Yomi had second thoughts about taking his best friend Dapo to see the old man. He remembered that his father had told him that the place was a sacred family shrine and no one should ever know about it.
His memory had been jogged by a dream he had had, in which he had seen both of them in front of the old man who seemed very angry that he had brought Dapo; and for that reason he had pronounced a curse on both of them, for bringing a stranger to desecrate hallowed ground.
Yomi knew that there were things he no longer remembered, and yet there were things he ought to remember but somehow his memory appeared to be blocked. There were other members of his family, so why did he only remember his sister Kemi?
He had vague memories of twins somewhere in his past but he just couldn’t put his finger on those memories, so he had simply shut his mind to them. But now that he had set out for the village, his thoughts turned towards his childhood days. They had not been happy days. He remembered clearly that his parents were always quarrelling.
Once; his father had pronounced certain words over his mother in anger and for two days his mother hadn’t been able to say a word.
Yomi stared at the jungle undergrowth around him that he had been struggling through for the past hour or so. He was not sure anymore if he had gotten the right directions to the village. Things had changed since he had last come here. He didn’t remember the way to the village, but he still remembered the name…it was Oru village…it meant Village of Darkness.
The old man Dapo had gone to see on behalf of his friend Yomi, had told him that the village had been so named because of the atrocities committed in it over the decades. He said that the inhabitants of the village descended from a powerful warlock who had populated his tribe through incest, adultery with neighbours kidnapped from surrounding villages, and other horrible means. The warlock was said to have a huge black dog as his constant companion.
“Sometimes this huge dog was said to have appeared to people in their dreams asking them to give themselves and their families up to the warlock or face retribution. The warlock even slept with the little children of the village that had been offered up to him to avoid the retribution the black dog had threatened; and the list of atrocities went on and on till a curse descended upon the land and the murdered people that had been buried were beginning to be spewed up by the land”, the old man further explained as Dapo sat on a mat beside him.
The man had three wives all of whom were very old, but Dapo had never seen such an old man before. The very skin on his face was almost beginning to become tranparent. Dapo could almost see his cheek bones beneath his paper thin skin. It was on the tip of Dapo’s tongue to ask him how old he was, but he knew it was considered disrespectful to ask an elder about their age.
“Some said they saw their dead relatives appearing to them at the stream where they went to wash water. Others said they saw multitudes of ghostly people entering the village dressed in bloodied clothes, I was one of those who saw them” continued the old man.
“One night, there were sudden screams of terror as people fled their homes in the dead of the night. The story was that the ghostly multitude that had entered the village had come for their living relatives.”
“No one remained in the village except the elderly folk who had no strength to flee. Then it was that the powerful warlock assembled all of them together and made a covenant with them for their souls. I ran for dear life out of the village.”
“He promised that he would renew their youth and give them power beyond imagining if they would accept him as their god and do his bidding without question. The poor elderly folk had no choice but to accept, but were terribly surprised when he made good on his promise and the following morning after the covenant had been made through several rigorous rituals; they found themselves in thirty year old bodies, young and strong again.”
“What was more surprising was that the powerful warlock had vanished and in his place was a giant…taller than five humans standing on each other’s heads according to the story. He was translucent and yet he could touch physical things, and his eyes smouldered with fire as he told them his story.”
“There had been twenty six elderly folk at that time; so they repopulated the village after the warlock had made them young and strong again. The giant told them that he had merely borrowed a ‘body’ and disguised himself as a powerful warlock.”
“He had been the son of a fallen angel and there were thousands of them. The flood had killed them all, for they had mortal bodies; but their spirits were immortal and so they remained on earth possessing mortal bodies including those of animals and living vicariously through them; until the fallen angels saw the pleasure they enjoyed and decided to join them.”
“There was then a disagreement as the fallen angels who had escaped incarceration at the hands of the Heavenly Hosts, came down to take over from the giants; they claimed that mortals had been their possession in the first place, and there would have been no giants had they not mated with mortal women.”
But the spirits of the giants whom mortals had named demons, disagreed with them. They said the time of the fallen angels came to an end when the flood came and a new beginning was ushered in. They said it was now their own time.”
“There were eight powerful fallen arch angels who swore to bring the demons to their knees by force. The giant warned the mortals that when the fallen angels came, they would introduce themselves as the Earth Mothers, and they would take possession of Eight mortals through whom they would rule” the old man coughed and wheezed.
“After they had worshipped him, he chose eight out of them to be his leaders and gave them specific roles to play. He warned them again of the coming of the Earth Mothers; that they would be eight in number, possessing the bodies of mortals. The Eight he had chosen would also be possessed by powerful arch demons and when the time came, the Eight would battle the Eight.”
