Chief Omuah: “Many years ago, I, desperate for a way out of poverty, was invited into an organization. It promised financial assistance, connections and power. All I had to do was bring gifts of cash to increase the coffers of the organization as well as help other members achieve their own aspirations. As time went on, just as they promised, my business grew and money poured in. Now this is not a money ritual or secret cult matter. They simply gave me leverage. Members of the organization in positions of authority gave members preferential treatment. So I had first dibs on contracts, deals, mergers, partnerships, shares, you name it. All I just needed to do was to show my interest and it was mine.
Some years after, my rank was changed and I was asked to come to be initiated into the true secrets of the order. Here, they offered me supernatural power. They explained to me that the information with which they operated and controlled so much wealth was through their mastery of the realm of spirits. I was curious, so I entered into this inner caucus within the organization and that is the cause of my problem.” He said; then he gulped the glass of whiskey and poured another.
Damian sat quietly, the expression on his face unreadable as he listened to Chief Omuah’s tale.
Chief Omuah: “at first it was the blood of animals that were demanded but as I got deeper and deeper into the mysteries, they offered, their demands became steeper and steeper. Soon, I lost my first wife and my son to the blood lust of the demon they called master.” He said, staring into his glass as if he could see the bloody activities he had carried out playing as a film inside.
Damian: “you killed your wife and son?” he asked, shock on his face.
Chief Omuah nodded his head and continued, “By then, it was too late to turn back. I had come to realized that I had unintentionally sold my soul to the devil.”
Damian: “but didn’t you love her or your son? How could you manage that?” he asked, staring at Chief Omuah as if he was seeing him for the first time.
Chief Omuah: “It is the ones you love, they take. Why do you think I never remarried or that I cut myself from my daughters?” he asked.
Damian: “what about the girl Osato? I thought she had a child for you?” he asked, wondering at his story
Chief Omuah: “that child was not mine. I knew but it didn’t matter to me. I accepted her lie because I cared for the mother.” He replied.
Damian: “is this why you were angry when you found out she was pregnant for you?” he asked, looking at his own untouched glass of whiskey.
Chief Omuah: “No…not at all.” He sighed and got up. He walked to the bar and poured himself another glass of whiskey. “I needed a girl for my next offering; someone close to me. I had after, much agonizing, concluded that I will use her but unfortunately she was pregnant. We are not allowed to use pregnant women for our rituals as the souls of the babies are pure and this will affect the efficacy of the ritual.” He replied.
Damian sat quietly, digesting the unbelievable story he was hearing. It was hard to believe and difficult to discredit. He looked at his glass of whiskey again, he downed it in one gulp and grimaced at the taste.
Chief Omuah: “I am tired Damian. I want to rest. I want to end it all. When she said she was pregnant for me, I felt something break inside me. It was like the ice that had built around my conscience cracked and for the first time, I can see the enormity of the crime I have been made to commit in the search for wealth, power and connections. I have seven days. I wish I could make them pay. I wish…” he muttered to himself then he looked at Damian and suddenly his eyes brightened. He rushed out of the sitting room.
Damian stared at him in surprise as he ran up his stairs. “What is he up to?” he thought to himself. Chief Omuah soon came down grinning. He looked brighter than he had been since he got to Abuja. Damian looked at him speculatively.
Chief Omuah: “my lawyer is on his way. I am making you my heir.” He said, rubbing his palms together in childish glee.
Osasu entered the house slowly on silent feet. The sitting room was dark; she could see nothing. She walked slowly, her hands stretched in front of her, moving from side to side in order to make contact with any obstruction so as to avoid a nasty bump or make any noise. She passed the sitting room successfully. Then she navigated the stairs. Her shoes and her bag were in her hand. She got to the top of the stairs and paused before a door. She placed her hand on the door and it swung open slowly and noiselessly. She walked in quietly, the rug in the room deadening her footfalls. She got to the bed and stared at the sleeping couple. Anger and pain coursed through her as she saw the two of them wrapped in each other’s embrace. She opened her bag slowly and brought out the gun she had inside it then raised it towards the couple. She stepped back in shock, when she saw the lady look at her with a satisfied smile on her face.
