“Tick-tock…..goes the fierce warning of the alarm,
Underneath your lashes….time seduces
Ding dong…….the sound of the old church bell,
Threatening bustles of trees…,
It’s the sound of nature, having a feast….playing tricks on you,
Next you realise, you’re screwed!
’cause tis’ the land of ethereal beings, vamps and the insane. Not for you and me…..
The sane don’t make it out alive………”
It was autumn, that time of the year. Everything seemed so queer as she lay in bed, chained up in the dead of the night and the stillness of the day. The attic became a cold room and ice turned blood red….
All alone in the attic, Sonia pierced her sharp green eyes into oblivion while pulling the strands of her hair one after the other. Red candles fired up all over the room and the burning scent of incense made her so restless. She struggled through the chains kicking her feet in the air severally to no avail. Her pupils swayed in fear from left to right as she yanked her shoulders with her head trying to follow the voices. The voices travelled as far as her eardrums could reach until they were so dim that she could almost hear nothing! Her red pupils popped out reading loud signs of fear. She shuddered! , placing her face on the stone cold metal head side of the bed. Its coldness wrapped up her skin so lustfully and with each gulp, she pressed her cheeks harder on it as her ear absorbed every sound it evoked. In a sharp twirl, she had found herself out on a dark lonely road leading to nowhere. The wind swayed her hair so furiously flapping her gown on her knees. As soon as she turned her back to escape, there they were! Her old friends!
“Hahaha!!” Come! Come! They giggled through curved out teeth and long crooked nails… “Come”! Came the voices again as they staggered uncontrollably walking towards her direction. She knew she couldn’t escape for the roads had closed up now. They formed a circle around her and made hand gestures in the air laughing and humming to obscure tunes. It was another full moon, their annual festival of blood. It was a night of celebration when old members returned from the bodies they’d possessed to begin another journey. On this night also, they recuperate their clan with new members. They began to conjure her soul hungrily. Instantly, she fell to the floor as her legs swayed rapidly raising dust from the earth. She rolled uncontrollably trying to get a grip on herself but they had her soul in their palms now. Like a wounded beast she stood back up, hair scuffled, teeth heaved out on the sides, nails spiked out, she became one with them. Pitching her neck towards the dark skies, she sent a deep roar to the silver moon for she had been fortified! They all danced in circular motion, throwing eerie chants to their superior, the goddess of the sea as she revealed herself. Like a volcano eruption, she broke out with a flood of water. She was dressed in dazzling crystal scales and adorned all over with sea gems. They began throwing joyous chants of praise as she flapped her silver tail on the water; she smiled, letting out her black set of corroded teeth. She was said to have lived for over 800 years, surviving on the blood of newly sacrificed mortal babies not up to one year of age.
Father Demetrius, the parish priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, a small church located in a small quiet town had just finished an evening revival. The revival which lasted for 6hours shook the entire town leaving everyone in awe as they quietly went home. Rumours had long before now been spread about him; some had it that he got his powers from the Devil while others claimed that he was the devil himself. Either ways, this did not stop the Old priest from fulfilling his mission as an exorcist priest. At this revival, one of such he’d had, he’d casted out many demons from the congregation, having physical exchange of words with them as he commanded them to flee from the bodies they possessed. At the raising of the Eucharist, these demons cried out in anguish leaving such persons in a destabilized state as they cried out and screamed for rescue. The small town, which had experienced timeless demonic attacks and mysterious deaths is said to be the bedrock of cultism, witchcraft and the likes. One of their victims is of course Father Demetrius who had been close to death on several occasions but had succeeded by the power of the cross.
“Father, that was a very powerful revival you delivered”. The priest laughs at the expression of fear written all over Patrick’s face, “fear not he that has no control over your soul for Jesus has conquered. How is she?” The question sent a pang to Patrick’s head. He had come to church to forget about the terror. He clogged his sweaty palm as he tried to answer “She’s no better. She utters words I don’t understand, laughs, speaks to herself! She’s been unresponsive to medical treatments and the psychiatrists are still not able to decipher anything wrong with her other than fatal depression. She’s been chained in the attic with the blessed candles you gave me the last time.” Father Demetrius listened as he flipped through pages of his bible as though he was searching for something. “Hmm, the devil has come to steal, to kill and to destroy, we shall take the shortest route to your house immediately”. He swam through the multitude of people who were coming to meet him regarding the revival and made his way to the car, in no time, they drove off.
Getting to the brick two-storey building which Patrick lived on the top floor, Fr Demetrius muttered some prayers hastily as they climbed up the husky stairway leading to Patrick’s flat. Patrick felt a rush of wind sweep across him from ear to ear as he turned back severally, moving closely behind Fr. Demetrius. “That’s the door”, he said in a muffling voice as he moved forward to open the lock. Struggling with the keys in fear, he finally succeeded in opening the metal locks and they both went in. The house felt so cold and isolated, letting out a creepy sound of ghostly echoes that played on the strings of the mind. Shuttling round fear, Patrick stood by the door tip-toeing behind Fr. Demetrius like a guest in his own house.
