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Embrace with darkness – Modern day – Year: 2008 The sight of the dead with a hole in place of his genital was a stunner to Ad...

Embrace with darkness – Modern day – Year: 2008

The sight of the dead with a hole in place of his genital was a stunner to Ada and her siblings. Unknown to them the serpent kingdom was only just beginning to introduce them to the heinous nature of their assignments and callings. In sorrow, all four of them, Martha, Joel, Ada and Obinna, hung their shoulders and left in a taxi. They hated their mother for the way she treated them, but if there was a day they wished she was alive, it was that day. They desperately wanted to ask her some questions. She often called them the children of Satan, and they took it as the mere vituperations of an angry mother; but with what were happening to them, they could not help but wonder if she was right all along. At home they converged and sought solution; they knew there was something wrong with them, and whatever it was, awakened forcefully since the death of their mother. For Martha, all the loud shrieks and nightmares, trails of blood and snake skin all over the floor of their house by night, were a pointer that some great evil was after them. As they pondered their plight, Obinna volunteered, “Perhaps mama cursed us before she died. Maybe we should go down to Asarama to appease her spirit.” None of them had thought along that line, Obinna’s words opened up to them what they thought might be the root cause of their problem. Without much ado, they made plans to go to their mother’s grave at Asarama to appeal to her to forgive them of whatever evil they might have committed. From the city they picked a taxi to drive them down to their village, the fare was no issue to them, thanks to their somewhat affluent background.

Along the way, they napped intermittently. The pastoral scene along the highway must have worked its magic on them. Since the death of their mother Martha felt she should step up as the eldest of them and protect all of them. The horrifying events around them bothered her most. So most times when they sleep in the night, she would go around checking on them severally before morning. And even in the car as they travelled home, she would startle out of her sleep and cast her eyes over her siblings. It was a habit she knew not how to stop and neither was she willing to stop it – she felt pulled to protect her family members. The driver took notice of her weird behavior and wondered if all was well with her. She wasn’t the only one who got the driver’s attention; Ada did as well. Once in a while she would mumble some silent words and then shed a few tears. Just when the driver thought he had seen the last; Martha startled out of her nap and began to shout. The driver had to steer his vehicle off the road so not to ram into another vehicle.  Martha was shouting and pointing at Joel; when the others saw why she was shouting, they joined in the shout and began to shake Joel violently to wake him out of sleep. Joel’s shirt was soaking with blood while he peacefully slept. Thankfully Joel woke up and they bundled him out of the taxi. Outside the taxi, Joel began to jolt and vomit. Out of his mouth came human fingers, eyes and a tongue. The other things he vomited were too mangled to be recognized.

By this time the driver’s head was spinning. He couldn’t stop wondering if his passengers were humans or monsters. Another shocking detail he found too hard to stomach was that Joel’s eyes seemed to shift to that of a serpent while he vomited those human parts. The driver lifted his hands to the sky and shouted hysterically; he ran, paced and walked uncertainly on the high way. For him, he had gone as far as he could; he was not going to take them to their destination. Trembling like a plant swayed by a strong wind, the driver informed Martha that he would no longer continue with the journey; Mathar ignored him and turned her attention to Joel. While they all concentrated on their brother Joel, the driver began to unload their luggage from his car. When Obinna and Ada saw what the driver was doing, they took offence. Obinna was content with shouting at the driver and returning their luggage to the taxi, but Ada wasn’t. She felt a strong urge to attack the driver, in flash she grabbed the driver by the neck and bare her teeth like the serpent which haunted her grandparent’s house in the village. Though the driver was scared stiff; but it was Ada who was far more scared and horrified by what she did. Shaking both with rage and a fear of herself, she let go of the driver and entered the taxi and sat down to make sure the driver did not drive off without them. While Martha and Obinna attended to Joel, Ada wept so bitterly inside the car that the driver almost out of pity asked her what was wrong with all of them. After Joel had recovered a bit, they returned to the taxi and drove off.

About seven pm in the evening they arrived Asarama, and headed straight to their grandmother’s home, only to meet another round of horror, which some of their kins men claimed originated from one of them. A popular and rich relative of theirs; known as Comrade John, who had come home to announce his political ambition to his people, was a few hours before their arrival torn to death by a beast which people claimed was a human serpent.  When Joel and his siblings entered their grandmothers residence, there a crowd mourning the gruesome demise of their illustrious son. As they made their way through the crowd to get into the house, a few old women began to whisper to each other, pointing at Joel. Like wild fire, their whisper spread and grew to a scream. An uncle of theirs spotted them coming and so came out to welcome them. When he came close and heard what the women in the crowd were saying, he stopped cold in his tracks. The old women were making claims that Joel was the human serpent who killed Comrade John.  As the shout got louder, much more people poured into their grandmother’s residence and their maternal uncles and aunts rushed out. They were shocked to hear the claims of the old women. Joel and his siblings had just arrived, how could he have killed a man who died hours before their arrival? However Martha, Obinna and Ada knew better and so did Joel. They were shocked nonetheless, but that was not the first time one of them would kill a man in their dream. It then dawned on them that the human body parts which Joel vomited on the highway were those of Comrade John.

The youth were angry, in the past some human serpents had wreaked havoc in the village and as much as the village tried, they could not find who the serpent was. So having seen someone identified as human serpent, the youth laid their hands on Joel and dragged him out to burn him immediately. Thankfully another uncle of theirs, who was feared because he meddled with the diabolic, came to the rescue. When he demanded that Joel be released, the angry mob knew better than to refuse him. Leading Martha and her siblings away from the mob, he took them to his house. The four children of Iniye were shaken; the swift judgment passed on their brother was shocking. They were much pained by how some of their maternal aunts and uncles stood helplessly while the youth dragged Joel away to set him ablaze. Mr. Silvanus, the uncle who saved Joel and took them home, had a palatial residence, and looked too affluent for a man who made his living in the village. Mr. Silvanus carried on like he had known them all his life, and was the first person who amongst the two branches of their families to treat them like they were humans who deserved some respect. His wife, a fat woman with an infectious smile and a pretty face, was no less welcoming than her husband. She took them to their rooms and showed them the bathrooms. The bathrooms had fresh towels and glittered like they were made ready for some guests. Before they could finish with freshening up, food had already been served for them at the dining.

While they were in the bathrooms, their other uncles and aunts came to check if they were fine, but Mr. Silvanus drove them away barking angrily, “The whole lot of you stood idly and watched while those young men dragged Joel away to burn him! Who knows what else they would have done! Maybe after Joel, they would have burnt the others as well. While the children of Iniye are still in my house, I do not want to see any of you around. You are cowards! Fools! Idiots! How could a young man who just came from the city with his brother and sisters be responsible for the death of a man who died hours before his arrival? Comrade John’s wife and children should go find out what killed their husband and father!” When Martha and her siblings came out to join their uncle in his living; Mr. Silvanus and his wife stood up and waved them to the dining table. Beaming with a smile, he praised them, “You are the best children there are! I don’t care what the community has to say; as far as I am concerned Iniye gave us the best children in the world!” They were shocked, all their lives they had not for once heard someone praise them. To the rest of the family, they were the devil’s offspring; Martha could not help but wonder if there was more to the extremely nice welcome their uncle gave them; an uncle whom they could not tell the last time they saw him. Martha was right, the horrors of the night was only just beginning…

Story Continues…

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