Janet shook Emmanuel violently amid her screams. Emmanuel woke with a startle, blinking his eyes repeatedly. It took about thirty seconds before the horror before him sunk in. The bed was soaked in blood and two human-like shadows were in a corner of their bedroom holding stuffs he could not decipher. All he knew was that whatever things they were holding were dropping blood to the floor. Without a thought, he jumped out of bed, grabbed Janet and headed for the door. On their way to the door, they were yelling the name of Jesus and pleading his blood. They were too scared to observe what happened when they began to use that name. The two shadows seemed to plunge into some sort of confusion. Twice they rammed into each other as though they were trying to find an exit route in each other. It was as though they didn’t want to hang around anymore and gloat over what they had done to Janet. The excitement on their faces was replaced with the look of dread. Their attempt to escape from the bedroom was successful on the third try. Seeming to step into the wall, they vanished from the bedroom.
Janet and Emmanuel were at the door when Emmanuel turned and noticed that the two devils had vanished, taking with them whatever it was they had in their hands. “Baby! Baby! They are gone! The devils are gone! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Lord!” Emmanuel shouted, his eyes darting about the room.
Janet was not in the mood to say a word. She was sure she knew what those devils had removed from her body, they were her womb and some intestinal organs. She was busy running her fingers all over her body. Things were gone from her body that much she knew. Much to her shock, though she could feel she had been cut open by the devils they saw in their room, there was no cut on her body. It was very strange to her; she could not understand it. Though she could feel the cut of devils’ blades, yet there was not an injury on her body. “Where is the blood from then? I saw them cut me open in my dream. Where is this much blood from? Lord what is this?” she mumbled to herself.
Emmanuel was on the floor praying out his heart. Through the years when people began to die mysteriously in his family, it was his devotion to God which saw him through. Sadly, since things got better and life became less stressful, his faith had waned and he turned his attention to other things. With what he had seen that night, he had no choice than to pray. “Baby stop!!!” Janet yelled. Emmanuel was shocked by the sound of her voice. “I know what those devils left with…” she paused. As if a light bulb had been turned on in his head, Emmanuel sprang to his feet from where he was kneeling, and began to feel his body. The first place he touched was his male organ; from that point, he moved his hands to feel other parts of his body. He was happy to have only blood stains on him.
“What did they leave with?” he asked after he was satisfied with checking himself for any possible missing parts. “My womb,” Janet said with hot tears streaming from her eyes. Emmanuel took quick steps toward her and hugged her in spite of the blood stains all over her. “Don’t say such a thing, how could they take your womb? Is there any cut on your body?” Emmanuel cautioned her, pulled away a bit, and began to feel her blood-stained body for any knife cuts.
Fighting hard to keep a rein on her emotions, Janet began to narrate her nightmare to him, “I saw those devils enter our bedroom in my dream but I could not run from them. They did something to me and immobilized me. I wanted to scream, but could not. I tried to fight them, but I could not. With those knives you saw in their hands, they cut me open and removed my womb…” she paused, breathing heavily. Then she busted into tears.
Emmanuel hugged her yet again and tried his best to calm her. That was hard to do, Janet was terrified beyond words. Amid her cry, she began to explain what those devils said to her hearing, “Baby, the devils said some things while they were removing my womb.” “What did they say?” Emmanuel asked breathlessly, giving away his fear. “One of them said to the other, ‘let us see how she will give birth to that sacrifice’. When he had said that, the other one began to laugh hysterically and mockingly said, ‘when the wait for the sacrifice she gave them becomes endless, they will turn against her and she will run back to us. When that happens, we will demand the most precious things and not just Emmanuel’s male organ’. Baby I heard these words clearly. I still hear them in my head,” Janet concluded.
Emmanuel let go of her. “I don’t understand. Who is the ‘she’ they were talking about?” he asked with a wary look on his face. He was beginning to think again that Janet was a member of a secret cult. “I don’t know who that is; but whoever she is, from what the devils said, she is offering our body parts and even unborn children to devils,” Janet replied. Emmanuel was so focused on who the ‘she’ might be that he lost the meaning of what the devils had said to each other. It took Janet’s words for the meaning to home. As if a light bulb had turned on in his head, he asked with a scream, “Wait! Does that mean my male organ failed because someone offered it to those devils?” “That is what it means, baby.” “Jesus! This is not happening. This can’t be true… Baby is there a chance you are the one they are talking about? Are you the ‘she’? Are you somehow jinxed? Do you belong to some evil cult which I don’t know about?” Emmanuel asked, his face contorted by the anger in his heart.
