Act Of Faith

Act Of Faith – Batch 5

Episode 27
Title: I love Him!!
” Who is Jason? ” I asked as he gestured to me to sit down. ” A long time ago” he started looking at the frame as if he was trying to remember something. ” A long time ago” he repeated while I adjusted myself on the chair as I was anxious for him to talk. ” I had gone out of Newriton , not for anything but to get drunk. Yes to get drunk, there had been a problem in
Newriton and the board think I wasn’t putting in my best, they had suspended me for two weeks, that was how I got out of Newriton. I went back to my home. On one night, I decided to sweep away my bundles, so I drove around town to a club, I drank to stupor in the club that I forgot my car and headed home. I hadn’t walked half the way when I saw a little boy in the streets being bullied by some touts, he was crying for mercy, he was obviously their errand boy. I couldn’t help seeing the small boy being maltreated so I fought against those tout and took him home. After suspension, I brought him to Newriton, where he got trained as a fighter,I gave him a life, I changed him, he became a man of his own and decided setting up his house in town, during holidays, he wont stay in my quarters anymore, he would go to his house in town, from there, he got a girlfriend which he told me about. Her name as he said was Jane. He was the best fighter among his peers, he was strong, fast and always happy and then one day..” Sir Ajan stopped as tears choked his voice, the king of justice was crying, I had never seen him cry. I passed him my black handkerchief and he took willingly, ” And one day, he stole” Sir Ajan said calmly handing back the handkerchief. ” He stole a huge amount from the Treasury Units, he stole about 500,000 naira. ” Sir Ajan explained, ” Did you guys catch the money with him?” I asked for the first time, ” Yes, it was in his room , in a bag under his bed, what confirmed it was a letter he had written to his girlfriend that he promise to provide the 500,000 naira she needed for her business ” Sir Ajan explained calmly. ” Hmm, am sorry sir Ajan, its really painful to see someone you trust betray you that much” I said calmly, ” I had to send him away from Newriton, he didn’t admit that he stole the money, he continued to say he was innocent. But it was crystal clear, if he didn’t steal the money, how did the money get into his room?only he had a card to his room, he had no room mate” Sir Ajan said looking at the frame again, ” But I and israel have separate cards to my room, the cards can be cloned you know?” I asked also staring at the frame, ” The cards cant be cloned without a replica, if his card was cloned, then it had to be done through his card. He was the only one who had access to his Card” Sir Ajan explained. ” Have you seen him ever since then?” I asked him getting up from the chair, ” No, I had even taken the risk of going to his house in town, but he no longer stay there, he had sold the house” Sir Ajan said relaxing on the chair. ” what of the security cameras in the treasury unit, why didn’t they get him?” I asked, ” Why did the Security Camera at Sir Jude house not get you?” He asked back , ” Jason was the best agent in his set” He concluded . ” Okay sir, am sorry for..” He interrupted, ” You can go now Gabriel” he said pointing at the door, ” Okay sir” I headed towards the door. ” Gabriel” he called after I have gotten to the door, I turned back immediately. ” I am proud of you, you did a great Job on this mission, but next time, be patient” He stood up while I nodded and went out.
It was truly painful to see someone you trust hurt you badly, it is the worst feeling on earth. ” Has Sir Ajan talked sense into your head?” I heard a voice from behind, it was mark’s voice, ” Hmm, that betrayal” I thought to myself. ” Hey Mark, how are you doing? ” I asked turning to him, he was putting on a T shirt and a trouser. ” Dont greet me, you screwed up our mission” he walked further, ” Yeah, I know, but I also know who screwed up the most” I walked to him and he turned immediately, that was the real attitude of a suspect. ” Who? ” he asked with a serious facial expression, ” Are you sure you dont know?” I asked back smiling at me, he was now looking really uneasy, ” I dont know” he walked further, ” You and Israel of course, you guys were busy planting cameras outside a building, if you guys have planted in,side the house , we might have still be in the mission ” I said smiling while he bursted into laughter, ” You are never serious” He patted me and we walked further, ” What did sir Ajan say?” He asked as we walked further, another attribute of a suspect, always want to know all.
The evening was cold, birds , monkeys and squirrels could be seen jumping from trees to trees, rustling of the trees and the noises from new applicants into Newriton were the only noise that could be heard . The applicants stood on 20 straight file dressed in all black, I could point out those who wouldn’t make it through trainings, they were those uneasy ones who were putting on stern faces and shouting at their colleagues in thick voices. I soon s₱0tted sir Ajan come out and stood on a high platform in front of the fighters, he was putting on a smile, the same smiles he had put on when he welcome my sets into Newriton. ” Whoa, You are all looking good ” He started looking round, his eyes soon went up and sure he s₱0tted me on the tree which I was, he only smiled to it. ” Welcome To Newriton” He shouted and the fighters roared in happiness, some of them could be seen punching themselves to show how strong they were, this drew laughter from most of the staffs who were standing on the platform with Sir Ajan. ” You think this is the end? They will get you, If not here then in Atata. One day, your skull shall also be used for exhibition Gabriel” I remembered the words of the guard who I had killed in the sh¡p, the words stung me , it sent cold shivers all over me, I was scared of his words and his words remained a mystery. ” I think I have to go back to Atata ” I thought as I climbed down the tree, ” I must go back ” I said to myself again as, ” God lease keep Adanna and my loved one safe ” I prayed as I began walking away from the scene. ” It is said that many are called but few are chosen…” I continued to hear Sir Ajan Voice as I walked away.
” Thank God say you no die o” Linda, another sibling to Gabriel, and the fourth child of Omiyi said to me one evening as she sat in my compound peeking cassava with me. She is the most troublesome girl in the entire village, she has this hatred for guys and doesn’t hesitate to fight into a fight with them whenever they offended her. Though she is younger to John but she looks more aggressive than John. There was a big gap in out age difference but the relationsh¡p I have with Linda makes us look like age mate even if I was more older . ” So if you had died now, by now I would have been here eating Akpu” Linda peeled on laughing while I gave her a friendly punch. ” That guy that saved should be praised” She added while I nodded, ” His name is Jason” I told her as we gradually reduced the rate at which we peeled the cassava, ” Jason, the name self sweet” she complemented while I smiled, ” When is Ogbakpo coming back?” I asked, Ogbakpo was the name we gave to Gabriel when we were much younger, it meant a fool in their local dialect, I had actually learnt the name from Linda, she always called him whenever she was angry or had a quarrel with Gabriel and they end up fighting. The name used to make Gabriel angry then but as time went on, he didn’t give a dime about it, he had just pretend like he didn’t hear you. ” Aunty Ada, he is no more a Ogbakpo o, he already has sense” Linda corrected laughing while I also smiled. ” He hasn’t written home yet, my dad could not operate the phone he bought for him, dad hasn’t even bought a sim for the phone” She added. ” Wait, you mean Gabriel bought a phone for dad?” I asked her as I continued to peel the cassava, ” Yes but he forgot to teach them how to operate it” She said focusing on the peeling. ” But even if dad knows how to operate it, does he have his number” I asked while she nodded, ” He had written his number on a paper he left before he left for the city” She explained while I smiled. ” Please can you give me the number?” I asked standing up from the floor and dusting my butt, ” Aunty Ada, do you have a phone?” She also asked, ” That guy from the city, Alvana, he has a phone” I explained while Linda nodded. ” Aunty Ada, you like Ogbakpo bah?” She also stood up, ” I dont like Ogbakpo, I love Ogbakpo” I said twisting my mouth, ” Hmmm, I pray I love one day, but that’s impossible” Linda said as she turned to go, ” Let me go and thief the number” She added and ran out of the compound in a boyish manner, ” I really do love Ogbakpo” I said to myself smiling.
