PRIESTESS OF KEbr@.
By Amah’s heart
Aprin was awake the following day. She felt weak and tired from the long sleep.
The first person she saw sitting on a chair close to the be-d still in his wedding attire was Dembe.
His eyes was sh0t but one can s-en-se that he was not slee-ping.
Aprin felt a sharp pain in between her legs, she re-leased a silent cry as she tries to get up.
Dembe was up on his feet immediately he saw that Aprin was awake.
He went to her.
“How long have I been slee-ping? What happened to me… did you…I mean did we get inti-mate last night? I can’t remember anything except that I was dancing and suddenly felt so tired and dizzy and you were beside me…tell me what happened after then.
Dembe felt sad that he couldn’t save Aprin who has become his wife. He wish he has saved her from Sheila and Bash.
He bec@m£ more scared ever since he heard that their first child will be sacrificed to the gods and Aprin is also aware of it.
“My lady, I’m glad that you have awaken. You have been slee-ping since yesterday night after the wedding. Your mother check on you earlier and I informed her that you are still asleep. Hold on let me tell Phatsy to set out a warm bath for you.
Dembe left and after sometime he c@m£ back and helped Aprin out of the be-d.
Phatsy later c@m£ to inform her that her bath was re-ady before guiding her out.
Dembe was still sitting when Aprin was done bathing.
Phatsy was trying to set her hair and tire up her clothes when she dismissed her.
After Phatsy left, Aprin turned to Dembe
“You could have allowed me to wake up first before you hungrily take my vir-ginity. I know is yours rightfully but there was no point taking it as a thief because I can’t even remember anything or how it happened which means you saw my vulnerability and did the unthinkable. I have looked forward to the day I will get inti-mate with my husband and gracefully give him what is his. I don’t even know how I feel right now that I can’t remember anything…
Dembe kept quiet. He wish to let Aprin know what her trusted sister did with Bash to her But instead he remained quiet.
Aprin misun-derstood his sad and quiet nature. She thought Dembe was angry due to the way she was overacting. She moved to him shyly and sat on the arm of the couch that he was sitting on. She bent over and k!$$£d him first before looking straight to his eyes.
“Is okay Dembe, you don’t nee-d to be sad or worried. All that matters to me is that you are the man that deflowered me. I’m glad is you and it doesn’t matter how you did it or if I was drun!kor asleep when it happened. My joy is that my husband, the man I love took what is rightfully his. The gods will bless our union and give us children who will be plea-sing to him. Our deed will open more ways for the gods blessings. Your initiation into priesthood will start after a year of our marriage. I nee-d you to get used to everything and to be fully re-ady for the big task ahead of you. We have enough time for ourselves… just me and you before our full dedication to the holy temple. mother will cut your skin with a blade, and your drop of blood will be used as an open door to your coronation. You will be cut with blade for just 5days and the other rituals will follow. Then you will pres£nt your first sacrifice to the gods and goddesses. Our first seed…that is our first child as a couple will be pres£nted to the gods. the child will be sacrificed and that will open more ways for us and fortify us. It will make us a great priestess and priest. Permit me to call you my Lord…so can we go another round of intim-acy in be-d? Since I can’t fully remember the first time it happened but I will like to keep the rest upd@t£d in mind… Can we…my Lord?
She k!$$£d Dembe again but he stood and took a step away from her.
“I’m sorry my lady… But I can’t. You never mentioned human sacrifice to me before now. I mean how can our first child be pres£nted as a sacrifice. If I really have a say in all of this then I object to such barbaric act. I will never give up my own child to be slaughtered for the gods plea-sure or pres£nt my b©dy to be marked with blade. My lady I’m sorry to say but I will rather not t©uçh you than get you in with a child whose fate has alre-ady been decided before he or she is born. How can you decide and conclude over everything with your mother and also your sister without me having an idea of what is at stake. I know I’m a servant in your household and do not really have a say until you decided to chose me as your husband. this whole marriage doesn’t make me a free man rather I become more bonded to you and your family wishes. None of all this is my de-sire or what I want. Yes, I’m grateful for everything you risked for me but do I have a choice? I appreciate you my lady… you have a good heart but plea-se try and give me a listening ear. The gods you intend to do so much for are dead gods…
Aprin stood up and sl@pped Dembe ha-rd across the face and she quic-kly regretted her harsh action immediately.
