I’ll tell you a story which you probably won’t believe, but I’ll tell anyways. Why? Because I am fortunate to be the one writing this and you, my friend, seem unable to stop yourself from reading it. If that is good fortune for you, well I can’t really say. What good thing I do know is that you would hear only the truth from me.
You might say; truth? But that is relative. Well bless your parents’ hearts for raising such a bright child with great knowledge and love of big words. But the truth you will hear from me all the same.
Since I don’t know how best to go about telling this truth, I’ll start with the facts. Proving these facts is another job that I have reserved for your humble self.
Truth number one; we, you and I and the entire over 6bilion humans on this earth are not the only beings inhabiting our planet – and am not talking about your dogs, cats, goats and cows. There are creatures that look like men but taller than elm trees yet so faint you could hardly see them. I mean we could walk right by them and even under them without even knowing they were there. [Comments]
Next time you walk in a tree lined street and you felt a shadow cross over you, don’t assume all the shadows were cast by branches or hovering eagles. A crosser was just probably passing by.
“The crossers”. I gave them the name out of lack of other ideas of name to call them. I have done a lot of naming since I started compiling tales about things I never knew existed and you are too will soon be well grounded in name calling. Back to the crosser, I have never really seen any one of them, but I think I have come within close range of several of them at different times. They are ordinarily harmless to humans; that was my thoughts until…
A thick wet stuff dropped on Luke’s shoulder staining the very white fabric of his shirt a dark brown pattern. After being a doctor for over a decade, there was no way I would mistake the sight of blood for anything else Naturally, I looked up but saw nothing. Luke felt the wetness on his shoulder, touched it and brought his hand to eye level. A lab tech for 15 years couldn’t resist such a reaction; everything begins with a close look. “Hey! John, what in the world was that?” said Luke. But rather than looking up like I did, he looked back at me. I have never stopped wandering what he would have seen if thoughts had gone up instead back at me.
What happened next would either make you drop this book and pick a year 2000 copy of a DC’s superman man of steel or make you look up wherever you are right now. Luke craned his neck a little to look at me without turning. A shadow crossed the sky and Luke was gone. Yes, vanished.
Yet maybe I have overstretched there a little. The whole of Luke the whole of didn’t disappear. Whatever took him, left behind some souvenirs for fools like us to look at and ponder. It left an arm and an eye. Ever wondered what the human eye looks like out of its socket? Well it’s not pretty. I found all these out later as I only woke up in a strange room.
Yes, the room I woke up in was strange, but the décor told me quickly enough that all was not well. To start with, the room was bare; just a bed, a bedside cabinet, and a single well worn chair. I earn more than enough to settle for a place like this regardless of my mission there. A quick look around confirmed what my instinct already told me. The chicken has come home to roast. I know it’s supposed to roost but if you spend your life sticking people in beds and sticking needles up their gracious assess, you will definitely roast if strapped to a bed with a machine nearby like its counting down your life time. I was in a nut house with a euphemism “special health center”.
A scream rose in my throat but my fear locked it up half way. A nearby branched ever so slightly and that was the only indication that anything had disturbed that vicinity. Yet Luke was gone. I looked around frantically and then I looked up. That was when the body parts started falling to the ground. First an eye, then the arm, with a Chris-Air wrist watch still strapped to the wrist. That must have been when I lost it.
to be continued…
(a later chapter)
The voice in Odigbo
Kunle said a silent prayer as he followed Baba John on this journey that could only be made in the dead of the night. Their progress was further hindered by overgrowths that have taken over the narrow path leading into the heart of the dense jungle.
His mind was blank this time as he followed his escort into the dark forest just a few minutes past 1:00am. He had thought so much about his boy that every other thought have been banished from his troubled heart. Even the thought of his beautiful wife Margaret failed to cross his mind. All he could see, hear and think about was Peter! Peter!!Peter!!!
The picture of his son sitting in that darkened room flashed across his mind. He has been in a sort of a trance for the past 3 days. From all indication, he was not even aware that he has left his house in Lagos and is now sitting on the un-cemented floor of a mud house in their village in Odigbo. He responds to nothing but the voice only he could hear.
Suddenly, Baba John, his escort on this scary midnight journey signaled for him to stop. He peered into the darkness ahead, though he could see how anyone could see anything in the pitch blackness that surrounds them. Baba John began to say the same incantation he said earlier before they left their village. After about a minute, he signaled for them to resume their journey.
Then all of a sudden, the entire forest was illuminated by a blinding flash of lightning revealing a little house which Kunle was pretty sure wasn’t there a minute or so before. His escort was also caught unaware by the sudden appearance of the little house and the almost inaudible gasp that escaped from him confirmed his surprise and his fear. Before Kunle’s heart could resume beating, a second flash lit up the forest again this time revealing an old man standing at the entrance to the little house from nowhere.
