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Before the Darkness chapter 4

Chapter 4

The past week had been crazy for President Lange. Another
village was hit by the black-death disease and the team sent to
the village to find out what the cause of the disease was yet to
get lucky. Aweda, the crazy doctor had been brought on board
simply because he proved right about a lot of things.
The sickness had broken out without warning. Theis village was
far away from the village that was previously hit so the chances
of transmission by physical contact was low. The doctors had
taken precautions against any form of transmission by contact or
air though most of them believed the disease was not
communicable at all and they had a point. The whole village
seemed to have contracted the disease at the same time and it
had not spread to nearby villages.
The meeting was holding in the Taraba state government house.
And it was the sixth meeting he was sitting in since the second
outbreak. They were not making any headway hence his decision
to allow Aweda in on the meeting.
“I know I’m stating the obvious here but we need to know the
cause of this disease. If we don’t, we don’t find a solution. If
we don’t find a solution and it hits another village or maybe a
large city this time, we are in even bigger trouble.” Lange said.
“I think I have found the cause.” Aweda said before any other
person could talk.
“Let’s hear it.” Lange said ignoring the looks of every other
person at the table.
“There was something that happened in both villages before they
were attacked. They both experienced what looked like an eclipse.
A darkess that did not exceed the borders of each village. I don’t
know why no agency has noticed this.” Aweda said, very pleased
with himself.
“We have no record of this ‘eclipse’.” Adigwe said.
“It was not reported in the news but you can find this out from
the villagers.”
“Okay, I’m sure you know what you are talking about Doctor but
what does this have to do with the black death disease?” Lange
asked.
“I don’t know for sure but this is what we know. A strange
darkness that is seen in only one village at a time and is then
followed by a disease we have never seen before, that looks like
too much of a coincidence.”
“So how does this help the sick. We need to help them get
well.” Adigwe said.
“That is really important. We have about five hundred and fifty
people sick, we can’t just leave them to die.” Lange said.
“The sickness is showing signs similar to the…” Adigwe started
but was cut off by Aweda.
“No, that is not what it is. This is a totally different disease
and the only thing to do is to watch it and know how and where
it strikes. That way we can move people before it strikes.”
“So when should we allow it, wait for the eclipse? Bury our dead
and move on with our lives?” Lange asked.
“I know you don’t want to hear this, but that is exactly what
you are going to do.” Aweda said.
Lange looked at him and his heart sank. Despite his best effort
not to, he believed what he had just heard.
***
Damola looked at the men seating across from him and balled his
fingers into a fist. The men would have scared anybody but not
him. He had been in the cell with them for two days without
incidence but he knew it was only a matter of time. Whenever
they decided to attack he would be ready, anyway he had other
things on his mind.
After Anne went missing he had almost gone mad, looking
frantically for her everywhere. He searched the whole house in
case there was something he missed and she had slipped out of
the room without him knowing. He found nothing. After about an
hour of going in and out of rooms, calling desperately for her, he
had decided to check the office. She had not been in the office
for the four days they had been together and everyone eyed him
strangely when he walked in.
He had rushed to her office and found it empty. The secretary
eyed him suspiciously when he refused to tell her why he was
checking Anne’s office. After confirming that Anne had truly not
been in the office since she disappeared from the room, he went
to her friends’ places. They all did not like him and he did not
care but they hadn’t seen her too. His panic grew to a unbearable
level and he spent the next fourteen hours driving to every place
he knew Anne liked to frequent, going more than once to each
place. Until he was arrested.
He was not sure who but one of Anne’s friends apparently had
reported her missing and he was the person last seen with her.
His case had not been helped by the suspicions of gold-digging all
Anne’s friends had about him. He had not responded to any of
the questions the policemen asked. He could not help but wonder
where Anne was and what was happening to her.
“Oga, why you dey look me?”
He looked up and saw one of the men in the cell standing next to
him. The man looked like the toughest among the men, it was no
wonder he was sent to start the fight. Damola glanced at the
man and looked away. He really wanted to beat up the man but
he wanted to get out of jail more.
“Na you I dey talk to, wetin be your problem?” The man
continued.
Damola continued to ignore the man. Getting into a fight would
seriously reduce his chances of getting out on time. What if he
