12:00 A.M

All the students in Rainbow hostel of the University of Bloom were asleep by this time. Or was it all but one? Why does evil thrive more at night when unsuspecting people are deep in slumber? They say that life is a masquerade. What we are seeing is a camouflage for something else.

Janet woke up with a start. She had been dreaming that she was in the school cafeteria eating lunch, when suddenly her eyes fell on Dayo; a dark handsome guy from the Engineering department whom she hardly talked to. He was staring at her pointedly, unblinking, and his eyes looked as if the Creator Himself had forgotten to add lashes and lids to his eyes. His pupils were coal black. Didn’t they say that people with black pupils are usually wicked? As if reading her thoughts, his smiled. Or stretched his lips into what was supposed to be a smile. There was no teeth in his mouth, and all she could see was a black hole which reminded her of the abyss and Hades. She stopped chewing her food, having lost her appetite and was about to stand up when she observed that they were the only people in the cafeteria which was always choke full of hungry students. How odd…and there was something about him that was strangely familiar… oh…it was the lips, which was set a wicked smirk. It reminded her of her equally weird roommate Uju. She usually had that annoying smirk on her face when she was up to no good.

She stood now, feeling panic rising in her chest for no particular reason, except that normal people do not stare at you for so long without feeling the need to blink…
“Bless my soul! Which kind yeye dream be dis one?

She muttered under her breath, and quickly reached under her pillow for her Rosary and said five Hail Mary’s.
Then as her eyes adjusted to the dark room and aided by the moon beams, she was able to look round the room. That was when she noticed another odd thing…

The room had three bunks; two facing each other and one pushed back against the wall in the middle of the room, forming an open-ended rectangle. Each bunk was supposed to have two occupants on the top and bottom bed to make a total of six girls. Uju was supposed to be occupying the top bed across hers, but she wasn’t there. She looked around the room frantically. The floor was carpeted, there were buckets of different colours for identity purposes stacked in one corner, shoes which mostly belonged to Ovie arranged beside her bed, there was a stack of books on the plastic reading table beside her own bunk and three foldable chairs facing the second window. Each girl’s suitcase and luggage was neatly kept under the bunk to avoid cluttering the room, nails had been driven into different spots on the wall to hang bags,belts and keys, there was a ceiling fan rolling as if it would come off any moment, but there was no place to hide here. Uju was simply not in the room and fear gripped her by the throat.
She peered into the bed beneath her and was a bit relieved to see Lola asleep and snoring mildly.

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Strange things were always happening in ROOM ‘S’. All the rooms in the hostel were named after the letters of the English alphabet, and one would begin to wonder if theirs didn’t stand for ‘Strange’.

“Oh Jesus, not tonight again…please…please…” she whispred and clutched the rosary in her palms  tighter, then proceeded to climb down the shaky steps on her bunk bed to wake her roommate. She called out her name, and jerked her gently by the shoulders. They were supposed to be six girls in the room including her: Abigail; the loud tomboy who made people uncomfortable with her pointed stares, especially people of the same s3x, Pamela; the one who was very pretty, but hardly laughed except when someone was in pain, Ovie; the rich brat and also suspected food-thief in the room, Uju; the strangest of them all. She gave off eerie vibes like juju did to you in Nollywood movies. Then there was Lola; the troublesome one who was always ready for a fight, but it was just she, Uju and Lola who slept in the room tonight. The other three decided to sleep out against the hostel rules and regulations

“maybe they are scared of sleeping in the room now.” She though.

“Lola…Lola… Lola wake up”

“mmm…?” Came the sleepy mumble. “Abeg wake up o, I think Uju has started again…”

At the mention of Uju’s name, Lola’s eyes flew open and she sat up on her flattened mattress in shorts and camisole, her scattered hair casting an eerie shadow on the wall behind her “Haaaa… what’s the time?” she asked.
“I don’t know…I didn’t bother to check” Lola reached for her phone hidden under her pillow, and switched it on.
“12:12 A.M! Same time as yesterday. I don tawk am sey dis gel na winch. She no go let pesin sleep in peace for this room ehn? If I had known I would have just rented one room off-camp jeje o. Which kind wahala be dis? I have lectures by 7.a.m and need enough sleep. Kilode!?? Every night! Oti sunmi…you sef, why are you awake by this time ehn?” She queried, her voice rising.

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“See, Lola talk small small na abeg. I had a very weird dream, and when I woke up,I noticed Uju was missing from the room. Me am scared o…”

“Scared of wetin? I’m going to look for that girl and give her a piece of my mind. Witch or no witch! Please switch on the light let me look for my slippers. This thing must end today, ahn ahn…”

As Janet walked towards the switch at the far end of the room close to the door, the bulb shattered with a hissing sound and shards of broken glass landed noisily on the floor, some falling on her head, then before she could recover from the shock, the room door eerily creaked open by itself…
She screamed and moved back, her eyes wide with fear and the goosebumps multiplying on her body.

“Lola…wha…what…what is happening?” She stammered.
Lola just stared, momentarily dazed, then said calmly, coldly even. “That girl is evil, I just know it. We must find her.”

Susan Nwaobiala
Author: Susan Nwaobiala

Susan Nwaobiala is currently a year-three Literature major in the University of Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria. She reviews books, writes contents for blogs, is interested in mental health, and likes to interact with people through her bedroom window.

SHORT STORY: Room 'S' (Continuation)
The Art of Writing