THE IGBO SORCERESS – Episode 7
“Amaefule! Amaefule!!” Emenike shouted as he ran into Amaefule’s compounded. In his hand was a wand – a wizard’s magic wand. Amaefule who was in his newly bought Hyundai tokunmbo car (used car) listening to the news of an attack by Fulani herdsmen on a village not far from theirs, yanked the door of his car open and rushed out. “Emenike Fulani herdsmen have struck again! They have struck again! The Fulani herdsmen have struck our neighbours again! How long shall we take this?!” Amaefule shouted, his hands shaking in anger. “Amaefule, I am sorry; the attack by Fulani herdsmen is not the reason I am here! I don’t think we should worry about that now, security operatives are already in the neighbouring town. Some of the herdsmen have been killed. They attacked soldiers sent to keep the peace. Don’t worry about our neighbours for now,” Emenike said. Amaefule shrank back in surprise, sizing up his friend curiously. Emenike had been championing the call for a retaliatory attack, Amaefule could not figure out why he suddenly was no longer interested in helping their neighbours. “Tell me, if not for the killing of our brothers in the neighbouring village, why would you be dressed for battle with your magic wand in your hand?” Amaefule asked magic wand in your hand? Amaefule asked.
Emenike looked around to see if someone was listening to them, drew closer to his friend and asked, “Who else is at home with you?” “Nobody, why do you ask?” “Lokpanta is on re!” Amaefule looked at his friend with glee on his face. Then a rapturous smile enveloped that once angry face. “Wait! Wait! Emenike are you serious? Is Lokpanta really on re?!” He was beside himself with happiness by now. “You can’t be happier than I am Amaefule! Lokpanta is burning as we speak and will soon burn to the ground with nothing left. Hundreds have died and many have fled their homes. The few ones left behind are either afraid or wounded. In fact, Lokpanta is a sitting duck!” “Then let us go finish the duck! That is why you have come, is it not?” “That is why I am here, my friend. However, you have not asked me who set this re in Lokpanta.” “Forgive me, excitement got the better of me… Who is behind the attack? Who was able to invade Lokpanta?” “Your daughter! Adaku, your daughter! She is the dreaded sorceress in the wild!” Amaefule could not believe his ears. He tottered on his feet, feeling wonky. Emenike saw that he was going to slump to the ground. He moved quickly, grabbed him and helped him sit on the ground. Amaefule seemed spaced-out as he pondered the possibility of what he had heard. “But my daughter died five years ago, Emenike. How is she alive and able to attack Lokpanta?” “Amaefule, your daughter has been alive all these years. She faked her death to seek powers, the sort of higher powers our people walked in the days of yore. From what I have heard, there will be no Lokpanta by nightfall. Get yourself ready let’s help her finish what neither our ancestors nor we could do!” “So Adaku has been living alone in ajo ofia (the evil forest)? What has she become? What has she been eating? Is she still human?” “Amaefule stop asking these questions, what matters now is that Lokpanta is being destroyed by one of our own and we should help her finish the job.” “Yes we should! Lokpanta killed our ancestors and slaughtered those who offered them help. They hunted us till they believed the last of us had been killed. What was our sin Emenike?!” “Nothing my friend! Nothing, my good friend! In their eyes, wizardry and enchantment were evil. They claimed our ancestors filled their land with evil by their witchcraft. Have we not heard that they did good with their gifts…” “Shhhh! Do not use the word ‘gifts’ my friend,” Amaefule said mockingly. “Lokpanta might hear that word and revive. Do not forget they burnt men, women and children for merely saying the obvious truth that the witchcraft our people practiced was a gift of God.” “They allowed the church and its teachings to replace our old ways. They burnt our priests and followed white man’s juju called church. Now where is the God of the church they followed? Ndi nzuzu (stupid people)!” “Emenike you asked where their God is, I will answer that question for you. He saw my daughter and fled from Lokpanta! Hahahaha! In fact, I will pour libation to my daughter Adaku and make her my new god when Lokpanta falls.” “Amaefule you will not be alone in that! I will also make Adaku my