“I’m sorry Dembe but never you speak ill of the gods who gave you life and preserved you. All they required is your gratitude not ungratefulness. I will not sit and watch you bring course upon your head. I will rather strike you and make you come to your normal s-en-ses. Is better I do so than for the gods to deal mercilessly with you. Bridle your ton-gue because you are right un-der the nose and ears of the gods and goddess.
Dembe moved to a different chair and sat down. He began to speak more calmly than before.
“Pardon my unbridled ton-gue because I speak like a child forgetting who I am. But why can’t the gods reveal to you or reveal to the great mother the evil intentions of those close to you. My lady why can’t the gods show you how your vir-ginity was taken? Are they all deaf that they can not hear or blind that they can’t see?
“Why will I nee-d to know how you deflowered me? I told you earlier that is not necessary to know how you did it. all that matters is that it was you. Nob©dy has evil intentions around me… and I mean nob©dy…. if not the gods could have revealed it. plea-se we just got married and should be enjoying each other… let’s drop this conversation. I’m sorry for sl@pping you earlier but never you try to speak ill of the gods. If you choose not to t©uçh me because of the fear of giving our first child to the gods… then go ahead with it but I know you won’t be able to last long without getting inti-mate with me. You couldn’t even wait for me to wake up last night before pouncing on me and taking my vir-ginity…I don’t know how you will stay without tou-ching me….
Dembe shakes his head sadly.
He was speechless on how Aprin and her entire household put a trust in a deadbeat god.
That night he bowed his head in prayer.
Aprin saw him whispering something to himself with his head bow but said nothing.
“God I don’t know what or how you want me to cope un-der this circvmstances. I also don’t know what you want me to do with the freedom they think I have… help me heavenly king…give me wisdom to carry on. Sometimes I feel so angry and sad over everything. Oh Lord, You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You take no plea-sure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices you required are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. You never demanded so much from me why should a pagan god required a human sacrifice…my first seed. Oh God may you prove yourself to all this people that there is no other God both in heaven and earth except you. I don’t know how I will be seen if I decide not to t©uçh Aprin to avoid her conceiving a child…I nee-d your help oh Lord. Remember Lydia… plea-se protect her and the entire believers including the tent maker and his wife. Give me strength to carry on and wisdom to live among this people…
Dembe prayed wholeheartedly. He makes it a habit to always pray as days turned into weeks and then s month.
He avoid laying with Aprin but try to act like a loving husband to her.
After a month Aprin’s patient was ruining out. She confronted Dembe again on why he has refused not to go inti-mate with her even after a month
Dembe pleaded with her to give him time. Aprin agreed to give him another month but along the line she realized that she missed her flow.
She was not sure if it was pregnancy because she believed that Dembe t©uçhed her only once on her wedding night while she was asleep and ever since he has been scared to do it again after learning of the sacrifice.
Aprin called in a doctor to check her and the doctor confirmed that she was carrying a child.
She was baffled at same time happy that the gods has made Dembe’s seed to germinate in her and it will be perfect for the sacrifice.
The child will be given to the gods and in return the gods will bless their reign as priest and priestess. And their unions will be blessed.
Aprin was happy and re-leased the news as Dembe stepped into the chamber that evening.
“I’m carrying your seed…. I’m pregnant.
Dembe looked at her shocked. Aprin repeated what she said with a smile all over her face.
Dembe almost asked her how she bec@m£ pregnant without him tou-ching her, he quic-kly remembered what Sheila and Bash did.
Dembe went cold and confuse. Aprin went about smiling from ear to ear.
Sheila was the first to come and congratulate her sister when the news spre-ad. The mother also c@m£. The mother was looking forward to the big sacrifice of Aprin’s and Dembe’s first baby.
Sheila saw Dembe sitting by the fountain in de-ep meditation one day. He had a troubled face.
