* a short story LETTER TO THE UNDERWORLD.*

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    Written by: _*@iam_fortunez*_
    Edited by: _*@iam_damisa*_

    It was a really cold night so I packed my books from my desk and moved them unto my bed for more comfort. This was really a bother. What use is studying ancient history anyway!!. I just have to stay awake long enough to finish the assignment and read for the test tomorrow. I continued to scribble on until my eyes grew dimmer……..
    Letter to the Underworld
    Mr Lucifer The Chief of the Underworld
    The Grand Commander of the Dark Armies.                
    I write to inform you of several allegations that have been tendered against you. My time is short and my resources limited so I’ll go straight to the point.              
    Since I was born, I have known true pain and sorrow. No, not because I lost my mother at the age of two to an arsonist who set our house ablaze, or because my grandmother tried to kill me twice, neither because I watched my stepmother kill my father [the only one who has ever showed any form of affection for me], nor as a result of the fact that my grandfather has refused to set his eyes on me since I was born for reasons best known to him. I think am “Cursed”. Not just that but also lost, because any girl I seem to find comfort in [believe me I don’t find comfort in a lot of people] either turns up dead, or runs off with some guy who later ends up killing her. Contrary to what you may assume, I have no hand in these deaths.   Through my growing years Mr Lucifer, I have seen your trademark in many things. My mum’s death, I saw you in my grandmother’s eyes when she tried to drown me in the bathtub but for the timely intervention of our Butler, and also when she pushed me ten floors all the way down, “Yeah” I survived, though with a few bruises which obviously did hurt. One thing I remember vividly was the look on her eyes. The same look that would come to hunt me years after. I remember the Pandemonium, fear and tremor that gripped every girl I’ve ever dated before they run off and are declared dead after going missing for weeks. All “Eleven” of them, My soul-mates.   You see initially, I brushed it aside as just coincidence, but after the fourth then the fifth I began to suspect foul play.             Mr Lucifer last week when I beheld the death of your eleventh victim, I saw it in her eyes your distinctive mark. So in the last one week I’ve visited all the morgues where their bodies where kept and I made a shocking revelation; all their bodies were gone!! missing without a trace. And when I confronted each doctor, they gave me the same response: that an old man in a black hood claimed that he was the father of the girl, paid the bills and left with the body. All eleven doctors gave me different names they said he bore. I tried to trace each name but hit a dead end on several occasion until I got to the eleventh name *Mr Jacob A Damisa*   He was a local parish priest in one St. Peter’s church in kaduna state, in Northern Nigeria.                                     
    A tall, well built and quite strong looking man for his age. He must have been sixty nine or so judging by the wrinkles on his face but looking at his stature, one could have sworn he was in his thirties. I stalked him for a few days in order to effectively monitor him, but his life seemed normal to me. he was always at the church, except on wednesdays when he always went to buy groceries at the local store down the street.                       
    I had already decided he was innocent until one night on my usual stakeoutl outside his house, i heard screams from the upper chamber of his room. the scream became muffled sounds and all of a sudden a loud thud. It then dawned on me that there had been a struggle. Immediately i set to work expertly scaling the wall of the building and began climbing until i got to the sixth floor where his apartment was. looking through his window, all i could see was a thick cloud of darkness that covered the room. the room was literally torn in pieces as if it had been the venue for WWIII. apart from the disastrous look, nothing else seemed to be out of place, not until i looked towards the far end of the room and what i saw made me freeze with fear. The darkness that covered the room was hovering around the priest! The priest was actually kneeling right in the middle of this darkness chanting gibberish that i couldn’t understand. I literally gave up the ghost when I saw the body of darkness appeared to have a face, a face that curled up into a smile as soon as it sighted me. Immediately I lost my balance as soon as i realised that the smile was meant for me, falling all the way to the third floor where i managed to lay hold of an open window. I was bleeding badly from my forehead , as i managed to climb all the way down. Now the fact is i am not afraid of death, not really anyway, but if i am going to die, it should be in a more honourable way and not at the hands of some dark freaky smoke.i deserve better at least. Growing up I usually didn’t runaway from fights; except on special occasions (and the occasion of black smoke with some freaky smile chasing me around seemed special enough so i went for it).                
    I ran so hard that i literally couldn’t feel my legs anymore, i ran down the street until i got to the spot where i parked my car. Lo and behold it was missing. Immediately I came to a halt breathing heavily and for the first time since falling off the window, i summoned some courage and looked back. i was stunned by what i saw; the street was empty, the streetlights were as bright as the moon and i was running away from “Nothing”.      I blinked hard trying to understand the situation. Did the smoke stop chasing me? Did the smoke ever even come after e? Was there ever any smoke? or maybe I’m hallucinating? (so i thought). i looked back at the spot i parked my car then it hit me; i didn’t bring my car coming to this place, infact i had no car. i brought my motor bike and i did park it two blocks away to avoid being noticed. At this realisation, i sighed faintly and began walking towards my bike (it was now confirmed, i am going crazy).

