love triumphs all and still violated the agreement and married the Twinkers. Who would’ve known those drunk and lustful people took their dogma so seriously.


So when my grandfather lost all his gold, they only had to rely on what the children brought in and what my grandmother brought in. At that time many people and rich minis-ters used to leave Malawi to go to and preach Tanzania to get more gold and platinum. When these high-class people were returning to Malawi, my grandfather would carry their luggage to their home. They used to pay him three grams of gold if it was a short trip home but one ounce of gold if it was longer. As my grandfather tried to make as much as he could, he re-sorted to spirituality and faith later in his life to help him make it through his situation. At the time one needed at least one hundred kilograms of gold to be in a stable position and to have a nice living. I remember when my grandfather would just leave in the middle of night and wander around in the fields. He would then fall to his knees in prayer under the crescent moon, and it’s strange because he would never leave when there would be stars out and the moon was full. Grandfather only left to go pray if and only if the only thing illuminating the sky was the crescent moon.


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