Calmness returned to her as she sensed his absence. One of the people that could’ve taken her prey to safety was Hazim. Like Keerna, he adored Amina. He was the one that chose her for the mater.
“Now that he has gone to Tudu, I shall have time to wreak havoc on this household tonight. There shall be much wailing, but joy would come when I become mistress.”
Nabila was determined to get rid of Amina. She had waited for three years to have Abdul to herself. She had run out of patience.
Her eyes danced as she stared at the entrance of the ranch. She felt the weakness of the serpent that clung to her hands. It was unconscious. The cobra had been given to her by Ummi. All she needed was to activate its strength when the time was ripe.
The time was ripe. The time was now.
Nabila gritted her teeth, and tightened her slender fingers around the slender but venomous serpent. It had a slim body with two heads. Its colors were a mixture of brown, red and white. It was a rare cobra, and its poison killed fast.
As she stepped into the entrance of the ranch, she noticed the whole house was silent. Nabila closed her eyes and sniffed in the air. No one was in the house, except for Keerna. She wondered where the master could’ve gone with his wife?
“I better hurry now, I may not have this opportunity again,” she whispered.
Nabila moved towards Amina’s room. Her breathing was heavy, and her palms were sweaty. Once she dropped the serpent in the room, there would be no going back.
In that moment, all her dreams of marrying Abdul; of making love to him; of bearing him sons and daughters came to life. Her mind beamed with happy images. She had waited for a long time; the master was the reward for her patience.
So, she took off the veil and exposed the serpent.
“In Ukdran’s name, you shall serve me. You shall obey my bidding. You shall stink and bite anyone who steps into this room after me.”
She felt a strong force swirling within her. At the same time, a whirlwind started outside, sweeping a lot of sand, into the house. That was a sign of the goddess’ presence. Ukdran, delighted in her sacrifice.
Nabila’s eyes radiated silver, evil and possession by a dark power. She pushed the door to Amina’s room with her feet and strolled in.
By now, the cobra had woken from its sleep, but it remained calm. It waited for instructions.
Nabila dropped the serpent in the middle of the massive bed.
“Perfect, you shall sting her for all the pain she has caused me. You shall kill and destroy.”
She smacked her hands and covered her face quickly. Nabila stared at the candle lit room for the last time before stepping out, and closing the door behind. She moved swiftly back to her room, where she found Keerna in a deep sleep.
“Better,” Nabila smiled. She took off her garment, and joined Keerna in the bed.

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Abdul had taken Amina for a night stroll. He kissed her all through, and whispered sweet words into her ears.
“Tell me, what fascinates you about me?” Amina asked.
Most men were fascinated by her beauty, but she hoped her husband’s answer would be different.
“I would lie if I leave out your green eyes…” Abdul squeezed her hand, and she laughed.
He cleared his throat, “There’s something angelic about you. You are surrounded by an aura of kindness, love and purity. From the first day Hazim showed me your picture, I was never the same.”
Amina’s heart raced with this realization. All the men that had come for her in Dafa, had never said these words. Idris was after the desire of his loins. Those men had been selfish with their needs. And they had viewed her like property, to be owned and tossed aside when its use was outlived.
With Abdul, she had no fear. She had no doubts of his love. He treated her like a queen. He gave her great respect.
“I will make love to you, tonight…” Amina blushed, but the darkness hid her shame.
“Will you?” Abdul scoffed.
She was a virgin, and wasn’t ready for his touch. He wanted her to be ready for him.
“I know you think I am not ready. I want you darling. I want you now!” Amina was excited. She couldn’t wait for Abdul to make her a woman.
“Show me then…”He said.
“Let me take you to my room.”
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They ran across the field like two teenagers, who were about to do something naughty. Together, they rushed into the entrance of the ranch.
“It is so dark in here. I wonder why Keerna or Nabila hasn’t put on the lamps.” Abdul complained, he wasn’t a lover of darkness. There were only three candles in the whole house.
Amina sensed this could ruin their special moment, “Go into my room and wait for me. Let me find Keerna.”
Abdul didn’t want to stress her.
“No, you go to the room. I will fetch the servants.”
“You are my master, I should serve you.” Amina stood her ground.
Abdul noticed she had a streak of stubbornness in her. He liked it. He didn’t want his woman to be like sheep or mare. He grabbed her hands and kissed them softly.
“If you insist, I shall wait for you…”
Amina noticed his eyes were clothed with desire. Abdul was hard and ready for her. She couldn’t wait to let him in.
He hummed a love song in Arabic as he marched towards her room. He pushed the door open and stepped in.
“Fair enough,” he whispered. Her room was brighter than the other parts of the house.
Abdul moved straight to the bed. He had failed to see the silent beast that lay in waiting. The serpent had heard his song. It was appalled by the goodness of it, for it was filled with darkness.
The moment Abdul fell into the bed, the cobra hissed and erected. At first, Abdul thought he hadn’t heard well. Before he could realize that he was in bed with a serpent, the cobra’s fangs sliced into his arms twice.
He gave a loud scream and slumped into unconsciousness.
Abdul’s scream had pierced the heavy silence and darkness of the night. His voice resonated to all the quarters and everyone rushed out. Amina felt a sharp pain in her chest as she heard his voice. Her fears had come to life! The dream of the crow had manifested!
“Oh no,” she paused and ran towards her room.
At the same time, Keerna awoke and found Nabila sleeping beside her.
“Wake up,” Keerna tapped her friend twice.
“Why do you rouse me from sleep?” Nabila hissed angrily. She had been dreaming of her wedding with Abdul.
“I heard someone scream. I think something bad has happened to the master or his wife. Or the ranch could be under attack.” Keerna thought.
Nabila was overjoyed on hearing this. Ukdran had helped her! The serpent goddess had kept to her promise!
“Let us go and see them then,” Nabila climbed out of bed, and put on her clothes.
It wasn’t long, before all the servants gathered in Amina’s room. Amina noticed that Abdul’s breathing had slowed down. His body grew colder by the minute.
“No…wake up!” She shook him.
“I think we should take him to Mohammed, he may be able to help.” One of the cow boys suggested.
“Take who to Mohammed?” Nabila rushed into the room.
Her heart stopped when she noticed that Amina was still breathing, and in her place, Abdul had fallen.
“No….” her lips trembled as she remembered the price she was to pay.

To be continued…

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