Zac 29: Episode 10

Zac 29 Chapter 10
And Something Incredible Happened

The children were always excited to see the Black Van.
Well, actually, it wasn’t so black anymore because its colour had faded, and it was so sun-beaten that the paint had started to peel off. Mostly, anytime it arrived at the orphanage it would be dusty and splattered with mud.
On its side were the words THE ORPHANAGE HAVEN, but some of the letters had peeled off, and it now read HE OPANAG HEN.
The Orphanage Haven was an organisation that had taken on the task of helping many of the orphanages in the country. They brought food, clothing, toys and other goodies whenever they visited the orphanage. Sometimes they brought orphans with them to live with the children.
That was why the children were so happy when, two days after Mistress Ohenewaa had fled the playground, the Black Van appeared.

It was late evening and the orphans were preparing to go and take their baths after returning from school.
The children shouted and screamed and stormed out to the main yard to meet the van. The driver, Uncle Micky, was a kind-hearted man who was close to sixty. He was short and fat and had hair so white and so fine the children always tried to outdo each other in their efforts to touch it.
Mistress Ohenewaa, who had hardly been seen after the shock she had experienced on the playground when Uncle Pat had sprouted new legs, looked on from the window of her room upstairs.
With great reluctance, she forced herself to dress up and meet Uncle Micky.
As she descended the stairs, she found herself trembling, and she scowled darkly with fury. She knew she was scared and she hated Zac for putting so much fear in her.
She was convinced that Zac was responsible for all the strange happenings at the orphanage, and it had something to do with that mysterious silver chain around his neck. It infuriated her that she was scared, and she promised herself that she would deal with Zac nastily very soon.
Uncle Micky, holding a huge sack filled with cookies, biscuits and candies, smiled his dimpled smile out of his old pudgy crinkling face as he embraced the children and handed them sweet things from his sack.
The children quietened when Mistress Ohenewaa appeared and spoke with Uncle Micky. The back of the van was opened, and the children cheered when sacks of rice, containers of oil, cereals, beverages and other goodies were offloaded from the van.
Uncle Micky then opened the passenger seat of the van, and suddenly everybody fell absolutely silent because the moment the door opened the strident and tortured screams of a baby filled the air.


The bawling was so loud, so filled with pain, so tortured, that the children who were nibbling on their sweets and biscuits stopped chewing and stared at the car with horror. What made it worse was the fact that the screaming seemed to be coming from two throats. It was as if two babies were crying.
It chilled all of them to their spines.
None had ever heard such agony in a cry before. Even Mistress Ohenewaa looked horrified as she stared at Uncle Micky.
“What is that?” Mistress Ohenewaa asked, gesturing toward the open door of the van.
Uncle Micky looked very sad indeed.
“Well, they’re your new members,” Uncle Micky said. “There was nowhere to send them. They were abandoned on the City Dump, and were sent to the hospital, but they could not be helped because no surgery could be performed on them. Now it’s up to the national orphanage to take care of them, and the Authorities decided to bring them here. They said doctors would come here to attend to them fortnightly until they’re old enough not to need constant medical care. So, I brought them here.”


Mistress Ohenewaa looked absolutely appalled.
“Babies? You brought babies here?” she asked tightly. “We’re not equipped to take care of babies!”
Uncle Micky threw up his hands in exasperation.
“Oh, they eat formula. They would be okay, believe,” he said. “Poor, poor things!”
“Are they twins?” Mistress Ohenewaa asked, and Uncle Micky tried to speak, but suddenly tears came to his eyes and streamed down his face.
“Poor, poor things!” was all he could manage to say.
He walked forward, lifted a carrier made with cane sticks from the front seat and turned to face them.
There was a collective gasp of horror when the staff and children saw what was in the carrier.
Some of the little orphans ran into the dormitory with screaming.
“Oh, my goodness!” Mistress Ohenewaa shouted with horror, shaking her head vehemently. “You’re not leaving that here, no, you’re certainly not, Mr. Mike Swanson. You’re definitely not leaving that here. We can’t accept it. You’re sending it back.”
“Oh, oh, oh, oh!” Uncle Pat, who was nearest to the carrier, whispered with horror on his face.

Bobo drew close to where Zac and Araba were standing.
Araba was gripping Zac’s arm very hard as tears fell down her cheeks in torrents. Bobo clamped both hands on his ears as the screams of agony continued.
“What is that?” Bobo asked with horror. “Are they crab babies?”

“Oh, shut up already!” Araba said with deep feeling as she sobbed uncontrollably, still gripping Zac’s arm. “They’re human beings, if you must know.”
What was lying on the white cloth in the carrier indeed looked uncannily like a huge crab, but it was in fact two Siamese twins. They were joined at the waist and formed what looked like a C.
They had heads at each end but they were completely so malformed. They had one complete arm each, the other arms were just soft appendages. They had no legs because they were joined together at the waist.
Their heads were abnormally huge, their foreheads protruding terribly. Their eyes seemed to be popping out of their heads. They had no ears, just two black holes on each side of their heads. They had no nose, only deep holes in the middle of their faces, and their lips were abnormally huge and bloated.
They appeared to be in deep pain, and they continued to bawl in that absolutely heart-breaking way.

