The Legend Of Dayo Begins…
THE LEGEND OF DAYO
SEASON 1: THE EMERGENCE
The Man In The Storm
It was raining heavily in the small Nigerian town of Asawka.
It was late afternoon, but the sky was darkened by the ominous clouds that seemed to get angry by the second. The rain pelted down in a savage cacophony of thunder.
Lightning after lightning split the sky, turning the town into fearsome flashes of harsh white light intermittently.[stextbox id=”alert” caption=”WARNING”]Exlusive Content to aaron-ansah-agyeman.com Do not copy or share on any other site. Do not share on any WhatsApp, Facebook or Social Media page. ONLY SHARE THE LINKS TO THE STORY[/stextbox]
The shops were closed and almost everybody was inside shuttered rooms. The rainstorm was something they had not seen before. It was as violent as it was scary, and many huddled in their rooms with mounting horror, convinced that something evil was going to happen.
Surely, this could not be an ordinary rainstorm.
The shattering sounds alone indicated that the gods were angry, and were speaking through the thunder, lightning and the great swirling winds.
The rainwater gathered into mini fast-flowing pools of water, rushing through the town relentlessly.
Neji Helen descended down from the top floor of the building she lived in with her family to the ground floor where their little shop was. She was coming to check if the rainwater wasn’t rushing under the door.
Sometimes when it rained that heavily and the water level rose, the shop got flooded. She saw her father standing near one of the windows staring outside with a worried expression on his face.
“Water still rising, Baba?” she asked with concern.
She was eighteen years old, and a beautiful young woman. Neji Helen had just returned home from the University for vacation. She shuddered when a particularly vicious thunder rocked the building, and lightning followed, throwing the room into a sudden black and white relief.
“Oh, it doesn’t flood now, Akanke,” replied Olusegun Osuolale, her father. “They constructed new gutters down at the Market, and so the rainwater flows smoothly now.”
“But you look worried, Baba,” Neji insisted as she joined her father at the window.
He smiled sheepishly and sighed.
“It is the blind boy, Akanke,” he replied. “The one they call Mumu.”
Neji frowned slightly as she looked up at her father.
“Blind boy?” she asked with some concern. “Which blind boy, Baba?”
He sighed and slipped an arm around her shoulders affectionately.
“Oh, he came to town about three months ago, my dear,” Olusegun said. “Some people found him by the roadside, during the yam harvest. He was so weak that they thought him dead. But they brought him to town, and the Medicine Man treated him with herbs. He had no money, and so he had been on the streets ever since. Sometimes your mother sends him food.”
“Oh, that’s sad, really sad,” Neji said, alarmed. “And his parents? Nobody has come looking for him?”
“He’s around your age, Neji,” her father said. “Not a little boy. They call him Mumu too, because evidently he’s deaf too, and he’s a hunchback.”
“Deaf and mute?” Neji exclaimed. “And a hunchback? Oh, Baba, that’s too great a burden for one shoulder to bear!”
“People are saying there’s a curse on him, Akanke, and maybe that’s why he was driven out of wherever he came from. Now he’s here in our town, and I must say people are not too keen on having him here, thinking he’s cursed by the gods.”
“I can just imagine,” Neji said, and sighed heavily. “But believe me, there are worse medical conditions that have nothing to do with being cursed. But why are you worried about him, Baba?”
He hesitated for a moment, and suddenly he looked troubled.
“Well, my darling daughter, I know how you are, dearest,” he said carefully as he glanced at her upturned face. “This has nothing to do with you, okay? Just let it be.”
Something in her father’s voice, and the way he kept glancing out the window, made Neji turn her head and glance out the window.
And then she saw him.
He was standing in the middle of the road. The rainwater was swirling around him, and it was almost up to his knees.
He was holding what looked like a long pole, and he was holding on tightly with both hands. He was almost bent double under the weight of the rain, and he struggled to keep upright.
The man was wearing some dark clothes that looked huge.
He was being pelted savagely by the rain, and it seemed he had nowhere to go.
“Oh, Dada!” Neji cried with sudden compassion. “We must help him! If the water knocks him down, he’ll drown! We must help him, Baba!”
“Now, Neji, Akanke, that’s exactly what I was afraid you would say,” Olusegun Osuolale said carefully. “Folks here believe he carries a curse, an omo epe, and they want him gone, dearest. There are even some who say he’s an ogbanje, the spirit child that won’t last long on earth!”
Neji looked at her father, aghast.
“Oh, Baba!” she said softly, reaching out to touch his arm. “All I see out there is a blind man, also a hunchback, deaf and mute, standing all alone in knee-deep water because he doesn’t know where to turn! I see another human being in need of help, please!”
And then she gasped suddenly when she saw a round log fiercely rolling on top of the pool of water toward the hapless figure standing in the pool!
It was a huge log, probably dislodged from one of the timber markets, and it was hurtling forward with such speed, directly toward the blind man, and there was no doubt that if the timber struck him he would die, or drown immediately.
“Oh, Baba!” Neji Helen shouted with horror, her hands digging into the arms of her father. “Oh, that will kill him! Oh, dearest!”
“Like I said, my dear…an ogbanje!” Osuolale said softly.
Neji wanted to tear her eyes away, unable to watch the imminent death of the poor, bent figure in the river.
But she couldn’t turn her eyes away!
She was rooted, fixed almost, and staring with horror-struck eyes.
The log seemed to steady for a final crushing rush at the blind man, but just as it was about to smash the man, bright lightning lit up the sky in very sharp relief, turning the darkness to daylight, and the lightning struck the log at the precise moment it was going to smash the blind man to pulp!
The log was ripped into two by the lightning, and one part swerved to the left, and the other half was carried to the right by the force of the currents, and the two sides of the log passed harmless on each side of the blind man, and were carried downstream.
Neji and her father looked at each other, stunned to the very core of their senses.
“Oh, Baba God!” Mr. Osuolale whispered.
“Seems to me that the gods do favour that man!” Neji Helen said, her voice unsteady.
Without another word she turned and removed the two heavy wooden bars that formed an X across the back of the door, and then she turned the key, unlocked two huge padlocks, and then slowly pulled the heavy doors open.
Her father had erected a sloping platform in front of the shop, and so the water couldn’t spill over and enter the shop at its current level.
She stepped into the fast-flowing rainwater, and heard her father crying out a warning, but she was already treading the water which soon came up to her waist.
And, surprisingly, the thunder and lightning stopped as she wallowed through the water carefully, looking out for further logs that might be injurious to her.
Eventually, she reached the crouching figure of the man in the storm, and she reached out and touched his arm gently.
He flinched, scaring her, and then it dawned on her that in his helpless state her touch might have unnerved him.
Her heart beat at how cruel people could be sometimes. Surely, a boy like this had parents! Why had they allowed him to suffer this way?
She touched his arm again, reassuringly, gently, and this time he turned his face toward her. Although she could not see his face, it warmed her heart that he had acknowledged her presence.
She was soaked to her very bones, and the cold was seeping through her, making her teeth chatter, and she could just imagine what a torrid time this young man had gone through, standing in the rain for such a long time.
She wound her arm around him and took one of his hands, and then she began to lead him gently through the water. Neji Helen could feel him trembling hard, his teeth chattering, and tears came to her eyes.
Eventually, she got him safely out of the rain to the veranda.[stextbox id=”info” caption=”JOIN US ON WHATSAPP“]
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