Bondum graveyard

The night was chilled as a cold breeze blew from the north. The moon was half full illuminating the tombstones at the graveyard. The ambience was eerie and quiet except the occasional hoot from an owl and another sound Loomsay could not decipher the source. It seemed to occur every quarter of an hour. A loud screeching noise like an instant application of the brakes of a heavy duty vehicle that lasts for about three seconds. The sound came from the entrance of the graveyard. It was a starless night but the moon provided enough light that he could read the engravings on close tombstones. The closest one to him read: Dr Cocin Mvala. 1948 – 1997. A good man and a great father.
Loomsay pressed the button on his iPhone. Sixteen minutes past one o’clock. He still had about an hour and forty five minutes to go. The whole ordeal was getting scarier by the minute. The screeching sound seemed to be always sounding closer than the previous ones and the owl was beginning to hoot incessantly. It’s nocturnal sound sending chills down his spine. He sat perched on one buttock on one of the tombstones that he read to belong to a child. He steadily darted his eyes intermittently praying against any movements or sounds. He had somehow gotten used to the owl and the screeching though he was still far from comfortable with them especially the screeching. He was as still as a rock. He had his headsets in his jean pockets but he dared not put them on. He had thought of putting them on to listen to music to help distract him from the sounds and make time go faster but he realised he needed to be acutely aware of his surroundings. If not for the occasional sliding out of his phone to give a surreptitious glance at the time, the phone stayed put in his pocket. On mute. He tried his best not to attract the slightest attention to himself. He kept thanking his stars for deciding to go on an all black outfit.
The wind suddenly got fiercer then came to an abrupt halt. The owl was no longer hooting. Dark clouds floated over the moon obstructing its illumination. The environment got darker and different. His heart began thumping rapidly as different evil thoughts and imagery flashed through his mind. His limbs were numb and his teeth chattered mostly from being frightened and not from the chill of the night. His neck was the most active part of his body as he continuously turned it in different directions. He somehow missed the hooting of the owl. It had made him not feel totally alone. The presence of a living thing irrespective of it being an ominous one. A sense of not being totally alone in the dark at midnight and in a graveyard. The screeching sound suddenly came again, louder than it has ever been accompanied by a fiercer wind. The sound seemed to be coming directly behind him. He turned around in fear and saw a white figure dash past in a flash quickly melting into oblivion.
It had all started from a dare after a binge on alcohol. Loomsay, Trevor, Alli, Kate, Ada, Sophie and Soura decided to play a game of truth or dare. It was fun and harmless at the beginning with everyone basking in the safety of the truths till all truth questions were disallowed. Only dares. The game gradually got a competitive edge as each person tried to out dare the other. Loomsay had dared Kate to send an ‘I miss you’ text message to her ex whom she hated with a passion. Therefore, in retaliation she dared him to spend midnight in the Bondum graveyard, from 12am to 3am. The group of friends agreed to drop him off and pick him up at the allotted time. They had taped the gate to the graveyard with masking tape to make sure he stays in the confines of the graveyard. Failure to carryout any dare was tantamount to a fine of a thousand bucks. Loomsay did not have a thousand bucks to spare and did not want to appear a chicken. Was it just not to spend a couple of hours in a graveyard? He consoled himself that the dead were conscious of nothing. Ghosts were only meant to scare kids.
The Bondum graveyard was an old graveyard situated at the outskirts of the city beside an old decrepit church. A wire mesh separated the graveyard from the church. It had served as the only graveyard in the city in the past century before modern cemeteries and columbarium walls became prevalent. It was notorious for its superstitions. Stories upon stories of clandestine activities and devil worshipping abound. The circle of friends had considered it cruel for Kate to send Loomsay there but Kate made them realise that Loomsay’s dare to her was equally cruel. After all, a dare is a dare.
Loomsay tried to move his body to no avail, he tried to scream but so sound came forth. Only his eyes he had control over. The screeching sound was now persistent in his ears, now very shrill. His head boomed, seeming to get bigger and bigger. He was gradually losing the power in his sight. The got blurrier whenever the white translucent image flashed across before fading away, transfixing him. Great-Horned-Owl.night_.jpgThe tawny owl was now perched on the grave of Dr Cocin as it starred at him without a sound. It’s large amber eyes gazing at him accusingly. It turned its large head to look around from time to time. Loomsay felt a cold presence before him, he could not see it but he could feel a presence. A face emanated before him in a mirage, its ugly features contorted. He could not make out the nature of what he was seeing as it moulded into different shapes struggling to find a form. The owl suddenly began hooting incessantly doubling the shrill in his head. His mind darted to his friends. How foolhardy it was for him to agree to this dare irrespective of the legend behind the graveyard. He no longer felt fear, he felt regret, helplessness and hopelessness. The image vanished before him with its cold presence. He suddenly felt a purge and jerk accompanied with severe dizziness as his body shook and convulsed uncontrollably. He lost touch of the last of his senses as he felt himself being inhabited. He tried to summon the last of his spirit to fight back the invasion but he was already weak to his bones. The owl let out one long last hoot, flapping its wings. Loomsay felt himself floating slowly and steadily with what was left of his senses.
It was two minutes past three o’clock when they got to the graveyard. The tape was still intact. Trevor, Sophie and Soura stepped into the threshold of the Bondum graveyard to congratulate their friend on a dare well done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s