Araba could not take it anymore.
“Make them stop crying, please!” she said, and then her sobs turned to deep crying.
Most of the children were holding each other tightly and crying.
“They can’t be here, no way!” Mistress Ohenewaa said heatedly. “We’re not equipped to take care of such a horrendous monster.”
“You shut your cruel mouth this instant,” Uncle Pat hissed at her as tears swam in his eyes. “Have you no heart, Madam?”
“They should be in a hospital, can’t you see?” Mistress Ohenewaa shot back, but just a little fearfully because she did not like the hard glint she saw in Uncle Pat’s eyes. “How are we going to take care of them?”
Uncle Pat wiped his tears away and glared at Uncle Micky.
“She’s right, you know,” he said sadly. “We just can’t take care of them. They need proper medical attention. Lord, they need surgery.”
Uncle Micky threw up his hands again.
“I know, I know, but alas there’s nothing I can do. They ordered me to bring the poor kids here. Moreover, it seems no surgery can be performed on them because they share a stomach.”
The Siamese twins bawled loudly again, stridently, and this time most of the children screamed with them.
“Do something!” Araba screamed at Zac and held his arm tightly. “Please, if you can, please, please help them.”


Zac looked at her helplessly.
His tears were falling soundlessly down his cheeks too.
He realized quite suddenly that everybody was now looking at him amidst all the screaming and tears going around.
Uncle Pat was looking at him, and so was Bobo and all the other children too.
Even Mistress Ohenewaa was looking at him.
“What’s going on here?” Uncle Micky asked, his eyes also settling on the gentle face of Zac. “Is there something going on here that I don’t know?”

Zac shut his eyes, and he forced his mind to concentrate and reach out.
One of the diamond lockets in the Chain of the Leaps glowed and quite suddenly, time stopped.
When Zac opened his eyes, he saw that everybody else was frozen still, just like he had wished on the chain.
They were all looking at him, but they were all perfectly still.
“Wow!” Zac whispered, enthralled. “I can actually stop time!”

He had not expected it to happen.
He felt a wild surge of exhilaration flooding through him. He began to laugh shakily at first, then wildly.
Araba’s face was still contorted in her pleas to him.
Bobo’s hands were clamped to his ears.
Zac noticed that even tears that had dropped from Araba’s eyes were still hanging in the air on their way down to the ground.
He saw that even the leaves of the flowers on the compound were perfectly still. It seemed as if even the wind had stopped blowing.
He had stopped everything!
He had frozen time!
Zac looked at the Siamese twins.


Their huge abnormal mouths were open wide in their bawling, but they were also perfectly still. He walked up to Mistress Ohenewaa. She was staring at him, her arms wide open, her eyes as vicious and hateful as they had ever been.
Zac waved his hand across her face. She looked so alive, but her eyes didn’t move. She was indeed fixed in time.
“I’m sorry, Ohenewaa Dragon, but I’ve always wanted to do this.”
Zac gave her a really hefty kick on her right shin, so hard that his toes hurt through his soft canvas shoes. He heard the loud ‘thuck’ as it connected, but she remained perfectly still.
Zac found the whole sight so funny that he fell while laughing with his hands holding his sides as he rocked with stitches of laughter.
He laughed so loud that tears fell down the sides of her eyes.

Finally, he dragged himself up with some effort and approached Kweku Obi, who was standing with some of the companions. Kweku was not crying. He was just looking at the helpless Siamese twins and there was a look of secret enjoyment on his face.
“Why, you evil little man!” Zac said with shock. “You were really enjoying the pains of the little ones, weren’t you?”
Kweku was also fixed, so he did not reply.
“Now, I’ve also always wanted to do this,” he said softly. “This is for knocking Araba’s head, you wicked little man!”
Zac drew back his hand, knuckles hard, and gave Kweku Obi a hefty knock on his forehead.
It sounded ‘thonk’.

Once again Zac laughed with real mirth and held his stomach as he was quite choked with gales of laughter.
“Thonk! Did you like that, Kweku? Did you?”
When Zac was satisfied, he left the boy and moved to the little basket carrier. He got down on his knees and took hold of the joined babies.
“I wish you to be well, little lovely babies.”
One of the lockets on the chain glowed a diamond brilliance, and then Zac saw a powerful light suddenly shrouding the twins.
First, their ears bulged outright with a soft popping sound, and suddenly they had ears.
“Hey!” Zac said, sitting down hard in shock.
He watched with widening eyes as the oversized lips of the Siamese twins shrunk inward with a soft hissing sound, and then their noses also popped out. Their right hands extended rapidly with a sound like wind passing through the bamboo leaves.
Their faces looked beautiful now, as pink and as perfect as newborns.

“Heeeeey!” Zac screamed.
Although he had been expecting it, it nevertheless fascinated and scared him.
Something else was happening.

The bodies of the co-joined twins seemed to be stretching, stretching, stretching until they looked like a very long, starved snake.
“Hey!” Zac screamed, alarmed. “Stop it, whatever you are! You’re going to kill them!”

