Ikenga- Episode 3

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IKENGA
Ikenga- Episode 3

Theme: (The Demon I Saw)

By Praise Chidera Obiora 


There was a sudden silence that erupted. All I could hear was the wind blow the branches of trees
from left to right. I felt my fear slowly creeping again. My boldness seemed to have disappeared. I
wondered if this was actually a human voice that had spoken to me or another spirit. I stood with
my feet trembling, while I turned round in terror.
"Ikenga." A soft hand landed a firm grip on my shoulders.
I freaked out and gave a short loud scream. I fell to the floor and turned in a hurry to see the hands
that had touched my shoulders.
I turned to find her laughing. It was a fair maiden. She laughed like I was tickling her armpits. She
laughed so hard. She had seen the fear on my face and the funny expression too and couldn't
stop laughing.
"You said you were not going to be scared. So why are you scared? Why have you fallen to the
ground when I have not even pushed you yet? Why do you want to run when I wasn't even
chasing you. " She asked.
This was a young lady standing in front of me. She was slender and very beautiful. She had long
black hair that fell neatly behind her shoulders. Her hair was so long that it ended below her waist.
I felt like combing it with my fingers. I wanted to feel its texture and softness on my skin.
She was clad in two white wrappers. One of the wrappers was wrapped around her breast, but
exposed her flat belly. And another was tied to her waist, but stopped below her laps. She was
standing bare footed on the rocky floor.
My eyes went to her big toes, and I saw how beautiful her nails were. She had straight legs, and
well shaped curves. I stared at her face, and saw the beauty she possessed. Her eyes were like
candle lights. Her nose were pointed and looked like one I could yank off her face.
Her lips were pinkish in color. They were well shaped and neatly curved. When she smiled, I saw
her set of white teeth sparkle like the pearls gotten from the Aguja shrine. Those teeth were like
that of a babies own. They were spotless and neat. They looked like a teeth that had never
chewed on any food substance before.
This was a god mother of beauty- the most beautiful maiden I had ever set eyes on in the village
of Agugu.
When she spoke, the wind stood still like a servant waiting for instructions from its master. Even
the sun smiled in pleasure. Her voice echoed sweetly in my ears
"You must be a god. If you are not, then you must be a human but not from this world."
I watched as she smiled while she stared at me with her head tilted to the left.
"Who are you? Where do you come from? You are not from this kingdom."
"How do you know I am not from this Kingdom?" She asked.
"You do not look like any of the maidens I have seen in Agugu. Your beauty is one beyond the
walls of this land. Your type of person is only told in stories for all to listen and imagine. Please tell
me your name. I want to know who you are."
"Why do you wish to know my name?" She asked.
"Because you know mine. I am even wondering how you know mine. Tell me. How did you know
my name."
"You ask too many questions Ikenga. Too many many questions for your age."
"But I only asked you just two questions. What your name is, and how you knew my own name. Is
that too Much to ask?"
She stooped and looked at my pocket. She sighted the pregnant left pocket that carried the
remaining three red Igbuala mangoes.
"Ikenga, You finally plucked fruits from the Igbuala tree. You must be a stubborn lad. You are
really determined to challenge the gods."
"No I didn't. I saw them on the floor. Me? I do not pluck fruits. It was a great wind that blew and
shook the tree. The fruits fell to the floor. The mangoes were already over ripe. When I saw this, I
picked them up."
"Ikenga, you are not only a thief but a liar. A big liar. In the next few hours, you shall be dead. You
shall face the gods wrath. Your spirit shall burn in the fire of the gods. Look and admire this eyes
and beauty now, because this shall be the last face you shall see.."
I stood up from the floor and walked towards her. I did not understand what she meant by a few
hours to live. How was she so sure. She spoke like one who knew I was going to die.
"A few hours? Dead in a few a few hours? How do you mean? Tell me please."
"He who takes fruit from the red Igbuala mango tree shall die. You know of this already."
"No I do not. My grandmother only told me about something like a curse. A curse that makes us
see things the gods alone can see."
"Wait! Was that why the giant snake with seven heads chased me. Was that why I kept hearing
voices? Was it because of the mangoes."
"Yes. Demons. That is what they are. They are called the Demons of Agugu. That was just the first
demon you saw. You are really lucky to have escaped that demon. Many have been swallowed
and eaten by the snake demon. Many more demons shall come after you. You have eaten from
the fruits of the tree, now you shall die."
"Who creates a snake demon and plants it as a tree?"
"Agundaobi does. He is the god of beauty and love, but he has power to punish the stubborn and
beautiful too. Agundaobi created seven separate demons he uses to punish and protect his
villagers. Each of this demons comes with its form and power."
"And who did he punish? Who did he turn into a snake with seven heads."
"The seven headed snakes were the seven widows who killed their husbands. Agundaobi
gathered them up and turned them into a big giant tree with seven branches. He uses them as
weapons to hunt those who have disobeyed his instructions."
"For now Ikenga, you have escaped the first demon- the seven headed snakes. There are six
demons left."
I quivered in fear and trembled. I dipped my hands in my pocket and pulled out the three red
Igbuala mangoes and flung them on the floor.
"I do not want the mangoes again. He should take them away from me. He should forgive me."
"Ikenga, it is too late. With or without eating your mangoes, you must face the remaining five
demons."
"How did you know this? Who are you? Please tell me." I demanded as I took my steps
backwards, slowly moving away from her.
"My name is Amara Agundoabi Ochebe. The first daughter of Agundaobi, the god of beauty and
love. And the daughter to the queen god mother of beauty, Ijeoma Agundaobi."
"I am the seventh demon and the strongest of them all. If you manage to defeat the rest, you shall
not defeat me. Ikenga I am sent to kill you."
To be continued....

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