22-February-2024

Sara Al-Jack Stories; Travelling With Words (2)

Sara  Al-Jack Stories; Travelling With Words (2)

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Sudanow magazine has published two weeks ago Sara Al-Jack's story "The White Colour Refraction".  

Sara Hamza Al-Jack is one of the prominent Sudanese contemporary novel and short story writers. She was born in Khartoum in February 1980 and studied architecture in Khartoum’s College of Applied Studies.

Her published works include Salwat Khulasia "Secret Prayers", short story collection (2007), Kumba, short story collection (2015), Propaganda, short story collection (2017), Khiantaiz "Once Upon a Betrayal", a novel (2013) for which she won the Tayeb Salih Prize for Creative Writing, Alsous, a novel (2018) and Aluhjia, a novel (2021).

She also won First award in the Forum of Narrative and Criticism (2009), Second award, Altayeb Salih Award for Young Writers in short stories (2009), Second Award, Mahmoud Salih Award for Theatrical Writing(2016).

Al-Jack published many of her short stories in the local newspapers and electronic sites. She has recently founded her own publishing house; Dar Al-Faal.

 

Following is another story written by Sara Hamza Al-Jack:

 

The Sculpture

She used to shake with fear, when she remembered what she faced, cry from happiness she see him neighboring her, smile to her mother and her mother smiles, then her golden tooth glitters .
The bride, bridegroom and all of the attendance stood up, the presbyter spoke to the couple, in the yard of the consolidation church, the oldest church ever: oh dears you have arrived here to the lord’s house, as the lord may make your marriage hallowed, Jesus always blesses the lovers marriage , satisfy the baptized ,and strength them with a special hallowed secret , to use it forever in saving their exchanged honesty , and to apply their marriage duties . people are all speechless the only voice is the presbyter’s voice , beside two heart beating furiously , the voice of their pulsing fills the church’s hall , their love is singing while the creatures play that legendary music , proceeded by the babbling of Gieshon , sounds of birds and the hallowed songs with their rueful melody . That is why I am asking you to reply frankly in front of all these believers about my next questions:
The presbyter asks:
Oh Huria , Oh Houria have you come here to marry with your absolute freedom and a clear acceptance with no any imposed power on you ?
Yes: replied the couple with a honey taste letters
Are you ready to give love and respect to each other all over your lives? Asked the presbyter:
Yes: replied the couple with tears from their eyes:
Are you ready to accept children, with a clear love from the lord’s hand, and to bring them up according to the regulations of Jesus and church? Asked the presbyter:
Yes, we give the boy the name amiability and the girl will be given the name longing: replied the couple.
Just then the presbyter tells the couple to show their acceptance.
As you decided to get on with the hallowed marriage contract, so you should hold each other hands, said the presbyter:
They hold each other hands, their electric power moves smoothly between them, and rearranged whatever scattered in the universe.
And now the presbyter returns to assure that the universal components are well organized , he asked the bridegroom : oh Huria would you like to have Huria as a wife and promise to be honest for her in both good and bad days, health and sickness , love her and honor her all over your life?
Yes I do, the bridegroom replied:
The presbyter turned to the bride to ask, while his bright face seems as if it has the whole light given to the world:
Oh Huria, would you like to have Huria as a husband and promise to be honest for him in both good and bad days, health and sickness, love him and honor him all over your life?
With a shy face she replied: yes I do
The presbyter requested Huria to chorus after him, Archmani is now chorusing, and all creatures in the world are heard chorusing with him:
I am Huria, I do accept you Huria as my wife as I promise you to be honest for you in both good and bad days, health and sickness, love you and honor you all over my life.
The echo of these words returns, got deeply into her ears, then her heart sings.
Dear presbyter, he honored me before knowing me, isn’t it possible to honor me after becoming his wife? She looked at him with tears from her eyes.
The presbyter requested Huria to chorus after him, Huria is now chorusing, and all creatures in the world are seen dancing for her song:
I am Huria, I do accept you Archumani as my husband as I promise you to be honest to you in both good and bad days, health and sickness, love you and honor you all over my life.
The creatures have danced, all the attendances have also shared the dance, and her heart have now been excited and prayed forever
