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Lost in a Shadow - Episode 7

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LOST IN A SHADOW
Lost in a Shadow - Episode 7

Written by Chidiogor D-f Nwafor




The village was really a village. There was neither pipe borne water nor electricity but Mrs Okafor's house was different; there was pipe borne water and electricity. It was like the replica of the house in the city. Mrs Okafor lived with a young boy who was about Dave's age. Dave was told that the boy was an orphan who had no place to stay.

One thing Dave admired about the village was the love and mutual understanding existing within the people. When they had arrived from the nerve breaking journey, some group of people had come to welcome them and also, his Grandma had showed affection by accommodating Ugo, the orphan boy.

Mrs Okafor introduced Dave to many of her friends and that was how Dave made friends with some other children. Grandma showered him with so much love, just as a mother would do. She took him to some beautiful places in the village: the great river, the cave and the Igwe's palace. She also taught him how to pluck palm fruit. Dave got to know her better and he developed great love for her.

The houses in the village scared Dave. They were built with mud and they had thatched roofs. Some of the houses had huge cracks on the wall and Dave feared it might fall one day. Also, the path that led to the village stream was foggy; tripping was bound to happen on that road. Erosion had taken place in most parts of the village and this made the road unleveled. The first time Dave had trekked a long journey with Grandma, he had fallen sick. He marvelled at how the villagers were so healthy after climbing those kind of roads. He once saw a feeble old woman carrying a bundle of firewood on her head as if it was nothing. Ugo had told him that the woman had lived all her life in the village and so, her body had gotten used to the road.

Grandma lived in a bungalow which had modern toilets and bathroom. Paul had renovated the house immediately he got a job. The kitchen was filled with ancient pots and mortars which Dave would have thrown away if given a chance.

Ugo was a good companion and he introduced Dave to all his friends. People in the village thought Dave was a  strange name and had asked him for the meaning of his name.

One day, Ugo and Dave sneaked out of the house to go hunting. They had seen a huge rabbit while returning home after running an errand for Grandma. They decided to go hunting with the with the mindset of catching many rabbits and making supper out of them. They sneaked out because Mrs Okafor wouldn't let them leave if she knew. She had always told them scary stories which had deterred them from going but the rabbit they saw made them bold enough to face whatever devil was in the bush. The rabbit had empowered them to break the rule of their guardian.

They set out early while Grandma was asleep. Dave had been scared at first but Ugo's boldness strengthened him. This was an adventure for him and he had read many stories about hunters going into the wild and coming out with a big antelope on their shoulders. Dave hoped for such experience.

They held a plastic bag filled with stones and sticks. Those were the only weapons they could think about. As they got into the forest, they began to search for a prey. After much fruitless trails, they decided to rest. Ugo stood next to a tree while Dave sat on the ground.
"We should just go!" Dave pronounced. He was tired and hungry. Beads of sweat had begun to gather under his nose and around his brows.
"No, we can't go now. It's too early. If this was how all hunters behaved when they caught nothing, you wouldn't be eating meats."
"I'm tired." Dave complained. "Besides, that's what they do for a living. I'm not a hunter."
"Are you a woman? Even women nowadays are already challenging men. You know Amara, that girl has a male gene running through her veins. She can cut down firewood from morning till night." Ugo blurted as he placed his hands on the stem of a tree. Suddenly, he jerked back.
"What is it?" Dave asked getting up.
"I don't know. I touched something slimy like..."
"Watch out Ugo, it's a snake!" Dave screamed.

Truly it was a snake. It seemed to have been resting on the tree when Ugo touched it. The snake was brown in color just like the bark of the tree making it nearly impossible for one to detect. They got home breathless and their legs were sore for they had been running without taking a break.

Grandma was awake when they got home and it seemed like she hadn't been worried about their whereabout. In fact she looked smug.
"Where have you insolent boys been? Anyways, it serves you right. Next time you wouldn't sneak out again."

Ugo and Dave exchanged a puzzled look. How did she know something bad had happened to them? They were still flabbergasted when they heard a shout telling them to come and eat.
"I thought you said you were a man. Why then did you run?" Dave teased and Ugo rolled his eyes at him.

Life in the village was fun for Dave. He had many adventures. He went fishing with the boys and he watched the girls dance to some music.

One cool evening, the village boys and girls came out to play under the moonlight. Dave wondered what relationship the villagers had with the moon. It was like their fun started whenever the moon was out. Young ladies were singing and dancing while the gentlemen were watching them; debating who danced better and who didn't.
"That girl is so stiff like a tree." A guy had commented.

The young children gathered around an old avocado tree for moonlight stories by old Obiefuna. That fateful evening, Pa Obiefuna was ill and so the children gathered around to play a game since there was no one to tell them a story.

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