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Black Drama Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

I quietly followed my father into the forest in the middle of the night.

The rain was falling heavily and my Dad kept running, looking around as if he was expecting something to happen.

I was only seven and I could hardly catch up with my Dad, since he didn’t expect me to follow him.

He sighed deeply, stood for a moment, and pointed the gun in my direction, but I hid at the back of a big tree as fast as I can. “A brave man never hides!” he shouted, but I stood as quiet as I could. 

He shot three times until he was convinced that no one is after him. Before he could end the shooting, I have already wet myself.

He turned around with a few steps, then he saw a white panther, which is rare to find especially at night. He pointed the gun at it and gave it an easy three shots, and it died. He bent down with tears of joy, removed five teeth, cut the throat, and fetched some of its blood into his wooden bottle, he then cut the chest open, removed the heart, and put it in his sack bag.

He stood up thanked the gods and head back home. I hurried my steps in a different direction and ran back home before he could reach home.

**************

My name is Zodiac, and it was given to me because I was born with twelve big black stars tattooed on my back. My elder brother Leo happens to be normal but afraid of everything even though he is 13. Our father who is a great hunter normally takes Leo through the tradition of practicing hunting at night, something I can’t wait for. My Dad is “Mr. Gemini” and my Mum is “Mrs. Aries” They make a peaceful home. And Nana is our grandmother, she could hardly see because of old age.


Children in the village do not play with me, nor hang out with me because their parents are not so happy with me around their children, am normally seen playing alone. 


Sometimes my mother normally cries or becomes sad anytime Mr. Gemini returns from hunting, which I don’t understand because we always have enough meat and other food staffs that could take us a whole month to feed.


We live in a small village called (Suro Nipa) which is located in the country GHANA inside the West African continent. In my village, every young man is trained hunting since that is the work most men call brave, and my Dad is hoping to initiate us one day. 

**************

The next morning was a healthy morning for me since I believed I was brave enough to go hunting with my Dad without his knowledge. But my mood changed when my Mum served us fufu with light soup in the morning. “ but we shouldn’t be eating fufu this early morning, it should be tea with biscuit or bread, like the English do !!” I said with a frown face, but no one seemed to care. 

My heart was filled with anger even though I had no choice. Mostly we eat together, but this time, we had our separate dishes. Mum prayed and we started eating. The table was quiet, and my body felt different around me, seemed everyone was quiet that morning and felt like something is happening or had happened without my knowledge. 

Well, I ate carelessly pretending not to care about their behavior. I ran my fingers in the soup to take meat only to realize it was the Panther’s heart! I threw it away and shouted uncontrollably “Why did u give me a panther’s heart?!” 

Everyone looked panicked and my question remained unanswered. 


“How did u know is a panther’s heart?” My Dad asked angrily.


I got startled by the words stuck in my mouth “Answer!”

Zodiac:

I followed you last night, so I saw everything by myself.

Gemini:

How come I didn't notice you? What if something bad happened to you, hah?!


Father got more angrily and started slapping me on the back of my palm.

Nana took me behind her and started beating Father with her walking stick.

Nana:

What did you do when you were your son's age? (she turns to me) All he ever did was steal meat in my soup.

Everyone laughed. But rather looked disturbed.

Nana took me to the bank of the river at the back of our house.

Nana:

What you did last night is exceptional. Your father has been hunting for a panther's heart since you were young. And thankfully he found some, and I think is because you followed him. The Panther felt your presence.


Zodiac:

but why is it so important for me to eat the heart of a white panther?


Nana:

I don’t know but what I heard is something is not right about you, but if you want further explanation you need to visit the priest because he knows everything. A word to a wise is enough.

***********************

I headed to the priest's house but saw my father talking to the priest, I made a quick turn and ran to the back of the house. I hid there until they entered the room. It was a struggle, but I managed to climb onto the roof which was made with palm leaves, listening to their conversation.


Priest:

 Zodiac did not eat the Panther’s heart, this is not a good sign, as the Panther’s heart is not easy to find. He must eat the heart for us to start the rituals, so he would be free from this curse!


Gemini:

(Odeefuo, (high priest), I have tried so many times to get a white Panther’s heart for my son, I could hardly find it, my wife cries every time I return from hunting without the heart. Please I am stuck, I can not try anymore please help me find a white Panther )

My father bent down and held his legs


Priest: 

(I will give you a white horn, and a parrot it will guide you in the forest, go tomorrow from 2 am-midnight, blow the horn three times, and bend down and praise gods name.)


As the saying goes" curiosity kills the cat" I moved further to get a peep at the horn, but unluckily the middle of the roof was softer. The roof broke, which made me land on the floor with my butt, “Ouch!” I cried

But my father and the priest stared at me with a surprised look. 


“Medaase Odeefuo" ( thanks high priest) 


My father said and grabbed me by the left ear and walked out to the house. Ouch!! Ouch!! Ouch, it hurts!! I cried to the house.

