The Devil’s Smile
Roubina, the thirteen-year-old daughter of Mr. Liam was a student of Reek College. She had contracted a strange illness. For the past week, she didn’t feel hungry. She drank only water or some juice. She slept most of the time and when she awoke , she utterred in a hoarse voice frightening words and ended them smilingly or with mocking laughters. She left her bed only when she had to go to the washroom. She didn’t recognize her parents nor her friends.
Four days ago, Mr. Liam called a doctor home. Dr. Rod said softly: “ Hi Roubina, open your eyes. I’m going to examine you, I want to rid you of your strange malady”. She opened her eyes :” Who are you,spectacled guy? Who brought you here? You are old and plump. Don’t touch me. I’ll tear you into pieces.” Then she said with a smile.:” This fool is scared.” Next she burst into a laughter, closed her eyes and fell asleep. Both her parents and the doctor were astonished. The latter said:” Mr. Liam, your daughter needs a different treatment.” The discomfitted father apologized and handed the fees to the doctor. The latter refused to take them.
Roubina’s mom, Mrs. Anita couldn’t bear to see her daughter in that awkward state. When a relative or a neighbour came to pay them a visit, she would relate to them about her daughter’s illness with tears in her eyes . Many of them told her that an evil spirit had taken hold of Roubina. They proposed to her and to Mr. Liam to have recourse to an exorcist . They cited the cases of some patients who had found cure through the services of exorcists who can chase off the devils.
Mr. Liam received the visit of Mr. Saka, Roubina’s teacher. As for him , she was one of bis best students. She was studious, obedient and hardworking. He thought she would recognize him and express her woes freely.
Mr. Saka:” Hi Roubina, wake up ! I am your teacher.”
She opened her eyes and cast strange looks. She yelled:” I don’t know any teacher. Go away. Don’t disturb me. I was in Des Galets cemetery, gnawing the corpses. I’ll sip your blood.”
Mr. Saka:” Who are you? Why are you acting through this innocent girl and molesting her? Can’t you please leave her? ”
Roubina:” You better leave me alone. I don’t know you and don’t disturb me.”
Then she gave out a wicked smile , followed by a horrible laughter.
Mr. Saka talked to Liam. “ We can’t let Roubina in that state. She might lose her mental faculties. As she had no interest in food, she might have severe health problems. Since medical doctors couldn’t treat her, let us take her to an exorcist’s “
“ It’s pretty difficult to carry her in a car. She is highly troublesome. Let’s try to contact one and pray him to come to our place to treat her. Do you know anyone?”
“ I know one . He lives in Rosehill. I am told he treats his patients at his place. He has a big room specially designed to carry out his rituals. I’ve never been there. A friend who visited him once reported to me that he had an array of jars filled with spices and a set of skulls .Let’s go to his place today itself and convince him to come home to treat Roubina.”
“ It’s a good idea. Have a chat with Anita. I’ll back in ten minutes.”
Mr. Saka told her : “ Don’t be too upset. I am confident the exorcist will chase off the evil spirit that is torturing our child. I’ll support you till her complete recovery.”
“ Thank you wholeheartedly. You are not only her teacher but a faithful well-wisher of the family.”
When Mr. Liam was ready, Saka drove his own car . It was 4.15 pm. They proceeded to Rosehill. On the way Liam explained how scared he was about his daughter. He said that he had never believed in ghosts. Whenever a friend talked about evil spirits, he bluntly replied that it was the creation of feeble minds. His daughter was possessed . It’s a fact now. Mr. Saka assured him that Roubina would be soon cured. After one- hour drive they reached Mr. Bebo, the exorcist. He was busy with a patient. Mrs. Bebo informed them that her husband would see them after twenty minutes. When Bebo had finished , he came to meet them.
“ What’s your problem?”
“ I”m Mr. Saka. My friend’s name is Liam. His daughter Roubina is haunted by an evil spirit that utters demoniac words and keeps smiling in a weird way.”
“ Why haven’t you brought her?”
