A STORY WRITTEN BY BRIGHT DANIEL
Tranquility took over between Lana and Daria. One could see Daria very surprise like never before as she stared into the space. But she suddenly looked at Lana and asked, “How did Red know me?”
“I don’t know” Lana replied. “He saw both of us together, remember?” she added.
“This is weird” Daria concluded.
THE NEXT DAY
Of course Mr Joseph returned to the king and told him how his daughter ended up with Ebube.
Just after that, the elders gathered once again at the palace murmuring as usual. As the noise lingered, the king came in and all greeted standing up.
“Where is Eze muo, the chief priest?” the king asked. Before the elders answered him, the chief priest entered dancing and shouting in a language nobody could understand. He had no cloth on, but tied a red fabric on his waist. A staff with a red fabric at the cross sectional area could be seen in his hand too. So he stopped and said, “Your highness, king Lucas Ikedi the third! You summoned me”
“Yes, i did” the king began. “Are you not aware of what has befallen our land? The sacrileges and battle caused by Red or is he Blue, whatever he calls himself!”
“Battle of the unseen and unknown is for the gods not a physical battle!!” the chief priest exclaimed gazing at the ceiling.
“Eze muo, we know that, that’s why we summoned you to make some of our youths immortal as Red so that they will be able to kill him or capture him” elder Ben said calmly, then the chief priest danced around again.
“Red means danger, which is to say Red is dangerous” he said in loud voice.
The statement got all the elders confused even the king.
“What do you mean, Eze muo?” the king asked.
“I mean exactly what i said. Though i will do what you request for but i assure you, it won’t be a solution to kill Red but to capture or drive him away from this land probably”
“Probably?” the king repeated.
“Yes, it’s on probation because red means danger and Red is dangerous”
A gradual soliloquy arose among the elders while the king remained speechless.
“Ehm.. Eze muo” one of the elders began then everywhere became calm. “You, what do you suggest that will kill this Red?”
“Gbam!” some elders chorused.
“Exactly!” two others added then the chief priest smiled broadly and frowned his face again with his eyes widely opened.
“Nothing can kill him!” he exclaimed.
“Heey!” the elders shouted.
“He can only be killed when his power is weakened!” the chief priest added.
“When and what can weaken his power?” the king asked.
“Hmm.. Only when he violet the rules given to him by the source of his power” the chief priest picked up his staff. “Send seven men to me tomorrow for the immortality rituals to begin” he danced out.
On the road, Daria and Lana were seen walking simultaneously. Both were on gown and plait hair in a local fashion.
“You hardly talk about Austine these days” Lana broke the silence.
“Please, i don’t want to talk about it” Daria frowned.
“What’s going on?”
“Men are wicked”
Hearing that, Lana stopped then stared at Daria. “Why saying that?”
“Austine broke up with me after the day i caught him kissing Prisca” Daria replied.
“My God! I saw that coming”
“I did all i could just to keep the relationship because loved him. Now i know better that men cannot be pleased. They are all heartless”
“Please, don’t say that..”
“I’ve made up my mind not to fall for any man again” Daria interrupted and continued going. Just then, prisca came from the opposite direction looking classic in a jean trouser. She wanted to pick up a friendly conversation with them but Daria greeted her and passed.
“Daria, are we quarrelling?” Prisca asked.
“You are quarrelling with nobody, boyfriend snatcher” Lana replied her.
“Now i see what your problem is, both of you. Jealousy! Is it because Austine finds me more beautiful than Daria? Nonsense!”
“And who said you are more beautiful? Better go and find out the reason why Austine had to kiss an ugly bitch like you” Lana concluded and hurried up to Daria.
On that very day in the evening, Roland and Henry met Daria walking alone on the road. They were not smoking but dressed ruggedly. One could see their trousers sagged properly and hair looking scattered. On their legs were big shoes.
“Good evening” Daria threw the greeting in the air then passed them in a hurry.
“Daria, let me talk to you” Roland stopped her.
“Sorry, i don’t want to talk to u” Daria continued while Roland followed her and eventually held her by the hand.
“Why are you resisting me? I love you. I want both of us to rapo”
“I’m not interested and i don’t love you. I have told you that severally. Get your hands off me!” Daria disengaged her hand and hurried up again.
