A Novel Written By: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
“Sister!” Morakinyo’s voice rang out from the opposite direction; he had sighted the visitor in front of his house. He had only left the house about ten minutes ago to see the King who sent for him. Normally, Morakinyo and his wife are not used to locking the door except when they‘ll be away for long. No one would dare enter the Pastor’s house to steal or play some pranks.
Akinlolu had jumped off the bench and ran towards Morakinyo even before his mother heard the voice. His sharp eyes had caught Morakinyo afar off.
“Ha ! Morakinyo, the village Pastor!” Mrs. Durotoye shouted as Morakinyo drew close and prostrated. Morakinyo does that always whenever he sees Mrs. Durotoye. A thirteen-year age gap existed between them. So, Morakinyo gives her sister the maximal cultural respect. She embraced him and held him close for almost thirty seconds. She had not seen her brother for a whole year.
Streams of tears flowed down her eyes as she remembered the sweet memories they had shared together when they were young and when Morakinyo stayed with her at Ibadan during his undergraduate and postgraduate days. A very emotional woman, she finds it easy to shed tears easily. She had cried like that, the day before Morakinyo departed for the village.
“Sister this is a pleasant surprise, we were not expecting you, and you did not send a message”
“Well I didn’t have the luxury of time to plan ahead” She said as Morakinyo led her and Akinlolu into the house.
“I had planned to come next month but had to change that arrangement as my Boss insisted I have to be with her on an official trip to Indonesia, so I decided to proceed on my annual leave this month” She explained. “Pele, is all well?” She said patting his back lovingly.
“Please have your seat, let me get you something to cool down; my wife has gone to the next village. One of our Churches there is having her Women’s Week. She’ll be there for two days. It’s unfortunate you came when she’s not around”
“Wife?” Mrs. Durotoye said pretending she has not heard about the marriage “Morakinyo! You‘re married? How, when, where and to whom…?” The questions came thundering one after the other.
Mrs. Durotoye was boiling with anger. That her only sibling got married without informing her was nothing but an abomination as far as she was concerned. The thirst had suddenly disappeared as the anger she had kept ever since the news of Morakinyo’s secret wedding filtered to the Church in Ibadan finally burst.
All the while she had hoped that the news was only a rumour or the figment of someone’s imagination, but now that Morakinyo had opened his mouth to say ‘my wife has gone to the next village’ then, certainly the news was not only true but officially confirmed.
“Sister, am very sorry…. the issue is a long story. I must confess, I did not deliberately refused to get you informed, it’s just that it came at a time when we could not afford the time to come for the marriage in Ibadan”
As Morakinyo spoke, Mrs Durotoye eyed him angrily. She felt like slapping him. ‘Very busy indeed’ She said to herself.
“Moreover, we did not want it to be a noisy affair, that was why we decided to do everything here in the village… I’m sorry Ma” He bent to prostrate.
“Sorry for what!” Mrs Durotoye’s voice thundered. She has an unusually loud voice, even when she thinks she is whispering, a third person about ten metres away would hear whatever she was saying without straining the ear.
“This is the most stupid decision you have ever taken in your life! How dare you do that? You have only insulted me, you got married and I your only Sister was not informed, yet I never traveled out of the country. Even if I traveled abroad, I would expect that you’ll wait for me to return before fixing a date. It shows how much importance you attach to me in your life…Thank you” She concluded with a rather emotional voice.
“I’m sorry Sister, I really did not mean to insult you, it was just unavoidable. We’ll still come home for a proper wedding ceremony. We’re planning that for the New Year….please don’t be annoyed with us” Morakinyo pleaded.
“Annoyance? Why should I or anyone be annoyed? The deed is done?” She said sarcastically. Morakinyo knew he was in for a show down from his Sister, he stood up and prostrated, stretching himself fully on the bare floor.
“Sister, please, I’m sorry I mean it” Morakinyo was sincerely apologetic now. For the first time since he married, it suddenly dawned on him that he had done a foolish thing by getting married without informing his closest relatives and the church that sent him on the missionary work.
He wondered what led him into that decision. He tried to remember his convictions then but none seen to come back to memory. It was as if a scale of blindness was removed from his eyes and he felt guilty. Mrs. Durotoye sat there staring at him unsure of what to say…. all of a sudden, she burst into tears.
