I shall not speak much, the crazy goddess is with us.
Let us gather in one ritual spirit, keeping our thoughts in distance, as I, the TownCrier beat a spiritual ‘Konko-below’ tune in honour of her majesty. Our souls shall listen with a single ear as AfroSays:
We’d been sailing for ten days with neither food to warm our bellies nor wine to cheer our spirits. We had depleted the water skins two days ago and our throats were parched for many a soul had perished drinking these foul waters we were navigating.
Our redemption was not far off anymore for an island had suddenly appeared before our eyes in the early hours of the night. I encouraged the men to gently urge the battered vessel towards the new found land because although I realized that remdeption was at hand, it would be unwise to let the desperation I saw in their eyes prevail over good judgment. I reckoned that we would not last a minute in these dangerous waters if we lost the ship.
We sailed two more days and lost two more men to the dark sleep, but the island wasn’t getting any closer. I suspected some foul magic at work but hope for land was the only thing left to motivate the men. I could not steal that hope from them lest they burn the vessel for they believed that the foul spirit of the sea would not claim their souls if the fire messenger escorted them to the underworld. I believed different.
I took another look at Elewe, our diviner. He hadn’t said a word to anyone since our escape from the accursed clay country. Elewe had saved us all from the hellion, but he had bent a rule to do so; an action that the spiritual kind undertook and paid for with their lives. He hadn’t escaped himself, the sixth sorceress had discovered his treachery and cast a spell on him before her passing; it was a spell worse than death. She had cursed him with a vision of pain he would always see but can never tell. I saw him break down in bitter tears, experiencing terrible things our typic minds couldn’t fathom. He had only come back to us five days ago and he had been of no use to us since.
I took my place beside him, looking out to the dark waters, wondering why he had offered his life in exchange for ours, stealing peeks at my own inner demons, when he calmly made speech.
“The seventh sorceress has found us. She’s calling you”
Taking in what he said, I knew I was to be alone on this last part of the journey. My destiny was to face Abami-eji, the one with a dual consciousness, the chameleon. Elewe suddenly grabbed my shoulder and I began to see.
I turned around to see the most despicable sight. A effeminate, old pervert catered to by two most handsome, young boys amidst seven thousand others. The man was clothed in a kind of see-through, sequined, flowing red silk material that wasn’t covering much, as were his acolytes. The magnificence of his surroundings exuded the lusty, throaty call of Sodom. His stage was a twisted living puppetry of every unimaginable fetish. This was the seventh sorceress.
“Olu Aye, care to join me?”
If this was Abami-eji, I turned away from her covering my eyes in disgust. Elewe had once told me that it was common belief among the spirituals that one could not look directly at her but no one really knew why. Her prescence stripped one of all sense of decency. Even one inclined in such desires would lose such an inclination in this temple of perversions.
“You know, Olu I like you and I think you deserve a chance…. at immortality.”
“Kiss me Olu, let me take your age away, let me make you young again”
“I know your darkness, I see the sickness in your blood, let me fix you”
He kissed my neck. I cringed. I turned back to see the most beautiful woman. Her ample breasts were soft cushions on my body. Her hands were taking away my evil, my wrinkles, my cares. I could feel every detail of her curves on my body. She was working her magic and I was yielding. I closed my eyes, soaking in the enthralling seduction and my hands betrayed me. They quickly forgot my instructions and went wandering on their own. They had not wandered too far when they found strong evidence of manliness.
I freaked out, pushing her away from me.
I saw the shriveled, old degenerate losing himself in laughter. I was on the floor sobbing. Defeat was near.
“My Olu, my beautiful man. Why wouldn’t you accept my gift?”
His voice was like a beautiful layered sound of a dozen instances of pouring wine. Every part of my being felt an uncontrollable pull.
“You have chosen to duel, Mortal. Immortal”
He became her once again. I stole a look at her as she kept on speaking. She seemed quite unhappy to lose yet another potential man doll. She attempted a pout, pucking her colored lips in mock protest. She became him.
“You would have made a fine princess”
I shook my head, wishing the unwelcome thought away. His acolytes began to laugh, a riotous, animalistic melee.
“This is your challenge!”
His voice became a freakish scream, like a thousand swords scraping on the stone walls of a palace dungeon, like ten thousand demonic birds of prey crying in unison, bringing a vision of slayings and sacrifices, of horrors unimaginable; the sound of the end of the world.
“To seduce him!”
My world began to spin around me as I was transported through a time portal to a different, yet familiar existence. I saw the mountains where I had walked as a child and I had made my home as a man, I saw my wife, beautiful Omoniwa, I saw my young cubs, practicing battle with wooden swords.
My already failing spirit disintegrated as I saw myself become another man, irritatingly beautiful like one of the acolytes.
Abami-eji pointed into the whirring mix of visions and showed me my challenge, my prize, my love-interest. The one to be seduced, he was admiring his family from a distance, smiling with pride at his success as a husband, as a father, as a man.
I trembled in denial as I began to realize the sheer wickedness of this bewitchment. I tried to close my eyes as the one to be seduced turned around and I saw his face.
It was me.
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