PRIESTESS OF [email protected]
By the writer of pia
Aprin took Dembe’s hand and placed on her stomach.
“The baby moves again, can you feel it?
Aprin asked with a bold smile on her face.
Dembe smiled with a nod.
Aprin said excitedly
“I’m very expectant, i can’t wait to hold him or maybe her. Which ever one the gods decided to bless us with. Is all theirs not ours. This time there is no mistake… We are previledged to be counted worthy parents and bear seed for the gods.
Dembe’s smile changed into a frown. He tried to get up from the be-d but Aprin st©pped him.
“I Just want to go to the fountain, I will be right back my lady.
Dembe made another attempt to get up but Aprin st©pped him again.
She looked up at him and said.
“Why do you choose to be all by yourself most time? I have observed it for a very longtime, you enjoy your own company more than me. I’m your wife and I should be your companion Dembe. Do you mind telling me the kind of god you worsh!p? So many times your mouth move without a sound. You bow your head in de-ep meditation and I know your time at the fountain is to perform supplication to whatever god you secretly worsh!p… I’m your wife and there should be no secret between us. What god do you worsh!psecretly?
Dembe re-adjusted his shoulder from the be-d.
He knew a day like this will come but he has not been able to come up with what to say or do.
he wasn’t prepared.
He can neither deny or admit to the fact that he worsh!pthe invisible God.
Aprin may flare up in anger and it will mean a whole trouble for him if the priestess hears of it.
“My lady, i do every duty that is requested of me both to you and to the entire household even to the priestess. What do you want me to say?
Dembe was looking for a way of escape from Aprin’s questions because he was afraid to open up his true God to her.
Just then, a scripture dropped in his heart. he heard before from Jon.
“Do not fear or be in dre-ad for i have redeemed you. It is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you…”
The word dropped in Dembe’s heart. So bold and clear.
He found his voice again to speak.
“Back in Gwali before I was captured and sold off as slave, my people worsh!pa handmade gods. We worsh!pthe earth.. and anything that makes s-en-se to us almost the same as the people of [email protected]…
“So, Dembe you still worsh!pthe god of your ancestors? You know when you become a slave, you either worsh!pyour masters or the god they serve. Whatever god you worsh!pback then is no more relevant. This is the household of the priest and priestess of [email protected], bringing in any other god will defy the temple and even make the gods of [email protected] angry…. do you un-derstand?
Aprin said, trying to remind Dembe of his stand and royalty to [email protected]
“I thought getting married to you means a certificate of freedom? If yes then I’m not a slave anymore. I may still be bonded to this household but not as a slave. I don’t worsh!pthe gods of Gwali or [email protected], I serve the invisible and everly pres£nt God. I will do everything required of me right here but my royalty lies with one true God in heaven. He doesn’t feed on innocent babies blood or demand what you can’t offer like The gods of [email protected] does. The earth is his footstool, the heavens is his abode. The only sacrifice God demands is upright living and Thanksgiving. He does things that no man can do not even all the gods of [email protected] put together…
Aprin saw the full boldness in Dembe unlike before.
He was not scared or worried of what becomes him.
It seems she can’t talk him out of his strange belief because it was obvious that his mind was made up.
Aprin knew that when their baby is offered as a sacrifice and Dembe finally becomes a priest of [email protected] he will amend his ways and will become dedicated to both the temple, the gods and goddess of [email protected] and also the people.
Sheila spoke to her mother about moving back but her request remain pending.
She was very angry with her mother for not agreeing to her request.
She was obviously in good terms with Aprin and her sister has forgiven her but yet she can’t still move back which really angered her but she has become a good actress and told her mother that she will be patient.
Aprin time to deliver of her baby draw near. She was happy and kept burning incense and thanking the gods for the pregnancy journey.
She looked forward to the day that she will pres£nt her baby to the gods.
Two weeks before her delivery time, she fell ill and couldn’t move.
The midwife and physicians were around to administer different medicine.
Her mother prayed constantly in the temple for her daughter.
But she kept getting worst, Dembe did not un-derstand what was going on but he never st©pped praying for his wife.
three weeks after, Aprin’s time to give birth pas-sed by.
She was in pain and couldn’t stand or move on her own.
The priestess performed different animal ritual, burnt more incense, visited the river side to speak to the river goddess.
She was besieging different gods and goddess for Aprin sake yet to no avail.
The physician kept Dembe out of the dark room that Aprin was kept.
