[Story]O.G.B.A.N.J.E (The Child of Thunder) Chapter 13

The Child of Thunder 13

By
Ifeoma Isabella Okeke

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“Listen and listen to me very carefully”, Obinnwanne began with a warning. Held the left side of his ear to show how serious he was. “You must not fail in kidnapping Ogbanje and bring her to me. You must carry out the plan tonight”. Obinnwanne said as he stared at the four huge men in front of him. “Take this”, he added as he gave each of them a necklace. They all wore it. “On no account should you remove this necklace when you kidnap the girl. She is not someone who you can easily kidnapped”.

**********

“Papa, it’s been long you’ve told us your story”, Uzochi started as she and her twin sister with Ogbanje had just had their dinner of hot Egusi soup with pounded yam. Adaku had long gone to bed.

“Yes papa, it has been long you told us story, or are you out of stories papa?” Ugochi said in support of her twin sister.

Okoro shook his head sideways.

“Not at all my beautiful daughters”.

“Then tell us a beautiful story. You know that I use to tell my friends your stories that they have nicknamed me Uzo the storyteller”. Uzochi said smiling.

“Ada, you have been quite since, I hope you are following our discussion?” Okoro asked Ogbanje when he noticed the faraway look on her face.

“Papa I have been following all your discussions. So can you please tell us a wonderful story”.

“Well a long time ago”, Okoro began as he cleared out his throat. Uzochi and Ugochi were so eager to hear the latest story their father wants about to tell. Ogbanje wasn’t paying attention to it. Her mind was on something.

“There was once a girl named Ifeyinwa. She and her brother were responsible for keeping the monkeys from raiding the family bean fields.

One day, after they have been faithfully keeping the monkeys away, they both became very thirsty. They turned their backs on the fields, and went to a pool to take a drink of water. When they return to the fields, the monkeys had eaten all the beans.

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Ifeyinwa was so scared of the wrath of her parents, that she got herself drowned. Her brother rushed home with the terrible news of her suicide. Her parents were so shocked and grieved on hearing the terrible news, that they forgot about the bean field.

Ifeyinwa sank to the bottom of the pool until she entered the land of the dead. She first came to a house where an old woman lived with her children. The old woman identified herself as Ifeyinwa’s guide in the land of the dead.

For many years Ifeyinwa lived with the old woman and helped with the chores. After a time Ifeyinwa became very homesick and began to think of her parents and brother. The old woman was able to read the girl’s heart, and she knew that Ifeyinwa wished to rejoin the living.
The Child of Thunder 13
So one day the old woman asked Ifeyinwa if she preferred the hot or the cold.

Ifeyinwa didn’t understand and the woman repeated the question. Finally Ifeyinwa answered that she preferred the cold, not knowing what this meant.

The old woman had Ifeyinwa dip her hands into a clay jar of cold water, and when she pulled her hands out, they were covered with jewels. She put her feet and legs into the jar, pulled them out, and they too were covered with jewels. Smiling, the old woman dressed Ifeyinwa in the finest robes and sent her home.

The old woman also had the gift of prophecy, and told Ifeyinwa that she would soon marry the finest man in the world, a man named Obinze.

When Ifeyinwa arrived home in her fine robes and jewels, her family was overjoyed. They had given her up for dead long before. They marvelled at her fine clothing and their newfound wealth. Words spread quickly through the countryside, that there was a rich, eligible young woman in the territory, and Ifeyinwa’s home was visited by hundreds of suitors.
The Child of Thunder 13
Ifeyinwa ignored all of the men, including the most handsome of them all, except for a man named Obinze. He suffered from a terrible skin disease that made him look ugly. But, having been to the land of the dead, Ifeyinwa was able to read the hearts of men, and knew that Obinze was the best of all the men.

Obinze and Ifeyinwa were married with great feasting, and after their wedding night, when the marriage was consummated, Obinze’s skin disease disappeared, showing his face to be the most handsome of all.

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The Child of Thunder 13
As Ifeyinwa had plenty of fine jewels to spare, they bought a herd of cattle. Soon Ifeyinwa and Obinze were the wealthiest people in the land.

One might expect that they would now live in happiness, but the many suitors of Ifeyinwa were envious of Obinze. All their friends and neighbours changed, resenting the wealthy young couple.

The hostility grew more bitter with each day, until a group of neighbours attacked Ifeyinwa’s husband and killed him.

But Ifeyinwa had been dead before and knew the secrets of the Underworld, including how to revive the dead.
She took her husband’s body inside their home and recited magic incantations that she had learned from the old woman in the land of the dead.

The Child of Thunder 13
Obinze revived, stronger than ever. When their enemies returned to share the wealth, Obinze slew them all.
Ifeyinwa and Obinze lived in prosperity and happiness for the rest of their lives, and since both had died, they met their final ends without fear”. Okoro finished telling his story.

“Wow papa, you deserve an award for being the best storyteller in this village”. Uzochi spoke first.
The Child of Thunder 13
“Our neighboring village should come and listen to your wonderful stories papa”. Ugochi said after her twin.

“Ada, Ogini?- what is it? Or don’t you have any contribution to make?”, Okoro asked Ogbanje when he saw Ogbanje wasn’t following their conversation.

“Nothing papa, I was following the story of Ifeyinwa and Obinze”, Ogbanje answered.

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“Don’t mind her papa, she is always thinking of Ebuka”, Ugochi retorted quickly.
The Child of Thunder 13
“Speaking of Ebuka, be careful of that young man. You know his mother was a witch before she was caught. Try as much as possible to dispatch yourself off any relationship you are having with that young man”. Okoro said in a serious note.

“Papa, you just told us of the story Ifeyinwa. How she decided to use the inner beauty rather than the outward appearance. Ebuka is different from his mother. They are two different people, mother and son. Besides I am in love with Ebuka”. Ogbanje said as she stood up from the raffle mat laid across the frontage of hut which she and her sisters had occupied having Okoro sitting on a wooden stool. “Goodnight papa” Ogbanje added as she quickly left their presence.

**********

Before the cock crows, Ogbanje had already woken up and did all her house chores.

She had this feeling that something dangerous was about to happen.

But what could that be was the question left unanswered.

On her way to fetch water from the stream she felt four eyes watching her from their hidden places.

She stopped and looked around her carefully. She was sure she felt four eyes watching her.

“Who ever you are, wherever you are show yourself if you have the guts or remain hidden like a coward”. Ogbanje said daring whosoever that was in the bush.

The four men all came out of their hiding at once as they all surrounded Ogbanje in a circle way.

Staring at them without a trace of fear.

“Who are you and what do you want from me?” Ogbanje asked.

“You don’t ask us question. You are coming with us”. One of them said, presumably their leader.

To be continued..

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