Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Fable of O'ne, JustBarry Mawonga



There once was a man. The assumption that man has always been holds truth in our most basic view of time. We don’t know why but we know that there has always once been a man. This particular man lived in a time when stories and fables were nothing more than yesterday’s happenings. This man’s name was O’ne he was the son of Baree who was the son of Ah’me who was a direct descendant of the great and most feared warrior Ma’tu who fought the great eagle of the sea and won with the aid of Oa’s blessing.


O’ne lived outside of the village, near the forest of Truths with his two sons, Ma’tu Ru and Ma’tu Nu and the mother of his two sons El’na. Ma’tu Ru was the oldest and the strongest but both sons were built very big with muscles and had long locks of black hair that reached their backs. They lived outside the village and close to the forest because they were hunters. In the land of Zamu taking the life of an animal was taboo but not against any law. In fact there were only but three Laws in Zamu.


Do not kill, without just cause.

Do not lie, to cause harm.


And the most important law of all three the one that all follow and none break.


Do not steal.


O’ne became a hunter when he was but a boy. He killed a serpent that swallowed his mother as they slept for the night. When they awoke and found the serpent lying there, having had its fill, O’ne’s father did nothing. He said Oa knew what they were doing. O’ne boiled with fury and rage and grabbed his father’s wood cutting stone and chopped the head off the beast. His mother’s limp body fell out of the dead serpent. O’ne cried out in pain because it was too late his mother was dead. In anguish and pain he let out seven shouts of pain and on the seventh shout lightning struck O’ne and his mother. It is said that the lightning struck O’ne because he had committed a taboo by killing an animal but even worse by killing one of the many faces that Oa wears the ‘serpent’.


And in the epicenter of the lighting strike something happened to O’ne, what that something is no spirit or person can actually say.


As the smoldering embers around O’ne and his mother died out the woman took a deep breath and for the first time since the birth of O’ne, his father showed real emotion and started to roll on in the dirt tearing off his clothes. When the dust settle Baree carried his other into their bed leaving O’ne to burn the serpent and to throw away the ashes deep inside the Innocent forest, named so because man rarely ventured there. 


And for those that do they are never to return and for those that do only to be stuck with madness. O’ne took the serpent and carried it on his back with his stone axe in his hand and water in his coconut container.


O’ne travelled for five days and four nights before he reached a large clearing deep in the Innocent forest, he placed the serpent’s body down and went to gather dead wood for the fire just beyond the clearing.


Just as O’ne stepped out of the clearing a big cat creature pounced on him had it not been for the shrubbery in the cats path the cat would have liberated O’ne’s head form his body. O’ne tumbled back into the clearing the cat followed with a slow stalk. O’ne was still on the ground clenching his stone axe and still inching back to where he laid the serpents body. The cat did not follow, it stop when O’ne reached the serpents body. He didn’t understand why the cat did not kill him on the spot. 


The cat just stared at him and O’ne stared back, eventually the cat felt that this was tedious and curled up into a ball and fell asleep. O’ne was shocked here was an opportunity to kill a threat to his life. His enemy was asleep. All he had to do was, was to pick up his father’s stone axe and bring its head down on his sleeping enemy, but was the cat really asleep? O’ne could not with full certainty know so he stared at the sleeping cat.


But before long O’ne himself was beset upon by his own deep weariness and sleep over took and consumed him. He had restless dreams that night. Dreams of being chased by flying serpents, dreams of meeting a man with a golden face a face so bright that if you looked at the man your face would melt and without knowing how he knew he tried his best not to look at the man.


O’ne’s resolve was wearing thin and the temptation to look at the man was just too great to ignore for much longer and just as he was about to look he was pulled back out of his dream and into life with a terror so strong. He for a second forgot how to breathe. After a small examination O'ne realized that nothing was a miss.


The cat was awake now and staring amused at him.


O’ne released a sigh of relief, and started to chuckle to himself in that moment he was happy to be alive. He forgot all his worries and smiled as he looked at the roof of the forest canopy there was a tiny bit of moonlight penetrating the top, he couldn't see the stars dancing in the sky, but he could hear them dancing their twinkling rhythm.


But just than he heard movement from the cat in front of him. O'ne quickly looked down into the clearing and saw nothing different at first, he almost sighed of relief again but then he saw it. The big cat had moved closer, not by much but it indeed had moved.


Closer.


O’ne stared at the cat. Its big green eyes stared back, it looked like it knew something that O’ne did in fact know but for some reason could not recall on command. The cat’s breathing started to pick up pace. It was as if the cat was inhaling air to make itself appear even bigger than it already was. The green of its eyes started to glow. The glow was intense jade. O’ne was captivated by the glow. He was unaware, maybe uncaring to the fact that the cat was moving closer to him.


O’ne dropped his stone axe.


The light was beautiful. The light was the truth. The light was Oa. It was all the faces of Oa.
O’ne embraced his destiny and surrendered wholly and holy to the jade light. The boy was at peace.
Somewhere in the conscious part of his brain he saw the cat leap for him but O’ne had given into his sub-conscious.


The light was filling his entire body with a freedom no man before him had ever experienced and very few since.


The serpent.


The serpent hissed so loud. The trees in the forest of Innocence started to tremble at the terrifying echoes that came from the dead serpent.


