At nightfall (2)

5
(1)

That was close, said Jake. Yes, replied Erica. They remained at the foot of the tree with their lighters burning constantly. We need to make a fire before these lighters melt.  It’s a good idea said Chloe who was absent minded. She was scared to death by the unreal things she saw. It was the first time she saw a man’s spirit part ways with his body.

It was deadly and cold. If only she didn’t go to that store that day. It’s time to gather the logs, remember to keep your lighters burning. Erica said.  They gathered the logs and made a fire which burnt until the wee hours of the morning. It was until then they saw that which changed their lives forever. They were awakened by a sound which was like that of an animal yet screams enveloped the air and with every turn, they could feel it piercing every inch of their souls. It seemed they were leaving their bodies and drifting into the spirit realm.

Chloe got up immediately and was surprised as to what she saw. She saw face unfriendly and uninviting, they were charging towards her and shortly she saw the others in front  of what looked like a coffin.

Where they getting buried alive? These were only rheotoric questions which had no answers. Have them torn into bits, one of the men thundered. They would make a nice meal. Yes, master the other replied.

Who are they? Chloe asked no one particularly. They are cannibals and they don’t look very nice replied Jake. Chloe prayed silently for divine intervention as they were carried away in coffins awaiting their fate. Stop! Their master screamed. This is just nice for the meal as he bent to pick some mushrooms that grew where bodies were previously buried. These will do, he bellowed. Move on now. They lifted Chloe and her friends to their lair.

The lair smelt terribly of fast decomposing corpses and the view was dark except for the torches which gave little illumination to the place. It had a big boiling pot with some creatures who looked like people dancing around it. They chanted a song which could not be understood in human language. The sound was just unbearable.

The men who had Chloe and her friends put them down and opened the coffins, the chanting increased and they danced harder and harder until they got tired. Chloe looked up and beheld human skulls of different kinds and the smell that oozed out of there was enough to kill a man. A man came screaming a pound for the pot, cooking is getting late. A huge man appeared with a long knife. He wore an apron and looked very dirty and smelly too.

This creature stinks, I must say. When was the last time you had a bath? Jake blurted angrily. Erica turned and said only if these beings understands the meaning of a bath. They all look terrible. The next minute everywhere was quiet. The master began, who spoke ill of his majesty. Let he perish by this sword.

Oh! I guess they understand English after all. I guess they will understand the meaning of a bargain. It is I , Jake replied. Who are you? came the next question. I am he who seeks freedom in a cursed place along with my friends.

Freedom comes with a price, an offering of great worth to be offered to the being in charge. What can we do to be free, the three chorused. You must journey to the lands where bones are jewels. This which you ask, how can it be done? Jake asked fearlessly. You must journey three days to the place where no one exists at the isle where three paths meet. There you shall find a bone jewel. Return it to me and I shall set you free.

May I know the origin of this curse, Erica asked.

Long ago, a lady became with child and bore a daughter. She was pretty and fair. She lived in peace with all, till one day she was falsely accused and buried alive in this place where you stand. She swore never to let this city be until all is laid waste. It means this place used to be a city , said Chloe.

A prosperous one at that, the ruler at that time wanted more power bu couldn’t because he needed a sacrifice to grant it, a lady so fair and pure. He couldn’t do it without the prey committing an offence so he had people frame her and she was buried alive. She cursed in pain of dying innocent of the crime she was accused of. Ten days later, a great plague swept through all of Sakram leaving nothing behind. She tortured all involved and wasted them all.

How come you live here? Chloe asked. The master began. I was sentenced to death for a crime I was innocent of so I was faced with the option of coming here to find the cause of the deaths of the city when she saw me. She spared me and made me serve her. Feeding on flesh was the only way to survive. When do we set out? Jake asked.

At dawn, the master replied. It’s already day. Erica replied. It’s already getting dark . You need to stay back and get fortified for what lies ahead. Tribulations of many kinds will come your way but always remember, this is the reason you set out. Freedom he said.  He unshackled them and set them to the fortification arena where they were fortified. They passed the night as though they were in a strange land. They stayed up till dawn. They were given enchanted daggers and they set out. They travelled four days without food nor water. Chloe was getting weary and tired so was everyone else. Shortly, they beheld a dazzling and blinding light which they couldn’t stand. They were amazed as to the things they saw. It was a lady standing before them. She was a true definition of beauty. Her hair was long and rested on her shoulders. Her smile was enchanting and they couldn’t believe there was any such thing.

What do you seek, she asked. We come on a mission of freedom, they chorused. You seek the bone jewel, I see. We believe it is the key to our freedom. Well then, there is need to earn it. She moved ahead of them and showed them a table with a set of bones lined up. They thought for a while and together lifted a bone which illuminated the place and soon all was back to normal as if nothing happened.

 

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