Juhudi and Aziza

She waited for him that evening, watching as he sang unto a goddess so envious that she’d struck her own daughter. He sang until the sound of the flute merged with the waves that hit the shore.

The little girl was sleeping beside him. Her wild hair would be filled with sand tomorrow, but it was her eyes that she yearned to look into.

The women at the market spoke of green eyes. The men thought it was like the ocean. No one cared much for a mad woman and they talked freely, their fears coming out of their lips in hushed whispers. She had seen the girl.

She had known her mother would never behold another sun if she left the Coast, but who could have stopped the hands of the goddess? She alone was life. She took as she pleased. She struck when she saw fit, but here was a girl, the one, she saw in her dreams.

Swazuri.

Swazuri.

Princess of the lost souls.

Daughter of the Indian Ocean.

A girl among men, a goddess among spirits and a vengeful spirit in the land of the dead. She was here and even as she lay asleep curled at the feet of Juhudi, Aziza knew that no one would stop her once she set on her vengeful path.

Aziza stood when Juhudi stopped singing and he reached out for the little girl. How could he not see the force in the girl?

He who sang to a goddess should have known that he would be punished for loving another.

She lifted her veil and stared at him. Juhudi bowed, his hold on the little girl unwavering, but even as he walked back into the mainland, Aziza knew that he was a man doomed to love the one who belonged to another.


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