Episode 6: The lost ones
All these happened as Mama Arinze watched from a while. Her gazed remained fixed on Chikwado as he angrily walked away.
She followed him steadily and quietly and made herself known to him in a quiet and lonely path catching him of guard and knocks him unconscious.
Chikwado wakes up tied to a chair in a make-shift-raffia-hut. He looks around and shivers at the sight of diabolical looking items placed conspicuously around the hut. From the look of the enviroment he appeared to be in the forest, he thought.
Where I’m I?, he asks Mama Arinze who is staring him in the face from where she was sitting opposite him.
You are as much to be held responsible as your friend is, she started.
You both are the reasons I am here, she added.
She begins to narrate a long tale to him. She tells him that she actually is from the future and not from Amanze as she had told everyone, she’s been in their community for a while now monitoring the object of her obsession, Ikenna, and that Ibana’s retirement from frying akara was a perfect window to come public and carry out her agenda which is to kill Ikenna but then before she kills him, she needs him and her son Arinze to become friends, and that he, Chikwado was the one piece that doesn’t fit in all these.
Ik’s father was a collateral damage in this battle. I just freaked out when Ik went missing and thought my whole plan had been destroyed and I just killed the person whom I felt would cause that young rascal to return from where ever he went, and just like his father you also are a loose end that needs to be fixed, she said.
“I have told you all these because you are going to die now”, she said, plunging a knife through his stomach.
He bleeds out and dies.
Ik, still angry about the fight with Chikwado suckles as he goes into the stream to cleanse himself.
The old man surfaces behind him.
Ik hurries out of the stream and moves towards the old man.
What have you done to me nna Anyi? My life has been upside down since the day we met.
I’ve been at a safe distance watching you my son, and now, it is evident I needed to see you, the old man replied calmly. The great evil I told you of the last time is here now and is already hooking tentacles into matters that concerns you. You need to be ready, by accepting your father’s death for what it is, a stage of life, that’s the only way for you to proceed now, he added.
When you do, you’ll clearly notice that the woman you have come to know as Mama Arinze seems mysterious, he continued.
At this point Ik wasn’t having any of it anymore, he couldn’t understand why anyone would try to accuse such a sweet and innocent woman of not just been a witch but a very evil oe at that.
He threatened to shout if he wasn’t left alone. On looking backward to see if his message was driven home he couldn’t see the old man anymore.
The next morning, Ik went to Mama Arinze’s shop. He didn’t believe the old man’s claim of her been a witch, but he found himself feeling uneasy around her today. For the first time since he started going there, he asked to take home the akara and she suspected he was a bit on to her.
She was careful in her dealing with Chikwado the day before, and from the calm within Ik it was obvious his death hadn’t become public new. Arinze wasn’t available either to make him open up. She panicked on the possibility of her plan collapsing when she was so close to her victory.
On Ik”s way home he met a young boy who looked very malnourished and obviously hungry because he was begging for a piece of the akara which odour filled the air.
Ik took pity and gave the young boy two of the seven pieces of akara he had bought.
The young boy wasted no time in devouring it, and IK just stood watching him with pity but his pity turned to worry when the young boy began to cough sporadically.
He was choking, and almost at the point of death, when the old man appeared again and offered to help, Ik gladly welcomed his help. The old man gave the young boy a liquid contained in an old bottle and in no time the boy was alright.
The old man explained to a confused IK that the akara was poisoned by Mama Arinze and that what he administered to the unlucky young boy was a special anti-poison potion he made. It took IK a while to accept what he had just been told. The explanation made sense and had a feel of truth to it.
“What could she want from a young boy like me, I have nothing of worth. No inheritance, no large parcel of land from my late father”, Ik said.
“Its not what you have now but what you will have later”, the old man said.