Wow! I was so damn surprised when my mum told me that Tejiri wanted me to come for her halloween party. I was like, “Are you sure that’s what she said?” And she was like, “Yes.” I could not believe that even Nigerians celebrated Halloween. It’s not that it’s bad or anything. I just felt it was weird. Okay maybe it’s supposed to be weird.
“Hello Tejiri. Are you really holding a halloween party at your house today?” I asked her through the phone. I had dialed her number immediately mummy gave me the news.
“Yes I am. My parents are even holding theirs at the KFT hall this evening, same time as ours.” Tejiri said.
“Wow, it’s funny right? Like why would your parents want to celebrate Halloween?” I said knowing something was up. I felt it in my bones.
“I know. I think it is fun actually. We are grown girls and I’m sure we can take care of ourselves and the kids, if any.”
“Tejiri, I’m not sure about this party.” I stood up from my bed and went to my wardrobe, looking for what to wear. “And I don’t know what to wear, that’s if I have what to wear. You just told me today.” I scoffed.
“Rukevwe just wait for me. Have your bath, style your hair and wait for me. I am coming to give you the makeover of your life.” She made me smile.
“Okay, I’ve heard. When is this party starting.”
“Wow! It’s really late.”
“Yes. What do you expect? It’s Halloween.”
Hours later, she came over to my house and converted my long strapless gown into a knee gown. She did my makeup in an entirely different way from hers. Her make up was simple with her hair plaited in two braids. She was dressed so well. Like a maid, a professional maid. You know what I mean, right? Like she wore a blue gown with a little apron with ruffles at the edge tied around her waist. She also put a fake God mark on her face.
“Now look at you.” She turned me facing the mirror. “I learnt this type on YouTube specially for you.” She was grinning so hard because of the work she had done. She gave me whiskers on my face with six dots. She coloured the bottom of my nose and the top of my lip black. “So… you like?” She was jumping now. She’s the hyperactive type.
“I love it,” I said smiling. I really loved the look.
“Great! Now it’s time for the boots and tail!” she screamed, running towards where she’d dropped the paper bag she carried to my room. She brought out the knee high black boots and a furry material that was in form of a tail. I wore the boots while she helped me with the tail, pinning it under my gown. Mum came into the room
“Look at Rukky.” She had her eyes all over me, from my head to my feet.
“This is demonic. You should not be dressed like that.” For once, I actually thought my mum was impressed. She was storming towards me when Dad held her.
“Honey, we should get going. We’re late. Let’s leave her. She isn’t a kid anymore. She knows what is right and wrong,” Dad said, stopping Mum from ruining my outfit, which I was grateful for. She just looked at me as I nodded my head in agreement with dad, hoping she would leave immediately; which she did and I was happy about that.
“Come, let’s go too…” Tejiri dragged me with force.
Thirty minutes had passed and we were at her house party. Every one of our classmates had come. I was surprised their parents had let them come to this party.
“Nkem,” I called out to one of my classmates and she saw me. She came running towards me and hugged the life out of me.
“I love this cat costume,” she said touching the cat ears on my head. It was actually a head band with ears.
“Thank you, I like yours too. So devilish,” I said, adding emphasis on the ‘devilish’.
“Thank you. I am the devil for tonight.” And we both burst into laughter.
“Rukevwe, Somto is waving at you.” Tejiri who had disappeared before was back, pointing towards a room we were standing opposite.
“Oh. What is he dressed as?” I asked no one in particular as I waved back.
“He is a scarecrow,” Nkem whispered to my ears making me laugh. Tejiri was looking back at me with the, ‘what is wrong with you?’ face.
“Don’t worry. I will explain later,” I promised her as I put my arms on both girls’ necks while we walked towards the backyard.
The backyard decorations where damn expensive. Orange pumpkins where everywhere, and their eyes and mouth lit as we walked in, making me and Nkem jerk back.
“Don’t worry. It’s just programmed lightings,” Tejiri said backing the pumpkins.
We were touring the backyard when I saw a smiley pumpkin turn into an angry one. I touched it and it bit my hand! I screamed and the other girls ran to me and asked what happened. I looked back at the pumpkin. It had the happy face back on. I looked at my hand, there was no scratch.
