We Are Not Cursed #12


 Edited by: Darlene Jones



He stood alone in the shadows of the harmattan twilight, the sky overcast with gold, and thought of Okuoba. Her father had said that she was deserving of a rich man or a famous warrior as a husband. Now, thirteen full moons later, those words came back to him. As they were growing up, he’d watched her play with boys and girls from the nearby compounds. He’d gladly accepted her invitation to play with her and the other children only to be stopped moments afterwards by her father, who stormed in on them and pulled Okuoba away from him. He couldn’t understand why, but he was certain about the look on her father’s face. It was a warning frown that forced him into making a quick apology.

After the incident, he resorted to watching her—just as he’d previously done. That was when he came to understand that there was a gulf in class between them. This made him feel different. Hollow. Cursed. He tried to convince himself that even though he may have woken up to the wrong side of life, there was a chance that he could still shine someday. Seeing her each day increasingly made him nurse the thought that she had a role to play in what lay ahead.

Okuoba, upon blossoming into a well-rounded beauty, made him conclude that she indeed was the only key to his future happiness. Like other inhabitants in Ngwo and beyond, who believed in reincarnation, he was confident that going into a union with her would grant him a respectable status in the next life.

Because he wanted her and her father’s wealth, he’d to connive with the rejects he’d hired to eliminate her brother—the heir apparent to the lands and livestock he coveted. Through a juju priestess he then offered her brother’s blood to his gods in return for cover from being spotted as the main perpetrator of the murder, and when the time was right, to use the sacrificial blood potion as a charm that would help him ask for Okuoba’s hand in marriage without fear or shame of his very low status.

Now his ultimate plan was on the verge of being ruined. How could fate present him with Okuoba, an embodiment of pleasure and good fortune, and yet cause him to struggle with other men for her? Wouldn’t life be a cruel journey if his entire effort came to waste?

Remembering the news about Okuoba’s failed abduction made him kick up dust in anger. He drew in quick raspy breath before fisting his open palm in utter frustration. Though he was very much aware of Ibeabuchi’s friendship with Okuoba, he never expected that his clearest rival would be the lone hunter. Could it be that Ibeabuchi was infatuated all this while? So, in order to have her before any other man could, he attempted to abduct her? Squeezing his fist into the other hand, he cursed. Ibeabuchi shouldn’t be allowed to live on. Even if the lone hunter eventually apologized to Okuoba and her family in order to avoid exile, that wouldn’t stop him from taking Ibeabuchi’s life.

He contemplated for a moment if Dubem, her rescuer, desired her as well. The fool, who should have been killed alongside her brother, was a man after all. And only an insane man would give no thought or words about such a woman.

Familiar voices from behind made him turn around.

He’d been expecting the men since the sun set.

Part Eleven||Part Twelve

40 thoughts on “We Are Not Cursed #12

  1. Uh-oh – trouble ahead. So, Ibeabuchi is not the villain… at least not THAT villain, and there are more murders planned. This is great, a very nice on-the-edge-of-the-seat moment. Argh, but now I have to wait to find out what happens!

    Great writing, Uzoma. 😀

      1. This has made me very interested in Ibeabuchi and what he will get up to. Things are not what they seem. I like very much how you show the true villain’s character through his eyes and thoughts, yet we (the readers) do not yet see his face, we do not know who he is. This is excellent stuff, Uzoma. 😀

        1. This is actually the second episode where we get to see the hood guy and we now know more about what drives him. Wonder if you got to read the first here: https://85degrees.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/we-are-not-cursed-2/

          Placing Ibeabuchi in between the killer’s sole intention was my plan of heightening the tension and broadening the possibilities of how the end will look like. Learning that this has worked and impressed you makes me happy. Very happy.

          1. Hi Uzoma. When I first found your site and bumped into this series, I immediately went back to the very start and read them all. 🙂 The tension works well, and it is building. The villain will stop at nothing now, he has already killed and already shown himself smart enough to cover his tracks through juju. Now all focus will be – wrongly – on Ibeabuchi, and that will make everybody vulnerable.

            That’s how I’m seeing it. 😀

            I look forward to reading more. Cheers!

            1. Aha! That’s the writer in you talking. I feel for Ibeabuchi. But then, that’s life. And life can be cruel at times.

              Thanks for being a loyal reader. I feel like a student whenever I visit your blog.

