This is an excerpt from the mystery thriller ‘THROUGH SHADED EYES’
It was named so because of the cracked views of many of the characters
(or maybe because it cost me so many sleepless nights)
In this book every chapter plays like a chapter of its own. So I have leaked below the entire first chapter for your consideration 🙂
You can find the complete book ‘THROUGH SHADED EYES’ here.
“I know that it is not in my place to ask questions… but may I ask, why you look so worried?”
“You may not.”
“Then I will not. But for your safety, I must be prepared for whatever lays ahead, so that I can protect you from – “
“ – for your safety, you mean.”
“Never my king. I would gladly lay down my life in your service.”
“Then drive faster.”
“We are nearly there.” the car driver said, dimming the lights. It was the early hours of the morning. The air was still dark and awaiting sunlight. “We must tread cautiously. Not many villagers know these parts…”
The car swerved into an uneven lawn creating a pathway of tracks where none had ever reached before. The driver spoke up once more.
“My king I must give you something.” he said, reaching into his pocket quickly and unveiling from his green top a small glass vial. The soonest he had handed it over he replanted both hands on the steering wheel, as though afraid it may have fallen off its hinges if he didn’t.
“What is this supposed to be?” the man in the passenger seat said, squinting at the vial curiously. It looked empty, but only because it was filled with a clear fluid.
“My king, do not be offended. It is a charm, a charm from the white doctors. It is said that it can put a full grown man to sleep in a manner of momen – Do not open it!” he added quickly when the man made to unseal the small bottle.
The driver continued.
“It is very powerful, my king.. unknown in the village. It can protect you in case – “
“No protection is greater than those of the gods in this village.” the man said, returning the vial with a look of disapproval.
The slouching driver kept shut. In the land, no one argued with the king; he was the opus, and yet he was being driven to the edges of the kingdom by only one of his royal guard, the throne servant – Francis.
Francis was a huge man with a huge frame, the most trusted of the king’s men. At the moment he was little short of totally petrified. In fact, his only reluctance – in turning the car backwards and speeding for the safety of the palace – was the oath he had sworn to keep the king’s word at all times. A royal oath of the greatest reverence in the land, and at the moment the king’s word was to keep moving.
The Mercedes 300sl came to a halt in front of a small two-storey building of clay bricks. The light of the morning had begun its sluggish rise. Out of the passenger seat emerged King Kiko Onigo, the kingdom’s topmost symbol of eminence. His rich white robes shone affluence on the air around him; a handsome light toned man with a heavy jaw and impressive beard. His long and gracious sheen had never been cut since his birth. His eyes were fully set on the building ahead, and he proceeded toward it without delay. Francis hurried to overtake him with a cold sweat running down his temple. The king was never to be so exposed. He was the only thing that stood between the king and an uncertain evil that lay ahead, yet he had very little information on the reason for their journey. He was not to ask questions, only to obey orders.
With a quickened pace the pair burst into the clay house doorway and stopped to glance around. The floor was deserted of any human life but their own and supported a dank odour that could not be left unnoticed. Francis unsheathed a 15 inch long blade from a machete pocket on the side of his broad hip. His massive frame alone could have intimidated any living thing. The ground floor was bare, with an eerie presence filling the void. The chest of the unfazed king heaved once, and immediately he headed for the small staircase in the corner with his ward. The music of their shoes echoed throughout the building as they climbed, the royal guard’s muscle tone looking ever more impressive as he gripped the machete harder.
The stairs terminated at a corridor that boasted of four rooms – two on each side, and a dead end. The expression on the face of the king tensed even further. Francis led the way. Cautiously they edged towards the first room. Slowly Francis placed a hand on its handle and pressed down upon it, the door opened. He swung it forwards with great force and sprang into the room with his machete raised high… but no opponent would be granted him. By the emerging morning light of the opposite open window all he saw were three bundles of aged firewood.
The pair sneaked toward the second door on the opposite wall, breathing deeply. The king had his shoulders bunched in an awkward stance, as though he were stooping to get through a short doorway. Francis swung the second door open with great velocity but its creaks revealed nothing but a window and an old rocking chair laying on its side. Suddenly, a ruffling noise came to them from the room ahead. Francis lit up instinctively. In caution they edged towards it sprawled against the wall and creases developed all over the king’s robes. As they reached the door they heard a small noise from within. Francis made to attack, but the culprit had already fled in flight – a small hawk flapped away through the window and soared into the sky. The room was otherwise empty.
