The Legend Of Dayo…yet another chapter!
THE LEGEND OF DAYO
SEASON 1: THE EMERGENCE
The Smell Of Death
Temi, as Neji now called the deformed man in her care, was at dinner with them.
Neji Helen spooned rice and nchuawu leaf stew into his mouth.
This had become his favourite, and he ate it with much relish, although his facial expression didn’t change much.
“Neji, it is rude to keep us waiting like this!” Grace Opurum said impatiently.
Neji looked at her family with rather unhappy eyes.
She had been thinking very hard ever since Alhaji Ibu fled from the store. She didn’t know how to explain the issue to her family to make them understand.
Frankly, she wasn’t sure how to tell them about the appearance of that sinister spiritual being, Jhon Moziz. They might freak out about the presence of some spiritual entity in the house even if they believed her.
“Well, my dear?” Olusegun Osuolale asked carefully.
Neji Helen sighed.
“He speaks, Baba,” she said quietly. “Sometimes, when I take him back to his room, he’s not all mute and deaf. He speaks, and he tells me things.”
She refused to look at them and concentrated on feeding Temi.[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]
“So, you’re saying this boy we all see is totally deaf, mute and very handicapped, speaks to you sometimes?” her father asked.
Neji sighed and looked at their disbelieving faces.
“Meaning you don’t believe me, Baba?” she asked with all the innocence she could muster.
“Then, surely he must have told you his name, right?” Grace Opurum asked with raised eyebrows.
Uche Joseph just smiled and continued to eat.
“Yes, he did,” Neji Helen said as she tried to maintain a straight expression.
“And of course you’re going to tell us his name, right?” Olusegun Osuolale asked.
“He’s Temidayo, buy I call him Temi now,” Neji Helen said as she dabbed at the young man’s lips with a napkin and then smiled at her father. “He says he comes from an empire called Dayo.”
Olusegun Osuolale, who was drinking from a tin cup, suddenly spluttered and dropped the cup. He began to cough badly, and his wife went to him and rubbed his back with concern.
“My love, what is it, are you okay?” she asked with concern.
Neji and Uche Joseph exchanged glances and looked at their father with worry lines on their faces.
Finally, Olusegun Osuolale stopped coughing.
He rubbed his chest tenderly.
“Sorry, my dear,” he said, forcing a smile at his wife’s anxious face. “Water choked me. The mention of the Dayo Empire threw me for a moment.”
Now all of them were looking at him, especially Neji Helen.
“You’ve heard about it, Baba?” she asked carefully. “It isn’t something I’ve ever heard of, so when he mentioned it I thought he was just saying silly words.”
Her father looked at her for a long time.
“My great-grandfather told me about it a very long time ago, when I was just a little boy, and listening to one of his stories by the fireside,” he said after a while. “According to him, he heard the story from his own great-grandfather, and he was just passing it on to us. He told us about a time there was a great famine in our village, so severe that people began to die. All the waters dried up, and food was scarce. There was some sort of a plague attacking the people in the village, and many died. He said everyone in the village would have died.”
He was silent for a moment as his mind went back, recollecting events of the past.
“And what happened, Papa?” Uche Joseph asked as he stopped chewing and watched his father.
“Oh, he said at the peak of the plague and famine, a strange golden door appeared at the entrance of the village, and some very beautiful and handsome people came out of the door. Some brought water and honey. Others brought food, whilst others came with medicine. They gave each family a basket containing assorted foods. Honey, gourds of water, oil, meat, smoked fish and rice. Every family received a basket.”
“Surely a basket of food wouldn’t be enough for a family in a famine season, would it?” Neji Helen asked hollowly.
Her father bent and picked up the tin cup, and then he waved it at her.
“And that was the most amazing part of the story, my dear,” he said with a smile on his face. “According to my great-grandfather, the stuff in the basket never got depleted. Every morning, miraculously, the basket became full with food and water. They could eat as much as they could every day, even depleting the contents of the basket, but each morning it would be filled.”
“Wow!” Uche said with a giggle. “Surely that can’t be true! It sounds great as a fairy tale story, Papa, but certainly it can’t be true!”
“That’s what he said, and he claimed that was the pure truth, but I never believed it, anyway, just like you don’t believe it now, son,” Olusegun Osuolale said.
“And so what happened to the magical baskets?” Grace Opurum said with a smile.
“According to my great-grandfather, it lasted for a whole year, till the weather changed and they were able to plant new crops. And when the famine was over, and the plague stopped, all the baskets vanished, and so did the strange golden door that emerged in the village.”
“And did these strange people say they were from the Empire of Dayo?” Neji Helen asked softly.
“Well, no, not exactly,” Olusegun Osuolale said. “According to the legend, the people never spoke. Each morning they would appear and take care of the sick, and in the evening they would leave through the strange door. The village people who tried to touch the door were struck down with severe jolts of electricity. Well, it seems one of the young girls fell in love with one of the physicians taking care of her. But he left, eventually, and as she cried and tried to follow him, he told her he could not stay. He was the one who told the lady where they were from…the Empire of Dayo.”
There was a brief silence in the room.
“Surely, that was one of the fairy tale stories the elders told us, right?” Uche Joseph asked at last.
“I’ve never believed it,” Olusegun Osuolale said softly. “Until now, when Neji mentioned this young man is from the Empire of Dayo.”
“Well, you don’t believe strange doors emerging out of thin air, do you, Papa?” Uche asked with a chuckle.
“Hard to believe, yes,” Olusegun Osuolale said. “Hard to believe just like an average student suddenly becoming the best student in your class overnight, Uche.”
“Or Neji’s pimples disappearing, and my arthritis stopping!” Grace Opurum said with awe as she looked at the young man.
“Or the store suddenly becoming so powerful,” Olusegun Osuolale said. “Just like the people – or, at least, someone from Dayo – came to do in our village several years ago.”
And then, just as Neji began to speak, they heard a great commotion from outside, and they heard the terrible din of a lot of voices raised in angry chants.
They looked at each other as the sound grew nearer and nearer.
Olusegun Osuolale stood up and went to the window quickly. He parted the curtain and looked out, and his heart skipped a horrified beat at what he saw.
There were a lot of people massing up in front of the store, and they were holding lanterns and fire torches. They were holding cudgels, axes, cutlasses and huge clubs!
And they were chanting noisily, angrily!
“Bring out the Cursed One!” they screamed and chanted. “Bring out the evil one! Bring him out! Yes, bring out the monster!”
“The monster must die!” some screamed, slashing their axes and cutlasses on the ground. “He will die! The cursed one cannot live in our village! Bring him out! He must die!”
“Kill him! Kill the ogbanje! Behead him! Dismember him! Split his evil body to the corners of the earth!” some chanted.
“Burn him! Desecrate him! Burn, burn, burn!” others chanted in horrible voices.
Great fear hammered through Olusegun’s heart as he turned and looked at his family and the little disfigured man!
The deformed young man was still sitting still, waiting patiently for the next spoonful of rice and nchuawu stew, unaware that death had arrived to claim him!
The smell of death was suddenly in the air!
Tears came to Neji Helen’s eyes instantly.
She had never been this terrified in her life![stextbox id=”info” caption=”JOIN US ON WHATSAPP“]
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