I don’t remember how I got here..
I don’t remember what I am supposed to remember. Everything looked strange and even yet oddly familiar
And yet as though my mind worked entirely on its own..
But the cobwebs of my thoughts became frizzled. .denting every puzzle that would help balance this distortion I now face ..
It looked as though I am enclosed ..
In a confinement made for this very purpose. But why would anyone want to lock me up and shut me away from the world..leaving me to my wits and maybe the shadows that lurks, I wonder if they were my demons.
Leaving me to my raging thoughts ..
Leaving me to what i had no idea of,
Or was it that I was shutting me out too? I heard them talking, faintly , but the voices seemed anything but calm,
Or where they chanting?
I smell them, not their stinking humanly smell that oozes from their delicate parts that made them what they are..but of fear..uncertainty. ..of the unknown. . Of me!!
And I wonder why that pleases me.
It felt strangely uneasy and exciting just as well. I take in my surrounding, my little space I must have called home.
It felt like I had been here…
For days , weeks..months…years..maybe a decade. I wasn’t quite sure.
The walls crawled with insects, on fours or twos, minding their own, completely unaware, just like the cell mate that i shared this dump with. The place smelled stale…dead and forgotten..just like the bones at the end of the cell, which was once a man. I wondered what happened to him, did he die on his own, recked with sickness, old and frail, giving into the lights or did I send him there, one day during the night? A memory I couldn’t seem to hold on to. I wondered how long I have been in here, in the shaggles.
My cloths I noticed looked like ages ago.. worn by the living dead
Yet…my blood felt warm.
The heart within my chest beat faster than it had been for a while
And yet..my name I cannot remember
the reason for my shaggles all but eludes me..
Sometimes when I sleep, I see her face, I smell her hair, I see him to, holding my hands and walking with me. I feel the laughter, I feel loved.
And then I see the dark room, I feel the pain , I hear pleading but no one listens. The torture, the agony and people wearing white with gloves poking , tearing, burning and then the piercing pain that shoots through the head. Then evident blackout.
But I remember those faces.. each and everyone of them, but one in particular plagues those dreams.
I believe he was someone who I once cared for, but he had stood, watching , taking and leaving me with them, the continues pain.. the blood, the sounds. .
And I would wake up, and yet .. I remember nothing again.
My bondage must have been pleasing for those who kept me here. .
And with that my anger bubbled within as though like a rising lava…
I hear them again, the men speaking.
They are clearer now . But its the words that come out of their mouths that causes me to sit up. They were chanting the holy chants..
I did not understand what they say,
But their meaning felt like claws crawling up my skin, pulling at my hair, pricking my side like two edged sharpened knives, drawing blood from me..draining my essence..
I knew I had felt this before. One time too many..
And with that..Every shredded memory began to form
Every lost pieces fixed back into the puzzle
Every face..even voice. .Every motive. .and up till the evitable capture..
The years of torment. Of pain..
Of disequilibrium to my perfect order..
All but shattered by the very people who made me..created me..made me what I am.
I remember. .
That year after year, life slowly epped away from me. And decade after decade, i lived, surviving, crouching low like a tiger ..waiting for that one moment. the right moment, that time when they would slip, make a mistake and I will strike. That day was today. For I felt them grow weak, their watch like old men staggering from a slumber, it was time. Time to make them pay for every pain I had suffered.
For the family I was ripped away from, from the life I was never meant to live. For the betrayal of friendship, for doing this to me.. To give them times two of that darkness I felt..when the wall was only my companion. To treat them as a monster would..because that was what they made me become, turned me into..and then bond me like an animal. .locked away forever hoping the earth takes me. For steel nor human could… And chants of the holy monks to keep me at bay and weaken my resolve ..till I slowly become no more..
But you see…life is a mystery..and so is my existence. Another chance I must have given to right the wrong done to me..
And rid the place of the evil who lurks inside me..For I felt their power of chants weaken..and my strenght returned..I slowly get up..focusing on nothing in particular..and though I had done this a thousand times before. The mind, is a funny thing you see, when you stretch it further than it should, it surprises you, doing things you would never have imagined.
