Shadows

by Teddy Kimathi
The three hour ride took us into a forest so dense, that almost no sunlight could seep right through it. The curving road was the only thing that the forest allowed us to see clearly. For a week we planned to camp in the Congo forest, the largest forest in Africa.
None of us had any idea about where people camped, or whether the government was paid any tip to allow someone or people to use the forest for camping purposes. Planning of the trip had been done hastily. We were at the mercy of fate.
“According to the map, we are fifteen miles away from the closest open-space,” Janice said.
Her face was buried into the newspaper-sized map. Sally and Matt were staring at Janice, with questions glittering from their eyes.
“I’m amazed you are holding the map correctly!” Sally said.
Janice wasn’t the kind of girl who liked studying, researching, or doing anything else seeming intellectual. Wild-partying and drinking the tough stuff was the definition of her world.
It was as though another different spirit had taken over her thoughts. Camping, gorillas, and forest spirits were the only things she kept on talking about. As expected, my eyes were focused on the road as she talked.
“I can also see River Congo close to our camping site!”
We were all excited to hear those words. Botany was glued in our hearts like tattoos. As fourth-year students in Botanical Engineering, we were hunting for a weed which cured cancers and increased human’s longevity. Our professor called it “Theos Floris”, translated as “plants of the gods” in Greek. Professor Greene said it grows naturally on the river bed of the mighty river.
Rumors of its existence date back in the reign of the Pharaohs, thousands of years ago. According to historical documentation, there was one Pharaoh, Ramses III, who sent an expedition of physicians and mystics, to harvest the miraculous weed. None of them returned to Egypt.
There is also a local legend that claims that a forest god sent spirits to the forest, to protect the rare natural jewel from intruders. Several reports of people becoming insane after sighting them have been recorded in journals and written in books. The story-hungry media houses dismiss such reports as hoaxes.
“Do you believe in ghosts?” Sally asked Matt.
“Do you believe in angels?” Matt responded.
There was silence in the jeep for a while, because our minds were focused on the prize from Mother Nature. Dozens of jars were packed behind our jeep. Some weeds were to be harvested, sampled, labeled, and flown to Oxford for study.
“I hope the spirits don’t mind,” I joked in my thoughts.
Suddenly my car came to a sudden halt. My left foot was still stepping on the brakes.
“Did you all see that?” I asked, in the midst of fright.
The rest of my crew reacted to the event as though I was hallucinating. As far as sanity is concerned, I was very certain a black human-like figure had stood right on my path, only ten meters away.
“I think we should call off this expedition,” I told my colleagues. Plead and dread were mixed up on my face.
At that very moment I became a center of focus. They saw me as a new convert, from reality to superstition. I was perceived to be weak, allowing local legends to get on my way to a legendary discovery.
Mockery was turned to screams when a long, dark, human-like arm grabbed Matt by the neck like a snake, dragging him to the forest. You could hear sounds of twigs breaking as evil dragged him away. Sally was terrified to the degree she almost screamed her lungs out.
Janice had forgotten she was holding a map. Her eyes were staring at nothing behind the windscreen. She was traumatized.
We were trapped. I could see shadows slowly crawling out from the forest. The sun was setting. Time was not on our side.
Starting the engine and stepping the gas was the only thing I could think of doing. Dust followed us as we raced for salvation along the road. I couldn’t feel my hands holding the steering wheel.
The last thing I could recall is hitting a log, and veering off towards the trees. I became unconscious. I don’t know what became of Sally and Janice.
As I slowly regained consciousness, I felt a bright light on my face.
“Am I in Heaven?!” I whispered weakly.
My hearing too was slowly recovering. I could hear people talking, and sounds of curtains as they were being opened and closed. Later on I realized that I was in a hospital.
One of the hospital’s doctors told me that I was found in a maize farm, which was thirty seven kilometers away from the scene of the accident! They had heard about it in the news. The jeep was recovered, but not the other two colleagues – they didn’t know I was the one driving the jeep. I had tried to convince them earlier that I was the driver.
The owner of the maize farm was being interrogated by police. As I expected, there was no tracking of how I got into the farm or who brought me. It’s like I just appeared!
I get sleepless nights whenever I think about my friends. They were the closest people I could call family.
Please, detectives don’t let me rot in the asylum – I’m not mad. All I’ve told you is true. Evil shadows lurk in the Congo forest, waiting for their next victims. They never eat, sleep or die….
Let others and the author know if you liked it
13

Liked it alot?
rekhanshiraghava

rekhanshiraghava

October 19, 2015 - 15:35 This is NYC...it has a good plot... Fyn writing... And yes... Scary too.... Though... Bit of it was predictable.... Still... I liked it...
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 19, 2015 - 15:41 Hi rekhanshiraghava. Thank you for your kind comment to my work! ;-)
sheelsdevi

sheelsdevi

October 19, 2015 - 16:14 The story was spooky..but it should have had something connected to halloween too..but I liked its tempo build up
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 19, 2015 - 23:44 Thank you for enjoying my work sheelsdevi! ;-) I just hope that my kind of story fits under the Halloween theme....
The Veil of Midnight

