blue moon (2)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Red Clay: Part Three ©

It was starting to get very windy out in the desert making it difficult to see, so he decided to pull over at the next place he saw to get a break and wait for the wind to die down a bit before he completed the last two hundred miles to Vegas.
He didn’t have to wait long as a sign came up along the road that said gas and food ahead, two miles.

Two miles down the road he came up on a run down building with two ancient pumps standing outside.
Parking the car to the front of the stairs he got out and was about to lock the door when he decided he would rather have the satchel with him instead of alone in the car so he reached in and pulled it out then closed the door.
Before he proceeded his hand touched the 9mm pistol in the shoulder holster he wore, he has waited a long time for a score like the one he just pulled off and could retire with what he had in the satchel so he wasn’t going to temp fate by letting it out of his sight or without protection.

He walked up the wooden steps and through the front door.
Standing there he surveyed the room.
Half the place was a convenience store and the other half a bar with a half dozen round tables scattered around the room.
There was a fat bartender standing behind an old beat up bar pretending he was busy by wiping down the top of the bar and probably removing what little finish it had left on it.

To the right sat an old man mumbling to himself, to his left was a young black man reading a road map and drinking a coke.
Not wanting to sit at an open table he chose to belly up to the bar where he ordered a beer from the bartender before he whipped away any bar to lean on.

Thilivhali had a lot of ground to make up so he ran through the woods at a steady pace but still trying to be alert of any danger that might be lurking infront of him.
Two hours from his village he stopped to drink some water and a sound caught his attention.
He held his spear infront of him, ready for any surprise as he croutched there listening for any more sounds that might come his way.
His years in the woods with the witchdoctor had tought him much and he knew all the sounds made by nature or man in the jungle.

There it was again, it was the sound of leaves being pushed to the ground.
While staying in a tight crouch he started moving to the right of the noise just in case someone knew where he was and was watching for him, this way Thilivhali can get the upper hand if there was any danger waiting for him.

Slowly he crept through the dense jungle slipping between leaves, under fallen trees as stealthly as he could so not to be heard.
Slowly he rose to look over a bush to see what was on the other side and before him was a huddled mass of women and children, one was his mother.
He stepped through the bush startling everyone but when Thilivhali’s mother saw him, she cried with joy.
His sisters ran to him also, followed by the rest of the small group.

Through his mother’s tears he learned that when the slavers attacked his father pushed them out of the back of the hut that bordered the jungle and they ran for their lives.
She told him that his father went out to fight and to get Thilivhali and his brother.
His mother looked over his shoulder and asked where the rest of Thilivhali’s search party were.

With a sunken heart he told his mother along with the others that he was alone and there was no one else coming to help.
He told his mother of his father’s, her husband’s fate.
Her head dropped to her hands as she cried upon hearing the news of her husband death.

There were five women and twelve children in this group and he had to find someplace safe for them to stay while he went to see about the fate of the others from their village.
The next day he marched them to an old campsite they used to use when they went out to hunt.
There was a source of food there, fresh water and plenty of berries but just before he left he managed to kill a monkey for them so they would have meat for a while before they caught something on their own to eat when he left them.

He had lost precious time that he now had to make up so he picked up the pace and was dangerously running through the jungle trying to catch up to the slavers and Ada.
The leaves and branches whipped his body urging him on through the jungle and closer to the ones he hunted to save, Ada and the rest of his village.
He stopped and rested for the night after having run for so long, he knew he was getting closer to them because they could only go as fast as their prisoners allowed them.

He sat down eating some fruit he had found.
A lot had happened in the last three days.
Everything he knew was gone, life as he knew it was but ashes to the wind to scatter never to be seen again and now, all he had left, his future was stolen by the white man who threw thunder from his hands, a demon who had Ada.
The night sky was clear and the stars shone bright as he looked up to them, he wondered if it was the same sky Ada was looking at right now, was she still alive?
Was he or was this a bad dream and he will wake up soon.

She walked along in the back of the line of people, lashed to the back of a cart that was loaded with plunder from her village and the other villages that had fallen before the slavers.
The prisoners themselves were pulling the cart and if one faltered or become to sick he would be killed on the spot to be replaced by another able body.
She never ventured to far from the village so she didn’t know where they were right now.
For three days they had been walking, three long days that were nothing more than a nightmare, worse, death.
She died back there in the hut with that man.
What he did to her…
She had never envisioned such cruelty of which she had in the last few days.
Her body was numb from what had been done to it while her brain screamed with a million emotions as her heart cried for the life she had lost.

They were moving along slowly when the line abruptly stopped due to a disturbance up ahead.
She heard loud thunderous noises then screams filtered down through the air to the back of the line.
Then they started moving again about ten minutes later and as she came closer to where the trouble had been, she saw the body of a dead slaver next to him was the body of her father and her brother.
Her father had been hacked to pieces and her brother’s face had been smashed beyond recognition, she wouldn’t has recognize him without his lucky necklace.
She fell to the ground screaming out loud pulling to get to them to no avail as she was dragged past their bodies by her lashed hands.

That night as she lay on the ground still tied to the cart she saw three slavers drag a woman off into the night.
Her screams were the lullaby they all went to sleep to that night, at least for those that could sleep.
She lay there looking up at the stars in the night sky, lost.

Thilivhali was running through the jungle before the sun had risen trying to make up more ground.
He stopped periodically to study the terain and look for evedence of the direction his prey was headed.
He had not yet figured out what he was going to do when he finally caught up to them but one thing he did knew for sure and that was he was going to kill the white man for what he had done to his father, his village and for Ada.
He ran all morning and afternoon, stopping once for a drink of water and to eat some berries and other fruits he found.
It was not until near dusk that he found the body, it was that of Ada’s sister, she had been brutally raped and murdered.
The terror was registered in her wide-open dead eyes before his hand finally put them and her soul to rest.
He didn’t have the time to bury her properly so he put her under a fallen tree and covered her as best as he could then took off running again with a new sense of urgency.

