September 10, 2021 at 7:31 am #1469451ValentineModerator
Ukeh didn’t know when he slept off on Nma’s laps. The sound of crying and wailing got him jumping on his feet. As he stood and wondered what was happening. Nma ran out of the kitchen to him. He held and looked closely at her before asking.
“I heard noises, what is happening? Why are people shouting and wailing”
Nma who seemed not to also know the reason for the shouting replied him fearfully
“I also do not know, You slept off while we were talking, I didn’t want to bother you so I allowed you sleep peacefully and I went into the kitchen to prepare something for you to eat when you wake up. It was the crying that I heard that has made me run out too”.
“Go back inside, Ukeh shouted while running off. “Go back inside and remain indoors, I will confirm what is happening. lock the doors tightly and do not open for anyone until I return.
With this he dashed out and Nma did exactly as he had instructed. She was an orphan who grew up under her grand mother who also passed on few years back. Her father had died before she was born and her mother joined him when she was only seven years old. She grew up as a lonely child because the villagers tagged her and her grand mother witches. She experienced great stigma amongst her mates. It was not until Ukeh became her friend that people started talking to her gradually.
Ukeh was a young warrior who took after his father who was also a warrior before his death. And so anyone that treats whoever or whatever Ukeh loves bad, is an enemy of Ukeh. And no one wants to be an enemy to Ukeh.
He was a smart, young, handsome and brave man. The girls all admired him and the elders listen to him because he spoke sense. Because of him Nma was able to live freely in the village.
Ukeh ran so hard as he saw people running too. They were all running towards the same direction and so it wasn’t difficult to follow. It didn’t take Ukeh much time to figure out that the noise and wailings was coming from his compound. He became even more terrified as he increased his speed.
When he got to his compound he saw a small crowd. He pushed through the crowd and when he finally came through he couldn’t believe his eyes. His own mother was lying lifeless with a big rope tied to her neck. She had been strangled to death.
“Noooooooo” Ukeh cried, who did this? Who did this to my mother?
The young men around tried to hold and console him as they all surrounded and tried to lift him up.
“Nti! Nti! Nti! Where is Nti? Where is my sister? Someone talk to me.
“They’ve taken her”
When Ukeh heard those words his heart skipped. He didn’t seem to understand the sentence.
“They’ve taken her, he repeated. Who have taken her? Who took Nti? Who took her?
He screamed with all his might.
Ola who was his best friend, held him by his shoulder and replied him.
“I was on my way from hunting when I heard your little sister screaming, I quickly rushed in here only to see three white boys carrying her away. I wanted to follow but then they pointed those thier sticks towards me, I couldn’t do anything. When they left, I ran to check on your mom but she was already gone. I believe she put up a fight with them and they had to shut her up by strangling her with that rope.
Ukeh was furious as he sprang up and ran inside the house, he grabbed a very long and sharp Cutlass and races inside the bushes. The young men who were around ran after him calling out to him but he didn’t answer.
Ukeh ran into the bushes, screaming Nti’s name, scattering and searching every tree, every grass, every space bit by bit, even the young men and women joined in the search, but neither Nti nor the white boys were seen.
Ukeh sat on the ground and wept like a baby. His greatest fear has just hit him like a rock to his face.
No one who has ever been taken by the white men ever returned alive to thier village. Once anyone is taken that was the end for that person.
The rivers of the land have been polluted with dead bodies. Sometimes the villagers recognised the dead and sometimes they don’t. The river was the only route out of the village. The white men always came in ships which were faster than the boats they had in the village.
Ukeh knew it was useless trying to paddle after the ships that might have taken Nti and so when he got to the river bank and discovered that there was no site of any ship, he fell on the floor disappointed and cried like a baby.
There was cries from different parts of the village as others discovered that thier families and friends had also been taken.
Ukeh sat in one spot until it was dark. The boys who ran after him saw him sitted alone and they left him because they understood that he needed his quiet time.
Ukeh listened to the sounds of the grasses and trees and the birds flying in the sky. He wondered if things would have been different if he were to be around to protect his mother and sister. He wondered where Nti might be and what she would be doing at the moment. He knew she would be very scared all alone by herself and this saddened him even more.
“Ukeh”, He turned as he heard his name and saw Nma standing behind him.
“I was told I would find you here, I am so sorry for what happened.”
Ukeh ran to her and cried in her arms like a baby. He was a very brave boy but this has really touched him.
“They took her, they took Nti, he managed to say. They took her.
“Ssshhhhhhhh, it’s alright my love, it’s alright.
“I have to find her, I must find Nti ” he stammered. ” She is my responsibility and I must protect her.
“But you can’t, she is gone. And even if you find her, what can you do? The white boys have sticks that can kill any living thing. How do you plan on saving Nti when those sticks are out there? Nma asked with a worried look on her face.
“I do not know, but if I can get my hand on one of those sticks…….
“And then what? Nma interrupted, you don’t even know how those sticks work. Please don’t risk your life over this please. Stand up let’s go home.
“Let me ask you a question Nma, Ukeh said. “If you were the one who was taken, would you pray and wish for me to come and get you?
Nma became silent.
“I know wherever Nti is right now, she would want me to come for her. And I would. I will save her.
He stands up and began walking up. Nma runs after him and together they walked slowly to his home.
Some of the elders were still at the house when they arrived. They needed Ukeh to give permission for the burial of his mother. He gave the go ahead and the old lady was buried quietly behind her hut. Ukeh kneels behind the grave as he cried silently.
“Don’t worry mama, I promise you I will do everything I can to bring Nti home. I promise.
And he went inside the hut and brings out his carving knife and begins to sharpen it. This knife belonged to his father and Ukeh has always considered it his good luck charm. He carried the small knife anywhere he goes hiding it carefully inside his undies.
For three days and nights Ukeh continued sharpening his knife. Nma had talked to him severally to let go this his quest of finding Nti but he seems not to hear anything from anyone. He hadn’t eaten nor spoken to anyone since Nti was taken.
Nma tried to persuade him again but he wasn’t listening and so she quietly went inside again as it has been for three days. She wished all of this never happened. She wished Ukeh was still the ever happy Ukeh she used to know.
To be continued!
Mummy ESeptember 10, 2021 at 8:18 am #1469456YoungjoeParticipant
OMGSeptember 10, 2021 at 9:45 am #1469477Bãd bøyParticipant
Hmmm, mother is dead sister is gone…. What a worldSeptember 10, 2021 at 9:46 am #1469478Bãd bøyParticipant
Diz pepu sef funny ooo, so dane guns are nw called sticks aights.. Next episodeSeptember 10, 2021 at 10:08 am #1469486Orry-functionParticipant
Please continue, gun is a stick in thier own viewSeptember 10, 2021 at 3:29 pm #1469524Jboy youngParticipant
NextSeptember 10, 2021 at 4:49 pm #1469541GraceParticipant
Ride onSeptember 11, 2021 at 7:09 am #1469730ValentineModerator