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A Story written by Austinblinks…

Mary: i can’t believe she’s gone. She doesn’t deserve this
Moji: None of us deserves what is happening to us.
Mary:  She was different!  All she wanted to do was serve God, love and help people.
Daniel: She doesn’t shake people’s hands. Everyone thought she was just being proud.
Mary: Her religion doesn’t allow that…
Temmy: Really?  The same religion that murder people who don’t worship their God ?
Mary: Both religion started off with Violence, you know? Christians murdered people too back in the day…..
Daniel: Yea….but then we became civilised and realized that’s not right . But they didn’t, they kept killing.
Temmy: Why are you defending them. Are you not a christian? You know what this people have turned the world into….
Lanre: Shut up!….Just shut up!!! Why the hell do we keep going back and forth…arguing over which religion is better for thousands of years and we still haven’t got tired….
…. I’ve seen a muslim man kill people, I’ve seen a pastor kill people…
One sees the other has been inferior for saying they’re God’s servant  and the other sees the formal as being too pompous claiming to be God’s children!
People are bad just because they are bad and not because of how they choose to serve God! Good people and Bad people not Good religion and Bad religion.
They stood frozen in their thoughts, clinging to every word Lanre said…
Class rep: Hahahaha… you people keep arguing all the time. Religion is all a scam.
Daniel: Lanre.. Say your speech to people whose loved ones have died by some idiot fanatic chanting “Allah hu akbar” before detonating a bomb… let’s see what they think…
Class rep: Haaahaha… what i see is….
Emma:(cuts in) Did anyone even ask for your opinion? You’re just an idiot with nothing to believe in.
Class rep: Hmmm…. but we’ve wasted lot of time already, can we keep moving now.
The anger in him was visible.. how dare Emma say he doesn’t believe in anything. He smiled to himself, thinking about how good it’s going to feel when he delivers all these idiots to the Shadows and save his father .
***********************

He tried his son’s number the 32nd time that night and got the same response he has been getting all night, the line kept reading unavailable. Now he’s at Igbo Alaye, he has driven all night to get here and hopefully stop his son before making a huge mistake.
Now he’s worried and scared, what the hell is his son doing to those poor and innocent boys and girls.

How could he have been so stupid to not have explained things to him when he became matured enough to understand.
But he has delayed it for too long and now his son might be on his way to jail for killing not one, not two but numerous people….. and what’s worse is, he might also be charged as an accomplice to the crime.

He got out of his car and looked around, pointing his torch towards the huge and dark forest that laid ahead. Where the hell I’m i gonna start from, he thought to himself.
How the hell did all these started?…. He closed his eyes as his mind drafted back in time.

He had graduated from University of Ilorin in 1997 as the best graduating student in Performing Arts. He was so good he could play any role, dance the traditional steps from virtually all the major tribes in Nigeria. He was so good. Everyone hailed him for having such a huge inbuilt talent, they said he has been destined for greatness and nothing can stop his rise to glory.
Fast forward to 7yrs after his graduation, he had no job, no money and no future. He returned to his village after touring Lagos, Abuja and the major cities looking for an employment. He was broke and hungry one night when he stumbled upon a picture of himself back in the day, on a stage in school, acting the role of a traditional priest. He looked so real and true…. that was how he started. Luckily for him, no  one had come to his village to preach about Jesus Christ or Islam, he began scamming people, dressing in a fine red robe, seeing visions after taking a keg of palm wine. People came to him, he told them what they wanted to hear and then take their money but more kept coming from Lagos, Abuja and all over the world for his services. He was surprised one day when two Americans came to him, seeking for protection from kidnappers around the Niger Delta. He took their dollars, kidnapped them himself and got thousands of Dollars in ransom. He was in money, he got married and had 3 children, 2 boys and a girl.
His first son was the only one in the family who believes his father was some magical being sent from the gods. So when he got sick for real and tried to cash in on it, he had told his son to organise a camp, collect money from his classmates and run back home to save him but

