DEN OF CLEVERNESS Episode 5 by Nathaniel Anuma (Bright Daniel)
Lumps of sand continuously splashing side by side as Jade dug the pit presumed to be a grave in the sight of Ken. She used a strong large stick for the tilling of the soil and packed it away with her hands while others watched her perplexed in curiosity. Some of the sand sprinkled on their legs but Esther withdrew hers. Already, she had become scared of the whole thing. Sooner did Jade found a large rectangular box from the pit, so she jumped out, breathing hastily.
“Holy shit!” Fred exclaimed when he saw it. “Is that a casket?”
Jade found her voice. “It looks like one”
Esther, who had ran behind Ken said, “What is inside?”
“I guess Ken should tell us coz he has become a prophet overnight” Jade replied, looking at Ken.
He glared. “What do you mean by that?”
“Cut the crap, dude!” Fred interfered. “You are the one who said that the competition has changed into a nightmare. How on earth do you know that?”
“My instincts told me” Ken replied unabashedly.
Jade walked to him as if to devour him. “Now tell us with your instincts what’s inside the box, or casket. Whatever it is!”
Ken provoked too. “What do you guys take me for? I have suddenly become a prophet or your God simply because I made known to you my hypothesis. I do not know what’s inside the box! Perhaps, let the digger of the pit open the box, for she doesn’t want Wisdom to win the competition” he glared back at Jade and Fred, while Esther found refuge behind him.
Silence creep in among the teenagers, thus, bringing the sound wave of aerial organism into their ears which reminded them of their location-the land of zero created by the ruling government for a political ambition. They needed three most brilliant and smart students for a sacrifice, and there was no other way to get them unsuspected by people except through the strategy of setting up a competition as such. Unfortunately for the competitors, the land was were the sacrifice would be made. Therefore none must come out there alive.
Nevertheless, jade heroically left Ken’s presence, jumped into the pit and began to open the casket. A rusty cracking sound came from it. Suddenly, she opened it to everybody’s sight and amazement. She also quickly jumped out for the second time at the sight of the content of the rectangular box. It was a baby skeleton!
“What a fuck!” Fred exclaimed, while Esther screamed, grabbing Ken’s shirt tightly.
“Ken was right, it’s a grave” Jade said staring at the baby skeleton. “But how can the baby decompose without the wooden casket decomposing first?” she asked in surprise. At the peak of their confabulation, a baby voice came from that casket saying, “You do not know the path to follow, answer my question to make a path for you: If you have me, you want to share me. If you share me, you don’t have me. What am I?”
“Jesus!!” Esther fled. Others also ran away, but stopped on the way, breathing hastily.
“We need to get out of here! This isn’t the competition we all expected. This is something else!” Ken turned to go back likewise others but saw a different view of the road they came from: a high mountain that stood like a blockage. To their very eyes, four lions began to run towards them. They tried to run but couldn’t move their feet. Esther began to cry. Just then the baby voice came again from the grave saying, “For contemplating to go back, you must hock there until the lions devour you unless you answer me to show you a way to follow: If you have me, you want to share me. If you share me, you don’t have me. What am I?”
“Its a riddle” Jade said. Already, heat of untimely death had began to produce an untimely sweat on their bodys. “We have to think and answer!” she shouted, hearing the roaring of the lions.
“You are food!” Fred answered in a loud voice, yet nothing happened, not even a response. Meanwhile the lions had started approaching closer.
“Oh my God, I can’t think” Jade lamented. “Ken, please, think!” she begged with full reliance that he could get the riddle right. Ken closed his eyes, thinking very fast. Immediately he arrived at the correct answer, Esther said with tears in her eyes “I guess its secret”
Ken opened his eyes. “Yes, it is” he supported, looked at the grave and shouted, “You are a secret!”
Instantly, the grave covered up and a tree fell down which created a
visible narrow pathway where the poor teenagers began to run through.
However, the lions had disappeared. How would they know that the essence
of the riddle is to test them if they are smart enough to be qualified
for the sacrifice, for only three brilliant and smart surviving blood
are needed for it. That means they all gonna be answering riddles until
the last three persons out of eight that would also be used for the
Back in the city, Enugu high court began the adjourned case of Mr Dennis and Raymond again. Both could be seen standing at different angles with their lawyers opposite them. They objected, suggested, clarified, and most of all, told illusions just for their client to win the case until Mr Raymond’s lawyer presented a video from CCTV of the company of the very person who broke into his office. The video was played and a man in Mr Dennis attire appeared, but his face was covered.
“That’s not me!” Mr Dennis shouted.
“But do you, Mr Dennis have such attire from the shirt, wristwatch and ring to your shoes?” Raymond’s lawyer asked him.
“Yes, but that’s not me!” he pointed at the screen of that large
television where the image showed. While his lawyer shook his head
negatively. With such an obvious evidence, Mr Dennis was found guilty
and sentenced into five years imprisonment. He was led from there to
jail. On his way, the only person he could think of was his son Wisdom.
How would he feel when he comes back and find him inside jail for a
crime he never committed? Yes, for a crime he never committed. Mr
Raymond manipulated the video, even the person who was in Mr Dennis
attire was hired too.
Back to the land of zero, The group B from Kings College had no idea that the land in which they seek the hidden treasure was evil and mysterious unlike the group A who had discovered so fast. They arrived at a flowing river. Sandra hurried to the bank of the river to drink from it, for she was thirsty. After drinking from the water she saw reflective writings on the surface of the water. It became strange to her so she called on others to come. They all approached to the bank of the river to see the writings which read thus: “Gina Celestine, Answer me in ten seconds otherwise you die. No one must answer the question except you. Anyone who tells you the answer will die instantly: Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?”
“This is strange” Wisdom said.
“What is this competition turning into?” Paul asked rhetorically.
“I’m scared again” Sandra added.
“How..?” Gina began woozily. “Is this a joke or what? How did they even know my full name?” As she lamented, they all saw time on the river which started counting down from ten, nine, eight…
“C’mon, Gina, you have to answer” Wisdom urged.
Gina looked at him. “I don’t know the answer” Just then, the time went off and the ground opened and swallowed her. While others screamed, running away from that spot. Sandra began to cry while Wisdom vomited. Paul stared at the spot in disbelief.
“Is she really dead?” he asked as his heartbeat pounded like an engine.
“I told you I have bad feelings about this place, please let’s go back” Sandra suggested. “We need to get out of here!” She led the way, only to see the forest had changed, even the flowing river had gone, and there was a mountain before them which they didn’t see while coming. Suddenly, heavy flood escalated from the mountain, running towards them. When they tried to run, they noticed they couldn’t move an inch.
“What’s happening!?” Paul shouted.
“I don’t know!” Wisdom responded.
Sandra cried in a loud voice. “Wisdom, please, help me. I don’t want to die!”
What would the poor boy do? He couldn’t help himself talk more of helping another person. Just then, Paul sighted another board that hung on a tree which says, “For contemplating to go back, answer me otherwise die by the flood: Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?” He showed others the writings then they began to think.
“You are the number 8” Wisdom answered then the flood did not only disappear, they could move their legs too. Sandra ran to Wisdom and held him tightly in fear.
“We are doomed. This is a set up, not a competition” Paul took a step, looking around the forest.
Wisdom brought out the map of the land. “We need to meet up with the other team to know if they are also experiencing this, then we find a way out” he glanced at the map then looked around. “This way, run!” they began to run towards a particular direction…
DEN OF CLEVERNESS Episode 5
TO BE CONTINUED