Speak no More 1

This is a new piece after more than two years without penning anything here. Would you listen to excuses or apologies? I will offer both since I have them, but that would be later. For now, I am sorry. Apologies offered. Hope you accept.  And to further let you know that I mean it when I say I am sorry, I am giving  this beautiful story for your enjoyment. Thanks. Enjoy. 

Daren pricked his ears. It was the hundredth time he was hearing that sound. It was a soft knock on his door and despite his resolve to ignore the one-whose-knuckles-have-refused-blister from the continuous knocks, the knocker kept knocking. The knocker was his youngest brother. Just four-years old and quite persistent in a way Daren didn’t consider normal. 

What would Damien (for that was the knocker’s name) talk about this time?  , Daren thought. Then Daren heard the soft whisper of his name. “Da da, are you in there?” Silence. Daren didn’t respond. 


Now let’s not get the impression that Daren was mean because he didn’t let his brother in to his room. Daren wasn’t mean. Damien was just a disturbance most times, coming up with questions after questions the way most kids do to a Daren whose me-time was one of his favourite time. And that wasn’t all. Damien had lots of funny stories the kind kids his age have. You know, stories conjured from imaginations. This wasn’t what worried Daren. What worried Daren was that some of the stories were spooky. And an-easily-frightened Darren just wasn’t ready for stories of people who kept falling in depths without end or stories of butterflies that prefer to chow on newly-borns than nectar. Yuck! 

How had Daren coped with his weird storytelling Damien? He would listen with rapt attention, then when the horrors of the stories were reaching a crescendo, he would shoo Damien out of his room with the promise that he would draw out the characters in his story. And with that, Damien would be gone to come back another day with another breath-sucking story spookier than the previous. 

Of course, Darren could draw and his drawings weren’t just as a past-time. His drawings were a concrete release of his fears. Some of his drawings were weird. They covered the pages of his colour book. On a page,  was a drawing of Darren himself speaking to a man without ears. Not an ordinary man. His features weren’t ordinary. His skin had been peeled off and what remained was the epidermis gleaming with blood, fibre and skin whites. On another page, was Darren speaking to a sexless being whose whole face was a rock. There were hundreds of pages with Darren speaking to people who just weren’t listening. He had another drawing book for Damien’s stories too. The drawings were spookier than his. And now the same Damien was standing outside and hoping to be allowed in to tell another spooky tale. 
Darren heard no knocks anymore and this was unusual given how insistent at being allowed in as Damien can be. But when Darren looked up, there was Damien in his room already. 

“I  am sorry, Da Da.  “, Damien pleaded. “Your room wasn’t locked and I simply turned the door knob and it opened” 

Darren regarded the golden – haired boy in his room who  was almost in tears. 

“Come here, Damien”, Darren called, his voice sounding almost like a whisper. “Da Da isn’t mad at yer, OK?” 

Damien regarded him with hazel eyes that carried in them no expression. “Are you sure, Da Da?” 

“Of course.” Then Darren  lifted the boy and placed him on a stool beside his bed. “Now make sure you don’t touch anything; I need to finish this drawing”. 

“What drawing?” 

“This.” he replied  holding up a page which had a drawing of Darren who seemed to be talking to a sexless being without a face. Or a cloud-like face. A cumulus nimbus cloud. 

“It looks like the one I saw in a dream last night, Da Da. I mean the sky-man” 

“Not sky-man, but cloud man…well this ain’t man. He’s sexless” 

“what’s sexless?” 

“It means it’s neither male nor female” 

“Like non-living things?” Damien asked with bewilderment registering on his face. 

“Yeah. Non-living things. Only that this one is alive but without organs that could make him male or female” 

“OK” 

At the ‘OK’ response, one would think the questions had ceased from Damien’s lips, but Darren knew his brother.. .the questions would begin to fall one after the other and quickly like dominoes…. 

“Da Da, do you have dreams too? ” Damien asked. 

Darren knew the questions are beginning to come. He suspended his drawing and let his youthful 17-year old green eyes meet the boy’s. “I, I have nightmares” 

“What are nightmares, Da Da? Some kind of horses ridden at night?” 

Darren could barely conceal his chuckle. What imagination was that? Night Mares? Kids can be literal, he thought. 

“Nightmares are like dreams, Damien”, Darren began “only that there are frightening things in a nightmare” 

“Was it a nightmare I had, Da Da?” 

“I don’t know what you had”… The story is about to begin, Lord, Darren thought. He braced himself. 

“I saw this man”, Damien said, pointing at the sexless cloud head Darren was drawing. 

The drawing was complete. It remained the colouring. 

Damien continued his tale. “In my dream..” 

“Nightmare…  ”

“Ok. Nightmare.” He paused, pouting. “I saw this man…uumm sexless… talking with you. You were talking with him as you are doing in the drawing” 
To be continued… 

As within, so without…

I had a pretty idle moment at my desk at work today. Well, like most people, I figured this was one of those me-time moments, so I decided to use it judiciously.
What judicious thing could I do? I thought and before that became a problem, I glanced about my desk to find books that I have read over and over again. I took out my phone to listen to a few songs by Phil Collins, but the music made no sense to me at that time. So out of curiosity to know what’s been happening on the online social front, I logged in to my facebook account to see a link shared by Justin Irabor, a friend from my secondary school days. I fed my eyes and mind with posts after posts of this Justin dude and his post “My life bursts at the seams” is what inspires this post.