    For the second night in a row now, I’ve not been able to catch any sleep. I lazily stretched my aching body and rolled out of bed. i had stayed awake all night, not even the tenderness of the silk sheets or the comfy bed had succeeded in comforting me into sleep (what a waste). I took a shower and without any breakfast, i headed out the room i had checked into. I had checked in two days ago it had been my home as i tracked the priest down here. As i walked out, a lot of thoughts flooded my head; i was low on cash and i wasn’t any closer to fulfilling my goal, i had many unanswered questions and there was only one person i knew who could provide answers, “The Priest”. The last time i saw him he wasn’t actually in the mood for a chat since he was kneeling inside a cloud of smoke chanting gibberish; “Great”.    I unsuccessfully tried to flag down a taxi for several minutes until something caught my eye.  Just across the road, someone in a black hood kept staring at me and as soon as I raised up my head to get a better look, he would look away.   I couldn’t get a proper look at his face because the hood was covering it partially. “Must be the priest” I thought.  And without thinking, I dashed across the road to where he was standing and almost got knocked down by a car in the process. “Watch it you idiot” the driver cursed at me as he drove away. I paid him no attention and kept walking towards the hooded man. As soon as he noticed me coming his way, he began walking hurriedly in the opposite direction. I increased my pace to match his until I finally broke into a run. One voice in my head kept telling me to run the other way, that I was being led into a trap but I stubbornly refuted insisting this was my chance to find the truth. We continued like this for a while, passing through several buildings much to the bemusement of onlookers. Suddenly he began to slow down until he finally came to a halt. I looked around and saw that we were at the end of the street in a secluded part of town “will you speak to me now”  i yelled at him. “Why were you spying on me” he was silent. He was backing me so I couldn’t see his face then slowly he turned to me and gently lowered the hood from head “it was the priest after all” I thought. “I’m sorry” he said with a rather feminine voice. I looked around to see if there was anyone else there because it didn’t seem as if he was the one speaking. “I’m sorry” he said again his lips barely moving. “I’m sorry he made me do it” he said. “who made you do what” I asked perplexed. he ignored me and kept muttering “I’m sorry he made me do it” soon enough he began to cough furiously clutching his chest . He coughed so hard i thought he was about to die I panicked and rushed to help him up but just then, he stopped coughing and began chanting incoherent words, he was on his knees now. I watched as a thick cloud of smoke emanated from his mouth. Before i could decipher what was going on, it was already too late. I managed to take three steps backwards before i was swept off my feet by the cloud of smoke. it was now swirling around, something i could only describe as a hurricane. i found myself swirling about hopelessly trying to gain control but it was all for nothing as the hurricane tossed me about effortlessly. it slammed my head against a hard surface i could barely register and every nerve in my body screamed in pain. It continued ramming my head against this surface until i began to feel dizzy and slowly blood trickled from my forehead down to my mouth, it tasted metallic. I noticed i wasn’t spinning around anymore, the world began to blur and i could faintly hear the sounds of cars honking and passerbys chattering. Soon enough i could hear them no more, then the world became dark ********************************************************************************* I opened my eyes slowly, and a familiar scent greeted me as i felt my bed. A blast of fresh air hit me from behind and i turned sharply to see what it was only to be greeted by the brightness of the sun shining through my windows. I winced in pain as my eyes were not yet used to the brightness. I sat up lazily rubbing my eyes and looked around, I was back in my room. So it had all been a dream?, all of it?. And sitting here thinking about it, it had felt so real, too real! My books were sitting on at the edge of the bed .All thoughts about the dream vanished as soon as i looked at my wall clock and it read 8:45 am. I was almost late for a test, and i hated being late. One minute i was in the bathroom taking a shower, and the next, i was already fully dressed trying to flag down a taxi. The moment one stopped, i hopped in ” UNIABUJA” i said. without a word, he started the car and began driving. The driver began talking to me about  how his land-lord’s daughter was making passes at him and how his landlord had threatened to kill him if he ever touched his daughter. He went on and on about it through out our trip but i never replied. Not that it bordered him anyway i guess he just needed a listening ear. My mind was fully fixed on the test i was about missing. As soon as he pulled over, i threw some wards of cash at him and dashed across the road to the school main gate. Somewhere in my head, i think i heard someone say something about “change” i didn’t bother to look because i was in too much of a hurry. Usually, i would walk down to my faculty but due to my hurried nature this time i boarded a cab and as soon as i alighted, i ran straight all the way to the lecture room the test was holding. I peeped into the class, it was fully packed with students chattering away in hushed tones. The test was obviously yet to commence- i breathed a sigh of relief and walked in,i found an empty sit at the second row, sat down and bowed my head completely oblivious of my surroundings. Just then the class became completely silent, i looked up to see what was going on and saw someone in a black hood. My heart skipped a beat. “Good morning class ” he said with a feminine voice “i’ll be standing in for your lecturer for the rest of this session” by now, despite the fact the the room was fully air-conditioned, i was already sweating and shaking with fear ” My name is” he went to the board and scribbled something on it. it read :MR JACOB ALEXANDER DAMISA. He turned back facing us, and then slowly removed his hood. Sure enough, it was him. The priest!! THE END

    Written by: Emmanuel Ikogene Fortune

    #1158049 Reply
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    OMG….. 9ce

    #1158050 Reply
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    Hmm……………………………… Nice writeup

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    #1158202 Reply
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    #1158217 Reply
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    #1158303 Reply
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    #1158399 Reply
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    Thumbs up!

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