Dial Episode 47 is alive…
And so, for the umpteenth time, I was left alone with the witch.
As I lay inside that canoe, odd things flitted through my mind in that semi-stupor condition I found myself in. It occurred to me, quite irrationally, that I had never asked her the name of the river. I could barely keep my eyes open as unconsciousness, for one reason or the other, tried to overtake me.
I felt so weak and light-headed, and just wanted to slip off to sleep as the dawn gradually approached. But I tried to keep my eyes open, because I knew that if I became unconscious the witch could not be able to get me up that incline, through the cocoa trees, and down to her home.
I saw her dimly as she moved. Draped in the ‘spiritual’ white cloth that Nana Bosomba had given her, she indeed looked like a witch as she moved along the canoe, trying to push it further into the river.
And then, I heard her voice in the darkness, another voice, a voice I had been hoping to hear…
The witch stiffened, and I raised my head with a little effort and saw Abena Adobea approaching the canoe. She cut a dark indistinct figure to my fuddled eye as she approached. She had something like a bulky bag slung across her left shoulder. Her voice was soft, filled with remorse and unshed tears, quavering and uneven, not one semblance like the haughty voice I had hitherto been used to hearing.
“Maame!” she said again, and this time Maame Ntiriwaa paused, and then she then turned to look at her daughter.
“You’re no daughter of mine!” the woman said, her own voice quavering with pain. “Go away, please, and leave me alone!”
Abena Adobea uttered a strangled cry and rushed forward into the river, dropping to her knees and reaching out blindly to hold the witch’s left leg.
“Do not do this to me, I beg of you, my mother!” Abena Adobea wept bitterly. “I have wronged you. I have hurt you. But please, for the sake of the soul of my father, forgive your daughter!”
“Leave the name of my husband out of this!” Maame Ntiriwaa cried and violently pushed her daughter away from her. “Ah, Abena! Look at what you have done to this gentle man! I don’t know if he’s going to make it, or if he’s going to die! All he wanted to do was to get you to come back to me!”
“Oh, Mama, I’m so sorry!” Abena Adobea wept bitterly.
“I have suffered injustice, Adobea,” Maame Ntiriwaa said. “Humiliation now knows me by name! Pain and suffering are my bedfellows! My days are filled with bitterness and pain because all I wanted was to have my daughter back! But at what cost, Abena? At what cost? You want to be a Queen Mother, go on and be one! Go and marry your King and leave me alone!”
“Forgive me, my mother!” Abena Adobea cried hoarsely. “I was blinded! Yes, I have been gullible and greedy, but not anymore! I can’t stay a second longer in the presence of those men!”
“Then find somewhere to go, because you’re no longer my daughter!” Maame Ntiriwaa said bitterly, her voice breaking on a sob.
She turned and desperately pushed the canoe into the river.
“Hey, witch!” I cried weakly, hoarsely, and she reached out and put a hot, trembling hand on my neck gently, fondly.
“Oh, Yao!” she whispered tremulously. “You’re alive! You were so still I thought…”
Her voice broke, and she began to weep softly.
“Don’t tell me I’ve gone through all this torture for nothing!” I said in a dry voice.
“What are you talking about, Yao?” she whispered.
“Your daughter, you witch!” I said weakly. “If my torture brought her back, then accept her, so that one day when I look at the scars on my back I would know something good at least came out of it! I would know that yes, I brought a witch and her arrogant daughter together!”
“Yao, you don’t under –” she began softly.
“Cut it out, witch!” I said weakly. “If you’re not accepting her back then just dump me in the damn river, and I’ll know I died whilst trying to bring back your daughter to you, you ungrateful old witch!”
And that broke her.
She leaned on the side of the canoe, and she began to weep bitterly.
Abena Adobea waded once more into the water toward her mother.
This time no words were necessary.
Mother and daughter reached out for each other, and they hugged tightly, and the sound of their combined weeping was a lullaby that washed over me as I lay inside the canoe of the witch…and unconsciousness finally won, and I slipped into darkness.
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Pain…and relief…pain and relief!
I knew that the sight of the witch and her naughty daughter was the last coherent thought I had in that accursed village for some time.
The rest of my days were foggy and passed in a haze. I woke up to screaming pains, as if some people were pushing red-hot pitchforks into my back. I was aware of screaming in agony, and then I would hear the voice of the witch, or her nasty daughter, and feel the coolness of the medicine from Nana Bosomba caressing my back, and then there would be relief…and thereafter darkness.
Sometimes I woke up to splitting headaches and humid temperature! Sometimes I felt coldness on my body as they wiped me down with a wet towel. And they were there, helping me with to sit up and sip soup.
And, sometimes I felt the strong arms of men lifting me up gently to the makeshift toilet to ease myself.
Then there was an occasion I had the most undignified moment of my life when I became fully lucid, and found myself in the loo being cleaned by Tawiah. I had shouted with horror, but then again the weakness had returned, and the darkness had come back.
Sometimes when I came awake I heard the sounds of giant machines, and wondered briefly what it meant. There were times when I was lucid enough when I heard the sounds of the machines, and I smiled weakly to myself, knowing that Brian Acquah and Kuuku were doing what they were supposed to do.
I didn’t know how long I was sick, or how long I stayed in that feverish state of semi-lucid awareness. It was a confusing cycle of pain, relief, food, voices, coolness, heat, machines…
But then, a time came, when I opened my eyes slowly.
I was lying propped sideways.
There were soft pillows behind my thighs and shoulders and head, leaving my bruised back free, and so I was lying close to the wall on the bed of the witch.
When my eyes opened wider I felt the cool and gentle rubbing of a wet towel across my thighs.
Abena Adobea was sitting beside me on the bed, wearing a faded but nice flowered dress, and she was cleaning gently around the insides of my thighs.
She reached down, dipped the towel into a bucket of water, swished it for a while, and then she wringed it, but not too hard. She brought the towel to my genitals now, cleaning it gently, sensuously.
I almost stopped breathing when she reached out, gently lifted my spear, held it, and cleaned around my personal sac.
Now, she was such a beautiful woman, with curves that stunned the brain, a terrific and artistic flow of valleys and hills that, this close up, defied the lines of perfection.
She was a beauty, a breath-taking creature that lent credence to the mastery of her creator.
And I was awake, and she was holding my lance and cleaning, and I could see the tops of her amazing breasts, the cleavage that separated those creamy, tintillating globes.
Her dress stopped midway down her thighs, and so I could see part of the gentle, rounded dark thighs that gleamed as is she had diamonds under her skin…diamonds that cast a wonderful glow on her.
And, sitting like that, with her hips so pronounced, her face so ethereal, her lips so perfect, and holding my spaceship so tantalizingly in her hand…well, the blood left in me began to boil, although I fought it so hard…
Oh, dear, oh dear…
She was concentrated on cleaning me, and so when she began to feel the hardening of the softness in her hand she paused suddenly and brought her gaze to my dial-making tool.
She didn’t leave it, and because it was gripped in her hand, it made the blood run stronger, and its growth was as rapid as it was unstoppable. The bigger and harder it got, the more the scowl on her face grew, until she was suddenly frowning in confusion, and when it was finally raging in her hand she let go with a startled cry and raised her eyes to look at my face.
Then she saw that I was wide awake and I was staring at her.
“Oh!” she said and sat up, and a demure, shy look came to her eyes first, then changed to confusion, and then something like uneasiness mixed with fury. “Oh, shame on you old man!”
“Oh, comot for there!” I said weakly.
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