THE WOUNDED HUNTERS Episode 8 - Abiodun Lambaba Blog

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Thursday, 20 December 2018

THE WOUNDED HUNTERS Episode 8















Darkness had completely fallen on Amantu Village by the time Sule and Anayo were in the thick forest. It was getting cold as harmattan season was approaching.
Sule feared that the children had gotten too deep into the forest but he made no sign as if he was getting worried.
Anayo kept shouting their names at the top of his voice but it was all to no avail; he got no reply but the echo of his shrill voice. He was already beginning to sob uncontrollably because he knew their parents would be getting worried.

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There were sounds of heavy footsteps...
Obi jerked up from his sleep very much alert, with reddened eyes. He realised he fell asleep. He took a quick look around and he noticed all his friends were asleep.
That was when he heard the footsteps again; they were getting closer.
His heart pounding with a mixture of fear and excitement, he quietly woke all his friends.
They woke up startled and a little bit scared. Obi silenced them with his hand on his lips, gesturing them to make no noise.
“I think someone’s coming”, he whispered.
“What do we do”? Ada asked scared.
“Let’s draw their attention”, suggested Ifeanyi.
As they were deliberating on what to do, the footsteps stopped right over them. A torchlight came on with its rays piercing through the dark night. The children shielded their faces.
“It looks like we got ourselves a package”, said a rough haggard voice.
“The boss will be so pleased with us”, replied a much more tiny voice.
“Yeah, Scorpion will be very happy”, another haggard voice said.
“Come on, let’s go get the ladders, it’s going to be a very busy night”, he continued.
The sounds of the footsteps faded away.
Fear crept in the minds of them all as if the world was coming to an end.
“Those people don’t sound like our saviours”, Obi said, breaking the silence.
“This means that they were the ones that dug this pit on purpose”, Ifeanyi added.
“They actually dug this pit to capture a large number of people and we have fallen into their trap”, Nkechi said with her voice shaking.
Standing up to his feet, Obi cleared his throat and addresses his friends as if he was to give a speech, “Okay friends, this may mean goodbye for us and to this whole hunting stuff; it’s nice knowing you, you and you”, he said pointing his fingers at them.
The others stared at him with their eyes filled with tears.
“Chika, we became best friends when you stood up to fight for me when Rojo, the bully wanted to beat me up. I really love you as my brother even with the fact that my parents didn’t give me a brother or a sister. You filled the space of a sibling in my life and you’ve never betrayed me”, he continued with tears already pouring out of his eyes.
“Ada, you are also my personal sister, I remembered the day you called me your brother. I was really touched but I covered it up by changing the topic. You would hold my hands as if I was your brother. You are the best sister I could ever wish for. I love you with all my heart”, Obi added.
The atmosphere of the pit had become tensed up as obi poured out his heart. They were all crying as if their teacher had flogged them. Ifeanyi, who had been trying to hold back his tears was gradually sobbing even to the surprise of others.
Obi had not finished with what seems to be a farewell speech. He then continued by pointing to Nkechi.
“Nkechi, you are, and will always be my rival if we were given more opportunity. You can’t beat me though”, he said it with a tearful smile. I love your seriousness and I’ll always love you”. He said.
Facing Ifeanyi, he said, “My boss, you are the strongest, bravest and the most skilful of us all. You were my personal elder brother. You gave us inspiration when we tried to give up whenever we couldn’t catch any animal. I love you from the bottom of the pit of my heart”, He concluded.
He went back to take his sit on a stone and continued his sobbing.
“That was touching”, said a haggard voice from the top of the pit.
“That boy must be very brilliant”, another voice said as they all burst into laughter.
“Tiger, descend the ladders and let’s get this people out of here before we start getting emotional too”, He said jokingly.
One of the men descended the ladders and four of them climbed down the pit.
They were all carrying heavy guns with horse whip in their hands. None of the men wore a shirt but dirty trousers. The men had the same tattoo at the top left corner of their chest. These proved that they were all members of the same group.
“Come on; take off your shoes and start climbing up”, one of the men said with a scary face.
The children took off their shoes and started climbing up the ladder with their hearts pounding.
“Don’t waste my time or I’ll use this whip on you”, one of the men yelled.
They all got out of the pit but were surrounded by about fourteen aggressive looking men. They were all holding a gun. There were four lorries lined up on one side.
“Tie them up”, a well built man with a cigar in one side of his mouth said authoritatively.
The children couldn’t say a word but just continued looking around with their hearts pounding like a bass drum.
They started tying them up. Ifeanyi wanted to struggle with one the men.
He was landed a very hot slap that could be heard miles away.
“You better save your tiny energy for the rest of our journey together”, the man said while the others laughed uncontrollably.
They were all taken to one the lorries. And they zoomed off.
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Sule and Anayo got to the bottom of the orange tree but still couldn’t find them.
“We have to go deeper if we want to find out what happened to your friends”, Sule said.
They both started going deeper into the forest until Anayo stepped on something.
Picking it up, he said, “this is Obi’s catapult”, Anayo said
“Then that means they came this way”, Sule answered as they continued walking fast.
Anayo kept on screaming out their names and he kept on hearing nothing but the echoes of his own voice.
They started walking faster as if they felt that they were getting closer to something.
They eventually got to the side of the pit and Sule pointed his torch inside the pit and saw their shoes at the bottom of the pit.
“What’s down there”? Anayo asked with curiosity.
“There’s nothing there”, Sule lied.
“Let’s go back to the village and inform everybody that the Dare Devils are missing”. He said.



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To be continued
                                                                                                                      

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