Category Archives: BW Stories
continued from Master Nunu’s Masterpiece Part 1.
Martin turned back to the crowd to hide his laughter. The truth to what the father said to the child was less complex. When Ashlong visited a place called Minnesota, he saw a big man with the big blue ox, and wanted the same on his lands. Upon returning to Ghana, Ashlong painted his livestock blue and tried to design a DNA for blue oxen.
Martin knew something that the father did not–that inside the oxen contained some of Mr. Ashlong’s blue oxen. The oxen represented Olunga, the god of prosperity. Olunga was a chief god of Ashlong’s tribe, the Ne’tusi–the same tribe Martin served as elder and member of the tribal council. Martin wondered what Olunga thought having a blue ox from America represent him.
Martin cupped his hand over his face to shade his eyes from the sun when loud clangs of bells shattered the silence of the shock and awe of the big blue ox. Ear-splitting cries and ailing of Mr. Ashlong’s relatives mingled with the sounds of the large brass bells–announcing Mr. Ashlong’s arrival to his ancestors. The ivory white dresses of Ashlong’s fourteen wives and concubines stood in stark contrast to the large ebony carvings of each ancestor Ashlong worshiped trailing behind them.
“Listen, here, Grandfather Adika, your son Nathaniel Nbutu Ashlong is coming!” Ashlong’s first wife said.
“Listen!” the crowd said.
“Make way, Great-grandfather Kwabenko, your son Nathaniel Nbutu Ashlong is coming,” Ashlong’s second wife said.
“Make way!” the crowd said.
“Open the gates, Great-grandmother Nyoka, your son, Nathaniel Nbutu Ashlong is coming”, Ashlong’s senior concubine said.
“Open!” the crowd said.
“Awake, Ancestors, Awake!” said another concubine.
All the shouting and the clanging of the bells made Martin think of a political rally rather than a funeral procession. He envisioned corrupt politicians standing on platforms shouting to the crowd and giving praise to Africa while hypnotizing them with empty promises. Damn fool, Martin thought, just a damned fool.
to continued part 3: The Conclusion.
The crowd cheered as Mfume Ashlong’s funeral procession came into sight. Thirteen large-feathered dancers skipped and jumped in the air–bells jingling as they passed by. Martin Ubowe always thought Ashlong was a fool–even in death. Heads bobbed up and down in front of him as he pushed his way to the front. He wanted a front row seat of the foolishness orchestrated by master artisan Dede Nunu.
Martin chuckled as he noticed some young boys straining their necks to peek at the lithe bodies of the dancing girls–especially the drummer boys–who pounded on the drums behind them. With a sly grin, Martin also kept an eye on the wobbling buttocks covered with feathers
The next object to pass by intended to impress and create jealousy for Ashlong’s competitors. The crowd stared with their mouths open, looking at a giant blue ox pulling a cart of solid gold. As the train began to make its way in front of him, Martin felt movement by his side as a little boy tugged on his father’s shirt.
“Papa, what is that?” child said.
“A blue ox, papa? Do they have blue oxen where Mr. Ashlong lives?”
Martin chuckled at the question as he inclined an ear.
“Yes, Mbasa, Mr. Ashlong owns a herd of giant blue oxen”, the father said, “He said he got them from America.”
“They have big blue oxen in America, Papa?” the child said.
Martin took his eyes off the parade for a moment and looked at the father also wanting an answer. Did America indeed, have blue oxen? The man spied an eye at Martin before turning around to face his son.
“They must have, Mbasa, for why would Mr. Ashlong lie? He said that in America, they have the biggest ox he ever saw. It was standing next to the biggest man he ever saw too. Mr. Ashlong said that when he got home, he called up America and have blue oxen sent to him here.”
to continue to part 2, click HERE.
I tugged at her knee when I saw the sign that said, Welcome to Canada, and slowed as we approached the border. Crossing the line without incident, I continued on my mission to fulfill my wife’s craving for some exotic food that she could not find in the States. Vancouver was not too far and we would be there before the sunrise.
The road into Canada was crowded with large trucks and I hated to be stuck behind one. It was like driving in the face large fan blades as their massive tires kicked up snow in their wake. As soon as there was an opening, I moved ahead, leaving them behind.
In the clear, I started to look for our destination, passing large billboards one after another. Wonder what kind of person had the job of putting those up and if they liked it served as a passing though. I surmised that kind of job would really suck.
“There!” Katherine said as she pointed to the right, excited at the prospect of food.
After taking the exit as directed by the large billboard and helping Katherine out of the car, we were pleased to find the place open.
“See I told you it would be open,” She said as she stopped her feet on the pavement, shucking any snow caught on her boots.
“Yeah, let’s eat, I’m hungry too, so what did we come all this way for?” I asked as we sat down.
“Bacon,” Katherine said.
“Bacon or sort of Bacon?”
“Why Canadian bacon, silly,” Katherine smiled, giggling.
I shook my head and sighed—smiling at her amusement. The things we do for love.
See Part 1: Click Here
See Part 2: Click Here
If you liked the story, please leave a comment.
Katherine sat up and sighed as she rubbed her belly. Our child would be born any day now, and my anxiety grew with each passing day. A small grunt and groan slipped from her lips when she reached over to turn on the radio. I kept it off to let her sleep and reached for my CD case on the floor.
“Let me get that, you keep your eyes on the road, the last thing we need is wreck out here,” Katherine said.
She swatted my hand away, bringing up the black case, setting it on her stomach. I did not bother to respond and put my hand back on the wheel.
“What do you want to listen to?” Katherine asked.
“I don’t know,” I said as I tried to split my focus between the road and the pages of CDs as she flipped though the album. “You choose, pick something good…easy to listen to.”
“Harry Connick, Jr?”
I paused to consider the suggestion, sounds of Harry’s songs playing in my minds’ ear. “Eh, why not…sure…Harry’s always a good choice.”
Katherine nodded an affirmative before slipping the disc in the player. The soothing baritone sound pleased her as she reclined in her seat again, adjusting the blanket over her. I smiled too, and began to sing along. Harry always made me want to sing. Using my free hand, I placed it on her knee, and began singing to her.
Her beaming smile drove all my fatigue away.
for part 3: The Conclusion
Click Here for: Canadian Bacon: A Short Story Part 1
The repetitive sound of the windshield wipers lulled me to sleep as I tried to keep my eyes on the snow-covered road. I was getting tired after driving three hours as snow flurries dancing in the wind. I smacked myself across the face–trying to stay focused and pay attention—but the shock of pain did not last long.
The thought of pinching my cheeks crossed my mind as I gripped the steering wheel tighter. When I promised to take care of her in sickness and in health, I did not know that it included driving to the ends of the earth looking for food cravings. Where does one get peanut butter and pickle sandwiches at 3 AM anyway?
I look over at Katherine and she slept soundly—hands protectively around her belly, chuckled, knowing that I would drive to the end of the Earth for her. I reached over to rub my hands over hers and tucked the blanket securely before adjusting the temperature again.
I had to make sure the car was warm enough–seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit, the perfect temperature if there ever was one. Checking for traffic and seeing only the red haze of my rear lights, I refocused on the road ahead of me.
“Are we there yet?” Katherine said, yawning and stretching as she leaned up to look around.
“Hey there, Princess Sleepyhead,” I said and squeezed her knee, “We’ll be there in another 20 minutes or so…hungry?”
“Yeah, starving!” She smiled at me and my heart soared.
Click Here for Canadian Bacon: A Short Story Part 2.