The Angry Sky

The skies rumbled with thunder. The clouds hung heavy. Rahila was in the small shed outside her husband’s L structure house. It was three rooms arranged in L structure and perched on rocks in front of the flowing river Zaure, a tributary of river Kaduna. She was cooking tuwo.

The black pot hissed and overflowed. It was placed on three large stones. Three  big firewood were sparkling under it. She was stirring the white mixture of grounded corn and water.

Gbuuuuuuum!

She felt a fisted hand connect to her jaw. She got up fast and almost threw the pot over. She caught it quickly and her fingers burnt. The mixture poured and quenched the fire.

‘’You are so stupid you can’t even cook properly’’. Saidu – her husband said. She stared at the firewood covered in white. She might have retorted. Seven years ago she might have fought. She had lost her fire in seven years of marriage. Her shoulders hunched as if she wanted to be invisible. She tried to adjust the green Nigerian wax wrapped around her disappearing waist. She couldn’t go anywhere.

The first time her husband slapped her; Rahila had run home. It was a month after their marriage. Her parents cautioned her not to offend her husband without even listening to a word she said. They escorted her back. Can’t you hear what I am saying, you foolish woman?”

She said nothing. She was in her thoughts.

A slap connected to her right cheek bringing her to the present.

She thought she was used to it. She kept her face down. Her head hung on her five feet five thin body like a big lamp. The green flair blouse and wrapper blew around her body like an unfurled flag.

The rain came pouring at that second without further warning.  Saidu ran towards the sitting room stiffened herself awaiting more beatings, as usual. The room was at the middle of the L structure. The two ends were their rooms.

She heard the sounds of the rain steadily increasing tat a tat ta ta ta. She was grateful for the rains. They always consoled her and spoke gentle words to her. They had always spoken to her.  She heard it whisper now: tat a  ta tat a trun trun trun run away. She ran out from the Kitchen shed. The small narrow yard hard turned in to a brown swimming pool.

She started running through the river of mud.  Ten months ago; her baby must have struggled to swim in her womb; struggled to survive. Saidu hard pummelled her with blows. She miscarried. Home found her. Still her parents brought her back.

She entered her room. Packed a few of her clothes and took the money she hid it in a small crack in the wall of the small cubicle. It was only twenty thousand naira. She changed her clothes.

The rain was increasing. She crept out. She ran to the back and threw the green wrapper and blouse in the river behind the house. She hurried to the kitchen shed.

The skies opened its mouth wider and poured forth in more torrents. The waters grew on the ground. The winds hands began to tear things away. It tore away the roofs of the house. Rahila wondered what had brought her here. Nature’s terror scratched her being as she held on the stick by the shed. She held on for dear life even as the waters drew closer, drew higher.

* * * *

The morning brought  calm to the Skies. The waters were up and everywhere. Roofs had been thrown. A few houses were left   open. The owners could see the open Sky. They were using buckets to pour the water out. Saidu moved from place to place like a madman searching for Rahila.

“My wife is missing! My wife is missing!”

A neighbour coming from side of the house mentioned that he had seen a flowing wrapper on the surface of the calm river.

‘’That is the wrapper she wore yesterday!’’ Saidu shouted. ‘By the Almighty, it is!’

Let’s check the river. A group of men joined him in the search. They searched the riverside for hours and hours.

They found her blouse.

Her body might be somewhere in river Kaduna, they concluded.

Twenty more years were added to Said’s face in the grief that contorted his looks. He walked back home dejected.

 

* * * *

A lone woman stood in a long Burqa touching the floor. She stood straight her head up. Her face was decorated in a big smile under the veil. She walked on.

 

Edited by Sueddie Agema.



40 thoughts on “The Angry Sky” by khadijahmuhammad (@khadijahmuhammad)

  1. Love the story line, a run to freedom

  2. I love the story. Freedom at last.

    Well done.

  3. Nice story. Well done.

    “The rain came pouring at that second without further warning. Saidu ran towards the sitting room stiffened herself awaiting more beatings, as usual.”

    -Saidu or Rahila?

    There seem to be punctuation issues in the piece.

  4. @namdi thanks for reading.,you are right.Thanks for noting the correction.it is suppose to be Rahila.@nalongo thanks for reading.

  5. This was well written, @khadijahmuhammad, with or without @sueddie‘s help. (It’s very heartening to see NS writers helping each other in this way.)

    I also enjoyed and found inspiring the story of freedom.