The orchestra leader is now finalizing his melody, he said: may our kind lord confirms your acceptance, which you have announced in the church today, as he may bless you, never separate the attending human from the universe and creatures. Amen
As that blessed melody is going on , descending from love’s hogbacks to life’s land, and warm’s beaches , the marriage ceremony has been moved from the church in Fanfiena nearby the fountainhead of Gieshon , to Almousawarat temple to the east of the spirit .
Drums have been played, the strong Hypo dance have been danced in the basement of the yellow Mousawarat temple by some of the invited people like their friends, her mother and fellows.
Heaven’s lords have blessed them with their tenderness; land’s lords have provided them with their strength, staring at her eyes he wandered in her beauty and she went far away. Shaking with fear ,she got showered by her sweat which is flavored by ginger ,she was ablactated on drinking that brownest heavy coffee flavored by hard ginger , her sweat becomes more ginger alike , can be smelled from a distance , she can travel through this coffee as if it’s a wind carpet to her own memory , pilgrimage to her house in Fanfiena , there she finds her mother under the grape’s shelter which is built in the middle of their house at the foothill of the green mountain , she greeted him : good morning:
Smiling he replied: good health and cheers
When the sunrise came on him, it offers his green skin a golden dress, he advised it: please be cold and peace for them, the valley’s water’s pelted him reflected its sky blue colors, he hugged it tenderly to his greenish, the two colors together composed a rainbow, the violet color is the most visible color in it and said: be a cold shower and a drink as well.
The wind have come to him carrying with it the longing of Albarkal mountain and the pyramids , he told it to send them his greeting and to come back with love seeds ,while the small pieces of dust from an atomized rock with Adam’s color, he said to it : I am in charge of your fertilization and care. He has given her and her fellows to their mother and remains monitoring closely.
They have very much alike features with her mother; they always dress up the white Zouria clothes which are cold in summer and warm in winter , the mother made up a scarf for her head from the same cloth , and keeps wearing it always . the weather is always fine here , she never knows the time , she usually gets up when smelling the flavor of the coffee seeds while being fried , her mother got up early , finished her every morning house chores, and now she is enjoying herself in drinking coffee , she joined her mother and fellows in the shelter , drinking coffee and laughing, her smiles until her golden tooth glittered , she assured their health and interest in welcoming the new day, they all come to take her blessing . her mother’s coffee has a distinguished flavor, and different rites , the mountain’s foothill has a special cup , which is usually placed between other cups , the virgin coffee will poured to it for the sake of the mountain’s foothill, the foothill remains a distance until they all feel satisfied , defiantly it shares them the life
She is dark brownest; she threw away her heavy curly hair, which is scattered around her face she never combed it since she was hijacked, this even made her more gnarled than when she was in Athens as she used to defense when she was attacked before being hijacked , they were followed from there by their logistic goods in both air and sea.
Looking at him she expects that he would attack her at this moment ,only few centimeters are separating between them she is sitting on the ground with her knees joint together , her wide eyes are invisible because of the swelling , mucus come out from her crooked nose , which caught the flu because the lands nasty smell, she whispered some unclear words , her two clove’s lips are moving , but no voice come from her larynx , some crying whispers are not controllable .
He heard her but he doesn’t care , lying straight, with his two legs in front of him, his eyes are very small, itching his nose with his front limp, successive strand itches, he smells her fear mixed with his habitat nasty smell , 57 bars are separating them , he feels like being acquainted to her ,he has eaten all those who have been given to him on meals time, smashed their meat and threw their bones away licked their blood with his tongue ,to brush his mouth and teeth , the weather here is tropical and hot.
Some sleeping bones nearby her have yawned, the new comer shake has annoyed her , then she secluded , the previous victim’s hair which is mixed by blood have titillated her ,she asked: are you still here? Didn’t the earth become a part of your components?
The land answered in a trembling voice: he isn’t from me, he needs a period of time to be returned back.
The dumped bones said : we really need to get back.
The land smiled and said : you will come back one day.
A noisy bone said: the world is stepping forward and you still longing to return back? You are such aged bones.
