Must Read: Shadows… Part 13
A Story written by Austinblinks…
Timothy: Do you guys remember that day when the HOD was in class to lecture us about lexis and structures? Hahaha…. Such a fat man!
Timothy: …. Remember when he bent down to pick a pen marker and we all heard the ripping sound of his trouser tearing from behind…
Silent laughters and some giggles….
Timothy: Hahaha…. Poor man! His very unfortunate boxers was showing….no one could tell if the boxer was originally white but now turned to brown…
Timothy: Mehn…. i don’t think that boxer had been washed in a year, i doubt if water has touched it at all.
This time everyone laughed as they thought about that moment in class. They’ve all been trekking for a while, not sure if they’re going out of the forest or going deeper into it.
Temmy: Funny moment ehn… i laughed so hard, i almost fell off my chair.
Uche: Hahahaha…. The man later found out when he saw John and Habeeb…….(silence )
They all became silent again. Both John and Habeeb are dead and it was difficult to think about it.
Lanre: (Clears throat) We have to survive this you know… we have to get out of here for the ones we have lost. Please let’s stick together, we can beat whoever is doing this….
Uche: I think i know a way to do that.
They all stopped to look at him, wondering what he meant and waiting on him to continue….
Uche: I was attacked earlier by it, i didn’t see a face. He was all dark….
Lanre: Something like a…. Shadow?
Uche: Yes….Yes! A shadow! Just that it’s a physical shadow that you can touch and feel. It grabbed my legs and was dragging me away, it was so fast, moves like a wind!
I’m a blackbelt holder in Taekwondo, a champion in kick-boxing and a master in Jujitsu…. yet i couldn’t match it. That thing isn’t human!
Moji: But you said we could fight it, How do you mean?
Uche: Yes, while it was dragging me away, i grabbed my lamp and switched the lights on….. bringing it close to get it’s face. I noticed it became scared of lights, immediately let go of my legs and took off…..
Emma: Okay….that makes sense! Light is the opposite of darkness.
Lanre: But wait….. Is it not light that created shadow in the first place? I mean there can be shadows only when there is a source of light to cast it out?
Halimat: So….. what are you saying?
Lanre: I’m saying….there won’t be a shadow if there’s no light. Think about this….. When Kamoru was killed, the headlamp of the bus were on….. When it grabbed Emma, we were all pointing our lamps and torches towards him as he climbed the bus….
Uche: Are you saying whatever that thing is, it’s using our lights to try and kill us?
Lanre: Yes guys! That’s what I’m saying! Darkness isn’t the opposite of light, Darkness is the absence of light! The shadow is using our lamps to find us!
Daniel: That’s nonsense
Mary: No it’s not! John and Shade both couldn’t have gone far out without a lamp or torch.
Moji: Emma, Remember we saw Habeeb’s lamp switched on when we found his body.
Daniel: Just shut up! All of you! Nothing about all these is real, Okay? We’re all hallucinating! Temmy… What i gave you to put inside the rice was a special weed from Jamaica.
Timothy: What?? Dammit! You drugged us!
Daniel: I just wanted everyone to be “high” . We’re all probably sleeping in our tents and dreaming about all these.
Uche: Oh! Really??
With a quick movement of his body, Uche laid a rather heavy kick on Daniel’s chest, sending him tumbling to the ground.
Uche: Tell me again, you stupid idiot! Does that kick feel like a dream to you??
Temmy rushed towards Daniel who was on the floor, wrapping her arms around him and checking to see if he was okay.
Daniel: (coughing) Well then, if this is real, then we have you to blame! You were the idiot who kicked the cat guy out of the bus. If anyone deserves to die, it should be you!
Uche moved towards Daniel again but this time around the other guys were quick enough to get between them. Both of them were being dragged away from each other.
Lanre: Both of you stop this now! This is not the time to……. (Thunder….and lightening )
Everyone of them relaxed and looked up unto the sky…
Halimat: Alhamdulilah! Looks like it’s about to rain!
Timothy: Seriously?? It’s about to rain, we have nowhere to hide, we all are at risk of catching pneumonia and you’re saying Alhamdu- something?
Halimat: Rain is a blessing from Allah!
Timothy: hian…You religion fanatics piss me off! Now God wants to bless us with rain ? When he has been watching our classmates get butchered all night …
The rain began to fall with the wind blowing….
Lanre: We should find a tree and stay under it, that should be better than staying here.
They all moved, looking around, hoping to spot a tree with big branches. Mary saw one and pointed it out to the rest. They agreed it was good and all rushed under it.
Lanre was right, it was better under the tree. This time Mary was shivering, so Lanre removed his shirt and covered her with.
Timothy looked at them both and shook his head in disbelief but more like he was pitying them both.
Moji: Guys look over there! Is that a….. cabin?
They all looked up and saw a cabin some distance away from where they stood.
Moji: We should go in there!
Daniel: What? Does that not look suspicious to you? A cabin in this forest!
Moji: Cabins are meant to be in the forest dude! It’s probably owned by a hunter!
Daniel: There’s nothing good about this forest, any hunter here would equally be evil!
Moji: (Faces Lanre) Tell them it’s Ok to go in there Lanre!
Lanre looked around and saw them all looking right back at him, waiting for his decision….. somehow they’ve all seen him as the front man.
He was confused, looked at Mary and saw her fidgeting and shivering, the cold is hitting her hard.
They can all stay in the rain and fall sick or go into the mysterious cabin.
Lanre: I can’t decide for you guys but we can all catch a cold by staying here…. i think we should check the cabin out….
Moji was the first to move, pulling Halimat with her. The rest rest doubled their speed, almost running towards it.
