Ansa…the End

16 Feb

Chapter 5

The girl stiffened herself. Ansa felt embarrassed, not just for her but also for himself for he wondered how he was going to fare when he is faced with that same situation himself. What he had going for him right now was that he emptied his bowels before he was captured two days ago.  

Sensing her overwhelming embarrassment, he twisted his hands groping around for any of her fingers. When their fingers touched he lingered on it in such a way that she would understand the message he was trying to communicate. Gradually he was able to lace her fingers with his.

Little by little he felt her relaxing until the stiffness was gone. It was no easy task. To lace their fingers he had to twist his hands in a way that caused the restraints to dig into his flesh. But the easing of her tense body was enough reward for him. He had a deep feeling of accomplishment.

“Mosa.”

The voice was light as the wind itself. Ansa wondered if he was in some kind of dream. But he knew he wasn’t dreaming. He knew where the voice came from and it hurt.

“Ansa” he replied.

“I know Ansa, I know.”

Ansa could not believe it. This was Mosa, daughter of Kofi back home at Denkera, an angel of beauty. Yes, he had always stood in awe of her and crushed on her for about a year now. But he had been so busy taking care of his mother and sibling that he hadn’t dared find out anything about her.

Mosa looked fragile and now he could see how deceptive that perception was for here she was braving this situation which he found so frustrating. The men were right; they really went away with two of Denkera’s finest.

She had said she knew him. How could that be? Their paths seldom crossed and he would not even refer to her as his acquaintance. But he would readily admit that the few times their paths crossed, it had been memorable, at least for him.

Knowing who had been travelling with on this arduous journey filled him with warmth. He was suddenly self-conscious and wondered how she could be faring going bare topped and all.

For the first time since his capture Ansa actually began to contemplate escaping. He had resigned himself to his fate knowing that with Osei’s involvement, the very prospect of his returning alive was non-existent. But now he had hope. A hope which, though it wasn’t there before, was now born because of the very presence of Mosa.

He made a decision, no matter what he had to do everything within his power to always keep Mosa within sight. He would protect her with his very life.

 

*                           *                           *

By morning, Ansa noticed that there were two of their captors left. Maybe the other two had gone human hunting, or maybe they went to survey the route they were to take, Ansa could not tell. But all he could see was they were left with Osei and Mensah, his original pursuers.

Mensah came up to them with the blindfolds and once again, Ansa was plunged into darkness. The rope that went around their necks was loosened and their gags replaced.

This morning it appeared Mensah was in a good mood for he accomplished the gagging and blindfolding without his usual aggression.

Maybe they would soon be rid of them, Ansa thought.

Next the rope that bound them together was also loosened only to be retied again with Mosa taking the rear. They were set to move again.

Before they left Ansa heard footsteps—Akan and Kwame had arrived. But it was more than just two of them. Shuffles from various feet indicated that there were more than five additional entrants and interestingly the shuffling of their feet sounded vaguely familiar—it sounded like the shuffle of feet he and Mosa had maintained for about two days now. Additional captives had been added.

The additional captives were added to them by extending the rope to include them.

Soon they were really on their way. The disoriented feeling that came with being blindfolded descended on Ansa once more. His plans for escaping grew dim again. With just Mosa and himself could be viable but with the additions….

The men were literal slave drivers. They herded their captives relentlessly until they made it across the river Prah. The idea was to get back under the covers of the forest since Akropong was predominantly grassland and mountain.

A steam boat took them across the Prah in broad daylight. Osei must really be influential in these quarters or the rendezvous must have been prearranged for the crossing was done without incident.

Once across the Prah they set face for Wassaw. Mention had already been made of a certain Kofi who was a major slave trader, and owned several Barracoons. Kofi sold choice slaves and Ansa was sure that if he got sold off to Kofi, his never returning home was certain.

The captives were now moving by sheer will-power. Ansa and Mosa had not tasted food for three days now and Ansa could not tell how long the others had also starved. He no longer sweated from the exertion, there was nothing to excrete.

By night fall they made it to yet another shack. There were so many of them now and they were all shoved into the shack. Nothing was done to ease them of their sufferings. They stood there in the shack with blindfolds on all through the night.

They were in Wassaw.

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