Thursday, 18 January 2018

THE GHOST VISITOR Episode 3

Since Azubuike could not call for help, he held out that broom and hoped for the best. The shadowy ghost was standing over him and Arinze when they heard footsteps running toward their door, and a voice cried out, “Azubuike! Azubuike!! Arinze!!!” It was Papa Ebuka’s voice. He had noticed Azubuike and Arinze were not amongst the crowd which gathered outside and so came running to their house looking for them. With his approaching footsteps, the ghost vanished into the thin air. “Azubuike! Azu!! What is it?” papa Ebuka asked. Azubuike and Arinze were sweating profusely and shaking like weather beaten birds. The two young boys exhaled repeatedly and plumped to the floor. Azubuike held onto that broom refusing to release his grip on it. Papa Ebuka stood still for minutes, studying the two boys and analyzing what he and seen that night. “Two little boys struggling to speaking and shaking with much fear by this time of the night can only mean one thing; especially when one is holding a broom and refusing to let go of it,” papa Ebuka reasoned aloud. “Azu, it is a ghost right? The ghost Nneka came to ask me about some days ago?” he asked.
Azubuike nodded. “Papa, Arinze is…” Azubuike tried to say something, bringing papa Ebuka’s attention to his little brother who was beginning to convulse behind him. Papa Ebuka rushed forward and picked him up. “It is not a household ghost! It is not a household ghost!!” papa Ebuka shouted as he ran out of the house with Arinze. Azubuike dragged himself up and followed languidly behind him. The little boys had survived what most adults could not.
They had seen a ghost like a man sees another man and did not die. As papa Ebuka ran with Arinze in his hands, he continued to shout, “It is not a household ghost! The spirit is not from our ancestors! Light akwukwo efe nwoko and otitengele and put them in your houses. An evil spirit is prowling around!” That revelation threw the people into panic and they scampered to their houses to set alight heaps of akwukwo efe nwoko and otitengele for protection from evil spirits. Akwukwo efe nwoko and otitengele were considered potent medicinal leaves believed to ward off evil spirits. Nneoma was pained so much by that revelation. She did not want her neighbours and the village to know it was a ghost which attacked her household. She had hoped she would secretly solve the matter on her own. In anger and frustration, she lifted and threw herself to the ground. For a moment, the three elderly men who stood by her, refusing to run away like the others, thought she had passed out. When she moved slightly, they took sighs of relief. “Nneoma stop! If you kill yourself, who will take care of your children? Calm yourself! Nwaraka will solve the problem no matter what it is!” cautioned Obienu, one of the three elders. “Why my house?! Papa Ebuka said it is not a household ghost. If it is not, then what is it? Is it not enough that my husband is dead?”
She sprang to her feet and turned toward her house, the three men stopped her. “Nneoma, we have to go Nwaraka’s shrine! You should bother about his diagnosis. All your children are there now! Let us go!” said elder Obienu. Nneoma was hesitant, she did not want some things to be known about her dead husband and herself. “Don’t be afraid! Let us go. We need to know why your house was attacked by a ghost. If this is an act of wickedness by your enemies, then we will deal with it decisively. And if it be by another source, we will deal with it by our tradition. Come, lets go!” “Nnanyi, my house is open and I do not have any akwukwo efe nwoko and otitengele,” said a worried Neoma. “Don’t worry, I will ask my wife to take care of those,” said elder Obienu. “Oyiridiya! Oyiridiya!!” elder Obienu called at his wife. “Nnanyi!” responded Oyiridiya. “Bia (come).” Oyiridiya stepped out of her house, holding burning dry otitengele leaves in her hand. “We are taking Nneoma to Nnwaraka’s shrine. I want you to light some akwukwo efe nwoko and otitengele in her house and lock it for her.” “Nnanyi, I cannot…” Oyiridiya wanted to protest. She was afraid of being struck dead in Neoma’s house by the spirit which attacked her household. “Do not fear Oyiridiya! Take all your children with you and do what I asked you to do.
Take Okechukwu along,” the elder said, turned and left with Nneoma and the other two men. Nneoma was scared down to her bones. She had seen some things and knew a lot more than anyone about the spirit which attacked her house. At the shrine, Nwaraka and everyone present were already waiting for Nneoma. Thankfully Nneka, Onyeka and Arinze had been revived by Nwaraka. All three of them and Azubuike were sitting together and circled by Nwaraka’s apprentices. Azubuike was still holding that broom. He did not want to take chances. When Nneoma and the three men arrived, Nwaraka quickly asked, “Nneoma the spirit which attacked your children is not from our elders. It is an evil spirit and would not let me see why it has chosen to attack your children. All I have seen are five big tubers of yam and one big broken tuber of yam. Nneoma, you are no child! A broken tuber of yam means and unfulfilled promise, an unpaid debt. Did you or anyone in your family borrow anything from any spirit?” Nneoma took a sigh of relief. She was glad the spirit had not allowed Nwaraka to see much.
STORY CONTINUES…

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