Story by: David Elton Nyamombe
It was dark and raining outside.My two boys were a bit unease because of the thunderous noise. Our bedroom was candle lit. It was a bit nippy so I added one more blanket to keep warm.
I sang a lullaby to calm them down, a strange one, “mwanangu chiramwiwa endawo kumagaka…”(I was somewhat baffled at how much I remembered of the words, I do not recall singing the song in my adult life). I sang loud enough to mask the thunderous noise outside yet so caressingly gentle to soothe them to slumber; the familiar voice of their mother was reassuring; soon they were peaceful and slept quietly.
I was almost dozing off myself then I remembered that I had to blow out the candle before I slept. The flickering light from the candle was holding its own as it illuminated the room, then it occurred to me that I never really appreciated the beauty of candlelight. Of course, I appreciated its necessity in times of power cuts but not its other side; the side that romantics invoke when they switch off electric lights and use candles instead, beautiful.
All of a sudden, our little house shook violently and I instinctively hugged my sleeping babies. I was paralyzed with fear; my body grew numb as I held on to my babies; my eyes were fixed on the flickering candle before long it blew out. As the darkness grew thicker, the air became heavy and dank…I closed my eyes in prayer, fervently imploring the Almighty to save my boys.
A sense of calm enveloped me and the boys felt safe in my embrace, mud broke in and filled the space; my shout was soundless and our bedroom became our grave. My husband, my love how was he to live without us.
We are here; under the surface of rubble and mud. We will wait!
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