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JIAKKA - By Adedamola Abiodun

Whenever I imagine my mother, I envision her as a pure burning white. That’s the only colour she emits and I have marked that as her emblem. My father radiates many colours. The white glow of the moon illuminating him as a crystalline sapphire when he sits outside in the dead of the night taking in the peace and serenity of it. A bright red when he’s angry. A series of revolving orange and yellows whenever he converses with his mother on the phone. A faint blue whenever he tries to cook.

Right now, as we raced through the greens of the landscape, he radiated a slightly opaque grey.

Although I physically cannot see, I am blessed with a kind of sight the sighted normally call Owieru, which means sight by color.

My father holds my right hand, leading me through the forest. Our feet rest limply on broken twigs as he continues to walk forward, no sign of stopping evident.

Listen with your soul, I imagine my mother’s cold voice, people talk more with their soul than with word of mouth.

I secure my silk cloak over my hair as we move forward. Gunshot’s ring through the air, and I feel my heel hit a marshy substance, probably, in this situation, a dead body.

My father’s colour slowly changes to a bright red as we move forward quietly. The energy of souls around me is at burning point, many have died here.

“Father-”

My father clasps his rough palm onto my lips, and hisses, “Do not say a word, Folake. Do you wish to get us killed?”

I shake my head, and my father releases his palm, walking forward. I hear the close shriek of a gryphon. My father must hear it as well, because his grip on my arm tightens. I listen as he forms a ball of flames in his palm and holds it out like a torch, lighting up the path.

“Stay close to me, Folake.”

“Ok.”

I grip his cloak with my second arm, securing mine better. The woods of Gaia are not a favorable place to be in the dead of night. Many creatures lurk behind the shadows, mythical beasts one normally would have never even seen in town.

My father told me stories of war in the white people’s land, and how the gods blessed us with strange powers to break the iron shackles the white man put on us.

There were some of us that could control water, others that could command fire (much like my father,) some could call on spirits to do their bidding and others could weld metal or use nature to their advantage.

We called ourselves the Jiakka, which in our tongue means the blessed. Some of the less fortunate Jiakka did not have a certain power, but could use our tongue to call the gods through spells.

One of such Jiakka is my father, Sir Abimbola, last male of his name.

“Stay here, Folake.” My father commands, shoving me into a tight space in-between large oak trees. He glows now an escalating series of red, which shows me his anger.

“If I don’t come back, what do you do?”

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“Papa. . .”

“What do you do, Folake?” he spits, half angry, half frustrated.

“I save myself.” I finally say, tears dotting my dark brown eyes. He stands up and I hear his leather boot connect with the grass. “That’s right, Folake. If anything happens to me, if I don’t come back, you must run. Because if the white man gets you, you’re as good as dead.”

He doesn’t wait for my reply, walking away. The sound of his boots against grass slowly fades away until all is silent. The mind numbing silence continues on, a void stretching for hours and hours, miles and miles, in every single direction.

There is no life around me. No colour’s to sense. Just an empty, mind numbing black.

Then, like light through the darkness, a devilish shriek rings out through the forest, scattering Panuma birds that glow bright pink from their trees. I turn to my left and make out the swelling mass of a gryphon, its body radiating a thousand signals at once, a second red, then the next blue, the other purple and maybe a tint of orange after.

It stretches open its mouth and bites down and the sound of its mighty jaws clamping echoes through the trees.

A manly cry for help rings through the forest as animal’s scatter past me. I grab the horns of a River Panther but it pushes me down to the muddy ground. Lizards, deer and a phoenix with bright coloured feathers swoops right above me, expelling cold air as it rushes by.

Father!” I yell, and a soul with vibrant energy runs through me and it speaks with a cold, commanding voice.

“Get out of here.”

The gryphon spreads its wings and rushes down with a burning hatred against me, its thick, spiked fangs bared and ready to kill.

“Get out of there!” The voice screams this time, and I stagger backwards, letting the creature crack its fangs on the muddy ground. I make a run for it, but I hear it advance towards me.

Run, Folake, I tell myself, urging my legs to move faster. Run!

The gryphon swoops towards me again for another round of food, the sound of its jaws shutting and reopening echoing through the forest.

“Help!” I scream, almost hitting a tree but swerving just in time. “Help me!”

A warm hand pulls me front the front of the creature and to the side of a tree. The woman holds me tight as the gryphon rushes by us, pushing autumn struck leaves into the air.

 “Come, Folake.” She says, guiding me away from the beast. I hear the trickle of water and I bend down in front of the bank, washing my face with water.

My father’s gone, and it’s all my fault.  


ABOUT THE WRITER

I am Thirteen years old and I love writing. This is the first short story contest I will be entering.

 

Please help him WIN the SHORT STORY CONTEST by voting in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

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