The mesmerizing spell of the jade glow was broken. O’ne was back to his scared self. He picked the stone axe up and without forethought, without reflection he charged the now leaping cat. This sudden burst of randomness stunned the cat perhaps more than the hissing of the dead snake.
For the first time since the glowing started O’ne had control of his own consciousness.


The eyes. The eyes, go for the eyes.


O’ne leapt into the sky with a power and a will he did not know he possessed.


Freedom.



This was pure freedom. Being able to be conscious and still see outside of oneself.
O’ne plunged the stone axe in the right eye of the cat while holding on to its right ear with his left hand.


There was a connection between the two as he clung on top the cat's ear. Their roles were now and forever reversed. O’ne was the hunter, O’ne was the cat. He felt the cat’s fear surging through his left hand.


The cat groaned and moaned and shook its head so violently and so hard that O’ne was flung high in the air. He had some of the cats whiskers in his left hand and as he plunged back to the hard earth. O’ne saw the cat run back into the forest of Innocence. Somehow O’ne landed on his feet.


Gentle, graceful and unhurt.


O’ne was still holding the cat’s whiskers in his left hand and the now bloody stone axe in his right. The blood on the axe burnt hot. So hot that the stone axe was scorched black and turned into a black crystal and so were the parts of his right hand. But he felt no pain. He felt strength from both the burn on his right hand and the whiskers in his left hand.


O’ne dropped the stone axe not because it was heavy or that it was too difficult to hold but because he had no use for the weapon anymore. He knew without knowing that no animal in this forest would dare to attack him.


O’ne stood in the dark clearing. It felt brighter to him now than it had when he woke from his dream. Yet there was no light source. Except for the faint glow of the now displace jade eye of the cat and the penetrating moonlight. He walked to the jade eye and he picked it up.


O’ne stared into the eye and he could see Oa as they stared back at him. O’ne ate the eye as if it were an apple. It was his final rebellion against Oa. Still chewing and eating the eye, O'ne walked to the dead serpent and stood infront of it. O’ne finished his jade eye apple and tied the whiskers around his waist like a belt. He sat down in front of the serpent.


‘Speak’ O’ne insisted without reason to the dead serpent. Moments had passed without him moving or without the serpent speaking.


 How many moments?


 Only Oa knew.


O’ne got up from his seated position and went a few steps back to pick up his stone axe. This time he looked at the transformed stone axe it wasn’t stone anymore it was crystal like and so sharp that it cut O’ne’s finger as he ran it across the crystal blade.


O’ne was amazed.


He went back to the headless serpent and started to skin the serpent. He knew what he was doing even though he did not know.


O’ne consumed the serpents body for seven days and for seven night. Each time he would prepare a meal he would say these words-


‘I consume you to make me stronger’


Once O’ne’s feasting came to an end. He put out his fires and collected his serpent skin in a bundle and headed back to his village.


The trip back only took him a day this time because he had no dead serpent to weigh him down. When he reached the homestead of his father O’ne was met with fright because they thought him to be dead in the forest of Innocence never to return.


Instead here stood a boy who now resembled a fierce and powerful man. O’ne’s clothes did not fit him anymore it is as if he had grown years in a matter of weeks.


Baree tried to stop O’ne from entering the house but the man O'ne had grown up to fear and respect seemed like a bothersome fly to him now. O’ne found his mother sleeping and he woke her and at first she did not recognize him to be her son for a moment she thought that it was her father that came to wake her up but after a few silent moments she realized that it was O’ne her son.


‘How long was I asleep?’ She asked trying to understand why the boy looked like a man.


‘I do not know the answer to that question mother.’ O’ne could see the confusion dancing in her eyes, but he was unsympathetic to it.


‘You, woman you owe me your life.’ There was silence.


O’ne unwrapped the bundle of serpents skin that he had tied with one of the seven whiskers from the cat he had and gave it to his confused mother with all the whiskers and said ‘Make me new clothes with these, and make them fast. I do not want to be here when the sunsets.’


The woman looked at the skins in awe and said ‘This will be the finest clothe my hands shall ever make.’


O’ne stayed in the room as his mother made the clothes. He stared at his hand, his now blacken right hand. It felt heavy like stone and it was a shiny black the kind of black that light dance off of, he clenched and unclenched his right fist. All the while his mother worked and sang songs of mourning as if her son had just died.


The new clothes fit O’ne like a glove. She had made him shoes, trousers, two leathery shirts, a hat and even a quiver. Exactly what O’ne wanted she knew this without knowing it. There was even enough left to make him a water skin and a knapsack and some leftover that he put into the knapsack.


That was the last time he saw either of his parents.


He went back into the forest of Innocence and would only return many years after the death of his parents to seek out a wife. No one knows what O’ne went to do in the forest for so many years but all they knew is that since he killed the serpent life has never been the same.


Boys and girls all around Zamu upon hearing his tale started to explore more.


They started to question more.


It was a new age and O’ne was directly responsible for it. They tried calling him O’ne the heretic, O’ne the destroyer, O’ne the unholy and even O’ne the coward but the only name that fell through the annals of history without being added to or subtracted from was O’ne the bringer of knowledge.




JustBarry Mawonga, @JustBarryWild.

I am a writer with a dream of just writing. I am currently in the process of writing an epic that may or may not involve space pirates, mind bending witchcraft, teenagers filled with angst, malevolent forces, rebellions, world wars and some immortal vampires but above all the gimmicks there will be people in my stories. People that, hopefully, any well-adjusted human being will be able to relate to on an emotional level.



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