It was almost 1 a.m when my dad asked for the generator to be turned off and unfortunately, I wasn’t asleep. I was doing some writing actually, trying to complete my post on happiness. PHCN decided to do what they’re best known for—holding power—and that week had been particularly bad. I worked till I was satisfied with what I’d written; or at least satisfied enough to go to bed. The time was about 3.25 a.m or so. I settled under the covers, closed my eyes…and that’s when they came.
Our rather unfriendly neighbourhood mosquitoes.
What is this now, I thought. Did I not spray this room with insecticide earlier?
I’m surprised my skin has not scarred from slapping myself so much in a bid to kill the idiot buggers. You know the most annoying thing? They can let you be for a few minutes. Then when you’re just about falling asleep, zzzzZZZZ! In your ear! Short, quick, but highly irritating. Ugh! My brother once told me, a few years ago, that he read an article which stated that mosquitoes in Africa have somehow evolved to develop exoskeletons. For this reason, they have become resistant to conventional insecticides. I don’t know how accurate that information is, but, omo, I believe! It’s like we are dealing with a special specie of mosquitoes nowadays. And if you see how huge they are, ehn! Ha!
I went to my mum’s bedroom to borrow a wrapper to cover myself with, since the bed sheet I was using felt too thick and heavy on my skin. I went back to bed, but unfortunately, the wrapper made no difference. It still wasn’t light enough to use and not feel like I was being cooked so I wrapped just my ankles and feet instead, meaning my arms were still exposed to the torture from the tiny, but annoying flying creatures. My hand became a flag, waving off the mosquitoes as much as I could. I began to feel tired and drained from all the movement and finally started to fall asleep.
That’s when I heard the other sounds.
My eyes flew open and in a split second, so many thoughts as to what the sounds signified flooded my mind. One of the sounds was definitely from a cat. Even though my heart skipped a beat at first, I wasn’t too alarmed. Stray cats normally find their way into our compound. It wasn’t the first time but I had never heard them that late and…wait…one of the sounds was abnormal. It was like the cry of a human. At first it sounded like an adult was crying but soon after, it began to sound like the cry of a baby.
A baby? Outside? At that time? Ahn ahn. Except…I instantly became very wide awake. Was that…a bush baby? Prior to that moment, I had never heard the sound of a bush baby. I know, though, that it sounds like an actual crying, human baby.
A bush baby? In our compound. The devil is a liar!
It was like a terrible, terrible two-man band, their unpleasant music intensifying with each passing second. Funnily enough, I wasn’t scared but na so I begin dey pray o. Just in case the situation was a paranormal sometin. I wanted to avoid stories that touch.
‘Father, I cover this house with the Blood of Jesus. I pray for Your divine protection. I ask that You watch over us. Give Your angels charge over us and may they surround us on every side.’
If there were no mosquitoes in the room, I would’ve fallen asleep immediately after I had prayed, strange animal sounds or not. It became quiet, but only for a few seconds and they began wailing again. Louder this time.
Meow, meooowwwww, MEOOWWWWWW!!
My goodness! I was going crazy!
The simultaneous cries of a cat and what could possibly have been a demon bush baby.
In the midst of all the noise, I heard another sound from our neighbour’s compound. Yes, the ones with the blue roof. It was a lone female voice, which sounded far away but was loud enough for me to know she was shouting where she was. I listened intently. By this time, it must have already been past 4 a.m and it didn’t sound like she was fighting or arguing with someone else. It sounded like she was kabashing and binding and casting in her corner. God forgive me but I burst out laughing. Me, alone, in the dark. Laughing, when it was highly likely that there were evil spirits hovering in the atmosphere. I couldn’t help myself, though. I quickly got out of bed and stood by my window. The more the lady prayed, the louder these creatures became.
Hiaaannn, I thought. What. Art. Thou?! Taa wu taa. Today na today.
I was so frustrated, but I began praying as well, though not as violently as she was.
I kept at it and then…complete silence.
The noises stopped as suddenly as they’d begun. I waited to see if they would start again, but…nothing. Everything became very still and I went back to bed. It was quiet long enough for me to start falling asleep again. A short while later, though, I woke up and ended up leaving my bedroom to sleep somewhere else, but not for the reason you think…
The mosquitoes won.