I guess spending time with my demons, conversing with the devil and thinking I was mad paid off . Maybe the earth, the earth understood , for it answered when I called. I felt the vibrating from my feet..
Before I saw the cracks on my cell wall. I heard the insects scurry away,
I heard the footsteps and intakes of breaths not so far away. The chains that had bond both my hands and feets broke away like soft ropes, shattering to the ground. My eyes felt warm, but all I see is red.
My lips felt patched but all I want is a thirst of all their flesh would bring.
And I heard them speak, praying to their gods.. through the walls as though they stood next to me.
“He is coming…
Not even the gods will save us now..”..
Concurring to the breaths of those dying. Then I rise, defying the gravity on which the earth was built.
Taking with me, all that it holds dear.
Without remorse..Without regrets..
Ending. …for that will only give me peace.
As the walls closed in, as their screams felt like music to my ears, as cells and supporting buildings break and shatter to the ground like dust,
I remembered my name. The name they called me..
” the Levitian” …The one who rises and leaves death at its wake..
I walked out of there, in search for the one whose face I once thought as a friend.
For the person whom I would have sworn would never hurt another person.
For the one who I would never see turn away when they held me, tying my hands together so that I can not push them away .
Bounding my legs so I could not kick them and run away..
Gagging my mouth so that I could not scream..
And as they took me deep into the forest …
My eyes, which was the only message conveyor I had…I pleaded to the one whom I called friend. .. But he turns away,taking what they gave him, with a smile on his face he puts the shinning things in his pocket and he walks away..
While I struggled and cried…
But he didn’t turn.
I was going in search for him ,the one who had ridden me of my childhood, of my innocence, of my teen years and my adult years..
Of my humanity and my being…
And had made me become this…
But I have come to accept it..
Darkness ,crawling insects and silence my only companion…
And the power of the mind that had proven that anything is possible.
Yes…Yes. .I was going to look for that one person…
And his name was ‘Jacob’
Then I would find the rest …
One by one I would bring them to their knees and even in their deaths they won’t have any rest.
*****Jacob’s POV “*****
The rustling of the leaves , the eerie sound of the wind and the whoosh whoosh feel of something amiss..
I wondered what lurked behind those huge trees.
It was a cold night in February. .
Storming out of my house following the fight I had with my family
There had being tension lately
Of the huge sums of money I had kept so miserly . Everything I worked for was my own, I didnt care if they starved to death, it wasn’t my worry
So I stumbled out of the house, leaving my old rumpled mother and the siblings, the wife and the kids, staring after me like I was the evil itself who didnt care, but really I didnt. I wanted to hide in my fury
But now that I think about it.I shouldnt have left in a damn hurry.
I was old and frail but my thirst for wealth and gold kept me angile like a young man I used to be.
I remember taking them, little boy from their parents, send them to the underground cave, not visible to the villagers. I knew why they wanted them, to experiment on their new drugs and to make them- different. It made for good money.
The boys never returned, while search parties went out for them, their parents wailing, candles after candles lit for their little ones, I would hoard my gold, and sleep well at night.
I remember one of them, he liked me, considered me a friend, but the money, the money was all that mattered. And he was forgotten as soon as the money came
But I never forget his eyes, the pleas and how he called my name ” Jacob, help me?” I shiver.. cold hugging my spine. I continue on my mission , walking in the dark, through the bushes, I needed to hide what’s mine .
I felt eyes following me, and feets walking behind me. But everytime I turn, all I see is darkness and trees and nothing before me. But stubborn I was to notice the lil things I didnt see…nor pay attention to the gut feeling I always felt inside me, It was a dark and lonely night, nobody was about,Just me..hoarding my money, looking for a place to bury it.
I found a spot between a marked tree with a stone overturned, I knew it’s a perfect place to hide it. So I began my work, wrapping my coins and all my life’s savings, in a tiny cloth and burying it deep under the ground so no one but me can find it. And when I was done. I smiled dusting my hands, now I could go home and let them fuzz about it.
