RISING DEEP - Episode 11

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - satisfying their hunger, plantain, beans balls, lady, potato and yam chips, hospital, pastor, hairdresser, bike rider, evil bird.

Under the Plantain Trees
“Pat, I am very hungry,” said Sandra. Patricia rubbed her stomach gently and yawned. Sandra’s words had obviously reminded her how hungry she was as well. “You can’t be as hungry as I am. I can eat a whale all by myself right now,” she said yawning harder. In silence their eyes darted about in search of a possible means of quenching their hunger. They still were not yet aware of their location, but for now, satisfying their hunger was their priority. “Should we go and beg for food?” Sandra asked, making her face tell Patricia what she thought about that. “You want to beg for food. I can see it in your eyes, why ask me? Get up let’s go.” With a warm smile which bellied all she had been through, Sandra stood to her feet and followed Patricia who was already headed out of the cover of the plantain trees.

For over twenty minutes they meandered through the neighbourhood without finding anyone who seemed like he or she might help them out with what to eat. Then they spotted a lady frying beans balls, yam, potatoes and plantain. “Do you think she might want to give us some?” Patricia asked. “The only way to find out is to ask,” replied Sandra.  Like street urchins, the two of them made their way to the lady. Some distance away, they waited patiently for a man who was buying beans balls to leave. When the man left, hurrying toward his car, the approached the lady carefully. All over their faces were written shame. They had not had to beg before. “Ehen, what do you want to buy young ladies?” the lady asked. Patricia and Sandra looked at each hopelessly waiting for who would be first to tell the lady their plight. “Be quick please, I need to turn my beans balls, they are about to burn,” the lady said irritatingly. “We don’t have money to buy anything, but we are hungry. Can you help us with anything to eat?” Patricia blurted, surprising both herself and Sandra.

The lady looked them over and for once, their torn clothes and unkempt appearance registered on her mind. “Are you serious about what you just said?” she asked Patricia. The two of them nodded like little children. “Madam, give them enough fries to fill their stomachs, I will pay,” a voice said from behind them. They turned to see the man who had bought some beans balls earlier. “Take your seats young girls,” said the lady. “Thank you sir,” Patricia and Sandra chorused. “You are welcome…look over there, that is my car, when you too are done, come over for some change, the both of you look awful in your clothes,” the man said and walked away. He had been observing them from his car.

The lady served them a mix of fried potatoes and yam sprinkled with pepper sauce. They humbly took the plate from the lady and helped themselves with the food in it. Keeping her gaze in the direction of the man who bought the food for Patricia and Sandra, the lady whispered, “You people should not go to him when you are done eating.” Her voice gave Patricia and Sandra much concern. “Why did you say that? He just bought us food, he has to be a good man,” Sandra queried. “He is not to be rusted at all. He is not a good man. The rumours flying about concerning him are scary.” “Why should we believe what you have to say about him over what we have seen of him?” Patricia asked.

“The two of you are lost, are you not?” Patricia and Sandra looked at each other, wondering whether to volunteer some privilege information to the lady. “We are really not lost, we only had a problem with our parents and are trying to get home,” said Sandra. “That was exactly what the man told me before the two of you came here.” With that, the lady got the attention of Patricia and Sandra. “What are you talking about madam?” asked Sandra. “Do you mean that he came asking about us before we even arrived here?” Patricia asked with her mouth wide agape. “That is exactly what I am saying. I have known that man for donkey years and for once he did not speak a word to me or responded to my greetings, and today he walked up to me, bought fries of two thousand naira and began to ask me if I had seen two sisters in torn clothes. He claimed they had fallen out with their parents and ran away from home. He told me he is their uncle. I didn’t believe what he said…in fact I kept the money he gave me away from the rest I have made today…”

“What is his name?” Sandra asked. “Mr. dead.” “What?!!!” exclaimed the two sisters. “What sort of name is that?” asked Patricia. “No one knows his name. Mr. dead is what children call him because he does not talk to anyone. People claim that he died in his village long time ago and came over to this place to spend what was left of his time on earth before death took him away.” “Oh God. He is coming back, Patricia,” said Sandra. “Give me your plate, I will tell him you people are not done with eating yet,” the lady said. Patricia and Sandra took the potato and yam chips that were left in the plate and gave the plate to the lady. Eating the chips hungrily, they cut the look of those who were really famished.

The hospital
Pastor Yemi Silva led his prayer team into the hospital. “I am pastor Yemi, please I am looking for nurse Caroline.” “We have been expecting you sir. You are the pastor the hairdresser sent for, right?” asked the nurse at the reception. “Yes I am. Please where is the hairdresser?” “Come with me sir.” The nurse led pastor Yemi and his team to the ward where the hairdresser and the bike rider were. Tugging behind, pastor Yemi was Samuel.

“God I thank you!” the hairdresser shouted when she saw Samuel. Samuel ran over to her bed and gave her a hug. “Thank you Bidemi, I heard you are the one who called pastor on my behalf. God bless you. How are you doing now? You went through all this for me, I can’t believe it.” “I am glad I could help. Sammy I am not the only one to thank, that bike rider almost lost his life trying to take me to pastor Yemi.” Samuel turned toward his left and saw his bike man. “What happened to you Tom?” Samuel asked as he sat on the edge of his bed. The bike showed just how happy he was to see Samuel in good health by beaming with a smile. “Look at you now, you looked like you were going to die when I saw you at the community playground. What happened to you? You had everybody scared,” the bike rider said.

While Samuel and the bike rider reacquainted with each other, the hairdresser was giving pastor Yemi and his prayer team the full version of what happened to Samuel and how she and the bike rider were attacked by a black evil bird. “The power of God has destroyed the evil bird. I had to come over here quickly after Samuel recovered from the attack of the devil,” pastor Yemi said. Lowering her voice, the hairdresser asked, “Has Samuel told you what was responsible for his condition?” “No, I am yet to hear his story. Like I said, we had to get here quickly to see how you are doing.” “That bike rider is a brave man, without him Samuel would have died. He was the one who rushed Samuel to the hospital when he found him at the community playground…I have tried Patricia’s number without success. I am beginning to get worried about her.”

“Bidemi, I am worried too. I can’t reach anyone in Samuel’s family. When we were praying for Samuel I saw some disturbing visions. I can’t wait to hear what Samuel said a certain seer told him. He was eager to tell me at the hospital but, I asked him to wait until we have seen how you are doing.” “Okay sir, thanks for coming. I am glad God saved Samuel.” “I am too. Let me talk to that bike rider, people with his kind of heart are hard to come by.” “Okay sir.” Pastor Yemi stood up and went over to have a chat with the bike rider. “Good day young man, I have heard so much about you. I am pastor Yemi Silva.” “Good day pastor.” “May God bless you for the help you offered to Samuel. Do not fear about the evil bird, we have killed it with prayer at Life Spring Hospital. You are going to leave this hospital in one piece. Do not worry about your hospital bill, our church will take care of it. You are a good man. What is your name?” “I am Tom Israel.” “Tom, I want to pray for you. I want God to grant you speedy recovery.” “Thank you sir, I can use some prayers.”

Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: RISING DEEP - Episode 11
RISING DEEP - Episode 11
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - satisfying their hunger, plantain, beans balls, lady, potato and yam chips, hospital, pastor, hairdresser, bike rider, evil bird.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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