LOST - Episode 6

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - river, boat, machete, English, father, village, black seer, the engine, seer, was yelling for, his neck and sent him into the river, colleagues.

The cruise on the river would have been a perfect romantic experience for Maya and I had it not been we were on a run for dear lives. The boat carved through the river, leaving ripples and bubbles behind us. The thick fog on the river gave the impression we were on a cruise sighting seeing nature, however the reality was that we were players in a reality horror show, and lost in an unknown land or at best, actors in a real life horror flick. I had no clue how far Gatha was, after a two-hour boat ride, I began to wonder if Ode was taking us to some place other than Gatha. To make matters worse, I was feeling sleepy and hungry. Since the previous day we had not had a bite. Maya was well snuggled up in my arm, sleeping. Intermittently she would wake with a startle and look around in fear. She was badly traumatized.

I had to bear the hunger gnawing at the walls of my stomach. I could not bring myself to wake her. The look of her face as she slept wouldn’t let me. I wanted to have some of the canned food in our pack, but instead chose to let her get some sleep, she had been through hell. To keep myself awake I decided to chat up Ode. “How long have you been working on this river?” I asked. Ode looked at me as though we were sworn enemies. I ignored the fiery look in his eyes and smiled. “Since I was twelve,” he finally replied. “The river must know your name by now,” I teased. “I guess it does. I think it loves me as much as I love working on it.” “The way you maneuver your boat shows the river is as much a part of you as you are of it.” My words of adulation had an effect on him. A smile broke on his face. He turned, looked at his colleagues, their gaze seemed distant, fixed perhaps on twisted thoughts. “You can speak freely, they don’t understand one word of the language of English,” Ode said surprising me with his sudden change of attitude toward me.

“How is it you can understand and speak English very well and they can’t?” I asked. “They were born in this lost world… this God-forsaken village. As for me, I was born in Eko (Lagos), Okokomaiko, to be precise.” “How did you end up in this place then?” “My father brought me here when I was twelve years. My mother died when I was ten and father took care of me till I turned twelve. At twelve he thought I was man enough to take care of myself. He took another wife. I didn’t like his new wife and so I moved into the street and chose to forget father and his wife. After many troubles in the street, father brought me to this place to save me from the street.” “So what is this place to you?” “What your village is to you.” “So this is your village then?” “It is.” One of Ode’s colleagues barked words at him and Ode turned and said to me, “You heard the man, he doesn’t want me talking to you. I guess our conversation is over.” “Wait Ode! How far are we from Gatha?” Ode stared at me for long and said nothing. His look held so much meaning. I could tell something was not right.

“We are not heading to Gatha, are we?” I asked, trying very much not to sound apprehensive. “We are going to Gatha, but…” he stopped talking. “But what?” “Tell me, stranger, why would the black seer send you to Gatha? No one saw you come into our village and no one recalls ever seeing you here before. How is it you know the black seer?” he asked. I had to think fast. I knew I must convince him with a great answer. While I looked at him, pretending to be angry. Maya spoke up, “I and my husband do not need to make our business and presence here known to all. Ode, don’t be a child. You know very well what this place you call village is. How many men have you seen killed and their genitals and other parts harvested? Why do you sound like you don’t know what goes on here? We don’t trust anybody and neither do we trust you. Our business here with the black seer must remain secret.” Both Ode and I were shocked. I had thought that Maya was asleep. I did not know she had heard much of our conversation.

Ode’s jaw hung open in utter shock. When he recovered, he said, “We are very careful about who comes into our village for what goes on in there. We do not let people into the deep parts of our village. We are very protective of the black seer. For having said she sent you to Gatha meant you must have seen some things you were not supposed to see. Now we have to make sure she actually sent you to Gatha and what your business in my village was.” Both Maya and I were shocked to hear that. “How exactly are you going to do that?” I asked, trying hard to not to show I was worried. “We are taking you to another seer in Gatha. She is as powerful; some even say more powerful than the black seer. If her words do not confirm what you told us, you and your wife will be killed and your body parts harvested.” Oh God! This is not happening again, I thought. I felt Maya’s body shake at that revelation. I tapped her to relax and she understood me. There was no need to give ourselves away. We must lead them on until we get to land.