The earth replied: even if they step forward, they will return back one day.
Her hijackers are waiting for the suitable moment to attack her, they are looking for their prophet who is being sent by their lord in the far first hogbacks she has the following features:-
She is just eighteen years old , virgin and has never been used by a man before , the mark of the Anaj tripe was sculpted on her left wrist since she was born ,when they met her at the first time , he ordered them to exam her the most difficult exams, if she passes them , then they must take her to their second hogbacks , put her inside with him, if he hasn’t eaten her ,then they should cease her out and make her their queen, she got all the characteristics of the prophet , only the last condition is remaining
The sheep temple area are surrounded by many specious rooms , every saint is accommodated in a specific place according to his religious grade and the job he does, from the biggest to the smallest , the land of Amoon Raa has drunk from the blood of the sacrifices , the contrite vows were offering him the sacrifices in the temple .
The greatest saint has called for an urgent meeting; quick steps have moved towards the assembly hall, dark bodies have stood against the continuous moon’s journey that he asked the spirit about the matter.
The moon: good night friend
Sprit: good night I don’t know what you exactly ask for.
The moon: there is a confusing movement near you.
Sprit: let’s ask the temple’s land
Moon and sprit together to the temple’s land: good night.
The temple’s land: good night you both.
Moon and sprit: what is happening on your land?
The temple’s land: nothing, just quick steps heading to the assembly hall.
The biggest one was the leader, his face was pale and dirty, he was very clever to appear in a sorrow face, he usually has many masks, he wears the suitable one for each task, and he has two fox like eyes ,his nose are big and crooked .
A cold wind has bloomed into the hall, dances with the candles which are on the walls, this wind added a glimpse of sorrow to the face of the greatest one, all the others fall under suspension, waiting for a great issue, and the breezes which are the wind daughters carried the perfume of the hall to his nose.
I am now reading the latest book published in Athens , I received it this afternoon , I am now noting down some notes in a paper and keep it inside the book. The book which I’m reading is very interesting, well-written and has a very appealing language , I took off all my heavy things when I read , my king uniform , the crown, and the scepter, when you read you must be a student seeking knowledge . The story which I am reading tells the tale of the mermaid.
She knew that , I am passing by the sheep temple, she was thinking of making a betrayal, I didn’t know anything about it , i carried the incense perfume and got in to his place, I didn’t find king Archumani , I just found a philosopher who was reading and analyzing a story , he smells my perfume which interrupted him , he closed the book and went out to his seat, he called for the custodian and ordered him to call for someone to spy what is happening in the temple , my task was successful , I dropped his attention to what is happening far there , I wish if I could continue with him his interesting story , the legend of the mermaid.
My grandmother has told me the story some nights ago, I was in crib , waiting for her stories to sleep, now I found the same story told by others with a slight different in details , the bride is white as if she is a piece of ice , with long blond hair being combed while she is sitting in the beach , our bride is black as a rare pearl with a heavy strong and scattered hair , sitting on rocks and cascades ,as she it is impossible to be touched by any one , their brides were given to the sea because their mothers were angry with them, our brides were given to the sea because the lords were satisfied so they were gifted to the sprit ,I wish if I could have one of them.
He knew what was happening in the temple , he ignored the matter , while he was sitting with his knights , he received the following priesthood massage as following:
( I am the lord Amoon Raa I ordered you to scarify me yourself through the ritual assassination tradition , because your teachers need you to help in solving some complicated issues , as we have found that it is better for our kingdom to be with them. I hope you remain scarifying our kingdom in both life and death )
The features of tension has clearly portrayed on his face ,this tradition is such committing a suicide ,through drinking a certain poison prepared by the greatest one as it is mixed with the ginger dark brownest coffee which is made by the waited ransom , the king has to obey only what the lord Amoon Raa , his presbyter and their ransom’s coffee .
