“You took photos of Feyi?” I interjected. “Let me see the photos and—” Then I hesitated. “Where is Feyi?”
“Okay, okay, I really don’t like how this is going. What the fuck is wrong? Feyi said she’d dropped by at our house. She forgot her swiss shades. What is wrong with her pictures? Why do y—”
“Because this camera is fucking CURSED!” I blurted. He looked taken aback for a few seconds, then he burst into an outrageous spree of laughter.
I got half annoyed and half scared. Or maybe half failure, half guilty. I felt it was inappropriate of me to have hidden my few gothic incidences with the camera from him. I mean, he was my best friend.
I didn’t wait for him to finish his sonorous merriment. I pulled his hand and started jogging out of the studio.
“Hey, where you taking me to?” He yelled, highly confused and shocked at the same time to resist.
I kept yanking him till we reached the Chevrolet Equinox car1. I opened the driver’s seat and shoved him inside and hurriedly got into the front passenger seat.
“What is all these madness about, Uche?” He demanded.
“Look something is really wrong right now and we’d be fucked if we don’t find out if Feyi is safe. Now enogh of the questions and Drive!
He nodded his head and started the car. The weather was looking gloomy. A storm was blowing. Wind and rain ripped at the palm trees along the sidewalk. Pink and yellow stucco buildings lined the street, their windows boarded up. It has been long I’d seen the weather this eerie.
We got home just in time to see Feyi coming out of the bedroom. She walked snugly and stiffly, like she had this children fairytale witch flight brooms strapped to her spine. Her hands held something behind her that I couldn’t quite see. I noticed Yinka shuffle uneasily.
“Feyi?” I whispered. She looked up and the moment her eyeballs met mine, she winced, yelped and took to her heels, and frenetically began running in circles.
Yinka and I exchanged surprise looks. He looked more surprised than me though, and really more terrified.
“She got a knife!” Yinka warned. Only then did I realize what she’s been hiding. It was a kitchen knife and it wasn’t less deadly.
“Quick we have to stop her.” I said. “Let’s go.”
We both began walking closer to her. We tried not to move a little bit too fast whilst not going slow too.
“My love, drop the knife.” Yinka said. But she seemed to be less worried of Yinka’s presence and more wary of mine. “Fey, Fey.” I said, trying to tease her. “Drop the knife please.” She stopped racing immediately. But she wasn’t acting like she was hearing anything at all. All her focus were on me. Then I noticed she wasn’t actually looking at me, she was looking at my backpack behind my back.
“Oh Shit!” I said as the realization hit me. “The camera!”
As soon as I said that and tried to take away my backpack, Feyi gave a loud, piercing shriek and jabbed at her head. Then she poked her left breast.
“Nooo!” Yinka screamed and ran towards her, but the moment he tried to hold her, she sidestepped and sliced him neatly in his knee cap. Yinka groaned and stepped back. Fresh blood oozed out of his knee and blood was spluttering like cinders from Feyi’s chest and head. She was losing blood fast and we were really running out of time.
I rushed towards her and that was my mistake. Because the moment I tried that, she began stabbing herself all over again with so much force and insane speed. She went for her head, chest, appendix, neck, head again, head again, by the time she was done I had lost count. It looked like it all happened in a second, she dropped to the floor, softly.
The moment she collapsed, the weather—or maybe the house—seemed to have become darker.
Evening moonlight filtered through the windows. I thought I saw a shadow flicker across the glass—a humanlike shape. Yinka was already over her now, sobbing. I sensed a sudden foul smell around the room. could smell the a sickening combination of wet sheep wool and rotten meat and that weird sour body odor only dead fishes have, like a skunk that’s been living off rotten egg and undercooked beans. Yinka must have noticed too because he snuffed the air a couple of times like he wanted to be sure of the scent he was catching.
“What’s that smell?” He said. He looked more apprehensive than before.
“Yinka…” I said closing my nose with my fingers. “We have to leave. Now.”
