part I

Chapter I

Calm settled in the evening while darkness crept in gradually swallowing everything that posed to be an obstacle. The trees suddenly halted their dance to get some rest and would soon disappear into the stomach of the darkness. A bush, visible in a linear gradient possessed two prying eyes. The eyes surveyed the area in front. Lamp’s rays were visible through the cracks and spaces on the walls of the huts. An owl hooted and with a sudden urgency the children playing outside ran back to their respective huts. Quietness and tranquil settled except for the sound of the crickets making merry. Around the clearing, the stars watched over the village with intermittent blinking. The time had come and the two eyes stepped out of the dark.

Rattled by the constant whispers, consciousness slowly creeped back to him. The trunks around him extending to the heavens while the roots seemed to elevate the ground. Sacrificed plants and parts of the trees undergoing decomposition. Everything was strange as he found his sight back. How long had he been in the land of Jon Does? The wind whistled some incomprehensible words again and that was when he noticed the vines. How had he ended up here? Who had him tied? What was this world? A loud roar laugh like sound broke through the quietness. A lion a distant away or a hyena? Why was he uncomfortable yet so calm?

Panting heavily, she cut her way through the thick bushes and darkness. Her lungs would almost explode during inhalation while the exhalation process did not allow full withdrawals. Air would come out in bits and sometimes allowing saliva into the trachea which choked her. Her mouth was left vulnerable to insects that seemed to find a way to her insides as soon as she tried to exhale through her mouth. She coughed them out. The thickets were tough on her and had bruised her immensely. She was a mess that strived to survive. Thump like sounds seemed to be obsessed with her as they were consistent and simultaneous to her run.

“Run! Run!”

He had just finished untying the vines that had rendered him disabled. He heard the shout from a distance. Covered in nudity, fighting became a secondary reflex and flight was the ultimate primary action. He lacked a sense of direction but just took off without waiting to know whether there was any real danger. He was scared of this unfamiliar place and was not ready to take any chances. Questions roamed his head of where, why and how. He needed answers but not right away. Right now he was running. Naked. Not knowing where he was headed. The footsteps behind him became louder and he now could hear the thumping.

Out of the darkness, the prying had now formed a silhouette. It was human like but something set it apart from the humans. The head was not the upper most part. Two bent horns extended out of the head. Watching, it broke the air with a loud laugh and suddenly the cracks on the wall went dark.

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