“Abomination!!!! Abominations !!! Tufikawa!!!!” the Priests spat as he came to the compound, the entire village had gathered to come and see what had happened. the town crier had cried all night with his King! !!
“The land of Edemia has been cursed, the village of Okigwedimeri has been soiled with the scum of the earth. the village of Edemigiri has been possessed with demons, Two faced demons. .we must purge our land from this curse, we must protect our children, we must sacrifice them and send them to the darkness if not our crops shall die, our children shall die, the old would die and the young will hang from their beds and die. even the land would be barren and we would be no more than a people who used to be.
Our land has been cursed, we must cleans it. we must cleanse it. The gods are angry with us. we must cleanse it. we must cleanse it.” he cried with his Konk, walking from each compound to the other, through the market square and back to the town meeting all.
“wise one, please , help us, what does this mean?” the man was standing close to a woman who happened to be his wife, in her hands, covered were two children, she is staring at them, looking from one to the other, the one who is called the wise one, stands slouched on his stick, he has a red cloth round his shoulders, a white chalk slashed across his face, a white wrapper around his waist and beads adorned his ankles and writes . the stick has a head like a snake and that of a tortoise , then the body has chalk marks on it, then the bottom is shaped like a chicken’s leg.
He shakes his head and dances on his legs, then he does it again and screams , staggering back and forth , spewing out incantations and shaking his head as though he had drank something strong ..too strong to cause him focus…
“This has never happen in my time, nor in the time of my forefathers or their fathers before them. this is an abominations…Abomination. woman was created by the gods to bear children but one at a time , one at a time , never in my time did a woman carry two..two in her womb. It is an abomination. these things she has born are not children but demons. how can one child have the face of another, even their eyes move accordingly and when one cries the other cries, when one is pinched the other cries, when one is happy, the other is happy.. when one falls sick ..the other falls sick… This..this two faced children are possessed with evil spirits. that is what the gods have told me. I saw them in my dream. the gods had woken me up and taken my hands and then they had lead me to the village square and showed me a mirror.. and they asked me what do I see. I tell them I see myself. . then they ask me to touch it, I stretch out my hands and I see the person who looks like me in the mirror stretch out his hands and touch my face.. I screamed and jumped back”
the villages exclaimed ” Ahhhhh , evil forces !!!”
“Yes. .evil forces. but the gods tell me that.. someone carries this evil in their womb and when I see it I would know. when I asked them who they mean.. they told me that… it would be a two faced demon. they would come in innocence, but we shouldn’t be deceived, they come with pain, agony,death and havoc, and that this village would be washed away over night if we don’t stop this evil immediately ”
“Ahhhhhh” the father exclaims raising his hand over his head.
“hey no wonder, she ate more than usual, her stomach kept expanding and then her labour pains were long , a whole 24 hours and then she says she used to have bad dreams and used to see herself in the market square dancing with two children …but she never use to see their faces ”
“AHAHHHHHH”‘ the villagers exclaim
“wise one, what can we do??” he goes on his knees “see my wife, since she gave birth to them, she has not being thesame, she is like a mad woman, look at her ??” the woman hadn’t stopped looking from one child to the other, “one two, two one.. one nose, same nose, you laugh you laugh..hey…one ..two..my one..and two my one one children …heyyyyy” she laughs kissing them “see her wise one.. my wife, she has gone mad. she has gone mad. these two faced children are evil like you say?”
“Yes. .evil. Abomination! !!!” he spat
“What must we do??” The king was seated on his chair, he is worried.
” it’s been a week now since these..the two faced children has been borne to this man and his wife. .and news getting to me is that some livestock have been found dead, Anabali ‘s Farm mysteriously caught up with fire and burns, what of that village close by, the landin lost his only son and my own wife..my wife is sick. what can be done wise one, ”
“boils appeared on my arms and they have refused to go” someone shouts from the crowd
“my child just suddenly stopped talking ”
“What about me, I woke up one day and I can’t walk”
“all my children have started vomiting blood” one woman wailed..
