Ikenga- Episode 8

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 IKENGA
Ikenga- Episode 8

Theme: (The Demon I Saw)

By Praise Chidera Obiora 


The fifth and sixth creatures stood fearlessly and stared at me piercingly in the eye. The fifth
creature had the head of wild beast. It had the head of a lion and the eyes of a tiger. Its sharp
teeth were red and appeared to be stained with blood. The jaws of its mouth dripped with thick
darkish red blood. I did not know for certain if the blood on its jaws was the blood of an animal or
the blood of a human.
The hair on its head was soaked with flammable acid, yet the acid did not burn its head. I saw the
grass he stood upon turn dark, and slowly dry up as the droplets of acid fell on it. I shuddered as I
watched the tiny sand suddenly turn to dust, and the green grass turn to ashes.
This creature had the legs and hands of a warrior horse. They were three legs and three hands in
number. It also possessed the tail of a monkey. It roared not as a lion but as a tiger. This
creature's roar was even louder than a tigers roar. It looked like one that had ten other tigers
leaving inside of it.
I was filled with tremendous fear. I clenched tightly to my shield. I felt the blood in my hands
suddenly dry up, and my hands became stiff as one soaked in cold water. The sword I was holding
firm unto, slipped off my hands and landed on the floor like a broken egg.
Amara laughed mockingly as she heard the sound of the sword land on a smooth stone in front of
me. It was the same stone I had used to scare off the rabbit that had eaten one of the red Igbuala
mangoes. It was the same stone I had kicked after facing the snake with seven heads. This same
stone was still on my path.
I bent down and picked up the sword. I turned in the direction of the fifth creature to take a second
look at it again. I was surprised to see its head doubled. This transformation had taken place in a
blink of an eye. Another bigger head had grown out from the left side of its neck. It now had two
large heads and four eyes. The creature now looked like a combined twins.
It reminded me of the story of Chioma the woman who had given birth to combined twins long time
ago. Grandma had told me the story while she chewed her kolanuts one faithful evening, when the
white moon was in full bloom.
"Long time ago." Grand ma began after cleating her throat.
"There lived a very beautiful woman in Agugu named Chioma Obaguzeli. She was married to Uzor
the great hunter - the same man who had promised to kill a lion and a deer before the marriage
festival in Agugu.
"Surprisingly, he fulfilled his promise. No other hunter had killed a lion and a deer in such short
time. His news went round the village like wild bees.
"For the fact that Uzor did it alone, he was named the greatest of all time, and Chioma was
betrothed to him. Her dowry was paid using the lion and the deer.
"Years passed and Chioma prayed to the gods for the fruit of the womb. She prayed and gave
sacrifices for several years. After seven years of prayers and waiting upon the gods, the gods
shined their blessings upon her.
"Chioma got pregnant and after twelve months, she gave birth to twins who got stuck in one body.
The twin children had two necks and two heads. But the older twin had the longer neck while the
other twin had a shorter neck.
"When Ichemba the chief priest of Agugu delivered her of the baby, the villagers who stood beside
her became scared. Never had they seen a twin combined together with same head on the same
body. The twin babies, had three legs and three arms too. Ichemba declared that the twin was an
evil sign sent to the village by the gods. He said this was a sign of a great punishment from the
gods to the villagers.
"All the pregnant women in the village became scared. They feared for what their unborn child
would look like. Chief priest Ichemba, asked Chioma to pick her twin children and cut off their
necks with her own hands. This was a way to avert the disaster that spelt doom for every pregnant
woman in the village.
"Ichemba told Chioma the implications of her cutting off the neck of her own twin children. He said
it was a sign that she had rejected the gifts of the gods. And therefore, the gods will take notice and never send such a child to her, or to any other woman again.
"Chioma who had loved her twin children considered it a gift from the gods. She saw no reason
killing what the gods had given to her. And so she made a plan. She planned to run away with her
lovely children on the day of the sacrifice.
"When she was taken to the evil forest, to slaughter her child, Mama Ikemefuna walked in and
never returned again. Some people testified that she had escaped with her twin babies to an
unknown kingdom. Others testified that she had been killed and buried inside the evil forest with
her twin babies."
Grandma suddenly stopped talking and asked for a glass of water. She did that to signify the end
of the story for that day.
Several news and stories surrounded Chioma. No one knew exactly what happened to her or if
she was buried by the gods. But this creature had now looked like the twin babies grand ma had
told me about when I was just a child.
I turned to look into the eyes of the sixth creature. The sixth creature was the biggest of it all. It
was bigger than the fifth creature. It had the tail of a shark and the hands of a gorilla. Its head was
that of a bull with five large horns and ten eyes. The ten eyes of this demon blinked at me.
Two of the eyes were located on its forehead. Another two, below its nostrils. And four eyes on its
stomach. The last two eyes where placed on its shoulders. It stood tall with its tail. This demon
had no legs or arms, it had no fear in its eyes too. It looked like the boss of all the other demons.
"Ikengaaa! You asked to face the four demons, now you look at them like a chicken. A poor
chicken local chicken" Amara mocked.
"Fight! Kill him." She commanded the four demons authoritatively.
The giant rabbit with the dragon wings, rushed towards me like an eagle about to pick a chick
away from its mother hen. I shifted back with my shield and sword held tightly in my hands and
tripped over the stone that was laid on my path. I fell to the floor like a little child running away
from the whip held by his angry mother.
My sword was held tightly in my hands, but my shield slipped out of my hands and landed on the
floor beside me as I searched for balance.
The giant goat, which was the fourth demon, charged behind the third demon with its horns. I
immediately knew that was its own strength and power. To kill with its horns.
I turned to pick my shield when I sighted the fifth beast with two lion heads charging in my
direction with its mouth wide open. As it charged towards me, the acid from its head swung from
side to side landing on the green grass and drying it up.
The 3rd demon opened its mouth, and hot fire escaped through it in my direction. With my shield, I
blocked the burning fire and rolled on the grass. The giant goat caught me with its horns, it left me
high up and flung me high in the air.
Just like an over ripe Udara fruit, I came crashing back to the floor. My skin touched the acid from
the hair of the fifth demon with a lion head and I winced in pain. I watched as my brown skin
melted off and my inner flesh exposed.
 I stood up and charged forward with my sword and shield. The giant goat charged towards me
too. With my sword, I swerved towards the left, and yanked off the horn of the giant goat. But I
didn't turn in time to see the fifth beast with the lion head. It grabbed my legs with its sharp teeth. I
felt my bone crack. I felt like my legs were caught in between two heavy rocks.
"Amaraaaaa!" I shouted with all the strength I had in the world, as I watched my blood spill on the
green grass like a punctured water pot, as a result of the bite from the wild beast.
To be continued....

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