“ She’s so agitated and stubborn that it’s difficult to drive her to your place. “
“ I can come to your place but you will have to add the transport costs to my fees.”
“ We agree to this condition. As it’s urgent we will appreciate if you can come tomorrow”
“ I am expecting a patient at eight tomorrow. It’s a one--hour session. I’ll be at your place around 10.30 am. You give me your address and phone numbers. I want you to get a room ready for me. I don’t want any furniture in it. I will need a sleeping mattress laid on the floor. You see, I need space to perform my rituals.”
“ We promise to do the needful. You will have a vacant room to perform with ease.”
“ Thanks! Will meet tomorrow.”
On his arrival , Mr. Bebo was satisfied to note that an almost empty room with a small cupboard, three chairs and a small mattress was made available to him. Mr. Saka helped him to carry his two cartoon boxes from his car . One contained jars filled with spices and five earthen lamps and the other some human bones and three skulls. Again with Saka’s help, Bebo displayed the jars,and the skulls thus creating the right environment. While he put wicks and oil in the lamps, he asked Liam and Saka to bring Roubina. They entered her room. Mr. Liam:” As she is in the sleepy state, it’s easier to take her there”, said Mr. Liam. Thus they were able to carry her and lay her on the mattress. In the meantime Mr. Bebo had dressed himself in a long red gown and had lit the lamps. As soon as she was laid on the mattress, she opened her eyes. At sight of Mr. Bebo, she growled and smiled. She growled:” Who is that pimp?Why are you here in that funny dress? Why have you brought the skulls? Don’t you see I’ve eaten the bodies? I’ll devour yours too..”
Bebo:”Tell me who you are and why are you torturing the girl?”
The spirit replied :”I Won’t!I won’t” He sprinkled some spices and held a skull in front of her. Bebo recited some prayers and made an appeal to:” You, Empress of the dark , I earnestly request you to use your powers to chase the evil spirit that is haunting this girl”. He repeated these words several times. He then sprinkled more spices. She opened her eyes. First she smiled mockingly, then she avowed: “Iam Mrs. Rokoo. I was Roubina’s grandma. Everybody thought that I died a natural death. It wasn’t true. My husband was a hot-tempered guy. A few days before my demise, he hit me hard on my head. No outward injury but I did have internal bleeding. Even my son Liam failed to support me. That’s why I wreck my vengence on the family. So leave me alone , you fool. “,She smiled and closed her eyes again. Bebo continued dealing with the spirit. Five minutes later she looked at Bebo and said :” I won’t release her! I won’t release her.” Bebo heightened his voice and as he popped up the skulls against her , her voice started faltering until at last it was inaudible , Roubina breathed heavily and finally she closed her eyes. Bebo yelled:” Go away! Don’t come again! Don’t come. Then Bebo kept quiet and closed his eyes too. For almost ten minutes there was silence in the room. Both Saka and Liam , almost astounded maintained the silence. Liam looked worried as he didn’t know whether Roubina was cured or she would be waking up with worse behaviours . Bebo opened his eyes and asked Saka and Liam to help him to clear the room immediately. Roubina should not see all those stuffs. He then removed his gown. Then he said softly: “Roubina, my sweet girl, wake up”. She opened her eyes and looked around. She had got back her lovely looks and her sweet voice. “ Dad, why I am in this room? Hi Mr.Saka. Good morning Sir! Who is this gentleman?” Mr. Liam :” This gentleman is Mr. Bebo, a friend of Mr. Saka. As you weren’t feeling well, he came and prayed for you . Miraculously you got cured and looked lively. Please thank him.” Roubina:” Thank you, Sir. Be seated, all of you. I am going to bring some drinks for you. She headed to the kitchen to fetch the drinks that her mom had already prepared. She brought them to the guys. Mr Bebo had a chat with her enquiring about her school, friends and teachers, She boldly declared that her best one was Mr. Saka. She was then asked to go into the living room where her two cousins were awaiting her. Their presence at home meant lots of fun. Relatives and neighbours were advised never to tell her of her strange malady