Francis straightened up. If truly another soul lurked in the building, of good hearing, surely it must have been aware of their presence by now. With that knowledge he approached the fourth door in a calm stroll and casually parted the door from its frame. Within he saw an assortment of what looked like rolled up rugs and a polished wooden beam the size of an oak tree branch.
“There is no one here.” Francis announced.
King Onigo’s face took up a mix of disappointment and anger, and he fumed at the passageway in an almost comical fashion. His thoughts that once promised of hope had returned to despair. Could the rumours have all been lies? The information he had Francis scour the kingdom for, about a kidnapping that had ended at the same building; yet it was deserted on their arrival. He had been thrown into uncertainty once again.
Francis lowered his sword and observed the king, who had ended his fit of rage and now gazed at the dull floors with a drained look. Whoever they had expected to be here was surely of great importance to him. He could have sent the entire royal guard to find them. He could have the entire kingdom in search of them if he so desired, but instead he had chosen to be brought here alone, in the company of the only other person who knew of his search. Francis saw the shroud of secrecy unnerving, unnecessary and most of all, dangerous.
The building came alive with footsteps once more but this time it did not belong to the royal pair. The attention of the king and the guard was instantly drawn to the beginning of the corridor where a mir of shadow was beginning to form. Francis suddenly attained a new awareness of the situation around him. The unknown was coming up the stairs and the king was exposed…
“My king you should get into a room… my king…”
He needed to hide him. The aliens were mere moments away; but the king had other ideas. He never budged. The fear in his eyes was nothing compared to the intensity in his face as he stared down the darkness that approached…
Two tall figures appeared in the hallway. At the sight of King Onigo and his ward they stopped dead. By the curvatures of their silhouettes they were a man and a woman. For a moment all the four did was stare at each other’s frames. Then, without warning, the male silhouette broke the inaction and started a sprint back down the stairs. Francis was unsure of what to make of the situation, but he had his blade at the ready, his thoughts aimed at protecting the king. It was to that end that his heart gave its mightiest jump of the morning, when he saw King Onigo sprinting toward the female image, which had refused to move.
“My king!” Francis screamed, and gave chase. The king was spirited in his sprint as he had never known of him. His robes parted at his sides like water waves in turbulence. He would not be able to catch up to him before he reached the beginning of the passageway.
Francis gave a loud groan…
But King Onigo never collided with the woman. In truth, they made no contact at all. He ran past her and headed for the stairs. The guard was too slowed by his bulky frame to do anything about it. For a third time that morning the hallway became a song of echoing shoes. The woman frame remained still on his approach as though asleep on her feet. Francis’ anxiety rose to a peak as he reached her, but he needed to safeguard the king. All he could manage of his curiosity as he ran past was a quick glance at her face. She looked pale with widened eyes and a drooped lip. She wasn’t standing her ground at all, only shocked out of her wits.
As Francis joined in the noisy notes that were the clattering of soles on stairs, the king was already approaching the bottom of them. The unknown man was heading for the door, his movement impeded by a noticeable limp. Francis took the steps two at a time, trying his most to keep an eye on what was unfurling below. The king ran with his head forward; he was not running away, rather giving full chase, and by the distance between them, he would reach the figure before he got to the door. In a blanket leap, the king collided into the back of the male figure, knocking him off his feet and unto the hard floor in a flurry of grunts. The king turned him on his back, and bore down on him in a panting conquest.
“Where did you keep her?!” King Onigo screamed, bunching his palms upon the man’s aged shirt threateningly. “Where did you keep her!”
“Who?” The man looked a middle age pauper with stubbles all over his jaw and chin and cheekbones that almost protruded through the skin that housed them. The rest of his face was a blur of raging sweat.
“I will have your head severed from its shoulders if you do not speak now!” King Onigo demanded, as Francis appeared beside them.
“Where did you keep her!”
“Who?!” The man was clearly in pain. “I do not know!!”
“Where is Meriola? TELL ME WHERE SHE IS!”
Francis’ ears prickled at the sound of the name. They were the only step closer he had come to understanding the king’s actions.
“I do not know! I donot know! Please I came looking for her too!!
“SPEAK NOW OR DIE!”
“I swear it! I came looking for her too. I – I weave raffia. I weave raffia with her that is what I do for a living! I heard she was brought here so I came to see if it was true. Please don’t kill me!”
King Onigo looked into the man’s face, fuming. He wanted to hit him, injure him, pierce him, do anything to feel like he had bought himself closer to finding Meriola, but the fear in the man’s eyes was unmistakable. It would be all for nothing. He let go of the man; his spirits once more returned to cinders. Francis quickly made to help him on his feet. The king was never to have such interactions with commoners.