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BEFORE THE DARKNESS PART 1

STORIES

BEFORE THE DARKNESS PART 1


PROLOGUE
There was war in heaven and there was going
to be only one winner, him.
The glass floor felt cold against his bare feet as
he sneaked across the oval corridor. He looked
at his reflection coming off the walls for a few
seconds. He looked wild; it was how he wanted
to look. His head was clean shaven except for a
thick line of hair running from his forehead to
the back. He had not touched his beard in
centuries so he was not surprised it was
shaggy. But there was something else,
something he was not used to; anger. He was a
happy person, the life of the party. He was
mischievous, a trouble maker but never angry.
Well, until he had been crossed.
He looked away from the walls and walked on.
“You can’t get away!” A voice rang through the
atmosphere and he stopped.
He closed his eyes and became one with the
air. His opponent was strong but he could not
see the invisible.
“You can’t get away you foul being!” A female
voice shouted so close to him he jumped. He
stepped away off the corridor and moved
towards the male voice.
“Esu, come out!” The male voice screamed.
“You sad excuse for a god, come, let me teach
you a lesson”
Esu smiled and shook his head. They had no
idea what was coming.
***
The light seemed to swim around the throne, it
was one of the most beautiful things he had
seen in his centuries of existence. The light had
several colours and it always gave him joy to
bask in their sweet fragrance. But not today,
not even the dancing light could ease his
troubled mind.
“They are going to destroy each other my lord.”
Orunmila said as he looked at the east, eyes
drawn together in worry.
“If they must engage in petty fighting like men,
then like men they must be destroyed.”
Edumare, creator of the seven heavens,
answered him.
Orunmila opened his mouth to argue, but closed
it and looked on. He had watched Edumare
make decisions for millennia and none had
failed, if it was his decision not to intervene in
the battle of the gods, so be it.
“Orunmila.” Edumare called.
“Yes, my lord.”
“You’re my priest, the wise one amongst the
gods. You have stood by my throne for ages,
so you have become my wisdom.”
“My lord, such accolades don’t belong…”
“I have a question for you Orunmila.” Edumare
said, shifting on his throne to face Orunmila.
“I’m listening, my lord.”
“How shall the earth and her inhabitants, the
sons of men be in four thousand years? Can
you predict their future?”
“My lord, I’ve been called wise by many but no
god, no matter how wise can predict the future
except you choose to reveal it.” Orunmila
answered, surprised at the question.
“I know, but give it a try. I want to know your
thoughts.”
“Four thousand years will be the year twenty
fourteen…” Orunmila said quietly and looked
away, deep in thought.
“What do you say? How will man fare?”
Orunmila stood from his chair, walked a few
feet forward and turned around.
“In four thousand years, men will be corrupt
and perverse. They will have more knowledge
but use less and less of it. They will bring forth
wisdom that will make even gods jealous but
will destroy each other with it. They will suffer
but even in the face of death they will curse the
gods to their faces.”
Orunmila finished and found himself out of
breath. The words had come out of his mouth
without his thinking about it.
“You are right my priest.” Edumare said with a
sigh. “The question is; will the gods fare
better?”
Orunmila sighed and turned towards the east,
lightning and thunder still rang through the sky.
Fiery bursts of different colours spread across
the face of the sky. He shook his head and
turned back to face the throne.
“My lord, it is hard to tell. But the gods are not
mortal men, surely they will fare better.”
“Surely, you say. Well, soon we shall know. Very
soon.”
Orunmila turned and looked at him. What did
he mean by soon?
***
Esu looked at Sango and smiled. His trap was
perfect, all he had to do was wait.
He moved closer to Sango as he strutted
towards the trap, his favourite goddess Oya by
his side. They could not see him still and he
had them exactly where he wanted them.
“Is that him? You are sure?” Sango reduced his
pace and asked pointing at a shadow in the
distance.
“Surely, it is him. Sango, you’re the chief
amongst gods, you are second to none except
Edumare himself. Are you scared of Esu, that
trifling elf?” Oya replied him.
“Of course I’m not!” Sango said, pushing his
chest out. “Esu is tricky, I do not want to…”
“Sango, you are known as the thunder of the
seven heavens, well six of them. You are far
above any trick Esu brings.”
“Yes, I am!” Sango said and marched towards
the shadow.
Esu smiled and moved a few feet away from
them.
“Here’s the plan.” Sango said. “You will raise a
storm, I will light it up with fire and hail and we
will both bring it down on him.”
Oya nodded and spreading her hands upwards
she started to conjure a storm. Esu looked up
at the storm gathering, it was bigger than he
expected and he was grateful he was not the
real target. He watched Sango raise his fist and
the storm became fiery red. They held their
hands in the air and together brought the fiery
storm on the shadow.
Esu opened his mouth in anticipation as the
storm approached the shadow. The storm hit
and almost immediately a bolt of lightning from
the east hit the shadow too. For a few seconds
his eyes shut and he did not know what was
happening.
He opened his eyes and found himself in the
midst of the storm. He looked around him as
the storm spun him around. Oya was holding
tight to Sango as they spun above him. The
storm seemed to be taking them downwards.
“This is the work of your hands.” A voice called
from below him.
He looked below and saw Ogun. Ogun had been
his involuntary decoy; the shadow. He had put
the target on him but things had not gone the
way he expected.
“I did not plan this, I swear.” Esu said, afraid for
the first time in his life.
He looked up at Sango and Oya. Sango looked
down and saw him and his face became red.
“What have you done?!” He screamed and there
was an explosion of light.
Esu closed his eyes against the light, waited a
few seconds until he felt a calm around him
and he opened them.
He looked around, there was no one. He blinked
and rubbed his forehead, a headache was
building. He heard a sound coming from behind
him and he looked to see a strange being with
large shiny eyes approach him, it was coming
at a high speed, it made a screeching sound
and sped past him. He stood slowly to his feet
but dropped back to the ground immediately.
He was naked! He looked up and saw a large
object in the sky with a man’s face on it, he
was saying something. His face goes off the
object and a scantily clad woman walks around
on the object. The light started to hurt his eyes
and he looked away.
He crawled away from the object and towards a
darker place. He reached a wall and stopped.
He sat against the wall and held his head in his
hand. Where was he?
“Hey dude!” A voice said beside him.
He jumped and scrambled away
“Hey man, it’s okay, I’m homeless too. You
want some coke? Stole it off a kid in the park.”
Esu looked at the man speaking to him, he was
dressed in rags and stank. Who was this man?
Where was he?
“My name is Folusho. What is your name?” The
man continued. If he was going to find out
where he was, the man was probably his best
bet.”
“My name, my name is…” Esu started.
“Yes? What’s your name?”
“My na… na… name…” He stuttered and
stopped. Beads of sweat formed on his face as
he came to a sudden realisation.
He had no idea what he name was. He had no
idea who he was.

