(Bell of the past)
Written by Nathaniel Anuma.
There were big, tall and strong trees that resisted the total crashing of the chopper, thus, leaving all who
were inside alive. But several essential parts destroyed beyond repair thereby generating smoke
from the damaged helicopter. Already, Fred and co had come out from it standing like animals that
missed road. Charles stood beside his father, Regina beside her father and the two pilots stood
differently. They were in black and white atire which had torn from the stomach to the chest as a result
of the crash.
“I guess we have to move away from here coz this helicopter gonna explode at anytime” Lucky
“No, not until we communicate with.. ” Agatha, the female pilot objected but was interrupted by the
explosion of the helicopter whose force drove all to a distant and fell them on the ground. The ray of the
fire reflected on their faces as they stood up reluctantly.
“I told you!” Lucky said aloud then looked at his daughter. “Are you okay, Regina?”
“I’m fine, Dad” she replied then glanced at Charles whose father made sure he was okay too.
“Okay, we are doomed in the forest of Hoom” Agatha said.
“Anybody with a cell phone?” Sam, the male pilot asked. They all searched their pockets but only Fred
brought out a cell phone.
“I have mine” he said stretching it out for Sam to take, but before he could get his hand on it, the phone
“What’s happening? How can a phone explode just like that? ” Agatha approached. None answered the
question rather gazed at one another in the forest.
“This proves that there is something behind our predicament” Sam replied. He bravely turned looking at
the burning chopper and directed his eyes back to them. “Listen, we must find a way out of here”
“Out?” Fred stepped forward leaving his son. “We can’t be talking about going out of here without
getting my wife!”
“That isn’t our business. Our job was to fly you guys to your destination and return”
“Now that we’ve crashed on the way, what next?”
“Then we find a way back home” Agatha interfered.
“I’m not going back without my wife too!” Lucky also stepped forward.
“Then good luck with that” Sam concluded and looked at his partner. “Let’s find away out of here,
Agatha” As they wanted to leave, Regina’s voice interrupted them.
“Please, don’t go away. Help us find my mum!” she positioned an innocent and cute face that could not
be resisted by any good person.
Sam and Agatha looked at each other after much plead by the opposite people. They requested for the
map which Fred handed it to them, Lucky also handed his before they traced the image on the map.
“This is where we are heading to, it gonna take us days journey” Sam said before the journey began fully.
All knew where they were going and why they were going there. Lucky kept the secret of killing his own
mother from his daughter unlike Fred to his son. Therefore, Charles had much knowledge about the
journey than Regina.
They walked through the woods to a dead end where they had to cross a river without a boat or raft.
The current of the river was fast enough to be heard from several metres away. At the other side of it
was a coconut tree and another forest. Already, Fred and co looked exhausted and hungry. As they
tried to figure out a way to cross the river, Charles ran to the river bank then began to drink from it.
Regina wanted to join him, but the father pulled her.
“Dad, I’m thirsty” she looked up at him.
“Wait, let Charles return” he replied staring at the river strangely.
Charles began to wash his face after drinking from the water. He could see his image through it which
suddenly turned to the image of a man who called him, “My son”
“Jesus!” Charles shouted and fell back. Others didn’t hear him but saw him standing up quickly thinking
he slipped. In order not to scare others, he kept his experience to himself when he returned. He looked
at his father then glanced at the river again. The image of the man who appeared from the river was
totally different from his father’s. At that point, Lucky allowed his daughter to go drink too.
“We need to cross this river” Sam said looking at the map. “Then another journey awaits us after then”
“And how are we gonna cross it?” Lucky queried.
“I guess the question should be what are we gonna eat now coz I’m so hungry!” Agatha sat down
hopelessly on the sandy soil. “Come to think of it, this is a hopeless journey. How are we sure we gonna
see your wives after this journey?” she added.
“I strongly believe that we will see them coz my parents talked about this forest especially my mother
before she died” Lucky replied.
“How did she die?” Sam asked.
They stared at him to speak even Charles because all knew that he killed the mother but don’t know
why and how he did it. However, he was not ready to tell them. So as they drowned in the atmosphere
of tranquility, Regina came running to them as if pursued by unseen spirit. Agatha stood up immediately
when she saw her running.
