The Child of Thunder 26
Ifeoma Isabella Okeke
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Uhammiri was on her way to the stream that hot afternoon when she made an encounter with a strange looking young man in his prime. He halted her to stop with his hands, she stopped only to hear what the idiot has to say. Njoku Ji had decided to appear to the lady that make his heart beat for faster by mere staring at her. He had observed and watched her for the past two days and then decided to come down when he saw her heading for the village stream. Amadioha was right about one thing though, she seemed odd, but he quickly waved off that thought away from his mind as the beautiful damsel stared at them with her sharp focused eyes. He was handsome but he wasn’t as handsome as Ebuka. But he wouldn’t be called ugly neither. Crowies where all scattered around his head bringing his handsomeness out. Strangely enough his aura seemed different and Uhammiri quickly know he wasn’t a mere human being. “Yes what can I do for you?” Uhammiri questioned without any hesitation. The strange looking guy smiled at that question. “Well I came down from my abode to come and see you”. He replied immediately. Looking confused at his reply she asked, “From your abode? What does that supposed to mean?”. “It means I have been watching you these past few days from the place I live”. Njoku Ji answered sincerely as he pointed upwards towards the sky above them. Uhammiri looked up to see where he was pointing and saw nothing. “Why Are you pointing towards the sky?” Uhammiri asked in utter dismay as her eyes returned back to the stranger in front of her. “Look here stranger, I don’t have all the time in the world for this. As you can see before you stopped me, I was on my way to the stream. Excuse me”. She added as she tried to walk away from him. “I am being known as Njoku Ji and I live far above in the sky. I liked you and that is the reason why I came down on earth. I am one of the gods that everyone serve”. Njoku Ji sharply explained himself. Uhammiri had to pause in her long stride as she heard the words. “Sorry to burst your bubbles, but I don’t like any one apart from Ebuka. You are not even quarter to what he is. You cannot woo me Njoku Ji or whatever your name is, I am already in love with Ebuka. If I were you, which I know I am not, I would go back to wherever I came from and stop dreaming of something you know that can never happen”. Uhammiri said as she hissed and left a bewildered man behind. “I see she is a stubborn one and a beautiful one at that, but never the less I would go to any extra miles to have you all to myself”. Njoku Ji said to himself and disappeared into thin air. *** Ebuka was on his way to fetched firewood when he met Ikemefuna who suddenly came out from nowhere to block his path. “What is it Ikemefuna or whatever you called yourself. Why are you blocking my way?” Ebuka immediately asked once he saw that Ikemefuna was not ready to remove from the path. “We should cut off the pretence. Amadioha I personally came to warn you to stay away from Alaolisa. She was mine right from the beginning of time and it will remain that way. Alaolisa is mine and mine alone. A person who arrives at a feast when the cooked meat is being pulled out of the pot does not know what was endured by others to catch and cook it. This is a warning”. Ikenga quickly told Amadioha who didn’t show any form of surprises when he made mention of knowing who he truly is. “When an old native doctor makes sacrifice it will be as if he put it directly in the hands on of the spirits. Your threats means nothing to me Ikenga. Right from the beginning Alaolisa has been mine and will forever remain mine and there is nothing absolutely nothing you would do to make me leave her alone”. Amadioha replied back at his brother. “We shall see who wins this battle in the end. Who amongst us would emerge as the winner. Agwo emeghi nke o jiri buru agwo, umuaka achiri ya hie nku- If a snake fails to show its venom, little kids will use it in tying firewood. Do not say I did not warn you”. Ikenga said and use his left hand to hit his chest vigorously. “I am the ever lasting Ikenga the god of war who never quits when he hasn’t gotten what he desires. To be forewarned is to be forearmed”. Ikenga added. “O bu mmuo ndi na-efe na-egbu ha- It is the deity that people worship that kills them. Only fools tend to dread where others where warned not too. If I were you, which I am not, I would not cross Amadioha’s path again”. Ebuka replied. “Then you don’t know your brother very well”. Ikemefuna said boastful. “If you think because you are god of war and people serve you, well think again brother. In case you don’t know this in all igbo lands, Amadioha is the head. My people may have forgotten about me but with time, I am sure they would remember Amadioha, the first son of ChuckOlisa. Well before you came out from wherever you came, out from, I was heading to fetch firewood for my family and later on visit my Alaolisa. Read the hand writings showing clearly on the wall Ikenga to avoid stories that touches the heart, Inugo”. Ebuka said and left the presence of Ikemefuna. “Mgbe egwu ahụ kwụsịrị, onye ntị chiri nọgidere na-agba egwú- When the music stops, a deaf person continues to dance. You’ve pushed me Amadioha, you’ve pushed me”. Ikenga said and disappeared the way he appeared. ****o Celebration of Udum Yam Festival: The yam festival came by and went by as swiftly like an antelope. The people of Udum rejoiced when their sacrifice was accepted by Njoku Ji. Being accepted by Njoku Ji means better harvesting of good yams the following year. All the people of Udum