Shaking with fear ,she got showered by her sweat which is flavored by ginger ,she was ablactated on drinking that brownest heavy coffee flavored by hard ginger , her sweat becomes more ginger alike , can be smelled from a distance, she can travel through this coffee as if it’s a wind carpet to her own memory, pilgrimage to the temple , she found their greatest one in the traditional assassination room, which is situated in the center of the temple on the peak of Albarkal mountain.
She greeted him: good night
The priest : this is your last night in the life
The ransom: I knew sir , I knew that my final task is to prepare the king’s coffee.
I am dying with sorrow about her , she is still two young , tomorrow she will grow eighteen , she has been blessed as an embryo ,great Bia’s mark is drawn on her wrist , I wish if I could let her marry one of the kingdom’s nobles , I wish if I could hold on my grandsons play with them and contribute in bringing them up . but the presbyters will get her as a ransom tomorrow and a mermaid to Amoon Raa. She got a sleepy with a broken heart for her daughter , death is death nevertheless names, while she was sleeping , she dreamt that she saw him standing straight , and her knights are accompanying him ,in heavy jungle near by the spirit fountainheads , as the sun was greeting the land announcing its existence, they were dressing the white Zouria , which is cold in summer and warm during winter , dancing some traditional dances that she had never seen before , they were in a line made up of five ladies and two men , her daughter is centering that line, dancing and laughing waving her hair to right side sometimes , and sometimes to the left they were sending their hands in front of them ,matching them with their legs as if they are running ,they make this action twice and at the third they wave a side then great Bia’s tattoo appeared on her daughter’s wrist then they chorus his chant in its great words.
Lord has created us and we thanked him
As he made the whole universe to acclaim for us
We were the first on his globe
Then other people came afterwards
So great Coush glory ,
Who do you think is similar to us among the universe
While Kandaka is sewing the prestigious cloth to remain a proudness for us
They were dancing with the same strength , she got up while she was asking him to care about the mermaid , and to accept another ransom she can pay against her daughter , she got sure that will happen, now the hope has been awaken in her heart , she smiled with her golden tooth.
Concentrating on my sculpture , I have to finish it today , I have clear some appendages from its margins , I go far from it ,look at it and feel proud , my statue looks very similar to the original statue of Abadamac, I felt a sigh of relive as if it has been sculpted before so long .
I usually get rid of my equipment when I sculpt , my king’s uniform, the crown and scepter , when you creates things , you have to be like a hermit who is waiting for the inspiration , the statue which I am sculpting now , shows a glory of a nation
as I was following them in Athens streets, I knew that a crime is happening , the victim in this crime is the brownest city , I held on her ginger flavored sweat , got on to him in the sculpting gallery , I didn’t find the international sculpture , I found an intellectual philosopher , concentrating on his sculpture , using his chisel to remove appendages from it ,when I inhale me ,I smell her perfume , I interrupted him , he put his chisel and went to the lab’s yard , he called for someone , he ordered him to care about the area when he is absent , my task is now successive , I dropped his attention to what is happening outside there , I wish if I could continue to sculpt his magnificent piece of sculpture with him , his legendary sculpture .
the sheep temple got ready now to welcome Archumani, who will come to implement Amoon Raa’s obligations which is about killing himself through drinking the poison which is mixed by the gingered coffee .
now Almosourat’s new palace to say goodbye king Archumani ,who will go to fulfill Amoon Raa’s order, which is about killing himself through drinking the poison which is mixed by the gingered coffee .
now I prepared myself that my spiritual heart will be thrown in the sea as a mermaid and ransom for Amoon Raa , and he will eat her when he gets hungry, the started looking for another female lord, if he has eaten the one who is now in his cage , as they also get prepared to announce her a queen if he hasn’t eaten the first one .the mother also got ready to welcome her daughter , who is very exhausted from what she has faced ,
never knows the time , she usually gets up when smelling the flavor of the coffee seeds while being fried , her mother got up early , finished her every morning house chores, and now she is enjoying herself in drinking coffee , she joined her mother and fellows in the shelter , drinking coffee and laughing, her smiles until her golden tooth glittered , she assured their health and interest in welcoming the new day, they all come to take her blessing . her mother’s coffee has a distinguished flavor, and different rites , the mountain’s foothill has a special cup , which is usually placed between other cups , the virgin coffee will poured to it for the sake of the mountain’s foothill, the foothill remains a distance until they all feel satisfied , defiantly it shares them the life