              1. LOL. Man, we’re all students. The moment we stop being students, we start being smug and there is nothing worse than that. I hope to be a student until the day I die. 😀

    1. My editor loves that line too.

      This is my first attempt at writing a mystery/suspense story and I am happy it’s not been disappointing so far.

  2. One whole episode through the eyes of the perpetrator. But the eyes see out and not at – hence, we’re left intrigued. Who is this — perpetrator — who plans more murders?

    Though in one sense, I feel his plans have too many holes to carry the full weight of success, without grave leakages. Therein lies the madness of lust and avarice. A man who believes in reincarnation, has missed the essence of rebirth and placed his head into the lion’s jaws. This much I fear – not for him and his just rewards, but I fear for the innocent who will be sacrificed on his altar of madness.

    I’ll return to read the continuance – that’s for sure, Uzo my friend. A wonderful read.

    Peace and all good wishes keep you company,

    1. You are an intelligent analyst, Eric! Oh my word! I read your comment with so much delight because that’s almost the way the whole story will pan out. *whispers: hope I’m not leaking a secret here. In life, karma does the checks and balances. And this villain surely has placed his head into the lions jaws.

      Thanks for the handsome comment.

  3. Hmnn, read the first comment and had to go back and re read the first line all over again.

    That was ingeneous!
    …Sky overcast with Gold and thoughts of Okuoba…

    I’m on Dubem’s side actually. Let’s see how the story plays out.

  4. Excellent, Uzoma. What a brilliant motif to heighten the intrigue–this mysterious perpetrator standing in the shadows. Agree with Eric Alagan’s thoughtful analysis. Looking forward to reading the rest of this swirling stew of intrigue, passion, class, loyalty, ritual, courage that you are stirring so masterfully. Cheers, my friend.

    1. I’m so much loving it at this point especially *wink-wink* As much as I don’t like villain, I enjoy writing about his part and getting into his head.

      Sirena, I’m very grateful for your time.

  5. Although there’s no action and no dialogue, I think this is my best so far. I like villains in a story, not because they’re bad guys, though. I like them when the author writes them well and gives them good depth and motives. That’s what you’ve done here, Uzo. And you also created a lot of intrigue and suspense. If this was a book, I wouldn’t be “wasting my time” saying this. I’d turn to the next page quickly.

    Could you post the next instalment tomorrow? Nwanne m biko.:(

    1. Yes, o. I know you will like this part the most — just as I did while reading about the killer’s monologue and then about his antics in your story, “The Beach Man.”

      “If this was a book, I wouldn’t be “wasting my time” saying this. I’d turn to the next page quickly.” <– LMAO! Oga easy o…

  6. And the plot thickens as they say. I”ll be back!

    btw, “Like other inhabitants in Ngwo and beyond, who believed in incarnation, …” did you mean reincarnation?

    1. Oh-oh. Yes. That should have been “reincarnation” instead of “incarnation.” Thanks for spotting that 🙂 I will make the correction right away 🙂

      Thanks for the keen reading, Timi.

  7. Fascinating insight into the mind of an obsessed man, Uzo. Can’t wait to see if this is who I suspect it is or a yet unknown character. But I do hope that he is stopped before he kills anyone else.

    1. Oh Lena, when I read stories in this genre, I also try to figure out who the villain is before s/he is finally unmasked. I look forward to ending this story on a high. By then, hopefully you would share with me who has been your prime suspect all along.

  8. I went back and reread the whole series – it is so complicated and exciting as you keep taking us readers deeper and deeper into the unknown! Aaaarrrghh – I can’t wait to see what will happen!’

  9. You know how to keep secrets Uzoma, but so do I! I’ll wait for you to unravel this malicious schemer, until then, you’ve done a perfect job of teasing us with your plot mavericks!! I love it!!
    🙂 🙂

    1. Hehe 🙂 I guess we writer have that knack for teasing our reader. Poor me, I know how strongly I looked forward to reading your story. If I may ask, how is it going?

  10. Enjoying the series. But I have difficulty getting back to the earlier chapters each time. I had that problem with my story too on my blog. I fixed my story up a bit so that it reads from Chapter #1, but it’s still a bit clumsy.

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