Jide Omoyemi felt strangely cool…..the last thing he remembered was falling through a door into a void of some kind. As he floated, he realised that he couldn’t breathe. Panicking, he began flailing about. Wait he thought, as he suddenly looked up to see a light above him. Am I in water? Moving his limbs about and noting the sensations he confirmed his suspicions. With that in mind he pushed himself to swim towards the light.
Bursting out of the water, Jide coughs out water while struggling to float. After catching his breath, Jide looked around him to find himself in a lake in the middle of a thick forest.
He gasped as he swam to the nearest bank. Finally making it to land, Jide lay on the ground tired and sore all over.
“Where the hell am I?”
He asked staring at the sky above him, blue with two moons, or probably a single moon broken into two. Sighing to himself, Jide remarked.
“This surely isn’t Lagos, or even Earth for that matter.”
He had to have dozed off because by the time he found the strength to move the sky was red from the sun setting. Sitting up Jide emptied his pockets. A watch, a set of keys, his now ruined phone and a wallet. All useless in this thickly vegetated foliage that stared him in the face.
Remembering his meeting with the pale lady who called herself Gaea, Jide audibly groaned.
“Fine. I’m here. Now what? What do I do from here? Gaea?”
Hearing no response and realising general arrival of the night, Jide swore silently as he stared into the now dark forest.
“Why do I have to go there? Maybe because I don’t want to sleep out here exposed… why??”
Making his way into the thick brush of the forest, Jide pushed past many weeds and shrubs looking for any signs of civilisation around him. , Jide steels himself as he hears a series of cries, shrieks and other assorted noises in the near darkness.
“Calm down Jide, this is perfectly normal. This is simply the sound of nature at work.”
Jide mutters nervously, not believing a single word he said. After maybe an hour or two of walking, no way to be sure really, Jide sees a child walking about in the distance.
“Hello… could you help me?”
He called out. The child stops in place apparently surprised to hear something. Calling to her again, Jide moves in closer pushing foliage out of the way. Getting a better look at the child, he notices a few things. Firstly, it’s a girl with green skin, brown hair and bright yellow eyes, dressed in vines. Second, were there flowers growing out of her hair?
As he stares at her in shock the green girl searching for the voice she heard, finally sees him. For a second the two of them stare at each other, before her eyes widen. She steps back takes a breath and releases the most intense scream anyone has ever heard. It’s so intense that it sends Jide to his knees in pain. By the time he recovers, the girl had vanished and he was alone.
He finally able to say as he gets up to his feet.
“If there are any more things like this… am I sure I want to meet anyone?”
He wondered aloud as he pushed through the forest which had gotten really dark by now. Seeing a faint light in the distance, Jide tired and worn-out makes a mad dash towards the light. Bursting out of the bushes, he drops to his knees panting.
“Please, I’m lost. Could anyone please lead me to the nearest…..”
Jide stops mid-way into his request when he stares up to see who he had crashed upon.
First thing he noticed was hat the light he saw from afar? It was a single glowing orb surrounded by a trio of enormous strange animals on a large boulder. A fiery orange bird with flashes of golden light emanating from it screeched angrily, apparently annoyed at his appearance. The massive black wolf that seemed to be made of shadows and electricity leapt off the rock and sauntered towards Jide who was frozen in place…like he couldn’t move even if he wanted to. Suddenly a cream and red striped cat leapt off the rock, bounced off the head of the dog and landing between it and Jide. The cat bared its teeth snarling at the wolf who howled in apparent annoyance. The air is chokingly tense as the two creatures were ready to square off. But it was quickly diffused with a disinterested screech from the bird who flapped its feathers disapprovingly. Growling bitterly the wolf climbed back up the rock taking one last look that Jide swore had a derisive, disgusted expression. The cat shrugging its shoulders turned to Jide staring at him with an intense expression. Before Jide could even gasp it pokes him in the centre of the head.
Elsewhere, a large warthog ran through the forest, squealing its lungs out as it darted between the trees. It stops in its tracks when an arrow hits a tree in front of it, forcing the frightened creature to double back and run in the opposite direction. A second arrow hits the ground in front of it and the warthog leaps in the air in fright.
“Sunny would you stop it? This is just cruel.”
