“Is this where she lives?” Miriam asked Chioma who led her toward Ezinne’s hut.
“Yes,” Chioma said. “And she already knows that we are here.”
“Your mother is a great witch,” Miriam remarked. “I wonder how she lives until now.”
“My daughters, come inside,” Ezinne said from within the hut. Chioma and Miriam bent slightly as they walked through the door.
“Mama how are you?” Chioma asked.
“I am getting old, and very soon I will be no more,” the old woman said.
“Mama, stop talking like that,” Chioma said. “We all know that you are very strong.”
“My daughter, you need to be prepared for the war that is almost upon us,” Ezinne said. “This is just the beginning, and I need a strong successor.”
“Mama I have heard you, but please stay alive for me because I can’t do without you.” Although Chioma was close to tears, she fought hard to stay strong.
“Miriam,” Ezinne called. Miriam and Chioma stared at her in shock.
“Mama, how did you know her?” Chioma asked.
“They showed everything to me today,” she said.
After Obiageli’s departure, Ezinne had been sitting outside her hut, picking beans, so could prepare a nice meal for her daughter’s visit, when suddenly she’d felt a woman’s presence.
Although she didn’t know why, she’d subconsciously acclimatized herself to the woman’s presence.
“Ezinne, I’m here to warn you to stay away from my revenge or you will die with it,” the woman had said.
“If death is all it will cost me to stop you, then I’m more than willing to stop you,” Ezinne had replied.
“Ezinne, don’t test my patience or I will kill you,” Nnenna had said just before disappearing.
Ezinne pulled herself out of her thoughts. “Now I know that I am a threat to her, so I have to stop her.”
“But how?” Miriam asked.
“A sacrifice is needed,” Ezinne explained. “Two women will be sacrificed and they must accept it willingly or else the sacrifice will not be accepted.”
Gazing at Miriam, she changed the topic. “My daughter, tell me how you ended up in the palace.”
Miriam narrated the story of how she’d been sent to the palace to stop her mother’s vengeance from pushing through.
Chioma stared at her in awe. “Wow, so you are a mermaid and you even came to stop her.”
“Actually, I am the child who was used in building that palace,” Miriam said. “And as far as my soul lays under that palace, I will protect it before my time is up.”
“We should make a plan,” Ezinne said.
Chioma nodded. “Yes, mama, I think you have a point.”
Their conversation extended for close to an hour, after which Chioma and Miriam decided it was time to return to the palace.
A fierce wind whirled around them as they stepped out of the hut.
“Something is wrong,” Ezinne said.
“I felt it too,” Chioma said.
Miriam clutched her chest. “My heart is beating fast and I feel like crying but I don’t know why.”
“You girls should rush to the palace and find out what is wrong,” Ezinne said, dismissing them.
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“I have to tell the Queen what I know before this whole thing gets out of hand,” Amara said to herself.
Suddenly, she felt a presence and turned around. A beautiful woman stood a distance away, staring at her
“Who are you?” Amara asked, frightened.
“I am Nnenna,” the woman said. “The mother of the girl you are harboring evil for.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Amara said.
“Ella did the same thing and I killed her,” Nnenna said. “She reported my daughter to the Queen and that was why I killed her. I won’t think twice before killing you if you ever try to get yourself involved in my revenge.”
Suddenly, a strong wind blew, accompanied by the roar of thunder.
“I will not warn you again,” Nnenna said. “Ella eavesdropped on my daughter and a girl called Chioma when they were discussing and she was jealous of the fact that the Prince was dating Miriam. She let envy get the best of her. She was capable of murder, because she wanted the Queen to kill Miriam for being a mermaid and the Prince’s girlfriend, so she reported her to the Queen. I had to kill her, and I will not hesitate to kill anyone who poses a threat, so you better not interfere.”
Nnenna disappeared. Gasping, Amara looked around the room. Her heart slammed violently against her chest. “God, what have I gotten myself into? In fact, I am not working again. My life is more important to me than this palace job. I have to resign before I get killed for something I don’t know. So Ella was this bad and nobody knew. She kept on pretending to be a funny and nice girl. Ella, why?”
There was no time to waste. She had to leave the palace as soon as possible.
“Hello who is this?” Queen Jaja asked, gluing her phone to her ear. Her eyes widened as she listened to the person on the other end.
“What?” she screamed, springing to her feet. “Oh no. God, please don’t let this happen to me.”
Her phone slithered away from her grasp and crashed onto the floor. “Emeka!”
A guard raced into the room. “Yes my Queen.”
“Get the car keys,” Queen Jaja said. “We are going to the hospital. The Prince just had an accident.”
“Okay, your majesty,” Emeka said, bowing down.
At the blink of an eye, they arrived at the hospital.
Spotting Tony walking to and fro in the reception, Queen Jaja sprinted to his side.
“Tony,” she called.
“Good afternoon, your majesty,” Tony greeted. He’d returned to Nigeria today, and was the one who’d carried Michael to the hospital.
“Where is my son?” the Queen demanded.
“The doctors are still working on him,” Tony said.
“We just have to hope for the best.”
“But how did it happen?” she asked.
Tony breathed heavily. “When I called him earlier, he told me to go straight to the house, that he was going out to get something and that he would meet me at home. So I headed out of the airport, and on my way here, I saw a car that had halted in the middle of the road. When I saw the driver’s head resting on the steering wheel, I went closer to investigate, only to realize it was Michael. I think he had a heart attack while driving, and then he fainted. So I had to bring him here and call you over.”
Queen Jaja sobbed. “Oh heavens, please. The festival is just around the corner and the ritual will take place soon.”
“What ritual are you talking about?” Tony asked.
“It’s for his health,” Queen Jaja said. “We need to sacrifice two women for this whole calamity going around in the palace to stop, and for the healing of his heart.”
“You mean you will kill two human beings for this land and for the Prince?” Tony asked, unable to believe his ears.
“Yes, and we need to do it fast before it is too late, “Queen Jaja said. “But the problem is that the Chief Priest said they must willingly accept the task.”
“And you think you will get anyone who will be willing to die?” Tony asked. “Or do you think the Prince will be happy with this?”
Tony’s questions rendered Queen Jaja speechless.
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