LIVING IN FEAR
(Dust to Gold)
Written by Bright Daniel
Nath became shocked and adjusted away from Bernard with a surprised face. “You have been here over a year? How? I mean why? Um.. Sorry, how did you come here?” Bernard remained silent staring at his son who cared less of their conversation but heard everything they were saying.
He looked at Nath again. “One day, i and my son were coming back from night hunting. The road was lonely and scary. It was also when the evil ones manipulate.
There was nobody on the road. Before we knew it, a witch attacked us and boom, we found ourselves here. We don’t know where this place is; whether is in Nigeria or not, but we’ve been surviving”
After the explanation, Nath remembered what happened the night he disappeared, so he looked at Bernard. “I guess that’s what happened to me coz as i was sleeping i felt like i was battling with a witch, only to wake up here after then” he stood up.
“There must be a way out of here” Bernard also stood up. “We’ve tried every means possible, no way out.
This is an island. We are surrounded by water” “No, this can’t be” Nath ran out to the seashore again waving his hands and shouting, “Help! Somebody help us!” he ran from one end of the sea to another shouting but didn’t hear any reply.
Only Bernard and his son heard his voice as they consumed the roasted fish.
After shouting and crying at the seashore, everything became real to Nath. He was seen sitting alone on the chair made of stick.
All he could think of were his mother, Favour and how he was gonna spend the rest of his life there. There was a burning fire at the centre of the area and nobody was seen outside except him but Andra suddenly came out with a fish in his hand. He wore a trouser and a brown T-shirt without footwear. He sat down beside him.
Nath glanced at him then concentrated on the burning fire while Andra continued, “This is your new life now, so you need to adjust and adapt to it” he stretched the fish to him which Nath collected reluctantly because his stomach was singing a different song but he never uttered a word.
“We feed from fish, animals like snakes and coconuts. That has been our food more than a year now” Andra paused looking as Nath stared at the fire without eating the fish. “Who are you thinking about?” he asked. “My mother and Favour” Nath finally replied and began to eat the fish.
“I guess Favour must be your sister” “No, she’s my girlfriend. I wonder what she’ll do now that I’m gone. We promised never to separate from each other coz we were source of our own happiness, joy and strength. I promised her that we gonna be like the stars in the sky one day..”
Nath paused and bit a quantity of the fish. “And what did she say about the last promised you made to her? I mean the star of a thing” Andra was still inquisitive. “She looked into my eyes and said that one must not be in the sky to be a star.
He can be anywhere and shines even brighter than the stars” Nath replied. There was a minute of silent after reply because Andra understood that those were great words that can change someone’s life.
As a wise boy, he retained it in his memory and left the place to Nath’s amazement who began to wonder why he suddenly left.
On the other hand, Favour sat outside in the darkness looking at the stars in the sky. “You can become a star even if you are not in the sky” she murmured and tears dropped from her eyes.
The father came out from the house, stood at the corridor and staring at his daughter but he shook his head sorrowfully and went back inside the house.
On the next day, Favour went back to Mrs Ola to see her lying on the varander quivering as if her body was extremely cold. “Ma, what is the problem? Oh my God!” she began to pull her up. “Please, stand up let’s go inside, your body is cold” they staggered inside and Favour laid her on the bed then covered her up.
She could hear her murmuring something she barely heard.
“What are you saying, ma?”
“Ma-ma-ma-my-my-son” Mrs Ola stammered.
“Nath will come back. Believe me. Nothing
will happen to him” Favour encouraged her even when she wasn’t so sure of herself but for the sake of the woman’s health because she was as worried as she was.
“Let me warm you up then give you something to eat” she concluded entering into the kitchen.
Back to the island, Nath sat by the seashore with Andra. He threw pieces of dried stick into the sea occasionally and allowed them float on the water. Seeing that, Andra joined him.
“I guess your girlfriend will get another man and eventually marry him”
“Before that happens, i must be out of here” “But how? We have tried all possible means!”
Nath stopped throwing the sticks. He stared at the ones floating on the water which gave him an idea. “Yes!” he exclaimed standing up. “I guess i know how we gonna get out of here.
We have to build a raft with dried woods!” he began to run into the forest…