Permit me to begin my point with a few lines from Justin’s post. Here : I have a superhero complex, but you would never be able to tell by looking at me. As a result, many people come to depend on me but I am also the myth-embellished ostrich, and as soon as the responsibility becomes too much, I break down into a depressed heap of tears and scurry into a tunnel of despair “.

This is one of those who, despite their own limited space of getting comfort, still find it good enough to put smiles on faces. That’s selflessness but how many care about these selfless acts? Few.
I believe people should take me responsibility of making themselves happy not depending on someone else to do that job for them, especially when the “giver of happiness” is unhappy himself.

Many people in this position as Justin never find a hand to hold when they need to reach out or a shoulder to cry on when things go bad. And many, who are much weaker characters than Justin, would take the cowardly path towards suicide.

The world will try to confine and compress you like you are not anymore confined and compressed. There is a set standard everyone is expected to follow (still according to the world) and any deviation from those standards means “abnormal”. But t should this be so? What if abnormal was the actual normal? Let me expand that a bit.I, despite being an introvert, derive joy and satisfaction in acting to inner nudges that I feel once in a while. I might feel the nudge to say hello to a total stranger and even proceed to shake hands with the stranger. I have been known to withdraw abruptly from a conversation, but the society see this as weird and unacceptable and abnormal.

We are still talking about finding happiness here and I have no automatic suggestion that is applicable to everyone. You just have to do what you are most comfortable doing without a care in the world. This thing which you are most comfortable doing should not be an inconvenience to another person. Though sometimes people like to complain but it’s just because they are sadists.

Big blog theory

Phantom Writes

Challenge Eleven: Christian Aeriel Maximillian
June 11, 2013 12:00 AM
**For the record, Christian Aeriel Maximillian was my classmate and friend in secondary school. Back then, he was still the writer, and I was his illustrator. He would craft tales about the gods, and I would bring them to life with my sketches. Sweet times. JS3. What? I can famz… okay, I am gone***
Mastermind: Christian Aeriel Maximillian
Domain: AerielWrites
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Disclaimer:It is not the intention of the writer to spark a religious war with this write-up. The writer will take no responsibility for anything, code or slang which might be misunderstood in this write-up.
What if cancer was not meant to be an illness, just a failed evolutionary step?
What would happen if we fixed it?
What would we become?
Would we embrace it?
Or would we fight it – all over again?
‘Approximately 12.7 million cancer cases and…

View original post 2,897 more words

From PLC to “PLW”.

You’re a great guesser if you guessed that I would begin this post with an apology. Yeah, it’s necessary if I do that, doesn’t it?
But truth is few people (especially those who are seeing my post for the for the first time and those who didn’t even know that I went AWOL) are clueless about why I should tender an apology, but I’ll tell ya.

Ahem *clears throat* You see, I promised to stop by each week to post something even if it was just a letter “A”, but I didn’t…I went absent for more than a whole year! Forgive me. You know, it’s better late than never.
Now that we’ve got that out of our hair, I would like to bring to table a more palatable menu. I mean what I’ll be “dishing” out in a moment.

Before I proceed, will you please do me a service and indulge me this little game? Scroll up a bit, look for the place on your phone or computer screen that says “From PLC to ‘PLW'”, stare at it harder, now make a mental note of it(We’ll be realising some things later, as some of you think I’ll be giving business tips. Sorry).
Alright, now that you’ve done that, I think there’s no need for me to hang out with the wrong sort–in this case…IRRELEVANT ISSUES. Let’s proceed, shall we?

Ahem*clears throat* I’ve been having a brain tornado lately. I’m not being literal… What I mean is that my imaginations have been running wild lately. You see, I’m a writer, though now an “established” one(if you know what I mean). It’s the norm that one must have thought of series of ideas before one would be able to put it down on paper, and I’ve not been exempted from this norm.
On one particular day when I was going through an article, I came across a post that talked about search for intelliigent beings. Look here—>http://m.voanews.com/a/scientists-renew-effort-looking-for-intelligent-alien-life/1728495.html Well, this piece of article inspired one of my “brain tornado” moment and I immediately thought of writing something that featured a group of young students who on an educative trip to the ancient city of Azteca stumbled upon a rare creature that fits the description of an alien from space. In my thoughts, I argued that if I called a rare creature an alien, then on a personal level, and if I were a scientist myself, how would I, from personal examination give proofs that I really thought what I saw was an alien? Would I call it an alien because it looked like something I had never seen before? Then I went ahead to assume a different DNA structure for the creature, a different blood colour, chemical composition of body tissues, efficient brain structure, and so on. But the problem I have is since I assume a different blood chemical composition, DNA(not having protein in it), brain efficiency, and so on, why can’t I give its body parts another name? Names like? This is where I have a problem. This is one of those ocassions when “PLC”(Personal limited communication) evolved into “PLW”(Personal limited words).

