The elders gathered in the palace, for the strange happenings in their village. Six people had died that day, and one of the elders had lost his son.
“Your Highness, something needs to be done!” one of the elders said.
The King fanned himself, as he had his guards fetch him a certain maiden. “Elders of our land, you need not worry. Our problem will be solved soon!”
The elders doubted.
The guards arrived with the King’s guest; the council was dismissed, and the girl was taken to the King’s chamber.
The four White men mourned the loss of their friend. They were kept behind bars, but still, prayed that Kingston’s soul would be received, and the King would be less hardened.
“Brethren, as y’all see, our brother is gone. We are not alone. We’ve never been. And we’ll never be. I want you to keep trusting in God. He’ll save us all, I’m sure. And will rescue us… from the devil’s grasp.”
The remaining three echoed an ‘amen’.
The man named ‘Williams’ raised a hymn. He had the others sing along, as they raised their voices and called to the father.
“Psst.” a low whisper alerted—
The four stopped singing and looked in the direction. A fair maiden was calling to them. She had a basket in her hand and something that looked like goodies in it.
“Here. Have it.” the girl squeezed the basket in.
The men wondered who she was as they watched her leave. They looked to the heavens once more and thanked The Almighty for bringing them food.
* * *
Uli clasped her hands, muttering something only she could hear. She stared blankly, humming next; her husband came out and asked her to come with him.
Ishii sighed. She has been like this, he thought, when will this end?
Ishii sighed again. He had told her several times that their son was gone—watching her faint the million times, he decided not to tell her anymore, but reply, stating their son had gone on an errand.
“I know Nkem will be back soon,” Uli would chuckle.
Ishii knew his wife’s case has gotten worse; a solution was all he needed to find.
Ishii went to see a Medicine man. Okirija was a powerful man, known far and wide, and considered ‘The Great’. He lived deep in the forest, where only the bravest of men could come. He sensed Ishii from a distance and poured out his cowries on the red-covered floor. “What brings you here?”
Ishii was stunned. Wasn’t it Okirija again? His surprise soon disappeared. Okirija asked him to sit and he did. He told him why he was there, telling him how his wife’s condition has gone worse.
“Mm,” Okirija said. He nodded slowly, looking at the cowries; it seemed as though something was intriguing about them—Okirija looked up, and turned to Ishii. “There is nothing I can do,”
Ishii was shocked.
“Go and tell the King, that the people will perish for the terrible thing he has done!”
Ishii remained silent. Go and tell the King? He pondered on these words. He got up from the floor and left in silence. Wasting no time to go to the palace, he requested to see the King, as the guards made to call him.
“Did you not hear when father said he shouldn’t be disturbed?” Princess Olamma emerged.
Ishii begged once more that they go and call him; Princess Olamma persisted before she told the guards not to worry, and left to call the King. “I’ll be back.”
Princess Olamma left for her father’s hut. She could hear loud grunts coming from there, and a moan she could decipher. It was one of pleasure, she gasped at the thought. Her father was with a woman, and the guards she could see were guarding the entrance in case anyone came.
“What is father doing with a woman?” She knew the answer already. She summoned the courage to walk up to the guards that kept watch. “I require an audience with the King!”
The guards joined their spears. “You cannot see the King until he is finished!”
Princess Olamma countered. “I make the orders, you fools! Now let me in!”
The guards refused. “The King has instructed us not to let anyone…”
“But it’s urgent!”
The King emerged, clasping his robe. “Princess!”
“What are you doing here?”
Princess Olamma fumed but tried not to show her anger. She left before she could say something else, and the King followed her, wanting to explain.
“You need not say anything, father. I am not the one you disrespect.”
The King was hurt by the words.
King Oghala made back inside, knowing there was nothing he’d say to make the Princess see him any different. He laid down beside the girl he had asked the guards to bring. “Put on your clothes and let the guards take you home.”
The girl nodded. King Oghala had her promise him that she wouldn’t say a word to anyone, and she left, as he sank in thoughts.
Ishii waited for the Princess to come but to no avail. He went home and met his hut empty; this made him worried, and he went to the back of it.
“Uli?” Ishii called. Uli was lost, and she kept staring at nothing. Turning to face him, she asked why he hadn’t told her about their son’s death; Ishii replied, confused. “Why didn’t I tell you?”
Uli sniffed. “Our son has been dead for some time. And yet you didn’t bother to tell me.”
Ishii said no word. He looked at his wife in pity and made to touch her; Uli replied by pulling away; she requested that she should be taken to her son’s grave, and Ishii did as he was told.