rejoiced and danced to their heart content. Every hut in Udum ate roasted yams as custom and tradition demands on the day of the yam festival. **** It was towards evening when Ebuka made his appearance in Okoro’s hut. Everyone was sitting and preparing to eat when they saw Ebuka. Ogbanje was surprised when Ebuka paid a visit to her hut. She was elated on seeing Ebuka. Okoro and Adaku wasn’t left out. Even Uhammiri seemed speechless when she saw him walking towards them. “Edewoo”. Ebuka greeted Okoro and Adaku. “How are you my son?” Okoro asked. “I am fine Nnayi, thank you”. Ebuka responded. “I hope there is no problem this one you came to my hut today?” Okoro questioned. “No Nnayi, I came here to see Ada”. Ebuka answered. “Oh, as you can see we are about to eat. But since you came here at the right time you can as well join us to eat”. Okoro stated softly at the young man in front of him. “That won’t be necessary Nnayi. I ate before coming here. I only came here to see Ada”. Ebuka responded back. “Okay, nke ahụ abụghị nsogbu- that is no problem. Ehm Ogbanje you should follow Ebuka to hear whatever he has to say but do not stay long”. Okoro said firmly. Ogbanje smiled at that and quickly leapt off to her feet from where she had sat down to eat her own portion of her food. “Thank you papa”. Ogbanje said elated as she went over to where Ebuka stood, together they left the compound. “I don’t like the way you allowed Ogban….Ada to walk out when we are about to eat. If it where to be one of the girls would you have allowed them to move around with their friends”. Adaku immediately attack Okoro as soon Ogbanje and Ebuka walked out of the compound. “See who’s talking”. Okoro said. “Was it not only but yesterday evening when you left us here while we were eating to attend to your friend? When the music stops, a deaf person continues to dance. It’s never a crime if I allowed Ada to follow Ebuka, I can allow Uzochi or Ugochi to freely move out with anyone in as much I know the person they want to move out with very well. I knew Ebuka very well and that was why I allowed Ada to follow him. And besides they loved each other”. Okoro added as he turned back to his food. “Birds of the same feathers. Like father like son”. Adaku taunted at Okoro. “Mama, leave papa alone”. Ugochi spoke out first. “Shut up your mouth before I shut it up for you”. Adaku said. “But mama, what my sister here is saying is the truth. I see no harm in papa allowing Ada to follow Ebuka”. Uzochi said in support of her twin sister. “I don’t blame any of you. In fact I am done here”. Adaku said sharply. She quickly stood up to her feet left in a angry manner. Okoro shook his head sideways as the twins laughed out at the childish behavior of their mother. Ugochi quickly covered Ogbanje’s food. No one actually noticed Uhammiri’s face at all. She was eating while all these things where going on, her face was full of evil thoughts. She quickly ate her food and left for her hut almost running into Adaku who had came out of her to urinate. She has made up her mind to do what she had planned to do. The look on Uhammiri’s face made Adaku forget she was going to the latrine to urinate in the first place, she quickly followed her daughter to the hut. As soon as the door was firmly shut Uhammiri turned to give Adaku a deadly stare. “It is time I return to my real body. I want to deal massively with them one by one”. Uhammiri announced. “I don’t understand what you are trying to say”. Adaku said staring confusingly at Uhammiri. “This is my shadow with you all these time. I will have to go back to the Black forest of doom to get back into my real body. The truth is that I am not really the Uhammiri you had sought out for. I am just her shadow. She said the time has come for her revenge and she will start with your husband”. All the while Adaku was staring surprisingly and sheepishly at Uhammiri. “Did you just said you are not the real Uhammiri?” Adaku had to strain her ears to hear what the not so Uhammiri had to say. “Does that mean she deceived both me, her mother and the Eze Nwayi?” Adaku added. “Arima knows. You are the only one left in dark”. Uhammiri said. Closing her eyes lid she moved her head in circles and opened her eyes. Her eyes balls where all black. “I will kill Okoro and then kill Ogbanje. I am Uhammiri the goddess of all goddesses. I am the head of all the river goddess. The one who made Idemmili where she is today. I will make sure they die a horrible death. And after all these are over, I will Ebuka and bind his soul to mine”. Her voice has changed. This wasn’t Uhammiri’s voice she had grown use to. This voice held authority. ***** Ebuka and Uhammiri walked off from the prey eyes of Adaku and made their way towards the path that lead to the village stream. The sky was darkening with vigour but the lover birds didn’t care, after all they were not someone who you would easily toy with. “So what is it that demands you coming to my house. You saw the look Uhammiri threw at you, Okwia?” “Yes I did but that’s by the way. I came here to let you know that later in the night, that is to say by midnight when witches has there meetings, I want you to come to my hut”. Ebuka said. “Hmm, and why if I may ask; is not that I am objecting oooo”. Ogbanje said. “Throw away any silly thoughts you have in that mind of yours. That is not the reason why I asked you to come. The queen, your mother from the Ogbanje world, wants your presence with me. According to her to break the years oath you must be there to spill a little of your blood. The way she told me sounded urgently”. Ebuka answered. “If that is the case then I will come”. Ogbanje replied.
To Be Continued