On another ocassion, I thought of all the words with terrible meaning I knew. Well, I noticed that bad stuffs are usually worshipped(I’m not sure if this happens consciously or unconsciously). I’ll focus on words for today. Before we proceed, indulge me another game. Take out your dictionary, look up the meaning of these words: Witch, wizard, idiot, bastard, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, diarrhoea, racist, violent, agressive, rape, assassin. Let’s stop here. Now look at those words carefully. What do you realise about them? If you are thinking what I’m thinking, then good for us. Looking at those words, I realise that when a person is not one of those things, there’s no made word to describe such a person. If a male possesses magical powers, he is called a wizard. But what about people like us without magical powers? Humans? What about the wizards? Aren’t they humans?
Give other examples yourself. No wonder the famour authoress, J. K Rowlings looked around, seeing nothing with which to describe non witches or wizards came up with the word “muggle” when she wrote the Harry Potter novel. Like Rowlings, I’m having a difficult time describing my alien. I hope you bear with me. *wipes tear*

NB: You can disprove this and I’ll only be too glad to be enlightened to dismiss your points.

Big blog theory

Challenge Eleven: Christian Aeriel Maximillian
June 11, 2013 12:00 AM
**For the record, Christian Aeriel Maximillian was my classmate and friend in secondary school. Back then, he was still the writer, and I was his illustrator. He would craft tales about the gods, and I would bring them to life with my sketches. Sweet times. JS3. What? I can famz… okay, I am gone***
Mastermind: Christian Aeriel Maximillian
Domain: AerielWrites
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Disclaimer:It is not the intention of the writer to spark a religious war with this write-up. The writer will take no responsibility for anything, code or slang which might be misunderstood in this write-up.
What if cancer was not meant to be an illness, just a failed evolutionary step?
What would happen if we fixed it?
What would we become?
Would we embrace it?
Or would we fight it – all over again?
‘Approximately 12.7 million cancer cases and 7.6 million cancer deaths were estimated to have occurred in 2008.’(2008, GLOBOCAN)
There are over 100 different types of cancer that we know of; the more common of these being lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Current thinking accepts that as longevity increases so does the risk of cancer, which is why cancer in the majority of the animal kingdom is only common in those that live for extended periods; the short lifecycleof most insects, for instance, precludes them from this ‘illness’.
Of the 50-70 trillion cells in the human body some, over time, will naturally go wrong, creating tumours – abnormal and unregulated growths through rapid cell division. Many genetic markers have been found to suggest a greater or lesser likelihood of an individual ‘contracting’ any one particular cancer.
The term we use for the process of tumour occurrence and growth is tumorigenesis , the literal meaning of which is the ‘coming into being’ of a tumour, an apt name as we will discover.
But what if it were discovered that cancer was in fact a failed evolutionary process? Evolution as we understand is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. A gene being a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. Populationsevolve by the often subtle changes experienced within these gene pools. Thus, a single person within a population of say, 7 billion, is never typical of that entire population and will never evolve during their lifespan because they will always retain the same genes – atleast that is what happens now, but is this what evolution intended?
David Fortune sat at his mother’s bedside gazing out of the nearby window. A light breezewas evident outside as it subtly moved the branches of a nearby tree. With his gaze transfixed outside, but his thoughts still firmly in the small room he watched as a squirrel scrabbled up the tree trunk and disappeared into the foliage. How simple a life it would beas a squirrel he thought. A sudden pang of guilt came over him – how could he have become distracted by something so, so ordinary when next to him his mother lay dying, the aggressive cancer eating away at her as every second ticked by.
He shifted uneasily in his chair and settled back; looking up he counted the ceiling tiles once more – confirming that there were still forty nine (if he included the half tiles and where one would have been if not for the light fitting) he turned his head towards the bed and rested his cheek on the chair back. Taking a deep breath through his nostrils he was able (if only temporarily) to replace the smell of hospital antiseptic with leather.
His eyes shifted focus on to his father who sat on the opposite side to him, sleeping now –at long last; it had only been a matter of time, after all the human body can only go so long before the craving, that desperate need to sleep and recharge takes control – however much you wanted to stay awake.
Time moved on, the only noticeable distraction being the occasional ‘intrusion ’ by a nursewho kept on offering tea, coffee, a blanket? His father had a blanket, but somehow, deep down he didn’t feel worthy, no, not worthy, just not right – to seek comfort while his mother… (he forced himself to think it)… was dying , just didn’t seem right. It was ok for his dad he needed the rest, deserved the rest. He had nursed her at home until, until now.
His watch chimed, signally the start of a new day. Standing and stretching his legs after the long night he stood there watching his mother, she remained unmoving other than the shallow rise and fall of her chest, her gaunt features displaying deep shadows around her eyes and in the centres of her cheeks.
He began counting breaths, watching, listening… waiting. Her breathing was definitely slowing now, the gaps in between lengthening; her diaphragm expanding with ever growing effort, although each breath was expelled in a rapid contraction each time more readily as the weakened muscles could not hold on to the vital gases so desperately needed.