This was my money..and I would do what I liked about it. See I was pleased.
But that feeling of being watched came again with all its force, the hairs at the back of my neck stood out in all its fours .
The goosebumps crowding my arms , dancing from my head to my toe, my pores opening up allowing air to enter it’s holes.
“Who is there”? I asked. But nothing and silence answered me
I turn around again, this time fear my companion never leaving my side again.
“Who is there?” This time I shouted but my ask came in tiny sobs. Searching my side wondering if I carried the knife grandfather gave me as a present 5 years ago during the festival right before he died .
My hands shook…sweats breaking out from my forehead.
“Show yourself” i threatened
“Have you no fear to attack a man when he is hiding his spoils..? Show yourself..and I will rip your gut out and dump it on your chest” But my hands shook, my voice wavered, fear engulfed me but I needed to fight…If not I wasn’t a man. And then I heard it or him, his voice a snare
“The day of reckoning is here old friend” it said, Coming in full view of my optical vision. I dropped my knife and stumbled back in Fear. It was a man, but he didn’t look quite human
“Who are you? What do you want?” I backed to the tree. He laughed, or it did, those high pitched roaring laughter, the trees shook, I felt the earth vibrate, I gulped
“Funny you should ask. Let me re-introduce myself.. Jacob! ”
My lips trembling, ” how- how did you know my name. Who are you?” I could scream for help, the vigilantes would come , but I was far away from home, too far. Would they hear me
“I am that little boy, who would sit on your lap, follow you to the river and watch you gather your fish for dinner.
I am that boy whom my parents loved, whom you took away one day saying you would return. I am that boy, amongst the boys you took who loved you like another father and like a friend for ever. I am that boy whom you took gold for, Like Judias to Jesus, leaving him under the pains and torture of those whose aim is to maim him, who had called out to you but you had turned never to return. Do you remember me, Jacob. Do you remember the scared little boy, who sometimes called you “Jacob the great?”
“Levi! !” I breathed, fear gripping me.
It’s not possible. They all died, none of them survived the experiments, they all were killed when they begin to turn into something -strange. Put to death and , those hooded men in white, left the city, leaving the monks in charge of the cells.. empty cells they said.
“You- you are dead. All of you!” I shook
“it’s been so long, so many years ago, a child you were but a man..a kind of man you are now.. forgive an old man his lapses”
“Yes, I died. But you see, I was reborn, reborn into..this”
My words fail me. I went on my knees…if only he could listen to my pleas.
“Please please. ..Forgive me…Forgive me” I plead “I only did it for the money..I didnt know you would live”
“Ofcourse you didnt…isn’t that just a tease. But I rise from the burning furnace, like a flying phoenix .Please don’t let me bore you with the jist, I have come to collect …all that you all took from me, life…which was all I had until you and them took away after making me into this, and left me for dead, bonded and shaggled like an animal and kept in an underground cell. ”
he walked around me, I was kneeling but he was dramatically, empathising and gesturing. .
“But you see, loneliness and darkness are two strange things.
The crave for vengeance and retribution kept me on my feet.
And while I grew weak, I also grew stronger.
While the holy monks chanted to epp my life slowly away to oblivion, since their weapons seemed not to harm me anymore, the anger and hatred in me to mett out pain for pain revived me and kept me strong.. and I began to feel other things, strange things within me. I-could-do-things with my mind, my hands..amazing things. Maybe after all, It wasn’t such a bad thing. For this gift, this gift I have come to accept.
Until that night, yesterday.
I felt them grow weak..I felt them slip and I took my chance..
I had forgotten how it felt to be free.
And feel the earth slowly fade away from my feet and the toils of death I could create from the dust that rises after me.
I heard them die..i heard them scream and by God it did excite me.
Now I have come to you and for you, one by one I would make them pay, for making me what I am and abandoning me to my fate. But you see my friend…A warning perhaps in your next life..
