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Zanzibar – Part 5

May 15, 2016

Zanzibar – Part 5

by Lori Carlson

Hemi felt a poke in his ribs. He thrashed about and screamed, “Stop it, Comet!” And then reality crept in. He opened his eyes and blinked a few times. The smoke circled around him. For a moment, he couldn’t see who was at the other end of whatever had poked at him. He sat up, banging his head against the sharp edge of a boulder.

“He’s alive!” someone shouted.

Hemi crawled out between the two boulders and stood up. He dusted off his jeans and then cupped his hand over his eyes. The smoke and ash made it difficult to see.

“Who’s there?” Hemi called out.

Two figures stepped closer to him. A male and female, barely older than himself. They were both clothed in long billowing sheets. For a second, Hemi thought they were ghosts and backed away from them.

“Don’t fear us,” the male said as he crept closer to Hemi and extended a hand.

“Who…who are you?”

“I am Tang and this is Lena.”

Hemi collapsed to the ground. Overcome with emotions, he began to weep. He never thought he would see another human again.

Lena bent down and took Hemi by the arm. “Rise, child,” she whispered.

Hemi jerked his arm away. “I’m not a child!”

Lena stood up and sighed. “Another arrogant one,” she said to Tang.

“He’ll wisen up. They always do,” Tang replied. He looked down at Hemi. “What’s your name and how long have you been in The Smoke?”

“I’m Hemi of the Motorhead Gang,” Hemi said with pride in his voice. He stood back up and glanced around. “Are there others like you?” he finally asked.

Tang ignored his question. “How long have you been here?”

“I dunno. Maybe a day.”

“Have you been to the village?” Lena asked.

Tears welled up in Hemi’s eyes. “Yes. My friends are still there!”

“Were you exiled?” Tang inquired.

Hemi nodded.

“He’ll do,” Tang said to Lena.

Lena waved her hand toward Hemi and pointed off into The Smoke. “Come, Hemi. We’ll give you shelter and food. Take my hand or you will get lost.”

Hemi took Lena’s hand, who in turn took Tang’s hand. The three walked through the smoke and ash. Every once in a while, Tang fired a flare into the air. It felt like they’d walked for miles and Hemi’s feet began to drag from the heat and exhaustion.

“Just a little further,” Lena assured him.

“How can you tell? Everything looks the same,” Hemi whispered between labored breaths.

“Just keep your eyes on the lava flow,” Tang instructed him.

Hemi stared down at the red glow from the lava. He noticed how it changed as it flowed and snaked its way through the barren land. He became mesmerized by it and before he knew it, he saw a pattern. So this is how they know where they are going, Hemi thought to himself.

Tang stopped and fired a flare. In the distance, another flare sprang up. “We are home!” Tang shouted.

Hemi still couldn’t see anything through the smoke. He loosened his grip from Lena’s hand and turned around in a circle. Suddenly, he saw them. Hundreds of bodies moved out from the smoke. They shouted and laughed as they ran up to Tang and Lena. Hemi rubbed his eyes. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“There are so many of you!”

“Yes, Hemi. There are three hundred and twenty-four, well twenty-five now that we’ve found you,” Lena said. She grabbed Hemi’s hand again and began dragging him along side her. “Come, you must be thirsty.”

Lena led Hemi inside a cave. They snaked their way down deep into the earth and finally came to a huge inner sanctum. He followed Lena through to the center and there before him was a huge sinkhole filled with water. She took a small tin cup and handed it to him.

“Go ahead. Have your fill,” she told him. “When you are done, join me over there.” Lena pointed to a small alcove lit by a long flaming pole.

Hemi took the cup and dipped it into the water. As he raised it to his lips, he glanced around the cavern. There were tiny alcoves throughout, each lit in the same manner as the one Lena had pointed out to him. Inside some of them he saw piles of sacks and baskets. In others, were small animals in cages – chickens, rabbits and a few that he’d never seen before, but they appeared to be rodents of some kind. Hemi drank the water which tasted sweeter than any plain water he’d ever drank. He dipped the cup in several times and drank until he couldn’t hold anymore. His stomach rumbled. He put the cup down on a rock beside other cups and walked over to join Lena and Tang in the small alcove.


This is now a round-robin between Keith Channing and I.

If you missed a chapter, click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

or Jump ahead to Part 6

 

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64 Comments
  1. THis is developing very nicely, Lori. Hemi is on the brink of forging new friendships in The Smoke. Will he forget his friends, though?

    • Thanks, Keith… I hope not.. we will see.. I am still working this part out in my head. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for Javelin!

  2. All is not as it seems here …… what lurks in the underground?

    • Oh I love how your mind works! Much like mine.. hahaha! We’ll see!

      • Perhaps sometime in the future we should collaborate on a story !?

      • Oh I would love that, Raili… I would let you pick the genre so long as it isn’t contemp romance.. lol I am having a blast with Keith, so it would be great to do this with someone else 😀

      • Cool. How long will your collaboration with Keith last ? Don’t want to overload you 🙂 And no, it wouldn’t be contemporary romance. I’m not much into writing romance anyway.

      • *laughs* I have no idea how long it will last. We are just going with the flow. We are only writing twice a week. Me on Sundays and him on Wednesdays. I also do my memoir on Mondays. And then next month, I will be writing both Serial Killer tales and working on another Jack Diamond story. So for now, I have Tues-Sat available to write extra stuff. I only get overloaded when I try to join every writing challenge in the blogisphere along with writing projects I already have lined up. I’ve stopped doing many of those in the last couple of weeks so I can concentrate on quality rather than quantity. So if you want to work on something, send me a topic and some ideas and we will work them into a schedule. And trust me, if you think waiting until later in the year would be better, it won’t be. I have projects lined up for the entire year *laughs* better to just plan something now and get on it.

      • Ok, I’ll get back to you on that. I’ll bags Tues for my bit as I do a wrap up of C of F on Saturdays

      • Sounds good.. I could do either Thurs or Fri for my bit. I will have to decide which later on when we decide which genre to write in. Some genres just come easier to me and the writing is effortless

      • OK, I’ll sleep on it and see what emerges 🙂

      • Thank Raili.. just email me when you decide on something. I am going with Thursdays now that I’ve thought about it.

      • Will email you very soon – it’s starting to emerge 🙂

      • Okay hun 🙂

      • Just sent you an email x

      • Okay, Raili… checking it now 🙂

  3. Aww man…where has Hemi ended up? Very strange, but at least so far the new people seem friendly! 🙂

    • Thanks, Barbara.. hopefully they stay that way 😉

      • Maybe they will, but I wouldn’t count out a few bad apples wanting to make trouble. 🙂 Very good episode!

      • Yes, there is the foreshadowing of arrogant ones among the bunch… thanks you, dear 🙂

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