THE SACRIFICE | Episode 7


Continues from where the immediate previous post, THE SACRIFICE | Episode 6 (in Category >Drama and Sub >>The Sacrifice) stops.

ACT THREE | Scene 3

 

[Day III: Noontide]

 

The surroundings of the palace. Same place as ACT TWO, SCENE 1. The stump is there as is in ACT TWO, SCENE 1. ENIAFE enters from down stage. Dressed in a wrapper and a buba.

 

ENIAFE:

Aha, I have got to the palace. Oh! Let it just be that my request was granted by the king! [Pauses.] But how will I go in now? I’m afraid – or is it shyness?

 

[Enter ONABUNMI holding a broom.]

 

ONABUNMI:

Hello, what do you want?

ENIAFE:

[bending her knees.] Good morning.

ONABUNMI:

Is this your morning? Look up and see the sun!

ENIAFE:

Oh, erm, good afternoon.

ONABUNMI:

Good afternoon. From where?

ENIAFE:

Erm… I… I’ve come from… from—

ONABUNMI:

[cuts in.] I don’t even need to ask where you’ve come from—I already see the captive slave recognition mark on your forehead! [ENIAFE gazes down, more ashamed.] Who are you looking for? What has a captive come to do in the palace!?

ENIAFE:

[embarrassed.] I’m looking… I’m looking for the… the prince—Prince Aderopo—he asked me to come.

ONABUNMI:

Come for what!?

ADEROPO:

[entering and calling with a tone that suggests he has been hearing ONABUNMI all along.] O-na-bun-mi!!! Howu!

ONABUNMI:

[looking down, fumbling with her fingers and bowing many times.] She says she wants to see you, Your Highness.

ADEROPO:

Then why bother her with questions of enquiry? My friend, what is your business in her details?

ONABUNMI:

[kneels.] Please pardon me, Your Royal Highness. Please, pardon me!

ADEROPO:

You think I was not hearing you inside, uh?

ONABUNMI:

[rubbing her palms back and forth.] Pardon me, Your Highness. Pardon my silliness, I beg you! I’m sorry, Your Highness! I won’t do that again—I promise!

ADEROPO:

What do you think is best for you now? What do you think you rightly deserve? [ONABUNMI is just sobbing—no reply.] All right, I pardon you. Now get away!! [ONABUNMI springs up and flee backstage.] And how are you this afternoon, Eniafe?

ENIAFE:

I’m fine, Your Highness. What about my petition? What did the king say?

ADEROPO:

Howu! Let’s go in first.

ENIAFE:

No, I’m all right here.

ADEROPO:

Why?

ENIAFE:

I’m just all right here.

ADEROPO:

It’s all right then. [Pauses a bit.] Eniafe, I shall be missing you.

ENIAFE:

[grows intent.] Huh!

ADEROPO:

I shall be really missing you for a few days—

ENIAFE:

[cutting in.] A few days? Am I to be freed just for a few days, or what?

ADEROPO:

Oh! Not that! I am not talking about that matter. I am still going to tell you about it. So, as I was saying, I am really going to miss you, as I shall be embarking on a journey which would take me three nights away from home. And the gods know I shall really miss you those three nights! [ENIAFE loses interest.] I am on an errand; but I shall not take long, I promise. I shall not take long before I see your face again!

ENIAFE:

I don’t see how that concerns me, Your Highness. Tell me what the king said about my request.

ADEROPO:

So you don’t think about me. You don’t miss me. It’s all right. [Pauses.] Eniafe, I approached my father the king with your request—

ENIAFE:

[with interest.] And what was his response? What… what is his verdict? What did he say?

ADEROPO:

[sighs.] I’m afraid his response was negative—it is not possible, and he can’t help it, he said. I tried so much to persuade him; but although he was willing to help, his hands are tied! The thing is traditional; he can’t just break it so easily. It is ancestral, traditional bonds of bondage, that it takes something stronger than it—something as strong as death itself, to break it! That is it, my dear—I’m very sorry.