new god and that of my family. Singlehandedly, she chased away the God of the church in Lokpanta and killed his followers. She is a god! Adaku, the mighty Igbo sorceress, is a god!” “Emenike, let me go get ready. There is a small business of wiping out the last of Lokpanta people to do.” “Yes Amaefule, there is. Go, I can’t wait to give them a taste of my venom.” Amaefule, ran into his house. While he waited for his friend to return, he began to make incantations with his magic wand, summoning other witches and wizards amongst their small town of witches and wizards. When Amaefule came out of his house, he was battle ready. He must have made a few incantations with his magic wand inside the house because it was glowing. Emenike looked at him and perceived that he was worried about something. “I see concern in your face Amaefule.” “Yes, there is a small one on my mind.” “Spill it out then.” “I hope no one in Lokpanta knows the truth.” “No, nobody knows! If anyone did, how then did Adaku take out the village so easily?” And so they set out for Lokpanta with five other witches and wizards in their company. Daniel made it into the farmlands and then collapsed. He had pushed himself as much as he could. Breathing as though he would give up the ghost, he watched the mad cow stop at the edge of the farmlands which began where he fell. On account of the opete plant which was all over the farmlands, the cow was afraid to venture into the land. It stood by the edge hoofing and bleating angrily. When the beast arrived, it also would not dare enter the farmland where Daniel lay helplessly. Above Daniel, Adaku, the great Igbo sorceress, hovered, slowly descending on him. The magic wand in her hand burning dangerously. She would not dare set a foot on the ground where Daniel was, but she could finish him off from the air. “I told your mother that you are a fool but she would not believe me. Yet again, here you are proving to me how much a fool you are,” the sorceress said to Daniel. Daniel was alarmed. Did she just mention my mother? He asked himself. Mustering strength, he asked feebly, “Did you just mention my mother, evil one?” “Yes, I did little fool; and what will you do about it?!” she asked, unleashing a volt of spell from her magic wand. “No!” shouted Daniel in fear, as layers of bluish bubbles ejected from his mouth, and trapped the volt of spell from the sorceress. “I know what you have in your mouth! It is a dry leaf of that plant. I will keep doing this until its strength fades in your mouth and I burn you to death. Your mother is dead. I killed her. Your friend and the little boy are in no condition to help you either. You see, you are mine to do as I wish. Hahahaha!” she guffawed callously. Daniel gritted his teeth in anger. The pain of losing his mother burnt his heart, threatening suffocate him. He had no choice but to keep speaking so to dispel the waves of attacks from the sorceress. As he fought with his words, his eyes rested on something he didn’t know was nearby. On the other side of the vast farmlands, Uju stirred from her stupor. Seeing how lifeless the boy lay next to her, she sprang toward him in alarm, shaking him amid cries. Thankfully, the boy twitched his fingers and then began to cough. Glory to God, they both were alive. Lifting the boy, Uju ran over to a corner of the farmlands where there was abundant supply of opete plant and began to stuff both her mouth and that of the boy with fresh opete leaves. It was not long before opete began to ll their bodies with strength. They felt so much strength within them, they felt they were going to pop from within. “We have to take some of these back to the village. Our people must be given the chance to fight back!” Uju said, barely containing the surge of power from within her. The boy ran over to a cocoyam farm and plucked fresh cocoyam leaves. Hurriedly they began to pluck as much opete leaves as they could and wrapped them with the cocoyam leaves. “Whatever we meet on our way back, we command it to die okay,” said Uju. The boy flashed a rare smile and said, “I will be glad to give that command.” And so they set out for their village. Walking briskly and running at the same time, mam Daniel ran into the beast which had lured her son back into the village. It bled from all over its body – signs of Daniel’s vicious attacks on it. When the beast saw her, it charged toward her. Mama Daniel made no effort to avoid the beast. Rather, she ran to meet it.