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|Dreamland (part 2) by Chikezie1245: 2:02am On Jan 31, 2020|
UGONWA felt a gush of wind on her skin and opened her eyes. A group of grotesque women had encircled her and were staring down at her with smiles on their faces.
She wanted to ask them who they were, but her voice failed her. The women simply took her hands and helped her to her feet.
Then, as if on cue, the weirdest and the most alluring of dance began.
The wind blew and the trees whistled as the women danced in a frenzy. The nocturnal insects ceased their chorus and watched in amazement. The moon recorded every bit of this legendary rendition.
Ugonwa had never seen this type of dance before, and, by the time they were done, she was very sure she would beat her rivals in the ‘Maidens Royal Dance Challenge.’
Ugonwa woke up with a start, and discovered that she was still all alone in the forest. She looked around for the women, and, when no trace of their presence was found, it dawned on her that she was only dreaming. For the first time, goose pimples overwhelmed her. She stood up and ran back home.
The other maidens now knew that Ugonwa was a big threat to any of them, and the girl to beat on the D-day. They had seen her on seven occasions dancing an enchanting dance with so much excitement. She had become so excited with her magical dance that she took the dance steps wherever she went to.
But her rivals would take no chances. Never.
And so, while Ugonwa was returning from the stream one evening, a heavy stick landed on her head, and she fell with her bucket of water. Then, ropes went round her body, followed by two heavy hands that went under her back and hung her unconscious body on its right shoulder.
Ugonwa moved her lithe body gracefully, like the slithering movement of a snake, as the esoteric sounds of the drums and the flute reached to a crescendo.
Spectators cheered. This girl had held everybody spellbound with her magical dance. She had, obviously, received the divine nod and the royal imprimatur.
The music stopped, and Ugonwa looked around and met her rivals’ gazes. Those maidens had retreated into their shells in shame. Their plans had been defeated.
She, then, looked up in the sky and muttered a prayer. The moon had witnessed her agony, and, now, the sun was celebrating her victory.
She looked at the royal pavilion and her gaze met the prince’s. They smiled knowingly at each other.
Then the prince exclaimed, ‘‘Behold my missing rib! Behold the future queen of Igbobuike Kingdom!’’
A sharp, painful kick on Ugonwa’s stomach startled her from her sleep. She fluttered her eyes open and saw her abductor looking down at her furiously.
She tried to shout, but her mouth was gagged, and her body was still bound with ropes. It dawned on her that she had been in a dreamland, and the prince’s marriage to the usurper was underway, and hers with his, a mirage.
When her abductor said, ‘‘You think you can find your way to the Throne with that crazy dance of yours,’’ the tattler’s warning came ringing in her head: ‘‘… You’re destined for royalty, but, beware, lest your excitement ruins your chances.’’
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