The following day, Mrs. Durotoye was ready to return to Ibadan. The early morning lorry would depart Onigba-Iwofa at six-thirty in the morning. Whoever misses the first trip would have to wait for the second and final trip around 12noon. It was most uncomfortable for her to leave by six in the morning, but she was not willing to stay any longer with Morakinyo. She was still battling to find a place in her heart to forgive her only brother.
“So Morakinyo we will be expecting you in Ibadan”
“No problem Ma, please tell the Pastor that I will come before the end of the month…Ah lest I forget” Mrs Durotoye said as she bent to pick her hand bag from the cane chair in the sitting room.
“My husband asked me to give you this envelope, he said he would love to be used of God to support your mission work” She pulled out a cream envelope from her bag and handed it over to Morakinyo.
“Ah Sister, thank you very much…that was thoughtful of your husband” He said, opening the envelope. He pulled out the first bundle of fifty naira notes; apparently the second bundle contained the same amount. “Jesus Christ! This is much! God bless your husband. Definitely, the money here can’t be less than one thousand naira, God bless him”
“Amen, we give God all the glory” She adjusted her bag and prayed for Morakinyo his wife and the Church.
‘’O ya Akinlolu, let’s go. This is quarter past six, we must get to the park in ten minutes’’
What happened next was beyond Mrs. Durotoye’s expectation and explanation. Akinlolu sat there on the chair and refused to stand.
“Mummy please I want to stay with uncle in this village. I love to stay here” Akinlolu insisted. Morakinyo was amused, only moments ago Akinlolu was rushing to get ready for the early morning trip. No one could see him them and imagine that minutes later, he would refuse to go again “Children!” Morakinyo said amusingly.
“What’s wrong this boy? Was that part of our arrangement before we left Ibadan, ehhn?” Mrs. Durotoye was getting angry now.
“I want to spend my holiday here, at least we are not going to school” He held on to Morakinyo. “Uncle please let me stay with you. I don’t want to go home now” He complained almost crying.
“Sister, why don’t you allow him to stay some days with me? I’ll bring him myself” Morakinyo came in.
“But he attends a summer school” Mrs. Durotoye said in defence.
“That shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll return him on Tuesday; he’ll only miss two days”
“Alright, he can stay with you since you promised to bring him by Tuesday, thank God his father has traveled, if not….”
“I understand” Morakinyo said smiling “What of Lanre?” He asked.
“Ah it is well; he’s also coming home this weekend. The campus closed for the semester day before yesterday, we expect him today or tomorrow…ah fine, maybe he should even come over to pick Akinlolu, you may not need to come in that case” She offered.
“That would be fine; I’ll come to Ibadan next month in that case as earlier planned”
“Akinlolu, you can stay with your uncle but make sure you don’t bed wet here!”
“Haba! Stop giving him bad names now….” he said as he escorted her to the park.
The following day Oyinkansola arrived from the next village where she had represented her husband effectively. Her usual display of love and care for the women at Aponbiede Village Church stole their hearts. They wondered why the women in the Onigba-Iwofa Church had been so ungrateful to have deserted their Church.
The news of desertion going of there had reached the other entire villages where churches had been planted by Morakinyo. The other churches were thriving! Accusing fingers were pointed at Eebudola, the most recent deserter of the Church; they called her names and concluded she probably was a witch!
As soon as she returned from Aponbiede, she noticed a change in the atmosphere of the house, the temperature was unusually high. She tried to fish out the source but could not. Morakinyo noticed her restlessness.
“You’ve been restless since you returned from Aponbiede this morning… anything?”
“Oh nothing really” She said quickly adjusting herself “I must have been worn out by the activities of the past two days” She smiled, trying to cover her discomfort.
“I guess you need to rest” Morakinyo said putting a loving arm across her neck and gave her a peck. He noticed her body temperature had risen “Oh my God!” He said still holding her.
“What’s that? …My temperature…? I’ll soon get over it” She said and gave a reassuring smile.
“Maybe you should take a cold shower before going to sleep” Morakinyo advised.
What she eventually took that night was not a shower but several showers, the more she poured water on her body the more her temperature increased. She knew something was wrong but she could not identify it. She would investigate further in the night when Sapientia and Scorpio arrive to invite her for the meeting at the palace of the Queen under the Katangua Sea.
