She sat in the circle she had drawn in the sand, with the spray of the waves misting over her skin. The moon was high in the sky, shining true and she moved to her knees as she placed the sacred objects at five points in the circle. “Honey to keep him sweet”, she prayed as she placed the small clay pot filled with the hard won treasure from Mama Wenebi’s farm. “Salt to preserve his life”, she continued, as she placed another clay pot filled with salt that she had dried out herself. “Food to sustain him”, as she placed another clay pot, this one full of roasted yam and fish. “Water and Soil to remind him where he comes from”, she said placing the last two pots at the last two points.
Then she waited.
And waited for her man to return to her from the waters that had taken him earlier that day.
She waited till the moon’s light waned and disappeared with the assault of sunrise.
If she had been by the shore where the fishermen pushed off from, then maybe someone would have seen her. Someone would have called out to her, then gone to call her mother. An uncle would have been summoned and she would have bundled off. But no, the Priest of Baghdor had warned her to go that part of the island. That part where the forest grew thick with tree trunks bigger than huts. That part where only fools and drunkards entered and came out mad, if they came out at all. He told her to walk through the forest with her offerings till she got to the shore. The goddesses would hear her clearly there. Her beloved would be returned to her. But she must remain in the circle till he came forth from the waves or she would rain abomination on all of Pakrumo.
Doneyifa did as she was told.
And now she waited till the sun rose. And indeed, something came from the waters. But it was not her beloved. It slithered out. An impossible creature. With scales that glimmered and glittered in the light. Doneyifa gasped, but she stayed in the circle. The creature slithered towards her. It’s belly leaving a trail in the wet sand, that was continually washed away by the crashing waves. It moved quickly for such a large thing. It was almost as if she blinked and it was right at the edge of her circle.
It did not enter though. It circled her, staying on the lines, making them wider with its massive form.
Doneyifa started to cry, still looking to the waves, still waiting for Waridi, but as the creature’s circle grew smaller, she knew that she would be the one to go to her beloved.