Orisha: Oya

Oya was angry and her children were angry with her. Her waters tore trees apart and drowned the squirrels crying to the branches of the trees to keep them safe.

She screamed; her anguish real. Blood poured from her eyes. Immortal blood signalling to a billion denizens of hell. The dead. The undead. They came forth, an answer to a god’s call. Bodies trapped in dank loam soil, floating in the oceans, disintegrated in the wind.  Clambering to the now watery surface, they clutched at feet which threaded water and later held bloodied hearts of the floods’ survivors. They came forth with the waves; destroying, killing.

Sango cowered in a corner of the royal chamber, his thunderbolts useless. He had taken a mortal in a perverse way and Oya had found out. He was powerless when she was like this. His thunder would only electrify her and she would pass that to the surface and destroy the mortals beneath.

Down below, sacrifices were poured to the great Mother. Babalawos sang Oriki’s, akara and cowries were given, animals were slaughtered, but still she screamed. Finally, humans followed.

Oya looked down and saw the blood. Flowing first in rivulets and then mixing with raging  waters swallowing once parched desserts. The reddish black blood fed her army of zombies; nourishing them, giving them life, flesh, thoughts. Their dark thoughts clouded her ancient mind. They clawed at her to give them life, to speak the words for release.

She tore out her hair at the billions of voices screaming at her. Her rage was consuming the earth, consuming her. So she stopped being angry. She uttered silent commands to the seas, to the dead.

“Go back”. They obeyed.

She looked down, saw her children and her face softened. Babalawos smiled and told the Obas, “Oya is happy”. Yemoja danced and her children danced with her. Her waters were back.

Oya turned to walk into her sanctum to feed on the sacrifices and as she did, she looked at the cowering Sango and thundered, “Next time you want to make love to a mortal, make sure she is not one of your bastard daughters!”.

He nodded meekly. Then he fled, his cap askew.


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