“What way leads to the attic”? Fr. Demetrius asked, switching on the light bulb on the passageway. A long silence came right after the question as Patrick had long travelled in his mind and had not heard half the question. “Patrick”?
“Oh! Yes Father, I’ll lead you” He immediately replied, bolstering some courage which was yet again getting frail. He took the lead and walked Fr Demetrius down to the study which had a small opening on the ceiling with a ladder to get into it. Patrick held fast on the ladder as the priest climbed his way up smoothly and Patrick followed right after.
She was there, still tucked in the white linen that had been soaked with blood on several sides. “Has she been cutting herself” Fr. Demetrius asked surprisingly. “She…She…She…” Patrick stuttered, in exhaustion as he pulls open his shirt to reveal the deep cuts she had given him all over his body with her teeth on different attacks. “She bites too. She bites off big chunks of flesh and eats it all up, I can’t explain it”
“Holy Father!” Fr. Demetrius exclaimed as he placed his left hand on her forehead, reaching out for the big cross in the pocket of his cassock. He places it on her forehead and began:
“Behold the Cross of the Lord, flee bands of enemies. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the offspring of David hath conquered. May Thy mercy, Lord, descend upon us, as great as our hope in Thee….” He pressed hard on her forehead as he cited, gesticulating. In no time, sounds of a cracking bone circulated the room as Sonia turned her neck demonically in a circular motion from left to right like a disturbed lion. Fr. Demetrius fastened his grip as he continued….
“We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies and sects. In the Name and by the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ…….” She burped, howling gently with feeble half-open eyes, arching her chest forward and downwards severally as she struggled through the chains on her hands and legs.
“…Most cunning serpent, you shall no more dare to deceive the human race, persecute the Church, torment God’s elect and sift them as wheat….The Most High God commands you…” “Stop it…!” A hoarse voice retorted as a sudden wind blew in the attic, flapping the curtains aggressively and the floor of the attic began to shake tremendously. Fr. Demetrius paused for a long time as if to say he had gone to the spiritual realm. Befuddled, Patrick who’d been frozen on a corner looked above Fr. Demetrius in utter panic. There were no sounds coming from the priest than little mutterings as he began to walk round the bed until he got back to her headstand. He stretched forth the cross this time and pressed it hard upon her fore-head, repeating his last words “The Most High God commands you, flee! flee!! flee from this poor soul and return to the abyss where you came from….” Immediately, there came a deep sound of frying substance as the cross began to bend, squeezing up Fr. Demetrius veins.
“Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Him flee from him before His face.” He struggled with the bent cross pressing it even harder on her face. Immediately, she rose up above the bed fiercely and like a wounded lion, clustered her fingers together as she struggled through the chains in blood-red eyes. Stretching her neck upwards, from side to side, amidst the grey streaks of protruding veins, she gave one loud painful roar that shook the entire attic, cracking the glass louvers on the sides. As Fr. Demetrius uttered more words of prayer, she bounced back to the bed, breathless, lifeless, with nothing but an acrid wave of smoke clustering the entire room.
“Is she okay”? Patrick asked in the most frightened tone. Fr. Demetrius said nothing as he covered her face with the linen on her body and knelt by her bed, praying through the tears. Once he got done, he sprinkled holy water across the room, packing together his bible and cross. Patting Patrick on the back, he shut the door as they both left the attic.
Patrick followed on as they talked and walked down the passageway to the sitting room. “They have taken possession of her. This battle is not for us but for God…They might have taken possession of her body but not her soul. Brace up son, she’s asleep”. Patrick felt cold from his feet to his chest as he unconsciously let out the tears he had been hoarding. “You’ll be fine son….let the doctors know that she’s passed on”. Fr. Demetrius wiped off his wet lashes and hugged Patrick just as a call rolled in. He was needed back at the parish house. “I’d offer up prayers for her soul at mass and you let me know what the burial arrangements would be like. I’ll be here to support in every way I can”. As soon as he left, Patrick quietly turned the locks, and with his back leaned on the door, he slid slowly….till he was squatting on the floor with his eye sockets soaked in tears. He sobbed endlessly until he laid flat on the floor and fell asleep till dusk.
Knock! Knock! Knock! came a soft knock on the door. Patrick jumped off the floor, dusting himself off as he reached for the peephole. It was dark, no one was in sight. “Who’s there?” He asked in a fidgety tone. Still there was no answer, nothing but perfect silence. He put his ears up against the door and in a split second, there was the *Knock! **Knock!* *Knock!* again. Hastily struggling with the locks now, he pulled open the door and gazed in dire shock at the most magnificent creature that ever beheld him.
“Sonia” he whispered in a frozen tone. She was dressed like a goddess in a long flowing dazzling-white gown! “Have you been sleeping? Didn’t you know I was coming back home tonight?” She asked as she gave him a soft kiss on the lips and walked in.
QOTW: “This century hasn’t got the lock on insanity.” – Wiliam Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)
Written By: ‘Chinonye J. Chidolue (@NonyeWrites)
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