• It was in the evening of the next day that I got the chance to see Alvana again, I had purposely gone to the stream hoping to see him and sure I did see him coming back from the farm. ” Adanna, this one you are here without a water pot, haven’t you bath since morning?” He asked on sighting me sitting on a stone close to the stream, ” Yes Alvana, I had come here to have my bath” I said also smiling, “wow, I got here at the right time, its gonna be a clear show on the cross” He smiled standing beside me. ” Alvanna, I want to beg you for something?” I told him while he put on a serious expression, ” Ada, I hope there is no problem?” He asked as his serious expression now changed into a smile, Alvana is always smiling. ” No, Alvana I only need you to call this number for me” I told him as I brought out a piece of paper on which I had wrote the number on. ” whose number is that?” He asked while I twisted my mouth and crossed my leg ” Its Gabriel’s ” i said shyly while he bursted into laughter, “Is this Love? Soon now you will start pretending you dont love him” he smiled as he dipped his hand underneath his wrapper and brought out a phone. ” When did I pretend I never loved him?” I asked him, ” Do you love him?” He asked smiling, ” Yes I do love him” I told him shyly, ” Then dont be shy to say it, let the world know you love him, he proud of him” he collected the paper from my hand and typed the number into the phone, ” Yes I do Love him!!!” I shouted with Joy, Alvana smiled and Nodded, ” Yes You do Love him!” He also shouted. ” Take” he handed the phone to him, ” Start talking when you hear his voice” He added. I could only hear a beeping tone, I did not hear any voice. The beeping suddenly stopped and I heard a deep breath on the phone, ” Hello, its Gabriel on the line” I heard the long awaited voice, it was thick and smooth.

Episode 28
Title: Fear.
“Good evening ” I greeted awkwardly, you won’t blame me for that as it is my first time using a phone. ” Yeah Good evening, please who am I on to?” His Voice echoed again, the way he talked almost made me believe he wasn’t the same idiot I knew as Gabriel, he talked more matured. ” Its Adanna, Adanna of Atata” I answered calmly, there was a long pause and then a shout ” Ada!!!! Whoa, has Atata developed that you now use a phone? Ada, is it really you talking? ” he shouted in happiness, I smiled to myself as I was relieved it was the same idiot I knew. ” Which one should I answer first?” I asked him, ” No one, just tell me, how are you? ” he asked again, ” Am fine Ogbakpo ” I replied smiling, Alvana was also smiling beside me. ” You promised you will come in some weeks” I said calmly again, ” Hey, Adanna is already missing me o, look at you, when I come now, you start looking for my troubles, I ain’t coming anytime soon. See you, you are missing me” he laughed, I twisted my mouth and frowned, ” Am ain’t missing you ” I told him, ” Then why are you calling me?” He asked , I knew calling this idiot wasn’t the best option. ” Becauseeeee..” I didn’t know what to say. ” Yes because what?” Je asked. ” Because I love you!!” I shouted while Alvana jumped up in happiness. ” Wait is this really Adanna or someone else saying this?” He asked , ” It’s me, its me Adanna” I said , ” Adanna, I love you too” he also shouted while I smiled in happiness. ” Then if you love me, then come back soon” I told him changing my once happy tone, ” Nope, I gat work to do, but I will sure come back” he answered, ” With whose phone are…” He interrupted me, ” It’s Alvana phone, he is here with him” I told him. ” Whoa, I forgot about Alvana, let me greet him” He requested while I gave the phone to Alvana who was smiling happily, ” He wants to talk to you” I told him an he collected the phone. ” Hey boy” Alvana started, I couldn’t hear what Gabriel was saying. ” You better come back quick, else Mbe will take Adanna, I have been watching her for you” Alvana said again. ” That’s no problem bro, anytime” He said again and handed the phone to me. ” Hello, Ada, I have asked Alvana to always give you his phone when you need to talk to me” Gabriel’s voice echoed. ” Okay, please come back quick.” i told him, ” I dont think so” he answered while I hissed. ” Bye Ogbakpo, we will talk another day” I told him, he didn’t want to go off until I had to give the phone to Alvana who put an end to the call. ” Thanks Alvana” I gestured to Alvana while he just smiled and nodded . ” Hope your wa-ist is better now?” He asked as we walked along, I nodded. ” Please dont ever tell Gabriel about that letter, from the way he talked, you should have been convinced that he didn’t write the letter” Alvana told me. He was right, from the way Ogbakpo spoked, he didn’t write the letter. ” Tell me Alvana, why don’t you associate yourself with our people?” I asked him as we got a bit close to my house, ” Nothing, you know I came here as a stranger, I don’t have time to make friends, I just have to work hærd and make a living” He explained. ” But how come you are now friends with Gabriel?” I asked him again, ” Because I saved him from Mbe the cat, and moreover, he is also from the city” Alvana stopped, we had gotten to my house. ” See you when we see again” He said as I made to enter my compound, ” Alvana thanks once again” I told him, he nodded and walked away while I entered into the compound. ” What a strange being” I said to myself turning to look at Alvana again, but he was gone.
