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Fiction

The Deeds of the Dead – Gisèle Umurungi

Waking up from a chilly dream, Tam took a severe look at the ceiling. It was dark outside; one could guess it was still 1 or 2 a.m. She recalled that she had slept next to her younger daughter, Nancy, after being reminded by her husband that they had to comply with family planning. She shoved one of her hands in the dark, looking for her phone that she expected to find on the sofa, next to the bed. To her surprise, it wasn’t there. Her hands could only feel some viscous fluids as if milk had spilled. She ignored that and moved towards the switch to turn on the light. She wanted to look for her phone and play some games because she couldn’t sleep. As she moved, a cold breeze stroke her body as if all the doors of the house were open. Her night dress couldn’t block the coldness from striking her skin. Did Nancy pee on the bed? She wondered as she approached the switch. As if heaven was playing some kind of jokes with her, the light didn’t turn on when she pressed the switch. Her blood pressure raised as seconds passed and her heart started racing as if it was giving a red sign.

Tam thought of using her husband’s phone which was in another bedroom. She left the switch and walked to the door of her room. Before she could open it, a creepy voice appeared from the room’s corner and made her slump to the ground. She knew that earlier in the night when she went to sleep, nobody else was in the room except for Nancy. Knowing her cowardly self, Tam thought she was just hallucinating from fear. She silently stood up to open the door, during which she heard the voice again. This time, it was clear.

“It’s been a long time, sister Tam,” said the girl who sounded like an arrogant crazy bitch with some horrible goals.

Tam couldn’t help the race of her heart. Her hands were trembling, let alone her legs. She thought this was her end if not her entire family’s. She knew her sister was dead and more than anyone else, how she died. Her brain was getting vicious and her heart was tearing apart perhaps because she missed her sister so much. She wanted to find out what was happening and most importantly, to escape this torture. After all, it was her first time encountering a ghost. She reached out the switch, but before she could press it, the light filled the entire house. She felt relieved and sighed before she turned to the corner to see who was speaking. She couldn’t see anybody.

“What the fuck is this?” She bellowed as she turned back to the bed to see if the previous incident didn’t wake her daughter up. Her eyes fell on something disastrous that she couldn’t seem to withstand. She couldn’t cry, speak or do anything. She just fell on her knees, watching blood painted all over her daughter’s night dress. She screamed, calling her husband, her eyes pouring liquids. She kept calling, but it seemed like her husband was having sweet dreams that he couldn’t escape. Tam opened the door in a hurry and rushed to the room he had slept in. Before she could open the door, her bare feet felt extreme coldness. She couldn’t stop her eyes from eyeing a river of blood into which she was walking.

Her feet were now painted with blood, let alone her night dress. Her hands were trembling, her head shaking in denial as if she was convincing herself that it was just a bad dream. Frightened to the point of not walking, she opened the door and stood in the middle of the room watching her husband lying on the floor, naked and not breathing. This time, she couldn’t scream or run. She just fell on the ground beside her husband. Her mind rewound memories of a day she always wanted to delete in her life. She knew that it could bring a curse in her life.

***

That evening, Tam was in a hotel room having a good time with Paul, her sister’s husband. They were kissing and having hot sex. One could see love, if not lust, flowing between their naked bodies. When they were busy trying to satisfy their hunger, they noticed someone entering the room as if she knew a mishap that was going on there. It was Mary, Tam’s sister. At the sight of her, Tam couldn’t help the formation of goosebumps on her naked body. She started trembling and so did the man. He knelt down in an instant and started apologising to Mary, his wife.

“I am sorry. Please allow me to explain this,” he pleaded.

Mary was crying and pointing her eyes to the naked Tam and then to her naked husband who was still begging for forgiveness. Paul loved Mary so much that he hated everything that would make her break, let alone cry. When he couldn’t take it anymore, he stood up and took a paper out of Tam’s bag that was on the ground. He knew it couldn’t solve everything but could lessen the complexity of the issue. After all, it contained all the threats Tam was using to make the man sleep with her.

When Tam realised that the man was going to reveal everything, she jumped out of the bed and started fighting, attempting to crash the paper. They kept fighting until the paper fell on the ground. They both hurried to pick it up, but the man was faster than Tam. He picked and folded it with his hands. When Tam realised that she was losing, she pushed the man onto the mirror hang on the wall. The mirror crashed into pieces that smashed the man’s head. He fell on the ground. Mary felt like a lunatic; her brain stopped working for a while. She then wanted to scream, calling for a help. She wanted to call 112, but how could that be easy for her when she knew it would put her sister in danger? Her eyes were already red and her face was swollen, given that she had been crying for long. She stood there stupefied, wondering about what to do. In an instant, her subconscious reminded her of doing what felt right.

She grabbed the phone and started calling the police. When Tam realised that her sister was going to report her, her heart raced. She knew she had to do something if she didn’t want to rot in jail. Tam grabbed a piece of glass from the crashed mirror and stabbed Mary from the back. Mary moaned in pain and turned around to look straight in Tam’s face. “What did you just do? Tell me it was a mistake. Tell me you didn’t stab me.”

Tam whose mind was already black like a wok’s underside avoided Mary’s eyes and stabbed her again. This time from the front.

“I am sorry. I have no other choice,” she let out.

When she tried to exit the room in a rush, she heard Mary’s voice.

“My ghost will come back for you. Don’t you dare forget this. And when I come, it won’t be only you, but everyone beside you.”

Mary’s body finally fell to the ground and her heart stopped beating.

***

After going back to her black nightmare, Tam knew it was all Mary’s doings. But again, how could a dead person do this? She kept asking herself endless questions, but she couldn’t find a single answer. When she was already exhausted, the doer of all the happenings revealed herself in front of her.

“I hope you didn’t forget my promise, dear sister. I said I’d come back. Now that I fulfilled all I promised, we are fine,” Mary said in a mocking way, standing in the corner in a static mode. She then disappeared.

Tam crawled towards the kitchen, grabbed a knife, stared at it for a while, and finally cut her wrist vein.

When dawn came and sun rays started striking through the window curtains, Tam, her husband, and Nancy were already dead.


Featured Photograph: Unsplash

About the Contributor

Gisèle Umurungi is a writer, paramedical student, digital marketing and communication manager, and former journalist. She writes poems, short stories, and sometimes essays, drawing inspiration from life. She is also inquisitive and an avid reader. Gisèle can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as Umurungi Gisele and on LinkedIn as Gisele Umurungi.

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