(Bell of the past)
Written by Bright Daniel
Lucky suddenly stopped when he noticed that Fred wasn’t following them. He walked back to him then placed a hand on his shoulder.
“We have to go, man. We’ve started the journey already and there is no going back”
Fred looked up at him with eyes full of droplet tears. “Could it be true that Charles isn’t my son?” he asked with a shaky voice.
“There is one way to find out. When you find your wife, she’ll tell you the truth. Don’t listen to Ryanie or whatever she calls herself. We don’t even know who she is, she’s a total stranger to us” he left his shoulder then stretched his hand for him to grab. “C’mon man, let’s go”
Fred grabbed the hand as an afterthought, stood up and followed him. They met up with Agatha and Ryanie who led the way taking her steps simultaneously with her staff. They could hear the chirping of birds and crickets because it was getting dark every single minute. Sooner did Agatha stop thereby making the two men behind her to stop too while Ryanie kept walking, but turned when she noticed that they had become static.
“We wanna know who you are” Agatha replied. “Who are you and where are our friends?”
Lucky stepped forward. “It seems you know us even before we came here, so tell us, old woman, who are you?”
“Yes, I know you before you came here because your parents and grandparents were here too” she moved closer to him as Fred and Agatha watched them and listened attentively. “This is the secret forest of Hoom where Terena and Gerena , your grandparents, submitted the soul of your mother before you murdered her in cold blood. Mrs Jennifer, your mother, also introduced your father here to have riches before Fred murdered him too. For that reason, your wives were taken down to this place for you to suffer in the quest of looking for them and also die in process”
Fear gripped the two men to the extent Fred had to come closer to Lucky leaving Agatha behind. They didn’t know what to say or do but had much questions to ask. Therefore Fred asked, “Why must we pass through all this and also die? If they want to kill us why didn’t they do it years ago without bringing us here?”
“He who takes the lives of those whom their souls is from Hoom, dies in Hoom” Ryanie replied.
“So we gonna die after saving our wives? Is that what you’re telling us?” Lucky provoked.
“Yes, are you afraid to die? If yes, then why did you kill your own mother, Lucky?” Ryanie’s voice was calm but heartbroken and provoking too. Hearing that, Lucky began to shed tears.
Agatha stepped out too looking scared of all that she heard. She tied the remaining torn part of her white shirt round her stomach in a way the stomach became visible. Part of her bra could also be seen through the torn parts. One could see fairy hair growing from her private region up to her stomach. The black plain trouser she wore covered some of it.
“Excuse me madam,” she said raising her finger up like a pupil who wants to ask a question in a classroom. “Please, I’m only a pilot, so I hope I will not die?”
“Nobody who steps his or her feet in the forest of Hoom goes out alive!” she replied.
“Ewoh! I’m finished!” Agatha placed her two hands
on her head tapping her feet continuously.
“But you have only one hope” Ryanie continued then all stared at her with ears opened like that of dogs. “I’m here to help you get what you want and leave this forest without losing your lives”
“Oh, thank goodness!” Agatha shouted.
“Why do you want to help us?” Fred queried.
“Maybe because I’m a good person, so let’s go, we have a long dangerous journey ahead of us” she wanted to turn but a distant noise interrupted her. Others heard the pandemonium then wondered what it could be. It sounded like where thousands of soldiers were running after them.
“Can you hear that?” Lucky broke the silence.
“Yes” Ryanie answered. “they are the dead souls of Hoom reincarnated in form of beasts. Their claws are longer than fingers and their canines are shaper than a razor blade. It doesn’t take a beast a minute to devour you without remaining a single fresh”
“So what are we gonna do now!” he asked looking frightened.
Ryanie stretched her staff on his head and said, “If I hit this staff on your empty head, you’ll stop asking stupid questions! Of course we have to run
!” she led the way running like a sixteen year old girl while others followed her. It was a surprise to the vibrant young men and a woman that they couldn’t outrun her no matter the force they applied. After several minutes of running, Ryanie stopped just at the edge of a cliff which others didn’t see on time and nearly fell into it if not that she stretched her staff across them.
“Holy shot!” Fred shouted falling back when he saw the depth of the cliff. On its base was a flowing water. They could also see a wooden bridge which they had to cross to the other part of the cliff. Some parts of the bridge had fallen off and the rope used to tie them was loosen too. At any slight mistake someone would find himself down the cliff and eventually drowned in the voluminous water.
“What do we do now!?” Lucky asked again then the Ryanie finally hit the staff on his head. “Awsshh!!” he exclaimed rubbing the head.
“Run into the bridge, pipsqueak!!” she shouted. “Go while I hold the beasts here!”
“But this is dangerous!” Agatha said aloud.
“Didn’t you hear me say we have a dangerous journey ahead of us? This is the beginning. Go!”
Fred ran into the bridge but nearly fell down if not that he took caution and began to walk slowly on it. That made the bridge to start shaking. Lucky followed him before Agatha who began craw across like a baby.
The beasts finally approached but Ryanie stretched her staff then many of them fell roaring like lions while one managed to escape into the bridge where Fred and co were still trying to cross. Seeing the force in which the beast ran towards Agatha, the last person on the bridge, she laid face up shouting and flinging her legs. “Help!” Her voice alone was enough to wake aquatic animals in the water below the bridge.
“Agatha!” Lucky turned back making sure he doesn’t fall down. At that point, the bridge shook seriously. He finally met her before the beast and kicked it down the bridge to the extent he nearly fell with it if not that Agatha held him by the hand.
“I caught you!” she said but couldn’t pull him up again. Fred had to come back to help before they finally pulled him up….
Still in the forest of Hoom, Charles and Regina remained at the shore of the river because they didn’t know the direction to follow in order to meet up with others. They hopped to find any of them being carried out of the river by waves. Therefore they sat on the sandy soil feeling the wave and wind from the river.
“I’m scared” Regina broke the silence.
“I’m not, but I’m scared of losing my father” Charles replied.
“You love your Dad so much” she looked at him.
“Yes, but.. ” he paused while Regina waited for him to continue. “I wanna ask you something; Do I look like my father?”
Regina became surprised at the question taking a very look at him. She shook her head negatively and said, “Not really. Why asking?”
“I saw a man from the river when I was drinking from it and he called me his son. It makes me think that my mum cheated on my Dad”
“What does it mean for a wife to cheat on the husband?” Regina smiled. Of course she knew but wanted to be funny.
“How old are you?” Charles asked her.
“And you don’t know what it means to cheat?” Regina nodded her head staring and listening to him. “Well, it’s when a wife or the husband makes love to.. ”
“I got it” she interrupted while they stared at each other smiling. Suddenly, Charles sighted Sam at a far distant swinging by the sea shore.
“Hey, look! It’s one of the pilots!” he pointed at him. They ran to him, pulled him out before Charles practically began to wake him up too. When Regina saw him pressing and breathing through his mouth, she wondered if he also did that very part to her. She touched her lips in the process and stepped backward. It’s obvious they were gradually falling in love…
TO BE CONTINUED
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