THE IGBO SORCERESS – Episode 10
Mama Daniel was alarmed; from being the rescued, she became the rescuer. The only way to get Ifeoma out of harm’s way was to tackle her down. The balls of flame from Emenike’s magic wand were too close to Ifeoma. “Get down child!!!” mama Daniel screamed, tackling her hard. Much to her chagrin, little Ifeoma dug her feet in the ground, resisting the well-placed tackle. Raising her head like an angry serpent about to strike a pray, she shrilled, “I know my God and my God knows me! Therefore no weapon fashioned against me shall prosper!!!” The blazing balls of re from Emenike hit
God knows me! Therefore, no weapon fashioned against me shall prosper!!! The blazing balls of re from Emenike hit the ground with brute force and quenched as though drums of water had been emptied on them. “What power is this?!” Emenike asked, as he applied brakes on his dash toward Ifeoma. “Who are you child?” mama Daniel asked with her hands over her mouth. With the innocence of a child, Ifeoma replied, “I am the best student in our Sunday school class. I believe God takes his word as he says them…” Ifeoma was still speaking when more waves of blazing balls of re came her way. “Look child!” shouted mama Daniel. With unbelievable courage, Ifeoma walked toward the balls of re spells from the witches and wizards, saying, “He that kept me neither sleeps nor slumbers. He who kept Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the pit of re shall not allow me to be hurt by these evil . He who kept Daniel from the claws of lions in the den of lions, shall not suffer me to be harmed.”
She was quoting lines from her Sunday school manual and believed them with all her heart. Every word she was taught, she held onto with faith. To her, there was no need to be afraid if God says his children should not. One after another, the balls of re hit the ground burning holes into it as they extinguished. Emenike, Amaefule, Adaure and the others lowered their magic wands and bolted off toward the direction of their accursed village of witches and wizards. “She is a witch!” “She is the devil’s daughter!” “Run! Run!” Amaefule and his group shouted as they ran. Encouraged by what she had seen, Ifeoma decided to unleash her own attack, “May you all be victims of that you have wished us. May you turn on yourselves like the armies of the Ammonites, the Moabites and Mount Seir!” As soon as Ifeoma was done making that pronouncement, Amaefule’s magic wand triggered by itself and struck down Adaure to the ground, killing her instantly. Her cousin turned in anger and red a spell into the heart of his fellow wizard, thinking he was responsible for his cousin’s death. In a split second, the company of witches and wizards was overtaken by confusion as they began to attack each other. Amaefule and Emenike dropped their magic wands and ran as fast as they could. It took some twenty minutes before Emenike and Amaefule realized what they had done to themselves. In their bid to escape from the confusion which overtook their team, they ran into the haunted forest of nturukpa trees. nturukpa, in Igbo folklores is the younger brother of oha tree. Nturukpa did so much evil that demons found in it a worthy habitation, one as evil as they were. And so, on account of its evil deeds, the Igbos chose to favour his brother oha in the worship of their gods and in the preparation of such delicacies as ofe oha (oha soup). It would amount to insult and desecration for shrines to be raised in the name of gods with nturkpa tree. As is commonly known, shrines amongst the Igbos are raised with oha tree and other sacred trees. “What have we done, Emenike? We are in the midst of nturukpa forest! Arrrgh! Arrrgh!!!” Amaefule shouted as both friends jumped on each other. In that moment, the evil forest took its toll on their minds; they began to hallucinate about tigers and leopards crawling out of the nturukpa trees, heading for them. There was nothing more left for him to do than to embrace death. However, out of the blue, it occurred to him to spit the paste of fresh opete leaves in his mouth on the incoming, gigantic hand of the revived beast. When the hand of the revived beast and the paste of chewed opete leaves met, a blazing storm of re took over the beast, thrusting him high into the air. Just by an hair’s breath, the hand of the beast missed Daniel’s neck. With a great force the beast crashed to the ground. As the re subdued him, he fought to break free from it. Daniel took more opete leaves and shoved them into his mouth. Running over to the burning beast, he commanded, “Thou beast of clay and blood, be destroyed from your cradle!!” At Daniel’s command, the body of the beast began to crack wide open like broken shards of china plate. As it did so, the great re over him began to rush into the openings in his body. Daniel hit the ground and covered his ears with both hands. The painful cry of the beast seemed to pull his heart out of his chest. “What is that cry!” Ifeoma asked. She could sense the sound of evil in the cry of pain. “It is the cry of the revived beast. My son must have struck him down! He should have waited for me to do it! The cry of the beast is a spell; he wants to take my son’s heart as he dies!” “I will not let that happen!” Ifeoma declared and charged toward the direction of the cry. “Child stop! This is no longer a battle for babies! You are no match for the beast!” “The beast is no match for my God!” Ifeoma barked as she tried to slow down, her little legs bending as though they would break as she strained them to bring her body to a stop. “The y which has no guide goes into the grave with a corpse! Go back home child!” “You are right mama, but I am not that y! I have a guide, and God is my Guide!” Mama Daniel’s jaw dropped in awe. She could not believe the amount of wisdom from the mouth of a little girl like her. “Okay child, you can come with me if you insist.” “I insist mama.” By the time they found Daniel, he was lying lifeless on the ground and blood gushing from his mouth. The cry of the revived beast had long faded to a whisper. “You arrows of re pointing down at my people, turn back and strike she who sent you!” Uju’s voice echoed. The frozen spell of drops of re came alive and went up like missiles Adaku garbed in a dark robe and standing in the midst of spell of drops of re came alive and went up like missiles. Adaku, garbed in a dark robe and standing in the midst of dark cloud above the sky, gasped in fear, “What is this?!” She waved her magic wand at the storm of drops of re shooting up toward and commanded, “Freeze and attack me not! It is I Adaku who made you!” The fiery storm continued its ascent toward her. Her heart leaped into her mouth in fear as her eyes darted about. There was no cover for her to hide in. She was in the open sky alone and that made her a good target. Added to her dire situation was the pain of the life of the last beast being torn away from her as his life faded away. “Has anyone of you seen Ifeoma, Ngozika’s daughter?!” Kenneth asked as he ran around elder Obieze’s compound. “What would a girl of her age be doing outside on a day like this? Go look under her mother’s bed, that is where other children are hiding in their homes!” Obieze’s wife said. “Mama, Ifeoma is no ordinary child! She is the only one who saw ahead of time what we have suffered today. Her mother tried to warn Nze Emeka but he would not listen. I fear she may have followed one of her visions and ventured outside the village,” Kenneth said sadly. Obieze’s wife stood surprised, her mouth hanging agape. She walked over to Kenneth and stood before him shoulder to shoulder. “Kenneth, did you just say the vision of the evil we have suffered today was revealed to one of us before it began and yet the elders were not told?” she asked. “Yes mama. It was revealed to the little girl Ifeoma, and her mother told Nze Emeka, but he chose not to listen to her.” “Why didn’t Ngozika tell the elders?!” she barked. Her voice drew all eyes their way. “Mama, Ngozika told the right person! She did what was expected of her! She told Nze Emeka who had the ears of the elders. Ngozika followed the due process!” Kenneth explained the best he could. He knew what was coming and he feared it. Turning his back on Kenneth, Obieze’s wife commanded young men to go and arrest Ngozika and all the members of her household. She also sent a party to the town hall to see if they could find Nze Emeka alive. “Don’t bother looking for him, mama, Ifeoma also prophesied that Nze Emeka will not return home alive. It was his punishment for failing to tell the elders that the mad cow was possessed with the spirit of the sorceress,” explained Kenneth.