The excerpt below is taken from
“LEGEND OF THE WALKING DEAD”
ON THE BANKS OF EZU LAKE
Osondu’s friends said they went to the banks of Ezu to play and fish, and he wandered off by himself. One minute he was there and the next minute he was gone. They called him and searched the bushes to no avail.
“Ezu has taken him,” one of them said, and they ran home to inform his mother.
“I’m finished!” cried Gloria, Osondu’s mother, when she heard the news…then she sent for the women of The Gathering. These women received a lot of calls from people who needed prayers or help for one thing or another. This time, the call was from one of their own.
While she waited, Gloria paced, wrung her hands and fought back tears, her dinner preparations forgotten. “I will see him again. We will get him back,” she muttered repeatedly to herself until some semblance of calm returned.
That evening, the twelve members of The Gathering walked along the narrow paved road, built by early missionaries, to the clearing in the park near Ezu’s bank where Osondu’s friends had last seen him.
Tree logs, placed like bridges over the deep gullies, bordered the lake side of the road, and high stone walls and German mango trees lined the other side. The children with their mango-filled baskets, had all gone home by the time the women walked by. A few travelers passed going in the other direction: a family on foot, a man on a bicycle and one lone car, they had to make way for.
Keen to get started, Gloria lead the party into the park. She walked across the lush green grass and stared at the lake, nestled in a huge crater and surrounded by thick forest.
Though deep blue and calm on the surface, dark, murky water filled the depths below. Ezu was notorious for swallowing things – even humans. People had dived into Ezu and never returned. No one knew how many people had tried to retrieve something from Ezu and in the process, disappeared. No one swam in Ezu.
The seemingly placid lake had no outlets so did not flow, but at night, the water rumbled and spat waves high onto the banks. Anyone near, ran the risk of being taken by the waves and pulled into the depths of the lake. Gloria took a step back. The lake was suspected to be the gateway to another dimension.
She turned her back on the monster and joined the women to pray and make supplications for the return of Osondu. She stepped into the last space in the circle of women and with great passion, added her voice to the others. Each woman shouted their prayer of authority over and against, the evil forces of Ezu.
Their voices rang through the park and grew louder, but Osondu did not re-appear. Gloria stood facing the lake, and though she willed it to release her son, the water did not move. Her frustration rose with the sound until she could bear it no more. She left the circle, walked right through the bushes on the edge of the lake, and stepped into the water. The lake could not refuse her there.
She cast her voice across the lake, aiming to bind the dark forces and command the water to release her son. With each chant, her voice became stronger, and she stepped deeper into the water.
“Nne Osondu, step back!” one of the women yelled, fearing for Gloria’s life. No one knew exactly where the bottom fell into the depths.
But Gloria continued to advance, until suddenly it seemed that she just dropped out of sight. The women screamed and fired more power-filled prayers. Some dashed forward but were afraid to go close to the water. Someone ran off to get help and returned soon after, with men who threw long ropes into the water. But, Gloria did not take the rope.
To learn more about Joy:
*The Author’s Story