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Short Story - A talking skull

2024-06-26  Ruben Kapimbi

Short Story - A talking skull

The Protection Troopers tasked me to bring Kambangane’s skull. So, I skilfully hunted him down in the feet-baking Kalahari’s sand. 

Soon, I spotted him chewing wild cucumbers (omahwe), which quenched his thirst. Then, he offered me desert coconuts (ozoseu) and a punnet of brandy berries (omandjembere). 

I pointed a clicking gun at him, but he giggled and schooled me on the grape-like berries (ozohe).

“There’s a deep well, but no creature can sip its water,” Kambangane hissed about Lake Otjikoto.

“The freshwater of the Swakop River will be swallowed by the salty water at Otjozondjii, which was littered by legless dogs. 

During his orations, he brewed coffee from the dry seedpods of an acacia tree. Kambangane picked up that I had a runny tummy, and handed me vinegary leaves from the black acacia tree to chew; my runny stool stopped.  

By twilight, he showed me the Milky Way, which he called omukwangukwangu. 

I patted his chin with the gun for his wisdom. Afterwards, he bespoke about the Twining Mountains.

“The left has a female urinary and the right has a male circumcised urinary,” he chuckled. Then, he sketched the twinning mountains on his naked feet. By now, he was referring to Ozohungu omakura. 

Kambangane clued up that by the third month of the year, a ringlet around the moon indicates good rains. Furthermore, he tipped me that as soon as the clouds of smoke start to clown the Queen Waterberg, (Kaondeka) it must be May for the Kalahari dwellers. 

“What about April?” I quizzed. He tutored me on the mushrooming onion-like leaves at the feet of the Twinning Mountains as a sign that the Omatako dwellers are in April. 

Then he wagged his magic stick and said, “Not a bit of my body would leave Omuramba wOvambo. 

“How did you know I’m after your skull?” I whispered, rubbing the raised hair on my bushy arms. Then, afraid that he would club me to death with his hockey-like walking stick; I sprayed bullets at his legs and arms. 

‘Kambangane was a talking book and refused to die,’ I scribbled in my diary. 

Finally, I shot him below his ribcage and yet he was still gabbing. 

“Shoot me on my forehead,” he hinted. “I need your skull for 30 Deutschmark!” 

I pleaded on my knees, knocking my gun against his minced head, before walking away empty-handed. 

Footnote: 1905

* This is historical fiction.


2024-06-26  Ruben Kapimbi

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