Oshiokhe Esther Momodu – Home Alone


I knew we were in trouble when I heard an upsetting sound,  like feet tapping on a hardcore tiled floor.  Godwin stared at me with his mouth agape, his eyes as wide as an ocean.

“Being home alone with you is a nightmare,” he screamed, shaking like a leaf on a wind-struck tree.  Hesitantly, I dragged myself from the bed to inspect the cause of this petrifying sound but not before I coerced Godwin to go with me.

The sight of a shadow-like figure heightened all my senses. Godwin froze on the spot. I could feel the colour drain from my body. The air smelt like blood, and the darkness sneered at me. The hairs on my body stood  up, as if they were being summoned for battle. Everything around us became suspect.

We looked up, down, left, right. We saw nothing but overwhelming darkness. Godwin tried to turn on the light, but there was no light. Frustrated, Godwin began to cry.

“I wish I had travelled with Mum and Dad,” he cried out.

My hands and legs could barely support my trembling body. I couldn’t even mutter a word. I became speechless. Suddenly…

It happened.

I heard a voice, it sounded like the cry of an owl. My heart began to beat like it had run a thousand metres. I could not hold back anymore. I screamed.

Godwin began to fidget while crying. I quickly hugged him to calm him down.

“Whatever is with us in the house will be able to easily locate and harm us if you continue crying,” I said, and immediately I finished speaking, he stopped crying. Only sobs could be heard from him.  “Big sister will protect you.” I said to ease the tension he was feeling.

The sound of my voice echoed through the walls of the house. It looked as if the house itself was displeased with me. There was no place to turn to for solace. I was a wreck. I could only strive to assume a brave face in front of my brother. The sound of my heart beating could be heard miles away.

It began to rain in torrents. The sound of thunder across the sky was deafening. The conflict between lightning and thunder did not help us. Instead, it aggravated our sour mood. Shocked to the core, I jumped at my brother’s slightest movement. This was going to be the longest of nights we’d had. Sleep was nowhere to be found. He had left us without any feeling of remorse. “Who am I to complain.” I thought aloud, even I would have left my brother and fled if given the opportunity.

Betrayed by my legs, I stood rooted to the spot with my brother’s hands around my waist and his face buried in my chest.

The only words I had courage to mutter was “God please save us. AMEN.”