Nina (9)

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Nguher
I felt my head pounding as I slowly returned to consciousness.
I was lying down on the floor in a very large dark room, with a
singular, small window on the wall opposite mine, close to the
ceiling, not even large enough for me to poke my head
through. It appeared to be evening outside and the only source
of light came from a singular but large red candle flickering
strongly on a mantelpiece attached to the roof. I blinked and
squinted as my eyes started to adjust to the poor lighting and
it was only when I tried to get up that I realized I had been
bound hand and foot. The pounding in my head continued
mercilessly as I tried to struggle into a sitting position. After a
few failed attempts, I managed to lean my back against the
wall behind me. The whole place smelt damp and sinister. I
looked around me and saw that apart from being bound I had
been chained by one of my ankles to a heavy looking bolt on
the floor. There didn’t seem to be any need for that though, as
the ropes were already doing a good job of keeping me a
prisoner. I was a little disoriented in time but hazarded a guess
that it had been a few hours since my abduction. Abduction;
now that I had thought of that word, I began to realize the full
implications of my situation. I weighed shouting for help to
keeping quiet. It might be that my abductors had kept me
somewhere isolated and my shouting would only alert them to
the fact that I had regained consciousness. I decided to keep
quiet for now.
The walls of the room were dirty brown in colour and some
dried dark substance stained the walls in various areas. Below
these stains were strange symbols and writings, none of
which made any sense to me. I suddenly saw swift movement
on the other side of the room and I struggled upright. I saw
some movement again and something flew past my face. I
was so taken aback I yelled out and the noise echoed all
around the room. This caused more of the creatures to start
flying about and screeching in high pitched tones. Bats! I
wasn’t very fond of bats, with their little razor sharp teeth and
claws; and for some reason my brain decided that this was the
right time to remind me of a documentary I had watched on
discovery channel that bats transmitted rabies. I shuddered
and kept quiet as they fluttered and circled above me. Even
though I couldn’t see them, by the sound they made I figured
they would be about a hundred of them which would be more
than enough to do me in if they decided to attack-
Shut up brain!
I forced myself to remain calm. As far as I knew bats did not
knowingly attack humans, normal bats anyway. I squinted ,
trying to see if there was another way out of the room, maybe
the way the bats had flown in. they couldn’t have come in from
the window as it was closed, so there must be…
“Why are you looking up?”
I swiveled round to where the voice had come from. Mr A****
was standing there smiling, as friendly looking as ever. Beside
him now stood four bodyguards, all dressed as the ones I had
“seen” before. As usual they looked blank and a lot like
statues and didn’t move until Mr A**** himself did.
“What are you looking at?” he asked again, advancing slowly. I
tried moving back then realized I was already against the wall.
There was
nowhere to move back to. I put on a bold, nonchalant face.
“The bats.” I said. “I don’t like bats so much.”
His eyes twinkled in excitement and he let out a whoop of
laughter. It echoed around the room as my shout had done
earlier and the bats scattered again.
“And I suppose,” he said, “that you are wondering why we
bound you so tight?”
“Well, the chain to the ground thing is a bit much.” I replied.
“Haaaa! Wonderful!” he said, laughing again. I didn’t quite get
it and started to conclude that Mr A**** was as mad as a
hatter.
“If any other person had been in this room, all they would have
seen would have been the ropes binding their hands and feet.
Only someone really gifted would see the enchanted chain on
the floor and my spiritual sentries on the roof! You are indeed
talented, boy! Tell me, how did you acquire this power? Did
you kill anyone? Sacrifices perhaps? A secret cult? I have
already looked you over, there are no charms on your body, so
how are you doing it?”
The chains and the bats had been a test. And I had passed
horribly. I sighed to myself. There were few times when I
considered myself unlucky for having the Sight. This was one
of the. But then something told me that even if I had not seen
the supernatural objects, he still would not have freed me.
“Come now, chuks, don’t you have anything to say?” Mr A****
asked jovially, “You are in the presence of a fellow seer; I see
things that are beyond the physical realm as well. I can even
tell you how I got mine, a little matter of using my wife. I had
to wait until after our child was born of course, so I could
propagate my name. I have acquired so much power and
wealth since then, up to having y own spiritual demon guards.
They follow me everywhere and have helped me out of a
difficult situation once or twice. I remember one time, many
years ago when armed robbers came to my house. I had just
acquired my guards from the spirit realm and was eager to
use them. There were five young armed men that entered my
house that day, only one made it out alive. He is mad now, still
at Uselu psychiatric hospital as their permanent guest. No one
believes him when he says he saw his comrades being
strangled before his eyes by invisible forces. I let him go then
so he could spread the word to the underworld that I should be
feared…
“I am not a seer.” I said.
For the first time a frown entered his face. Obviously he didn’t
like to be interrupted. The nice and friendly Mr A**** that I had
seen disappeared and for the first time I saw the ugliness of
him. The hardheartedness and fury he held. But I was not
deterred.