PART 1

The fiery hot wind blew against him but he did
not seem to notice. His mind was taken up by
what he saw; the reflection of his face in the
water made him shiver. He slapped his hand
across the river and his reflection disappeared
in the ripples. He stood and slid across his face
the veil that had been his covering for so many
decades. Decades that had turned into
centuries and centuries into millennia.
The world knew him as Ibilis, the cause of all
the evil in the world, and they were right. But
they knew so little about him, as little as he
wanted them to know. His world was one of
darkness, one he hated so much. He had
crossed from light to darkness when he had
challenged Edumare, a battle he would have
won if he had been given a fair chance. His
loss meant he had to leave for the abyss called
Hades along with a few of his defeated loyal
servants.
The only reason he had not been lost in despair
through the millennia was the hope that one
day he would be able to corrupt one of the gods
in the seven heavens. And he had succeeded.
One of them had eventually given in to
centuries of pressure and through him he would
achieve his target; take over the earth.
Ibilis looked around him at the many who toiled
in his service as he prepared for what will be
the end of man and the ultimate devastation of
Edumare. He did not understand it, Edumare’s
obsession with men. It infuriated him. It did not
matter, because soon, with one blow he would
wipe out men and take his revenge on
Edumare.
***
“We have set a two-month deadline, we cannot
wait for her to give birth, look for another
person to play the role.” Eric said and shook his
head. He had been in the business for less than
a year but he already knew more than these
expert morons.
“Sir, she is the best person for the role.” The
older moron said.
“And she’s famous; her face alone will sell our
movie.” The younger moron added, supporting
his colleague.
“Do you think we are negotiating here guys? Did
we use a single famous actor for our last
movie? Did it or did it not blow away all box
office records here in Nigeria?” Eric said,
looking at the men, who were trying to avoid
his gaze. “Dapo, answer my question.”
“You’re right sir.”
“Good, so go and do as I said. We are not
waiting for anybody. Okay, get to work both of
you.”
Eric watched them leave his office. He
understood their thinking, they could not figure
how he could do a movie with an unknown cast
and expect success, but he had and he would
do it again. He did not have to explain himself
to them anyway, he was their boss, plus he had
other things on his mind.
He had had the strangest experience the day
before. He was at his new home with his new
girlfriend, well that’s what she thought she was,
and she had got him upset. He had been lucky
because he walked out of the room immediately
his temper started to rise. He walked to his
balcony and as he thought about the infuriating
words she had said to him, he squeezed his
fingers in frustration and just then his hand
disappeared. He had jumped back out of fear,
releasing the fingers and they had re-appeared.
No matter how much he tried, he could not find
a reasonable explanation for the incidence. He
had been drunk but he had never been drunk to
the point of hallucinating.
A knock on the door brought him back from his
reverie.
“Come in.”
His secretary came in. She was his only friend,
but even she could not know about the
disappearing hand.
“Pearl, what’s up?”
“Your two pm is here.”
“My two…I have an appointment?” Eric asked,
clicking on his digital calendar. “Apparently, I
do. Who is Toni Adedoyin?”
“Eric! That lady has been after you since
European came out. She called and called
before she got this appointment.”
“Oh yeah, the journalist. Can I reschedule this? I
don’t think I want to do an interview right now.”
“Come on Eric, you can’t reschedule this. We
have rescheduled four times, it’s not polite. She
is a human person.”
“I know Pearl, I just don’t want to do this now.”
“You will!” She said with finality, he knew there
was no point arguing. “Do whatever you want
to do now, she’s coming in in five minutes.”
“Okay. But am I ready for this interview? This is
a major step you know, it’s my first as CEO of
X-Media.”
“Aww, Eric is nervous.” Pearl said, walked to
him and put an arm round his shoulder. “You
will be fine dear. Now be a man and let me be
the lady here.”
She walked out of the office and Eric walked to
the reception area in his office and sat.
He had a reason to be nervous. He knew the
journalist would ask questions about his past,
his life before X-Media. He had had a terrible
accident and had no idea who he was. He had