“Look who is going to be a father soon. Well, I know why you are sad…is very unfortunate that your first child will be sacrificed to the gods. I see why you don’t look so happy slave boy. You will be the one to carry out the sacrifice and pres£nt it to the gods… poor servant boy. You don’t have a choice and there’s no escaping from it. You wish to be a priest then you will follow all that is required in it… your b©dy won’t be left out because it will be marked de-eply with blade. I wish mother will give me that previledged to mark your wretched b©dy with sharp blade. Hahahaha… the pain that is ahead of you is really unbearable. I can’t wait to watch the sadness on your face as your first child will be sacrificed on the shrine altar just to appease the gods. Hahahaha…..
Dembe never said a word as Sheila laughed so ha-rd at him before walking away.
“Are you very sure that you are carrying a child?
Dembe who was still confused from Aprin’s pregnancy news asked her again that night.
“Yes…I missed my flow again this month, i noticed changes in my b©dy. the physician also confirmed it. Your first t©uçh got me in with a seed all thanks to the gods. Even when you are scared of laying with me ever since the first night, the gods still showed me mercy by blessing my wo-mb so quic-ker than I imagined. I don’t even care anymore if you decide not to t©uçh me again during this pregnancy. The Joy of carrying a precious gift for the gods in my wo-mb will keep me occu-pied till I give birth…
Dembe concluded within him that he was going to tell Aprin that the pregnancy does not belong to him but to Bash who Sheila arranged to take her vir-ginity because Sheila felt that a common slave does not deserve anything good and with the envy she felt for Aprin, it faned her evil de-sires.
“My lady…I have a very important thing to say to you. I have been worried and scared ever since the pregnancy announcement. The baby you carry in your wo-mb is not mine…it belongs to…
Aprin interrupted Dembe from speaking further.
“Offcourse Dembe. The child isn’t yours…it belongs to the gods. I’m glad you are begining to come in terms with the truth and accept what the gods has predestined….
“My lady kindly listen to me first. On our wedding night, after bringing you into your chamber, I was called that the great mother would like to see me, you were asleep when I left to answer her. I waited for so long but the priestess never showed up. I was informed again that she changed her mind and wasn’t coming. I quic-kly returned back to the chamber. When I c@m£ in I saw Bash on t©p of you and Sheila was also here. Bash took your vir-ginity my lady and not I. Sheila orche-strated the whole plan, she added something to the meat she gave you which made you pas-sed out. I noticed the first drink she brou-ght that day to you was suspecious which made me throw it out and you weren’t happy that I did that. But the meat you ate was not ordinary. The seed in your wo-mb is not mine, it belongs to Bash….
Aprin got angrily and shouted at him to keep quiet.
“Enough of all this c0ckand bull story. Is too cheap and I’m not buying it. I know you don’t like Sheila because she is always hostile towards you. I un-derstand your hatred but Dembe I won’t tolerate you lying against my own sister. Even though I don’t fancy Bash but I won’t listen to your lies against him either. How can you even cook up such lies? Does it even sound true to your own ears? If Sheila hears of this it will become another war between you and her. I won’t tell anyone such an abominable thing but you also nee-ds to keep your mouth shut. St©p ma-king up stories to make me hate my sister. Or to deny your seed in me. You took my vir-ginity and I’m carrying our first child which belongs to the gods. I did not make those rules of giving up our baby to the gods, mother did and it will be honored. It will fortify us and strengthen our service to the gods. You can’t deny your own Dembe… that is wickedness neither will I tolerate such from you. Be my husband and priest waiting for coronation. Love my family and don’t try to poison my mind against anyone. I told you earlier even if you choose not to t©uçh me until I give birth, I won’t trouble you because carrying a precious gift for the gods is enough to keep me satisfied. St©p all this your madness. You aren’t a slave anymore… you should be very grateful to the gods and to my entire family… for your freedom.
After then Dembe did not speak to Aprin about the child she carries.
He decided to see if he can speak to the priestess but she looked up at him like a man who has gone mad.
She asked Dembe to get out of her sight because his words was not ma-king any s-en-se to her.
