The Mysterious Mum (1)
“WHAT would I do now? How would I tell them?” Mama Damola soliloquized that early morning while preparing to go to the marketplace. She was totally confused and lost in thoughts about her situation.
A month ago she belonged to the cult of blood-sucking vampires who killed at will. Exactly a week later, the Holy Spirit captured her and she had a change of mind. The Almighty God visited her in solitude and converted her from her proposed wicked ways, warning her to desist from evil. That same month of March after her conversion to worshipping Almighty God, members of the cult of vampires wanted the blood of her only son, Damola because she was once a partaker of their evil oath, not minding the fact that she had not killed anybody during her short stay. What could she do? Now that she had given her life to the worship of Almighty God, she must face the dire consequences of her action from the powerful coven of blood-sucking vampires. It was as a result of a vow she’d made unknowingly.
That Tuesday, the supreme head of the cult visited her and told her point-blank, and angrily too, that her only son, Damola, must die to appease Dongbaji, the god of the vampires. Tears welled up in her eyes and she was so sad and desolate. She mopped the tears off her face with her wrapper. ‘Why must I lose my only loving son to the evil Dongbaji?’ she thought questioningly, ‘I’ll dare the gods! I’ll face the consequences…Damola must not die! Oh, God help me! I haven’t killed anybody and never thought belonging to that cult could be dangerous and spell doom for me…’
Mama Damola was in her mid-fifties, she was tall and beautiful. Her real name was Toyin Tewogbade. Her husband, Mr. Tewogbade, was a very religious man, very pious and humble. They lived in Kotakin area of old Oyo State, Nigeria. Mr. Tewogbade was a farmer by profession, while his wife, Toyin, popularly known as Mama Damola, was a trader of beads and household decoration at the market.
Damola was just 23 and a University undergraduate studying Biochemistry. He was a very brilliant young man; tall and handsome like his dad. When on holidays he always accompanied his dad to the farm. That particular day Damola had gone to the farm with his dad for the usual yam harvest. And they would be back later in the evening. With tears cascading down the face of Mama Damola, she made up her mind to confront her son and tell him something that might not be palatable to his ears.
The time was 6 p.m when Damola returned from the farm with his dad. He was really excited and exuded confidence going by the way he greeted his mum.
“How was the proceeds?” she asked him. “We are yet to sell the yams mum,” he replied heartily, “it’s a big and good harvest we had this year mum! We’ll sell everything tomorrow; a lot of buyers are interested.”
“Where’s your dad, Damola?” she asked again.
“He’s on his way, mum. He told me he wanted to see a friend.” the young man replied.
Though heavy in heart, Mama Damola instantly made up her mind to spill the beans. ‘Tell the truth,’ they say, ‘and let the devil be ashamed.’ The threatening words of the supreme head of vampires kept echoing in her head.
“It’s your turn to donate the heart of your son to Dongbaji, the god of vampires. We give you just today to make up your mind. Failure to do this would be catastrophic and disastrous for you!” those were the exact words of the supreme head of the cult of vampires that early morning. ‘But what am I going to do?’ was the mind-boggling question bothering her soul.
“Yes…yes…” she concluded pensively, “I know what to do now…”
“Damola, Damola,” she called, “I want to have a word with you.”
“Here I am, mum,” the young man replied, “I hope all is well.”
“There’s a sad development I must let you know concerning this year’s yam harvest,” she said thoughtfully.
“What is it, mum?” he asked getting very curious and anticipative.
“Tomorrow morning when you get to the farm, you must gather the whole harvest and burn everything to ashes.” she replied.
“What did you just say, mum? Burn this year’s yam harvest? Why, mum? You want us to suffer untold hardship this year! What’s the reason?” he asked.
“I am your mum, isn’t it? Do what I have just instructed you to do. And let this secret be between you and I. Your dad must not know about this, is that right, Damola?” she said half-heartedly and sombrely.
“Mum, I really can’t understand! This action is baffling! It’ll affect my education and our finances!” he said, really perturbed.
“Please, my dear son…I beg of you. It’s a sacrifice we must make to change our lives for the better…please, Damola…” she was now crying, her eyes were red, pale and she looked foreboding.
“Oh God Almighty!” Damola exclaimed, “this is beyond my understanding…mum…I’ll do whatever you want.”
“May God bless you, Damola,” she said, wiping the tears off her face with her right hand.
“Don’t cry again mum…please…I’ll burn everything tomorrow morning.” he said conclusively, wondering what was actually happening.
The following morning when Damola got to the farm he gathered the harvest and poured kerosene on everything. He lighted the matches and burnt the whole yam harvest. The yam harvest was still ablaze when his dad appeared an hour later.
“Gosh!” screamed Mr. Tewogbade, “Damola, what are you doing? Why, for God’s sake, are you burning our harvest for this year? Are you out of your mind? Anything the matter?”
To be concluded next week Saturday…
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