Zac 29: Episode 2

Zac 29 Episode 2

Zac felt a great itch around his neck and he began to scratch it.  His throat was dry and it was painful to swallow! Sweat broke out on his face, and he began to cough hard!

“Shut up over there, skunk face!” Kwaku Obi shouted at him.

“Zac, what’s the matter?” Araba asked anxiously. “You’re sweating, and what’s that red rash around your neck?”

Zac continued to cough and scratch his neck. He could barely speak! His voice was hoarse and dry.

“I don’t know!” he said painfully. “Something is happening to me! I feel weak!”

Suddenly Zac fell to the floor and began to thrash wildly! He could not breathe! His throat was closing up, and he made harsh grunting sounds!

“Get that infidel out of here this instant!” Mistress Ohenewaa shouted. “He’s pretending to be sick so that we’ll go back to the Orphanage! I’ll deal with him when we get back!”

Two wardens grabbed Zac and began to lift him off the floor.

“Let him be!”  Mr. Adokoh said in a firm voice.


Mr. Adokoh got down on his knees and looked at Zac.

“He’s dying,” cried Kwaku Obi, and began to giggle.

Indeed, Zac looked terrible. His face was all puffed up. There was liquid running from his nostrils. There was an angry red rash around his neck, and he still continued to move feebly.

Suddenly his body went limp.

He had fainted!

“There must be something he’s allergic to in this room,” Mr. Adokoh said. “Please, let’s all go out now.”

He was old, but he was surprisingly strong. He lifted Zac up and carried him out of the room.


“Where are you taking him?” Mistress Ohenewaa asked.

“To the Museum Nurse,” Mr. Adokoh said. “The tour is over. Please go to the main yard. When he’s better I’ll bring him to you.”

Without another word, Mr. Adokoh carried Zac away.

He did not take Zac to the nurse; he took him to his own office.

It was huge. It had a desk and a tall bookcase that took a whole wall.

Mr. Adokoh put Zac on a settee near the window and left the room.

He locked the door after him as he returned to the Magic Room. He opened a glass case with a silver key and picked up a rough-looking wooden box.

He opened it and looked at the object lying in it.

“Dearest me!” he whispered. “Is it possible?”

He returned to his office. The boy had woken up and was sitting in the settee, looking around him with confusion.

Mr. Adokoh locked the door and sat down beside Zac.


“What’s your name, boy?” he asked gently.


“Were you born on 29th February?” Mr. Adokoh asked. “Are you celebrating your birthday today?”

Zac nodded and bit his lower lip. His sadness returned, and for a moment he wanted to cry. Mr. Adokoh put a hand on his shoulder.

“Stop crying, boy,” he said gently. “There’s a reason for everything. What happened to you in the Magic Room?”

Zac shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said softly. “I started feeling hot and uncomfortable. My neck was burning! It’s still paining me!”

Zac felt his neck gingerly. It was hot, and there seemed to be little swellings all around his neck. He became alarmed.

“What’s it?” he asked. “What’s happening to me?”

“Stop scratching your neck, Zac,” the old man said.

He brought out a small mirror from his pocket and held it up so that Zac could see his neck.

Zac’s breath stopped!

He could see that the skin around his neck was covered with rashes and that there were swellings on his neck, swellings that looked like a chain with many lockets.

He was alarmed.

“What’s it?” he asked in a trembling voice. “Am I sick? Is something bad going to happen to me?”


Mr. Adokoh did not reply. He put down the mirror and then he lifted up the wooden box he had taken from the Magic Room.

“Can you read, Zac?” he asked.

“Yes,” Zac replied. “If the words are not too difficult to pronounce.”

“Can you read the carving on this box?”

Zac leaned forward and squinted at the box.

“The Chain of The Leaps,” he read. “What is it?”

Mr. Adokoh opened the box and showed it to Zac.

“Does this look familiar to you, boy?” he asked, and Zac noticed that Mr. Adokoh’s voice shook and that his hands trembled.

