Mother Nature turned to look at him. ‘God? I believe that is another name that the humans have invented to try and stay in line. I have bad news for you. There is nothing like god or Jesus or lord or three in one person that you humans think is omnipotent. You already know that there is no Santa Clause. You are using such figments as a guidance that is used in checks and balance. They are all in your imaginations, and I sure you humans have a lot of that. But I will not be harsh with you, Chike, for you have found favour in my eyes. It is men like you that should be in government.’ She turned to the green servants that were invisible because of the greenness of the whole room. ‘Bring in the prisoners. I think it is time they met the people that need to be punished.’
‘Are you trying to say that those people are not dead, that my sister is not dead?’ Mariah asked with joy.
‘I am not trying to say it, Mariah. I am saying it. They are not dead. You are the gentle sister. It is a pity that your twin did not take after you. I was really hoping...’
The appearance of the little green servants with the prisoners interrupted Mother Nature’s speech. There were twenty of them. They did not look sick or thin. They did not even look tortured as prisoners were supposed to look. In fact, they looked healthy and fresh as though they were coming from a long vacation. The only thing askew was the positioning of their heads. They hung their heads in shame and did not look at anyone in the eyes.
Nancy saw her parents. They were holding hands. ‘Mum,’ she called, hoping she would look up and see her. She did not respond.
‘They will not answer you. They are very ashamed of their actions as they should be. Anyway, now that you are all here, I think it is about time I explained the reason for your being here. Let us all have a seat, shall we?’
Nancy wanted to ask where the seats were when the vines around came together to entwine themselves and form perfectly comfortable seats for all of them. She sat down, along with the other people, and waited for Vera to start.
‘It is a long story and I am not going to cut it short, so get comfortable.’
‘You need to do it fast. We have other things to do,’ Sam said.
’What insolence! Anyway, I will not let that affect me. I have never accused you humans of being intelligent. We are three siblings. Our father is Eartha. We do not have any mother. I am the youngest. Airo is the oldest while Oxi is the second child. Airo is the one in charge of the air you breathe. Oxi is the one in charge of water. I am the one in charge of nature and vegetation. Since we all have our own different powers, which played very important roles in the world, we did not respect each other or see eye to eye in anything except on how to bring ourselves down or how best to fight ourselves. It is very childish, I know, but we could not help it.
‘I used to live among the Asians, but when the war became too much there for me to survive, I left. I wanted to make them pay, but my father forbade us from showing our existence to any human. They shed so much blood there that I had to leave or die gradually.’
Nancy opened her mouth to interrupt her, but she shook her head. Do not interrupt me while I am talking. I know what I am saying is very strange to you but you have seen stranger things.’
‘Not me. I have not,’ Sam said.
‘I think you are spinning tales for us. That is not possible. I refuse to believe you,’ Chike said.
’Like I said, I never accused you of having good head on your shoulder, but do not interrupt me again. I really hate it. As I was saying, my father got tired of settling disputes between us so he just left us to our devices. When the people of this country started killing people as though it was nothing, I knew I had to do something. Something which did not involve running off to another place. Though my brother told me not to do anything, I knew I had to. I did not mean to upset the humans, but I had to punish those that were killing me and my own.
‘When a drop of blood touches my vines or any vegetation, everything connected to it dies and can never live again. I could not take anymore of this. I told the vines to go out there and get the humans that were killing us. It happened that they were always in a house. They did not mean to pull it down but in the process of pulling the offending humans, they pulled the houses as well. Against my brothers’ wishes, I did it, and this is the result. You all are here and I don’t know what to do with you.’
‘Can I ask you questions about you and your brothers?’ OZed asked in a tiny voice that was filled with awe.
‘No, you cannot ask me about them. Do you know why? Humans do not value anything or see it as sacred. Anything I tell you now will be plastered on the biggest tabloid by the end of the day and I don’t want that. You are not supposed to know about my existence. You see life as a big entertainment. That is not what it is. You do not know what we have to do to make sure that the balance is maintained in your earth. But all you do is prance around poking at things you know better than to touch.’
Vera was now angry at the human all over again. She had promised herself that she would do this with a level head and not get angry, no matter how stupid and foolish the humans were, but this was becoming more difficult than she’d planned. There was no way she could go on with this without strangling them all. The one they called Nancy was about the only thing that was good about all of them. She knew that without the spirit of Gea in her, she would be just another empty human with an empty head.
