Prophetic Ring

The old man sat in his rocking chair at the narrow patio of the farm house. The time was 6.00pm. The evening breeze caressed his hair, the territorial birds already landing in their flocks, singing a series of consort before they roost.
The orange sun was only visible as the rays of light had returned back into the already dimming sky.

The old man took a fork and picked a die of pineapple from a fruit salad dish beside him. He still held the piece of pineapple and was carried far away into his own fleeting thoughts.
His state of mind was a mental reproduction of what was laid out before him. His thoughts came like the evening breeze; it came in one direction, ceases and then resumes again, traveling in a different direction. The traveling speed of the breeze was slow as the old man could observe it like a wave passing among the twigs of the plants. - and so was Pa Isaac's thoughts - sluggish.

Pa Isaac had been accustomed to imagining himself a sea god as soon as he sat on that position for an evening relapse. But that particular day was different. He was literally, not feeling as though he was sitting on a coral throne at the bottom of the ocean. Even the distant sound of automobile darting across the bridge some two miles away didn't help his imagination. He felt, rather, like a lonely earth worm buried in a thickening swamp.

Whenever his thought-wave moved in the direction hinting at his failure to take basic responsibility for his granddaughter, he felt as though he had failed in life. And yet, he knew he was nothing short of a failure whenever he remembered that Adah's plights were of his own design. It was Captain Isaac Ben-Bosch (retired), who awoke the sleeping dragon which now savoured his family, ready to gobble her up in piece by piece.
It all started on the day of Adah's initiation to bear the Prophetic Ring.


The morning was cold. At 6.00am, the mist was still upon the field. Leaves on the trees and twigs on the field dripped water. None of them quivered for the breeze was stale.
Pa Isaac was the first to get off his bed that morning. As he opened the main exit, he smiled graciously at what laid in front of his eyes. Although the morning hadn't brought much into view - just thirty yard visibility - but the old man love misty mornings.
He stepped right out of the house and walked into the fog smiling all the way.
Most adults hold a personal superstitious believe; one that only the few consent to speak about. Pa Isaac hold his own superstitious believes about misty fields or gardens.

The old man still held on to his old Kibbutznik teenager mind
 'that taking a few deep and sustained breathes in the middle of a misty field or garden is capable of removing every toxin in the body. That such pneumatic exercise could cleanse the blood, starting from the bone marrow; cleanse the vital organs of the body, especially the heart; and flush out every impurity in the system.
Pa Isaac came to a mid-point inside the field and paused. He threw his arms wide open, shut his eyes and drew the first deep breathe - slowly.

He dragged it on until his lungs could take in no more air; [MISSING PARAGRAPHS].

The clattering and clanging in the kitchen might have livened up the home, but the ladies, particularly Adah, didn't stir in their beds. Pa Isaac allowed the soup to boil for ten minutes before pouring it whole into a strainer set inside the kitchen sink. He refilled the pot with fresh water, poured the mushrooms inside and put it back on fire. The second parboiling lasted for fifteen minutes. He drained the water and set it on fire for a third and the final round.
Cooking the magic soup took him a little more than forty minutes. He hauled the soup off the fire and filtered it into a water flask. He then ground the residue, the mushroom caps, in the electric blender before washing the poisonous pulp down the kitchen sink.
He took good care in cleaning every utensil used in making the magic soup.

Just when the old man had finished securing the filtrate in the water flask as well as removed every trace of mushroom, his wife shuffled out of her bedroom. She paused just outside the kitchen door and cleared her throat. The old man had just poured water into the kettle; he quickly dropped it on fire and swerved about turn.
"Hello Riz. How was your night?" he said, running fast with the words.
The old woman was about to reply but her brief delay seemed like hours to the old man. He had to conquer the silence.
"I said I won't disturb anyone ... Oh! the weather ... We've not had it so cool and sweet for a long while now," he added, with laughter.

The old woman smiled.
"Well, you did wake me up all the same. I thought that someone was chasing rats in the kitchen."
They both laughed to her joke.
"Oh! Something like it; I decided to sterilize our coffee kit today ..."
"Sterilize?" the old woman said, stressing the word.
"Yes! I boiled the first water with which I washed the mugs and the spoons and jug ..."
"Please, Isaac," the old woman cut him short with a shove of the hand in the mid-air. "I'm not interested," she added, turning away into the sitting room, "just fix the coffee. As long as it doesn't take up the whole day."
"Trust me it would be done before you could say nineteen seventy nine!"
The old man made and served his family a kettle of coffee for three.
The rest part of the day drifted by just like a normal Friday at the farm house. Adah was left ample time to read novels and to watch her favorite TV shows; until about 5.30pm when Pa Isaac came in from the field, carrying some lemon and a clove of garlic. He gave the lemons to Adah for peeling and dicing up.

