My name is Michael, and I am a PhD student in University of Szeged, Hungary.
When I was about 8 years old in 1994, my entire family visited my parents’ village for Christmas festivities. The village is a small village called Ososo, in Akoko Edo local government area of Edo State Nigeria. My parents and I were leaving in the northern part of Nigeria in Kaltungo local government area of Gombe State.
During that Christmas of 1994, my elder brother Andrew (God rest his soul) and I, went to our uncle’s farm to enjoy the fruits in the farm.
One thing you should know about my village is the fact that people use all sorts of magical amulets and talisman to protect their properties from thieves and intruders. Water wells, gardens, vegetable farms and even their livestock. It is believed that some of the talismans have a potency to make a young lady barren for life, if she dare to remove it from a well in order to fetch some water.
On that day that we went to enjoy our evening with our uncle’s cashew, was the day that made me have a rethink about the potency of these talismans. My brother (God rest his soul) being the eldest decide to be the one to climb the tree and get some of the fruits for us. I gave him a little push to get him going up the tree. While he was up there, everything was Ok, such that he selects the ripped cashew and throw it down to me, as I chew on one and keep the other for when we get home. He was also enjoying some of the fruits from up there. We stayed there for about two hours I guess, and when it is almost getting dark, and it was time for Andrew to come down from the tree, he complained to me that he cannot be able to come down because the tree has increased in height. I was surprised, I told him that the tree has not grown any further, that he should just jump nothing will happen to him. He crawled closer to a height that with a little jump, I could touch his feet, and then he starts climbing up again.
I just started shouting at him – Andrew you are almost there just jump don’t go back! But he just climbed back. He said he cannot jump, and when he was back into the tree, he sat on one of the branches, stared down at me and started crying that I should go and call mum.
It is already getting dark and our house is about 2.5 km away from the farm, and I was very scared that I cannot walk back home alone without him. So I also joined him in the cry, and we cried together for a while.
A certain old man was on his way back home from his farm, heard our voices crying, and started calling out in our language that who are those crying? Since most of the village people believe in supernatural and ghost stories, the man started to mutter some incantations to ward away evil children on his path. We didn’t understand what was happening as at that time, we just kept crying out louder and calling for help. The man knew that during this festive season there are a lot of children coming from the city and and cannot understand much of the Ososo language, then he decided to be brave and entered the farm. On reaching the tree, he met me sitting on the dirt and sobbing, then he asked me in a broken English- boy wetin you de do fo hia fo dis kind time? (what are you doing here at this time of the night alone?) I pointed up to the tree as my brother started to talk to him in our language telling him his ordeal.
The man knew what was happening immediately, then he gathered some wood and set up a fire place for me to keep warm and also extend to my brother in the tree as he run to the village to call my uncle to the farm.
At that time, my uncle could not be found so easily as he has already gone for his evening drinking of local alcoholic brews burukutu.
They later found him after looking for about 40 minutes. When they finally arrived, they found me eating the remaining cashew I was saving to eat at home. My mom gave me a warm hug as she rained curses on Andrew for bringing me to the farm at this time of the day.
My uncle went round the tree in three consecutive cycles, made some incantations and dug out something from the root of the tree – a talisman. He spat on it three times and immediately my brother was able to jump down from the tree.
My uncle explained to my mother that if he had jumped down before the charm was removed, he would have jumped to his death.
Till this day, even after Andrew has passed away, I dare not enter anybody’s farm or even harvest mangoes that are hanging outside the farm.
I told only a few people about this happening and most of them didn’t believe me.
Forgive my English vocabularies.
Submitted to Weird Darkness and My Haunted Life Too by Michael Emmanuel Omokhuvie
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