The Body At Nura
29: 07: 2015
Location : El Deols, Anthanna, Africa.
Lutheran Hospital, El Deols.
The atmosphere in the hospital was cool and calm. The tiled floor of the hospital shone through the reflection of the bright lights from the white bulbs, testifying to the diligent work of the cleaners who took care of the floor. The white painted walls and the medical calendars and postals on them added to the beauty of the hospital. The Doctors and Nurses smartly dressed in their white overalls and gowns went about their responsibilities as quiet as possible. But even with so much beauty seen in the building of the hospital, no beauty was seen on the faces of those at the reception except a few whose cases were that of successful child birth.
In one of the wards at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital laid a six feet two inches tall man. Even in the hospital bed, the features of his well built muscled body was a sight to behold. In his state he was a perfect description of a sleeping lion, his facial expression even in unconsciousness was enough to send chills down the spines of a common man. His fist which was used to being tightened for fist fights had difficulties straightening even in that state.
The medical ventilator machine was placed beside his bed and the tubes were connected into his body, helping to keep him alive in his unconscious state. On the thirty first day of March 2015, his body was taken out from a body bag dropped on a rock in the Nura River.
31: 03: 2015
Location: Nura Village
The darkness of the night was gradually approaching and the scorching effect of the sun had totally given way for the coldness of the evening. The trees and leaves were dancing happily to the rhythm produced by the rushing wind while the insects and other bush animals could be seen coming out of the places they had hidden themselves to escape the harshness of the sun.
It was Sheila and Tom’s second day on their visit to Nura. Sheila who was working on a project which involved studying human behavior in relation to their environment had chosen a rare place, Nura, to be her case study. Tom her boyfriend had been forced to accompany her to Nura on the planned five days visit.
Tom, Sheila and Osey their tour guide stood on a rock on the Nura Hill from where they could get a good view of the flowing Nura River and the vast field around it.
Sheila looked radiant and her beauty glowed even under the evening light. She was a young woman of twenty six. Perfect light skinned lady with a beautiful oval face, beautiful lips and well shaped chin. Her body was the perfect figure eight and the complete definition of elegance. Her long dark natural hair was well arranged behind her and it stopped a bit after her shoulder. She was tall for a lady, five feet seven inches.
Tom was about the same height as her. He had a handsome round dark face with a clean shaven hair. His beards were neatly carved and shiny dark. He was a bit darker than her but less slender than she was. He was two years older than her.
Osey the tour guide was taller than the two but had a rather ungraceful slenderness. The back of his head seemed flat and his standing posture was almost bent. He stood by Sheila’s right while Tom stood at the left.
“I’ve heard so many distasteful things about this river, I don’t know how true they are.” Sheila remarked as she looked towards the River from where she stood.
“I’m afraid those things you heard may be right ma’am, no one goes to the Nura River, it is a very dangerous one, even though it looks like a beautiful view from above. In its beauty lies it’s deceptiveness,” Osey replied her.
She turned her face to him after thirty seconds, all the while her eyes had been on the beautiful view below. “Tell me why it is considered as dangerous, it doesn’t look dangerous in any way to me.”
“That’s because you’ve not seen it in its dangerous times,” Osey replied and then looked away to the river water flowing gently. “Some times, it gets mad and begins to flow abnormally, it becomes so destructive then.”
Sheila looked at the man’s face again, trying to understand what he meant. She thought he could be talking about the wet season when there was abundance of rainfall resulting in the increase in quantity and velocity of water. If that was the case, then the people of Nura were only been troubled by their ignorance and illiteracy.
“When do we go back to the lodge?” Tom asked Sheila. He seemed not to be enjoying the conversation, all he wanted was to get back to a comfortable bed and take a good rest.
“Shortly Tom,” Sheila took a brief glance at him. He was staring at her expressionlessly. She held him by the arm and wrapped her fingers around his. She let out a breath. “Tom, this place is beautiful, if the people of Nura would only realize, it could became a place of attraction to the world.”
“It’s a waste of time to make them believe so, they are already so convinced that it’s a curse to them and nothing can make them change their mind. So I suggest we just focus on our reason for coming here, instead of making them see what they would not see,” Tom shrugged as he replied her uninterestingly.
“But don’t you think all they need to have a better view of this beautiful gift of nature is more information and exposure?” Sheila asked, looking into his eyes.
