by Dexter F. I. Joseph
The One Who Wailed
Isolated under the embrace of leaves and stems, a young girl lay on the floor, cuddled by the earth and as though in deep, terrifying slumber, her eyes stayed squeezed shut as was her gnashing teeth. Her clothes were worn out, shredded on various parts, and soiled with dirt. Her hair was the dome of slovenliness, long, twisted into each other and with an unusual dirty but silver colour.
When the wind wafted past the skies and shook the trees of the thick forest where the girl lay, she moaned and shuddered, writhing at the discomfort which came with her bedding. More interestingly, as she moaned, tears poured down her eyes and without stop.
A loud howl from metres away spread through the forest, its pitch waking her. As she sat up, her eyes, bright and grey and alluring, were wide and anxious, glaring up at the sky. The moon wasn’t full from where she lay, but she felt sad all the same. She sobbed again into her palms, loud and with so much weight that she was gasping for air in a few seconds.
“She’s going to die,” she convulsively gasped as she wept, moaning and holding onto her chest as a sting of pain pressed against it. Still sobbing, she stood to her feet, staggering. Then scuffled out of the harsh solace of the tree branches, moving further out of the forest and towards the main road ahead of her.
The road was empty as the night was long gone. On both sides were tall and broad spreads of groves, typical for most parts of the town. The road was endless, from where she had come from to where she was headed. It didn’t matter when she glanced back at the tall, metallic sign mounted by the side of the road which had an inscription boldly engraved on it that read ‘welcome to Obuzo’.
She held her head and gripped her chest, crying again as a sharp pain overwhelmed her. For a moment she started on the ground sobbing, but when she stood and staggered to the strong pull of the wind, tears latched to her dull, wide and distant eyes, she scuffled forward, muttering to her herself.
“Someone’s going to die. Someone, anyone, please save her. She’s going to die…”