The night was quiet and still. The wind moved through the leaves and rustled them as it whistled. The moon high up was bright. It shed a luminescent light on the wet grass and it glistened with an eerie luster. The sound of crickets mating punctuated the fields. Their vigorous chirps in various states of ecstasy echoed the twinkling stars. Suddenly, the crickets fell silent and there were soft thuds on the grass.
“Are you sure?” a small voice pierced through the stillness of the night.
“No. I am not. Now shut up and dig.” Came a hoarse voice.
“Look Ifu, now is not the time. Okay?”
Ifu went silent and got back to digging. The air was humid and her t-shirt clung to her wet back for dear life. You could hear her heavy panting and through the luminescent light see her gray t-shirt heaving and the points of her two firm breasts sticking out in protest.
Obi kept watch. His large round eyes darting across trying to pierce into the darkness. He was well built, his arms mountains of muscles. He was standing next to a small red pot. The pot had colored sisals around the mouth. Inside was a dark viscous liquid – blood. In his hand he had a long and slender steel knife with a wooden handle. The handle was curved into the face of a man. At the tip the same liquid stained it and was dripping making soft sounds as it hit the grass.
After what seemed like hours Ifu stopped digging.
“It’s ready.” She whispered.
Obi let out a long deep laugh.
“Why are you laughing?” whispered Ifu
“You, what are you afraid of? Waking up the dead?” he retorted “Look around” he spread his arms “There’s no one Ifu. Just me and you.”
“No Ifu, we’ve come all this way not to shh. Take off your clothes!”
There in the darkness they lay with each other right before planting the little pot inside the hole and covering it up. They planted a sunflower seed in the fresh mound of soil and begun leaving.
“What if the gods know Obi?” asked Ifu
“What gods Ifu? We are the gods. Even Amadioha trembles at my name Ifu, he trembles!”
The lights at the palatial home were too bright. Obi couldn’t sleep. He tossed and turned in his huge bed messing up the red satin sheets that clung onto his skin. The humid air was unbearable. This was the umpteenth time he could not sleep ever since that night with Ifu. There’s was a ritual, one that brought money. They had lots of it. They were walking gods among men. He got up and walked out into the corridor letting his fingers dance on the golden banisters as he made his way into the kitchen. At this hour there were no servants he could call upon. He did not want them in the house anymore when he slept. He had whispers among them that he screams when he dreams.
“What haunts him?” they’d ask
“His past. You think all this comes free?” one would retort
“A rich monster that one” another would chime in
“The gods don’t sleep” the old gate man would say before they all went silent and got back to their duties.
He got downstairs and opened the double door steel fridge and took out a bottle of ale. Staring at the bottle his mind wandered. It went back to that night and the events that led to it. The young girl they had lured with sweets into their tiny room with Ifu. She had on a red dress with white spots or was it a white dress with white spots. She had on white shoes and that had a blue ribbon. She was innocent and was singing on her way to the shops. They had given her a sweet and told her to come again. She did, until one day she came and they gave her a laced sweet. She slept and Obi reached under the bed pulling out a white cloth. He unwrapped it and in it was the long steel knife with a wooden handle. They made an incision on the sleeping girl’s neck and let the warm liquid drip into the pot. They filled six pots. They each had to drink from four of those pots and bury two. One in the girl’s home and another in an unknown location.
Ifu was up in her study room going through books. She was reading a lot nowadays. She could not sleep not without seeing the red dress with white spots floating through her dreams. Many were the times she would wake up drenched in sweat in the cold of the night in her bathtub full of blood. This scared her, she called Obi but he always brushed her off as being nonsensical. She didn’t know what to do so she read. Mostly she read books on cults and occultism. She was looking particularly for one to break the curse. Yes, curse. She knew somehow she was cursed, not she but they. Even if Obi ignored it. She was going through a book when suddenly an urge hit her. Obi pulled her into this – maybe his death would be the death of her curse.
The old man in red wrappers and colored beads around his neck was chanting under his breath. On his mat seated opposite him was a woman. She was middle aged but looked older. The creases on her forehead made gave her a look of constant worry. The man was a prophet to the god Amadioha. He started shaking and you could see the whites of his eyes before suddenly calming. In a steely voice he spoke
“I see a sunflower. Its petals are red, red with blood. The blood of your daughter.”
Pointing to an old copper pot in the middle of the mat the man spoke again
“The gods demand their right.”
Without instruction the woman put in a bunch of notes and a plastic bag of grain.
“Tell the gods that’s all I have.”
“They know. They see. Go now. You will have your justice.”
“Ask them when?”
“The second moon. You will hear thunder and three flashes of lightning across the sky. Then you will know it’s done.”
“Thank you. Thank you”
The woman walked out and walked away a burden seemingly lofted off her shoulders. As she walked the man shouted
“Ebe onye dara ka chi ya kwaturu ya”
Where one falls is where his god pushed him down.
“Thank you.” She whispered.
The sky was pregnant with rain. The dark clouds hang low. The thunder roared. It was now dark and the wind blew furiously. Obi and Ifu were in the same room. Ifu had hatched up a plan to take their curses away. She poured a drink for Obi – single malt whiskey. He took a sip and laid back on his lazy boy.
“Now this is the Ifu I know.” He said “Calm and composed. Come sit next to me.” He gestured
“Let me pour one for myself Obi, ah, how are you so selfish?”
His eyes became cloudy, he was suddenly sleepy and couldn’t keep his eyes open. He saw a flash of red and white and the face of a little girl.
“Ifu what have you do…” his voice trailed off as his body became limp.
In one swift motion Ifu pulled out a familiar object – the steel knife – and drove it through her jugular. Sprawling in a pool of blood with her neck spurting she whispered
Three bright flashes of lighting struck across the sky as her body too went limp.