was worried for nothing? What if Anne was home and safe? What
if…
Wham! The slap landed on his face. He heard it before he felt it
and was up on his feet before his mind could catch up with what
was happening. It all happened in a blur and one minute later, he
was standing over three unconscious men. The other men had
been smart enough to move far away from him. He looked at the
bloody faces on the floor and knew his chances of getting out
the cell on time was finished.
He moved to another corner of the cell and sat down, it was only
a matter of time before the policemen would come and lock him
up in a worse cell, alone.
“Which one of you is Adedamola?” He heard the voice come
through the door.
He kept quiet. His body still trembled from whatever had come
upon him to make him beat up his crazy cellmates.
“I said which one of you is Adedamola.” The voice came again.
“Come now or you are on your own?”
Something about the voice of the guard suggested he did not
know about the unconscious men. Damola stood and moved to the
door. The guard looked him over through the door screen before
opening it.
“Your bail has been settled, you are free to go.” The guard said.
Anne had come to bail him? Thank God she was okay. He hurried
towards the counter where a constable was waiting to clear him.
He looked over the counter as he approached it, he did not see
her.
“Sir?” He called the guard. “Where is she, the lady who came to
bail me out?”
“Which lady? It was one old man who posted your bail but he
seemed to be in a hurry to go. Weird old man.” The policeman
replied.
His heart sank. If Anne was not the one who posted his bail then
there was a chance she was not okay. Or maybe she sent the old
man.
He collected his belongings from the guard and walked out of the
station. He stopped a taxi and gave the driver directions to
Anne’s house. If she was safe, he wanted to know. If only he
had not dozed off, he would have heard the noise earlier, then
maybe he could have done something.
He looked out of the window and looked at the driver in surprise.
He was not on the way to Anne’s house. The car was heading in
the direction of his house.
***
Eric could hardly do anything since he had the dream. He had
left mails unread and not replied, calls unanswered and not
returned, he had to do something about it. The dream came back
to him everytime as vividly as when he first had it. His mind
could not stay on anything, his work had suffered and he could
not allow that to happen. He had decided that they would begin
shooting Genesis in six weeks and for that to happen, he had to
clear up a lot of paperwork.
The files on his table ranged from financial reports and
projections to personal letters sent to him by actors trying to
get on his radar. He disliked replying mails that were not official
but he had a not-so-common practice of acknowledging every
mail he received. Immediately people found this out his office
started receiving several letters.
He hated the part of his job that dealt with numbers so he
skipped all files about the company’s finances and went to those
that dealt specifically with the production of Genesis.
A knock on the door stopped him just as he opened the first file.
The door opened before he could answer, it was Pearl.
“What is it?” He said, going back to the file.
“You have a visitor.”
“I told you to cancel all my appointments for the day, you know
I have a lot to do today.” He said without looking up.
“It is Toni Adedoyin.”
“The journalist?” He said, raising his head to look at her.
“Hmm, I knew you had a thing for her. I could send her away if
you want me to though.”
“No, no, let her come in.” He said as he unconsciously began to
brush his hair with his hand.
“I thought you said you had a lot to do.” She said with a
chuckle and walked out of the office.
He had not seen Toni since the day she came to interview him.
He had thought about her a couple of times but he had not done
anything about it. He probably would have called her if he had
not been distracted by his dream.
The door opened and she entered. He stood from his chair and
walked around his table to her.
“When you said you were going to stop by again, I didn’t know
you meant it.” Eric said as he shook her hand.
“I never say things I don’t mean.” She replied with a broad
smile.
“It’s good to see you.”
It really was good to see her. He had no idea it would be this
good.
“Before I get too excited, are you here to visit me? Or you were
in the neighbourhood and you decided to drop by?”
“I came to see you, but maybe not for what you are thinking.”
She said, all the while keeping her smile.
“Oh oh, I knew it. This is official isn’t it?”
“Before I tell you why I’m here, I promise you a date for
whenever you choose. Whenever!”
“Okay, that is comforting.” He said, smiling. “I’ll be using that
date soon, very soon but I have a feeling what you are about to
tell me is very important.”
“I’m not here to tell you something, I’m here to ask you
something.”
“Oh, alright, shoot.”
“How do you plan to deal with the lawsuit? It’s a major one and
it could…”
“Wait! What lawsuit?” Eric asked, eyebrow raised.
“Morayo Adebisi, she was on …”
“I know who she is. She is suing us?” Eric asked. He was truly
shocked, not at the lawsuit but that he had to hear it from a
journalist.
