The Ancient Stone - Episode 1
They held each other as they ran through the fields they’ve known all their lives. The euphoria that overwhelmed them as they ran hand in hand each time through this field was not one that could get old. Their hairs drifted effortlessly in the wind as one blonde looked into her sister’s eyes. Her sister has been the only peace she’s known and even through their constant bickering, nowhere was home without Gabrielle, fondly called Gaby . Even at twenty two, Gaby and Ray seem inseparable. They were quite identical save for the color of their eyes. Gabrielle’s bluish eye was a contrast to Ray’s hazel eye. That was the only way people could tell them apart. They even played tricks on her whose matrix they came from, closing their eyes whenever they were up to their mischief and wanted to protect each other. There was no winning with them.
Ten years ago, just weeks before their twelfth birthday, there was a war; one that will change the course of their lives forever and one they’d never forget. Ray was in the barn with Sonnie their dog when she heard screams. Visibly shaken, she grabbed Sonnie and ran into the barn to hide. Gaby, who had been quite upset with Ray for spilling milk on her doll without apologizing , decided to shut her sister out by locking herself away in her room, sulking. She was oblivious of the terror that lay without, the one her sister just had a feel of.
Their parents, Mary and Thomas were local farmers
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. They prided in the things they achieved. It wasn’t much but they believed it was just sufficient to meet all their needs. Mary, a woman of beauty and eloquence can be described as one of the prettiest women in the village. Her brown hair, always packed in a messy ponytail complemented her golden brown and velvety smooth skin. Her well sculpted body was the eye of the storm, her clothes does nothing to hide her perfect figure. She walked like she counted her steps- every step exuding class from the pores of her skin. She fell in love with Thomas at the biannual village dance. The fine wrinkle on his face whenever he smiled caught her attention. The soft lines on his forehead whenever he formed a furrow with his brows were the more captivating. She could breathe the charm and charisma he generously released into the environment. He was a great dancer too. The ladies swooned and oogled just at the mere sight of him. Mary wouldn’t blame them though, who wouldn’t want such a hunk? She didn’t imagine she’d marry him and drool hopelessly in love with him. They were perfect for each other.
On that day, they had gone to the Richard’s for lunch. They left the girls in Mary’s mother, Grandma Dee’s care. Their perfect lunch was interrupted by a loud bang outside the Richards home. From the quick burst of adrenaline, everyone scampered, seeking safety. The women were stealth and crowded themselves behind the sofa, hoping it offers some sort of protection from whatever the hassle outside was about while the three men tried to understand the situation. The screams became closer and more frequent like a rhythm; people picked off where others stopped screaming. No one in the house could tell what the lack of decorum was all about. They peeked through the slightly opened windows. Thomas looked outside through the walnut-sized opening in the door. Metals were clattering, children crying and blood running freely through the sloping street like dam that could no longer hold its contents. The sight made his insides turn. He was faced with louder terrifying screams and he could see the hopelessness and panic in the eyes of people trying to run away with children, seeking for refuge. Some parents left their children behind, valuing their own lives more than that of those they formed. They were hardened, he thought, because they didn’t turn back to have a second look at their children as they called and tried to reach out for them. Thomas suddenly noticed some strange men making a dash towards the door. He became more aware; the door was unlocked. He quickly tried to bolt the door but it was too late. The men overpowered him. The door hit the ground as it met the force of their kicks and Thomas lay beneath it, almost unconscious. His mouth was dry and his body tried to keep consciousness by the rapid eye blinks. Mary threw all caution to the wind as she quickly made to her husband’s side. Tears already formed in the corner of her eyes as her heart melted as what she beheld. Thomas tried to signal her to stay away, run or do anything other than come to him but her resolve was one can break. She ran to him, quickly went on her knees and tried to move the door that kept her husband under when a bat from the head of the gun sent her head first to the cold hard ground. She felt some warmth around her ears and life gradually seeping out of her. This wasn’t hot air, it was her blood. She turned to look at her husband and she could see the sadness in his eyes. She managed to raise her right hand as she gently brushed it over his face. She swore in her heart that she understood his pain for she felt it too. She managed a slight smile, knowing she’d not change anything. Her only sorrow were her girls, oh, how she yearned to kiss them one last time and let them know she’ll always watch over them. A gun emptied its bullet into her side and everything seemed to pause. Silence. She welcomed the darkness that enveloped her, her heart stopped beating in few minutes. Her husband let out a sharp grunt as he met the same fate. Two bullets were emptied into his heart.
Ray, still in hiding, remembered her sister and instantly knew she had to find her. All her fears melted as she ran into the house, determined to find that one piece that made every puzzle complete. She wasn’t sure where she had kept the dog. This house, made of wood had been home to them since their birth. She ran past the living room which was decorated in a simple manner. Most of the pictures on the wall were baby pictures and family portraits. There was a brilliant chemistry between their parents and even pictures spelt that out perfectly.
As she ascended the stairs, she was soon face to face with Gaby’s door and she pounded on it as hard as she could while trying to catch her breath. Gaby felt her sister’s move was audacious. How dare she have the nerve to come up to my door and hit it this hard especially after she deliberately refused to apologize? She thought. Gaby’s blood pressure spiked, she could hear her own heart beat. Only a fight would calm this raging storm brewing within her. As she opened the door, her mouth became heavy because the look in her sister’s hazel eyes was nothing she had ever seen. Maybe when their parents caught them in a mischief and were about to punish them, but it was a lot more; a million times more. Ray grabbed her and yanked her towards the stairs but a deafening sound forced them back into the room. They hid in the closet as Ray held Gaby’s trembling hands in hers that suffered same fate. Footsteps. Her sister’s room door was open and the footsteps sounded closer. They had seen in movies that invaders looked under beds and in closets and then killed whoever they found. The girls had neither differences nor anger but synced perfectly enough to come to one single hope. They prayed that this day, no one would look into the closet.
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