Next up on my list of ‘Liebster Award’ Nominees is the delightsome one with many an appellations and the reason’s pretty simple really….dude’s simply UNBELIEVABLE and he flows ‘sick’! Having said that, I introduce to y’all, Dr Ezechinyere Ekpo, with his pen name; succinctly and aptly surmised as ‘DrSwag’! Actually, that pen name says it all for me! He, as well as the masterpieces he cooks up on his oh sooo glorious site, ‘Kingdom Come’; oozes top class like I’ve never seen! He’s an embodiment of wits, articulation, eloquence, charisma and wisdom! A movie buff and I tell him he belongs in the medieval ages! He’s the beginning and the end of ‘flow’, thus the appellation ‘Flow Merchant’ and ‘Lyrical Genius’, poetic are his jibes! Had sleeping beauty been privy to him, and he were prince charming; he oughtn’t kiss her to jolt her back to life, nuh-uh; all he needs do is simply open up his mouth and just…..flow and she’d spring right back to life, the witch’s spell of true love’s first kiss be totally damned to the Hades, by golly! A lover of the Lord, his writes are faith-based and mighty sensational! He spins tales, so well flavored and seasoned from the Bible and does a bang-up job of ’em…. I coulda sworn that oft times when I read through and savor those tales, I can just sniff a whiff of the fragrances he makes mention of in some of these beautifully composed tales, emanating from therein whilst also assailing and assaulting my senses! ‘Cooreepie’! So then, If your delight’s in Biblical tales ‘sleekly’, ‘suavely’, ‘smoothly’, sweetly and really ‘coolly’ concocted, rendered and narrated, then you DEFINITELY wanna be in on this one! Just go here and gobble…. gobble away! Lest I forget, here’s wishing all ye fantastic folks out there a very Happy Sunday! Lets spread love and let go of hate, beef and strife already! Its simply not worth anyone’s while, wayyy too exhausting! No time!
Thanks a bunch Unique, for putting up with me….. you know what I mean; and for coming through for me! You’re a great guy and its been a jolly good ride knowing and rolling with you! You humor me to no end and I’m totally bowled over! Keep on soaring to great heights on the wings of Eagles! You too ‘gbaski’ and thou rockest……PIECES! Thanks again ‘Sweetim’, Mwah!
She was pregnant and dying….attached to her, instruments whirred and beeped in mechanical heartbreak.
Sunfield Medical Centre was the premier teaching hospital in the country and it was believed that if they could not deal with an infirmity, then the infirmed’s goose was cooked. It was situated in a valley with hot springs interspersed with lots of pine and eucalyptus trees. Modern medicine was holistic. Beyond drugs, nature had been implicated in playing a huge part in healing. Following this belief, most hospitals were built in naturally salubrious surroundings by default.
Medicine had progressed far beyond Jurassic barriers into frontiers only imagined. Like most areas of life, it had gone almost totally digitalized. Robotic mechanisms took blood samples with motorized efficiency, hence veins no matter how thin or tortuous didn’t have to be pricked more than once. The age of palpations and percussions was over. Blood samples were analyzed by machines that gave accurate diagnosis on the spot. Scans and other diagnostic procedures brought out results in seconds. Recombinant DNA technology, Immunology and other break through scientific discoveries had consigned diseases like Ebola, Diabetes and AIDS to the past. It was a new age.
However, it seemed man’s fate was irrevocably tied to disease. As he seemed to win the health war, maladies mutated and presented new fronts that had never been seen before. It was a raging battle, sometimes a bleak one for mankind.
Such a hopeless conflict was being fought in ward D07. The young man had been sitting on the chair for days on end in the room only managing sips of drinks. His wife and unborn son were dying before him and there was absolutely nothing he could do. The cancer was virulent and eating up her cells with vicious gusto. Everything was gone, gutted by the fiery flames of the malignancy. Complexion sallow, the promontories of her bones stretched the thin parchment of her translucent skin. Rivers of her veins could be seen running, thin and dusky blue. The only thing left was the fire in her eyes and the light from her snow white dentition. Her eyes showed that the embers of hope still burned in the hearth of her soul. When she smiled, the dark cloud of death in the room gave way to the sabre of her dazzling beams. However, these moments of triumph were transient. The pall of death was heavy in the room.
The medical team came for their rounds and the doctors took him aside. Another failure was going to be recorded for medical science. All had failed. Death had the crosshairs of his rifle trained on the woman’s forehead and the trigger would be pulled anytime soon.
The high velocity bullet of pain hit his heart first. Agony that burned with steady intensity flared up into a conflagration that consumed him. HE LOVED HER!!! He would never allow her to die. He started researching on his own, dividing his time between her bedside, books and consultations with the best in the country. It was an exercise in futility!
One day, he saw a very old book with worn leather coverings amongst the new books in one of the few libraries around that hadn’t gone paperless. His curious nature and love for books took over. The book was titled “Wisdom of the Ancient”, written by Al The Mighty, a famous warring King from aeons past. He browsed through the pages and was surprised to note that as he read, the fragile pages gleamed new and fresh.
He went back to his research but could not get the some of the lines from the book from his mind. They haunted and tortured him. The book had said “there is always a genesis to every conundrum; the future is in the past.” He got a revelation that fuelled his desperation….
