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The events of the night were extremely nerve racking for the both of them. Iniye for all her...

The events of the night were extremely nerve racking for the both of them. Iniye for all her documented spiritual problems did not know that she could easily shift shape from human to a monster serpent. Ugonna on his part was just beginning to get a hang of the fact that the serpent which he thought he had shirked for long was living with him as his wife and had born him children whom some infernal creatures in his dreams called the children of serpent. As he sat on the floor and pondered his pitiable life, he whispered to himself, “the children of serpent!” Iniye was shocked to hear those words from her husband’s lips. “So you know what our children are? How? Who told you? Are you a serpent too? Please tell me you are not one! Please!” Iniye pleaded amid sobs. Ugonna was moved deeply by his wife’s sincerity and the sound of innocence in her voice. “I am not a serpent. Now tell me the truth, have you not been in this plot with the serpent and your mother the whole time?” 

With that question, Iniye understood her husband’s anger and the reason he avoided her all night. “No! My husband no! I know nothing about the plot to bring the children of serpent into this life through us”. While she spoke she gesticulated with both hands as if she was washing them clean of the accusations leveled against her. “I may have been haunted as a child and inherited my mother’s gifts, but I know nothing about this whole scheme! Believe me, I know nothing. I just found out for the first time tonight that I can change into a serpent.” She began to sob terribly. Ugonna was in no mood to console her; he had other thoughts in his mind. His determination was to end his affair with the serpent that night. He was past running from the monster and whoever he was who dwelt in the sun. As he thought hard on the idea which circled on his mind, his face began to contort and his adrenaline level shot high. Perking his head up like a wren, he asked, “I heard you the first time you shouted; who was it you meant when you said ‘I shall never kill him?’” “When the serpent summoned me tonight, they asked me to kill you. They no longer have use for you. Hey have got the children of serpent whom they wanted all along. You and I were chosen from before our births to bring them forth. I guess my mother knows, she lied to us. What do we do now?” “We end it tonight!” “How?” “We kill the children and ourselves.” Just as Ugonna said those words, Iniye felt a painful electrical surge in her head and shouted, “Aaaah!!!” Ugonna leapt into the air as his wife’s shout startled him. The spell over him had begun to recede from the moment he began to converse with Iniye.

On the floor Iniye thrashed about, seemingly trying to resist a force. As she fought whatever it was, her skin began to move like liquid substance. When she turned to face Ugonna, her eyes were no longer human – she was beginning to change into a serpent, this time into a more menacing serpent. All she could do was yell at Ugonna with her last gasp of strength, “Run!!! Go kill the children!” Ugonna was minded to help, but when he saw two horns shooting out of Iniye’s head; he ran out of the room and locked the door from outside. He ran into the kitchen, took a knife and made for the children’s room. Gently he opened the door and stepped into the room. Suddenly the light in the room came on and he saw four serpents resting on their tails with their heads raised and poised to strike. Ugonna stared at the beds and his children were not in them; so he figured out for himself who the four serpents were. Retracing his steps, he made to leave the room, but one of the serpents thrust itself at him and buried its fangs around his neck.

With that quick move, it snapped Ugonna’s neck, giving him no chance to use the knife in his hand. The other three serpents in quick moves slithered over to Ugonna’s body and began to rip it apart with their fangs. While the four serpents devoured Ugonna’s body, Ugonna’s bedroom door exploded and a gigantic serpent with two ugly horns slithered out and shot itself toward the children’s room. When it met the four smaller serpents attacking Ugonna’s body, it folded itself and watched while the four serpents feasted on Ugonna’s body. By morning, Iniye woke up on the floor near Ugonna’s mangled body; already the putrid stench of his body had begun to fill the house and a few flies settled on his corpse. Twice Iniye threw up; and then her eyes rested on the knife on the floor. She picked it and let herself into her children’s room. The four of them were innocently sleeping; she tiptoed to one of them, her first daughter, and raised the knife to plunge into her neck and in that moment she felt a presence swoosh over her and she fell to the floor. On the floor she went into a trance and the same voice which spoke to her when she was summoned to the serpent kingdom spoke to her again, “Iniye, you shall do the children no harm, and you shall not harm yourself. You shall watch over them as mother until the time for their assignment comes.” 

When the presence broke over Iniye and she woke from the floor, she trembled like a weather beaten bird and let herself out of the children’s room. Weeks later, Ugonna’s remains were gathered and sent to his village for burial. When Ngbechi, Ugonna’s mother, saw her son’s corpse she knew her worst nightmare had come to pass. Kelechi was heartbroken to have lost his only brother in the manner he died. Iniye had told them the truth, though only half the truth, that Ugonna was bitten to death by serpents. She kept back the detail that the serpents were his own children. After Ugonna was laid to rest, Kelechi swore to find a way to destroy the serpent which had robbed him of his father and only brother. However Ngbechi prevailed on him and got him to swear on her death that he would do no such thing. “I have had too many nightmares about the serpent, and in all of them, the serpent’s attack upon our family came to an end with Ugonna’s death. I hate to admit that Aziza was right when he told your father that one from his loins invited the serpent. Kelechi my son, you must swear to me that you will have nothing to do with Ugonna’s wife and children.”

“No mama! I can’t do that! Besides you they are the only family members I have left.” “No! They are not, my child! Your wife, children and I are the only family members you have left. Iniye and her four children are not part of us; they are of the serpent kingdom!” “How do you know that mama?” “Ugonna visited me the night after his burial. He told me his wife and four children are serpents.” “What! Did he?” “Yes! He called his children the children of serpent. While he spoke to me, I could tell there was so much he was keeping from me. He warned me, with his ears drawn that I should have nothing to do with his wife and four children. Kelechi I think it will be wise if we heed his warning.” “Mama I have heard you. I will do as you have said. I haven’t told you, I also saw Ugonna.” “You saw him! What did he say to you?” “He simply said ‘take heed’. I guess he knew you were going to tell me about the things he revealed to you.” “Yes! You are right Kelechi.” “But how do we avoid them now that they are still around?” “Tomorrow morning I will feign illness and leave for your maternal home with you. Today, you must send your wife and children to the city”. “What if Iniye decides to stay back and take care of you?” “God forbid! How can a serpent take care of a child of God? If she decides to stay back and nurse me, then I will get well suddenly and begin to go to the farm. She must go back to the city with her brood of vipers!”


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