Akudn (pronounced arcood) threaded softly as he neared the hut, his leather palms peppered with death and grit. Beads of sweat trickled down the sides of his face as his heartbeat raced faster than Michael Schumacher. He looked up into the sky at the tiny golden ball of power (For this was the name he and the delectable Alos had always called the sun). There was no doubt in his mind that his body temperature was in no way related to the eerie lands he walked for there laid the irony. The ambient atmosphere was neither hot nor cold; it just remained in a very obscure in-between range. He had never heard of a forest so quiet. Even the owls, wise with age and eyeballs the shape of tiny doughnuts regarded him quietly as he moved through the forest. It was as if a town crier had gone through this place in a rage of fury and advised that imminent danger was on its way because everything stood silently, eerily…waiting. Even twigs and branches of trees swayed gingerly from left to right, front to back and back again. It felt like a million hands of the people of Iyo Eko (For this was the name of the place) waved at him as he crossed the infinite boundaries that separated the living and the dead. Finally he got there. When no voice answered his knockings, he walked into the hut with its sultry air and inverted architecture. A dishevelled old man slouched towards ancient walls, his back to a tablet of writings.
“Good afternoon sir” Akudn said in an unsteady voice. When he did not receive an answer he moved closer to the man. His eyes caught the writings on the wooden tablets. So he read:
Thoughts my of shadows the In
Shadow the in object the resides
Dark the in lives which…
Akudn did not understand so the man pointed at a mirror. He placed the mirror to the poem and started again..
In the shadows of my thoughts
Resides the object in the shadow
Which lives in the dark.
It lurks around your bed corners
And waits for you to close your eyes
Long tapering fingers come for your neck
And yes, this is not a dream
Cold sweat trickles down your spine
It makes you want to scream
In the shadows of my thoughts
Is the scuttling noise around the corners
When the moon refuses to give its light
It is sometimes a voice so tiny
Your heartbeat holds forever
Claws of death and pounds of power
The creature is in your way
The smell of cruel intentions is not in question
All you have to do is pray.
Akudn realized he was in the lands of the sands of time where everything went backwards. The windows were placed on the outsides, foot mats in the house, mirrors turned backwards and glasses worn on the occiput. This was the land that kept things in check for everything in life has its ying and yangs and therefore if everywhere else had the clock moving forward, there must be a place like the land of the sands of time where men were born old and died as babies, where oceans gave rise to rivers, and girls their mothers…
Akudn woke up with a jump! He had just been dreaming. He wiped the sweat off his forehead. What sort of nonsense dream was that? And then he remembered Alos, her tender smile, figure like a goddess and soft cooing voice. Her death yesterday was the reason why he wanted things to go backwards. He tightened his hands into a fist. If only he could lay hands on the driver of the vehicle in the heat and dirt of Nassarawa that knocked his dear Alos Ijek off her feet. He remembered the look in her eyes, a transfixed stare that reminded one why death was the imminent surprise that awaits every child that is born. Oh! How he loved her. He would give a finger, elbow and even his soul if he could get a chance to turn the sands of time backwards just so he could hold Alos in his hands once more and tell her how he felt. Akudn wished above all things that there was a place like Iyo Eko where the sands of time turned backwards.