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     Christmas knocks at our doors hastily, the celebration of the birth of Christ. The weather in Lagos, Nigeria is certainly a heart-warming relief in comparison to that of Moscow, Russia.
As I accompanied my cousin Kike to shop for Christmas tree ornaments. I couldn’t help but think about the articles I read about 25 December being inaccurate as the date of the birth of Christ.
Apparently, 25 December was first identified as the date of Jesus’ birth by Sextus Julius Africanus in 221. The origin of this date is that 25 December  was the Christianizing of the day of the birth of the unconquered sun, a popular holiday in the Roman Empire that celebrated the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun and later was related to the birth of the son…
Well, Birth of the Sun or Son. Christmas is Christmas and that’s final. I’m not willing to let theories get in the way of my family’s favorite holiday. This time of the year is greatly cherished by my family for numerous reasons especially because all our family members across the world come back home to enjoy the Christmas bliss and drama under one roof.

‘Wale what do you think of this?’ Kike asked as she dangled a golden dove-like ornament across my face.
I tried to act like I was thinking but, sincerely I couldn’t care less if we used the old ornaments for the Christmas tree. Kike is the perfectionist and she needs everything to be perfect and in vogue. I wonder if it has anything to do with the aesthetics of her instagram photos but one can’t blame her, the lady also makes money from there and that’s the only reason I agreed to help her out.

After about 3 hours of walking around the mall, we found the most unique and magnificent ornaments.

It took us about 2 hours to get back home due to the Saturday traffic.
Moments later, it became a tree decorating party with glasses of red wine, white wine and Champagne flowing across the living room.
The white Christmas tree with the green, gold and red ornaments sat majestically at the left corner of the room. It was perfect, just as Kike wanted it.

‘Kike, Wale.’ Chuks called out as he approached them.

Chuks, the charismatic light-skinned Petroleum Engineer had his reading glasses strapped to his elf-like ears, with his perfectly shaped afro and excitement dancing all over his face.

‘Great job guys!’ Chuks acknowledged as he raised his wine glass towards the tree.

‘Guys, do you remember Sharon and Blake from high school?’ Chuks asked before Kike could get a chance to respond.

‘Yes yes.’ Wale responded.

‘Yes, what about them? Please tell me they are having another Christmas party, the one they had 2 years ago was lit!’ Kike questioned in excitement.

‘Oh yes hunny, it’s even way better than that, this time they decided to throw a halloween-themed Christmas party since we all missed halloween.’ Chuks responded.

‘Yes yes, When is it? Wale don’t even think of saying no, I would literally drag your butt there.’ Kike said.

‘It’s on the 23rd, we’ve got so much shopping to do. Most importantly, we’ve got to decide who we are going as. I’ll go as a vampire, Elijah Mikealson from the Vampire dairies to be precise.’ Chuks said as he stared at Kike and couldn’t help but wonder how she changes the color of her afro every week.

‘I will go as a nurse. Do you want to go as a Medic?’ Kike asked Wale as she gently tapped his left shoulder.

‘I will go as Merlin, the sorcerer or a fire fighter.’ Wale contemplated.

Meanwhile, Kike’s grandma overheard their entire conversation and she didn’t waste a minute before adding her grandma spice to the conversation.

‘Halloween ke? Nigba (During) Christmas, you kids of nowadays. Don’t you know that halloween is a pagan holiday, you are literally glorifying the devil and to make it worse during the time of Christmas.’

‘No Grandma, think of it more like dressing up for fun. We are not slashing pumpkins or going to the cemetery.’ Kike said trying to convince her grandmother.

‘Cemetery ke? You children don’t know anything. You don’t want to be haunted by ghosts, trust me! It isn’t something you want. Did you children even know that if one mistakenly falls into a grave one has to do multiple sacrifices within 7 days, if not the person will die. You children have been warned, Nkan ti oju yin ba ri, ke ma ran(Whatever you see there, you are on your own).’ Grandma expatiated.

‘Sacrifice? Isn’t that Paganism?’ Wale exclaimed.

‘Paganism? No. Isn’t that how your fore-fathers communicated with God before the white man came? My dear, please take several seats.’ Grandma said as she laughed and walked away leaving Wale, Chidi and Kike stultified.

‘Doesn’t Grandma lead praise and worship in the morning?’

‘Or prays morning and night?’ Chidi and Wale asked rhetorically.

