The Good Ogbanje, chapter one

  She will die, she won’t! She will die, she must not! She will die, she cannot! She will die, she dared not! ‘She dared not Alaka!’ Owah tumbled the calabash of palm oil beside

 

She will die, she won’t!

She will die, she must not!

She will die, she cannot!

She will die, she dared not!

‘She dared not Alaka!’ Owah tumbled the calabash of palm oil beside her. She hoisted herself and held his eyes by hers.

‘Do not do anything, do not cure my daughter and you will see how I will tell every man and woman of this clan how useless your talismans are. You know how I travel from hills to hills, rivers to rivers. Every human of here must hear of what you cannot do!’ She rushed out of the dark hut. A very cool breeze hit her breasts’ mouths as she bounced through a narrow path.

‘Look at this woman, look at Nne Owah. Amadioha eh! Have I given her a knife or axe to cut down a fruit before? Who has done this to Owah? The god of madness did not have it easy with her. Poor woman,’ Alaka spat.

 

Owah could absent-mindedly say a lot, ‘an ogbanje is a child, a very good child that has refused to die. An ogbanje did not kill her mother so the child is a good child. Ogbanje will go and come and this means the child is merciful, very merciful to the poor mother. Ekwa will console me as she had consoled me. She will take away my shame and stay through wind and rain. I see her spirits for she is more than one.’ Owah beat her chest as she stepped and stepped hard on the ground.

 

Ekwa still lay in Azelu, her father’s hut when Owah entered the compound. She was brought this morning from her husband’s hut to come and obtain healing from her mother’s womb. Owah had slept on her, sang songs, offered sacrifices, wept and prayed to Amadioha, still Ekwa was cold.

Other wives and children had slept in their huts. Obele slept by his mother’s hut outside, the moonlight must be seducing him. Her husband spoke from her back as she made to enter the hut. Azelu’s voice was cracked in pain.

 

‘Owah, she might be dead!’

‘No! No!’ the distraught mother of one child for her titled husband shouted and spun around. Obele jumped from his sleep from where he lay.

Azelu followed his wife into the hut. She untied her wrapper and stood naked beside her only daughter.

‘Owah! What are you doing?’ Azelu panicked.

‘I must lay on her naked my husband. This is what my spirit says. My lord, this is the 350th time she had died……

To be continued

 

 

Also read How the Thief Got Away

 

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