By Amani Utembu
I didn’t believe in legends. Never thought I’d ever believe in any of the old stories either until a couple of days ago after we moved.
There’s this park, some three or four kilometers away from home that me and my friends go to hang out on weekends, or just go to chill out when we doing our assignments after midday lectures.
It’s quite a beautiful place. A peaceful place. It’s always been full of people since we’ve know about out. Surrounded by many a tall trees. A few flower gardens scattered around it. Several light posts that light the place up at night. And three statues…One at the very far corner of the garden, one at the right side of the entrance, and a massive one: biggest of the three at the very center of the garden.Near the place we call “our spot.” The place where many people seem not to bother sit at.
For the last few days of the week, it’s been raining heavily each night but when we wake up, the ground is dry as if no drops fell at night not even morning dew is visible. And am not sure if it’s just me, am not sure if it’s been raining in my dreams or it’s actually been raining, raining as in the normal water drops falling from the sky. And I have been scared to ask anybody if it’s been raining or it’s just me and my silly dreams.
I have been troubled. I even thought I was going crazy or something.
Then I raised the issue to my peers after the midday lectures.
“And I thought I was crazy!!” said one guy.
“So it’s not just me. I thought I was going crazy too!” said another.
And we all looked at each other. Shocked like confused kids. Everyone else around us seemed normal and we all just freaked out. I mean it’s crazy when it’s just the people you are around experience the same thing while everyone else looks totally cool. It’s even crazier when you start thinking about how you’ll tell it to someone else whose not having the same nightmare. I mean we just moved here, nobody is going to believe anything. They’ll just think that I probably hate the place or something.
I didn’t attend lectures for the past few days and so did the other guys that came to this place a few weeks earlier. I haven’t gone to the park either. I haven’t felt the heavy rain drops at night. I have actually had some good night sleep. I contacted the other guys, they too have been good. No rain at night. And we decided it’s all settled and we could go back to studying, make up for the classes we’ve missed.
And it was at the park when I first noticed that “our spot” had always been our spot. Nobody else ever sat there no matter how heavily crowded it was.That’s when I realized how people had been staring at us as we sat close to the twelve-feet tall statue. All this time I hadn’t ever thought of studying the huge figurine. But I always known it’s of a rich guy. Some guy whose thought to have been the founder of the city.
And I watched it closely. Nothing seemed out if the ordinary, I couldn’t make out why people were making such a big deal about it. Me and the crew discussed, did our assignments and went home after a guy’s movie night.
Nobody slept that night. The rain drops were back. Heavier than they had ever been. We even started avoiding each other thinking that one of us was kinda possessed or something…
I went to the garden the other day. Our spot was empty. The twelve-foot figurine was still there. One hand in its pocket, the other holding on to a compass seemingly swaying on a chain. A magician kinda hat covering it’s head. Glasses on the pocket side of its suit…I hadn’t noticed this before. I hadn’t even ever looked at it ever.
An old man who had been standing a few feet away got closer, while I was still figuring out why our spot was just “our spot.” Even the little kids seemed to know stuff I didn’t know. But I can’t blame myself, I have only been here two months, am still new to this place.
“You know, he died on a rainy night. They murdered him for his compass,” the old man said.
I kinda made a connection about the rain thing right away but I had to be sure. I had to ask him.
“What’s with the statue. Why do people act like they don’t notice it?”
There was this long silence, the old man seemed to be lost in some place in his mind.
“That statue is of my great great great grandfather. I notice it daily. I come here daily just to look at it. People notice it, they just don’t dare get close to it,” he finally spoke.
I was lost…Filled with questions…Still couldn’t believe that this old guy, probably in his early seventies, was family to the founders of the city!
“His father, a council member, a wealthy guy ordered for this statue to be erected above his son’s grave. The stories say that his son was an educated guy. Had a thing for geography and architecture. He designed most of the buildings here… Was the head council man in waiting before they murdered him. “
He stopped for a while. I was tempted to tell him bout my crazy findings about the night rains but before I could open my mouth he continued, “His mother took his death news heavily. She couldn’t sleep or eat for weeks. And being quite wealthy she summoned a seer, the greatest in the lands at that time who put a spell on the boy’s grave and the statue. Word is that the mother ordered the seer to put a spell that would make anyone who came close to the statue relive the night her son died.
“Around here anybody who goes close will just have sleepless nights filled with heavy rain drops that seem to be crying. I’d say that’s what the mother felt like the day he died. The reason she did it, nobody knows,” he said starting to walk away.
“I noticed you and your friends seemed new to the place. I just wanted to see if the stories were true… ” he said as he walked away.