(Will encounter mistakes 🙂 )
Five men came into the land, each dressed strangely. They were all Whites; different from the people and marched in colourful outfits as they hailed.
“My King, strange men are here!” the royal guard informed.
The King marched out with the queen to see for himself. He didn’t want them coming to the palace just yet. He wanted to make sure they were all clean.
“The people’s ruler, am I right?” One of the men spoke and bowed to the King’s surprise.
The others bowed, too. The king was pleased with how cultured they were. “Welcome!” he said. He invited them to the palace where they sat to a plenteous meal.
“My, what wonderful meal, my King,” they had known how to address him.
King Oghala nodded in appreciation; he sent for the finest women in the land and had them dance and showcase their skills.
“They’re beautiful,” one named Kingston, remarked.
The men wowed and clapped as the maidens twisted their waists buoyantly. “We would like to stay here,” one of them turned to the King. “Hope my Lord approves?”
The White men who came were on a mission; a certain one they were yet to disclose. They were given a place to stay, and were made comfortable in the finest huts; each served by the palace maids and made to sleep like never before.
“I trust your night went well…?”
“Oh, I’d like to thank you, my King… for your hospitality.”
The one who replied was Richmond. He had curly hair and a half-broken nose.
“Guess it went well then?” The King said half a question. He asked the White man to tell him why they had come.
“Oh, we just love the scenery,”
The King was angered by his reply. He asked the guards to lock him up, and the other four that were with him.
“No, no, my King. I can perfectly explain—” he was given no chance to talk.
Queen Apunanwu hurried to where the King stood. She wore a panic expression, and clasped her fingers, as she talked to him. “Your Highness…”
“What is it, my Queen?”
“Our son is ill!” cried the Queen.
They hurried to the Prince’s hut, where he laid groaning and whining. “Oh…hu-um! Heei!”
The King panicked at the sight.
The wrapper tied around the Prince’s legs pulled off as Queen Apunanwu made to put it back. “He has been like this, my King. What shall we call this?”
“Maybe the White men know what it is,” King Oghala set out to call the men. They came forth and listened to what the King had to say. “Please, you must help the Prince. My son! I do not know what terrible plague has befallen us.” The King cried.
The five were taken to where the Prince laid; one knelt beside him and took a bottle out of his bag.
“What is that?”
The man, Kingston, turned back and said to the King. “An antidote,”
“What is an antidote?”
Another of the men replied, “It’s used for healing,”
“A remedy?” Queen Apunanwu asked.
“…to counteract the effects of poison,” they further explained.
The King and Queen let him do his job, as they waited patiently for the remedy to work. They were asked to let the Prince rest for a while. “It will help,” said the men.
The Prince got well and the King asked the guards to bring the White men to him. He was pleased, that he let them stay. But it wasn’t for long. Not when a terrible wind blew.
“My King, the prince is dead! Our son is dead!” Queen Apunanwu, the Prince’s mother, cried, holding her chest. She shed bitter tears, telling the King to hurry, that something horrible has happened.
“The Prince?” King Oghala sprang up from the throne. He rushed to the Prince’s hut, seeing their son lying on the cold floor. The Prince had rolled out of his mat when he was struggling; his father looked up to the clouds and gave a loud yell.
After the Prince’s death, the King sought for an heir—then another tragedy befell. The royal household was in mourning once more, for the death of Queen Apunanwu, who had died mysteriously, two months after her son—
“What shall we call this, Your Highness?” The elders of Uduje had gathered, for they had heard of the terrible loss. “First it was the Prince,” one said.
“Our Prince Icheka… now the Queen!” One by name ‘Chief Odume’ added.
“If I may, Your Highness,” Chief Nkemma spoke amidst them. “Those strange men you let in… how sure are you that they are not the cause?”
King Oghala reasoned.
The other elders joined hands and agreed with the Chief who had spoken. “How sure?”