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Chapter 3

  • "Greetings Mother"
  • Anine turned and saw an attractive light-skinned young girl standing at the entrance of the chamber. She had a large bosom and was quite too curvaceous for her age. In a nutshell, she was highly endowed. 
  • "What is your name ?" Anine inquired  
  • "Aku"
  • "How old are you?" She further inquired. 
  • "Eighteen seasons and few full moons," Aku responded. 
  • Anine snapped her fingers in bewilderment. 
  • "You have been here for quite some time now, why are you doing this to me?" Aku asked with pains clearly written all over her face. 
  • "Doing what to you Aku?"
  • "Please what are you talking about?" Anine shook Aku gently, demanding an answer. Ajonwa, the dreaded beast entered the chamber. 
  • "Woman!" He thundered. 
  • " Watch, learn from her, and stop complaining. " His voice echoed in the temple.  
  • Anine stood still and watched while Ajonwa devoured Aku like a hungry lion devouring its prey. The thrusting lasted for what seemed like ages. Aku kept quiet as her body responded to the rhythm of his thrust. Anine stared in mute horror. She wished she could close her eyes, but all those who disobeyed Ajonwa never lived to tell the story.
  • Ajonwa left the chamber swiftly like he always did each time his sexual urge got satisfied. He never cared about the feelings of the innocent maidens he subjected to his monstrous act. All that mattered to him was his satisfaction. 
  • Anine ran to Aku to help her up on her feet. 
  • "Leave me alone! Leave me alone!" Aku shouted. 
  • "Please stay away from me! I swear by the grave of my father, If I leave this place alive, I shall tell the whole villagers what you did to me." Aku screamed. 
  • " My daughter, this is not my fault"
  • "I'm not your daughter! If I am your daughter, you wouldn't have stood there and watch me go through this pain." Aku shouted. 
  • "Who challenges the authority of Ajonwa? Nobody Aku nobody - not even the Chief Priest."
  • "This is all your fault and I will never forgive you for this." Aku lamented. 
  • "How is it my fault, my daughter?" Anine asked 
  • "You told Eze Ajonwa that you have scratches and bruises down there," Aku said pointing at Anine's genital. 
  • "Yes I told Eze Ajonwa I have bruises, but I did not tell him to call someone else. Aku please come with me." Anine pleaded. 
  • "I need to boil some water with dried paw-paw leaves, add some ginger salt in it for your warm bath. Sitting in warm water will help relieve pain. Please follow me, I am like a mother to you." 
  • Anine led Aku to her room and prepared some herbs for her warm bath. She added three handfuls of herbs directly into the hot water. She also added some salt into the water. 
  • Aku felt a bit relieved after sitting in warm water for some hours. Anine left her and retired to her usual spot. She sat down on the log of her favorite tree, recalling all she saw in the inner chamber of Ajonwa.
  • "What are you doing here?" Anine asked Aku who was coming in her direction. 
  • "Osebuluwa daluooo a tree has fallen". Aku said ignoring Anine's question. She walked around the fallen tree as if she was trying to find out the cause. 
  • "Why are you happy about the falling of this tree, what is special about the tree?" Anine asked. 
  • "You said you are my mother yet you do not know the significance of what happened here," Aku said happily. 
  • "Such interpretations do not work in this shrine - a spirit cannot die. Ajonwa is a spirit who has come to stay." Anine said. 
  • "My father told me that when a healthy tree falls from its roots, it signifies the fall of a kingdom or power. Since a tree represents life, a broken or fallen tree is a common symbol of death, more especially, a life cut short. Something great is about to happen and I can feel it right now." Aku explained. 
  • "Ije,...no she is just a child when she left the village, she must have forgotten about Ajonwa and her mother. As for death, she is not dead" Anine murmured. 
  • "Mother,  what is it?" Aku asked.
  • "Nothing I just remembered my daughter whose whereabouts have remained unknown. But she made a promise that she will return and I believe her." Anine responded. Aku sat beside her and leaned on her shoulder. 
  • "Tell me about your daughter and how she was able to escape. I was told that all those who tried to escape were chased back to the shrine by Ajonwa's three fierce bulls. Even those who tried to kill themselves were also saved and delivered to Ajonwa." 
  • "How did your daughter escape?" Aku asked.
  • "My daughter is the only one that can explain this when she returns. I did not go with her. Anine said. 
  • "Tell me how you got here," Aku asked 
  • "It is a long story but I shall tell you everything. I want to hear your story first because I know yours is shorter than mine. How did you get here?" Anine asked. 
  • "We are five girls in our family". Aku began. 
  • "Ikwunne, Oma, Udo, Nwanyieke, and Aku, that's me. 
  • "No male child." Anine interrupted. 
  • "Yes, no male child," Aku affirmed. 
  • "I was still a child when Ikwunne got married. My mother told me that all the young men in our community rejected her because she was not beautiful enough. The ones who accepted made high demands. Our father sold half of his lands before he could raise the amount a man who agreed to marry her demanded. Other ones are as beautiful as I am, getting suitors for them and raising the amount each of the suitors demanded was easy for my father." Aku narrated. 
  • "You are beautiful, why did they allow you to come here?" Anine asked. 
  • "My father died some seasons ago. My mother has only a portion of land left for all her farming activities. She offered to sell it in order to get me a husband, but I turned her offer down. I can't sit and watch her sell off the only land she has just because of a husband for me." Aku explained. 
  • "Akuuuu you are too stubborn just like my daughter. Selling off the land to get you a suitor is better than being one of the wives of Ajonwa. You and your sisters can always feed your mother." Anine said. 
  • "Mother, do not blame me I heard that men go after women they like in other communities why is our custom different?" Aku asked. 
  • " Your father told you about trees but failed to tell you that Ajonwa changed our custom and tradition," Anine responded. 
  • "Well the deed has been done, it is too late now," Aku said with a regretful tone. 
  • " How did Ajonwa changed the custom and traditions of Ohanta community?" Aku asked. 
  • "I shall tell you everything you need to know. So how did you get here?" Anine asked Aku.