Ify sprang to her feet and stared at the queen confused and scared. “You again? What just happened? Where’s Tony?”
“You mean your lover? He’s still there in what you humans call an accident?” The queen replied nonchalantly.
“Accident!” Ify squeaked in alarm. “Oh my God. Please take me back. I want to see him.”
“You will see him later. But first, we need to talk.” The queen replied calmly.
“About what? Besides, this is not the time. Tony must be in danger and also worried about me. Please take me back.”
“And I said you will see him later. We need to talk.” The queen replied firmly.
Ify stared at her and sighed impatiently. “Alright, let’s talk. I know you’re the one behind all the things that have been happening to me lately.”
The queen smiled. “Did you like the powers I gave you?”
“Why me?” Ify asked. “Of all human beings on earth, why did you choose me?”
“Oh my dear child,” the queen replied softly. “If only you know what you are made of. Come child, come with me.”
She led Ify to the swirling vortex. And as she waved her hands over it, different flashes of Ify appeared.
“You can be anything you want.” The queen whispered persuasively into her ear. “ A CEO of a successful advertising company like you’ve always wanted. A President, world leader, a celebrity of your choice, a woman of substance. All you need do is ask and shall be given to you.”
“And what do I give in return?” Ify asked, mesmerized.
“Come to me. Work with me. Give me your soul and I will make you the most powerful being in your world.”
Ify nodded. “Yes, yes, I want those things…”
Then she turned defiantly to the queen. “But the problem is if I give in to your request, I would not be in control. I know how this works. You and I make a pact. I get all those nice things you promised me. In exchange, you control my life. You use me until there’s nothing left. Then you throw me out like garbage and find someone else.”
The queen smiled reassuringly. “You’re wrong. I’m a very benevolent goddess. I remain faithful to those who are faithful to me.”
“Really?” Ify asked skeptically. “And how do I know when I fail the rules?”
“You will know if when it happens which I believe shall never happen. I know you, Ifenyinwa, better than you know yourself. Your loyalty to your family and friends is unquestionable. And that is what I desire from you. Think of what you felt when you possessed those powers to fight your enemies. I know you enjoyed them. You can have so much more. Give me your soul.”
“No,” Ify replied more firmly. “You can take your powers back. What I want right now is to go back to Tony. I will be want I want to be. Not what you want me to be.”
The queen stared speculatively at Ify for what seemed like an eternity. Then she sighed sadly. “You’re right. You will be what you want to be.”
Ify sighed in relief. She didn’t realize she was holding her breath. The next moment, she was thrown painfully to the floor by an invisible force.
She was stunned. But to her horrific dismay, the queen began to transform before her eyes. By the time the transformation finished, Ify felt her eyes were playing tricks on her. Oh wait, maybe they were. For the queen had Ify’s face, height, color, shape, dress, shoes and even her hairstyle. Everything. Ify was staring at the very image of herself.
The queen smiled maliciously. “But I can be what I want you to be. Goodbye my beautiful, foolish human. I wish I could stay but I have a mission to accomplish.”
Then she disappeared with her laughter echoing after her. The swirling vortex flashed again. And Ify watched as the queen, now posing as her, appeared at Tony’s wrecked car and screamed for help. Motorists gathered and they took Tony out of the wreck. He was unconscious and his whole body were drenched in blood. The motorists carried him into a car. The queen joined him and they drove speedily away.
“No! No! Stay away from him. Baby, I’m here! I’m here!” Ify screamed desperately. The vortex suddenly closed and the maidens who had been still like statues snapped to life and looked intently at her with their shining green eyes. The two huge pythons uncurled themselves and began to slowly creep towards her.
Ify tried to get away but she couldn’t move. Whatever force the queen used to pin her down was still working. In that moment, Ify knew it was too late. She was never going to get out alive…
Meanwhile, Tony had been taken to the hospital. He was immediately wheeled to the theater for emergency operation. Ben and Agnes arrived shortly. They were frantic for their daughter.
“Oh, Ify. Are you alright?” Agnes said as she rushed and hugged the queen who was still posing as Ify.
The queen sobbed. “Oh mummy, Tony…”
“Chim o! Where is he?”
“He’s in the theater. The doctors are operating on him now.” She broke down again. “Oh mummy. He’s bad. What am I going to do if I lose him?”
“Honey, you’re not going to lose him. Have faith.”
They hugged her, comforting her as she shed her crocodile tears. Hours later, the doctor came out of the theater. They hurried to him, concerned.
“Doctor, how is he?” Ben asked anxiously.
“Are you the father of Anthony Orji?”
“No but my daughter here is his fiancee. This is my wife, Agnes. We’ve called his parents. They will be here as soon as possible.”
“Alright.” The doctor said, satisfied by the information.
“So, how is he?” Ben asked again.
“He has several broken bones. His ribs are also broken and they have affected his lungs. We have fixed the lungs but there might be complications. One of them is that the lungs can go into collapse. He is in the ICU where a machine is helping him to breathe and where we can also monitor his vital signs continuously.”
“Can we see him, doctor? Please?” The queen pleaded innocently.
“Not yet. He has to be left alone for now. I advise that you go home, get some rest and come back later. Excuse me.” The doctor said calmly and left.
The queen began to sob again. Ben wrapped his arms around her. “It’s okay, dear. Tony is going to be fine. The doctor is doing his best.”
“Yes,” Agnes concurred. “And you need to go home. You’ve had a very long day.”
“I think I’m going to stay. You can go.” The queen said.
“Ify, staying here will not solve anything. You heard the doctor. You cannot see Tony now. Let’s just go home. You need rest.” Ben said.
“Your father is right. There is nothing we can do for now. Let the hospital handle it. We will come back later when you’ve rested a bit, okay?” Agnes added.
The queen nodded reluctantly. “Okay. Let me go to the restroom. I need to pee.”
She left for the restroom, a picture of distraught. As soon she got to the rest room, she moved straight to the mirror and smiled widely. Humans were truly stupid. She thought. Just look at the way she fooled them. Those two gullible fools that called themselves Ifenyinwa’s parents thought she was their daughter. Oh, this was interesting. She hadn’t tried being a human for centuries. She detested stooping so low. But now she did, it was easier than she thought. And she must admit, she was enjoying herself.
She washed her hands and opened the door to leave only to bump into a nurse Eliza carrying a bowl of vomit. The vomit scattered all over the queen’s face.
Thanks for reading. Please don’t forget to like, comment and share. See you next for the next Episode.