“Joy, have you heard?” Angel asked Joy. The two girls were heading for the stream, with empty buckets in their hands.
“Heard what?” Joy asked.
“That the Prince is coming to the Obi today and will be sharing gifts,” Angel said excitedly.
“Oh heavens!” Joy said. “That’s good news.”
Joy elbowed Angel, directing her attention at Obiageli who’d been quiet all through the walk.
“Obiageli,” Angel said. “You seem lost in thoughts. What happened?”
“Calamity will befall this kingdom soon,” Obiageli said. “But what I don’t know is how it is associated with the return of the Prince.”
“And what do you mean by that?” Joy asked.
“I had a terrible dream,” Obiageli said. “Everybody in this village was lying dead, but only a certain woman was seen, going house to house in search of any survivors. Suddenly, the sky was filled with smoke and vultures descended on the bodies but could not eat any. Instead they picked up all the bodies and transported them to the palace, and then they disappeared. But one body was missing.”
“This your dream is very scary o,” Joy said, petrified. “I don’t even know why I asked you to tell me. The last time you told me your dream, five people died on the same day in this village. And the disturbing thing is that they died the same way you told me they would die”
“But how did you know how many bodies were there to be able to tell when one was missing?” Angel asked. “How did you know it was the whole village? Did you count all the villagers?”
“No,” Obiageli said. “There was this particular dead body that got my attention the most. He was wearing a crown on his head which means he was royal, and a certain light was glittering around him.
But when those vultures took the bodies to the palace and dropped them there, he was missing and the old woman was laughing like she knew what happened.”
“Hmm,” Joy said. “Seriously this story is quite scary and I know that you didn’t just have that dream for nothing. So what are you planning to do?”
“If you ask me, I think you’re just thinking too much,” Angel teased. “I mean you have not even seen the Prince and you’re already dreaming about him. Or are you falling for him? I heard he is so handsome and sexy.”
Joy glowered at Angel. “Can’t you be serious for once?”
“What do you want me to say?” Angel asked. “You want me to be scared like you or start jumping because her dreams always come true? See, if you ask me I think she needs to stop thinking too much and maybe if she follow us to the Obi today then she will know what the Prince really looks like.”
The three girls walked in silence, each one overwhelmed with unsettling thoughts.
‘What could possibly befall this village?’ Joy asked herself for the umpteenth time.
“You said that you can get a perfect pacifier for this sacrifice?” Queen Jaja asked the Chief Priest.
“Yes my Queen,” the Chief Priest said. “In fact, I am already working on it, and very soon, Alaga herself will choose who is perfect for the ritual and everything will be done on the Alaga festival, so be prepared.”
“Thank heavens that the gods are still on my side or else I wouldn’t have known what to do,” Queen Jaja said. “Who do you think they will ask for?”
“I had a revelation, a prophecy,” the chief priest said proudly. “A child who searches for a road. If she doesn’t get to find it, I will show her the road by using her for the sacrifice.”
Queen Jaja’s face wrinkled with confusion. “I don’t understand.”
“She is asking for two pacifiers who will willingly agree to be used for this sacrifice,” the Chief Priest explained. “Or else she will destroy the palace and the entire village.”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying,” Queen Jaja said.
“Once upon a time in this palace, a woman was killed, and her baby was sacrificed to Alaga. That woman is back and she is very angry with this palace. She said that everything started in this palace and so everything will end here. She is ready to kill everyone who knows about the story and she is starting with the palace. My Queen, she is already in this village, and soon she will step her foot in this palace, and once that is done, disaster will befall this kingdom.”
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