“my entire market goods.. maggots everywhere ”
“wise one ..do something to help us. who have we offended. who??”
he shakes his stick and circles his legs, “The gods are angry with us. the gods says that we are not grateful enough, we don’t appreciate them. that is why the evil has befallen us..the god’s says it is what we deserve ”
“Ahhhhhh huh Nooooo oh..heyyyyy we are finished. ”
“wise one..please speak to the gods..help us , help our people , what do we do what? do we cleanse the lands, kill goats and sprinkle the blood, what please anything tell us..”
he circles around for a few minutes , dancing and staggering, throws his head back and screaming in loud voices to the heavens , shakes his stick and spits on the ground…. he circles it with his toes.. he spews incantations and incantations then he points his stick to the man and his wife..
“you must sacrifice the two faced children to the gods. they must leave the land and the village and banished back to evil where they came from”
“wise one?” the father asks ” We must sacrifice them?”
“Yes. .. they are evil so we return them back to evil. they must be sacrificed.. their coming have opened up a portal to the land of evil spirits and they would come and wreck harvoc in our lives but we must stop them and keep stopping them. As they came they have made sure to cause homes to have their presence . soon..women would be giving birth to more two faced children , soon they would populate the village..soon..all that we are and know would be no more. this is our land..this is our village and humans are the ones who would posses the earth and we are of the gods and we would not let the demon and his angels occupy us. Yes. .Abomination! !! we would cleanse our land and purge it and the only way is to sacrifice the two faced children.”
“How??” the king asks
“The evil forest. the gods have shown me..that we should take them both and place them at the mouth of the evil forests , we perform a ceremony of departure. .as we do for the dead, we break off all ties and connection they have with their father and mother..especially their mother because it was through her stomach the demons entered and separated itself into two. then we would use the blood of a goat and then once we are done..we leave the children there. the gods says when evil recognises evil,they would absorb the children and then they would die because they came in human body, the body would wither and die and then the evil would be vanquished.”
“Ahhhhhh wise one..what kind of evil choose us to birth. what did we do..hay gods of our lands have mercy have mercy”
“we must take the chiidren now, we must vanguish them to the land of evil so they would die there and we would be free..we can’t allow the village die from this evil you have brought upon us” A man spat to the father
“I didn’t bring any evil, my wife was possessed, didn’t you hear what the wise one said, the evil is everywhere even in you”
“Tufiakwa!!! the forces of our gods forbide, we should sacrifice you and your wife too, you both brought it down on us…it is you. it is you”
“Yes. Yes !!! ” the villagers chanted
“enough !!!” the king thunders ” Show some sympathy for them,they carried their pregnancy for nine months only to see that the things they carried were evil, how do you think they feel..see the woman, look at her, she has gone mad, she can’t focus, she is wondering how come she has two instead of one and how come they look alike and sound alike and play alife…it is enough to drive her crazy and here you are here asking for their head. then you should make sure not to sleep with your wives because you don’t know where and how they would come but what if they possess you or what if they take her womb like this woman , throws away your child and enter into her, splitting themselves into two, just know that we would kill you too as you suggests we kill them” the man is silent .
“wise one , prepare the necessary things, we must do the sacrifice …” the king add, his look grave.
it is dark when they get to the mouth of the evil forests, as they placed candles around the children who hadn’t stopped crying when they dragged them away from their mother’s suckling breasts…
they had to tie her with a rope and place something in her mouth to keep her away from the children and so that she can’t talk when they begin the ritual. ..they don’t carry the children with their bare hands, they place them on a wood and lift them.
the two faced children are tired, hands and legs bound by a tiny red rope. white chalks mark on their faces .. when they reach there they drop them down, close to the mouth of the evil forests where the errie sound comes from. . the villagers stand back..scared to come close.
only the wise one make a bold attempt…
“I am fortified with the charms of the Oracle. .no weapon ..no evil spirirt…no nothing can come near me. I ..the wise one , the eye of the Oracle ,the mouth piece of the gods have come to return back your gifts to the land.. we refuse to accept it and we return it back to you. these two faced demons, evil possessed. …spawns from the karashika, queen of the underworld. we return them back to you. the ones that cause harvoc and miseries , the one that comes with deaths, strife and all sorts of Abomination! !! these two faced children, same face , same body, same spirits splits into two. we return you… we return you
Ahhnnnnnnn dethikei ahamilieke..orisirishei tewi twei tweiiiiiikk brihrororoooooooo bleehhhhhh tsk tsk fufiakea Abomination …grrrrrhhhhhhhhhh wahoorshhrii shjhjaaaa
Take them back. take them back. .take them back. free our lands , free out women , leave our children alone. go back.. go back.. take your children. take them..take them!!” he sprinkles the blood of the goat over the children , Deeping the leaves in a bowl and sprinkles over them in a circle. …
” ABOMINATION! !!!!! WE PURGE OUR LANDS..WE CLEANSE IT…WE CLEANSE IT..RETURN BACK..RETURN BACK ..RETURRRRRNNN BACCKK!!! AHHHHH GIDIGIDI BLOMTOBKPP HAA KAA…” he dances.. he spat, he used his stick to hit the ground.