He ran for a couple more hours until he came upon their tracks once more.
He had opted to run in the jungle just in case they had left a rear guard to watch their back trail.
These tracks were fresh, not more than eight hours old, he was getting closer and soon he will have to decide on a plan of action.
Building a small fire he cooked a lizard he had caught and drank plenty of water to re-hydrate himself once more.
Tomorrow he will catch up to them.
Tomorrow will spell out the future of many.

Jonas sat in his tent drinking and looking over his maps.
Tomorrow they should reach the shore and Smith should be there with the ship by tomorrow night as they had planned.
They will load the cargo onboard and head off to Lagos and then to the Carolinas.
He would sell everything in Lagos and with the money he had save he should have enough for the rest of his life.
He had two hundred thousand pounds at least, saved up and with what he will get from the sale of these slaves.
He will sell everything including the ship; that should give him enough to buy a nice estate in the Carolinas or down in Atlanta Georgia.
He had heard that’s the place to be if you wanted to live well and prosper.

Jonas took another drink from his bottle then looked at his pocket watch, if he went to bed now they could be off at daybreak and be at the coast buy mid afternoon.
He had lost about 30 slaves on this march but there were still almost 400 left and there was lots of ivory he had collected along with some precious stones.
This was a prosperous venture by all accounts.
He called in the guard and told him to bring him the woman.

By mid morning Thilivhali stood in their camp from the night before.
He picked up a container made with a clear clay that smelled like it had something strong and vile in it at one time.
It smelled as evil as the men he was chasing.
They couldn’t be more than a couple of hours ahead of him now so he ran through the jungle more cautiosly not wanting to give his presence away to the enemy.
Moving slowly now he reached them by mid afternoon.

The slavers had the prisoners all lined up just outside of the jungle on the beach while guards stood about watching them so that they didn’t make a run for it.
He moved like a panther through the jungle looking for people of his tribe to find out the whereabouts of Ada and his brother, if they still lived.
Near the middle of the long line of people he saw people of his village and move closer to talk to them.
While still concealed by the foliage he called out to them.
At first they didn’t trust what they heard but then one called back.
It was his brother.
Thilivhali told them not to get excited and to stay as they didn’t want to attract any unwanted attention.
He asked them how many of the village there were there and where was Ada.
They told him they had lost six people on the walk here along with Ada’s father, brother and they lost her sister somehow also..

Thilivhali told them he found Ada’s sister in the jungle and buried her.
They told him a white man was keeping Ada in his tent and they didn’t tell him more than that but he could tell by the look on his brother’s face that it wasn’t an easy time Ada was having.
He will kill that white man slowly for what he has done and is doing to her.

Jonas paced up and down the beach looking out into the open ocean but there was no sign of the ship yet.
He had his men bring the ivory close to the shore along with all the other things that were in the carts; the slaves could wait and go in last since they were getting off first and not coming back on.
He was selling them all but the woman; he was taking her alone with him for the trip across the ocean to keep him entertained and warm at night.

As the sun rested in the far off horizon Thilivhali decided the best thing to do was help release the other people then with their help try and escape with as many prisoners as possible.
Edging his way to the end of the jungle he waited until the guard was infront of him when he stepped out and thrust the spear upward and into the guard’s throat.
Without skipping a beat he pulled it out and pulled his arm back then threw it just as the other guard turn to the gurgling sounds of his cohourt, taking the spear in the chest.
Thilivhali had move so swiftly he had reached the guard and slit his throat with his knife before the guard’s brain had even realized he was being killed.
The prisoners grabbed at the dead gaurds and pulled them out of view of the other guards then tossed their bodies into the brush.

Thilivhali started cutting the ropes binding them all together and joining him in releasing the other prisoners when they had been cut loose.
Thilivhali’s brother grabbed his shoulder and asked about their parents.
He told him that their father was dead but their mother and sisters here hiding at the hunting camp.

He could see the sorrow and anger in his brother’s eyes and told him not to grieve, they will have their revenge then moved out a bit to look at the rest of the situation.
Turning he told his brother to take their people and start moving out into the jungle, he was going to go find Ada and bring her along.
His brother protested wanting to go along and fight the slavers but Thilivhali was older and told him to do as he was told.
If he failed he would be needed to help their mother and the others at the camp.

Reluctantly his brother did as was ordered.
Down the line all the prisoners were being released and Thilivhali knew the noise they were making would alert the guards at any minute so he moved out towards the beach to see if he could get a glimps of where Ada was.

Jonas stopped and looked out in the distance.
He could now see a mast in the failing daylight.
Smith had arrived and they would soon be gone, just then he heard gun shots from behind him and turned to see what was going on.

Thilivhali moved in closer, he saw the white man standing out on the beach alone staring out at the ocean.
This was his chance to get him but he would be in the open if he ran out that far and maybe get caught or killed.
Just then the alarm went up and the white man turned to see the slaves had gotten loose and were in a battle with the guards.
The white man started running in his direction and stopped by one of the carts then started pulling something out, it was Ada.

He jumped up and started running towards them at full speed now.
Surprised, the guards turned to meet him but it was to late for them as Thilivhali was upon them.
One taking the thrown knife in the throat and the other was stabbed with the sharp end of Thilivhali spear.
He turned to the white man who was grasping for a weapon in his wasteband.


1 comment:

Kathryn Magendie said...

OH, I'm so behind - I should cut and paste these in one doc to read!