(For previous segments:
It was yet another shock to find that the sangoma was not wearing her traditional beads and trappings, but was dressed in modern clothing. She was trying to select the best of her herbs and amulets from shelves all round the walls of her living room to cram into suitcases, but left the task as they approached. Ignoring the beginnings of the exchange of proper greetings, she broke in with, ‘I have been expecting you to come and tell me that devils are among us.’
The headman nodded.
‘We must all go away,’ she said simply. ‘These devils want the valley for themselves, now, and if we stay we die. They are very strong and have many tokoloshe helpers; and they will bring all creatures against us …’
‘We cannot leave,’ burst out the headman. ‘The spirits of our ancestors are all here, and …’
It was her turn to interrupt. She shook her head. ‘No, the spirits of our ancestors have gone. They have been chased away. Before they went they told me we must all leave, too. I must help them to come to us when we can find a new place for us to live.’
The dreadfulness of it was so great that all wails and lamentations stopped and there was a hush.
Then the headman said, ‘We will go; there is no choice,’ in a broken voice, before squatting down on his heels and sobbing.
(Footnote: This completes the Prelude to a fantasy novel. It should be explained, however, that what has been outlined thus far is completely believable to a large segment of the local African population, not excluding those whose schooling has gone to tertiary level. Nor does it exclude those who are actively practicing Christians, because they have reconciled Christian beliefs with ones which predate the Missionary era.
In Chapter 1 the protagonists are going to be introduced to face this situation, and then the realms of fantasy will emerge more strongly …)
© Colonialist May 2013 (WordPress)