As he spoke, the words cut deep into her flesh. Bile rose in her throat, but she clamped it down. She felt like slapping the weakling of a man that she had married. The throne was for the taking. The King had failed in reproducing; this meant that he had failed in every other thing.
Sweat trickled down the side of her face. How could he be this insensitive to her dreams?
“Why would you be throwing your birthright away? I know that you are a good man. You are afraid of your cousin but I can help you. I know some Chiefs that are approachable. We will bribe them and buy their hearts. You cannot let this go!”
For the first time in a long while, he was angry with her. His eyes flamed like fire. Anger coursed through him. Chinedum grabbed his machete and the lamp.
“Don’t you ever tell me what to do! I married you into my house. I warn you!”
Without hesitation, Chinedum marched to his bedroom leaving her in utter darkness as the moonshine was beginning to fade.
Obiajulu scorned at him, “foolish man. I curse the day I married you. If Anosike was my husband, all my dreams would have hatched.”
She pulled in a deep breath and wondered what she would do next. Before now, Obiajulu had heard of stories where the Kingmakers and the oracle were being bribed with cowries and Kolanuts. If she could find a way to convince Anosike about this, she would get rid of Chinedum and be with Anosike who would become King.
It wasn’t going to be easy, but she was determined to sit on the throne. Once morning came, she would find a way to meet with her lover. They had something new to discuss.
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Adaora had found it difficult to sleep. Since the night of her abduction, she had been plagued by strange dreams. Sometimes, she had visions of the slave traders that had raided her village. Other times, she would see dreams of her mother warning her to be careful in the land that she found herself, for many enemies would arise against her.
“When will this torment be over?” Adaora whispered and closed her eyes. Her naked back was on the mat that she had been provided with. She was no longer in the goat barn that her mistress had forced her to sleep in. Chinedum had provided her with her own hut. It was just beside that of his children.
She opened her eyes again. Adaora wondered when her mistress would return. From her observations, Obiajulu wasn’t a lover of house chores. Her kitchen had been terribly scattered and she had left a lot of eating calabashes and gourds unwashed. She really needed a slave!
Adaora’s mind roamed back to the strange sight that she had beheld the other day. She had noticed some silver fruits glowing upon the udara tree. What did all these mean? Soon, her weak body gave in to sleep and she curled underneath the wrapper which her master had given to her.
Her mind’s eye was immediately open and she found herself standing upon a hill. She had been to this place before in her dream. The surrounding field was covered with colorful flowers. Everything was beautiful in this place. Adaora noticed that she was adorned like a queen. Her apparel was pristine, and she had a beaded crown upon her head.
“This is so beautiful,” her lips moved in admiration. Her wrists were adorned with golden bangles and bracelets. She had never seen this kind of regalia in reality. What did these mean?
Suddenly, she felt her leg slip from the rock. It was a slippery rock and she found herself falling. Just in time, two powerful hands appeared from nowhere and collected her. When she looked up, she was lost in his eyes.
“You?” Adaora’s eyes grew wide in surprise. This man was haunting her dreams.
“I should be saying the same to you,” he replied.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Adaora asked.
At first, he didn’t want to answer or so she thought. She noticed that his eyes were roaming the flower fields in wonder. Or was he worried that people were watching them?
“The sun God and the Moon Goddess sanction our union. We are destined to be together. You are the only one that can break my curse. And I am the only one that can break yours. You are the moon and I, the sun.”
Adaora wriggled out of his arms in confusion.
“What curse are you talking about? I have never been cursed. I am a child of Anyanwu and Ituru. I was blessed by my mother, the mood goddess priestess from birth. Why then do you speak of a curse?”
The man remained quiet.
“Speak to me!” Adaora placed her slender hands on his naked chest.
“If you do not find me and marry me, like the mood fades when the sun is about to grace the sky, so shall your days be short on earth.”
Adaora was about to ask more questions when the powerful whistle of the wind woke her from sleep. Sweat pelted from her forehead. Adaora peeled her body from the mat and rose to her feet. This was the strangest of all the dreams that she had.
“I keep seeing him in my dreams, who could he be?” She placed a shaky hand against her chest.
But there was no one to answer her question. She was alone in this and she needed to find her answers. Adaora’s heart was heavy. When her mother had served the gods, she had always followed her around. Adaora had learned a few things from her mother. She had learned how to collect the proper leaves from the forest.
She knew the leaves that could heal, kill, destroy pregnancy and make one go blind. Adaora knew how to contact the great goddess of the moon, the deity that her people chiefly worshipped. It was the moon that gave them all the magical powers they had possessed. But her mysteriousness and her so called all powerful nature couldn’t save them from the invaders.
“I am not cursed. Even if I am, I will never bend to your will.” Adaora grabbed the lamp in her room and rose to her feet. If the moon goddess was that powerful, why couldn’t she save her mother and the other villagers from the slave traders?

To be continued…

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