The screams coming from the next compound woke Tejiri from sleep. It was very early in the morning. 6:05 am to be precise. Tejiri didn’t like his sleep to be disturbed, but with the screams still coming in from the next compound, he was sure Fidelis was beating the daylight out of his wife again, and as usual, the neighbors were there to help the poor woman.
Tejiri got up from the bed, wore a shirt over his boxers and went out to see what he could do to save the day. On getting there, it was a different scene. The villagers had gathered and most of them had started to cry. It was actually an atmosphere of mourning.
On inquiry, Tejiri learned that his best friend and business partner, Fidelis, was dead. He was not sick. He just slept off and didn’t wake up. Tejiri froze. His heart stopped beating for a second, and his blood stopped circulating. He knew exactly why his friend was now dead, and he knew he was next. If the crime they committed a year ago had caught up with Fidelis, then his own time was definitely around the corner.
“If only I had known, I would never have joined them,” he thought, tears streaming down his cheeks. But then, it was too late.
A year ago, he had joined Fidelis and three other men to kill an innocent man, so as to take over his possession. They fought off the late man’s family and kept his wealth for themselves. After they succeeded in sharing the late man’s wealth, they thought all was well until they started to die, one after the other.
Seeing that three of the men had died and that the odds were against them, Fidelis and Tejiri sought a very powerful witch doctor who gave them charms. The charms were made to help ward off the spirit of their dead victim.
They got home and applied the charms, just as they were told to. Even after applying the charms, the men were still scared. But after three months passed and nothing happened, they rejoiced. They were happy that their lives had been saved. To show how happy and grateful they were, the men went back to the witch doctor to say a big thank you. They gave him three bottles of hot drinks, two goats, five hens and fifty thousand naira. They promised to bring more gift items.
What they did not know was this. After they left, the witch doctor said some incantations that rendered their charms useless. As long as he was concerned, he had gotten the money and livestock he wanted from the men and so, it was time for them to pay for the death of his brother.
Yes, the dead man whose ghost hunted his killers was the immediate younger brother to the witch doctor. It was he, the witch doctor, who evoked his brother’s spirit to seek vengeance on the people who murdered him.
But even now that Fidelis was gone, Tejiri still didn’t think the witch doctor was the one behind their nemesis.
First published 2014 by Karo Oforofuo in my old blog
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