Suddenly, they came apart with a loud ripping sound, like a huge tent ripping into two.
And there, lying in the carrier, were two healthy bouncy twins, one a male, one a female, complete with their legs and all other features.
“Woooooooow!” Zac exhaled with wonder as he looked at them.
He stood up, and suddenly a mighty thunder ripped through the sky, followed by a blinding lightning that turned the whole place into a scary silvery light.
Zac looked into the sky, and for one horrible moment, he saw a pair of giant furious eyes appearing in the skies. Then he saw that the sun had appeared in the sky at one end, and the moon had appeared at the other end. He saw too that one part of the sky was filled with sunlight, and the other half was like the darkest of nights.
Then, the biggest lightning he had ever seen ripped across the sky, and it was as broad as the superhighway he had seen in the city. He saw it curving downward, and smashed into a part of the bamboo trees at the back of the yard, practically moweing down the bamboo trees.

Zac sprang back with a cry of fear.
“Oh-oh!” he cried with fear.
“Something is happening! Something bad is happening! I shouldn’t have messed with time. I shouldn’t have stopped time!”

He ran to his place beside Araba, shut his eyes, and spoke with fear, his voice trembling. He was so worried. What if things didn’t return to normal? What if he had caused irreparable damage to the universe and something really, really, reeeeaaaalllly awfully bad happened?
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” he wailed. “I wish everything returned to normal now, please!”
And just then he heard the shrill gaggling laughter of babies and opened his eyes again.
Just then Araba’s tears, which had been suspended in the air, hit the ground.
Mistress Ohenewaa gave a mighty screech of pain and began hobbling on her left leg, her right leg crooked with pain.

Kweku Obi also screamed and held his forehead as he sank slowly down in pain.
Zac’s cheeks ballooned out as he realized that the Ohenewaa Dragon and Kweku were now feeling the hefty knock and kick he had given them when they had been frozen in time.
“Ohhhhhh!” Uncle Pat was screaming.
Uncle Micky was bending over the separated twins who were now gurgling happily and touching each other’s faces.

“Eiiiiii!” Uncle Micky shouted, and pointed at the twins, his huge face contorted with fear.
“Eiiiii! Eiiiiii!! Eiiiiii!!”

“Boomer!” Bobo screamed, rushing forward to look at the twins. “What happened? Are my eyes serious liars now or something fantabulously radical has happened to the crab babies?”

Frantically Zac looked into the skies, and sighed when he realized that everything was normal again.
When he looked down, he saw Kweku Obi looking at him. There was a round happy swelling on his forehead which might have been very painful indeed, and Zac chuckled suddenly.
Mistress Ohenewaa was still hobbling, her shin now spotting a fine-looking little bulge.
Zac held his laughter in check tightly.
Soon everybody was excited by the happy-looking twins.
Mistress Ohenewaa’s pained eyes were filled with sudden greed as she looked at the babies. They would fetch the best price she had ever dreamed of when she sold them to a needy couple.
“Okay, bring the babies to my room,” she said. “We’ll happily accept them now.”

“NO!” Uncle Micky screamed with deep emotion. “I’m sending them back! I can’t believe what has just happened! I’m taking them back. They’re well now! The company would find a safe home for them.
Araba came close to Zac and took both of his hands in hers.
“Thank you, Zac,” she said softly, and then she reached up and kissed Zac on the cheek.
Zac smiled with happiness. It was the best moment in his life. He had never felt so proud.
“I didn’t do anything!” Zac said softly and weakly.
Araba smiled at that.

She walked forward, sat down, and picked up one of the babies.
The children crowded around, now speaking happily.
Uncle Micky, still dazed and absolutely disoriented, walked up to Uncle Pat.
“What happened here, Pat? Am I going crazy?” he asked earnestly. “When I expressed shock at your legs when I came you told me they were artificial legs. You lied, didn’t you? You have real legs, don’t you? What is happening here?”

Uncle Pat wiped tears from his cheeks. He smiled and patted Uncle Micky in the back.
“Miracles, Mike, miracles!” he said gently.

Mistress Ohenewaa finally stopped hobbling and looked from the swelling on her shin to Zac’s face, but Zac was not looking at her. She saw that he was looking through a break in the wall, and when she followed his gaze she gasped with horror.
She saw that a huge portion of the bamboo trees that led to the Wailing River had been ripped to pieces as if they had been passed through a powerful shredder.
She raced to the wall and pointed a shaky finger at the spectacle.
“What happened here?” she croaked. “What in the name the name of Jupiters happened here?”

Everybody rushed to the hole in the back wall to look, and on all their faces was one expression: profound shock.
Feeling that it would seem suspicious if he stayed behind, Zac followed them, and as he stood gazing at the destruction that strange and angry lightning had caused, it dawned on him that the one thing he could not ever afford to do again with the power of the chain was stop time.
Kweku covered the painful swell on his forehead with his cupped hand. He knew that somehow Zac was responsible for that too.

As he turned away, he fingered the little green bottle in his pocket.
“Two more days, little Zac!” Kweku said venomously. “Just you wait!”

Zac 29: Episode 11
Zac 29: Episode 9

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