Networks of lightning flashed across the silvery black thundercloud. A couple of thunderclaps seemed to enjoy its moment as it increased menacingly, the wind, howling rather too loudly as raindrops hit the roof above. I peered continuously in the dark, absolutely oblivious of what was about to occur.

I kept at this for a while, swaying my arms on my ever comfy cotton bedspread. ‘Oh! How I hate the rains’ I mumbled. Just then, my ears picked up the sound again. T’was just about the middle of the night, and I was home alone. Hearing such odd sounds at such hour was absolutely no joke. I hadn’t taken cognizance of it ‘cuz of the rains but it became louder and clearer as I sat up wondering what it could be. 

First I heard a scraping sound, next, a shattering glass or so. Then the door to the hallway creaked open. ‘Ok, now I wasn’t hallucinating’ I thought. ‘Someone’s definitely in this house with me’ I whispered to myself as I tried to scramble out of bed. With my head tilted, I peeled off my blankets as if it’ll give my presence away.

Efforts to get outta bed without making a single sound proved abortive, as the bed wood creaked a little. ‘Damn you stupid snitch’ I cursed under one breath. Gritting my teeth, I opened my weary eyes wider as if it’ll grant me a clearer view into the dark, searching futilely for my flip-flops.

This time, my ears picked up the sound clearer. I began to feel queasy. Swiftly, I tilted my head towards the opened door to my room again. Breath held, and without blinking, I froze mid-way between standing and sitting; my fist, against the bed elevating my whole being. Sighed with relief, I went back to rummaging for my slippers with my leg. 

Again, the sound, this time closer, louder, accompanied by a thunderbolt that was so loud that my hands immediately lost it’s strength. Falling back in bed, I swiftly rolled over, kneeling, staring earnestly focused at the doorway. The rain had subsided but lightening flashed occasionally, followed by a slight rumbling of thunder. Everything seemed to have quietened with the subsided rainfall and I was beginning to feel like I was a victim of one of nature’s tricks, until it became clearer it wasn’t. Brows furrowed, as if unsure of what I saw, a huge queer silhouette slanted across the wall just opposite my bedroom.

‘Oh my God’ I whispered. I was in a quandary whether to pick up my phone and dial for help or search for a defensive weapon. The seemingly dwindled rain returned in a heavier downpour. My already befuddled mind was too vague to reason out my next decision. This creature, however, seemed to be very much aware of my being awake, as it advanced very stealthily towards my bedroom. It incessantly waved what I made out of its silhouette, an object I thought to be a curved blade.

Hands clammy, heart racing, I was sprawled on the cold bare floor. I didn’t seem to mind its temperature at all, hell, my blood was already even colder. I peered at the doorway from under the bed, enveloped in the abyss of fear. I failed to quell my quivering knees. A cacophony of strange voices filled my head, screaming the only word I’ve been trying not to think about. ‘I can’t die now. I can’t’ I said in a low mutter.

I shut my eyes tightly as if to relieve myself of this nightmare; hot tears trickled down my cheeks which was already wet with sweat. Thoughts of kids I’ve bullied, right from middle school mocked me; thoughts of countless numbers of confessions and restitutions I had to make to my dear Mum gnawed at me. ‘Had I tagged along with Dad to vigil or with Mum to her sister’s, downtown, I wouldn’t be in this hapless’. 

Again, as if being controlled by the mystery man, the storm quietened. All, except for the occasional flashes of lightning and the swaying drapes, seemed calm. It was as if he’d waited for the storm to subside. I swallowed hard, still alert. My racing heart was still pounding ominously as I wondered. ‘Why wait for the rains to subside when you can use it to drown out any loud activity that may ensue’ I asked myself. 

Just then, the end seemingly approached nearer. Death’s stroke advanced slowly, assuming a huger frame as it moved. I gawped at the entrance, deafened by the absolute silence of the night. My fingers could hardly stop shaking; who cared anyway. As the figure approached the entrance, I shut my eyes so tightly, that my creased forehead ached badly, because of the jabbing nerves, aroused by impending danger.

Oh, the shame that gnawed at my dignity. The way I shook like a jellyfish; the way I tried so much to stop my teeth from chattering. The ugly way I twisted my lips downwards. I was so dank; I thought the rain fell in the room and only on the ground where I lay. Oh, how much jabberwocky prayers of whatever I was thinking I said to God. He’d probably not even forgive me for saying such obscure prayers. I couldn’t hear his footsteps, but my demented mind insinuated heavy movements.

I waited, half alive, mind, insipid enough to be totally blank. I lay there, coward of cowards, awaiting an atrocious prescription of hurt from Death’s Stroke. ‘He must be enjoying seeing me cower’ I thought. Just then, I thought I heard that sound. I thought it to be familiar but still lay quiet. I was rather being murdered by the deafening silence that ensued and opted to lift my head and have a peek.

I mustered up the courage to do so. Half-opening my left eye was a real big deal. The devil himself commanded a bead of sweat to trickle down, and this got my vision even blurrier. I decided to display my full courage by opening both eyes and to my uttermost bewilderment, he stood there, in front of me; He’d been watching me all these while and was even more confused by the look on his face.

He had round deep black eyes, and really sharp blade-like claws, and a scanty moustache, or should I say ‘whiskers’…for he was nothing more than a strange helpless mouse, who’d be walking on its hind legs on a stormy night!

 My paranoia got the best of me that night. Oh, to ensure this unpleasant event remained a secret, I killed the damn mouse!

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