Sitting upon the bench suited at the garden as the setting sun slowly hide itself at the far off mountain. The hovering wind was endlessly fighting with the trees as my cloth join the combat, swaying around with the directions of the wind as if dragging me to the unknown, to the uncertain of all places.
The cloud was fast transiting into gradient orange which filtered the scene, making everything look Eden and terrific. My soul felt peace, a feeling that seems to be long forgotten as I sat tight; this euphoric moment was too precious to miss and I tried all I could to savour every minutes of it.
Lost I was to realised that nature has left me to the darkness. My heart shrank as it beats tensely against my chest. My eyes caught the dark forest that had once look beautiful. A forest that had once inspired me to write had change its germent into that of an underworld of fear, nightmare and darkness. My abode was miles away and the possibility of making it on foot through a path deserted by life stir fear within. The atmosphere was frozen, it was like time has stopped. Everything looked still and the air ceased. My ear ached and it became evident that the only dominating song was that of owls and frogs. It was a horrible sound.
I gently arose from the bench, my knees were weak and shaky. I cling unto my note pad closely to myself, perhaps being careful not to awake an adversary that lies asleep. The pad between my hands fell as a result of my nervousness, disrupting the silence of the night, had I been unlucky, the monster in the forest would have been awaken by me. I gazed at the narrow lane I was to trend upon, walking through such a lonely route was definitely not advisable but i was out of options. I trundled along the path delicately after much ponder, being very much alert of any anormaly that might spring forth. The steps I took was like steps to hell; my life force was slowly fading away into the darkness and my knees, miserable in weakness.
Just when I thought I was safe on that narrow lane, I caught sight of a wooden handle on the path. It was indeed that of a dagger and my heart skipped in such discovery. I wanted to scream, to run, perhaps a scream will save my poor soul. It might scare whatever entity that meant harm. But my tongue was heavy and my vocal box blocked. I grabbed my cloths, placing a hand on my chest, to console myself, my poor heart seems to part with me and it hurts so much. I went forward and I could see trails of blood. The trails leads somewhere toward the forest. A soul might needs my help, I had concluded within me.
The rustling leaves on the path to the forest made my presence known and before I knew what was happening, a scaly hand grabbed me from behind, suffocating me, killing me. My vision was blurring, I could only see the dark clouds and tree branches, I could only hear groans of a monster as darkness whirl around me. I must have blackout completely.
I woke up gasping for air in the middle of the night, maybe it was morning but I was unsure. My sweat pores had bath my skin with its produce; I became grateful for the moment cause it was unreal. it was just a horrible nightmare after all.. My tensed nerves relaxed but went stiff the moment i saw myself in a strange setting. I wasn’t lying on my soft mattress nor was a pillow in sight. It wasn’t a dream after all. My veins got filled with pressure immediately, my breath was leaving me but I struggled for air. i’ve got to find a way out. But how do I find my way in the dark?
I took a look around my immediate setting, it was a wooden old house with dusky tables and chairs. The lamp at the other end of the room seems to have partials contacts cause it keeps tripping on and off. The glass window looked broken and sticky with muds as whistling air diffuse the room. The moon outside the window was crescent bright. I was even lying at a wooden old bed and it must had been the cause of my awakening. I stood up, to think of a way forward, to escape for my life. Whoever that had grabbed me was after my life and I wasn’t ready to give it yet. I can’t give up without a fight.
The sky was still dark but I was certain it was morning. I went to the door, the door knob was broken. I twist it, manoeuvre it, kicked it but it was a futile effort. it was stuck. Damn! Am stuck here. I decided to check the next room behind me, looked like a kitchen, it was so vintage and archaic. Surprisedly, there was a fresh bread on the kitchen table and I was famished. Would die if nothing enter my stomach. I devour it immediately within a twinkle of an eye. I went to the tap but it wasn’t running. I was about leaving the kitchen when I caught sight of a brown bucket with a cup on its cover.
“Is he feeding me?” I couldn’t bring myself to ask. Perhaps he is feeding me, preparing me for his purpose, maybe to eat me and am sure he wouldn’t love to have a skinny dude as breakfast. I was thirsty anyway so I grabbed a cup and gulped down the element. At Ieast I have the strength to fight back, or so I thought.
There was a touch and a small log of wood at the old table, they were all covered with cobwebs and coal paint. What must have happen to the owners of the house? I couldn’t even think of a possible answer. I used the log against the already broken window as it shatter in pieces. I stick out my leg for an escape as the coldness outside meet me. Bringing out my head to regain balance, I used the other hand for the touch. My shirt got stuck in a nail and my attempt to free it got it torn. Somethings doesn’t matter in the quest of life. Not even a two thousand naira shirt.
It was very dark outside and the only place that seems safe against the monster of the night became the forest. I had to do things differently if I must see another day. So I hastily went for the forest without thinking of the dangers of the dark. My touch was low but at least, I could see my path. The whimpering sounds in the forest was consuming and the cold made me wish I had stayed back in the wooden house.
“When you find yourself in a situation that seems to last forever, waste time by daydreaming about a happy ending.”
That was the exact words of my grandfather one afternoon while smoking pot in the verandah. He had said that during my battle with a chronic illnesses and his words really worked. Maybe it will work now.
My stomach was behaving funny and it was damn painful. Can there occur a muscle pull in the stomach? My abs were contracting and it was getting unbearable. I had to go for a tree to rest, till the pain subside before continuing on my way home, away from the enemy. But the pain remained, it was getting worst and making me feel sleepy and weak.
(To be continued next week Saturday)