“Everybody down.” The men yelled at everyone, pointing their guns.
“Oh God, not again.” Ify groaned to herself as she went down hands forward, face to the floor like the other hostages. The men assembled them in a row yelling, “get down!” “Move, I move you!” etc.
Meanwhile the siren outside was jarring. Ify could hear the police outside. Two of the robbers went to man the entrance. The rest surrounded the hostages while their leader patrolled in front of them.
“Listen up everybody. From now on, na me dey in charge. If anybody wan try fuck up, I go fuck up that person up. Police no fit help una. Forget that thing wey dem dey do outside. No be Nigerian Police again?”
One of the robbers manning the entrance approached the leader. “Boss, police full everywhere o. Wetin we go do?”
The leader paused thoughtfully. Then he gave an evil smile and said loudly and confidently. “Dem no fit enter. If dem try am, these people.”
The hostages started panicking. Everyone was whimpering, screaming and sobbing. The robbers immediately drew their guns and threatened them to shut up. They shut up except one hostage. It was the pregnant woman. Her panic had risen to a level she couldn’t control in her condition. She tried to rise up.
“What are you doing? Do you want to die?” Ify whispered frantically at her.
The woman shook and sobbed hysterically. “I can’t… can’t… help it. Please… please… please get me out of here. I need to go.”
By now, her hysteria had drawn everyone’s attention. One of the robbers moved angrily to her, pointing his gun directly at her head. “You dey mad? Get down, now!”
But the pregnant woman was far gone. She couldn’t get down. She was sobbing and breathing heavily. Ify feared she might be in premature labor. The leader strode to the woman and grabbed her hair roughly, forcing her to look him in the face, eyeball to eyeball.
The woman shook uncontrollably. “Please I beg, consider my baby. This is my first pregnancy after eight years of marriage. Let me go, abeg, abeg.”
The leader pushed her to the floor. “Get down!”
“Leave her alone!” A voice rang out.
“Who be that?” The leader asked, surprise and looked around. He looked like he was ready to shoot that person on the spot. No one replied.
“I say who be that person?”
Again, silence. Thoroughly pissed, the leader grabbed the woman again and pointed his gun to her face. “I say who be that person? Talk now or else–”
“It’s me. I said you should leave her alone.” Ify said, rising.
The leader stared at her in disbelief. Then he burst into laughter. His gang joined him. They laughed and laughed until he suddenly stopped.
“See this girl o. You no dey fear?”
Ify was already having second thoughts on why she intervened. But she tried not to let it show. She simply stood there, staring at him.
“Come here.” The leader said, calmly.
Ify didn’t move. One of the men grabbed her and dragged her to him. He forced her to kneel in front of the leader. The leader slowly lowered himself to stare directly into her eyes.
“Wetin be your name?” He asked.
Ify didn’t respond.
“I no go ask you again. Wetin be your name?”
Still, Ify remained silent. This incensed the leader further and he slapped her, twisting her face to one side. There was total silence for a second. Then, Ify slowly turned her face back to him. The leader jumped back in shock. Ify’s eyes were no longer their natural brown. They were bright green with raging fire. Before he could open his mouth, Ify slammed her fist into his face. She quickly grabbed his gun and shot him.
The following action was a bloody mess. Completely enraged, Ify unleashed her mayhem on the rest of the robbers. The hostages screamed and scurried for cover as she silenced the robbers one by one. By the time she was done with them, the supermarket looked like a war zone.
She eventually returned to herself as the police finally forced their way in. They took out the seriously injured robbers and helped the hostages, including Ify outside to attend to them. A growing crowd had gathered and the police tried to contain them. The Press fished for news. Cameras flashed everywhere. Ify ducked and clutched the bottled water given to her, shaking. She couldn’t believe what she did to those robbers. God, what’s going on. She thought.
“You again?” Officer Ugwu said, interrupting her thoughts.
