Path Home

Senai Mesfin

In the depths of chaos and depravity lived a young boy. Orphaned at a young age he was forced to learn the cruel realities of life. He lived a lonely life of solitude and knew nothing of his deceased parents. All he had from them was his name, Adeyemo, and an old relic he treasured dearly.

From the onset of his life Adeyemo only knew what it meant to survive. He prowled the dangerous streets every night in search for the necessities to stay alive. This often meant stealing food and clothing, which he could not provide for himself.

As Adeyemo grew older, his talents also grew. He was as quick as the stray cats in the alleyways. He learned to be as quiet and invisible as the shadows. These skills allowed Adeyemo to avoid being caught by local officials and lessoned his need for companionship.

One night while sleeping in a darkened ally, a spirit in the shape of a rabbit visited Adeyemo in his dreams. The spirit spoke to him, "Adeyemo, why do you live in such conditions? The life you lead will only set you upon your death. Leave this forgotten city and travel northwards to the great forest of your ancestors."

Startled and a little frightened by his vision, Adeyemo awoke feeling eager to learn about the past of his ancestors. In the morning he decided to take everything he owned and leave the dark city behind.

As the sun rose Adeyemo was all packed and set to leave. As he left the city he held the pendant his parents left him and sure enough a white rabbit like the one in his dream was there to guide him along his journey. "So you are the spirit of my ancestors. Will you lead me along my way?" questioned Adeyemo. And with a quick little hop, the white rabbit began traversing the path that led to the north.

For six days and nights Adeyemo walked and followed the white rabbit while having little to no food. Since he was used to going many days without eating Adeyemo pushed on; however, that evening a violent storm rolled in from the west. With little around to provide shelter Adeyemo began to worry. "White rabbit what shall we do? Have my ancestors forsaken me on the quest they sent me?" The white rabbit sensing Adeyemo's anxiety began to run off the path and over a wooded hill. Adeyemo quickly followed in the rabbit's trail. Over the hill was a small opening to a hidden cave. Spotting the white rabbit at its entrance Adeyemo was grateful for the guidance. He quickly entered the cave and made a toasty fire as the storm raged outside.

Exhausted from the days of travel Adeyemo quickly fell asleep beside the fire. Being so lonely, Adeyemo often dreamt of finding a wife and having a large family. He had hoped and prayed that his ancestors would help him find what he was searching for.

 

 

While Adeyemo was peacefully sleeping, he wasn't the only creature to seek refuge in the cave. Deep in the depths a wild beast also slept, but not for long. The delightful smell of fresh meat enticed the beast to wake up and find a midnight snack. Unaware of the impending doom Adeyemo continued his deep slumber. "My oh my, what do we have here. A perfectly plump meal laid right before my eyes", snarled the beast as he crept towards Adeyemo. Years of living on the street has taught Adeyemo to be aware of his surroundings, even while sleeping. Sensing an ominous tension, Adeyemo quickly opened his eyes and dodged out from an attack by the beast. "Who are you?!" yelled Adeyemo, "Why are you trying to eat me?" "I am the most feared beast of the north", retorted the beast, "and seeing as how you have invaded my territory I will now eat you as punishment!"

Scared for his life Adeyemo ran out the cave with the quickness he often used to escape trouble. However this beast was nothing compared to local officials and store clerks. For such a large creature it moved rather fast as it chased Adeyemo out of the cave and into the storm. Over fallen trees and branches Adeyemo sprinted for his life. The pouring rain had turned the landscape into a wet marsh. No matter how fast or far Adeyemo ran the beast was always close behind him. "Why have you forsaken me once again great ancestors!" clamored Adeyemo, "First you send natures wrath, and now you evoke a ravenous beast upon me!"

After gaining separation from the beast, Adeyemo thought he could stop and catch his breath. However the beast was wiser than he thought and snuck up on Adeyemo from the treetops. The beast lunged forward and attacked him, sending the two sliding down a muddy hill and towards a significant drop off a cliff. As they wrestled the beast delivered a swift blow to Adeyemo who was knocked further down and found himself clutching the top of the cliff face trying to avoid death.

 

 

"See what happens when you mess with me boy?" demanded the beast as he stood at the foot of the cliff. "I can easily kick you off this cliff and kill you or I can open my mouth and eat you. Either way your death is eminent". While his situation truly looked to be the death of him, Adeyemo prayed one last time in search of a miracle. This time his ancestors did not send a furry little creature to save his life. Out from above the hillside a person cloaked in the fur of a wolf and wearing a mask appeared. This masked person was atop a giant wolf and they charged towards the cliff. Catching the beast by surprise the masked person pushed the beast from behind and sent him tumbling down below to the valley floor. Adeyemo was in complete shock when he saw these events unfold. As he stared at the masked figure his grip weakened and nearly fell to the same fate of the beast. Right before Adeyemo fell, his masked hero lurched forward and grabbed onto his arm, pulling him to safety.

