Ikenga- Final

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IKENGA
Ikenga- Final

Theme: (The Demon I Saw)

By Praise Chidera Obiora 


The demon opened its wide mouth and exposed its sharp teeth. It grabbed unto grandmother
firmly with its giant fins. Grandmother struggled but could not move.
"Ikenga what is going on? I cannot move my arms." Grandmother screamed in terror.
"Grandmother wait. I am coming." I thundered.
I stood up with my sword in my hands and limped towards grandmother. But the demon tilted
grandmother's neck to the left, and landed a piercing bite before I could get to her.
Like a snake, it sucked unto grandmothers neck, gently and carefully drawing out blood from her.
Just like a tiger, it held unto her neck with its sharp jaws. I watched as grandmothers eyes gently
closed.
With all the anger in the world, I rushed towards the demon with my sword. I lifted myself from the ground and dived in the air with my arms fully stretched out. The metallic sword drove straight into
the chest of the demon, piercing one of its giant eyes.
The demon ten giant eyes closed instantly. A purple liquid substance, gushed out of its body, and
it fell to the floor. Grandmother fell in the other direction lifelessly.
My jump expanded the wound on my already turn neck, and blood gushed out like a river. My
wounded leg became swollen and sour like a dead rabbit.
I fell right beside grand mother like a bag of cassava and stared at Emunisike, the demon of death
and darkness. He never moved all this while. It stood there watching as every fight unfolded.
"Just kill me. Make it swift. I have no more strength to fight you. Kill me and let me die my death.
But if I shall die, let my grand mother live. She does not deserve the pains she is going through.
Let her eat the bitter kola of life and live."
I let go of my sword and watched it fall beside me. With my right hands, I brought out the bitter
kola and stretched it towards grand mother.
"Grandmother, take and eat so that you may live again."
"No Ikenga. I have lived my life in this world already. This is the end. My time is up now. You have
a brighter future ahead of you. I want you to eat it and live for us. Eat it so you may be healed of
your wounds and live again.
"Ikenga, it is a good thing you plucked the Bitter cola. You lived by my words. A child who offers
his parent bitter cola extends the life of his parents, and thus attracts the prayers and blessings of
his parents." Grandmother spoke in a weak tone.
"No mama. No. Please do not talk this way. I have been the stubborn child here. All this while I
have been the one getting you into troubles. I remember when you stopped me from going out
during the festival of the gods, but I disobeyed and went out. The gods sent pack of wolves to hunt
me. But you found me and fought them on my behalf. It was in the process that you hurt your right
legs. You became injured and limped.
"I remember when my stubbornness led me into the evil forest and every one wanted to kill me but
you stepped in. You vouched for me. You protected me. You were punished by the villagers on my
behalf.
"Grandmother, all I have done is bring you pains, and bring tears to your eyes. I have let you into
this problems by eating the Igbuala mangoes, the same mangoes you have asked me not to eat.
Now you want to save me from this one?
"No grandmother, you deserve better. You do not deserve a stubborn grandchild like me. Let me
die my death. Let me die and face the judgement of the gods. Take the Kola mother. Take it." I
cried out with tears in my eyes.
"Ikenga, your death shall bring me more pains. I am old and weak. I cannot keep living in this land
knowing that you are no more. You are the one who keeps me moving. It is because of you the
gods have granted me long life. I shall die if you die.
"No grandmother. In that case, let us share the kola. Grandmother, you once told me that the
perfect gift for an elder is a kola. You told me that a kola shared shows the existence of love. You
said a family that shares kola shall not die.
"Let us share the kola and live together. This is the kola of life. Chat MartinMartino on zero eight
one eighty thirty fourteen twenty one to be added to his WhatsApp group. Anyone who eats from it
shall have life. Grandmother eat it with me. Let us break it and eat." I pleaded in tears.
"Ikenga, what if it does not work? What if we both die? What if a full kola is what is going to give
you full life? Ikenga please do not take this risk. An old woman like me deserves to die, while she
lets her younger generations live. I shall die before I eat that kola, and deny you a chance at living
your dreams to the fulfilment of the gods."
"Then grandmother, we shall die together and finally see the gods face to face. I shall not eat the
