Anna yelled, she was dragging my garment trying to wake me up, I responsively reached out for my sword. She was holding Baby and a beam of light cut through the cave entrance, she continued dragging my garment asking me to follow her, and I did.
We got out of the cave as I led us wondering what she saw that scared her, If only she could hear my heartbeat. Baby made playful sounds and chuckled as we made our way out.
The sun almost blinded me so I blocked the lights with my left hand, and my sword in my right. By the time I got a clear vision, I saw about a thousand corpses lying outside the cave. Dead bodies of many Puricans scattered around, I slowly walked down cautiously through the corpses because I was not sure if it was real or a trick.
I asked Anna to stay back, instead she used her leg to push one of the bodies that was lying close to her. It was lifeless, and so I examined the bodies close to me.
They were all slaughtered at night. No sign of sword or arrow wounds on their bodies, only teeth marks. It appeared as though a beast or some beasts attacked them, I saw claws and deep canine cuts in their lifeless bodies, and some faces were unrecognisable.
I began to look around carefully, Baby chuckled so loud then we heard a creature growl from a distance that echoed all round, Anna was shaken. I ran to her and led them back into the cave, I later came back outside, packed some dead bodies, piled them up and covered the entrance to the cave with it, leaving a small opening at the top for light and air to come through, one amazing thing was Baby kept laughing.
I cut some piece of my garment and wrapped round the tip of my sword. I made fire and lit the garment on the sword, and with it I advanced into the deepest part of the cave out of curiosity.
Anna followed me along holding Baby who was still laughing. Its walls were covered with precious stones that glittered and shone as it reflected the light from the torch, Anna used her hand and touched the precious stones on the walls, the colours lit like rainbow on her face, I saw her magnificent smile again, it warmth my heart and I smiled.
While we were admiring the precious shiny stones on the walls of the cave Anna began to sing a sweet song, not like the type I have heard before. I stood and watched as her voice adorned the surrounding with the beautiful colourful lights from the stones that bounced on her face and the walls of the cave. I was lost within, my heart felt so warm and I smiled feeling so light like a feather, such feelings I have never felt before.
Her voice was like hearing the stars speak for the first time at night. It was as though there were other humans singing along with her, maybe it’s the sound of her voice bouncing off the walls or maybe, I was spellbound by her beauty and voice at the same time, to an extend I began to think that the precious stones sang along with her, I quickly shook my head out of the lunacy.
While I was mystified and hypnotised by the sweet tone of her beautiful voice, breeze blew through the cave. Something must have pushed the corpse off the entrance so I told Anna not to move as I ran back to check what it was, holding firm my sword.
On reaching the place we slept, I found out that the fire we put up had went off.
I approached the entrance cautiously and to my amazement, I saw some fruits in a small basket outside the cave. I moved carefully and first looked around but saw no one, I heard Anna’s footsteps behind me, and she quickly squatted and started eating what she could lay her hands on from the basket.
Anna ate like a wild one and quickly dragged the basket back into the cave on her own, I decided to stay outside for a while and study the surrounding and possible way of escape when necessary. I rolled away the corpses close to the cave, and then gathered some branches I cut down from a nearby tree and blocked the entrance to the cave again.
By the time I got back into the cave, Anna had fed Baby and was playing with it. She did not care who rolled the bodies and kept the basket.
I sat down thinking and wondering about the mystery, she brought Baby to me and placed it in my hands and then picked some stones and placed them in front of me.
Anna sat before me and tried to explain to me the same thing she did while we were in the underwater cave but this time she poured sand on the stones, not water. I still could not understand, she even got me more confused.
Anna had a thought for a while, stood up and rushed into the cave and brought with her some precious stones. She then emptied the fruits from the basket, gathered some sand and poured it on the ground then placed the basket on top of the sand. She gathered more stones and placed them together with the precious stones, and she then selected all the precious stones and placed them in the basket. Anna poured the sand like rain on the basket and on the stones that were on the ground at the same time pushing the basket away from the ones on the ground. With the basket away as though it was still moving, she poured more sand on the other stones and as they got buried by the sand, Anna fell to the ground and acted dead.
Anna stayed motionless until I touched her, she got up and asked if I got what she was trying to say to me, I giggled, pointed a finger at her, ‘Anna!’ I said, then point the same finger at myself, ‘Buga.’ I added.
She became so mad at me, gnashed then pointed her finger at my head and explained to me that I had a small brain. She touched my heart and expressed that it was big; small brain big heart.
I laughed as she nodded.
‘Buga!’ I said again as I continue to laugh.
I think she was trying to tell me to make a ship so we would run away from all these troubles, I know how to swim but no one taught me how to make a canoe or a ship. Even if I were to make one, where would we run to? So I explained to her that it requires many hands to make a ship or a canoe and I am not skilled with such craft, she ignored me and made a raspberry.
The earth is big, we can go anywhere and settle there, I can protect Anna and Baby, I can protect them from a thousand flying spears and a thousand swords, I am Buga! The drums of war do not make any sound when I pass.
We spent another night in the cave, and whoever kept the basket the day earlier decided to supply another the next morning. We didn’t know who was so generous enough to show such kindness to us.
This time around, Anna packaged the fruits and explained to me that we must carry it along on our journey. I told her we should stay some more but she refused, she made me understand that must leave right at that moment so I agreed and before we left, she rushed into the cave and took some of the precious stones with her.
We got out of the cave and started to walk away, the beast growled from a far and echoed again just like the other day.
We stopped for a little while then Anna continued to walk so I followed her holding on to my sword on one hand and the basket with fruits on the other, I continued to look around the surrounding cautiously.
