Through the Mists

Through the Mists


There is a mist that embraces the fields at the first light of dawn. And silence. The green grass is drenched in dew and the leaves of the trees come alive with lone birdsong. December is cold. The path to the village borehole is lonely and deserted. Sunday morning. In breath of cool breezes is the rising of the sun at dawn. Quietude.

Mamza held two buckets, one rubber, the other iron, as he made his way through the mists of December’s harmattan, shivering in the cold despite his thick blue sweater. The cold seemed to unrobe all clothes, biting. Perhaps it was due to the fact that the village was sorrounded by distant mountains. Beneath the mountains was the harmattan mists, upon the mountains rested the clouds.

Somebody cleared his throat, coming down the footpath. Mamza looked on, walking towards them. One could not see clearly at only a short distance. Soon they came close enough. It was three Muslim young men coming back from the mosque after the subh or dawn prayers.

“Salaam alaikum”,said the one that cleared his throat.

“Good morning”,replied Mamza.

He walked on. He needed to fetch water from the borehole or the well next to it in good time for the morning Hausa Church Service, depending on which queue was shorter. The young men passed on, cracking a joke that the blood of unbelievers was lawful. Two laughed but one of them did not smile. Mamza pretended He did not hear them in the silence of the misty dawn and the cold winds. He was wondering about his Dove. He needed to pay thithes to the church. The pastor needed to buy a new car. His parents wouldn’t give him anything. He had sold all the Doves except the white one. But that wasn’t the real reason He wanted to sell it. What the witchdoctor had said was false. In the rain, the descent of the dove upon his head as He came out of the waters could never confer upon Him the power of immortality.

There was a rattling sound and a rickety bycicle came down the footpath, with an old man astride it. Mamza greeted him, steping aside to let Him ride past. The grey haired old man rode by silently not uttering a word, a deep frown on his haggard face. He was one of the security guards that worked at the Hospital. He must have been on the night shift today, mused Mamza. He was also a member of the Villages Vigilante Group. Dane guns, toughness and deadly charms that turn bullets into water. That is if you have been well ‘cooked’ with village Medicine, as far as the literal translation of the local word goes.

He walked on. The sun was shining and the footpath was becoming brighter. He would never have walked down this lonely road in the middle of the night. Hyenas loved to prowl the bush nearby. Sometimes you could hear their sad howls, carried by the wind into the night. Yet many moved about at that time, fearlessly. As if there was no legend that there was more to them than what met the eye. Strange, not only boys trembled at that myth.

He walked on, without looking back, except to cast a wary eye behind. He shivered in the mists from the cold, and exhaled mist like cigarette smoke out of his mouth, thinking…When He came back from church He would go fishing. So He decided. He was now old and experienced enough to steel his conscience, as He put a worm on the steel hook and the holy fish devoured it alive.

He would take his two loaves of bread to the river, needing no miracle, knowing that the fish would multiply. Men should give thanks for such bountiful blessings. Quietly, Mamza moved on through the harmattan mist, in the village sorrounded by the silent mountains.


12 thoughts on “Through the Mists” by yahayamadu (@yahayamadu)

  1. very natural and serene, please are we to expect more write ups or is this the conclusion? because i will like to know if something else happened. well done

    1. That is the cryptic conclusion,unfortunately.Thanks.My next short story is longer and different,but i hope you like it..Ill post it soon.Thanks.

  2. You are suffering from a malady; a malaise afflicting most writers of our age. The craving to seem cerebral and erudite.
    You tried to impress, you almost suceeded.
    The punctuations are terrible. All of it.

    So what is this story about? I forget.

    1. @Mr prejudiced critic you are but a toddler in the literary craft.I am not Soyinka.My diction is simple and quite clear.No one needs to consult a dictionary to understand my writing.What you have seen is just my literary style.Go back to school online and study the works of the Hemingway,especially stories like The End Of Something.You’ll see a story without a ‘point’.The most celebrated literary works in history wont please a Nigerian critic.They would never have published Moby Dick.Ive seen your work. Its are trash.Don’t think you can tutor me regarding my craft.

  3. This was unclear, :-(, Can we have some back story, maybe that ll help. I feel you have a good story in there, much like the prize piece of sculpture trapped in stone…

    1. Ps, Lovely title

      1. @ sunshine thanks.i wrote the piece based on one of my psychological theories of of artistic communiction.I call it pet theory.The master communicates with his pet through emotional language,even so i do with this story.Nothing is said but what needs to be said and the point is very obvious though i stated it with subltility.

  4. I actually get this story though I think it still needs a lot of work.
    In my opinion, your punctuations were bad but not as bad as your first paragraph. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be your writing style but it didn’t reallly make sense.
    Well, work on it and you’ll have a good story.
    Well done.

    1. @Dira you do? Oya share with me na? Abeg. It lk also be interesting to see if the author ll agree with your interpretation. :-)

      1. @nicolebassey Lol. Like I said the story still needs good work. But I’ve lived in a northern village surrounded by hills. So I can understand that cold, misty Sunday morning.

  5. Quite scenic and really through the mists. Let punctuations separate the thought but a few typos. Well done.

    1. Im not perfect.Im learning.What you call typos was delibrate.Though given the chance i would change all the fancy capitalised letter ‘h’s

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