It was never enough, and it can never be enough. Demi had always been that way. Jumping from one boy to another even at the very tender age of 4. She called them her friends, yet there was more to it. They were attracted to her alluring beauty, a beauty that had brought many to their death. She was fated that way.
Her relationships were cursed, so strong was the curse that it snatched every man that came across her way. But today was different, it was her 25th birthday and she knew if she got it right, the curse would be broken once and for all. After all, the Seer said so. He saw it clearly from the gods. He knew she was special alright and he knew what she had to do to break the curse. He knew her so well, the gods blessed him with the curse and he knew what the curse was capable of doing. It had wiped a whole village. That was 50 years ago when he was 25 years old.
“Use the bracelet’s glow to pick a partner and if he is not willing to be yours, you must not force him.” The Seer said.
“I don’t understand, no one has ever rejected me,” Demi said.
The Seer paused and cleared his throat.
“They will someday and your reaction will determine your future. You must be strong and brace yourself for it.” The Seer spoke slowly, he wanted her to understand his words, digest them and live them.
The Seer continued “Tonight at the square, make sure you dance with every eligible bachelor. This would be your last dance. The gods have allowed you to break the curse on your 25th birthday and you must use it well.”
Angie broke down in tears, she couldn’t believe it, her daughter would either become a beast of death or be killed by death. It was a tough choice. She was powerless, just as she was at the night of Demi’s conception.
Demi’s conception started with the great dance night, Angie was known as the best dancer in Umui and no one could out dance her until a strange man came and that was the beginning of her problems. She was drawn to him and danced with him until she got lost in the dance. It was in the dance that she had the strangest experience. And 3 months later, she saw her belly rising like yeast. She could not explain it and no matter how many times she was beaten by her parents, she could not recount how she got pregnant.
The Seer pieced the puzzle of her pregnancy together and her parents were relieved of the impending doom, dishonour and disgrace the pregnancy would have brought to their family. She was the first of ten girls, but it was unsurprising when all her sisters also fell pregnant mysteriously.
They did not survive childbirth, only she did because she had her baby in a trance, the same type of trance she had when the baby was conceived.
This was 25 years later and she was willing to give all to save the life of her only child and relative. Her parents died of heartbreak, having lost all 9 girls to childbirth.
Demi was dressed in a gold George. Her skin glowed like the sun and her eyes were as dark as night itself. She was ready. The beads on her waist swayed with her hips as she walked down the path to the village square.
She greeted everyone whom she passed along her way but the women were hostile to her.
“There goes the witch.” They whispered.
“Don’t let her harm you,” one of the women called Kachi said.
“Quiet, she will hear us.” Neka rolled her eyes. She was the second most beautiful maiden in Umui. But she was jealous of Demi’s beauty and wanted to be number one.
“She can only kill us or snatch our husbands and sons.” They snickered in unison.
It was an open secret that Demi always made love to at least two men at a time, fathers and sons, brothers and brothers, cousins and cousins. She was not proud of it, but she couldn’t control the spirit in her that draws them. It calls them, allures them and uses them. She was a walking heart breaker. Now and again her lovers took ill and died mysteriously until she would be loverless, then the hunt would begin for a fresh line of lovers. She always went to very far villages where no one knew her tale of love and death. Sometimes, the spirit would be merciful and the lovers could last for a year and in other cases, they don’t especially when they offend her by being unfaithful. She was like a forbidden fruit sweet yet filled with poisonous venom.
She could hear the drumbeat and the rhythm drew her. She walked faster, enthralled by the sound of the music. The village square was filled up, people from different villages came for the festival. It was often said that the Umui village was a ripe harvest of maidens and bachelors waiting to be plucked. They were known for their mysterious beauty. Long dark and lush hair unknown to the African lineage, light brown skin and full breasts, with an hourglass-shaped figure. All the maidens looked alike except Demi.
Her beauty was alluring and different. She stood out whenever she was in a crowd and she was always the centre of attraction. She had dark glowing skin, one that glows in the dark, she was darker than any of the villagers, her very long hair was darker than black itself.
Her teeth were white and her smile was dazzling. She had a gapped-tooth which she always revealed each time she smiled. Her smile stopped hearts and tamed wild beasts. She was a beauty to behold. While all the maidens were 5 feet 7, she was 6 feet 1 towering over them. While all the maidens had bell-shaped breasts, Demi had East-West breasts… each of the nipples pointed in two different directions and any man who saw it dangled as she walks gets aroused instantly.
“Tonight the bracelet will shield your beauty and make you look ordinary in the eyes of men. You must resist the power to remove the bracelet. That’s your only hope for survival.” The Seer’s voice rang clearly in her head.
She walked majestically to the square while her breasts dangled from her see through crop top and her hips swayed in her mini golden George Wrapper. She started dancing. She danced and danced and danced and danced but no one looked her way. Everybody was disinterested.
At the same time, the Seer was repeating some incarnations.
“Go… go…. Go…. Let her live”
“Ni in Ni Gi”
“ch ah ch ah”
He saw the droplet of blood but he was undeterred. They were fighting back.
Demi could not help herself, she was tired but she wanted to dance on. She noticed a small glow on the bracelet and looked in the direction of the glow. He was athletic and good looking too. He came towards her and began dancing with her, but she was more interested in his friend who had stood beside him. She loved the attraction she was getting, she danced towards his friend but he was uninterested in her. His gaze was elsewhere, he starred at Neka as she swayed her hips while her dance partner grabbed her buttocks. He was amused.
This angered her.
“Do you not find me attractive enough for you?” She asked.
“I only came here at the bidding of my friend, I am betrothed,” he said.
“Yet you stare at the fair maiden” She said in an envious tone.
His gaze shifted. He looked into her eyes.
She danced around him seductively, then she laughed.
“I am Demi, the fairest of all maidens in the land of Umui. Will you dance with me?” She asked.
“I do not dance.” He said.
“Then why are you here? Everyone knows that we come here to dance, mingle and mate.” She teased.
She lightly and flirtingly touched his thighs, yet he was emotionless. She was furious.
The Seer was writhing in pain, he could not chant the words… his voice was low… and the sad truth which he had successfully hidden for over 50 years was being relived. His vision was clear, Demi was his daughter and yes he had wiped out a whole community because his he was rejected by a maiden.
He couldn’t help her from not following his tracks, but perhaps he could kill her in the process, it was for the best. The best for the unborn generations in nearby villages.
He began chanting..
“id di id di di id”
“id di id di id”
Demi pulled at the bracelet, she felt the urge to remove it and that was exactly what she intended doing.
“Don’t do that. I know what you are.” The amused man said.
“Do you?” She asked. A sparkle appeared on her face.
“Yes. I will dance with you, only if you promise to go away and never return.” He said.
“I have nowhere to go. This is the only place I know.” She said.
She looked forward to the dance. The mere thought of being held by that strong powerful hands made her melt in pleasure. She wasn’t listening to him, she could imagine their bodies entangled and his friend would be a bonus to the bundle of pleasure she was prepared to give herself.
“I will take you to another world, a world full of people like you. But I cannot take you if you are not willing to come.” He said.
“Finally, I would get to meet my kind, but I am not done here yet.” She said.
“You will be the moment I dance with you.” He laughed.
They danced to the rhythm and they kept dancing until they were fragments in the imagination of the villagers. Legend has it that that was the greatest dance ever experienced in the history of Umui and that even months after the dance, they could see shadows of Demi and her partner dancing. The Seer’s chant had been answered, the spirits came for one of their own in exchange for the music. The people in that region were never to dance again else a thousand Demi would be unleashed on them. It was indeed the last dance.