From Wiki – Eloko is a term in a Mongo-Nkundo language referring to a creature that lives in the forests. Legend has it that they haunt the forest because they have some grudge to settle with the living. They live in the densest and darkest part of the rain forest, in hollow trees, in central Zaïre, jealously and ferociously guarding their treasures. Only grass grows on their bodies; they have piercing eyes, snouts with mouths that can be opened wide enough to admit a human body, alive or dead, and long, sharp claws. They possess little bells, which, are believed to be able to cast a spell on passers-by.Only intrepid hunters are said to enter the deepest forest and survive, because in order to be successful, hunters have to possess strong magic; possessing an amulet can offer protection from this type of magic.
Story Plot – With the lure of freedom before her, a young female braves the dense woods of the Kongo in the middle of the night. She must leave everything she knows and loves behind. Her family. Her home. Her groom-to-be. But she’s not alone in the woods that night. The man-eating Eloko stalks her. A creature with the speed of an animal, the intelligence of a human and the sorcery of a wizard. What hope of survival could there be for young, brave Keicha?
Keicha was running. Running like she’d never run before. She was gasping for air, her eyes blinded by tears as she tore through the path in the forest, dappled moonlight her only source of light, stumbling often though never falling. The leather tunic she’d been so proud of earlier that night she now cursed, for it seemed to hamper her movements, weighing her down.
You fool! You stupid, stupid fool! she screamed silently, berating herself. What were you thinking? You fancied yourself a warrior? You actually thought you could pass undetected through its territory, the territory of one of the most feared creatures—
It hit her. One minute she was upright, the next she was sprawling forward, her hands before her as she hit the moss-covered forest floor. She lay where she fell, paralyzed with fear, her eyes closed tightly. She prayed for it to be over quickly. Please. Please. Don’t let it hurt. Don’t let it hurt.
She could feel its heavy weight on her. It stirred, then turned her around slowly, with hands that were strangely human. Still, her eyes remained tightly shut until she heard her name whispered. Then they snapped wide open.
It took her a moment to realize that she was not staring into the red piercing eyes of the man-eating Eloko, but the dark watchful ones of Rishi, her fiancé. Relief washed over her. A sob caught in her throat and she impulsively wrapped her hands around him, hugging him fiercely.
And belatedly, she remembered. Her hands dropping like the iron weights of the fishermen’s nets, she sat up and away from him, averting her gaze.
The silence stretched between them.
Why does he not say something, anything? He just sat there on his haunches, watching, a bronze statue a hair’s breadth away.
She could bear it no longer.
Her eyes traveled past the powerful bare legs for he too wore a leather tunic – a short, stiff piece of clothing cinched at the waist. It left the arms and legs bare while protecting the torso and thighs. They traveled up his equally powerful arms, the biceps bunched and muscular, to his face, which was crowned with cascading ropes of hair that brushed his neck. His eyes were still watchful.
“Say something,” she whispered.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
Keicha blinked. She couldn’t have heard him right. Was she alright? No angry remonstrations? No threats? No… And then another memory pushed itself to the surface of her consciousness; she remembered why she’d been running and fear returned with a vengeance.
She scooted closer, her hand on his arm, failing to notice how his muscles bunched and flexed at her nearness, her lips by his ear.
“It’s here! It’s here! I heard its—” Her voice died abruptly as the unmistakable sound of soft lilting bells floated towards them. She gasped and stiffened before proceeding to burrow into him, trying to make herself as small as possible.