“Never create a wild thing ..and never let a wild thing live”
“Oh please do know, this is personal , I may have not being able to save myself from this or the other boys who had died not being able to survive the torture and torment we were put through…but I am able to do so know, prevent other boys from being snatched away from their homes by people they call friend, family …..So I am here to make sure that you are not going to keep making families grief over their little boys, making little boys end their lives before truly living, ridding the earth from your scum because that is what you are Jacob…that is what the lot of you are and I will find them, one by one and I will make them burn in their sin. ..”
“No no Levi please ..please forgive me.. its the ..its the Devil please…my family oh God please..”
“Hell is empty Jacob, but do not worry, I am about to create one for you….because to you right now…I am the Devil !!!” Levi says
With those final words…
I watched in utter fright as he raised his hands, above my head and i was lifted above the ground without much help.
I levitated ..defying gravity and My pleas fell on deaf ears, ..
” levi, please. I have a family. My mother…my siblings, my- ”
“Oh do shut up! You kept your wealth from them, i heard your rotten thoughts, i saw your hidden spoils. Please do not attempt to plead Saint, they will thank me even to rid them of the scum you call yourself, a man who takes little boys and hands them over like lamps to the slaughter”
…..and with that i was whooshed and slammed myself to the tree hard, shattering every bone in my body. I groan, blood splurted out of my mouth..
“Please….” My vision blurred, fear trembling me, making me weak, shaking as though I was naked and ice laid on my bare skin.. , my words refuse to form, reaching out with my trembling hands
He towelled over me smiling
“Because of you and greed for money, every little boy was snatched from their homes just like me and never to be seen again by their parents, all because you wanted to have a few coins , and with you gone, i believe families would be alot safer.
Remember me in your next life, for I promise I will grace it and end it there as well.
A message if you will…? to leave for the others when they come see…”
He slowly sapped the life out of me,
I was too weak to move to plead,
All that was left of me, was a man, full of broken bones, as dried out as the harmattan leaves, left at the foot of the tree, and a piece of cloth that reads.
” The Levitian lives..
The day of reckoning is here …”
It was was a cold night in February and that was the last they saw of him..
Am sure my family will be pleased.
I saw him hover over the earth as I die slowly, fading into the night.. I knew that those who are yet to feel his wrath, would not stand but run in fright.. even the dead should hide in fear..
Indeed, the Levitian lives, and the day of reckoning is here!!…
And he went about bringing deaths to those who had made him the creature he had become..
And this.. was the Beginning of the End…
A BONUS STORY
The Punisher! !!
He bent over..dipping his face a little into the face sink..turning the cap of the tap, He watched as crystal clear water rushed out into the basin, disappearing into the drainage ..
He cups a handful of water and splashed his face with it, once ,twice, three times…
His mind went back..replaying the scene of not so long ago
She had smelled of flower..and something equally nice..
She smiled ever so sweetly, innocently drawing him in. He never hid his hand, so she couldn’t claim to be blind..yet she came at him with a force..seductively swaying her hips
Sweetly purring sweet nothingness into his ear. he shouldn’t have given in, but she paid more attention to him than he had had in years
She made him laugh
She made him feel alife
He had forgotten how it felt to be wanted, to be desired and to be important .. He really did try to avoid her.
But how could he?
With her short skirts that exposed smooth thighs. Or was it her low cut tops that revealed beautifully placed bosom..and just looking at them..her nipples would harden and she would smile, She knew what she was doing to him
His constant No’s had never stopped her. Untill that fateful day.. That day in the elevator
Life seemed to be playing a cruel joke on him, They were stuck and he wondered why no one else seemed to be stucked with them, as soon as the last person alighted to his floor..bam!
And there , in that enclosed space
She came at him…”Take me”! She said
Robbing her soft breast against his chest, Pushing her away didnt keep her back..
“We can’t do this” his mouth was talking but his body was reacting to something different.
“Yes we can” she began unbuttoning her top
“I am married”….his voice came in whispers
“I don’t want to marry you or take you away from your wife..i just want to be done..and I know you want it too so shut up and get to it.”…
She was naked ..
