Gory Chapter 7: I'm here


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Chris Iba, had left office for his home, over 25 miles out of town, his hurting backside, told of 2 hours sitting in the hot heavy traffic. His sweat slicked brow bunched forlornly, his eyes running over the rows of cars, which swerved out of view. He thought, but was not sure of his thoughts; there were flashes of papers and his boss cupping gesture.
Now he was sure of his thought, and he could remember his boss calling him to his office, there were audible growling and without mincing words he had told him straight-out …
"Chris you're a failure... for over six months I haven't got a reasonable story from you, do you think the Critic entertains failures….. What sort of boneheaded journalist are you" Chris was visibly used to such aggravation, you could tell from his easy smile and posture, but today, things went into a whole new dimension, he got the letter. All Chris ever wanted was one big story to put him back on the radar. He was tired of summiting stories, which never got the publicity for his effort. Perhaps, his boss was heating his furnace of nullity time seven, in other to get a story out of him, perhaps his boss, was just being the usual sandy and rude director of the Critic, which he could manage with his eyes closed. Perhaps or perhaps not. Chris could not see why, he had to watch Abdul, a chief journalist overnight, earn a hundred and twenty five a month, when he, Chris could rub pen with him….. The bloody bastard.
Chris could remember his last piece on the board meeting of the world best scientist, where Dr. Mark had the whim to sell a hybrid human under black market. Those where stories worth publication, even his gorgon of a boss, couldn't help applauding, someone who was always quick to remind him that as far as journalism was concerned, he ranked zero. Well that was six months ago, six months of writing stories his boss referred to as yada-yada...irrelevant. Suddenly a car honked in the distance, the traffic eased up. Chris remembered that he was no longer at work, but on his way home, far from the reach of his trident bearing boss. He couldn't understand why, journalism had not offering anything, he could remember when he was young.... Such a smart boy.... But now…. Just a bone headed journalist, who couldn't write an article. An article. A darn simple article. An A-R-T-I-C-L-E. His thoughts were scattered; the air around him became cooler, one by one the cars in front thinned out. He had gone 25 miles out of town. He could see the downy roof, his home built in the thickets of the cool rain forest. There was a metal signboard, almost covered by dense green climbers, by the side of the road; its lettering was in black: the words boldly printed, it read "WELCOME TO SWALI". Chris shot faraway spray of saliva towards the board missing it by a length, crashing into the thicket behind. There was a cwa – cwa cry of a frightened bird, taking to flight. Chris shook at the sound of the cry, but as he drove into his lowly mansion a sense of tranquility seeped into his conscious mind. Mother Nature had done a nice job, weaving the intricate layers of climbers that formed a fence of thorns on the trees; the yarrows formed a neat mat on the floor on which the house rested. The above trees shed a roof of green leaves, which the house was lost in. the garden at the frontage was rich in tropical flowers, but showed signs of neglect, the flowers were overgrown and the weeds were hoarding in. But his home was a haven in nature. Chris stepped out of the car, after edging close to the garden. The sun was sinking and the surroundings were getting dark, the trees stood like solid forms in the dying sun. He felt for his keys as he approached the ancient heavy door, covered partly by green growth. The wooden door creaked sharply inwards, he walked into the room, it smelled musty and unkempt, the stairs heading up was barely visible , he groped around till his feet's knocked against the Tilley lamp on the floor, luckily he always fed it with extra petrol. He found a match in his pocket and lit it. The light fell on the wooden furniture in the parlor, casting long shadows on the kitchen door. He dropped his mass of abandoned stories on the table with a thud, the papers shuffled to the floor. He climbed up lazily, the lamp held in his left hand rocked back and forth; the other skidded greasily on the frosty banister….
"Just what I need" he groaned "a good time out from work….. A good time to...…" suddenly his mind became aware of the fact, that the obvious time out was due to the letter in his back pocket…. He had been fired…he shook his head, in an attempt to block out the thought from his mind…... fired or not fired….. This would be surely one long timeout.
He could still hear his boss gruff tone, chirping in his ear…. you are a failure Chris….. You should be ashamed…..remorseful….. You are a disgrace... you are.
Chris paid no attention to the voice, as the cold water from the shower coursed down his back, the lamp tossed a pale – orange on the drawing curtain, and he saw how hard it was for him to recognize it as white….or once white for now it looked creamy green, even in the light of the lamp ...
