MOTHER IN-LAW - Episode 11

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - perfumed flowers, grave, father in-law, dead, home, Emmanuel, father, male strength, cemetery keeper, killed, flowers.


With a huge smile on his face, the cemetery keeper walked to Janet where she was sitting under the mango tree and announced he was done with his work of weeding her father in-law’s grave, and had presented him with perfumed flowers. “So, can I go read him the poem now, right?” she asked. “Yes, I believe he can’t wait to hear those words,” said the man.

Staggering on his bad limbs, he followed Janet back to the grave. Janet was not sure, but somewhere in the recesses of her mind was the knowledge that what she was doing bothered on necromancy. To lighten her mind, heavily burdened with guilt, she mumbled a short prayer to God. “Dear God, please forgive me. I am not sure about this, but in my current dire situation, this is the only solution I can get my hands on.” That prayer did not lighten her heavy heart, but it afforded her some pseudo comfort, for having condemned the act of communicating with the dead before she embarked on it.


For the next ten minutes, Janet summoned her intellectual astuteness and read the words of the poem as though she was reading the wordings of a holy poem in the church.  Her mind was so focused on the words of the poem that she did not see any of the rather paranormal activities happening around the grave. The cemetery keeper was mesmerized. He was almost delirious by what he saw. As Janet read the words, the sand on the grave seemed to bounce up and down in a rhythmic fashion. It was at the point she finished reading the poem that she turned her gaze back to the man next to her. The man was literally jazzed.

“What is it sir?” she asked. The man looked up, his face wrapped up in Elysium.  With stuttering lips, he replied, “I… I… Saw the grave… The grave danced! I saw the grave dance! The dead in it is happy!” That was not something to say to a lady totally na├»ve about spiritual things and the dead. Janet felt her heart beat irregularly with pungent twinge of pain. She stepped away from the grave, afraid it might open up and swallow her whole. Then a blast of wind blew in-between them and a voice like the voice of the wind whispered, “Find my killer and you will have found your oppressor.”

The effect of the voice was so staggering that her feet could not hold her up any longer. Irrespective of her class, she sat on the ground, wishing she was home. I don’t get it. Why did he not tell me who killed him, instead of sending me to find the person? Janet thought. As if her father in-law was in her head, a voice spoke to her again, “In my death I was forbidden to speak of what happened to me. I want to, but I can’t. If you don’t find who killed me, you will be next.” That was it for Janet. She could not take any more of that paranormal conversation. She stood to her feet and bolted away, trying very hard not to scream her head off.

Because of his deformity, the cemetery keeper could not keep up with Janet. All he could do was shout at her to stop running, but Janet would have none of that. She was done with seeking help from the dead.

Emmanuel’s Home
Emmanuel was home by now and very much bothered by what his friend had told him to do. “As much as I am afraid Janet might be jinxed, I cannot bear to cheat on her. What if it turns out I am wrong?” Emmanuel whispered to himself as he paced about his living room. While he walked about his living room restlessly, his eyes rested on a picture of his father on the wall and a thought seized his mind. “What on earth was my father here for the other night?” he asked aloud to no one. Before he could process that thought, another one hit him, “What did mom mean by daddy ‘died in vain’?” Like a prey being hypnotized by a serpent, he sunk into the closest sofa to him. “God please help me! I don’t know how we came to this… Look at me trying to cheat on my wife… My mother saying my father died in vain… My male strength gone mysteriously and the dead showing up in my house… and there is even a remote possibility that my wife might have a spiritual husband. How can a happy life turn so sour in a short time?” he wondered as he prayed.

He was lost in his searing thoughts of sorrow, when Janet barged into the house. She was almost beside herself. When Emmanuel saw the look of her face, he was shocked. He could not bear to ignore her. Janet was happy to meet him at home. She ran toward him and threw herself on him and began to sob deeply. Emmanuel was full of thoughts as to why she was crying. He assumed that perhaps she was about to confess to him what she knew about his condition. Patiently he waited for her to speak up. “Baby we are in trouble,” she said as if Emmanuel did not know that much.

