Literary Zone

Short story: Orman and the Konkorkula

20 August 2018 at 18:53 | 5441 views

Orman and the Konkorkula

By Gibril Koroma, Toronto, Canada

Dedicated to the late Jose Saramago, Nobel Laureate (Literature)

Orman takes his machete and leaves for his farm. On the way he decides to swing to the right of the forest footpath to see what is happening in his garden. He has not been to his garden for some time now. He wants to see how the oranges, guavas, mangoes and bananas are doing.

So Orman heads for his garden, smoking his pipe and singing quietly to himself. I don’t know the song he is singing but it sounds nice and Orman is grinning and singing happily away.

Suddenly, Orman sees a Konkorkula, a cousin of the baboon, sitting below one of the guava trees with a bunch of ripe guavas between his legs.The Konkorkula is busy eating one of the guavas.

What do you think you are doing in my garden, you bastard, Orman says to the Konkorkula. The Konkorkula, who is eating one of the biggest guavas Orman has ever seen in his life, turns and looks at Orman and said, Who do you think you are, you bastard? Does this garden and these guavas belong to you? Yes, Orman said, I am the owner of this garden. You are the owner of this garden truly?, the Konkorlkula asks. You are the owner of this land? Are you sure? I don’t think you are the owner of this land, even the village chief is not the owner; you human beings are not the owners, we Konkorkulas, my cousins the baboons, the monkeys, the snakes are not the owners either; this land, these guavas, my friend, belong to God.

Now Orman is really mad now. He throws his pipe away and with a mighty cry of rage he pounces on the Konkorkula and starts beating him with his fists. The Konkorkula lets him hit him for a while and then rises to his full height. They grapple like wrestlers with the Konkorkula screaming and hitting Orman all over the body. The Konkorkula’s cries of rage can be heard more than a mile away.

Orman does not expect this; he thought the Konkorkula would run away after the first three or four blows, but no, the Konkorkula is strong and ready to fight, slapping, biting and pummeling Orman; there is nobody to stop the fight and there is blood all over Orman where the baboon-like creature has been biting him.

I am not going to let a stupid Konkorkula kill me this morning, away from my wife and children, in front of my guavas, my oranges, my mangoes and bananas, Orman says to himself. No, I am not going to let that happen.

And so Orman fights bravely, kicking and hitting the Konkorkula on the head and belly; the Konkorkula screaming and fighting; the mighty noise of the deadly duel frightening the birds up in the trees, who scream and yell with fear, the forest echoing their cries.

And so Orman, getting tired now, seeing death approach, extends his hand, in the middle of battle, towards his machete, which is lying and waiting on the ground. Orman, the pain of the Konkorkula’s blows on him, quickly took up his machete and cut off the Konkorkula’s head with one fell swoop as I know you would say. The Konkorkula’s blood gushes from the horrible neck wound and the Konkorkula’s head, which has rolled to the bottom of the guava tree, turns, with baleful eyes, towards Orman and says:

I shall wait for you at the main gate of the palace of the Great One and you shall account for what you have done today, killing me for fruits that do not belong to you; killing me for land that does not belong to you; land that belongs to all living things: Konkrokulas, baboons, snakes, monkeys, all living creatures. I shall wait for you, my friend. Good bye for now.

And with that the eyes in the chopped-off head slowly close and the Konkorkula’s body, lying nearby, stops twitching.