1. Once upon a time, in the distant land of Kotanga their was a girl name Ani. Kotanga was a village under the leadership of the white men while the owners of the village worked in farms, cleaned or washed for the white men.2. One day Ani, who worked as a maid for the white people, went out to fetch some fruits. As she carried the basket, Lord Stark, one of the very brutal lords, roughly brushed her aside as he passed her, making the fruits in her basket roll over.3. One of the fruits rolled over to one of the servant chained close to the wall. Before she could pick it up, he already had and then ever so gently handed it over to her. Their eyes locked for what felt like eternity and then Ani stood up, straightened her skirt and walked on her jelly legs away.4. As Ani walked home, she fantasized about the chained slave. He was rugged and fine, the scars on his body made him look even more handsome. At that moment, she made up her mind, she would see him again.5. Ani arrived home with her basket of fruits thinking it would make her mistress happy but once again she was reminded harshly that she was nothing but a slave.6. Ani saw how much food her mistress had, yet her people lived in hunger. The food was so much that she knew even if she stole a little her mistress would not even know. So she did. She hid them in her skirt and sneaked out of the house.7. As She walked silently to the village square carrying her stolen goods, she couldn’t help but think of the chained slave again. She secretly hoped she would see him.8. As soon as she got there, she started sharing the food for the little children. Her heart was filled with joy as each child skidded away with an item. As she looked up, panic overwhelmed her, the chained slave, now unchained slave, walked towards her. Her heart was racing, she didn’t know what to say or do. She had longed for this moment but now the butterflies in her stomach were relentless.9. They got talking. Ani found out that the chained slaves name was Zimra. He had been a warrior before the slave masters came. Added to his handsome features, Zimra was very funny and thoughtful, he didn’t seem as hard as she assumed but surprisingly gentle. They talked for long under the moon light.10. The gentle croaking of frogs, the moon light cascading on their features, the cool breeze of the night and the gentle whisper of the wind all contributed to the lips locking of these love-struck slaves.11. As Ani walked home, she remembered the events of the night and smiled with satisfaction as she felt a shadow behind her and quickened her step.12. Too late! Lord Stark caught up with her almost immediately and pushed her to the ground, she looked up at him and the glint in his eyes informed her of his unkind intention. She let out a scream.13. Zimra who was almost home, heard the scream, recognised the voice and ran back. What he met made him so angry. He grabbed a bamboo stick lying nearby and hit Lord Stark so hard, blood gushed out of his nose immediately.14. Lord Stark staggered away promising to deal mercilessly with Zimra come morning. Fear came upon Ani as she heard those words, she was thankful that Zimra had rescued her but the unintended consequence of that was what she dreaded.15. At noon, Ani heard the bell. It was only rung when there was to be an execution. She rushed to the town square and saw her Zimra tied up and ready to be hung. She ran to Lord Stark and pleaded but to no avail, then she got an idea.16. She walked Lord Stark to a corner and offered him what he wanted – her body. Lord Stark smiled at her offer as he began undressing.17. After he had his way, Lord Stark ordered Zimra’s release and walked away a proud contented pot bellied man.18. After the incident, months passed, Zimra was still furious with her because of what she did even though it saved his life. One cool afternoon, Ani and her mistresses went for a stroll in the village.19. Ani saw Zimra and wanted to talk to him, but he walked passed her like he didn’t even see her.20. Meanwhile, a small boy nearby was trying to control a particularly furious bull.21. The boy finally lost control and the bull headed straight for one of her mistresses, Lady Helen.22. But before the bull could get to Lady Helen, Zimra and his strong arms caught up with it and wrestled it to the ground effortlessly.23. Lady Helen had already fainted. After putting the bull under control, Zimra went to Lady Helen’s side to help her. The whole sight tore at Ani’s heart. Not only was Zimra not speaking to her, he was holding her wicked mistress so tenderly who as expected over-exaggerated the situation.24. Few weeks lady, Ani found out she was pregnant and she knew the father, Lord Stark. It was not enough that she had done what she had but know she had a constant reminder, she sobbed.25. Since the bull incident, Lady Helen has been having incessant nightmares.26. Lady Helen asked Ani to take her to her rescuer, she needed to thank him again.27. Ani took lady Helen to Zimra and she walked up to him.28. Fast they became friends. Zimra’s wit and charm captured Lady Helen.29. The friendship metamorphosed and became intimate. Lady Helen was in love. Ani stood by and watched how her man was being taken away. She felt hurt, betrayed, used and pregnant.30. Quickly, Lady Helen planned to buy him off his owner to keep him for herself. She got his deeds transferred to bear her name as his owner. Zimra was happy and thankful because his life would never be the same, knowing that he was going to be treated better as her love interest than her slave. But deep down he knew he loved Ani and wanted to do right by her. He was torn between what he should do to be happy and what he should do for a better life. It wasn’t an easy decision but he took the pen from the resgistra deeped it in ink and signed for his partial freedom……TO BE CONTINUED.
Narrated By: Rae Elvy/Facebook
Edited & Modified By: Peace Ben Williams
Illustrated by: Kendy Joseph for Chevelin Illustration ©2014
Featured Image: Wise Geek