#Shortstory: My family is bewitched- Nneka Agada

My family is bewitched

No,  I have not lost my mind and the evil spirit of Akiri has not possessed me. I am in control of my senses and utterances and I have said earlier ‘my family is bewitched’.

‘Do not wash your dirty linen in public’ they say, but what if the dirt from the linen has the potency to char walls of an enclosed laundry?  What if the stench will still ooze from the cracks and crevices of the walls?

We tried washing our dirty linen inside the bedroom.  We even tried wearing them dirty under borrowed clean linen but the stench!  The dripping dirt. Kept following us everywhere. It seemed to scream ‘ wash me in the open!

My father is married to my mother’s younger sister!  Yes, you heard me right.  Aunty Comfo is my mother’s younger sister, same flesh same blood. My father had gotten her pregnant when she came to help nurse me at birth and threatened to kill my mother and me if she refused to accept aunty comfo.

The shame made my mother to insist we moved to another town as her only condition to accept her blood sister as her co-wife. We moved to Okitipupa, where no one knew us, hiding that little piece of dirty linen.

My mother had three more kids after me. Rumour had it that my younger brothers had different fathers, ranging from the gardener, the waste disposal guy, to the driver.  My father could not get to the root of his investigation after the rumours got so bad that people made fun of him in the  neighborhood.

He was found dead in the bathroom, foaming in the mouth the year I turned 15.

My mother did not cry, Aunty Comfo did not shed a tear. I was too shocked to make any sound.

He was buried like a chicken, despite his amassed wealth. His relatives did not attend his burial because my mum refused to have his corpse transported to the village and they did not know where we lived.

Then the fights started.  Not the usual clawing and tearing  common with women fighting over a man. We usually woke up to charms of different forms at our door. My step mum claimed my mother dropped them to implicate her while my mum insisted aunty Comfo wanted her and us dead.

I left home in the heat of all these.  The security man in my school had gotten me pregnant and instead of dying in my mother’s hands, I  chose to die of hunger in his slum batcher residence. The hunger was real mehn!

Then I heard my step brother died in his sleep, no illness, nothing!

My aunty Comfo had gone to their village to invoke the gods against whoever killed her son to put her to shame. Story had it that she didn’t wish death upon the perpetrator, rather she wished and asked for shame on the person every day of her life.

Then in chains, it started happening

A neighbour’s wife stripped my mum naked after catching her with her husband

My immediate younger brother was caught with human genitals

My mum tried stabbing my uncle who had come from America to look for what was left of his brother.

I sold my child for peanuts and used the money to rent a space in a brothel.  I have lived here for 12 years and there seems to be no end in sight.

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