The Halo Breed…
THE HALO BREED
IN THE HALOS
A WEEKEND STORY
Sarai tried to push the prince’s hand from her shoulder, but he gripped it tighter, causing her a massive pain that made her moan.
Tears came to her eyes.
She nodded her head rapidly.
“You can do better than that, woman!” he groaned cruelly. “Let me hear it. Have I made myself clear?”
“Yes, yes, you bastard!” she whimpered.
His face exploded into a frightening mask of sheer fury, and he pressed down savagely on her shoulder, causing her to scream this time.
“You will show respect, Sarai!” he hissed dangerously. “Don’t consider yourself special, woman. My interest in you primarily lay in the fact that you belonged to Gus Kukah. Taking you from him gives me intense pleasure, and it is the same pleasure I’ll derive from killing you! You’re a whore – his whore – and I did you a favour by elevating you to the status of a queen. You will show respect! Do you understand?”
With tears in her eyes, and excruciating pain engulfing her, Sarai spoke in a whisper.
“I’m sorry, my prince. Please forgive me!”
He released her and Sarai’s head sank on her chest as silent sobs racked her body. Dan sat down and smiled sweetly.
“You must be famished,” he said pleasantly. “Join me to feast.”
Sarai raised her head high and stood up. Her shoulder throbbed unbearably, but she focused on the sizzling hatred she felt and refused to touch her shoulder.
“I’ll go on home, Your Majesty,” she said softly. “When I become your queen, we shall feast together. Please, excuse me.”
Dan watched her leave with a cold satisfied gloat on his face.
All was well. Now his destiny was waiting for him.
Kobby Obeng got home after midnight.
He took his horse to the stable and slowly took down the saddle and the saddlebags. Gently, he removed the bit from its mouth and rubbed it down carefully.
He used a pitchfork to put some fresh hay into the trough, and then he fetched fresh water from a barrel outside the stable and filled the pan the horse drank from.
Afterwards, he carried the saddle into the house and put it on the table just inside the room. He walked wearily into the living room and came to a sudden stop.
There were two lanterns burning in the room.
Araba, his wife, was lying in an armchair wearing a long black dress. Thinking that she was asleep, he moved quietly towards her but she sat up suddenly and looked at him.
Kobby saw fear on her face, and her eyes showed she had been crying. She crossed the room quickly to meet him, and then she slipped her arms around him and hugged him tightly.
He could feel her shivering, and he knew it was not from the cold; his wife was greatly spooked.
“Hey, hey, hey, darling,” he said reassuringly as he rubbed her back. “What’s scaring you? It is alright.”
She held him tightly and whispered into his ears.
“Your mother is here. And we heard bad rumours that the king is dead. Is it true that Gus Kukah is also dead?”
Kobby Obeng froze instantly and felt a shiver of unease passing through him. He should have known that his mother would be here as she usually did when he went to war. She loved to come over to be with the children and wait for Kobby’s safe return.
The problem was that Maa Janice, as she was popularly called, liked Gus Kukah exceedingly.
“How did you come by such news?” Kobby asked in an agitated voice.
“Wilfred brought the news about an hour ago,” said a new voice from across the room, and Kobby looked up, startled, and saw his mother standing in the doorway that led to the children’s rooms.
She was a huge woman with a cold penetrating stare. Even at that ungodly hour, Kobby saw that his mother was fully-dressed, and was wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
He smiled reassuringly at Araba and then moved towards his mother.
“Mama,” he said with his most disarming smile. “Why are you still dressed? It is late. Please get some sleep. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.”
“We talk about it now, Kobby!” she said fiercely as her eyes bored into him relentlessly. “Is it true that both the king and Gus Kukah are dead?”
“Mama,” Kobby said softly. “It is very late. You know Wilfred always carries sensational news by dint of the fact that he’s one of the cooks at the palace…”
“Stop treating me like a child!” Mama Janice said fiercely, her voice rising. “I gave you birth, Kobby, and I nursed you at these titties! I know when you’re speaking crap, and this is one of such moments! Is the king dead?”
Kobby looked at his mother warily and nodded painfully.
“Yes, Mama, he is.”
