Tag Archives: occult

The Gift, Part 6. Short Story.

 

Uche Okpara drifted in and out of consciousness. Her mind went back to her former life, the life she lived before the Lord saved her. Was this punishment for her past sins, she wondered. It made her laugh when her team members called her a general of intercession. If only they knew to what depths of depravity she had descended before the Lord saved her they wouldn’t call her a general. She was more like a corporal or a recruit in the army of God. She never discussed her past because she wanted to forget it. But it seemed like it kept coming back to her. Everywhere she turned she saw a reminder of what she used to be, she saw the life the Lord saved her from. And she was eternally grateful to God for His mercies.

Uche worked at a fashion house as a designer during the day but at night she transformed herself into a woman of the night called Trinity. She got the name from watching the movie ‘Matrix’ and she liked it. Her favourite spot to pick up customers was at the bar beach in Lagos island. Selling her body was not the only thing she did. Uche organised criminals to raid the houses of her clients. When she was not selling sex or robbing her rich clients, Trinity sold drugs.

She had no remorse. Everything she did was a business transaction. A powerful politician asked her over to his home to render her services. When she was done, the man refused to pay her and told her to leave his house. The next day she dressed in the most revealing clothes she could find and waited for him at the lobby of his office. The staff walked past her casting curious glances at her. She ignored them all. When her client of the previous night arrived, he saw her and his face fell. He entered his office and asked his secretary to usher her into his office. As soon as the door was shut behind his secretary he jumped out of his swivel chair. ‘Trinity, have you gone crazy? What are you doing here dressed like this? This is my office. I have very important friends who come here to do business with me.’
‘I will come here every day until you pay me for my services. And if you don’t, I will visit your golf club. I am sure your friends would like to know who I am and what I do,’ she said.
The man wiped a drop of sweat from his forehead. ‘Are you threatening me?’ he asked.
‘What does it sound like?’ Trinity asked.
He pointed a finger at her. ‘Listen you worthless piece of…’
She slapped down his finger. ‘Shut up and pay me my money or I will go to the front of your office and start shouting,’ Trinity said.
The man rushed to a desk, brought out a wad of dollar notes and threw them at her. ‘Please, don’t come back here again,’ he pleaded.
Trinity counted the notes. ‘Thank you for the tip,’ she turned and walked out of his office.

She was a lost soul. Wickedness held her in its claws. The night she encountered Christ, a man walked up to her and gave her a tract. She wanted to throw it away but something made her stuff it in her bag. That night as her client slept beside her, she reached to take a pack of cigarettes from her bag and her fingers touched the tract. She brought it out and read it. As soon as she got to the end of the four page tract, the man lying beside her woke up, got out of bed and went out of the room.
He returned with two men and they wanted to rape her. One line in the tract came to her mind, ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ As she struggled with the men she had a conversation with God.
‘Lord, if you deliver me from these men, I will serve you for the rest of my life. I will stop selling my body for money and I will like a holy life.’ She had no idea what she meant by those words but she wanted God to help her in that situation.
Suddenly a phone rang. The man left Uche alone and answered the call. Uche crawled to one side of the bed and awaited her fate.
‘The boss wants to see us now,’ the man with the phone said.
‘Right now? It is 3am,’ another man said.
‘Yes. He said we should come to his house right now.’
One man took her clothes and threw them at her. ‘Get dressed and get out of my house.’ He regarded her with anger as she struggled into her clothes. ‘You must serve a powerful God because He just saved you tonight,’ he said with disgust.
The man didn’t know how right he was. God delivered Uche from their hands. As soon as she got back to her apartment she prayed and asked God to save her soul.

