21th installment of Obeah

                                           CHAPTER 10

It was midafternoon in the village; the blazing sun hung above the jungle, the endless blue sky was alive with chalk white clouds. Henry and the villagers had just finished eating lunch. Streaks of orange light seeped through the bamboo walls of the hut creating strange patterns on the dirt floor. Adofo sat next to a window his feet propped up on a chair. Ampah was carving something on a piece of wood. It was peaceful in the village; the wind brought the sound of the waves gently washing ashore on the beach. The jungle was silent except for the whistling of small birds. Then like a speeded up eclipse, the village became dark. At first no one paid attention, but with the darkness came the sound of hundreds of wings flapping. Adofo stood up and looked out the window.

“This is strange, never seen this before.” He said calmly. Henry and Ampah went to the window and looked outside. Hundreds of crows flew over the village blocking out the sun. As quickly as they came they disappeared over the jungle, their squawking lingering long after they were gone. Adofo leaned out the window trying to see where they had gone. After a couple of minutes, he walked back to the chair a puzzled look on his face.

The jungle was calm again except for the occasional animal noise. A gentle breeze floated through the trees, and the leaves sounded like a gentle running river. The bamboo walls of the hut whistled as the wind swept through the village. Suddenly, all was quiet, no wind, no animals, just a dull silence. Adofo sat up straight, like a deer that sensed danger. One of the smaller kids giggled and Adofo raised his arm. Someone was crying, Adofo stood up, his eyes scanning the hut to see if it was one of the children. The crying seemed to be coming from outside. The sad wailing grew louder, it sounded like someone was in horrible pain. Adofo walked towards the doorway the villagers parted as he went. He got to the doorway then stopped and picked up one of the spears that sat next to it. Henry and Ampah followed close behind him they moved as if afraid that someone may hear them. Henry’s heart raced, sweat poured down his face.

Adofo got to the door and looked out. The village was empty, no dogs, no birds, no chickens, no pigs, nothing scurried around. Adofo stopped and listened, the crying came from the jungle. The warriors got their spears, knives or machetes, the younger children followed, some giggled as if it was a game of hide and go seek.

They entered the jungle, the leaves from the trees blocked out the sun making it cool in the shade. They walked about two hundred yards to where a pond was. The water was murky, dragon flies darted around the water’s edge, and Frogs crooked, some leaping into the pond creating smell waves. They stopped about fifty yards from the pond and looked around. The crying had gotten louder. Henry covered his ears with his hands dropping the machete he carried. A wild pig walked out of the jungle and walked down to the water’s edge. The pig began to lap water up with its tongue oblivious to the crying, its tail swayed from side to side with content. Henry bent over and picked up his machete. The animal stopped drinking and turned to walk away. The crying stopped and there was dead silence, several frogs jumped out of the pond. In a flash of movement, a large tail popped out of the pond and plopped down on the ground behind the pig. The animal stopped and turned around and sniffed it. The tail flopped around a bit then a hand emerged from the tip of the tail, grabbed the pig and splashed back into the pond. The villagers gasped, and then the younger ones turned and ran back towards the village. The warriors stood, their spears held above their heads, their machetes at the ready.

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