Saturday, December 13, 2008

Something Sinister

Something Sinister

The people of the mountains were divided. Their age old tradition of retaining a clairvoyant psychic was debated. The old toothless, shaggy-haired, and thin as a bone clairvoyant not only practiced mystic ways. He was the teacher of their boys, and a doctor to all their illness.

But not anymore, the clairvoyant’s role in the mountain was usurped by the arrival of Father James. He was a white priest, a tall brown-haired man from the invisible God. He had money and got the men to erect a building with a sharp spire for his church.

When it was finished, it doubled as a schoolhouse for the young boys. The parents were told by Father James that their sons could only enrol in his school, if they, the parents were baptised in his faith. They had no choice but to be converted and to embrace this faith, and soon the boys went by the names of the white man’s religion, John, Tom, George and so on.

"They even have to give up their own names," George’s grandfather complained.

One day out of seven, the children didn’t have school but were told to invite their parents, uncles and aunts and grandparents to come to the church. They listened and watched this white man, in a flowing robe with a purple cross in front of it, perform his rituals and mumble in a tongue, which he didn’t normally speak.

The clairvoyant argued, "It’s all mumbo jumbo, how can you worship an invisible god?"

The people put it down to his jealousy. The priest was also a shaman to the people.

The White Shaman had magic pills and liquid in little bottles, which could help cure headaches and stomach ailments. They no longer have to be subjected to the whims and fancy of the clairvoyant when they went to him to seek treatment. The new Shaman’s potions and pills were all free of charge and didn’t have a bitter aftertaste when his patients had taken them.

The mountain people were won over very quickly, "That’s the power of white man’s invisible God."

The clairvoyant remained in his little hut, "You short sighted people, you abandon our ancient customs of worshipping our deceased ancestors, they will be angry, mark my words.

When the boys had finished their primary education, Father James arranged them to go down to MioMio town to have their secondary education. The boys came back twice a year during their holidays.

Suddenly half-white and half-brown babies were born to the women. They sought Father James’ medical advice. They thought these babies had some sort of skin disease. But it wasn’t just their skin tone, it was their facial features as well. These babies were ostracised because it was thought that they came from the evil one.

Father James had another explanation, "Not to worry, the Holy Ghost had appeared to the mothers; they are the chosen ones."

The clairvoyant exclaimed, "Holy Ghost! my Foot! Something sinister is happening and I am going to find out. I warned you all, your ancestors are rocking in their graves."

The village chief asked, "What are we to do?"

"First everyone must come to my hut, and we will have a cleansing ceremony, every family must bring a rooster."

A bonfire was made in the centre of the clairvoyant’s compound. He had a sharp machete. He called the head of each family and his wife to come with their rooster. In one split second, he cut the head of the rooster, and dripped its blood over the couple. Then he collected some blood, spat into it and made the couple drink up the blood. Then he threw the still live rooster into the bon fire.

The procedure went on until every family was exorcised from the curse of their angry ancestors. The mountain stank of burnt feature, blood and chicken meat while they turned into charcoal. The clairvoyant led them in a possession to jump into the river to cleanse of their bodies caked with chicken blood. The river turned red.

The White Shaman stood at a corner, sniggering to himself, "How stupid of these people to believe in such primitive beliefs."

Much to everyone’s dismay, another mixed child was born.

The clairvoyant explained, "That woman was already pregnant when the great cleansing was carried out."

True to his words, babies born after the cleansing were brown babies. The people rejoiced and the clairvoyant became popular again. But they rejoiced too soon. The women were giving birth to mixed babies again.

During the holidays, Tom came home from the town school, and having learned quite a bit of biology decided to investigate these weird phenomena. He had two sisters, the older, Ma’ata was married and had a mixed child.

Together with the clairvoyant, Tom sat in the dejected healer’s hut.

Tom told the clairvoyant, "According to my sister, Ma’ata, and my cousins who have mixed children, the White Sharmanhad told them that they were the chosen bride of the Holy Ghost."

"Did he?"

"He said, if the Holy Ghost chose them and came to them, they must keep this a secret otherwise the Holy Ghost would be angry with them. On the night before their weddings, they were invited to a special room behind the church.

“It was late at night and there was a funny smelling smoke. The girls felt drowsy and they don’t remember anything after that." This also helps to suggest that the priest was incapacitating the girls before having his way with them.