“Sorry. It’s… it’s nothing. I’m just seeing things. Remember… I’ve been sick for a while,” I said with sweaty palms and ran back into the house.
“What’s going on?” Nkem held my arm, turning me around to look at her after she’d run towards me. Tejiri was also standing, looking worried.
“It was the pumpkin. It bit me… but I didn’t seeing any scratch on my hand…”
“How can an inanimate object do that to you?” Tejiri asked, interrupting me.
“You guys have to believe me. The pumpkin was smiling before… then its face turned into an angry one. Then I tried to touch and it bit me.”
“You are sick you said, right?” I kept quiet. I just couldn’t answer Nkem. I knew they wouldn’t believe me.
“Tejiri, I couldn’t find the drinks.” Akp tapped Tejiri. They were sisters with a striking resemblance.
“Na so. You know you don’t know how to look for things very well.” She was yelling at her sister as they walked into the passage.
“Rukky, sit down on that chair and just rest till you know you’re seeing clearly before you go to the sitting room and join the party,” Nkem said as she left me there alone. I sat down and decided to let everything slide. Maybe I was hallucinating. It wasn’t real. I turned on the television and started watching Studio Universal. The movie I had been wanting to watch again for years now was playing. Watching the character, Blade, was really calming at that moment. He was having a fight with vampires using some sort of knife to cut through them and they would turn to ashes. Blade was actually one of the best vampire movies I’d watched after Twilight Saga.
I stayed up for thirty minutes before my eyes started closing, which I fought against but later gave up. My eyes closed, the television was still on until it was off.
It was probably Tejiri, I thought.
I opened my eyes and saw a very weird creature… a lady in a filthy wedding gown raising up a sharp blade that was stained with blood. She was bringing it straight at me. I screamed and shut my eyes. I held my knees close to my chest, my feet not touching the ground. I was literally crying and praying to God at the same time.
“Rukky? What happened?” The voice sounded familiar. I immediately knew that it was Maxwell. I opened my eyes and saw him with my two friends. I couldn’t say anything apart from the prayers that were coming from my mouth in form of whispers. I discovered the television was back on. This party was going to be hell for me.
“Hey tell us what happened?” Tejiri was rubbing my back while Maxwell was sitting beside me, giving me the worried look. Nkem was sitting on the couch opposite the bed we were sitting on. They’d taken me to Tejiri’s room after the incident.
“Tejiri, I think we should take her home. She isn’t in a good condition,” Nkem said showing them the temperature on the thermometer they’d inserted under my armpit. It was reading forty.
“Okay, we will take you home. But tell us what happened.” Maxwell was already getting pissed at my quietness.
“I saw a ghost,” I managed to say. It was a ghost right? It was definitely a ghost for it to have appeared and disappeared. “It tried to kill me,” I sobbed.
Nkem got up and walked to me. She knelt down and put my hands on hers, rubbing it and calming me down. “Okay, calm down. You’re going home now okay?” Maxwell got up for her to sit. She hugged me, calming the effect the ghost had had on me, though I was still a bit afraid and sad.
“Are you serious? Like ghosts don’t exist,” Maxwell said. Tejiri just couldn’t say anything after what I’d said.
They took me to the sitting room and asked me to sit. Nkem stayed with me, rubbing my palms while I rested my head on her shoulder. I watched her throat, which seemed to be taking in something. She was scared. She did that when she is scared or nervous.
I felt some sort of wind move past the front of us with force. I sat up looking around the room. Students like me were drinking and dancing. The lights began turning off and on, and then flickering.
“Tejiri? Seems your house has a power problem!” a boy yelled sarcastically with his hands on both sides of his mouth, making the students laugh. I didn’t see anything that made them laugh. It wasn’t funny.
“What happened? Why did you get up like that?” Nkem asked me as I pointed at a shadow that was moving from one student to the other. Seemed like it was walking past the sitting room.
“I can’t see anything.” She shook me, making me blink. Immediately my eyes opened, the shadow was gone. I turned to her with watery eyes.
“Another gh… gh… ghost,” I whispered so lowly, already sobbing.
“What?” Nkem clearly wasn’t hearing was I was saying.
