Curse of the Full Moon (The Amanze Beast) – Episode 7

Click Here To Read The Last Episode: Curse of the Full Moon (The Amanze Beast) – Episode 1Curse of the Full Moon (The Amanze Beast) – Episode 2Curse of the Full Moon (The Amanze Beast) – Episode 3Curse of the Full Moon (The Amanze Beast) – Episode 4Curse of the Full Moon (The Amanze Beast) – Episode 5Curse of the Full Moon (The Amanze Beast) – Episode 6

 

Episode 7

Emeka had grown despondent since the meeting with his entire family. It had started out first as extreme fury. Who the hell did his father think he was to determine Emeka’s life? Emeka loved Wura. Wasn’t that enough to go to war for? But no. It was forbidden for him to fraternize with the enemy. Wura was no enemy! She was the love of his life.

The same night of father’s declaration, mother had given express orders that Emeka was not to leave the palace. This order hadn’t been given to Emeka himself, since mother knew he would disobey her at the first instance. No, this order had been given to the palace guards, who were ordered to use every force necessary without harming Emeka irrecoverably. This meant they could bludgeon him until he fell unconscious—so long as he was still breathing, they could apply any amount of force, if he wasn’t cooperating with the Queen’s decree.

Emeka had found out by one of his sister’s and this had made him really mad. He had confronted his mother about it and she had admitted to doing it. When he had screamed for her to give him a reason why she had done such evil against him, she had told him with a calm tone that she did it to protect him.

“I know you, my son,” she had said to him, her weathered face beaming with motherly love and care. “You will disobey your father. And he will be forced to execute you.”

“Father would never do that to his own son!” I yelled back at her. Even though this conversation had happened in her inner chambers, the whole palace must have heard Emeka’s voice. Princely decorum had flown out the window—as it usually did when it came to matters of Wura … the lovely and precious Wura.

Then the Queen had shot to her feet, from the bed on which she laid. “Don’t be so sure, Emeka!” she said with a broken voice. “I’ve seen him do it before!”

The stunned silence that followed was a sign of Emeka’s confoundedness. Dad had executed one of his sons? But who? A million questions stormed through Emeka’s mind, and his tongue was ready to spit them out had his anger not calmed and his senses kicked in. His mother stood defiant before him; but on her face was the deep sorrow of bereavement. Emeka had heard tales of a first son before Onyebuchi, the Crown Prince, but he had never believed the tales. Simply because there was no proof. But now standing in front of him was proof of the extent of his father madness.

Emeka had left mother’s chambers, abandoning her in her state of brokenness. He had broken her and he knew he should have said something to soothe her pain. But he couldn’t, because he too was full of hurt and pain. That day, his anger had vanished and dread had taken up its place in his heart. Could he defy his father knowing it would certainly lead to his death? His mad tyrant father could execute his first male child, now that he had many of them, what would stop him from executing Emeka if he dared defied his orders and interfere with Wura’s planned marriage?

But could Emeka stay away? What if he didn’t? What if he defied his father and couldn’t persuade Wura otherwise of her marriage? What if he failed and he had already lost Wura? What had he done wrong? Why was this happening to him?

Three days passed since the night with his father and the palace had finally become silent. The tension that hung in the air as a result of Emeka’s expected rebellion was finally letting loose. The truth was Emeka was now paralyzed by fear. His heart yearned so deeply for Wura. Every day he spent dreaming of her. He longed for the night because he knew he could finally be in her arms in the embrace of sleep, when he would dream of her beautiful face and loving personality. He barely ate and had started to emaciate.

His father saw this and was unmoved by it; but his mother tried to persuade him to let go of Wura. But try as he may, he was unable to do it. She had become one with his heart—heck she was his heart. Every hour that passed as they drew nearer to the Unification Ceremony, Emeka drew closer to his death because he had decided he would rather die than live life without Wura as his.