Janet could not believe her ears. She stared at Emmanuel unbelievably, her mouth hanging very low in shock. “What did you just ask me?” she managed to ask, her words laced with venomous anger. “You heard me right! I demand to know the truth right now! Are you the one they were talking about!!!” Emmanuel barked maniacally, sounding clearly beside himself with anger. Janet had had enough, she took two quick steps and stood shoulder to shoulder before Emmanuel and yelled back, “Go ask your mother who said your father died in vain!!! Go ask your father who said he was killed and that whoever killed him is after me!!!” Her words were so loud that they seemed to push Emmanuel backward a bit. Emmanuel was poised for a fight with Janet when he noticed a figure walk into the bathroom. In anger he went after it, leaving Janet terrified by the way he moved.
When he yanked the door of the bathroom open, he yelled, “Daddy show yourself! Stop hiding in corners!” Then his eyes rested on the words written with blood on the mirror. In utter shock, he whispered, “Baby, you have to see this.” Picking her steps fearfully toward Emmanuel who stood by the door of the bathroom, she asked, “What is it?” “You have to see it.” She was too afraid, so she hid behind Emmanuel and peeked into the bathroom. The words on the mirror read, “Emmanuel stop fighting in vain and go in search of him who killed me. When you find that person, you will have found who is after you and your wife.” When Janet read the words, she sighed loudly and walked away. “Perhaps I wrote that on the mirror also to fool you! You know what Emmanuel, you are disgusting!” she shouted and began to cry again. Emmanuel could not take his eyes off the words on the mirror.
“Who is this person?” Emmanuel asked a little audibly. Just like when Janet visited her father in-law’s grave, a wind blew by and Emmanuel heard a voice saying, “Look back at your dreams after my death. Visit Jeffery’s grave.” Emmanuel held his ears and winced in pain. Though the words were gentle, yet they burnt his ears. “Baby, my father just spoke to me. He has told me what to do!” “Go to hell! Don’t you ever talk to me again! I am witch! I am the person who took your male strength, cut your wife open to remove her womb and offered your unborn children to the devil. Don’t you ever forget that! I am not your baby Emmanuel! I am a witch!” Janet yelled at him, crying. In that instance, Emmanuel knew his marriage had taken a major hit. He had hurt his wife beyond words could describe. Sadly, he had no idea how to mend the broken fence. He stood helplessly looking at Janet as she cried her heart out on the floor where she sat.
“God, what do I do now, I have hurt my wife?” he prayed. Janet sprang to her feet, surprising him. She grabbed her finger and forcefully pulled out her wedding ring and stoned it at Emmanuel. The ring hit Emmanuel on the forehead and bounced off. “I am done with you! I cannot continue to live with a man who thinks I am a witch every time something goes wrong in our marriage. I hate you! Emmanuel I hate you!!!” Janet screamed. She ran into the bathroom and locked the door from behind. Emmanuel picked up the ring and went to the door to plead with her to forgive him. “Baby, I am very sorry. I wish I could take back those words I said. Please forgive me.” “I have told you already, Emmanuel, I am not your baby! I am leaving your house today. Once I come out of this bathroom, I will pack my things and leave you!” Emmanuel ran to the bedroom door, locked it and hid the key. Janet had been deeply hurt, from the way she spoke, he knew she would leave him that day.
Mrs. Asibong was sound asleep on her bed. The time was 2:15 am. Then her phone rang. It was the priest whom she gave the lives of Janet and her unborn child. With an angry sigh she reached for her phone. “Hello priest, why call me at this odd hour? Is everything okay?” she asked. “All is not well! You have to get down to our shrine this minute!” said the priest, loudly. “What is wrong priest?! How do you expect me to drive out by this time all alone?” “Mrs. Asibong, you have no choice than to do that. All the lives in your family depend on it. I have called your friend, Ibinabo, she is on her way to your house with some people. You have to get down here immediately!” “Okay priest, I will come over to the shrine now that I know Ibinabo is on her way to my house with some people. Please can you let me in on what is wrong? Please I beg of you.” “Mrs. Asibong, there is trouble. Your fellowship has offered a counter sacrifice to undo the sacrifice you offered to us.”