David wasn’t sure when she took her last breath. The pauses had grown so long in between that when one didn’t come he just waited, so desperately he waited, until untold minutes had passed. Minutes that had been filled not with sorrow, but of relief – relief that her suffering had ended. He held her hand only then realising that his father too had been watching, listening quietly. How long had he been awake? David did not know. All that mattered was that they had shared her last moments together.
He awoke in a pool of sweat – even after 30 years the memories of his mother’s death were so clear in his mind, tormenting his dreams, creating the ‘oh so frequent’ nightmaresthat still made him weep. He swung his legs over the side of the bed, rubbing his eyes andface with both hands, the cold of the bare wooden floor beneath helping to heighten his senses.
Looking at his unshaven features in the bathroom mirror, the bloodshot eyes from the half bottle of single malt whisky consumed the night before; he leaned on the sink and composed himself. Clearing his throat he said to his reflection: “Ladies, gentlemen, fellow scientists , I am Dr David Fortune and as of today no one need die of cancer…”
A low murmur crossed the conference room floor, increasing in intensity as it spread like aripple on a pond, finally becoming a crescendo of shouted questions and raised hands. Perhaps in hindsight, David considered , he should have built up to this revelation as opposed to using it as his opening line?
Calming his audience with his own raised hands and ignoring the many questions he continued. “For many years the war to eradicate cancer from our lives has taken place in laboratories and hospitals across the world. We have used skilled surgery, aggressive drugregimes and radiation in our ‘arsenal’. More recently many have looked at gene therapy and targeting cancers with ‘magic bullets’ riding on the backs of viruses. We have even been able to devise vaccines for certain cancers. However, one of the goals that has eludedmany here today has been to develop a way of stopping the spread – the metastasis that so frequently creates secondary tumours.
Halting the process of metastasis was the aim of my team and in so doing we stumbled across a revelation ; a revelation so profound that we could not, would not, believe it ourselves at first.” The buzz of excitement across the room was such that David paused once more to allow a level of calmness to descend. Pointing to the screen behind him he activated a video sequence. “As many here know, during the process of metastasis millions of malignant cells from a tumour are released into the bloodstream. Most are killed by the trauma of travelling through blood vessels; others are attacked by our immune systems, whether by T-lymphocytes, macrophages or lymphokines. But others make the journey unscathed, creating new tumours; some of these cells remain in our bloodstream undetected for years only to resurface after what appears to be a period of remission. The question my team and I asked first was why do some of these malignant cells survive while others do not? But more importantly, the other question we often asked ourselves was if the propensity of cancer is on the increase because we are living longer, then, conversely as our immune systems have evolved should there not have been more cancers in early bilaterians whose immune systems were not as developed? ” Pausing for affect, he took a sip of water and gazed at the front 3 rows over the top of his glasses.
Continuing he said, “It is commonly accepted that our adaptive immune systems appearedquite suddenly, around 450 million years ago with the emergence of jawed vertebrates. But because of its complexity , the mammalian immune system is described as ‘irreduciblycomplex’, and thus its evolution and origin through ‘Darwinian ’ mechanisms is frequentlychallenged . How then do we reconcile this?” he let his hypothetical question hang for a second. “Our breakthrough occurred when studying tumours taken from AIDS patients,” more video sequences appeared as he continued… “As you will see here, HIV is a unique human RNA virus, capable of infecting cells of the immune system. In particular , HIV targets and eventually kills T cells that have a crucial role in the regulation of immune responses against invading microorgan isms. In an untreated HIV patient, 10 billion to 100 billion new viruses are produced daily which progressiv ely destroy the T cells over a period of several years. This gradual erosion eventually renders the patient vulnerable to unusual and opportunis tic infections rarely seen in healthy people. Most patients who die from AIDS succumb to one or more of these opportunistic infections – interestingly of the 40% of AIDS patients who develop cancers, the cancers they develop are ones that occur infrequently in the normal ‘healthy population ’. So we started afresh with a new hypothesis : What if cancer was part of evolution? Designed to take Homo-sapiens to the next stage of their natural development, a stage corrupted by an irreducibly complex immune system that defies evolutionary understanding? Armed with this hypothesis and the genetic codes from numerous tumours of differing types we developed a virus of our own to carry the instructions to ‘repair’ what we believed to be the corrupted coding. We call this viral agent ‘f66′, after the gene location. We then injected our test animals with a drug we call Genesis-T, designed to protect the cancer cells during metastasis . We then sat back and waited.”
The audience was visibly agitated at this point; many were in heated discussions in small groups others sat transfixed , waiting for the speaker to continue.
“What we discovered over a period of 6 weeks was a gradual change in the tumours – thetumours shrank and became small nodules at each of the metastasised sites throughout the test subjects. Those subjects who had not yet metastasised also developed these nodules across all major organs, blood compositio n subtly changed too – immune systems became stronger yet they did not stop the nodule appearance s; in fact quite the opposite. Each nodule had multiple layers of lymphocyte s clustered around them – not consuming but creating a protective layer. Of the one hundred laboratory rats treated in this way, every single one, at each stage of dissection , we recorded identical observations. By week 2 no sign of malignancy existed, by week 4 the remaining rats were healthier, stronger and exhibiting structural changes to existing organs – heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and skin all performing at greater efficiency – in affect transformed, an evolutionary step completed in less than one month. When we breed the final test subjects, with ones taken from our control group, the offspring shared the full benefit of the enhanced evolutiona ry changes. The full paper and press release will be available at the end of this seminar and will detail all our findings – including the human trials. Now I open the floor to questions. ”