Both women gasped with instant pain.
Mama Janice’s lips trembled as she took a step nearer her son.
“And is Gus Kukah dead?” she asked in a voice that was suddenly small and unstable.
Kobby Obeng rubbed a hand across his face.
“Gus Kukah went mad, seemingly,” he said carefully. “He killed the king in a confusing crazy moment. I was told the king wanted to appoint him as caretaker king, but he couldn’t wait for the king to die. The prince saw Gus carrying out the heinous murder, and he ordered Gus’ death!”
Without warning, Mama Janice slapped her son hard across the face!
“Mama!” Araba cried in anguish. “Why did you do that?”
The elderly woman turned pained eyes on her daughter-in-law.
“Your husband is a fool!” Mama Janice hissed furiously. “He sold his soul, probably because he thought if he did not do it, the mad prince would harm all of you! I have known Gus Kukah from tot, and I tell you that he would never raise his hand or sword against the king! He was a warrior who believed in the sanctity of the throne! And Kobby knew it! Oh, I wish I had a knife, Kobby! I would have slit your throat where you stand!”
“You would kill me for Gus?” Kobby asked, horrified.
“I would kill you for the blood of an innocent man, Kobby!” Mama Janice whispered fiercely as tears came to her eyes. “Gus Kukah was a good man, Kobby, and you know it! All his life he sought the goodness of Densua! He lived by the code that made him the best of the warriors, and you two get up and murder him in cold blood!”
“I murdered no one, mama!” Kobby said frantically.
“You spilt Gus Kukah’s blood!” the old woman almost screamed. “You make me sick, Kobby! Ask yourself if Gus would have attacked you if your situations had changed! He would have used the last drop of his blood to defend your cowardly spine!”
“Mama, that’s enough, please!” Araba said miserably. “You have not allowed your own son to speak, to clear his name, to tell us what actually happened!”
“I don’t need to hear him speak, my dear,” Mama Janice said furiously. “I knew him long before you came along, and I know when he’s guilty! You spilt innocent blood tonight, Kobby. If indeed, you have killed Gus Kukah, then you and that useless prince have invited the bad omens over Densua! We’re going to suffer, and this town of ours is going to be overrun by enemies because even the name of Gus Kukah kept enemies away! With him dead, enemy soldiers will march on Densua, and the very children you wanted to protect would be taken away by!”
“Mother, don’t say that!” Kobby cried with a face filled with pain. “Don’t curse us, mother, please!”
“It is not a curse, my son!” the woman said in a distressed voice. “It is a fact! The spirit of Gus Kukah was a powerful weapon that kept enemies from Densua. With him murdered by you and that vile prince, you have sold us into bondage! I cease to be your mother, Kobby. You have disappointed me! You have disappointed the honour of your father! And I have nothing but contempt for you!”
The last words were uttered with such venomous fury that Araba gasped and took a step back.
Mama Janice turned away from Kobby and walked to pick her bag from the floor. She marched purposefully towards the main door.
“Mama!” Kobby cried in anguish. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Away from cowards like you, Kobby!” the woman shot at him disdainfully. “I don’t ever want to see your face again until I see a sign of redemption from you! How could you do it, Kobby? Gus Kukah loved and protected you. Is this how you repay him, you traitor?”
And Kobby Obeng watched helplessly as his aged mother threw open the front door and walked into the darkness.
He sighed helplessly and looked at his wife.
“I did wrong, Araba,” he whispered as tears swam in his eyes. “She is right, of course. I led warriors to hunt Gus down like a dog! An innocent man, a man who would have protected me with his blood if our positions had changed. What I did is unpardonable!”
She held his face as tears came to her eyes.
“You did what you did because you chose to protect your children and your wife, and that is alright, Kobby! That is better than any other consideration!”
He allowed her to take his hand and lead him into the bedroom.
‘The Halo Breed, In The Halos, ‘The Halo Breed, In The Halos, ‘The Halo Breed, In The Halos, ‘The Halo Breed, In The Halos, ‘The Halo Breed, In The Halos, ‘The Halo Breed, In The Halos, ‘The Halo Breed, In The Halos.
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