They refused him entering because they were also consulting their own gods for Aprin sake just as the priestess demanded
they kept her in a dark room with smell of incense filling the whole room with smoke.
Aprin asked them to bring in Dembe but the physician said no man is allowed to enter the room because of the gods pres£nce.
They kept up with their spiritual act which [email protected]£ with no results.
Dembe who couldn’t bear all that was going on decided to go against every law.
He broke into the room that Aprin was kept, opened the windows, threw off all the incense that was causing smoke and unhealthy breathing.
She also threw off the handmade gods in the room.
The physician were shouting that he will incure the wrath of the gods but Dembe did not pay any attention to their words.
Aprin was in her tenth month of pregnancy still no sign of any child coming
She was still very weak, she slimed down and couldn’t speak much word.
Her eyes were pupping out, her skin looks so dry, she was coughing but with no spasm.
Dembe asked the physicians to leave, they try to argue and he began to throw all their tools outside.
They angrily Left to report to the priestess that if Lady Aprin happens to die then is all because of her stubborn husband, he should be held responsible for her death and that of the child.
After they left, Dembe locked up the door.
He asked Phatsy to bring h0t water and a warm thick clothes. she quic-kly did.
He took the warm water and clean his wife b©dy that was almost reduced to bone.
Dembe locked up the door and remained in the room with only Aprin.
There was a heavy ban-g, he knew is probably the priestess but he did not open
After sometime Aprin was able to say few words.
“plea-se pray to your invisible God, he may hear you and have mercy on me. I’m dying Dembe…. I’m dying…
Dembe who has never st©pped praying, took his wife hands and as-sured her that she won’t die.
He prayed fervently until Aprin started having serious contraction.
After wincing severally in pain she tried pushing again with the little strength left in her and the head of the baby could be seen.
Dembe was acting as both a physician and midwife all at the same time.
Aprin tried pushing again and the baby sli-pped into Dembe’s awaiting hands.
His cry filled the whole room.
Dembe held onto him with a soft wooden cloth.
His hands were filled with blood but his happiness was holding his child.
There were shouts of joy and also doubt within the compound.
Those who heard the cry of the baby went around announcing but some did not believe it.
Dembe who doesn’t know what to do or how to handle the pres£nt situation asked Aprin to guide him on what exactly to do but Aprin was weak and couldn’t speak.
Dembe called phatsy to fetch the midwife or the physician.
As phatsy was rushing, she saw the midwife who was still around.
She was also rushing down after hearing the cry of a baby.
She attended to both the baby and the mother.
It was a baby boy.
While the baby was cared for by the midwife.
Dembe stayed beside Aprin.
She couldn’t speak until the following day even as her baby was placed beside her to nurse.
The second day, she felt strengthened.
While trying to nurse her baby she whispered slowly to Dembe.
“plea-se, tell me more about your God? I want to know the kind of god he truly is…
Dembe knew that it was going to be a new begining for his family.
He was glad and willing to tell his wife all that she nee-ds to know.
“Our son belongs to him, [email protected] gods failed me when I nee-ded them but your God [email protected]£ throu-gh for me…I want your God to be my God Dembe. plea-se tell me what to do…I may not live for long but the little time I have left, plea-se tell me what he requires of me and I will do It. I’m not worried about our son because he is safe. Our son belongs to the invisible God not to the gods of [email protected]…
Dembe wiped a tear from his eyes.
It was too good to be true that Aprin the next priestess of [email protected] is very much interested in knowing the one true God.
How will the people of [email protected] and her mother, the priestess take such news if they get to know?
Dembe was re-ady for whatever danger may come.
He will protect his family with all he got.
He also knows that whatever is entrusted to God’s hands remains safe.
Aprin’s recovering process was taking so long.
She couldn’t even nurse her baby. Her [email protected] milk st©pped flowing, the midwife has to source for another option.
Some days she will look well and lively while the next she is unable to do anything.
Dembe did not leave her side.
He will take her hands into his and prayed fervently.
“What does he eat? How do I pray to him… what are the requirements to belong? I want to know the true God of Dembe before I leave this earth. Help me ask him what he requires of me and I will do It.
Aprin asked as she tries to sit up from the be-d.
“Is not just my God my lady, is the God of you and I…of heaven and of Earth. He neither eat nor drink like we mortals do. You can talk to him wherever and whenever you feels like and he will hear you. He is able to do exceedingly and above all that we ask of him…it is our sin that seperate us from him but if we repent, confess and condemned our sins… his hands are not too short to save us nor his ears too dull to hear. He will welcome us with an open arms just like a father to his prodigal son…
Dembe enjoyed talking to Aprin about God, he felt a strong warm pres£nce in the room.