Seven years later she woke up from a trance like state to see deacon Soleye reaching for her with trembling hands like a child about to steal a piece of chicken from his mommy’s pot of soup. She shook her head to clear it but it seemed like she was drugged.
‘Please, don’t do this…please,’ she begged.
Soleye stepped back to savour his moment of victory over her. ‘Where is your God now? Where is he?’ he regarded her with disdain.
In her delirium, Uche wondered the same thing. Why did God allow her to fall into this trap? She should have known better than handle occult objects carelessly. She underestimated Soleye and his ability to hurt her. She should have called for assistance from her team members in the prayer group but her pride brought her to this horrible place. She prayed in her mind and asked the Lord for strength.
Soleye’s hands touched her body.
She screamed. Continue reading

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The Gift. Short Story, Part 5

 

Shade and Deacon Soleye struggled with the limp body of Uche up the stairs, entered a room and laid her on the floor. Soleye wiped some sweat off his face as he regarded the woman lying on the floor.
‘You did good,’ he said. ‘You followed my instructions to the letter.’
Shade nodded looking at Uche Okpara on the floor.
Soleye looked at his watch. ‘Now we must hurry,’ he said.
He went around the room making incantations, preparing his deity to receive the sacrifice he had brought for her. After a while he stopped and turned to her.
‘Shade, go and wait for me downstairs.’
Shade didn’t move from where she stood.
‘I said you should go downstairs and wait for me in the sitting room.’
Shade regarded her friend lying on the floor. She pointed at the limp figure of the intercessor. ‘What…what do you want to do to her?’ she asked.
Soleye gave her an angry stare. ‘That is none of your business. You are in no position to ask me questions.’
Shade was silent.
‘Do you remember what happened to you two nights ago?’ he asked.
Shade nodded.
‘If you don’t obey me, your boyfriend will not recognise you when he sees you.’
She covered her mouth in fear. ‘Please don’t hurt me.’ Fear shrouded her face.
Soleye pointed at the door. ‘Go now,’ he ordered.
Shade hurried out of the room.

Soleye regarded Uche’s helpless form on the floor like an abandoned baby left at the doorstep of an orphanage.
‘With all your boasting look at where your faith has brought you,’ he hissed in contempt. ‘Where is your God with whom you boast? Where is he?’ he asked. He stepped towards her and caressed her face, stroked her hair and ran his fingers down her neck. He grinned. ‘In a moment you will become my slave for the rest of your life. Nothing can stop me now,’ he said.
His demonic laughter bellowed through the house.

*****

Shade shivered with fear as she heard the insane laughter of Soleye bounce around the walls of the house. She sat down not knowing what to do. In her mind she had flashes of the prayer Uche had taught her to use against satanic bondage. She recalled a few lines but her lips could not pronounce the words that floated in her mind. She struggled and finally uttered some incoherent words.
What had come over her to help Soleye ensnare Uche with the necklace? Why had she listened to Soleye’s instructions? She felt disoriented and lost. As far as she could tell, Uche Okpara wasn’t the only prisoner in Soleye’s lair. She was also a prisoner. Continue reading

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The Gift, Part 4. Short Story.

 

‘Do you want to tell me where you were on Friday night?’ Kola asked.
Shade looked at her hands in silencel.
‘We can’t go on like this. If you are not willing to tell me where you were maybe you are not ready for this wedding.’
‘I don’t remember what happened,’ she said. ‘I spaced out and  remember waking up on my bed.’ This was not completely accurate, but she wasn’t going to tell Kola about Soleye until she had some solid evidence to show him. If she told Kola a part of the story he may take matters into his own hands. She loved Kola and she didn’t want to see him rot away in prison for attempted murder. She wished she could tell him what Soleye did to her and allow him beat the living daylights out of that evil man. But she didn’t have any proof. But today at the luncheon she hoped to get some proof.

Kola regarded her with concern. ‘This has never happened before. Do you think you should see a doctor?’
Shade nodded her head from side to side. ‘No. That won’t be necessary. It was probably some hormonal imbalance caused by my monthly flow.’
‘Are you sure about this?’ Kola asked.
‘Yes, I am. I didn’t want to alarm you yesterday that was why I didn’t tell you what happened.’ She reached out and touched his hand, looking into his eyes. ‘I know how much you love me and would do anything to protect me.’
‘I still think you should see a doctor,’ Kola insisted.

