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“See No Evil, Fear No Evil” —A Short Story by Christiana Jayeoba

If all on earth could hear the thoughts of one another, there would be no sane person alive.

Ronke lay on her bed scratching her ears continuously and screaming to block out the sound. It was everywhere. Her ears, eyes, nose, mouth. She just couldn’t escape it, they all sounded like gibberish, a mixture of so many voices. She felt like her head was going to explode.

She was suddenly held by a seizure and her eyes rolled back into her head as the bell began to ring. It was the same every time. This bell going off in her head, and then she would be able to hear the thoughts of everyone around her, she didn’t grow up like this.

This nightmare started a week ago and it all began with the stupid outing she and her friends went on, she wished she could erase that day from her life but the damage was done already.

It all started on the night of their welcome party. They were new corp members who were recently posted to that town, five of them. They were high on happiness—or drinks, who knew?—and they wanted a bit of adventure in a town they’ve heard so much about. Some said they had an Orisha who came in form of a snake to the villagers. It would curl itself around the little ones but leave them unharmed.

Others said the town had a fearsome deity who only came out at midnight to call on unfortunate souls who happened to be wandering at that hour; most often they were never seen or heard from again.

Ronke and her friends of course didn’t believe any of the stories. They called them old wives tales and they made it their first mission to visit the shrine of the so called deity known as Igunuko.

That particular evening just before the hour of seven, they got to the shrine. It was eerily quiet, so quiet that one could hear a pin drop. Her friends were getting spooked already but she walked on, examining the colorful calabashes and idols with bleeding eyes and wide open mouths.

She bent to take a picture. “Ronke maybe we should leave now. I don’t feel comfortable anymore,” one of her friends said as she looked around nervously. Ronke laughed at her obvious discomfort and told her there was nothing to fear as she took a picture of a particular fearful looking idol.

Then they heard a ear-splitting sound just as the clock clanged seven. In her fear Ronke unintentionally knocked over a calabash from the shelf with her elbow and the contents spilled out.

Something that looked like blood poured out. A girl screamed among them and the rest took to their heels and bolted from the shrine. A week later she woke up with a persistent ear itch and her ability to hear the thoughts of others. Life became hell for her. She could hear the thoughts of her boyfriend and friends.

When the horror became too much she went home, but there the horror multiplied; she discovered long buried secrets. Her parents thought her mad and the nightmares began.

She began to dream of finding herself in a long deserted road all by herself and hearing the voices of about ten people singing and chanting. The days were worse, sometimes her earpiece helped shut out the sound but at the end of two weeks she had become a shadow of herself and a living corpse. She didn’t speak anymore, all she did was to mope.

On Friday, by seven o’clock, she had a dream that she was in a room locked with the idol she took pictures of. She could hear a mocking laughter and she was seized with a urgency to get out of the room. She tried to run but her body was paralyzed, she wanted to scream but no sound came out. She looked at the idols closely and saw that they looked familiar, each of those idols were the faces of her friends. She screamed but nobody could hear.

The next morning, her body was found on her bed blood, with dripping from her eyes, nose and mouth. The report was that she killed herself!

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