“My fellowship? I thought you had silenced them once and for all. How is this possible?” Mrs. Eme Asibong asked, feeling like fish out of water. “I hate to admit to you that we underestimated them. Have you spoken to your son and his wife?” “No, I have not.” “Please get in touch with them. It is highly important that you do so right now,” said the priest as he hung up the phone.
Mrs. Asibong was beside herself with worry and anxiety. “What has my fellowship done? Where is all this headed to now?” she said out loud to herself. Her hands were shaking as she tried to call Emmanuel. As if on cue, Emmanuel’s call crashed in, “Hello mom!” “Hello Emmanuel.” “Mommy! We have been under attack for the past few hours! The worst part is that Janet wants to leave me!” Emmanuel blurted out breathlessly. “Calm down Emmanuel! I want to hear about the attack, what actually happened?” she asked. “Mom, as I speak right now, our bed and much of our bedroom are covered with blood…” “Blood! Oh God! From where?” she interjected. “Janet woke me up from sleep with a loud scream only for me to see two spirits in our bedroom and our bed covered with blood. The spirits had in their hands Janet’s womb and some intestinal organs. My wife is not going to be able to give birth to any child ever again! Mom please help! Please help me!” Emmanuel cried.
Mrs. Asibong felt her tongue cleave to her upper palate. She could hardly utter a word. Thoughts of all sorts were going through her mind at that point. What have I done? Mrs. Asibong thought to herself “Mom!!! Are you there?” Emmanuel’s loud query woke her from her thoughts. “I am here Emmanuel. You know what? Make sure Janet does not leave your house! I am going to look for help right away. Did you hear me?” “Yes ma,” Emmanuel replied with hope. “Good. Keep her in your house and make sure she does not leave you.” Before Emmanuel could get the chance to tell her what his father had told him, she dropped the call.
A loud car horn blared from outside the compound and she knew Ibinabo and her team had arrived. Just then her phone began to ring. It was Ibinabo. “Hello IB (short for Ibinabo),” said Mrs. Asibong. “Are you ready to leave with us? The priest told me he was going to call you. You should be ready be now,” Ibinabo inquired urgently. “I am afraid am not yet ready. I spoke with my son, he said they were attacked this morning. The worst has happened IB…” “Get a hold of yourself and get out of your house! We are here to find the solution to your problem,” interjected Ibinabo. There was no time to dress herself very well. All Mrs. Asibong could do was find a wrapper and tied it around her nightgown. She reached for her handbag and phone and dashed out of her bedroom.
On her way out, she found a pair of leather slip-on and slipped her feet in on them. Outside, she yelled, “Musa!!!” The gate man busted out of his gatehouse with his arrow and bow, ready to shoot any intruder. Mrs. Asibong held her hands up in fear and screamed, “Please don’t shoot Musa! I am the one! It is your madam!” “Kei! I for kill am for you now! Where is the thief, madam? ” asked Musa in pidgin English. “There is no thief around Musa. Open the gate I need to go somewhere right now.” “Madam! You want to go somewhere by this time? Ah! It is not good time to go out. Thieves, spirits, they go out by this time.
This time not good for going out ,” Musa cautioned. “Thanks Musa for your concern, however, I must go out now. My son is in trouble, I have to go help him and his wife. Open the gate please.”
“Eme!!! What on earth are you discussing with that gate man? Come out let’s go!” Ibinabo shouted from outside the gate. Musa ran to the gate and then realized he had left the key inside the gatehouse. He ran back into the house, found the key and dashed out. As he unlocked the gate, he narrated a short dream he had to his boss. “ Madam, trouble is find you. I saw it in my dream. Oga come with plenty dead people. I see you mad. You commot your clothe run enter market …” He paused to push the gate wide open. Mrs. Asibong stood transfixed. She could not lift a limb nor bat an eyelid. Outside the gate were Ibinabo and some men. “Common lets go,” Ibinabo encouraged her.
