Earlier parts in the Silver series:
SILVER Part 9a
They held their heads high and walked on. At least they were making progress. The gods had not spoken clearly but their words had given them a flicker of hope. As they kept moving, they looked around to see if anyone was about. This part of the village seemed deserted because most of the villagers were busy and the children had gone to school. So their heavy footsteps, thumping heartbeats and occasional cries of birds were the only audible sounds.
A few minutes later, a beautiful palace came into view. The three stared in awe as they approached the magnificent villa. It was as breath-taking as my parents remembered it to be. Papa and mama had been there before when they were much younger. They told me constantly that the building was the tallest on earth. The palace was fenced in with high walls. There were guards stationed at every pillar of the walls. They walked up to the black gate and dad greeted the guard politely and stated his intentions, ‘we would like to see the king, it’s urgent please.’ The guard nodded and let them in without a word. They stepped in cautiously as though the ground was made of finest silk. As they walked in, Mama got carried away by the guards marching up and down the courtyard in a manner she didn’t understand. She stopped and let her eyes wander. The compound was at least five times our house or more. Realizing herself suddenly, Mama looked in front for her to see that her companions had left her. She had to jog a little to catch up with the others. Father, Maazi Ndubisi’s wife and mum kept walking in straight line towards the main building. Guards, courtiers, cleaners and servants going about their business walked past them from time to time. No one talked with them, stopped them or asked where they were going. As soon as they got to the house, a guard opened the door and ushered them in. ‘Wait here,’ was all he said gesturing to some tiger fur coated seats towards the right in the small room they were just entering. As they walked in one after the other – papa, mama then Maazi Ndubisi’s wife, they cast a quick glance at the chairs they were offered. Although the chairs seemed really cosy, they expressed their gratitude but declined the seats with a shake of their heads. They wanted the king to feel the urgency of their visit.
Few minutes later, they heard some footsteps coming towards them from a passage just adjacent to the room and Nwunye Ndubisi heaved a sigh of relief. But the sound stopped and started receding till it faded away. Papa’s hands started twitching. The room was silent except for the ticking clock on the wall and every tick tore at papa’s heart. He had to find me, but he couldn’t go alone. Mama noticed papa’s uneasiness and stroked his palm. ‘It will be alright’, she whispered to keep him calm. A couple of minutes became half an hour and there was still no sign of anyone not even a messenger. They were agitated but could not do anything about it because, “A king is never late”.
Meanwhile, I was afraid because our fate was uncertain. We were still in the cell waiting for the king’s orders. I was starving but the disgusting meal they gave us had driven my appetite deep into my rectum. I got up and paced back and forth wondering what would happen next. I looked over at Maazi Ndubisi. He just sat there, motionless. His head was bowed slightly.
He started muttering something under his breath. I shook my head in disapproval momentarily forgetting that I had prayed to the gods the night before and they had come through for me. I looked outside through the window. I could tell it was getting to midday because the sun was almost overhead. I stared at the floor. ‘How long was I going to spend here?’ I pondered, forcing myself to sit in a cross-legged fashion. I thought about my parents. I wished with all my heart that they wouldn’t give up in their search for answers concerning my whereabouts.
While I was still thinking, I heard a faint rap on our cell gate. I raised my head. It was the kind lovely young lady, the one that gave us water last night. My skipped a beat when I saw her… Continue reading