WHERE DO THE gods LIVE NOW?
I live in a city where bones are washed with cyanide, heads are maimed on a daily to be placed in a calabash; heads of goats and hens, garnished with palm oil, kolanuts and moistened with schnapps- an offering for the gods it is called, placed at the ‘Orita Meta’(crossroads) obediently awaiting acceptance.
We wake to walk through the ‘Orita Meta’ in the morning like nothing every happened, hurrying to sell our souls to the highest payer, leaving us with almost nothing but money.
Today, we are in an ancient city, one I’ve heard stories about but I’ve never visited.
The loud gong and shout of a town crier awakens me, town criers are a thing of the past but this city thinks differently.
My cousin hurries into the living room ‘Don’t try to look outside’ he whispered as loudly as he could.
‘Why shouldn’t I look outside, I want to see the town crier.’ I affirmed as I move towards the window, he grabbed me by my wrist and pulled me back. He was scared, scared of what? The town crier?
In this town, they don’t fill their calabashes with heads of goats and hens but rather a human one, to purify the sanctity of the town, an offering to the gods and another to the ones in-between. One look, you are gone and forgotten.
‘They have no power over us, besides you and I can overpower him, why are you scared?’
‘I’m not frightened, but you know the things in the spiritual realm exceeds that of the physical, we can not afford to be ignorant.’ My cousin expatiated.
My cousin and I saw another person, or rather a shadow walking towards the window- ‘Don’t look’, we both screamed. The person or the thing vanished into thin air.
We must have imagined it; we concluded, for it was just us two in the house.
It was time to head back to the town where they preferred goat heads to that of humans, yet a brown suitcase sat carefully beside my cream leather suitcase. Surely, it wasn’t mine and neither did it belong to my cousin. Sitting at the right corner of the brown suitcase was a black picture frame, about 5 by 7 in size with a picture of me and a stranger.
In this town, the gods have their place and so does a picture of me with a stranger- a baffling spectacle.
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WRITTEN BY: MARIAM ALAYANDE