There was a knock on the window of the car. It was Uche Okpara. ‘Shade please come with me. The pastor wants to see you.’
‘I will see you at your place tomorrow after work,’ Shade leaned over, gave Kola a kiss and got out of the car. She and Uche walked towards the church were people gathered in small groups chatting after the church service.
‘What did you tell him?’ Uche asked.
‘I told him that I must have slept off at home.’
‘Do you think he believed you?’
‘With Kola you can never be sure what is going on in his mind. He keeps thinking about a matter long after it is over just to make sure he didn’t miss anything. Of all the people I met it was the one with the inquisitive mind that I decided to marry,’ Shade said.
‘God works in mysterious ways,’ Uche said. ‘This man is good for you. He will make sure you don’t get carried away by strange gifts of jewellery from strange men,’ Uche chastised her friend.
‘Speak of the devil,’Shade said looking beyond Uche.
‘Good morning, ladies. Are you ready for the love feast at my house?’
Uche turned around. It was deacon Soleye.
A frown creased Uche’s face like a white man eating bitter leaf soup for the first time.

********

Soleye brought out the blue bed sheets that the cult leader had given him. The leader assured him that these sheets were special. He had immersed them in charms for weeks. Soleye removed the old sheets and spread the blue one on the bed. His wife was returning from China on Tuesday afternoon. By then he should have completed his assignment.
The leader had promised him that the blue sheets would get the job done.
‘What will happen to the sacrifice?’ he asked.
‘You don’t have to bother yourself about that. Your business is to make sure the woman lies with you on the bed. The rest is mine to worry about,’ the man said.
He opened the first door of the wardrobe and it led to a secret room. Inside were various charms, amulets and effigies scattered around the room. He picked an amulet, wore it under his clothes. He muttered some incantations, opened the black pot on the floor and brought out a small tortoise tied with seven cowries and red pieces of cloth. He lifted the tortoise and looked at it to make sure it was still alive. The charm would be useless if the creature was not alive. He returned to the bedroom, lifted the bed and kept the tortoise under the mattress. He looked around the room with some satisfaction on his face. ‘Now to make sure I bring the sacrifice to the altar.’ He rubbed his hands together and left the room. Continue reading

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The Gift, Part 3. Short Story.

‘You have to let Kola know what is going on. You shouldn’t keep this to yourself. If he finds out on his own it may destroy your relationship.’
Shade regarded her friend for a moment. ‘You want me to tell my fiancé that I spent the night in the home of a cultist but nothing happened? Kola will never believe me. This is the end of my marriage plans,’ Shade sobbed.
Uche placed a hand on her shoulder. ‘I know this is hard for you but the best thing for you to do would be to come clean, be totally honest with him.’
Shade looked at her friend. ‘Honesty cannot work in this matter. If I tell Kola that I was in that man’s house, I cannot predict his reaction. He may drive down to his house and confront him.’
‘That wouldn’t be a bad idea,’ Uche said. ‘That short man should get his butt kicked for what he attempted last night. I can see him running away from Kola, totally scared out of his evil mind,’ Uche said.
Both women burst out laughing.
Shade wiped the tears from her eyes as she laughed. ‘Uche, you have such a dark sense of humour. I can imagine Kola using him as a punching bag.’
‘At least I made you laugh,’ Uche said.
‘I love Kola very much. I don’t want anything to come between us. He has not called me since he dropped me off at my place. I am afraid that this situation is irredeemable.’

Uche’s phone rang. She looked at the caller. It was pastor Cornelius Akanbi.
She covered the mouthpiece and whispered ‘pastor’ to Shade.
‘How are you doing?’ the pastor began.
‘I am fine sir. Thank God.’
‘All the group leaders in the church have been invited to a love feast at Deacon Soleye’s place tomorrow after the church service,’ her pastor said.
Uche had always suspected that her pastor was spiritually immature. Now he had succeeded in eliminating all remaining doubt from her mind. Inviting all the heads of department of the church to a luncheon at Soleye’s home was the height of spiritual irresponsibility. How could a man who called himself a pastor be so blind that he couldn’t see that the man organising the luncheon was the enemy of Christ? It bothered her deeply that a pastor who was supposed to watch over the sheep was sending them all to the slaughter in the house of their mortal enemy.
‘Uche, are you there?’ the pastor asked. Continue reading

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The Gift, Part 2, Short Story

Shade felt the warm rays of the sun caress her face and her eyes flickered open. She turned her head away from the sun and saw the picture of Kola her fiancé smiling at her. Next to that picture was the picture they took on a boat in Dubai with the Burj Khalifa in the background. She had fond memories of that weekend in Dubai. She tried to smile but was rewarded with a headache.

