Three Seasons of the Halaso have passed since I officially have become a man. Since the night that Xen told me of my future, I’ve been in battle a total of 3 times. Each time in battle, I could feel the strength that Benamuckee had granted me. Although I have been in many storms, and those battles with our enemies, I have yet to face the storm that Xen told me would come.
I was pondering about this mighty storm when all of a sudden I felt a rock or something hit me in the back. I turned just in time to see a man behind me. Whack, he hit me in the head. I fell back. He hit me again. Blackness.
I awoke to having my feet and hands bound with ádada, tree bark, and woven together to create a very strong rope-like material. I raised myself to a sitting position, trying to figure out where I was and what had happened. A man who looked to be about the same halaso season as myself was also sitting not too far off. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t recall his name.
He trembles as he begins to speak, “There is a storm coming.” I nod, knowing exactly what he means.
Sometime later, as the sun is at the high point, we hear some grunting of men coming towards us. Suddenly a man appears from the bushes that are near us. He goes towards where the noises are coming from. The noises become louder, and figures of a good number of men can be seen coming towards where we are. As they become closer, I can make out that they have more of my people. One of them is Xen.
Once the got close to where we were camped out, the men threw my people towards the ground. Xen, and seven other men land on the ground with a great thud. Xen makes his way into a sitting position. His eyes are filled with a deep fear. We exchange a look, “We have to get away!”
Suddenly, more men appear with another man and a small woman-I don’t recognize either. She appears to have been hit many times with a club and he looks no better. Dried blood covers his upper forehead, and the corner of his mouth. These two newer captives are thrust on the ground by us, and the young woman fills the still, hot air with a shrill cry. This makes the men laugh in both high and low pitches, much like the birds that often times cackle their songs when the hádali, sun, rises through the big water.
After much laughter, kicking sand at us, and hitting us with sticks, the men then divide us between five canoes, and we set towards firomóthoko, big sand, that is only a short distance away. Upon landing, sticks are used to warn us to stay in the canoes. We are forced to sit, while some of the men get out and begin to go towards the trees. A short while later, they appear with some wood to build a fire with. They seem very merry as if about to have a celebration.
I do not have any idea as to what they will do. I look to Xen to see if he understands. His old black eyes look hollow and dead. He gazes towards the fire as if it tells him all of the secrets of these strange men, our enemies. I suddenly understand. I’ve always heard tales of how our enemies often times will eat us, as we will in return do the same. I should have known right away. I had been in many battles with the people of our enemies before. Would this be the great storm?
Some men are dancing around the fire, worshiping the Creator for allowing them to have captured some of their enemies. I knew not the name of the Creator they worshiped, but I know it is not Benamuckee, for He only gives to those who are faithful and trustworthy servants. Two enemy men came to the boat I and Xen sat in, and drag us out towards the fire. Bringing Xen forward, they swing at the back of his head with a great big wooden club. I can only hope that blackness completely overtook his body, and his soul was able to escape. Several men go over and immediately slit him open to begin the Process.
I look around, desperate to try and make and escape. Ahead of me, not to great of a distance I saw a big hill. I was not entirely sure if I could make it away from these men, but Benamuckee will grant me the strength to do so, I pray.
I silently thank my Creator as I swiftly take off on foot. He has always granted me strength when I need it the most. I hear feet not too far behind me, but they quickly fall farther behind. I see a long óni, river, in front of me, but knowing that my arms would bring me across without a problem, I was born to be a warrior after all. Much like my father before me. After I get to the other side, I continue on in my pursuit to get away as fast as I could.
Suddenly, I hear a great thunder boom. I stop. I knew not what to make of it. The sound is rather frightening because it sounded as if it happened right next to me. I gaze around me, and see a strange man. He doesn’t look quite like an enemy. His skin is different, more of the color of móthoko, the sand that my feet stand on. He holds something in his hands, but I don’t recognize what it is. I am a bit curious about him. Then I remember Xen’s words, during this great storm there will emerge something, a man. I believe it will be a man sent from Benamuckee himself, for this man will be great and mighty and powerful.
I look at my enemies which lay dead on the ground. This strange new man makes motion for me to come towards him. I am both fearful but peculiar. How did he make great thunder that caused my enemies to fall? Will this be my last battle? I take some steps forward, but stop again. He again waves his arms as if to beckon me forward.
After some time, I am in his reach. I bend down and kiss the ground by his feet, placing his foot on my head to show him that I worship his true and mighty presence. That I am a worthy servant for him to have mercy upon. He allowed me to come off the ground. One of my enemies was beginning to stir, so I made a quick motion to my strange Savior to allow me to use his object he had around his waist. It appeared to look like one of our wooden swords we often times would take into battle. With one giant swoosh, I took off the head of my enemy. I laugh as I place it on the ground in front of my New Master, along with his sword-like object.
I was still curious to know how he made thunder stop my other pursuer in his place. He allows me to make my way to the dead man, and examine him carefully. A hole, which did not allow much blood to come out, seems to be the reason he lay dead. I cannot understand how thunder caused this hole in a man. I have never heard of a tale of how thunder killed a man. I take his arrows and bow, knowing they will prove useful for me later on. My New Master makes motions for me to follow him. I point to the dead men, signing that I want bury them. He agrees, so I take to work burying them.
Afterwards, he brings me to a small cave. There he gives me some food. I do not know what to call it, but I savor every morsel of it. My New Master then gives me some water as well. I am very thankful and pleased with what he offers me. Then he points to a place where some dried grass is settled neatly. I am quite exhausted from the day’s events, so I make my way over there, and lay down. Right before I fall asleep, I have one last thought on this powerful man and his thunder. Then, blackness.