Lightning flashed and thunder rolled over the savanna, warning all that there was no escape. The smell of rain was heavy on the air. Dark, evil clouds covered the sky from horizon to horizon. Even Flyers knew to fear them and left the air for safer ground. Monsoon was coming and her cruel hand would sweep across the land.
Kayode huddled with the rest of his pack on the top of a hillock under the tall baobab tree they called Home. They were Hunters and they knew Fear well. He was their familiar friend. Fear taught them to hunt in packs to stampeded the herds. Fear taught them to respect the Enemy who stole their food if they didn’t eat quickly enough. Fear taught them to range wide and far in search of Prey.
But this time, Fear brought no teaching, no lessons. Their Shaman and Kayode’s brother, Eli, searched for omens in the dust, grass, and sky. Eli had eaten the scared fruit and walked the hidden paths but found no knowledge. Then too, he fell before Fear and trembled.
Cold winds began to blow through the grass and both Hunter and Prey fell silent. And then the rain began to fall. The darkness became black, lit only by Monsoon’s anger towards all who walked, burrowed, and flew under her domain.
The Hunters and their Shaman crowded together under Home. They shivered and quaked under the sheets of water that fell from the sky. Lighting began to strike the ground with loud cracks. Fear told them to flee but they did not listen. There was no place that was safe.
It was long into the night before any of them tried to sleep. Thunder woke them. Monsoon was furious at their insolence. The Hunters would tremble before her and pay her tribute.
Kayode curled up tight next to his brother. Exhaustion made their eyes heavy. Even though Monsoon’s wrath clapped over their ears, they could not stay awake and drifted off to sleep.
When Kayode woke, the land had changed. The hills had turned into islands and once tall grass poked up through the water. Kayode turned around. His brother and the other Hunters were gone. Frantic, he splashed through the water to a tree that have been stuck and shattered by Monsoon’s wrath. Branches lay scattered in the waters. He smelled only ash and the familiar scent of Home. His ears pinned back and tears welled in his eyes. Their Home been taken away.
Kayode swallowed his tears and held his head low to the ground. He called a low hooing sound four times for his pack. Then he looked up and listened. He turned around and strained to hear. There was no call back. He called and listened again but no answering call came.
For two days, Fear drove Kayode to search, calling out for his pack. No reply came to him. No Hunter had heard. Fear settled in his heart and he curled up on a hill under the bright Sun. He was no longer a Hunter, he was now one of the Lost, cursed to wander alone in search of a new Home.