Zac looked into the box.

He made a sudden shocked noise, and for a moment he could not breathe!

There was a chain in the box. It was so old that it was almost completely rusted. Even the cloth on which it was lying was tattered. It was just an ancient rusted chain…but the design of its many lockets looked exactly like the strange swellings on Zac’s neck!


He looked at Mr. Adokoh with frightened eyes.

“What is it?” he whispered.

Mr. Adokoh stood up. He closed all the windows of the room and pulled the blinds, and then he sat down again.

“I thought this was just a myth,” he began in an unsteady voice. “This rusty chain is believed to be as old as Creation. The Chain of the Leaps! Legend has it that many years ago in the land that is now Africa, there lived a Holy Man, a believer of God! His name was Zachariah, and his friends called him Zach! Old man Zach was born on February 29th.”

Zac was stunned. He looked at Mr. Adokoh with bulging eyes.

“No way!”


Mr. Adokoh nodded.

“Yes, I thought it was just a myth too! Anyway, the legend says Zach was frustrated by all the sadness and poverty around him. He wanted to do something to help people, but he was poor. He prayed day and night to God, seeking a way to help people.

Then he had a dream on his sixty-eighth birthday. He was wearing a chain with twenty-nine lockets! For a whole month, he had the same dream.

He believed God was speaking to him, so he paid a craftsman to make the chain he saw in his dream. It was just an ordinary chain, but legend has it that when he put it around his neck the twenty-nine lockets on the chain began to glow.

Suddenly, he had twenty-nine magical powers! He could heal the sick, conjure food, cure blindness and even make dead people come back to life! He could do anything.

But each time he did something amazing and magical, one of the lockets lost its glow and became rusty! After twenty-nine awesome magical experiences, the chain lost its power, and its twenty-nine lockets became rusty!

However, every four years, in a leap year, the twenty-nine lockets glowed again and gave Old Zach another pack of twenty-nine magical powers. He was soon known as Zach 29.”


Zac chuckled with fear and awe and began to shake his head. The room was dark, and he felt cold suddenly.

“No way! That’s just a story! There’s no truth in that surely!”

“I thought so too,” Mr. Adokoh said with a little smile. “The story was good to tell. Anyway, after Zach died, The Chain of the Leaps got lost but was found a century later by another good man called Zoarkary. He put on the chain, and once again he also began experiencing the twenty-nine magical powers every four years till he died. A hundred years later it passed on. The Legend says the chain always finds its way to its new owner every hundred years!”

There was silence in the room.

Zac’s heart was pounding. He and Mr. Adokoh stared at each other.

“What are you trying to say, Mr. Adokoh?” Zac asked in a tiny voice.

“You were born on February 29,” Mr. Adokoh said. “You are called Zachariah – Zac, by your friends. Today is your birthday, and when you stepped into the Magic Room you began to have a strong reaction. Today, according to my calculations, is exactly a hundred years since the last known wearer of the chain, Zork of Uganda, died! Zac, I believe you’re the next Leaper, the next Zach 29.”


Zac jumped to his feet, and he was scared.

“No, no, no!” he said, feeling dizzy. “You’re saying if I wear that rusty chain I’ll have twenty-nine magical powers?”

“I don’t know,” Mr. Adokoh said. “It’s a legend, a myth. But why not put it on and find out? If nothing happens we’ll know it’s just a fairy tale.”

Zac smiled and shook his head.

“How can a learned man like you believe a silly tale like that?” Zac asked and began walking to the door. “Can I go out now? Mistress Ohenewaa would be angry with me. And I’m feeling very hungry.”

“Put the chain around your neck, Zac!” Mr. Adokoh said in an unsteady voice.


He offered the chain to Zac.

“Ok, just to prove you wrong, old man, I will,” Zac said with a shake of his head.

He lifted the Chain of the Leaps from its box. It made rusty squeaky sounds. He held it up and then slipped it around his neck.

