‘ Nri is the ancestral home of all Igbos. It is an ancient Igbo city state in Anambra state. The reign of the Kingdom began in 900BC ‘
Nri Kingdom, 1879
The air smells of mud. Her stomach rumbles like the fridge at home. God, she misses home! She couldn’t tell how long she has been bound in this barbaric era. Her ankles and wrists are covered with blisters. She remembers how it all began…
_ _ _ _ _ _
Greater Heights College, 2019
SS3A was a beehive. Students dressed in red and white buzzed excitedly as they exchanged gifts with whomever they’d picked from the shuffled paper yesterday. It was the way the school celebrated Valentine.
Adaeze stood at the entrance of the Chemistry laboratory wondering if she should knock or not. Today was Chinedu’s birthday; the boy she’s been crushing on since the beginning of the term and with Cupid being on her side she picked his name.
Taking a deep breath, she knocked
Immediately, he opened the door she blurted, ‘ Happy birthday… Sorry… I mean Valentine. ‘
Chinedu stared at her for a minute, stood aside for her to enter and then shut the door.
‘ How did you know?, ‘ he asked as he moved towards the stool. His laptop and bag was on the cubicle. Merit of being a laboratory prefect.
Adaeze rolled her eyes. The question should be how wouldn’t she know. They were Facebook friends. Though, she didn’t need the reminder.
‘ Facebook ‘
‘ Oh. Thanks ‘
She opened her bag and brought out a disc based PS4. On it was written ‘ A Twist In Time ‘
Chinedu was speechless. He broke into a grin that quickly vanished as he remembered that the last PS4 disc he received was from his father two years ago. Today happened to be his death day.
Adaeze choked on her breath as she sighted the two natural hollows at the side of his cheek and puzzled when they disappeared.
‘ Don’t you like it?’
‘ It’s okay. Thanks. Have a seat.’
He inserted the disc and began to install it.
‘ Can you play? ‘
‘ Sure ‘
He handed a touch pad to her.
The screen displayed
A Twist In Time
Civil War. 1967
Nri Dynasty 1879
Sosoliso Crash. 2009
‘ Strange. They’re real historic event ‘
‘ My dad just bought it yesterday. I haven’t played it ‘
‘ Strange can be fun. What’s your choice? ‘
‘ Civil War. I know a bit about it. However, Nri Dynasty sounds intriguing. ‘
‘ Okay then. Nri Dynasty ‘
Then, he clicked it.
Immediately, a white fog engulfed them. It landed them in a strange thick large forest.
_ _ _ _
Adaeze could feel her fears rising as she thought of being trapped in a video game forever. She had no idea where Chinedu was. They’d separated the moment they landed in the forest.
She heard voices coming towards the hut where she was kept.
‘ Bring out the girl, ‘
One of men she believed was part of the Ndi Nri bellowed. The Ndi Nri are selected group of followers who rule the Kingdom while they await the return of their Eze Nri who was on a symbolic journey to Aguleri.
Two hefty young men dark and fair respectively march into the hut. The fair one has a carved line that runs from the center of his forehead down to his chin. A second line runs across the face from the right cheek to the left.
The dark complexioned has the same incisions but circles and semi circular patterns are added.
Like a bag of cement, the fair one lifted Adaeze and places her across his shoulder.
She spits profanities in Igbo( Igbo was the default game’s language), a language she couldn’t fluently speak at home.
At the altar, the young man drops her like hot potato. She braces herself for the impact of the ground and as usual felt nothing. A subtle reminder that she’s in a video game.
‘ Mgbeke, ‘ the priest said and points at her, ‘ has desecrated the goddess Ala by killing the Python.
Gasps of horror and bewilderment fill the air. Adaeze lifts her head to look at the primitive gathering. They were all naked. Children, women and men including herself. The only piece of clothing is used to shield the penis for the male and vaginas for the women. Their breasts out for all to see. Indeed, civilization has gone a long way.
‘ Ala is angry with us and that is why there is sickness in the land. Our crops and children are dying. ‘
‘ Kill her, ‘ the people chant
‘ Certainly. Her blood will cleanse the land and appease the Earth goddess ‘
Adaeze wails. Is this the end for her? Heck, she doesn’t even know if killing her in the game meant her death physically.
Amidst her wails, she is laid on the altar. The scenario reminds her of Isaac in the Bible.
‘ In the name of Ala, we ask that your blood placate her anger and free us from our sicknesses ‘
She’s once again engulfed in a thick white fog
_ _ _ _ _
Adaeze is back at the lab.
She opens her eyes and feels her wrists for the blisters. She finds none. Chinedu is right next to her groaning.
‘ What in the world just happened? ‘
‘ I don’t know, ‘ Chinedu replies, ‘ but I do know this video game needs to be destroyed’
Adaeze nods slowly.
The twist in time has been a hell of a Valentine