Previously on Lorius Midel: Action In The Woods

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The female Visitor

Lorius Midel

(Pg 4 in the series)

©Samuel Mogbolu

 

 

I woke up at about noon the next under the bright warm glare of the daylight that poured in through my open window.

The first thing I saw was Traore peering into my face. I still shudder from that experience unto this day.

“Miletus it seems to me, like someone tried to kill you in your sleep, but alas, you failed to lose enough blood hence you are still alive.”

“Or,” he continued, “you tried to end it all; your life being so miserable and all.”

All I could think of was the fact that his face was only a few inches away from mine.

“Traore get off me before I vomit.”

He only smiled and then proceeded to sniff my clothes “hmm tis actually blood” he said.

This was too much. Never again, did I let myself suffer the indignity of waking up after him. I sprang at him, wanting to hit his head.

But he knew he had it coming and moved slightly out of reach and then proceeded to sniff my trouser. I was enraged.

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“Evil spirit, spawn of hell, animal!” I just let curses stream from my mouth as I was furious…I was going to kill him.

I even sprang up aiming to punch his face but he dodged and ran out. I followed him like a hound dog almost gaining on him.

We ran outside through the front door that someone left ajar. As I chased him, I picked up a stick I saw lying on the floor and hurled it at him.

The stick moved straight like an arrow towards him so that all my anger evaporated and was replaced by fear. Surely, I never meant to hurt him!

Then I saw a rod appear from nowhere to divert my stick, seconds before it could make contact with my brother’s neck.

When my heart had left my mouth and returned to its original position, I turned to see who Traore’s expert saviour was.

It was my father and the look he gave to me could freeze fire. Traore was only just beginning to realize what had almost happened.

“By the heavens Miletus…you almost killed me!” he wailed. Leave it to Traore and he would double the depth of your grave.

The creator knows he was not nearly as worried as he was letting on. I made to escape to my room but was stopped in my tracks.

“Where did you learn to throw like that?” my father asked with a tone as chilly as the cold night.

“Father it just happened,” I lied.

“People rarely just throw sticks like that,” he said.

Now Traore’s hackles were beginning to rise.

“I am sure Miletus made a mistake papa, he is not the physical type.” he sneered.

I was beginning to think the stick should have hit him, maybe not on the neck but anywhere that would cause him to have more respect.

“Watch your mouth Traore, he is your elder brother,” my father said. He then studied me for a bit and walked inside.

“Do not worry brother; I am certain it was a mistake.” Traore said as he walked up to pat me on the shoulder and then walked inside giggling and saying “Miletus, Miletus, Miletus the quiet one.”

I slowly sat on the stairs of the veranda and mentally replayed what had just transpired. Was this the result of my training?

Was everything now a potential weapon in my hand? Or was it as Traore believed; a mere mistake. Surely if it was a mere mistake, my father would not have questioned me so.

I must admit, at that moment, I felt strong and proud of myself. It felt thrilling, to know that I was potentially dangerous and this boosted my sense of worth.

I decided to train harder and engage in strenuous exercises.

Then I was jarred out of my thoughts as I turned to look at the person who seemed to have been standing in front of me.

But there was no one there. I could have sworn I felt someone there. A little shaken, I turned and quickly walked inside.

 Yo`u my younger brother was enjoying our little brother, Drogba, who was going through the ultimate ritual of climbing a table to steal some bean-cake.

Yo`u watched him with eagle eyes to make sure that everything went according to plan.

You see, Yo`u figured he would not be punished if Drogba was the one to steal the cake. Drogba being only a baby would also not be affected, so it was a win-win situation.

Also, imagine Drogba actually became good at this, then no cake, cask of milk, wrap of groundnut, name it, would be out of their reach.

Drogba was his ticket to bliss so he was going to teach him every skill he knew- this was going to be a very fruitful partnership.

He gave me a cold look as I walked by, which meant ‘mind your own business’ and continued to conduct operations with Drogba.

I did not care about some stupid cake. I went into my room to change out of my stained clothes wondering why father had not asked me about my dishevelled state.

Perhaps he had not noticed due to the heat of the moment. I was fully dressed up when Traore walked in unannounced with a very bewildered look on his face.

I would have barked at him and driven him out but his look restrained me.

“What is the matter?” I asked

“You… you have a visitor…a female visitor!” he said with so much pomp.

So this was why he was surprised! I realized then that my brother was the only one capable of evoking such strong feelings from me- most especially intense anger.

“Get out of my room.” I said in a subdued tone.

“You do not believe me, I swear to you; it is true… a female has come to visit!”

I do not know what annoyed me the most; was it the unnecessary melodrama he employed in announcing the coming of a visitor, or was it the fact that he was so visibly astonished by the arrival of a visitor who had come to see me.

A female visitor as he put it. Was this the level of his despise or did I really appear this pathetic?

“Traore leave my room.” I said.

This of course only pleased him.

