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Bode Osanaiye

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· A Dream at Night
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In the Silent Hours of Night
By Bode Osanaiye
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

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About initiation into wizardry

IN THE SILENT hours of night witches hovered on the horizon around Father’s compound, and you could see a pot-bellied, bow-legged sixty one year-old with an awkward face, wearing red and limply seated in a blue folding chair outside the shrines. His grey mustache unshaven, he would be shaking his head and mysteriously beating a metal gong, mobilizing spirits, commandeering snakes and monkeys from cloud-level Iroko trees, banishing all odonate belongings safe comestible crickets, getting inane responses from skyward-bound chirping birds via un-earthly whistling; afterwards gathering strange herbs in a garden all bereft of whatever botanical inconsequence, speaking incantational evocations, shouting gibberish, disappearing at the midnight hour from his wooden bed. That would be my father, undoubtedly a witch, for, as I latterly discovered, Father met frequently with Ibode’s enchantresses and witches, Queens of the Night – at nights of weird, endless elicitations, nights when photosynthetic apparatuses of prairie and foliage liberally were fused with black soap and became soap – populating the realm of the initiated and depriving the other camp of following. His face made more awkward with his, again, awkward smiles, he had seven blade-inflicted marks visible enough at the back of his right hand and he touched them at the slightest provocation. The touch of just one of the marks could engender lightning and thunder; and, at touching all, a torrential rain, the rain-maker kind. He called the marks igbere, horrifying blade-inflicted incisions called the marks of the initiated. People from all walks of life, white men inclusive, flocked here and were drawn here like bees unto honey to consult the Oracle. They came to make medicines and charms for their feats in the various endeavours which they had designedly or accidentally found themselves. White men came chiefly to make medicines to become victors and turn their enemies vanquish in wars waged to conquer territories and expand empires, on account of the world’s Queen.

   Ibode’s climate, as of today, seemed to have kick-started on an atypical note, countrified and rustic. Air quality at its odoriferous spheres had dropped drastically as a result of haze caused by the Harmattan burning in nearby bushes. Father, I noted, was inside his shrines as usual. I could see the liveliness of those huts from a distance through the lights. The shrines were well-lighted, and those lights still flickered . . . (I save the rest for later)


{This is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of my second book in a row titled In the Silent Hours of Night, the book about the hidden things of the night, especially the activity of witches, the Queens of the Night. It follows my first fictional toil titled A Dream at Night}








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