Seated on top of a wooden platform in a nearby bush, Mark’s mind drifted to thoughts of his mother’s death. They had gone to the farm that evening, to cut vegetables from their garden close to River Benue, which she planned to take to the market the early hours of the following day.
“I want to go and excrete in the bush, mother.” He said to her not long after they arrived at the farm.
“No problem, but don’t go too far into the bush.”
“Okay mother.” He nodded.
He had quickly dropped his knife into the basket made of sticks, and gone a few metres before entering the bush and squatted to excrete. From his position he saw his mother clearly. He had barley passed out the first set of excreta when a boat sped close to his mother, by the river bank, and halted. Three muscular men stepped out of the boat, and walked to his mother. At once, he became alarmed. It occurred to him to quickly rush to the scene to find out what the men wanted from his mother, but he thought otherwise, and decided to hide and see what they were up to.
He watched them talking to his mother. All of a sudden, one of them knocked her off her feet, and she fell helplessly on the ground. Mark instantly wanted to run out to help his mother, but the fear gripped him at once, and he declined for the second time. He fell to the ground as he watched one of them remove his belt and forcefully strip his mother off her clothes. He watched as the man raped her. One after another, the three men had carnal knowledge of her.
He was already in tears before they were through with their mission. Soon they entered their boat, and went away, undeterred. He rushed to where his mother lay on the ground, she was already dead. Her private organ missing; the three men had left with it.
“Mother! Mother! Please wake up, and talk to me.” He shook her body as he wept, but she never responded.
He knelt beside her for a long time, tears rolled down his cheeks. He ran home to inform his father, but not before covering her corpse with leaves.
“What did you just say? Your mother is dead?” He asked disbelievingly.
“My mother is dead, she is dead.” He was still in tears.
“What happened to her?” His father enquired.
Mark hesitated, and then narrated the event to his father –totally heartbroken and terrified. The poor man quickly got up and ran helter skelter to the scene. Totally perturbed, Mark’s father knelt beside his wife, crying and shedding tears, shaking her body vigorously as though it would wake her up.
Their house was crowded for weeks. People wondered about the news. They couldn’t help but weep, cry, and curse the perpetrators.
Days later, she was buried. The living was left to mourn her horrific death. Soon, Mark’s father had a heart attack and died, leaving Mark in another gruesome experience of weeping and crying.
He was left alone in the house as he was the only child of his parents. Just twenty years old, though already grown in size and shape, he was left to cater for himself amidst all the pain and bitter memories.
An idea hit him hard; to seek vengeance over his mother’s death. Having made up his mind that night, he secretly made inquiries. At dusk, he went to the spiritual house. He was led into the temple by a haggard-looking old man, where he waited for the head; a bearded old man. The temple was mostly decorated with white and red materials, with human and animal skulls hanging from the walls, with spaces between one another. Hanging above the altar of the temple was a bold inscription that read “Home of Vengeance”.
“Good morning, wise one.” Mark’s humble tone said. The old prophet looked at him for a long time like he had a scar on his face.
“You have been in deep pains, depressed and unhappy for a long time now. “ His husky voice started, sending shivers down mark’s spine.
“Yes, wise one.” His trembling voice said, the old man started smiling kindly, but Mark was uncomfortable with his smile.
“I know your case well enough. Are you ready to embark on the mission of avenging your mother’s death?”
Hesitantly, he said, “yes, wise one.”
The man nodded his head, pleased. “It is called the ungodly revenge, there is no going back once started. Are you aware?” His face became darker.
Fear and discouragement overtook Mark at once, but he soon shook them off and said “My mind is made up.”
The old man nodded happily. “I shall prepare you for this battle tonight, and you will become impregnable. You will have the power to destroy anyone or anything that wrongs you, whether in the past, present, or the future.”
“You must eat up this meat right now so that we can proceed.”
Mark stared at the red meat, he grimaced in disgust, and his heart raced. “This meat is raw, wise one.”
“I know.” At once, the man invoked another spirit into him through his eyes, and Mark immediately started eating the meat pleasantly, and was through shortly.
The man took him to another room. The room had different coloured caskets opened. Mark was asked to lie in any one of his choice, and sleep. He did so without fear.
“I will wake you up once I am ready to prepare you for the next stage.”
“Okay wise one.”
Mark had barley laid well before he began slumbering deeply, and started having multiple dreams. In the dreams, he was living with ghosts, sharing the same house, food, and clothes with them.
Later when he was awakened by his master, his body was covered with sweat.
“How was your sleep?”
Mark reasoned briefly. “Something I can’t explain.”
“Never mind, let’s go.” He laughed.
The man took the lead, and Mark quickly followed. Through the back door of the next room, they appeared at the back of that house, a vast area of land filled with black and red dwarf trees. The air was filled with fearful sounds of different insects, birds, and other animals.
“I hope you are not trembling?” The old man looked at him abruptly.
“I am strong hearted.”
“That’s the spirit.” He nodded happily.
They started walking into the tree forest, and walked past several ghosts at intervals, either seated on top of their casket or leaning against a tree.
They moved on until they got to a certain point, and the old man stopped abruptly, and turned to mark.
“Go over to that place.” He said, pointing to one coffin.
Mark went as instructed.
“Open the coffin.” He commanded.
Mark, though hesitantly, opened it, and was disgusted as he set his eyes on the corpse of an old man, oozing an offensive odour.
The man walked to his side; “Get inside.”
He hesitated before stepping inside. He lay on top of the corpse, and the man quickly covered the coffin, and went away.
Mark remained there for two days. He was released in the midnight of the third day. When he came out, he was not his normal self. Everything about him had changed, including his thoughts.
“Now, you are ready for the mission, but one thing is left of you.”
“What?” He asked curiously.
“You have to consume the private part of the man you slept with.”
“And after that?” His mind was not shaken.
“Then I will let you embark on your mission.”
“Then I am set.”
The old man instructed him further about what to do, and in a few moments, he had finished eating the private part of the corpse, and his mouth was filled with blood and maggots. He used his hand to wipe out the ones left on his lips.
“Now, you are done, so come with me.”