an official story he told everybody who asked
though. Only Pearl knew his story was fiction.
An invasive journalist could pick through his
made-up story.
There was a knock on his door, he stood from
the chair and straightened his jacket.
“Come in please.” Eric said, trying his best to
smile.
“Mr. Adesesan, thanks for seeing me.” Toni, the
journalist said, stretching her hand to shake
him.
“Please call me Eric, Mr. Adesesan is my
grandfather, even my father never let people
call him that.” Eric replied, shaking her hand.
“Oh, alright, thank you Eric.”
“Please have a seat.” Eric said, pointing her to
a chair. “I’m sorry I’ve not been able to see you
for so long.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re seeing me now.” She said,
sitting. “Okay, before we start this, do you
solemnly swear to say the truth and nothing but
the truth?”
“What? I…” Eric stammered.
“No, I’m just joking Eric. This isn’t a court
room.” She said laughing.
Eric tried to join the laughter but nothing came
out of his mouth but a slight chuckle.
“Alright, let’s begin, shall we?” She said,
bringing out a notepad.
“Okay, let’s.” Eric said and silently prayed the
interview would not become the beginning of
the end for him.
***
She observed her aide – Adedamola as he
escorted the visitor to the door. Damola was
tall, had broad shoulders and the most
handsome face she had ever seen. Sometimes
she wondered if he was a god of some sorts, or
perhaps he was just specially constructed to
torture women. He walked with a swagger she
could not understand, almost as if he was
royalty.
He turned around to look at her and she turned
away quickly. He had caught her staring far too
often, she was his boss, she had to learn some
discipline.
“Are you done for the day Anne?” He asked.
The way he pronounced her name sent a
tingling sensation up her spine. He rarely called
her by name, he had always called her ma’am
except for a few precious times.
“Yeah, I’m almost done.” She answered, hoping
he did not see the heat in her face. “Wait for
me at the reception; I will be with you soon.”
She tried to look away but failed so she
watched him leave. She remembered the first
time she had seen him. She had been instantly
attracted to him but her friends told her to
forget about it. Apart from the social class
difference, they said, he was rough, and not the
kind of person to be working with a top model.
They had a point. He worked as a delivery boy
for a pizza place and he had the roughest hair
and beard she had ever seen but she could not
stop thinking about him. There was something
familiar about him and in less than two weeks
he had begun to work in her organization.
She stood from her chair and walked into the
bathroom. As she did she caught her reflection
in the mirror and stopped. She turned and
faced the mirror. She was beautiful, she knew it,
and everybody knew it. She had been in the
modeling industry for only a year but she was
already at the top of the industry. She charged
the highest fees, she turned down international
brands because she had too much to do
already, she lived the life so many of her
contemporaries could only dream of.
She wiped the mirror with her palms and
looked closer into the mirror to see her eyes.
They had a look of loss in them, something she
tried her best to hide every time.
She turned away from the mirror and grabbed
her make up bag, tonight was not a time for
thoughts of loss. There was a handsome god of
a man waiting to take her home. Even if he
would not go past her front door.
***
Damola looked at her through the rearview
mirror and smiled. She was asleep. For a
woman who was so calm and collected during
the day, she tossed a lot in her sleep. He
looked away from her and focused on the road.
He had caught her looking at him a few times
and it always excited him. He did his own bit of
looking, he was just smarter about it. Working
for her was the easiest decision he had ever
made. Because of his looks he had gotten a lot
of offers for different jobs but he had always
refused, he had never felt like he needed more
than he got from the pizza place. When she
asked him to come work for her, he had
accepted immediately. There was something
about her, he had no idea what it was but he
could not resist her.
A traffic light ahead of him turned red and he
stepped on the brake. The car had just slowed
to a stop when the car jerked forward suddenly!
It had been hit from behind. He heard a
whimper behind him and he looked. Anne had
fallen off her seat and hit her head on the front
chair. Damola turned off the engine, opened his
door and ran to Anne’s side of the car. He