Roland walked back to Henry angrily and said, “This girl is proving stubborn and must show her that I’m more stubborn” he brought out a cigarette, light it up and began to smoke. Meanwhile, Henry was already smoking. He’s the quiet type but deadly.
THE NEXT DAY
Seven men were chosen and sent to the chief priest. The news circled around the land of Obioha and people like Odem never stopped talking and lamenting on how dangerous the mission is. He had a bottle under his armpit staggering out of Mama wine’s shop.
“When the day will come, i will run away because the mission our king has embarked on with our seven youths is a dangerous one. That day will be like where a rock jam another rock, and when that happens, of course it will spark and create fire. By then i must have relocated to another land without leaving my palm wine behind.” Odem kept lamenting to nobody.
Tension took over the land because nobody knew what would be the result of the seven men and Red when they finally clash together.
Daria remained quiet in front of their compound also thinking about the same think. She wore a black skirt and a pale blue top. At a distance were bleating goats but Daria paid no attention to them as she sat on the corridor. She could see her dream becoming a reality. “They will finally kill Red” she began to think. “I know my people will burn such a person alive if they capture him. Why am i even so concern about this?” she concluded trying to forget about it but couldn’t. Suddenly, her mother came out seeing her lost in thought, so she stared at her for a moment. “Daria!” she called.
“Yes, mother” Daria looked up at her.
“What are you busy thinking about at this your age that you couldn’t even notice my presence?”
“No, i disagree” the mother sat beside her. “What troubles you?”
“My dreams trouble me” Daria replied as an afterthought.
“Dreams? You seem to dream a lot these days”
“No, mother. It’s about the nightmare i had the other day” the mother listened and stared at her to continue. “Mother, Red was the nightmare. I saw him being thrown into a fire”
“Is that all?” the mother asked. “It’s a good dream not a nightmare” she added.
“Mother, i cried for them not to kill him” Daria added looking at her mother in the eyes.
“Chim oh!” the mother exclaimed. “You cried. Why? Somebody like Red should be thrown into something more than a fire”
“No, Mother, i felt he was an innocent man in that dream and that feelings is still tormenting me till now” Daria began to shed tears to her mother’s surprise. She continued, “Initially, i dreamt when he was shedding tears..”
“Daria!” the mother interrupted her. “What are you trying to say? And why are you crying?”
“I don’t know, mother” Daria began to dry her tears instantly. As the mother stared at her in amazement, she stood up and walked into her room.
“What is wrong with this girl?” Mrs Alfred asked spreading her hands in the air.
On the other hand, Ebube had no idea of what the people of Obioha had planned for him. He stood in front of a mirror staring at his image without his mask. In few seconds, he wore the mask and a helmet, carried his sword, took the paper written LUCAS IKEDI and walked to his bike. He jumped on it heroically. “Croom Crooom” he sped off.
Night gradually began to take over. The people of Obioha remained calm as they waited for the arrival of the seven youth which excluded, Henry and Roland. These two waited patiently by a lonely road smoking seriously.
“Guy, are you sure this girl will come out today?” Henry asked.
“Yes, she passes here each day to see her friend, Lana” Roland replied. Just then, they sighted Daria coming and hid themselves. Immediately she drew closer, they bounced on her in a way she fell on the floor screaming and flinging her legs vigorously. At the same time, Ebube was returning to his house. Hearing his motorcycle, the two boys carried Daria into the bush without being aware that Ebube had sighted them already from afar.
However, Roland kept running into the heart of the bush with Daria on his shoulder and Henry behind him. He threw her on the ground in a way her skirt raised up. One could her black pant and Roland on top of her trying to find his way into her vagina. Even Henry was getting ready for his turn. Just then, Ebube arrived, grabbed Henry on the neck and threw him away. He also grabbed Roland up, gave him a slap and threw him off. Nobody told them to run as fast as their legs can carry them. Then Ebube looked at Daria who was still on the floor and said, “Are you okay?” Daria nodded her head positively as she stood up in a hurry then Ebube turned to leave.
“Thank you?” Daria said, so Ebube stopped without turning back and continue walking. “Who are you?” Daria asked then he stopped again.
“Red” Ebube replied still turning his back on her.
“I mean your real name” Daria said then Ebube began to walk again. “I know you’re a good person!” she added and he stopped for the forth time.
