Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Speaking of phantoms, I did observe them on numerous instances.
At the age of 8, I had my first encounter with ghosts, henceforth referred to as jinn to avoid the connotation of dead persons.
Jinn are beings created from smokeless fire, and live in our world.
Although they are typically hidden from humans, they do see us.
I along with my cousin saw them late that night.
It was past 23:00 hours when we became aware of the time and promptly made our exit from our grandmother’s residence.
Jogging home, we simultaneously halted just outside the gate to my father’s home.
What prompted our hesitation?
Beyond the gate at the road junction appeared suddenly two figures, white, stationary and facing us.
My cousin and I glanced at each other and without uttering a word raced indoors.
To comfort and assure myself I would not be harmed by what I had just witnessed, I initially thought that might be my granddad who passed earlier that year.
I discarded that, for the phantoms were two and not one.
He could not have been Nnanna.
On another night, on the veranda my siblings and cousins conversed late into the night.
Leaning over the railings, my vision was drawn to one of the roads into our hometown.
Although the road was spacious, it was not motorable, a result of gully erosion.
At the horizon appeared a white image in a southward stride.
I watched him, reluctant to even blink let alone divert my gaze.
I was transfixed.
He turned left in front of the residence of one doctor whose name eludes my memory but who I later learnt was crowned Eze Umuasua.
My eyes trailed the jinn up the slope and past trees, his images momentarily shielded from view by each tree.
I noticed his strides occurred with a curve at the knee, rather than the angular projection of a human knee.
His feet were slightly elevated from the ground and did not make contact with the soil.
Should I alert others of the presence of the phantom?
NO! I knew the rhythm of the conversation of my fellow children will be drastically altered.
I did not want the jinn to realise he was being watched.
Soon he disappeared, as the trees and other landmarks obstructed my vision.
Lowering my eyesight, I saw the figure of a woman below us and to our right, right in front of my grandfather’s store.
She was a jinn, dressed in traditional African attire and a head scarf and holding a weaved basket.
Neither her, her costume nor her basket were of solid substance.
They were of the same translucent form.
She was shopping, picking some items and placing them in her basket.
We retired to bed, shortly after she vanished.
In bed, I shivered with fright and pulled the bedsheet over my head.
What have I seen? I queried myself.