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Short Story Written by My Brother and Me

Kiyee is Deceived
By Dave and Dennis Jah

Published in the November 2006 Issue of Seabreeze Journal

Kiyee was forty years old and the father of five children. His wife was dark-skinned, pretty, and loving. They all lived happily together. They made farms out of which they ate and sold. Besides, there were herds of cattle and cocoa, coffee, and orange trees. They had coconuts, too.

When his farm work was less, Kiyee would go fishing or set traps. He never liked eating his food without plenty of meat and fish. For this and more, his family loved him and helped him all day to carry out his many duties.

One day, Kiyee said to his wife, “Today I must go fishing. We need enough fish to eat and grow well.” Then he called his three sons and said, “you must go on the farm and fell as many trees as you can before night falls.”

“Yes, father,” his sons agreed, and departed. Kiyee left too, and went into the forest where there were big rivers, quiet, and with plenty of fish. He took along his hooks, fishing net, and a little food of roasted cassava, green pepper, salt, and dried fish.

Kiyee fished and fished until evening but he did not catch as many fish as he wanted, so he went further down the river. A beautiful woman was calmly swimming. Her hair was very long and dark. She was brilliantly bright with a segmented neck and a chest area that Kiyee found impossible to look away from. There were several gold necklaces around her neck. In her fingers and ears, there were diamonds blinking in Kiyee’s face.

“Hello beautiful,” Kiyee snapped, staring.

“Hello, my friend,” the lady turned toward him and spoke softly. Her voice was so pleasant that Kiyee nearly fell asleep. Her lips were red like palm oil. Her gums were dark and her teeth shining white.

“I am Kiyee from the next town.”

The lady stood and tossed her head from side to side. Her lips parted with a flirting smile.

“It is nice to see you, Kiyee. What can I do for you?”

Kiyee stood dumbfounded, gazing at the tender body of the woman who did not try to conceal her vital areas. His eyes were fixed on the narrow parting of her breasts where tiny droplets of water flowed down in single file.

“I like you very much and would like you to be my wife.”

The woman calmly pushed aside the strands of hair that the breeze dropped on her face.

“Do you like me?”

“I love you so much that even if it were raining now, I will not feel its droplets.”

“Oh, it is a simple matter, simple if you will do what I tell you.”

Kiyee was so happy to hear that it was simple to marry the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He moved closer to the mouth of the river to reach out and touch her delicate skin. But Kiyee could not get where the woman was because it was very deep. The current was moving fast. He could almost feel the softness of her skin. He did not notice that the part of the woman’s body hidden under the water was a strange one. It was the bottom of a big fish.

“And so what does it require to marry you, beautiful?” Kiyee asked, while smiling broadly. He could not take his eyes off her, not even for a blink, for she was very attractive.

“If only you could bring me the intestines of your wife, I will marry you,” the lady replied, and winked her eyes becomingly.

Kiyee was stunned. His heart knocked against his ribs, then he bowed his head for a while. “It is a simple matter,” Kiyee replied, as he lifted his head slowly. “Tomorrow I shall come with the intestines, but please be truthful to your words,” he agreed, and went home feeling happy.

The following day, Kiyee killed a female goat, took out its intestines and put them in his fishing basket. He said to his wife in a loving tone, “Yesterday, I did not catch many fish as I expected, so I have killed a goat for us to eat today.”

His wife and children were very happy. While the goat meat was being prepared, Kiyee took his fishing materials plus the intestines he had extracted and went fishing again. He walked as swiftly as possible, not wanting to be swayed by anything. Upon his arrival at the riverside, he met the woman swimming not too far from where he met her the past day. She began to speak at the top of her voice.

“Don’t deceive me Kiyee. It’s a goat’s intestines. Nevertheless, you are a loving husband.” Kiyee was surprised that the beautiful woman had detected his tricks. He looked at her for a while. He could not hold back his passion, but he did not want to kill his wife for another woman. He thought and thought on what to do to get his second wife without killing the first one.

