LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 11

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - traditional wedding, ornaments and charms, spirit, Star lager beer, spirit of the East, Christian mother’s association in church, naira, a big axe.

“Isiguzo, please do something!!!” Nneka yelled hysterically into her phone. “I am doing my best!” he replied. “Whatever you are doing is not working. It has been over and hour since we last spoke with you and Chijioke is not back here yet. It is getting dark now and most of the guests at Chidera’s traditional wedding are leaving…Emeka is still nowhere to be found!” “I have consulted my gods and they seem blind. They can neither see nor tell me anything. You have powers yourself, can’t you change all these?” “I have tried, but they are not working either. My ornaments and charms are in the house back in Awka. I need to lay my hands on them to be able to do anything. Until I return home, I can’t do much.” “Then find your way back home and consult with Yasa. I am not sure I can change anything. My incantations are bouncing back with no answers.”

Nneka hurriedly made arrangements for a drive home. She rang up a taxi company in Enugu to drive her back to Onitsha. The driver assigned to her drove frenziedly to Chidera’s village to pick her up. She waited impatiently, pacing the floor in rage. She was eager to get things back where they belonged. Then it occurred to her that she had not spoken to her mother. “Mama, please I need your help,” she requested over the phone having rung her in a hurry. “What is it my child?” her aging mother asked. She explained the situation to her. Her mother took a deep breath. “I transferred all my powers to you, my child,” she explained calmly even though she was deeply concerned by her daughter’s situation.

“I have tried a number of things already, mama, but it is as if Yasa no longer hears me. I can’t wait to get home and set my shrine. I need to get in my element to dive into the spirit world and bring things back to normal.” “You must do that my child. I am aging now and it has been long since I stood below Yasa. All the powers are with you now. However, I will try to see if I can reach the spirit of the East,” her mother promised, offering her some hope. “Thank you mama!” “You are welcome my child.

“You really mean there is nothing you can do?” Chidera asked. Her voice was laced with pain and her eyes were swollen from crying. “I have tried all that I could from here. Until I reach home, there is not much I can do!” Chidera looked at her hopelessly. Violent rage swept through her. You got me into this and now, you can’t get me out of it! I wish I had killed you, bitch!!! She thought to herself. “I will bring everything back to normal, Chidera,” Nneka promised. A short while later, the taxi driver arrived. Nneka hopped into the taxi and ordered the driver to speed towards Awka, and he obliged her.

Nneka’s mother entered one of the empty rooms in their house, which Chijioke had built for them in record time. She brought out some old ornaments and charms, spread them on the floor and sat down. She folded her legs carefully, and slowly began to toss the charms and ornaments around. “Yasa!” She bellowed, calling on the spirit she had served for years. Her husband who had gone out for a drink or two with his friends walked into the house. He had taken a few bottles of Star lager beer, but not enough to be drunk. He had been offered two more bottles of Star lager beer, which he declined on the premise that he’d be drunk and his wife did not like it when he got drunk. He listened to the door, pressing his ear hard against it.

“The spirit of the East! The ruler of the rivers of the East, I have come before you! Your queen, Nneka needs your help. You chose her as you chose me, please come and rescue her from this sticky situation. Whatever you want from me, I will offer it,” she asked of Yasa. What am I hearing? Spirit of the East? Her husband who was on the other side of the door wondered. “I promised to shed my husband’s blood if need be as a sacrifice to you when you ask of it. He is no longer of use to me, Yasa. Nneka needs you now and she is the future. If you want Okorie, have him…have him now and save my daughter from this mess!” She offered up to Yasa. “Chineke ekwena ihe ojoo (May God forbid this!),” Okorie, her husband thought as shock waves went through him. Take me? Me? No way!!! He concluded as he headed for the backyard.

He found what he was looking for – a big axe. He picked it up, ran to the door and smashed it down with the axe. Inside, she found her wife on the floor calling on a god he never knew existed. “You? Is that you, Mgbafor, my wife of how many years? Who is the Yasa or Yesi you have been asking on to take my life? You of all people, the president of the Christian mother’s association in church? God forbid evil!!!” Startled, Mgbafor stared helplessly at him. Yasa, strike him now, she prayed quietly. Okorie stooped down, picked up the ornaments and charms and dragged them to the backyard. He quickly dashed to the kitchen and returned with a keg of kerosene. “Give me back my things!” Mgbafor yelled. “If you come near me, I will strike you down with this axe,” Okorie threatened. Mgbafor made a run for the ornaments and charms, nonetheless. Okorie tackled her down. She hit the ground hard. For a moment, she was not able to get up. Okorie poured kerosene on the items and set them on fire. As it burned, Mgbafor felt fire race through her. “No!!!” She shouted.

Okorie ran inside their bedroom and began to toss her things outside. She managed to rise to her feet, but she was no match for Okorie. He pushed her into a room in the house and locked the door. Then he proceeded to throw her things outside. Mgbafor cried in pain as a wave of fire seemed to burn her on the inside. When Okorie was through, he let her out of the room and threw her out of the house. “Get out of my house and never return here again.” “Where am I supposed to go to, Okorie?” “Go back to your parents’ house or to the house of Yasa or Yaka, whatever you call your evil god!” Crying, she began to pick up her things. “What is going on?” A neighbor asked her as she helped her pick up her things.