The clairvoyant shook with anger, "I knew it! I knew it! The scoundrel did it."

"What are you talking about?" Tom asked.

"That White Shaman is not man of God. He is the devil. He’s been raping our young brides on the pretext of the Holy Spirit visiting them in his church the night before they were married."

"How can you be sure?" Tom asked.

"Have you noticed, all these mixed children are born within one year of their marriage?"

"We have no proof, what are we going to do about it?"

"Let me go to a retreat, and pray to our ancestors for help.

On a full moon, the Clairvoyant kneeled facing the sky. The owl was hooting. He wore only a loincloth. He had smeared his face and his whole body with ashes. He used the charred end of a stick and made markings all over his body. He prayed to the spirits of his ancestors to help him save the mortality of their descendants. Then he got up to wait for Tom.

"Tom, our wise ancestors have told me to beat the White Shaman at his game."


"First, We will pretend that your sister Sisa is getting married."

"She is just a baby."

"This is just a pretend wedding."

"Will my father and mother agree?"

"They will have to, sooner or later, she will be raped by this evil man."

"We will get one of the boys to marry her. So we need your parents and the boys and his parents to know our plan."

"How are we to catch this bastard?"

"We will get your sister to dip her hand in tar before she goes into that damned room. When the ‘Holy Ghost’ comes to her, ask her to touch him all over his face."

"If it is genuinely a Holy Ghost, we resign our fate that we have mixed children forever and ever. But if the ‘Holy Ghost’ is actually the scoundrel, we will beat him to a pulp and he won’t dare set his foot here again."

The clairvoyant invited Tom’s parents and his friend’s parents to a meal in his hut. There he told them what he suspected and his plans.

The bastard, I want to take a machete and lop off his head," Tom’s father Orm said as he stormed out to find the White Shaman.

"Don’t be hasty, listen to our wise old clairvoyant first," Tom’s mother caught hold of her husband’s hands, "You are always such a hot headed man."

Tom’s friend Anak said, "I am very happy to be the bridegroom to catch this wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

The plan was made carefully, the wedding date was set five days time.

"We must plan it so that the wedding preparations would look genuine."

Invitation was by word of mouth, and the whole mountain was busy with food preparation. Nobody apart from the planning group knew what was actually going on.

The white shaman laughed to himself. He went to talk to Tom’s parents that the Holy Spirit could come to Sisa that night.

"Please get Sisa ready and dressed in white and (missing ask her to) wait in the little room," Father James told them. He smiled to himself.

On the eve of her pretend wedding day, Sisa’s parents and Tom reminded her to touch the Holy Ghost’s face. The clairvoyant had given her a potion to counteract the effects of the smoke Father James used to make the girls fall asleep.

When the ‘Holy Ghost’ came in the little room, Sisa was waiting. Sisa was all over him, stroking and patting his face. He thought he had struck gold with this little girl actually reciprocating his sexual advances and he was highly aroused.

In his aroused state, he had not noticed the door open, and when Tom and his father slipped in. Orm and Tom had a big stick each, and they clubbed Father James on his head.

"Call on to your Holy Ghost to help you," Tom and Orm said in unison.

"This is for my sister Ma’ata," shouted Tom.

"This is for all the girls of the mountains that you have raped," yelled Orm.

"This is for all the cheated husbands who thought their wives had betrayed them," screamed Tom.

"This is for all the mixed children whose lives have been ruined and ostracised through no fault of their own," said Tom and Orm.

"Tom, Orm, you (missing have) got to stop. Otherwise you will kill him," Ma’ata said.

"Yes, she is right, the White Government will jail you for killing one of their white man, " The clairvoyant urged them to stop.

Father James crouched in the corner. His face was covered by tar, a proof of his crime when the white man’s police came for them.

"We have the perfect medicine for him," The clairvoyant moved his loincloth and exposed his penis, and sprayed a stream of hot pee on him. Tom and Orm followed suit. Tom never felt so good relieving himself so good. The hot pee stung the bruises and made them hurt like hell.

The pretend wedding became a real wedding. Anak had secretly been in love with Sisa, and asked his Mother to ask Ma’ata if he could have Sisa’s hand in marriage.

There was even more to celebrate. Afterwards, the girls who had mixed children were welcomed back to the fold.

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