Home of Sword and Soul
Here's a piece I'm still fleshing out. It's a sequel piece for Shange and Mijoga:
Shange awoke in confusion. She sat up straight, grasping about for her weapons and searching frantically for Mijoga. It took her a few more moments to realize that she’d been asleep. She sat still, breathing deeply to calm herself. Sleep was a new condition for her, something she had yet to become accustomed to. As a spirit the concept did not exist. She kept a constant vigil from the sky, her sight always on those who prayed to her. Months after her exile she still did not sleep, her conscious mocking her former state. But gradually the demands of her body would not be denied. Sleep usually caught her off guard; she often awoke in rugged places in awkward positions which caused her to ache for hours or days afterwards.
She rubbed her eyes then looked about. Expecting to see Mijoga lounging nearby as he always did, she jumped when she saw the back of a nude man stretched out beside her. How he’d come so close to her with her knowing she couldn’t figure. It was especially puzzling that Mijoga did not warn her.
“Mijoga!” she shouted sternly, not caring if she woke the interloper. The man stirred and her heart raced.
“Mijoga?” she said again.
“What?” the man replied.
Shange grabbed the man arm then rolled him over. She gasped when she saw his face, a face that she had held in her memory for years, hoping she would see once again. Tears flooded her face as she smiled with joy.
“Mijoga! Mijoga!” she sang as she shook her lover from the grip of sleep.
He knocked hands away. “Shange, what…”
It took Mijoga a moment to realize what had occurred. His eyes widened then he inspected his body. He gazed at his hands, his arms, his manhood, his legs and his feet. Shange’s eyes followed his until their eyes met and he shared with her the wonderful smile that drew her down from the heavens and into his arms, the arms she ached to be held by.
They leapt at each other, hugging and kissing almost violently before falling into lovemaking just as vigorous. When they were done they held each other tight, afraid to let go of what they both had longed for.
“You are forgiven,” Mijoga said, his voice as resonant as she remembered.
“Yes, yes I am,” Shange replied.
“And they have let you stay with me,” he said.
Shange kissed him. “Yes, they have.”
Mijoga looked skyward, “I guess I will stop cursing them now.”
He held her tightly and pain bit into her back. Shange pushed away as Mijoga let her go.
“What is this?” He looked at his hands in horror. They transformed before his eyes, back into the paws they had once been.
“No, no!” Shange shouted.
Mijogo fell to the ground in spasms as his body reverted. Tan fur usurped his skin, his hair extending into a tawny mane. The last to revert was his face, his eyes filled with hate then finally resigned to the fate that had been forced upon him for a mutual transgression. The pain was still in his eyes after he resumed his feline form. He looked at the sky then loosed a mourn filled roar before running into the bush.
“Mijoga!” Shange reached out to him but could not follow. She collapsed where she stood then curled up on the grass, her body racked with sobs.
“It is a sad fate you are forced to live.”
The strange voice forced her to her feet, swords in hand. She looked at a tall, muscular man wrapped in leather and leopard skin, his patterned face reflecting her emotions.
“Is this how our gods reward us for love? By punishment?” He scowled. “Such beings do not deserve our praise.”
“Who are you?” Shange demanded.
“I am Abasa,” he replied.
Shange thought for a moment then her hands tightened on her swords. “Are you responsible for what just occurred?”
Abasa looked away. “I am.”
Shange raised her swords then Abasa raised his hands.
“I did not do what I did to offend you. I did it to show that those above are not the only ones that can grant you and your lover reprieve.”
“How do you know of us?” Shange asked.
“I am a shaman,” Abasa repled. “The spirits talk to me. Your story is an especially sad one. I sought you out to help you. With the proper items I can lift your punishment. You and Mijoga can live a life as man and woman, with a home and children. I can grant all of this to you, but first you must do something for me.”