1 Chapter 1

UMUMIRI

The village Umumiri carried a pregnant silence with ominions dread,the night was cold and still, in the thick dark night not even a single soul was seen left for the croaking of frogs and cricket.

It was already midnight time for the priest ritual the servants clad in black wrapper as dark as the night with black charcoal that dusted their eyes and lips their feet powdered with Nzu,each of them held a calabash of water in which smoke oozed from the center.

A stick torch of flame shone round the shrine as the servants danced round it singing a song only known to them ,they sang loudly and would screech if necessary,maybe that was why everywhere was as still as the night.

The priest garbed in a long flowing black robe which had cowries carefully sewed in it,his dreadlocks was scattered with white and black cowries ,his weak eyes had dark charcoal smeared in it.

After long incantations ,the old priest picked a calabash from a molded statue as he danced round the shrine like a man that have gone mad his servants tagged along,the dancing only ceased when he raised his staff up.

"Oshimiri...Oshimiri, the god of my forefathers the time has come to take a chosen one,my lineage has served you faithfully and never had it been heard in Umumiri existence that any have desist your call"

The priest paused for a while shaking his staff then he raised up a calabash

"Hmmm...Oshimiri Go...Go round the four corners of the earth and bring back the chosen one..for he must serve you"

The howling of a mighty wind seem to send a message to the villagers.

"I see a dark cloud ahead Oshimiri, something beyond my spiritual bound I am too weak to beat it bring back your chosen...go...go...goooo"

A white smoke came out of the calabash and disappeared into thin air,the old priest gave a sadistic laugh that echoed through the night

ABUJA

CHALIE who had risen first before her husband walked down to the kitchen to prepare breakfast,she had once thought his disinclined attitude about allowing their maid to prepare a meal for the family was absurd she always grumbled anytime she heard the early morning alarm that woke her up each day.

CHALIE a woman of average height in her late forties ,darkskinned despite her age there was still some kind of radiance to her beauty that made her look like she was in her thirties,she stopped for a moment to admire the beautiful album that hung at the living room hall she didn't do that every morning as a ritual to admire her beautiful pose or that of her husband or only daughter it only reminded her that she was in reality ,its no dream she is happily married to a man who loves her and was blessed with an adorable daughter despite her bitter past.

Clad in her poker detted pyjamas she entered the kitchen to make breakfast humming a melody to herself ,she thought it odd Ike had not come downstairs He was an early morning person and left very early for work, despite the fact they were no longer based at lagos Ikenna still prefer to leave for work early.

"What's keeping this man upstairs" charlie thought to herself a like thirty minutes later she was already done with serving breakfast and he was yet to show up she climbed the stairs back to their room with the intention of waking him up.

"Honey" she called out but got no response her heart skipped for a brief moment when she found him in the same sleeping position she had left him earlier.

"Honey what's wrong, its past seven already" she spoke softly expecting him to jump out of bed but his eyes fluttered a bit,his eye lid dimmed as watery terms slipped down..

Charlie was alarmed now

"C...c...come closer dear" he whispered softly

She rushed closer to him as a sense of dread washed all over her like she was about to loose someone.

"Ikenna...please you are scaring me " she warned thinking it was all a joke

"Take care of our daughter" he forced the words out as she strained her ears to hear him clearly

"You must be strong for her"

"Honey what are you talking about" she asked all panicky as her hands grabbed both of his cheeks

"Am calling an ambulance now"

"No matter what... don't let them take me to Umumiri..."he stammered the words out

" Ikenna...Honey"

"They have come to take me,don't go with them...Don't go to Umumiri" those were the last words Ike said to her before he passed out.

*************

Charlie cheeks burned as hot liquid ran down slowly forming a curve round the nape of her neck she was way past calm it was almost noon and no one was saying anything about her husband.

the private hospital seemed busy as nurse moved in a quick pace from one place to another they seemed ignorant of the people around them as they only give a discreet smile when a question was thrown at them.

An elderly doctor approached her he cleared his throat to get her attention as he handed a file to a robust nurse that stood at his side

"Please pass this over to the nurse at the desk..thank you"he smile was no comforting as he stared at her

" you are Mrs Ikenna right"

"Yes... yes" she inhaled sharply "where is my husband"she was doing her utmost best to stay calm

" I am Dr Paul in charge of your husband case"

He waited for her to nod in apprehension

"Madam we have run all necessary tests ,but couldn't detect anything...

" what do you mean Dr "she cut him off confused

Dr Paul exhaled slowly

" All am trying to say is in my twenty five Years as a doctor,I have never seen such a case as this..your husband case is very peculiar"he shakes his head

"we cannot conduct treatment on your husband until we detect the cause of his comatized state"

"Hey...hey" she wailed with her two hands on her head"I can't loose my husband ohhh"

"Madam please put your self together" the doctor who was now sweating brought out his handkerchief this was the hardest part of his Job having to explain things he preferred been in the theatre than having to stand to explain what why and how the attention it creates is sometimes exhausting.

"Your Husband is in a comatose state and there is a one percent chance he would survive it medically"

"God forbid..my husband will not die ohhh"

"Please I need you to understand what am telling you,we are going to monitor him every given time,we have done our best for him,your husband life is now left in God hands"

"Please Doctor Ike can't die... I have money any amount just keep him alive"

Dr Paul simply walked away giving one of the nurses a sign to help her he had never felt so clueless in his entire life.

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