TWO WORLDS (5)
An hour later, Prince Adewale returned with the heart which was still slightly beating wrapped in a piece of cloth and he gently handed it to his mother.
“Good, oko mi, very good… You have done well.” Commended the Queen as she put the heart into a small mortar. “Whose is this?” She asked.
“It’s Bidemi’s…we found her taking a piss at the back of the maid’s hut.”
“She will not be missed… I hope her body was properly buried to leave no trace behind.” The Queen asked again.
“Beni Maami. (Yes, mother).”
“And your men, hope they are not still waiting outside my hut?”
“No, I’ve told them to go home and that I’ll bring the portion to them once you are done preparing it.”
“Good.” She nodded.
“What next?” Adewale asked now.
“Time for the last and most important part.” The Queen said and took off her blouse then untied her wrapper and the prince suddenly looked away and squeezed his eyes closed, then began to grumble like a child. Knowing how difficult this is for him, his mother placed a comforting hand on his shoulder and said. “Okay, let’s make this easier for you. Among your five wives whom do you like the most?”
“None of them appeals to me anymore since I have laid with them all.” He answered.
“Okay then… Amongst the maids in the palace whom do you like mos? Whom have you always hoped to lay with?” She tried again.
“Olabisi.” Adewale answered.
“She’s chubby the way I like my women. She laughs a lot and I like her gap tooth.”
“Okay then… I shall pretend to be her.” The Queen said, stepped back and made some incantations. “Now son, look at me.” She said in Olabisi’s voice this time.
When the Prince hesitantly turned his head to look at his mother, he was in complete awe. Before him stood Olabisi in all her glory and completely naked too with a smile on her pretty face. Letting his eyes admire her body from head to foot, he grinned lecherously, his interest now alive.
“Remember, you might enjoy this so much but you must not pour your seeds into me, son, you must not.” The Queen vehemently reminded him in Olabisi’s voice.
“Okay maami.” The eager prince answered, now taking off his agbada while his mother laid back on her bed after placing a small clay plate beside her. Quickly taking off his sokoto, he got into bed with his mother.
After collecting her son’s semen, in the clay plate, the Queen returned to her normal self. She sprinkled a black powder on the semen then mixed it with her finger. “Now, sit down and relax and let your mother fight your battle. I shall go to the river myself and look for the baby.”
The prince nodded and reluctantly sat down on the mat. Much to his disgust, he saw his mother turn the semen which had gone black from the powder into the small mortar then she took a small pestle and began to pound the heart of the maiden whom her son and his friends had murdered. After pounding it to a rough paste and saying an incantation, the Queen turned on her seat and placed the mortar before her son. Then she took the gourd of snake blood and handed it to him.
The prince frowned now as his eyes moved from the object to his mother. “What am I supposed to do with this?”
“Je. (Eat).” His mother told him.
“What!” The Prince exclaimed in disgust, pushing the mortar and gourd cup away from him. “You don’t expect me to eat or drink this! There’s no way I’m eating a pounded human heart mixed with my own semen, not to talk of washing it down with snake blood! I can be many things, maami, but a cannibal is not one of them!” He strongly refused.
“Do you want to stay alive or not?” Asked the queen. “Besides, you only have to do this once! Eat this and save yourself from Osun’s wrath. This is a very potent sacrifice and only higher spirits eat such, Adewale, instead of whining, just eat it. Do not forget that time is not on our side.”
Sighing deeply but with a deep disgusted frown on his face, Adewale reluctantly sunk his five fingers into the mortar and when he brought the heart and semen paste to his mouth and took it in, he almost spat it out but his mother quickly clamped her right hand over his mouth while her left hand cupped the back of his head. “You dare not spit it out or you will destroy its powers and have to provide a fresh heart and another semen. Just be a man and swallow it if you can’t chew it!” She stated.
Squeezing his eyes shut, Adewale let the chunks go down his throat with great difficulty.
When the Olori hesitantly removed her hand from his mouth, she said to him in concern, “Apple of my eye, I know how difficult this is for you. Such meal is nothing to me because I’ve eaten worse to fortify myself and charge my powers. I would have changed it to your best meal Iyan ati efo and even made it smell like it so that it will be easier for you to eat, but the potency of this meal lies in the fact that you know what you are eating and should not disguise it in anyway to assuage your disgust… Now, I’ve to go to the river, I want you to be done eating this before I return.”
After instructing her son, she stood up now, exited her room and walked around to the back of her hut, pressing her back against the wall. After she glanced left and right and was sure that there was no one around, she removed her scarf from her head and tied it around her waist, then lifted het leg, bent her knee and placed the sole of her left foot on the wall behind her then uttered a few magic words in Yoruba language. Immediately the words were out of her mouth, she instantly shapeshifted into an owl that had talons big enough to carry off the baby, then she took to the night sky, flapping her wings as she flew, heading for the river.