Hourglass, a new machine for time travel had been invented but had never been tried with humans. The inventor had said the machine was still in its nascent stages and its safety could not be guaranteed yet. Trying it at this stage might lead to disastrous consequences. A traveler might get lost in one of the galactic cosmic mazes forever.
The husband was not deterred in the quest for his wife’s cure. He would do it even if he died trying. He would go to the past, peradventure he found answers there. He could not tell her where he was going because he was sure it would hasten the assassin’s bullet. Kissing her forehead, he informed her that he would be away for a few days. Tears pooled up from the wells of her soul and her dejection wrenched his heart. What had to be done, had to be done anyway. He walked away with resolute determination. He knew he might not be coming back but this was their last shot at salvation. As he left, tears rained, unrestrained…..
He took the ride, broke through the space dimension and found himself in a place where time wore swaddling clothes….in this place he became known as ‘Ikenna’, the Power of the Father.
……The cock crowed the dawn into wakeful grogginess. High on the branch of a tall mahogany, a lone bird forlorn and lonely cooed mournfully for a lost love. The village stirred to the rousing music of a new day.
Ikenna came out of his hut, yawning and stretching, a chewing stick jutting out of his mouth. He took a big palm branch and started sweeping the yard, humming a song to himself.
He finished his chores and quickly made short work of cold fufu and bitterleaf soup. The next day was the major market day “Nkwo Mbaise” of the surrounding ten villages and he had to get ready. He needed to make some money to buy some yam seedlings for the coming planting season. Taking a fishing basket, he set out for the river, bare feet hitting the ground with bustling energy, cutlass swiping through over-exuberant foliage.
At the bank where stubborn reeds fenced off the river, he heard singing that made him look instinctively to the trees wondering what kind of exotic bird made such heavenly music. On getting to the river, he saw a beautiful maiden washing ugu vegetable. She was so good looking and made such beautiful music that he stood still for eternal seconds wondering whether the sight before him was human or divine. Even though he did not believe in the mythical goddess of the river, for a moment, Ikenna was almost given to the belief that she existed.
Her skin was black and glistened like the “ube” pears that grew in his father’s farm with lips that had the redness of ripe palm kernel fruit. Her hair was thick as the forests, black as the bark of ebony and shone like they had been thoroughly anointed by “elu aku” black kernel oil. Her teeth were the white of coconut flesh with the front exquisitely chiseled off by “Chi”, forming a gap that was more glorious than the golden doorway of their village king.
He told her all these and she laughed calling him a joker. In her laughter, dimples floated in and out of her cheeks like phantom butterflies. His heart almost seized!
“Nkwo Mbaise” was forgotten and his fishing target for the day changed. Instead of fishing, he found himself washing vegetables and cracking jokes. By the time, the weary sun was settling in for the night, he had her heart firmly in his basket. Her name was Adauwa and she was from the neighboring village. He walked home whistling like he had caught all the fish in River “Eziudo”.
Four moons down the line, he carried wine to her parents showing his intention to marry her. The rains of good fortune had fallen on his life. He went about his daily existence with the euphoria of a palm wine giddy drunk.
Then…one day, Adauwa followed her friends to the sacred forest to gather firewood and made the mistake of eating an “udala” fruit. The forests belonged to “Aru” the village deity and the fruits were said to be hers alone, forbidden to all even when they are rotting away on the ground. Adauwa had been famished that day and the red soft core of the cherries drove her to distraction. Surreptitiously, taking a couple, she had feasted on their delicious fibre coated seeds. Nothing in this world had tasted so sweet! After all who would know, she does not eat and tell.
Deep in the dark covens of “Aru’s” temple, a scream arose from the dark pots where the deity’s blood sacrifices where kept. The blood in the vessels frothed over and in the largest pot sprung up the face of the young maiden. Someone had done the unmentionable; the sacred fruits had been eaten. A devastating storm of death would be unleashed because of the abomination.
The girl was bound and brought to the temple to slave away for years before she would be killed. In the interim the curse that was released by her sacrilegious act wiped away her family. “Aru” was a vicious god that gave no quarter when crossed.
Ikenna nearly went mad with grief. Doing what no one had ever done, he went into the dark forests where the god’s temple was and asked for the release of his beloved. “The atonement would be blood, the Chief Priest had said, blood for blood, life for life…”
Ikenna surrendered, he would give his life for her. He would die in her place so that she might live. “Be careful what you wish for son, this is not going to be an ordinary or pretty death,” the priests told him.
He made up his mind in his usual stubborn way to give up his life for her. “I would undergo the sacrifice to make her walk free, I will take her place. I will be her sacrificial sheep” he insisted.
On the appointed day, he was tied to a stake and the thirty nine priests took their knives and stabbed him in a maniacal frenzy while she watched…He became a fountain of spurting blood. Dying, he used his last breath to whisper, “Nne, I love you…always remember that….
Unable to tear her eyes away from the bloody horror before her, she screamed and screamed……
…….He was sitting beside her bedside, head bowed in dejection as she breathed feebly through her oxygen tube. It would not take a genius to know that the end was near…
The doctor burst into the room with unmitigated excitement. “We have found a cure,” he shouted. The research that had been going on with the blood cells of a lamb had proven successful. His wife will live! They transfused her with a syringe full of ovine blood and something dramatic began to happen…
He went berserk with joy, rejoicing over her while planting kisses on her forehead (his special way of showing his deep affection). Gazing into her eyes, he saw the pair of love and victory. He laughed….
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Ist Peter 7-9.