Water from a strange old man

There is a mystical place I left frozen memories.The silence stared at me amid thumps of my heart and the scuffing sound of my feet as I stumbled on a path that twisted behind mammoth rocks.Every flutter of a leaf caught my attention.Silhouetted trees stood naked,staring at me,their distorted branches like giants of yore with multiple arms stood akimbo.A little windowless hut creeped over shrubbery.The wind like someone breathing behind my back ruffled my shirt.The air tasted metallic with a tinge of acrid burning.

Ugly,naked statues lined the pathway.I feared the mute statues would wink at me.I hastened my feet,stumbling on outcrops.

When I reached at the hill foot I was panting for water.’I should have carried enough water ‘,I said to myself.

At the foothill I saw an old man I had met moments earlier when I was ascending the hill.His eyes were lifeless and deeply burrowed in their sockets.A map of lines was spread on his hollow and bony,pale face.Ravages of age steeling onto his skin,the collarbone looking quite like an arc.He offered a hand-shake and though his hands were withered, his grip was firm and  shook my anatomies.

Curious about the old man and still mindful of distracting whatever evil he could be harbouring,I asked him for some water.

‘Do not worry lad,I will give you some fresh cold water’. Fresh,cold,safe water? I asked him.
”Fresh.We all drink it here.It comes from the spouting Koma well behind the misty hills yonder’’ he said as he pointed North, ‘Please follow me’.

As I followed my feet were wobbly.Oxygen flooded in and out of my lungs.I clenched my fists as I hesitantly took each step.

We soon reached a shadowed corridor that led to his hut.What an ominous hut it was! It was mud baked; titling to one side like a drenched bird.A thin scroll of dark-blue smoke was lazily dancing from the grass thatching before it was swallowed by oblivion.

As he entered into the house to fetch,a wave of fear ran down my spine.I remained stoic,waiting,breathing…all the while I could hear him coughing inside his hut of squalor.

Shortly after,the frail old man emerged with a tiny brown-black gourd and as he handed it to me he said,’drink…drink it all up’.

I feared that after one sip I would coil and turn into something like a lizard.It would be a lesson to never accept water or food from strangers.

I feared I would be voodooed by heavens know what was in that gourd.I would be his pet and an old lady somewhere will never see her son again,nevermore.

Or maybe the little gourd contained the elixir of life.I would never age and I would see human civilizations come and go.Stars would age and retire n lone islands and I would still be a lad,well aged, with a fringe of snow-white hair,strong and wise.Stars would rise in my eyes.I would take trips through cosmos whenever.I would start administering the voodoo to stray humans who came near the hill precincts.

Tom Mwiraria,Writer

For writing services,contact:info.swiftwriters@gmail.com


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