Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 11
Ukeh knew he would be sick if he continued like this. He can already feel it inside of him, there was no way his body can take anymore of that floggings. Moreso he was not comfortable in the dock. Non of them was.
They were laid opposite each other in shallow cupboards that looks more like holes. They were laid in such a way that some of thier heads were inside the sealed end of the cupboard while some were outside.
When one person is placed with his head inside another is placed with his head outside, this means that a man is lying down face up and when he turns his head to speak to his neighbour he can only see his neighbours leg because the head is faced his own legs. And just like that they were arranged.
The women were taken away and put in a separate place. Locked up safely in another duck but very close to where Ukeh and the men were. Ukeh knew because he could here them lamenting. They could hear each other.
The white man did this so that they cannot communicate with one another. Those whose heads were at the sealed end of the cupboard suffered most because there was no Ray of light or air coming inside, those whose head faced the open end of the cupboard were lucky because at least they saw light and little air. Ukeh was among the lucky ones.
Thier hands and feet were tied even in that state. The white man fed them with pap and sometimes boiled beans. When it was time for food they were ordered to open thier mouths and the food is poured directly inside thier mouths while they drink. Whoever refuses to open thier mouths will be forced with an iron to separate the mouth while the food is forced in.
It wasn’t long before many became sick, many had passed faeces on themselves and the ones whose heads were close to thier anus suffered greatly from smell and the rush of faeces flowing on thier faces and bodies. The acid from the faeces burnt thier skins as they were not allowed to even stand up to clean up thier mess. And soon they began to die.
Ukeh does not know how long theyve been sailing, it may be days or even weeks but he knew he would be sick if something is not done and he didn’t want to be vulnerable, he knew he had to do something not minding if they would be flogged.
“Hey! Hey! help us! He screamed aloud.
“Quiet boy, it’s like you enjoy been totured.” Ukeh didn’t know or see who spoke but he heard the voice.
“If we keep silent we will all die. I know you know some persons are already dead here. We all can smell it. How about the sores on our bodies. If you stick to fear you will all die like chickens. It’s better to speak out and die as heroes anyways instead of dying like puppets.”
“Hey, is anyone out there? Hey” Ukeh kept screaming.
And someone else joined him in screaming. Ukeh knew it was a female from her voice, and then another female joined and another and another and soon the whole of them were screaming.
Robert and the crew rushed in and opened the duck.
“Quiet all of you! What is your problem? Why are you screaming? He asked.
“We have the sick amongst us. Some are even dead. We need to clean this place if not many more will get sick and die. And I am sure you didn’t go through all of this stress to take dead bodies back to your homes.
Robert was silent for a while, but he listened. And then the slaves were untied and asked to clean thier mess.
One by one they all gently cleaned the place. The urine, the faeces and the dead bodies were all cleared out. Sixteen dead bodies were carried and thrown into the sea. A breath of fresh air flowed in for the first time since they began thier journey.
“Thank you Mr Robert, but some people here need medications, please, if not they will still die” Ukeh pleaded.
They ignored and closed the door to the duck and Ukeh wondered why? Expecially since they were not tied up anymore.
“What is your name?” Ukeh turned and saw the old man who was with him in the cage back in the village. He was looking very sick. Ukeh runs to him and help him sit, there was plenty of sore on his head and body.
“Rest sir, rest. My name is Ukeh, son of Ekpeyong and grandson of Ayiba the great, the only warrior who fought and killed a tiger with his bare hands.
“Ayiba, Ayiba, you are the grand son of Ayiba, from the first day I saw you, I knew you had a warriors blood in you. I knew your grandfather. We fought together once in a battle against the military men that tried to seize our land.
“You are a warrior?” Ukeh asked
And the old man smiled, “I have fought battles you cannot imagine son. Just like you I am on this ship to search for my grand daughter. My wife and daughter were killed by the white when they attacked my home. I was in the forest hunting. My grand daughter was taken, I had to allow them capture me too in order to find her, but unfortunately thier ship sailed before I arrived. I do not think I will make it, please help me find my granddaughter and bring her home.
“But I don’t think I myself will make it through this hell” Ukeh said.
“There are none hundred of us in this ship that have been taken and if there is anyone going to survive this, I think that will be you son, You will make it, you have a warriors heart. Please promise me you will find my granddaughter and save her please.
He dipped his hand in his underwear and brings out a small hand head and gives it to Ukeh.
“Take this, when you find her, give it to her and tell her I tried. Her name is Amara.
Just then the door of the dock opened again and the white men rushed in.
“Alright listen up slaves, we do not have the necessity to accommodate the sick ones and so we have to do what we have to do…. Pick them up” Robert ordered
And the other white boys grabbed the sick ones amongst them and even the fragile ones including the old man.
“What are you going to do to them?” Ukeh asked
And before he could say anymore, they threw them inside the sea. Ukeh wanted to fight them but they pointed those sticks to him and he relaxed. They picked up the old man and threw him and as he fell he shouted.
“My name is Kunti the brave, do not forget…..”
And he landed in the sea. One by one they threw them all and just when Ukeh was beginning to have a glimpse of hope that some might swim and survive, they brought out thier sticks and fired every single one of them inside the sea. It was a sad day for the slaves….