Palingenesis – Episode 10

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By Akpede Isaac Olutosin
He didn’t know if he should jump for joy or hide himself away. “How could all of them be here” he said to himself. He was yet to reach a decision about how to react to their arrival when Anne popped out of nowhere, she too was really surprised to see most of the people that came. She really didn’t know she was that important, she wasn’t even expecting upto 4 people but here she was welcoming 10 people which includes lecturers and students altogether. 
She rushed to welcome them with hugs, she was reluctant to hug Clarieta but she did it anyways. She pointed out Ben who was still sitting in the car to Isaac, Ben had been anticipating that so he had rested his back on the chair like he was still sleeping but he just opened his eyes a bit to be able to see what’s going on. She ushered the rest to where they will be staying throughout the ceremony period while Isaac walked to where Ben was. 
“Guy nawa to you oo, you just come this village kan dey form husband for Anne abi” Isaac said as he opened the door. 
“Guy you dey craze oo, why you no tell me say them Clarieta and Ejiro dey follow you come” Ben 
“Your left yiansh, your number wey I dey try since morning e no go” Isaac 
“Na true na true, network no too bam for this village like that. Chaii how I go do with Ejiro and Anne now” Ben asked 
“Wetin concern me, na me and you dey run their parole, abeg start car make you carry me round this village first “Isaac replied nonchalantly. 
Isaac got into the car and they drove round the village.
**(Unknown time)**
The news about Omolabake’s death spread around the village like wildfire. The whole village came together to give her a befitting burial, it was indeed a special burial for her because the whole village were present at her burial ground. 
Tunji and Ashake ‘re still not used to the fact that they are now alone in this world, all they have now is each other. Days and nights has passed ever since the death of Omolabake, they gradually adjusted to their old way of life, just that this time Tunji has to work harder in order to take care of his sister. Abeni stood by them also, she was indeed a rock for them, she brings them food from her house, she helps Ashake with her house chores. 
Once in a while, they get gifts from the elders and some villagers who were willing to help the two orphans. Life was no longer a bed of roses for them as it used to be but they have no option than to take it as it comes. 
**(Present day)**
They enjoyed the view of the village, it was really a tourist attraction for them. After they toured and toured round the village, they decided to head for the palmwine seller’s shop they saw around the corner when they were navigating the village. 
“Madam abeg give us palmwine” Isaac said calling unto the woman who obviously is the owner of the palmwine’s shop. The woman is a young woman who should be in her late thirties, fair in complexion and down to earth in stature if you know what I mean. 
The woman came to their table  and dropped a 5 litre bottle of palmwine infront of them.
“How much you dey sell this bottle oo” Ben asked 
“Ah ah una be strangers here” the woman asked out of surprise 
They both smiled
“Yeah we are strangers, we are here for Pa Daniel’s burial ” Isaac replied 
“Haaa una welcome oo, make I take the first bottle take welcome una but if you want another bottle, Na 200 naira” the woman said smiling flirtatiously, one would think she was trying to flirt with them. 
On a deeper look, she might actually be flirting with them because her antecedents reveals the kind of flirt she is. She has slept with practically most of her customers but that’s a story for another night. 
Isaac and Ben were gulping down their drinks one cup after another, they were almost done with the first bottle. They summoned the woman to bring another bottle and then they heard a voice behind. 
“Make it two bottles” said the voice.
They turned back to see who just spoke and they started laughing. 
“Class-rep sef wan shark palmwine oo” Isaac said after they have laughed for a long time. 
He came in with another dude who came along with them from school, they really didn’t know him that much but they knew for sure he’s a 400l student. 
“You guys know Seyyid na” Olutosin asked as they settled in a seat opposite Isaac and Ben. 
“We just know he is one of the baddest guy in 400l but we didn’t know his name” Isaac said and they all laughed again. 
They stretched hands to shake each other. The woman brought 2 bottles of 5 litre palmwine to their table .
“I dey sell peppered meat and pomo oo incase una dey feel the palmwine for body, make una use the pepper take Sama am commot for body” said the palmwine seller. 
“Madam I hope say your meat go sweet as your face take sweet sha” Seyyid asked with a romantic look. 
“Na you go judge that one oo” the woman replied blushing. 
The other customers in the shop obviously noticed the flirting going on between the woman and the stranger. One of them decided to flair up
“Mama elemu abeg kan give us another bottle joor, na person wey no old reach your first born na hin you dey laugh for like mumu” one of the guys drinking shouted.
“Wetin happen, na because of 1 litre wey u wan buy make you dey shout” she shouted back. 
The guys continued with their drinking and discussed about different topics ranging from politics to football and so on. They were now on their 4th bottles and were now getting tipsy. 
Suddenly there was a sullen silence in the shop, it took some minutes before Before Ben and Isaac could notice the cause of the silence because they were backing the entrance. Seyyid and Olutosin already noticed the strange figure at the door and were also silent already. 
When they realised it, they turned their heads and also saw the strange looking man at the door. 
He was wearing a white robe and holding something like a staff, his hair were all grey, he looks very old or maybe it’s just because of his shabby dressing and hairs all over his face. 
He stood affixed, his gaze Ben and Isaac was firm, one would think he wanted to kill them. The long silence was broken by the Palmwine seller’s voice 
“Chief priest have I done something wrong against the gods ” the woman said rushing to the door and kneeling on the floor infront of the priest. 