opened her door and helped her up to her seat.
Her nose was bleeding.
His heart raced at the sight of the blood on her
face. He turned away from her and started
walking towards the driver who hit him. The
driver was still in the car, he had not even
bothered to come out.
Damola walked to his door and knocked on his
window. The driver rolled down his window.
“Why did you stop so suddenly? Didn’t you
know a car was coming behind you?” The driver
said with a sneer.
Damola felt the heat begin to rise. “What did
you just say?”
“Move your car out of the road and let me go,
useless man!” The man retorted and rolled his
window up.
Damola looked at the man and he felt a
vibration in his hand, he lifted it and punched
the window! It shattered and the shocked driver
jumped back. Damola opened the door and
began to pull the man. He yanked the seatbelt
off the driver and grabbed him. The man
struggled but he overpowered him easily.
Suddenly the man began to scream. “It’s
burning me! Help, it’s burning me!”
A crowd began to gather around the scene.
Damola looked at the man confused. What was
burning him? Then he felt it. At first it was a
slight warm tingling on his palms, then it
became really hot. He dropped the man and
looked at his hands, they smoked.
He turned around quickly and walked back to
the car. Nobody tried to stop him as he entered
and drove away. His hand smoked? What set it
on fire? Why wasn’t he burned? Who was
Adedamola Adetokun?
***
“That was an awesome interview.” Toni
Adedoyin said.
“Really? That was all you.” Eric said, standing
from his seat.
“I don’t think so, you did well yourself.” She
said with a smile. She stuffed her notepad into
her bag and stood.
The interview had gone better than he thought
it would. Mostly because she had stuck to
questions about X-Media and European, his
first movie which had blown everybody away.
She worked for a business magazine, of course
she was not after his life story. He wondered
why he had been so paranoid.
“Care to join me for light refreshment before
you leave?” Eric asked.
“Well…” She said and looked at her watch. “I
guess I could spare ten minutes.”
“That’s all the time it takes to eat our special
delicacy; the Spanish lizard.” Eric said with
relish as they settled into their chairs.
“The what?!” She asked eyes wide.
“Ha, gotcha! That’s my revenge for the joke you
pulled on me earlier.” Eric said and pumped his
fist in mock victory.
“Nice! That’s how it is?”
“That’s how it is.”
Eric brought out two wine glasses and poured
some wine into them.
“You always treat your guests with this much
niceness, I might be a constant guest here.”
Toni said, taking a sip from the glass.
“My father always said, there are two people
you must always treat nicely; your wife and
journalists. Because people will believe
whatever they say about you, true or false.”
Toni laughed and said. “He is a wise man. You
seemed to have picked a lot from him. He must
have been proud of you when you produced
European.”
“He would have been, but he’s been late for a
while.” Eric said, hoping it would be the end of
questions about his father.
He was not so lucky. “Was he into
entertainment too?”
“Yes he was.” He replied without thinking.
“He was? Wow, it runs in the family then. Was
he was a movie producer?”
“No, he wasn’t.” Eric said, his feeling of unease
increasing.
“Yeah? What was he then?”
“Can you please stop! I thought the interview
was over.” Eric snapped. He looked at her
shocked face and felt terrible.
“I’m sorry…” She started to say.
“No, it’s me who is sorry. I’m so sorry, it’s just
that the topic of my father is very touchy for
me.” He said, trying to put on a smile.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have pushed.”
“I guess you can say I have daddy issues.” Eric
said beaming a huge smile. “I hope this does
not destroy the chances of those repeated visits
you promised.”
“Promised? I didn’t promise anything. But I’ll
visit anytime I’m in the neighbourhood.”
“Please do.”
“Thank you very much for this.” She said
standing.
“It was my pleasure.”
Eric walked her to the door of the company
building and watched her walk all the way to
her car. His good-for-nothing girlfriend was
going to get kicked out very soon, maybe then
he could pay real attention to the attractive
journalist.
He was about to turn around to head back into
the building when something caught his eye. He
looked closer. Beside his car in the parking lot
was an odd looking man. He was dressed in
robes and was barefooted. He looked like he
had just stepped out of an ancient movie.
Strangely, people walked past him without
paying any attention to him.
Eric shook his head and walked back into the