“You have to hear this IB… Musa who did you say you saw in your dream?” Ibinabo ran into the compound, obviously to drag Mrs. Asibong away. “I saw Oga, your husband,” replied Musa. His words struck both Ibinabo and Mrs. Asibong with awe. “Who told you that the person you saw was my husband? I only hired you a couple of months ago. My husband died fourteen years ago!” Musa smiled proudly and squirmed his shoulders with self-assurance. “Your husband is Mr. Asibong. Is he not?” Musa asked. “He is. How did you come to know him?” “What could this mean?” Ibinabo asked in fear. “He came to me in my dream. He told me he is coming…” He paused and drew nearer to the two women. With a whisper he continued, “I know he is angry about something, but I know how to stop him. I am a good melicine (medicine) man.” Mrs. Asibong and Ibinabo looked at each other in disbelief.
“Musa when I get back we will discuss this, okay,” said Mrs. Asibong. Grabbing Ibinabo’s hand, they ran into the car waiting for them outside. On the drive to see the priest, Mrs. Asibong wondered aloud about what Musa told them. “How is it that the chains are on his grave and yet he still moves about causing me troubles?” “Eme, you have to get rid of that your gate man. It is just like he said, he is a medicine man. I fear he may have been looking into your life. I am afraid he was the one who reached out to your dead husband’s spirit. You will be shocked by the level of voodoo these Hausa gate men have,” said Ibinabo. “I swear I will kill that gate man if he is the one reaching out to my dead husband’s spirit.” “I said do it! He is the one! My mirror just confirmed it,” Ibinabo claimed. Without delay, Mrs. Asibong placed a call to Jumbo, her professional assassin. “Jumbo, go to my house right now and remove my gate man from the face of this earth. He has crossed his boundary. Make sure his body is never found.” “Okay madam,’ replied a sleepy Jumbo.
Still fuming, Janet stepped out of the bathroom and quickly began to pack her personal effects. Emmanuel did not try to stop her. He had locked the door and wanted her to wear out her anger by packing her load. His silence and gaze had Janet worried. She had expected him to plead with her and try to stop her from packing, but he did not. In-between packing her load, she would stop and look at Emmanuel worriedly. Emmanuel took notice of those looks and pretended he did not. They gave him so much hope. At least she still cares , he thought. To confuse Janet a bit more, he stood up and went into the bathroom and had his bath. It was a hurried bath. When he came out, he had a bucket of soapy water and a rag. After removing the blood stained bedsheet, he began to clean the blood on the floor.
Janet still could not figure out what he was up to. She was aware that Emmanuel had called someone while she was in the bathroom. However, she had no clue who the person was or what they discussed. She felt the outcome of the call was the reason Emmanuel stopped pleading with her not to leave him. Why would he be crying and pleading with me while I was in the bathroom and suddenly stop after the call he made , she thought. To find out what was on his mind, Janet started a shouting match. “I guess you had made up your mind to end the relationship as well, right? Your silence says it all! I should have known it was a big mistake getting married to you,” she said, hoping Emmanuel would reveal what was on his mind.
The Priest, the Shrine
With a run, Mrs. Asibong, Ibinabo and her team ran into the priest’s house. Walking hastily like generals during a war, they made their way into the lavish shrine. On seeing Mrs. Asibong, the priest announced, “Your fellowship has struck us hard! They have removed Janet’s womb so that your sacrifice to us will never be born!” Mrs. Asibong felt giddy, and somehow managed to steady herself. She pondered the words of the priest and asked, “But you told me you people are powerful enough to protect me and my family. How did you let this happen? I slept with that boy inside and gave you millions! How about that?! You took my blood; and all you could do with that was let this happen!”
“Don’t you ever call the powerful one a boy again!” yelled the priest. “Wait, priest. Do you mean that both your cult and her fellowship are at war over Janet’s life?” Ibinabo asked with her jaw hanging wide open. The priest nodded a ‘yes’ dejectedly.
