BLACKMAN’S MYTHS – ALU I: “The Beginning”


The day Nwaorieocha’s parents sent her out of the compound was an Eke. She had cried for hours, insisting she was raped by the crafty god Ekwensu, but her parents had refused to listen.

“We have seen you sneak about with Kodili. Go to his father’s house and make him claim his child. We will not harbour another man’s son under our roof.” Her father’s jaw was set, a look he assumed only when he was doing something he didn’t want to do.

“Nwaorie, I fed you for nine months off these fallen breasts of mine and you repay me like this. Nwaorie imechugo m iru!”(Nwaorie you have shamed me!) Her mother threw herself on the floor dramatically, wailing and flailing her arms about as if she were wrestling with the ground. Nwaorieocha stared at her mother in disbelief. Her mother knew she was a virgin only a few market days ago; they had visited the Dibia Anya Nzu to seek answers to Nwaorie’s recurrent bad dreams and the Dibia had made her swear on the pain of death that she was undefiled. As it turned out, the recurrent bad dreams were only a harbinger of Ekwensu’s visit to her.

Nwaorie was only fourteen, but she knew her parents were chasing her out of the house because they were afraid of harbouring Ekwensu’s offspring under their roof. This had nothing to do with preserving their honour or anything of the sort. They were afraid, and she understood. Ekwensu rarely fathered children with mortals; that was Kitikpa’s forte. But whenever Ekwensu did, the children always turned out menaces to the community. Worse still, the women Ekwensu fathered children with were not allowed to beat the children when they misbehaved. Ekwensu did not like mortals hitting his children; he preferred to do it himself. Legend had it that one of the large, shrunken boulders of oak tree that led the way to the stream towards the outskirts of Umuhu was actually a woman Ekwensu had petrified. She had hit her son with Ekwensu for drowning one of her goats in the water. When she was done pummelling the boy, he was badly bruised and his nose was broken. Ekwensu was swift and merciless with his punishment, turning the woman into a tree where she stood and bringing his son up to live with him in Ugwu Mmuo. That boy grew into Nsogbu, the demi-god of trouble and chaos.

Nwaorie went to live with her maternal grandmother until she gave birth. The elderly woman, priestess of the goddess Ogbuide, guardian of the Oguta people, was familiar with what it took to rear a child of Ekwensu, so she took Nwaorie in and nursed her till she gave birth.

When Alu was born, he came out legs first. Nwaorie’s grandmother did not push the baby’s legs back in as the midwives were supposed to do when a baby came out in that manner. Usually, the baby was supposed to adjust and come out properly, heads first, after its legs were pushed in. The priestess of Ogbuide refused to touch the baby until he completed his journey into this world, sliding out of the birth canal unassisted. When she finally lifted Alu up as the tiny baby cried in her arms, the makings of two upper incisors were clearly visible in his mouth.

Alu grew very quickly, as is expected of the children of gods. By the time he was sixteen, he looked a mean mass of twenty-six years of raw muscle, blood and bone. His arms rippled with the muscles fit for a thousand warriors, and his thick thighs dug into the ground like aged irokos. His neck was fat, supporting his huge skull and joining oddly with his shoulders to give him a neck-less appearance. He was, simply put, a terrifying teenager.

As had been expected since he was born, at about the age of eighteen, the spirit of Ekwensu in Alu began to manifest. First, he began by single-handedly laying siege to the nearby, small hamlet of Akoka. In a flurry of clanging machetes and the steel of spears connecting with the velvet of human flesh, Alu killed all of Akoka’s thirty warriors in one day, emerging from the fight with only a scratch above his left eye as a souvenir for his troubles. He claimed the town of Akoka for himself, decreeing that every household therein submit ten tubers of yam and three fowls to him every market day. Nobody argued with him.

That was only the beginning, as several similar pursuits followed. As subsequent trends established, the only way to deter Alu from doing anything was to involve his mother. He listened to her absolutely; all she had to do was say the word and he would abandon whatever quest it was, regardless of the amount of effort he had poured into it.

