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Science Fiction Horror Mystery

Please, tell me more about that night. What really happened?


"

...Serenity disguises. In the silence of a cemetery and harmony like a united people, grows tall and green grasses petting snakes; lifeless but not dead. They talk to each other and we hear. But we mustn't allow them to utter in our listening. We mustn't keep schtum when we hear their hisses.


I didn't like visiting the countryside; pretentious relatives, no service or network for days; unreliable solar electricity-- full-blown boredom. So when my parents peacock proud announced that we would be visiting the countryside in two days, I was distraught. I vainly wheedled my parents in an attempt to discourage them from making this journey.


'No! we haven't been there in years, grandma is lonely. We have to go, mother said, finality evident in her tone.' A palpable lump formed in my throat blocking curse words from escaping from my agape mouth ever-ready to retaliate. Why do parents never listen to children? Argh!


I left their room careful not to bang the door in my fury. I did want a beating from the dyad. What they say is what happens. At least it's peaceful and not polluted with dirty industrial gases! I tried talking myself into going; but either way, I was gonna, my parents never take back their words; if they said we all are going AMEN (may it be so)!


Even though I finally irresolutely accepted and started packing a few essentials for the visit, I was apprehensive.


***


Noisy invisible winds; huts miles apart; potholed laterite untarred paths impassable when it drizzles; no sky but dense dark leaves from seventeenth century trees; modernization non-existent in their translated dictionary of words; no lights, just the headlights, giving me a blurry glance of this alien environment that is my home.


The first, last and only time I was there was during grandpa's burial, in my previous past life as a toddler, then a teenager. We arrived around seven in the evening. Grandma, frail bodied, welcomed us with both hands, gleeful to see us. I embraced her as she ushered us in and she fondled my potentially long hair.


After a hurriedly prepared supper consisting of stewed fish, ugali made from unprocessed maize flour, and bitter-sweet vegetables from grandma's farm-- I assume; I left parents and grandparent chatting audibly, glee emphatically evident in grandma's wobbly voice. Maybe it was good that we came.


Grandma's aid, May, took me to a room where I was supposed to spend the night. Sorry, did I say room... it was a hatchery. Being that there was only one guest room, it was offered to my parents. She and I were to share that hatchery. She left me there rambling on about how I was afraid of hens, birds, butterflies, moths...


Gingerly, I searched through my bag and removed a rumpled ragged promotion t-shirt and an old used to be black tracksuit trouser than was now white and evolving to a color less of a name. After changing into them, I lay on the bed and tried to teleport to dreamland. The feeble sounds from the hens were so annoying.


It hadn't been long I had been asleep again. Having a fitful night sleep, tossing and turning, when clamorous noises filled my head through the two pathways on each side.


Confused and mystified, I opened my eyes and reached for the kerosene lamp. Moving to the living room, chaos. Grandma, and May were clapping their hands hard, you would think they wanted to damage them; mum was squeal singing hymns in some irritating pathetic voice, you wouldn't believe me if I told you she was a church chorister; dad was banging his feet on the ground like a psycho.


I was about to chortle with laughter at the scene when someone beat me to it. Evil sardonic maniacal laughter filled the living room.

“Mu-hu-ha-ha-ha”

Who's that?

If this is everyone, who's that?


As if not hearing that strange voice, mum beckoned me to join them. No questions asked, I joined them. Since I couldn't sing, there was no need to force issues, I began clapping my hands still not coming to grips with what was happening.


Now the voice had multiplied and they were two, no three... one times six equal.... I moved closer to grandma fear flowing through my veins causing me to shiver as if cold. The more they spoke the harder we clapped, sang and bang.


"What are those grandma?"

"We mustn't hear them speak."

"Who?"

"Lifeless but not dead."


Oh man! I don't speak riddle, please speak Swahili, or even English. I revered grandma, so I decided to act as if I understood.


"Lifeless?"

"Yes. We mustn't allow them to come in."


My eyes dilated, stomach churned and I almost chocked on saliva. This continued for a quite some time and fatigue began gnawing our arms and feet. The voices got stronger and stronger and then quiet, frigid vacuum.


I was about to take a sit and start asking questions when the door flung open. Invisible voices... Then out of the blues, ... we wish you a merry Christmas the song began playing, but distantly. Grandma fell dead, followed mum, dad and May, then;


"Aaaaaaaaaaa!"


"Geez! wake up! Didn't you tell me yesterday to wake you up at four? It's time. Let's go fetch water before the queue grows longer. We have a lot of revision to do, especially in Biology."


I opened my eyes, squinting from the bright lights. My body was wet with perspiration, and so was my bed. Looking around I realized I was in school; relieved. Never have I ever been relieved to be in a boarding school. Yack! Just this once.


Mary, my roommate, and I had planned to have an early morning study session to prep for the coming exams; the last-minute-can-save-a-man study technique seemed to be working perfectly for us.


"Are you still using the Christmas song as your alarm ringtone?"

"Yes..."

"Oh no! Mary mother of Jesus, it's not yet Christmas..."

"haha. I know. Now come on, we'll be late."

"

Even as an adult, I can never forget the events of that night, no matter how hard I try to.


Doctor, since you are also a scientist, what happens when someone dies? If I die, where will I go?

July 16, 2021 11:41

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2 comments

Emaan Aqil
05:54 Jul 23, 2021

A very thought provoking story. I loved it!

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Poweful Music
06:53 Jul 23, 2021

Thank you.

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