Credits rolled on the TV screen, signalling the end of the movie. Olu picked up the remote control and reduced the volume, then aimed a playful kick at his friend’s ankles.
“Wake up sleepy chicken, the movie is over now.”
Sola muttered and got up from his position on the floor, then slowly stood up and yawned loudly.
“Thank God it is,” he said, stretching his body as he did so. “Only God knows what you see in all these crazy and psychotic horror movies you devote your time to watching. All that killing , blood and gore … Urgggghhh. You won’t catch me watching anything so hideous.”
Olu laughed out loud.
“Who asked you to? We know you’re the master of ebony porn, that disgusting portrayal of carnal lust. At least watching horror movies is not a sin. Can you watch porn with your pastor?”
“Abegi, hold it right there. See who is talking about sin. If you want to go down that route, porn only stimulates one’s mind to do something that comes naturally to men. Right from the time of Adam, mating has always been human. Please, tell me if you can afford to publicly vocalize or act out all the sick ideas that blood fest ‘SAW’ puts in your mind. Oya now, go ahead and tell me if you can tell your pastor that you get a kick out of watching Jason slash and stab innocent people, or a movie where human beings are randomly dismembered and gutted for fun as part of some sick experimental script.”
Olu clapped sarcastically.
“Touché!!! Mr Festus Keyamo, when did you leave Law School?”
Both of them burst into uncontrollable laughter from which Sola was the first to recover.
“Guy, shebi fuel still dey your gen? Lemme find some grub to chow in your fridge and quickly watch this DVD I got from IK today. He says its bad ass – Pinky and Cherokee tag teaming on Wesley Pipes.”
Olu quickly blocked both ears with his forefingers.
“Biko, spare me the gory details of the debauchery you’re about to witness. Just make sure you don’t waste all my fuel or you’ll have to reimburse me in the morning. Abeg, make sure you keep the volume down; I don’t want my hard-earned reputation in this neighbourhood sullied with the incessant moaning and grunting from your smut. There’s lotion in the bathroom for your happy ending too. I’m off to bed.”
He deftly dodged the plastic cup Sola threw at him and ran towards the bedroom, laughing hard.
The blaring siren from the neighbouring compound announcing the return of power woke Olu from his slumber. He rubbed his eyes with one hand while searching for his phone with the other, until his fingers closed around its plastic casing underneath his pillow. The time displayed in digital format on the fluorescent screen read 1:15 am, but even in the darkness he could see the other part of the bed was empty.
He scrambled off the bed and switched on the light, opened the door and made his way back to the living room.
Sola was sprawled on the sitting room floor, snoring quite loudly. The TV was still on, although muted, and the DVD player was on too. Olu shook his head and kicked Sola’s ankles just like he’d done earlier in the evening.
“Wanker! Wake up. At least you for switch off all my electronics before you sleep off nah. You wan spoil my things?”
“Hmmmmmmmmmmm.” Sola groaned , raised his head and saw Olu but made no effort to get off the floor.
“Will you get up from there before I pour you cold water to clear you head! Layabout like you. Oya get up now jare. Light don come, so na to go backyard go switch off gen and changeover be your portion o. That will teach you not to leave my TV on for nothing while you sleep off for next time.”
Sola, sitting upright by now shook his head to clear the sleep from his eyes.
“Diaris God o,” he grumbled.
He stood up and went out through the back door while Olu quickly switched off the main socket supplying power to all his gadgets.
The door closed behind Sola with an ominous bang as he made for the generator house in quick strides, eager to get back to the warmth indoors. A chilly wind blew across the open space of the backyard, making him wonder if it was going to rain. He opened the metal doors to the generator and switched off the Hyundai generator, suddenly throwing the compound into darkness.
‘Shit!’ he swore silently to himself. He should have changed over first. Olu was going to chew his ass off when he entered the house.
Reaching for the changeover lever, a faint whistling sound caught his attention. Before he could turn around to see what it was making it, something heavy landed on his back, followed immediately by a searing pain. His hand shot up over his head in an attempt to remove whatever it was without success, while his back felt as if a hole was being drilled in it with blunt bits. The pain was out of this world.
Sola’s only thought was to get the thing off his back. Running blindly in confusion towards the back of the generator shed, he tried to hurriedly take off his T-shirt but another spiked appendage pierced his flesh, unleashing a scream from the very bottom of his soul. Just as he opened his mouth wide to let it loose, a long piece of rubbery flesh got rammed down his throat, tearing his insides with the force of the invasion, cutting of his air supply and effectively making him mute. His mind raced in terror, his brain scrambling for alternative commands as death stared him in the face. Then something reached across and violently pulled out his eyeballs out of their sockets, one after the other – plop! plop!!
He fell to the ground, silently struggling with his invisible assailant, stuck with the reality of his impending death and anger at his inability to fight it. Not long afterwards, his arms stopped trying to reach his back, his legs stopped trashing and his whole body became still.
A chirping cricket was the only thing to be heard in the silence that settled on the yard.
As the generator went off, throwing the house into darkness, Olu shook his head as he thought to himself.
See this dummy, he doesn’t know he’s supposed to change over to NEPA before he switches off the generator ni? Bloody bushman.
The clock on the wall loudly ticked away the seconds but still the lights did not come on. Olu lifted the curtain slightly and peered at the neighbouring building to see if power had gone off again but he could see the glow of light within the compound. What then was the problem? He dropped the curtain and walked impatiently towards the back door to tell Sola to quit fooling around. He had to be up on the dot of five and all this late night activity was not in his best interest. The yard was in complete darkness and no sound was heard, save for the hum of another generator somewhere within the estate.
As quietly as he could manage so as not to disturb the neighbours, Olu called out.
“Sola! Guy, stop messing around and change over to PHCN! I will lock this door in a minute if you don’t do that and come in.”
There was no response, so he tried again.
“Sola! Stop this rubbish now, I have an early morning appointment and I don’t have time for your childish games.” Now he was getting pissed. Sola usually tried to test his nerves especially at night and this looked like one of those times.
There was no response, nothing at all. Something wasn’t right.
Olu went back inside, picked up a small torch from the small glass centre table and went out again, treading cautiously towards the generator house which was at the far corner of the two plot property. The shaft of light emanating from the torch only managed to cut a small swath in the fabric of darkness that covered the yard.
Sola was still nowhere in sight.
When Olu got to the generator shed, the door was ajar. He opened it fully to change over to PHCN and at least provide illumination but stopped when he discovered some dark wetness on the ground. He gingerly touched it and sniffed.
Now there was a problem.
Shutting the door as quietly as possible, he once again swept the entire yard with the beam of his torch but still, nothing of note could be seen. Then the light from the torch flickered and started going dim. He swore silently and decided to check the back of the generator shed before going back inside for another torch or new batteries. He hadn’t even gone far when he saw Sola’s body right there on the ground lying face down.
Olu ran to the body, knelt down and almost gagged at the sight of the bloodied corpse’s back. He felt for a pulse and got none, although the body was still warm. What could have happened? He gently rolled it over and saw the savaged face. Both eye sockets were empty, the lids in shreds from the forced removal.
The torch fell from Olu’s hands and went out. Groping on the soft ground as he frantically searched for it, his ears picked up a low pitched chuckle and he froze in place, barely breathing. As slowly as he could, he raised his head and cast a glance in the direction from which the sinister sound had come. Something was perched on the fence, and it was looking directly at him.
The red gleam from its eyes told him as much …