23rd December, 2018; 10:00pm

‘C’mon guys, hurry up we don’t want to miss the entire party.’ Kike shouted from her room as she tried to get the guys to hurry up.

I don’t know if this entire party is even a good idea, this fire-fighter outfit makes me feel like a duck but I find it interesting and comfortable. Grandma certainly only poured gasoline to the fire but the only thing that keeps me calm is the fact that the party is not in a cemetery, so there is nothing to fear.

Kike’s driving skills were still as fierce as I remembered, one needs such skills especially on the crazy streets of Lagos. It took us about an hour to arrive at the house. It was surprising that Sharon was having the party at her house. It was secluded and at the extreme end of the street. The main gate opened automatically, carefully revealing the grand mansion.
As Kike drove in, I couldn’t see the borders of the mansion or the compound. It must have extended for acres but it was quite hard to tell.

We were greeted by a Housekeeper who asked for a password and Kike mumbled something I couldn’t apprehend and she let us in while a middle-aged man directed us to a room.

The room was a closet filled with different types and sizes of suits, long dresses, shoes for men and women and another section dedicated to Colombina half-masks.

‘I knew all of you would be inappropriately dressed!’ Sharon said as she walked into the room majestically, she wore a blue sequence halter neck long dress, with her hair packed in a pony tail and her Burgundy lipstick accentuated her toffee skin.

‘Oh look at Chuks, you almost got the dress code hun. Wait, what are you dressed as?’ Sharon asked but before Chuks was able to answer, she continued.

‘Never mind, it doesn’t matter. I know we asked everyone to dress up but consider this a compensation for your efforts.’ Sharon gestured towards the closet compartments and turned around as she smirked at Wale’s Fire-fighter’s costume.

‘Alright Sharon, we will pick out something and join you soon.’ Kike said as she pulled out a gold long dress and headed to the changing room.

Wale stepped out of the walk-in-closet in a dark grey three-piece suit, followed by Kike in a red bodycon long dress, then Chuks in a black double-breasted suit. They all wore different colors of the Colombina half-mask. The hallway had dark brown wood everywhere: the floors, the wall, even the ceiling. The Butler directed them towards a door, this time Kike went in first.

The guests turned to look at them as they entered, in total there was about 10-15 people. The flooring of the room was also wood, enormous gold chandeliers hung from the ceiling with candles around the big living room. The room smelled antique with a lavender scent, a black parlor grand piano sat at the right corner of the room.

Sharon introduced them to the rest of the guests who didn’t take their masks off but smiled and exchanged names with them. After a while of socializing, Sharon called the quests attention to the first event of the night- the dance.

Everyone picked a partner. A dark-brown skinned lady with piercing black eyes asked Wale to dance with her. They swayed from left to right to Banky W’s- Heaven.
They danced in the darkest corner of the room, a few meters away from the black parlor grand piano.
For a moment, he drowned in her eyes, her smile and imagined how she looked behind the mask, wondered what ran through her mind, wondering if she pondered about the face or soul beneath his mask.

The dance was over and yet they held one another’s hands.

‘My name is Wale, my Lady.’ Wale said as he let go of her hand and bowed.

‘I am Chika, your grace.’ Chika said as she curtsied.

‘It’s nice to make your acquittance.’ Wale said as he attempted to kiss Chika’s hand but Sharon interrupted as she called and led them to the dinning hall.

Kike pulled Wale with her as she walked towards the dinning hall, he waved at Chika and wondered why Kike would pull him away without acknowledging his company. The table was set and it was a feast fit for royalty, everyone devoured their plates in the most civilized manner.

Chika was absent from the dinning hall. It didn’t feel like halloween or Christmas to me, but between meeting Chika and this dinner, I’m immensely contented.

This time, the man who sat beside Sharon got up and introduced himself as Peter, he welcomed us and toasted to Halloween, the birth of the unconquered sun and all the dark things of the world. It was awkward but I assumed it must be the ramblings of a drunk man.

‘This second toast is for all the bleeding creatures, the predators and the prey. May the strongest always win.’ He toasted as suddenly the ceiling popped open and a lady in a white garment hung from a rope, she choked and struggled as the butler who was holding a knife walked towards her and slit her throat. Wale screamed and blinked multiple times before he realized the entire room was in chaos. A couple of people barely blinked and it was alarming.

‘Everyone calm down! This is not real, it’s nothing but a prank.’ Sharon convinced as she ushered everyone back to the living room and tried to explain how it was a prank.