The following morning, Kiyee killed the fattest sheep from his fold. He removed the intestines and headed to the riverside with haste. The sun was already hanging in the sky, sending sharp rays through the forest. The woman was there, quietly swimming. As usual, she did not wait for Kiyee to unwrap his parcel.

“Don’t trick me, loving Kiyee. Those intestines are not from your wife. They are from a sheep!” Kiyee was surprised. He began to cry.

“Does this mean that I will lose this earth angel?” Kiyee asked himself over and over until he became hoarse. He was really in love with her. He reminded himself of his promise to do everything within his power to marry his newly-found love. He went home very sad and angry with himself.

The following morning, Kiyee decided to kill his wife for real. He called his wife aloud. The woman obediently walked to her husband. She was more beautiful to him than ever before. He looked at her for a long time and then sighed. He was cut in his heart and could not find the hand with which to harm her.

“Who is going to be so caring towards my children when she is gone? Will the well-groomed woman at the riverside be kind like her?” Kiyee felt sorry the more. His mind went back to their long years of togetherness. He slaughtered his fattest cow, confident that the cow’s intestines were not going to be noticed because they looked very much like the intestines of a human being.

Kiyee’s family was surprised that he had killed the largest and healthiest of the cattle. To the river he went, with the intestines. Upon his arrival, the woman emerged from the river where she was taking a cool bath. Disgust was apparent in her face. She was getting impatient with her suitor for his many tricks. The usual smiles that normally welcomed Kiyee were not there. She shouted at the top of her voice with a flash of anger in her eyes.

“Don’t be a fool Kiyee. You don’t really love me. Those are the intestines of a female cow. Why do you keep on deceiving me?”

Kiyee was cut in his heart. He ran home feeling ashamed and sad. He hissed over and over, not sure what he wanted to do next. Finally, he decided in his heart that he had gone too far to retreat and abandon his desire to marry his newly-found sweetheart. He had forsaken his farm work and killed most of his livestock for that cause. It was a do-or-die battle, a goal he swore to reach at all costs.

When Kiyee arrived home, he did not want to speak to his wife. He wore a haggard expression. This was strange. His wife paid attention to his iron face and greeted him warmly, but he did not give her any response. He continued to mount hatred in his heart for her. Such an attitude, he resolved, would give him the willpower to kill her and take out her intestines.

The day wore away. Night came and was gone. Kiyee was unusually bursting with hatred toward his wife, but his wife was more loving and charming.

“Today you must go fishing with me,” Kiyee announced to his wife. The woman was so happy that she was accompanying her husband to do what he loved doing.

The couple soon departed. They walked closely, one behind the other on the beaten footpath that led to the riverside. After a while, the river where Kiyee’s bride normally swam was in sight. Kiyee drew out his long and sharp cutlass, lifted it above his head and smote his wife. Her head fell away from the rest of her body. The headless body jerked and jerked, and then there was stillness. Kiyee quickly gashed out the intestines and hurried to where he always met his bride. She was already waiting and smiling broadly. Kiyee was smiling, too.

“Today, I must go home hand in hand with my new wife – the most beautiful woman God has made.” He was already dancing, more happy than he had ever been. The woman answered him back with glittering smiles. Kiyee’s heart was set aglow.

“Kiyee, you have deceived yourself. Even though those are truly your wife’s intestines, you are a fool. What a stupid suitor you are!” She opened her mouth for the second time and began to sing:

Killed your goat, sheep, and wife
Insisting for a wife from a river
Yearning and craving, yes a fool
Endlessly, you toiled in vain
Ever to live in grief and pain

After speaking, singing, and laughing, she dove into the water. The water from her caudal fin splashed in Kiyee’s face and blinded him for a while. Only the bubbling of the water could be heard as she dove deeper and deeper. Kiyee dropped helplessly, buried his face into the cup of his hands and wept bitterly.

Copyright © Dave & Dennis Jah

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