“It’s time to eat, Bella. I’ll see you at the dining in seven minutes”, my mom said as she shut my room door. After I had my bath in the early hours of the day, I had been reading for a couple of hours, I had no idea it was evening already. School work had been draining lots of my energy and time. It was such a relief, mom had prepared dinner.
As I got to the dining table, my dad smiled. He stroked my hair in admiration and said, “Well-done”. I looked around the table and found my siblings, Golden and Flourish, already seated, completing our family of five. Food had been served. We gladly ate the spaghetti and salad. We ate silently till mom broke the silence after five minutes. “Bella, in preparation for your final exams for college, your dad and I have agreed to let you attend your vacation classes. Also …” Before mom could finish her statement; dad cut in, “The rest of the family will go on vacation to Wafer land, but we’ll always check on you. Every provision concerning the time we will not be be available would be made. We love you and desire the best for you. I hope you’ll stay safe.”
With tears streaming down my cheeks, I replied “Alright dad, I really appreciate all you do for me. I promise to be good and make you proud. I love y’all so dearly.” I got up from my seat, hugged my dad and planted a kiss on his cheek; then I went to my mum. My siblings left their seats and we hugged each other.
The time for the vacation drew close. Mom had bought the things I would need, when they’d leave. The vacation was for a month and two weeks.
All my efforts to persuade my parents to let me stay with my aunt were abortive; their reason was that my aunt was promiscuous and besides I was 18 years old. They were to leave on Sunday after the first service by 7:30am. On Saturday afternoon, my dad took me to an eatery, Best Foods. A beautiful place it was, with cool music that filled the atmosphere. It was indeed the best place to have a deep discussion with my father. He ordered my favourite soft drink for the both of us. Staring deep into my eyes; he began, “You are my first child and daughter. I trust you and believe you will never give me a reason to halt this trust. While we are away, do not forget the good morals your mother and I nurtured you with, since birth. Study hard and put in all you can in your academics. Remember, you can be the best if you do more than what the better does”.
His words sank into my soul. Without hesitation, I reassured him that his words did not fall on thorns. After twenty minutes, we headed home. It was a fifteen minutes drive. When we got home, we met my mom and my siblings packing their things. We helped them, and afterwards, we all had dinner. The vegetable salad top with cream was an ideal dinner. I never knew it would be our last dinner.
The day was finally here, it was as though loneliness had it’s grip on me. My mom gave me a long hug; whispering soft words to comfort my sadness, “You know we want the best for you, be a good girl. I believe you won’t fail us, stay safe. I love you”. My siblings hugged me and I pecked them with passion. My dad stroked my hair as usual and said, ” Be good, stay safe. I love you”. As dad drove I continued waving at them till they were out of sight. I went back inside, arranged my bag for school the next day.
School was normal for the first week. The following week ran smoothly until I opened my drawer and saw a piece of paper; it was a note, with the words, ‘see you later’ written on it. I tore the sheet of paper. After ten minutes, when I opened my notebook in class, I saw another note with same words ‘See you later’, but this time it was written in red ink. I trashed it.
After school; I entered my car (the Toyota my dad gave me when I turned 18), by the right side of the console was the same note, “See you later”. At this point, fear clutched me; I started sweating profusely. I had no other option than to call my Dad, he was the only one I knew that would come to my aid. While dialing my Dad’s number, I prayed with all my heart. I could hear the pounding of my heart, as the phone rang. “Hello, daddy” I said, but it wasn’t my dad. The voice of the person was cracked like an old woman. “Hahaha, your dad was very yummy. Well, I can’t wait to feast on…” I hunged up. I wailed and wept uncontrollably.
Immediately, I tried calling the police. The explanation of my plight fell on deaf ears. Without any evidence to support my claims, they assumed I was hallucinating. My aunt’s house was twelve miles away. My neighbours went for vacation last Sunday. I retired home, “Maybe I was just hallucinating” I thought. When I got home, it was dusk; the house was hot and humid. All efforts to open the windows were to no avail. I went to the kitchen and was immediately hit with the fact that everything was gone, equipments, utensils, all gone. The cupboards were emptied out and left open. I remembered that I shut the doors and windows before leaving in the morning. I heard footsteps coming from the living room, ‘was the intruder still in the house?’, I thought.
Before I had the chance to react, I saw a shadow on the floor, it appeared to have materialised within seconds. I looked upwards and saw what I lacked words to describe. This strange shadow was on the direct path of light emitted by the bulb. One of its eyes were red and very bulky, the other was so tiny I couldn’t see the pupil. It’s fangs were ready to tear its victim, as slimy substance dripped from it’s mouth. Its talons were long and curved. It had the chains of my grandmother who died ten years ago and was buried at the back of our house. Suddenly, the lights went out. I started hearing the lullaby my grandma always sang to me and my siblings when we were tender. I ran as fast as my legs could in the darkness. I flung my parents’ door open. Moonlight illuminated the room through blind-less windows; my subconscious drew my attention to the left side of the room. I had found solace in the eyes of my mother, only to discover that it was eyes attached to a severed head on the bed. I moved back, I could feel my feet step on something squishy, I looked down to find Fluorish’s favourite earring attached to an ear. I picked it up, unsure if this was a dream or reality, I felt how very cold it were as though they it had been in the freezer for some time. At that point I realized there were severed body parts scattered around the room. I could smell the congealed blood that was melting from the frozen bodies. I covered my mouth with my hands in shock as I screamed silently.
I heard the same steps again, the creature was after me . There was no where else to hide. I locked myself in the bathroom and brought out my phone from my jean. I had to call the police, they were the only persons I felt would save me from this creature; and within seven minutes, I could hear their sirens all over. Hopefully, I would be rescued as my legs were too shaky and my heart seems to be leaving my body. All of a sudden, I heard a knock. “Are you in there?” It was a male voice. “Please, open the door, we are here for you”. The male voice said again. I felt relieved as I opened the door, but I knew within me, this creature was out to haunt me.
Agberene-Dikibo Matilda (Matiwrites) is a contributor to PAUL KAY’s BLOG. She is a poet and writer. A native of Dikibo-Ama in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. She has lots of poems, short stories to her credit and articles yet to be published.