Planning to Return

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The little child awoke to the sound of roaring noise. “What could that be?” he asked himself. Hurriedly getting out of bed to see what could cause such a ruckus, Michael leaped towards the front door.

  Standing in the middle of the street was his father. “Daddy, what’s going on?” he asked. Apparently confused at his son’s question, James placed a shaky hand over Michael’s shoulder and told him, “Go back inside.”

  Michael had never seen his dad in such troubled mood but at the tender age of nine, he decided that he wasn’t going to allow his dad to control him. Instead of going back inside as he was told, he decided to hide from his father.

 "Something is happening, and I need to see what it is," he thought.

  Steadily heading towards him, was an angry mob of people singing loudly, “It will not hold.”

  Curious about the crowd, the child inched closer.

 “This too shall pass,” the crowd screamed, "we'll catch them all.”

 Unaware of Michael’s presence, James waited briefly as the angry crowd headed towards his house with sticks and rocks.

  Then suddenly, he ran indoors and asked his wife of fifteen years, Mary, if the doors and windows were closed.

  “The people seem angry, and they’re looking for someone,” he said. 

   Meanwhile, outside Michael, only four inches tall, stood watching the people but decided to rush into the crowd so that his father would not notice him.

“It will not hold,” he shouted.

 James was still in his living room and might have remembered the last time he had seen such a group of angry people.

 “This can’t be happening again, aye God,” he said. Then his wife ran into the room crying, “Michael, Michael.”

 “Where is he Mary?” James yelled.

 “I can’t find him James, I can’t find him!”

  At that moment, they ran to the living room and at the window they saw the angry crowd making its way to pass by their house.

  “Let’s go look for Michael,” James said, panicked.

As they retraced where last they had seen Michael, James spotted Michael’s slippers lying in the street.

“Mary,” James called.

 With the speed of a racing horse, Mary was at her husband’s side.

  “What’s wrong James?”

 “He’s gone Mary,” James cried, “Our child is gone.”

 “Please don’t say that James, since you returned home, he’ll come back as well,” she said tearfully.

 “I don’t believe that,” James said as he walked away.

  Meanwhile, Michael looked in the eyes of the men who squeezed at his jaws, “Where is your father? You think we don’t know who you are and what you are carrying?”

  Michael sat in his urine and blood as the crowd of men took turns inflicting pain to his face and neck.

“I just want to go home, please. I don’t know anything, I swear,” the child screamed.

 As Michael finally slipped into coma, he began recalling the story his father had told him of his capture when he was a child; it was a story that always helped Michael to battle his fears whenever in trouble.

   His father had told him that his father was a witch doctor who healed people mysteriously. One day, “Our village was upset he had healed a woman who was accused of killing a child, and they came for him.

  “Instead of taking him, they found me playing in the yard and carried me away. I paid for my father’s mistake the day they held me captive. I woke one day, after spending months in captivity to see my father standing in front at the camp where they had held me.

  “My dad demanded that they should turn me over while he turned himself in. I never saw my father again after that day, I ran far away from the place like he instructed me to do.

  “Many years later we had nothing to worry about.”

  Michael came out of his reverie and realized that he was still confined by his abusers, for the years had passed so swiftly. He was now fourteen.  

  “I can’t even remember what my parents will look like anymore,” he said to himself, “I wonder if they will ever remember me.” Mature now, he made plans to run away from captivity and the thought of reuniting with his parents gave him much comfort.

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