We’re back again… Episode 5 of the SEVEN series….
Spoiler Alert: It can’t turn out the way you’ve planned it. Its way better than that! 😉
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Ayomide runs through the woods at a blinding pace; his lungs are burning and his heartbeats outrageous. He dosen’t stop though and runs farther and farther into the woods. He stops after some time to listen and see if he could hear the footsteps of Babatunde but all he hears are the hoots of the owls and croaks from the frogs in the nearby swamp.
After hearing nothing resembling the footsteps of his companion, he continues running, his hand clutching the leather bag on him tightly.
After running some more miles, he collides with a body that was hidden in the darkness.
His joy knows no bounds and he feels relief after realizing it was Babatunde he had run into.
Thank God. He mutters while trying to catch his breath.
How did you get ahead of me though? I thought I left you behind.
He places his hand on the shoulder of Babatunde and the body swings away from his grasp. He manages his surprise and looks up to see a knife tied to a rope stuck in Babatunde’s head. The body was suspended from the tree and was dangling from it.
What? He screams.
He turns to run and is halted by a hooded fellow. The moonlight gave him a menacing look and where his face was meant to be was pitch darkness.
The Critter put a hand to Ayomide’s head and his long fingers dug into his flesh. He then says some incantations and Ayomide watches in shock as his soul gradually crept out of his body.
The pain was overwhelming and he cried out in agony.
In desperation, he stuck out his hand and a hand dragged him up.
He opens his eyes to see Babatunde’s eyes prying over him.
Ayomide nods in affirmative and hurriedly sits up.
I saw you struggling and figured you were having a bad dream, so I woke you up.
Thanks. Ayomide says in a low tone.
Don’t mention. He goes over to the other end of the hut, drags a clay pot out and pour for himself a white liquid inside his cup, also made of clay.
Palm wine? He asks
No… Am fine. Ayomide replies
Okay then. He gets a stool and places it right at the entrance of the hut, his big frame blocking almost all the light coming into the hut.
Wanna talk about it?
Huh?…. What did you say?
I asked if you wanted to talk about the nightmare?
Oh that… No.. Never mind… It was just about a fight I had at the stream once.
Really? Babatunde asks sarcastically
Yes, its nothing…Ayomide replies unaware of the sarcasm in his host’s voice.
Alright then. He finishes his drink, tosses his cup in the corner and heads for one of the mats in the hut.
Its time for me to sleep. You should do the same, tomorrow would be strenuous, especially for you. He winks and the moonlight catches his face at an angle that made him look like a sea pirate.
Ayomide notices this and stares in amazement.
The latter gets uncomfortable and asks; why are you staring?
Ayomide quickly snaps out of it and apologizes.
His host shrugs his shoulders and lays to sleep. He falls asleep quickly, too quickly Ayomide figures.
When he was sure Babatunde was deep in sleep; his loud snores assured him, he stands to leave the hut and only looks back when he was basking in the moonlight.
The subtle rhythmic movement of Babatunde’s back due to the rising and collapsing of his ribs made him smile for a reason. He was grateful to this man and was still very much surprised at how fast he got his acceptance to join him in his quest.
It was yesterday and he had struggled into the kosoko village after walking for two straight days. He had begged for food and water but nobody obliged to his pleas except Babatunde and that was only after he had explained why he had come. On normal circumstances, he would have suspected foul play but then, what chances does he have , he was gonna die in less than three days.
After walking for a while, he climbs the branch of a mango tree and balances himself on a branch.
He digs into his bag and brinks out the black book that was in it.
Quickly dusting it,
- THE HOLY BIBLE
glistened on the cover of the book. He hesitates for a second and opens its cover for the first time in twenty three years. The first time since his mother died.
A page was book marked and Psalm 23 was highlighted with charcoal marks. He remembers how his mum loved reading and how that particular passage always comforted her. He then leans forward, sticks the book into the moonlight and starts reading;
The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He maketh me lie down in green pastures
He leadeth me beside still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
Even when I walk through the valley of death
I shall fear no evil…..
I won’t do that if I were you. A voice interrupts
Huh? Ayomide looks up and sees the hooded man.
What the? Not you again? He says jumping from his seat. I still have two days left.
You believed a reaper?
Well… Yes… He said you people had dignity.
The succubus laughs out.
I’m pretty sure he never said that. It also works well for me, since you guys haven’t prepared at all.
Guys? What do you mean? Its just me.
So you lie to the devil. How do you think we found you easily? Why do you think the herbalist told you to go look for him?
Yes… That man has been looking for death for years, he led us to you.
You lie! Babatunde is my friend and we are going to kill you when the seven days elapse.
The hooded man shakes his head slowly.
The other reaper said you were smart, I disagree with him on all fronts.
So wait… Ayomide says…his voice stuttering.. You are death?
No o! Me ke? Death is way bigger than me, he’ coming soon though, had to stop at Babatunde’s hut first.
At that moment, a scream rents the air and the bats and owls take to the skies in the wake of it.
Babatunde? Ayomide gasps… That’s Babatunde!
What’s happening to him?
You mean what has happened?.. He’s dead of course.
Then he pauses. Oh.. My Boss is here. The hooded fellow then prostrates in Ayomide’s direction.
Why are you prostrating to me?
HE’S PROSTRATING TO ME… A voice thunders behind him.
He turns around to look at his doom and hits the ground with a thump.
Oh shit! Dozed off again… Thank God! He wipes his face, picks his bible from the ground and dusts it.
What the hell was that? It seemed so real.. I hope Baba…. Shit! Babatunde! He bawled and ran in the direction of the hut.
On getting to the hut, he looks inside but the hut’s empty. He runs around the compound, yelling “Babatunde” as he runs but nobody answers and as he’s about to give up when a shadow rises in front in him.
He looks up and sees Babatunde bound in barb wire, suspended in the air. His body had been battered and one eye socket was empty. Still shocked and scared, he jumps in fear when he sees a figure in the distance. Its hand was raised and the fore finger pointed in his direction.
He pauses for a minute and strains his eyes to see the face of the advancing figure and as the figure came into the light….
To be continued
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