Aiden and the Scroll of No Man's Land

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Chapter 23

“What are you thinking of doing Aiden?" my sister asked as if reading my mind. “Hey remember that abandoned house we used to go to when we were young?” I asked and my sister took a moment to think.“It was behind Muite’s house right?” my sister asked her voice excited.

“Yes, let’s go and see if it’s still up...I say we make a bet, if it is indeed still standing then you stop calling Nibbles a girl and you give him a treat and pay for the bill” my sister laughed at this statement and countered “And if I do win little ... will be allowed to burn some of those horrible, old and smelly shirts that you still have in your cupboard” “Hey, those shirts are dad’s old clothes that I wear...” I countered.

“That are more than ten years old Aiden” she continued and I knew she was right, it was indeed smelly and very old and so I agreed. I knew I had made a terrible bargain and since my sister was reluctant to change the rules and me reluctant to give up the shirts I really hoped that the damned building was still holding up.

We walked behind Muite’s house and since no one used to go this way anymore there was no path to follow.

Still, we walked on promising one and another that we wouldn’t stray too far from Muite’s house which we now marked as a landmark.

We also had to return to Muite’s house before the sunset, as we did not want to spend the night in this jungle with no supplies.

And so we moved quickly through the knee-high grass and tall trees, looking keenly, searching for anything that resembled a house.

Nearly an hour passed and we did not find the house and I was waiting for my sister to open her mouth to say she had won when something caught my eye.

Through the bushes and green leaves, I spotted something brown. Of course, barks of trees were brown, but this color of brown seemed out of place.

It was much lighter in color and moving to my side I saw than it extended, bigger than any bark of a tree I had seen till now.

Excited I called out to my sister. “Found it!” My sister who was only a few meters away from me responded. “Coming!”

I now walked up towards the structure to confirm that it was indeed the house and surprisingly it was!

Well, it could have not been called a house anymore, and for that fact not even a place to stay in because all that stood of the house was one of its walls which had a hollow window in it.

The rest of the house was already crumpled and most of the bricks sat on the ground slowly getting consumed by nature.

By now my sister had arrived and gasped in disbelief as she noticed it still standing.

“Looks like I won!” I said happily but my sister was not buying it. “Hey it’s barely standing and that’s only one wall that is standing,” she said. “But nonetheless standing.” I said relieved that I did not have to burn my father’s old clothes.

Few conversations later we decided since our bet was very badly modeled in the terms of ‘how much of the house was supposed to be standing’ we called off the bet, now just marveling at how nature had regained her space.

Just as I was looking around the vines that grew on the walls and the floor of the house, I noticed a door on the floor, like a cellar of sorts. Touching my sister on the shoulder I drew her attention towards the door.

Curiosity filled us up as we had probably not noticed it duringour previous visits here.

I now was right above the door and with a nervous hand yanked the door open both fear and curiosity rushing through my body as it opened with relative ease.

The place indeed seemed to be a cellar of sorts but the problem was that it was very dark and there were no signs of stairs that led down towards the bottom. In addition to this, the place was very quiet which might have indicated that the place was dry and so probably ruling out the fact that it was a water storage tank. I suddenly felt fear overcome my curiosity as my mind got a hold of itself as I spoke to my sister.

“I don’t think we can get down there and anyways we are severely unprepared for this situation...we do not even have a source of light.” my sister agreed by nodding and maybe she too was scared.

We were now both in fear of something bad happening and so trying to remain calm we closed down the wooden door and then feeling suddenly feeling uncomfortable about this place, we walked back and in no time were once again back behind Muite’s house. We did not want to disturb Muite or his relative again and so we were careful not to make a sound as we walked back the path towards the main path that led us back home.

As we just entered the forest area I looked up to the sun in the East as it set behind a mountain far beyond us, and the picturesque view it left behind on the surface of the river.

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