“What’s it, Regina!” the father asked.
“Look!” she pointed at the river.
All directed their eyes there to see a boat floating towards them. The boat paddler was covered in black
robe and her face was barely seen. They stared at her until she got to the shore of the river.
“C’mon, let’s go” Fred said.
They hurried to the boat and were able to see the face of the woman clearly. She was quite old with a
rumple face. Only a few teeth could be found in her mouth.
“Please, can you take us across the river?” Fred requested.
“Why do you think I’m here?” the old woman replied. “Get in” she added.
“Wait, how do you know we were here?” Charles queried her.
“Because I saw you from the other side of the river, clever boy” the woman smiled at him.
Nevertheless, they entered and began to sail across the water. Just then, the cloud changed as if a heavy
rain was about to fall accompanied by a storm which began to change the direction of the boat. The
old woman occasionally glanced at Charles, and he noticed that severally too. When it happened again,
he said boldly, “You’re freaking me out, quit looking at me!”
Immediately, thunder stroke the boat in a way it broke into two and all fell inside the water shouting.
“Dad!” Regina shouted as the water was carrying her away. Others witnessed the same thing to the
extent none was able to talk due to presence of water in their mouths.
Several minutes later, Charles found himself at the shore of the river looking wet and stained with soil.
He managed to stand on his feet then looked around to see nobody but forest. “Dad!” he shouted, yet,
nobody answered him. He directed his eyes to another side of the shore to see Regina lying lifeless.
“Regina?” He ran to her, pulled her out and unbuttoned her shirt around the neck region to her chest.
He saw the tip of her breast in her white bra but didn’t care before pressing her chest with his two
hands and breathing through her mouth. He couldn’t believe that he would find himself doing that one
day because he was just practicing what he normally watch on the movies. Sooner did Regina coughed
out water and opened her eyes.
“Regina?” Charles called smiling and feeling like a hero. “Can you hear me?”
“Charles?” Regina called too in a broken voice, she couldn’t see clearly until a few seconds later. She
stood up with the help of Charles and looked around too. “Where are others?” she asked.
“I don’t know” he replied with two hands on his waist.
Regina wore a trouser and a shirt which she found to be opened around the chest, so she glanced at
Charles as she buttoned it. “Why is my shirt open?”
“I did. I was trying to wake up from unconsciousness to consciousness just like the way they do it in the
movies” he spread his hands as he explained. “I had to press your chest and… and..”
“Just forget it. Thank you any ways” Regina began to walk away. “Let’s go find others” she added.
“Where!” Charles ran after her….
On the other hand, at another far area, Fred, Lucky and Agatha found themselves at the shore of the
river. They were as wet and dirty as an aquatic organisms struggling on dried land. Agatha looked
around if she would see Sam but he was no where to be found. Fred and Lucky also shouted their
children’s names but heard nothing.
“Where could they be?” Fred asked.
“They’ll be okay” a voice came from behind. They turned to see the old woman who paddled them on
the boat standing with a staff and looking dried.
“How did you survive, old woman?” Agatha asked as they all approached her. “And why aren’t you
wet?” she added.
“My name is Ryanie, we have to continue the journey before it gets weary” the old woman said turning
“Was that a poem?” Fred asked. “And I’m not going until I see my son!” he added.
“Your son?” she turned again. “Who said is your son? Charles isn’t your son Mr man”
Fred became confused. “You must be joking, right? My wife gave birth to him. By the way, how do you
know his name?”
“That your wife gave birth to him doesn’t mean he was formed in the womb by your sperm” Ryanie
Fred became dumbfounded thinking wether the wife was in any way cheating on him. He didn’t believe
it, therefore, he said boldly, “Listen Ryanie or whatever you call yourself, I love my wife and she loves
me too, she’s the reason why I’m here, she’s the reason why my parents don’t want to see me, she’s the
reason why I killed, so there is no way she can cheat on me!”
“Fine, can we go now?” Ryanie said.
“What about my partner, Sam?” Agatha asked.
“And what about Regina my daughter?” Lucky added.
Ryanie left them without replying. They also followed her except Fred who sat down on the floor
thinking critically and feeling heartbroken…
TO BE CONTINUED