My father made me squat under the tree in front of our home, as a punishment. I squatted for a very long time and he entered the room to rest, Leo and Mum have gone to the farm to fetch foodstuff, so no one was around to plead on my behalf. And Nana wasn't around.

My legs were shaking, my whole body was covered in sweat and tears run down my cheeks. Nana came from the inside and sat in the corridor facing me, starting to eat groundnut soup with rice balls. She started eating like she was teasing me. I got angrier until I heard her saying"The chicken is very sweet, your father brought a chicken that even talks"

I lay down in a burst of uncontrollable laughter.

Knowing very well that she mistook the parrot for a chicken, because of her eye problem.

Suddenly, my Uncles daughter ran the house as if she was being chased. Her name was Pisces. She looked panicked she started shouting. Our

Pisces:

Where is your father!…. Where is Father…. My father’s sheep have been attacked by wolves!!..  

“My father is not around,” I said and hurriedly took my father’s bow and arrows thinking I would impress him.

“ I am going to let him know I am not cursed at all, but I am special and brave, “ I thought as I followed Pisces to the sheep pen. 

I started shooting the arrows at the wolves soon half of the wolves ran to the forest and a few were injured and couldn’t move I shouted with joy.

My Uncle arrived with five men only to find out that I have done the job, he angrily grabbed my shirt raised me in the air, and shouted “What in the world were u thinking? What if were hurt or I don’t know…how can a seven-year-old…” 

He threw me down on the ground and entered the pen, only to realize I have killed the wolves and fifteen sheep with my arrow. He bent down in the pen with tears. I felt very ashamed and ran into the bushes thinking my father would kill me today. 


I stayed in the bushes wandering about with my heart filled with fear. I doodled in the sand until I slept. I felt a tap in my dreams, I woke up to see Leo standing in front of me. He bent down in front of me...

Leo:

“Why are you sleeping here all by yourself?" 

Zodiac:

“Am scared, Daddy is going to kill me today"

Leo:

“But you are a hero, even if no one sees you to be a hero I do, it is your thought that counts, bet me, that's so brave of you, I wouldn’t be that brave if it was to be me” 

Zodiac:

“ But no one ever praised me, except Nana. I am always the bad guy, not to mention that everyone even thinks I am cursed!! Sometimes being surrounded by everyone is the loneliest, because you realize you have no one to turn to, I hate being me" 

Leo:

“ Don’t say that bro, your courage alone makes u perfect, but you know what? But remember "overtaking is allowed but overspeeding kills". So anytime you are doing something think twice and it will help you. Today you have to set the table and fetch the food from the kitchen to the dining table, I think that will change Daddy’s mind" 

“Perfect!” I shouted happily and we chatted to the house. The moment I reached home I ran to the kitchen brought out the small table, placed it in front of the house, spread the lace on it, and swept the ground. I went inside to fetch the chairs, I came back to meet my father waiting for the chairs. My heart was beating very fast, he stared silently at me and he sat down on the chair.


I ran to the kitchen again, my mum gave me the food, I was so desperate that I ran over our cat “Gye nyame” and I slipped and fell with food. This time around I sat on the floor, crying with my face buried in my palm. My Dad bent beside me to pat my back. 

Gemini:

“Son, I know it is not your fault, it is the curse u were born with, the twelve big stars at your back are not a good sign, they will always make u do the wrong thing all the time. I am going to get the white Panther’s heart for the second time, and this time, I will give it to the priest to do the rituals for you okay?” Now Nana has eaten the parrot so I need to go to the priest again.


He said angrily and we laughed at him.

*************

The next morning, my father took me to the priest. I was wearing black boxer shots, without a shirt, he reached out the blood of the white panther, massaged my chest and back with the blood, and gave me some to drink. It was hard for the first time but it tasted normal and a little salty. To my surprise he brought the heart served on a silver platter uncooked!! “u must eat it raw, it works faster, and it will make u more powerful and spotless" my father said, but he was concerned.

I had to eat it, and that was the most difficult part I managed to eat it all. 

“Thanks to the gods!! Now zodiac is a new person!!” the priest said and started the incantations, my father repeated after him until he was done. He gave my Dad a necklace made of the teeth of the white panther, my father put on the necklace around my neck. “ You did it son” my dad cried.

And Nana wouldn't stop kissing my cheeks.

*************

My mum was very happy that she hugged me with tears. “dinner is on me, am going to make your favorite food!!” she said happily.


Darkness approached, and we all sat down to eat and chatted peacefully.  

“Leo, you are going hunting with me tonight.

Nana:

You must follow them today. ( Nana whispered into my ear, and winked at me)

************

Late in the night, my father woke Leo up and they headed out. I took a bow and arrows and followed them silently into the forest, the forest was so quiet and dark. Leo remained close to Father because he was scared 

“You are doing the shooting today,” Father said and gave him the gun. They walked a few steps and Father told Leo to stay, he moved forward to a tree to fix his trap. While fixing his trap Leo stood full of fear, and couldn’t stop looking around.

