Ikenga- Episode 5

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IKENGA
Ikenga- Episode 5

Theme: (The Demon I Saw)

By Praise Chidera Obiora 


A flash of lightning followed almost immediately, causing thick darkness. The eyes of the tiny
scorpions flashed like lighted touches running in my direction. I turned and ran as fast as I could. I
searched with my eyes for the nearest tree I could climb. I turned to my left and sighted the Kola
nut tree I had passed earlier on. My only hope of survival depended on that tree. It was the only
hiding place I had.
Six tiny scorpions which had successfully climbed my cloths, landed random stings on my back
and ears. I shouted in terror and winced in great pain. With my hands, I dusted them off my cloths
and increased my steps faster towards the Kola nut tree.
I was running and panting in great fear. I ran like a man chased by ten lions. The fearful sight of
the scorpions had increased my adrenaline. My legs quickened as I ran like a horse.
Little had I gotten to the tree when I lifted my legs and jumped like an aragutan on one of the
branches of Kola nut tree.
The branch I had stepped foot on, made a creaking sound. I grabbed on to another which was
above my head and held on to it. I watched from above as the tiny scorpions lifted their tails and
clasped their hungry claws in disappointment.
I felt their rage. The creaking sound from their incessant clasping of their claws, sounded like the
raining of Ice blocks on a metal zinc. I used the palm of my hands to close my both ears as the
noice became louder. I tried to find a perfect branch to place my both legs, while I kept a stern eye
on the hungry creatures.
With the way I stared at them, it felt to me like I could see every single one of them. They didn't
make an attempt to climb the tree. I really did not know if they could even climb the tree.
It felt like the gathering of soldiers. They had surrounded the whole tree and made the floor look
like a carpet of scorpions.
I heaved a sigh and sat down on one of the thick branches. Immediately, I remembered the tree
with the seven headed snakes. I remembered how it had slowly turned soft while I leaned on it. I
used my hands to feel the kola nut tree just to make sure it was still hard and was not turning into
yet another snake.
In my heart, I silently prayed that the tree remained as it were. I prayed that it was just an ordinary
kolanut tree, and not another trap set by the gods.
"Let all this be a dream. Let me be dreaming." I prayed as I looked down at the creatures.
I lifted my eyes to find the biggest of them all- it was the first tiny scorpion I had seen- the very
first scorpion that had grown into a giant scorpion.
It seemed to have been the mother of all the other tiny scorpions that surrounded the tree. This
creature was two times bigger than the kolanut tree l was resting on.
My fear arose again. I watched keenly as it approached slowly. It looked like one which was not in
a hurry to hunt me. It walked like a king and didn't run like the rest of the other scorpions.
Aside the red set of tongue in the claws of this creature, I saw the tail erupt with hot fire that shined
from the distance. It had horns which was planted at its jaws like an elephant. I saw its its eyes shine brighter than the tiny scorpions. It approached the tree and stood still. I noticed its ten giant
legs stand firm like that of an iroko tree.
It sniffed with its nose like a woman who had received red roses from her husband. I felt its breath
blow the leaves of the kolanut tree. The creature sneezed and the tiny scorpions scampered
behind it in fear. The tree bent backwards and my hands slipped of the branch I was holding on to.
I screamed and quickly grabbed on to another branch. This time, I held it tightly with my both
hands. The giant scorpion sneezed a second time causing the tree to curve backwards once
more.
Just like an explosion of gunpowder, a loud sound reverbrated in my ears. I turned towards the
creature to find its body crashed to the floor, with its ten legs widely spread open. The creature
seemed to have fallen asleep or probably collapsed.
Its fall raised dust which filled the air like smoke. The clouds covering the bright sun melted, giving
way to the bright sun. The thick darkeness disappeared instantly. The sun flashed its light upon
my face. The tiny scorpions had mysteriously disappeared with the dust.
I watched with my both eyes as the fire from the tail of the giant scorpion, spread and consumed
its own body. The giant scorpion turned into ashes and was blown away into thin air.
I jumped down from the Kola nut tree happily. On the floor, I could see kolanuts which had fallen
down from the tree during the giant sneeze of the creature. I bent down and picked just a single
piece of Kolanut.
"You must be a lucky child. You are very lucky to have escaped the Second demon sent to you."
Amara voice echoed in my ears.
I quickly buried the kolanuts in my pockets and turned in search of her.
"Where are you? Why can't I see your face any more? Why are you hiding from me?" I asked.
Amara let out a great laugh.
"Ikengaaa... Only those who eat the sweet red Igbuala mango are capable of seeing what the
gods see. The powers from the Igbuala mangoes are fading off from your eyes Ikenga."
"What do you mean by that?"
"You threw away your mangoes Ikenga. Without the red Igbuala mangoes, you will not be able to
see me. And that means you will not be able to see the five demons that await you. Poor Ikenga,
you shall die a miserable death now."
"But my grandmother never mentioned anything about the powers from the Igbula mangoes fading
off. Why did mine fade off. Why didn't Ijeoma eyes not fade off when she ate hers."
"You mean the god mother of beauty?"
"Yes."
"My mother Ijeoma had been feeding on the red Igbuala mangoes for a very long time Ikenga. She
slowly metamorphosed into a god after consuming so many red Igbuala mangoes in nine months."
"In your own case, this is the first time of you eating the Igbuala mangoes. You shall only be able
to see two set of demons per mango."
I quickly thought about the three red Igbuala mangoes I had thrown in the bush. I calculated
carefully. The three red Igbuala mangoes were enough for me to see the five demons that awaited
me.
Ijeoma was right. Without the red Igbuala mangoes, I stood no chance. I was going to look like a
blind warrior going to war with men who can see clearly with both eyes. I was actually going to die
a miserable death.
I quickly turned and ran back. I was heading for the three mangoes. I was heading back to pick the
only thing that guaranteed my spiritual eyes to see the demons.
As I ran fast like a wounded lion, I prayed fervently in my heart that the mangoes were still going to
be there by the time I arrive.
To be continued....

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