Multiple hands shot up. Pointing to the front row he said, “My estemed colleague, Professor Wilson.”
Professor Wilson was Dean of Medicine at King’s College London, as he stood the light above him glistened off his receding brow, “Dr Fortune, thank you, an elightening, and I must say ground breaking research study. Perhaps you could give us your views on the long term effects of this ‘evolutionary’ step, as you call it?”
“Yes, thank you, of the rat test subjects all were dissected over a period of 3 years, with the excepetion of one who remained healthy until dying of natural causes, recently, after 6years following initial treatment. As I am sure most here are aware the average life expectancy for the white rat is 2½ to 3½ years. Upon dissection no adverse side effects were observed. Of our human trials, 50 volunteers were found all sufferring from end stage terminal cancers, 10 were AIDS patients. All 50 volunteers were randomly chosen, blind, as per usual protocol: twenty five received the correct treatment and twenty five received a placebo treatment. Of the twenty five that received the placebo – all were dead of their respective cancers within 6 months. Of the the twenty five that received the viral gene therapy and Metastasis T treatment, all are alive and well and symptom free.”
“What of the nodules? “Where these observed too in the surviving volunteers ?” David looked around, locating the questioner in the press enclosure. Using his hand to help shield his eyes from the lights pointing directly at him, he replied “Nodules appeared in all the treated volunteers . Although these too have reduced over time, their work seemingly done.”
The same member of the press continued, “Do you not think that announcing a cure-all forcancer by modifying it to a design ‘you believe’ to be correct is not playing at God? The research direction you took was completley against current thinking – current thinking that I hasten to add has produced significan t results. My question to you is this: Using your treatment will it not, in effect, create a sub species of Homo Sapien – an evolutiona rysuperior race?”
David, stared down the reporter, sensationalist reactions like this could only be expected. “Perhaps the gentleman from the press would care to actual read the press release or even the full paper before likening my team and I to God. As far as a sub species is concerned this is not the case. All we have done is trigger a dormant, albeit corrupted, biological process. A process that Homo sapien was obviously meant to have – to be physically stronger, less likely to contract diesease, more resilient in every way! If this is a bad thing then I apologies. The evidence is in the detail.”
“The Devil is in the detail, Dr Fortune, I only hope you make a good God!”
In 2012, Dr David Fortune, driven by the loss of his mother from cancer and the desire for no child to ever experience a similar lose, announced his revolution airy cancer treatment. In 2013, the United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (NHRA) approved the use of Virus f66 and Genesis-T, shortly followed by both the American FDA and European EMA. In 2014 Dr David Fortune and his team received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. By 2025 ‘Fortune’s Treatment’ as it became popularly known, was being widly used across the world. The human race had embraced an evolutionary change that had been halted by it’s own immune system, some 450 millon years before man had first walked the Earth. One hundered thousand years of self determination had given man time to become clever enough, to ‘fix’ this irreducibl y complex immune system that defied logical evolution. Not all people embraced the treatment, many religions openly condemned it, but faced with death from cancer or life – most chose life.
As the f66 virus crossed between parent and child the subtle changes of a halted evolutionbegan. First noted in 2035, children born with the f66 heritage were on average taller, stronger, and more able to shake off illnesses. Skin pigmentati ons were noticeably more ‘olive’ coloured, not unusual in a diverse modern population . But as time progressed the skin was not the only change that was noticed and embraced as ‘good’. Lungs were more efficient, able to sustain life with no visible side effects in low oxygen content areas, whether high altitude or polluted cities. The human liver was more efficient in detoxifica tion and regulating biochemica l reactions. Kidneys homeostasi s function increased removing impurities from the blood that would have killed past generation s. Skin continued to change, becoming more leathery, redder in colour and able to withstand extremes of heat and radiation.
The lesser talked about traits of f66 began 3 generations later. Tails were common place inmany newborns; initially, the small extensions to the vestigial structure all Homo sapiens had shared were removed at birth, but they soon became common place. Eventually public displays of tails became a teenage fad and thus became accepted overtime. It wasn’t until the horns began developing after puberty that the Vatican expressed its public concern of this ‘new’ breed. By the time 100 years had passed from the drugs approval, 75% of man stood 7 foot tall, had red skin, horns and a tail. The ‘pure’ Homo sapiens were few and hid mostly from public view.
When the missiles rained down, no one knew why or who? The scorched Earth that remained was no place for pure Homo sapiens who either died in the initial blasts or from radiation sickness weeks later.
Hell on Earth had arrived.
On a huge slab of granite, that rose one mile out of the ground where once stood the Vatican City, there was inscribed:
“So God created man in his own image” Genesis 1(27)
“But the Devil is in the detail

