Welcome to Part 2 of The Arewa Traveller: The Warrior. In Part 1, Husna journeys into Kuje forest to learn more about a magical potion. The potion is rumoured to allow whoever takes it to travel back into time. Is the potion real? Is the Mallam that gives it to her a scam artist? Does Husna travel back into time? Read on to find out!
Come in and I will tell you more.’ the Mallam replied turning around and walking into his hut.
Husna followed the Mallam without hesitation. She was intrigued by him and she wasn’t afraid.
‘Are you sure about this? We don’t have to go inside.’ Zakariya said grabbing her arm.
‘We’ve come all this way. I want to hear what he has to say. If you don’t want to come, you can wait in the car with Ya Halim.’ Husna replied.
‘I’m not waiting in the car with you Zakariya. I want to hear everything too so you’ll be on your own in the car. You might as well come with us.’ Halim said.
They entered the Mallam’s hut and stepped into what appeared to be his living room. It was brightly lit with candles and one of those old petroleum lamps Husna only saw in the village. There were more symbols on the wall painted in white and Husna recognised one of them as being the Arewa symbol.
‘Sit.’ the Mallam said gesturing towards the floor cushions in front of him.
He was sitting on a mat in the centre of the room. The smell of cowhide was in the air and it likely came from the cushions which they each sat on.
‘I would offer you something to drink but I’m sure you will say no. You’re here for the travel potion.’
‘Yes, we are. I want to know everything about it first. What’s inside it?’ Husna asked.
‘That I can’t tell you. The Aljannu that help me make it would not like that. I can assure you that the potion will cause you no harm. You have to drink it at night or when you know no one will try to wake you up. Once you take it, no one will be able to wake you up. Only you can wake yourself up.’
‘How long will we sleep?’ Zakariya asked.
‘It is usually for some hours, but when you are there, it will feel like a day or even many days. No one will be able to see you, but you will be able to see and hear everyone there.’ the Mallam replied.
‘How far back can we go?’ Husna asked.
‘That I can’t control, the Aljannu control that. They know what you desire to see and what they want you to see. I had someone go back to 1920 and others have gone into 1800.’ the Mallam replied.
After the Mallam’s response, they were all quiet for a few minutes. Finally, Husna broke the silence.
‘Okay, I want to do it. What do you want in return for this?’ Husna asked the Mallam.
The Mallam smiled and exposed his brown stained teeth.
‘You’re a brave woman. I have a nephew. He’s a houseboy in a rich Alhaji’s house in the city. He’s very intelligent and I want him to go to University. If I help you with this, I want you to pay for him to go to University wherever he wants.’
‘That’s all you want? Shikenan? You don’t want our wombs or anything like that?’ Zakariya added with disbelief.
The Mallam laughed ‘Ai I told you, I don’t work with mischievous Aljannu anymore. The ones I work with ask that you do something to bless someone else.’
Zakariya looked at Husna and she shrugged as if to say “On your head be it”.
‘Toh, give me the potion. I will pay for your nephew’s schooling.’ Husna said finally.
‘What about you two?’ the Mallam asked, looking at Zakariya and Halim. They both shook their heads.
The Mallam nodded and stood up with the aid of his walking stick. He disappeared behind a curtain and emerged a few minutes later with a jar in his hand. He pressed the jar into Husna’s hands and returned to his mat.
‘Don’t forget what I said. Take it when you know you won’t be disturbed at night. When my nephew is ready to go to University, I will be in touch with you for the payment. Be safe on your way back home. When you leave my hut, don’t look back.’ the Mallam said.
‘Why not?’ Halim asked.
‘Because I don’t want you to be followed.’
‘I still can’t believe you’re actually going to do it.’ Zakariya’s voice filtered through Husna’s phone.
‘I can’t not do it. It’s been on my mind for weeks now. I’m doing it tonight.’ Husna replied.
‘And what if you don’t wake up ever?’ Zakariya replied quietly.
‘Maimuna woke up and she’s been fine since. I’m willing to take the risk.’
‘Okay, just be careful.’ Zakariya said before wishing Husna good luck and good night.
Husna prepared for her journey into the unknown by taking a long bath. When she was finished with her bath, she called Ya Halim.
‘I’m doing it tonight. I’m going to take it at midnight when everyone is asleep.’ Husna told him.
‘Are you sure? If anything happens to you, I’ll have our parents and Aminu to answer to.’ Halim replied.
Husna cringed. Aminu was Halim’s friend and he wanted to marry Husna. Husna tolerated him because of Halim but she found him arrogant and pompous. He was always talking about how much money he had. Husna suspected he was intimidated by her family’s wealth and felt the need to prove himself. Still, his father was the current Vice President of Nigeria so that made him a suitable match in her family’s eyes.
‘Whatever, Ya Halim. Come at 6am and check on me. I should be awake by then but if not call the Mallam.’ Husna replied.
‘You don’t want me to take you to the hospital?’ Halim asked.
‘I doubt any hospital will be able to wake me up.’ Husna replied.
The potion was bitter and it tasted like water from boiled zogale or moringa leaves. It was very bitter and Husna grimaced as she swallowed it. She put the bottle in her chest of drawers and climbed into her four-poster bed. She lay down and waited for something to happen.
Minutes went by and Husna was already feeling impatient. Why wasn’t anything happening? She noticed a small ball of light that was slowly shining from the corner of her room. The ball got bigger and hovered closer to her. She wondered whether she should touch it. The light seemed to read her mind as it lowered closer to her face and a voice whispered to her.
‘Don’t be afraid. Touch the light.’
Husna hesitated then touched the ball of light. She passed out immediately.
When she woke up, she opened her eyes and was surrounded by different noises. There was the sound of horses and what sounded like war cries. She sat up and screamed instantly. She was in the middle of what appeared to be a battlefield and soldiers were advancing towards her. There was no time for her to react and she knew she was going to get trampled. She curled herself into a ball and braced for the impact.
*End of Part 2*
Could this be the end of Husna? Does she wake up in real life or will she die in the past?
Subscribe using the form below to know when Part 2 comes out if you haven’t already. If you enjoyed reading this, share the post on your social media using the buttons below. Tell us what you think happened next using our hashtags #TWIHW #theworldinherwords