it takes 30 minutes ,then he is done.
he turns facing the villagers “Turn everyone ..let us all go back. do not turn . do not stare back at the children. do not. turn away and don’t turn untill you enter your houses and then you close your eyes and sleep” he urges them “if you turn you too shall die and go with them…sing the song , sing the song of the departed souls…sing the songs. ..the land must be cleansed ” the wise one chanted…
As they leave, disppaearing into the night.. the children are left wailing in the cold night. . they wail untill their tears are tired of dropping.. they wailed untill the night became thick with darkness…suddenly they stopped, as soon as the forests began to pull them in..drawing them in, soaking them in..like hands it carried them, like a cloth it covered them.. their baskets laid empty .the cloths used to cover the two faced children are left on the ground..
Tommorw the villagers would see that the children are gone..and they would believe that the wise one was right. .the forests have taken back their evil. the two faced children , naked they came..naked they return ..the forest takes back what the earth rejects, the forests takes back what the mothers of the earth threw away…the forests takes them and makes them one with them..and as the days go by , their bodies wither away…while they laid in the forests, bare and without the protection of the earth . their bodies decay as their flesh dies..but something happens. .the two faced children..bound together by blood, they reach for each other..staring into their eyes and then they climb out their bodies..and watch their human bodies become dusts..they were the first two faced twins and the forest ..become their home..
And as the years go by…they hear the sounds of villagers. .they hear them talking, they hear the incantations. ..they hear the cries of children. .and when the villagers leave..they reach out.. as the mouth of the forests open and pull the children in, the two faced children then takes them. They watch their flesh die and then they help the new two faced children climb out of their bodies and just like them, they hover in the forests , without directions,without focus..like air .like spirits. this forests became a home , their home and their prison.
Condemn to the life of evil..basking not in bliss but torment of abandonment.. waiting..waiting to be set Free .
And every year and another couple of months…More and more two faced children are been dropped at the mouth of the forests…left for dead..
A thousand years later…
they are more than a couple of two faced children in the evil forests, angered, bitter., seeking for revenge on the women who have given them up to die,the men who have carried them off to their deaths and the wise one who spat incantations on them..
A thousand years in the forests…their only desire is to be set free.free to see the outside world..to be free..to be free..To inflict pain on those who left them here to self. No matter how many times they have tried to break out of the forests…like barricade , they are thrown back.. the only time the forests opens its mouth is to take in another set of two faced two children. .
For years…they knew they would remain here..never dying..never truly living. . Tormented daily by the thoughts of family living them for dead. .they have long given up home..
untill Yesterday…When the mouth of the forest had opened up ..and a girl walks in..with a lamp in her hands, she had walked into the forests ..
the hovering spirits of the two faced children over the years hover above her…in the shadows of the night..
Two…hover down and stand infront of her.. then she becomes scared.. dropping the lamp, she screams and screams..
“ssshhh shsssh don’t scream. who are you and how come you can walk in here??”. Ezora asks the strange girl who had come in.. she hovers over her.. her sister Aroza is linked to her hands … the two faced children always walked around in pairs .
“how…how..?” She faints they gather around her…waiting..
“Dont touch her ” Ezora tells them, ” you have no idea what she carries. ”
“she isn’t one of us, she has skin like the people do beyond this forest. , just the way we were when the forests first took us..” Aroza says
“Yes. .but we came, small , in a bundle..and then our bodies die and dissolve..but she. .she is no baby and yet she is here” another two faced children. .his brother answers
“it’s been a long long time since they brought two faced children . the villagers.. its been so long. ” Ezora mentions
“a few hundred years maybe” her sister replies
“she is waking up” they say.. they all go back to hover..only two remain
Adora stirs and opens her eyes, then she screams again.. Ezora comes to her and touches her lips..
