Wuraola felt a lot of pains in both her thighs. It was as though someone had been hitting her. She stirred. Her eyes still closed.
‘Just wake up, you good for nothing.’ A female voice said.
‘She thinks she’s still a princess’ another female voice replied.
‘Hey, get up! Wake up!’ the person shook her.
Wura’s eyes flew open. A strange female face looked down at her. She tried getting up but the ache on her back stopped her. Her eyes rested on the wall. It was painted blue. Confusion flashed across her face as she suddenly realized she was in a strange room with no artefacts or paintings on the wall.
Her bedroom was originally painted peach and teal green and her walls were decorated with flowers. She had bought at least three paintings from New York years ago, that adorned her walls. So she certainly must be dreaming … this wasn’t her room.
Just as she shut back her eyes, she felt a piercing sting on her leg. Apparently, the strange lady had been using something on her. It explained the pain she was feeling. Wura sat up,
“Who are you? What are you doing in my room?” her eyes fell on the other two ladies behind the strange lady. They were both dark-complexioned and wore the same dark blue chiffon gown which fits them perfectly. She was about asking them another question when the three ladies busted into laughter.
“What do you mean who are we? Ehn Wura?” the girl that had kicked her asked. “We’ve been sharing this room for the past twelve years now and yet you claim you don’t know us? At least if you do not know Lizzy and Bimpe you should know me, your supervisor. Common will you get up! We have work to do!” she rolled her eyes and stepped out of the room followed by one of the girls.
Wura was very much disturbed by what was happening. How could she go to sleep a Princess, and wake up a slave the next morning? She frowned.
Looking down at herself, she realized she was not in her night robe, but in the same dark blue chiffon the other girls wore. Her Brazilian weave wasn’t on her head. Instead, she had cornrows. The only thing that stayed normal was her mother’s silver ring.
‘What’s going on?’ Her lips quivered in fear.
“Are you okay? You look startled. Perhaps you had a nightmare,” the last girl, Bimpe, asked. “Again?” she added.
Again? What did she mean by again? Do I really live here? She thought.
“Wait…do I really live here?” Wura asked her.
“No…This is a mistake. I mean what am I doing here? This must be a dream. Somebody wake me up! Wake me up before I go crazy. What the hell is going on?” She yelled.
Just as Bimpe was about to speak, a loud beagle sounded.
“What was that?” Wura asked, her face contorting into perplexity.
“That sound…when the beagle sounds, it means the King needs to pass a message across.” She panicked, “hurry we need to go!” she pulled Wura by the arm before she could understand what was happening. But since the king was addressing them, she needed to speak with him. She needed to speak to her father.
Wura was glad and relieved when she saw the familiar room. The royal court! Only that it looked really spacious and much more beautiful. Again, she noticed that her father’s throne that was normally etched at the center of the room had been moved to the farthest corner of the room; resting against the wall.
It was as though the whole palace had been reformed. It didn’t look like the one she grew up in. Wura was still confused as she stood like other maidservants before the king. She stretched from where she stood, trying to see the king; the man that had raised her from infant to adulthood. She almost screamed, father! But the word got stuck in her throat by the time she saw who stood as the king. Obajuwon!
“Impossible,” she muttered with a frown.
“Very possible. He is the ruthless king with no mercy. Ever since your father died, he has made us work like we were slaves.” Bimpe whispered.
Wura gasped. Her left palm flattened against her pale stomach. Is her father really dead? When? How? She wouldn’t believe it. She couldn’t. She would get to the bottom of it all.
But first, why had Obajuwon taken over the throne? It was hers, not his. She heard Obajuwon say something about a royal banquet but she was least interested in that.
She needed to do something; more like make her presence known. She was the Crown Princess, not a slave! With that, she moved to step forward but Bimpe held her in place.
“Don’t try anything stupid, Wura. We all know who you are and you and I know you can’t defeat him. come on! Give up trying! You’ve been on his case for twelve years now. Forget it!” Bimpe whispered in her ears, almost audibly, causing some maidservants to glare at them.
But Wura couldn’t just let it slide. To her, what Bimpe had just told her aroused her anger. If not anything, she was simply going to fight her battle alone! She pulled out of Bimpe’s grip and moved forward.
“Obajuwon! You don’t own this throne, I do,” her voice filled the room, ” So why have you made yourself King when clearly, you are not?” she screamed.
She could hear murmurings in the room but she wasn’t deterred as she stared at Obajuwon’s intimidating face until he broke into a long dry laugh.
“Who ordered you to talk back at me, Princess? Or should I say, Servant?” he laughed again, causing the gold crown on his head to shake.
“I am not a Servant damn it! I don’t know what you’ve done to sit on my father’s throne but one thing I am sure of is this; my father wouldn’t be in the palace and watch you humiliate us!” Wura yelled. She could see some of the servants flinch at the tone of her voice. But she didn’t care. All she cared about was to look for her father and she needed to do it fast.
Wura, gathering more courage, paved her way through the small crowd in the courtroom. She needed to get to her father’s chambers. She needed to talk with him. She was almost at the door when she heard,
“Seize her! Throw her into the private dungeon!”
The voice had been no doubt, Obajuwon’s. But it wasn’t until she felt two strong arms holding her and cuffing her wrists with a pair of handcuffs that had green laser-like lights around it, that she realized she might not win this battle.
Wura was startled. One, she had never seen handcuffs like this in her life, and even as she struggled with the guards who took her to the dungeon, the handcuffs burnt her wrist for every rebellion.
She gave up her fight by the time she was thrown into a dark room with no opening for ventilation, nor light, except for the bars on the door that also weren’t just iron bars but fire blazing iron bars.
“Please don’t leave me here. The fire might burn me!!” she screamed. “Look, please. I will ensure I promote you all as soon as I see my father. Could you please tell my father what Obajuwon has done.” She pleaded.
Wura was scared; scared that she was all alone but she couldn’t let them know that. It would make them feel stronger. She masked her face with a hard look. But the guards only laughed at her.
One of them pressed a button on a small remote, and the prison door slid shut. Never had Wura seen such prison door in her life. In fact, she was so sure that the Nigeria she lived in didn’t even have the kind of technology she had just seen.
It wasn’t until she heard one of the guards say, “2030 is running fast o. We’ll have a new year very soon. And 2031 must be better.”
“You no go let one year finish first before you begin talk about another year?” The second guard accused, “Make this year better first jor.”
“Wait! Please wait. Can you please repeat what you just said. What year are we in?” Wura moved a little closer to the door, but remembered not to touch it.
‘We are in 2030. July 28, 2030,’
‘What?” She gasped. Her expression was all shades of confused.
‘How can you not know the year?’
‘Don’t mind her. And she wants make we call her Princess. Princess my foot.’
If Wura could see herself, she would see that their reply made her pale. She had thought the guards would laugh as usual so she could decipher if they were telling a lie or not. However, their intense gaze and stiff shoulders helped her conclude, they were telling the truth.
Panic took over. Her head spun as she dropped heavily on the floor; struggling with the overpowering headache that had emerged. The question that plagued her mind before she gave in to the headache and passed out on the cold floor, was “what am I doing in the year 2030?”
A Pelleura Story
Read the complete ebook here
PS: Please don’t forget to like, share with your friends, and remember to drop a comment.