Fiction Friday: read an excerpt from the worst/most hilarious sex scene ever published in an African novel
For your reading pleasure (ahem) today’s Fiction Friday piece is an excerpt from Mongo Beti’s 1956 novel, The Poor Christ of Bomba, set in 1930s Cameroon.
Think missionaries. Think syphilis. Think priests losing their virginity. Think ridiculous sex scenes.
It was last night, and I suspected nothing. I was simply lying on my bed and I was worried about the Reverend Father who was down with fever on account of that accident on the river. I thought with terror of all the water he had vomited on the river bank. I suspected nothing. I couldn’t know. And she knocked at my door. Before I could get up to see who it was, she was inside, because I’d forgotten to push the bolt. Oh, I should have suspect then! She was in my room. Before I could say anything she struck a match and said: “Aren’t you asleep? Ah, I’ve caught you thinking about girls, you little wretch!”
I said nothing. I was too surprised. By the brief flare of the match, I saw her white combination, her naked throat, her breasts which swelled out, her garment just where the shoulder-straps began.
Already she was sitting on my bed. The match had gone out and it was once again quite dark in my room. I was propped up on my left elbow. In the angle of my stomach and my legs I felt the pressure of her almost naked back. Then she slightly rubbed herself against my thighs, moving her bottom to and fro. And I stayed there resting on my elbow, saying nothing because I was too astonished.
I had never been so close to a girl. And I began to be afraid. My heart was beating with a terrible violence and with each beat the blood mounted to my head like a river in spate and made me shake. A devilish tom-tom was pounding in my ears, sirens were screaming in my skull. It sounded as if an aeroplane was loose in there. That girl had unloosed all the cacophony of hell in my head. Why didn’t I take warning in time, my God? Oh, that girl…I should have watched out. It would have been better to run out of the room. I still wonder what kept me there.
All this time the bottom of her naked body was there in the pit of my stomach. The bottom of her back which she kept moving to and fro. Once, I moved towards the wall to get away from her touch, but she moved too and I felt her there again more acutely than before.
She said: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t go to sleep. And neither can you, it seems.
I said nothing and she gave a deep laugh. I heard her laughing in little chuckles.
She said again: “Go on you priest, you! Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? A fine little man like you playing at priests. What an idea!”
I said nothing. I stayed resting there on my left elbow. She pushed still harder against me, wriggling her hips.
I was helpless with all that racket in my head: bells clanged away wildly as if it were a day of consecration for a new church; the aeroplane engine which was revving up for take-off; the sirens singing in chorus for some unknown festival, and that accursed tom-tom. Now there were xylophones as well. And that machine which made my whole chest tremble as if I were in a train or riding a lorry on a road torn by the rains.
My throat was dry.
She said again: “Why don’t you say something? What’s wrong with you?”
Three times I wetted my lips, and I managed to say: “this is my room, not Zachariah’s. I came here because it was too stuffy in the other house, but it’s my room…”
I noticed that my voice was doing tremolos like the new Vicar when he’s singing the Mass.
She laughed and said: “Do you think I’m going to eat you?”
I felt sweat pouring all over me, on my brow, my hair, my arms, my stomach, my back. I was shivering with fright…No, I wasn’t afraid; I must have been hot, because I was sweating…Agh! I can’t say now whether I was cold or hot. I was sweating great drops and at the same time I was shivering as if I’d slept out in the rain. My chest was bursting.
My sex was worrying me, because it wanted to stand up, like it does at dawn when the doves are singing. But there wasn’t room for it to stand up; that girl Catherine was pressing against me so hard.
Suddenly I wanted to piss! I felt certain that if my sex, struggling to stand up, went on butting against that girl’s naked back, I would finish up wetting my bed. However, I had taken a piss before going to bed.
She lighted a match and looked at me. Then she asked: “Why are you so scared?”
Continue reading here. You deserve a good laugh.
- The Poor Christ of Bomba by Mongo Beti
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