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Episode 11

Melinda & Austin listened raptly.”You told me Angelique was seen at Beach Palm after her death, well that wasn’t Angelique, it was Michael” “We saw Angelique, Lanre and Obiorah in Uyo. They pleaded with me to dig up Micheal’s grave. Was that Michael?” Asked Melinda “No,that was a case of the dead souls looking to break free from their lord” “How then do you plan to dig up something as strong as this?” Asked Austin “Those who revealed this mystery to me in Calabar, also told me what to do”. After Osoba had said that he asked Melinda a question which startled her “Melinda, did you put on the cloth Michael sent to you?” Both Austin & Melinda couldn’t figure out how Osoba got to know about the cloth “No, I haven’t” “Thank God you didn’t. Had you worn it,your soul would have been bound to Michael’s soul. He desires to take you as his bride” Melinda was shocked when Osoba said that.

“Is there no other way of stopping Michael?” asked Melinda “My two friends here have dug up shades on a few occasions. I don’t know for you and Austin, but we are ready to confront whatever is in that grave”
“No Osoba, we will be there with you”,said Austin.

Later in the night, they all drove down to Eku-Obhiosa in a Toyata bus. When they arrived at some distance near Michael’s father residence, they stopped their bus and quickly took their tools and headed for the lonely grave. Melinda had made a stop on the way to buy a pocket bible; as soon as they alighted from the bus, she firmly took hold of Austin with one hand and held her bible open to psalm 23 and read aloud ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me..” Osoba’s friends, Etim and Ochuma didn’t waste time to set to work. They dragged a big chain across the grave and set a small calabash atop it. The calabash slowly borrowed it way into the grave and disappeared from sight. Melinda & Austin could not believe their eyes. Etim and Ochuma began to dig from one end of the grave. Osoba stood at a distance, wielding a sharp machet; in the background Melinda continued to recite psalm 23:4-6. As the two men dug the grave ebulliently, out of blue, Simon and two young men stormed the grave site, firing gun shots into the air. Melinda & Austin scampered into the bush; while Osoba and his two friends stood their ground sizing up Simon and the two guys by his sides “I would be most glad if you stop digging up this grave and leave here immediately”, said Simon “May I ask what is your business with the grave?” Quizzed Osoba “The inhabitant doesn’t want to be disturbed and has hired me to stop you”, answered Simon.

“Simon! Simon! Lower your gun! What in God’s world are you doing?” Austin called out as they stepped out of the bush “Protecting the grave and its inhabitant”, replied Simon impudently “Austin stay away from him, Michael has taken over his mind!” Shouted Melinda “No, he is in his right mind” countered Osoba “Is that you Melinda?” Asked Simon “Yes Simon. I don’t know what has come over you. We have found out the truth,it wasn’t The Riches of the Grave that killed our friends,it was Michael..” “Michael killed them?” Simon lowered his gun and motioned to his two guys to do same “Simon you are mislead, Michael fooled us all, The Riches of the Grave didn’t kill him; rather he killed our friends to rise as a lord in an occult organization called the Circle of stars..” “Where did you heard that name from? I saw a crest on Michael this morning bearing that name on it”. Melinda pointed to Osoba and said “That guy, he has solved the Michael riddle. So why are you here?” “Verah had a nasty attack yesterday morning, so I drove off to see strong pastor. Instead of going to see the pastor, I ended up at Cream Royal. I went in and sat down, Michael came out & made me an offer guys..” Simon paused.

“What offer?” Asked Austin, Melinda & Osoba simultaneously. “He said he would let Verah and I live if I stopped you guy” “Simon you are being conned, Michael is going to kill you as soon as he knows you have stopped us. You took part in the rituals for The Riches of the Grave right?” Asked Osoba “Yes I did” “That means that Michael will never let you live, he has become by that ritual the lord of your star” “Who is this guy Melinda?” Asked Simon “He is a specialist in dealing with the stubborn dead. Step aside and let him finish” said Melinda “What if he fails?”
“If I was going to fail Michael wouldn’t have sent you down here. The first time I came here to dig up his grave, he sent no one to do his job. He took care of things his way and I failed. Now things are different, he knows I will succeed so he sent you” Austin explained futher “He is right Simon. Remember Michael told us some months ago that he had three hours to return to his grave, that was all a lie too”
“This guy had better succeed, because if he fails, I will put a bullet in his head before Michael gets to me”, said Simon

To be continued

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