The Veil of Midnight

October 19, 2015 - 20:24 It was a little slow at first, but when it got into the main plot it was really nice.
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 19, 2015 - 23:46 Thanks Veil! You described my story just as I planned it! ;-)
celestialmind

celestialmind

October 19, 2015 - 22:23 I like the plot & enjoyed reading..it got a little familiar at some point:Maybe because I fear maize plantations- forests-spirits correlation. Kudos!
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 19, 2015 - 23:49 Thanks celestialmind! ;-) Yes, there's something about maize plantains and forests...lol.
Velantra

Velantra

October 20, 2015 - 17:56 Ahh, halloween, can be anything. Isn't it a time when you are suppose to scare people and tell scary stories? What room number are you in? Meet me in the dining room so we can discuss these dreams you are having! hahahahaha Now is it true? or are you just in a madhouse? I love the gorillas, thanks for spoiling my dream of ever going there!!!!!
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 21, 2015 - 07:28 Lol. I can tell you one thing.....gorillas are in plenty, but not the shadows. Just come and see for yourself. Hahahaha......
Velantra

Velantra

October 21, 2015 - 11:39 Mind you, I LOVE, GORILLAS!!!! The other day I was looking at a video where they showed them, lazing in the grass and eating. Their eyes look like there are such emotion in them. I have never seen any other animal with eyes that speak to you like theirs. I started crying even, honest, promise.
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 21, 2015 - 11:48 True, animals speak through their eyes..... Sad how they are still being poached. I'm from Kenya - it has a diversity of wildlife. You can plan to visit us one day. Christmas and summer is the best timing for holidays!!!! ;-)
Velantra

Velantra

October 21, 2015 - 12:32 I get the feeling it is hot and humid then..... with things walking in the woods..... ;-)
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 22, 2015 - 06:42 Hahahaha. The climate yes, but not things.
Sharmishtha Shenoy

Sharmishtha Shenoy

October 21, 2015 - 09:34 Scary story - would feel scared to go on any expeditions now! The twist on the asylum part was also good
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 21, 2015 - 10:35 Thanks for enjoying my work Sharmishtha! ;-) I wanted the readers to have a feel of a story being narrated by a writer, only to be concluded by another character's narration. I found it kind of fun and unique to try out that style! ;-)
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 21, 2015 - 10:42 I hope I didn't freak you that much though, lol.
Sharmishtha Shenoy

Sharmishtha Shenoy

October 21, 2015 - 11:47 You did so it is a success ! I will get over it though
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 21, 2015 - 11:52 Hahaha. Ok. Thanks for enjoying my work once again! *^_^*
nupur27

nupur27

October 21, 2015 - 10:41 Though less of halloween in it, i loved the scary curves of the story!!! That brought dark fantastic horror!! I liked!!
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 21, 2015 - 10:44 Thanks Nupur! I didn't want to use gory themes this time round. I found psychological horror freaky too in effect...
nupur27

nupur27

October 21, 2015 - 10:49 Hahaah totally!!! Check my entry even if u could!!! I wrote it horrifyingly with a twist in the end!!
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 21, 2015 - 10:52 I'll sure do. I hope it's not like "Saw" or "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Lolest....
nupur27

nupur27

October 21, 2015 - 10:53 Nnononono!!!! Nt like saw anyday!!
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 21, 2015 - 11:06 Hahahaha!!!!! Alright! ;-)
PJNayomi

PJNayomi

October 22, 2015 - 14:46 Its amazing and spooky.....:D
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 22, 2015 - 16:34 Thanks PJ! *^_^*
Joy

Joy

October 22, 2015 - 16:11 Very nicely written.... very imaginative as well... u have succeeded on scaring us. .. :). .. u can also read my story the halloween night. ..
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 22, 2015 - 16:36 Thanks for reading and enjoying my work Joy! I'll sure will! ;-)
Manahill Naik

Manahill Naik

October 23, 2015 - 12:17 impressssiiveee writinggg !! :D
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 23, 2015 - 15:11 Thank you buddy! ;-)
LUIS KAY

LUIS KAY

October 24, 2015 - 09:38 This is a well written piece teddy, and the delivery is tantalizing.. keep up
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 26, 2015 - 05:48 Thank you so much bro! ;-)
Susan Jacob

Susan Jacob

October 29, 2015 - 20:45 Good Work ...Keep going :)
Teddy Kimathi

Teddy Kimathi

October 30, 2015 - 05:53 Thank you Whispering Waters! ;-)
pies11

pies11

October 1, 2019 - 22:24 Hello i am miss Brenda i have private discusion with you via at(piesbrenda106@gmail.com)

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