Dembe apologize for interrupting her evening before walking away.
Most night Dembe sit out by the fountain listening to the fall of the water and speaking to the invisible God quietly.
He has seen Sheila and Bash caught up in a love web by the carpet field which has over grown flowers.
Dembe pretend not to notice them. He was more preoccu-pied with his own worries and do not bother about the two lovers.
It later c@m£ to the notice of all that Sheila will be getting married to Bash.
It was well expected since Sheila and Bash can no longer hide their affair.
She rejected the man that she was supposed to be bethrothed to and nob©dy could talk her out of her choice.
While arrangements for the upcoming wedding was taking place, Aprin has become so fond of her growing bu-mp.
Aprin’s pregnancy has become obvious. She was always seen admiring her protruding stomach and smiling. She looked forward to welcoming her child. Nothing else interest her not even Sheila’s wedding to Bash.
Even though she was okay with whatever choice Sheila makes concerning a life p@rtner, she supported her sister in every way possible.
Within the next two months Sheila got married to Bash.
It was a big occasion. Aprin did not host a big p@rty during her wedding. Just a handful gathering.
But Sheila was determined to shame her sister’s small p@rty by ma-king sure her wedding to Bash becomes the talk of everyone in Kebr@. She even spite her sister with the attitude of getting married to a wealthy free born, unlike Aprin who settled for a slave boy and hold a small p@rty.
The big wedding lasted for 7days. Sheila and Bash bec@m£ husband and wife.
Is only the next priestess of Kebr@ and also the priest which is Aprin and Dembe has the full right to live in the big house. They can’t move out because their home is with the temple situated within the big compound.
Sheila knew this yet she insisted right in front her mother that since she is also the daughter of the priestess of Kebr@ her home will also be close to the temple.
She said she doesn’t want to live at her husband’s house rather she will maintain her home.
Where her home is that is where her husband’s own will be.
Bash agreed to everything that Sheila was saying and did not object.
Sheila was not the next priestess of Kebr@ neither is Bash the priest but Sheila refused to leave with the hope that someday she will also become a popular, wealthy, powerful priestess like her mother.
Her mother agreed for her to stay but told her that her home is with her husband’s people and she should learn to spend time with them.
Sheila’s as-sistance is only nee-ded in the temple if Aprin asked for it.
Sheila was not happy with her mother giving only Aprin the full title of a priestess even after she was also married and she can only as-sist when ever Aprin asked for it.
Her only happiness is not moving out of the house. She will keep a close watch on everything and everyone.
Aprin time to give birth drew near, everyone looks forwards welcoming the child except Dembe.
Dembe had tried to convince Aprin about the child but he was always shut out. he confronted Phatsy over what happened that first night.
Phatsy pleaded that she was only threatened by Sheila which was why she lied that the priestess asked to see him.
Dembe finally let go but his believe and trust in God increa-sed daily.
Aprin went into labor, she labored for so long. She was exhausted and almost thought she was going to die.
Dembe was asked to come inside the room and comfort his wife.
Dembe held Aprin’s hand and began to whisper few prayers. Nob©dy heard what he was muttering to himself, but his mouth was moving repeatedly and within a short time Aprin finally gave birth to a baby girl.
They called her baby “daughter of the gods”.
It was alre-ady agreed that Dembe who happened to be the biological father and also the next priest of Kebr@ will be the rightful person to sacrifice the infant.
Dembe went cold with fear as they concluded on the day that he will pres£nt the sacrifice to the gods.
It was also agreed that after the sacrifice his initiation will commence where his b©dy will be marked with blade and his blood will be drilled out for the gods.
Sheila taunt him, Bash laughed at him as they looked forward to the day he will be sacrificing his first child.
What they don’t know is that the baby does not belong to Dembe but to Bash who joined Sheila in ma-king Dembe’s Life a living hell.
They kept reminding and laughing at him on how his first seed will be wasted and he can’t do anything about it.
Dembe has his own plans. He smiled at them mischievously because nob©dy can tell what he was nursing in his mind.
PRIESTESS OF KEbr@.