“It’s a waste of time Sheila, civilization may never get here till the twenty second century,” Tom answered. “What we need to do is leave now, it’s late.”
At that moment, a heavy wind swept across the land and blew cold moist air on their bodies.
“I think he’s right ma’am, we need to leave here. When the wind starts moving like this, it’s a bad sign for those it meets up here.” Osey spoke.
“Bad sign?” She turned to him, shaking her head. The people of Nura never ceased to amaze her with their superstitious beliefs.
“Yes, it could mean something wrong is about to happen between the two of you.” Osey replied. “We have to go away from here now before the wind blows more evil in this direction.”
Sheila turned her face to Tom who was already nudging her. “Let’s go Sheila.”
She turned again to have one more view of the beautiful place. Her eyes hovered around in a brief glance, she almost turned before she noticed something. Three men were now at the bank of the river, they had a big bag with them and it seemed to be containing something heavy.
“Hey, look here. I thought you said nobody comes to this river,” she called Osey’s attention.
Osey who had already turned turned back again immediately. His eyes followed in the direction she was pointing him. He squinted on seeing the men at the bank of the river.
“Those men are dressed like strangers,” Osey voiced out softly, staring more intently.
“Of course, they have to be strangers,” Tom put in.
“But…” Osey frowned as he squinted more deeply. He moved from his position and turned to where Tom was standing. “They are discussing in our dialect,” he added as he began to walk carefully down towards a huge stone. He hid behind the stone and peeped at the men from there.
It was still from a very far distance but the echoes of the sound through the air and the loudness of the men who were unaware of the presence of people around enabled him catch some of their words.
Tom and Sheila soon joined him. They stood behind him, their bodies completely hidden behind the big stone where they could not see the men from.
“Who are those men?” Tom asked. “That thing on the ground looks like a body bag.”
“Shhh…” Osey turned briefly to hush Tom, placing a finger on his lips. He turned back to continue listening.
After almost a minute of waiting impatiently, Sheila stepped forward, wanting to have a look at the men again but mistakenly put her feet on the wrong place and almost slipped on the slopy rocky ground but she held on to Tom who grabbed her and drew her closer to himself.
Osey quickly pulled back his head as two of them men looked up from where they were. He looked briefly at Sheila and moved closer. “Are you alright madam?” He whispered.
“Yes, she is perfectly fine.” Tom replied him.
Osey took a cursory glance at her again before going back to his position, he listened for some seconds before he began to peep again. Soon, two of the men dragged the body bag they had with them into the river and dropped it. Part of it extending into the water while a major part laid on a rock. The men glanced at it for less than ten seconds before they turned and made their way out of the place. They were sure it would never be discovered.
“Be careful Sheila,” Tom was saying to his girlfriend when Osey looked back again. Sheila was trying to peep again, Tom had tried to stop her but as usual she prevailed against him and made her way to Osey’s side.
She moved further and saw the men already leaving without the body bag they brought. She turned to Osey hoping to get more information from him.
“We have to get out of here now,” Osey muffled.
“Who are those men?” Sheila asked him. She wasn’t going to leave without knowing what happened.
“Those men are dangerous, I think two of them are natives of this town but they stay very far away. They put someone in that bag, I’m not sure whether he’s dead or not. They’ve placed him in the river and are sure no one would ever find his body because nobody comes to the river.”
“Oh God!” Sheila gasped. “And is it true that he would not be discovered.”
“Yes, no one comes here but by tomorrow morning, the body would have been devoured by the dangerous birds.” Osey replied.
Tom flashed a quick look at her and shook his head. He knew what type of woman she was and he wasn’t ready to support her to do what she was going to ask.
“We have to help that person,” Sheila voiced out breathlessly. “We don’t know, maybe he or she is alive.”
Tom was already expecting her to say so, he squinted his eyes at her. “You’re crazy Sheila, we will do nothing of such!”
She looked away from Tom and stared at Osey, hoping to get some encouragement but Osey had a sad look on and was shaking his head in support of Tom.
“I’m sorry ma’am, we can’t go near that river, and those wicked men may come back again.” Osey said.
Sheila peeped again towards the river, she knew Tom was not going to agree with her easily but she was also not ready to give in. Her eyes scanned for a suitable passage to the river from the rocky hill. She could barely see as the darkness had grown thicker, she only had an option which was going back halfway the route through which they came through and turning into the route to the river which Osey had showed them.
She turned swiftly and put on the torchlight of her phone, she began hurriedly towards the route, half running and half walking.