ENIAFE:

Then I have finally proved that the love you say you have for me is but feigned and all vanity! It is anything but true and genuine!

ADEROPO:

Eniafe!!

ENIAFE:

If you could not do just that thing I asked—if you could not do it for me whom you call your beloved, then what is your claim of having deep love for me—what is it for? I’m sorry to speak like this, Your Highness; but I very much doubt your love for me! If I could get the proof that you truly love me, why won’t I give my heart to you; however I have proved your love to be false! You don’t really love me, no you don’t!

ADEROPO:

Eniafe! Eniafe, how else do you want me to prove to you that I truly love you? Because of you I dared to bring up that subject that is considered a taboo in this palace—I dared to bring it up before Kabiyesi this morning! Oh, you should have seen his reaction when I told him! But Eniafe, if you give your heart to me and you marry me, will you still be a captive slave at all?

ENIAFE:

I want to be going, Your Highness.

ADEROPO:

It’s all right… I shall be going on the journey tomorrow; may I come to wave you goodbye on my way?

ENIAFE:

All right, Your Highness.

ADEROPO:

All right, then.

 

[Enter EFUNSETAN.]

 

EFUNSETAN:

[calling.] Arẹmọ! Arẹmọ! Arẹ—[Notices his visitor.] Oh, sorry to just cut in like that.

ADEROPO:

Of course never mind, Mother.

EFUNSETAN:

I can see you have a visitor. But when you’re through—

ADEROPO:

We’re even through now. Erm, Mother, this is Eniafe.

[ENIAFE goes on her hands and knees.]

ENIAFE:

Your Royal Majesty.

EFUNSETAN:

Oh, my dear. How are you?

ENIAFE:

I’m fine, mama.

EFUNSETAN:

Get up. Get up, my dear.

[ENIAFE gets up.]

ENIAFE:

[to ADEROPO.] I’d like to be going, Your Highness.

EFUNSETAN:

I hope I’m not the one ending your discussion …?

ADEROPO:

No, Mother. Actually, we just finished our talk when you came.

EFUNSETAN:

All right, my dear. Bye-bye.

ENIAFE:

Thank you, Your Majesty.

[Exeunt.]

 

 

[CURTAIN.]

____

 

 

ACT FOUR | Scene 1

 

[Day IV: Daybreak]

 

The vicinity of the captives’ prison house.

 

ADEROPO is standing, dressed in traditional attire but with his royal strings of beads and with fila[1]. He is carrying a bag, of animal hide material, which he hangs across his shoulder. Soon, ENIOLA enters from downstage, with only in a wrapper around her body. She carries two skin-bag containers of water and palm wine.

 

ENIOLA:

[kneels.] Your Royal Highness! I am on my knees.

 

ADEROPO:

Ah, good morning, Eniola. How are you this morning?

 

ENIOLA:

[gets up. Flirting.] I’m doing… fine, looking beautiful! [Pauses.] Why is His Highness standing here alone these early hours of dawn?

ADEROPO:

I sent to see someone.

ENIOLA:

[flirting.] And I guess I can keep His Highness company while he waits for the fellow, to while away time, can’t I? Dare I say the prince shouldn’t stand alone—if he is not in the company of his entourage, he should at least have a female person beside him!

ADEROPO:

That is enough. Say no more!

ENIOLA:

I am sorry, Your Highness; but permit me to say but one thing now.

ADEROPO:

Say on.

ENIOLA:

I came to know by one or two that you are on a journey; and so I thought it fitting to bring you a bottle of water from Adalu Rock and a bottle of fresh palm wine to take on your way. Water in journey makes light the travelling sole and holds back its growing worn. And little keeps the soul from being forlorn and lonesome from long journey. Pray do not mind the littleness of this gesture, Your Highness. It’s just that of care—and love!

