Alone in the Dark

Hilda was a young teenage girl who lived with her parents in a lonely area. The street they stayed had only a few houses because it was still under developed.

Hilda was the quiet type and so she really didn't make friends with
the people in the neighborhood, she mostly wanted to be alone and
have peace of mind too especially since there were more gossips in the area than friends to meet.

A year back when they just moved into the place, they heard tales of robbery, rape, harassment and other scary stories of witch craft. For those reasons alone, her father was never comfortable leaving her alone in the house, someone had to be with her. Since there was no one available to stay with her, she spent her days at her father's office after school hours except on Saturdays and Sundays.

To cut long story short, things changed for the better in the
neighborhood and Hilda started feeling free to walk out even as late
as 8:00PM. The robbery reduced drastically and so did the rape,
harassment and witch craft stories. Just when everyone was heaving a sigh of relief but then, something happened to Hilda.

Hilda's parents went out one faithful day and didn't come back home until around 8:15PM. When they got home, they discovered that there was nothing to eat.

"Why didn't you prepare something?" Her mother asked.

"I thought of boiling rice." She replied. "But there is no stew to eat
it, and by the way, I thought you will buy something else when coming so I decided to hold on. You didn't buy anything? She asked.

"No. That means you will have to go behind to buy things to prepare stew." Her mother said.

Going behind to buy anything meant passing two houses before taking a bush part to a house where food items were sold. Hilda was very reluctant to go especially since it had become a habit for her parents to send her there almost every night to buy one thing or the other.

"Oh why now?" She complained. "Why didn't you buy something when you were coming? Every night you send me into that bush. I'm a girl o! and its not like anyone is escorting me."

"Sorry dear" Her mother apologized. "I didn't check the fridge this
morning before going out. I was sure there was stew. Its only soup I
planned to cook tomorrow."

Hilda had no choice than to reason with her parents. She reluctantly
took the money and list of items to buy before heading out.

On the way out their dog, their dog, Nippy, met her at the gate and
started to lick her legs. Hilda patted his head and thought of taking
him along for safety reasons but she decided against it. Nippy was a
very active dog that loved walkouts. Whenever he was taken out, one had to run after him just to keep up and Hilda knew the night was not for that.

"Sorry Nips" She said while still patting his head. "But I have to
leave you here. You cannot come along"

She then went out and left him. Outside was cold and lonely. Apart
from Hilda, no one else could be seen on the street. She noticed that
the crickets were not singing their night song and neither were the
night birds. It seemed odd to her but that was the least of her
worries. She flashed her torch light so as to see the ground she was
walking on. After passing the two houses, she soon got to the back
road. The road was very dark and bushy but with the help of her torch she was able to see her path. Soon she got to the house where food items were sold and called out. A little boy wearing just pants and t-shirt came out to attend to her.

"Wetin you wan buy?" He asked.

Instead of replying, Hilda simply gave him the list of items her
mother wrote for her. The boy looked at it briefly and said

"Meat no dey again oh, but fish dey. Make I bring am?"

"Yes" Hilda replied. If her parents didn't have meat for tonight then
it was seriously not her fault.

The boy ran inside the house and give the list to his mother who
instantly got up and started to package the items. While still waiting
outside, Hilda was very conscious of her surroundings. The thick bush whose grasses were waving gently in response to the soft breeze gave her goose bumps as she imagined the worst.

"What if someone comes out from there and grab me?" She thought to herself as she pointed her light in that direction, making sure no one was watching her. When she was satisfied, she would then direct the light to the ground where she was standing just to make sure there were no snakes or creeping things around. This continued for a while and when she was sure that all was well, she relaxed and waited patiently for her items to be brought to her.

Hilda was a fan of scary stories and she believed that fiction or not,
scary things really happened. She was happy not to have had any scary experienced but she was never comfortable alone in the dark. Reading and listening to too much scary stories were already having its effects on her.

In the next 5 minutes, the little boy came out with a black nylon back stocked with items and handed it to her,

"Your money na N800" He said.

