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                                                                         I have heard such stor...

I have heard such stories before from my father,” one of the guards said. “Me too,” said another one, and another one and then many more. Fear slowly crippled their guts. They pondered how to return to the village and inform the king that they released Akirika to Osuala. They could not quite work out what was more terrifying; the king’s wrath or the wrath of the gods. “If I were you, I would not want to oppose the gods. Ukpana okpoko gburu, nti chiri ya (the grasshopper that is scooped away by a hornbill is hard of hearing),” said another man. He appeared from behind another hut.  He was old; grey-haired and lean with deep creases on his face. His eyes were surrounded by deep wrinkles that appeared to stand guard over them. “I am Ishigiri. Some of your parents would know me. Like you all, I used to live in your village before I was thrown to the gods. Now I am a king in Osuala. We are not going to fight you but to take a man away from Osuala, against his will is like poking a finger in the eyes of the gods and daring them to do their worst. You should not play with fire, children. Let them do what they want. Young man, fear not. Stand by your word and they have no right to forcibly remove you from our land. If they try it, they cannot go past that Ujiri tree there,” he added, pointing at the tree that was visible against the glow of the moon.

“Return to your hurt Olokoro and let the gods sort this out. We have been serving the gods diligently long enough to understand these things,” he added. Ishigiri turned and walked slowly back to his hurt. A few other huts had flung open with palm oil-powered lanterns burning dimly by the tiny doors of the huts. Olokoro turned and walked toward his hut. The guards were gripped with fear; sheer immobilizing fear that left them standing like statues with no thoughts or emotions. After what seemed like eternity, one of them spoke. “Akirika renege your choice. Say that you want to return to the village with us.” “No, I am not ready to walk into death. I have a girl in Umuaba that I would still love to see again. I am better off staying alive than being dead. I am staying here.” “She will never marry you. Who would want to come and live here? Come back with us. There is still a chance that you may not be killed when we return to the village.” 

Their plea fell on deaf ears. Akirika held on to his initial choice. A loud shriek bellowed through the forest, “Awuuuuuu!!!” “What was that?” The guards asked. They had never heard a thing like that before. They stared around in fear. “That is the voice of the spirit of Igundu when it is about to have a blood meal,” shouted a voice from one of the huts, taunting the guards. “Let us return to the king and narrate the scenario to him. I am not sure this is a good idea. I did not realize we came this far. Osuala is full of mysterious spirits. I am returning empty handed. I don’t care what the king and the elders would say. If they want Akirika, they can come here and capture him themselves,” one of the guards said emphatically. He turned and began trace his way back. Slowly and one after the other, they turned and walked fearfully back to the village except Umunna, Erionwa and Aneghara. “They are trying to scare us. We are taking you back. We are warriors of our land…we are not about to be scared by Osus – men who were banished from our land for their evil deeds; low-lives!” Eneghara said. He held his machete toward Akirika. “Lift him on your shoulders and let us leave this evil place,” Erionwa ordered. “Eneghara and Umunna lifted Akirika on their shoulders and began to walk back to village. Erionwa kept their machetes. He walked behind them scanning the vicinity for any movements.

Gharagharagharaghara!!! A wolf-like animal jumped out of the bush. It had two heads, one eye at the center of its head and six legs. Before Erionwa could raise his machete, the beast sank its teeth and fangs into his neck and began to bite him ferociously. It knocked the machetes of his hands. In seconds, his neck was chopped off by the beast. Blood gushed out of his neck as his body squirmed on its way to death. The beast began to suck his blood. Eneghara and Umunna put Akirika down and dove into the bush. The ground opened and swallowed Umunna. Underground, he saw the spirit of his later grandfather drinking blood with a beast with the head of lion, the body of a goat and legs like a hyena. A spirit appeared rapidly from behind his grandfather and threw a spear at him. The spear struck him in the chest and blood began to flow nonstop. The spirit of his grandfather walked up to him as he was dying. It laughed at him, and then placed a wooden cup by his chest. It pressed blood out of his heart into the cup and drank it. He was shaking feverishly as he saw the spirit of death consume his soul.

Eneghara continued to run for his life. He shouted for help as much as he could. The other guards heard him, but out of fear, they ran further away and towards the village. He looked back and saw a figure with a human body and the head of a snake chasing after him. Thorns and spikes pierced his feet and body as he raced to nowhere in particular. “Help!” He shouted but none was coming. Suddenly, he looked back and the figure was no longer there. He fell under an Ofor tree. He sat, leaning against the tree for support. He was breathing heavily. After he gathered his strength, he got up and started running again. Suddenly, he saw a shrine ahead of him. There, he could see their late king, Agbirigba sitting on a throne. Around him were beast; the type that he had never seen before. They worshiped him. He changed direction and ran to his right. Out of nowhere, a woman as beautiful as moon in the sky, clad in white dress appeared in front of him. He face glowed like the sun, and her eyes sparkled like stars. She looked as gentle as a lamb. Her smile weakened his body. The more he looked at her, the weaker he became. “Come…come to me Eneghara,” she said.

Her voice was like liquid gold. He had never seen such beauty before. Hypnotized, he took her hand. She pulled him to herself and kissed him. He felt strong, empowered again and rejuvenated…for a while. She pulled away from him gently, stoked his hand and then his hair. “Your beauty is like none I have ever seen,” he said. “And you are mine…your body, your soul…they are all mine,” she replied. He melted into her warm and gentle hands as her hug soothed every nerve in his body.  Around them was a bright glow. He could see the minutest sands on the ground. She lay down and invited him to lie with him. He obliged her. Again, she kissed him. He responded passionately…pouring his body and soul into it. When he pulled away from her, he saw blood all over her mouth. He felt his mouth and it was covered in blood. He wanted to run, but he was weak. His legs could barely stand. She reached for him again to suck more blood off him. He managed to pull away, forcing himself out of the surrounding glow. Momentarily, she lost her spell on him. He began to run again. He could feel his own blood dripping out of his mouth as he ran.

She did not bother to chase after him. Soon, he came by a river. A little child was drowning. “Help,” he cried. The spirit had taken control of his soul. He no longer controlled what he did except running. He dove into the river and swam toward the child. When he reached the child, he tried to drag him to shore. Then, she turned into an old, haggard looking woman. Her eye sockets were filled with thick red, immobile blood. He shouted for help and tried to swim to land. She dug her nails into his back and squeezed hard. When she let go, blood was raining out of the back of his chest. She moved effortlessly and planted her mouth on her back and began to suck her blood. He tried to fight, but again, he was weak. He turned, and the old woman now looked like Unerenwanyi, the girl he was engaged to. She smiled at him, with her mouth covered in his blood. “No!!” He shouted. She raised her hand and it was the head of a snake. She bit his face with her snake hand and dark, gooey venom pierced his face. Slowly, he began to fade away. “Never doubt the gods,” the spirit said to him as he passed away.
LINK TO EPISODE 4: http://www.moofyme.com/2016/01/osu-people-untouchables-episode-4.html

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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