Into the Darkness

Into the Darkness

A Story by Sarusai Hiryu

It was a night typical of that region of Africa " starry, clear and bitterly cold. Few people were abroad at the witching hour in so small a town. Among such lights as were still to be seen, was a cracked neon signboard that flashed “CAFÉ BIDOLI” in bold bright letters. It was easily the best thing about the “café”, which consisted of a ramshackle shed with a termite-infested, discoloured wooden door.

Inside the café, five boys, quite obviously foreign, were sprawled on rickety armchairs around a blazing fire. They ate and drank out of the chipped earthen utensils provided by the owner, and there was much jest and laughter all around.

Suddenly, the door was flung open. The icy gust that greeted the café put an abrupt end to the conversation. In the doorway stood a dark little man.

He wore the traditional African dress of white cotton, and a twelve-caped English greatcoat that was as ludicrous as it was incongruous. The most preposterous thing about him was his headgear " a structure so enormous that it absolutely dominated his diminutive frame.  The old man seated himself in an armchair by the fire, totally ignoring the boys’ muttered ‘how’d you do’s. From the capacious pockets of his coat he extracted a strange-smelling package and began to consume its contents rapidly.

At length, having concluded his strange repast, he turned towards the boys with a quaint bow.

“Greetings, O foreign friends!”  He intoned in a rumbling, ponderous fashion. His English was somewhat accented, but otherwise quite correct.

With ironic seriousness, the boys saluted him likewise

“You like my country, yes?” he demanded almost belligerently.

“We have not had the opportunity to see much of it, sir” said one of the boys courteously. “We arrived but yesterday.”

In his guttural, stentorian voice, the old man commenced an oration of such beauty regarding his native land that the boys listened spellbound.  Young, restless, credulous and hungry for adventure as they were, each was possessed by a longing to see for himself the wonders he described.

“You come on a tour to see Africa. You roam the cities " you see people, and buildings and rubbish " much rubbish. Then you see the jungle. You sit in a lighted, roaring jeep that sends the animals scurrying away. Bah! This is no way to see Africa! Now I "” he paused to emphasize his next words.

“Now I am a dweller of this land, and for fifty summers have I roamed its jungles " by day and by night. I can show you the jungle as it should be seen - on foot, and in the dark. I could show you "” His voice dropped and became even more intense. “Sights that would make your blood curdle and send chills down your spines. I could show you leopards hunting deer scarcely three feet from your face; I could "”He stood up abruptly thrusting a crumpled piece of paper at them. His voice had suddenly become crisp and businesslike “If you are interested, gentlemen, you will find my address in there.” With a parting nod he walked deliberately out.

The next evening, the boys headed excitedly for the man’s address in a hired Land Cruiser. They were bubbling over with enthusiasm and felt no suspicion whatsoever regarding the character and motives of their guide; had, in fact, none of the reservations which would certainly have arisen in the minds of older and wiser men. Inexperienced and guileless as they were, the prospect of ‘adventure’ had filled up their minds to the exclusion of all else.

A few kilometers into the woods, they parked their jeep by the roadside. Then they headed off into the darkness. The dense canopy of trees above blocked utterly the light of the stars and the faintly-simmering crescent. The dark, the cold, and the awful silence made them nervous and jittery, so that they jumped at every rustle. The tree-shadows looming ahead assumed such monstrous proportions; - the sinister, menacing aura permeating the forest had begun to play havoc with their imaginations. An odd, ominous foreboding held them in thrall.

The man halted. He began to howl - a shrill, hideous cry that froze them to the marrow. In growing horror they watched themselves being surrounded by  little dark men, crouching with spears poised most menacingly. Behind them were even smaller women and children.   

One of the boys suddenly saw something that made his heart leap to his throat. His eyes widened in shock as he saw a chubby-cheeked, pearl-toothed child comfortably gnawing what appeared to be - a human hand!

“Run!” he cried. “They’re cannibals”

Simultaneously, the boys broke through the massive human barrier and ran for their lives. However, their desperate effort was swiftly terminated - five spears went spinning after them on the instant. As the grisly messengers of death struck home, five screams rose as one to shatter the peace of the African Jungle.   

© 2015 Sarusai Hiryu

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a very well-written, fantastic piece :D it compelled me read twice :P

Posted 11 Years Ago

What a stunning write.. the dialog and description is vivid, and the ending powerful! Excellent write.

Posted 12 Years Ago

I only had the time to get to the third or fourth paragraph but your descriptions were wonderful i could imagine myself in the plot one thing I think would be helpful to your writing though is to introduce the charter right from the binning, it establishes to the reader exactly what and who they are going to read about and develops a deeper attachment between the main charter and the reader...I will read the rest tonight, very good though!

Posted 12 Years Ago

This was great from the beginning to the end.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Loved the description and imagery. Great story, I have always wanted to go to Africa.
And thank goodness they dont eat people. lol
Great intense story

Posted 12 Years Ago

The vivid description of the cannibalism suggests a certain amount of experience and an even greater degree of relish.

P.S: nice story.

Posted 12 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Nice pace, a bit too fast in some parts, especially when the boys get in the jeep/landcruiser... where is the man in the cape? How did the boys find an "address" without a guide in the deep dark jungle?

I mention this section because it is pivotal to the tone, style and plot of the story. If the man in the cape, led them far into the jungle, getting them lost without hope, then the cannibal realization would have more gravity. OR, if they drove to an "address" an african suburb, a caul-de-sac de Cannibal.... it could take on a comic twist ala werewolf of london style...

Nice piece, lots of potential, grabs the readers interest.

Posted 12 Years Ago

you have very intersting stories, this one is filled with more action...hahaha good:)

Posted 12 Years Ago

I live in Africa, and I don't eat people :)
lol, i know, i know, you dont mean any offence but we are tired of the stereotype by now! :D
wonderful storytelling by the way, very sophisticated style and awesome great work, u get a cool 95

Posted 12 Years Ago

Well, this is certainly a macabre little tale, and very well-told, too. Your writing is outstanding.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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12 Reviews
Added on March 12, 2011
Last Updated on May 14, 2015


Sarusai Hiryu
Sarusai Hiryu

Caledorne-on-the-Eyrlyndyne, Estayn, Nakushita, Pakistan

I dream with my eyes open; I weave songs in prose and essays in poetry; I speak Shakespeare and write "half-yo"... In short, I am. "There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not m.. more..

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