“He told them their purpose on earth was to groom disciples who would possess powers such as the giants of old had had. Your friend Yomi will step into his late father’s shoes to fulfil his destiny and bring forth the Trinity. The fallen angels have given him his father’s legacy,” the old man’s voice was fading.
“Finally he had told them about the coming birth of the Dark Kingdom and then he had told them his name…his name was Azrael!”
Dapo had told Yomi that the moment his godfather had told him the whole story, he had collapsed and had managed to whisper into Dapo’s ear…
“I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. It is the only way I can be released from the earth…by telling this story to one who is destined to play a part in the Dark Kingdom…you are not the one; but you will assist him. Thank you for releasing me from this life!” the old man wheezed and then breathed his last.
His relatives had breathed a sigh of relief.
“He was our great, great, great grandfather. He said he was over 150 years old, but no one believed him,” said one of the elderly folk that had gathered at the time Dapo came.
“He must have been kept alive by magical powers,” another had said.
“Somehow you broke his magical powers,” said another.
Dapo had noticed something about all of the descendants of the old man who had just told the story…they all had dilated pupils that gleamed with unnatural light.
Dapo had left in a hurry. By the time he got back to Ibaje city, he had already made up his mind. He wasn’t going to travel with Yomi. He was tough, strong and fearless…but this experience had scared him…he wasn’t ready to involve himself in anything that smacked of the occult…traditional juju was very dangerous stuff.
But then, Yomi had already made up his mind not to take Dapo along because of the dream he had had, so everything worked out just fine.
Yomi rubbed his eyes. He was tired to the point of exhaustion and he could see no end to the jungle undergrowth around him that seemed to stretch for miles and miles.
That was when he began to feel dizzy…everything seemed to be spinning fast around him.
He felt the ground sliding forward; and then it started to gather speed so that he felt like he was in a moving vehicle.
Yomi shut his eyes tightly as he felt himself in the middle of a whirl wind that lifted him off his feet; then suddenly all was calm again. When he opened his eyes, he was standing in front of a building with green skies and a river bubbling merrily downstream.
Olu Longe eased back into the back seat of the car as his driver drove out of the airport. The meeting had been very productive and had given him much needed leverage…but someone else had been there with him. Someone had been standing beside him, whispering words for him to say. He could sense his presence though he couldn’t see him.
Wisdom beyond his years had been given to him through the words of the invisible being. The words seemed to have a hypnotic effect on everyone, for they all seemed to hang on to his every word.
Several pastors had been at that meeting…pastors whose ambition was to ‘own’ mega churches. They had received private emails inviting them to attend this meeting where a philanthropist was willing to finance their ministries on a large scale.
Many of them were poor and struggling pastors, others were simply very ambitious. They envied their more successful colleagues that jetted out to other countries almost every week.
They wanted a kingdom of their own…to be invited to other large churches to preach…to be honoured and even worshipped by members of their churches…to have them hang on to his every word…to own expensive cars and live in mansions.
Hundreds of them attended the meeting over which Olu had presided. He had promised them wealth beyond imagining so they could achieve all they had dreamed of.
Someone had asked a question that Olu had answered easily enough.
“Are there any strings attached; I mean does it involve rituals or anything like that?”
Everyone had roared uneasily with laughter, though Olu had sensed that the question was one they all would have loved to ask. Their uneasy laughter was proof enough.
“Firstly, let me say that I am a Christian and I attend a Redeemed Church Parish. Secondly I am a philanthropist whose main focus is helping struggling pastors. That was the reason why I got my team to compile a list of pastors that could really use some help,” Olu looked around the vast hall with genuine concern.
“I believe that together we can bring back the Christianity of biblical days,” he concluded as everyone rose up to give him a standing ovation. Many of those pastors both male and female had tears in their eyes as they signed the document that made them members of Olu’s organization known as Brethren in Christ – an organisation of churches whose goal was to preach the kingdom of God to the ends of the earth.
How naïve people were! Olu thought to himself. He had mentioned that he was a member of a Redeemed Church parish and no one had bothered to ask where. They had accepted his story hook, line and sinker. He chuckled, trying to remember the last time he had been in a church but he could not recollect.
It was a spiritual organisation but they did not know how it operated. They thought they had joined some association of churches, but the truth was that they had just been conscripted into the kingdom of darkness; for everyone who had signed the document had legally joined themselves to an unbeliever – Olu Longe. They were now unequally yoked together; they had been deceived, and now they would do his bidding.
The following day, their accounts were credited with money. Hundreds of millions of naira flowed into various accounts, money that was funded by the kingdom of darkness unknown to them…money whose use had been dedicated to the propagation of the kingdom of darkness…now they had no choice…from now on their way would be marked with compromise that would get deeper and deeper each step of the way until finally each of those churches became fully apostate…the Dark Kingdom had been born…right there in the midst of the body of Christ!