As soon as I said that, a bone-rattling growl cut through the room. Behind Yinka, at the far end of the room, a shadowy figure loomed. Grover stumbled, whimpering in fear. He muttered something I couldn’t hear. “Yinka, now!” I yelled. He got up and managed to scamper with his wounded foot which made his walking posture quite haphazard but the good news was that he was moving. We were almost out of the room when the door shut close by itself.
I balled my fists and began punching and kicking at the door, which was quite stupid because the door was a metal one.
“It’s of no use.” Yinka said, his voice was cracked now. “The door won’t budge, we are trapped.”
There was a shriek from area where Feyi’s body laid in. Then there was a noise of shoes in motion, like someone was approaching us really fast. I paled. The footsteps stopped right in front of us.
“Why are you both standing right there?” The voice sounded like a six year old female child. Yinka gasped. My father says you join him over there. He is a good man, he will love you.” Then the girl made a childish laughter and ran towards the same area she came from.
There was an uncomfortable silence in the room, it was a miracle how I was yet to pass out. Then a growl broke the silence, something was coming towards us, but this time it was not invisible.
It looked like a really ugly old woman, like a hag, a trot. She had long, horrible talons. She wore a robe that was torn in several places and she radiated an evil aura. She was walking slowly, no she wasn’t walking, she was actually floating a few inches above the ground but it wasn’t obvious because her robe covered her legs and the ground on where she passed.
An idea immediately struck me. I went for my backpack and took out the camera. Yinka was shivering severely and I feared he might have a brain seizure soon, his bleeding rate had reduced a bit now.
I steadied the camera on my eye level and fixed my gaze into it.
“Uche..” Yinka said. “What are you doing?”
I ignored him and fixed the camera focus on the demon. I made a silent prayer, this was going to turn our really good or really bad but it was our last hope.
When the demon noticed I had the camera on her, she growled and lunged at me with amazing speed which was a good sign. I positioned the minicam and, with the help of the high shutter speed, was able to get a view of her. I patiently waited for her so I can get a good view of her. 1.2..3…She was barely about five, six inches from me when I tapped the shutter button. Immediately I did that, she bursted into a million pieces, like a bomb had detonated inside her.
The whole room seemed to have calmed a bit and the evil aura was no felt. I looked at Yinka and he smiled at me. We were both breathing heavily.
All these literally happened two weeks ago. Feyi has been buried and I’ve been staying closer to Yinka to help him recuperate mentally. I had gotten rid of the camera that night and fortunately it hadn’t returned to my backpack.
I am watching a movie and I am still yet to understand a thing even after thirty minutes. I don’t even remember the name. Yinka is dozing off on a couch. I walk over to him and shove him lightly. His eyes flutter open.
“Let’s go inside, man.” I say. He yawns and reluctantly gets up and begins to trudge to his room.
“Goodnight.” He says.
“Goodnight.” I reply.
I switch off the TV along with the lights and begin to move in to my room.
I shut the door and bounce in bed. I feel tired and exhausted already, which means I might get a good sleep. My eyes are already feeling heavy and I am slowly drifting away in sleep. I close my eyes as I lose complete consciousness.
Suddenly I feel a tap, I open my eyes and I see the exact figure I saw at the studio about three weeks ago,—the one I saw in the camera.
He looks exactly like he was in the photo, long hood-like robes, except that he looks material now. I scream. I notice a motionless figure on the floor beside me. I look closely I gasp.
It is Yinka’s body. There is a dagger buried in his gullet. His face, expressionless, has several cuts on it. His legs and hands had been hacked off too and his blood has nearly touched every area of the ground.
Things are going in swift pace and my mind is racing fast. I look back at the black, cloaked demon. I can’t see his face clearly. He steps closer to me. I am sweating profusely now.
“Thou indeed thinketh that thou shalt extinguish the life of my wife and still live.” He says and steps even closer to me and raises his hand, revealing an aged stone dagger with dulled edges and a chipped stone hilt.
I take one last look at my friend with faith that he might wink even once and back at my assailant with hate as I slowly subconsciously accept my fate.
Written by: Ibraheem Basheer
University of Ilorin, Kwara State, NIGERIA