Feeling exhausted and grateful, Adeyemo felt emotions he never experienced before. He instinctively grabbed and hugged the masked hero. Feeling quiet shocked, the masked hero slapped Adeyemo until he let go. Embarrassed Adeyemo asked, "Thank you for saving my life, but who are you? Will you lower your mask so I may see your face?" The masked hero obliged and slowly removed the mask. To Adeyemo's complete surprise, the masked figure was a young girl no older than him. "I am the princess and guardian of these forests. My name is Jalia", explained the mask heroin. "I have been raised by my ancestors of the north who have given me the task of protecting my homeland."

Intrigued by Jalia's story, Adeyemo asks to be taken to her home so he may see where she lives. At first Jalia relents at the idea of taking a stranger to her home, but she soon gives in, as the weather was still a formidable opponent.

As they walked through the woods towards Jalia's home, Adeyemo had many questions for her. "Who was that beast that attacked me so viciously? And how did you know I was being attacked?"

 

 

Jalia began, "My biggest duty here as guardian of the forest has been to protect innocent creatures from the beast. For hundreds of years it has existed and terrorized the forest. It has been said that the beast was once a man from the large city in the south. He sought power over the entire land and tried to destroy my ancestor's homes. As people of the forest, my ancestor's have been protecting the forest for thousands of years. In order to do this the spirits of the forest have given my ancestor's special powers. For all these years my ancestor's and nature have lived in harmonious balance. When the man from the south heard of our powers he tried to steal it at all costs. He soon found that our special pendants given to us from the spirits allowed us to communicate with nature and was the source of our power."

Adeyemo jumped in, "Wait a minute, you mean this pendant here?" He pulled his only keepsake given by his parents from underneath his clothes and showed it to Jalia. She stared in amazement and with a hint of anxiety. "Where did you get this pendant!" she exclaimed. "It was given to me by my parents before they passed. I knew nothing about where I came from. This pendant was the only clue I had", confessed Adeyemo. Jalia pulled her pendant from around her neck and showed Adeyemo. "Your pendant is the exact same as mine. Only those from my ancestors may could posses it", explained Jalia. "So does this mean we are from the same tribe?" asked Adeyemo. "Yes, there is no doubt. That is how I was able to save you from the beast. I was resting when a white rabbit came to me and explained your situation. If it was not for your pendant, you would not have been able to communicate with the spirits and I would not have found you", stated Jalia. 

Adeyemo was overwhelmed by this new knowledge. He still did not understand who the beast was. Jalia continued, " Since our peoples powers come from the pendant, the evil man would trick and steal the pendants of our ancestors. With every pendant he stole, the man turned more and more powerful. Until one day the power mixed with his evil heart, consumed him and turned him into a beast. Whatever human characteristics he once held no longer exists within the beast. He now just roams the lands bringing nothing but destruction. That is why it is my duty to defeat the beast. However I have never had enough strength to fully eradicate the beast. He has always managed to survive my attacks. In fact it has surly survived the fall off the cliff."

With the pieces of Adeyemo's past and history coming together he develops a resolve to help vanquish the evil beast from his ancestor's lands. He now understands the quest his ancestors have bestowed upon him.

With Jalia, Adeyemo headed down to the valley where the beast survived. Underneath the cliff where Jalia threw the beast off the cliff he was nowhere to be found. In a frantic search for the beast, Adeyemo and Jalia followed the beast's tracks all through the valley until they reached a place reeking with evil. There they found the beast devouring and torturing a family of deer. Enraged, Adeyemo uses his resourcefulness and fashions a spear out of a sharp rock and long stick. He hopped on with Jalia's wolf and they charged towards the beast.

In complete shock, the beast turned around and was caught off guard. Jalia sprang off her wolf and tackled the beast. As they bounced to the ground and continued to tangle, the beast proved to be too much for her and pinned her to the ground. Right before he vowed to kill Jalia once and for all, Adeyemo circled round and hurled his spear across the plains towards the beast's back. And with blessings from above the beast was speared in the back spearing Jalia's life. The beast stumbled sideways and screamed with rage. Jalia then jumped on the beasts back with the spear still in place. As the beast was in agony from the pain, it was distracted long enough for Jalia to riffle through its fur and find all the stolen pendants from her ancestors. One by one she pulled them off, and with each pull the beast became weak as the power was darning. Finally the last pendant was removed and the beast remained silent and still, while it lay there dying.

 

 

With the death of the beast, Jalia's mission to protect her homelands was complete. She was so elated with joy that she thanked Adeyemo by asking him to remain with her forever and protect their homeland. Adeyemo was finally happy that he found where he belonged. The quest his ancestors gave him proved that even in death family remains important and will protect you till the end.