The bright light turned off then a red light came on. I didn’t remember my bestie’s sitting room having a red light.
“She even made everything spookier,” the boy who yelled before said and every one was like, “yeah.” The students were all so full of themselves, shouting yeah.
“Help!” a boy screamed. I looked at my right where the noise was coming from and saw Somto being dragged on the floor by the shadow into the darkness of the other side of the room. Everyone began calling Jesus’s name. The people drinking dropped their drinks and started screaming and praying. I looked at Nkem whose eyes were filled with so much fear as she looked at me. She was being pulled too.
“Jesus! Jesus!” she shouted repeatedly as I held unto her, not letting her go.
“Don’t let go of my hands,” she begged with so much tears in her eyes. The force dragging her got stronger. I kept on holding her hands, praying in my heart and looking around for what I didn’t know exactly, maybe a weapon.
I saw a cross by the stool close by the couch I was sitting on. I was about to reach it, but the force of the pull heightened, taking me along with her. My hands hit the stool, making it fall. The cross fell into my hands and I raised it at the direction the force was pulling us towards. The shadow showed on the wall as it turned into gas, its screams echoing through the house. We didn’t feel the force again. The lights came back on. I and Nkem hugged ourselves, crying.
“Thank you Lord,” I said. Everyone was holding each other, some crying.
“Everyone one we need to leave this house,” Maxwell said as he came from the passage with his as, sisters.
“Rukky, you weren’t lying,” Tejiri said as she came close to me. “Sorry I didn’t believe you,” she added.
“How did you know?” I asked standing up with Nkem. We were still holding each other.
“We discovered it in the kitchen.” Akp walked close to me. It was then I saw her face with tiny beads and her eyes were just like someone who just finished crying.
“They tried killing her with a knife in the kitchen, this one,” Maxwell said bringing the knife from his pocket and showing it to me.
“I think the room was opened,” Akp said.
“Let’s get everyone out of this house. No one can stay here.” Maxwell beckoned on every one to come so they could get out. But on getting there, the keys to the door were gone.
“No!” Maxwell shouted. He already knew what had happened. The door was locked.
“The door is locked. The keys were right here just an hour ago,” he said using his hands to rub his hair.
“How about we go out the back door?” Nkem suggested and he beckoned on everyone to follow him.
On getting there, it was also locked.
“We are all going to die!” a girl amongst us cried, her eyes were filled with tears.
“Look!” a boy shouted pointing at the ground were the key were lying. It was after a dark part of the passage. I was looking at it . It looked nothing like a key. The boy was already moving on a mission to pick the key so everyone could leave.
“Don’t.” I didn’t even know when the words came out of my mouth.
“They are here,” Akp added, bringing another cross from her costume pocket. Everyone started murmuring.
“You all should calm down. They are not here. I am sure, so I will pick the key and nothing will happen.” The boy was being adamant to what we were saying.
“Please,” I begged tearing up again. He didn’t listen as he walked over and bent down to pick the key. He picked it up and showed it to us.
“See, nothing happened. Let’s get out of here.” As he was about walking, his two legs were stuck. He couldn’t move. His eyes shone as he realised what had befallen him. He opened his hands and saw the keys turn into coins.
“I should have listened,” he said before he screamed as he was dragged into the darkness. It made everyone scream and some cry. Whatever anyone was doing showed that all they wanted was to leave the house.
“Okay everyone. calm down,” I managed to say through the noise but no one could hear me.
“Everyone calm down!” Maxwell helped me me with his deep voice making everyone stop.
“Akp, what room were you talking about?” I asked, still holding Nkem. It wasn’t actually me though. She wouldn’t let go after the incident. She was still reviving herself from the shock. She hadn’t talked since what had happened to her.
“Where did you get that?” Akp asked Ese, not minding my question.
“I… I…” She wasn’t ready to talk, which made Tejiri walk towards her as her eyes shone at the necklace she had on. The necklace was pure silver with a black diamond.
“If you no tell me where you carry this necklace from now I go kill you before the ghost go kill you!” Tejiri said with so much venom. Anger was clear on her face.
“I got it from the room,” she finally said.
“What room?” Maxwell half yelled.
