LOST - Episode 11

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Shoot, tree, Ogoni soldier, shouted, soldiers, fire, bullets, guns, Major, mud wall, colleague, seer, camp, huts, machete, hut, gun boats, dogs, killed, village, dog, voodoo.

“Shoot the tree! Shoot the tree!!” the Ogoni soldier shouted. “You heard him!! Shoot the tree!! Shoot the tree!!!” Major Adebanjo ordered. The soldiers and military policemen emptied fire on the tree. As bullets rained on the tree, it staggered, and the darkness which was spreading over us began to recede. “The tree is a man! Keep shooting! It is man, shoot!!” the Ogoni soldier shouted. “It is a man! An old man! Kill it!!” the voice which made the same observation earlier shouted from behind us. By now the tree was bleeding on its trunk, and hovered as though it would fall. “Stop shooting at the tree! Stop! If the tree fails to fall, it will kill you all!” Paloni shouted. A soldier next to him, kicked his boot into his face and left it bloodied. In a corner of the road, Maya and I held our guns firmly and continued to pray.

The tree staggered a few more times and the soldiers kept shooting at it. From its trunk and branches it continued to bleed. Then with a heavy crash it hit the ground. An old man sprang from the tree and took off in the direction of the camp. Soldiers gave him a chase, shooting at him. Suddenly he stopped, turned and we saw he was wielding machetes in two hands. We came after the soldiers. The sight of him sent fear into us. The soldiers retreated from him, but Major Adebanjo yelled orders to them to maintain their ground. The bullets hitting the old man were not able to stop him. The Ogoni soldier dropped his gun on the ground and poured a red watery substance on it. He quickly picked it up, aimed at the old man and squeezed the trigger. “Eweliyeh! Eweliyeh! Eweliyeh!” the old man shouted and crashed to the ground. A big hole was on his chest as soldiers circled around his lifeless body.

“Behead him! Behead him and bring his head!” Major Adebanjo ordered. One of the soldiers pulled his machete and severed the old man’s head. “Hey! Okpolomi ne! Ooku ne!” Paloni shouted from where he lay. No one understood the meaning of what he said. The angry soldiers rushed him and began to kick him viciously with their boots. When they were done, Paloni was bleeding profusely and shaking like a weather beaten bird. Soldiers picked him up and began to fan out in tactical positions. For Maya and I, we were witnessing war. “Move the gunboats higher up the river and level everything in sight!” Adebanjo ordered. Minutes later we heard the sound of humming gun boats as they opened fire on the village from the river side. That was another tactical approach from the Major. While those behind the mud wall were expecting us from the position of the tree which had been gunned down, the Major served them a surprise from the back of their camp.

The cry of men, women and children rent the air. The gunboats were spitting fire. “Move! Move!” ordered Abebanjo. Soldiers ran toward the mud wall and crouched. We saw a soldier running with a missile launcher on his shoulder. He was going to fire a missile into the camp. I and Maya feared for the seer and her younger colleague. The ground shook and the sky darkened when the soldier fire a missile into the camp. Soldiers stood to their feet and ran into the camp shooting in every direction. “Stay with Major! I have to go in and look for the seer and her colleague!” I screamed at Maya. She nodded as I ran toward the camp. Inside, I made for the few huts which were still standing at the east side of the camp. I did not know there was that number of huts inside the camp. As my feet pounded the ground, I felt it dashing against human bodies that have been blown to death by the explosion.

Two soldiers saw me and followed me. When we reached the huts, the soldiers shot at the roofs of the huts. The roofs caught fire and began to burn. That was a strategy to scare those inside the huts and cause them to run outside. A group pf machete wielding young men ran out of the huts and charged at us. The soldiers with me opened fire at them, mowing them to the ground. More soldiers moved toward us to help. A few minutes later, all was quiet. There were too many dead bodies inside the camp. Many people in the village had run into the camp for protection when they heard we were around. When Major Adebanjo and his team joined us, he radioed the soldiers in the gun boats to start advancing toward the camp from the river. We could hear their gun shots which meant they were encountering opposition.

To us, the camp had been taken, but we were wrong. Very wrong. Out of nowhere trees exploded from under the ground and eggs rained down on us. The eggs exploded into flames when they landed on the ground. The camp was fighting back. Soldiers ran in all directions. There was fire everywhere I looked and a good number of soldiers were burning. My heart froze. Some brave soldiers amongst us ran after their colleagues who were on fire and began to douse the fire on them. Major Adebanjo rallied a few soldiers and they engaged the five trees which sprang from the ground. Soon we heard shouts, but could not see who was shouting. They were using fear tactic to overwhelming us. The Ogoni soldier and three other soldiers good at voodoo like him were too engaged with the trees to spare time for any other thing. We had to face the young men who charged at us from the direction of the huts. It was beginning to seem like the huts were spawning men. Soldiers had spared those inside in the hope to save the black seer and her colleague if they were inside them. However, with some of their colleagues burning alive, they leveled the huts to the ground.

