Dele parked his Honda Civic 1999 at the usual spot like every other night. But deep in his heart he knew tonight was not going to be like every other night. He got out of the car, walked to the trunk to retrieve something from inside it – and then walked towards the dark building.
He knocked on the door, it opened almost immediately.
“Did you get it?” Izu, his flatmate asked before rushing back to the floor.
“Yes” Dele said holding up the paper bag he’d gotten out of the trunk. “Where’s Jude?” he asked, looking around for a place to place the bag. Every piece of furniture had been moved away from their places and put against the walls. In the middle of the room was a heptagram that had been perfectly done in ashes by Izu. The ashes of various things as directed by the text.
Finally he placed the bag on the table that now stood against a wall.
“Preparing the robes” Izu replied dismissively. He hated to be interrupted.
An hour later the three boys stood together at one end of the living room.
“Who’s nervous?” Jude asked, needing a cigarette badly. His fingers were twitching. Palms sweaty. Heart racing.
“I was born ready” Dele said, feigning bravery. Deep down he was scared. He’d been to the bathroom over half a dozen times in the past hour. He was going to keep from going once more. He’d get through this first.
“3 minutes to go” Izu said, pulling on his hood. He was the skeptic in the room. “Are you sure we have it right?” he added, looking at the black metal urn in the centre of the heptagram. The urn contained a few items, easy to get really. A little too easy, in his opinion.
Jude had found the text online and brought home the idea. It was supposedly an ancient text detailing rituals for various ceremonies and processes. The one that had caught his attention was this one – “Endless Wealth“.
He had talked the other guys into doing more research and translation to make the text useful. They had downloaded images of items they couldn’t identify and shown the elderly women in the market. Their cover story was that Izu, who was a pharmaceutical student was doing some experiments working on some herbs to show efficacy to treat certain conditions. The women bought it.
There had been one argument, though. Two women had given two different names for the same image. Search as they did, they couldn’t find a red flower anywhere with one of the names proffered. The first, however, was not hard to find. They had argued for days, done more research, asked more people until they had some sort of opinion poll going. Only the old woman at Iferee junction had identified the image of this flower as ‘Ibum ima’. No one knew what that was. Every other source had identified it as the what Izu had assured them was the Montbretia. Botanical name: Crocosmia Lucifer.
The name alone had sent a shiver down Dele’s spine. A shiver that had still not abated as the three undergraduates stepped bare-feet onto their chosen points on the star.
They had learned the words of the incantations by heart and said them in unison. It took less than 2 minutes to recite the lines. 3 boys and 4 candles to occupy all 7 points.
“…from all points, wealth like never seen, give to us” they finished.
All went quiet. Even the neighbor’s dog was quiet tonight.
Dele shuffled his feet. He really needed to go to the bathroom. But beyond that, nothing seemed to be happening. He looked at Izu, then Jude. They all stood there looking at the urn.
The problem was no one actually knew what was supposed to happen after the incantations.
“Ok, I’m done” Izu said, resuming chewing his gum, he pulled down his hood and stepped away from the star.
Dele laughed nervously, “Shit ain’t working” he said, sweeping off his hood, he turned around and walked away. His destination was the bathroom. Maybe he could have stayed some more, but he really needed to pee and Izu had, thankfully, bailed him out.
Jude sighed disappointed as he began to blow out the candles. “Let’s clean this up” he said.
“Tomorrow, man. I’m off to bed” Izu said and with that left the living room.
Izu took off the robe and tossed it in the corner. As he took off the boxers he wore underneath, he heard a blood-cuddling scream. He froze. Now the dog was barking loudly.
Dele felt like knives had been inserted into his throat. He had screamed when he looked in the mirror and found a woman, cloaked in black hooded garment like he was standing behind him. The sudden realisation had shocked him to the bones. He was trying to turn around, to fight his way out of the bathroom when the woman grabbed his throat, he held the hand, trying to pry it off but surprisingly, she was too strong for him. Another hand seized his head from above sinking dagger-like claws into his eyes and nostrils, slowly ripping off the upper part of his once cute face taking his shaved scalp with it. He tried to scream as he choked on his own blood and heard his eye balls pop.
“Open the door!” Izu heard Jude’s voice. Dashing forward, he tripped, knees entangled in his boxers, he fell hard, hitting his jaw on the edge of his bed. His left set of premolars and canine, sank into his his tongue almost slicing it in half.
“Fuck!” he tried to shout, but it came out more like “fouuuuur“.
He held one hand to his mouth as he pulled on the boxers with the other. The pain was blinding, but he had to move. ‘Get help‘ his head screamed as blood filled his mouth, went past his palm, trickled down his arm and off his elbow on to the floor.
Jude heard the fall. He wasn’t sure what it was. Whatever it was would have to wait. He took five steps back, dashed towards the bathroom door and kicked it in. It swung back like it had been opened all the time. He wasn’t prepared for the near-zero resistance he encountered. He landed in a pool of blood, skidding all the way to the bath tub, smashing his right knee into it with a sickening thud.
“Arrrrghhh!” he yelled, grabbing the knee.
His pain was overtaken by the sight of Dele in a pool of blood. Blood was pouring out of his neck and face – or what was left of it. He threw up.
“What tha fuck?!” Jude shouted.
Through his pain, Izu had heard the crash in the bathroom. He stumbled on, leaving a trail of blood. He was beginning to feel light-headed. He had to get help. He had to exit the house. He had seen more than his fair share of horror flicks – he knew better than to go investigate the disturbances.
The backdoor was a few steps away when a form stepped into his path. He felt her before he saw her. The heat emanating from her body was impossible. Before he could react, claws had punctured his abdomen. He felt his boxers fill up with excrement. He staggered backwards looking at the hand that now held on to one end of his digestive tract, the other end was still in his body, A bloody, gory line of intestines, connected him to his assailant’s hand. He crumbled to his knees, looking into the coldest pair of eyes he had ever seen. One thought was on his mind “We screwed up”
Jude managed to crawl out of the bathroom, through the pool of his friend’s blood and his own vomit. He had to get out but he couldn’t stand. He realised his knee had been terribly damaged in his fall.
His eyes fell upon the urn still sitting at the centre of the star. It had developed cracks. It was looking white. “White hot?” Jude murmured “How can that be?“. Though he could feel the heat spread out from the urn.
The urn shattered sending dozens of super heated metal shards in only one direction – Jude’s.
His scream split the night air, as the pieces of hot metal blasted dozens of holes in his body, shredding his internal organs, stopping only when they struck bone. He lay there, consciousness slipping away as he bled from every opening. He could smell burning flesh – his’.
‘ Endless wealth indeed,’ was his last conscious thought, as his lights dimmed. Over him stood the old woman from Iferee junction donning a black hooded cloak.