(Bell of the past)
Written by Bright Daniel
Charles ran to Regina as fast as he could in the forest of Hoom. The distance was a bit far from Sam in a way they couldn’t see him again. He held Regina by the hand and pulled her back.
“Leave me alone!” she exclaimed.
“Where do you think you’re going to?” he freed her as she requested but made sure she didn’t move an inch again.
“I’m going home!”
“It’s too late to go back, Regina”
“Your father killed my grandfather, xup with that, huu?” she hit his chest with her hand pouring out tears from her eyes. Her hair looked scattered dangling all over her face even with the singlet tied round her head. She became slimmer due to frustration and tiredness without nutrition.
Charles lowered his voice. “Regina, it’s a long story. Everything gonna be clear and alright when we get out of this forest. The only person you have now is your mum whom you should fight to get in the replacement of your Dad. Would you like your Dad’s effort to be in vain?” Regina shook her head negatively. “Then follow me let’s continue the journey ” he held her by the hand again while she rested her head on his chest shedding tears. Just as Charles slid her hair gently backward in order to console her, they heard sam’s voice crying for help. Regina ran close behind him as they took on their heels to know the cause of the pandemonium. Horribly, they saw him running around the place with a monkey on his shoulder trying to strangle him to death. The monkey stood in a way it blocked his view thereby making him not to see anything as he ran blindedly.
“Charles, do something!” he shouted.
“Okay!” Charles and Regina picked up their sticks then ran to him. In the process of hitting the monkey with it, Charles hit Sam’s hands instead. He screamed in a loud voice flinging the hands in the air. That created an opportunity for Regina to hit the monkey, but before she did that, it jumped away from Sam’s shoulder and she ended up hitting the stick on his face to the extent he bled through the nostrils.
“Aaaaahhhh” he shouted again holding his nose while the monkey ran away. The two teenagers became sorry for their actions, threw their sticks and rushed to console him but he ended up pushing them away angrily.
“I’m sorry!” Regina said pitifully.
“But we were trying to help!” Charles added.
“Help my foot!” Sam provoked glaring at them. “Does my hand or face look like the monkey ? You should have just speak to it and it would obey you!”
“Wow, I forgot that” Charles said sincerely. Just then, another giant monkey came out from nowhere to attack them. Regina and Sam ran behind Charles making him realize that he has power over the animal. Therefore, he said before the monkey came closer, “Hey, walk away, we don’t want any trouble!”
The monkey groaned then made a U-turn.
“You see that?!” Same came out. “You both nearly killed him in the name of killing a monkey when you know you have the power to..”
“Wait” Regina interrupted him. “If actually the animals obey Charles for a reason nobody knows, why can’t he also tell this giant monkey to take us to our destination?”
“Perfect idea!” Charles exclaimed then all ran after the monkey. “Hey Mr. monkey!” he shouted watching it turn back. “Hum.. we need a little help. My mum is believed to have trapped in this forest, can you please take us to her?”
The monkey made no move or responded to him. It stood at a spot looking at the teenage boy who became confuse and directed his eyes to Regina.
“It’s not working”
“You only made a request. You should have commanded it” Regina suggested.
“Oh.. ” Charles looked up at the monkey again and said, “I command you to take us to our mothers who are trapped in this forest”
Instantly, it obeyed him by carrying them on the shoulder. The sound of its feet could be heard from a distant as it ran along the woods flinging away any grass that stood on the way. It took a short-cut to the destination compared to the road Fred and co followed…
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Back into the tunnel, Ryanie hurried up with others who followed from behind. The tunnel was quite dark but they could see each other. On the walls were cobwebs and images of human heads which were barely seen due to the intensity of the environment. Sonner did they see a fire burning from a far distant as if it was in locomotion.
“Remember, no matter what happens, do not look back” Ryanie began. “That’s the moving fire of Hoom before us. Try as much as possible to resist its heat” she began to run followed by others.
“If I don’t die here, I’m not gonna die again!” Agatha said packing her hair as she ran with them. She was in the middle.
Fred said nothing. One could see him focused and perplexed in the horrible tunnel of Hoom. From the expression on his face, his mind wasn’t there; he kept thinking on how Edna cheated on him and with whom she did that with if truly the sperm that formed Charles wasn’t from his scrotum. “May God help her” he concluded in thought.