A giant black python from nowhere quickly wrapped itself around Father and started squeezing him. 

“Leo shoot!.... Leo shoot, please….Leo..” he kept saying as he was suffering. 

Leo was standing stiff and couldn’t move a muscle, he was so scared that he kept wetting himself until he dropped the gun on the ground. I angrily came out to the scene, Leo was so startled that he didn’t notice my presence.

I took the gun up and shot continuously until the python let go of Father. I ran to him and my surprise, I shot him three times in the chest. Tears ran down uncontrollably and I didn’t know what to do to help him. 

I slapped Leo two times before he could recover from the shock.

Leo helped rush him to the medicine man in our village. He treated him and did all he could but Father was not responding to good health. I stood outside crying to myself because I knew everybody is going to hate me again. I could hardly be seen around because I felt guilty.

************** 

Late in the night, when everyone was asleep I entered his room to check on him, and apologize I cried and cried until I couldn't hold my tears anymore. 

I sadly turn around to go then. He held my hand and tore the necklace around my neck.

Gemini:

“ All this while I was wrong….I was so wrong to know the son God gave me…I thought I have broken the curse.. but now I understand you weren’t cursed at all, but you are a young brave hunter God gave me, which I was blind to see. If you weren’t there, Leo and I will both die, thanks for saving his life, my little hero. It is not your deeds that matter son, it’s the thought that counts" He died after.

And Nana hugged me in tears.


( Zodiac was having a good mind of helping his father, but ended up killing him by mistake. So is his thought that counts )


April 13, 2023 23:20

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31 comments

Viga Boland
13:47 Apr 23, 2023

This is a fascinating look into Ghanese life and customs. Thanks for sharing. Even though the grammatical side of this piece needs editing, it’s understandable since English is not your primary language. So despite that, you have written a good story and your use of dialogue to kerp it moving is excellent. Keep up the good work. 👏

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18:30 Apr 23, 2023

Awwwn thanks your encouragement is gonna keep my ego always alive. Thank you.

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Realbraosei .
13:22 Apr 15, 2023

Awesome piece... keep it up

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14:23 Apr 15, 2023

Thank you

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Iddrisu Rahamatu
13:03 Apr 15, 2023

Interesting story how I wish that wasn't the end🥰🥰the boy is such a brave boy, the father shouldn't have died in the forest they should have get back home and see how bravely his son is❤️

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14:24 Apr 15, 2023

Thanks for your suggestion

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12:59 Apr 15, 2023

Nice story. Keep it up!

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14:24 Apr 15, 2023

Thank you for the encouragement

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Qúôphî Wîlly
12:41 Apr 15, 2023

wow, I love this story, the boy is really brave. But what a tragic ending. Good 👍 job.The boy sure had a good thought but ends up being bad😔

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14:26 Apr 15, 2023

You are very right and thank you

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15:05 Jun 26, 2023

You’ve really made my day with ur story

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19:08 Jun 26, 2023

Thanks dear

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14:53 May 02, 2023

Nice 🙂 Love it

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18:38 May 02, 2023

Thanks for reading

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David Sweet
13:31 Apr 24, 2023

I enjoyed this unique story tremendously! Thank you for sharing it. I look forward to seeing more of your work. I see that some people are discouraged by Gemini's death, but I think there is a potential for a follow-up story where he is redeemed. He DID save Leo, which is significant. His father didn't believe in him until it was too late, and you did foreshadow this with the wolves and sheep. I think you should consider further stories with these characters.

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17:08 Apr 24, 2023

Thank you

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Mary Bendickson
15:31 Apr 19, 2023

Welcome to Reedsy. I, too, wish the father did not die. 'Thought that counts' is not usually so fatal.

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18:23 Apr 19, 2023

Aaawn thanks for the suggestion

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Rashida Sidik
23:38 Apr 15, 2023

Oh poor Gemini shouldn't have died, ending the story. Anyway it's good they have come to realize that zodiac is a brave destined child who was able to rescued Leo his senior brother. Nice write up, keep it up, the sky is your limit baby girl.

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08:05 Apr 16, 2023

Thank you very much

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ABDALLAH NUHU
19:14 Apr 15, 2023

More positive energy

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14:02 Apr 16, 2023

Thanks

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ABDALLAH NUHU
19:12 Apr 15, 2023

Interesting

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Justice Boateng
17:06 Apr 15, 2023

Hey "sweet but psycho" You thought you could hide forever😂 Sup with you Great story by the way

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19:03 Apr 15, 2023

Ei woow how are you doing

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14:03 Apr 15, 2023

Love it 😍 Keep writing gal❤️😊

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14:26 Apr 15, 2023

Awwn thanks

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Peniel Hephzibah
12:44 Apr 15, 2023

This writer is creative and intelligent

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14:26 Apr 15, 2023

Really? Thank you very much

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Peniel Hephzibah
12:44 Apr 15, 2023

This story is 🔥🔥🔥

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14:26 Apr 15, 2023

Thanks

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