Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Day The World Ended Episode 19


We had just reached the top
and close to where Bimpe,
sola and I would part ways
when my phone rang! At first
I couldn’t believe it. There
hadn’t been any network
since yesterday and none of
us had bothered to check
again since this morning’s
incident.
“Maybe it’s because we are on
high ground.” Arnold shouted.
“Quick, pick it na!”
I fumbled to see who was
calling. It was an unknown
number. I shakily picked the
call and put the phone to my
ear.
“Em, Hello?”
“My God! Temi is that you?
Thank God oooooo!”
“Mom?!” I cried.
I heard a commotion in the
background,. The network
was poor but it seemed like
one of my brothers wanted to
talk to me. Eventually it
became clear again.
“…second one so make sure
you stay put you hear?” he
was saying. It was Deji.
“Deji!” I screamed. “It’s so
good to hear your voice! How
is mummy! Ayo nko? And
Dad?”
“We are fine, we are fine,
don’t worry about us, just stay
in the school and we’ll find a
way to come and get you
okay? The third tear won’t
reach us for another five
minutes so just wait in the
school. The town people are
already arranging a rescue for
all of you on the other side…”
“But Deji I’m at the junction!
I’m near the house, I’ll be
home soon, don’t worry.”
The line went quiet.
“Hello? Hello, Deji?”
“You are outside?” Deji asked
again, his voice urgent.
“Yes.” I said.
“Where did you say you are?”
Deji asked
“I’m near the junction. I’m
with Sola and Bimpe and
some other people, we are
coming to…”
I heard my mom ask Deji what
I said and he told her and to
my surprise I heard her
wailing. Deji shouted on her
and turned back to the phone.
“How far away are you?” He
asked
“I am at Sola and Bimpe’s
junction just before Chief
Akpati’s house.”
“Can you run?” He asked. “Is
any one of you injured?”
“No. Why are you asking?” I
said.
“Okay listen, You guys should
start running to the house.
Ayo is coming out to meet
you. He just left now. ..” He
started shouting at someone
else and I realized he was
talking to my dad. “NO! NO!
You cannot go anywhere on
that leg! Stay there dad or I’ll
tie you down I swear!” There
was a scuffle and the phone
went dead.
“What happened? What’s
going on?” Arnold asked.
I looked up to tell him and
almost passed out. Right in
the bushes behind him I could
see people spying at us. There
were tens of them; I didn’t
know how we missed them
before. I couldn’t see much
because they were hiding in
the undergrowth and it
appeared they didn’t want to
make their presence known
yet. I didn’t know whether to
shout out or remain quiet. I
decided to play it cool.
“Tayo- I mean erm, Arnold you
guys should come let me tell
you what they said.”
They all came towards me,
away from the car wreck and
the bushes, away from the
spying eyes.
“I like it when you call me
Tayo.” Arnold said with a little
smile. I tried smiling back but
didn’t succeed.
“Okay my brother said there is
no problem that we should
continue upward and over the
hill. Let’s go.” My lips were
trembling so bad and Arnold
raised an eyebrow
“Why are you talking like
that?” Bimpe said.
“Let’s go.” I repeated and
resumed walking casually.
“Hmn. Remember what
happened the last time she
behaved like this. Let’s follow
her o.” James said and the
others agreed. I used the
corner of my eye to see what
our watchers were doing.
They remained in the
undergrowth and I heaved a
sigh of temporary relief.
“Something is not right.”
Arnold was saying. “You look
very nervous, what is it?”
“Don’t look behind you,
okay?” I said quietly. “People
are watching us.”
Arnold started to look back
and I grabbed his hand.
“Don’t do it.”
“But maybe they can tell us
what is going on!” Arnold
said.
“They didn’t look friendly at all.
Let’s reach my house first. My
brother is coming to pick us. “
And then my eyes strayed to
Sola’s face. I saw her looking
intently at the bushes. I saw
her expression change from
puzzlement to surprised
realization. And then she
screamed in horror.
As one, the people who had
been hiding in the bushes
came out. And I saw the
reason she had screamed.
