Recap: Mama Shola has illicited the help of a family friend to help search for her son, meanwhile Ade and his friends are still searching for a way out.
The noise sent all of them scampering like rats in all directions, till they settled down and realized what it was. It was rain, sweet, precious, beautiful rain was falling, just when they had asked for a miracle, God had given them one.
Ade became giddy with excitement, almost unable to control himself. Jumping up and down to the surprise of others.
“Bro Ade, why are you happy?!” Kemi asked.
Beaming with a huge smile, he replied, “Don’t you know what this is? It is a miracle; our miracle. We wanted a distraction, God has given us one.’
His news sent quiet cheers around the room.
“So wetin we go do now, make we come dey escape ne?!” Musa asked moving towards the ceiling they had earlier pried open.
“No not yet, the guards will soon come and check on us, after that we escape. Let us just pray this rain lasts a long time.’
About five minutes later, one of the guards came in to do a last check and found all of them “sleeping”, he did a mental head count and closed the door slowly behind him as he left the room.
Immediately Emeka and Sule sprang to the centre of the room and formed a link with their hands, which Ade used as a pivot to climb up the ceiling.
The rain was falling hard and thick and it was drumming heavily against the zinc sheet of the metal roofing. It was hard for him to see in the dark but with each lightening, he could make out just where the zinc sheets were nailed into the wood. He found a spot that could hold his weight, lay on his back and with his legs pushed against the squeaky sheets. It gave way a little but realized he needed more force but more force meant more noise, so we waited in between each thunder clap and slammed his sole hard on the sheets. He tried it three times and on the fourth try managed to create a gaping hole but he got cut and sustained a deep gash in doing so. He tied a sock around the gash and proceeded to widen the hole carefully with his hands.
When he was done, he headed back towards the hole and found several eyes transfixed in anticipation at him.
He smiled, “Oya start climbing one by one, step only on the block, do not step on the ceiling or you will put us in trouble. Okay?” The others nodded.
One after the other everyone was led up and out the hole the roof, from where they jumped into the soft foliage in the the yard. When they were all finally in the soaking rain, all eyes turned to Ade who had been made automatic leader for direction.
The night was too dark to make out any landmark, he searched the night for any sign or direction and came up with nothing. Deciding to trust his intuition, Ade led the others west, it was better to be as far as possible from the house no matter the direction they were headed to.
They had walked for more than an hour in the raging weather, when the six year old started to cry, causing them to pause.
“What is it?” Kemi asked, gently kneeling beside her.
“Cold is catching me and my leg is paining me, I cannot walk again.” She whimpered.
The others sighed.
“You can try, it is not long before we reach where we are going.” Kemi said smiling trying to get the little girl to relax.
She shook her head to the chagrin of the others.
Ade looked back in the direction they had just come from and could still make out the house that had been their prison, silhouetted against the night sky. They still were not far away enough from it to stop for a rest.
“Can you carry her?” Ade inquired of Kemi, to which she nodded.
They were soon on their way, Faith nestled firmly on Kemi’s back. The rain did not seem to want to stop any time soon but they did not care as long as it continued to act as a cover for their escape. So they trudged on through the water soaked sands, their clothes soaked their bones wary and in need of a rest but determination kept them upright and fear kept them awake.
Bello felt uneasy, something about tonight did not feel right, the rain was still pouring heavily outside and did not look like it was relenting. He stared at his wrist watch; it read 2.45 AM, everything around him looked in order but he still could not fall asleep. He got up to go check all the locks and discovered that they were all in order, except the major door that led outside. Slowly he reached for it and pushed it open and was immediately greeted by the pungent smell of marijuana. Seated in a low chair was Slaughter, smoke escaping his paused lips and a burning roll pinched between his fingers.
“Ah ogbeni, sleep no cash you too?!”
“Omo na from sleep I from wake, body just dey do me anyhow.”
“Unto how?” He said passing the marijuana to Bello, which he declined.
“I no know, I just dey feel like say something wan happen.” Bello said, uneasily, searching his mind for any reason why he felt restless.
“Ogbeni, e ma worry eh! Ah. Me na jazz man as you see me so, if anything wan happen; kpam! I go get alert for here.” He said lifting up shirt to reveal cowries tied around his waist. “I no fear anybody because of am. If you want I go carry you go meet the baba wey arrange am for me.”
“Oya, I go like am.”
They sat quiet, looking out into the night, watching as winds lashed the rain against the building, the green grass swayed ragged in its wake. The skies lit up intermittently by lightening, followed shortly the harsh grumble of thunder. Bello closed his eyes for a while, his mind traveling back years to when he was a little boy and how he loved the rain and its smell. He and his younger ones would feign going to fill up the water containers, so they could play in the rain, those were good times.
“Make I enter inside Egbon.” Bello said getting up.
“Oya na, I go soon join una, make I finish this one.” He said indicating the burning stick in his hand.
Once inside Bello headed towards the holding room, the children were unusually quiet tonight. Even the blow horn Emeka seemed to be sleeping soundly tonight. He let out a scream when he opened the door and found it empty.
“Make una wake up!! They don run!!!”
Slaughter burst into the house, “Wetin happen?!”
“They don escape, all of them!!!” Bello wailed, pointing to the door that was now ajar.
Slaughter went to have a peek in the room. “Ah! We don die! How them take do am na?”‘ His eyes sparkled with amazement.
By now the remaining three had gotten up groggy eyed and we’re searching the now lit up house. Their attention was dragged by a cry in the holding room, sending to it.
“Kilo sele?” Bala the darkest of the group asked.
Bayo used his rifle to indicate the gaping hole he had discovered in the ceiling.
A pained cry went through the group as they stared mouth agape at the man made hole.
“We don die! Get in there, they fit still dey there.” Bello commanded.
Quickly with the aid of Slaughter and Hakeem, Bayo climbed up the ceiling, his head reappeared some moments later.
“Ah, oti lo. They don go. If you see the hole for the zinc ehn, fear go cash una.”
“Oya get down let us go and find them, they fit never go far. We need find them or Oga go do us strong thing.” Slaughter said rushing out of the room.
Moments later they were combing the thick foliage around them in all directions, the powerful beam of their torchlight stretched before them as they moved forward in the rain that was finally beginning to subside.
It had being close to 30 minutes since they decided to stop and catch their breaths, Ade could not tell the time exactly as his captors had taken his wrist watch along with his other belongings. He was too excited to sleep as some of the others were, he could not wait to leave this God forsaken bush and to be in the comfort and warmth of his parents home.
He was lost in his reverie when something caught his attention, he stood up to see exactly what it was and found five separate beams combing the bushes. They had been discovered. Panic set in and he immediately set about waking up the other captives.”
“Wake up!! They are coming!!!” He kept repeating as he tapped them awake. “We have to keep on moving!” He said almost screaming.
“Look, they are coming this way.” He said pointing in the direction of their fast approaching captors.
They immediately set about their way, Faith once again took up her position on Kemi’s back and they continued their journey into the wary night. They had not gone more than a couple of feet when they were stopped abruptly by a creature; a wild dog, its fangs bared out, snarling, its nose flared, spit running down its open mouth, the hairs on its back standing straight, despite the wetness of the night. Ade shook in his shoes, he hated dogs and this was no exception.
He looked behind them and the cylindrical frame of the light beams were drawing ever closer. He looked at the dog in front of them, it did not seem to want to move out of the way.
“I am afraid.” Faith whispered into Kemi’s ear.
“Me too.” She replied through clattering teeth.