Pastor Kobichukwu shouted when the alert for 5 million naira came in. He ran into the master bedroom of his modest two bedroom apartment, shouting to his wife.
“Praise the Lord!!!” They knelt down together and prayed and thanked God for the breakthrough he had given them.
All over the nation, hundreds of other pastors were doing the same thing; they thanked God for such a man as Olu Longe…they thanked God for raising up a financier to champion the work of God.
Calls began to come through to Olu Longe, but it was his P.A that picked all the calls of appreciation. Olu Longe had other phones and more important business to attend to.
The dreams he had been given had given way to sets of instructions which he had carried out to the letter. He had been promised that he would soon see the being that had been talking to him in his head…and now it was time.
Olu entered the small room behind his garage. It had been a store but he had converted it to suit his own purposes and the purposes of the being that now guided him.
The entire room had been painted black and was draped with black curtains. In the centre of the room, was a large black cauldron half filled with water. Several lit candles were arranged on a circular wooden shelf that surrounded the cauldron.
Peer into the cauldron until the black fades away and the curtains of your mind are rent apart, and then you will see what you want to see.
He stood in front of the cauldron and peered into it as instructed. The waters were calm and reflected only the light from the candles. Everywhere was deathly still, for it was a little after midnight. A dog barked from afar but Olu remained focused on the still, calm waters.
He straightened himself on the wooden chair upon which he sat as the minutes ticked away; resisting the temptation to steal a glance at the clock on the wall.
He did not know for how long he had dozed when all of a sudden the waters began to swirl and cloud over. He saw huge ancient creatures, the kind he had read about in history books that had existed millions of years ago. They stumbled through the jungle that rippled within the swirling waters.
Then a vortex began to form in the waters and as the centre of it began to open, he felt himself drawn towards it. He felt himself being pulled out of his chair and into the waters; yet he didn’t feel the splash of water as the waters covered his head.
Someone had wrapped a cord around his body that glowed with fire. He felt the searing heat from the cord and turned to see the wielder. It was a tall being with huge white eyes. He wore a shaggy, rough robe that seemed to be made of animal skin. He pulled Olu roughly to his feet and stared at him from head to toe slowly.
I am the one you have been mind-speaking with slave! Kneel before your lord. I am Danakor, first among the Arch Demons!
“You have to tell me everything you know Kemi,” said Muyiwa after Kemi had calmed down.
They were sitting in a restaurant not too far from the Studio. Muyiwa had ordered drinks for them both but Kemi insisted on picking up the tab.
“I keep seeing myself in dreams as a high priestess who offers up human sacrifices. The dreams keep recurring at least thrice a week, but now it is nearly nightly. In the dreams, someone very close to me has always been the sacrifice,” continued Kemi, taking a sip of her juice.
“Where do these sacrifices happen in your dreams?” asked Muyiwa.
“They are always in a vast auditorium with hundreds of people worshipping before me. I am always on some sort of stage and then two men drag in the victim and place him on an altar, and just when I am about to plunge the knife into his heart I awake.”
“Is that the only kind of dream you keep having?”
“Yes…wait; there was one I had a long time ago that did not involve a sacrifice. My husband and I were in bed when suddenly I heard sounds of people laughing in my living room downstairs. I woke up with a start and then my husband woke up too. The sounds that I thought were in my dreams were real and they were coming from downstairs. I told my husband not to go but he went and came back, then I woke up again. Apparently I had been dreaming both times. I thought I woke up, but I had only woken up in the dream. The following morning I found the bedroom door ajar so I went downstairs to see things for myself. I sat on a chair and all of a sudden the chair began to slide sideways, so I screamed and ran back to my husband. We came back together but he turned my head and buried my face in his chest, telling me it was just my imagination. When I think back again, I have a feeling he was trying to hide something from me,” finished Kemi.
“So you think your husband may know something about it?” asked Muyiwa.
“Yes he acted as though he didn’t want me to see the sliding chair. I tried to look back but he just kept my head buried in his chest,” answered Kemi.
“I see. That must have been what I was seeing through his eyes then, and there I was thinking I was staring out of your eyes,” said Muyiwa thoughtfully.
“What are you talking about?” asked Kemi, straightening up in her chair anxiously.
“I had a dream too, but it felt like I was staring out of your eyes; possibly because I heard the sound of your voice though I didn’t hear exactly what you were saying. I saw a chair sliding back and forth in a living room and a shrivelled monkey covered in white hair sitting on it.”
“Oh Jesus!” said Kemi, feeling her blood run cold and her knees beginning to tremble. She stood up from the chair shakily but her legs did not hold up and she sank into the chair again
“You must not give in to fear Kemi, or you will lose this battle. God has revealed all of this to you and especially to me for a reason. It means He is with us in this battle, OK?” said Muyiwa holding her hands and staring earnestly into her eyes.
