Transcendence

Kiriji! Kiriji!!
In the distance, I hear the thunderous sounds of approaching battle.

Kiriji! Kiriji!!
My knees buckle, like spoilt beans, i can taste the fear in my mouth; but it shall not be said of me that I, a son of Aduloju; I cowered before the approaching enemy.

Kiriji! Kiriji!! That, is the volleying thunder of the boom sticks that have come to define this war of ours.

Kiriji! Kiriji!!
The battle lines have been drawn and i have taken my place in front; just beside the generals. I am afraid, but that is a good thing. It does not bode well for a man to be cocky before a battle lest he incur the wrath of the gods.

Kiriji! Kiriji!!
The battle is joined and I am in the thick of it. To Ogun, two cocks and one he-goat have I sacrificed; to strengthen and to make swift my arm as I bury my machete into the neck of my adversaries.

Kiriji! Kiriji!!
In their hundreds, bodies fall in my wake. Like one possessed by the seven gods of Igbemo, I cleave a path through their centre; their prime warriors laid to waste.

Kiriji! Kiriji!!
“Jagun!!! Where is Jagun?” I cannot find Jagun. Is he so craven to face me in combat? Ah… So this was his plan all along? To shoot me in the back? And he calls himself a warrior? What kind of warrior cowers behind the white man’s magic?

Kirijii… Kiriji…
I wake up. My shoulder throbs. There’s a stranger standing above me with a look of concern on his face… “Professor? Professor? Are you okay?”
Professor? Who is Professor? I am not understanding; What kind of name is that?
My name is Oluda, son of Aduloju and these, these are not the plains of Ijesha.

*Transcendence is an entry for the 2016 Etisalat Prize For Flash Fiction.

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