Ikenga- Episode 4

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IKENGA
Ikenga- Episode 4

Theme: (The Demon I Saw)

By Praise Chidera Obiora 


I staggered backward and came crashing down to the floor like a fallen Udara tree. I stared at
Amara piercingly in the eyes. I could feel my pulse beat very fast. The sweat on my forehead was
triggered by the sudden fear I felt.
"No please, take back the mangoes. Tell Agundaobi to take back his mangoes. I do not want any
more. I just want to go home. I want to go home to the arms of my poor grandmother. She must be
worried about me now. It is already noon and I am not yet back home. Please let me go. Forgive
me." I pleaded with my hands raised high.
Amara kept staring at me. She never said a word or replied me.
I stood up and ran away from her, leaving my three red Igbuala mangoes behind. I was bent on getting back home as fast as possible. When I do get home, I was going to pull off every cloth I
had on me and run straight to the shower to take my bath, there after, I shall remain inside the
house for days without going out.
Just yesterday, I had fetched enough water from the stream to last us seven market days.
Grandma had bought food just yesterday too. My stay indoors was going to be guaranteed.
I got tired of running and soon started walking. I was literarily staggering like a drunk man
intoxicated by palmwine. The short cut had soon became a long walk. Despite my fast run and fast
walk, I still could not see the end of the bush path. It seemed to me like I was on a long journey
through the wilderness.
I turned left and sighted the kola nut tree. It was there in a distance. I stopped and stared at it. This
was my first time of seeing a cola nut tree with my own eyes. It was not as tall as the coconut
trees. It was exactly the size of the mango trees and the apple tree that were planted in the farms
of villagers, and road paths in Agugu.
At that moment, I thought of grandma. I remembered how she took her kola nuts as her favourite
companion and her greatest muse.
Grandma had once told me "Give me kola nuts and you would be making me the happiest woman
on earth."
"Give me kolanuts and I shall tell you the sweetest stories you want to hear."
She said a child who offers Kolanut to his elders, also increases his own life span, because such
an elder will spend the rest of their days chewing the kolanut and praying that the gods preserve
them.
I still remember the first kolanuts I bought her. It was on a market day. I had gone to buy tubers of
yams in the market and had sighted this woman with a tray of kola. I stopped to buy grandma
some kolanuts. I knew she was going to love them.
When I got home and handed it over to her. Grandma smiled. She planted a deep kiss on my
forehead and laid her hands on my head.
"Ehennnn. This is how a child should behave. This is what a child should give to his parents. A
child who buys sweets for his parents shortens their life span, because he feeds them with sugar.
But one who buys kola wants his parents to live long, and they will definitely live long."
That day, grandma blessed me with both hands. I watched as she broke the kola in two and threw
half in her mouth while she put in the other half in her breast wear.
I thought of grandma and how disappointed she will be with me, when she finds out that I had
eaten from the Igbuala mango tree - the same mangoes she had warned me not to eat from.
With my hands on my waist, I kicked a big stone and turned to continue my journey.
"Do you really think you will get home after all you have done.?"
I turned in search of the voice that spoke. I had recognized that voice. It was that of Amara the
daughter of Agundoabi the god of love and beauty.
"Where are you? Why are you following me?" I thundered in fear.
"Too sad you cannot see me any more."
"But why? Show me your face Amara."
"I am a god remember? I am the only daughter of Agundaobi the god of love and beauty.chat
MartinMartino on zero eight one eighty thirty fourteen twenty one to be added to his WhatsApp
group. I am a spirit and not human."
"But you were human few minutes back. I saw you. I felt your feet touch the floor. I saw the
bushes give way as you walked through it. I felt your soft hands on my shoulders. You are a
human and not a spirit."
"Well yes. Somehow I look like a human and I am also a spirit. That is because the gods look like
humans, but can't be seen. The gods created every human that walks upon the surface of the
earth to look exactly like them."
"But he never gave them powers to rule the world. Because humans are greedy, selfish and
thieves. Humans are like grasshoppers. All they do is destroy what the gods have created."
I heaved a sigh.
"Why do you call us greedy and selfish? I am not greedy, neither am I selfish."
"Will you keep quite." Amara's voice thundered in my ears.
"Over two hundred mango trees planted and provided to you by the gods, yet just one mango tree-
one mango tree you were asked not to touch, you still went your way to have it."
"You did not only have one to eat, but you made sure you plucked four and filled up your pockets  like a stingy thief. Are you not a selfish human? Are you not?"
"But humans are not as perfect as the gods. I was tempted. We are created to fall into
temptations. Even the gods themselves fell into temptation by dating a beautiful human. That
shows even the gods make mistakes."
"Will you keep quiet Ikenga. I will roast your mouth with fire for the words you have just spoken.
Are you trying to mock my father? Ikenga do you want to make a jest of my own father?"
"No. I am just saying. We are not perfect. I fell a victim to the beauty of the fruit. I admired it
instead of looking away from it."
"I could not stop admiring those red ripe mangoes, just the same way I couldn't stop looking into
your beautiful eyes when you emerged behind me."
"I couldn't get myself to run away from you. I had never seen such beauty as yours. It was like
it...."
"Keep quiet you human with a sweet tongue." Amara roared loudly.
"Speak to me no more. You think you can woo me with your sweet words?"
I felt Amara voice rise in anger. I bowed my head to the floor and buried my knees to the grass.
"I am only a human who saw true beauty and appreciated it. The least I ask for now is forgiveness
from the gods. Please forgive me. I have long let go of the mangoes. I am no longer with them.
Please let the gods forgive me for this I have committed." I pleaded.
I felt my eyes being soaked with tears. I felt my throat suddenly dry.
"Ikenga, the gods only forgives the sins of those who did not know that they have sinned. When
the gods warn and you disobey their instructions despite their warning, you shall be punished."
"Now Ikenga, you must face your second demon."
"Nooooooo!" I shouted with every strength in the fibres of my body.
I saw a scorpion emerge from the bushes onto the path way. It stood in front of me, glaring at my
feet and pointing its telson in my direction Its stinger lifted high above its head. I lifted my legs to
smash the scorpions head, when suddenly a thunder struck. I heard a rushing sound like ants
moving through the bushes. It sounded like a bunch of bees flying in my direction. Soon, I saw
many more scorpions of black, white and brown rush out of the bush.
The scorpion which was standing in front of me, suddenly grew tall with long legs. Its tail was as
long as a rope. It was thick and bigger than my both hands.
In its eyes I could see fury. I saw its claws grow bigger in size. Inside of claws was a big red
tongue with two edges. I followed with my eyes piercingly fixed on this giant scorpion, as I saw its
legs grow thicker and its body become fatter.
The Tiny scorpions which were over three thousand, rushed in my direction like a broken pipe of
water.
My tried to move my feet but it couldn't be moved. I found myself glued to where I was standing.
"Agundaobi forgive me." Were the three words that left my lips in whispers.
To be continued...

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