September 18, 2021
STORIES

GLOOM OF DREAD Episode 1

Evil. Death. Revenge. The stroke of death came very early that morning when humans was about waking up from their slumber. It was here meanness and rage and bitterness and hatred evolved. Everyone rolled out from their abode when that monstrous morning cry howled, echoed and emptied itself into unknown relinquishment.

The news broke that Dike was dead. What? How? and Why? was the questions that popped out from everybody’s mouth.
“People don’t die like that,” muttered a neighbour.

How could a full fledged Dike Of twenty eight years die with no cause to trace? No sickness. No history of long term illness nor terminal ill health. This is a lie! The root of this evil must be traced, else, we all wake up one day, and discover that the bodies of our children has been stolen.

“An Elder does not seat at home while the she goat die of parturition pains. Never!
No grown-up would be bathing and allow sods enter his eyes that he no longer sees. That will not happen!
‘When the elephants are provoked stampede is inevitable,” the elders said differently.

Humiliation, pains, loss, regrets rose to its peak in the hearts of the Akanu youths and entire family members of Dike.

Humiliation and pains and not equal; only that the letter, could provoke the former into disastrous effects which might eventually result into the outlets of upheavals.

Revenge and vengeance loomed as cockroaches would never be spared in the sight of a hen.
But the youths and the family members must wait to receive a final validation, a prove, from the the eldest in the family who had gone to consult and figure out who killed Dike from a medicine man.

There was this greatest of the greatest, the strongest of them all in the entire twelve communities that shared boundary with Akanu. Some called him a prophet, while others called him a medicine man. He was well known for his expertise in such matters. He wore red apron and fastened a black girdle—-indicating justice and fierceness. This medicine man comes out twice in every full moon and would not be seen ordinarily like every other man; but can be only if there was any emergency.
When he speaks, smokes comes out of his mouth and when he is angry, bad things happens.
He would not respond to any greeting or to anyone during the day time, but wore a friendly or smiling look during the evening time and also waved and greeted everyone, if perhaps, he comes out.
He was dangerous and just, at the same time.
For he was feared by many and was respected and honoured for speaking the truth at all times no matter who’s involved.
Again, he was esteemed for the type of justices he introduced to offenders as a means of cleansing the land.
He lived far away between the boundaries linking Akanu and other communities. He was called, Acha.

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Seven days past, the news coming out from Acha revealed the villain that killed Dike. He was Ekene, the son of Elendu. It was stated that Ekene killed Dike because he made jest of him, which he (Ekene) perceived to be a humiliation while out of jealousy secretly waylaid him.

Acha had served justice that must be met within four days if the land must be cleansed. People don’t kill people simply because they made jests to each other!

Evidently, revenge and vengeance are identical brothers, only that, one is self retaliation; the other is retaliation for another’s act. As a consequence, the youths and the family members must act.

Acha’s justice demanded that Ekene’s house, which is his father’s house be brought to bare earth, and his father should not be seen in any congregation of elders for seven years.
Such justice was served because it was considered that the father failed in training his son properly.
For Ekene? He should be caught dead or alive. This was secretly disclosed.

The night after the validation, the youths were ready, the family members too were prepared for both vengeance and revenge. For their son who’s reputation was built upon personal achievement has been murdered.

Dike was a man of great bravery; with a type A’ personality—-hard working, seeking to improve oneself, courageous, determined, humorous, etcetera.

He has left behind his young elegant wife.
The love that would bring him back to life, was death a journey of ‘travel-wanders-and-return,’ but certainly not.

Dike was completely enthralled for the first time in his life when he first saw his wife. Not that she was excessively beautiful, but her quintessential uniqueness was phenomenal. It had him dazzling, staring at her while, whether the birds were chipping, nor the tress were naturally perfect, nor the ocean were green and flawless, nor the vivid colours of grasses were greenish and superlative totally concerned him not—–for they were speechless, fixedly, ogling at each other for uninterrupted thirty five seconds.
Her large lips was natural and, spectacularly red. Her waist, plumpy, as if there was a deep curve immediately after her hips which made her moves dangle. Her skin was tender and soft. There was nothing hidden in her body called beauty for they revealed themselves in his eyes. After that day, it was not long, he married her, and she loved him equally.

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Although now, finally, has got to leave the wife behind and answer the definite call which we all must answer one-by-one, someday.

When the corps of Dike was brought home, the carrier paused at the entrance of the compound. The eldest in the family had had to talk to the corps…for it will hear all that is said at that moment.

First, they brought a dry gin, and poured it on the ground many times; connecting from the physical to the metaphysical. It was a sign to welcome the dead body home and inviting the ancestral spirits as well. It was an activity of clear transition of both inviting and calling the attention of all late ancestors that are within the family circle and handing over the spirit of the deceased to them for warm reception and, perhaps, seeking for justice.

This moment is special and reserved. Only the eldest in the family must do the talking.
Yes the dead body and the spirit hears! They see too! But the living will not see the spirit nor the ancestors, but must be aware that they’re paying intense attention to whatever is said.

However, during one of the speech of the most eldest in the family, he provoked the spirit of Dike to take personal revenge from the land of the dead. And promised him that his revenge must be served by the living.
After which, they laid his corps to rest as tears mounted everywhere.

Soon early enough, when the birds begins to leave their roosting places the next morning was the howling cry echoing into the air, and long emptying itself into the a tiny air. Same as monstrous as ever heard was the cry blaring out.
That was the cry of revenge and vengeance.
The plans was made secretly and it remained secret until it was carried out.

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The neighbours only heard the cries of Elendu and his family as their house was brought down completely to bare earth. They ran away half butchered from their village.

Because the youths couldn’t get their target which was to kill Ekene, they angrily, or, as it would be put, inadvertently encroached and destroyed about four neighbouring houses in that village and went away with their livestock.

For this reason, it was considered a mark of war by this village. For they must retaliate if justice must be served. The Akanu youths have encouraged with the intent of war. “They have touched the tail of the tiger, we must revenge,” said the affected youths in their large numbers.

Now, was Dike alive? there were friends or persons he should never associate with. First, a pathological tempered person(s). Such as: a) any person when angry could flare into irrationality. b) a friend or person which within seconds, just in little provocation, would knife you or someone. c) someoneone who’s lust over irrelevancies and/or one who’s excessively jealous.

It is here you need to discover subtle ways of handling issues as they unfold instead of using old ways.

As it seems, sublime hatred, dishonor, revenge, anarchy and blood shade would swell and be paraded on every thoroughfares of this two village.

By Anyanwu Moses

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