Just as soon as Adah placed the last lemon on the chop board, Pa Isaac entered the kitchen.

"How far have you gone with it?"
"Almost through."
None looked at the other as the old man set fresh water on fire and left. Three minutes later, Pa Isaac walked into the kitchen again.
"Done?" he said, turning off the stove.
"Done," Adah said in a regimental manner.
The old man nodded. Time to commence the ultimate trick [in italics]. He hauled down the family coffee kit from the top of the kitchen cabinet, overturned one of the cups and poured hot water into it.
"May I have some lemon," he said, extending a hand at Adah. The latter carried the whole lemon in a tray, placing it in front of her grand father.
The old man, with a table spoon, scooped some diced up lemon into the steaming cup.

"Okay," he said to Adah, who took the tray again and placed it on the marble platform where it was.
The old man opened the kitchen cupboard and took a small jar of honey. He opened, and with a teaspoon, introduced a generous amount of the golden liquid into the steaming cup. Leaving the spoon inside the cup after he'd stirred the whole mixture, he took a plastic saucer, placed the drink inside it and transferred the load onto Adah.
"Take to your granny."
Adah received the saucer and left to Ma Theresa's bedroom.
The old man then brought down his little secret from the top cabinet. Even though the soup was at three-quarter level, the steam oozed out with a reassuring force that not much temperature had been lost over time.

The old man beat a painful smile to himself. He carried the water flask to the marble platform and went to work; scooping dices of lemon into the water flask. He filled the water flask to full capacity and then screwed tight the cover. He loaded it into a tin saucer, together with two mugs and spoons; on his way to his own bedroom he hollered at Adah to follow him for a discussion. 
Adah entered and sat on the only chair in the room while the old man sat on the bed.

 The old man and the girl talked about her education in a Nigerian University, while they sipped their lemon tea - not same sleep enhancer type as Ma Theresa had - but one with a psychoactive mushroom added. 
The old man had drugged his own granddaughter with a hallucinogen unknown to her; and without her permission. The thought of it in retrospect pushed the old man on the edge, against himself. He felt nasty, foolish, wicked, suicidal; as the tears poured down his cheek on that cool evening.

The old man caught the piece of pineapple between his teeth and munched. The sugary, soured taste was strong enough to distract him from the scourge of his mind. He pounced on the salad dish and devoured it like a pig. When he eventually bit his tongue and stopped in pain, the breeze literally blew his thoughts again into that psychedelic evening with his granddaughter.

In the course of their discussion, the old man shifted a little from the topic.
"What is your granny doing in her room?"
"Daddy promised to credit some money to my account on Monday, or Tuesday," she frowned and brushed her hair backward with her palm. 'I can't remember which exactly, " she said and exhaled audibly, hands on her laps, sitting bolt upright. Then she held her breath and fixed a punching look on a spot in the opposite wall.
The old man smiled and nodded his satisfaction. The organic acid had taken effect.

"Keep calm now, I'll be right back," he said, stood up and went to his wife's bedroom to check on her.

Finding the old woman already fast asleep, he turned back into his own bedroom. As soon as he crossed the door into his room, Adah turned quickly and faced him.
"Grandpa, I don't know what's happening to me ..."
"Feeling sleepy?" the old man stopped suddenly. The girl seemed so real now, the tripping was over.
"Not really, grandpa," she said, looking confused, but not out of her mind. "I think I feel a bit nausea ..." she paused and pondered for a while. "And am seeing colours ... Yes ... And sounds too. I can see the colour of sounds ... We are swimming in strips of orange and green, swirling in grey statics ..." as she spoke like a delirious patient, her legs shivered under her.
Just that same minute, as the old man feared her recovery, she was again hallucinating.
She jolted to her feet, ran up to the old man and held him by the shoulder.
"What time exactly did he arrive?" Adah said, gawking into the old man's eyes. Now the old man was equally confounded.
"I mean my daddy," Adah said grimly with the mannerism of a four year old.
"Oh! You mean he?" the old man cracked a quick laughter, "a couple of hours ago, and we are going now to meet him outside."

So saying, he overturned his mattress and took a metallic briefcase on the wood bedding. He set the number combination and opened it. There was an object wrapped in Scarlet Silk, lying alone in the briefcase. The old man took that, in one hand; dropped the briefcase on the bed and took a torchlight in the other hand. He told Adah to follow him.

Having completely lost her ego, Adah had started acting like a zombie, following every order given to her by her Shaman - orders given verbally and by means of thought transference.
The ritual march to the water front had just begun.

Jerry Efobi
Awka , Nigeria


Jerry Efobi
This is the final chapter of my new manuscript for a thriller/mystery novel coming out early 2018
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