She looked at the one they called MaryJohn. He was tall for a human but he was dying. She knew he loved smoking and she also knew that smoking was the downfall of so many humans. She was a little impressed by his leadership skill, but that did not mean that he had a good head on his shoulders.
The most stupid of them all was the one called Rita. She was a human nuisance personified and she did not try to hide to it. Mother Nature admired Musa for putting up with her.
OZed was the one that disturbed her. He was very tall and handsome and he took his life more seriously than he should. That made him look older than he actually was. She knew that if they left things to him, he would turn the place upside down just so he could find scientific things. What he did not know was that it was not science that was holding the place. It was nature. She was the one that made all these things in the earth and beyond possible.
But it would be a freezing day in hell before the humans would give honour to who it was due. The humans brought out a figment of their imagination and named him something like God, Buddha, Zeus and Allah, and decided that he or she was the one that made it all possible.
God she could understand but Zeus? That was a little too much. She was angry about that, but what could she do? She knew that the humans were stupid but they were the things that kept nature going. They were indispensable.
‘What were you saying about me having the spirit of something inside me? I don’t like that idea,’ Nancy said, cutting into Mother Nature’s thoughts.
’The last sixteen years when I noticed that there were a lot of crimes on earth, I sent a messenger to find out what was wrong with earth. Her name was Gea. She never made it back to us. I later found out that it could not withstand the sun. Moreover, my father had been furious that I sent a creature that was supposed to be a secret into the earth without his permission.
We learnt that Gea perched on a tender cabbage leaf and died. A month later, that cabbage was sold in the market. Ozioma Ani came and bought it for her husband. They made salad with it and ate it. As a result of not boiling the cabbage before eating, nothing happened to the spirit of Gea that was inside it. But it got cut into so many tiny pieces. Nothing would have happened if they had not made love immediately after eating. Nancy, you are the result of that lovemaking and you have tiny pieces of Gea inside you. That was how she was connected to earth and was able to know what was going on. The spirit of Gea is completely inside you. Have you now understood why I was saying you had her spirit in you?’
‘So you are trying to tell me that my niece is a product of cabbage?’ Mariah sparked out. ‘I will be damned. She is not even a vegetarian!’
’That would have been true if I read fantasy and fiction,’OZed added, ‘but I have bad news for you. I don’t like fantasy and I divorced fiction when I entered the force. What you are saying is a bunch of concise bullshit, a big bull for that matter.’
‘You are right, sir,’ Sam put in. ‘I don’t believe her more than I believe pigs can fly, and we all know that pigs can never fly.’
Maddened, Vera hit her hand on her chair, and everyone startled, fearing she might harm them. Somehow, they managed not to show their fear.
‘You human ingrate! I have been sustaining life on your stupid planet and you cannot even believe what I am telling you?’ As she became angrier, her clothes began to wither and it looked as if it was wilting.
‘You might want to calm down green algae,’ Sam teased. ‘Your cloth is not blending with your temper.’
‘And you, Sam, I loathe the words that come out of your mouth. You do not have the skill of speech. You open your mouth and words flow out. You do not care for the harm you do with it.’
‘I am confused, green wonder woman. Are you angry at the words that come out of my mouth or my mouth? You have to make up your mind. I want to know when you start crushing on me. I know it will be stressful and demanding to date you but let it not be said that I let my creator down.’
Vera did not deign it worthy of her precious time to answer him. She just turned to Chike who she perceived was in charge of the lot. ‘Human, what do you suggest that I do to these people that have taken upon themselves to desecrate my land?’
‘As much as I’d love to represent my race, my name is not human. It is Chike, so do well to use it.’ Chike titled his head to one side, as though pondering her question. ’What to do with us? Now that is a very confusing question. I would have suggested you do away with us, but now I am sure you will not kill us as we are here because we killed. So it is taken that you are against killing.
‘Next, I would say that you keep us as prisoners, but we would not do well in that department because I don’t like being locked up. I do the locking. That is all I can say.’
‘I am very powerful and I say it without modesty. Humility is not one of my virtues. I have this herb which when inhaled by humans can wipe away their memories. I guess I will have to administer that to you humans.’
Vera saw the expression in their looks. They thought she was crazy. Indeed, that was how they had been looking at her since they came here.
They would soon find out who was the crazier being.