Long live Chief Ochieng'?
Are these people out of their minds? When did I become their chief? Ochieng' was bewildered within. He had been living away from this place for a long time, he thought he had even been forgotten, what was in these people's heads?
"Father, are they demoniacal or what?" After trying to think over the matter for along time to no avail, he couldn't help but turn to his father.
"You are the next chief of the clan." The father answered grinning broadly.
"The next chief?" The boy widened his eyes skeptically.
"It is like this son..." The father then recounted to the young man everything that had happened in the clan while he was away.
Ochieng' had spent almost all his life with savage beasts that knew no civilization before he was back to his clan. He was a good man when no one provoked him. He didn't even know his pique and how to control it. With his grotesque abilities, he couldn't imagine himself accidentally killing his tribesmen, just because maybe he couldn't bottle up his temper. What kind of a chief will he be if that was the case?
It was one thing for him to be fully unaware of himself, but for these people to choose him the next chief despite scarcely knowing him. Was this what his clan transformed to be, in these several seasons?
"Give it to Okoth Ang'wen your second son. I think I am a very capable warrior, I will support him with the abilities I have at my disposal." The lad shrugged.
His father couldn't help but laugh bitterly. If he knew this would be the case, he would have handed over power to Okumu long time ago. The clan could have not gone through what it had experienced in the last few weeks. Ochieng' seemed to have realized what his father was thinking about because what he said made the chief's expression ease a little,
"Father, Okumu has proved to be a wolf inside a sheep's skin. Him being in power could have harmed the clan instead of bringing it any good. I can't ascend to the stool because I know myself better. My brother Ang'wen has been in the clan since he was a kid, he has been with you for over eighty seasons, he understands how to lead better than I can do. Do you even know where I came from?" The young man asked tauntingly.
It is then that the chief realized that he didn't even know where his son came from. He decided to asses him from his head to toe. The more he looked at him the more the chief became fearful of him. The air around the laddie gave him a feeling that this son of his wasn't simple.
"Where have you been for all this time?" He asked in the end.
Just as the son was about to answer, Achola Nyakune who had been watching the commotion that occurred a few minutes ago, bolted out of her hut towards Ochieng' with a piece of firewood held tightly in her right hand. She was shouting things that were not very clear.
"Hmmm" A few elders and warriors snorted at the same time. They had been standing like statues after bowing to Ochieng' waiting to hear what their 'new chief' had to say. They knew Nyakune was courting death by daring to make a move on Ochieng'. They knew even if Ochieng' did not deal with her personally, Ong'am couldn't spare her, right?
What happened next proved they were right. The moment the woman arrived before the young man, she lifted the piece of wood to hit him. The young man instead of even pretending to be panic-stricken, he stood there coolly as if it was not him who was going to receive the beating but some tree somewhere.
This did not mean that the chief wasn't worried, the moment the woman lifted the piece of wood, he stopped it in a jiffy and then pushed the woman aside. He did not want harm her because it was derisory for a man to lay his hands on a woman. It could even soil his reputation more given that he was the chief and that was his married woman.
The love of a woman compelled Nyakune to stand and hit Ochieng' again. Though this time it wasn't the chief who did the kibosh, it was someone else. Ochieng's eyes unknowingly blushed and the woman stopped her movements and looked at him directly in his eyes. He didn't know how and why but somehow, he was reading the woman's mind. As he read, the frown on his face deepened.
The looker-ons' jaws dropped. The chief's mouth twitched uncontrollably. He was prepared to help his son but what happened to his wife? Didn't she want to retaliate and give 'justice' to her son? Then what was with their posing. Not knowing what to do, he turned to Ochieng' and asked him what was happening. His son didn't even turn his head to look at the him let alone answering him. It was as if the chief did not say anything.
"Where did he come from?" The chief wondered looking at his son as if he was some behemoth.
The ability to read one's mind was one amongst the many powers Ochieng' had obtained from the inscrutable horse. All the powers of the beast were received by him without even being aware. He completely did not know how to use or how to put any of them in to use. They worked by chance alongside his own.
After reading everything that was in the woman's nous, Ochieng' leapt in craze. He could not believe that this woman was the reason why the clan was currently the way it was. Many had died including Elder Anyona who had sent him a dream a few days ago in the forbidden land. Even his own father could have died in the hands of his own son if he did not arrive in time to save him. Not even one death was good enough to punish her.
Unable to control his booming anger, Ochieng' drew his sword and in a trice, he slit her throat. Blood flowed off her cut throat furiously before she dropped dead. It is then that he felt his raging surliness curbed. He heaved a long sigh before returning his sword in its sheath.
What followed in the setting was complete muteness. Everyone present felt their hearts beating hard and loudly. If someone was incisive enough, he could clearly hear the beating of their hearts. Most of them were struck with dread, dread that came from the bottom of their hearts when they looked at Ochieng'. Others were filled with fear for him while a few were totally confused.
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