Thursday, June 11, 2015

Episode 3: 'The 28th House' by T-Ralph Olaniyi (Featured Story)


Here comes another episode of our weekly suspense filled story. Incase you missed episode 1 and 2, click HERE and HERE 

Episode 3 - What a weird night

It was the scheduled weekend for the dinner between the Adewale family and the Uche family. George drove about 45 minutes to get to James' house. On arrival, James and his wife were already at the door to welcome George and his family. They smiled at one another as they alighted from the car and walked inside the house exchanging pleasantries. Mr James, his wife and his two sons were standing in the living room as they introduced each other. Sarah lifted up her eyes as she saw Matthew, her friend from school, beside Mr James. They both chuckled at each other as their eyes met. Both families were surprised at the chuckle so George asked, "Sarah, what is it?" Sarah replied, "I know Matthew. He is my new friend in school." Both families were surprised at the coincidence and were happy that their kids had met in school. Mr James laughed as he said, "What a small world." They completed introducing themselves after which Mrs Uche led them to the dinning table. The food served was a simple dish of fried rice, salad and turkey. Mr James said the grace and they started eating. George commended Mrs Uche for a lovely meal. Mr James had quite a set of jokes which he shared and they all laughed. They enjoyed one another's company.

After a while, the children were seeing a programme on television as George, Sade, Mr James and his wife discussed. They spoke over a wide range of issues until they got to the discussion about what church George and his family attended. Mr James assumed that it had been quite a number of weeks since he arrived, hence, he would have found a branch of his former church to attend in this city. George replied by saying, "We do not attend a church yet." "We hope to get a suitable one soon", he added after a few seconds. Mrs Uche quickly said, "Then, we invite you to the church we attend. It is just a few minutes away from our house. I am sure you will love the place." Sade replied, "We will love to check it out." Mr James saw the expression on George's face and he suspected George would not attempt to come at all. To confirm his doubts, he asked, "So, what church did you attend in the city where you were?" George never wanted the invitation to his church; neither did he want the conversation about churches to continue; at the same time, he did not want to lie. So he gave this answer with a straight face, "We did not attend any church at all. We did not even plan to attend any church consistently here too". George was ready to be confronted by Mr James as people usually did, but, Mr james just kept mute. George was surprised because no one had ever been quiet about his attitude to church especially the "fanatic Christians" as George called them. They always tried to pester him to come with persuading words. This left George dumbfounded and Sade a little embarrassed. Mr james immediately slotted in another conversation on basketball. Mrs Uche stated, "Men and sports" as she took Sade by the hand so they could talk about something women had interest in else where.

Sarah enjoyed the company of Matthew while their siblings were engrossed with the television programme. They discussed about their favourite television shows, movies and music bands. Around 7:30pm, George decided to leave. George thanked Mr Uche's family for their hospitality and for hosting such a nice dinner. They bid one another farewell as George and his family drove off. As they drove home, all Sarah could think of was not the delicious meals they had eaten, but, her conversations with Matthew. "I think I like him a lot", she thought to herself. Likewise, Matthew was thinking about their conversations as he lay on his bed in his room. "I like her a lot. I think she has to come to our church and join the choir", he said to himself. Immediately, he took out his phone and texted her on a mobile instant messenger typing, "What do you think about coming to worship at the same church, possibly joining the choir too?" Sarah replied, "I would love to. But that depends on my parents." As they drove, Sade said, "That was a lovely visit and a good dinner." George replied saying, "It was good. The Uches are a lovely family, I must say." "Except for the church-issue, we all had a nice time together", George added. Sade then said, "Concerning the church-issue, don't you think we should attend a church?" George replied her by saying, "Well, let us think about it for some time. You know I do not like all these Christian frivolities and trivialities like paying tithes as if God owns your money or dancing and
clapping like pagan worshippers. All those things just don't suit me." Sade countered him, "But, they are done to please the Lord and worship Him." George did not reply but just shook his head. As they drove in that night, in their neighbour's house, they noticed that a local lamp was left in the old woman's balcony. George said, "Who still uses a local lamp these days with all the soot?"

John went to bed early because he was tired and sleepy. After a few minutes of sleep, he felt a touch on his right leg. John woke up only to see a grizzly figure with no particular face standing by the foot of his bed. He screamed and before his mum ran into the room, the grizzly figure went back into the cupboard. She embraced him tightly as she gently asked what was wrong. John replied, "There is a man in the cupboard." As he spoke, George walked in. Sade explained what John said to George. George put on the room lights and opened the cupboard so they could all see as he said, "Can you see John? There is no one in the cupboard. It was just a bad dream. Go back to bed." But John insisted there was someone there and he would not sleep in his room tonight. So, George decided to allow John sleep in the same bedroom with him and Sade.

Just few minutes after bed time, Ronke and Iyanu were still talking about the soap opera they had seen when the room suddenly felt strange. Then just beside the room's window, they say a little girl of about age 5 standing with blood all over her face, hands and clothes. They were too shocked at first to scream. Later, as the girl started walking towards their bed with her bloody hands stretching towards them, they both screamed at the top of their voice, holding each other tightly in fear. George and Sade wondered what had happened again as they ran into the room. They struggled with the door trying to open it but it would not open. After several trying, the door knob eventually broke. George gave the door a muscular kick and it eventually flanked open. They rushed in to see their daughters in absolute fear, too afraid to speak. Eventually, Iyanu managed to explain what they saw before the child vanished into thin air. Sade turned to George as she said, "This is getting serious o. I don't think this is normal." George replied, "They are just kids and they are having nightmares." They also insisted to sleep in the same room with their parents because they were too afraid. As they walked to the bedroom, Sade made a remark, "Why is it that they are all having nightmares the same night. This is really strange."

While all these were happening, Sarah was busy in the dream world. She saw herself walking in the woods and suddenly a headless monster started chasing her. She ran in between the woods as fast as her legs could take her, breathing heavily with each step in the race, moving left and right between the trees, hoping not to be caught. Then, she mistakenly struck her foot against the big root of a tree and down she feel. Hurting her left leg and straining her left ankle, she could not run again. She crawled ahead with fear as the grizzly monster approached her. She screamed for fear as she woke up from her dream. Just after Sade completed her remark, they heard Sarah scream.


They all rushed into the Sarah's room together as they saw her shaking for fear. She could barely explain the nightmare in her stuttering voice as she held her left leg as though she was hurting truly like in the dream. Sade just kept saying, "What a weird night!" The lights in the house started going on and off rhythmically. The children were all very scared. George wondered why the lights were malfunctioning. Even the light switch could not put off the lights. They all slept in the same room that night. Sade managed to muster out a word of prayer as they all slept in the same big bed, "God help us." As she concluded the statement, the lights came back to normal. George then said, "I will get in touch with the electrician next week to look into this strange light problem. Also, the carpenters must come and check on this doors that refuse to open easily sometimes." "This is not an issue to be fixed by an electrician or a carpenter", Sade said. Sade implied that these occurrences had an origin or cause that is somewhat supernatural. George already knew what Sade meant and replied, "They all just had nightmares and illusions; nothing more." As they slept, Sade told George that they had to talk about these strange occurrences. She did not want to continue the conversation so as not to scare the kids.

(Stay tuned for episode 4)

Credit: T-Ralph Olaniyi 

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