Under the heap of the burning huts we heard the cry of men. I looked back for Maya and she was not in the camp. I had seen her when the Major entered the camp. I ran out to make sure she was fine. From outside the camp, I heard an unbelievable sound. A herd of dogs were barking rabidly inside the camp. Having seen Maya from where I stood, I waved at her to stay with the soldiers around her. Then I ran back into the camp. I was stunned to see over twenty dogs jumping on soldiers. In tales I had read about human beings through diabolical means changing to animals, I saw one that day. The soldiers fought bravely and subdued the dogs. However, the soldiers who were bitten by the dogs were in bad shape. On the ground where they lay, they shook and barked like dogs. Our victory over the evil men came when the five trees fell down. All five of the trees had the shape of old men.

The Ogoni soldier and the three other soldiers with him administered their own voodoo to their colleagues who were barking like dogs on the ground and they stopped barking. First aid was administered to those who were burnt by fire. While Major Adebanjo checked to see if he had lost any soldier, the soldiers outside who were meant to give those inside a cover in case of a surprise attack moved in with Maya. Maya ran to me and took hold of me. On the ground, slowly some parts of the dogs soldiers had killed changed to those of humans. “The devil is in this place” said Maya. “I can’t agree more with you,” I replied. “Have you seen the seer?” “There is no sign of her or her colleague, yet. We have to search the village for them.” “I hope they did not kill them when Ode and his colleagues did not return to the village,” Maya said almost crying. “That thought has crossed my mind a few times. I hope they are still alive.” “Have you seen your friends?” that was one of the soldiers. “No! We have not,” I replied. “Go check that way. There are dead bodies strew all over the ground over there. The missile must have killed them,” he said.

Maya and I ran toward that direction. It was the shed where we were paraded naked and slapped by an old man. When I got closer and saw mangled human bodies on the ground and in heaps, I ran back. It was a gory sight. I covered Maya’s eyes and asked her not to look. I had to find the seer and her colleague, and so I went back. With a stick, I turned around the dead bodies, looking for the black seer and her colleague. From under a pile of dead bodies, a dog sprang on me. In a flash, I saw my death. I had not seen a dog that big before. It was certainly a human being. My shouting drew the attention of the soldiers. I was on the ground fending off the dog with the stick in my hand. Sadly, for me, one bite from the dog snapped the stick. Soldiers were shooting at the dog but bullets were bouncing off its body. It lifted its front legs and pounced on me. I squeezed my eyes shut and expected a deathly bite.

Then the dog fell beside me. I looked as its mouth opened in spasms. A hole was in its chest and blood was spurting from it like a tap. Soldiers were clapping and I did not know why. I sprang to me feet and saw Maya holding her gun. It was pointed toward the dead dog. Then I knew why the soldiers were cheering. It was the bullet from her gun which killed the dog. The voodoo which powered the dog was nullified by the mere fact that a woman held the gun from which the bullet that killed the dog came. “Madam!” “Madam!” “Madam!” “Madam!” Soldiers shouted at Maya from all directions. They ran toward her and laid their guns at her feet. “A beg urinate for our guns. If we shoot them with it, e go enter well well!” one of the soldiers said. Maya was overwhelmed by how the soldiers swarmed her. She looked at me and I shouted, “Do it!” The Ogoni soldier ran with an aluminum basin and shouted, “Madam wait! Soldiers pick up your guns!” He led Maya away from the soldiers and asked her to pass her urine into the basin.

When they returned, Soldiers used sticks to dip into her urine and touched it on their guns. “Sambo! You know they should have sent some female soldiers and police women with us to this mission.” That was Major Adebanjo. It was interesting to see how powerful the female urine could be in such missions. “They knew we were coming to destroy a camp used by ritual killers and they sent only men,” Sambo grunted angrily. “The fire which burnt our colleagues would have been doused by some female soldiers speaking at it with their hands on their private parts,” he added and walked away angrily. The Major addressed the soldiers and sent them out in groups to finish the last of the ritual killers hiding in the village and to find the black seer and her colleague. I went with them, and this time I did not ask Maya to stay back, not after she saved my life and what I heard the soldiers say about the female urine.


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Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: LOST - Episode 11
LOST - Episode 11
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Shoot, tree, Ogoni soldier, shouted, soldiers, fire, bullets, guns, Major, mud wall, colleague, seer, camp, huts, machete, hut, gun boats, dogs, killed, village, dog, voodoo.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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