“No one will hear you other than our ears, the forests is thick with our presence. ..kindly tell us how you managed to come in here?”
Adora is looking at her, scared…
“who who are you..why are you here , how come you are here…and how come..how come “? Adora looks at Them..they are alike..they..are same..Another two faces children ..just like she and Nnnena, and in the evil forest,alife..how?
No…this isn’t possible. ..
they don’t have…bodies like her.
“my name is Ezora and this is my other half…Aroza , this is our home ..we are not just the two here…we are Legion.”
“What does Legion mean”
“it means we are many” Ezora tells her..”tell me..who are you and how come you can come in here..weren’t you scared.. what magic did you use..?”
“I. .I am Adora, no I wasn’t scared. I just walked in and it opened up for me..”
“are you alone?”
Adora nods her head…then she shakes her head “My sister..my sister is waiting for me outside..just there..she is scared to come in”
“because they said the forest is evil and no one is allowed to come near here or they all will die.”
Ezora hovers over her head and stands at the mouth of the forests ..then she touches it, laying her hands there…closing her eyes .
“I hear her…your sister, she is scared. .she is crying. ..I hear her…i” she turns quickly ..”Why are you crying ??” she asks Adora
“I am not the one crying..my sister when she cries I cry. when she is sad I am sad. when she is happy I am happy.. we are alike in so many ways..they call us the two faced children”
Ezora and Aroza turn to her sharply. .
Suddenly…they all come down to her.. round her..surrounding her .Adora begins to shake…she wants to run…but they are all around her…
“you are like us then? two faced like us…see..we all are two faced children. .”
Adora is scared. .. yet she looks around her.. some are behind them..
she sees that they are hovering. . she sees that she can see them , see their faces clearly and that two pairs each look alike, she also sees that.. she can see through them to the others to the others and to the others…
she wonders if they are like a hundred, a thousand of them or more….
“how is this possible? You are spirits? you are ghosts of dead two faced children? why don’t you have body like me?..I see that you have a body but I can see through your body ..as though it’s not tangible…how is it possible that you all are here..in this evil forests and not dead…are you all evil?”
“that is what we were told..or rather our parents ” one of the two faced twins says..this is a boy, his brother nods “They said we are from here and thus we must return”
“My our own mother killed us..as soon as we came out through her legs , with a knife and then at the dead of the night, she came and dumped us at the mouth of the forests”
“Ours drowned us in the well. .. we found ourselves here when we woke up”
“Ours. .the wise men brought us here”
“Ours.. ” they continue to speak
“And all of us..when we were babies, a day old to a few days”
“theirs were the longest , a week. they are the first two faced children ever born to man…by a woman” they point to Ezora and her sister Aroza …”they are the ones who helped us adjust and accept our fate. they are the ones who can tell you all that you need to know..they are the first of our Legion”
“But if you are one of us…how come you..are big and grown…tell us” they enquire
“how come they didn’t send you to the forests like us”?
“how come you stand here..whole..with your spirit inside of you..clothed in that body and you roam freely..and yet you can enter here at will….and can see us..how come…what have changed in the outside world..for years..we stopped hearing those chants..we stopped finding two faced twins on the ground, we stopped watching their bodies decay and help them out of their skin and give them to the forests as kin, like the way we were..for years…and then we wondered if the humans of the earth have long since died or if two faced children have stopped being birthed..now today..many years later you walk in here and you are a two faced child..your other half…we can feel her outside .tell us…” they enquire..
sometimes they speak with one voice.. Sometimes they speak separately.
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“we used to hear the story of two faced children..told down from generation to generation, but now…everyone believes it was just a myth, that it wasn’t real. it’s been so long and we hear the rumours too. but mama and papa told us..that the people with pale skin..they are from the heavens..they came., with a book and their mouth is sweat like honey.. they came and told them to stop . they said it was a woman, the one who anchored the movements, her name was …’Mary Slessor’, (Mary Mitchell Slessor).. she was called the white queen. She was the one who was brave and fought against it. she was the one who though had pale skin, hair long as silk and eyes different from us…she abolished it. ..and they said she saved and rescued two faced children from the forests..but we don’t know how true it is. they said she didn’t do it alone . they said she spoke about the one..the king of all who lived high up in the heavens. .they call him…’Jesus Christ’ .that he guided and protected her and that it was his gospel she preached to our forefathers and the fathers before them….and then after years and years of battling…the practice stopped. she told them that Two faced children were not Abominations. were not taboos ..that we are thesame like every one of the children who have their own face attached to them and not shared with their sibling..the way we share with our other half..”