“The bible says God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, of love and of a sound mind,” continued Muyiwa, but he could see clearly that he was not reaching Kemi. Already her eyes were glazing over. She was seeing something he wasn’t seeing…she appeared to be going into a trance!
Funmi and Funke stared at their step brother with disdain. He looked unkempt after the long and arduous journey. They were all in their grandfather’s living room. He had left them alone for a while and none of them had spoken to each other.
I don’t think he can mind-speak; said Funmi, projecting her thought to her sister.
No and obviously he is some kind of crook or petty thief from his aura; replied Funke.
Yeah I noticed. His aura is so dirty!
Hmmm like yours; replied Funke playfully.
Their grandfather came in at last and took his place on the seat facing them all.
“Ladies, meet your step brother Yomi, from another mother,” he said, gesturing towards Yomi Ajala.
“How you are all related is a story for another day. You were all summoned here for a purpose, though it looked like you all decided to come here by yourselves. There are forces at work that you cannot even begin to imagine and many things are at stake. Each of you has a role to play in the unfolding that will come in the next few months,” finished their grandfather.
He can’t even mind-speak said Funke rather rudely to her grandfather.
He has other abilities that you do not know, beware of his anger! retorted her grandfather.
“A war is coming and each must decide where their loyalties lie. A battle between the spirits of giants and fallen angels; but you must like me, align yourselves with the fallen angels; the ones we call the Earth Mothers. The ones who birth the destinies of men,” continued their grandfather.
“Why would they want to fight, I thought we were all on the same side?” said Funmi, speaking for the first time.
“It is an ancient war between two generations of immortals. Fallen angels a long time ago came down to earth and mated with mortal women and gave birth to giants. But the great Flood came and destroyed the whole earth including the giants before they had had a chance to live their lives to the fullest. They were cut short in their prime not having the opportunity like their immortal parents to mate with mortal women, for they were too small for any kind of intercourse with giants.”
“The giants resented this, and when the Flood finally destroyed them, their immortal spirits were released and they conceived the idea of usurping the bodies of mortal men in order to experience the pleasure of mating with mortal women which their parents had enjoyed.”
“But their parents, the fallen angels; saw that it was possible for the spirits of the giants to enjoy themselves vicariously through the bodies of mortal men, and they desired to experience the same pleasure once again. But the demons; for that is what the spirits of giants were called among mortals; resented the intrusion of their parents and vowed they would resist them.”
“The war has been fought for centuries and will now reach its climax. Though the fallen angels are more powerful, the demons are more cunning for they have the wisdom of both men and angels.”
“All three of you are the children of Dejo Falana my late son; and you, Yomi Falana are the chosen one. You will step into the shoes of your father and complete the assignment he started. He created the Duality – your twin sisters; and now you must create the Trinity – the greatest and most powerful weapon.”
“And how will I do that Baba, seeing as I have no magical talent or skill?” asked Yomi, scoffing at the idea.
“It is the reason why you all must be initiated. It is at the initiation that your memories will be awakened. There, the memories and skills of your father will be passed on to you. That is your legacy Yomi,” responded the old man.
“And what of us grandpa?” asked the twins simultaneously.
“Your father created you to be the beginning of a new Mankind just as Jesus the Christ was said to be first born among the dead and began a new creation; so also shall you be the first born of a new creation. There will be others like you, but they can only be birthed by you.”
“So we must sleep with men, is that it grandpa?” asked Funmi a little angrily.
“You will have your own initiation. These things are magical processes not biological,” replied her grandfather.
“In the meantime, we must explore the full extent of your powers before we unleash you upon the world,” concluded their grandfather.
“What exactly are we going to do to the world grandpa?” asked Funke curiously.
“It has always been the same purpose ever since the god of the earth – Lucifer caused the destruction of the first world. Your purpose is to corrupt the human race with a superior seed. The creation of a super race of beings and you are the fore runners.”
“The Duality will be worshipped by the ignorant because of the powers they possess. The old ways will thus return and the worship of the god of the earth shall begin again. Then the worshippers will be rewarded with the Duality among themselves and then we shall see who is greater; the Church or the Duality. It will take a few more years, but we have begun.”
“Then when the Duality becomes a reality among mortals; only then shall the Trinity be released. You have heard of the coming of Antichrist and the False Prophet and the Great Beast. They are the ultimate Trinity; yet they must be heralded by those who are created in their own image. Only then can they make their appearance on earth. You are the first among the Earth Mothers. You are One; not two Persons. You are sacred to the Earth Mothers who will possess you ultimately in order to fight the battle.”
Their grandfather leaned back in his chair and surveyed the shocked looks on the faces of his grandchildren, at the stupendous and audacious nature of the Plan they were to bring to pass.