ADEROPO:

Thank you, Eniola. May Olodumare repay you in full measure for this gesture! [ENIOLA murmurs silently. ADEROPO takes the bottle from her.]

 

[Enter ENIAFE and ABEKE, led by the females’ slave master who is holding his belly for ache.]

 

THE FEMALES’ SLAVE MASTER:

[bows to ADEROPO.] Here’s she, Your Royal Highness. [Turns back and sees ABEKE too. To ABEKE.] He didn’t call you, did he? He asks me to call Eniafe! So, Abeke—! [Motions for her to get back.]

ABEKE:

[bending her knees and rubbing her palms back and forth.] But… but… please, I—

THE FEMALES’ SLAVE MASTER:

Get back, I say!

ABEKE:

Please, I am sorry; I also want to see him, please! Pray let me see him too—please!

ADEROPO:

[To SLAVE MASTER.] Just leave her; leave her.

ENIOLA:

I would be going, Your Highness. O da’a o. Alọ a dara; abọ a sunwọn o!

ADEROPO:

Aṣẹ o! Thank you. [ENIOLA moves downstage and stays there peeping at him. ADEROPO notices SLAVE MASTER holding his belly. Meanwhile ABEKE is now really making eyes at ADEROPO. To SLAVE MASTER…] What is the matter? What is wrong with your stomach?

SLAVE MASTER:

Your Highness, it is bellyache! Bellyache! Ugh! My stomach!

ADEROPO:

And eaten anything yet?

SLAVE MASTER:

I have not eaten anything, Your Highness, but I will soon. Ugh, my stomach!

ADEROPO:

[taking proper notice of ABEKE’s making eye at him; pauses, looks at her for quite a while as ABEKE getting his attention, flirts.] And you, what is your problem? Do you have an eye ache too—that you’ve not stopped rolling your eyes at me since you came here! Perhaps you need me to get some pepper into those eyes, and you will stop eyeing me up! Or what is all that flirting supposed to mean? [ABEKE bows her head ashamed and withdraws slowly backstage.]

Now, slave master, sip a little palm wine and you can a little food and a little rest later. [Gives him the bottle that ENIOLA gave him. SLAVE MASTER is about to put it in his mouth when ENIOLA springs out from where she is hiding. She is restless—kneeling, rising, jumping up and down, etc.]

ENIOLA:

Please, please, don’t drink it!!! Slave master, don’t drink it! Please stop! Don’t drink it, I beg you!

ADEROPO:

Howu! Why not? Why shouldn’t he?

ENIOLA:

Please, I pray you, Your Highness; don’t let him drink it! I beg you! Pray don’t let him drink it!

ADEROPO:

[curiously.] Why? Is something wrong with that, or what, Eniola? [Threateningly now.] Now tell me why, or else! I demand to know! Tell me now, or you may not like what I might do!

ENIOLA:

Nothing will happen, Your Highness—but pray do not let him drink it, Your Highness, I beg of you!

ADEROPO:

[seizing ENIOLA in a firm grip, so much she grimaces in pain, and shouts into her face.] Did you want to poison me?! Huh?! Did you want to poison me, woman?!

ENIOLA:

[crying.] I swear your Highness, it is not poison! I swear it by the gods! I swear I did not put poison in it—I swear!

ADEROPO:

[Yells angrily.] Then what is it?! What is it you put there?! WHAT?!!

ENIOLA:

[crying more.] I beg you, Your Highness! Pray pardon me, please!—

 

[ADEROPO squeezes her more in his grip and she yells out.]

 

ADEROPO:

[yells into her face.] I SAY WHAT?!!

ENIOLA:

[sinks to her knees.] Pray forgive me, Your Royal Highness! He will rape me if he drinks it! It is a spell of passion towards me that shall be cast on a man whose mouth gulps the palm wine inside the bottle down his throat! It is passion charm I cast in the water. Pray forgive me, Your Royal Highness!