Without wasting time, Hilda gave him the N1000 note she was holding and waited for him to bring the change. As soon as she collected it, she started on her way back to the house and just when she was close enough, she saw it, creature bent over and moving in slow steps. The creature was black all over and had a pointed head with one hand folded backwards. It was around 4ft in height and very skinny. Hilda couldn't make out the form properly because it was a little far away and she was scared to point her light at it so as not to get it angry.

Instead of waiting to find out what the creature was, she decided it
was best to move quickly. She hurried her steps but in the process,
the nylon bag she was carrying tore open and the items she bought came tumbling out.

"Oh damn!" She cursed beneath her breath and hoped that the creature didn't hear her. "Not now! Not now!! Not now!!!" She almost yelled.

Without wasting more time, she tied the end of the nylon which
fortunately for her was long so there was still space. She then bent
down and began to pack the items back into the nylon but due to fear and anxiety, some of the items kept falling from her hand before they could reach the bag.

"Oh just get in!" She almost yelled as she worked fast but she was
still having difficulty in getting some of the items in.

"Well, mummy will have to forget about these ones." She said as she abandoned them and got ready to move.

When she looked up again, her heart nearly jumped into her mouth. The bent creature was already so close to her gate but he wasn't there yet and it was still walking in slow steps.

"I can do this?" She said in an attempt to encourage herself but the
fear was still strong.

Hilda gathered courage and without another moment's thought, she took to her heels. She ran as never before to her gate and seeing that the creature was very close to her spot, she refused to look back but she was determined to get into the compound and into the house.

She tried to open her gate several times but anxiety made her fingers useless. Hilda panicked and soon began to cry and bang on the gate at the same time.

"Daddy! Daddy help me! Help me!" She screamed continuously.

She was not going to go down without at least letting her parents know that she was in danger.

Right there, in the cold of the night, she was feeling hot and began
to sweat. The sweat and the screams increased when she saw the bent creature coming towards her from the corners of her eyes. It took a steady pace and was in no rush to devour its victim.

At that same moment, she heard her parents' voice from within the
compound. They sounded scared as they ran towards the gate to see what was going on and also help their daughter.

Meanwhile, the bent creature was already standing at Hilda's side. She could feel its warm breath on her skin. Hilda closed her eyes and continued to scream while imagining the worst as she waited for its claws to sink into her flesh and tear her apart. This was the end, this was it. Her father may not be able to rescue her now but at
least, she was happy he would find her body and bury her properly. It pained her that she was leaving her dear parents so early in life and instinctively, she prayed that God give them the strength to bear her loss.

However, fear left Hilda and surprise took over when she heard the
creature say in a shrieked old voice that felt very weak and tired.

"Hilda, is that you? Why are you screaming and crying like someone is about to cut your throat?"

Out of sincere shock and surprise, she turned to her side only to see
old Mr. Obo standing there. He was bent because off the heavy farm tools and produce which he carried over his shoulder.

Mr. Obo was an old widower who lived alone but he liked to carry heavy things on his already bent back. He was always dressed in black clothes and a black pointed hat, it was meant to be a sign that he was still mourning his late wife.

Every evening, Mr. Obo took a stroll to his farm and came back late
and that evening was one of such evenings.

"Aren't you going to go in, especially with all that load you're
carrying?" He asked again.

Hilda was surprised and felt so stupid. She didn't fail to laugh at
her own stupidity and that was when the gate flew open.

"What's happening?" Her father asked as soon as he opened the gate. However, the fear left him when he saw Hilda standing with the old man and laughing away heartily. From the look on his face, Hilda's father could tell that the old man was also confused.

"Will you stop that laugh and explain your actions?" Her mother
yelled. "You made us all so scared."

"Oh mummy" She said as she tried without success to stifle the laugh. 

It took another 10 seconds before she was able to relax and tell them what happened. Everyone laughed because they understood and knew that she really was frightened.

"I will try not to walk out at night again." Mr. Obo said after he
recovered from the laugh.

After a little more time chatting about the incident, they said their
good nights and everyone went home. Hilda went back to pick the rest of the items that fell off from the nylon before following her parents inside the house.

The old man didn't know just how much he scared the poor girl. Anyway, that's what happens when you listen to too many scary story and end up being alone in the dark.