Nebuchadnezzar and Nnamani were shackled, and forced to sit on the
bare floor, and watch. This they did in utmost silence.
The shelter was brought down in seconds. Obele rushed to the space
shouting Adaku’s name repeatedly. The stench that emanated within caused him to
corpses all over the place, and a large pot on fire, cooking blood.
“O! My God!” Sir Thomas exclaimed.
“In the name of Her Majesty, The Queen of England… Queen
Elizabeth 1… and The Great King of Umuchue… Igwe Okpunobi 1… you’re both
sentenced to death by hanging tonight… at the newly constructed gallows at
the village square,” Sir Bradley announced to the hearing of all present
at the invaded site.
He turned his back to go into his mechanical carriage, but was stopped
by the loud cry of one of the excavators. “There’s a survivor!”
Out of the rubbles, a lady was pulled up. n@ked, bloodied, and
“Nkoli!” Obele shouted.
One of the officers removed his jacket and used it to cover her. The
white men began to rejoice at the prospect of a survivor.
“How did this happen?… When were you taken?… Did you see
Adaku?” Obele asked all these questions without a pause, shaking her as he
Nkoli writhe in forged pain.
“That’s enough!’ Sir Bradley commanded. He threatened Obele, that
his help in locating the murderers didn’t suddenly make him The Queen’s
The photographer was done taking pictures of most piece of evidence
found; and the things not needed as physical evidence were gathered to be
burnt. The bodies were also gathered separately to be burnt, but the action
stopped when The King’s envoy arrived with instruction to bring the bodies back
for their loved ones to bury.
Soon, everyone dispersed; most into the mechanical carriages brought
by the white-men, and the others left on foot. They left behind a large flame
in their wake as they drove away for the village.
It was the dusk of the day, and the villagers were already gathered at
the village square to witness the death of the two men who vowed to hold the
town at ransom. They were also there to catch a glimpse of Nkoli, the survivor
and critically acclaimed heroine of the gods, to have being then only survivor
of a series of random killings.
All through the merriments, Obele sat coldly on the floor, a little
behind Nkoli’s position on the high table; he could see her exposed lower back,
even though he didn’t care for it. Thoughts of never seeing Adaku again caused
anger to circulate faster round his body; they fueled his recurring belief that
Nkoli had something to do with her death, and possibly the death of all the
unrecognizable corpses found at the site.
“May the Lord help your souls…,” Sir Bradley was about to
give the final command that they be hanged. But The King halted him. His
interruption caused a little commotion and struggle for power between the both
of them, which ended with Igwe Okpunobi reminding Sir Gregory that he was king,
and this was still his territory, so any further altercation to his command
will be met by a fate worse than the gallows his friends were about to face.
Igwe Okpunobi wanted to understand why the people he once called
brothers would do these many evil things. He walked up to the gallows, and
asked with concern, “Where did I go wrong?” As he awaited a reply
tear drops fell down his eyes.
Nebuchadnezzar remained silent.
Nnamani let out an evil laugh, before he spoke.
“This is not about you; this is not about me; this is not even
fully about Umuchue… This is about the battle of the gods, and they are
angry,” he said, and laughed some more.
“Which of the gods?” The King asked; his tears seized.
“All of them… They are all angry at you, Okpunobi, and have
promised to bring your reign to a miserable end for allowing these strange
people into our land… You cannot stop what is about to come,” Nnamani
kept talking, and laughing.
Nebuchadnezzar turned to Nnamani. “What have you done?” He
asked with a bewildered look.
Nnamani smirked. He was about to reply when the space beneath their
feet opened, and they began to suffocate, till life quickly left them. The King
opened the gallows himself.
The crowd began to murmur loudly; and soon, violence broke out. For no
particular reason people began to destroy things and after a while themselves.
A little fire started somewhere, and just like the fight without an origin it
turned into a wild fire, burning everything and everyone in its path. The white
men tried without success to tame the escalating beasts in everyone, even their
guns had no way to sway the suddenly possessed people of Umuchue.
Nkoli immediately rose. To better blend with the mad crowd as a
commoner she took off the special cape the white men had given her for the
occasion. Obele, whose eyes had been on her all the while, immediately saw it
again – the same symbol he saw at Nnanna’s hut, painted on the wall with Nnanna
mother’s blood – it rested comfortably on Nkoli’s back as a brand of identity.
He followed her in silence; the grief he felt fueled his anger the more. Nkoli
suddenly turned to face him, and he wasted no time in stabbing her. He did so
three times, and she fell.
Obele hurried away; he disappeared into the raging crowd before the
officers initially assigned to protect Nkoli could catch him.
Nkoli faced the sky; she looked at the moon, and it looked back at
her. The officers tried to stop the profuse bleeding without success, and
resolved to carry her away from the mad crowd because their ammunition for
protection had almost finished. She dangled without strength in their arms, and
as life fleeted from her, she could see it; the strange shooting-star that
Nnamani promised she’d see if she stayed true to the faith of the gods. It was
the wrath of the gods, and it was already here to consume everyone.
THE END. (Please comment)
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