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” 


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… 


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!