“Well I will leave you to get ready although, if you do not feel up to it, I could attend to her for you”.

The statement deserved no reply. After he left, I did wonder about the visitor; the female visitor.

Truly, no girl had ever come to visit me and I could not boast of any girl who was a friend of mine. Who then, was this girl? I walked out of my room, full of curiosity and saw her sitting on a chair in the parlour.

It was Lameer’s twin. What in the heavens was she looking for!

“Greetings Kasha, what do you want?” I asked rather awkwardly. The fact is I was more nervous than a rat caught in the daytime.

She calmly studied me and smiled slowly. 

For me, this was way past awkward. Kasha had the ability to cause words to dry up in my mouth whenever I looked at her.

I just well, forgot whatever it was I had to say. Earlier on, I described Muna as pretty. Well, Kasha was gorgeous- give her a few more years and wars would be waged for her sake.

It must be those eyes, those silver eyes; they seemed to convey a kind of maturity that captivated me.

Also the silver, gave her a look of serenity like the sea on a calm morning just before a storm. Moreover, her eyes possessed a kind of restraint as though something could be unleashed if the right strings were pulled.

She had beautiful cheekbones, not too prominent but obvious enough and her hair which went just below her neck, had all the shades of fire, red fire.

A few years ago, she had been slim but now, well, maturity and puberty had worked overtime. The ever-growing mounds on her chest relentlessly tugged at my eyes and then she had these tattoos on her arms.

O Kasha, slender and beautiful. I remember her so vividly.

Of course at that time I did not really think so… articulately, all I knew was that she made me nervous. She, like Lameer were not really Kalahashians for their father was a powerful merchant and had left his Indian homeland to take residence here in the empire.

“That’s not a very good way to make a guest feel welcome,” she said with that smooth musical voice of hers.

‘Guest’ as if I ever invited her.

“Well I am curious as to your purpose of coming here.” I answered impolitely.

“You are not very used to receiving visitors, are you?” She said relaxing on the chair.

I knew I was being petulant. I just could not help myself. Her presence had a way of making me act stupidly and it infuriated me.

Usually I portrayed a cool and confident or arrogant demeanour (or I was convinced I did) but, it was difficult to pull it off in Kasha’s presence. Why did she have this effect on me? Was I developing a flame? No way! I was not like Traore.

“You are right…I’m sorry, I am just a bit worn out today.” I said.

She smiled or rather, her face lit up “Oh I understand… it must be your battle with the panther yesterday...my brother told me everything.”

“Umm…yea, you are right… I guess,” my tongue obviously was still trying to tie itself. She straightened.

“Won’t you come and sit with me?” she asked, her eyes glittering.

“Sure thing.” I came to sit beside her. Then my tongue loosened for a moment.

“Hey what do I offer you…? I could have the servants bring something for you”.

She chuckled.

“Thanks but never mind. I just came to see how you are faring.” I still sent for water anyway. She stared at me for some time and then as if she just remembered.

“Lameer really told me about the encounter…it seems you were selling yourself short.”

“Umm well I just was not in the mood to go bragging about it.” I answered. She nodded her head with a funny smile on her face.

“Really,” she said; “if you say so… where did you learn to throw a knife like that?” she drilled.

“It must have been the tension of the moment…people do strange things when they are scared.”

“People do strange things when they are scared.” she echoed “Miletus…and your fear brought out a superb knife flinger…if you want to go by my brother’s narration.”

“Lameer was also under a lot of tension…he probably has a rather grand view of the way things happened.”

She chuckled “I like the way you talk, Miletus,”

“Oh,” was all I could say. She rose up “I have to go now, I was actually headed somewhere else. Perhaps you will call on me some time,” she said as she rose up.

“Of course… thank you for stopping by…I am glad you came.” I said, now feeling a bit wistful that she tarry a little longer.

I escorted her down the road and stopped at the junction.

“Call on me, Miletus,” she said and I nodded noting the steely stare her slave girl was shooting in my direction.

I was lost in thought all the way back and felt a few inches taller…this girl wanted me to call on her. The guards at the gates of my father’s compound spared me amused glances and one went on to hail me

“Oh you are back young master, welcome!” one said, trying to hide a grin. But my soaring spirit would not be brought low by a little teasing and I just ignored them, walking down unto the main building.

Traore did not hesitate to pounce on me. I could see the glint in his eye and would not put it above him to have eavesdropped on our conversation.

He kept shooting mischievous glances and rubbed his jaw in a manner I decided was annoying. That he had not walked in to interrupt while she was around was a miracle.

Maybe he found her intimidating, although, that was a bit too much to hope for.

“What panther was she talking about?” he asked and that answered the whole question of eavesdropping. I realized that he was yet unaware of the previous day’s escapade.

 “Lameer and I killed a panther yesterday.” I said.

 

He stared at me, smiled mockingly “alas the quiet one dreams again.” he said, “Perhaps if Lameer made such a boast; I would believe him.”

