There was war in heaven and there was going to be only one winner, him.
The glass floor felt cold against his bare feet as he sneaked across the oval corridor. He looked at his reflection coming off the walls for a few seconds. He looked wild; it was how he wanted to look. His head was clean shaven except for a thick line of hair running from his forehead to the back. He had not touched his beard in centuries so he was not surprised it was shaggy. But there was something else, something he was not used to; anger. He was a happy person, the life of the party. He was mischievous, a trouble maker but never angry.
Well, until he had been crossed.
He looked away from the walls and walked on.
“You can’t get away!” A voice rang through the atmosphere and he stopped.
He closed his eyes and became one with the air. His opponent was strong but he could not see the invisible.
“You can’t get away you foul being!” A female voice shouted so close to him he jumped. He stepped away off the corridor and moved towards the male voice.
“Esu, come out!” The male voice screamed. “You sad excuse for a god, come, let me teach you a lesson”
Esu smiled and shook his head. They had no idea what was coming.
The light seemed to swim around the throne, it was one of the most beautiful things he had seen in his centuries of existence. The light had several colours and it always gave him joy to bask in their sweet fragrance. But not today, not even the dancing light could ease his troubled mind.
“They are going to destroy each other my lord.” Orunmila said as he looked at the east, eyes drawn together in worry.
“If they must engage in petty fighting like men, then like men they must be destroyed.” Edumare, creator of the seven heavens, answered him.
Orunmila opened his mouth to argue, but closed it and looked on. He had watched Edumare make decisions for millennia and none had failed, if it was his decision not to intervene in the battle of the gods, so be it.
“Orunmila.” Edumare called.
“Yes, my lord.”
“You’re my priest, the wise one amongst the gods. You have stood by my throne for ages, so you have become my wisdom.”
“My lord, such accolades don’t belong…”
“I have a question for you Orunmila.” Edumare said, shifting on his throne to face Orunmila.
“I’m listening, my lord.”
“How shall the earth and her inhabitants, the sons of men be in four thousand years? Can you predict their future?”
“My lord, I’ve been called wise by many but no god, no matter how wise can predict the future except you choose to reveal it.” Orunmila answered, surprised at the question.
“I know, but give it a try. I want to know your thoughts.”
“Four thousand years will be the year twenty fourteen…” Orunmila said quietly and looked away, deep in thought.
“What do you say? How will man fare?”
Orunmila stood from his chair, walked a few feet forward and turned around.
“In four thousand years, men will be corrupt and perverse. They will have more knowledge but use less and less of it. They will bring forth wisdom that will make even gods jealous but will destroy each other with it. They will suffer but even in the face of death they will curse the gods to their faces.”
Orunmila finished and found himself out of breath. The words had come out of his mouth without his thinking about it.
“You are right my priest.” Edumare said with a sigh. “The question is; will the gods fare better?”
Orunmila sighed and turned towards the east, lightning and thunder still rang through the sky. Fiery bursts of different colours spread across the face of the sky. He shook his head and turned back to face the throne.
“My lord, it is hard to tell. But the gods are not mortal men, surely they will fare better.”
“Surely, you say. Well, soon we shall know. Very soon.”
Orunmila turned and looked at him. What did he mean by soon?
Esu looked at Sango and smiled. His trap was perfect, all he had to do was wait.
He moved closer to Sango as he strutted towards the trap, his favourite goddess Oya by his side. They could not see him still and he had them exactly where he wanted them.
“Is that him? You are sure?” Sango reduced his pace and asked pointing at a shadow in the distance.
“Surely, it is him. Sango, you’re the chief amongst gods, you are second to none except Edumare himself. Are you scared of Esu, that trifling elf?” Oya replied him.
“Of course I’m not!” Sango said, pushing his chest out. “Esu is tricky, I do not want to…”
“Sango, you are known as the thunder of the seven heavens, well six of them. You are far above any trick Esu brings.”
“Yes, I am!” Sango said and marched towards the shadow.
Esu smiled and moved a few feet away from them.
“Here’s the plan.” Sango said. “You will raise a storm, I will light it up with fire and hail and we will both bring it down on him.”
Oya nodded and spreading her hands upwards she started to conjure a storm. Esu looked up at the storm gathering, it was bigger than he expected and he was grateful he was not the real target. He watched Sango raise his fist and the storm became fiery red. They held their hands in the air and together brought the fiery storm on the shadow.
Esu opened his mouth in anticipation as the storm approached the shadow. The storm hit and almost immediately a bolt of lightning from the east hit the shadow too. For a few seconds his eyes shut and he did not know what was happening.
He opened his eyes and found himself in the midst of the storm. He looked around him as the storm spun him around. Oya was holding tight to Sango as they spun above him. The storm seemed to be taking them downwards.
“This is the work of your hands.” A voice called from below him.
He looked below and saw Ogun. Ogun had been his involuntary decoy; the shadow. He had put the target on him but things had not gone the way he expected.
“I did not plan this, I swear.” Esu said, afraid for the first time in his life.
He looked up at Sango and Oya. Sango looked down and saw him and his face became red.
“What have you done?!” He screamed and there was an explosion of light.
Esu closed his eyes against the light, waited a few seconds until he felt a calm around him and he opened them.
He looked around, there was no one. He blinked and rubbed his forehead, a headache was building. He heard a sound coming from behind him and he looked to see a strange being with large shiny eyes approach him, it was coming at a high speed, it made a screeching sound and sped past him. He stood slowly to his feet but dropped back to the ground immediately. He was naked! He looked up and saw a large object in the sky with a man’s face on it, he was saying something. His face goes off the object and a scantily clad woman walks around on the object. The light started to hurt his eyes and he looked away.
He crawled away from the object and towards a darker place. He reached a wall and stopped. He sat against the wall and held his head in his hand. Where was he?
“Hey dude!” A voice said beside him.
He jumped and scrambled away.
“Hey man, it’s okay, I’m homeless too. You want some coke? Stole it off a kid in the park.”
Esu looked at the man speaking to him, he was dressed in rags and stank. Who was this man? Where was he?
“My name is Folusho. What is your name?” The man continued. If he was going to find out where he was, the man was probably his best bet.”
“My name, my name is…” Esu started.
“Yes? What’s your name?”
“My na… na… name…” He stuttered and stopped. Beads of sweat formed on his face as he came to a sudden realisation.
He had no idea what he name was. He had no idea who he was.