However, while Adewale had been out to murder the maid and cut out her heart, Enitan and Adigun’s baby had floated far down the river and the baby wouldn’t stop crying. Disturbed by the noise, Orisa Osun accompanied by two her mermaids that were more like her ladies-in-waiting swam to the surface of the river.
“I can’t sleep with all that noise! Who dares dump a baby on my waters?! What careless mother disrespects motherhood this way?!” Orisa Osun said in iritation. She was a very beautiful woman in all her splendor and would have passed for a giantess. “Labake?” She called one of her maids waiting behind her.
“Iya.” The maid answered, swimming forward with a bowed head.
“Fetch me that child that has stolen the peace of my night.”
After bowing her head, the mermaid dove into the river and swam away in search of the baby and soon returned with Ewatomi in her arms. “It’s baby girl, Iya, and she’s just a few hours old. Her umblical cord is still very much fresh.” Said Labake.
“I should seek the foolish mother of this child and punish her gravely. Have humans now become heartless that the life of an infant matters not to them anymore?” Osun said angrily, highly displeased. “Why women who seek for children come to me in their numbers asking me to bless their womb, a foolish woman whom Olodumare has blessed with a child and who’s rather unworthy of one has decided to dump hers on my waters!”
“Iya, there’s only one explanation to this.” The other maid, Adunni, piped in. “This child might be the product of an illicit affair, Iya. Perhaps the human maiden got rid of the child to cover her shame of giving birth out of wedlock.”
“Probably.” Osun partially agreed.
“But Iya, she might look very much human, but she smells like one of us.” The maid, Labake, who was carrying the baby said.
“What do you mean?” Osun asked with a puzzled look.
“Iya, I feel she’s one of us.” Labake answered with a stronger conviction this time.
“Bring her to me let me see for myself.” Osun stretched her hands down towards the maid since she was almost twice their sizes and towered over them.
The maid swam closer and placed the child in Osun’s hands. Immediately the baby’s body had contact with Osun’s hands, she instantly went into a trance and her eyes glowed white. Osun saw everything that had transpired; from Enitan being stuck in the fisherman’s net to being bludgeoned to death and burned up with her lover. She heard Enitan’s curses and the faces of all the men except the one who had raped her daughter; his face was rather obscured.
After seeing all that there was to see, Osun snapped out of the trance suddenly let out a loud thunderous scream that shook the river. “HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”
The other mermaids staggered in the water, trying to keep their balances in the water as big drops of tears dropped from Osun eyes.
“WO N TI KPA MI LOMO!!! (They have killed my child!!!) ENITAN!!!” Orisa Osun screamed in anguish. “ENITAN!!!” The river began to swirl as if a tempest was about to happen and the other mermaids trembled. Handing the baby back to Labake, Osun shot her hands forward and a great wave swelled in the river then shot with great speed towards Adigun’s farm, destroying things in its path. The great wave of water swept into the hut, wrapped up Enitan and Adigun and brought their bodies back to the river, presenting them before Osun.
Using her powers to control the water to separate Enitan from Adigun, Osun carried the lifeless body of her burnt daughter in her arms and two big drops of tears escaped her eyes again. “I’ve been nothing but kind to humans, but just see what they have done to me!” She lamented. “They have burnt my beloved daughter and mutilated her too. O, Enitan, you shouldn’t have hidden yourself from me. You probably knew that I’d never approve of the affair with human lover and that was why you kept me in the dark all this time.”
Then she looked up to the sky and cried out loud, her voice filled with sorrow and anguish.”O Olodumare! Olodumare, hear me now! Can you see that these mortals have taken my beloved from me and have visited my abode with grief?! Can you see that they have dealt me a blow that I’ll never recover from?! They dared to defile and beat Enitan to death! That was not even enough, they set her ablaze too! Ha, Olodumare! You can see all! Nothing escapes your sight! Why did you let this come to pass? Why didn’t you save my daughter from this cruel fate? Why did you do nothing?!” Looking down at the body again, Osun dove into rhetorical questions. “HAAAAAAAAA! ENITAN, WHY HAVE YOU HIDDEN THIS FROM YOUR OWN MOTHER?! WHY DIDN’T YOU CALL FOR HELP WHEN THOSE MEN TORTURED YOU?! WHY DID YOU LET YOUR LOVE FOR A HUMAN WEAKEN YOU SO MUCH AND MADE YOU SO HELPLESS AGAINST MERE MORTALS?! WHY DID YOU COME TO THE SURFACE TO MINGLE WITH HUMANS WHEN YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I FORBID IT?! I’ve always said it that the heart of man is wicked and they have indeed finally proven me right! The men who think I can do nothing have taken the most precious thing from me and have left me with a half-human replacement! Haaa Enitan! Your curses shall come to pass, but I shall deal with this offenders my own way, I shall make living corpses out of them! They shall rue the days they were born! They shall suffer like no man has ever suffered before! For hurting me this way and taking your life, I shall hurt them back a hundred folds! I shall strike them in many ways that no order Orisas can rescue them from! They shall beg for death and their pleas will go unanswered! They shall gnash their teeth in agony after I’ve inflicted them and they shall serve as a deterrent to mankind for as long as this earth remains!”
