[Story] O.G.B.A.N.J.E (The Child of Thunder) Chapter 23
The Child of Thunder 23
Ifeoma Isabella Okeke
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story written by Ifeoma Isabella Okeke
Nnenna stared at the two lovers and nodded her head to herself. She has to tell them the Ancient Secret she was swore to keep by Chidinmma (Ogbanje’s late mother) and Okoro. She felt the time has come for them to know the whole truth. She quickly left as quietly as she had came before. Her only fears was if Ebuka and Ogbanje would be able to face it. She hope they prevailed. She would revealed the Ancient Secret to them sooner or later. ** Saying her goodbyes to Ebuka and his mother, Ogbanje left for her home. On getting home Ogbanje was surprised and shocked when she saw that the food has already been prepared. In fact everyone was eating together. Maybe her father had wanted Uhammiri to feel comfortable with them, thus, having everyone eating together. Seeing the look on Ogbanje’s face Okoro smiled at her. “My Beautiful daughter, come and eat with us”. Okoro said with a smile as he stare up at Ogbanje. Uzochi and Ugochi where busy eating with enthusiasm that they didn’t even notice Ogbanje’s presence. “But father I thought you said I should hurry up to join Adaku and my sisters in preparing the evening meal”. Ogbanje said. “Yes I did but your mother insisted right away that she wanted to start preparing the meal immediately with Uhammiri and your sisters, and you know I cannot object to it”. Okoro explained to Ogbanje. “I see”. She mused to herself. “Won’t you eat Ada?” Uhammiri asked. “No, I have already had my filled in Ebuka’s place some few minutes ago”. Ogbanje replied and was very pleased when her words had an effect on her. They started staring belatedly at each other. Uhammiri smiled to herself. Ogbanje smirked down at her. She now know what she need to know. Uhammiri has set her eyes on her Ebuka. Uhammiri better wake up from that dream of hers. No one can have Ebuka except her. No one seemed to know the inter-exchange between them all except Adaku who had noticed it all. “Won’t you join us to eat”. Okoro repeated himself again. “No papa thank you, I ate enough in Ebuka’s home that would last for me till tomorrow”. Ogbanje replied. “Okay nne, I won’t force you to eat Ada. But I also I am done eating too”. Okoro said and stood up to stare at the silent faces on him. Ignoring the faces he announced to them said softly. “I am at the back of the house to think”, he simply added and left them. Everywhere was quite until the twins decided to break it. “You and this your Ebuka, I pray to the gods that he will marry you”. Uzochi suddenly throw in “Pray? Did you just said pray to the gods? Don’t you know that Ebuka and Ada are meant for each other. And without Ada by his side Ebuka won’t live”. Ugochi followed her twin. Obviously the twins somehow knew some was eating up the new girl in their midst and was trying to trick her to see if they are right. And true, Uhammiri didn’t fail to disappoint them. Nodding their heads and knowing the thoughts they had, Ugochi and Uzochi decided to bring Ebuka’s name at every discussion. Ogbanje not knowing what the twins were up too got flattered by what they said. She smiled haughty at them. “Stop it, who told you that”. Ogbanje said shyly. “Who doesn’t know that Ebuka has his eyes feasted only for you in this village”. Ugochi said turning to look at Uhammiri when She said those words. “And been beautiful, the only pretty maiden in Udum proves it so. Don’t you know that there are many dying to be in your shoes or rather be you”. Uzochi said as she specifically stared at Uhammiri as she spoke. Uhammiri stood up angrily and without uttering a word to any of them including Adaku she left them going inside her hut. The twins burst out laughing at the retreating back of Uhammiri. “Stupid girls, why did you upset our visitor. This should be the first and last time you would repeat such a thing”. Adaku warned them, stood up and walking pass Ogbanje she hissing at her then entered the hut Uhammiri is. “What was that for?” Ogbanje asked her sisters as they continued laughing. “Don’t you know that this newcomer has her eyes on your Ebuka, are you so blind that you did not see her reaction when you mentioned you ate in his home”. Ugochi said. “So just thank us that we chased her away for you”. Said Uzochi as she packed the plates they had used in eating and left to go and wash it, her twin following in suit. Ogbanje shook her head sideways and went to meet Okoro at the back of his hut. A sound of flute was heard..
“They had the audacity to make fun of me, Uhammiri. I will show them the true nature in me”. Uhammiri said to herself as she paced around in her little hut. An oil lamp brighten up the hut a little. Adaku entered and saw Uhammiri moving about. “I know you are greatly annoyed by the way your sisters treated you, on their behalf I plead with you to forgive them”. Adaku immediately begged on the twins behalf. “No, I can’t easily forgive them like that. They must pay for making gist out of me”. Uhammiri fumed back. “They are your younger sisters. Please do not take whatever they said to you at heart, biko”. Adaku still pleaded. “No, they dare taunts me. I know what to do with them. I want to test Ogbanje to know the kind of powers Ogbanje possesses”. Uhammiri said.
