The nether world

We know very little of the underworld in which Wadé stayed for nearly a century.

Through his narrative, Wadé gives us some insights into this “Nether World”.

“That day, I realised more clearly than ever that I was going to die. We were just a handful of survivors. We were going through Hell. It was here, under a deluge of shells and machine-gun fire that death was patiently waiting, hidden behind the palisades of mud, ready to ambush us.

An explosion, a flash, the blast of air. Then silence.

A few seconds later I regained consciousness … Time stood still, everything grew dark around me. In the bottom of the trench I saw an incandescent crack tearing through the soil with the agility of a snake. It was heading for me. It was me that it had chosen.

In the split second, images of the past came back to me. The voodoo ceremony that had terrified me when I was a child. This blinding light, I recognized it. The atmosphere was the same: heavy, oppressive, thick with a metallic, sulphate stench. The events were linked. My destiny must have been written out for me since my earliest childhood. My mother was either the cause of it or the first victim. But none of that was important any more…

While my body on the ground tried in vain to escape, my spirit was resigned to being swallowed up into the monster’s jaws. I gave up. A tongue of flame leaped from the crack. It grabbed me. It was the end…

When I awoke, I felt my body battered, burned and lacerated. My eyes stared into the dark abyss that I could guess was below me. There was the sound of cavernous breathing, suffocated groans that I could detect. They came from far away, below. Hundreds of torches flickered in the air. Their feeble light made no impact on the darkness.

Gradually my eyes opened. I could make out gigantic forms that emerged from the shadow. They were looking at me.

 

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