The Foul Things

Stella stared at the window from her seat as the rain beat down on the glass surface. She sighed and took another sip of her tea, careful to avoid dripping the hot liquid onto her white starched uniform. Dropping the cup on the desk, she opened her laptop and began perusing the internet, running her hand through her Bohemian hair do before settling on replying her Facebook messages. She had barely begun typing a response when a knock brought her out of her reverie.
“Come in.” She said, without looking up at the door.
A tall, dark skinned man entered, wearing a similar white uniform to hers. He smiled a bit when she looked up at him.
“Shola, what’s up?”  She inquired, removing her glasses and setting them aside.
“Nothing o, I just wanted to stop by, say hi.” He replied in a deep, somewhat silky voice.
“Thank you. My shift doesn’t end till 6am so I’m here till then.”
“I know. But you know you can leave sha, as oga here. No one will question you.” He replied, settling into a seat in front of her desk.
“I know, but that’s not a quality of a good leader.”
Shola laughed; a deep genuine laugh that seemed to resonate from his belly.
“I can always cover for you, you know?” He replied after the laughter subsided.
It was her turn to smile. She knew the man seating across her was madly infatuated with her. He was ranked a single level below her in the clinic where they worked and she was sure it contributed to why he hadn’t asked her out. Not that she wanted to go out with him, but she found him amusing most times and he was good company.
“Thank you Shola, but I’d rather stay here, besides, what happens if Mr Orji goes berserk again? You know he only responds to me.”
“That’s why the white man created sedatives, and a job called psychiatric nursing.”
“I’d rather he takes the drugs on his own, instead of wrestling him to the ground and sticking a needle in his throat.” She replied.
As a psychiatrist, Stella found out early on that the one thing she couldn’t stand in her discipline was the violent struggle needed to rein some patients in. She tried to avoid forceful sedation where possible.
“Yeah, I’m aware of your dislike for ‘violence’. You’re the special one sha. Only God knows how you do it.” Shola said, referring to how patients seemed to respond to Stella no matter how agitated they got.
Stella shifted uncomfortably in her seat, blushing, and almost regretted it.
“I was thinking if you’re free on-” Shola began, nervously scratching her desk.
Stella was spared the discomfort of turning him down by a nurse that crashed into her office panting heavily.
“Dr Stella! You need to see this!” The nurse shrieked.
Stella looked at Shola who looked like he wanted to slap the nurse.
“What is it, Charity?” Shola asked the nurse.
“Dr Shola, I don’t know how to explain it, you have to see it for yourself.” Charity blurted out, tears starting to pool in her eyes.
“It’s okay Charity, let’s go.” Stella replied, closing her laptop.
She could have sworn she saw Shola stare at her ample cleavage, but she banished the thought as she followed the nurse. After all, almost all men found her attractive.
They walked down the white corridors leading to the male ward and through the heavy metal doors that kept the occupants inside. All the nurses on duty had gathered in front of room 13B, shock and disbelief on their faces. Some huddled together away from the room, shaking their heads ruefully. Stella felt her heart sink as the room number registered in her head; it was Mr Orji’s room. She hesitated for a bit, before Shola stepped past her and opened the door.
The two of them were not prepared for the sight that greeted.
Shola gargled, struggling to retain the contents of his stomach as he took several steps back. Stella stood frozen on a spot, too dazed to do anything else.
The lights flickered on and off.
A naked body hung from the ceiling, suspended by a piece of cloth tied around the ankles and attached to something in the ceiling. Blood pooled on the floor from an open cut on the neck which left the head barely attached to the body.
Stella gasped as the faced rotated into view.
Mr Orji.
“Call the police. Now!” She barked.
They pulled out their phones and tried to dial the emergency numbers only to realise there was no network.
“No network ma.” Charity responded first.
“Me too.” The nurses begand adding, one by one.
Stella pulled out her phone. The network signal icon was devoid of bars.
“The hell?” Shola cursed, staring at his phone.
Just then, a security guard came rushing to them.
“Who lock the gate?” The man said in heavily accented pidgin English, his brown shirt wet in some places. “I just enter now go piss, and person don lock the gate before I go back.”
Stella stared at Shola.
“Have you checked the back entrance?” She asked the guard.
“That one dey always dey locked. And I no see Adamu sef.”
Adamu was the second guard on duty that night.
Just at that moment, a loud shriek tore through the night, echoing off the walls of the clinic. They ran down the corridor into another block of rooms and were greeted by the sight of another naked body, hanging from the roof, suspended by the clothes it once wore, bleeding.