She pointed at her right to a door.
“What else did you take? Touch? Why did you go there?” Akp shouted at her.
“I touched everything. I am so sorry for not comporting myself. It’s the devil’s handwork,” she said while kneeling and crying.
“Can someone tell me what is in the room? What is the room?” I asked moving towards where they were.
“That room…” Tejiri said pointing at the room with watery eyes.
“That room holds a lot of witchcraft items, demonic stuffs and she opened it. I warned mum and dad about creating a demonic room in this house. And now someone has opened it,” Tejiri said at the top of her voice.
“What about the necklace?” I asked.
“It summons spirits, both good and evil,” Maxwell said, walking about. He kicked the door, making everyone scream in fright. They all thought it was a ghost.
“So we need to return the necklace right?” I asked.
“Yes,” Tejiri said, helping Ese stand. As she was about to pull the necklace, we heard a scream like that of a lady’s. The noise was so loud and horrible, it made everyone close their ears and eyes. The noise stopped and when we opened our eyes, Ese wasn’t amongst us anymore. She’d been taken.
“How are we going to find her and the necklace when they have taken her?” I cried, holding Nkem’s left hand.
“Only God can save us from this,” Nkem said as she gave me the cross in my other hand. This was her first statement after her long silence.
“Let’s find Ese,” Akp said as we all moved from the passage to the sitting room.
“I think we should split,” Maxwell suggested backing the television in the room.
“No way!” two girls said together.
“If we are splitting, I am going with Rukevwe,” a boy said moving close to me.
“Same here.” Another guy came close. The two girls who didn’t agree with the splitting idea moved close to me.
“Okay. Rukevwe, Martin, Daniel, Hannah and Trisha will go with you to check the kitchen and the bathroom with the other corridor outside. That is if the door is open.” Maxwell tried acting brave for the rest of us.
“I and my sisters will go and check the two other guest rooms. The rest of you stay here,” he ordered pointing at the rest standing. We were much, like almost thirty.
“I could just stay here,” Trisha said joining the others we were leaving in the sitting room. I held Nkem and helped her sit down on a couch, giving her back the cross. Maxwell and his sisters had already left.
“You will need it to protect them.” I used my hands to wrap it around hers, aiding her to hold unto it.
“Be careful,” were the last words she said as I nodded my head, leaving the room.
Every step I took was filled with fear, because we didn’t know what ghost we would see next.
“Ouch.” Daniel had stopped to look at his left arm.
“What happened?” I turned, asking him
“Rukky, you guys should go, now!” he shouted as he was dragged on the ground, away from us. I was breathing so fast, and so was Hanna.
We ran into the kitchen, hoping to see Ese and the necklace. I was checking the cupboards while Hannah and Martin went to the store room to check.
“She isn’t here,” they said in unison as they came out of the room. I got out of the kitchen with them following behind. We got to the bathroom. I opened the door and looked around with the others. She wasn’t there .
Turning around to leave, we saw the wedding gown lady.
“Oh no.” Hannah was shaking.
“She’s with an axe now?” my statement came out like a question.
“You have seen her before?” Martin asked.
She mouthed that horrible scream, which had my head aching. After that she came after us.
“Let’s enter the bathroom!” Martin said as we entered, closed the door and locked it.
“That was close,” I said breathing fast.
“We have to wait for some time before we head out,” Martin said pulling his fingers.
“God please take control of everything.” I had knelt down and started praying.” I know I am a sinner but please forgive me and take this from us.” I was crying. Hannah was patting my back.
“She’s gone,” Martin said as I opened my eyes. We left the bathroom running. We ran until we got to the sitting room, where the others were. Nkem got up to hug me.
“Did you find her?” she asked and I shook my head sadly. All of a sudden, the telephone started ringing. The telephone was really old and made of iron. I moved close to pick the call.
“Don’t!” I stopped halfway as I heard Akp’s voice.
“You will die if you pick that call,” she added.
I turned to look at her and her brother, both wearing the same sad look. I turned around. I wasn’t hearing the phone ringing anymore. The telephone had disappeared.
“We didn’t find her,” Tejiri said joining the others sitting on the ground.