What? I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe I Adanna actually called. I was on the bed on my room when she called, Israel was also lying on his bed, like always, he was playing a game. Should I call it the happiest moment of my life? Yes, Its the happiest moment of my life. I had planned on going back to Atata the next day, but I wanted to make it look more like a surprise to Adanna, so when she called and asked when I would be coming back, I told her its no time soon. ” So like seriously, you didn’t give me the phone to greet her?” Israel asked angrily, he had actually wanted to speak with Adanna but I had refused giving him the phone. ” See, the one I talked wasn’t even enough at all” I answered him, ” Why lie to her that you dont know when you are coming back?” He concentrated more on his game. ” I want my coming back to be a surprise to her” I answered and he nodded. The screen on the wall came on to bring to view Morg-na’s face, she was doing the face scan. Israel pressed a button and the door opened , Morg-na walked in. ” Hey, How are you doing now?how do you feel now?” I asked her as she sat on a chair in the middle of the room, she was putting on a black trouser and a white top, she had a white palm slippers to match the white top. ” Am good, you know, I have been thinking of something?” She started. That was Morg-na she only come into our room whenever she had something to say, she doesn’t come unnecessarily like Christiana. ” What have you been thinking of?” I asked, ” I dont think Matt was our betrayal” she adjusted herself on the chair, Israel sat upright on the bed. ” Why think so?” Israel asked her, ” I dont think, Sir Jude will want to expose him if he was our betrayal, Sir Jude knows perfectly well that I am a spy, he know there is a tendency for me to escape, he wouldn’t want to expose himself or his workers for any reason, he might have said Matt just to give us the wrong impression like he has done” She concluded staring directly at me. ” You know I think she is right? Sir Jude is more smart than reveal the real identity of any of his boys, especially one from Newriton” Israel told one in particular. ” You are right, then who do you think it is?” I asked Morg-na, ” I dont think , I know who it is” She said confidently, I adjusted myself on the bed in anticipation of what she had to say. ” I know it is Christiana” she smiled, ” Yes Christiana” She added.. ” Why Christiana?” israel asked, but Morg-na wasn’t listening . ” She is more strange than you are” Israel turned to me smiling. ” You see, during the course of our mission, she has never been around, I had never met her at home, where has she been?” Morg-na asked again, ” Maybe catching fun ” I suggested, ” I know you will take sides with her Gabriel, You will surely take sides with her” Morg-na turned to me with a serious expression written all over her face. ” I am not taking sides with her, you shouldn’t see her as the suspect because she has been no where to be found” I said calmly , Israel was just watching us all along, he paid more attention to the game. ” I know one day , this betrayal will be known, so let’s cool down” he never took his eyes off the game. ” Am leaving for Atata tomorrow” I tried changing the topic, ” So soon?” Morg-na asked. ” Yeah, he is missing Adanna” Israel ch¡pped in. ” Who is Adanna?” She asked while we all kept mute, Israel eye moved slowly to me, ” who is Adanna?” I asked him back. ” Have you guys of the guy who stoled from Newriton some years back, they call him Jason” I said changing the topic again, at the mention of the name Jason, Morg-na turned sharply to me. ” Have heard pretty much of that name but have never met him” She said, ” Sir Ajan is very fond of that name ” She added. ” How do you know Sir Ajan is fond of that name? ” I asked, ” Hmm, I have heard it from him number of times” came her reply. ” Why are you leaving tomorrow? ” she asked standing up from the chair, ” I have nothing to do at Newriton again, Sir Jude has escaped and young Carl is trying his best to track him, I need to go to my family, dont you think your fiance might also be missing you?” I asked as she walked towards the door, ” Yes, he is surely missing me, I will also go back home very soon” She said as the door opened and she went out. ” I think I will come pay a visit to Atata one day” Israel never took his eyes from the game. ” You know I also suspect Christiana?” He continued with his game, ” Why should all of you suspect Christiana?” I asked , I wasn’t trying to defend her but I couldn’t imagine Christiana betraying us even if I knew she was a bit bad and loose. ” Remember to tell Adanna about me o” Israel said now dropping the phone,he always gets serious on issues about Adanna. ” Wait, Israel why should I tell her of you?” I asked him as I fetched my bag and briefcase. ” Because am your friend Bro, she should know about your friends you know?” He asked but got no reply. ” I seriously think Christiana is the suspect ” he said and started his game.
You guessed right, I was on the mango tree by the stream, I had gotten to Atata the previous night, I had informed my siblings early this morning not to tell anyone one of my return. The previous day’s Journey was hectic, slow and steady had stopped five times to drink water as it wasn’t in good form. This had provoked the passengers that we had almost beat up the old driver. I got home around 11pn that day, thank God my parents were outside looking into the sky like young lovers. ” Oyinbo” My dad has called as he sighted me, my mom’s happiness couldn’t be estimated, she opened her arms for me and I ran into them. She had taken my bags, my school bag and the bag containing what I bought from the city, I had brought a lot if things back home. I have even deemed it fit to buy a phone for Adanna and that was why i was on the Mango tree by the stream, to surprise her.. I sat in a branch of the tree, I was wearing a red short knicker and a red top. ” This foolish tree has never bear mango” I thought to myself as I looked around the tree. ” I heard the whistling of a song, I looked down and behold it was Adanna approaching alone, she was with her water pot and walking like she was counting her steps. Her walking steps was perfect, not like those of other maidens of Atata who walk like warriors. I smiled to myself as she bent and dipped her water pot into the stream. ” Should I jump down?” I asked myself but decided against it. I held a branch if the tree and shook it thereby creating a rustling sound with it. Immediately I did that, Adanna left her water pot and started running away. I was shocked as I jumped down the tree and ran after her. ” Jason, Please, Save me!!!” She shouted. ” Jason?” I thought to myself.

Episode 29
Title: Eze Ani, The chief priest of Ani
As our elders would say, “he whom has been bitten once by a snake will run when he sees the tail of a lizard” I went to the stream that morning to get water as any other day, I was just about bringing the pot out of the water when I heard the rustling of the leaves, it was this same rustling I had heard some days back and had almost led me to my death. Hearing that rustling again, I didn’t have to think twice, I had to run for my life. As I ran I could hear footsteps behind me, the killer was obviously running after me. I had no other option than to shout for help, I called on Jason but he didn’t show up, I knew it was the day the gods had planned for me to be killed. The person’s hand suddenly held me, I lose balance and fell to the floor, I closed my eyes waiting for death to come but surprisingly, nothing happened. I then summoned courage and opened my eyes slowly, I could first see a man in red not in black, I opened my eyes fully and behold , standing in front of me was Gabriel. I rushed up immediately and stared at him in shock, he was also staring awkwardly at me, ” Gabriel” I called out slowly as tears fell from my eyes, I embraced him tight. ” What is it? You look scared” He held me tight , ” Why were you running?” He asked again. I looked up at him, he looked more handsome and more muscular, his voice had grown deeper. ” That is a story for another day, you lied to me, you sa…” He interrupted me, ” Shhhhhh, that isn’t the way to welcome me home” He smiled and drew my hands back towards the stream, ” I miss you!!” I shouted and jumped on him , he carried me to the stream like a baby, fear was still in me , I shook in his hands.
• ” Who is Jason?” He asked after we have moved some distance, he was carrying my pot for me not on his head, he was holding it like nothing. ” He was the guy that saved me” I replied him, he stopped and stared at me, ” Save you? As how?” He asked dropping the pot, ” Some nights ago, I went to the stream..” He interrupted, ” Why will you go to the stream at night?” He asked me, ” I didn’t go to the stream in the morning, I was feeling weak and depressed. My mom wanted to cook at night so she asked me to go get water” I explained to him, he only nodded for me to continue. ” I was just about leaving the stream when I heard the rustling of the leaves, I turned to see but saw no one. And then I saw someone in black approaching, I took to my heels but I wasn’t fast enough, he caught me and brought out a sword to cut me by my wa-ist, he was the one that gave me this mark” I showed the mark to him, he was obviously filled with anger, his facial expression depicted it, but he only nodded and urged me to continue. ” He told me that he will have me killed and by day break, the chief priest will inform the people that the gods had killed me like the others. He was about cutting me more when out of nowhere, another man in black came into view. My killer ran away and the new man carried me to safety, he told me his name is Jason before he left, I had actually asked for his name” I concluded in tears. ” was the first guy also in mask? ” he asked me, ” Yes, the both men were on mask” I replied, ” Stop the tears, everything will be fine” he assured carrying the pot and also holding my hands , leading me home. ” I bought something for you from the city” He told me as we got to the front of my compound , ” Come to my house this evening” he added with a smile, he then hugged me and left.
