This post was originally posted on the Art Stories category on TNC, in answer to a longstanding request by Ola to come up with a story for his drawn up art(took me 8months to get around to it ( ._.)). I just thought to repost it here now. I am vain like that.
This is a tale about a god, and the lengths he traverses to overcome his ennui.
Do enjoy, if you haven’t already.
Aboteng, whose existence superseded dusty and forgotten epochs, was ever the height of majesty. Aboteng could not be contained or unravelled in the strokes of glyphs, or in the power of tales rendered on soundless nights. The people of the southern plains offered shrieking virgins and food still sodden with earth to him, and they who ruled the north poured argentine tributes into craters which roared with the anger of enchanted fires first lit in dark ages. Beneath the thick canopies of verdant jungle which serenaded the equatorial regions, beasts and creeping plants heralded his coming with ululations which stimulated the still heavens, and set in course aberrant cycles of nature.
But alas, reclining against clouds in the high noon, or supine against lava-belching rocks in the golden twilight, Aboteng was weary of the unchanging adoration, and his ennui was grown to resist even the terribly pleasing aroma of incense burnt from the rare, purpureal seedlings of the tropical Avede fruit.
He remembered with nostalgia, that long-ago age when the heavens had been rowdy with the noisome banter of genius loci and drifting clouds had been populated with the reclining hedonistic forms of worshipped gods. With unceasing horror did he recall that half mythic moment when the exploding star had obliterated the entire pantheon of gods who had come to revel in the sight and immediate presence of such a glorious novelty.
Even then, he had been but a young god, newly created in the aftermath of a supernova which occurred in the eye of the constellation which men knew as The Great Worm. Hegemony had been thrust open him by reason of his loneliness. Though he had done great and mighty things for the uncounted men whose voices tormented him with supplication and caressed him with praises, nothing could shake the ominous certainty that he was the last of the divine ones. Though of incredible age and liable to witness epochs more, he already considered, with wistful sympathy, the dawn of the era in which no gods would exist. He imagined with sadness the cries of uncountable humanity resounding throughout the heavens, unheeded by any ears.
In fact, Aboteng was seeking something new, something no divinity before him had pursued. Pursuant to his present circumstance, Aboteng unburdened himself of all prejudices and equanimities, and having considered for countless settings of the sun the next course of his dreary existence, made his decision.
Seija moved through the thick forest in the dead of night, his feet noiseless as they embraced the fallen leaves and crooked dry twigs. Using his hands to part the growth where it waxed thick, his eyes danced silently, negotiating remembered paths and treacherous flora at the jungle’s safe edge. His breathing increased in anticipation, as he used the wan moonlight which drifted through the jungle canopy to search the grounds
He found her reclining anxiously at the foot of the giant mairot tree surrounded by clearing and floored by short grasses. Before he stepped into view, he watched her for a while, gazing appreciatively as her body scattered the moonlight, revealing lissome curves formed by exotic ebon skin. She peered at the darkness around her, no doubt anticipating his arrival.
Seija stepped into the clearing, startling her momentarily. She glanced quickly in his direction, and ascertaining that it was him, rose from the crooked exposed root she has been sitting on. They met halfway across the clearing, flawlessly entwining themselves in an embrace which bespoke long bridled passions. Seija held her tightly, inwardly cursing the chief who had taken her from him in the sweet years of their burgeoning courtship, and thanking the gods for his recent demise, as well as the hard won success he had enjoyed at making his former heartthrob recall the seething passion they had shared once upon a time.
His lips found hers, and she was to his senses like the essence of a mature papaya. His hands rode down her back wordlessly, reminding him of the still grace of the feared natari serpent.
The hairs at the nape of his neck tingled, arousing the hunter in him and causing him to break off his communion with her. He stared for a long moment into the darkness, his ears sifting through the cry of hidden crickets and tread of nocturnal creatures. But his contemplation did not last long, for he was quickly recalled to the tryst by the adoring lips and worshipful hands of his lover.
He was soon supine upon the soft grassy ground, negligent of crawling insects, his mind and body attuned only to the one he loved. As he approached his climax, he opened his eyes to gaze once more upon the moon-bathed breasts and watch the condensation which escaped his lover’s lips as she breathed his name in the stupor of desire in the slight chill of the night
High in the branches above her, through gaps in the gathering of leaves which danced in the stillness, he was caught up by the spectre of two exceptionally brilliant stars which peered down at him, like the glowing eyes of an invisible being. His loins calescent, Sejai attributed the weirdly sentient movement of the stars as the fancies of an excited mind…
When at last their breathing steadied, and their lust was satiated, the two allowed themselves the anxiety that their previous anticipation had pushed out of sight. Spending a few terse moments to share some intimate words, and assure themselves of the righteousness of their actions, the two slid into the jungle undergrowth.
And in the distance, within a fenced hamlet, a cock crowed, signaling the second division of the night.
Seija never recalled the star, or queried himself regarding its absence thereof after his orgasm.
Aboteng waited in the darkness of the female’s womb, distraught, for nothing had prepared him for the novelty of this experience. He was buffeted on all sides by the press of flesh and blood, and the unceasing pounding of her heart above him. As the days were spent in suspended animation, he felt his strength drain from him, making him more mortal each day, and appreciative of the rigors of mortality. It was not at all as he envisaged in the days before his incarnation, and he realized with foreboding that he was doomed to a life of uncertainty.
He knew not if he would be cognizant of his former godhood upon his birth, for everyday, his inchoate human mind struggled to contain the memories and experiences of a previously immortal existence. He contemplated the now unnoticed fumes emanating from desperate sacrifices and the pointless prayers of a distraught humanity. In the end, all that he who was once known as Aboteng could do was wait.
Seija was slain when his name was revealed by his pregnant lover under protracted torture and the hanging threat of death. His blood was given in offering to the still heavens and unanswering earth. The rains had ceased and the crops which grew formerly upon marshy soil now struggled to give even negligible increase as it barely maintained foothold upon the dry, crusty earth.
The child was born at the end of that summer, and the priests, fearing a loss of their credibility, declared it abominable; the answer to the drought and the seeming absence of their great god Aboteng. That night, the hilltop was alight with the roaring fires which lusted to devour, and the people were filled with hope as they unknowingly prepared to sacrifice their own god to himself.
Aboteng himself was but a shadow of his former self now, lacking all preternatural power, and maintaining only a dim awareness and muffled understanding of the things which occurred around.
After the child was dipped in oil palm, and the priests had dressed it in white to declare its purity to the god, a wind picked up. The flames jumped high into the air, and were extinguished.
A bearded man came up the hill silently, his movement revealing his strangeness. He was not from that place, and did not look like he belonged to the time. Dressed in a loin cloth, his skin clipped with strange ornaments, he raised in voice, so that it carried throughout the night and petrified even the priests and the elders present.
‘I have come from the presence of the elder ones, and I shall have this sacrifice on their behalf.’
None moved to interfere as the man, eyes burning with the fires of other worlds, wrested the child Aboteng, and was gone.
Much later, at the end of his journey, the ‘old man’ stared at the child for a long moment before he made his final decision.
“Just a little more patience and you would have been there to welcome me at my birth. We would have ruled the heavens together. I will now cherish what you once tired of, for there can only be one of us now.”, the ‘man’-who had chosen the name Egori- whispered. He gazed into the eyes of the child, and saw the muted wisdom that lay behind it. He pretended not to notice the pleading look from what was once a god.
Wearing a devious expression, Egori unsheathed his sword.