It lay there. Brown and rusty, and nothing happened.

“See?” he asked and chuckled. “Can I take it off now?”

Mr. Adokoh looked really disappointed and sad. He shook his head and smiled.

“Well, you’re right, boy,” he said. “Just a silly tale. Okay, take it off!”

Zac held the chain and began to take it off.

Suddenly the whole room began to glow with a brilliant diamond light!


The Chain of the Leaps was no longer rusty! The twenty-nine lockets shone and glittered like diamonds, so brilliantly that it blinded Mr. Adokoh!

Zac felt a sudden power filling him like electricity, shaking him violently, lifting him up towards the ceiling!

He screamed with fear. A great wind began to blow, tossing the curtains in the room, moving chairs and books and tables! Things crashed, and the room was turned into a brilliant light as if a great bonfire was burning!

Mr. Adokoh held the desk tightly and stared at the strange spectacle of Zac hanging way up in the air near the ceiling, glowing yellow like an angel! There seemed to be old bearded figures hovering around him, like clouds of smoke, and each seemed to be saying something into the ears of the boy!

And then, as suddenly as it began, everything went still.


Zac was lying on the floor. Slowly he got to his feet.

The room was a mess! Everything was scattered!

Mr. Adokoh slowly stepped forward.

“It happened!” he whispered in awe. “It’s true! The legend of the chain is true!”

Zac’s face was glowing.

“When I was up there, all the wearers of the chain spoke to me!” he said excitedly. “They told me I was the next ‘Z’ representative! They told me what to!”

Mr. Adokoh nodded.

“I saw them,” he said softly. “They looked like clouds, but I could see their faces! You have The Chain of the Leaps. You’re Zac 29.”

Zac touched the chain around his neck. It was no longer rusty. It was now a beautiful silver chain.

“What now, Zac 29?” Mr. Adokoh asked.

Zac waved his right hand in a short arc. There was a blinding light, and suddenly all the tables, chairs, books and everything scattered on the floor were back in their places, and the room looked incredibly neat!


“Wooooow!” Zac screamed with sheer joy.

“Fool!” Mr. Adokoh shouted and his old face was filled with excitement. “You just wasted one gift! We could’ve cleaned the room ourselves! The exercise would’ve been good for me! You must use your powers sensibly to help others! Remember, your powers will refill only on your next birthday, which is four years from now!”

Zac was still laughing! He was bursting with excitement! It felt as if he was dreaming! He could not believe what had just happened! He had been so sad, and had not wanted to come to the museum…but something amazing had just happened to him!

He had awesome powers!

He moved his hand in an arc again, and a beautiful glass table appeared out of thin air! It was laden with sumptuous rice meals and their aroma made even Mr. Adokoh’s stomach rumble!

“You fool!” Mr. Adokoh screamed. “Stop this! You’ll waste your powers! Look at the chain! Look!”

He held up the mirror. Zac saw that two of the lockets on the chain were no longer silvery! They had become brown and rusted!

“Every magic you perform takes one locket!” Mr. Adokoh said. “When all the lockets turn rusty you have no magic left!”


Zac laughed. He was so hungry.

“I know, Mr. Adokoh,” he said happily. “They told me, remember? But do you know I’ve waited four years just to taste good rice? Aren’t you hungry? Join me, let’s have a meal! I have twenty-seven more powers of magic left, so stop fretting!”

Mr. Adokoh laughed and sat down. He pulled a glass bowl of excellent rice and meat forward and began to eat.

Zac touched Mr. Adokoh’s shoulder.

“What do you want now, boy?” Mr. Adokoh asked with his mouth full. “Can’t you see I’m eating?”

There were tears in Zac’s eyes.

“Thank you, Mr. Adokoh,” Zac said.

Then Zac 29 picked up a full grilled chicken and bit into one of its juicy thighs!


Zac 29: Episode 3
Zac 29:: Episode 1

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