Fiction: That Green Period

February 4, 2016 Fiction , POETRY / FICTION

By

Chukwu John David

 

 

The thunderstorm, coupled with deep lightening, which had never struck Umudike land, rumbled and the weather began to change gradually and critically. That morning was considered to be the harvest day, the day that the first yam in the farm would be harvested and prepared for Ikeji New Yam Festival.

However, Ikeji New Yam Festival was a period of festival where miscellaneous cultures were displayed. The activities of this great event were very fascinating to watch. It was a New Yam Festival which marked the harvest season, and the beginning of a new cultural year. The New Yam Festival was celebrated to honor ji, or yam which was regarded as king of crops in Ibo land.

That morning, the sky looked very honest and promising; but when the thunder rumbled for the fourth time, people started to imagine what was wrong as that day vividly showed that something had gone wrong somewhere or perhaps; someone had sinned against Ala, the great earth goddess.

“What could have gone wrong today? Why is Amadioha rumbling thunders anyhow?” A fresh young man had asked the other as they alighted from the bush where they had gone to inspect their traps. His name was Ugo.

“I do not just know. But possibly something has gone wrong somewhere of which I am so sure about,” the other young man answered. His name was Chima.

“Are you sure that the gods are still in good terms with the land?” Ugo asked.

“I do not think that the gods are happy. My father used to tell me stories about thunder and lightning before he died. The last story he told me was the story of how the gods visited the land when Anyaozi married an outcast against the wish of our ancestors. My father told me that lightning and thunder are the signs which show that the gods are not happy with the land anymore,” Chima said at the same time he clutched his waist, holding a skewed antelope.

As they were still talking, the thunder rumbled again and the weather immediately changed black. A group of three young girls who went to fetch water from the Azumini River ran pass them, screaming and panting. The water that they had gone to fetch turned bloody. They shouted so noisily and took to their heels, but the worst happened as they ran. Amadioha struck them mad. Ebere was among the girls, she was struck mad too.

“What is happening to our land? Why is this happening now?” One of the elders had asked himself. He saw the girls who ran the whole village, mad. He was going to attend a meeting with elders of the land.

“What is happening to us? Why has the land gone to befriend chaos this day?” Ezemmuo asked the elders and continued: “Just today, a few minutes ago, my daughter and her friends had gone to fetch water from Azumini River and the water turned bloody. Just as if that was not enough, they all ran mad. I need answers, what is happening to us?”

“Ezemmuo, this question is supposed to be answered by you. You are the Ezemmuo, our chief priest, the mouthpiece of the gods. Ezemmuo, we need explanations. Just after we banished Okezie and his wife from our land, rain refused to fall immediately after the ritual as it used to. Ezemmuo, inquire from the gods and give us answers about this unexpected misfortune,” Ogbuewu Uzoma said.

“Ezemmuo, you have to give us explanations to what caused our girls to run mad. How could three young healthy girls run mad in a broad daylight? This is very astounding. Ezemmuo, you better find out what the problem is, or I will find out the problem myself and destroy the gods,” Ogbuefi Osondu said and sat on a bamboo armchair, tapping his foot against the sick floor. A carved wooden walking stick rested earnestly beside him.

“Ezemmuo, you are the chief priest of this land, and every spiritual case is rested on your shoulders. Biko try to find remedy to this misfortune before an orphan runs to death where he is doing errands that will never reward him,” Ilozuru advised.

“Today is supposed to mark the uprooting of our first yams from the soil, preparing them for the prestigious Ikeji New Yam Festival, but the reverse has obviously become the case. Honestly, I am very disappointed with this. Just a few days ago, the case of a young hardworking boy was reported that he had died because of an incurable sickness that did not allow a breath into his nostrils for a few minutes. Ezemmuo, find something quick to remedy these disasters or else…I am afraid to say what will happen,” Onowu said. He sat like an antelope, and was soaked in deep worries.

“Honestly, if we all should look directly and trace this misfortune befalling us right now from its root, we will discover that it is as a result of our ignorance and egocentricity. Yes! Things began to fall apart for us after since we buried Okoronkwo Nwite on the day that was supposed to be the day of the festival of thanksgiving to the deceased spirits of our ancestors. This will teach us to always do the first things first. If we were meek enough to allow the gods go before us before we buried Okoronkwo Nwite, we would have predicted the pregnant future with every assurance from the mysterious powers of Ala, the great earth goddess. Let us learn to seek before we speak – this is specially addressed to Ezemmuo and other law makers of the land,” Okorocha said and sat on a bamboo bench.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chukwu John David

Chukwu John David is a young creative writer from Abakaliki town in Ebonyi State of Nigeria, West Africa. He started writing and weaving quality stories at the young age of nine, and he has written many stories for Literary Temple Magazine, Gnosis Magazine, Pen Egg, Tuck Magazine, and etc. His debut novel AFRICAN DARK LIGHT is published in the USA, and his second book IT CAME FROM THE WEST is already in a contract with a reputable publisher in the UK, London.

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