Ogbanje sat beside Okoro has he blow his flute. The stars were at their brightest. It was as if it they were moving with the sound of his flute. He always played his flute whenever he thinks of her mother. Okoro suddenly stopped his flute playing and turned to look at his daughter. “Ada what do you think about the Kpakpando- Stars?” Okoro asked out of blue. Kpakpando- Stars? “I don’t understand you papa”. Ogbanje said in confusion. “When you look up at the stars in the sky what are your first thought?” Asked Okoro as he looked at her in seriousness. Ogbanje bewildered by that question but turned her head upward to look at it. Everything was normal and shiny all except for one. It was all alone. Unlike the others that was shinning, this particular star wasn’t shiny. Ogbanje watched it. Okoro cleared his throat to draw Ogbanje’s back to him. “The star are beautifully made by our Creator. But Papa”, Pointing upwards “Why is that star not like the others? I mean, mere looking at it you’d see it is lonely and not shinning like the rest. Why is that papa?” Ogbanje questioned. “One day you shall know the story behind that star”. Okoro said out of blue. “Meaning?” “Don’t worry Ada, it isn’t time yet and beside I will not be the one to tell you. Now watch the star when I play back my flute”. Okoro told her. Ogbanje nodded her head but still held a look of confusion turned her gaze back to the not-so-shinning-star with vigour. Okoro brought the flute to his lips and started playing a strange tune Ogbanje hasn’t heard before. To Ogbanje’s greatest surprise the once-not-so-shinning-star started glowing and suddenly outshine the rest Kpakpando- Stars. “Papa, papa, It is glowing”. Ogbanje said in enthusiasm. Okoro stopped blowing his flute and at the same time the star went back to the way it was. Ogbanje was startled at what she just witnessed and turned a confuse eyes on her father. “Papa what just happened now?” Okoro smiled lovely his daughter “Like I have told you Ada, it is not my story to tell. Go and sleep Ada”.
Soon all the Inhabitants of Udum was asleep save for Uhammiri who journeyed outside the outskirts of Udum village towards an unknown destination.
Ogbanje woke up suddenly and stare around her hut. She quickly get down from her bamboo bed, opening the door that leads outside. She came out from her hut and stood in the middle of the compound. “Something is coming down here and you have to be prepared”. The voice that usually speak to her and tell her what to do spoke again. Ogbanje smiled when she heard the voice. She knew it was Ebuka, he is with her. The voice spoke again telling her what she was to do to. Obeying Amadioha’s voice. Ogbanje freed her mind. Closing her eyes. Relaxing her mind. She listens. She felt it. It was coming towards the compound. She quickly opened up her eyes to see the very thing that she saw a few miles away standing in front of the compound. It was beast. A hideous creature. A human, black shadow beast. A black shadow beast in human form. It walked straight inside the compound. Ogbanje took her stand and stared at it with vehemence. But was knock over with feather when the human beast walked past her undeviating towards the hut of the twins. But how come he didn’t see me? Ogbanje thought to herself as the creature approached the twins hut. It was moving so slowly. Ogbanje quickly went and stood over the twins hut. “I made it like this so that you would see the enemy first. Now Repeat what you did the first time”. Ebuka voice, echo around herthem. Closing her eyes. Relaxing her mind. She listens. “Open your eyes now. Be prepared he will notice your presence”. Ogbanje did as she was told.
Uhammiri went back to her cave. She took a black egg from a black bowl and speak some words into it. Breaking it, a black substance in a Smokey form emerged from it. And a creature black as the night it self made it’s appearance. “You are her first challenge. Kill them with no mercy. Ugochi and Uzochi must die this night. I want to see her prowess and the stuff she is made off. If she will be able to defeat you then her powers are a bit higher”. Uhammiri told the creature of the night which nodded it’s head and vanished. Good. If Ogbanje would be able to save her step sisters from death then she is a little bit strong. Let the drummers beat their drums of war. She only have to wait and see the out come of it all.
As soon as Ogbanje did what she was told to do, she finally opened up her eyes as Amadioha had instructed. The creature halted in its movement and with inhuman powers, face the presence standing in front of the. Even from where she stood she could scent the horrible whiff it brings. The air around them had been polluted. Ogbanje realize that the creature was faceless. “You will go back to where you’ve been sent from. You will not touch anybody in this compound. Go back to sender”. Ogbanje told the creature but was baffled when the creature didn’t carry out her orders as she expected. It only stood in front of her and didn’t move. It utter a word “Kill !!”. And advanced towards Ogbanje. Ogbanje with courage wanted to advanced towards the creature but was prevented from going forward when the sound of Thunder was heard above the sky. Lightening came out of nowhere and strikes down at the creature. The creature screamed so horribly. It screeched hysterically before being scattered to pieces and disappeared. Ogbanje was surprised that it shout didn’t wake up any members of her family. “I covered their ears so that they would hear that horrible scream”. Amadioha fainted voice said. “Go back to sleep my dear”. “But why didn’t it hearken to my voice when I said it should return to sender?” Ogbanje questioned. “When we see, I will tell You the reason why. For now go and sleep”. Ogbanje obliged to the words and left for her hut. *** Uhammiri holding her left arm as it removed blood was speechless. What just happened? Uhammiri was surprise when Thunder and Lightening started. Not quite long afterwards the creature she had sent was killed. Her left arm that was bleeding confirmed one of her creatures was dead. Whispering some words to herself, the wounds afflicted on her healed. This just showed that Ogbanje won’t be as easy as she had thought. Uhammiri smiled. Just like what Adaku had told Eze Nwayi and her, Ogbanje is truly her match. So she has to trend in caution.
OGBANJE’S KINGDOM: “I thought by now you’d return Ogbanje memories to her. I told you that we are now in a tough time and Ogbanje needs her old powers she wields to defeat the evil that would always confront her”. Amadioha bellowed at the Queen not hiding his anger. “If I wasn’t there the creature sent to kill Ogbanje’s sisters would have also killed her too”. The queen not affected by his anger one bit looked surprised. “Did you mean to say my daughter was attacked?” Nodding his head to signify his answer. “You can go now, I will return her memories back to her”. “I hope you will do as you have said”. With that Amadioha left her presence.
The queen appeared in Ogbanje room. She made her presence unknown. She placed her both hands on Ogbanje’s forehead and a shimmering light appeared. Ogbanje didn’t know what was going on, but the queen Mother knew that Amadioha was watching over her. Truly Amadioha was watching over her and so was the star.
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