They got to the front and stopped so Uche volunteered to check it out. He climbed unto the patios and moved closer to the door.
He knocked a little, with no response, he bang the door a little harder… still no response. He looked back at the rest and gave a nod.
With his lamp in hand, he pushed the door open and went in….
The rest moved closer..
Lanre: Uche…. Say something man! Is everything alright?
Uche screamed loud as the rest moved backWards and falling over one another!
Uche came out, laughing hysterically as he watched them all trying to get on their feets.
Daniel: You idiot! This is not the time for such plays!
Uche: (still laughing ) Even if i was being attacked, that’s how you guys would have ran off shey?? Come in joor! Everything looks good and safe in here.
They all laughed it off and went inside the cabin…….
What they didn’t see were the two human skulls that laid on the floor right behind the door.
The cabin was quite cozy, the warm air welcomes them as they stepped in. There were sofas and couches so they all found places to sit and relaxed.
No one spoke, something about here felt right. They all decided they will be here until the day breaks .
But Lanre wasn’t comfortable, this is Nigeria and it is uncommon for anyone to have a cabin in the forest. Any hunter around here would be from the Igbo Alaye village so it wouldn’t make any sense to build a cabin in the forest again since village isn’t that far away.
Lanre kept looking around, he had already told everyone to switch off their lamps, only one lamp was on but it was kept under a small table.
Mary: Baby… you still look worried
Lanre: (smiling ) you know i always worry about everything.
Mary: Yes i know! But looks like we are safe here. In the morning we can search for our classmates and hopefully find them all alive and well.
Lanre: Okay babe! I’ll try to relax.
Mary: Thanks! Do you think we can ever get over this? Seeing a camp turned into a bloody ground. I’m sorry i forced you to come… we shouldn’t have been here.
Lanre: No honey! You meant well! No one knew something like this could have happened. No regrets okay? We’ll make it out of here alive…
Lanre: I promise honey.
Mary: I love you.
Lanre: I love you more.
Mary: (giggles) My friend, Halimat looks rattled up. I better go talk to her.
Lanre: Okay then!
Mary stood and went to speak with Halimat. Immediately she left, Timothy moved closer to Lanre.
Timothy: So you loved her huh?
Lanre: Yea i do.
Timothy: waste of time, total bullsh*t! These girls only stick with you as long as you’re doing what they want. The very moment you face any challenge, they’ll come up with a stupid story and break up with you
Lanre: emmm…. looks like you have been hurt by a girl before.
Timothy: Yes! And they are all the same! They ask you to change for them and when you do, they tell you, you are not the guy they used to know. They say you’re different, even though it was their idea that you should change.
Lanre: You have to stop thinking this way. There are still good girls in the world.
Timothy: The few good ladies in the world were our mothers… .
Lanre opened his mouth to object but he couldn’t as a knock was heard at the front door of the cabin.
They all stood up. It was still raining outside
Lanre: Who is it?
The tension in the room rose, they all jerked back as the knock came again, it was louder and looked like whoever was out there was eager to come in.
The air around the room became colder
Lanre: Who is it?
Helen’s voice: Open the door! It’s me!
Halimat: Oh my God! Helen! You are alive! Alhamdullilah!
She moved towards the door to intending to open it but Lanre pulled her back
Lanre: We have to be careful, we don’t know who that is!
Halimat: Of course we do! That’s Helen out there in the rain.
Mary: But how are we sure it’s her??
Helen’s Voice: Let me in Guys! It’s cold out here and my clothes are soaked wet!
Lanre: Guys this is happening again! Remember i asked you not to let the cat guy in the bus but you did, look where that got us. We have to be careful!
Halimat: That was the cat guy! This is Helen! She’s one of us, are you suggesting we leave her out there in the rain?
Emma: What do we do now?
Daniel: Let’s be sure it’s Helen first!
Uche: How do we do that??
Lanre: Helen! The last time i saw you, you left with KC and Tobi, where are they now??
Helen’s Voice: I don’t know.. .(Crying and banging the door ) please let me in….let me in…I’m one of you!
Mary faced Lanre and pulled him close.
Mary: Baby! I know Helen, she’s one of the strongest girls around! There’s no way she could cry like this.
Lanre nodded in agreement, he was going to say something but Halimat moved forward, it was fast, before anyone could stop her, she had reached the door, unlocked it and opened it wide.
There it was, the shadow, standing at the doorway… But the lights in the cabin was so dim, it wasn’t enough to cast a shadow!
So the shadow remained at the doorway.
In fear and anguish…. Halimat jerked backwards into the room. She didn’t look where she was going so her legs hit the small table that covered the lamp, illuminating the whole room in the process.
The shadow laughed out loud as it floated into the room, circling above them all. Lanre yelled out….. Run!!!!… as he grabbed Mary and made a quick dash out of the room, Daniel and Temmy followed them, Emma and Moji did the same.
Timothy and Uche were the next, as they got to the door, Timothy looked back and saw Halimat on the floor, he turned around to help her up.
Uche: Timothy let’s go!!
Timothy reached Halimat, pulled her up on her feet. They almost made their way outside when the Shadow grabs Timothy’s leg, he fell down hard. Halimat held his hands and try to pull him out, Uche joined her too, the rest all came up, trying to pull Timothy out.
But all of them were no match for the Shadow. They heard the crushing sounds as Timothy’s bones cracked due to pressure.
Timothy: (crying) Let go….let go….just save yourselves…..(crying)….
Halimat: (Crying) No…. No…..
In a flash, Timothy slipped off their hands and was pulled into the cabin, the door closed behind him.
The rest got up and started running off…. all they heard were thunderclaps and Timothy’s voice as he screamed out in pain. No one looked back, they kept running.
To Be Continued…