When the sunrise came on him, it offers his green skin a golden dress, he advised it: please be cold and peace for them, the valley’s water’s pelted him reflected its sky blue colors, he hugged it tenderly to his greenish, the two colors together composed a rainbow, the violet color is the most visible color in it and said: be a cold shower and a drink as well.
The wind have come to him carrying with it the longing of Albarkal mountain and the pyramids , he told it to send them his greeting and to come back with love seeds ,while the small pieces of dust from an atomized rock with Adam’s color, he said to it : I am in charge of your fertilization and care. He has given her and her fellows to their mother and remains monitoring closely.
Great Archumani’s army have moved from the yellow Mousawarat heading to the sheep temple on the peak of Albarkal mountain which slopes towards the spirit , to fulfill Amoon Raa’s order about his death , it was before the sunrise
Drums are played , the military orchestra is leading the parade , he disturbs them to sing great Baankhi’s chant :
I never tell lies
Never assault others rights
Never commit a sin
My heart breaks down
When I see poor people suffering
Never kill a person unless committing a crime that deserves killing
Never accept a bribe to do an illegal work
Never send a servant who needs my protection to his owner
Never copulate a married woman
Never judge without evidence
Never make latchets to the holy birds
I give bread to the hungers
drink to the thirst and clothes to the nudist
I walk on the lord’s path
Escaping away from whatever makes the good angry
To draw the lane for the grandsons who will follow me
In this life and those who will follow them forever
Her mother heard these words ,while she was awake , the same chant has come again to her while sleeping , her knights and her got in front of the military and danced the Hypo , the type of dance that she dreamt with , whereas the mermaid wasn’t among them , they were semi sleeping
He was fatty with a real status, he learnt how to fight from a very young age in the jungle, there he met him, he was hurt and wounded never expected to be rescued, he expected him to attack and kill him as a matter of fear, or he may ignore him just as contempt.
I didn’t apply to his expectations , I just applied my internal call , that every spirit must survive , he was young then , a well-skilled hunter’s arrow has gone deep under his neck , his wound was very serious , and his blood was furiously boiling , I had to be strong and patient to pull out that arrow , he was whimpering softly to defeat his pain . despite my heavy weight he carried me , he was fit and young , he put my head on a hill which was there on the land ,I felt very painful when my head raised up I groaned loudly .
I picked up all my power , held the arrow tightly , pulled it out , then it ceased out his neck resulting into a deep wound , the blood blazed out and he lost conscious , i didn’t feel satisfied , i carried up a piece of acacia fruit being thrown down by monkeys who usually come to the jungle. As my grandmother has told me in one of her stories that she used to tell me before sleeping that , the acacia fruit cures wounds , I grinded the fruit well , mixed it with the spiritual water and put it on the wound .
He kept repeating my medical care every day before starting and finishing his usual training , he continued this way for a week. Then he went to the heart of the jungle and we rarely meet afterwards
He was fatty and lucky , completely black , has a big nose , and sharp eyes , his lips are very thick , his hair is heavy curly and hard , he has a big head which suits his height , he usually puts on it the crown which is decorated by gold and black rare pearl , he carries his scepter with the same hand that he used to cure the lion , his wide chest was covered by the war hauberk which was inherited from the Great Bia , his sward is kept in , his bow and arrows are also in , he rides his strong horse , that he loves .
His parade was prestigious , his fans and lovers stood in the street’s both sides , the mother and her knights were dancing in front of him, a dance which imitates the run of his close friend, when trying to catch a victim , his army followed him , as he was accompanied with his grandmother’s prays who doesn’t love sheep from up there he appears as if he is a painting which is painted by golden light lines , he went with all of those prayers , to the waiting mermaid
