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[The Shadow Man]

The teacher who has been engrossed by the boy’s revelation jumped and spun around out of fear. She was relieved that nothing was behind her.

That day; when his mum went to pick him. The teacher reported her concern about the boy and advised that the mum should seek spiritual help.

Normally Adekunle’s mum wouldn’t have taken the teacher’s claim seriously, if not that she herself had notice bizarre and weird things about her child.

Adekunle often tell his mum about the strange things he sees.

There was a time in church when a woman who was possessed by evil spirit went on rampage, destroying every furniture she could find.

Nobody could approach the woman. The woman chased and injured people as she tried to escape..

She ran into the children’s annex and all the children there ran outside. Moments later there was silence.

When securities entered the annex to restrain the woman, they were surprised at what they saw. The woman was on the floor sleeping and Adekunle sat beside her.

          “She is alright now” Adekunle said to his mum when they brought him out. The woman was later proclaimed healed after she awoke.

There was a time his mum took him to the hospital to greet a friend that was ill. She later could not find Adekunle.

The staffs had to search the whole hospital and he was later seen in the intensive care unit. He was holding a sick person’s hand.

After the teacher told his mum about the latest development. She started to monitor her son’s activities.

She would wake up in the middle of the night and find her son talking to himself.

          “Who are you talking to?” His mum would ask and sometimes he would reply that “nobody”.

Other times he would say “a spirit” and his mum would urge him to go back to sleep.

One night his mum woke up and found her son standing beside her bed. His eyes were ghostly white colour and his pupils were dilated.

          “Adekunle are you ok” His mum asked as she rose up and held him close.

Adekunle looked at his mum and said “He is coming”.

          “What. Who is coming?” His mum asked.

Adekunle’s body was cold and when his mum held him tighter. He surrendered in her arms and fainted.

He went into a coma for three days; among his symptoms were lack of sleep, dehydration and excessive hunger.

          “He is not the same anymore.” His mum said to the doctor after Adekunle awoke in the hospital.

          “He just stares all day, not saying any word” His mum added.

Days passed and Adekunle was discharged from the hospital because the doctors could not diagnose anything wrong with him.

          “He still hasn’t spoken any word yet?” A Pastor asked the mum when he went to visit them at their house.

His mum showed the drawings to the pastor.

          “The last word he spoke to me is that he is coming” She said.

The pastor prayed for both of them and urged the mum to pray often.

Weeks passed and Adekunle’s case only got worse. In between he fainting and been rushed to the hospital and falling sick without any probable cause.

He barely sleeps at night now and when he gets to sleep during the day; it is as if he is never going to wake up again.

There was a time his mum thought that he was dead because he was not breathing. His mum shook him and called his name several times but Adekunle would not respond.

His mum started to cry and when she was about to call the neighbours for help, Adekunle woke up.

          “What happened to you?” His mum asked him.

Adekunle looked at her and said.

          “He wants to kill you. He wants to kill everybody. I stopped him”.

          “Who?” His mum asked and he replied “The shadow man”.

His mum decided to look for help. She knew her son was not ordinary and she feared that something bad would happen to him soon if she does not act.

From Churches to mosques and spiritualists; she visited them all. Hospitals says nothing is wrong with her child except for constant dehydration and lack of nutrition.

Often they prescribe intravenous liquid and nutritional supplements just so that he will be healthy.

When his case got so serious that even the mum was beginning to lose faith in his recovery, someone directed her to a spiritualist.

          “That man is very powerful. There is nothing that he cannot do” The person proclaimed.

Adekunle’s mum seek the man’s location and pleaded for his assistance.

          “Baba” She called the man. “Please help me, save my son”.

          “Your son is not someone ordinary. He has a rare gift” The spiritualist said.

          “Gift! This is not a gift.” His mum countered.

The Spiritualist took some cowries in his palms, spoke some incantations. Shook the cowries around and poured them on the floor. He stared into them in an attempt to read the situation spiritually.

          “Your son is living in between worlds.” The spiritualist began.

          “He has the ability to glance through the veils of our world and peep into other worlds. The spiritualist said.

          “How can we stop it” Adekunle’s mother interrupted.

          “Stop it? Why would you want to stop it?” The spiritualist asked and added “Your son has a gift”.

          “Look at him sir. Does he look gifted?” Adekunle’s mum questioned.

Both of them glanced at Adekunle where he sat on the floor talking to himself.

          “My son doesn’t eat anymore, he doesn’t sleep. The hospital treats him for high blood pressure. Sir please help me.” Adekunle’s mum pleaded.

          “What do you want me to do?” The spiritualist asked.

          “Take it away. The gift, everything, please take it away”. Adekunle’s mum begged.

The spiritualist took a long deep breath and let out a loud sigh.

          “There are people in the world who would do anything to get a bit of what your son has, and you are here asking me to take it away.”

          “Sir please I don’t want my son to die” Her pleading continued.

The spiritualist looked at the boy and said “Ok I would help you, but it won’t be easy”.

          “I would do anything” Adekunle’s mum re-affirmed.

          “Very well then, we will have to perform a great sacrifice” The spiritualist said.

Adekunle’s mum looked startled and she said “Sacrifice. Sir I am a Christian and we are not allowed to perform any form of sacrifice. I cannot serve another god”.

The spiritual looked at her with indifference and asked, “Do you need my help woman?”

          “Yes I do sir but” Adekunle’s mum began to say when the spiritualist cuts her words short.

          “Stop asking foolish questions” He said.

The spiritualist picked the cowries from the floor and said to the woman.

          “If you must know. The sacrifice is for your son.”

          “My son, I don’t understand what you mean”. The woman inquired.

          “Hahahaha” The spiritualist began to laugh but only for a few seconds and his face became serious.

          “Woman” The spiritualist called and said

          “You don’t know what you have. You don’t know that your son is a god”.

          “A god?” The woman questioned.

          “In ancient days, people will travel from far and near just to receive blessings and worship people like your son.” The spiritualist stated and continued “We need the sacrifice to appease his spirit, so that it will drop its guard, then we trick it and subdue it. I told you it is not an easy task.”

Adekunle’s mum was still overwhelmed by all the information of her son’s circumstance that she quietly repeated all the spiritualist said.

          “A god, sacrifice, trick him, subdue him”.

Adekunle’s mum thought about her decision and considered whether she should sanction the sacrifice. She looked at Adekunle who is now lying down on the floor facing the ceiling. She could hear what he was saying but he was not talking to anybody.

          “Can’t you see it” Adekunle muttered repeatedly.

          “Can’t you see the sky is burning?”

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