Minutes later, the room was calm and filled with chit-chatter.

The next thing on the menu was the Ouija board.

‘C’mon guys don’t be so reluctant, it’s only a board.’ Peter convinced.

Five people volunteered to play which included Kike while Chuks and Wale decided to watch. Sharon went over the rules with them: ‘You must say hello, never forget to say goodbye…’

Finally, there she was! Chika must have returned from wherever she went to. Wale went across the room to join her.

‘You missed dinner, what happened?’ Wale asked.

‘The dead don’t eat.’ Chika said as she laughed and Wale simultaneously burst into laughter.

‘Are you going to take the mask off?’ Wale asked as he took his mask off in anticipation that Chika would do the same.

‘If you come with me to the cemetery, I will.’ Chika said in a softer voice as she smiled and there one could notice her asymmetric but beautiful smile.

‘There is a cemetery here?’ Wale enquired.

‘Oh yes pumpkin, what do you think is on this large property? They are a couple of underground tombs and museums. I can show it all to you as long as you come with me.’ Chika persuaded, while holding Wale’s hands and awaiting his approval.

Wale nodded in approval and he followed her.

‘Wale where are you going to?’ Chucks questioned as Wale opened the door.

‘I will be right back.’ Wale said as he hurried and closed the door.

Chika led Wale through the back door. They walked for about five minutes before they reached the cemetery. Wale was in awe at the size and wondered how many bodies were buried there.

‘This isn’t a family cemetery, is it?’ Wale asked.

‘Oh dear, that depends on what you define as family, those that bleed for you are also considered family, aren’t they?’ Chika asked.

‘Bleed? What do you mean by that.’ Wale questioned as Chika led him towards an old deserted building in the middle of the cemetery.

‘The girl that was sacrificed earlier, what do you think that was?’ Chika asked as she struggled to open the door to the building.

‘Oh that was a prank, as Sharon said.’ Wale answered.

‘Prank? Oh pumpkin!’ Chika said as she burst into a sarcastic laugh. ‘This is a museum and if I recollect, you have an attraction for old artifacts.’

‘I don’t remember telling you that.’ Wale said as he tried to remember the conversations from earlier that night.

‘Oh dear, you did!’ Chika said as she opened the door.

Chika and Wale walked down the staircase, the light was dim but everything smelled of dust, and cobwebs hung from every corner.

Finally, they entered a room filled with glass shelves, in the shelves there were different varieties of human skull and skeleton. The room smelled like cinnamon, it was modern and aesthetically appealing.

‘Did you collect this?’Wale inquired.

‘Oh no, this masterpiece belongs to Sharon and Peter.’ Chika answered.

‘How are you related to them?’ Wale asked.

‘I am one of those that bleed for them or rather I bled for them.’ Chika answered.

‘What do you mean by that?’ Wale asked inquisitively.

Chika smiled, ‘Don’t you want to take my mask off anymore?’ Chika asked as she pulled Wale closer to her by wrapping her hands around his waist.

He removed her mask gently, she was more beautiful than he imagined. He started to picture a life with her as he looked into her eyes.

‘Kiss me.’ Chika requested.

Wale leaned in for a kiss, she tasted of cinnamon with a pinch of strawberry. Wale’s neurons were literally on fire. Everything took a downturn as he started to taste something different from cinnamon or strawberry.
He tasted something rather mud-like, this instigated him to open his eyes but didn’t prepare him for the horrors his eyes saw next.

He opened his eyes and everything was different. Chika’s face gushed out blood and maggots. He retreated in fear and spit out whatever was in his mouth.

‘Oh pumpkin! You don’t like me anymore?’ Chika asked as she stood still.

‘Oh my God, what, who are you?’ Wale asked as he retreated towards the door.

Chika didn’t respond but instead started to laugh in a lunatic manner.

Wale didn’t wait to hear her response as he also noticed her clothings looked like rags and were torn at different angles and from the right side, one could see her brain through her head.

He ran and he made it out of the building, she didn’t follow him and that was meant to be a relieve but instead it made his heart beat faster.

‘You can run but you can’t hide.’ Chika whispered to Wale’s ears.

Wale looked around and yet he couldn’t see her. He couldn’t see anything or anyone. Grandma’s words rang in his head, he shouldn’t have followed her. He kept running and running as fear grasped the chambers of his heart.