“The suit has not been filed yet but I thought, if I knew about
it, surely you know about it too.”
“Well, I don’t but it shouldn’t be a big deal. We will settle out
of court, I’ll make sure of it.”
“That might not be possible Eric, she has some people backing
her. It’s you they are after.” She said.
“We are about to begin shooting Genesis.”
“I know, and if this lawsuit is successful, Genesis is dead in the
water.”
***
“Hey! This is not the address I gave you! Where are you going?”
He shouted.
The driver ignored him and kept on driving.
“Are you crazy? I’m talking to you!” Damola shouted again,
hitting the driver’s seat with his fist.
The driver ignored him still. They were close his house now and
the driver slowed the car and pulled over in front of his house.
“Why did you bring me here?” Damola asked, still angry. Then he
paused, looked at the driver and asked in a lower tone. “How do
you know where I live?”
The driver kept quiet and kept his face forward. Now he was
confused. A tap on his window drew his attention. He looked
through the window an old man beckoning for him to come out
of the car. Could It be the man who had bailed him out of jail?
He came out of the car and it zoomed off.
He hurried after the man who already was heading for his house.
He caught up with him just as he was about entering the house.
“Who are you and what are you doing in my house?” Damola said,
careful not be rude. It was possible this man had paid his bail.
“Come in and I will answer your question.” The man replied.
Damola opened his mouth to protest but shook his head and
followed the man in.
“My name is Orunmila.” The man said as soon as they were in.
“You know who I am as you have been studying about us.”
Damola smiled. Was this a joke?
“You will soon find out who took your wife, but you must be
patient.”
My wife? Anne?
“You know who took Anne?” Damola asked, moving closer to the
man.
“Yes, I do and you will too, very soon.”
“Take me to them immediately!” He said.
“Your impetus has always been legendary, you have no patience.
This is what brought you here in the first place.”
What was he talking about? Damola could not concentrate on
reasoning out what the man was saying. He had to rescue Anne.
“I said take me to Anne now!” His heart was beating very fast
now. Suddenly his hand began to smoke. He looked down at the
hand and quickly hid it behind him before the man could see it.
“I will take you to her as soon as you explain the smoke coming
off your hands.”
The man had seen the smoke, there was no point hiding it. He
held out his hands in front of him and the smoking increased as
he looked at them. The smoke slowly became thicker and then it
burst into fire! He screamed and waved his hand around in the
air to stop the burning but it only increased.
“If you have to learn to control your anger, or you will never
learn to control the fire.” He heard the man speak from behind
him.
The man did not seem to be shocked by his burning hand. Who
was he? Orunmila?
“Who are you old man? Why are you doing this to me?” Damola
said as he watched the fire die down.
“I am not doing anything to you and I already told you who I
am. The question is; do you know who you are?”
Damola looked at the man open-mouthed. Whoever the man was,
he needed to listen to him.
“You are Sango! The god of thunder of the heavens! Your wife,
who was taken away from you is Oya! You are here because in
your foolishness you engaged in battle with another god.”
Damola could hear his heart beat as he listened to the man. Was
he saying the truth? His hands smoked and burned without him
being hurt; was it because he was truly a god? And Anne, was
their sudden and unusual attraction because they were indeed a
couple from another world?
“Why are you here? Why are you telling me all these? How do you
know about my hand?” Damola asked, his voice a little louder
than a whisper.
“There is an enemy, there is a battle! If this world you now
inhabit must survive, it will need you.”
“Need me for what? I have no interest in any battle.” Damola
said and stood up. “If I am who you say I am, then tell me
where Anne is, she is the only one that needs me.”
“You are not ready to face the enemy! You are yet to fully
comprehend who you are.”
“Tell me where she is old man! Or I swear I will bring down all
the thunder and fire and whatever else I control on you.”
“As i said, Patience has never been one of your virtues Sango but
I must warn you; going after Oya now is losing the war before it
has even started.”
“My war started the day Anne was taken!”
“If you survive this, you will only have regrets.” Orunmila
implored him.
“I will survive this; gods do not die, do they?”
“No they do not die, but you will. You lost your immortality the
day you dropped into the earth.”
“Then I guess I have to live as I have all my life that I can
remember; as a mortal.”
He looked around his house and deep inside of him, he had a
feeling it would be the last time he would see it.

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Damex MrCoded

Entertainer with a difference, Historian, Actor, blogger, Nigeria born Malaysian writer, am funny and I don’t flirt, quote lover. Composer of famous quote: "The goal is to be Holy, not to look Holy"

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