The more the fire drew closer, the more perplex they became running like soldiers who are still undergoing training.
“You know what Fred, I’m beginning to enjoy this journey. What do you think?” Agatha’s voice echoed.
“I think you should get out from this tunnel alive before enjoying it” he replied while she smiled at his response.
“I guess it would have been more fun if Sam was here with me”
“That’s a statement that shows an atom of love”
“Well, I have always admired him but he’s just too dumb to notice it”
“Are you sure you won’t cheat on him the same way my wife cheated on me?”
The question from Fred ended the impromptu conversation. Agatha became angry but understood that his own anger was greater than hers. Therefore she pitied him and his situation if truly Charles wasn’t his son. They finally approached the fire then increased their locomotion shouting at the hotness of it. The heat continued until fire finally caught Fred’s cloth. “Oh my God!” he shouted.
“What?!” Agatha asked him.
“I have been caught by fire!” he began to beat the particular part of the cloth for the fire to quench, at the same time, he couldn’t stop running otherwise burn to ashes. That was a dangerous and horrible experience. “All this suffering for an unfaithful woman I called my wife. May God help her” he said aloud.
Agatha heard him but pretended as if she didn’t. She believed Fred would kill his wife, so she began to plan on how to save her life after she’s found. Being spiritually strong, Ryanie read her mind and stopped running. That was the same time they crossed the fire breathing hastily and sweating.
“Young lady” Ryanie called.
“I guess you’re referring to me, old woman” Agatha replied.
“Never you try what you thought of doing otherwise it might cause your life” she began to walk again while Agatha remained mute thinking about what she said. Fred drew closer to her from behind.
“What were you thinking?” he whispered into her ear
“It’s none of your business!” she wanted to walk away but Fred held her back in a way she didn’t look back as instructed.
“If you try to do anything stupid to me, I gonna kill you” he said aloud.
“The same way you killed Lucky’s father? Just admit that you’re a murderer and stop pretending you killed for love. Your wife didn’t commit the highest crime on earth for you to take her life. If you love her the way you claim, then spare her life”
“Never!” Fred shrieked. “I guess you are defending her because she’s your fellow woman. You all are the same. The moment I truly find out that Charles is not my son, I’ll stab her to death, and if you try to stop me, you’ll go down with her” he concluded and passed her in a way Agatha became the last person in the tunnel.
A few minute before twenty-five hours, the giant monkey carried Charles and co straight to their destination. That was the following morning. After the monkey left, Charles, Sam and Regina stared at a small hut before them. At the entrance of it was a burning fire in a calabash, they could also see red candles burning at different part of the arina. There were mudy stairs one has to climb before entering the hut. Sam brought out the paper given to him by Lucky, looked at the image which looked exactly like the hut.
“I guess this is the place” he broke the silence. Just then, Ryanie and co came out from another direction.
“Charles?” Fred called hurrying to meet him.
“Dad!” he ran to him then jumped on him happily while the father embraced him warmly.
“I’m so happy to see you again, son”
“Me too Dad”
They disengaged. Fred kept looking at him strangely to physiologically detect if he had his resemblance. When Charles noticed the stare, he asked him. “Why are you looking at me like that, Dad?”
“Nothing, son” he replied.
Agatha also embraced Sam warmly for a long time to the extent it became suspicious that she really missed him. When she realized it, she disengaged herself from him immediately and said, “Sorry”
“What for?” Sam asked.
“Never mind” she turned.
Regina stood alone feeling the absence of her father, therefore, she began to shed tears. Fred consoled her before all faced the hut with Ryanie in the middle. She hit her staff on the ground, pointed it at the hut and said, “Inside there lie the women you came for. You can go in and get them then return to your town. My mission here is completed” she turned to leave but Agatha interrupted her.
“Wait, aren’t you gonna lead us back?”
“Charles will do that” she replied.
“Charles?” she became surprise.
With the anger and curiosity in the heart of Fred, she began to walk towards the hut as if he was gonna kill someone.
“Fred!” Agatha noticed it then ran after him.
“Both of you wait here” Sam told the teenagers and also followed them….
TO BE CONTINUED
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