“We have been in trouble since our wedding night, that much is clear to me,” Emmanuel said with sarcasm. “I spoke with your father; he said…” Janet was saying. She was stopped by the look on Emmanuel’s face. “You spoke with my father!” he wondered. Emmanuel could hear his own heartbeat. “Yes, I did. I went to his grave to plead with him to return your male strength which I supposed he took from you…” “And he spoke to you?” “It wasn’t that straightforward. I did some things to please him.” Emmanuel became much more afraid of her. He shifted away from her. His thoughts were, “So you are not just jinxed, you practice witchcraft too?”

Janet could see he was a bit distracted and so she asked. “Are you listening to me, baby?” “Yes, what did you do to make my father speak to you?” He was beginning to give his worries away in the manner he spoke. “You, your mother and Arit neglected him for long. His grave was not weeded and no one brought him flowers. I was told by the cemetery keeper that most nights he was seen sitting on his grave crying.” “Crying? My father was crying?” “Yes he was. He told me he was killed…” That was the clincher. Instead of shifting away from Janet, he moved closer. “Did he tell you who killed him?” he asked with a whisper. “No he did not. But he warned me that if we do not find his killer, I will be killed soon.” The thought of Janet dying made Emmanuel realize how much he really loved her.

Taking her into his hands warmly and his eyes locked with hers, he said with frightening cold voice, “I will kill a whole nation than let any harm come upon you.” The sound of that was very reassuring to Janet. She nodded, happy that his cold attitude toward her was thawing. “But my father should have told you who killed him,” Emmanuel thought aloud. “I wanted him to tell me, but he said he was forbidden in his death to reveal the person’s identity or the things he knows. I am afraid to admit that he sounded as though he was killed by an occult power. You can’t kill a man and shut his mouth from speaking what he knew, except you are using occult powers,” Janet said.

Emmanuel picked his phone to call his friend who suggested he find another woman to show love to prove if Janet was jinxed and in that instance, he felt his male organ swing back to life as if it broke out from under a ceiling. With both hands he grabbed his private part, looking embarrassed. “It is back to life! Baby I can feel it like before! My male organ is back to life!” Emmanuel shouted. Janet could not move. Her mouth hung wide open in shock as she looked spaced out. “Your father has done it. He has fought for us,” she whispered. Emmanuel stood up, lifted her in his arms and made a dash toward the bedroom.

Mrs. Asibong’s Office
She was giving her personal assistant some instructions when her phone rang. It was not her regular ring tone. She knew who was calling and it had been eleven long years since they spoke last. She had carried his number and assigned a special tone to it in each of her new phones, those long years. “I am sorry, that is an important call and I have to take it in privacy,” she said to her personal; assistant. Hastily she walked her assistant to the door and shut it. She went back to her table and picked the call, “Hello, you are not meant to call me except something goes wrong. So, tell me, what has gone wrong?” “Your daughter in-law visited your husband’s grave today. I heard she had his grave weeded, gave him perfumed flowers and read him a poem,” a male voice said. “And…?” “Nothing more,” replied the male voice.

Her breathing became strong and beads of sweat appeared on her forehead. “I looked into that girl before I allowed her to come into my home. Why didn’t I see all this? This is the second time she would set beyond her bounds… Have you looked at the chains, are they still in place?” “You have nothing to worry about. The chains are in place.” “But the other night, he was seen in my son’s house. How did that happen?” “If there was trouble, I would have told him. It was not him that they saw, he sent another to appear like him. I knew about that and there was no way I could stop it.” “I thought as much,” Mrs. Asibong said with a sigh of relief. “I would have you watch him closely tonight, find out how he fares. You know if he breaks out, the rest will come with him,” she added. “Yes I know.” “Thanks for the information, I will deal ruthlessly with my daughter in-law.”

STORY CONTINUES...
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 12

               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 10

Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: MOTHER IN-LAW - Episode 11
MOTHER IN-LAW - Episode 11
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - perfumed flowers, grave, father in-law, dead, home, Emmanuel, father, male strength, cemetery keeper, killed, flowers.
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