It’s being frustrating, but also a bit clear. From Adanna’s story, it was easy to deduce that the killer had something to do with Eze Ani, and from sir Jude’s guard statement , the one I fought with in the sh¡p, the killer is also likely to have something to do with Sir Jude. The killing is now getting to the height of it, they want to take my girlfriend along, ” impossible” I thought to myself. Wait! What about the trending name of the moment, JASON? first I know him as a thief being sent out of Newriton some years back, and now he is the same person who saved Adanna from the clutch of death, Or is it another Jason? It might be, but I dont think it is. I know I have to act fast, but I can’t do it alone, I need backup. I need to get help from Newriton, Israel and Morg-na will do. I will definitely kill myself if I let a thing happen to Adanna, I will kill myself I repeat. ” I thought it was a rumour” I heard someone behind me, it was Alvana. ” What is a rumour?” I asked back smiling and shaking hands with him, ” I thought it was a rumour that you were back” he said sitting down. ” I came yesterday, how did you know?” I asked him, ” That you sister that beats boys, she told me” he answered with a short laugh, ” Linda is a fool, I warned them not to tell anyone of my return” I thought to myself ” So what did you bring from the city?” He asked , ” I brought fruits” I replied with a smile, ” The village is full of fruits, some even rot and get spoilt ” He said . ” How has the village been? Thank you for looking over Adanna ” I told him. ” I didn’t take care of her for you, she is my friend” he told me and we bursted into laughter. ” She was attacked some days ago” I changed the topic, ” She told me about that, and how she was saved by one Jason, all thanks to the Jason” He said not showing interest in the subject. ” I need to find that Jason in this village” I told him after some moments of silence, ” I will gladly join you in the search” he adjusted on the bench. ” Why?” I asked him smiling, ” Because, I want to know who saved my friend from death” he answered. ” Adanna told me you fought and beat up Mbe the cat whose back has never touch the ground in any fight, was it true?” He asked as he adjusted his shirt, ” Yes, I did, he was molesting her by the stream” I told him. ” You know your job doesn’t permit you to do that” he said while I suddenly turned to him, ” what do you know about my Job?” I asked him with a shocked facial expression, I knew I was meant to keep cool, he might mean something else but Alvana is strange. ” Good evening o” Adanna greeted as she entered Into the compound, ” Hmm, I think I will have to go now” Alvana said getting up from the bench, he greeted Adanna and went out of the compound, my stares followed him. ” Adanna , the most beautiful maiden of Atata, welcome” I greeted as I stood up from the bench. ” Nonsense, Where is everyone ?” she asked me, ” Everyone has gone everywhere ” I replied and she bursted into laughter. ” Ogbakpo ” She hissed as we sat on the bench. ” You couldn’t wait for me to come back, you have to start calling me with Alvana phone” I started, ” Is that the thing you brought for me from the city?” she asked, ” No” I replied as I brought out a brand new phone from my pocket, ” I brought you this so that you won’t borrow Alvana’s phone to call again when I go back”. I told her stretching the phone to her, she only stared as she twisted her mouth, ” You are going back?” She asked without collecting the phone ” Not anytime soon” I replied as I placed the phone in her hands, ” Thank you, but I can’t use this, and I dont think I need it, I can ..” I interrupted her, ” Don’t start, I will teach you how to use it” I told her as she opened the pack and stared at the screen. ” this is big!” She exclaimed smiling, ” That’s because you are a big girl ” I smiled, ” Ogbakpo ” she hugged me.
• ” Morg-na baby” I started as the call got connected, ” Hey Gabi, what do you want, I know you need help” She said, I wonder how she knew, yeah , I only called her Morg-na baby when I needed help. ” I greatly need your assistance here in Atata” I told her squeezing my mouth and praying silently that she doesn’t turn me down. ” In what aspect?” She asked , ” Like in unravelling the serial killer stuff” I told her, ” Okay, I will be there in two days” she answered to much of my surprise. ” Yeah!! Thanks,Israel is also coming” I told her, ” Yeah let catch some fun ” She laughed and we ended the call. It was in the night of the same day, I had called israel earlier and he had willingly accepted to come the following day, his main reason was to see Adanna and not because of our self developed mission, I will have to keep Adanna from him. Now back to Alvana, he seems to know everything, firstly, my mark, and now he knows fighting in public is not good for the nature of my Job. Alvana is up to something, maybe he is hiding something, something I will soon find out.
•It was 12:00am, the time most people term midnight, I was all dressed in black, I also had a mask on. I had a secret mission to accomplish that night, a self mission. I wanna pay a visit to Eze Ani. I hid my gun in its normal place and my knives were also hidden in my jackets. I jumped out of my window and escaped out of my father’s compound to the night. I knew the shrine of Ani, I had come across it when I was much younger and I could still remember it vividly. I walked like a shadow, I couldn’t even hear my footsteps, I took guard in trees when I suspected any movement, I kept on looking behind to see if I was alone, I would sometimes turn abruptly and point my gun to no one in particular, the road to the shrine was more like a jungle, I sometimes had to jump obstacles to avoid falling, this was how I moved until I got to the shrine of Ani. I met the chief priest backing the shrine, he was reciting some incantations, something I couldn’t understand, the leaves were rustling vigorously, the trees seemed to be responding to his incantation as they shook both left and right. I thought I felt the presence of the gods as the cool breeze of the night swept through me, for once I felt scared of the night, everything seemed strange. I stood behind him but outside the shrine, he didn’t feel my presence nor even suspected anyone was around or behind him, he continued with his nonsense as he chatted more loud and laughed at some instance getting me more scared ” Eze Ani, the chief priest of Ani, I greet you” I said in a thick voice, he turned immediately to me. ” Hmm, who have you killed this night?” He asked looking directly at my face, I looked at myself again and realized I was dressed like the perfect picture of who Adanna had described to me that had attacked her, my dressing have certainly confused him.

Episode 30
Title: A visit from the Killer
I was shocked by his question, even if I had suspected he had something to do with the killings, I had secretly prayed it wasn’t true. ” Eze Ani, the chief priest of Ani, I greet you” I said again as I took off my mask. He looked closely at my face and then opened his mouth in shock. ” The son of the palm wine tapper” He called, more like a whisper. ” Yeah the son of the palm wine tapper” I answered laughing, “Eze Ani, I come in peace ” I walked into the shrine. ” Aru, Abomination, go take off your shoes ” He shouted but I laughed the more. ” The Abominations you have committed are more than this” I told him while he hit his iron staff in the ground to show he was angry. ” Eze Ani, I will go in peace only if you tell me what you have to do with the deaths going on in this land, I already know you are involved, so save yourself the chief priest of Ani” I brought out my gun. ” No man holding the talking pipe comes in peace” He countered, the talking pipe was what the people of Atata call a gun. ” Thank God you recognize the talking pipe, dont force me to use it on you” I stood up facing him, he wasn’t looking scared. ” I think you don’t know in whom presence you are standing, I Am Eze Ani, the messenger of the gods of the skies and the sea, Ani , dont force me to strike you” He boasted hitting his iron staff on the floor again ” With the sort of abominations you have committed, I dont think Ani the great god will be willingly to protect you this time, Eze Ani, I will say again, I come in peace” I told him pointing the gun at him. ” Eze Ani doesn’t know peace” He shouted as he hit the staff on the ground again, this time more angrily. ” Fine then, a man who makes peace impossible, makes violence inevitable ” I c*cked the gun, ” Eze Ani, you can save your self from the clutch of death, if only you tell me those responsible in punishing the people of Atata” I was more gentle this time. ” Eze Ani cannot be forced to speak what he doesn’t want to speak of” He laughed. Out of anger, I shot his leg, to much of his surprise , the bullet affected him and he fell down holding his bleeding legs. ” Eze Ani, I told you the gods have left you” I laughed while he looked at me in fear. ” Now will you tell me or allow me talk with the talking pipe?” I asked him as I bent low with a smile. ” Eze Ani isn’t a coward, I rather die like a man” He boasted. ” So be it then ” I released a bullet to his chest, he opened his eyes to look at me, ” Gabriel Omiyi!! The gods were right” He fell his final fall, Eze Ani dies. Immediately his back touched the ground the leaves shook vigorously, the earth shook, the thunders clapped, the clouds opened and the rain poured heavily, The priest of Ani is dead. I turned back in fear and started the journey back home, the rain drenched me, the fear of the night gripped me, I thought I heard strange voices speaking to me like trying to say ” You have killed the messenger of Ani” although I knew they were mere illusions, but I was scared. I entered into the compound, no one was outside. I climbed in through my window and changed my cloth, I then slept like nothing had happened.
