RISING DEEP - Episode 1

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Night after night, bound in its wall, This is our family, my parents’ room, room, darkness, evil, devil.

For seventeen years I have lived with this burden…maybe I should say curse. Night after night I sunk into a deep bottomless dark cavern. Its wall was alive. Locked into the ominous wall were the souls of… the dead… AAHH!! OOOHHH! HELP! MY SOUL THIRSTS!! Those bound in the wall of the dark cavern would scream with horror-filled voices. I don’t know who told me or how I found out, but from the first night I sunk into that hole, I knew the souls bound in its wall had been there for ages. They were mangled, twisted and had horns and tentacles shooting out from odd places in their bodies.  That was how I saw them in my mind. They hunted me many a night.

For seventeen years I lived the horror of sinking into that evil deep every night. No matter how much I cried no one ever heard me or came to my rescue. Morning after morning, I would wake with my strength gone.

At other times I would wake in the morning feeling like I was not alone in my room. I would hear voices and screams.

I would hear my name whispered in the shadows of the night. I am certain that my dwelling place had become the abode of the dead and tormented souls.

Now relax. My life had not always been about horror and infernal creatures or about the creams of the dead. At fourteen years of age I was going to change the world. I had my dreams carved clearly on the plate of my mind. I was beautiful and knew that on a good day, I could make the sanest and most disciplined brother sin. “Don’t tempt a man! Never try to seduce a man! You are shaped to kill a man; your figure is imbued with strong sexual allure. Use your beauty for God,” my mother would admonish me.

I know it will sound crazy, but it was actually my mother’s admonitions that made me realize just how awesome my shape was. When I found out the sort of influence woven into my body as a lady, I became obsessed with myself. For hours I would stand before the mirror in the bathroom staring at my naked body. From church services to sports grounds and classroom, I saw men ogle at me with lust-filled eyes. To me, there was nothing wrong with that, actually it made me feel great about myself.

My life was perfect until I turned twenty. My sister whom I had not known returned to Nigeria from Liberia to live with us. She came back on my twentieth birthday. When I met her, my impression was that she was a guest at my birthday party. About 10:00 pm in the night, my parents invited my siblings and I to their room and introduced my sister to us. “Children, this is Gegwe. She is your sister…” my dad was saying. “What!!! Sister? How?” I and my three siblings wondered aloud. “It’s okay children, we should have told you about her. Please forgive us for that. Like I said her name is Gegwe, she has been living in Liberia with uncle Jones. She will be living with us until God gives her a family of her own just like every of my girl child,” my father concluded.

“Wait! I just don’t get it! How on earth do I…how do I take it…how do I take the discovery that I have had a sister for the twenty years of my life and I did not know about it? What sort of parents are you too? How in God’s world did you two manage to keep it from us all these years?” I snapped at my parents, fuming exceedingly. My only brother and my younger sister were on my side; I could see it in their eyes. With that much support from them, I tore deeper into my parents.

“Look around the house, there is not a single photo of her to show you are her parents. How do I and my siblings adjust at this age to the idea that this person is our sister?” I was livid at this point. “Shut up your trap and welcome your sister Patricia!” my mother yelled at me. It was at this time that I really turned to have a good look at Gegwe. She seemed to glow, her smile was infectious. I could tell my outburst had no effect on her. She did not even show anger toward my parents for not telling us about her. She simply stood there looking at us all.

There was embarrassing silence in the room. As it threatened to reach asphyxiating level, my brother foot-dragged toward Gegwe and gave her a hug. Gegwe held him firmly like she had been waiting for that hug all her life. Then my heart melted. Who knows what she may have been through all her life, I thought. I reached out and hugged Gegwe. I will swear on my life, when I hugged her, it felt as though I had hugged the thin air. Though she was right before me, yet my hands and body embraced nothing. I tried to pull away from her, then her body materialized in my embrace. In that split second, I died a thousand times. In my heart, I knew the devil had found his way into our home, and sadly, she was an offspring of my parents.

Well, that was my thought, until I found out who the real devil in our home was. “How old are you Gegwe?” my brother asked. He was beginning to act like a boy who had found a new girlfriend. “I am eighteen. Thanks for asking Samuel,” Gegwe replied. “Gegwe, your loud mouthed sister is Patricia and the lovely looking girl to your left is Sandra. You already know the boy in front of you is Samuel. This is our family, you are welcome home,” my mother said, smiling.

“Welcome home Gegwe,” I said and then Samuel and Sandra echoed the same. That night Sandra was the only one who said nothing to Gegwe except for the formal ‘welcome home’ she had echoed after me. She did not even so much as hug her. When I searched Sandra’s eyes for cues as to why she responded to Gegwe the way she did, I found deep seated fear. As we filed out of my parents’ room, Sandra moved closer to me and whispered the following bible passage, “...Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." “Why did you say that, Sandra?” I asked. “This new sister of ours is not from this earth. I get the creeps looking at her,” she replied.

I turned to look at Gegwe who was holding hands with Samuel, she seemed normal to me. Had it not been for what I experienced earlier, I would have concluded that Sandra was wrong. Then for no reason at all, I turned to look at my parents. They held each other with their eyes. I felt there was some much being said between them. Their faces were tort. I could tell they knew more than they had told us about Gegwe.

Forlornly, I and Sandra dragged ourselves into my room. For about an hour we said nothing to each other. It was as if a cloud of darkness had been spread over our family. When Sandra finally spoke up, all she had to say was in form of a request which showed just how scared she was about the latest member of our family. “Can I start sleeping in your room now, Pat?” I couldn’t turn her down. “Yes you can,” I replied. The truth was that I was as much afraid as Sandra was and needed someone to share my room with for the fear of Gegwe. “We have to start praying these days. I feel the devil has remembered our family,” Sandra said looking down on the floor as though she was reading the words she spoke. Truly, she scared the living day out of me.

“Stop that Sandra!” I yelled at her. “Don’t tell me to stop! She is evil! I feel it! That Gegwe is evil!” Sandra countered. “I am not evil! Stop it you two!! You just don’t have a clue what I have been through. Give me a chance before you judge me!” Gegwe shouted from the door. None of us had heard her come into my room. It was as though she walked through the door. Sandra leapt on me and began to call the name of Jesus. I tried to pray but my tongue felt heavy. Only my eyes moved in utter shock.

Gegwe stepped closer and sat on the floor. “If you knew what they did to me, you would stop treating me as though I was evil. Why was it that mom and dad could not even tell you people about me? Everybody hates me! Its better I die! I came back hoping I would find love, but in the last few minutes you all found out I am your sister, all I have received is hatred. Kill me! God kill me. Even my own blood hates me!” Gegwe cried. Her cry tore through my heart. In spite of myself, I came out of the bed and took her in my arms, this time she felt real in my hands. Sandra sat up on the bed and watched us carefully. She was still wary of Gegwe.


Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: RISING DEEP - Episode 1
RISING DEEP - Episode 1
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Night after night, bound in its wall, This is our family, my parents’ room, room, darkness, evil, devil.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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