“You know nothing about me. Go home” Ebube concluded and briskly walked out.
Daria saw the paper written LUCAS IKEDI on her way out from the bush then she picked it up..
Before Daria came out from the bush, Ebube had already left. She glanced at the paper once again, folded it and took on her heels. Grasses flung on her legs continuously as she kept running straight to their house. But she suddenly stopped, thought for a while and took another road that led to the new resident of Ebube.
On the other hand, Ebube just entered his house in a hurry and gently placed his sword on the center table then collapsed on the couch. One could see his chest moving up and down caused by an external respiration. Suddenly, he heard footsteps outside then grabbed his sword swiftly. He gradually moved towards the window where he open and saw Daria at the gate. So he hurried outside angrily and stood at ease with the sword well positioned in his hand. When Daria saw him, she adjusted backward.
“What are you doing here?!” Ebube shouted but Daria didn’t say anything rather began to move forward. “Not a step forward!” Ebube commanded before she stopped.
“I guess this is yours” Daria showed him the paper.
Seeing that, Ebube put back his sword on it’s shelf and moved forward heroically. His shoes were big as that of soldiers and his muscles as that of wrestlers. Without fear, Daria stood firmly waiting for him until he finally came closer to her. Ebube stretched his hand for her to hand over the paper to him and she handed it to him quietly. After collecting it, he turned walking back into the house but suddenly stopped and said, “Leave”
“Why do you need that name?” Daria approached forward.
“I said leave” Ebube repeated.
“You are hurt inside” Daria kept moving forward.
“Don’t come close to me. I said leave me alone!!” Ebube shouted and brought out his sword then Daria ran away.
With the same anger inside the house, Ebube began to break anything he saw in the sittingroom. “Nooo!” he shouted in a loud voice at the center of the sittingroom with his face up and hands stretched upward too. He gradually brought them down again breathing heavily, then tears began to drop from his eyes through the mask.
Meanwhile, at the king’s palace, his son who lives abroad had been calling to come back home but the father kept given him one excuse or the other. Just before king Lucas sat on his throne, a guard brought his phone saying, “Your highness, the prince is on the line”
The king took the phone and said, “Hello, son”
“Father, i have made up my mind to come back tomorrow. I’m tired of these funny excuses!”
“Son, you have to listen to me, this kingdom is not yet stable for you”
“Why?” the king kept quiet. “You see, you have no reason. Father, what’s going on?!”
“Just do as I’ve sa.. hello.. son?” the line had gone dead already then the king exhaled deeply.
“My king” the wife walked in, in an expensive gown and a crown on her head. “What troubles you?”
“Our son has insisted on coming back tomorrow” the king replied.
“You should have told him to come back in the next three days since the seven men will come back in two days time to drive Red out from that house”
“He wouldn’t listen”
The queen exhaled deeply too. “What are we going to do now?”
“Nothing” the king concluded.
Darkness had totally took over the atmosphere when Daria reached home. She refused to disclose to anyone even her parents what she passed through that evening. She only wondered why Ebube had their king’s name with him. “There must be a reason for that. I guess he needs help and i must help him” she concluded in thought and slept of.
THE NEXT DAY
Only a day remained for the seven men to return as expected by the people of Obioha. One could see Odem carrying a big bag on his head and a bottle of wine still under his armpit. When Lana who was heading to Daria’s saw him, she smiled and said, “The Wine, where are you going to?”
“If you have the eyes of palm wine, you will see and know where I’m going to and why I’m going there” Odem replied staggering at a spot.
“I know you are running away because of the battle between Red and the seven men tomorrow”
“Now you are talking like a normal person like me” Odem began. “Better followed me otherwise, when rock will jam rock.. don’t say i didn’t tell you”
“You can go, let me get my bag too” Lana walked out smiling.
“I’m waiting for you oh! Anyways, if the battle starts now, we will be on Red’s side because i don’t want to die young and leave palm wine behind” Odem concluded.
Before Lana got to Daria’s house, Daria had secretly left to Ebube’s. When Roland and Henry saw her hurrying up on the road, they ran away then Daria wondered why. She didn’t even care to know why until she got to the resident of Ebube. She slowed down at the gate and adjusted her skirt up with a hand. She quietly entered and stood at the door leading to the sittingroom. Her fear increased, as well as her heartbeat. One could see her hand shaking as she raised it up and knocked at the door..