Axe man

Rita and John were driving through a wooded empty section of highway. Lightning flashed, thunder roared, the sky went dark in the torrential downpour.
“We’d better stop,” said Rita.
John nodded his head in agreement. He stepped on the brake, and suddenly the car started to slide on the slick pavement. They plunged off the road and slid to a halt at the bottom of an incline.
Pale and shaking, John quickly turned to check if Rita was all right. When she nodded, John relaxed and looked through the rain soaked windows.
“I’m going to see how bad it is,” he told Rita, and went out into the storm. She saw his blurry figure in the headlight, walking around the front of the car. A moment later, he jumped in beside her, soaking wet.
“The car’s not badly damaged, but we’re wheel-deep in mud,” he said. “I’m going to have to go for help.”
Rita swallowed nervously. There would be no quick rescue here. He told her to turn off the headlights and lock the doors until he returned.

“…Axe Murder.” Although John hadn’t said the name aloud, they both knew what he had been thinking when he told her to lock the car. This was the place where a man had once taken an axe and hacked his wife to death in a jealous rage over an alleged affair. Supposedly, the axe-wielding spirit of the husband continued to haunt this section of the road.
Outside the car, Rita heard a shriek, a loud thump, and a strange gurgling noise. But she couldn’t see anything in the darkness.
Frightened, she shrank down into her seat. She sat in silence for a while, and then she noticed another sound. Bump. Bump. Bump. It was a soft sound, like something being blown by the wind.
Suddenly, the car was illuminated by a bright light. An official sounding voice told her to get out of the car. John must have found a police officer. Rita unlocked the door and stepped out of the car. As her eyes adjusted to the bright light, she saw it.
Hanging by his feet from the tree next to the car was the dead body of John. His bloody throat had been cut so deeply that he was nearly decapitated. The wind swung his corpse back and forth so that it thumped against the tree. Bump. Bump. Bump.
Rita screamed and ran toward the voice and the light. As she drew close, she realized the light was not coming from a flashlight. Standing there was the glowing figure of a man with a smile on his face and a large, solid, and definitely real axe in his hands. She backed away from the glowing figure until she bumped into the car.
“Playing around when my back was turned,” the ghost whispered, stroking the sharp blade of the axe with his fingers. “You’ve been very naughty.”
The last thing she saw was the glint of the axe blade in the eerie, incandescent light.

The girl in white.

He was sulking a little, standing at the sidelines while all the other men danced with their pretty partners. His girl had not come to the dance that night. Her mother was ill, and so his girl had remained at her side. A fine pious act, he thought sourly, but it left him at loose ends.

His friend, Ernest, came up to him between sets with a cold drink and some words of encouragement.”After all, Anita is not the only girl in the world,”Ernest said.”There are many pretty girls here tonight. Dance with one of them.”

Bolstered by his friend’s words, he started looking around the dance hall. His eye fell upon a beautiful young girl standing wistfully at the edge of the floor beside the door to the terrace. She was dressed in an old-fashioned white gown and her skin was pale as the moon. Her dark eyes watched the dance hungrily from her position behind a tall fern, and he felt his heart beat faster. Such a lovely woman should be dancing!

He made his way through the bustling crowd and bowed to the girl in white. She looked startled by his addresses, as if she had not expected anyone to notice her that night, but she readily assented to dance with him, and he proudly led her out onto the floor for the next set, all thoughts of Anita gone from his mind.

Ernest and some of his other friends gave him odd looks as he danced with the girl in white. A few times, the man opposite them bumped right into them as if he had not seen his partner at all. He was furious and wanted to stop the dance and make the man apologize to the girl in white, but she just laughed and hushed him.

When the dance was over, he hurried to get his fair partner a drink. Ernest approached him at the refreshment table.
“When I told you to dance, I meant with a partner,”his friend teased him.

“I was dancing with a partner,”he replied, irritated by his friends remark. “The loveliest girl in all of Mexico!”

“You’ve had too much to drink, my friend,”Ernest replied. “You were dancing by yourself out there!”

He glared at his friend and turned away without answering him. Making his way back to the girl in white, he handed her a glass and asked her to stroll with him along the terrace. The night was beautiful, the sky full of stars, and he stared at the girl in white with his heart in his eyes as they stood looking out over the beautiful scene.

The girl in white turned to him with a sigh and said:”Thank you for the dance, hun. It has been a very long time since I had such pleasure.”

“Let us dance again, then,” he said infatuatedly. But she shook her head.

“I must leave now,”she said, catching up her skirts with one hand and drifting toward the stairs at the side of the terrace.

“Please don’t go,”he pleaded, following her.

“I must,” she said, turning to look at him. Her eyes softened when she saw the look on his face.
“Come with me?”she invited, holding out a pale hand.

His heart pounded rapidly at the thought. More than anything in the world, he wanted to go with this lovely girl. And then his mind registered the fact that he could see the stone wall of the terrace through the girl’s hand. His desire melted away before the shock of that realization. He looked into her face again, and realized that she was fading away before his eyes.

At the look of horror on his face, the girl gave a sad laugh and dropped her hand, which was nearly transparent now.

“Goodbye,”she said, her body becoming thin and misty. “Goodbye.”

Then she was gone.

He gave a shout of terror when he realized his skin turning pale white, and fading as wisps of smoke before his very eyes.
“Somebody heeeeeelllpppp me,” he yelled, trying to struggle against the gust of wind which was sweeping him away.
“There will be no help. No one will hear you,” said the ghost girl. “you belong to me now, and we will be together forever.” Then there was a flash of lightning, and everywhere became silent with no one in sight.

Claustrophobe Part 2

This is the concluding part of my last post. I’m sorry to have delayed this…blame it on my tight schedule. Still, it’s better to be late than never. LOL.

After I had discharged Fred, and seen him off. I walked sluggishly back to my apartment. Dad and mom weren’t home; they’ve both gone to see a family friend who just moved into the neighborhood, and they had called to inform me that they might not be back that night.

