22 Aug 2013


All shops would be closed by 10pm, everyone of you should be in bed by then. When you get home, tell your parents. The school would also send an sms notification to your Mom and Dads. "Why?", I said, asking no one in particular. Kola, turned back staring at me, like I just landed  on planet earth for the first time. "Haven't you heard?, the Oru spirit would be passing this area tonight. It is forbidden to look at it, or even hear it pass, anyone who does would turn to stone." Kola said, wide eyed, with his hands wide apart. " My grandma once told me of someone who peeped at it, and turned to stone in their house.", Kunle, whispered into my ears. Kola and Kunle were my best friends and seatmates, we attended  the same school, and lived on the same street.
"The Oru masquerade is the Oba's masquerade. It is a taboo for anyone to look at it or hear it pass.They have instructed everyone living in this vicinity to close their shops before 10pm. Everyone should be in their homes, no one should be caught outside by that time. Your parents should have gotten a message from the Oba yesterday being Sunday. School closes early at 2pm, there would be no take home assignment for today.", Mrs Ibukun, our headmistress announced in my class. There were shouts of joy and noises after the announcement. Everyone was trying to tell a scary tale or another about the masquerade.

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"Mama, who is the Ru masquerade?, my headmistress said it is passing our street tonight", I asked my Grandma, with my mouth stuffed full with the chicken I had for dinner. Grandma silenced me with  her hand on her lips, and continued with her phonecall. "So you got the text message, they came here yesterday. He is eating, trust your mother. He would be in bed before then. Even though I dont believe in this Mgbati people's tradition, I would make sure he is asleep by then. Mbanu, this house is covered in the blood of Jesus, I will sprinkle holy water round the house, and in his room. Daalu nwa m, Ijeoma", Mama ended her call and asked me to repeat what I had asked her. "Oru, you mean?. Its a very scary spirit that eats little children who try to steal a glance at it when it passes at night. I am sure your teacher told you about it. Your bedtime is at 9:30 pm for today. Early to bed, early rise.", Mama replied with a straight face. I shivered and begged her to let me sleep with her just for the night, and got a stern "No" in reply.


The cold breeze woke me up. I had goose bumps all over. "A very scary spirit that eats little children", Mama's voice echoed in my head. My windows were open. I was sure Grandma had shut it close, she never leaves it open. I could see the full moon clearly in the night sky. Maybe, I am still asleep, I thought, and pulled the bed covers over my face.That was when I heard a sound. "It is forbidden to hear it, you would turn to stone", Kola's voice kept repeating itself in my head. I saw something shift in the shadows at the corner of my room. It was huge and had two horns. It blinked and walked closer to my bed. I froze. No it cant be coming any closer, I cant turn into stone, I want my Mom and Dad. Dad promised me a laptop for my birthday, if I came tops in my class. "I don't want to turn to stone, I wont look at you, please leave me lone. I promise to be a good boy. Grandma!!!!, I don't want to turn into a stone", I screamed.
"Muna, ogini, who are you talking to?, who is turning you into a stone?", Grandma asked rushing into my room."The masquerade, I saw in there ", I said pointing at the corner. Grandma switched on the lights,"Its just your bag stand, not a masquerade. Why did you open the windows I closed shut, you were peeping okwa ya, nwa a, i na-anukwa ife ", she scolded me, shutting the windows. "I didn't open it, I woke up and saw it open, I swear, the masquerade was in my room", I replied, shaking. "Come with me, its still 4:30am. You would sleep in my room, till the day breaks, let me see if whatever you saw, would follow you into my room", Mama said holding my hands. "Thank you, mama", I replied. 

I would tell Kola of the noise I heard, and the shadow I saw in my room. I was sure it was the masquerade, it fits kola's description. If it was, how come I didn't turn into stone?

PS: This was the story I wrote for my writers drill two days ago. We were asked to write a story on a shadow a child saw in the dark of his room. I hope you liked it.

I heard the ASUU meeting ended in a deadlock again. *sad face*

Yours Sincerely