bitter kola and live the rest of my life with the guilt of your death. I have nothing to live for. Let
death take us both." I spoke feebly.
In a distance I could see death plunging its fairy hands in my direction. I had lost so much blood
and I knew I was going to die first before grandmother. The last tear rolled down my eyes. It was
warm and innocent.
"Oh Ikenga, even in a time of death, your stubbornness still roams around you. But this time, it
roams for goods. Break the Kola that we might eat. If we live, we shall give thanks to the gods. But
if we die, we die.
I lifted the kola which was in my hands and broke it in two. I handed grandmother one piece and
held unto one piece.
I watched as grandmother chewed unto her bitter kola. I threw mine in my mouth and chewed
also. It was the first time I was tasting a bitter kola. It was sweet and tasted like honey. This was
not a bitter kola. It was a sweet kola. It was the kola that brings life to the bones of the dead and
wounded. I chewed in delight and my eyes slowly closed as I plunged into darkness.
********************************
Grandmother's cough jolted me up from the floor and my eyes opened. The demon with seven
hands and seven whips had disappeared. I looked at my skin in great surprise. My wounds had
disappeared. My bones had become strong again. I felt an increase in my muscles.
I turned to my left and beheld grandmother. Grandmother sat beside me with her eyes opened.
The bite on her neck had healed up and the blood on her cloth had dried up.
"Grandmother we are both fine. We are strong. Yes we are strong. " I jumped up from the floor
and lifted her up.
I picked up her walking stick and handed it over to her. Grandmother smiled. She took a lone walk
and stopped. She looked in the distance and then at the sky.
"Why have you chosen my family to bless. Why have you chosen to fulfil a prophecy that had
lingered for so many years, using my own generation. Is this a way to console me for the death of
my children? Let the gods be praised." Mama lifted her both hands above her head and pointed to
the sky.
"Grandmother what prophecy are you talking about?"
"Ikenga, pick up your shield and sword. Let us go to the village and announce to the people what
have just happened. The gods have chosen for us a king. I shall tell you about it as we walk.
I picked up my shield and walked beside grandmother. We passed the tree with seven branches.
The same tree that had turned into the seven heads of snakes.
"Grandmother, why didn't you tell me that Agubdaobi turned the seven widows into a tree."
"Well because you didn't ask. I have told you to always ask questions after my stories. Now are
you prepared to hear the story of the prophecy?"
"Yes grandmother. Tell me."
Grandmother loosened the edges of her wrapper and brought out a kola from it. She broke in two
and folded the other in her wrapper.
"Is that the kola of life." I asked with my eyes opened wide.
"No Ikenga. This is my own kola. This one is bitter- very bitter. It is nothing compared to the kola
of life."
She threw the kola in her mouth and chewed. Then she coughed and cleared her throat.
"Long time ago, the people prayed to the gods to give them a king who would rule over them.
They wanted a king who will sit on a throne like every other kingdom, and implement the wishes of
the people, and that of the gods. So they prayed and gave sacrifices to the gods. The prayed for a
bold and a wise king.
"Fifteen years later, a prophecy came to the people of Agugu. I was only three years old then, and
had just lost my father to the painful hands of death. The gods told the people of Agugu that their
wish shall be granted, and a king shall be chosen. The gods commended the people for asking
them for their help, and not going on to choose for themselves a king.
 "The gods promised them a strong, bold, and compassionate king who would rule over the
people. They didn't want a king who would be selfish in his decisions, but a king who will also think
of his own people.
"The gods told us that a child shall be born. He shall be one who shall defile the rules of the gods.
He shall be punished and made to face the seven weapons of the gods. He shall be tested, and if
he passes this test, then he shall be king over the people of Agugu.
"The gods also promised to give the chosen king one of their daughters as a wife. This is to serve
as a covenant to the people of Agugu that the gods shall never leave nor forsake them.
"Eighty years later, Ikenga, I think the prophecy is fulfilled. We have finally found our king."
Grandmother smiled.
"Mother, who is this King?" I asked inquisitively.
"Ikenga, we shall know when we get to the village. Let us just walk. Our yam and oil must have
gone cold by now. Double your steps."

The End


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