Back at her coven, the maidens and pythons dropped back from Ify, screaming in response to their queen’s pain. Suddenly free, Ify didn’t think twice. She ran and jumped straight into the swirling vortex.
Meanwhile, the queen continued to scream about in the hospital hallway, attracting everyone’s attention, including Ify’s parents. Nurse Eliza kept pleading profusely and tried to wipe off the vomit. The queen didn’t let her. To the queen’s horror, her face slowly began to transform to her original stunning face. She was losing control of her powers.
“Ify, what is it?” Agnes’ concerned voice asked behind her.
The queen quickly covered her face with her two hands and turned further away. Agnes came closer and tried to touch her, “If–”
“GET AWAY FROM ME!” The queen thundered and ran into the restroom, leaving everyone stunned.
She banged the door after her and ran to the mirror to look at her reflection. It looked like her face and Ify’s face were fighting for dominance. Her hands were already back to their original perfect green colors. The queen shook, fighting for control. Just then, a woman came out of one of the toilets and saw her face. The woman’s eyes widened in shock and she tried to scream, the queen blasted her powers and she slumped to the floor.
Meanwhile, Nurse Eliza was explaining to the confused spectators about what happened. Vomit? Ify’s parents glanced at each other, surprised. Yes, Ify suffered from occasional OCD. In fact, she could be so hygienic to a very annoying fault. But she had never reacted the way she reacted now. They had never seen her like that before, even in her worst days. The Ify they just witnessed was scary. They looked at the spilled vomit. It contained several pieces of fish bones.
Later, she came out looking very composed. They left the hospital. No one talked as they drove home.
“There’s food in the fridge. Are you hungry?” Agnes asked, breaking the silence as they entered the house.
“No, I’m tired. I’ll just go to bed.” The queen replied quietly.
“Okay. Tell us when you need anything.”
The queen nodded and turned to leave. Then she turned back to face them, her face full of remorse. “I’m so sorry, mummy. I didn’t mean to yell at you.”
“Yes, what was that about? I couldn’t recognize you. It was like you were someone else.” Agnes said.
“I’m sorry. It’s just that I’ve had the most terrible week. First it was the robbery attack in this house, then the one in the supermarket. And just as I decided to go on a trip with Tony and escape from it all, this accident happened. As if that was not enough, that stupid nurse spilled somebody’s vomit on me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I just lost it.”
Agnes nodded in understanding. “It’s okay. It’s just… the way you shouted at me, you have never done that to me before.”
The queen’s face was the picture of an angel. “I’m so sorry. You are right. I wasn’t myself.”
“It is alright. We understand. It has been a terrible week for you, for all of us. Of course, anyone can go off like that. You are just human after all.” Ben said.
The queen gave him a very sweet, ironic smile. “Thank you, daddy.”
She hugged them and went upstairs to Ify’s bedroom. She closed the door behind her and went to the mirror. Then she smiled as she stared at her reflection. Human, he said. That wrinkled human male called her human. Oh, she would show them. But first, she had someone to take care of.
That night, a nurse took care of Tony in the intensive care unit and left. As soon as she closed the door, the queen appeared. She paused at his bedside. Tony was under oxygen and heavily bandaged. The queen leisurely walked around him, tracing her fingers lightly all over him.
She smiled in admiration. “Hmm… I must admit, you are quite a beautiful creature. I see why that idiot human fell for you. As much as I enjoy seeing you like this, I am afraid I don’t have time to watch you suffer in misery. That will only delay what I have in mind for you and everyone else. By the time I am through with you and her people, she will most definitely regret incurring my wrath.”
Then she leaned forward and spoke directly into his ear. “You see, nobody especially a human refuses me. Ever. But don’t worry, you and her family are not the only recipients of my wrath. Oh, I have plans for you humans. Mankind doesn’t know what is coming to them.”
She stood back and went to the foot of the bed. Then she touched his toes and green currents began to transfer from her fingers to his toes and slowly worked their way up his head.
The next day, Ify’s parents accompanied her to visit Tony in the hospital. What they saw surprised them. First, they were informed that Tony had been transferred from intensive unit to a private ward. They went to the ward and saw another surprise. Tony’s parents were with him. The doctor and a nurse were also present. But that wasn’t the surprise. Tony was wide awake and apart from a small bandage on his arm, he was completely whole! The queen ran into his arms.
“You’re awake.” She said with a happy smile.
“Yes I am. I’m so happy you’re okay.” He replied.
The doctor cleared his throat and the queen broke the hug and stepped back. He went back to examining Tony again. Then he checked his X-ray and examined him again, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Wow! Yesterday when you were brought in, you were a mess of broken bones. Frankly, I didn’t think you were going to walk anytime soon. And even then, it would never be the same. I’ve examined your x-ray and what I saw is medically impossible. Your bones are completely healed. It was like nothing happened to them in the first place.”
Everyone gasped in surprise. The queen hid a knowing smile.
“How is that even possible?” Tony asked.
The doctor shook his head. “I don’t know. It’s a miracle.”
Miracle indeed, the queen thought sneering inwardly.
“This is God’s hand at work. On our way from Port Harcourt, I prayed and prayed to God Almighty asking him to stretch out his healing hand to heal you. He answered my prayer.” Tony’s mother said.
“Praise God.” Agnes added.
“Well, miracle or not, we will keep you here for a while, though there’s apparently no need for that. But we’ll do it anyway, just in case.” The doctor said.
“When will he be discharged?” Tony’s father asked.
“If all goes well, he will be discharged tomorrow morning.”
“Oh thank God.” Tony said in relief. “And thank you, doctor.”
The doctor nodded and left with the nurse. Tony turned to his parents and introduced the queen and Ify’s parents. They exchanged pleasantries and Tony’s mother hugged the queen in loving embrace. “We’ve spoken often on the phone. I’ve seen your pictures but they don’t do you any justice. You’re very beautiful my dear.”
“Thank you, ma.” The queen replied, smiling shyly.
“We’ve heard all about you. We’re so glad to finally meet you.” Tony’s father said, hugging her.
“Thank you, sir.”
“Call me daddy. You’re about to be part of our family.”
“Yes o. I wish we met under better circumstances but we thank God that everything is fine now. Thank you so much for taking care of our son.” Tony’s mother said to Ify’s parents.
“It was our pleasure. We consider Tony as part of our family as well.” Ify’s father replied.
“Tony, thank God you’ve recovered from the accident.” Ify’s mother said.
“Thank you, ma. Honestly, I can’t remember how it happened. All I remember was Ify and I were in the car. Then green smoke started coming out of the AC. Wait, now I remember, I thought that smoke was sucking you into the AC?” Tony asked the queen, puzzled.
“Sucking kwa? Green smoke?” Agnes asked.
“Yeah, maybe it was my imagination. I’m confused. Babe, what really happened?” Tony asked.
“It’s a long story. I’ll tell you later.” The queen replied sweetly.
The beach was empty except for one woman. Beatrice. She was middle aged. Apart from her strained face, she still looked good. She stood at the edge of the river, holding some beautiful flowers as she stared at the river flowing calmly and stretching far into the horizon. Dusk was approaching and the setting sun cast a golden glow to the river. It was a beautiful scenery. But Beatrice’s eyes didn’t take in any of that. Her eyes were empty.
She threw the flowers into the water and turned to leave. Then she stopped. From a distance, a body was lying on shore. She ran to the body and turned it over.
It was a girl.