His consciousness emerged to meet his friends surrounding him. Their faces were sour mixtures of fear and awe.

“You entered spirit!” one accused.

Words formed in Nwaeke’s mouth, but were snuffed by his confusion. How could he explain that since he turned ten, he’d been having brief lapses in consciousness whenever he was near the forest?

“You’re Ogbanje!” They decided.

“No!” he cried.

They made to attack him when an enormous Python materialized behind him.

“Heeeeeei!” They shrieked, fleeing.

“Mummy moooooooo!” Nwaeke bawled as the python encircled him before slithering into the forest.

But his mother had just saved him.

3
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