"GOD" chokingly "been so immersed in work …. And my whole place falls to pieces ... GOD"
He stood still for a while staring dully at it, the running water was slowly drawing him to sleep. His hands reached for the switch, the shower dripped slowly as it turned off. He stepped out of the tub, placing his foot gently on the wire rug; he unhooked his towel, wrapping his body in it. With one hand he drew the separating curtain shut, the repulsive, irritable feeling came to his head, on his hand coming in contact with the slippery curtain. He shirked back in repulsion and walked sluggishly over to the broken wall mirror above the wash tub, and cleaned his hands. He looked in the mirror, the light on his hair, he could see water dripping from the strandy locks, he loosened the towel from his waist and rubbed his hair over. A squeaky sound behind the curtain interrupted him; he dropped the towel in fright and turned around. He heard a groan and the shower dripped on, pattering slowly on the tub. He walked slowly over to the dividing curtain and yanked it open; he peered in and stopped transfixed.... "My God" For as quick as light, he had seen the figure of a man, his coat all grey, dripping with dark blood, his hands on the shower switch, grinning at Chris through savage hairs….Chris rubbed his eyes over only to find the apparition gone….
"The devil take it" he croaked in fright staring at the running shower. He stood immobile for a while then shook his head peering into the tub he was sure he had seen something… a man…blood…his thoughts were scattered; he reached tentavely and switches it off. A quick gust of wind and a shadow wooshed behind his back, Chris whipped around to find no one.
"Hello" he called… "Someone there..."
Nothing answered except the howl of the wind among the trees. It wooshed through the window, flinging it open. He stared out of the opening for a while; he could see his car below the pane. Then he turned round, placing carefully each foot as gingerly as the other. He stalked over to the washtub and picked up his towel, damp with blood, he leaped back in fright, placing a hand on his wet hair, a spider crawled quickly over the face of the mirror, he yanked it off. The quick movement brought him in contact with a jagged piece of the broken mirror. It cuts into his wrists. He cringed back and pulled out the piece sticking to the gash and watched the blood seep out.
"My God"
He raised the injured hand to the level of the mirror, only to see behind him, the same man in the bath tub staring at the bleeding hand with hunger in his gold eyes, his face loomed out of dark hair. Like a jackal from the dead. His mouth twitched into a wolfish grin a little foam rising from the side. Chris whipped around only to find him gone again. His eyes shone in the light, as he stared into the empty space where the man had been. Then came a faint whisper, from above the ceiling. The voice hollowed out, making the hair stand on the end.
"I am here...….I'm here" it echoed...….
The words were like a piece of the wind, floating in the air, its teeth felt icy cold, yet he could feel the warm sweat dripping from his palms
"I'm here...….hello-oo. I'm here"
Unable to stand it anymore, Chris gives a vent of 'yeow' and ran out, slamming the room door, going down the stairs in great bounds. He entered the parlor, trashing away the heaps of papers, looking for his car keys, papers shuffled in the wind as he ran out the door the key clutched in his fist. The car sat at an odd corner of the garden, gleaming strangely in the fading sun. He paid no attention to this and gets in. The door clicked shut mechanically, he tried to start the car in great agitation, but it gave off a slight groan and stayed put. He grinds the switch again and again. He smacked his fist into the steering wheel and slumped back in anger, he tried the door; it creaked and refused to open. Now his fear was real, the prospect of his own death a nightmare. He gave an elbow to the window and tried with his might to unlock the door. The sweat ran down his naked body, and he could feel the drumming in his head. Then he noticed a faint scribbling in blood on the wind shield, the word "I'm here' in italics. He started back in fear, but at that moment there was a flash and the rear – view mirror snapped backwards, revealing the dark figure, hunched over at the back seat. The creature's canines glistened out of the dark, the misty purpose still in its bright eyes. Chris sat immobile watching the desk countenance. Then came a shriek and the creature grabbed his throat from behind, the claws dug into his flesh, holding unto his wind pipe. He trashed for breath, as he felt the severing fingers slicing his throat. The grip tightened, followed by a gush of warm blood over the choking Chris. There was a sharp slashing pain as the throat was ripped out, is brain dulled excruciatingly as it filled with blood. The air was out of his lungs, he felt no control over his muscles, he no longer gurgled, he no more struggled, he felt no more, he shuddered and lay still. His body was pulled slowly into the backseat; there was a howl, followed by cackling and greedy noises. There was sharp searing of flesh, as white fangs shone in the dark, feasting on the body of Chris…
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