“What did you say, boy?” he said coming a little closer.
“I am not a seer!” I replied boldly. “I was born with this gift. I
didn’t do anything evil to anyone to get it! I am not like you!
Not in any way! Now untie me before I show you what else I
can do!”
I was bluffing. There was nothing else I could do. I had never
been in a situation like this before and my heart was pounding
like it was going to come out of my chest and flee the scene,
but I had to appear calm and in control. This man didn’t know
anything about me. I had to use it to my advantage before
things got worse.
He studied me a while and seemed to calm down. Suddenly he
called out:
“Number one! Number two!
Two young and malnourished looking men came in from a
small door at the side, probably the same door Mr. A**** had
come in from when I was looking up at the bats. They ran up
to him and knelt down.
“These are my servants. Don’t be confused, they are real.” He
said and turned his attention to them.
“Our guest wants to give us a demonstration. Free him.”
They ran up to me and propped me up. In a few moments the
ropes were loosened and I massaged my hands where they
had dug deep into my skin. I stretched my legs a bit and felt a
little better. Things were looking up.
“Alright then,” said Mr A****. “Free yourself.”
Eh? I did a quick check and sure enough all the ropes had been
loosed, so what was he talking about? I took a few steps
forward then suddenly I couldn’t move! Try as I might I
couldn’t lift my left foot of the ground! Then I remembered. The
chain, the steel bolt in the floor.
Mr. A**** was watching me curiously as if he was expecting
me to do something. As I didn’t know what he wanted e to do I
stood there for a while as if in quiet contemplation. Then,
summoning all my strength, I yanked my leg forward.
The pain was so excruciating I had to scream out. I looked
down, half expecting to see torn flesh where my left foot had
been but it was still intact, not a scratch, as if nothing was
wrong. And yet I felt the pain burn deep down to my bone. I
doubled over and eventually had to sit on the floor. I was
sweating now and almost passed out.
Mr A****’s laugh brought me back to my senses. I couldn’t
understand now how I had ever thought that laugh was
friendly. I tried to take slow, deep breaths as the pain
subsided.
Mr. A**** walked up to me and whispered in my ear. “You
have no power, do you? I’m sure you never even tried to
understand what you were given. It is said that children who
inherit their wealth lose it while those who suffered for it, keep
it. It’s a pity you are the former.”
He walked away again and continued his speech like I never
interrupted him.
“I let him go to spread the word of my powers to the
underworld but not before giving him a little gift. A little
something to keep those who heard the story terrified. I’d like
to give you that gift as well.”
“No thanks,” I said, struggling to my feet. It still hurt a little bit
but not so much. “I don’t think it will be wise receiving
anything from you.”
he smiled and walked away from me. He went towards one of
the walls and said something and one of the bats overhead
flew down to him.
“Nina has beautiful wings, doesn’t she?” he said quietly.
“What?” I said.
“Nina. The first time I saw her, she had the most beautiful
wings I had ever seen. Actually at the time they were the only
wings I had seen, and I asked my master what they meant. He
told me that such people had great and powerful destinies and
if her destiny could be tied to mine, there would be no limit to
my powers and my wealth would be even greater than I had
ever imagined. But that I couldn’t just steal it. I needed Nina’s
consent in the matter. I tried to get my son to create a blood
pact with her but so far he has failed miserably. He even tried
rebelling against me once, saying he was no longer interested
in the relationship. I had to teach him a lesson…”
“You caused the accident,” I said, shocked. “Your own son!”
“Oh, I have done a lot worse, boy, believe me.” he was walking
back to me now, holding one of the bats in his hands. As he
came closer I gave a small gasp. The bat wasn’t a bat at all. It
looked like a small monkey with criss-crossed eyes and it was
chattering maniacally. It had four pairs of long arms and a pair
of very small wings. It screeched and chattered as it came
towards me and I drew back.
“What the hell is that?!” I shouted, but he didn’t answer. He
nodded to the two malnourished men and they rushed me and
pinned my hands behind me. I struggled frantically but they
were surprisingly very strong. Mr. A**** was still talking.
“I had planned on getting rid of you, but I think that would
raise Nina’s suspicions. Afterall, I was the one last seen with
you. It would also warrant some police investigations from
your office, maybe your parents getting involved, too messy.
So I’ll tell you what. I’ll let you go. With this little guy on your
head.”
I was struggling frantically now. That thing didn’t look like it
would have anything good to add to me if I let it sit on my
head. I saw the maniacal look in its eyes and heard its
incessant chattering. And immediately I knew what its function
was. I screamed and shouted for help but my voice echoed
around the room aimlessly. Mr. A**** started laughing again
as he brought the creature closer to my head.
“See you at the psychiatric hospital, chuks!” he laughed as the
creature started attaching itself to my head. And then all went
black again.

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