They were people but not
people like we knew. Their
skin was fair, without
pigmentation, like an albinos’.
Their eyes were a little bigger
than normal and completely
black. They wore wide hats
made from something like
straw and leather that shaded
their eyes from the sun. Their
dressing consisted of leather
strips and loincloths made
from what I could only guess
to be snakeskin. They had no
footwear and didn’t seem like
they needed it, the soles of
their feet were thick and
cracked in many places almost
like hooves. Their toes were
black and brown, overgrown
and curved and instead of five
fingers they had two thick
fingers and a thumb. Many of
them stayed in the shade and
we realized they didn’t like the
bright sunlight very much.
One of them braved it and
approached us in an almost
friendly manner and for a
moment I was relieved that,
strange as they looked, they
didn’t mean any harm.
Then the one that approached
drew a crude blade and
slashed at Emobor, cutting
deep into his outstretched
arm.
Emobor screamed in alarm
and we all started running.
They pursued us, most of
them running in the shade of
the bushes and trees but
some of them coming out into
the sunlight. As we ran, we
saw some of them enter into
the cars and take the clothes
and other things that
interested them. Emobor ran
past us, adrenaline fuelling his
strength, his arm bleeding,
and some of them stopped to
lick at the sand that had been
stained with his blood.
We ran faster with them hot
on our trail, making little or no
noise, just the sound of our
feet and theirs. Sola and
Bimpe passed by their street
and ran along with us. Luckily
these things didn’t seem so
fast on their feet and we were
able to outrun them but then
we started getting tired. I
remembered all those horror
movies I had watched where
the person running would
stumble and fall and I made
sure despite my panic to look
where I was going so I
wouldn’t be that victim.
Unfortunately Bimpe wasn’t as
careful. We heard her scream
as she stumbled on a rock and
fell sprawling to the floor. Mrs.
Alabi who had been running
behind her fell over her and
James fell over them both. In
moments the horde was on
them and Bimpe was lifted
high into the air and carried
off screaming. I turned
around and watched in
horror as they tried lifting Mrs.
Alabi up but couldn’t because
of her weight. One of them
raised his spear and thrust
down at Mrs. Alabi . James
struggled violently and they
would have killed him but they
seemed more interested in
carrying him away and soon
he was being hoisted up.
Andrew turned and saw what
was happening, shouted and
ran back to them, carrying a
big stick from the ground and
swinging it violently. They
halted in their tracks and
backed off, dropping James in
the process as Arnold swung
the stick left and right. They
didn’t seem too afraid of him,
just amused at his attempt.
Some came from behind and
slowly surrounded him and I
saw more spears and
makeshift blades come out.
“Arnold!” I shouted, knowing
I wouldn’t be able to do
anything for him.
One of the bigger ones
attacked Arnold and knocked
the stick out of his hands. He
pointed his blade at Arnold’s
throat and Arnold raised his
hands up in surrender. For the
first time a sound emitted
from the things mouth,
laughter, but like escaping
from between its lips. It
sounded more like hissing. It
raised the blade to strike and I
screamed.
A gunshot rang out and the
creature clutched at its chest
and fell to the ground, dead.
As we watched in amazement
another gunshot rang out and
the others backed away from
the body of Mrs. Alabi and ran
into the bushes. Some of them
however drew their blades
and went after the shooter. He
ran by me, pointing my
father’s handgun in his right
hand and a machete in his left.
He was wearing only a jean
trouser and army boots. There
were scars all over his bare
back and sides. He never even
glanced at us as he entered
the attacking group that ran
to meet him. He shot at them
and they fell away and those
he came close to he slashed at
with his machete with such
ferocity and force that many
of them fell with a single blow.
Soon they retreated, cackling,
into the bushes and trees. He
stood, raining abuses on them
until they all disappeared and
then he turned back to me.
“Are you alright? Temi are you
hurt?” He asked anxiously.
“Leave her alone, she’s in
shock!” Arnold said, coming
between me and him
protectively. “Who are you?”
“Arnold it’s okay.” I said, finally
finding my voice, “This is my
elder brother, Ayo.”
Tbc

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