Ek’abo Ebi! (Welcome Family!)
“Ebi! Family! We must be calm!” yelled Ayotunde. The fear and tension coming from the crowd almost stifled her. She needed to gain control. “Let us not assume that this Chief Kukoyi comes with ill intent. I know that you’ve never seen or met another outside our tribe, but perhaps the High God wants us to change that!” As quickly as she made that remark she threw a hard look at Folami and Temitope. She did not want them to express their disagreement in front of their people. It would only make things worse.
“Why is he coming here? How did he even find us?” bellowed a young man. “We are simple people. We have nothing to trade! Nothing of real value!” yelled an old woman.
Because Folami was still weak, the gathering occurred outside her home. From where she sat she could see the faces of her people. They were full of fear, concern and even anger. The three sisters have seen much in the centuries they have lived among mortals. Mortals are capable of hate, violence and even death. But they are also capable of love, compassion and great acts of valor. Folami hoped that they would not have to test this theory.
Folami felt helpless. Now when her sisters needed her the most, she was without power. Knowing her well, Modupe took her hand. She looked up at him. Her eyes were full of sadness. “You should know better than anyone that there are many types of power.” Modupe said in a gentle voice. “Just as there is mystical power, there is power in being courageous, power in being resourceful, power in being loved. Have you given up before anything has begun?” he questioned.
“We have not heard of this Chief Kukoyi before, but we will be more than ready to greet him when he arrives.” bellowed Temitope. As the crowd began to settle down, a shadow dissolved into the woods. As it darted through the trees, it startled the birds and frightened the deer. The animals of the forest began moving around restlessly. They sensed danger in the air but they could not figure from whence it came.
The entity moved from place to place. Jumping from shadow to shadow, it moved in and out of different dimensions to help it reach its destination. It slithered across the ground and up the side of a tent just as the sun went down for the night. It materialized behind a man who seemed unconcerned for his safety.
“Report?” he asked. In a deep, gravelly voice it responded. “They know you are coming. Someone or something got word to them. The people fear the unknown and therefore fear you. Folami is no longer a threat.”
“Rubbing his hands together, Kukoyi plotted his next move. “I believe the weakest link will be the key to my entrance into the tribe. Take this with you.” Kukoyi pointed to a black vial on a small table near him. “Put exactly two drops into her drink. Folami is already weak, so no one will question why she has fallen ill again.” The vial disappeared as if made of mist. He smiled cruelly.
“They will need my help. They will need me and soon I will walk as freely among them as a dear friend.”
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Mari e laipe!
See you soon!