Lady: “so you are his wife? How sad. He is mine now.” She said and laughed.
Osasu jumped awake from her bed. She turned around in shock. She could still hear the laughter echoing in her room. She looked at her hand but there was no gun. She could have sworn that it was real. She never joked with her dreams because time and time again, they have come to pass; maybe not in the exact manner in which she had dreamt it but close enough for her to always take her dreams serious.
“So that is the witch that has tied your heart, Damian? That is the slut that has placed a knife on the ties that bind us together. We shall see. My name is Osasu. I am not a weakling; I have seen battles and I am still ready for more battles.” She thought to herself as she picked her phone from the bedside bureau and dialed her sister, Mummy Uyi’s number.
Osato arrived in Benin tired and lethargic. The events of the weekend had sapped her not just mentally but also emotionally and psychologically. She just wanted to get home, see her family and find a dark, warm space and fold herself into ball there. She walked briskly towards the entrance of the airport. She came out and stood looking for a taxi to take her home. The sky was dark with angry, rumbling clouds. It was going to rain any moment from now. She looked around then saw a taxi passing. She hailed the taxi and the man came out smiling.
Osato: “why am I not surprised to see that it is you?” she said, not moving from where she stood.
Obed: “it looks bad doesn’t it?” he asked, smiling.
Osato: “what is bad is Chief Omuah sending you to spy on me and follow me about. I do not like it.” She said; her face red with barely suppressed fury.
Obed: “your friend is determined.” He said quietly, staring behind her.
She turned to see Jackson sauntering leisurely out of the airport. She sighed in frustration and stomped her boots on the tarred road.
Osato: “will you people just leave me alone! What is all this? You, tell Amadi or whatever he calls himself that if he comes near a mile of my house or my daughter, the problem that I will rain on his head, he will not believe it. As for you, tell Chief that I want nothing from him. He has shown me the kind of man he truly his. He should keep his lapdogs away from me.” She said to the two men, turning Jackson to the Obed.
She walked forward, separating herself from the two men. Jackson looked at Obed speculatively while Obed stared at the sky and shook his head. She stood there, ignoring the men as she tried to stop other taxis but no one stopped for her. She groaned in frustration. Suddenly she jumped as the first drops of rain touched her then more drops fell. She looked at the men like they were the cause of the rain; Obed had the back seat door open and he was smiling. She gritted and teeth and ran back to the car.
Osato: “do not talk to me o. and don’t let this creep into the car. Let the rain drench him properly. Next time, he will stay out of my business.” She said as she entered the car and banged the door hard.
Obed winced at the sound and carried her bag into the booth of the car. After which he hurried back into the driver’s seat. He started the car and looked back at Osato
Obed: “are we going to really leave him in the rain?” he asked.
Osato looked at him and turned to look at Jackson standing in the rain, his hands wrapped around him. The rain was heavy; trees were whipping left and right in frenzy. She sighed
Osato: “he should seat in front with you. Both of you can gossip about your vile masters.” She said and turned her face away.
Obed opened the door and beckoned to Jackson, who quickly rushed into the car and sat on the front passenger seat. He turned to show his gratitude to Osato but she had an earpiece in her eyes and her eyes were closed. He sighed and turned back to look at the Strange Man
Jackson: “who are you?” he asked.
Obed: “ Obed. You have been marked by the Order and through you, her death will come.” He said, solemnly; his eyes focused on the blurry road.
Jackson: “what is that? She is my brother’s wife. Why will I want to kill her.” He asked, looking at the Obed curiously.
Obed: “Bishop Hezekiah. His soul has been eaten. You helped. You have been made a pawn. You are dispensable. You lead the queen towards victory unknowingly.” He said again.
Jackson shivered but it wasn’t because of the cold. The man’s words scared him.
Obed: “you are making your last moves on the board, my young friend. Are you ready for the darkness?” he asked, looking at Jackson.
Jackson laughed shakily.
Question: there is indeed a battle going on in the world today for the souls of men; where do you stand in that battle? Who was the woman in Osasu’s dream? Do you think Damian will accept Chief Omuah’s offer?
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