“So that means that…There are two faced children apart from you living outside this walls..aside you and your ? ”
Adora shakes her head…”They said…because of the killings …that two faced children refuse to enter the wombs of women..and they ceased from the earth… We are the only ones. ..for a long time..”
“No one tries to harm you..? no one wants to kill you? your parents..they don’t carry you to the wise one and tell him to sacrifice you?”
she shakes her head..”Papa and mama adore us, other children play with us… they care and love us…No harm comes to us”
“So you walk around freely…Not a soul want to hurt you??”
Ezora is shocked… and then angered. “And we all..we all never had that chance to live, that chance to feed at our mother’s breasts and have our father’s carry us. we all didn’t have that chance to play and run with children and be loved by our peers..we all have been made to go through the cold hands of death and pulled out of our bodies, made to roam in this forests ..which have become our prison..our own hell..our own torment created by those humans. they conjured this forests..a place where they made to rid the earth of its evil…good and bad cannot mix so while they made the village a safe haven for them..they created here so they can throw all evil here..to die…but you see. the forest isn’t dead..the forest is alife and we are it’s life’s source…and the more we are…the more alife it gets…but how long do we live in this prison fashioned by man…how long do we roam..without bodies and hover. .how long…?our pain and anger should be metted out…we must make them suffer , those who have caused us these torment. .”
“But…its over a thousand years like have you said….none of your family are alife..” Adora says
“Yes. ..but their spawn lives..and spawn of their spawn .. a blood line ..creating generation to generation…even you are one of their spawn..you and your two faced sister”
Adora backs away, her fears returning a thousand folds
“You..you will hurt me?”
“No..but we would harm those who born you..”
“Yes..” Ezora says..her anger evident…they all speak in unison. .
“our suffering and pains for these years can’t be compared to what they would receive but we would derive joy to lash out …let them feel what they have put us through..an eye for an eye..we want the world to go blind”
“Then it is true..you ..you are evil..the forest is evil…I must go..I must tell them” she can’t move, she feels their hands holding her down…
“Yes you will leave Adora..but you would not be going alone….”
“leave me alone..let me go..please..I promise I would never come back..I promise I would never come back…please ” Adora cries.
she should have listened . she should have never come here. the forests was evil and so were the two faced twins
Run Nnnena ..run. .
go and tell father and mother .
go and tell the village. .Evil is coming..and they are Legion..
she willed to her sister. ..
“Stop her..she is calling our to her two faced sister…”
“It doesn’t matter….I will go out with her…and I promise you all…..I shall bring back bodies for you to be clothed with…and we shall mett out vengeance on them….one by one..every child..every woman..every man. we shall eat their flesh and drink that blood..we shall destroy their legacy and we shall burn their homes untill there is nothing left…then we shall keep the bodies of their two faced children and make them our own…This forest is not our home…but we shall bring this evil forest to their home..and I shall begin with This two faced child….Her body would become mine. her mind would be my thoughts and the words she speaks would be my words…No one shall notice. no one would know….”
And with that…while Adora screamed and screamed…Ezora.. enters her mouth…and they close it..
she slums to the ground..
Aroza touches the form…and shakes it…, it stirs and opens its eyes..
“Sister …is that you sister or the two faced one has eaten you up and made you less than she is”
Adora smiles…”No sister. .it is I…the first of the Legion.”
They hug…all of them touch her by her shoulders. .
“Go…and don’t forget us..”
“I won’t. ..I would bring back her other half…and you Aroza would take her..then I would come back for you all…..”She turns away…and goes to the mouth of the forest. ..
it opens up..she leaves..
Nnnena …who was about running away turns and sees her..Happy she rushes and hugs her, cryng. ..
“Oh sister my dear sister..I thought something happened to you..Oh please don’t go there again. .please..lets go home. I was so scared.” she hugs her again and begin to drag her home..
