Strange Occurence Strange Night

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    07-Apr-2018

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    Years after, the house of Hadja Saniya was graying and the paint on the walls subsided that

    there was an apparent darkness everywhere. When night comes, the darkness is more

    pronounced as silence complements the general dimness. The smell of old wood always lay

    heavy upon my nose that every smell of wood reminds me of the house. Dirt stuck to the

    decades old walls invites me always to stare at them and I reckoned then that the dark

    stains on them formed the shapes of men and other unlikely beings. The house was alive Ithought then and it breathes into our lives every moment we happened to be there. In the

    night, these shadows become sharper that I thought I saw the shade of an old woman

    always while the lights are out and I lay there trying to find sleep, turning in my bed while

    cuddled inside heavy fabric, sweating profusely from fear of shadows.

    I would sweat so heavily from warmth as I resisted the terrifying shadows of an old woman

    sitting just at the foot of my bed. There were times that the fear ate so much into me that I

    screamed and cried in the middle of the night. My father thought I was just missing my

    grandfather that at midnight, they would deliver me to my Uncle Mameng's house nearly

    ten kilometers away.

    Of course, I would have to be back with my mother when school finally opened. The

    shadows finally came at lesser frequency and besides sleeping together with my brothers

    kept me somewhat reassured. If that old woman would strangle me, at least I would not be

    the only one to be strangled.

    I could not tell if those shadows were really ghosts or spirits but I felt so sure that they

    breathe a life and they were unmistakably the shape of human beings.

    My real sighting of a ghost came years later when I was just about ten or eleven years old. I

    could remember some particulars as I relate this to you now. It was near midnight, on one

    weekend, when most of the members of our household stayed wide awake to watch a

    television special; it was a late night movie if I am not mistaken.

    Usually when the night comes, I had felt dutiful always to check the back door if they were

    safely locked and shut tightly. That night, before I sat to watch the show, I reconnoitered

    the kitchen and locked the door after reassuring that every chore in the kitchen has been

    done. As the show started, I felt a strong urge to relieve myself that I headed for the

    comfort room, situated just to the left of the kitchen. As I turned towards the direction of

    the kitchen, I saw a figure of a woman in white gown, with her hair down to her knees,

    walked pass the hall leading to the kitchen.

    Is someone still in the kitchen?" I asked.

    "Everyone is here. Why?" my Aunt Coney responded.

    "I just saw a woman in white walked by in the kitchen hall!" I exclaimed.

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    "Do not kid us like that." She warned.

    "Really, I did saw a woman"

    We all stared at each other and after a moment, we all scurried for the main bedroom.

    Everyone was blaming me for playing some wicked game on them and I kept on denying

    them.

    "It must be your imagination." they all indicted me.

    Half an hour later, we were back in front of the television while I was feeling so sick already

    from fear. I had no choice but to join them in the living room otherwise I would be alone in

    the room.

    While the television was glaring, a sudden wind blew forcefully from the window and rain

    poured instantaneously as rumbling thunder shook the house. It was just another bad

    weather, as we disregarded the weather's tumult and stay stuck to the television show.

    Perhaps the wind was so whipping that small bits of stones were thrown at our direction,

    entering thru the window.

    "Damn it. Someone is throwing stones at us," Coney said and we all peered into the window

    to investigate the malefactor and we find exactly nobody outside as more bits of stone came

    at us. The sound of thunder became extremely forceful that the lights went out. By this

    time, I could already feel the fear that had enveloped not only me, but also the rest of them;

    fear has a smell I realized that moment. In the middle of the living room, a small whirlwind

    was lifting the small stones towards the ceiling in a circular motion and while the stones

    circled above ground, the wind suddenly stopped and the bits of stone fell simultaneously

    to the ground. We all screamed and run to the bedroom.

    It was strange that the day after, no matter how patently strange the experience we had the

    night before, everyone was merely jesting about it while Hadja Saniya simply dismissed it

    as the playful imagination of our minds, us who were still tender in the head. She was deep

    in slumber when the strange happenstance occurred. Even those who were present in that

    strange occurrence simply forgot about it, never mentioning it again. My Aunt Coney just

    did not talk about it. My brothers Nasrullah and Akmad and my sister Rimaisa just went to

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    the yards and play the usual games, as if nothing happened. If I remember well, my cousin

    Nimfa and Mernisa was present then and similarly, they never took it so seriously despite

    the common terror we had felt that night. In contrast, that unusual night were etched

    forever in my mind.

    The eldest who was there was Aunt Coney. I had expected her to convince the others thatsome spirits really played fun on us but she acted as if the strange night was merely a usual

    occurrence, and did go on with the ordinary chores, as if nothing happened, as if she was

    expecting such things to happen ordinarily. After that night in fact, she had slowly gained

    isolation from the rest of us, at least it was how I have observed her to be. She would walk

    along and would give me that iniquitous stare that I felt somehow uncomfortable that she

    had suddenly become so mindful of my presence that she would shout at me easily if for

    example I happened to touch the expensive jar in the living room.

    I reckoned that she had blamed me for that strange occurrence in that one strange night.

    (An excerpt from my unfinished novel A Prophets Life)

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