The priests have been told that the parade has arrived, inside the sheep temple, they didn’t recognize that the king has another intention than the previous one they knew before, and the mermaid has prepared the gingered coffee in order to be mixed with the poison. Their horse snickered they heard its voice like roaring , those who were in the temple now have mixed feelings the oblation has heard her mother’s voice among the singers , she smiled , her mother’s golden tooth have glittered , the sun has abducted that glitter as if it was its own glitter , the lines have portrayed his picture on Albarkal’s mountain horizon , it remains appearing to him and whenever he come closer his horse snickers a high roaring , that influenced all the temple as if it’s an earthquake
She said , now I am about to be rescued .
***
he heard her but he doesn’t care , lies straight . his legs are in front of him , he has tiny eyes , he itches his nose with his forefinger ,multi itches with tension , he smells her fear,mixed with the nasty smell of his cage , a boarder separates them he feels like being acquainted to her he left his cage for her and ceased
The primitive people who were waiting him to attack her clapped, cried and congratulated each other that their suffer didn’t end in nothing, their lord has helped them to find their waited for prophet
He was hiding himself among them as they didn’t care about him because of their joy
He was fatty and lucky , shiny black ,his nose is big , his eyes are sharp ,his lips are thick , his hair is heavy curly and hard , his head is big to the size that suits his height .
She was shaking with fear from that ugly elderly woman, who came to accompany her in order to fulfill her investiture as a queen I don’t know their language or even what are they going to do with me .
Who are they?
What do they need from me?
I was in my way to finish my studies in fine art in Athens, but they hijacked me, we went over air ports and sea ports , we even went walking for some days , they haven’t given any thing only water and sometimes , they brought me to this heavy jungle with dangerous roads , they put me with him inside his cage and I recognized from what the earth and bones were saying that a lot of girls have been gifted to him ,he has eaten them all without any hesitation ,but he hadn’t eaten me , he left me and gone , then this elderly woman came to I am rather afraid from her more that the fear I felt with him
I will rescue her from those primitive people , I will hijack her as what they had done before , I will take her back to her home land , then I will know what happened to her , she looks very similar to the sculpture that I left in the museum.
But why do you think he left her in the cage and ceased?
I don’t care about him anymore , what I am thinking about is only how to rescue her from this ugly old woman , who smokes continuously and puts a red mark on her forehead .
Heard One of them narrating the story , about that queen and they meant her, that man spoke very poor English through his mobile phone , he was explaining to the other speaker how important is the ceremony and T.V channels must come to document the event , he didn’t know that I have already hijacked her and they didn’t have any queen or lady prophet to investiture .
Archumani’s horses have destroyed Albarkal mountain an earthquake has hit the land of the sheep temple the sheep priests have run to the spirit and asked him for protection they fell into his waves to escape from his anger.the waves took them deep to sink as a revenge for their dishonesty, the mermaid yelled , her mother hugged her , she stood in the middle of the dancers’ line and they dance as a completed number . the mother’s dream has now been achieved
Archumani has seen her and falls in love with her , maybe his dream has been achieved that he would marry a mermaid on her left wrist the key of life is drawn , to be for her and her grandsons forever
Now Amoon Raa period has gone , and the period of Abadamack has started , he has drawn it in golden lines as he has seen it , it has been sculpted in hearts which live forever with Archumani’s love , during the love period he wrote poetry , he recites this chant in the entrance of Almousawarat celebrating his victory
Thank you Abadamack … the lord of Nagaa and Almousawarat
The greatest lord .. the lord of Almousawarat
the huge lord … the strong handed south lion
the greatest lord … who comes to whoever called
the lord who holds the unknown secret all over his existence
the secret which can’t be seen Via eyes
he is the women and men companion
nothing will disturb him whether in land or heavens
his names means progress to all human
he send the fire flames on his enemies through his great name
he is the lord who punishes those who commit crimes on him
and he offers a higher status to those who keep serving him
and he offers whoever calls the great one and replied to him :
I give whatever comes out at night and whatever happens a day.
happily give you the years of the sun and the months of the moon
this what the lord of the yellow mousawarat saying , who gives life as a lord of the sun ever after

Translated by: Hamid Bakheet Alshareef

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