Before reading this, please read the first part The Tribal X, the first in the series
“Vebooni!!!”, someone yelled from outside the cavern.
The voice reverberated through the cave and woke her up. The dark which fed her all the 43 days and the thoughts which gave her pain were interrupted by light. It was Abu, whom she once saved, carrying the light who came in to console the sobbing Vebooni. He said, “We have something up our sleeve. Make yourself ready”, and left. She showed him a sign indicating she would be ready by then. Abu left for attending the patients on the verge of death. The entire tribe was mourning the death of their sons which was so common for them as deaths happened very often but that was not in Vebooni’s case. She was one of the few people who currently led the tribe and therefore, refrained from showing her tears which never halted and hence spent 50 days in the dark. On the 50th day, she went to the river to recall the events which changed her course of life, most of them happening in the last few weeks. She even missed the presence of her pet frog, Boo, who stayed with her at all times. Her memories with boo took her back to the places where she spent wonderful times with him. Of all times, the first time they met was perhaps the best. It happened years back.
“Vebooni was a child gifted with the ability to sense the mood of the person she met. She felt the vibrations and could know how virtuous a person is. She even got positive vibes from trees and nature around her sometimes. The Tribal X worshipped the snakes and were very fond of them. Whatever looked like foes of the snake became their foes too. So neither the tribesmen nor the snakes allowed the frogs to wander. But Vebooni did not discriminate any as she got vibes from all the life forms of nature and that gave her strength. She was too clean at heart to know what to discriminate and too angelic to know ‘how to’ in that case. Also, her veins carried the bravest and the nicest blood of their tribe.
It was evening sky becoming dark and low with the dark clouds hovering. The wind picked up its pace and started howling. It was raining Virga, a dry thunderstorm, all over. The deafening sounds of the thunder produced chills. The thunderstorm was one of the culprits which led to the wildfire. The black clouds collided, the heavens split but there was not much rain as expected. Instead, there was a wildfire moving up the ridge away from the tribe. Trees were getting simmered in that. The situation was intense but that didn’t bother Vebooni from playing. While she was playing, she saw a frog, pale red in colour with green spots all over, which seemed dead. It was one of the very few frogs left and she hadn’t seen one before. Out of curiosity, she bent to touch it when the frog suddenly hopped off startling her. She later noticed that the frog was chased by a snake and the ambush did not give it any luck. Within few moments, the fate of the frog was to be decided. Unfortunate for the frog, the snake got hold of its rear webbed feet and started swallowing it slowly inch by inch.The frog was on the edge of being completely swallowed and within seconds, the entire body of the frog except that of its front legs was swallowed with only the front legs let out. Vebooni looked astonished on seeing the rear feet of the frog in the snake’s skin which was too distinct to ignore. She saw frivolous efforts of the frog while it tried to escape. She had found the attempts illusory and stood in awe. The frog which was almost inside the snake’s skin pulled the snake in a direction and forced the snake into waters. The snake wasn’t easy but the frog held by one of the rocks and got the grip. Finally, the frog after getting the required grip jumped out in air miraculously and flashed light off its green spots, used them while it camouflaged. It later moved cautiously to hide in the dried twigs which were pale but the hardship did not end. The snake was all over the place once again. The frog started hopping and the snake chased it. It was once again the same tale of the destitute and the frog knew the game ended.
But unlike the previous attempt which went futile, this wasn’t going to be one. The saviour came in the form of a brave Vebooni, who, impressed with the frog, picked it up and ran hard. The brothers suddenly became alerted. What seemed like a playful situation up until then suddenly turned into something unpleasant and the brothers rushed to the place to save their sister. Weboo held the snake with a U-shaped tool and threw it long away while Ebbo followed her. The sister escaped giving them a sigh of relief. It was one of the few instances of nature’s triumph over adversity and the frog eventually escaped from the jaws of death.
But Vebooni did not stop there as she wasn’t aware of the fact that the snake was gone. She ran all her way to the river, jumped into it without knowing and started drowning. She lost the frog in the water. When all her struggles almost came to vain, a boy, well built, came running all along and spun in air for an increased length of the dive and brought her out. The girl took a lot of water in by then and he knew he got late. She looked pale with her eyes open, the eyeballs popping out. He bent down to her cheeks to check the breath. The boy, an amateur, had to take control of the emergency but he didn’t know what to do. He pressed her chest to force the water out. He tried to use his hollow reed but everything in vain. Then, he looked out for help and saw Ebbo coming. He quickly told him what happened and left to call for aid as Ebbo was no doctor. Ebbo, who was highly impulsive, kicked the frog hopping around and attended her but that was for no good. He felt the subsiding beat of his sister and got worried. To add onto this, he saw an enormous creature coming towards him after some time. The creature was murky, pitch-dark, bloated with seemingly no distinct eyes and his instincts told him of an attack. He became mindful when it was coming close and held his knife to strike it at heart. He slashed the air with his knife, heard a pop sound and expected the creature to die but instead, he saw something else altogether . He never saw something as magical as that in his life. The girl started drawing deep breaths.
He learnt what exactly happened. He attended to her, rubbed her palms and started to leave.
“Thanks, Ebbo”, Vebooni said.
“ I don’t deserve it”, he said and left.
Ebbo felt ashamed for what he did. “The mark stays,”he told himself repeatedly. He kept saying that time and over, burnt his arm with one of the tree trunk getting simmered. He never knew he would have to keep a thing secret from his brother. A train of thoughts went through his head and he recollected the series of events which have happened.
The frog he kicked got charred along with tree trunks which were getting smouldered in the forest fire but it did not die. It almost died again stuffing itself with almost a gallon of water but held it to splash it onto her body. To her luck, the water hit her breastbone with much force where no one pressed. The necessary shock was provided and the girl suddenly woke up drawing heavy breaths. The magical moment which he has seen re-winded through him giving chills. “Later in the future, whenever he saw Boo with Vebooni, he put his head down with guilt.
Elsewhere, an imaginary gate spoke,” THE DUAL SACRIFICE.” and it closed.
to be contd…