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Interlude

I do not remember much, but I remember falling. I remember the feel of the cold winds chaffing against my skin as I descended from the sky unto the hard earth. I remember the war that drove us all to this dark path. I sat down there and waited to die. I wanted to die. How could I live with myself, knowing what I had done? The moon was shining bright that night, and it cast its warm glow on me. I felt distraught and angry and most of all, I felt sadness. This was never the life I wanted. All I wanted was to live happily and peacefully but Olodumare would not allow it. He cast me into this immortal coil, and now I am miserable.

I don’t know why I did it, but I used some of the powers I stole and waved my hand and let the heavens pour down a shower of rain. It was something I had done a thousand times before so I expected the harsh sound of thunder and the cackle of lightning. I expected the rhythmic sound of rain hitting the earth and erupting into smaller drops. What I did not expect, however, was him. A couple of people had looked into the alleyway I had fallen in and just looked away, but this boy, he showed something very uncommon in the human race. He showed kindness. He peered into the darkness and did not feel fear but affection. He was saying something to me, but I was not listening to him. I just looked at him, trying to observe what it was in this boy that allowed him not just to see me but also to show me the most profound kindness. But at least, he didn’t see through my façade, that was kept completely hidden from his view. I still hated changing forms, though. Sometimes I got too into character, I could feel it surging now, making me act how he would.

Maybe I could use this to my advantage. I looked in him, I observed his very being and I saw things. I knew then that Olodumare had planned this. Like mine, this boy would not have an easy path, but he could overcome. That was something I admired about this walking mounds of clay and air. They had this uncanny ability to move on from the darkest days possible. They could peer into the darkest, deepest void full of their own anger and hate and yet find the strength to look up into the brightness and warmth a new day could bring. They could hope, they could change, maybe there was more to these creatures.

The boy came to me and asked for my name. I told him. Surprisingly, he did not collapse or run away. Instead, he stayed and asked more questions. I told him. I told him everything he needed to know. While speaking to him, I could feel a stirring inside of me. My powers seemed to be awakening. The boy may not have noticed, but the rain poured down with a strange sense of purpose, and the thunder boomed louder in this skies. I was feeling my old strength return. Was the boy aware of the kind of sorcery he had at his fingertips? One that could affect a being such as me, just by mere proximity? Olodumare must have sent this boy. What was he?

The boy reached out to me and when he did, I knew then what I had been thrown into and I gasped silently, this boy had a rough road ahead of him. When he touched me, He probably did not know this but our life forces connected. He could not only see my life but I could see him. I saw his father and his mother, I saw what truly transpired that cold night. I saw that Olodumare had been playing a long game, a very long one. I saw the boy’s bro-.

Our connection broke off unexpectedly and I felt his shock. This was probably his first time. Seeing what I had seen, I knew then that he had not been sent into my path but that I had been sent into his. I knew I had to help him on his tumultuous journey. I gave him directions to someone that could help him and gave him my sacred tools. I was still weak at the time, so the stone would show him the truth. But it will not show him the whole truth. I wanted to tell him, but I could feel the Ogbanje closing in. There was no time. I urged him to reach for me again and this time we established a better connection and in that one moment, I understood Odion.

He was a young man who had faced pain and strife at a very young age. He was strong, though. I felt great strength in him. He also had faith in people, an honorable quality. But he lacked trust in himself and his own abilities. This would later lead him to his downfall. One that I would personally bring about. 

I felt my grip on reality slip. I felt myself leave this plane on to the Other Side. I left a piece of my essence in Odion to guide him, until he was able to guide himself. I felt death’s grip on me. It felt like a cold embrace, for which I had long been waiting.

And I would wait for it for an even longer time.

My plan had just begun, and this boy was the key to it all.

And then, the great god ‘Sango’ was no more.

 

***********

#TFOG is a weekly series published every Monday. Catch up on the entire series by clicking on the links below:

Introduction

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

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About the Author:

Anthony Azekwoh is a seventeen year old Nigerian who graduated from Whitesands Secondary School and is now in Covenant University. He started writing at the age of thirteen and since then some of his work has been published online and in his secondary school’s annual publication in which he won the first prize for both fiction and poetry. He won the ACT Joint Award in 2017 for his story, ‘The Fall of the Gods’, which is now nearing completion. He is currently writing a series based on the stories and folktales from various Nigerian tribes and spends his spare time painting and reading.

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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