That night as Sharon’s
parents knelt beside the river, the priestess held a live white cock over their
heads, mouthing incantations. Unknown to them, the opposing spirits were there
as well, hovering nearby in deathly silence.
“Spirits of the waters,
I summon you! Goddess of the river, here I am with your children and their
offering, they have come bearing gifts from afar!” The priestess was saying.
She was a heavily set
woman, around her wrists were white bracelets and on her ankles were white
anklets. Her face was unmarked and neither were her eyes. The priestess started
the incantations and soon stopped as she stared around at the bushes.
“Did anyone come here
with you?” The priestess asked.

“No…nobody.” Sharon’s
father said.
“No…we came alone
ma…” Sharon’s mother said.
“There is a part of you
here in our midst….” The priestess said and turning to the bushes she said
“Whoever you are! Come out! Show yourself now!”
Sharon and her
companions stood at the corner and watched, the priestess had summoned them but
they refused to appear.
“Whoever you are! Show
yourself and present your case to me now or else, leave this ground and never
return!” The Priestess said.
Sharon looked at White
who nodded in return.
“Whoever you are! Come
out now!” The priestess said shouting aloud.
Sharon stepped out but
since she was in a spiritual form, her parents didn’t see her, she stood before
the priestess first as a young girl but soon, she transformed into her full and
real form- an old woman.
The priestess stared at
her, took a step backward and after a while asked.
“Why are you against
this couple? Who are you?”
“You will be stepping
over your bounds if you perform any sacrifice on that couple!” Sharon said.
Her parents were still
on their knees, oblivious of what was happening in the realm of the spirit.
“And if I don’t?”
“Then my kin spirits shall over take your boundaries and a war shall erupt!
Will you sacrifice the peace in your kin for people you know nothing about?”
Sharon asked.
As she spoke, White and
Ebonee came forth showing their true selves, they too were old women. When the
priestess saw them, she moved back in fear and regarded them solemnly.
“Who do you represent?
Where is your leader?”
“Look at us well….we
are no ordinary spirits. Do you think our leader would stand here before a miserable
water woman like yourself? Send that couple back now or else!” Sharon shouted.
“How do I send them back
after they have come to me to solve their problems…?” The priestess asked.
“You have no choice but
to send them back to where they came from because you cannot solve their
problems.” Sharon said.
“Can I ask what the
problem is? What can they do to solve it?” The priestess asked, sounding
worried for the couple.
“There can be no
solution whatsoever….” Sharon said.
“What then did they do
to merit this curse?” The priestess asked.
“The woman, Layla Ekanem
has an ancestor amongst us, her grandmother, who placed a generational curse on
her long before she was born. Her grandmother is one of us and according to our
custom, all women born of her children should be initiated into our fold but
her daughter did the unthinkable. As soon as she died, her daughter destroyed
every symbol of our kin in her mother’s possession; she joined the church and
denounced us. She too had children, all males at first then later a female
child which was supposed to belong to us but she pushed her into the ways of
the church. Now, that woman kneeling there before your river is the descendant
of our daughter and I am her grandmother who has come back in human form.
Unknown to her, I inhabited her womb and had her bore me as her child, Sharon,
and I will not rest until she joins us and if she doesn’t, wherever she goes
and whatever she touches shall be destroyed.” Sharon said.
The priestess looked at
Sharon and at the other two women and nodded in understanding. She turned back
to regard Sharon’s parents and said.
“Stand up…there will
be no ritual.”
“What? But…but you
said…” Sharon’s father started.
“Please…no…please…we
journeyed from Lagos with our last kobo…please you can’t send us away without
a solution….please…” Sharon’s mother cried.
“It is my part to send
intercessions and prayers on your behalf to whatever is holding you back but I
have done the much I can and…I am sorry…it is out of my power.”
“Who else can we see?
Who is more powerful than you are…who?” Sharon’s father cried loudly.
“Do your research,
perhaps it’s time you sought the root of this problem…I am leaving…” The
priestess said and picking up her white cock from the ground, she made her way
through the bushes and disappeared.
“Oh my God! This can’t
be happening, why is this happening?” Sharon’s mother cried bitterly.
“Shhhh…we will find
another way out…” Her husband consoled.
“We hardly even have
money to go back to Lagos…what are going to do?” Sharon’s mother cried.
“I’ll do some menial
jobs or better still, borrow some money from my mother…I’m sure she’ll help
us with money to go back to Lagos…” Her husband consoled.
Sharon watched them cry
in each other’s arms and threw her head back in laughter while her companions
joined her. Just as she had transformed to an old woman, she took the form of a
young girl again and disappeared.
**********
Amanda was in a deep
sleep but quickly woke up, she felt so strange and the air was strange as well.
She stood up from her bed and picking up her phone she checked the time, it was
one am. She was so thirsty and there was no water in her room so she quietly
got out of bed and left her room heading to the reception to ask for water. She
didn’t feel the need to call the kitchen through the intercom, so she made her
way downstairs instead. The receptionist was asleep, and the television was on,