Akp knelt down and began to whisper prayers, or at least I think that was what she was doing. Suddenly, a man on suit stood in our midst. He was staring at me. I looked at him and he began to walk left into the passage. All of a sudden, I had this strange urge to follow, which I did.
“Rukky? Where are you going?” Maxwell asked.
“Don’t follow it,” Nkem saw him too. I’d thought I was the only one that was seeing him.
“Not all of them are bad, remember, ” I said as I followed the ghost. Nkem followed behind me. Maxwell just hit his hand on his head, watching us leave. Tejiri couldn’t even utter a word. I’m not sure her mind was present.
The ghost lead us to Tejiri’s room, where we saw Ese sitting on the bed, the necklace still on her neck.
“Ese,” I called to her as I and Nkem stared in fright. Ese turned away from us.
“That’s not Ese.” Akp entered with Maxwell.
“Hello,” Ese said, as she turned her head to the back of her neck, looking at us. Nkem had already started breathing fast.
Ese got up, aligning her body with her head’s position and coming towards us. Her eyes were totally black, with no sign of light.
She lunged towards me as I gasped in fear, but Maxwell hit her, making her fall.
As he was about to the take the necklace, Somto came out pushing him. His eyes were the same with Ese’s. I had no idea where her courage came from, but Nkem ran forward, placing the cross on Ese’s chest as Akp retrieved the necklace. Ese fell down on her knees, screaming as some sort of vapour left her body. Somto and Maxwell kept on throwing blows at each other. I left the room trying to catch up with Akp whom had already left with the necklace. I kept running until I fell. Goose pimples spread throughout my body as I realized what was about to happen to me.
“Akp!” I called out to her.
She saw me holding the rug tight so as not to be dragged away, and she raised the cross at my direction and the force was no more.
I got up on my feet and we both ran into the sitting room.
“We found it!” Akp said, raising the necklace up to show her sister. We moved down over to the room close to the backyard door. I tried opening the door but it didn’t budge.
“Wait! Rukky leave there.” Tejiri collected the cross from Akp and faced it towards the door lock.
“Open it now!” she said and I opened the door. Akp ran inside, moving towards the end of the room. I followed behind.
“The wardrobe!” Akp yelled when she got to the end and scanned the area for the wardrobe.
“That’s it!” I shouted pointing at the wooden structure at a corner. We ran towards it, opened it and put the necklace inside. We tried closing the wardrobe, but it wouldn’t close.
“Can you guys be fast about it?” Tejiri said as she used the cross to scare away the spirits that were trying to get to us. Nkem burst into the room with Maxwell, using her own cross to make the demons at the door disappear.
“Tejiri, where are you people?” Maxwell yelled.
“Over here!” Tejiri shouted, aiding them to trace where we were. Nkem stood with Tejiri. The two of them held their crosses tight to protect us from any one of the spirits.
“Please, you guys should be fast.” Nkem said.
Maxwell came and helped us push the wardrobe door until it closed shut. Akp locked the wardrobe. I turned around and saw no spirits. Everywhere was calm.
“The evil has been contained,” Akp said hugging her elder brother. We were all smiling until we heard the door open with force. All the other students came in, murmuring.
“How could you guys leave us all alone?”
“I heard someone shouting.”
“Hey! Everyone calm down,” Maxwell half yelled.
“How can you say that after all we’ve seen?” a girl said and everyone agreed with her.
“We found the necklace,” Tejiri said as the door opened again. The lost students were back, making the rest of us cheer. Ese ran towards Nkem
“Thank you.” She hugged her.
I knelt down and closed my eyes, thanking God for this. I was calling him glorious names until I heard Tejiri call my name. I opened my eyes and saw that I was in my room, on my bed, still wearing my pajamas.
“I didn’t know you praise God in your sleep too.” Tejiri chuckled.
I repeatedly rubbed my eyes up to ten times before I got down from my bed. I knelt down and raised my hands up.
“God, I thank you for it was all a dream,” I said.
“What is wrong with you?” Tejiri asked laughing.
“You just woke me from a nightmare.”
“What nightmare?” she asked and I sat back down on the bed, ready to tell her about what I’d thought was reality.
I was about to tell her the story of the halloween party.