The night was dark. The air was cold. The winds whispered secrets no one would hear. In the depths of the night, four siblings huddled together in a room, trading stories to frighten themselves, as they enjoyed the solitude and the chills the night gave them. Clutched to her big sister Ada, was little Ody, a doe-eyed angel shaking with fear as she begged for the stories to stop but couldn’t seem to stop listening. Ebuka, the third born, sat cross legged on the bed they were all huddled on as Obinna, the second born, began his tale.
“In the little village of Akumbe, tales of spirits that wandered around to collect offerings was well known. Every fortnight, residents would place a bowl of akpu with ofe Owerri at the foot of their doors and recede into the safety of their homes. Children were not allowed outside at sunset, as it was said that the spirits loved to feast on children. Several children had been lost to the spirits, and parents sternly warned their children to run indoors once they saw the sun setting. Another thing the children were told never to do was to call the name of any of the spirits.
“One fateful day, a small boy decided that he was going to see who the spirits were and ask the spirits why they ate children, even though their parents left akpu and ofe Owerri every fortnight. On the fateful day, when the sun had set, he sneaked out of his room through the window and waited in front of the house. He saw the different bowls of food left outside the houses, and started to feel hungry. Once he realized there were no spirits coming, he decided to eat.
“He tried the food in front of his house, and when that was finished he went to the next one. Like that like that, this boy kept eating until he could eat no more. By the time he realized this, he found himself at the edge of the village where the forest begins. Thinking of how to get back home, he heard someone whisper his name: ‘Gozie, Gozie…’ The boy thought he was hearing things, until the whispers came again. He became afraid. The whispers were coming from the forest.
“’Who… who is there?’ he asked.
“’The spirit you want to see…’ came the answer.
“’I don’t want to see any spirit again! I don’t want ojuju calabar anymore!’ he cried as he tried to run, but because he had eaten so much he couldn’t get up.
“Suddenly, something appeared from the forest. At first the boy saw only black. And then two white eyes opened and looked at him. Before he knew it, the thing that appeared smiled at him with sharp teeth, flew out of the forest and then grabbed his leg!” Obinna, for dramatic effect, grabbed Ada’s leg and laughed when he saw the terrified look on her face.
“Hahahaha! So you can fear like this!” Obinna guffawed as he looked at his other siblings. They wore terrified looks of their own, and were looking at him. Then suddenly he felt the room go cold. Very cold. His breaths came out as frosted mist from his mouth, and goosebumps ran all over his body. In front of him, Ada’s teeth chattered repeatedly as she struggled to fight the cold and point behind him. There, sitting in the corner with ice shards surrounding him, was a tall, slender man; his eyes as white as paste, his parched skin the colour of dried blood, his clothes like tattered rags, his fingers as long as pencils and his feet as flat as boards.
Non-committedly, he offered them a wave before tossing the item he had been plucking his teeth with into their midst. They stared at it and, shivering in pain, realized what it was.
It was a human finger.
They look up at him and tried to talk, to scream, to shout, but with a flick of his wrist all that came out were whimpers.
“I don’t like it when children scream,” the man sighed, “they always make too much noise.” Ada, Obinna, Ebuka and Ody all looked in fear as the man crossed his legs and regarded them. “Don’t you know it is rude to invoke me without the proper rites, boy? You think you can just use my name in a story and get away with it?”
Something caught the man’s attention and he sniffed the air. The stench of urine soaked through. “Ah, I like that. Someone has peed themselves. So you can still fear.” Tucked under Ada’s arm, Ody was crying as she shivered. “Little girl, do not cry. No one will hear you,” the man grinned, showing his razor sharp teeth.
“W-w-w-who a-a-are y-y-you?” Ada forced out.
“Why, dear girl, I am the spirit your brother speaks of… the one that likes… children.” At the mention of children, Ody started crying out for her mother. “Do not cry little one… mummy and daddy are doing… mummy and daddy things. They won’t hear you,” another devilish grin. “Why don’t we have some fun? You seem to like stories. Please, don’t let me interrupt.”
Ody’s cries became louder, and irritated the man cast a glance at Ada. “Make her stop.” Too shocked to understand, Ada stared at the man. “Make. Her. Stop.” Something clicked, and Ada tried to console Ody. “MAKE. HER. STOP!” Ada tried and tried, but Ody could only cry louder. With irritation, the man clenched his fist in the air and closed Ody’s windpipe, causing her to suffocate. When he had had enough, he twisted his hand. Ody’s head twisted backwards, her face looking the wrong way.
Ada, Ebuka and Obinna froze at the sight of their little sister dying horribly. They stared at the man, tears streaming down their eyes. Obinna tried to speak, but with speed so fast that no one noticed the man had grabbed him by his throat and bit down into it. The sucking sound made Ada and Ebuka stop crying as they looked at their brother’s eyes beg them for help. The man stopped sucking, and Obinna could only help but fidget.
Licking his lips, the man said: “I will keep this one. Two of you, I might come back for later. Take care now, children…” And with that he carried Obinna on his shoulder, walked through the wall and disappeared into the night, leaving Ada and Ebuka freezing to death and terrified, with the dead body of their little sister.
A/N: Y’all should sleep well tonight as well o. ???