She stares at him and smiles, noticing his rising bulge
“You need to breath. .allow me”
she went on her knees ..releasing him…He didnt stop her…He couldn’t
And when he felt warmth enveloping him ..He closed his eyes ..When his legs began to shake ..
He picks her up from the ground..slamming her to the wall of the elevator and plunges into her. ..not stopping untill he shattered completely …bringing her into a climax that had her screaming and holding onto him.. And that was the begining of his infidelity
He wanted so badly to stop
He knew he was wrong
But it felt good and he didn’t know how to stop. But he loves his wife and each morning when he goes to work he didn’t have the courage to look at her
Or when he came back
He had stopped touching her for months
And now this..
Guilt washed all over him
He splashed some more water on his face. As though hoping the water will wash his sins away.
Tonight he would confess and end it with the other woman.
He loved his wife.
Screw the sex..
It was a fling that should never had happen
Just because him and his wife were having troubles didnt mean he should have found comfort in another woman’s arms..
Yes..tonight he comes clean..
She walks in seeing him bent over at the sink
His back making a perfect C..
She leaned at the wall and waited
She had loved only one man and had ever been with him
Her world had revolved around him
Her life with him was all that she needed, They were High school sweethearts, And by her second year in college he had proposed to her
After final year and they got married and ever since it had been bliss
But this is real life and fairy tales were for kids
Yes she loved him but everyone had their flaws..and so did she
As normal couples they had their ups and downs
Made up after ever fight
But over time more fights caused them the ultimate price..”distance, lack of intimacy” The unwillingness to talk and settle issues
Whenever they fought they stayed apart too long before They reconciled
Over time they just stayed apart
Each one being too proud to man up
Each one suffering from the other
It was pointless. .none of it mattered now that she thought of it..
She loves and misses her husband..
It’s being too long..and tonight she needed to be the man and say she was sorry..
She needed her man back, She stood there watching him
Waiting for him to be done
They both looked up
She mouthed “I’ll get it “.. and left him staring at her back while he cleans his face with the towel hanging from the door, It was a package. Nobody at the door.
The hall was empty .
“That’s strange”..she said bending over and picking it up. Closing the door with her foot. It had a note scribbled on the package
“From a friend.
We girls look out for each other..
No need to thank me..I did you a favour..xoxo”..
“Who is it from?”..
He asked sitting on the bed .
She didn’t answer.
She tore it open and out fell pictures of a man and woman
She bent down and picks them up
looking at a picture at a time
Sometimes both naked
Locked in an embrace
Doing the lovers dance
His face was of one satisfied
Intense and sensual
His face was his
Her hands shook..
Her visions blurred
She allowed them slip through her fingers to the bed and she walked away slowly as though a zombie would, staring blankly into nothing, straight to the kitchen
“Baby what’s wrong??”…his voice passed her as an unwanted wind..
He turns on the bed ..Groping for what she saw that made her look deathly pale, He turned white
He gets up,
“No no no no no”..He kept saying
He needed to beg her
go on his knees
Crawl on the floor even if he had to
He rushes into the kitchen
She was standing there
In the middle
Transfixed as though a statue
Calling out her name
He didnt know how to approach her
She didn’t answer
He walked slowly towards her
Stretching out his hand to touch her shoulders
Calling her name again
He slowly turns her
And then his eyes widened
He looks down
The cold knife had sliced into his skin
Where his heart kept a permanent home
He clings to her as he slowly falls to his feet
Tears filling his eyes as they began running down his handsome face
“Am sorry!”…before he slums ,
Dying before he hits the ground
“So am I
Don’t worry..I will send your lover to you soon . I promise”…
She wipes the knife on her dress and left him lying there in the pool of his blood, She leaves the room a few minutes later.
She had a mission and a target
And she intended to make good on her promise
“You broke my home. I will find you and make you suffer” ..she swore
The news the next day talks of a woman who was found bleeding in her bathroom…
And a picture of she and a man….and a letter which read…”I hope you both find each other even in your deaths”
Quote : The wrath of an angry woman can bring ruins to the deserving ~
Story By STEPHANIE EGBERIKE
Echoes Of The Past continue tomorrow