“Iya, please be comforted.” The two maidens said in trembling voices, heads bowed in trepidation.
“No, I shall not be comforted! I shall not be comforted!” Osun vehemently refused then suddenly roared in a loud voice and the riverbed vibrated “Daughters!!!” Immediately, mermaids in their numbers began to shoot out of the water in all angles and diving into it again, surrounding Osun. By the time they all settled, there were almost a thousand mermaids on the surface of the water. “Now, go!” Osun pointed a finger at the village. “Go and wreak enough havoc that they’ll never forget in a lifetime! Take from them all their firstborns and bring before me the four men that have done this to your princess! Seek vengeance and let blood fill the waters! GOOO!!!” Osun roared in fury and the mermaids slowly turned towards village, and all at once, they submerged under water and like torpedoes- their shoulders squared with arms flattened at their sides, they began to swim towards the village in great speed but Labake and Adunni remained with Osun.
Osun rose her hands to the sky now, her eyes going white again as she conjured up a storm. Dark clouds began to gather rapidly, rolling and tumbling in the sky as they formed like a whirlwind. Soon, lightning began to flash as the dark clouds grew larger and loomed over the river, spreading towards the village and blotting out the full moon. Lightning flashed and thunder clapped loudly, followed by a strong wind which made the branches of the trees tremble and sent animals scurrying into hiding. Cold rain began to pour hard like never before, and as if that was not enough, Osun controlled a great deal of water from the river and sent it with full force after the mermaids towards the village.
With tears in her eyes again, she took her grand daughter from Labake and endearingly stared down at her. “The world has denied you of the love and presence of a wonderful mother, but I promise you that I’ll be to you the best mother a demi-goddess can ever ask for. I shall take care of you like a mother has never cared for her child before, and I shall help you hone in on your powers and skills till you become thrice as strong and poweful as your late mother. I shall hide you from mortals so that you don’t suffer the same fate as your mother except need be that Olodumare has a destiny for you. I would have liked to continuously deal cruelly with this village for the death of your mother, but not only will my wrath not give me back the life of my daughter, but Olodumare forbids me from letting my wrath last more than twenty four hours…therefore, I decree that from now on…!” Osun said out loud now. “…on this same day, I shall cause a storm to flood this village every year so that they be forever reminded of what pain they have caused me!”
“But Iya,” Adunni began. “The men who murdered Enitan and her human lover are five in number, how come you only asked for four? Does that mean that the fifth offender is immune to your wrath?” The rain was pouring hard on them but they were less-affected by it.
“No, Adunni, he’s not. I can’t see his face. A strong witch has hidden him from me. But they are not clever though, for I discovered that from his regalia, he’s royalty and I shall still seek my vengeance against him. Though what this witch does not know is that, I shall do it myself in person! Whoever this person is has a weakness, and I, Osun, will use that weakness against him!”
“Iya o.” Adunni and Labake chorused with bowed heads.
“Labake, Adunni, know that we shall bring up this child in our ways and also teach her all she needs to know and hopefully, she’ll not take the path her mother took. I’ll not tolerate any discrimination against her because she’s half-human. You shall love and respect her like you did her mother!” Osun said.
“So we’ll do, Iya!” They chorused.
“Adunni?” Osun called.
“Iya?” Adunni answered.
“Iya?” Labake answered.
“Take the body of Enitan and that of her lover’s and bury them side by side where no human will ever find them!”
“Your wish will be done, Iya.” They both chorused and hugging the baby to her chest, Osun sank back into the river without another word.
The Queen, Bukunmi, in her owl form soon reached the bank of the river. She was having a difficult time staying in the air because of the way the rain was mercilessly beating on her feathers and she struggled with the furious wind was trying so hard to blow her away. She heard familiar noises from the river and with her keen owl eyesight, she spotted an army of angry mermaids swimming very fast towards the village with a minor tsunami following behind them.
“It’s too late…” The Queen murmured to herself in despair. “It has already begun!” Turning around towards the village and flapping her heavy wings which were almost soaked with rain, she hurriedly but clumsily flew back to the palace, dodging a few lightnings from striking her down.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa