Before today’s update, I’d like to say that I got off to a rough start with this story. But I think I’ve got my footing just right. The writing has been a little dis-satisfactory (at least, I think so–what do you think?) but this is a first draft, so it’s kinda okay ish. Before I publish this story as an eBook, it’ll go through series of edits. However, from hereon out, the writing should improve a bit. ENJOY this part!
To Hunt A Level Four – Part 4
A hand prodded his shoulder. “Femi. Femi. Are you alright?”
Femi came around with a resounding headache. At the first, his body refused the commands he gave it—stand up!—eyes open!—lips apart!—choosing rather to remain sprawled on the rocks ridden ground under the reviling and scorching gaze of the sun. But soon, after much prodding and pleading (at the mere thought of waking in the middle of the road in the middle of the day, Femi’s mind had become inundated with insufferable shame) his body began to respond, if mournful, slight movements could be regarded as a response.
The figure standing over him belonged to that of a young man. He leaned in so that his plump form blocked the sharp rays of the sun. The man’s eyes were a constant swirl of consternation and glee. This man that had brought him from the pit of a swoon wore black regal robes that twirled gracefully around his shape. The bare skin on his ebony head shone with all the radiance of a glittering surface.
Femi soon recognized the man that now looked deep into his eyes. And with this recollection came a sudden flush of anger which quickly fizzled, giving way for exasperation. For this man that looked at him was his superior, his handler. He was a senior witch hunter, something Femi desired to be and wasn’t.
The man offered a hand which was veiled in the expensive black he wore. Femi took it and was jerked up to a sitting position. Muscles snapped. Femi let out a loud groan.
Now he was sitting, he could see that a small crowd had gathered around him. Curious eyes gazed upon him, some with confusion, others with contempt. This crowd was not without murmurs for they babbled as he stretched his muscles. They babbled even when he became still with the contemplation his last encounter.
“What happened?” Simon asked. He descended the air to a crouch. Yet, for his tall person, he still towered over Femi. There was an energy to his presence, a vitality to his eyes. He exuded power. Boldness. Courage. Traits that Femi desired to exhibit.
Femi shook his head. “I don’t know. The witch was more powerful than I anticipated. It couldn’t have been a level one. The message I received was wrong.”
“The information we receive is never wrong, Femi.” There was the hint of a scold in his voice. Though he put a veil of confusion around it with his blank expression.
Femi looked back down on the ground. “It must have been wrong because the witch spawned a creature. Only level fours and beyond can spawn dark creatures.”
Simon nodded for a while as his eyes lost focus on ruminations that were beyond this plane of understanding. “Indeed, it was a level four. And how is it you’re still alive?”
“I fought it with the light.”
Simon seemed to stiffen at this proclamation. There was a visible change in the air around him. An uncertainty had snuck up on him and now had him in its tightening embrace. “Say that again,” replied Simon in a whisper.
“I fought it with the light.”
This time a tiny, almost indiscernible, wail escaped his lips. A question came in his eyes—a question he dreaded to ask for he knew the answer and feared its import with morbid passion. “This creature you fought,” said he alas, “did it walk in darkness?”
Femi observed Simon’s accelerated heartbeat from the ripples in his robes. It gave him a twisted satisfaction to see that the power figure could be unsettled, too. “Well, yes, sort of—I mean, there was darkness everywhere and it seemed to release this darkness from its whole being. I never got a real good look at it.”
Simon shot to his feet. “Get up and follow me.”
Femi slowly got to his feet. The crowd had started to disperse, though they still shot him glances, some of confusion, others of contempt.
People were everywhere. On the road. In fenceless compounds. In verandahs of multi-story buildings. The whole place pulsed with a vibrancy that contrasted starkly the experience of last night. Mysterious exotic sounds, noises, sharp arguments, loud hawkers—all these synchronized into a steady melodious drum that flowed up and down the street.
Soon, Femi was forgotten by the hundreds of people on the street. He followed Simon to where his black SUV was parked, beside the witch’s house.
A couple walked out of the corridor with their child. They passed by Simon and Femi without as much as an acknowledgment and headed up the street. Simon crossed into the compound and approached the house.
“We need to find out where the level four witch went to,” Simon said, on entering into the corridor. A nauseating smell slithered into their nostrils—a mix of vomit and excreta, Femi supposed. He gagged on the odor, turning away from the depths of the corridor to the source of light and air, the doorway to the open.
When he had recovered from his nausea, he turned around and saw Simon no more. The door into the witch’s house, a door he had failed to open—a sign of his apparent failure to stop the witch—stared open at him. Femi hurried to the door. He stood at the door way and peered into the dark room.
The air in there was stuffy, yet this did not deter Simon because he tore through every property in sight. The small room was tightly parked. Barely twenty square feet in area, the enclosure—because that was all it was, an enclosure formed with brick and mortar—was packed to the ceiling with bags and bags of cloths. A small bed took up the whole left wall, leaving a tiny area in the center for transit.
“What are you looking for, sir?” Femi whispered. He glanced back into the corridor to make sure it was still clear.
“Any evidence that tells us where this witch went to.” Simon paused. “Aha…” he whispered and held up a sheet of paper.
Femi resisted the urge to plunge into the room so as to scrutinize what had settled his handler’s curiosity. “What is that, sir?” asked Femi after another sweep of the corridor.
“It’s a train ticket. Our witch has gone to Enugu.”
Simon pushed the sheet of paper into his robes, looked around the scraggly, little apartment with disgust, and left the room. At his car, he said to Femi. “You survived the impossible today, Femi, for this I commend you. And I will make sure I petition the Conclave to consider you for promotion. However, I fear I know why you were spared. If what you have described here is correct, then something big is afoot. The witches are mobilizing for a major attack.”
This struck a chord of utter despair within Femi.
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