Knowing what else not to do, I flopped down on a well-worn easy chair, and grabbed the teevee’s remote control which was just lying on the table in front of me, and began to scan for different channels. You could tell that from the way I was scanning absentmindedly, I never really wanted to watch anything, or I did, but could not settle my mind to come to terms with what I actually wanted. If you think I was feeling uneasy because of the story about the claustrophobe which Fred told me, then you’re wrong because I never even believed a bit of it in the first place.
After just a few clicks on the remote control, I found what it was which I thought I needed…a basketball game! 🙂
I watched a highlight of different basketball games for thirty minutes till I felt I had had enough. Besides, I was feeling tired, and I needed to have a shower, make myself a mug of coffee, and retire to bed.
Having taken that decision, I switched off the telly , went into my bedroom to strip off my clothes for the great shower. 🙂
As I strolled into the bathroom, an inexplicable feeling consumed me. “what if what Fred said was really true?” I thought. “Then I’d be in for it tonight. There was nobody at home to call out to if things went wrong. Nobody to hit any potential monster on its head unexpectedly(Like the way it happened in movies). There was absolutely nobody!”
I finally mustered up a bit of courage to drown those thought, and to tell you the truth it worked because I boldly marched into the bathroom, disrobed, turned on the shower, grabbed my soap and sponge, and began to work lather all over my body.
Suddenly, I noticed darkness had enveloped the bathroom. In panic, I tried to run out of the bathroom, but something stung my eyes, then I remembered it was the soap lather.
I sighed. “How could I have been a girl scared to the bone in just a split second because of a simple soap lather?” I asked.
Something may have induced the sudden fear in me; It could be as a result of Fred’s ‘giraffe’ tale. It would be the best if I never allow Fred tell me stories again. The one about the claustrophobe was still fresh in my memory. I could picture the ‘snake-like’ intestines which protruded from its stomach, its dark eyes, grey skin with grains of tarantulas crawling all over them.
Disfigured face with terrible sores on it.

“yuck!” I spat out in disgust as some soap lather found its way into my mouth. Suddenly, the bathroom grew dark for a moment, then I saw the wall opposite me began to turn grey; a creature with souless eyes began to emerge from the wall, squirming snake-like intestines crept out of its belly. I watched in horror as its hands which were covered in tarantulas reached for my shoulder. I could neither speak let alone scream. The thing seem to be sucking the air directly from my lungs, and I could hardly breathe. I was simply panting; trying to build up my pantings into a yell, but all that came out of my mouth was a muffled sound.
“Holy Moses pls save me!” I prayed ernestly.
Like the claustrophobe had heard my solemn prayers, it’s snake-like intestines suddenly sprang into life as if I had prayed to them, and like they were the ones who would save me.
The claustrophobe placed it’s almost lifeless hands covered with spider on my shoulders, and then lowered its gaze to meet mine. I was as hundreds of spiders began creeping into my ears, mouth and nose. For the first time, I had the opportunity to look into its eyes and noticed that they weren’t souless as I initially thought. There were no eyeballs, only an empty space lodged where the eyes were supposed to be.

For some reasons, I could no longer move; I felt some force holding g me down to the spot, and I was looking directly into the dark abyss of nothingness which the claustrophobe could’ve called ‘eyes’.
My knees were shaking badly. Beads of sweat had already formed at my brows, and were trickling down my face. The tarantulas which had gotten in through the openings on my face were beginning to itch inside. I could feel them gnawing at my organs. The worst moment of horror came when I saw big brown millipedes, each as fat as a cucumber creep out of its eyes.
At this point, my heart had already pounded right out of my chest. I felt my pulse slowed down, then felt my blood run cold, and everywhere became dark — I passed out!

Claustrophobe: Part 1

The term claustrophobic meant very little to me. After all I hadn’t felt it before. How could I be sure? I have never been alone in a small closed room before.
I had seen friends rush out of a lift, an enclosed place or room, their faces beaded with balls of sweat registered panic. Their voice almost lost. They claim to have limited supply of air. Somehow, I found their stories amusing. The one which made me begin to think most of my friends were nuts(I could’ve been the one who was nuts, who knows?) was when they spoke of demons which they had seen in those enclosed places.
They would narrate how those demons acted, the way it looked like and sometimes what it said. Of course I wasn’t one who believed in demons, hence I found their stories quite amusing and unbelievable.

On a certain day, Fred ran to me in fright. He could hardly catch his breathe. I tried to calm him down at least to make him tell me what had happened.
“relax Fred,” I said. “tell me what happened”.
“I…I..” he stammered, taking deep breathe to help him relax his nerves.
“You did what?” I enquired.
I could see that he was shaking badly, and it would be impossible trying to get him to talk at that moment. 

To help him ease his nerves, I offered him a glass of water which he gulped at once and asked for more. I could see that he was beginning to feel better because his breathe had slowed down.

“I had gone to make a call at a phone booth,” Fred began. “I was barely midway into my call when I felt the door bolted from outside. I dismissed it as nothing….,” he paused to have his gaze meet mine. I’m sure he had doubts if I was paying attention and was probably deciding whether to continue or not.
“so what happened, Fred?” I asked obviously to make him continue his tall-tale or ‘giraffe tale’ as we jokingly called it as friends.
“Moments after the door had bolted,” he continued. “I felt my lungs becoming empty, then I saw a grey figure. The sclera of its eyes weren’t white. They were grey as clouds. Its fingers, barely having any flesh had numerous tarantulas crawling all over them.”

“why didn’t you yell? Perhaps someone would’ve heard you and come to your rescue” I interrupted. Of course, I hardly believed Fred’s tale, I simply offered my suggestion just to make him think I believed.

