by Kathryn Olushola
It is Friday today, the day I have been waiting to actualize all my dark desires. I am in my classroom, but I can’t get my eyes off of the wall clock. I can’t wait any longer. Today, darkness shall prevail.
My name is Emmanuella Johnson, I am 10 years old and I have a flair for mischief. I go to Christ For All Ministries and I also attend Christ For All Groups of School. My school is in the same compound as my church. I am in grade four and I have two friends: Ayo and Martha. Ayo is a boy and Martha is a girl. They are also in grade four.
My classroom is painted light blue. It is very spacious with rows of lockers at the back. My teacher, Miss Sandra, has a big table in front of the class. On her table, she has a laptop, photocopying machine, some books and a pencil holder.
Miss Sandra has big bulging eyes. Sometimes, it feels like her eyes are going to fall off whenever she rolls them. She has a dark mole on her upper lip. She wears baggy clothes and is very mean.
I sit in the first row next to the window, outside the window in a far distance, stands a very tall iroko tree. It is surrounded by a thick forest far away from the school compound. I always long to visit that tree because I think it is calling out to me. Ayo seats in front of me and Martha sits behind. They both attend Christ For All Ministries.
Ayo is the only child of his parents, Mr. and Mrs Adeyeye. They live in Jubilee Estate. Ayo likes anime cartoons from Japan and Korea. We are always lost whenever he starts talking about the characters from the cartons he’s watched. Ayo likes adventures too.
Martha is the last out of four children. She is chubby and short, and she likes girly things like Barbie. She is shy and does not like to get into trouble. Her eldest sister who is married and with a baby has come to spend the weekend with her family. I love Martha’s niece, Amanda. She is a playful baby. Her giggles are nice to listen to. She is only 3-months-old.
The clock is just striking 1:30pm; only thirty minutes left before I leave school. I will set out to the tree tonight when I return to the compound this evening for Friday service. I plan to tell Ayo and Martha about my plants after closing hours.
Miss Sandra dismisses the class after giving us a ton of homework. We would barely have time to play, Miss Sandra made sure of that.
“Ayo, Martha!” I call out to them outside. They turn around and pause as I run off to meet them.
“What plans do you have this evening?” I ask.
“Church service of course. Aren’t you coming?” Martha asks in her squeaky voice. Ayo nods in agreement.
“I know something better we can do instead.”
“What?” They both ask.
“Let’s go over to that tree.” I said pointing at the Iroko tree.
“Are you mad?” Martha barks.
“I’m not sure about that.” Ayo says.
“Oh c’mon guys,” I say, trying to convince them. “I have everything planned out. You’ll be fine. What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
“Snakes? Bears? Iguanas? The list is endless!”
“She has a point.” Ayo says “It may be very dangerous. Why do you need to go there anyways?”
“What? Ayo? Is that you? I thought you loved adventures.”
“Yes, I do, Emmanuella, but not the ones that involve roaming about at night.”
“Haven’t you heard the saying, ‘The darker the merrier?” I say.
“There is no saying such as that.” Martha interjects coolly.
“Alright! fine!” I say angrily and begin stumping off.
“Wait, Wait!” I hear them calling behind me, but I pay no attention to them.
“Alright, we’ll come!” That was enough to calm me down. I turn around and smile at them. Although their faces were filled with worries, I couldn’t care less.
“Thank you guys! One more thing,” I say as they close the space between us. “Martha, I need you to bring Amanda along.”
“No problem.” Martha says without protesting. Ayo looks dumbfounded but I don’t mind as long as I was going to get what I want.
“Okay guys. Meet me behind the staff room by 7pm.”
They both nod and leave. When I look up, I see Miss Sandra looking over at us.
Martha arrives with her baby niece in her arms and Ayo joins us shortly afterwards. I don’t mind that they arrived late. All that matters is that they were here.
I hold a lamp and a stick to clear small bushes on our way. Baby Amanda remains quiet as we advance into the thick forest. Ayo and Amanda are also mute. I am whistling as I walk. This night promises to be fun.
As we walk deeper into the bushes, looking back, we see that our school and church is no longer in sight. Ayo, Martha and the baby remain silent. We are stopped by a human-like creature without arms and legs. Its voice is deep and coarse like that of man. I am not frightened in the least.
“You are not supposed to be here,” the creature says.
I smile and shake my head. The creature doesn’t know who I am and what I can do. It thinks I am a stranger but I know exactly what it wants and that is what Amanda is here for. I take Amanda from Martha’s arms and hands her to the creature. He receives her with his mouth and takes off.
Ayo and Martha do not protest. When we get to the foot of the tree, I knock on the tree three times and Miss Sandra emerges from it. The news on the headline the following day read:
“THE BODIES OF TWO YOUNG CHILDREN AND A BABY WERE FOUND DISMEMBERED ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF CHRIST FOR ALL GROUP OF SCHOOLS”