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SECRETS OF THE GODS
The shrieks and pleas of the little girl obviously didn’t mean a thing to the three young men. Though she was merely five years old, they were certain she fitted every specification the man had asked of them. They couldn’t wait to get to the ritualist, hand her over and begin to reap the reward of their evil work.
Clifford, the obvious leader of the three had been the brain and power behind the success of this mission. He was a determined young man who believed that life in general was evil and dubious, therefore he didn’t care when he also had to do evil and dubious things to survive. He lived life by the axiom, ‘take before you get taken’, or ‘do before you get done for’, so it didn’t bother him that he was evil.
Showing no sympathy for the child, he roughly dragged her along with him into the thick bush while the others followed behind energized by his dogmatism.
They believed in him, not because he was older than them but because of his trepid nature and determination. They were sure that without him, they were nothing. How could they have succeeded in kidnapping the child if he had not spearheaded the entire mission? Now, despite their young ages, they would be rich, all thanks to him. They just followed behind in fearful hope.
Soon they got to the mysterious looking shrine and the two men stopped. Clifford sensed their hesitance and looked behind.
“What?” he spat out fiercely.
“Nothing,” they responded. “Should we go inside with you?” asked the younger of the two timidly. He was just 18years old.
‘Not now…’ Clifford thought, mentally rolling his eyes. “What do you mean by that? Don’t tell me you are developing cold feet again? Do I have to start convincing you all over, once again?” he spat out disgustedly. “Well, that is your business,” he continued. “You can stand there and wait while I go in and ensure that she is used for the ritual. I hope you will also act like this when the money starts flowing.”
Without waiting another second, he dragged the crying girl into the shrine.
The two younger men looked at each other and reluctantly followed him.
The chief priest of the shrine was seated on the floor, directly facing a wall covered with a dirty looking piece of black cloth. Older than the earth, he looked up expectantly as they all walked in. His shrunken eyes were too small for his wrinkled face and his entire body was painted in Ibibio traditional materials.
“Take off her clothes and place her within this triangle.” The fetish old man said as he pointed at the floor close to him where some cowries had been arranged in a triangular shape.
Clifford quickly stripped the crying girl and forced her to stand in the triangle while the others looked on somberly.
The old man stared at her for what seemed like eternity to the three young men, and then he shook his head in disappointment.
“What is the problem, Great one?” Clifford asked, not pleased with the look on the wrinkled face.
“She won’t do,” echoed the croaky voice.
“Ehn?” gasped the second young man; he was just nineteen years old.
“I can go ahead with the ritual if you insist, but I assure you that you will never be any richer than you are now.”
“Why? What is wrong with her?” Clifford asked. He couldn’t believe his ears.
The old man remained in a thoughtful mood for some time and then spoke out, “She has very low spiritual energy. People like her rarely or never experience any spiritual phenomenon in their life time. That is, they almost never witness a ghost experience or get possessed by spirits. They spend their life time hearing about stories of other people’s spiritual experiences and only wonder what they are talking about.
If you use such a person for this kind of ritual… you will never attract any form of spiritual favor simply because of their low spiritual energy.”
“Oh God! Are saying that we have wasted our time abducting her? Why didn’t you warn us about getting such persons for the ritual?” the eighteen year old asked.
“Warning you would have been useless as you wouldn’t have been able to detect this energy with just ordinary eyes. You see, such lack of spiritual energy is mostly found among twins. When two people come into this world together, one of them usually takes up all the spiritual energy while the other is left with little or nothing. That is the only way they can operate as normal humans and complement each other. I can’t go deep into that for now” the old man lectured.
“Isn’t that a bit too late?” Clifford growled, wondering why the man thought they needed the lecture. “So what do we do with her?” he asked again, looking very disappointed.
“Take her back, she is useless to me. Just take her away from here; she could be a bad omen as her presence could neutralize my powers.”
Twenty minutes later, the three were already far away from the shrine and were now almost out of the bush with the girl. The disappointed three were too dumbfounded to speak; the only sound that echoed in the forest was the noisy cry the little girl made.
Clifford couldn’t believe that the whole mission had turned out fruitless. He had expected that by now the ritual would be successful and he would have been chilling and waiting for his mega cash just as he had been promised by the old man a few days before.
He hated his life; he hated poverty.
“When we get to the road, we will drop her and find our way, and then we must think of what next to do. One thing is for sure, I must make this money, by hook or by crook.” He said through clenched teeth and a firm determination.
At least there was still hope of making money just as long as Clifford was determined, the others thought.
They got to the road side, shoved the little girl away from them and disappeared into the bush opposite them while she continued to cry.
She was all alone, surrounded by nothing but silent bushes and was almost choking on her own tears. But for no reason at all, she continued to walk along the road, crying and screaming at intervals, “Mummy!!”
Then, suddenly, as if in answer to her cries, a sleek Honda Accord came cruising down the road. It ground to a halt beside her and a man stepped out, picked her up, got back into the car and drove off.