At the end of the day, we must go forward with hope and not backward by fear and division – Jesse Jackson
The glittering light had woken him up from his faint, but when he opened his eyes, everywhere was dark. He could hear nocturnal sounds all around him and he was conscious of the prickling nature of the foliage he was lying on; he was still in the forest.
Gabriel’s hand crept to his head and he gingerly prodded the tender area where Meems, no, not Meems, what had possessed Meems had hit him. It was sticky with his blood and it made his head pound painfully.
Suddenly, he recalled the image that had woken him up, the sword, the one the possession had called ‘blessed’, the same that had cut Uto in two. The sword had been suspended in the air and continually swirled, making a whistling sound as it cut through air.
It had reflected a bright light that had affected his eyes, and he recalled trying to block it out with his arm. The light had increased and the fierceness of it had not only affected his eyes but had sent a sharp pain to his brain which had then caused his surge into reality.
He knew what he had to do, but he was suddenly feeling very tired. Gabriel closed his eyes and thought he could rest for a few minutes; he was almost asleep when he heard the growl.
Suddenly he was wide awake, “Shit,” he muttered and turned, crawling on his hands and knees back to the wreckage that was once his father’s car.
What had he been thinking wanting to rest a bit? He had to save Meems and that laptop had to get to the bunker. He wished they was a way to reach his dad and maybe request for assistance, that was assuming he was even at the bunker.
It could be some other team was at the bunker. He knew the army was involved from the video his father had created on his computer.
Well, there was no time to wonder about the army team or his dad, he was here alone and he had a lady to save. And there was a pack of dogs growling and following his scent through the forest, he needed to escape those first.
He still had no idea how they’d survived the accident, but he was grateful to God all the same and believed that no matter what happened today, the Almighty has always been the everlasting victor.
And just then he sighted the sword. It lay not far away from the still smoking wreckage, and he could only see it because, the torch light on his phone which had fallen and wedged against some shrubs when Meems had first punched him, reflected off the steel.
Gabriel grinned and raced with a grimace of pain towards the sword. He grabbed the hilt and was in time to swipe it out and against the neck of the first flying dog.
Its blood splashed and a bit of it warmed his skin where it splattered.
There was no time to wonder where the mammoth number of dogs had come from, he took deep breaths instead and focused his eyes on the circling pack of wild canines.
Three grand essentials of happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for – Joseph Addison
I arrived the beach and the white sand made it seemed more lighted than the thick forest I’d just stumbled out from.
My t-shirt wasn’t enough to curb the sharp cold rolling from the river, I shivered and waited at the edge of the forest to catch my breath. The presence shoved me forward, I stumbled into the sand and valiantly waded through it towards the water.
For some unknown reason I began crying.
A part of me knew this wasn’t right but I couldn’t do anything about it.
I’d just brushed tears from my eyes and looked up to find a line of men thirty feet in front of me. I paused in my stride and looked, I was instantly aware that these men, dressed in jeans and untucked, black dress shirts were the minions that had been after me the whole day.
The line of men seemed as long as the edge of the water, forming a barricade as they weaved from side to side, in a fluid airy movement, humming deep in their throat.
The droning sound they were making and their slow and fluid side to side movement was hypnotizing. I was numb, I stared with my mouth open and the wind blew wisps of my hair into my mouth.
I had no idea when my top bun had loosened, I only knew that my hair blew widely around my ears and face. Then instead of running the other way, which would have been normal, seeing as these guys had been after me all day, I started towards them.
It felt like I’d been hooked by a fishing line and now I was being reeled in. I was barely conscious of stopping to pull off Gabriel’s shoes…GABRIEL, the name rang a light bell in my mind, like a far away dream, a wisp, an elusive memory.
My feet enjoyed the fine texture of the beach sand as I reached the human barricade. A space opened up in the barricade and I didn’t have to pause in my stride, I shuffled through and was finally at the water edge.
Its coolness lapped at my toes as I slowly pulled off the bag straps from my shoulders, then I reached for the hem of my t-shirt and pulled it over my head.
I started as my name was shouted. The voice came with light, with memories of happy times, a time I had loved my name…a time I had been proud of my name.
I turned from the hypnotizing roll of the water and tried to see over the shoulders of the minions.
He raced down from the edge of the forest, brandishing the steel sword which seemed to reflect its own light.
Yes Gabriel, I remembered him, a confused smile came to my cold lips. I frowned, I should know him, anyway but my memory was still elusive. He obviously knew me because he was shouting my name, but what was with the sword, did he want to kill me?
This thought made me step backward and I was ankle deep in the water. My eyes caught the bag and suddenly I recalled what I had been about to do. I grabbed the bag and unzipped it, quaintly forgetting about the man flying down from the forest.
I hummed as I pulled out the message box and flung the bag aside.
“Don’t do it, Patience!” he shouted, almost reaching the minion barricade.
His voice was like static in my head, it seemed to be interrupting another transmission; a transmission that wanted the message box in the water, a dark transmission.
I looked up in time to see him flying in the air, the sword raised over his head…
In that moment, time slowed, my mind image took over. It was in another time, a forgotten century, his name was still Gabriel…a protector; my protector.
A sense of déjà vu stole over me, this had happened before, him coming to my rescue with his flaming sword. In that era he’d not been wearing a chinos trouser and dress shirt, but a golden armor of war.
His hair had been long, reaching to his shoulders and swept into a pony tail. His skin had been tanner than mine and my hair had been so long it’d reached to my waist; even then, I’d still been robust in size. And the fate of that world, at least part of it, had rested on our shoulders.
Could he save me?
My hand reached to touch my hair and it wasn’t silky, it was my normal, very Nigerian hair. It must have been one of those dreams, I thought and looked up in time to see him bury his sword deep in the throat of one of the minions.
He was alone and the minions were surrounding him as calmly as they’d been weaving and still humming. He couldn’t win this, I decided and went on my knees in the water, promptly forgetting about him again.
The act of kneeling in water wasn’t in despair, I only needed to rest. I held the message box in the crook of my arm and reached for the lid to open it.
My hand froze, conflicting voices sounded in my head, which one do I listen to, I wondered. Should I open the message box or just fling it in the middle of the sea?
“Patience…baby!” his voice reached me, I turned and our eyes met while he sliced through another throat, his shirt was soaked with blood.
Was it from an injury on his person?
I wondered this and was seized with concern for him that didn’t last long; the conflicting voices wouldn’t let me know what to think.
Groaning in frustration, I went with my natural inclination, if this was a message box, I needed to know what the message was, so I flipped the lid open.
Instantly, my eyes glued on the screen, finally, familiar ground I thought. I was beginning to feel the heat in the pit of my stomach, I was recalling what I’d set out to do, I was rising from the water to do just that…
With my gaze hooked on the screen, I didn’t see the minion approach me, I looked up and he pushed. He obviously had supernatural strength, because the push threw me together with the message box, into the air and smack dab in the water.
Belatedly, I realized all the things I’d done wrong. As the message box sparked and sunk, I especially regretted hitting Gabriel over the head. I recalled everything clearly, even the message from the message box.
But it was of no use now because I was steadily swallowing water, yes, greatest irony ever, I couldn’t swim. Shore seemed far away, my limb grew heavy and weak, my head went down into the water longer than it stayed up…I cried and gave up.
The story continues…
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