“Sheila! What do you think you are doing?” Tom asked, even though he was sure of what she was up to. He followed after her immediately but she did not wait for him. “Sheila, Sheila!” He shouted after her.
“Shhh…” Osey ran after Tom and cautioned him. He held him by the arm, “Please, don’t shout, those men may hear our voices and return.”
“Sheila! Sheila!” Tom continued to call in a muffled voice but she did not respond.
She continued moving for more than a minute before Tom caught up with her. He held her by the wrist on one hand and turned her to himself by the waist with the other hand.
“Sheila, what is wrong with you? Don’t you realize that this is not El Deols where you can help people freely, you may get into trouble or loose your life if you try to help someone here. Remember Osey has warned us not to get close to that Nura river.”
Sheila stared at his face in fury, wondering why he would not support her to help rescue someone who could be dying. She knew well that he did not believe in all the superstitious beliefs Osey had told them.
“You don’t have to come with me, I’ll take the risk alone.” She said and wriggled her hand off his grip. She proceeded on to the river.
She got down the hill down to the river after a few minutes. She stared intently at the water for a moment and began to roll her sleeves.
“I’ll come with you,” Tom said grudgingly from behind.
Sheila did not wait for him, she stepped on the first stone in the river and carefully jumped to the next. She stared at the body bag from her position. She noticed that the men who brought the body had been too lazy to take it into the deep part of the water, they were possibly confident that it won’t be discovered easily or probably didn’t care if it was discovered or not.
In five minutes time, Tom and Sheila had been able to take the heavy body bag out to the dry ground while Osey watched them from a distance. He dreaded the river and he wouldn’t take the risk of moving closer, if he had not been there and seen when the bag was placed there, he and some of the other villagers would have concluded that it was a load put there by the evil spirits from the water.
It was dark already but the moon was out fully, providing as much brightness as it could to the Earth. Tom and Sheila clothes were wet to the waists because they still had to enter into the water to take out the body bag.
Tom took out a tiny source of light and pointed at the bag as he squatted to open the zip. He opened slowly and carefully until the zip got to the end. He got up and stared at the lifeless looking body from above.
Sheila quickly placed a knee on the ground to check the body, she had some knowledge on first aid. She noticed the holes and blood stains in the huge man’s belly and shoulder, she could tell that they were bullet wounds.
“I think he’s not dead yet,” she announced.
Tom stared at her face doubtingly, those were the last words he was hoping to hear from her. The man looked dead and without life to him.
“We need to get him to the hospital,” Sheila added.
Tom sighed. He knew it was going to get to that.
“Do you know this man?” Sheila asked, directing her question to Osey.
Osey was still watching from a distance. He knew she was talking to him but could not respond immediately because the face of the man could not been seen clearly from where he was. He moved closer, slowly and reluctantly.
“I don’t know him,” he stopped when he got to the safest closest distance from which he could see the man’s face. “I don’t know him, he’s certainly not from here, I heard the men saying he cannot be recognized even if he was seen before the vultures eat up his body.”
“We have to get him to the hospital right away,” Sheila insisted, staring at Tom’s face for assistance.
Tom sighed. He was reluctant to help the stranger in the strange land but he knew that he had no choice since Sheila was bent on getting him to the hospital.
“You know this may disrupt our real purpose for coming to Nura right?” He said softly, trying to make her have a rethink.
“That can be done any other time, we have to save this life first.” She insisted.
Location : Lutheran Hospital, Deols, El Deols.
“Daddy!” The screams of a little boy echoed loudly in his mind.
He was still physically motionless in the hospital bed but had just gotten awake in the mental realm. He could see the face of the scared little boy in the dark night, screaming and struggling for help as he was being carried away forcefully by the masked men.
He saw himself being held on both sides by hefty men, his eyes were bloodshot as he struggled to no avail to free himself from the grip of the men. His body was unexplainably so weak that even though the men’s grip was not so firm, he couldn’t still get away.
“They’re taking us away, do something honey!” A woman screamed in horror as she was being dragged away on the floor helplessly.
The pictures disappeared for a moment and he could only hear shouts and screams. It was like a dream but seemed real.
He saw again flashes of other scenes in his mind, a small house was blazing in flames and loud screams could be heard which got deadened after seconds. His mind went blank for a moment and his eyes opened gently. Four months after wandering in the world of unconsciousness, he was able to breathe again on his own.