EXT. Mr CORNELIUS’S RESIDENCE — EVENING
Mr Cornelius a 52 year old man who has just returned to his village from the city after he was sacked from his job due to a business adventure that went wrong. He had to sell off his properties which included houses and cars to offset the ensuing debt the company place on him. The only thing he could hold on to now is his ever loving family and his house in the village which he built years back.
He sits astride the wooden pole set hanging between two log of wood under the tree in front of his house wondering and thinking out loud on how horribly his world has come crashing.
Unmoved by the roaring thunder and wind that seem to be ushering in heavy rain he retrospectively strolled into the events of the preceding months. How blindly he had ignored advice and plea from friends and family to tread carefully about his exaggerated enthusiasm on his work. Rapt in bewilderment that has befallen him, tears like drizzling rain began to trickle down his cheek. He could replay the scene in his mind, how he blindly fell for those fraudulent people.
What happened to the promise he made to his children towards their education and better living, to his wife to always provide for her…to himself on being a responsible Father. How can he manage to keep his amiable family together now that he has lost his means of livelihood(his job) and they are now back to village…He exclaimed, “Ah this is not the live I promised my family”, he sob.
Mrs Ugonma Cornelius, 46 year old wife of Mr Cornelius. She is ever dutiful.
From inside the kitchen she calls out her daughter a 21yr old who took after her mom in beauty. “Ijeoma, Ijeoma’… She called out
“Go and tell your Dad that food is ready.”
“Okay mommy”. She walked out knowing his Dad is sitting outside.
As Ijeoma approach her father, he quickly wiped the tears off his cheek.
Now resting on her Dad’s shoulder, she whispered to him…”let’s go and eat, food is set”
“I will join you shortly”
But Ijeoma wasn’t going to listen to him. She insisted he followed her and Mr Cornelius knowing his daughter won’t leave without him had no choice than to follow her.
Right in the dining room, Mrs Cornelius and Uzordinma, her 24 years old son, was already seated and before them, on the table is a big bow of porridge yam so enticing and appealing and the aroma fills the air.
“Waoo..this is good” Mr Cornelius exclaimed as he takes his seat beside his wife while Ijeoma sat next to him.
“Ijeoma pray for the food. I know your brother Uzor wants to pounce on the food at once”.
Uzordinma smiled…wondering how his Father could easily read his mind most times. Ijeoma prayed and they ate happily but not without Mr Cornelius praising his wife for the tasty meal.
EXTERIOR – Evening
Mazi Okafor a well built man in his late 50s, well known in Umuoma village for his out spoken nature. He is a great farmer with bountiful harvest every season. His yam ban is so big that his folks envy him.
He was returning from farm at sunset, carrying 3 tubers of yam tied together and on reaching Iyi Ogwe (Ogwe River), he decided to drink water haven finished the one he took to farm long before noon. He dropped the yam by the river side, then move closer and using the keg with him, he fetch water from the river and guzzle it like he never tasted any since morning…he was very thirsty.
As he was drinking, a strange hand with no visible body was seen adding one more yam to the 3 he kept beside the river unknown to him. After drinking to satisfaction, he washed his face, felt refreshed and then headed back to carry his yam and go home.
Alas! “something is wrong” he said to himself… “Was it not 3 tubers of yam I carried? How come a fourth one?”
As Mazi Okafor was wondering how his 3 tubers of yam became 4, he could feel goosebumps over his body but he is not going to be cajoled by anybody. He bent down untie the yam and picked out the odd one and carried the other 3 he felt were his.
About that same time, an awkward laughter was heard in the surrounding bush.
In other to ward of the fear that wants to grip him, he shouted out loud in Igbo Language “onwe onye m ji nke ya, onwe onye m na echere ihe ojor” meaning “Is there anybody I am holding his own?, Do I think of evil for anyone?”
“Mbanu..Aka m di ocha” meaning No..my hands are clean)
EXTERIOR – Morning
Nna Umeh is a 62 year old retired headmaster who owns the only better shop in Umuoma village although there are other petty traders. He is seen in front of his shop chasing away a boy who was playing around his old Volkswagen.
The events of the past which included tragic loss of his wife and disappearance of one of his sons had tilted him into irrational behavior with consequent delusion of grandeur. He curse the young boy as he chase him away
“Common get out of here this boy…you want to spoil what your father cannot afford even with his entire life savings. Do you know this car was the only model made when I bought it? Even the governor couldn’t afford it as at then…Get out of here before I lay my hands on you…Ewu(goat in Igbo language)”
Just then, Mazi Ochemba, one of the members of the elders in council in Umuoma village came to buy something at the shop.
“Ahh ! Nna Umeh what is it this morning, take it easy before you injure yourself pursing
this children…Umuaka nti ike ( meaning stubborn children in Igbo language)
“My friend Ochemba, I won’t fall so don’t border yourself about me. I am Dike, the powerful. Have you forgotten ? How as a young WWF wrestler I defeated many…only that I didn’t want to win belts that’s why I had nothing to show for it”
Mazi Ochemba wondering how this man has gradually started talking garbage in recent times decided to ward it off…
“Eehhh Nna Umeh let’s forget that…I am just here to buy few things”… Fades out
Mazi Ochemba after buying from Nna Umeh, on his way back met Mazi Okafor who then narrated his yesterday’s experience to him. What he experienced at Iyi Ogwe(Ogwe river)
“Okafor Onye Ike (Okafor the powerful)… Greetings my brother”
“Greetings Onye Nkem(greetings my person)….my brother something happened yesterday on my way back from the farm”..(he narrated his story as explained on scene 2)
“My dear…nothing will happen to you…are you owing anyone or did you quarrel or fought anyone?”
“Mbanu anam ese Pkwy” (No…do I go making trouble?)
“Then you have no cause to worry…I know you well my brother… Go about your
work…onweghi ihe n’eme” (nothing is happening in English).
As they made to part ways, a very big bird flew passed them but they were too unconcerned to look. Just few meters away from them the bird perch and transformed into a pretty girl soon after landing.
TO BE CONTINUED….
Spoilers Within is a fictional script written by Osonwa Ikechukwu.