My people lived in a faraway land of the western part of Africa, we shared boundaries with other African countries that never knew we existed. On few occasions we had travelled by the coast of Sambisa forest, on migration to where we believed our ancestors lived—in sleeplessness—high above the mountain, the mountain that gave birth to my people, me included.
My clan had been hidden from the world for centuries, and we had never explored other inhabitants of mankind. All thanks to Yamma, the mountain of protection that had protected me and my people from colonization for years. We lived our peaceful lives below the civilized sphere of the earth where most humans lived open to predators of their own kind.
It took us about one hundred and forty-four hours before we finally saw the sunlight that we bowed our heads to. Magaji, the village chief priest had danced, jumped and incanted words we never understood when we reached surface. He had then ordered for powers, spiritual powers to be bestowed on him by the sun. We had visited the Outland, to seek long life for our king who was the heart of my people. It is believed that if King Gomvdkade died, then we would all perish slowly in his absence.
King Gomvdkade had lived for centuries in a deep dark loophole that housed him in the lowest crust of our domicile. No one had ever seen the king aside Magaji and his late forefathers fathers, whom were known to be the great grand children of Yamma the Mountain.
My people were what I called a multiplus-size-shaped—we were replicas of Yamma the great Mountain of protection. Our limbs were almost invisibly attached to the hefty and croaky skin we beared. We walked short distances slower than time; when you sleep in a boring lecture session, we moved each step we took with the energy of a hungry man when he sees food. My grandfather had once told me that our village is in the belly of the earth, that we powered the plants from below to serve as a form of offering from us to the Sun. He said when we (my people) fought, we created vibrations that caused thrust on the crust; that shook the surface above us. I had never witnessed a fight, but mother said when we did occasionally fought, the earth surface did cracked.
That was how mighty we were as a people. But that day we visited the Outland for the first time in a millennium, was when everything changed for my people. And for me. It was there we saw something that terrified even Magaji the chief priest who had never shown any sign of fear in his hazy eyes.
“Run!’ he ordered when we paced our way back and descended in a quivering manner as fast as our large legs could carry us.
“Chudu, help!” Menke my little brother called out to me for help but I wasn’t able to walk through the pile of bodies that confined me.
I looked up to decry what caused us to shiver with such a relentless aggression, to a sight I struggled to forget. It was a three–winged bird made up of metal body, that made a disturbing sound, which caused a rift in our communion with the Sun. Fire erupted out it’s tail and the bird flew without direction, whirled over our heads. Two tiny humans, very small compared to our size, were inside the bird’s mouth. Each of them wore a protective shield hat that was of no use, and as they shrieked for their own dear lives, the strange-looking bird crashed into our tardy crowd. It was a tragic incident that had killed many of my people that included Magaji the priest, Kadanga my best friend and Manke my little brother, plus other close friends and relatives of mine.
Ever since we came back home into the belly of the earth, we had promised ourselves and of course the spirit of Yamma the mountain of protection, who had failed to protect us for the first time in millions of years. We swore that we would never visit the Outland ever again. And we would forever remain hidden.