Hearing the knock at the door, Ebube picked up his sword and began to walk down the staircase. Daria could hear his footsteps from outside coming like a giant. So she adjusted backward in fear. Before her very eyes, the door cracked open and Ebube’s scaring mask is what she saw first and shouted, “My God!”
Even Ebube was surprise to see her again.
“Good evening.. Red?” Daria greeted him. Though, she couldn’t see his face but knew he was staring her. Without saying a word, Ebube closed the door. “Please, talk to me, your life is in danger!” Daria shouted bitterly knocking at the door continuously. “I know who bears that name!” she added.
Hearing that, Ebube opened the door again forcefully and dragged Daria into the room, flung her on the bed then bounced on her in a way he held her throat positioning the sword to cut her.
“What do you know about the name? Speak!”
“You are hurting me” Daria couldn’t talk because she was losing her breath. She held Ebube’s hand trying to disengaged it from her throat but couldn’t.
“Who has the name? Speak!” Ebube shouted again.
“O.. ou.. our.. ki.. king” Daria stammered with her last breath then Ebube released her instantly. She began to caugh holding her throat and shedding tears. Ebube locked her inside the room and rushed out to his motorcycle. “Croom Croomm” he sped off to the palace.
On the other hand, Victor, the king’s son and also the prince just returned from abroad. Elder Thomas, Ben, the king and the queen stood outside to welcome him as he just came out from a car. Maids could be seen taking his luggage inside the house.
“Father!” the prince hugged his father. He was quite handsomen especially in his outfit: a red suit over a red jean trouser and white shoes which matched with the colour of his cap and pair of eyeglasses. All were happy to see him but before the gateman could close the gate, Ebube drove in. He jumped down from his bike moving towards the king angrily.
“Father, who is he?” victor asked but nobody gave him an answer. Meanwhile, the two elders had ran inside the house. Victor wanted to block Ebube but he cut him deep on the leg and kicked him aside. He grabbed the king out, threw him on the ground too and placed one of his legs on his big stomach
“Leave my husband alone!” the queen cried coming closer to Ebube.
“Back off woman!” he shouted at her then looked at the king. “What do you know about chief Desmond Obinna?” he asked.
“I don’t know what you are talking about” the king replied.
“Lair! What of the one you killed in cold blood in Ihe kingdom right inside his bedroo..?” a gunshot interrupted Ebube-Victor shot him with a gun he hid under his suit. Ebube left the king walking to Victor who kept shooting at him until Ebube took the gun from him and slapped him in a way he fell on the floor again.
“Your father killed my only hope! He murdered him!!” Ebube shouted and turned back to the king. He pointed the gun at him to shoot but king Lucas shouted, “Please, don’t kill me! Yes, i killed Desmond. I was paid to do that because we were too close. I believe you are his son, Ebube the one that escaped from prison. Please, i beg you, don’t kill me”
“What?!” the queen shouted.
Everybody became surprise and speechless at the same time. Elder Thomas and Ben were no different from the maids who watched everything that was happening through the window.
“Who sent you?” Ebube asked.
“I need his exact name and location”
“His name is Linto Innocent lives in your kingdom too. He’s also the reason why you were sent to prison” King Lucas clarified then Ebube put two bullets in his stomach. Blood splashed and he died instantly. Without wasting time, Ebube climbed his motorcycle, “Croom Croom” he sped off to Ihe kingdom, his own kingdom.
The queen could be seen crying beside her dead husband and the elders coming out like ghosts.
“Aru emeh!” elder Ben exclaimed holding his staff with two hands and looking upward.
“This is unbelievable!” elder Thomas added.
On the other hand, Daria had fully regained herself looking for a way to get out but she couldn’t. She pushed, screamed and hit the door hardly but nobody heard her. When she got tired, she sat on the bed breathing heavily.
The resident of Linto Innocent in Ihe kingdom was a storey building painted with white paint. It had a low fence with electrified wire round it. At every angle of the building were soldiers guiding it every twenty-four hours. Before they knew it, Ebube arrive and began to walk towards the gate.