“So what is the way out now?” Mrs. Asibong asked. “We need more sacrifices. The ones you offered earlier are virtually nonexistent. Maybe we should not have accepted future sacrifices from you. With those sacrifices on our altar, things would have been different by now,” explained the priest. “You accepted what I offered; I even slept with your young lord, how come all that suddenly count for nothing? How about the money I gave?!” Mrs. Asibong fumed. “We need blood madam! With blood we will do a lot for you right now!” said the priest. “I have no more blood to offer you! Your words count for nothing! You boasted that you and your shrine specialize in war, how is it that right now my fellowship has left you looking like a puppet shrine?” “You just don’t understand Mrs. Asibong. Your fellowship took this current case to a higher ground. They offered five young virgin young people to an altar higher than ours. The spirits who took your daughter in-law’s womb rank above us. As it is, there is very little we can do. Give us blood and we will turn this situation to your favour.” “This can’t be happening! I can’t believe what you just said…” said Mrs. Asibong. She turned to her friend Ibinabo and asked, “Why in God’s world did you bring me to such a place Ibinabo?”
“Frankly, Eme I am as shocked as you are,” Ibinabo said helplessly. “There will always be something you can do, Mrs. Asibong,” the priest said to encourage her. “I can offer you nothing! I have lost my faith in you and your shrine! Maybe you want me to offer you my life…” She paused. “Okay, take Janet’s life! Since her womb is gone, she is no longer useful to my son or to anyone.” “Yes! I think in this situation that is a good offer, priest,” concurred Ibinabo. “The spirits who took her womb left with much more than that. As we speak, some intestinal parts from Janet are lying on an altar somewhere in Haiti. We cannot take her as a sacrifice anymore. A higher altar has received her. Don’t forget you had given her to us earlier. Even if your current offer was valid, we already have her life. You have to give us another life,” the priest explained further.
Mrs. Asibong turned around, gestured at Ibinabo and said, “Let’s get out of here! There is nothing here for me. I will go plead my case with the fellowship.” “The fellowship will not hear you Mrs. Asibong. I think you should know that the sacrifice you offered to us caused them great pain. If you leave here without offering any human blood, you will be taking a great risk. Your fellowship will be happy to eat you alive. Believe me, without our protection no one is safe in your family,” warned the priest. “Thanks a lot, priest. Right now I will prefer to handle this situation by myself.”
Without delay, Mrs. Asibong and Ibinabo got into the vehicle which had driven them to the shrine and they headed back to her house. “What are you going to do now? From what has been done to Janet we can see that your fellowship is out for blood,” Ibinabo inquired. “Let’s hope Jumbo has not killed my gate man…” she was saying. “Your gate man?!” Ibinabo interjected. “Yes, he claimed to know what to do. I will prefer to leave my destiny in his hands than your lousy priest and boy lord.” Mrs. Asibong dialed Jumbo’s phone number and waited impatiently for him to pick. “Please pick up. Pick up Jumbo,” she said to herself.
“I have not made up my mind to leave you. I love you with all my heart and I do not regret getting married to you. I am very sorry for the things I said to you. Please forgive me.” Janet was surprised his openness about being wrong. She had expected him to dig his heels in and ignore her. She was going to say something when she felt something crawling down her right thigh. She touched it and it felt watery. When she brought her hand to her face to see what it was, what she saw was blood. Fear seized her heart. “Baby look,” she said, raising her hand for Emmanuel to see. “Oh no! Not again! Where is that from?” Emmanuel asked moving closer to her. “My thigh. I think is from my private part.” “You are not menstruating. How could you be bleeding now?” “Aaah!” Janet screamed clutching her tummy. She had felt a sharp painful movement in her stomach.
Emmanuel grabbed her in his hands as she tottered on her feet, seeming to crash to the floor. “What is it baby?” Emmanuel asked, almost crying. “Something is moving around painfully in my stomach!” she cried out. Emmanuel lowered her to the floor and reached for his phone. He placed a call to his friend Samson. ‘Sammy please drive over to my house now! Janet is dying! Something is moving about in her stomach! Please help me!” “Emmanuel take her to a hospital and call for a pastor to pray for her! I will meet you at the hospital. Something horribly wrong is going on in your family. The spiritualist you spoke to yesterday about your problems is dead!” Samson said, sounding really scared. “What did you just say?” Emmanuel asked, shaking from head to toes. “You heard me right! The man is dead. His servant told me the spiritualist claimed to have found out who is after you and your wife. After making that claim, he was attacked, according to his servant, by a snake right in his spiritual house,” Samson explained.