Hidden in the branches of a nearby tree, two dark-skinned humanoids are seated, one aiming yet another arrow through her bow, while the other shuddered disliking what was on display. The bow welding being brushed her long green hair from her face before taking aim and firing another arrow, which lands jest inches from the warthog’s nose.
“Sunny, taking out your anger on a hog isn’t going to help u in any way.”
The chubby, short olive green haired humanoid commented, taking a bite out of an apple.
Sunny snorted, eyeing her companion as she reached for yet another arrow.
“It helps me hone my skills and lets out my frustration Pettie, or do you want to take its place and help me practice?”
Briefly aiming her bow at her companion who quickly smacks it away from her face.
“Don’t even joke like that Sunny! It’s your own fault for sneaking out of the village during curfew yet again. I’m just here as your friend but if you’re going to act like this then I’ll leave.”
“Don’t be like that Pettie, I was just really mad at what those old… old… ones said. Why do we have to hide out here in the middle of nowhere separated from every other town out there? Why is it such a crime to explore our surroundings! I’m just tired of just staying in one place all the time.”
She says finally putting down her bow on the large branch they were seated on. Collecting an apple from Pettie, sunny watched the warthog nervously wander off into the brush.
“I wish I could just bury the elders under their own houses.”
Pettie chuckled patting her friend on the back.
“I’d almost take you seriously if your earth weaving was any good.”
She said taking another bite out of the apple, ignoring a glare from her friend and smiling cheekily.
“Hmmm… I just have to ask Seamus where he picks these apples from. They are sooo good.”
Taking a bite herself, Sunny nodded her head in agreement her legs swinging idly.
A sudden blood curdling scream shocks them out of their mood. With Sunny picking up her bow and aimed at the direction of the scream.
Pettie tackles her off the branch just before an uprooted tree crashed into the one they were just seated on. Hitting the ground, the duo roll to their feet staring at the figure who staggered out of the woods.
He seemed to be I great pain as his form continually shifted between that of a dark-skinned humanoid and that of a bronze and black form. The individual fell back into a tree, the impact shattering it in two.
“What in the gods’ names is that?”
Pettie squeaked as Sunny quickly aimed and fired her arrows at the figure, which bounced off its skin.
“Pettie help me here!!!”
Sunny shouts as she fires more arrows at the unstable creature dodging its attacks as it screamed in some mysterious agony. Picking up an arrow from the ground, the creature’s eyes glow for a brief flash before it suddenly hurls it in Sunny’s direction. She attempts to spin out of the way but the arrow hits her in the side, sending her into the grass.
Suddenly the earth around the creature shifts quickly forming a dome around it.
“Just doing my….”
She is interrupted as the creature wrecks the dome in a single hit. Panicking, Pettie creates another earth dome around the creature but that too is shattered in a single hit.
Running to her friend’s side, Pettie creates several walls between them and the creature who simply walks through them one by one.
“What do we do? It’s going to kill us!”
Removing the arrow from her side, Sunny gasps as cracks around the wound slowly fill up. Grabbing a panicked pettie by the arm, she pulls herself up.
“We make a hole.”
The two focus their energies. The first time they fail as the creature simply sidesteps it. The second attempt is a success as the creature falls into a massive hole. She creates a massive hole in the earth where the creature falls. Both pettie and sunny drop to their knees, panting due to exhaustion. Though the screams of the creature shows that it is still alive, after a few moments in silence it becomes apparent that it isn’t coming out of the hole.
The duo cautiously crawl to the edge of the pit to see the creature rolling around screaming on the floor, its shape still varying between the two forms. Sunny stares, while pettie grimaces turning her head away.
“It seems like it is in great pain. What do we do now?”
Pettie asked as sunny assumed a squatting position, staring intently at the hole. Suddenly the creature calms down, finally settling down to the slightly smaller dark skinned humanoid
“You go and call the elders. They need to see this.”
“And you’re going to stay here?”
Sunny nodded, her eyes fixed on the occupant of the pit.
“One of us has to stay in case this thing decides to jump out and smash some more trees. Or do you want to stay and watch?”
Sunny grinned as she saw her friend’s horrified reaction. With a final gesture, Pettie makes a dash for the village while sunny maintained a silent vigil by the pit.