Adora who is now Ezora smiles…“Yes..No one would know that this isn’t Adora anymore. .that..This is Legion…I carry the spirit of the forests within me”
while they slept…she was awake…
Happy. .free..she went outside…
This…this was freedom..this was joy .this was peace.
she would return back there…after she lures This..two faced child..Nnnena into the forests to get back her own two faced sister..
Yes she had promised the rest of the two faced children she would find bodies for them.
Tonight she would sleep..tomorrow the journey would begin.
Nnnena noticed Adora seemed different..
Adora would no longer follow her father to the farm the way Adora used to do
she would now prefer to walk around the village…
Sometimes she askes Nnnena to follow her.
“To search if they are others like us..even in the neighbouring villages.”
“There are none”
But she would go and search..
each evening coming back angry..
“Adora .where do you disappear to every day…Adora???” their father stood calling her. .he held a cane
“Papa two faced ..please..please forgive her ” Their mother held the cane, hoping to drag it away from him
Nnnena rushes to her sister. .”Papa please”
“Adora come here…what has gotten into you. these days you wake up and you disappear, you that used to be my shadow, you that used to help around the house and in the farm, you that used to want to be like the boy I never had..you..the obedient child, loving and caring like your two faced sister.. you.. now…You ignore your mother when she talks, you quarrel with your sister, you disrespect me in front of others, you….leave your home, and you don’t return hours later, you go from house to house… and begin to peer into their children’s faces, you are starting to scare the children, people say they see you walking around at night and you talk to yourself. ….Adora..is it a boy you are following. .is that it? but before you would get spoilt..I will beat it out of you. no child of mine would disgrace me.. No child of mine would bring dishonour to my name.. you have been our joy and blessing. ..but these days..it’s as though we don’t know you. ..
Last time your mother called you to help her you don’t. .she fell and injured herself.. the other day it was a hot water , the other day, that child that ran after you you turned and pushed her , what is wrong with you. ..I will beat it out of you…come here now..” He strugged away “Obim,leave me ..leave me…she is my daughter..let me teach her a lesson. beating doesn’t kill, my father beat me..my mother beat me..it helped me straighten up..I would do the same to my daughter”
he goes to Adora, pushing Nnnena away, he drags her to the Hut, he sits on a wooden chair, he pushes her over his legs,
“Papa please..papa please ” Nnnena begs
“Ah papa two faced..please please….Haaa…please ” their mother begs
but Adora doesn’t beg..
“Adora beg papa..tell him you are sorry …Adora please. .”
Adora looks ahead. ..”I am not afraid of little pats of cain. I have experienced something harsher ..worst than death” she smiles.
He flogs her with the cane..
Adora doesn’t flinch..
Done…He drags her up…
“Next time, next time you would behave properly ” he says walking away
her mother comes and gathers her into her arms…”Ha..Adora…my daughter..I am sorry. come let me rub balm on you..it would sooth the pain”
Adora shakes her head “Don’t worry mama, I am fine” She walks away
Her mother crying , goes in to meet her husband. .
you can hear them quarreling..
Nnnena goes to meet her sister ..whom she finds, sitting. .she is smiling to herself..
”Adora…are you okay?”
“Yes..why won’t I be?”
“papa flogged you.., you shouldn’t be”
“Adora..is something wrong? you sound different. you seem different..you even smile different…”
Adora turns to her..”Do you really want to know ?”
her sister nods her head…
“Then follow me tonight then you would see”
“The evil forest”
“Are you mad? what is wrong with you. what is with you always talking about that place.. since you came back you have been acting strange … so strange that. . ”
“that what?” Adora looks at her..
“That..Sometimes I feel as though you are not my sister..my two faced other… sometimes. ..I don’t feel that connection… I used to feel your sadness and happiness but I have noticed that…it feels as though we aren’t connected anymore…like..we are not thesame ”
“That’s because we are not..”
“What did you say ? what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing Nnnena. .Nothing. .leave me alone. I want to be alone” Adora turns away
Nnnena sighs and walks away.
Adora (Ezora) watches her leave…
“Ezora… do not forget me here” her sister had said to her when she dreamed of her
“I will not Aroza…soon. .you too would get your freedom. ” she had replied
she has to look for a way to get Nnnena to that forest…whatever it takes..