“Help me baby!!!” Janet cried out from the floor where she lay. Her cry jolted Emmanuel. He dropped the call and ran to her. “Help me please, baby,” Janet pleaded. Her bleeding had increased and so was the pain she felt. Her face had begun to look pale. Emmanuel sprang to his feet, picked her nightgown and got her dressed in it. Lifting her, Emanuel bolted out of the house, heading for his car which was parked outside.
Mrs. Asibong and Her Gate Man
“What do you mean by you cannot find him?!” Mrs. Asibong shouted at Jumbo. “Madam, we have been here for over one hour and yet there has been no sign of your gate man,” said Jumbo. “You have killed him! Just tell me the truth! You have killed him!” Mrs. Asibong continued to shout. “Calm down and hear him out Eme,” Ibinabo pleaded. “I won’t, he is lying to me! Tell me Jumbo, why were you not picking my calls? I called you several times, did I not?” asked Mrs. Asibong. “Madam, you are not listening to yourself. Do you actually hear the things you are saying? How could you wake me from my sweet sleep, order me to kill your gate man and I would still be here after killing him. Have we spoken since you gave me that instruction? Why on earth would I lie to you then?”
“ Taawai!!! ” Mrs. Asibong slapped Jumbo. “Don’t you ever talk to me that way again!” shouted Mrs. Asibong. Jumbo robbed his hand on his face, laughing. “Madam, Jumbo has told you the truth, we have not killed your gate man. Only God knows where he went to. We have not seen him since we arrived here. Maybe he has a Fulani girlfriend he went to visit seeing you had left home,” said Sadiq, one of Jumbo’s two colleagues. “Sadiq, look around. Does this highbrow, exclusive estate look to you like Oshodi? How on earth would a poor Fulani girl find her way into this place?” “Eme, I told you earlier that your gate man is a wizard. I won’t be surprise if he is hanging in the air listening to all we have said. How did you even find such a man to hire him as your gate man?” Ibinabo asked. “Madam, you don come back? You no waste time o! ” Everyone turned in shock to the direction the voice came from. It was Musa, he had his bow and arrow loaded and ready to shoot. “Where have you been Musa?” Mrs. Asibong asked angrily. “I have been here listening to you.
When I tell you say I can catch any thief you think say I dey lie, ba ?” Musa asked derisively. Jumbo and his two colleagues reached for their guns but dropped them suddenly to the ground, because their guns had become too hot to touch with bare hands. Musa guffawed at them. Much to himself than to them he said, “ My juju no get part two.”
He approached them menacingly with his bow and arrow strained on them. Backing away, Mrs. Asibong began to plead with him. “Musa, please don’t shoot me! Don’t shoot anybody, please! I need your help! You said you can help me, abi ? Now I need your help. Your dream is true. You saw right, I am in trouble please help me Musa!”
Emmanuel was fortunate for Janet to still have some life left in her by the time he arrived at the hospital. God was so gracious to him that there were two doctors present at that time of the night. He pulled up his car in front of the hospital reception, jumped out, and picked up Janet and ran into the hospital screaming, at the top of his voice, “Help! Somebody help! My wife is dying!” Nurses circled him with a stretcher, had him put Janet on it and they wheeled her away. It was quite an eventful night at the hospital. Emmanuel had cried so much that every medical staff present that night, had to lend their help some way or the other to save Janet.
At the theater where Janet was wheeled into, doctors and nurses battled in futility to stop Janet from bleeding to death. One of the doctors had to leave the theater to interview Emmanuel to find out what actually led to her bleeding. “I don’t know what your religious creed is, but my wife’s condition is as a result of demonic attacks. We woke up from sleep a few hours ago with our bedsheet and floor covered with blood. Some demonic entities harvested some of my wife’s internal organs and left with them,” Emmanuel explained to the doctor.
