My eyes open slowly, I squint my face as I try to focus my vision. The sun shines brightly, my eyes hurts, hands hurt, my back hurts, it seems my whole body aches. I am on the ground, in the bush, in pain and unable to move. I have no idea why I am there or who I am. I close my eyes and within seconds I fade out of consciousness.
I wake up a few moments later, the sound of voices, distant voices awaken me, they are rough and guttural. I try to call out but I only let out a low moan. I need help, badly. Seconds transcends to minutes and then the voices fade off, I lay hopeless. It takes a lot of effort for me to sit up, I grab a stump and hurl myself upright. My leg is soaked in blood and swollen and it is then I remember what happened.
My name is Nuel, I had taken the night bus from Lagos to Benin, meaning to go to Uniben. The bus was sailing smoothly, making good speed when all of a sudden as we approached Ore, we sighted a roadblock up ahead, the driver, an old hand in the business had immediately reversed.
“Ritualists,” he shouted as he tried to turn the bus around. But he was too late, as if on cue, six men all sporting guns came out of the bush and began firing at the bus. Screams filled the air as each passenger prayed to their god. I who was seated at the front seat beside the driver had watched in fright, unable to move or even say anything. The bullets ripped through the tires and the body of the bus, shattering the windshield, shards of glasses scatter in every direction making way for the tens of bullets that found their way to the driver. His blood splatters and stains my cloth. I have never been so alone in my life.
With the loss of the driver coupled with the bullet ridden tyres, the bus swerves out of control headed towards the bush, somersaults several times ,throwing me into the bush. I landed on the ground hard and hear something in my body snap before losing consciousness. Now I am awake, my legs broken and unable to move. The voices are back and closer.
“Find the first passenger,” I hear a thick voice say.
I am trapped, unable to move, unable to run. Unable to escape. I hear footsteps coming closer and closer until it is just beside me. And just as I slip into unconsciousness, I hear the voice shout out, calling out to the others.
“Boss, I have found the man,” and with that, I fall unconscious.
“Cut,” the producer yells.
I stand up to my feet, helped by the man in boots. My leg is not injured or covered in blood, I wasn’t on any night bus. You see, I am an actor, and this is what I do.
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