What life was there without love? What existence was existence without the soft touch of a woman’s skin? What life was life without the warmth of kindness and the ease of peace? Was not that the essence of living? To love? Was that not the whole point of life? To care about someone so deeply that it hurt? And now, Emeka had found a purpose to life—a purpose that helped him endure the Curse of the Full Moon and that purpose was slipping out of his grasp. If there were something he could have done about it, by the gods he would have done it. But the most frustrating thing about Emeka’s situation was that he couldn’t do a damn thing about his situation. And so like a bleeding man, life was slowly ebbing out of his body…

Until the night of the third day when the servant he least expected to see entered his room. It was a ruddy teenage girl that served tables. She wore a ratty cotton dress that was so big it enveloped her and swept the floor. Emeka’s first response was to shoot to his feet and look out his window to see the half-moon peaking at him, goading him as usual to cast all restraints and Beast out. If it were a full moon, he would have no power over the curse. But since it was a half moon, he was in control.

Then Emeka glanced at the girl and said, “What news have you brought me, young girl?”

The girl bowed her head in reverence, and she said, “I bring news from your heartthrob, sire. She waits for you by the river. She seeks your face once more…” Then the girl turns on her heels and dashed out of the room.

Emeka’s heart was already racing. Wura had sent word. She was waiting for him at their normal spot, just beyond the border. It was at least a day’s ride by horse. As the Beast, he could make it in less time. Maybe an hour, maybe less. Emeka calculated. Wura would have sent that message since daybreak by a horse rider, meaning she had been waiting for him to get the message since dawn.

Emeka leapt unto the ledge of his window that overlooked the palace garden. There were guards patrolling the entire grounds in groups of four hefting heavy swords and using bonfires for light. Emeka lets go of the restraint, holding onto Wura’s picture in his mind. Immediately, the Beast tore out of his skin, hooting into the night. This drew the attention of the guards to the window. But by the time they looked up, the Amanze Beast was already speeding along the roofs of the kingdom of Amanze, headed for the border.

By the time the Beast leapt over the finally barrier—the tall walls of Amanze onto the outlands, Emeka reined in the monster and turned back into human. His clothes were already ruined so he tore them away from his body, leaving his trousers which had been turned into shorts with rough edges. It was still about three hours journey to the river by foot, but Emeka had retained some of the Beast’s speed.

Emeka took a deep breath to steady his beating heart, which beat for Wura, before he began running again. He ran through the dark forest, the moon washing over him and ripples of power strengthening his every bone. It took him about ten minutes. By the time he burst out of the trees and onto the beach he came to a stop.

Ahead was a lone figure standing by a fire and looking out to the vast body of water to the left. Emeka clamped on his Beasty powers and ambled towards the figure. When he was about ten feet away, the figure spoke.

“I’m sorry about the last time,” she said. “The Sabontashi warriors were only trying to protect the bride.”

Emeka didn’t think he could still feel hurt for the situation of Wura, getting married. However, hearing her call herself a bride—someone else’s bride—caused a whole new level of hurt to explode in Emeka’s heart.

Emeka refrained from speaking and only admired Wura’s backside. It was firm and jutted out appealingly in her filmy scarlet gown.

Wura turned to look at Emeka and for a moment, Emeka was taken aback for Wura’s pristine beauty. Then when he remembered she was no longer his, anguish tore his heart apart.

Wura closed the distance between them until her breasts rested on his chest, interposing themselves between his face and hers.

“I’m sorry, Emeka,” Wura whispered, her voice thick with emotions. “I tried to fight it. But my parents wouldn’t listen to me. I told them my heart belonged with you, but they forbade me, threatened me even. I am cursed to walk this path.”

“…a path without me…” Emeka added, his eyes blurring with tears.

Wura was already crying. Hot tears flushed down her face. “I’m sorry, Emeka.”

Emeka shook his head, causing the tears to pull free of his eyes and drop down his cheek. He struggled with himself, struggled with the choking feeling of Wura’s bursts on him. He tried to think straight but streaks of pleasure kept pulsing through his mind. He couldn’t think clearly. All he could think about was grabbing Wura and lying with her.

“Then why did you come?” asked Emeka.