“If it is as you said, then there is nothing medical science can do for her. I wish you had told us this earlier. Only prayer can save your wife now. Let me see what we can do,” the female doctor said and ran back into the theater. Emmanuel bolted out of the hospital with no clue where he was going. When he reached his car, he turned right back into the hospital and went outside again. He was clearly beside himself. “God save my wife! I am helpless right now! No one can save Janet at the moment except you!” he cried out. He reached for his phone and began to dial the phone numbers of as many pastors as he could remember. Most of the numbers were off. Backed up against the wall and with no help in sight, Emmanuel dialed his mother, Mrs. Asibong and informed her of the situation of things. When he dropped the call, he dropped to knees and began to pour out his heart to God in prayers.
The sky above gleamed with lightning and light showers began to cascade down to the earth. Emmanuel did not move, he remained on his knees making his request known to God. A few nurses had tears in their eyes watching him pray in the rain.
Back in the theater, the female doctor who happened to be a devout Christian had rallied a few people to pray for Janet. Standing around the operating table on which Janet lay, they began to pray for her. While they prayed, their number swelled. All who had seen Emmanuel distraught and praying desperately in the rain made their way to the theater to join the prayers. Those who could not, bent their heads and offered up prayers to God. On the operating table on which Janet lay, she seemed lifeless with a pool of blood oozing from between her legs.
Mrs. Asibong’s House
Mrs. Asibong had managed to talk down Musa and struck a deal with him to help her. Of course Musa haggled hard until he got her to part with lots of money before he agreed to offer his help. “Your froblem (problem) is much. Many doors are ofen (open) in your life. Your fellowship knows this and they are using it very well to keep you busy while they launch attacks to kill your daughter in-law whose life and that of her unborn child you offered to stop them. I know you killed your husband and three of your children. This will be very difficult. Your fellowship has turned their spirits against you. You must be prepared for anything,” Musa said to Mrs. Asibong, holding nothing back. Jumbo signaled to his colleagues and they quietly let themselves out of Mrs. Asibong’s compound. They had heard too much for one night. Jumbo knew Mrs. Asibong was a bad woman but did not know her wickedness went as high as what Musa revealed about her.
Working frenziedly, Musa offered Mrs. Asibong some mixtures to drink and gave her some to spread around her house. With his voodoo, he conjured smoke around the house. From afar, one would have thought that the house was on fire. For the first time in years, Mrs. Asibong saw her husband and three children whose lives she offered to her fellowship. They stood in the smoke Musa conjured, looking mean and menacing. Musa displayed his mastery at what he was doing that night by placing chains on Mrs. Asibong’s husband and her three children. With that done, Musa announced, “We have kept your husband and three children quiet, at least till morning. Now what do you want me to do with your daughter in-law? Should I put hern out of her pains by killing her or should I save her?” “No, how can you kill her? I want her alive! If her being alive is a problem to my fellowship, then I want her alive by all means!” Mrs. Asibong yelled. “Okay, I will need her ficture (picture) and that of Emmanuel too,” Musa said. Mrs. Asibong beckoned to Ibinabo to accompany her into her house. She was clearly rattled with fear. Though her husband and children had been chained, she was still afraid of them. On the other hand, she could not tell what her fellowship might send against her.
Mrs. Asibong and Ibinabo had hardly stepped away from the litany of charms Musa spread out on the ground, when a mighty thunder struck Musa and his charms and left nothing behind. Mrs. Asibong and her friend stood petrified. They could not lift a limb. Her last hope of defense had been obliterated by a single strike of thunder. As the reality of what had happened dawned on her, she and her friend began to back away into her house slowly. Just like he and his voodoo trappings vanished, Musa reappeared with all the charms he had on the ground. There was a bloody gash on his head. “There is no time left! Go and get me the
fictures (pictures) I asked for!” Musa barked. Mrs. Asibong bolted off and in a jiffy reappeared with the pictures of Janet and Emmanuel. When they returned, there was already an aluminum basin filled with water on the ground. “Throw the fictures (pictures) into the basin!” Musa instructed.
Mrs. Asibong threw the pictures into the basin and in that instance, a resplendent wave of light belched from the basin and almost left all of them blind. “Eeh! Fower (power)! Sufer (super)
fower!” Musa screamed and made a dash toward the gate. That was the last Mrs. Asibong saw of him. Seeing their last hope was gone, Ibinabo bolted away. Mrs. Asibong made to follow her but slumped to the ground. While she lay alone on the floor. Crying for help, her husband and three children whose lives she offered to her fellowship circled around her with the chains on their hands gone.