Meanwhile back at the main house;

Chuks didn’t understand why Wale was in a haste to leave the room. He’s been talking to himself, dancing by himself and Chuks assumed he was just having fun but he’s been gone for about 15 minutes and was yet to return.

‘Oh my!!! Who moved the planchette?’ Kike screamed as she moved away from the Ouija board.

‘Oh yes it moved by itself.’ Peter answered calmly.

‘That’s totally normal, the spirits are trying to tell us something.’ Sharon explained.

‘Tell us something?’ Kike asked sarcastically as she was unable to comprehend how communicating with spirits made any sense.

They placed their hands on the board, as the planchette of the board moved from one alphabet to another and a lady in a pink dress wrote it down.

‘What does it say?’ Sharon asked eagerly as the planchette stopped moving.

‘Don’t go to the cemetery.’ The lady said.

‘Oh shit!’ Sharon said.

‘We have to ask a question. Is someone in trouble?’ Peter asked the board as the planchette magically moved to the corner where yes was written. ‘Thank you and goodbye.’ Peter said to the board.

‘Is anyone missing?’ Sharon asked immediately she got up and looked around.

‘Wale is not here, he stepped out a while back.’ Chuks explained.

‘Did you hear that?’ Kike asked.

‘Hear what?’ Sharon questioned.

‘Someone is shouting for help, oh no, I think it’s Wale.’ Kike said as she walked towards Chuks.

‘It’s coming from the cemetery, we can’t go there. It’s not safe.’ Sharon explained.

‘So we are going to leave him there because some stupid board said it’s not safe?’ Kike asked sarcastically as she pulled Chuks hands and went out of the room. It took them a minute to find their way outside.

Kike’s heart skipped beats as she and Chuks tried to find the exact direction Wale’s voice was coming from, she prayed and called God with every breathe of hers. They walked into the cemetery as they called out for Wale.

‘Holy Christ!’ Chuks exclaimed as he saw a giant dressed like Santa lifting Wale out of a grave.

Chuks and Kike rushed towards him but by the time they got closer, the Santa-like figure had disappeared. They helped him up, Wale had bruises and cuts all over his body. They put each of his arm over their shoulders as he kept saying ‘She’s coming, please we’ve got to hurry.’

‘Who’s coming?’ Chuks asked as he and Kike tried to pick up the pace.
There were getting closer to the house but they had not stepped out of the cemetery.

‘Hurry, all you have to do is cross the gate.’ Sharon yelled from the balcony of the house.

Finally, they arrived at the gate, Chuks stepped out with Wale and Kike was the last to step out as she felt a cold sharp metal run through her back.
Kike screamed in pain as something that looked like a human skeleton dragged her to the ground, the creature pulled her left leg. The Santa-like giant appeared from thing air, picked up the creature and walked away. Kike did not wait to see what happened as she ran and managed to come through the gate.


25th December,2018.

We almost ruined Christmas but praise be to God, we didn’t. Everyone was dressed and ready for Church. Kike’s back still hurts but after the stitches and dressing together with the pain killers, it was bearable.
The same couldn’t be said for me but luckily, I didn’t break anything and everyone in the house wouldn’t stop making jest of my encounter with the ghost and our giant Santa. Some still think I was making the whole thing up or I wanted to test Grandma’s theory. Really?
I have no idea how I fell into the grave, one minute I was running and the next, giant Santa was dragging me out of the grave.
Kike, Chuks and I would rather put it all behind us. No one knows what Sharon and Peter are actually up to in their diabolic villa or if the so called ‘prank’ was a real human sacrifice. We want to move on and never hear those names mentioned again.
Grandma didn’t waste any time to pull out her ‘I warned you’ card.

Although, no one could ask her if she would go through with the sacrifices of leave me alone and let’s see what would happen after 7 days. Whichever way, I live and my life belongs solely to God and I trust he who has delivered me from the pit of hell to cleanse me from the stench of the devil’s lair. This is our Christmas miracle and we couldn’t be more grateful.





What’s your Reaction?
Mariam Alayande

Mariam Alayande is a writer and poet. She started writing at the age of 9. Some of her articles have been published in a couple of magazines and books and is increasingly gaining more recognition.

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  1. Pep December 23, 2018

    Hahahah this is what happens when you don’t listen to your elder!! “Children obey your parents so that your days maybe long”

  2. MA. TEMI December 29, 2018

    Lol, that's true Pep. Thank you for reading.


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