Chief Edozie woke up drenched in droplets of sweat so huge they made his pores hurt. Even though the air conditioner in his room was set to cool and was on all night, his body felt hot and sticky as if he had just crossed the finishing line of the Okpepke Marathon with a bag of cement on his head. For the third time in one night, he had the same kind of dream that made him feel dirty and in need of a cleansing bath. All three dreams were about Rain, and he couldn’t fathom why suddenly, one of his star employees had become a recurring cast in his subconscious.
In the land of his sleep where she featured prominently as the object of his desire, he found himself making passionate love to Rain. So strong was the passion they both put into each performance, it left him feeling sated both in the dream and when he stirred from it panting like a hunting dog would after a long chase for game.
It was such a strange dream, so strange Chief Edozie was tempted to call Baba Iperu that night to immediately interpret the experience he just had.
If the dreams had been about sex alone, he wouldn’t have been so confused, but it was about how they each ended. Each climax was a phenomenon of blood, wine and snow. And instead of becoming soft and pulling out from her, he remained hard and ready to go again. He was like someone with a new lease of life, and this left him wondering whether the juju was already at work and the deities that wanted to cut short his life had been vanquished.
Baba Iperu had warned him that once he received the first payment of fifty thousand dollars into the foreign bank account he opened for his son studying medicine in the University of California, the strange dreams would begin. The native doctor had forewarned him about having conversations with apparitions of dead relatives and terrifying combats in the spiritual realm, and Chief Edozie had psyched himself up for those. Baba Iperu also told him to prepare for many nights of torment and anguish, as the forces conjured by the sacrifices demanded by the gods of his village fought to overpower those responsible for the Edozie curse. Chief Edozie was preparing to contend with demons, spirits and ghosts – he wasn’t prepared for sex.
The first appearance of Rain was by the river in Okutukutu. Chief Rowland Edozie watched from a distance as she danced seductively to the music of Marvin Gaye coming from a withering tree by the riverbank. At the end of the song, she dragged him with her into the cold water. She was naked and unashamed. They made love on top of the water as fishes swam past without bothering them. When he climaxed, his semen turned to blood that quickly spread through the water and killed all the fishes.
In the second dream, the lovemaking took place in a garden filled with snakes. His sperm when he climaxed turned to wine that poisoned the snakes and they all died. The scene of the final dream was an aeroplane. This time, he was the one that dragged her out of the plane and into the sky. When it ended, his substance turned into snow that filled the whole earth and a universe that was once crimson red became as white as snow.