Hmmmm….(in a Nigerian accent)
I do not know where to begin this story from. But indeed I must.
As is common in my religion, the first few days, weeks and /or months of a year are dedicated to fasting and prayer.
Yours truly did partake thereof these holy rites.
The fasts end by six in the evening, followed by prayers for another hour or so.
The priest, prophet or pastor would close the meeting by making declarations, prophesying or just sharing a simple prayer.
I do not attend this ministry. I am new in town and this parish is close to where I live and where I work.
For some reason, I refused to break my fast as was the norm. I was fasting without food or water.
Understandably by the fourth day I was in another realm. I had been praying and meditating throughout. Trust me, I was spiritual, raised to the power of infinity.
A week into the ordeal, and after closing prayers, the priest, prophet or pastor requested that I wait behind after the prayers.
He is a rotund fellow. Slightly shifty in my opinion.
He said that he had a ‘word of knowledge’ for me. He said that a close relative was bent on ‘stealing my bright star’ and that God had been fighting for me in the spiritual.
He proceeded to advise that I give an offering to ‘perfect’ all God was doing in my life. He stressed that it did not need to be anything large. Just a token to acknowledge God’s grace over my life.
Luckily I was in a good place spiritually, and so I gave up my ‘widow’s mite’. It was literally all I had.
That night I was awakened to the sound of rustling and slight thumping in my kitchen. My neighborhood is opulent, thus secure so I assumed that it was an open window.
Lucky thing that I turned on the lights first… It was my window alright, but the said window somehow had a cobra writhing about. Stuck.
I kid you not.
A brown cobra that reared up and began spitting at me the moment it saw me.
I was spiritual do not forget. Yet tired. The windows were made of white painted aluminum. Set in a wall of white tiles.
I observed the serpent for a moment and timed its open mouth… Then squirted insecticide into and onto it.
It was not a good way to kill a serpent. I stoically watched it die.
In the end, it was foaming at the mouth. Mouth agape.
For some reason I was still clutching the can of insecticide when I returned to my bedroom.
I decided to wash my hands in the ensuite bathroom before going back to sleep. I thought that I could keep the big ‘extra-value’ canister of insecticide in the bathroom. Come to think of it, where it should have been! Not the kitchen…
God works in mysterious ways.
Lucky thing that I turned on the lights first… Because standing tall in my toilet was a snake.
A bigger cobra.
And it was standing stock – still seemingly waiting for me.
The second it reared it’s head backwards, I reflexively raised the insecticide and squirted the spray into its face.
Oooh the ruckus!
This sucker went berserk! It finally drove its fangs into my bathroom cabinet, smashing the glass. Then it started attacking sharp shards of the mirror still held by a wooden frame.
I testify that this thing slit its own throat by itself.
I imagine that I was just standing there mouth agape.
In the end, I could see through the self-inflicted wound all the way to the bones of its vertebrae. It’s blood pooling in a widening circle around its dead head. In my bathtub.
By this time it was three am. My alarm went off just then.
It was time to pray.
So I prayed until four am, with the canister of insecticide in my hand.
But then, the hunger, the thirst, the weakness, the toxic fumes and above all, faith prevailed. I fell asleep on my knees…
I jumped awake quoting scripture a few hours later. Psalms 23 I believe.
It was about seven am.
Groggy and sore, I opened my bathroom cautiously… The dead cobra was still there.
The other one was still in the kitchen too.
I decided to break my fast with a drink of warm water.
Called the office and took the day off. Then dressed up and headed to see the priest, prophet, pastor…. As usual there was a crowd of ‘faithfuls’ waiting to see him. He lived within the place of worship.
But then I noticed that the faces of the crowd were sorrowful.
I pushed my way to the front and into the house. There were policemen everywhere.
I knew what I had to do, I pushed my way to their kitchen and sure enough, the preachers wife lay dead. Mouth open, foam in her mouth.
The bathroom had the corpse of the rotund and shifty priest, prophet, pastor. Throat slit. Pool of blood around his head in a circle in the bathtub.
Broken and shattered glass everywhere.
And for some reason, the cloying smell of insecticide.
Insecticide that was never found at the scene of the deaths.
Happy New Year (I guess).