Alu’s atrocities in Oguta came to a head on an Nkwo day, in the year he turned nineteen.

That day, he walked unarmed into the compound of Isiguzo, the richest man in Oguta. Isiguzo had three very beautiful daughters, each of whom had reached marriageable ages. However, Isiguzo had refused to give any of them out in marriage yet, deciding that there hadn’t been a worthy suitor for any one of them.

So, Alu was going to claim one of them for himself, precisely the youngest one, Olamma. She wasn’t the prettiest, but she had this innocent look about her that Alu found irresistible. He was going to make her his, and he was going to crush anyone who stood in his way.

Without preamble, Alu marched into the exquisitely decorated hut Isiguzo housed his three daughters and met all three of them sitting on very short stools, talking idly about this and that. He muttered a brief greeting to the other two, scooped his would-be bride easily into his arms and slung her over his shoulders. Then he marched leisurely back into the compound where he was certain a lot of Isiguzo’s kinsmen awaited him in answer to the young girl’s cries for help.

Surely, he met about six men armed with machetes standing out there, awaiting this menace that was attempting to kidnap one of their daughters. Isiguzo watched from the safety of his hut with his wives cowering fearfully beside and behind him.

Alu dropped the girl on the ground and she scampered back to the safety of her hut, her tears marking a trail behind her.

The first man that attacked Alu was despatched quickly. He had hacked at Alu’s head with his machete, but Alu side-stepped lithely, gripping the man’s outstretched arm and driving the machete into the man’s belly in the same savage motion.

“Someone go get his mother!” Someone yelled.

By the time Nwaorieocha arrived Isuguzo’s compound, bare breasts heaving up and down as she panted after running so fast, Isiguzo’s compound lay in disarray.

Nna, abandon this mission of yours,” Nwaorie called out to Alu as he drove his left fist into someone’s nose. “Let’s go home, bikozienu.” (Please)

Alu paused, took in his mother’s words, drove another fist into the man’s nose to ensure he broke it, and then tossed his body away. The man he was punching was Isiguzo, and the man was flirting with death in the condition Alu left him in. Alu turned on his heels, shoulders slouched in resignation, and walked to his mother.

“Nna, why do you do this to me? Nna why?”

Alu stared at her timidly, his fists twitching in palpable anger at the effect she had on him. Her words paralysed him and he hated it.

“Nna, forget this, let us go. Listen to me, I’m your mother.”

Alu held his breath for a moment, then very slowly, he shook his head to the left, then to the right, and then to the left again. He was defying his mother for the first time ever.

Undeterred, she continued, “It doesn’t have to be like this. Let us go and –”

Nobody among the crowd that had gathered saw it coming. Even Alu himself didn’t know he was going to do it.

It all happened so fast.

In a split-second, Alu gripped his mother angrily in a tight chokehold and, hoisting her high into the air, slammed her on the harmattan-dried earth.

She died on impact.

Alu killed his mother.

To rub salt into injury, Alu chased down Olamma as she fled and dragged her back into her father’s compound kicking and screaming.

Everybody watched helplessly in indescribable shock as Alu tore off her loin clothes and forcefully penetrated her, her blood of first penetration trickling down his laps to seep mindlessly into the brown earth.

She whimpered in her little voice with every thrust Alu rammed into her. The men stood by, unable to challenge proceedings, while the women covered the eyes of their little children as Alu claimed his prize.

After what seemed an eternity, Alu pulled out of her and shot his seed all over her innocent face.

Written by Mars Ezechukwu - @MarsEzechukwu
Written by Mars Ezechukwu – @MarsEzechukwu

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  1. Ah ah, bros, nwelu nwayo na. Are you trying to give us a heart attack? Very healthy, robust story that promises a novel in the making. Please don’t make us wait too long. Well done!

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