Witches On Red Panties

Witches on Red Panties: Some set of people in the society is noted by a particular dressing...

Aunty Ijeoma is back from the big city, but there is no dust in the air. Children are not coming around with smiling faces and muddy bodies; women and men did not call at us to listen to the gists of what the city is like or drink blood wine; as they normally behave when people from other families come back home. Iyaye, a dark slender girl in her mid-teens, was the one who saw her through the window of her grandmother's hut; she was wearing black sunglasses, an elaborate hairdo, and a skimpy gown.

Aunty Ijeoma had come through the back to make her visit less announced and reduce the chances of trouble. Iyaye ran to welcome her and help her with her bags. Aunty Ijeoma sat on the wooden bench in the shade built in the center of the compound while Iyaye proceeded with her bags inside to keep them and inform mama of Aunty Ijeoma's presence. Mama's eyes lit up inside her wrinkled skin when she was told of her daughter, Ijeoma's return. She went outside to see her.

While Iyaye arranged the bags containing foodstuffs, she wondered why Ijeoma did not enter inside the hut instead. Ijeoma was iyaye's mother and mama her grandmother, but mama was the mother she had known all her life. She addressed her mother as aunty all along. She walked briskly to the kitchen beside the compound to prepare fufu and ofor soup for aunty Ijeoma. Whatever is left will be eaten in the night.

She had never received detailed information about her family and why it looked like the village excommunicated them. Whatever she knew was from carefully arranged patches of discussions, gossip, and eavesdrops. Iyaye carried the food in a tray to the shade to serve Aunty Ijeoma. "Bring the yellow bag," Aunty Ijeoma said. Iyaye did as she was told. The bag contained the things Aunty Ijeoma bought for her as her custom was. They were always majorly clothing, but this time around, it wasn't just clothing. It was sanitary pads, undies, and scarves. Iyaye tied a white scarf on her head as aunty Ijeoma used a red panty to illustrate while explaining menstruation and the woman's body to her.

While Iyaye was trying it out when Nne, an elderly woman well stricken in age, walked in, supporting herself with a walking stick with Werendah and Mrs. Amadi, a troublemaker in the primary school. Werendah and Mrs. Amadi were about the same age as Aunty Ijeoma. Their faces were not looking good. Whenever Nne comes, it means one thing, trouble. They did not respond to their greetings. They neither sat on the seat nor drank the water aunty Ijeoma offered them. " You have come to defile this land with your presence again; look at you, all dressed up like the harlot that you are," Nne spat. Mama and aunty Ijeoma just sat down, not looking as though they would respond.

Iyaye was surprised that she was not an excuse, so she decided to leave, thinking it was an oversight. She was already fed up with the treatment they had always received from others. She had always fantasized about teaching someone a good lesson someday. Werendah called at her, " how dare you walk out on us? I am sure your mother has initiated you to her coven. Nne looked at her white head tie" "Your mates are well to do in their husband's house, but the only thing you have to offer us is a shame and a bastard..." " You don't refer to my daughter that way, old woman; you dare not!" Aunty Ijeoma interrupted Nne angrily." I don't blame you for talking back at me; if your mother had thrown you away when you messed up, an only child, you would have known your place. But she did not because she is a witch like you; killing her husband was not enough now she has initiated Iyaye..."

Before Nne would finish speaking, Iyaye pounced on her, landing blows on her face. Mama and aunty Ijeoma did not say a word; they did not even try to stop her. Their hearts have been bitter for too long. Werendah and Mrs. Amadi struggled to rescue Nne in vain. She had already passed on in pain. The reality was too terrible for young Iyaye; she ran into mama's embrace. Aunty Ijeoma joined the big hug with tears. Werendah and Mrs. Amadi rained threats and curses on them while shaking Nne to wake. They knew the law; they would be judged in the village square. They would finally be guilty of all they have been accused of all the years.

Banishment.

They would leave for the big city and never return.

Elechi O...✍️

7 Aug. '22

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