• ” Ewoo!!! the gods should take me also” the cry of my mother woke me up, I sprang up and took a glance at the time, it was 9:45am, I could hear people wailing and crying outside. I stood up and wore something, I then walked out to the compound only to meet people gathered in the compound, there was a body on the floor, the body was covered with white cloth. My mom was on the ground and my dad was just sitting shaking his head in pain and resting his hands on his walking stick. ” What is happening here?” I asked no one in particular and no one answered me. I turned to John and Charity who were also crying, ” What is going on here?” I asked John, he just pointed at the covered body. Someone was missing among them, it was Linda. With shaking hands and trembling l-ips, I opened the body and truly, it was Linda. I opened the remaining part of the cloth , and right there, on her wa-ist side was the sword Mark. I could not cry, the tears refused to flow, I just sat on the floor in pain and anger, the Serial killer has visited me. It was like a sort of revenge, I killed the chief priest and he killed my sister. I walked to my dad who sat on a bench shaking his head, ” how did this happen?” I asked him, ” We met her like this on her bed” He replied and tears fell down his face. I didn’t know what else to do, I just stood in the middle of everyone with arms akimbo as memory of Linda flash back to me. ” Ogbakpo, when you grow up, will you have sense?” She had asked me once, when we were Much younger. I couldn’t hold it anymore as tears finally fell from my eyes. I regret ever going to the shrine the previous day, if I had been at home, I might just have been able to protect my sister, it was my fault. ” It happens” I heard a voice behind me, I turned and it was Alvana standing close to me, I didn’t notice he had come. Adanna who also present, she was busy consoling charity and John meanwhile she was also crying. ” Why my sister?” I asked him, I was now angry. ” It could have been anyone else” he patted me. ” But not anyone from my family. ” I shouted, ” No one ever wished it was from their family” He told me. ” The rain at the middle of the night was a bad omen” He said, ” Yeah, it brought death upon my sister” I told him. “Maybe something worse than that might have happened” he looked at me straight in the eye, his stares were intimidating, it was like he had known what I had done. Suddenly, a young man ran into our compound ” The chief priest is dead!!!” He shouted as he ran into our compound, his news brought shock to everyone and the wailing increase, the mean present could be heard shouting ” Abomination, Aru!!” .” I knew it, I told you something worse had happened, the great Eze Ani is dead” Alvana told me. ” That’s bad news ” I supported as I walked to where my sister’s body was being wrapped and prepared to be taken to the forest of Ani. The forest of Ani happens to be another mystery I have to solve, from my little findings, I have come to a conclusion that the bodies weren’t taken to the forest of Ani, they were rather transported to the city. Though I am not sure of this, but that seems like the possible happenings. There is only one way to find out, Visit the forest of Ani.

I had initially planned to visit Atata the next day, but when Israel told me he would be leaving today, I decided to go with him. I think it will be safer if I go with him than go alone. We had to wake up as early as 4am, I was with a school bag containing all needed for a spy. We had to beg Christo, a worker in Newriton to drive us to the slow and steady bus park. The reason behind begging Christo was so that he could bring the bike back , I trusted him, so I believe he won’t tell anyone of our whereabout. There was only one bus in the park, on the body of the long bus was the inscription, SLOW AND STEADY. It looked more like a wooden bus, Gabriel had told me about it, I never believed him, but now, seeing is believing. Myself and Israel sat at the extreme back, I actually love the back seat, you can sleep peacefully at the back seat. Gabriel had also told me that, the slow and Steady bus do stop most times to drink water, I hope to see that today. ” Wait, you mean there is no A.C in this bus?” Israel asked me, ” People in Atata dont know what A.C is” I replied as I laid on his shoulder ready to cover for the short sleep I had the previous night.
The bus soon started and the journey began, as Gabriel had rightly said, the bus moved slowly, and Steadily. ♪ Hello my friend have you been, yesterday are back again ♪ the radio of the slow and steady bus echoed. ” Hey driver stop this song” A man just in front of us shouted and everyone turned to him. ” For the past two years that i have been travelling with this bus, this is the only song they have been playing, dont you have another music?” The man asked angrily while the rest of us bursted into laughter. The driver didn’t mind him as he nodded his head to the song.

” Am really sorry” Adanna told me holding my hands and standing in front of me, Alvana was some distance away from us. ” its okay dear, am fine” I cleaned the tears off her eyes. ” Dont wipe my tears, you are also crying” She wiped my face. ” Its a pity it has to be my sister,..” She interrupted me ” She was my best friend, she do beat boys for me whenever they come..” Her voice broke and she bursted in tears, she rested her head on my chest as she cried ” Hey Adanna, its okay” I patted her head, ” Am sorry” she apologized as she lifted her head off my chest. ” Jason didn’t come to save her, he should have come” She continued while Alvana turned to us. ” Adanna, you shouldn’t blame Jason, you were only lucky he saved you” Alvana advanced towards us while I nodded, ” Yeah, Jason is human like us” I supported Alvana while Adanna nodded. ” Let me go and console the children, they are crying again” Adanna left us to Charity and John, who were like doing a crying competition. ” You need to be strong bro, Death is a must” Alvana patted me, though his words were strange. ” Thanks bro, thank you. Alvana, how did you know that the nature of my job doesn’t allow me to fight? Do you even know what I do?” I asked him, he smiled to reveal his complete sets of white teeth, ” Yeah, I know what you do” He told me, I was shocked but decided to hide it with a smile, “Adanna told me you work in a chemist, and at that, you know how dangerous fighting is and the damage it does to the body” He smiled while I nodded in relieve, ” Yeah, I was only moved to anger” I told him but he wasn’t looking at me anymore, he was looking beyond me. I turned back and traced his eyes to what he was looking at, the guards from the palace had come to take my sister to the forest of Ani. ” I won’t allow that” I walked towards them, Alvana followed. ” Drop her, I won’t allow you take her to that forest, she deserves a befitting burial” I shouted as I pushed one of the guards away, he fell down to the ground. ” Stay away young man” The chief guard shouted as he drew out his sword, I took a step closer to him but Alvana held me back, ” Let them take her” He smiled.

