MIDNIGHT

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The house is haunted.
Lol. Balderdash.
Absolute nonsense. People are far too superstitious these days. Or so I used to think… Back then- oh well. A lot has changed since then.
A lot.

It was the perfect house, located in a sweet cosy corner of suburban Lagos. The asking price was decent, just a couple of millions of naira, the electricity supply was steady, and the water didn’t trickle either. It gushed. It was also furnished- tastefully. What else could a man ask for?
So I asked the realtor if it was up for sale. His face went pale, if it could be described that way, and he instantly began extolling the virtues of the house on the other side of the crescent.
I used to be very persistent back then, so I asked again. I’ve changed now. I’ve learnt patience. But again, I digress. Forgive me, if you can. It’s not easy being me.

Eventually he couldn’t ignore my questions anymore and had to fess up. I seemed like a good guy, a decent guy you know, the kind of person you just trust from the get go. As such he really didn’t want to lose me to that house.

I remember him saying it. I remember how earnest his tone was. I remember him trying to convince me that the house was bad for me. But I didn’t listen. I didn’t listen much back then. But as I said, I was a  different man. A very different man. I’ve changed.

Something he said caught my attention. “No one ever survives that house for a week. They pack up and run like hell and they never come back. The house is haunted. Please let me get you another house.”

But I was adamant, I liked the house, it was perfect, and unless he had a better excuse, I was going to have it. With tears in his eyes, he agreed.
He brought the documents over. I signed them. Money change hands, I got the deed to the house. I drove up to inspect my new purchase, just me and my realtor. Two old buddies.
At the threshold, he gave me my keys. He even refused to enter the house. I remember laughing at him. I thought I was wiser. Thanks to superstition and backward belief systems, I would be getting a house, cheap and easy. I was wrong. Oh I was very wrong.

That night, it began. At my window I heard scratching noises. I dismissed it as a stray cat. But the next morning, I could not find any tracks or claw marks around the house. Nothing.

And then Tuesday…
I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I thought it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again. I shrugged it off. Some trick. I was hearing things. Nothing to get bothered about.

Later that week, on Wednesday, at night, the scratching intensified. Then it stopped. I could hear a child wailing at the top of his lungs. But, I knew all the families around by then and no one had a kid.

And then Friday came. If only I had the wisdom to leave before Friday.
First I came back from the office to meet a message scrawled in my kitchen in blood.
“Go away.”
Sure by this time that someone was trying to force me out, I got a towel and soapy water and wiped it off.

And then at night… That night started off innocently enough. No noise, no scratching, nothing. It was going to be a good, short night.

…The last thing I saw was my alarm clock flashing 12:07 before she pushed her long rotting nails through my chest, her other hand muffling my screams. I sat bolt upright, relieved it was only a dream, but as I saw my alarm clock read 12:06, I heard my closet door creak open.

I was done for. Behind the house now, things have also changed. There’s another grave, freshly dug, barely a month old.
Someone tried to plant a rosebush on it. Didn’t work. Stupid dude should have known I don’t like roses. Formerly I would have called him and given him a piece of my mind.

But I didn’t. I’ve changed. A lot. You know, now that I’m dead.

Drop by the house sometime will you?
It’s so lonely here.

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