“Driver, please turn on the air conditioner. I am burning in here,” Nneka complained. “But the air conditioner is already on,” the driver answered. “I am burning back here.” “I am sorry madam, but I have turned on the air conditioner to the maximum.” “Please drive fast. I need to be home!” The driver stamped his foot down on the accelerator, thrusting the car into a frightening speed. He went from a hundred kilometers an hour to one hundred and thirty five kilometers an hour.

“Right there…yes, in front of that house. Drop me off there,” Nneka said pointing. The driver stopped in front of their house. She paid him and made for the gate. “Aliyu!” she shouted. The gate man opened the gate and she walked in without saying a word to him. She was shocked by what she saw. On one side of their massive compound were her belongings. Chijioke had tossed them outside. On the other side, a fire was burning. Chijioke had found her charms and ornaments in one of the many stores in the building. He had set them on fire. “What are those, evil girl?” he yelled at her. He was standing by the main entrance with a machete in hand. “If you come near me, I will butcher you to death. You are a witch, right?” My driver is waiting for you over there. Pick up your belongings and leave. You should never come back here again!”

“Chijioke, please don’t do this!” she begged him dropping to her knees. A stabbing pain swept through her as she watched her charms burn. She had known them for most of her adult life. Yasa, where are you? She wondered as she knelt down and prayed to her god. Chijioke dragged her into the car and had Aliyu and the driver toss her things into the truck. “What of my child?” She asked through tears.” “You will never see her again. I never want to set my eyes on you ever again. I will file for a divorce against you first thing tomorrow morning.”

Chidera’s entire village was agog with gossip the next morning. People manufactured all kinds of theories as to what led Emeka to back out of the marriage at the last minute. Chidera had cried all night long. She got dressed and left the house very early before the crack of dawn. She took Miranda’s car and drove to Enugu. Her heart was filled with rage. When she reached Emeka’s house, he was still sleeping. She let herself in. As she fiddled with the door, one of Emeka’s siblings woke up. Soon, Emeka was up too. He ordered her out of the house. “How could you do this to me?” she shouted at him. “And how could you do this to me?” he yelled back at her.

“You did something to me, or didn’t you? How could you hijack my whole life like that? I want you out of here now! I am changing the keys today and I will order the gate man never to let you back in here. Out!!!” “Calm down, Emeka,” his father cautioned. “I don’t want to calm down. I wonder what she has come here to do to me. She is an evil witch. Get out now!” “Can’t I take my things, at least?” “I will send them to you. I don’t trust you at all. Please get out now!” Not even Emeka’s parents could calm him down. Chidera returned to the taxi which was still waiting for him. “Take me to Abakpa Nike,” She said giving the address to the driver. Soon, they were at the address. She knocked on the door and a lanky looking man answered the door. “My name is Chidera. I am looking for one Mr. Agusi,” Chidera said.

“That is me, what can I do for you?” “I got your address from a friend months ago. I have business to discuss with you.” “Come in.” Inside, she explained to him that she had hired someone before but they did not get the job done. “Now, I have two jobs for you.” “Are you here on behalf of the police?” Agusi asked her. He was suspicious of her. “No, I am not.” “Let me see your phone. I need to make sure that it is not recording our discussion. She tossed her phone at him. He examined it carefully. Then, he got up and walked towards her. “Please could you stand up,” he requested. She obliged him. “I am afraid, if you are serious, I have to do this,” he explained and began to search her. He touched her everywhere until he was satisfied that there was no recording machine hiding underneath her dress.

“Okay, tell me what you want,” Agusi finally said. Can I have my phone? I need to show you what I want from it.” Agusi handed her the phone. “Can I get your number, please so I can text you some pictures on WhatsApp? He did and she quickly sent him two pictures. “This one is Emeka. Here is his address,” she said writing it on a small piece of paper. “And that is Nneka. She lives in Awka with her husband at this address, but I doubt that she will be there for long. Here is the name of village,” she explained as she scribbled furiously. “I want them both dead in less than three days from now,” she said with authority. Fumbling through her purse, she dug up her cheque book. She had stashed away quite some money from her time with Emeka.

“Name your price for the job.” “That will cost you half a million naira.” “If you charged half a million naira for all your jobs, you would not be living in this place, Agusi. I was told that your maximum charge is one hundred and fifty, but I will give you one hundred and seventy. So, for both jobs, I will pay you two hundred and forty. If you get it done in three days, I will add an extra twenty thousand to that amount.” “You have a deal!” Agusi declared. “There is one thing though. You must make both look like an accident, especially the young man. I would rather you get into his house in three days’ time. I expect his family to be gone by then. Find a way into his house and suffocate him to death at gunpoint. Do not shoot him! If you do, the whole world would suspect him. I want it to look like karma caught up with him for what he did to me. Choke him to death and leave him on the bed. They would say that he went to bed and never got up.”

 “I get it. You should not worry about that.” “And for the girl, I suspect she might be in the village, because is unlikely to take her back. Wait until you can isolate her somewhere dark and lonely, then you can strangle her to death. No shooting!” “You have no problems. I need a deposit to get the job done.” “I am writing you a check for one hundred and fifty thousand naira. You will get the rest once the job is done.” “Thank you. You are generous,” Agusi said with a malicious smile on his face.

               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 12
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 10

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 11
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - traditional wedding, ornaments and charms, spirit, Star lager beer, spirit of the East, Christian mother’s association in church, naira, a big axe. An African Literary Blog
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