So, my creative juices were flowing out of my vagina (yes, my vagina), and I was writing and writing (creative shit too), but I was tired as hell, so I dozed off. My computer, the idiot of a device, decided to update itself. And then restarted. And I lost all my work. But you don’t care, do you? Fine. Although, it would be nice if you showed a little care… what? Oh. You still don’t care. Fine. Forget me, then. 😦
Her bare feet pounded against the ground and the leaves crackled underneath her feet. Her heart beat in sync with the drums, as her feet moved to that same rhythm. She had no idea how long she had been running. Probably hours. It definitely felt like it. But it was coming closer. She could feel it, smell it, almost taste it in the air around her. It. This… thing that was chasing her. She didn’t know what it was, but she knew it was not coming in peace. She had to get away, she was running for her life. The forest was pitch dark. Whether it was night or day, she had no idea. The tall trees shut out the littlest chance of light. But she kept running. The branches slapped at her face, her arms. The small twigs cut into the soles of her feet, each step more agonizing than the last. The thorns tore at her flesh, pulling her from all angles. Her dress, ripped everywhere, clung to her like second skin because of all the sweat. The forest was refusing her passage and she had to pay with blood and sweat. Her blood and sweat. Her hair was plastered to her scalp and she thought she would die from the dryness in her throat. Her pupils were dilated to accommodate every stray ray of light, but of course, there was nothing. The muscles in her thighs burned like the noon sun against a farmer’s back. But she kept running. Running.
And then it stopped. She stopped. There was silence. Nothing was chasing her, the drums had stopped. It was quiet, save for the stridulation of the nocturnal animals. And her breath. She could hear her breath over the cacophony that was the insects. And then the darkness seemed to become more tangible; she could reach out and touch it. It covered her like a cloak and press against her throat. She struggled to breathe. Her heart beat faster than the crazed drums of the Atilogwu dancers that had been possessed by the spirits. She caught a whiff of that scent. It was strong and overpowering the smell of sulfur mixed with the pungent putrid odor of death. Did she catch a whiff of rotten eggs too? All her senses were being assaulted, her eyes watered. ANd then something else. This was familiar. It was the smell in their house on Christmas morning when they were roasting the goat. The charcoal like smell of burning hair. And the sickly sweet smell of blood. And then she felt it. The heat. The sharp tingle followed by a sharp pain. She looked down… She was on fire!
Then IT came and she felt it before she saw IT. IT was upon her, over powering her, her sense of smell sharply picking up its horrid smell again. And then she saw the eyes. Yellow and sinister. Looking straight into her soul.
Agbomma woke up with a start, still screaming. She was sweating and her nightgown and sheets were drenched in the perspiration. She sighed. This was the fourth time she had had this dream in as many nights. Sleep was fast becoming a thing to fear. And it was always the same thing: running through a deep dark forest, before some strange… thing grabbed her. She had never seen its face. Just the eyes. Those eyes that had haunted her. Agbomma sighed again as she turned to look at the green luminous numbers by her bedside. 3:57 am. Well, sleep was not an option anymore. She stripped completely and feeling disgust that she couldn’t explain, she stripped her bed too.
She padded downstairs naked, turning on all the lights as she went. She wasn’t a superstitious person, but she couldn’t deny that she was scared beyond belief. She sighed again. She set up coffee maker. Might as well be useful now and take a shower. She went back up the stairs, her footsteps echoing through the empty house.
She had lived in this house since she was four and her dad had left it to her before he died. She was an only child. Her mum had passed away two years ago. Since then, she had lived alone here. It was a large, old house and Agbomma knew it well. Its squeaks, creaks and noises. It was all familiar and she loved every bit of it from the smell of the polish on the hardwood floors to the creaky third stair on the staircase.
Agbomma stepped into the shower and turned it on full blast. The cold water felt like little pin pricks on her skin. It was refreshing. She stood underneath the stream letting the water pound on her body as if it could perhaps, remove the memory of the nightmare too. Then she began to scrub, aiding the water remove every shard of the memory. Fifteen minutes later, Agbomma was satisfied enough with her body and hair. She turned off the water and threw back the shower curtain.
And there they were. The eyes. Just as yellow as she’d remembered from the dream.
For the second time that morning, Agbomma screamed…
Downstairs, the coffee went drip, drip into the coffee pot…