Mansa wanted his kingdom to remain prosperous and powerful so he had to act fast. The depopulation of the area was quite alarming. Becoming a slave or a slave seller were out of the question. Depleting sources of gold weren’t an option either. After a long night of thinking and listening to Mansa Mousso, he came up with a plan his Queen was ambivalent about. The next morning, he called for a royal meeting after the morning prayer with his most trusted advisers.
“Ani sogoman, Good morning. We need to make a strong alliance with the Abrons. I have a few ideas in mind but I’m eager to hear your thoughts.” Replies, murmurs, and nods ensued before the suggestions began.
Some advisers suggested going to war. Others suggested consulting with the oracles which Mansa quickly dismissed since believers needed to avoid shirk. Having said that, he had alliances with the Muslim unseen who helped ensure his protection as a mere act of friendship. After hearing all the arguments, Mansa spoke. “Very well, I think we need a marriage alliance with one of the daughters of the Abron King of the Gold Coast. The other Akan tribes are getting stronger with their slave ports to the South East while we also feel the pressure on the North-West from the other Mandinga tribes with their evil slave trade.”
Before he could say another word, an elder voice he didn’t know cut in, “Is Mansa Mousso ok with another wife? Because if she isn’t, a marriage alliance won’t help you. If blood magic stays on the outskirts of town and jealousy from your women are removed, I can help you stay invisible to the predators until the threat of slavery subsides. Now, you’re right about marrying an Abron. But it’s about finding the right one.”
The elder got the attention of Mansa. The king’s chest perked up and a grin formed on his shiny ebony face. He’s an Unseen for sure, Mansa thought before adding, “Do you have a name in mind for the girl in question?”
“Of course. But only you can hear her name,” the Unseen disguised an elderly figure replied.
Then, Mansa heard the name in his mind. In Dioula your tongue, the name of the girl we need to uproot is ‘Shole’ (Flower).
The Writers Circle
Eve was excited to share her work no matter how novice it was with the Writers Circle she had recently been inducted as a member of and she looked forward to great feedback and not belittling snobbish comments. The Circle was composed of writers, editors, and many other pen ghazis. Thus, she felt like she would gain from the experience of such colleagues.
Her first chapter meeting started and old and new business was opened, discussed, and/or tabled. When it came time to announce the recent achievements of the Circle, many writers were either still polishing their work-in-progress, trying to find ways to sell more books or trying to find a traditional publisher in order to be taken seriously.
On the verge of chapter closing, since the President didn’t mention her work like she hoped, Eve made a motion to share her work. She was immediately shut down with dirty looks and haughty snorts. She sunk in her chair enraged, crossing both her arms on her chest while pouting.
The words “I move to adjourn the meeting” by a member were fading away from her hearing and all Eve was hearing was, “We aren’t talking about your rubbish self-published stuff. That’s not writing. It’s typing. Get in line sister! We were here first.”
Many un-lady like curses run through her head that she wanted to utter but she vowed to leave the group and never return. “I don’t need the negativity, I can bloom in a much better environment,” she said to herself and left the meeting head high and optimistic. Tomorrow is not guaranteed but I have already left my mark alhamdullilah. It will benefit the needy insha’Allah.
“Smashville: We Live in Two Different Worlds,” Malika Panier recorded in her Grimmoir and started narrating the strange events she had grown accustomed to that occurred in the last four days. Before sleeping, she called her two daughters Annie and Rocsee. Then she called her beloved niece, Margeaux Panier. The newest shahada in their Grimm clan and The Cursed Bride.
72 hours prior, she had been called on a crime scene as a consultant. When she entered the musical hall of fame, there was a wooden sculpture of what looked like a country music singer on stage in the act of trying to smash a guitar. At first, she wanted to compliment the artist who sculpted the thing but she refrained from doing so because of her faith and because she knew better than think that this was a normal occurrence.
She had flown to Tennessee on the first flight available and started doing some research for any unusual activities and police reports in the area as soon as the pilot gave the green light to use electronic devices. All her employers had told her was that it had something to do with expensive music guitars. Malika surveyed several police reports in the area of Tennessee during her flight until she came across one peculiar report mentioning a case of burl hunters trespassing in a holy and protected private estate’s arboretum. The poachers took a huge chunk of a locust tree but left the rest of the tree alone. The owners were indignant. Her instinct told her to flag the report and she did.
“This is highly sacrilegious,” the owners had said when she got to interview them. The tree had some religious and spiritual meaning to them. Further detective researches revealed that the poachers were in the business of luring wanna-be musicians by guarantying them a performance of a lifetime if they bought their guitars.
“The singer had a hell of the crowd,” I tell ya. An attendee of the concert had told Malika. “Then, when he finished, he started smashing his guitar on the podium with no success. Then, he ‘woodified!’ Crazy right?! I got out of there before the government erased my memory because that’s what they do when you see a UFO!” The country woman told Malika sure of herself while squinting her eyes suspiciously. Malika was kinda of a FBI agent.
The old woman had been the only person who had been willing to talk. All of the other attendees had refused or said they didn’t remember what they had actually seen. That was on day 2 after her arrival.
On day 3, the most banal thing happened. As she was examining the sculptured country singer in the hall of fame, the singer came back to life, winked at Malika, and then simply vanished just before Malika’s eyes.
“I’ll be damned,” Malika said, shaking her head.
Tiphanie was a plain girl with not much self-confidence. Heads never rolled whenever she walked around campus for sure. After much self-reflection on the subjective meaning of beauty, she found peace with herself. “Be-you-T,” a voice in her head once advised. She inferred the ‘T’ was meant for her name Tiphanie. And so she did. Until then, she was nicknamed Tee. After her self-actualization downed on her, she coined a new nickname and opened an Instagram account with the sobriquet of Beauty TiP(h). Her first inspiring instaquote read:
Beauty Tip(h) #1
“Superficial beauty fades. Real beauty is not skin-deep. Find the real one from within and let it comfort you and cheer for you.”
©Papatia Feauxzar 2016