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Poster source: When Iniye walked into his living room, Ugonna’s jaw dropped; she was a drop-dead piece of beauty. Her ...

Poster source:

When Iniye walked into his living room, Ugonna’s jaw dropped; she was a drop-dead piece of beauty. Her face, chest, waistline and legs seemed all carved out of a host of starry bodies. The look of her arms, skin texture and figure were so sublime that a man would not be blamed for thinking she was chiseled out of a fallen angel. When she flashed a smile at Ugonna to greet him, his heart missed a beat. He heard himself gasping for breath. Her set of teeth and their glitter added to the dainty allure of her pulchritude. Iniye had to greet Ugonna three times before she could get a reply. For a bit she didn’t feel miffed about him momentarily ignoring her greetings. She had seen men react that way toward her before; the only difference this time was that the attraction was mutual. It had been a while since she felt unreasonably pulled toward a man she was meeting for the first time. Stepping aside like royalty, Ugonna pointed Iniye to a seat with the wave of his hand. Gracefully Iniye ambled to the seat and sat down with the gait of a woman who was well aware of the strength of her clout. “You mother did not tell me she was sending a goddess to me. Really I must confess that I am taken unawares”. Yet again, Iniye beamed her disarming smile before making a response and Ugonna felt his heart palpitate irregularly. “She told me you left your medicine behind in your haste to get back to the city and implored me to get it to you”. “Thank God I did. If forgetting one’s medicine would always lead to one meeting beauties like you, I pray to forget my stuffs always”. This time Iniye laughed. And when she did, Ugonna thought for a moment that the room lit up. Unexpectedly Ugonna bolted out of his living room and made for Etuk’s cubicle. Iniye did not know why he left in that manner, but she waited for him to return. 

Outside Ugonna was heard shouting, “Etuk! Etuk! Etuk!” “Oga na wetin? Wetin do you oga?” “Na true you talk! That woman na mama iwater! She smile NEPA come bring light!” “Where you see light?” “For my palour! Light dey shine for there!” Etuk was stunned; he had not for once seen Ugonna act the way he did. Something was clearly wrong with him. He seemed out of sorts, rattled and beside himself. Etuk starred at him in disbelief. “Etuk make you no dey look me like that. I wan make you follow kitchen enter come look am. She no be human being! I swear!” Turning, Ugonna left for the living room. By the time he got to the living room, his face was red and taut as though a noose was being strung around his neck. Iniye took notice of the change in the look of his face and asked, “Mr. Ugonna are you okay?”

Ugonna tried to say a word but ended up nodding as if his words were being cut off. To Iniye, the man before her was being slowly choked to death by some invisible force. She sprang to her feet to help Ugonna sit in one of the sofas in the living room, only for Ugonna to go down in a heap in that moment. Iniye was shocked and began to scream for help. From the kitchen Etuk dashed in, not looking puzzled in the least bit by the event in his master’s living room. He had seen his master was tethering on the edge of insanity when he ran out calling his name. Seeing the man she came to visit was slipping away from her, Iniye shouted at Etuk to go fetch some water from the kitchen with a bowl. Etuk made a dash into the kitchen for the water. By the moment he returned, Iniye was sitting on Ugonna with her left hand raise toward the roof and her right hand on his chest, shouting some commands in a strange tongue to an invisible being. Her eyes were glassy and a light wisp of haze seemed to be oozing from her hair. Etuk was terrified; he could not stir a limb. He watched speechlessly as Iniye performed whatever it was she was doing. While she was at it, Ugonna jerked, raised his head, turned to his left side and vomited a small black snake. The snake slithered to some distance on the rug strewn floor and stopped. The life in it seemed to have left it.

As if nothing had happened, Iniye went back to her seat and sat down. Etuk remained rooted to his spot. His eyes seemed like they were going to pop out from their sockets in his shock. Ugonna staggered back to his feet and asked Etuk to clean the mess he had left on the floor. Nodding in acquiescence, Etuk silently went about cleaning the floor. Opening her hand bag, Iniye handed Ugonna the concoction she had brought for him. Ugonna went into the kitchen and mixed it into the recommended dosage and gulped it down. Returning to the living room he looked a lot more like his usual self and went about prying Iniye for answers which might suggest she wasn’t married. He made no effort to explain what had happened to him. He felt that his secret was there for her to see as much as hers was there for him to see. Obviously she had inherited her mother’s gift.

“I can see you have your mother’s gift of healing. Your husband must be grateful for the gift you possess. I am very grateful that you are here at a time like this. Thanks a lot…” Then he remembered that he had not even bothered to ask her about her name. “Oh I am sorry! Forgive my bad manners please. I am Ugonna Chibueze”.  “My name is Iniye Ejituwu”. While she smiled and supplied her name, Ugonna was thinking, “Oh my God! Isn’t she beautiful?” Still bent on finding out if she was single, Ugonna pressed, “With your kind of gift it will be hard for ailments to be found amongst your husband and children”. “Sorry I am not married”. “Are you not? That is very surprising with your kind of beauty?” “Maybe I am not as beautiful as you make me seem”. “I have only seen one woman who can compare with you in beauty in my entire life”; (by that he meant the serpent woman whom he visited every three months in Asarama). “So why is she not living with you?” “Someone else had taken her by the time I met her”, he lied. “Thanks for thinking me as beautiful as you sound”. “You are welcome”.

Outside Etuk sat on the door to his gateman compartment and thought hard over what he had witnessed inside Ugonna’s house. He was afraid and did not know what to make of the events he had seen. While he thought on them, the gate jangled or so he thought. He stood to his feet to go check who might be standing outside the gate only for him to see a crowd of snake-like humans walking right through the gate into the compound and straight into Ugonna’s house. He ran back and shouted Ugonna’s name, but no response came. He ran into his compartment and shut the door behind him. In the compartment a thick cloud of darkness began to settle. In the darkness Etuk could make out serpentine figures with long fangs and flaming eyes gliding toward him. He bolted out of the cubicle shouting all the more but no one could hear him. He went down on his knees, squeezed his eyes shut and began to pray. When he opened his eyes the horror images were gone. He got up from the ground where he knelt and ran into his compartment.

In the living room Ugonna was still having his conversation with Iniye. They had not heard one word of the shout from Etuk. In the middle of their conversation Ugonna remembered he had not offered Iniye anything to drink and so he went into the kitchen and returned with a bottle of Coke and a packet of Nasco biscuit and set them down on a side stool beside her. “Please forgive the levity of my conduct; I am not always like this. I guess I have been extremely overwhelmed by your adorable presence and my own little problem”, he apologized. “You have nothing to be sorry about Mr. Ugonna, before my mother sent me here she told me what the medicine was for. It was because of its importance that I came. I would have left it till next weekend. If I had not come today, I guess it would have been a bad decision going by what you went through some moments ago. What I saw today wasn’t a regular experience for you was it?” “Frankly Iniye, I have not been through anything like that all my life. I will certainly give it some thought when I am alone”. 


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