His knowledge was limited to the things of God but whenever he opens his mouth to speak he realized that he speaks without fear and words keep pouring into his heart.
The priestess [email protected]£ to see Aprin immediately she learnt that she was getting better from her illness.
“I can see that you are almost well. is high time you two start planning and agree on a [email protected] day for the sacrifice. It should be by next two weeks Aprin. The gods has been so patient with us. The first sacrifice was wrong and disastrous…it got the gods angry and they unleashed their anger and struck the child dead right away and now the right child is born and is a boy, the gods will be plea-sed. Get re-ady, in two weeks from now the sacrifice will commence. Aprin you are the next priestess of [email protected] and your husband is a pending priest. He is yet to pres£nt his b©dy for the marking… The blades have been sharpened and awaiting him but sacrificing your first child has to take place first before his initiation.
Dembe and Aprin remained quiet.
While their son sle-pt peacefully besides Aprin who sat listening as her mother speaks.
“… no more [email protected] it can be dangerous. Nob©dy should take the gods patients and kindness for granted. That is why I’m urging you Aprin to sit up and take charge. The gods has restored your health they deserve your Thanksgiving and the sacrifice should commence quic-k. I want you and your husband to as-sume your rightful place and duty right in the temple. I just [email protected]£ to sound The warning and remind you of your awaiting sit. I will take my leave now since you don’t have anything to say…
She stood up to leave.
As she walked towards the door, Aprin looked over at Dembe who nodded, urging her to say whatever is in her mind.
Aprin hushed the priestess to st©p.
She stood up from the be-d and walked a little closer to her mother.
“Mother, I mean no disrespect but I don’t want to have anything to do with the gods or the temple. Dembe’s God is now my God and my child will not be offered as a sacrifice to…
Shockingly, the priestess [email protected] Aprin [email protected] across the face hitting her [email protected] with the rings she wore on her f!ngers.
Aprin felt dizzy from the [email protected] and staggered back but Dembe caught her until she was steady.
“How dare you speak such treacherous words to my hearing. Aprin, have you forgotten who you are? Have you gone mad? You are the daughter of the gods and you owe them your de-ep reverence. You allowed your mind to be manipulated by this son of a nob©dy. getting married to him was a de-ep curse yet I tried to exonerate you in the pres£nce of the gods and now you have allowed this cursed of a man to drag your fragile little mind to the dust. Don’t dare the gods or try their patients Aprin… they are watching and waiting for you to do the nee-dful. Remember no man rules over us…we dictate and decide for the men and if they refused our orders we clear them off from the way. We are all called by the gods… they found us worthy to choose us as priestess, don’t disappoint them or allow a mere man to shuffle you around…
She looked at Dembe with so much anger in her eyes before leaving.
Aprin got scared after her mother left and began to shiver in fear.
“God has not given you the spirit of fear my Lady but of power and of love and of sound mind. Don’t be afraid of her or her words. you will give her the respect she deserves as a mother but do not panic over her mere threats…she maybe a mouth piece of the deities but there is no power in them. Listen my lady… there is no other name un-der heaven given among men that we must be saved except throu-gh the son of God… Jesus Christ.
As Dembe speaks, Aprin found her boldness again.
The following week the priestess [email protected]£ to remind Aprin about her awaiting duties.
Aprin did not say a word. When Dembe returned from tilling the land for cropping Aprin told him what her mother said to her.
Dembe decided to go and speak to the priestess.
Sheila was visiting and was with the mother when Dembe [email protected]£ in.
The priestess on seeing Dembe flared up.
“If you have come to talk me over sparing your child for the sacrifice then you have come to waste your time. The sacrifice is next week and your initiation follows immediately after. the gods and I have been patient enough but not again…
Dembe [email protected] out before saying.
“plea-se, I beg of you…i don’t want to be a priest. No offense to your gods but I and my family are secluded from all the rituals. We don’t want to have anything to do with the temple…
The priestess rushed to strike Dembe across the face but he quic-kly caught her hand mid way before dropping it.