This answer was not surprising and in fact, I found it was somewhat flattering “believe it or not, I do not care.” I answered and got up to leave.

I was feeling a bit restless and sitting at home just would not do.

“Hey where are you going?” he asked.

“I would take a short walk.” I said.

“Fine I’ll come with you…I am bored.” he answered.

“Is Muna losing her grip?” I teased.

“I have no problem with Muna but I cannot be around her all the time. Surely even you should get that.”

“I see.” I answered not wanting to encourage the conversation as I had a feeling I knew where it was headed.

As we strolled out, down the streets lined with date palms, Traore started to notice that the townspeople watched us. We seemed to draw undue attention everywhere we passed.

“Why do they stare?” he asked.

“I know not.” I answered.

“But say does not their behaviour disturb you?” he asked.

“Not by a hair’s width.” I answered.

Of course, I knew why they stared. His ignorance pleased me, but he could not hold his curiosity and was going towards one man who was leaning casually against the huge wall of the council building, to enquire.

The person was one of those that dress in black robes, folks of the fierce type, slave traders they were.

“Traore what are you up to?” I asked like I had no clue.

“I intend to find out what is going on.”

“Whatever suits you.” I said feeling quite nonchalant.

He walked up to the man and inquired in the ‘Traore arrogant fashion’.

“You there,” he said “why does everyone watch us? Did something happen?”

The man casually looked him over and folded his arms “you should know.” He said.  

“I should know what?” Traore asked, his voice rising.

The man’s eyebrows raised a fraction at his tone. Good now he was going to get it, I thought wickedly.

Disappointingly enough, the fellow was even tempered or considered my father. Because he did not react the way his type were prone to react but said calmly while casually tossing a coin in his hands.

“Uh well, your brother and the son of Alini slew a panther yesterday. Some say that Alini’s son did it all; while others claim that they heard Alini’s son say that it was all thanks to your brother that the beast was slain.

There are so many other versions of the story and it is all over the town.”

Traore was so astonished by this as he recalled the blood he had seen on my clothes earlier in the day. No, Lameer must have been the one that slew the beast.

But Lameer could not possibly slay a panther alone; he was not that strong. Alright say Miletus did contribute, surely he could not have done much. Hmm, yes, all he must have done was scream out suggestions while Lameer engaged the beast.

This I assumed was his conclusion as the astonished expression left his face to leave behind a resolved and almost mocking look.

“Miletus the beast slayer, I think it fits you, don’t you think?” he said mockingly as he walked back to me.

“Whatever helps you sleep at night.” I answered.

 We continued our stroll while my brother waved to the onlookers and as we walked on uphill, there on a veld, full of kolanut trees just before the path that led to the cotton farms, we caught sight of Lameer.

He stood wrapped in a cluster of people; both young and old and was busy dishing out rather exaggerated versions of the encounter; the people of course believing every word.

He was receiving the same notoriety accorded to the victorious wrestlers. He soon sighted me.

“Aha,” he said “here comes my right hand man.” he announced.

Traore seemed to find this amusing.

“His right hand man; just as I thought. You did not offer any real assistance, did you?” Traore said.

“Well, I did alert him of the panther’s presence; he would have been taken unawares.” I answered.

This had him rocking with laughter.

“That was very brave of you beast slayer,” he said.

“Was that a hint of jealousy I perceived in your voice, little brother?”

Traore was skilled; perhaps even as skilled as Lameer but his greatest folly was that he severely underestimated me and I always let him. As he felt my question warranted no answer, he ignored me.

The crowd slowly assimilated us into their cluster and started to badger us with questions. I did not really regale them with any outlandish tales as would befit such a gathering but gave them the impression that it was a difficult situation, but we were lucky and prevailed.

“Miletus, could you hurl a knife for us?” asked some girl.

I shook my head “didn’t bring any knives and I’m no expert. Don’t believe everything Lameer tells you.”

Lameer laughed “he sells himself short.”

“Miletus, he says you can hurl four knives at the same time and that you don’t miss.” said a very fascinated boy who looked to be around Traore’s age.

“Now that would be something.” I said.

Do not get me wrong- I was not and am not a very modest person. I am instead, rather arrogant and someone who easily gets bored and would hardly be interested in providing entertainment for anyone. That duty, I would leave to the griot.

“Here’s a knife. Show us something.” A man said and handed me a dagger.

I took my stance as if I was going to throw and then sighed, “nah, not in the mood.” I said and returned the knife.

The whole crowd gave me that look you’ll give to someone that steals nuts from a baby. But I was bored of them already so I meandered through their midst and walked away.

“Why is he always like that?” I heard a girl say.

“He’s Miletus.” Lameer answered.

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About

I’m just Samuel, bony faced, laidback, absentminded Samuel. I don’t like to say much, I try to stay out of trouble. Some might say otherwise but that's some for you. Point is we don’t care, let’s just be chill and have fun. So come by whenever and ask me whatever.  It’s our party now and it won't start until your arrival.