Episode 31
Title: Linda’s Body
” No, they can’t take her away” I released myself from his grip as I went towards the chief guard. ” She is my sister, my property, I decide what I do with her” I stood face to face with him. ” It’s a law that anyone killed by the gods should be thrown into the evil forest of Ani” He countered, ” Let the wrath of Ani, be upon me and my family” I shouted as I carried my sister’s body away from them, ” Abomination!! Aru!! All this city boys dont know what they bring upon themselves” An elderly man exclaimed as he stood up to go ” I won’t be a part of this Abominable act” he added, I wasn’t shaken by their words, I carried her body to a corner of the compound where I plan burying her. ” Oyinbo, what are you doing?” My dad was behind me, he had been following me all along. ” Dad, they can’t take her away” I countered as I watched the guards leave the compound angrily. ” Oyinbo, she is now a property of Ani” My dad continued, ” Let Ani come and take her itself” I walked away. The only elder remaining was Adanna’s father, iche mologwu. Its surprising why he hasn’t gone with the fellow elders. I walked over to where Adanna was with my siblings, ” Am proud of you” She told me as I sent John and charity in,side. ” Why is your dad still here, I thought he was a good custodian of the laws of the land?” I asked her, ” He knows it isn’t the gods killing the people, I told him about my experience at the stream that night” she answered trying to force out a smile to cover the tears that was already forming in her eyes. ” You know Gabriel, you shouldn’t be challenging the gods” I heard Alvana’s voice from behind, ” I won’t let them take my sister” I stood up to face him. ” okay , I will be going now, I need to get to the farm ” He said while I nodded and shook his hands. ” Thanks for coming” I told” him as I esc-rted him to the entrance of my compound. ” Adanna, don’t you think you should start going home?” I asked as I returned to her, ” That’s my house over there, I can’t stay till when I like and are you in any way trying to chase me away?” She tried smiling, ” No, I just thought you should go fetch water and help your mom with the house chores” I suggested, ” But my mom is still here, dont worry we aren’t in a haste” She countered and walked towards Charity who was sitting in front of my parents hut, her hands were placed on her cheek, she was about to cry again. I saw Adanna carry her up and placed her on her laps, she started petting her.
” Hello” I said as i picked up my phone , it was israel on the line. ” Hey Gabi, can you believe this is the 6th time the slow and steady bus is stopping to drink water today?” Came his angry voice, ” I can’t believe it ” I simply replied. ” Hey, why the moody voice?” He asked, ” I lost my sister” I answered, ” My God, Faith, Linda or Charity?please tell me you are just pranking me” His voice was now also moody. ” Linda, the fighter” I replied him as I forced tears from dropping from my eyes, ” Gabi, am sorry about that, how did she die?” He asked, ” The Serial killer” the tears finally dropped. ” Then he should also be ready to pay with his life” Israel’s Voice echoed, it wasn’t his normal voice, that was how he do talk whenever he gets angry. ” He will surely pay, he will” I supported and ended the call. Not less than five minutes, Morg-na call came in ” I heard the news bro, am sorry, take hearth you are a man” She started without even greetings, Israel might have called her to tell her. ” Thanks Morg-na, I should be expecting you tomorrow ” I told her, ” No, am coming today, am in the same bus as israel” She explained while I smiled, ” Okay then, will pick you at the park” I told her. ” Dont worry, the killer will pay” She assured before putting an end to the call. I kept the phone In my pocket and went to get a shovel, a shovel to dig Linda’s grave. I started the digging alone, my father and Adanna’s were in a corner of the house discussing and some women were with my mom consoling her. ” How should I help?” I heard Adanna from behind, “You have helped me enough, just go and rest” I replied. ” No, I have…..” The beating of the town criers gong interrupted her. ” People of Atata I greet you o, the chief priest, Eze Ani, the priest of Ani has been found murdered in is shrine, the king has ordered all individuals, old and young, to be gathered in the village square tomorrow morning!!! The king has sent me so I have delivered” He beat the gong again. It wasn’t a news anymore to those of my household, it was only a news to those who were hearing it for the first time. “The chief priest died mysteriously” Adanna shook her head while i continued with the digging. ” Maybe his evil deeds caught him” I continued digging, ” But who murdered him?” She asked but got no reply. I continued with the digging and soon some village boys came to join me. My mom prepared food so that they would eat when they were done, my dad brought out the palm wine he had tapped the day before.
• it was in the evening around 5pm that we finished the digging, Adanna was still in my compound but her dad had gone. ” Thank you very much I really appreciate ” I turned to the village guys who were mulching their rice like hungry wolves, They only nodded in response. My dad was sitting in a corner looking at me, I turned to him and he gestured to me to come. ” Yes papa” I answered as I got close to him, ” Oyinbo, I am proud of you but in Atata, you shouldn’t try get in the way of the gods”he hit his walking stick on the ground. ” Papa, I am not scared of any traditional, they can’t take my sister to that forest, they can’t” I told him. ” Hmm, Oyinbo, I hope you dont bring a curse upon my family?” He stood up. ” Then let the curse be on me” I walked away while he stared at me ” I think the city has gotten into your head” I heard his words followed me.
” Come and eat now, you have worked too much for a day” my mom said as I walked to the kirchen, she was with Adanna, Adanna’s mom and Christy. ” Mama, am n….” Adanna interrupted, ” Ogbakpo, you must eat” She said while the women bursted into laughter, ” Your wife have said you should eat, come and eat” Adanna’s mom pleaded. ” Mama stop calling me his wife” Adanna shouted. ” Ada, I will tell him o” Her mom threatened while my eyes moved from her to her mom. ” Mama, please dont say anything” Adanna pleaded twisting her mouth, ” Mama tell me” I also pleaded. ” Okay, Oyinbo when you…” Adanna interrupted her by rushing to cover her mom’s mouth while my mom laughed. ” Okay let me eat now, am only eating because my wife asked me to” I smiled while Adanna eyed me. My mom gave me a plateful of rice with two big meats, I carried Charity and went out. ” Charity, have told you that big girls don’t cry” I patted her back. ” Brother, Sister will not come and fight my school boys when they beat me again” she bursted into tears while I smiled, ” Dont worry, am here to fight for you” I consoled while she stared at me, ” Will I see her again?” She asked, ” Yes now, we shall all go to meet her one day” I told her. ” when? ” she asked, ” There is no date for that, take” I handed a large piece of my meat to her but she shook her head to signify that she doesn’t want. The charity I know doesn’t refuse meat but the atmosphere and problems on ground made her refuse. ” Charity, take it so that I will take you to the city” I pleaded and she took it willingly, she had always wanted to go to the city with me. ” Brother, is aunty Adanna your wife?” She asked again while I bursted into laughter, ” No, she isn’t my wife” I replied. ” Will you marry her?” Came another question, ” Yes, I will marry her one day” I answered with a smile while she also smiled. ” Marry who?” I heard Adanna’s voice from behind, I turned sharply to her. ” Marry who?” I asked back, ” You just said you will marry me one day” she stood arm akimbo. ” Aunty Ada, you also told me you like my brother” Charity continued while I bursted into laughter, Adanna’s hand fell and she twisted her mouth. ” See who is pretending o ” I clapped my hand like those village gossipers. ” Charity, go in,side” I told Charity who ran away with the piece of meat. ” Hey, I only said those to make her happy” Adanna sat down, ” I wonder when you will stop those pretence of yours. My friends from the city will be coming here today” I told her, ” That’s good, I will like to even know them. ” She smiled. ” Yeah, they will also like to meet you, I have told them a lot about you” I told her, ” Tell them about me? Why? As what?” She asked while I got up, ” It will do you a lot of good if you stop this pretending stuff, it will help only you” I smiled and walked away, she also stood up and went to the kitchen. I walked to my father who was still sitting on the bench alone, ” Papa, I am about to bury her” I told him, he looked up at me and shook his head, ” Go ahead, but am not a part of this abomination” he hit his stick on the ground. ” But papa, you have to throw the first sand on her body” I told him and he got up ” Thank you papa” I said and walked to the kitchen to call the rest. We all went to the grave, it was just I, Adanna, her mom, my dad, my mom, Charity , john and some village boys who stayed behind. With the help of some boys, the body was lowered to the floor. My dad fetched a handful of sand, said some inaudible prayers and threw them at the body, so also mom and the rest of us. With the help of the boys again, we covered the body with sand, mom started a new chapter of crying so also did the rest except I , dad and some of the village boys. We stood for some minutes staring at the grave and mom suddenly bursted into a local sorrowful song, the rest sang with her, even Adanna joined in the singing.
