Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ghost of Dalmos (THE LEVIATHAN) by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren.

Inside of the tree was the strangest place I had ever set foot. I crashed through the roof of a compartment deep in the abyss, groaning in pains and gnashing my teeth as I rolled on the floor. Then I held myself to check for fractures, for my body seemed to hurt everywhere. Catching a breath, I lifted my head and looked around to see where I was. It was a little room and I could barely see beyond my nose. There was an opening in the wall to the left. So I limped to the place to see if there could be a way out of the mess. But there was none, and the light from the little opening almost blindfolded me. Then I took a deep breath and leaned on the wall like a mogul that has lost his place in the scheme of things.
For a while, I was lost and could not figure out how to get myself out of the wicked pit. The atmosphere was tense as if an adversary was underway. As tears gathered in my eyes, I lowered my head. Lost in the pool of nothingness and fear stood, as a pillar of salt in my heart, there was a movement behind me. The walls cracked and I fell into a huge darkness. I crashed through the roof of a compartment to another as the ground gave way beneath my feet. Groaning in pains and yelling up to high heavens as the misery ended me on a steep cliff where I finally regained my feet at the foot of the slope.
The air was still. When I rose to feet and looked around, I was troubled to see myself in a forest that was bitterly cold and there was no human presence. The deafening silence wrote frustration on my face and my heart skipped almost a million times.
After wandering aimlessly in the doom, and our mutual friend, the sun, came alive to her responsibilities and paraded herself on the bare chest of the beautiful earth. Three birds or more appeared from the quiet hands of the forest; they perched on a tree and began to thrill me with beautiful renditions. I thought they were singing a medieval ballad. The boughs of trees danced quietly and bowed carefully to the sweet movement of the morning breeze. Spiders were in a world of their own, hanging about on the warm hands of the beautiful bushes. Their fine nets of thin threads spanned far and near in their fortress, waiting for fortune to smile on their bravery. A fulfilled day will emerge after minutes of assault with wandering insects. On the other hand, swallows dropped from the trees like stones to snatch a bit of break fast from the restaurant of the morning.
Finally, I stumbled on a bush path, which was narrow like the way to eternity. Then I mounted on it, hoping the path would lead to a better life or possibly my home. After covering a huge distance with my pair of legs that were not at their best and in time like this was my greatest asset, I began to faint. My shoulders sagged as much as my legs that were already too difficult for me to maneuver. The sun was up there, raging in vengeance. Soon it would retire from the busy torment of the world that it was ordered to serve since creation.
When we are under a spell, it is difficult to tell the machination against our soul. We are not born to see everything. But it is wise to give attention to what is before you. Because you can never tell how much trouble you will save for yourself. All along a python was on my trail. I would have ended in the belly of the Leviathan if a man on the tree had not intervened. He pounced on the ugly beast and did not spare him a breath. The snake started to wind its long body around the little man to crush him to the ground. While the man fought to find his feet, the Leviathan struck with its tail. The tail almost cut through his left hand. The figure barely had time to get out of the way and prepare for a new defense. A fierce new battle for survival erupted between them, and they shared blows that had both of them falling in turn like packs of cards. Just as the Python seemed it would make good on its bid to crush him to death, the little man dressed in an animal skin coat transformed into a green boa and gave the snake a powerful blow that cracked its bones, eliciting an agonized roar. The python fought back and wrestled the boa to the ground as the boa tried to push his advantage and inflict more injuries.
They battled into the bush corners with rasping breaths, rolling on the ground and lashing hard. All of a sudden, they fell into a pit. As they disappeared into the abyss, I rushed to the place to see what would be the end of the creatures. I could hardly see the bottom of the pit to ascertain who was winning or losing his place in the game of life, for it was as dark as the midnight.  As the death trap emits smoke, I had the luxury to hear agonized roar again and again.
Not long after, a strange fireball that almost blindfolded me emerged from the pit and stood before me. Overwhelmed by the presence of the light, I fell and sat on my elbow. The beautiful piece like the rising sun, formed into the old dwarf that saved me from the shackles of the python. He beautified his face with a smile that was as good as gold and said, “Yes, Dalmos welcome to our world!” he stretched forth his hand to fetch me.
 I frowned and ignored him and threw myself on my feet. “Which world are you talking about? I am not supposed to be here. I need to see my family.”
The old man took a deep breath and crossed his arm over his body and looked straight into my confused eyes. “I see you don’t understand. Well, I won’t blame you. When I first set foot here, I thought I was in the wrong place. Today, all that is history. Dalmos, we have no time and it’s not safe here. Follow me!”
“Wait!” I said as he turned to go, “how do you know my name?”
The dwarf smiled like a fishwife that has rendered her husband to a toothless bulldog and said, “The world is a small place and things have changed.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t answer you now, you will see things for yourself.” Then he turned swiftly and disappeared into the wooded forest, bidding me to follow. When I pondered that the man could help me find my way home, I did not hesitate. I followed the old man who walked as if unable to hurt a fly through winding paths until we appeared before a cavern. As soon as we entered the cavern, he smiled like a half-witted fellow and pushed me to one side. He turned to the entrance- the way we came into the cave, said a few words I could hardly hear and waved his tiny hands at it.  All of a sudden, stones came out of the ground and sealed up the entrance. We were cut off from the forest and the world around. And no one would believe that humans lived there.
Then he held me by the hand. “I see you are worried and want to see your family.”
“Absolutely. If I may ask. How did I get in here?”
He inhaled sharply. “I thought you knew.” He looked about as if he wanted to be sure that no one was watching or listening to us and said, “Things have changed.”
“What changed? Can’t you show me the way out of here?”
The old man chuckled. “I would have done that if I have my way. But as things are, I am not better than you. Sodus and others who tried to kill you know they can’t.”
“Why can’t they? Is it not better to be dead than wallow on the highway to hell and be frustrated by blood thirsty demons?”
“Whatever the case may be, it is our duty to bend circumstances to our favor. What are we meant for if not for such a course? Dalmos, things have changed and for you to continue from where you stopped, you must forget about your past. It is gone forever and you don’t need it here.”
I was transfixed. “So you mean I can’t find my wife and kids anymore?”
“Yes. But you will soon overcome that.”
A ray of hope flushed on my face. ”Good. How soon?”
The dwarf burst into laughter and fell on the floor. “I told you things have changed and you still don’t understand.” All of a sudden, he stopped laughing and jumped to his feet. As I stood confused and drowned in my misfortune, he rode few steps nearer, drew his knife from his boot and stabbed me in the chest. I yelled up to the high heaven and pushed him away. The dwarf fell on the floor. He sat on his elbow and asked me to remove the knife, which I did and threw it away.
With a broad grin on his face, the old man jumped to his feet. “What did you observe? What happened to you?”
“Nothing?” he smiled.
I rubbed my hand on my chest. “There is no injury.”
“Maybe I didn’t do it right.” Then he rushed to the knife and stabbed me below the ribs three or more times. Before I could make any move, he pushed me to the wall and shouted. “You are dead!”
Immediately he let go of me and returned his knife to his boot, I looked at my side and did not see any injury, no blood flow, and the pains that I felt I had was simply an illusion. With my eyes flooded with tears, I asked. “What happened to me?”
“You were killed like every person here.”

“Who did this to me?” I enquired and began to sob gently.
“It’s a pity, but change has come. Follow me. When we get to the sacred bowl we shall find out the devil behind your death.”

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