A terrible bout of fear seized Kunle at the sight of the wizened old ancient starring at him through sunken eyes that glints from its sockets on a leathery face. He was clad in a dirty animal skin garment from which hung various magical ornaments. His hair was silky white and his dirty beard reached almost to his bony chest – a picture of frailty and fear creating a perfect blend of horror and delusion. His dried lips began to move in silent utterances that were drowned out by the rumbling of a low thunder.
There had been no sign of rain when Kunle and his companion started their journey, but now, even as they watched the aged apparition before them, the rain poured with a vengeful force pelting them with rock like drops. Then the thunder must have spoken as a voice too powerful to have been emanated from the dry lips of the frail old man before them said ‘you were the EAR, but your parents stuffed you up with wool so you could not hear the VOICE’. The two men were frozen on their feet. Baba John’s incantation had dried up midway and he was just a trembling mass of flesh as powers greater than what his herbalist father and the one before him ever knew, held him bound.
The gaunt tormentor continued ‘but the voice will not be silenced, never’. As Kunle watched in horror, a lightning struck a tree nearby severing a huge branch which struck Baba John who had been paralyzed by the very scene before his eyes. He was dead before he hit the wet leaf strewn ground of the forest. The old man stretched his skinny hand and beckoned Kunle to come closer. Even against his own will, he felt himself being hurled towards the old one. By itself, Kunle felt his head move closer to the stranger’s face. Scaly fingers like claws touched Kunle’s face and blood oozed from the point of contact.
‘You were chosen by the gods to bear their message; a gift that comes with life and blessings from the gods. You were to be the mediator between their world and your world, the conduit for their messages. More lightning flashed and the thunder rolled endlessly. Kunle’s mind was numb with fear and his limbs were dead from fright. Sweat coursed down his back and his face, burning a path through him and chilling his body with deathly cold.
One final flash of lightning and the forest returned to unfathomable, pitch blackness, yet the thunder spoke on;
‘You were tainted, your mystical assignment deflected by your parents with their unsuccessful encounter with some forces they cannot even identify. The gods lost their voice and people could no longer do their bidding’. As he spoke these eerie words, the ghostlike figure glided towards Kunle on feet that propel without moving.
Terrible case of trembling seized Kunle as his entire body convulsed with pain too great to explain. Every fiber of his body seems to respond to the invisible chilling wind. His mind numb from terrifying fear refused to comprehend what was happening to him and around him, he tried to look behind him but his head won’t move. The voice continued behind him ‘but the gods will wait no more’. The voice will speak and the people must hear – if not from you then from your blood.
The scary vision gave a blood cuddling peal of laughter the resounded through out the thick jungle and bounced off the monstrous tree that stood resolutely against the howling winds. Pains exploded in Kunle’s head mad worse by the deafening noise of the thunder ringing in his head. He puts forth his trembling hands to brace himself as he lost his balance. The entire jungle began to spin out of focus as he struggled to hang unto the tiny shred of sanity and consciousness he had.
When he opened his eyes again, the little house was gone and so was the gaunt old man who glided into his mind and left him on the verge of madness. With only the thoughts of his son on his mind, Kunle got up ignoring the sharp pains that shot through his palms caused by the wicked cuts inflicted by loose rocks and hardened twigs on the floor of the jungle. His silent tears mingled with the rain as he ran blindly in the pitch blackness of the forest while battling with the dual fear of getting lost in a dangerous forest well known for its ability to swallow up men whole, never been found again as well as the fear of not getting to peter on time to protect him from the evil forces he has now confirmed were after his son.
The grotesque images of twisted and wickedly shaped trees exposed by the harsh flash from the lightning appear everywhere before his eyes sending jolts of inhuman fear through his entire body. A little which sounded like the sound a badly scared alley dog would make escaped his lips and with bulging eyes he went on running blindly through the dense foliage of the deadly forest. Extended roots snapped at his heels like giant tentacles casing him to loose his balance and tumbling further into the jungle with horrendously sturdy branches slashing him from head to his kneels; narrowly missing his eyes every time his steps faltered.
As he went deeper into the jungle, red eyes without lashes snapped open- looking and watching his unsteady progress. Forces unseen continued to propel him towards bodies that are at an advanced stage of disintegration. Blinded by lightning and shoved around by the wind, his senses were numb causing him to pas by decaying hands reaching out for him, almost touching him unaware; Footsteps behind him, carrying invisible stalkers closer to him. Their lidless eyes riveted on his back their decomposed limbs barely held back from lashing out at his assaulted body.
Hear! You heard once, you must hear again”. In the midst of the roaring of the jungle, Kunle heard words he had heard before, a lifetime ago. They were words that were always with him during his waking hours and troubled his innocent sleeps as a child. His responses; initially confused for the childish sleep talking of a restless child by his parents who resorted to praying every night to ward off the demons tormenting their only child.
to be continued…