The sun had just risen. However, Awong'o's beer-drinking place was already bustling. Blaring music to which some drunkards wobblingly danced, punned from an aged quivering galamu. It was quacking music that was mixed with racketing talking and singing the drunks' filthy mouths spluttered. However, a stone's throw away from the drinking shed quietly sat a stout man called Asilo.
Nobody minded about him for he usually drunk alone. However, a closer look would have revealed that he was not drunk. That was unusual. Asilo was the most gifted drunkard who knew the social science of beer swigging the entire village, exceeding the fish itself, and would always be just drunk by that hour.
Nonetheless, Asilo on the whole was not famous for that, but his sheer cruelty. He was the village's most barefaced notorious brute. His name was synonymous with fear and torture. The young and the old knew and talked his cruelty. Crying children would mute to dead silence or naughty ones would be obedient to the bone marrow just at the mention of Asilo. People wanting their enemies beaten to garbage hired him. The chief himself had one of his tooth knocked out by Asilo for ruling against him in a land dispute, a piece of land Asilo had encroached. But of them all, Amikhe, his wife, was the person who borne the raw brunt of his brutality day in, day out. It was torture that had been there since she was forced to marry him because of his fat pocket then; money now brown to the wind because of beer.
You see, demeaning her like a rotten cockroach and beating her to pulp appeared his most liked hobby or favourite sport. He would commit these atrocities without the slightest feeling. It was as if pain never existed in his world the way he was never concerned when inflicting it upon her. He just never cared. He just never bothered. Verbally and physically Amikhe was used, misused, abused, tainted, disfigured, dismantled, deformed, injured, hurt, wounded and abandoned. Amikhe had faced death right in the eye. Numerous times she had tried to bolt the hellish marriage to her parents, but regrettably, they had bitterly sent her back to the heinous union. Tragically, per tradition she had to endure the shocking brutality.
"This hyena now has the cheek to stand in my way?" Asilo without remorse as usual that morning gruntingly scorned Amikhe, the reason for his solemn condition and loss of beer appetite. Her crime to attract his seething rage was to oppose to his appalling plan of giving their eleven-year-old daughter to a fifty-something-year-old man as a third wife to settle a colossal debit; a beer encored debt. Amikhe with all vigour she could muster had told Asilo that her daughter would not be sacrificed before secretly sending her to a friend in another village. Amikhe wanted her daughter educated. She wanted her empowered. She did not want her to face the torture herself was in because of forced marriage.
"How can this baboon dare do this?" Asilo insulted again, yawning in frustration and anger, revealing yellowing teeth, "I'll kill her," he vowed, as he got up to expose rickety legs. He started for his dilapidated house that still stood by the grace of God, walking as if he was putting on tight under pants.
Torture-scarred Amikhe, doing some laundry, was surprised to see Asilo coming home during morning hours. Asilo would always come home from his drinking spree in the odd hours. And even more surprisingly, he was not staggering. She plainly smelt trouble; even more seething torture. She left her washing and limped, a deformity inflicted by Asilo, to the kitchen to get food that was always available for him, prepared, any time, no matter who has eaten or not in the house.
"You frog, come here," Asilo sneered at her, as he entered the house. She cautiously shuffled after him.
Amikhe saw the heavy resolute punch bulleting towards her and wanted to duck, but she was too late. It caught her squarely right across the face and uncompromisingly sent her crashing full length to the ground. It took her a few seconds to feel the pangs of the devastating fist. She screamed for help. However, she knew her shout was just a mere formality. She knew no soul would come to her rescue. Disgustingly, per tradition such brutalities were petty family issues not worthy outside intervention.
Asilo was on her again, a wicked gaze in his eyes. Amikhe cowered, blatant excruciating pain eating her everything. She weakly tried to gather the last scraps of energy left in her pounded body to flee but she stripped and fell with a thud as another murderous blow whizzed past her. Amikhe heard a deafening noise as Asilo's fist thunderously rammed the ramshackle cracked wall, and a yell of clear pain instantaneously followed.
She was quickly up on her feet and darted outside with Asilo hot on her heels. However, this time around he was not showering her with debasing names that even the devil envied as would be the case. Asilo was whimpering a plea from a frothy twitched mouth to her to attend to his crackled hand, as mucus scuttled from his nostrils.