The chief priest didn’t look away from Isaac and Ben even with the woman talking in front of him. After what looked like forever, he spoke. 
“Welcome back to provenance ” the chief priest said. 
+++
“Welcome back to provenance ” the chief priest said. 
They were all stunned by what he just said. They didn’t know if he was referring to Ben or Isaac but certainly he was addressing one of them because he still kept his eyes on both of them.
“Greetings to you sir” Isaac managed to say after recovering from the shock. 
“I think you are making a mistake sir, we are just strangers here and we have never been here before” he continued. 
“The gods make no mistakes, in due time you will understand all that seem to be puzzled to you” the priest cuts in and immediately walked away. 
Few minutes after he had left, they were all still in shock, there was silence all over until Ben stood up. 
“Guys let’s leave this place right now” he said and beckoned on the palmwine seller to come get her money. They all got into the car and drove to where Miss Anne prepared for them to stay. 
++++
The ceremony had come and gone, it was indeed a very great one. Great politicians were there, top class musicians also graced the occasion. Different types of magazines came to cover the event, the students and lecturers were baffled about who Anne’s father really was but when they realised he was the renowned Chief Ola Daniels, they didn’t probe further. His name alone speaks a million words, he was the former Chief Judge of the federation, he was a very indeed a very influential man.
The highlight of the event was the part whereby some strange strange looking appeared in a very strange way and dressed in a very strange attire. They came to take the body of the deceased claiming he was one of them when he was alive and that his soul belongs to them. Everyone including the deceased family ran into hiding when the strange looking men arrived at the event. Just some few close friends of the deceased came out and engaged in a little argument with the strange looking people, the argument took a very long time but at the end it seemed they reached an agreement. 
The men performed some spiritual rites on corpse and then returned in the strange way in which they arrived. Everything had to be hastened up, the body was lowered and the event was over. The fear of what happened during the burial ceremony motivated the students and staff to decide on embarking on the journey back to school immediately after the event, they decided to take a night journey back to Abuja. 
Ben decided to follow them back to school because Anne had to partake in some family meeting and rites. She tried convincing him to wait so they could return together but Ben couldn’t wait to leave that village with all the strange things that happened. Ranging from the strange man who came to meet them at the palmwine’s shop to the strange men that came to the burial ceremony. 
It’s really weird to Ben and Isaac that throughout their stay in the village, Ejiro and Clarieta avoided them completely, they were both around the guys that came together with them from school all through. Ejiro was always flirting around Seyyid, one would actually believe they’re dating but Ben was sure she was just doing that to get back at him and make him jealous. 
It was barely an hour that they started the journey before the driver noticed something wasn’t right with the bus, he parked to check and found out that the rare tyres were both flat. If it was only one tyre they would have managed it to an open place that is much safer but two tyres is really not manageable so they had to change the tyres right in the middle of the thick forest. It was pretty much risky but it’s even more riskier to travel with two flat  tyres. 
The boys dropped down to assist the driver while the girls were standingby, gisting about what happened during the ceremony. They were still struggling with removing the first tyre when Clarieta dropped excused herself from the girls and approached where the guys were fixing the tyres.
“Isaac can you please walk me down a bit, I want to ease myself but am scared” she said 
He was surprised and baffled, how come she is asking him to follow her, why him, she has ignored him all through their stay, why didn’t she ask those guys she was mingling with all through. 
“Alright” Isaac said and followed her. 
He really didn’t know what was happening, he wanted to turn down her request but he couldn’t, he didn’t even know why he was following her, he wanted to turn back but he couldn’t. They kept on walking until the bus was out of sight, Clarieta pulled down her trousers and her panties respectively therefore revealing all there is to see, she moved closer to Isaac and then took his hand to her womanhood, he tried all his possible best to resist her but he couldn’t. The next minute they were kissing already, his hand in her puna, his trousers and boxers were down already. Just like magic, he was inside of her already, the deed has been done. Clarieta’s mission has been accomplished already. 
As soon as they were done, Isaac fainted. Clarieta was expecting that to happen already, she dressed up and then shouted for help. They heard her voice from where the bus was parked and immediately they all rushed to where the voice was coming from. 
“I was right there urinating when I heard him screaming, I don’t know what happened to him” she was shouting behind the guys that carried Isaac and rushed out to where the bus was parked. 
They laid him down just beside the bus, the guys scanned through his body to see if he was bitten by a snake or another animal. They couldn’t find anything, Ben checked his pulse and realised it was really weak. 
They didn’t know what to do, the screaming girls didn’t help them think straight, Clarieta was crying out so loudly, Ejiro was holding her back, there was so much noise around. It was already past midnight, the forest around them was so thick, if they wanted to run back to Anne’s house, it would take forever and if they were to finish up with changing the tyres, he might be dead by then. 
Ben knelt down beside him thinking of what and how he could save his best friend’s life. Suddenly the screaming increased, some of them ran into the bus, some ran into the bush. Ben turned around to see what was scaring them away, he was afraid when he saw someone in an all white attire, in the middle of a thick bush at this time of the night. He wanted to run but then he remembered he had seen the person before. 
“It’s the same man that came to meet us at the palmwine’s shop, the one that the palmwine seller addressed as the chief priest” he said barely audibly. 
 … To be continued
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