At exactly eleven fifty at night, Oyinkansola opened her eyes and got ready to enter the spirit realm as usual through astral travel. Her first and second attempts failed. She looked at Morakinyo and thought maybe he was not sleeping. She wrong, Morakinyo was fast asleep. She lied back on the bed and tried for the third time to ease out of her physical body but a strange force was hindering!
Scorpio and Sapientia had arrived and were sending her signals but strangely, she could not leave her body; yet she has to come out of her body before she can attend the meeting.
She lied there on the bed thinking of what to do. Her mind raced quickly to what would befall her if she failed to attend or come late to the meeting. Several rounds of hurting sex and inhuman beatings from the huge male agents who double as the Queen’s body guards.
She tried again and again but failed! She wondered why Scorpio and Sapientia stayed outside in first place. In recent times, they’ve had free access into the Parsonage since Greatone had become weakened, but today was different! She walked round the room and searched for any sign of Greatone or other angels. None of them was around. Angrily she stood up and stormed to the backyard where the duo of Scorpio and Sapientia stood beckoning to her.
“Scorpio! Sapientia! What the hell is going on here why did you refuse to come, inside can’t you see I’m finding it difficult to get out of my body” She charged at them, her eyes sparkling with anger.
It was her first time of speaking to them that way since they commenced the operations.
“Why do you talk like a child” It was Scorpio’s turn to charge back.
“What do you mean?” Oyinkansola was infuriated! Scorpio was not the one to speak to her in that manner. Not only was she below her in ranks, she was meant to assist in the operation and not command.
“Princess Hagatha, Scorpio is right….Look and see” Sapientia said pointing to the right corner of the house. Greatone was standing there at alert with renewed vigour, his sword stretched out shining in the dark. Two junior angels stood beside him with their swords also drawn.
Fear came over Oyinkansola. If there was any one she dreaded, it was Greatone. The last encounter Scorpio and Sapientia had with him was devastating. For a whole week, they could not operate in the village. They both sustained serious injuries. Only Pepperine who quickly surrendered before Greatone struck escaped unhurt.
“No wonder!” Oyinkansola said. Memories of the day now streamed back; she understood why her temperature had risen without cause.
“I never knew these terrible creatures have returned; but how come they’re guarding here again? I thought as far as Morakinyo is concerned they have been weakened…. I know Morakinyo can’t command them again.” Oyinkansola said, still confused over the entire scenario.
“That boy your Sister-in-law brought here yesterday is the cause of all these!” Scorpio offered explanation. “His presence brought those junior angels, he is a firebrand just like his mother. The anointing of the Son of The Owner is upon him as young as he is” Sapientia explained further.
“I see, but who strengthened Greatone again? Definitely not Morakinyo, he has not been praying in recent times, so who did?” Oyinkansola said with deep concern, her mission was at stake.
“That, we cannot explain, it’s a secret we cannot see, we too got here now and found him revived” Scorpio said carefully.
“It’s alright but how do I get to the meeting tonight… I have tried all tricks that I know, it won’t just work, what can I do now?” She said pitifully, she was almost crying.
“I don’t know Princess Hagatha” Sapientia said with most pity.
“Scorpio, do you have any idea?”
“Not at all, I have never experienced this before” Scorpio said sympathetically. “Maybe…” Sapientia stopped suddenly and screamed… “The alarm!”
It was five minutes to midnight; they must get to the palace within two minutes. “Princess Hagatha we have to go, the alarm is ringing, we shall explain the new developments to Her Majesty!”
Seconds later; Oyinkansola was standing there alone in the dark, tears swelled up in her eyes… She was in for trouble with the Queen, she silently wished that Sapientia and Scorpio would be able to put up a strong defence for her or else… trouble!
She opened the door and tip-toed inside; she closed the door and slowly turned around… She stiffened and almost jumped out of her skin as she saw what she least expect! Morakinyo was standing at the door to the room, a cover cloth loosely tied around his loins.
“Oh! You scared me!” said Oyinkansola; breaking the silence that followed.
“Where are you coming from?” Morakinyo asked.
“I went to ease myself” She lied.
“Outside! At this hour of the night! You should have used the toilet inside”
To be continued in Episode 24