Nnamdi was a dreamer, in every sense of the word. He dreamt every night , sometimes his dreams made sense sometimes it didn’t. someone had once suggested he buy a book “titled the interpretation of dreams” he always brushed it off, some people were just dreamers. But tonight as he slept this dream was different, he sat in his old family house with his whole family, his father’s laughter rumbled round the house loudly as he rushed back to the dining room to catch the joke but just as he got near them the doors closed quickly, he tried to push it open but it wouldn’t bulge, then he heard his brother scream he pounced heavily at the door screaming his brothers name , beating hard at the door like a deranged animal that was when the phone woke him up.
He looked at the clock it was 4.00a.m angrily wondering who would be calling at that time he heard his best friend’s odibo’s voice “Nnamdi you have to get to the general hospital there is something wrong with your brother chudi” throwing the bed covers off and ignoring the naked body by his side he rushed to the hospital but it was too late his elder brother Chudi had died of a heart attack at the age of Thirty Five.the doctors could not explain the incident,
“his heart just stopped beating” the doctor muttered confused,
“I have never seen anything like that in my life” “one minute we were making our rounds sharing a joke the next minute your brother just slumped and died”
Nnamdi was numb, he couldn’t feel a thing , the memories of the dream haunted him, he looked at his best friend Odibo and saw a grown man crying like a baby but for him the tears would not come. Maybe it was because people in his family, people had a habit of dying off suddenly.
He remembered being a kid growing up in his country home of Abalaka in the Eastern part of Nigeria, every year someone died in his family. No one could explain it, it was like death visited each clan killing off all the males till there was no one left then IT moved to the next clan. He remembered the day they ran away from home. He was sixteen and they had received another news of death again. His mother came into their room and told them to pack, him, his brother and his sister mary had stared at her as if she was mad because it was about 7.30 p.m, she suddenly screamed at them “pack your things we are leaving this cursed placed before you all die!!!” that had been 12 years ago, it was only later that they discovered their father had died that night. Their mum literally out of her senses had dropped them off with her sister’s family in Lagos and walked out of the house. That had been the last time they had ever seen their mother again,
so death was not new to him. staring at everybody for a few minutes he tapped his 6ft 2 best friend on the shoulder. “Odibo take me home I left a street girl in my house I don’t want her to clear my property before I get back.”
The funeral was bleak like most funerals, the fact that the rain wouldn’t stop pouring down would not help, his cousins and aunty stared at him with pity in their eyes. He had not shaved for three weeks since he heard about his brothers death and the beard was beginning to itch. Odibo stood by the officiating priest going over some last minute details whilst his eyes wandered to three pretty ladies with short dresses huddled at the far side of the church, they were probably one of chudi’s friends, being a doctor attracted a lot of women so he was not surprised that most of chudi’s friends here were ladies. If there was anything about the men in their family they were never short of female companions.
He looked at the time it was a quarter to two, if this rain did not stop they might have to bury his brother in the night and there was something wrong about that, his sister Mary walked in accompanied by three nuns, her eyes were red and swollen in contrast with the sparkling white nun’s outfit she wore. She came straight to him and for the first time in three weeks he cried, the tears flowed uncontrollably from his eyes as his sister hugged him. “get a hold of yourself ND we need to talk” she nodded to the priest and pulled him away from prying eyes into the priest’s office.
She went straight to the point “did you dream about this??” without waiting for an answer she continued “you have to go back to the village, uncle moses wants to see you” “go back where?..” “listen you are now the only man left in our family, all uncle moses sons are dead, uncle nnanna everybody is dead…its not normal and this must stop.” She held his hands and looked into his eyes. “you can stop it , I have prayed to God and I have seen IT”
“seen what?” Nnamdi asked staring into his sisters eyes as it widened with fear
“Death." she whispered ."and it ‘s large cloak cascades all over our family house, it is black, faceless and hungry , go home and chase it out.” With that she cleaned off her cloak and was out of the door, for the second time in a month Nnamdi was numb, whispering to himself in trepidation“ Death?”