• ” Hello, Gabriel we have gotten to the park ” israel voiced echoed over the phone, the time was 10:19pm, Everyone had gone to their various habitats. I wore a jean trouser and a blue shirt, I then went out to meet my dad and mom who were staring at the skies sorrowfully. ” Papa, I am going to pick those my friends from the park, they have arrived” I told him. ” You mean those ones from the city? ” he asked while I nodded. ” Oh, that’s is nice, go and pick them ” He said, ” Oyinbo” my mom called back, ” Be careful of the night” She said, I nodded and went out into the dark. It took about 20 minutes for me to get to the park, I had actually ran all the way. I met Morg-na and Israel sitting on a bench while the driver to the slow and steady bus was cleaning it for the next day journey. ” I will never come to Atata again” Morg-na hugged me, ” The only good thing here is the fresh air” Israel said as I led the way to my house. ” So you mean, there are no cars here?” Morg-na asked,” Of course there are vans but they can’t pass through this bush path” I answered. ” Am sorry about your loss bro” Israel consoled. ” Thanks” I said and we continue the walk until we got home. Mama and papa had gone in,side to sleep, so I led them to my small room. ” You know I will sleep on the bed” Morg-na said as she jumped on the bed, ” Yeah, but tomorrow you will start sharing bed with Charity as she now sleeps alone” I told her as I and Israel made to sleep on the floor, Morg-na love sleeping alone. ” That shouldn’t be a problem” she yawned and every where was quiet, Israel could now be seen snoring loudly.
• The morning was cold, the breeze of the morning was also fresh and chilling. I opened my right eye and took a glance at the clock, it was 7:15am . I could still here somebody snoring beside me, I opened my eyes fully and stood up, ” Wake up!!” I slapped israel who sprang up immediately. ” You must behave like you are in Newriton, dont over sleep” I told him tying a wrapper across my chest. Morg-na wasn’t on the bed, she must have gone outside. Isreal wore a T-shirt on his boxers and also went out with me. We met Morg-na sitting on a bench, she was putting on a trouser and a singlet. ” You guys can snore like, your snores woke me up” she lamented while I smiled. Israel looked around the compound, “Gabriel” he called out while I turned to him, ” You guys haven’t buried her?” He asked pointing to the grave, the sand has been dug out from the grave, like a flash of light, I walked towards the grave and looked into it, the body was gone, Linda’s body had been dug out.

Episode 32
Title: Face To Face
“The body has been stolen” I turned to israel who opened his mouth wide in shock. ” you mean you buried her and her body was dug out?” Morg-na who was just joining us asked ” I suspected this was gonna happen, they had taken her body, they need her skull” I said , ” That should be precisely, the case, sir Jude boys are behind this” Morg-na supported and israel nodded. ” We need to do something fast, we are running late” Morg-na bent staring at the grave. ” Oyinbo ” My dad called from afar, he was walking towards us dressed like a chief, he was obviously heading to the village square to hear what the people have to say about the chief priest death . I walked towards him, ” Linda’s body had been dug out” I whispered to him while he stared at me in disbelief, almost immediately,he dashed towards the grave. ” I told you, the gods have taken their property” He turned back to me. ” Good morning sir” Morg-na and Israel greeted in union. ” My children, welcome, dont mind me, your friend wants to make me mad, I told him the body belonged to the gods, but he went ahead to bury her and now the gods has come to take what us theirs” My dad hit his walking stick on the ground to emphasize what he was saying, ” Papa, if the gods had taken her, then there shouldn’t be foot prints here” Morg-na who was still bending pointed at the foot prints made by some kind of booths. My dad stared in disbelief at the floor, ” Abomination ” he hit his walking stick on the ground again,” This has never happened before” he stared from Morg-na to israel . ” Dont worry papa, something will be done” Israel assured with a smile. ” Oyinbo, make your friends comfortable ” My dad said as he walked out sorrowfully. ” Okay, I have seen daddy, what about mummy , John and Charity?” Israel asked, ” They will soon be out” I assured, ” And Adanna” he added, ” you will surely see her” I assured again while Morg-na stared at us, ” Who is Adanna?” She asked with a smile, ” His girlfriend” Israel blurted out and Morg-na smiled at me,” You already know what is love ?” She asked with a punch , ” Do you think am a small boy?” I asked back, ” I still senior you anyways” She bent at the grave side again, ” This act wasn’t done just by one person, it was done by a group of people” she stared at the scattered shoe prints. Just then I heard foot steps approaching behind us, I turned and it was my mom. ” Good morning ma” Israel and Morg-na greeted before me, ” Oyinbo, your friends are looking good o, Good morning my children” she hugged them, just then her eyes caught the grave, ” what happened here?” She asked in shock as she let go of them. ” The body has been stolen” I said standing arm Akimbo, ” Ani has taken her” my mom turned to us, ” Ani doesn’t have shoe prints” I pointed to the floor and she also stared in disbelief, ” Who has done this evil? ” she asked as tears fell down her eyes, ” Mama, its okay” Morg-na hugged her and wiped off her tears, israel drew me away to a side ” Gabriel, this is getting out of hand ” He started staring at me while I nodded, ” We have to do something” He added, ” What do we do?” I asked spreading my hands out, ” I dont kn…” Charity’s voice interrupted him ” Brother good morning” She greeted running into my widely spread arms. ” Hmm, charity, how are you? Israel this is the charity ” I handed her to Israel who carried her. ” Beautiful girl, I am your brother’s friend from the city” Israel said smiling while charity nodded and touched his small beards. ” Will you carry me to the city?” Charity asked while Israel nodded, ” Yeah, one day you will come to the city” He assured while she smiled happily and hug him. ” Hey baby girl” came Morg-na’s voice as she walked towards israel and took charity from him, ” hey , you are really beautiful” Morg-na started while charity stared at her with a confuse expression written all over her face. ” oh, I am your brother’s friend from the city ” Morg-na introduced herself, ” Are you his wife? ” charity asked while Morg-na smiled and stared at me, ” No, I am not his wife” She turned back to Charity. ” Will you also carry me to the city?” Charity asked again, ” But I promised to carry you to the city” israel put in, ” I dont trust you, my brother has been promising that he would take me to the city but he never did ” Charity explained while we bursted into laughter, ” Okay, I will take you” Morg-na assured her while Charity hugged her and ran off to look for my mom who should now be in the kitchen. ” okay, two more people to go, John and Adanna” Israel said counting his fingers, ” Okay, let’s go see Adanna” I said as I went to fetch a cutlass .