ADEROPO & SLAVE MASTER:

Hmm! Passion charm!

SLAVE MASTER:

[laughs.] Making sense…! Then drink it I will, and let me rape you if I must! Ha-ha-ha! [ENIOLA springs up and begins to run after SLAVE MASTER rather slowly, and SLAVE MASTER is running in a circle rather slowly too as he jests.] If I don’t drink it my bellyache will not go. In fact, I will have a migraine too! So I must drink this! I will drink it and get your back on the floor today! I will get you back on the floor will be back with no flaw! Not a single flaw!

ADEROPO:

Hold it, I say! [SLAVE MASTER halts abruptly and ENIOLA collides with him and falls down. SLAVE MASTER giggles.]

ENIOLA:

[weakly.] I beg you by the gods… I beg you by the fathers… ah, I beg you by your fortune; pray don’t drink it –please!!! Please, have pity on me, please!

ADEROPO:

[to SLAVE MASTER.] Bring the bottle, man!

SLAVE MASTER:

Ah, please, Your Highness—please have pity on me! My manhood is already erect, Your Highness—pray have pity on me!

ADEROPO:

Look at the man with belly ache now jumping about! Come on, hand me the bottle now!

SLAVE MASTER:

Ah, what a pity! I should have drunk it immediately instead of talking and talking! Ah, pity! I missed this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on this pretty miss! Unlucky me! No wonder, my father always told me I came to the world with an ill-luck!

ADEROPO:

Will you stop musing till tomorrow-comes, and hand over the bottle mister man!

[SLAVE MASTER, bowing, hands over the bottle.]

ADEROPO:

So, that is what you want to happen to me, Eniola—for me to rape you, uh!? In fact, you would have most gladly allowed me to! What you have is not love! What you have is not love! And now, your charm of love—no, of lust—your charm of lust did not work! So will you now take back your bottle? I least need it, woman! [Puts it on the ground.]

ENIOLA:

[on her hands and knees. Sobbing.] I beg you, Your Royal Highness, pray pardon me! I am sorry! I am very sorry. [Holds his trousers.] Please I beg you—

ADEROPO:

Will you take your hands off my trousers! [She takes off her hands immediately.] I have pardoned you anyway. Now take your leave! [She takes her bottle and exits, with downcast gaze.] Now, slave master, you can go—I shall release her soon.

 

[Exit SLAVE MASTER.]

 

 

ACT FOUR | Scene 2

 

ENIAFE:

[bows in deep respect.] My lord! My lord!

 

[A lone flute plays very softly.]

 

ADEROPO:

[solemnly.] I go now on the three-day

journey I told you of,

and shall return in the late night

of two days time,

or at most the early hours of dawn

of three days time.

But till then, my parting words

still remain:

I love you.

[Pauses a bit.]

I dearly hope someday

you too shall say you love me.

I hope someday

I shall win your heart.

I hope someday

you shall believe I truly, deeply love you.

I hope… nay, I believe!

Love is lovely when it is loved back

but becomes lovelorn when the loved lacks love.

[Pauses a bit.]

And so… bye, my dear. [Waves.]

ENIAFE:

[waves back slowly.] Bye-bye.

 

[Music heightens. ADEROPO takes a few steps but cannot go further. Neither of them can. ADEROPO forces himself and takes two further steps. Before he can look back, ENIAFE quickly wipes a tear from her eyes with the back of her hand about two times. ADEROPO looks back. They gaze at each other for quite a while and then ADEROPO waves for the last time, very slowly. ENIAFE responds with a wide smile.]

 

[LIGHT FADES SLOWLY.]

Watch out for Episode 7 | Posting  Sun May 17 …

Send private comments and enquiries to Kayode Taiwo Olla via kayodeolla@gmail.com, or simply text or put a call through him via the number +2347062280424.

[All Rights Reserved. Copyright owned by Kayode Taiwo Olla, 2014.]

 

[1]Yoruba traditional cap.

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