(Bell of the past)
Written by Bright Daniel
Nobody reminded Regina, Charles and Sam to run inside the bridge when they saw the three beasts. Surprisingly to them, the beasts didn’t make any effort to run after them, rather kept following them slowly and roaring. Just at the middle of the bridge, they sighted another three beasts from the other side of the cliff waiting for them to cross and eventually devour them in the process.
“Oh my God!” Sam exclaimed spreading his hands to gain balance on the quivering bridge. “What are we gonna do now?” he asked.
Already, Regina had engulfed Charles round the waist shedding tears and breathing hastily. Charles looked down to see crocodiles in the water at the base of the cliff, therefore, the thought of jumping down the bridge vanished from his mind.
“I guess this is where we all die” Regina’s voice sounded.
“No, nobody gonna die” Charles replied breathing hastily too.
“What do you suggest we do now!?” Sam queried again.
“We keep walking”
“Are you crazy? Can’t you see our death behind and before us?”
“No, I’m only seeing beasts” Charles concluded. He was at the back followed by Regina before Sam. They were forced to proceed when one of the beasts from behind began to chase them, thus, shaking the bridge seriously. One leg of Charlse stocked in between two woods which made him fall on the bridge. By then, the beasts had drew closer and there was nothing Sam or Regina could do. “Help!” he shouted.
However, the beast had drew closer to him at the sight of both the humans and other animals, it looked into his eyes by bringing its face to his and groaning deeply. Charles also was brave enough to return the eye contact seeing its teeth especially the sharp canines clitching with the down teeth.
“Please, don’t eat me, rather eat them” he pointed at the crocodiles in the water. Amazingly to them, the beasts, both the one that wanted to eat Charles and others at the extreme end of the bridge jumped into the water then began to fight with the crocodiles.
“Charlse!” Regina rushed him. She helped him pull out his legs before they finally crossed the bridge in a hurry watching as blood saturated the water due to the brutal fight between the beasts and the crocodiles until water carried them out of sight. Sam and Regina stared at Charles.
“What?” he asked them.
“Who are you?” Sam queried suspiciously and curiously.
“What do you mean?”
“You just talked to animals and they obeyed you. So I ask again, who the fuck are you?”
“I’m Charles Fred! I mean, I’m as surprise as you are. I thought by now I would have been a fat meat in the stomach of the beast, but luckily I wasn’t”
All remained silent still staring at him. His answer didn’t convince them. Therefore Regina said with a very low voice, “Charles, if you have some kind of spiritual powers, why won’t you tell us? Why keeping it from us?”
“Are you insane!” Charles got angry at the whole situation and interrogation. “What do you take me for, a wizard or a native doctor? I’m sick and tired of what is happening; first, a man bumped out of the river where I went to water my thirsty throat and called me his son. Secondly, a strange boat paddler kept staring at me in the boat as if I was some kind of cenema. And thirdly, a beast that suppose to eat me obeyed me instead, all in this forest of Hoom. Who am I!”
Nobody said anything again. Sam reasoned all that he said coz he wasn’t aware of them especially the first encounter. So he said, “A man from the river called you his son? That means you have some connection with this forest. You are like a son of the forest!”
“Hello!” Charles exclaimed glaring at him. “The last time I checked, I’m the son of Fred Lambert, the twin brother of Dennis Lambert”
“Your Dad is a twin?” Regina chipped in.
“Yes, but i have never seen him. They said he left for abroad few days after my Dad wedded. They are not identical twins any ways”
“This is strange” Sam concluded.
Just then, Regina sighted the tree where Fred and co spent their night the previous day. They rushed there to see the leaves used as bed by them and was happy that they were at the right part. Therefore, they began to run again like primitive warriors…
Ryanie led Fred and Agatha to a tunnel that is believed to be the end of the journey after they cross it. It was made of thick soil and above it were growing grasses. Fred looked into it to see cobwebs at the entrance. He looked dirty and tattered like a green horn in the race of madness likewise Agatha. That particular part of the forest was very quiet which made them wonder if animals like birds existed there.
“It’s so quiet here” Agatha broke the silence.
“Yes, that’s why you should be quiet” Ryanie replied then pointed her staff at the tunnel. “This is where our last journey begins, after we make it out of this tunnel, you’ll see your wife or should I say wives. It will take us twenty-four hours to cross it. Mind you, anything you’ll see, hear or anything that happens inside this tunnel, you must not look back until we cross otherwise you die”
“Wait wait wait” Agatha began. “You mean we aren’t gonna look back for a whole day?”
Fred glanced at the road in which they came, looked at Ryanie and said, “Please, I’m worried about my son and Regina”
“Even Sam”Agatha inferred .
“They are fine” Ryanie proceeded to the tunnel.
“How can you be so sure?”
She turned only her head at Fred who asked the question. “I’m sure because Charles is with them” she smiled then finally entered into the tunnel.
Fred and Agatha looked at each other wondering what she meant by that. They couldn’t figure out the reason, so joined her in the tunnel..
Back to town at the residence of Mr and Mrs Lambert, Fred’s parents, a white venza vehicle pulled over just in front of the house and a man came out wearing a white canvas, trouser and jacket over a black T-shirt. On his face was a pair of transparent eyeglasses, while a dada hair style rested on his head. He walked into the house to see Mrs Lambert in the sitting room.
“Mum!” he shouted with open arms.
“My son!” She stood up and embraced him warmly. “Oh Dennis my son, you’re welcome” she added happily.
“Where is Dad and my twin brother, Fred? I went to his house but saw it deserted, even the wife and son are not there”
The mother sat down before replying. “Your twin brother is nowhere to be found ever since his witch of a wife disappeared overnight”
“C’mon mum, the wife isn’t a witch” he sat down too. “As a matter of fact, I want to see her coz I miss her and my brother. For the past seventeen years now, I have not set my eyes on them”
“My dear, nobody knows where they are”
“Where could they be?” Dennis thought critically. He turned to the mother again. “What do you mean by Edna disappeared overnight?” he queried while the mother narrated the story just the way Fred narrated it to them…
Back to the forest before the very arina where pieces of rocks saturated the ground broken by Ryanie, Charles and Co found the dead body of Lucky. Sam saw it first then stood still waiting for the two teenagers to approach. When Regina recognized the body to be her father’s, she ran to the spot, bent down and began to call. “Dad? Dad! Noo!” she cried with a loud voice.
Charles sadly drew close to her, placed a hand on her shoulder and practically pulled her back sympathetically, while Sam cut out a broad leave and covered the dead body sadly too.
“This proves that we’re on the right track” he said but none said anything in return.
Charles consoled Regina who cried on his chest. “Your Dad was a brave man. I know wherever he is now, he won’t be happy seeing you cry”
“But what has he done to deserve this!” Regina asked in tears.
“Coz he killed your grandmother”
She disengaged from him with an expression of surprise on her face. She shook her hair in a way they dangled behind her. “My Dad killed my granny?”
“Yes, while my Dad killed your grandfather. These are the reasons why their wives were taken to this forest. I guess your grandparents had something to do with this forest that’s why.. hum.. ” he paused, he couldn’t proceed.
“I can’t believe this” she began to adjust away from him.
“Regina, you have to understand” Charles tried to meet up with her but her voice stopped him.
“Don’t come close to me!!” she shrieked and began to run back in tears.
“Regina!” Charles ran after her while Sam watched both of them surprisingly for the emotional drama they exhibited…
TO BE CONTINUED
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