Ify sighed tiredly. “Officer Ugwu.”
“What is with you and armed robbers? And what you did to those boys… Are you Wonder woman?”
“I don’t know o, Officer.” Ify said, shrugging.
“Well, you know the procedure now?” Officer Ugwu asked.
“Yes. Follow you to the station.”
Later, after a long, tiring day at the police station, she went home. Her parents were watching night news about bank robbers that were chased down to a supermarket, took hostages and were stopped by a “superhuman”- their words- hostage. Ben and Agnes ran to her in relief.
“Oh my God, Ify are you alright?” Her mother asked, concerned.
“What happened?” Her father asked at the same time.
“I’m fine, daddy, mummy. I’m just coming from the police station. I need to rest. I’m tired.”
Her parents stared at her.
“Tell us the truth, Ifenyinwa. What is going on with you?” Her father asked bluntly.
“Nothing.” She replied and winced. Her father never called her Ifenyinwa unless he was angry.
“Don’t lie to us. We both know something strange is happening to you. What is it?”
“Daddy, nothing is going on. I’m fine.”
“Ifenyinwa,” Agnes interjected making her wince. Her mother never called her full name either unless she was pissed. “If what you’re saying is true, then explain to us how you suddenly developed this strange ability to attack people so easily. Your father and I were first hand witnesses of what you did to those boys that Ebuka sent. And we know you’re the person with ‘superhuman powers’ that attacked those robbers at the supermarket. Don’t deny it. What is going wrong with you, Ifenyinwa!”
“I don’t know, okay? I don’t know!” Ify flared up. “You think I understand what is happening to me? If I did, I would have told you. This thing, these abilities that I have, they are strange to me as well. I’m confused. So don’t ask me what’s wrong with me because I don’t know!”
She raged and stormed upstairs to her room. Her parents looked at each other. Then Ify came back downstairs to face them remorsefully.
“I’m so sorry, daddy, mummy for yelling at you. It’s just that I don’t understand what is happening to me. I’m so tired.”
“Honey, we know. Your father and I are so worried about you. Do you want us to book an appointment with Pastor Matthew for deliverance?”
“Deliverance kwa? Mummy please no o. It hasn’t gotten to that yet. I believe if I went away for a while, this thing, whatever it is, will stop.”
Agnes looked skeptical. “Are you sure? Pastor Matthew is a real man of God. He will deliver you.”
“Mum, I don’t want please. Dad, please tell mummy not to make me go to the pastor.” Ify pleaded to her dad.
Ben sighed. “Honey, Ify is right. I don’t trust all these pastors. I think what she needs is to go away for a while. Let’s see what happens after she comes back.”
And so, it was arranged that Ify would go on a weekend holiday with Tony. Ify was so happy. And as she sat beside Tony as he drove, she felt free.
“Hmm, this is nice. The both of us going on a trip together?”
Tony smiled. “I know. You need a break from all these stunts you’ve been pulling lately.”
“Please let’s not talk about that. I’m looking forward to a fun weekend. I don’t want anything to spoil it.”
“Alright. Anything for you.”
Ify sat back on her seat and closed her eyes, sighing contentedly. Tony continued driving. Then his eyes caught the AC.
“What’s that?” He asked in surprise.
“What’s what?” Ify asked.
“Smoke is coming out of the AC.”
“Smoke?” Ify asked and opened her eyes. They watched in growing horror as a green smoke came out of the AC. It formed into long, thin fingers and grabbed Ify’s face. Ify screamed.
“Ify!” Tony screamed in shock. He tried to drag her back but the smoky fingers sucked her into the AC shaft just as he lost control of the car and it somersaulted and crashed upside down on the road.
Ify screamed as she swirled through the vortex with the green smoky fingers and landed at the queen’s feet.
The queen smiled at her. “Welcome back, Ifenyinwa.”
Episode 8 is coming soon. Thanks for reading. Please like, comment and share.