he got the message wrong and thought killing them would save his father. He knows nothing about charm he didn’t even know how to make medicinal herbs or send a text message on phone, talking less of having some magical power.
He took a deep breath and started walking, looking around, for someone who claim to have powers, he was damn scared of the night. He was shivering in cold and the birds making those sounds around him are not helping matters either.  He looked up and saw a bus, he ran towards it but found no one, all he saw was a bloody tire and different bags scattered around, looks like people have ran off in a hurry. He wondered, had his son chase them off with a cutlass or gun? He was their class rep, he might shouted a huge lie and they all took to their heels.
A movement behind the bus jolted him back to reality….
Man: Who is it?
Silence….
Man: Look, i don’t want any trouble. I’m just here to get my son, he is the class rep of this group….I’m sorry if he had done or said anything wrong but he had no idea i was only lying to people for money, telling them i have powers.
Still nothing but the movement continued. He began walking towards it, each step precise and slow.
As he peeped, his face was met my about 10 bats flying towards him, he turned to run,
screaming off but the bats wouldn’t stop, they were all around him, pecking on his face.
He swung his torch around, hoping to beat them off but they didn’t stop so he continued running. He ran fast, not minding what direction he was going. He hit his head hard on a tree and fell down back on the ground.
His lower back landed on a huge stone, breaking his back immediately. The pain he felt was nothing compared to his disappointment when he realized he  couldn’t move his legs. Looks like he has broken his spinal cord.
He began a silent cry and turned his face to his side, all he saw was Kamoru’s head that had been crushed by the bus earlier… he screamed and shouted loudly, wiggling his body right to left and that was  when he saw her, standing by a distance and smiling at him.
Man: Who are you? Please help me….please.
Halimat: My name is Halimat. Your son killed me because of the lies you told him. (She kept smiling)
He looked closely at her and saw she was floating off the ground, her skin glowing and radiant.
Man: Shut up and get me up ! Please help me.
But she was gone already. What remained was a figure, also floating but dark, very dark….it had no eyes but somehow, he knew the Shadow was looking at him in anger.
He began coughing again, harder than he ever did. He tried to ask for forgiveness from God, maybe that was why the girl came, to remind to ask for forgiveness.
The cough got louder, the Shadows stood on top of him, watching and waiting….
He coughed out blood first, then the food he ate few hours ago but he kept coughing still. He felt his stomach get watery…. the next thing he
coughed out was something that looked like his intestines, vomiting but kept coughing.
His lifeless body was on the ground, around him were blood and half of the internal organs he had coughed out.
The shadows watched on, laughed and then floated away.
*******************
3:51am.
They got to a hilltop connected to another hill top only by two ropes, one on top to hold and the other below to put their legs.
Emma: There’s no way in hell I’m going to cross this hill on that rope.
Temmy: Gosh.. that’s true!  It’s so dark we can’t even see what’s below if anyone falls.
Class rep: Are you planning to fall? Since you’re scared, I’ll go first.
Lanre: Someone else should go first. Something tells me i shouldn’t trust you on this.
Class rep: So who wants to go?
Uche: I will!
The class rep bit his tongue in anger. This is where he was supposed to leave them. He would use the rope to cross then cut it when he gets to the other side so the Shadows can come for them.
Uche held the first rope and placed his legs on the other, dragging his feet, he got to the other side.
The next person to go was Temmy, then Mary, followed by Daniel. Moji almost fell but she grabbed herself up and got to the end.
Lanre: It’s your turn Emma.
Emma: Emmm…. Sorry can i go with you?
Lanre: No Emma! The weight might be too much and we might both fall.
Emma: Okay… will you guys wait for me while i turn around and find another route?
Lanre: Emma… the girls used the rope, use it too!  We don’t have much time .
Emma: Yes i know…. but the thing is i am just 24yrs old and too young to die.  Plus i have small hands that might not reach the top rope…. i also have a very soft skull too, if i fall down, my whole head would split open like a Watermelon..
Lanre: Emma!! I thought You said you’re 22yrs old before.
Emma:Ehn… That’s my football age but that’s not the point here.
Lanre: Relax bro…. take a deep breath go slowly, no haste and you’ll be fine.
Emma reluctantly grabbed the rope and started his trip, moving slowly and shaking all the way. They hailed him  has he dragged along.
The treading of the lower rope began to get loosed but no one noticed it. By the time Emma got halfway through, the lower rope was being held by a single strand of tread but somehow he got to the other side safely.
Lanre: Your turn Class rep…
class rep: No you go.
Lanre: This is not a debate, i see you looking around like you expecting something. You’re up to no good. Whatever is on that side of the hill, you have to face it with us. If i go now, you might turn back and run off without us. So before i pick you up and throw you down the hill myself, you better get along and hold the rope now!
Class rep: Emm ehnn… you are joking right?
Lanre: Joking? Well…are you laughing?
Lanre stepped back and cracked his knuckles, that was enough to show the class rep he wasn’t fooling around.
The class rep turned to grab the rope and beside it was Halimat staring and smiling at him, he moved back and screamed in fear…. running around.
CLass rep: Go away… you are dead….i killed you already…
Lanre: Killed who?
Class rep: Can’t you see her? Halimat she’s right there.
Lanre: (looking around) What????…. Wait??? You killed Halimat? You devil.
Class rep: Yes, i brought you all here to sacrifice you all for my father’s ailmemt.
Halimat: (Audible only to the Class rep) You fool! Your dad was a cheat, he had no power, nothing!
class rep: No.. you’re dead … go… go…Don’t talk to me..
Lanre: Who are you talking to?
class rep: So if it’s not my father’s gods, what killed the others? Before I killed you myself.
Halimat: (smiling) i’ll be waiting for you here. I just made you confess to killing me.
On the other side, all the rest saw was the class rep running around and Lanre standing still, they heard nothing. Mary looked up and saw the shadow going to them, she called out
Mary: Lanre! Get out of there! It’s coming!!!
Lanre looked up and saw the Shadows, he quickly grabbed the rope and started off.
The class rep saw the Shadows too. He fell, by the time he got up, Lanre was in the middle but he couldn’t wait, he jumped on the rope and went after Lanre. The weight swung the ropes around, almost throwing them both off.
Mary screamed as the lower rope broke , sending Lanre some distance down but he held the upper rope tight.
The class rep did the same. The rope on the other side broke so the rest of the guys held tight at the other end pulling Lanre and Class rep up.
Lanre was faster, he got up quick and was pulled in by Uche.
Class rep was still down, the others kept pulling him up. He was almost at the top when Lanre spoke.
Lanre: Guys…..(breathing hard)….. He.. he killed her… This bastard killed Halimat.
They looked at him and then back to the Class rep who was stretching his hands for someone to grab him. His eyes widened when no one moved.
Class rep: Guys…i know she’s your friend, let’s talk about this…. I’m sure we can find a way to solve this….
Moji; (Crying ) No we can’t!  You can go and solve it with her there.
In an instant, they all let the rope go, sending the class rep down the hill.
No one moved, except Emma who found a torch and flashed it down the hill.
Emma: Kai….. Bastard got a soft skull too…  his head so so “Watermelonic” down there.
We are closer to daybreak now  more than ever, get up guys, Let’s get out of here.

To Be Continued…

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