“I lost my voice!” Fred cut in.”I could barely speak! It was like the thing was sucking the air out of my lungs. You should’ve have seen its eyes, there was nothing there. Protruding from its belly were numerous squirming things. I’m sure they were his intestines but they had a life of their own — They moved like snakes.”

“It’s okay,” I said.”The most important thing is that you’re safe now. Forget about what you saw, it could’ve been your imaginations”
Fred eyed me when I said that last sentence. I could see from the look on his face that he had decided not to drag the issue further, and was hoping that I experience it myself.

“There’s actually something which makes people in closed places experience panic,” Fred said.”It’s not just because of the limited space. It’s something more. There’s something which makes people claustrophobic…”
“hey, hold it, Fred,” I interrupted.”I know where you’re going. You’re saying what you saw must’ve been a claustrophobe?”
“Yes, If that’s what you call it,” Fred replied then he sighed….

To be continued….

Shadow man

When I realised it had grown dark, it was already too late for me to leave office for home. It was already 11:51 pm, and I had been very busy even to call home that I would be sleeping at the office that night.
Well, it wasn’t too late to call. At least to let my husband know I was safe and I wouldn’t be coming home that night because of the dangers of rapists and robbers.

Finally, I picked up my cell-phone and punched in my husband’s phone digit.

“grr grr”, the phone rang, but he wasn’t picking up. He must’ve been fast asleep, I thought.
“grr, grr”, I rang again, still no one picked up.
I decided to call the land-line. Perhaps, someone apart from him might pick it, I thought.
I went through my phone-book, and after sweeping through the entire names, I found what I was looking for.
Quickly, I dialled the number. It rang. I waited patiently for someone to accept the call at the other end. It had barely rang the second time when a strong wind blew my office window open.
“Woah,It might soon rain”, I thought. Then I stood up and went to shut my window. Outside, the wind was swaying the trees, strewn leaves flew everywhere, and the moon was already seeking a place to hide in the dark clouds.
Suddenly the light in my office blinked. Thinking it was a call, I quickly rushed over to pick it, but to my surprise, it was just the way I had left it — home mode.

As a last resolution, I decided to switch off the light and sleep on the sofa which served as the visitors’ seat during working hours. There was no use trying to call home anymore. Though it was my home, and no one would be upset even if I rang the phone a million times, still there was the need for people to sleep, and I may be seen as impolite disturbing their sleep.

Having taken that decision, I proceeded to bolt the windows and switch off the flourescent light which was shining lazily on the ceiling. As my hand touched the switch, I felt fear. For some reasons, I thought I saw a dark figure floating behind the window. Then the lights which I had switched off came on. At first, I thought it was my brain misinforming my eyes. Yes, it could be since I had been working all day, but what happened next convinced me otherwise….I heard a gruff voice behind me. I turned around sharply to see who it was, and there staring at me were the pale-white face of a man with dark eyes, reaching out his hand to grab me.

“yeeeeeeaaaahhhhh,”I shouted and without instinct dashed for the door and ran out like an antelope chased by wolves.
“My car keys!” I shreiked. I had left them on my desk and going back to pick them with that shadow-man(that was what I called him since I didn’t know his name. Besides that was what he looked like) inside. Hell no! I won’t risk it! After all, what were my legs made for? I was the fastest sprinter in college, and I don’t think that gift(If I would call it that) had left me even after 3 kids.

As I ran, I could sense the shadow man inching closer, there was this stench when I first felt his presence in my office, and that smell was beginning to ooze out from ‘God knows where’ again.
My stilletos weren’t helping matters. They made me trip too often, and it would be unwise to take them off. I hadn’t such time. I wished help would come from nowhere.
“Pls God help me,” I cried.
Help did come because when I glanced back, the shadow man was nowhere to be seen.
Quickly, I took off my shoes and tore off in lightning speed towards home.

When I got to street was when it began to rain. As I got closer to my house, I began to think: “who would open the gate for me? If I called, who would hear me?” The raging storm pattering on roof created a sound of its own. It was a noise. One which drowned all possible sounds.
Without thinking, I reached into my hand-bag for my phone. Not that I was hoping that someone would hear the phone this time. I was merely wishing someone would.
“grr, grr,” it rang.

“hello,” someone spoke at the other end.
“Holy Christ!!!” I exclaimed. This was too good to be true. God really had a hand in this, I thought.
“Hello,” I spoke frantically into the mouthpiece. Already the rain had drenched me making me shiver slightly. Thunder rumbled, Lightning flashed, but I tried to make my voice as dinstintive as possible.
“Honey, pls I’m outside at the gate. Come and open the gate, pls”
“Are you okay?” the voice at the other end which I sensed to be my husband asked.
“This is no time for questions, honey. Just come and open the gate”
“Okay, okay, I’m coming,” he said and the line went dead.

As I waited outside for my husband to come and open the gate, I prayed earnestly,”God pls don’t let that shadow man come back”

Then I saw the beam of a torch approaching the gate. “yes! That was my husband!” I screamed in delight.
“Quick! Quick!” I urged.
Then I heard the slight thud of the lock unbolt and the gate open slowly. Without thinking, I rushed in and quickly bolted the gate and even put a lock on it.
Suddenly, I heard a spontaneous laughter. I turned around sharply to see who was laughing and to my surprise, who did I see standing before me with blood streaming down from it souless eyes? — shadow man!