Emmanuel was still on his knees, praying in the rain when he thought he saw someone like an angelic being. He seemed to tell him, “Rise to your feet, it is over!” His very words seemed to lift him to his feet. Emmanuel ran into the hospital with an unexplainable ring of joy in his heart. When he drew closer to the door of the theater, he heard joyous shout coming from inside the theater. He ran inside and saw Janet sitting up on the operating table, fine and okay. All the people around her, who had been praying for her were in an ecstatic mood. Emmanuel ran to Janet and hugged her. “Our God is awesome! He sent his angel and delivered you from the jaws of death!” Emmanuel shouted as they embraced each other. “Oh! Did you see the angel too?” Janet asked. “Yes, I did, he spoke to me. He told me it is all over,” replied Emmanuel. “He woke me from death and gave me back all the organs those demons took,” Janet said. She jumped off the operating table, prostrated on the floor and began to confess her sins.
Emmanuel joined her, praying, “God, an unserious man like me cried out to you in my trouble and you heard me! I will serve you till I die!” All those present joined them on the floor and began to give God thanks.
The Next Day, Mrs. Asibong’s House
Emmanuel and Janet had been summoned to his mother’s house by one of her neighbours. Emmanuel and Janet were still in a celebration mood about 9:00 am the next morning when he got a call to come over to his mother’s house urgently. The caller had refused to tell him why it was very urgent for him to come immediately. He and Janet had to dress up and left as quickly as they could.
When they arrived at his mother’s house there was quite a crowd present. Emmanuel was struck dumb when he saw his mother, Mrs. Asibong, on the ground, mired with blood and reeking with a pungent stench of decay. Next to her were four putrefied human skulls. Shocked and confused, Emmanuel asked, “What is going on here? What happened to my mother?” Just then Arit, Emmanuel’s sister arrived with her husband and children. “We think it will be best to ask your mother what happened to her,” said one of the neighbours present. “Mommy! Mommy!! What happened to my mother?!” Arit cried. She ran toward her mother, but she raised her hand and shooed her off. “We heard your mother crying out for help this morning and we came in and saw this. Please ask her to tell you what she already has told us,” said the neighbour who had called Emmanuel and Arit.
“I am not the mother you have thought me to be all this while. Emmanuel, I am the one who took your male strength. I offered it to my fellowship. Of course, my so called fellowship is a secret cult,” Mrs. Asibong began. Emmanuel looked from Janet to his sister Arit. He was speechless. “I did much more evil than that. I am the one who killed your father, two brothers and sister. These are their heads. I have been cursed to dwell with their decaying body parts till I die.” Janet opened her mouth to ask her a question, but she raised her hand and stopped her. “You are wondering about the ribbon, right?” she asked Janet. “Yes, I just thought about it now!” Janet shouted. “I made sure your thoughts never went in that direction. It was the ribbon. I used it to take away Emmanuel’s male strength. I fooled you with the story I told you about men in our family. It was all a lie… You are one tough lady. You should not be alive now… I offered you and one of your unborn children to another cult to keep my fellowship from destroying me. Sadly, things went wrong for me after that. It was my fellowship who took your womb and some organs to nullify the sacrifice I offered against them…” she paused.
Emmanuel could not take what he had heard. He sat on the bare ground and held his chin in his hands while tears flowed freely from his eyes. All the dreams he had in the past and those his brothers had, began to make sense to him. Arit dropped two hands on her head and stood frozen. Janet was numb, she could feel nothing. To her, all she had heard seemed like a dream.
“I do not ask any of you to forgive me. I committed much evil. I don’t deserve forgiveness. However, this one thing I will ask of you. Please don’t ever leave that God who delivered you from my hands and from the hands of the evil cults I brought into this family.” With that said, Mrs. Asibong laid her head back on the ground. Till the day she died, she never spoke another word to any person. Arit and Emmanuel abandoned her on the very spot they met her and never came back a single day to check on her. The stench from her decaying body became so much that her neighbours had to arrange and moved her to a forest at the outskirts of the city. It was there that she took her last breath.
WHAT A MOTHER-IN-LAW!
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