Thursday, March 16, 2006

The hand that rocked the cradle

During the week I was home for spring break I spent a lot of time hanging out with my niece/nephew and younger siblings. I sat through the Disney "High School Musical" among other things and rewatched Harry Potter with them. One night as I sat on the couch with my little nephew on my lap laughing with his toothless mouth, I had an idea. Instead of watching TV (not that I was enjoying this) I was going to tell the younger ones a story. The more I thought about it the more I became certain that it would be more engaging than the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I switched off the TV to the chagrin of the children and dimmed the lights in the living and dining room. I asked them to sit around me as I settled on the floor with the couch as my back support. I waited as the bodies shifted into positions and grumblings at this change of normalcy, finally quiet settled over us like a blanket, warm and enveloping.


There was once a wealthy man who had a big house and a big family to boot. He lived in the outskirts of town and was highly respected by his peers. The man's name was Hassan Burkenge. He was as tall as a telephone pole and as timid as a mouse. Most of the time people had to lean in close to listen to what he was saying. Hassan's wife was called Hawo. She was complete opposite of her husband. She was a proud Somali woman who used every opportunity to flaunt her wealth and her prestige. One day when Hawo was walking through the town center she came across the mayor's wife. This woman was in no means any more beautiful than she nor was she any more intelligent but yet she got more attention than Hawo wherever she went. Hawo was disturbed by this and went home in deep thought. As she walked by the fields her husband owned she mused that what was lacking was power and power she would get. Walking with more resolve she tracked her husband movements the whole day measuring him up for the position she intended him to occupy in the heirachy of power. She knew he would have to get a stronger voice, stand up straighter and most of all be ruthless. The task that lay ahead of her was astronomical but she knew she would rise to the challenge.


A week passed as our Hawo plotted and planned and finally she was ready to set her plan into action. That morning as she set breakfast infront of her husband she slipped something in his tea. She watched with eagle eyes as he gulped it down per usual. He was slow to get up but when he did she could have sworn he stood taller than before. His beady eyes shifted back and forth as if unsure of where he was. Hawo could have jumped with glee when he turned to her and in a harsh voice instructed her on what he wanted for lunch. Smiling to herself instead Hawo demurred and nodded her head in acknowledgement. She bowed her head lower as she came closer to her husband and in a whisper told him that his opulence was wasted in the fields and that he needed to step up to do what he was born to do;rule. Hassan listened to his wife and as his wife explained how they would go about it he smiled a devilish smile.

Within two days the weapons were ready. The machetes sharpened, the gun powder ready and the guns oiled down. Hawo stood back and admired her work. She knew soon she will be feared by all not to mention the power to make or break a person. Hassan lead his army to wage war against the town and took it over after two days of a siege. He was a ruthless ruler and he wasn't satisfied with only that town. Soon with his wife's prodding he slowly annexed the neighboring villages and towns. If the village or town opposed him vehemently he massacred them leaving the poor village bathed with blood and sorrow. Hawo enjoyed this man that she had molded into a great warlord. She enjoyed the fear she saw in the eyes of her peers when she walked past them. She reveled in this new life that she forgot what she had to do to get it.

A debt must be collected and when the time came the Devil was knocking on the door to collect. Hawo drunk with power ignored him telling him that there was no way she was going to give her youngest child to him. The devil warned her that she would have to face consequences to her breaking the deal but she laughed in his face. The next day when she awoke she found all of her children dead. She was distraught and yelled and stomped her feet. She cried and berated her misfortune but the Devil didn't show up. At the end Hawo went crazy as she had recollections of the masses that she had a hand in killing, the mothers who cursed her as they watched their men and children die and finally the villages she had delighted in razing to the ground. One night she awoke to her husband watching her. He asked her what drove her mad. Hawo cried while she relayed how she had entered a contract with the devil to make her husband the warlord he was. Her husband got up and came close to her, she clutched him closer to her and was shocked as she felt a knife piercing her back. She watched as the world dimmed out and the last thing she saw was the man she had molded;a cold hearted killer.

1 comment:

scarlet lips said...

Did you make that up on the spot? If you did, let me borrow your brain till my sibs are grown. :)