” Mama, I am going to the stream” I shouted to my mom who was in the kitchen, ” Oyinbo, aren’t you going to the village square, didn’t you get the town..” I interrupted her, ” Am not interested in that, I might come later” I said and walked away to israel and Morg-na who were standing waiting for me. ” So are you going to her house with a cutlass?” Israel asked me as we walked out, ” No, am going to the stream, she will be going to fetch water this morning” I explained. ” Then why the cutlass?” He asked me, ” hmm, just in case I might need to cut off your head if you try anything stupid with Adanna” I explained as I dropped the cutlass, I had initially wanted to use it to check my father wine, but I remembered I was still mourning my sister. We walked to the stream, there was no one there. We decided to sit under the huge mango tree which I always climbed on whenever I came to the stream. Soon, people started coming to the stream, they were all girls. Israel would always access them with his eyes and will then ask me ” Hope this is not Adanna?” , I would simply smile and shake my head. Morg-na soon left us as she would go to help some of the girls put their water pot on their head, some lazy girls to be precise. ” And that is Adanna” I pointed in the direction of Adanna who was just approaching the stream. ” Oh my God!” Israel exclaimed and got up , he made to walk towards her but I push him back . ” Where are you going to?” I asked him, ” To greet her now” he replied and got up again. ” Mumu, she will get here” I pushed him back to the ground. Adanna soon came nearer, as expected, she came towards me. ” Good morning…” Israel interrupted her, ” Behold the most beautiful maiden of Atata, the only maiden whose smile is enough to cool the temper of a hungry lion, her voice alone will make all the young men of Atata bow at her feet, her face shines like the morning sun, pardon my stupidity , more than the morning sun. Adanna of Atata, the only one who has been able to cage the heart of my friend, who has been able to make his mouth sing her praise everywhere he goes, Israel greet you” Israel concluded as he bowed with one of his knees on the ground, all at the stream were surprised and soon started clapping. Adanna twisted her mouth like she always does when she is shy, but it actually makes her more pretty. She stared at me like expecting me to explain what just happened, even I myself was surprised. ” He is my friend from the city” I said as I walked up to her, israel also got up. ” Yeah, he has said so much of you, its a pleasure meeting you” he stretched fort his hand , Adanna took it happily. ” Thanks for the…” Israel interrupted her, ” You deserve more than that” He said and turned to me, ” When will you lead her to the alter?” He asked, ” Very soon” I replied while Adanna eyed me . ” So this is that girl Gabriel won’t stop talking about?” Morg-na asked as she came towards us, ” She is my other friend from the city ” I told Adanna who nodded and greeted Morg-na, Morg-na preferred hugging her. ” she is really beautiful” Morg-na turned to me while I nodded, ” Hmm, you are really the most beautiful maiden of Atata” She added and Adanna smiled. ” So israel, what was the meaning of the movie you just acted?” Morg-na asked him, ” Should I act for you?” Israel asked back while Morg-na punched him. ” let me quickly fetch my water” Adanna turned to go towards the stream but Morg-na held her back, ” I will help you with that, because you are my friend’s future wife” She said and collected the water pot from Adanna.
• ” Now, from the recent happenings, this is what I have found out. Firstly, the serial killer has something to do with Sir Jude Ike, this can be trace to what I had seen in his laptop the day we attacked him. My second findings is that, those who were killed by this serial killer, weren’t taken to the evil forest of Ani has said, they are being taken to the sh¡p lap, their skulls are being sold to labs and scientist for experimental purpose. Now, the last findings, I am not so sure of this but its possible the serial killer is from Newriton, my first reason is the weapon with which the people are being killed with, it is a zig zag sword which was use to train a particular set, this type of sword can only be found at Newriton.” I said pointing at the sword in my laptop, it was In the evening of the same day, everyone had gone out, Charity and John had gone to play with their friends , mama has gone to the market while papa should be with the elders although he isn’t one, remember he isn’t an indigene if Atata . I was with Morg-na and israel and we were in my small room, sitting on my bed and staring at the laptop. ” What if the serial killer isn’t from Newriton, what if he mistakenly got hold of the sword?” Israel asked , ” From what I heard, he dresses the way we dress” I told israel. ” Who did you hear that from?” Morg-na asked me, ” He attacked Adanna once, she was saved by someone, she called him Jason” I told her, ” Jason, the guy that was suspended from Newriton some years back?” Morg-na asked, ” I dont know the particular Jason” I replied. ” Then I think I will have to talk to Adanna, she might know something” She got up from the bed and stood staring at the window.
” Eneda, the daughter of Iche Silas is dead” my mother told me, she was just coming back from the market that evening, she was looking so moody, of course she was meant to look moody, my sister’s death must have taken all over her. I. was even surprised she was able to go to the market to buy food stuff for the family, she is indeed a strong woman. ” Ani also killed her, the mark was on her wa-ist side. They have taken her to the forest of Ani” she explained further. ” When did she die?” I asked her as she made to walk in,side, ” Her body was seen this morning, just like we saw Linda’s own yesterday, but unlike Linda’s, she wasn’t killed in the house” She explained and walked in,side shaking her head in pity. I rushed in,side my room to meet Morg-na and israel who were playing games on their laptop, ” I am going to the forest of Ani this night” I told them while they looked up at me, ” Why?” Israel asked and continued his game. ” Some one has been killed again, her body has been taken to the forest, I wanna see what will happen to it this night” I explained . ” Then we should follow you” Morg-na dropped the game and stared at me. ” No, you guys should stay here and cover up so as to avoid suspicion” I told them, ” But…” Israel Interrupted Morg-na. ” He is right, let him go while we stay and keep watch, if anything happens, we would fall in” Israel explained while Morg-na nodded. I arranged my white top and black trouser, I also brought out my knives from my briefcase. ” It will be sure sweet” I turned to them but they were so engrossed in their game.
• The forest Of Ani is the most dreaded forest in the wh0le of Atata, it is believed to be habited by spirits of those who didn’t die a good death, it is forbidden for any human to go into it, it was rumour that those that went into it died mysterious death. I dont believe all this, but we are about to find out what goes In there today. The sound of crickets and frogs could be heard continuously, the leaves and trees of the forest moved left and right to produce fresh air to cool the man in black walking In the dreaded forest of Atata, me. I hadn’t gone far when I stumbled on a body, a dead body. Yes, it was the body of Eneda, there wasn’t any other body there, it was just her dead body. ” I thought as much” I said to myself as I sat on a fallen tree and listened to the songs of the birds of the night, but the frogs spoilt it with theirs. Soon, I could hear footsteps approaching, I stood up from the log of wood and took cover among the bushes, they people came Into view, they were about three young men, they looked around as they must have also heard my footsteps due to the dead dried leaves on the floor. Without saying anything, they carried the body and went out of my sight. ” Yeah, now you know what we do, but now you can’t go out alive, like they say, curiosity kills the cat ” I heard from behind, I turned back and I was standing face to face with the man in black.


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