We took a long walk from the cave to the place Anna was leading us, when we covered a certain distance Anna asked we rested. It thundered and we could see lightning from a far, she handed Baby to me and explained she needed to bath when we got to a river but Baby began to cry so she took it back and kissed it. We ate some fruits and got back on our feet as the cloud thickened.
Not far from where we last rested, I heard some movement coming from behind us, I quickly rushed to Anna who was already walking and singing in front, I covered her mouth, dragged her and Baby away from the path we took, we were lucky to find a good hiding place.
I slowly kept the basket on the ground and held Anna with my left hand, my sword clenched to my right. Anna was in front of me holding Baby. I was taller and bigger so she looked up straight into my eyes as she smiled, I took a short glance at her and Baby then set my eyes back up.
Thousands of Puricans marched passed us, Anna did not make any sound, but Baby smiled and chuckled. I used my finger to cover its mouth, Anna angrily pushed it off Baby’s face and Baby chuckled the more.
The Puricans did not hear nor see us, they were heavily armed and clunked as they marched by. We waited there until the last one of them walked passed us, I could not see the chief among them. Then Baby chuckled again and as we were about to move out, more Puricans came by, this time the chief was among them. All on foot and armed to the teeth, as soon as I sighted the chief I remembered mother and what he did to her, my body began to shake. They were not many, I could take them down and kill the chief with ease.
The chief commanded his guards to halt, he turned to where we were and decided to micturate. He walked toward us and pulled it right before us, Baby smiled wide and was about to laugh, Anna then used her hand and covered Baby’s mouth and stared into its eyes, I used my hand to blocked Anna’s view as well.
The chief urinated right in front of us but did not notice we were there, when he was done he spat on his urine, farted as he wiped his mouth. He picked something in between his teeth and continued walking as his guards followed him.
Baby then pushed Anna’s hand off its mouth, took a strange look at Anna and chuckled again.
We were both panting, Anna could tell I was raged at the one who stood before us even though she did not know what actually happened or what I have lost in trying to protect her and Baby but as I looked in her eyes I saw something right at that moment; I saw sincere gratitude.
It was as though she felt that was going to be the end for us both so she took the little time we had left to show her appreciation with just one look. She had no hope that we would survive it, my nerves calmed and I bent my head low as they passed, it looked like the entire Puricans were out looking for us, I would get my rough hands on the chief’s neck someday.
After they had all gone, Anna turned and faced me, she had tears in her eyes, I wiped her tears with my other hand, and we waited for a while before we got out of the hiding place.
Anna later explained to me that we needed to take a different path, she was right even though I had no idea where she was taking us to.
We changed course through the valleys and up over the hills in the cold, Baby was well covered and only Anna’s face was exposed to the harsh conditions, and as for me, I was on alert and thought of mother all through. The thought of killing the chief warmed me constantly and gave me courage to go on, the thought of taking his life was my only opium. I know we will cross path soon even if we don’t, I shall make it a duty to find him and rip his heart out when this all ends! I thought.
Maybe his heart will be the first meat I’d taste, I could imagine its taste and the joy it would bring to know I swallowed the heart of my greatest foe.
When we got to a certain place, Anna began to sing again and sang beautifully through the forest and didn’t show any sign of exhaustion. I could not understand the words she spoke in her song but I loved her voice. I imagined myself swimming under water and hearing such voice guiding me, she sang so beautifully and Baby continued to chuckle and laugh as we walked.
The clouds above us had cleared and the sun warmed us a bit, but on one side of the skies the clouds appeared so thick and deadly.
Anna saw a particular small tree and explained to me that we should rest for a while, she instructed me to dig under the tree which I did and pulled out its root plant.
She gathered some big leaves and laid them on the ground and used the same leaf to prepare a small covering for Baby like a small temporary house.
I had never seen such plant before but it looked like fruit, I broke it in half and decided to take a bite but quickly spat it out of my mouth.
Anna laughed at me, maybe the humans and my kind survive on different kinds of food, and of course my kind hunted her kind for food, I worried.
Anna handed Baby to me, I gave her what I uprooted and waited to see what she would do with it. She laughed at me again as she dug the earth to create a small hole big enough for the root to fit in, she placed the root inside the hole and covered it with sand. She gathered some dry stems and some shrubs then placed them on top of the hole and lit it.
She stood up and walked down to a nearby stream, I wanted to follow her but must stay to look after Baby.
I heard a splat and thought she jumped into the water to escape so I rushed for my sword and went down the stream but I met her singing and playing happily as if she was in the water with someone else. By the time she saw me, she invited me but I declined and walked back with Baby.
Anna later came and checked the fire, after some time she quenched it and unearthed the root she buried. She peeled it and served me, I first watched her eat before I took a bite at it. It tasted good, not as it did when I bit it fresh and so I yearned for more of it. After eating, we both went down the stream and drank from it.
Anna fetched some leaves, stuck it to some sticks and made a small span covering, Anna backed Baby and used the covering as roof above their heads to shield themselves from the sun and the rain.
She amazed me with her intuition and how she would improvise quickly, Anna led the way and was confident and as she appeared to know where we were headed I just followed her.
We covered a long distance then came to a place that looked like an abandoned human settlement, I made an attempt to warn Anna but she kept moving. I had a bad feeling about the place so I called out and she stopped, turned and smiled. Anna insisted we keep walking.
She proved to be stubborn, as I took the next step my right foot landed on a trap and was swept off my feet and before I could do anything something hit me at the back of the head as I landed on the ground.