    Well done.

  6. Nice story, just one or two errors I noted in it.

    I love that she got away, and I pray that this is true for all women in this kind of situations in real life.

  7. @TolaO thanks a lot.I really appreciate your critique.@funpen thanks.

  8. I enjoyed this, especially the end. Good job!

  9. As I read, two thoughts crossed my mind.
    – Khadi likes to write about dysfunctional marriages.
    – This is like the best I’ve read from her o…
    Love the run to freedom, freedom like this is the best.
    And your descriptions were short and lovely.
    Check; hard should be had, there are 2 places with that typo.
    Firewood does not sparkle, it crackles.
    That and a few others.
    Thanks @Su’eddie for helping out.
    Well done, Khadijah. $ß.

  10. One sentence

    This is Good.

    I would have called this perfect, but for the mistakes highlighted in the comments, and I found this, its probably a missing word.

    ‘’You are so stupid (that) you can’t even cook properly’’. Saidu – her husband said.

    I love the short sentences, its just like the one Yann Martel used in “Life Of Pi’ …….

    And a beautifully written story, and nice story as a comeback package after a long hiatus…….

    I should forget Sueddie Agema too… Good editing

    Thumbs up

    *KG*

  11. @sibbylwhyte thanks a lot.I have been trying hard to improve my craft.I still have a long way to go but I am going to keep on working hard.

  12. LOL, they thought she drowned, they won’t be looking for her for a VERY long time. I love the story. She didn’t only gain her freedom she also got herself a new identity. Well done.

  13. @kodeya thanks for reading.I am going to look for Yann Martel stories.@Bibbie thanks for reading.

  14. Finally her misery got washed away by heaven’s healing rain. I like your humility in pointing out the editor and giving credit to whom is due. Well done.

    P.S- if you see that Suede, tell am say I dey wait his return. we need comebacks.

  15. interesting…well done

  16. @Omoniyi and @Hymar thanks for reading.

  17. @elovepoetry and @olaedo thanks for reading.

  18. Good work @khadijahmuhammad.
    You portrayed your characters in a very convincing way.
    Thank God the victim became a survivor.
    We need more stories like this.
    Stories with messages that can save lives because the truth is Domestic Violence is killing women/girls like us everyday.

  19. @olajumoke thanks and you are right.

  20. Well written, I enjoyed it a lot. Freedom was there all along she just had to reach for it.

  21. This is good…. wanted to get me bored but i found the rythm somewhere in it…

  22. This is one hell of a smart woman…the wrapper decoy was brilliant…

    We need to keep on the fight against spousal abuse…more women need to speak up and fight…

    The writing was good, few typos though..
    Somehow, I feel the story lacked some details…rahila was cooking and the next thing was a slap. what precipitated the assault?
    Then the pot almost turned over but she caught it later the content poured, how?

  23. @topazo thanks.I will look at the details.@Fadehan thanks for reading and not getting bored.

  24. Well crafted. I like the use of short sentences too.

  25. This is the killer line: “tat a ta tat a trun trun trun run away”. I like the culmination of the story.

  26. I really enjoyed this. You have really improved. And you have shown that typos were the main things getting in the way of your stories before.

    [We all need editors–grammar, content, fact-checking– and we should never be ashamed of that.]

    Well done. Keep improving your art.

  27. @shomyk,@chime221 thanks for reading.@chemokopi thanks and you are right.

  28. I loved the story line and the message. It seems like Rahila knew he was going to beat her that day and had dressed the part. I also loved the way you changed the rain’s sounds to the voice telling her to run away.

    However, I found the passage a bit difficult to follow because the sentences seemed disjointed. I believe your flow will improve as you write more.

    Good job.

  29. mendel martha (@ihenyengladysusile)

    hmm, fresh air of freedom she really deserves it…….nice one

  30. (Hmmmn.) A long sigh for a story that really warmed my heart. Firstly, you have used your imagery very well except for few unnatural words that had been pointed out by other critters above. You have used a SHOWING method rather much TELLING which would make me rate this piece high. Thus; i can feel the scene and picture things clearly. I guess you would be a good poet too. I would like to read more of you. My hands up!

  31. Very clever-both the protagonist and the writer.

  32. @innoalifa thanks for reading it. After writing this story I moved to a house where a neighbour is a wife beater. Say no to Violence against women has become my third passion.

    1. @khadijahmuhammad #Say no to violence against women :) :) :)

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