Adamu was dead.
Chaos ensued as the nurses fled for their dear lives in all directions. Stella stood, staring at body, utterly confused.
“Let’s go!” Shola tugged at her hand.
“Wait.” She replied calmly.
The lights suddenly went out casting the clinic into darkness. The wails of some of the patients in their rooms cut through the walls, agitated by the sudden descent into darkness.
A gentle chilly wind blew past Stella and Shola, causing goose bumps to appear all over their exposed skin. Then as suddenly as the lights went out, it was restored.
“What the hell?” Shola cursed again “Let’s get out of here.”
This time, Stella followed him. They headed for the common room on the third floor, flying up the stairs in twos and threes, and right into a bloodbath.
The bodies lay strewn about, bleeding out onto the white tiles of the clinic.
All the nurses lay dead.
Shola slipped and fell, blood smearing the back of his white uniform.
“That’s not a very impressive move young man.” A voice said.
Stella turned around and spotted a figure sitting on one of the armchairs in a corner.
The figure got up and started towards them, seemingly gliding instead of walking.
Shola got back up to his feet and grabbed a mop.
“Stay back!” He said.
The figure came into view.
Six feet tall with broad shoulders, he was dressed in black all through; black shirt, black jeans, black leather jacket, and black shoes. His hair was slicked back in a stylish European manner but his skin spoke of African heritage; dark. His eyes were an unusual green and his teeth were perfectly white. He bore the aura of death and they could feel it.
“C’mon, if you’re going to threaten me, please have the decency to not raise a mop at me.” He said, smiling mischievously.
“Who are you?” Stella asked.
“I go by many names to be honest. You can call be ‘B’ for now.”
“Yes, B. And no it’s not Bayo or Brian or any name you currently have in your head.” He said, stepping closer towards Stella.
“Stop there.” Shola said raising the mop higher.
B looked at him, cocking his head to one side, seemingly confused, and then waved his hand slightly as if to dismiss him.
The mop vanished.
“Anyway, I came to get you.” He said approaching Stella once more.
“Get me?”
“Yes, and I must say, you are even more beautiful than he described.”
“Who is he? Who are you? What do you want?” Stella said, confused. She knew she should be afraid, but she didn’t understand why she wasn’t. Hell, she was even attracted to the guy; if she could call him that.
He chuckled.
“One question at a time me lady.” He took her right hand and kissed it.
A current rippled through Stella and she felt her knees wobble and then buckle as she collapsed.
Shola broke out of his daze and launched himself at B, only to pass through him like a mist.
B grabbed his neck and tossed him into the wall, pinning him there with an invisible force.
“Now you’re starting to annoy me.” He said, pointing his hand, palms outstretched, towards Shola.
The man’s skin began to sizzle and melt. Shola screamed as the pain tore through his sanity.
“You don’t have to kill him.” A silky voice said.
Stella got up, cracking her neck.
“Ah, you’re back. This is awesome.” B said smiling sheepishly.
“Shut up Belial, know your place.” She replied curtly.
“I’m sorry your highness. To be honest, I hoped your return would take some time so I could actually have a taste of-”
He was suddenly flung through the air, crashing into the wall beside Shola by the force of her slap.
She sashayed towards them, hips swaying ever so slightly in a sultry manner. Shola stared at her from his position pinned against the wall, fear in his eyes.
“I see feeding off their insanity has made you stronger.” Belial coughed out.
“Don’t flatter yourself. I walk in realms of power you don’t even understand, even after the blood bath you powered up with.” Stella replied, grabbing Shola’s mouth. “Such a shame, you’re such a fine specimen for a human.”
“Jesus.” Shola said
“Oh spare me the crap, you’ve wanted to nail me since the first day you saw me. My curves, my hips,” She laughed “My body, you wanted it for yourself. You kept playing the ‘mister nice guy’ card. It never did work for you, did it?”
“Please, don’t kill me.”
Stella smiled.
“I’m going to grant you your desire though. You always wondered how it would be like to kiss me, now you get to find out.”
With that, she drew his mouth to hers and kissed him; a deep passionate kiss that took his breath away, literally sucking out his life force. She dropped him as her skin began to glow, radiant and beautiful.
He collapsed to the floor, a shell of a man, staring blankly into the unknown and picking invisible objects from thin air.
“Let’s go Belial.”
“Are you ready to see him, your highness?” The fiend asked, much more respectfully.
“He’s waiting for me. Let’s not keep him waiting.”
They disappeared into nothingness with the implosion of a dark energy just as all the doors to the rooms burst open, releasing the patients to wander around with no agenda in their white and blue clinic gowns, staring glassy eyed at everything.

Categories Short Stories

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