“Stop right there!” one of them commanded as all positioned their guns to shoot him but he kept moving angrily. “Fire!” they began to shoot him. The more they shot, the faster Ebube walked. He totally ignored them until he reached the gate and found it locked. He looked at the nearest soldier and said, “Open the gate” When the soldier hesitated, he brought out his sword..
The soldiers at the resident of Linto were strong enough to give Ebube hard time. The one Ebube requested the key of the gate from refused to give it to him thereby resulting to a fight. Yet, the soldiers inside the compound kept shooting at him carefully not to kill their own member. A time came when the use of guns became useless and all began to fight him bone to bone and with other weapons. Though, they hit him very hard but Ebube killed some and rendered some cripple. He met the one incharge of the key, collected it and opened the gate. He began to move heroically to face the other soldiers inside the compound who began to shoot him again.
Meanwhile, Linto had been watching the battle from upstairs through a window. He had an average height and a dark complexion. Seeing strange Ebube, he called more soldiers and other militants. He had his wife and children with him in the uppermost room. All shivered in fear when they heard someone banging the door seriously. The children began to cry.
“Take the children inside!” Linto ordered his wife. Before the wife could carry out the order, the door broke open and Ebube entered in his hugeness and scary mask. The sword never departed from his hand.
The children and Linto’s wife shouted and laid flat on the floor without being told while Linto himself stood still.
“You..” Ebube pointed his sword at him. “You had my father killed, why?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t even know who you are” Linto said then Ebube took off his mask slowly.
“You set me up and had me put in jail for a crime i did not commit” Ebube gradually began to move forward. “As if that was not enough, you killed my father and set our house on fire”
Linto gradually went on his knees stretching his hand piteously. “Please..”
“Shut up!” Ebube interrupted him with a loud voice that increased the cry of the children. “You made me suffer in jail for something i didn’t do!! I risk my life because of you!! I did horrible and incredible things because of you!! I have wasted lives because of you! Tell me, what did my family do to you?” he began to shed tears.
“Please, it’s politics. Your father was my opponent and i knew he would have won the Senate election with his kindness. That’s why i had to send for his execution through his friend Lucas Ikedi” Linto confessed.
“So you killed an innocent man because of his kindness in the name of politics? You’re wicked” Ebube wore his mask again.
“Please, forgive me” Linto pleaded but found his legs leaving the ground when Ebube carried him up with a hand and cut his stomach open. Blood splashed. As if that was not enough, he put him on his shoulder, looked through the window to see militants and their vehicles outside waiting for him. Without fear, he moved towards the door, glanced at the wife and children after a slide turn then walked downstairs.
In front of the house, inside the compound, Ebube dropped Linto on the ground at the very sight of all the soldiers both dead and alive then picked a gun.
“Drop all your weapons now!!” a soldier’s voice sounded from a mega-phone as all positioned their guns waiting for a command.
Ebube ignored them. He looked at Linto who was dying gradually and shot him several bullet on his head. It piecesed.
“Fire!” the voice came from the mega-phone again and gunshots was heard at different angle. All directed to Ebube who slowly dropped the gun and began to walk towards the gate heroically. He totally ignored them, jumped on his motorcycle, “Croom croom” he sped off and they pursued him.
Back to the land of Obioha, people shouted for the death of their king in amazement. However, the news circled that king Lucas was a bad person.
“No wonder he was the reachest king that ever reigned in this land?” one of the elders had said. “Abomination!” he had added.
Due to the critical news and unstable nature of the land, everybody remained indoors but Daria was nowhere to be found. Mr Alfred, the father ran back home with a walking stick. “Elizabeth! Mama Daria oh!” he called his wife.
“My husband, did you see Daria?” the wife came out.
“I’ve searched all the in and out of this land but couldn’t her!”
“Chim oh! What has come over that girl?”
“You’re asking me? I must make sure i kill both her and anything that has come over her!” the father concluded angrily and went inside the house.
At the same hour, Ebube’s motorcycle and the militants’ vehicles were heard as all ran into the land. Yet, they kept shooting at him until he reached his house and locked the door. Daria’s heart skipped when she heard both the sound of gunshots and the door, so she stood up.
Few seconds later, Ebube entered the room then Daria rushed to the wall fearfully.
“Red?” she called.
Ebube stared at her for a moment, threw his sword on the floor and slowly sat on the edge of the bed breathing heavily. Then Daria left the wall and stood before him..
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