He came out in cold sweat and stared at the ceiling. It was the second nightmare this night and the third night in a row. His mouth felt he had something lodged in it and he wondered if he still had his teeth. In the nightmare he had been trying to clean his mouth for it was full of teeth. He shuddered and tried to get up from the bed.
He stared at his watch, illuminated by the torch light; it was only 3am. Bike, his younger sister, had always said, it was the time the witches held their meeting or concluded it He didn’t know what they really did. But he was interested in finding out.
Should he go to his mother’s room? What if he went there and found her sleeping with her legs on the wall? Witches tend to sleep at odd angles, the prophet said. They could sleep with their heads hanging on the extreme end of the bed or some esoteric posture, like being fast asleep standing upright. The prophet had given him incense to burn assuring him that witches do not like incense. He had burnt the incense and got no reaction from his mother.
He was weak from hunger from seven days of fasting and praying. They had taken him to the stream to wash his troubles away. That was after the several revivals he had attended, streams he had gone to for redemption. Then he had been asked to come to stream to wash his bad luck away. That was another thing.
A cold stream, in the middle of the forest, with dead rats and twigs, and he had shuddered wondering if all these cleansing was worth the trouble. He shuddered and wondered what he would do if any of his constituents should come across him now. The prophetess had asked him to undress. He had looked at the woman and wondered, hell man, he had some reservation about revealing his nudity to women and definitely not to her.
What she would make of his nudity? There wasn’t much down there, not much of the power his friends told him he ought to have; the bloody thing just stayed there limp, no matter how beautiful the woman nor sexy. This was the reason Molara left him. All that masculine beauty, deep voice, sexual talk was a waste. His third member had simply stopped functioning.
He looked at the prophetess, speculatively wondering if she meant she was going to give him a wash, even as far as there. He had used his hands as a protective shield while she chanted words, sang, and soaped his head. His head, it was the important part of his anatomy, they had said. He should wash it to chase away the evil ones away so his luck and destiny can be restored.
He was alarmed when he was aroused by the soft touches of the prophetess on his body. He grabbed his ‘weapons’ that is his genitals in one hand and held her off with his other hand spluttering that he felt he could do the rest of the wash by himself.
She had ignored him and went on with her songs, until she got to his “armory” now fully erect! What had not happened in months? They both paused, she with the sponge and soap, and stared at each other. She saw his arousal and he stared at her, feeling shame, but oddly amused. How was she going to handle that? She simply rinsed her hands, handed him the sponge and said, “You should get respectable.” he should get respectable. Indeed Ma’am the only way I get respectable is if you agree we test this out so we know your medicine is effective he said to himself trying hard not to be hysterical. In the middle of the rest at night with a white garment female!
He had laughed aloud. “Respectable, huh? That is what I just did, lady,” he said to himself, paid you my respects.
The crazy night passed and he returned to his flat with the holy water she gave him. The dreams had not stopped, however, and to compound his problems his mother had taken that particular time to pay a visit fuelling his suspicions that she was up to no good. He had not been aroused after that night either not even the thoughts of the prophetess.
Did she suspect that he was trying to rid himself of all the bad luck with which she had surrounded him? The prophetess had told him some one was using his destiny for money and had also used his genitals as well hence he could not be aroused again. He suspected his mother for she had been against Molara his wife. What kind of a mother would donate her son to the coven if not a witch, Bike had insisted,
The evidence had been compiled for him to see, he had lost a good job abruptly without a reason. His other attempts to make something of his life had met with failures. Then had come the last indignity: Omolara his wife. Beautiful, exciting, Omolara, who had had taken his breath away. His mother had taken one look at her and said no, he could not marry her. She said she was the wrong color, looked like a mammy water spirit and would bring him tragedy.
Determined to ignore his mother he had proposed and he could not believe his luck when she had agreed to marry him. He had collected a loan from his employers and set a wedding date. His mother said she could not attend.
He went to Uncle Seye, the head of the family, and explained that he had found a bride. and he should start negotiations, begged, and Uncle Seye had been willing— until his uncle woke up one morning a deaf and mute. It was startling and dramatic, Uncle Seye’s wife had screamed at him, asking him to tell his mother to restore her husband.
His mother had feigned outrage, and dared in a soft voice if she was being accused of being responsible for causing the strange affliction.
“What was anybody to think?” he had asked her repeating the classic saying that the witch cried yesterday and the child died today. After all she had objected to his choice of bride and now Uncle Seye, was properly being dealt with.
The nightmares started soon after. His teeth fell out in his dreams or they were so many that he kept picking handfuls and dropping them just as he felt choked again by another set..In the nightmares, his genitals dropped off, that was particularly alarming as he would wake up grabbing his genitals to see if they were still there.
His tension was so much that he barely spoke to his mother. When Bike came , he told her his troubles and she had suggested the prayer warriors. They had every patch of his body washed, anointed, and sanctified he was told. Nothing had happened. Except the nightmares and then the final indignity, he had tried to make love to his wife. He had done everything to get the mood right: music, the right food, the right perfume; she had been willing, curling up next to him and making the right noises. He suddenly felt a need to pee, went to the bathroom and that was it. He could not get it up again.It was maddening.
He heard sounds coming from his mother’s room. He stood up. It was time to catch her out in her witchery. The sounds became clearer, someone was singing and doing a vigil. He finally recognized the voice of –Lord, No! “Omolara,” he screamed silently as he saw her dancing around a big soaring flames. She turned and saw him then gave a smile, waved something at him. In his shock he looked closely, it was his genital! He screamed, grabbing for it as she made to throw it in the flame.