building. He had enough weirdness in his life,
the odd man could live his.
***
Anne stood outside and watched Damola walk
out of her house. She was disturbed, there was
something strange about the way he had
looked that day. She had watched him go after
the driver who hit the car from behind. At first,
she had felt good about it, he was fighting
because she was hurt. But she had seen him
get really angry, and even though he had not
landed a single punch on the man, the look she
saw on the man’s face was pure fear.
She turned around and entered her house.
There was something else that disturbed her,
the look in his eyes. It was the same look she
saw in her own eyes more often than not;
confusion.
“My lady?” She heard an unfamiliar voice call
from behind her.
She stopped and turned around. A man stood
in the corner of her living room. How did he
enter? She had opened the door herself, and
there was no way he slipped past her.
“Who are you? How did you get in?” She asked,
trying not to show fear.
“How did I enter? It surprises me that you ask
that question my lady. We are not of this world,
we come and go as we please.” The man said.
“Not of this…?” Anne started and shook her
head. She reached into her bag and brought
out her phone, she wished Damola had actually
come in.
“Don’t call him, he is not ready, let him go in
peace.”
Anne looked at him carefully. The man was
dressed strangely, he looked like nothing she
had seen in Nigeria. He wore a robe, somewhat
like a Buddhist monk. He was barefooted and
had some strange kind of beads around his
neck. She had never met him, that she was sure
of but there was an air of familiarity about him.
Kind of what she felt the first time she met
Damola.
“What do you want from me?” Anne asked
steadying herself.
“Before I answer your question my lady, I will
ask mine. Do you know who you are?”
“Yes I do.” She said, her voice lower than she
planned. Who was this man? “I am Anne
Oyawoye…”
“Wait! Tell me who you are, not who you have
told everybody you are.”
Anne felt her heart beat faster against her
chest. She had avoided the question the man
was asking for a long time. She had no idea
who she was, Anne Oyawoye; the international
model was all she knew.
“You can’t seem to answer my question my
lady. Perhaps because you do not know the
answer. That is why I’m here, to deliver the
answer.”
“You know who I am?” Anne asked, she could
not hide the eagerness in her voice.
“Yes I do my lady, but with knowledge comes
responsibility. Are you willing to take the
responsibility that comes with the knowledge of
who you are?”
“What responsibility?” She hesitated. “What are
you talking about?”
“That box on the wall, the one that shows you
the past, the present and sometimes the
future…”He said pointing to the television. “Put
it on.”
Anne reached for the remote, cautiously eyeing
the weird man. She put on the TV.
“You see that?” The man asked. On the
television was news about a village in the
northern part of the nation who experienced
what looked like an eclipse. The reporter was
saying how strangely, the village was the only
place to experience the eclipse.
“I don’t understand.” Anne said. An eclipse that
was experienced in one village only was strange
but she had no idea what that had to do with
her.
“You don’t understand now, but you will. I
should leave you now.” The man said and
moved towards the door.
“Wait! You have not told me who I am.” Anne
said.
“Are you ready for this my lady?” Anne stood
straight, folded her arms across her chest and
looked at him. “Your name is Oya, the daughter
of the great Edumare, creator of the seven
heavens. You are the controller of the wind and
the storm do your bidding. You are not mere
mortal my lady, you are a goddess, a great
goddess.”
Anne stood and stared at him for a few
seconds, stunned. Then she recovered herself
and laughed. She wanted to stop the laughter
but she was so amused she could not.
“Sir, whoever you are, thank you for playing on
my moment of weakness, I can’t believe I
actually thought you knew who I am. Thank
you but you are should leave now.” She said
and turned around to get her phone.
“There is more you should know.” The man
continued.
She could not believe she had been so eager to
hear what the man had to say. She should have
been more concerned about getting him out of
her house than bothering with what he had to
say.
She got her phone and looked up. “Sir, please
leave or I…”
She stopped, he was gone

To be continued

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gwesmein Magaji

    11/05/2017 at 7:36 pm

    SO NICE STORY

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