Wura grabbed his shoulders, pressing deeper against his chest. “Let’s run away, Emeka! A life of slavery or poverty with you is better than a life of wealth and power without you. Take me, Emeka. Let’s go, right now. Right this moment!”

Emeka’s mind came to a resounding halt. The idea appealed to him, but he wasn’t cruel enough to accept it. This wasn’t the life he wanted for her. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end up. And Emeka was ready to make this decision on the fly.

Emeka, his hands still restrained by his sides, said, “No, Wura. This isn’t the life I planned us having. I can never in good conscience condemned you to such a life…”

Wura sighed, shut her eyes for a moment, while her hands worked its way from his shoulders to round his neck. When she opened her eyes, there was resignation in them. She said, “Then lie with me one more time.”

Emeka didn’t need to be told another time. He grabbed her bum and hefted her onto himself. Then he gently fell on the floor and they lay with each other like two ravenous beasts from then until sun up.

 

***

By the time Emeka roused, Wura was already gone. The fire was now a smoldering heap of ashes and the sun blazed high in the sky. There was a horse by the edge of the forest with fresh clothes and sustenance and a piece of note. Emeka washed by the river bank and changed into the fresh set of clothes. Then he read the note as he ate the food. It was a simple final note from Wura. She thanked him for a wonderful last time and told him she had left the horse and the supplies for his journey back to his kingdom. She wished him luck finding a partner and said he would always be in her heart.

Emeka crumpled the paper in anger, mounted his horse, and rode for Amaze. He got to the center of the kingdom by nightfall, and didn’t get to the palace until deep in the night, about four or five hours before dawn. The Crown Prince and the Queen were alerted to his arrival and waited for him in the inner court.

“Where have you been?” asked the Queen. She was furious. “I gave strict instructions…”

“To the guards, mother,” Emeka said nonchalantly even as he walked by them. “Next time, give them to me.”

“You’re going to get yourself killed, Emeka,” called the Crown Prince.

Emeka was already gone, but he heard and shouted his reply. “As though I aren’t already dead…” Because to Emeka, a life without Wura was as good as no life. Emeka collapsed on his bed in his room and relived his passionate love making to Wura all over again.

 

When Emeka woke up at dawn, he knew how the day was going to end. He didn’t know how he knew; he just knew it would end in him getting into trouble. Emeka spent most of the day in doors, but all his siblings came to see how he was doing. He knew they weren’t really interested in his well being as much as they were interested in him not doing anything stupid. Emeka knew today was the Unification Ceremony, and he knew the time he had to leave the house to stop it.

By noon, Emeka locked his door, knelt to his knees, and prayed for the curse to be awaken fully in him. He almost never did this. It was like his trump card—his joker. He only did this when the situation was dire because the consequences were vast. But right now he wasn’t thinking of consequences. He was only thinking of Wura. And with Wura in his mind, the Beast came forth. This time, the Beast didn’t go through the window. It went out through the main doors.

The guards were taken unawares, but managed to fire a few shots before someone ordered them not to shoot the Beast down. The Amanze Beast raced to Elekko Kingdom. The archers saw him from far away and started letting the arrows rain. It was dark so their aim wasn’t so good. Nevertheless, they got several arrows in before the Beast leapt over the walls and headed for the palace.

At the palace, the guards were more prepared for him. But the Beast had only one thought in mind. Wura. It slayed a great multitude of soldiers and sustained a great multitude of injuries including one with an ancient poison.

In the process, Ahmed, Wura’s groom, was injured. The beast grabbed Wura and leapt in the opposite direction of the reinforcement. This direction was that of the Evil forest, but the Beast wasn’t thinking. Wura was screaming on his shoulders and his head was buzzing as weakness began to set in. the soldiers stopped pursing him at the edge of the Evil Forest, while the Beast raised through the dark evil forest until it succumbed to the poison coursing through it and collapsed to the ground, Wura falling off his shoulders.

“Emeka!” Wura screamed and leapt off the floor and collapsed at his side, holding his head. Emeka saw that the Beast had faded away and that he had turned back to human. The last thing he saw was Wura’s face before the poison took away his consciousness.

 

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