• AUTHOR
Vus
VUS.ISM: THE MOTHERS OF KANA III
15H57 WEDNESDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2014
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Chapter I
Chapter II 

She is bitter, the earth. No woman fed the blood of her own young shall not be.

Killy held Ubu tightly in her arms. Squeezing the young girl’s face against her chest. The baby in Ubu’s arms had finally gone quiet. Ubu didn’t want to look at Voel. She didn’t want to see Voel, as she knelt down a few meters from them, blood ebbing down the blade of the knife. Ubu didn’t want to see accept that she was about to lose the life that she had so cherished, cared for, albeit for a short time. She merely looked up at Killy. She saw a look in the older woman’s eyes that she had hardly seen before; a warmness, gentleness, the kind that sparkles in the eye of mother marveling at the infant in their arms. This is not the look that Ubu had been accustomed to seeing in Killy.

Normaly, Killy had the dead pan stare that was devoid of much in the way feeling. The look of one who had walked the earth. In fact her feet had held conversation with the carcass earth for years as a child soldier in Rwanda. With minds blinded by drugs and propaganda, armed with anger and confusion the bands of young  killers walked from village to village and rained blood till the ground could swallow no more innocent families. So, the sun cooked them and the vultures feasted.

Killy never knew what it was to be a child. When  other children play with dolls and little cars and play house, Akiliza Kambanda strapped on an A.K. 47 and brought grown men to their knees. Killy's feet were hard, heels cracked, no feeling. Man was made from the earth and we are forever connected to her through our feet. Like an umbilical cord our soul is connected to the soul of the earth. As a mother dies, so does her fetus. When Killy's feet hardened, she knew she dying.

"Follow the sun to the south", the earth said to her feet.

When the rebel militia were conquered by the government military there was nothing left to do but to flee. With the help of a rebel commander who had taken a liking to her, Killy managed to escape the country. A child that never was, a woman who will never be. Packed in the back of a truck carrying car, she sat and looked back as it left the border post. She looked back at the country of her birth. The umbilical cord was severed and into this world she was born. She is now 27 years. She wears yellow high heels now; her feet don't know the earth anymore.

When Killy arrived in South Africa, she was met with what most black foreigners meet when they arrive in the African land of milk and honey; brutal prejudice. A particular fate befalls some women in this case, especially those with striking features as those that Killy possessed.

There is a ‘thing’ in man, a certain hunger, that even the wealthy cannot feed. A thing that lacks a singular form, lacks a singular identity, lacks a singular morality. It is a need; to corrupt that which we cannot attain, to defile that which exposes our obscenity. It is a thing that lurks in the dark crevice of our normality. It is thing lives in our night. In one form, we believe,

It is high heels, red lipstick, blonde wig and lonely streetlights
It is our spit spoken on pavements and desires eyed behind tinted windows
It is empty beds, hidden wedding rings, steamed windscreens and cheap stains on luxury backseat leather
It is our lie of two kids, a dog and a white picket fence
It is the comfort that we shall never speak of
It is to have and to hold, at a price
It evaporates with the sun into disgusted stares and hushed whispers of who was between its legs
It is guardian of our most primal selves, our most animal lust, and our basic hate
It is our twisted morals and perverted pleasures
It is an acknowledgment we would dread to make lest we confirm that it is of our own creation
It is our lies, our truest nature.

This, thing, this hunger, is what we use those we fate not entirely up to standards to feed. Those like Killy, they eek out a living by…being, by feeding, this thing. How? By offering her body, in the dark, as a sacrifice, to us, for R100 a round, we feed her, to this thing, so we can live, in the light.

With the little English she knew, Killy possessed a striking vocabulary for vitriolic cussing. The idea was to embrass or shame any customer who felt the need to skip payment, after the fact. It so happened one morning that slick tongue met fist and a patron decided to refuse paying opting to deal blows to her face instead. It was Samuel, again. His car was parked in a small street behind the dry cleaning shop. This early in the morning around these parts, screaming women and gun shots were as common as silence in leafy suburbia. Samuel held her by her braids, whatever was left of them as most were already strewn around the street. She was on her knees too weak to fight back and the man was about to land another blow to the back of her head. She rather preferred bashes to the head than to the face. In this industry a battered face was bad for business. As she knelt down on all fours she waited for the final crashing blow.  She knew it was coming and she waited to see her face head for the tar.

After a brief moment of silence, Killy heard a loud thud and glass shattering, but somehow it wasn't her face shattering on the tar. She looked up to see that Samuel had been rugby tackled on to the boot of the car. So powerful was the tackle that the boot was dented and he had been lifted on top of it and he hit his head on the back windshield and shattered the glass. Unfortunately for Samuel, his attacker was not finished with him. Landing punch after massive punch onto his face. Killy was standing behind the two of them but could not see the face of her rescuer, only that the ‘man’ was large and all Killy could hear was the grunting of the person who just saved her. Samuel finally passed out and laid bloodied and limp on the boot of the his own car. Breathing heavily and out of breath, the rescuer turned. Killy was dumbstruck when she realised that it was actually a woman, a girl in fact. She was large and muscular. She had a scar on the left side of her head that was quiet fresh but the healing suggested she didn't get it now. They stared at each other, neither saying a word. Killy picked herself up and took a step towards the girl.
"Thank you" said Killy.
The girl just nodded.
"What's your name?” she asked her. The girl pointed to a dove that was seating in its nest in a tree behind the dry cleaners.
"Bird?” she asked.
The girl shook her head. Killy thought maybe she didn't understand English, so she asked her in the little colloquial Afrikaans she knew,
"Voel?” The girl smiled, and nodded.


Chapter IV 
Chapter V

Chapter VI 
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII

Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Words & Illustration: Vus (@JustVus)

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    Acenator
    3 YEARS AGO

    Exquisitely written, actually, rather told Vusi. I cannot wait to read the next instalment. You have expanded you poetry to depths that humanity only reaches when they are truly in-sync with the spirit and the pain that the human condition sometimes presents us with. Your characters are vivid and alive as a heartbeat. You are plowing seeds of a consciousness that is missing in the South African literary imagination. I urge you brother to soldier on, until that inner genius is revealed into a master work that our antecedents such as—achebe, Ngũgĩ , Mda, Gordimer, Ndebele and many more, can surely rest assured that the baton has been handed over to next generation of Africa's bearers of her creative imagination. P-u-s-h-a l-o passion Mpintyi yam!

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    Vus
    3 YEARS AGO

    wow...heavy. Thanks bra. I can only promise to do my best. Much appreciate the interest

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