“You told me a lie when you said this place is your village. I am also wondering why you have to take me to another seer to find out if the black seer was lying. It seems to me you and your community do not have as much faith in the black seer as we do; and why is that?” “You are a stranger, there are some things I cannot tell you.” “Do you mean things like this place being a hideout for ritual killers? Or that human sacrifices are offered here by night? Or about the demonic pillar of light that roams the bush around your village by night? What do you think we don’t know?” My questions left Ode wide-eyed and swallowing hard. I saw his hands shake. “Who are you?! How is it you know about all these? The black seer told you, didn’t she? She swore an oath not to reveal these things.” “Ode, do you really think I would come to such a place with my wife without any protection? You asked who I am, well here is my answer: I am something far worse than your black seer and the seer you are taking us to. I cannot wait to show you what I and my wife are capable of. Please, can you move this boat faster?”

My words surprised even myself. I was afraid, angry and determined not to die. Ode turned to his two colleagues and said something to them in their dialect. I strained my ear to pick any familiar words but none registered on my mind. To fool them, I cupped my left arm around Maya’s ear and whispered, “What other languages can you speak?” “I can curse a bit in Hausa,” she replied. “Start cursing in Hausa, make it sound like incantations. I will respond to your words in Igbo,” I said to her. Maya raised her voice and unleashed a tirade of curses in Hausa. I followed up with Igbo proverbs. Immediately Ode turned off the boat engine and pleaded, “We don’t want you and your wife to make trouble with us. We are just carrying out instructions given to us. We will take you to the seer, when you meet with her, she will understand…” “We can’t wait to meet with the seer! Turn on the engine!” I shouted. Ode said something to his colleagues. The two of them moved further away from Maya and I. I watched them tighten their grip on their machetes. I whispered to Maya, “Get ready to fight. Once we get closer to land we will attack them. They are making ready to attack us first.”

“You promised not to make trouble with us. What did you tell your wife?” Ode asked looking unsettled. “Nothing that you should worry about,” I replied. My heart was beating very fast. My muscles tightened. I knew what I was about to do might cost me my life or Maya’s. My gaze was fixed ahead of us, I was calculating the distance between us and the land which just emerged ahead of us. I cupped my left hand around Maya’s ear and whispered, “When I pinch you, point ahead and start shouting.” She nodded. Without seeking her permission, I ran my hands over her breasts and kissed her obscenely in front of Ode and his colleagues.  They winced and looked away. Their reaction must have made Maya understand what I was up to. I kissed her again, deliberately making loud sound. Maya stepped it up with a sultry moan. Ode and his men, seemed confused. Their gaze ran in all directions. That was what I wanted. Sex was on their mind now. They were no longer alert.

A look at the two guys revealed their grip on their machetes had slacked. I pinched Maya, she yelled and pointed ahead of us. As soon as they turned to look, I sprang like a cat and aimed a kick at one of the two machete-wielding men. My kick caught his neck and sent him into the river. The force of my kick had jolted him and his machete fell off his hand before he hit the water. In confusion, Ode and the other man turned to look at us. They could not see what Maya was yelling for and pointing at. I grabbed the machete lying on the floor of the boat and buried it into the shoulder of the other guy. I was aiming for his neck, but missed when he moved to avoid my attack. A heart-wrenching scream followed my attack on him. Before I could pull out the machete to attack Ode, he sprang to push me off the speeding boat. Maya had seen him before I did and so threw her body at him, knocking him to the floor of the boat. He landed next to the man I had attacked with a machete. Seeing his machete lying close to him, Ode reached for it.


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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: LOST - Episode 6
LOST - Episode 6
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - river, boat, machete, English, father, village, black seer, the engine, seer, was yelling for, his neck and sent him into the river, colleagues.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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