She sat up in bed and noticed that she was still wearing the clothes from yesterday. One thing she never did was wear her work clothes to bed. She got out of the clothes, rushed into the bathroom and took a shower. Minutes later she emerged from the bathroom, did her beauty routine and put on some new clothes.

She entered the kitchen and made herself a cup of mint tea. The heat of the brew helped to clear her head. The clock on the microwave oven read 9:23am. A frown creased her face as she looked at the time. She never slept this late on a Saturday. She was supposed to be at the gym at 7:00 am, but she had missed today’s session by two hours. She pushed aside the cup of tea as concern rose up in her mind. She remembered going to Uche’s apartment. She couldn’t remember leaving it or what happened afterwards. As hard as she tried she couldn’t remember where she had been last night.

Her phone beeped and rescued her from the agony of trying to figure out where the last eight hours of her life went. It was a text from Kola, her fiancé. He was on his way to her apartment and wanted to know if she was back from the gym. She evaded the question. Yes, she was in, she ended the conversation. He had requested for a key to her apartment but she had refused. They were not yet married and until then he had no right to barge into her apartment whenever he wanted. She needed her own space where she could think her own thoughts, process freely and do as she pleased. She felt some sadness as she looked around her apartment. She would miss this apartment when she moved into Kola’s house in Magodo after they returned from their honeymoon. She had so many fond memories, secrets locked in the walls of this house. After living here for seven years, the environment, the people, sights of Surulere had become a part of her life. She wished she could keep the apartment and return to it when she needed some alone time. But society wouldn’t allow her do that. It would be regarded as an act of rebellion for a young bride to retain her former apartment. Her mother would see it as resistance to marriage or the fear of moving into an uncertain future with her husband. She stood up and touched the leaves of the plant that grew in a pot by the window. She liked the scent of the flowers when they blossomed. There were other flowers pots on the balcony but this one was special. She even gave it a name. Cher. Its flamboyant colours reminded her of the ageless, iconic rock artist.

*******

‘Where were you last night?’ Kola asked her as he drove.
‘I was at Uche’s place then I came back home to sleep,’ Shade avoided his eyes.
Kola gave her a curious look. ‘I called your phone over ten times but it was switched off. When did you start turning off your phone? We had an agreement that our phones should always be on in case of an emergency.’
‘I must have forgotten,’ Shade said without conviction.
Suddenly Kola veered off the road and entered a gas station. He found a spot and parked the car. Shade looked at his face and feared for what was about to happen. This could very well be the end of her intended marriage to him.
Kola held the steering wheel tightly. Shade watched him.
He turned to her. ‘Shade, I am going to ask you one more time. Tell me the truth. I know you weren’t with Uche last night. I called her at 11:25pm. She said you had left her apartment and you said you were going to your mother’s place. I called your mother and she said you were not at her place.’ Kola paused and rubbed his palms together. Shade said nothing.
He continued. ‘I was tempted to call your pastor and let him know what was going on but it crossed my mind that if I brought him into the matter, there were questions I wouldn’t be able to answer. He could also tell us to call off our wedding. I didn’t want that to happen, so I didn’t call him. but if you don’t start talking to me, I will call your pastor and tell him what is going on.’
Tears came to Shade’s eyes as she listened to Kola. She saw the end of her relationship with him. She saw the wedding cancelled. She saw herself shamed out of the church. She saw herself mocked by fake and false friends who would rejoice about her break-up with Kola Owolabi. Her face would be splattered on social media platforms and people would call her mean names. Continue reading

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