Sheila stood and began to speak angrily at Dembe so that she can win her mother’s heart
“Who made you who you are? Who gave you family and freedom… Dembe? Answer me or has cat caught your ton-gue? The gods did all this… mother approved of your Union to Aprin and you know what was at stake before getting married to her. You can’t change the rules or law of [email protected] How dare you even held the great priestess hand from striking you… you are nothing but a common slave who thought marriage to Aprin could save him. You are an opportunist but your type do not last for long because no man has a say over us. Dembe… you are an ungrateful bastard. You live in a house you did not build, marry the woman you did not pay bride price, eat the food and drink the water you never worked for yet you have the guts to challenge mother and cast a spell on Aprin…
Dembe interrupted Sheila from speaking futher.
“Bridle your ton-gue my lady before it goes up in flame. I did not asked for any of those things you mentioned neither am I ungrateful for having them. I can provide and care for my family if priestess will let me do It… I’m not a lazy man. I wasn’t giving a choice to choose what I really wanted because I was a slave but that has all changed. I sometimes join the workers to till the land into ridge for cropping, I also join to harvest grains at the field because I’m sick and tired of staying idle…
The priestess st©pped him from talking.
“I never asked you to join the workers and do any [email protected] job. I forbid you from doing any sort of work. You are married to my daughter and you can’t be allowed to do any work except if it has to do with the temple. Your only work is serving as a priest along side Aprin who is the next priestess. Aprin owns this whole house and every land and many luxury because she is the next priestess after me. If she owns it then is also yours… She is not allowed to do any other thing so are you. There is enough workers and food store in bans that will last a lifetime. The people of [email protected] also pays hommage to the gods and to me. They brings different gifts like money, food, materials and even offer acres of land…we don’t lack here because we have enough and your gratitude should be to the gods of [email protected] and nothing else.
Sheila frowned at her mother’s words to Dembe. She knew Aprin has everything after her mother which was one of the reasons she was bitter and wish she can be made the priestess instead of Aprin.
She was going to talk to her mother about it later. Since Aprin is begining to reject the offer of priestess. is an opportunity for her to try her luck.
Dembe took a step closer and said with a firm voice.
“I’m not here to batter words or argue over anything, I’m only here to make it known that my blood and that of my child will not be spilled. Tell the gods that I said so… there is no dialogue in this. I stand strongly on my words for greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.
Dembe turned and left.
“Mother, he is daring you to do your worst… did you hear what he said? He has no fear and he just disrespected you. He deserved to be stoned to death and Aprin too for ma-king a common slave to insult the great mother, the priestess of [email protected] Mother, I’m fighting this with you and I will make a better priestess. Bash will make a great priest and we are willing to offer not just our first child but also all our children to the gods if they decided to bless us with any. We don’t have a child yet but I promise that whenever we have we will offer them to the gods. We are re-ady to give all that we have just to make the gods happy. Mother consider…
Sheila was still speaking when the mother interrupted her.
“Enough, I’m not in the mood for your many words. Aprin is entitled to be the priestess and her husband the priest and no one else. Sheila go back to your husband’s place…I want to be left alone.
Sheila felt dissappointed at her mother.
She stood angrily and left.
Aprin [email protected]£ sick again, every of her breath chokes. Dembe took over in caring for her for their child.
She gets worst everyday, Dembe was afraid to admit to his fear as he looks down on his wife.
Sheila [email protected]£ with the excuse to visit her sick sister.
Dembe kept a close watch on Sheila who looks as if she truly cares.
Sheila knew that Dembe was watching and was mindful of the things she does.
The priestess did not visit, she remained in her temple and kept a distance.
“Take me to the fountain, get me baptized. I want to sit out there like you do and imagine what heaven will feel like.
Dembe agreed to Aprin’s request that night.
While everyone sle-pt, he carried her to the fountain, de-ep her b©dy into the cool water before wra-pping her up with a thick cloth.
They prayed together while sitting out there.
Dembe was almost moved to weep as he saw that Aprin was sli-pping away from him.
“, plea-se, tell me a story of heaven, of angels and of God’s people…
Aprin asked Dembe and he went quiet.
He began to think of one of the stories that Jon, the tent maker re-ad from the Bible.
As he began to speak, Aprin relaxed in his arms. Unknown to them that the priestess was close by.
She was watching and listening from a dark corner where no one can see her.
She listened to Dembe’s shaky but strong voice that sounded like a melody.
No one noticed her but she remained where she was and kept listening.
The moon light brightened up Aprin’s beautiful face and make it shone so bright. She couldn’t hold back her Joy as she went still in Dembe’s arm.
Priestess of [email protected] Episode 13 & 14
PRIESTESS OF [email protected]