suddenly she felt the urge for water disappear as she decided to take a short
walk around the resort.
The moon was full and
beckoning and everywhere looked so beautiful, she really wanted to go to the
beach but something told her not to. Stubbornly insisting to do as she pleased,
she walked down the cobbled path headed to the beach and was soon saw the beach
in sight. Taking a deep breath, she began to walk towards the beach, darting
glances at the boulder and making sure not to pass it as she had been warned.
She could hear the waves of the sea, as the sea roared loudly, almost deafening
her.
Then, she saw him emerge
beyond the boulder, walking towards her as though coming from the water below,
he didn’t look wet but he looked strange. Ben looked the same way he was last
night when she saw him heading to the sea. Amanda was shocked at what she saw,
she quickly whipped out her phone and clicked on the video camera and began
filming. Ben walked like a zombie slowly and stealthy and soon he walked past
her and headed towards the lodge. Amanda turned off the camera as soon as he
walked past her and turned to stare ahead at the waters, it seemed as though it
was roaring louder and the waters seemed translucent.
“Blood of Jesus!” Amanda
quickly said as she turned back hurriedly and headed towards the lodge.
*********
Sharon took down notes,
making a mental note to meet up with mademoiselle Amanda after the class. As
soon as the class ended, Amanda said.
“étudiants au revoi!”
“Au revoi mademoiselle Amanda…”
The students said and they all left the class.
Amanda sat on the small
chair in front of the class and placing her French text book on the table
before her, she flipped it open.
“Good afternoon ma…”
Sharon greeted.
Amanda looked up at the
young girl and suddenly felt an overwhelming force bear upon her.
“Hello…how are you?”
Amanda asked cautiously.
“Please ma…I am really
sorry for how I behaved yesterday and I apologize.” Sharon said.
“Sit down…” Amanda
said to the girl, motioning to the small chair in front of her desk.
Sharon sat down and
stared at Amanda.
“What’s your full name?”
“Sharon Ekanem…”
“Sharon, do you speak to
your teachers at school the way you spoke to me yesterday?” Amanda asked.
“Sometimes…” Sharon
answered.
“Are you a Christian?”
“Yes…”
“What church do you
attend?” Amanda asked.
“Well…we don’t really
have a church, we attend service where ever the spirit leads…” Sharon said.
“Okay….so, when you to
church, what’s the first thing you are told by your instructors?”
“Nothing…”
“Are you trying to say
that you aren’t admonished to be good at all times? To respect your elders?”
Amanda asked and when Sharon showed no sign of understanding she asked. “Do you
know the ten commandments?”
“Miss Amanda…this is a
French camp and not a religious school.” Sharon replied.
“I am aware of that…”
Amanda said.
“Is my apology accepted?”
Sharon asked.
“Yes…yes it is…”
“Can I be excused?”
“Sure…you can…”
“Thank you ma…” Sharon
said and walked out of the class.
Amanda stared at her in open
curiosity.
“What is up with this
camp? First it’s Ben acting all weird and now, it’s my student…being rude and
all…something is definitely wrong.” Amanda said and burying her face in her
palms, she prayed. “Dear Lord, open my eyes please…I need to see what’s going
on…I feel so uneasy…something is wrong….teach me Lord, help me
understand.”
************
It was the wee hours of
the morning and Ben had decided to rise early and jog around the resort before
everyone woke up. He had just jogged past the lodge the second time when Amanda
stepped out. Not wanting to look rude or standoffish, he stopped to say hi.
“Hey you…” He greeted.
“Hey Ben, enjoying the
resort facility I see…” Amanda said.
“Yea…you are dressed,
where are you off to? It’s still six in the morning.” Ben said.
“Yea…I know….I need
to go to the city…”Amanda said.
“City?”
“Yea…Lagos city…we
are in a resort remember? I need to quickly go to my church for something. My
pastor asked that I see her today and I need to see my brother’s wife as well,
her maternity leave starts today.”
“Oh…you’re the church
going type?” Ben asked quizzically.
“Are we a type?” Amanda asked,
quite offended.
“Well…yea…you don’t
look it though…” Ben said.
“Really? How am I
supposed to look?”
“Well you are supposed
to have your scarf around your ears and your skirts down to your ankles…you
shouldn’t have make-up on too.” Ben laughed.
“Excuse me? When serving God, the heart is what matters besides, why do you
sound so irritated over the fact that I am God’s child.”
“Whooo….no one’s
getting offended because you’re God’s child…I was just making my comment…no
need to take it personal.”
“Well…in other news, I
saw you at the beach two nights ago and don’t bother denying it…” Amanda said
and made to take a step further.
“What are you talking
about? If this is a joke, stop it!” Ben said, walking up to her and roughly
holding her arm.
“Stop it…you’re
hurting me…” Amanda protested.
“No! I won’t leave you
unless you vow to stop your lies against me. I repeat, I do not stroll at the
beach in the night.” Ben said hotly.
“What is your problem? I
saw you and I have proof…” Amanda said.
Ben was shocked at her
revelation that she had proof and let go of her hand. Amanda quickly unzipped
her bag, brought out her phone and opened the video which she showed to him. As
Ben watched the video, his face grew pale in shock, his mouth stood ajar for two
full minutes and he blinked rapidly.
“That’s me….that’s certainly
me….what was I doing at the sea at an ungodly time of the night?” He asked
aloud.
“You alone have the
answer…” Amanda said.

Ben stared at her and
taking the phone from her, he played the video again, this time, his hands
shook as he held the device.

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