In an island, a hurricane lamp that hung at the centre of a living room of a thatch building subdued the power of darkness in the room. Weary sound from the forest and wave from the sea generated a scary atmosphere.
“Loooom!!” a distant deep voice enhanced the fear at the ungodly hours of the night and attracted a young woman to the living room where she listened attentively again for the sound.
She wore a bogus night gown. The ray of light from the lamp reflected on her face as she hung it off from its resting position Thus, her complexion increased. Suddenly, a ten years old Erika stepped out too, rubbing her eyes half asleep.
“Mother, what’s that sound?” she asked.
Monica, the mother, swiftly turned with the look of perturbation. “Erika, go inside!” she instructed.
Erika hesitated. For the second time, the scary sound came to their hearing like early morning bell of some Pentecostal churches. Erika’s eyes met with her mother’s then she said, “Mother, we’re all alone in an island with papa Joe. I think he’s the one making the sound. Mother, he needs our help.”
“Erika, we both know that papa Joe is the last person that will need help. He’s the god of this island. I’ve wondered what such a man is doing here all alone with…”
“Looom!!” the voice interrupted her. She glanced at the door with the lamp well stretched. It was impossible for her to leave the house without her daughter following her. She knew it, therefore both surged out of the room.
The wind generated by the wave flung their wears haphazardly as they were briskly walking into the forest like hunters.
“Walk closely beside me, Erika.” Monica whispered holding her by the hand while the other hand got hold of the lamp. The motion was like walking through principalities and powers.
Nevertheless, they succeeded in going into another building of papa Joe after a few minutes walk to see the man lying on the floor, face up.
“Papa Joe..” Monica went down to him while Erika roamed her eyes around the room fearfully. “Whats wrong with you, Papa Joe?” the young woman asked.
The man couldn’t be audible. So Erika watched how her mother placed her ears to his in order to hear him. Sadly, she stood up from the floor.
“Mother, what?” Erika asked her.
“Papa Joe is dead.” She replied. Swiftly, she dropped the lamp, picked a stone and began to write on the floor as the child watched her in anticipation.
The young girl approached closer, “Mother, what are you writing?”
Monica said nothing but continued writing until the sentence became clear to her. Therefore, she read thus: GOOD LUCK, LAD.
Monica stood up saying. “The last words of the dead.”
“What about it, mother?”
“It’s powerful. It’s awakens hidden knowledge. Before your soul leaves your body, it triggers the mouth to reveal the hidden things of the surrounding and it always comes in short sentences. Some just say a word before the soul finally leave their bodies.”
Erika glanced at papa Joe’s dead body on the floor and the sentence then back to her mother saying, “What’s so hidden in ‘GOOD LUCK, LAD’? Who was he even referring as lad?” She asked smartly.
“It sounds odd, right? That’s why it’s called the last words of the dead. The words need to be decoded just like puzzle to get the meaning?”
“Then decode it, mother.”
Monica stared at the words for some seconds. She shook her head and picked up her lamp. “This is the hardest part of knowledge. It isn’t gonna be easy.” she sadly said.
Erika looked up at her. “Who taught you this, mother?” she asked.
“You won’t know him, his name is Nwachukwu.” she picked up her hurricane lamp. “Let’s leave.” She dragged her by the hand….
“Vivian, you went through my secret dairy?” The young president asked fiercely which brought about not only silence in the living room but also tension. Obviously, teacher Murphy’s anger was really arising as his shoes were making an interval sound on the tiled floor. “Vivian!!” he shrieked and stopped. His voice alone startled the poor girl whose heart had accelerated already.
“Murphy?” Erika called in order to calm him down, yet, the glare at Vivian was like a roaring fire. Nobody uttered a word again. Of course they knew that Murphy would not sweep the matter under the carpet even Vivian knew about it, so she said, “I’m sorry, it was a mistake. I didn’t mean to. It happened the day I ran out of your room.”
All watched Murphy’s reaction. The young boy just couldn’t say anything again, so he turned to leave the building for the third time, yet, they never allowed him.
“Murphy.” Dave had called him back. “Ella’s issue is beyond the physical. According to Obi and Vivian, before she attempted suicide, they heard her talking to nobody inside her room.”
“More like talking to another person.” Obi clarified.
Murphy exhaled. “All I have to say is stay with Ella and don’t make her feel inferior or thinks she’s insane. Treat her like an egg.”
“Like an egg?” Ada spoke out. “Why? Ella has done more harm than good. She had subjected us into several problems and now is a spiritual one at the look of things. So why must we treat her like an egg?”
“Ada, you stupidly stood on a landmine, ruined our plans at the white house when we surged to leave with the device. Daniella broke teacher Nwachukwu’s rules for your sake, demanding that he set you free! When you fucked up at the shopping boutique, Teacher left you behind, but we stood, strategized to bring you back! When teacher refused to take you back, we all knelt down In front of the love garden for your sake!” he lowered his voice. “So tell me, Ada, who caused more problems?”
Silence once again took over. Ada instantly became ashamed and remorseful.
“Love!” Teacher Murphy continued looking at them all. “Love and stand for your brothers and sisters, even your friends without counting the wrongs, mistakes or even their weakness and sexuality. Whatever that is happening is a drum of death beating so loud that I don’t know how to trace the source. So losing any of you will be the last thing I will allow. I will never forgive myself if it happens.” he turned to leave once again but Erika interrupted.
“Teacher Murphy, my father died in your arms. What was his last words or sentence?” he had asked.
Obi shook his head. “Erika, your questions normally cause problems!” he lamented.
“No, wait!” Murphy instructed him coz he was ready for Erika too. So he stepped closer to her saying “What do you need the last words for?”
“I just want to know.” Erika spread her hands.
“Must you know everything?” Judith backfired, while Dave silently tapped her to calm down.
“Teacher Nwachukwu was my father for crying out loud. I have the right to know.”
Judith stepped out to her neglecting Dave’s resistance. “Young girl, for your information, your father was not only our father too but also our mother. So who has a better right?” she challenged.
“Is okay, Judith” Murphy tapped her shoulder, looking at Erika. “We all are equal but if you must know his last words, he said and I quote: “Now you have the answer to everything that will guide you on the presidential seat. I taught you criminal love but show the citizens practical love. Good luck, lad.”
“Good luck, lad?” Erika surprisingly repeated.
“Yes, what are you not telling me?”
She exhaled. “Nothing. Thank you for your response, teacher Murphy” she replied.
Finally, Murphy left.
Darkness covered the city of Kali and the entire country. Murphy once again stood by the window of his room, intelligently trying to ascertain everything that happened during the day. At that point, he wished Vivian was beside him to decode everything easily.
“Last words of teacher Nwachukwu.” he began to think. “Why did Erika ask that question? Good luck, lad.. She repeated. What is she not telling me?” he walked out from the window to his bed still thinking. “..teacher told me to awaken my knowledge. To awaken my knowledge wasn’t it to decode his statements which I did? If not that, is it his last words before he died? Huh.. is it what I should decode. What could be hidden in his last words?” he was getting close to discover what Erika is trying to know too. That makes him a clever teacher.
“I feel the worst is about to happen.” Murphy concluded…
TO BE CONTINUED.