Bisi walked gingerly into her bedroom. Ever since her mother died, she found it difficult to sleep at night. She was afraid that whatever killed her mother was waiting for her in the darkness. When she told her father her fears, he discarded it as mere childish imagination. And, he made it a point to send her on errands to the darkest places in the house. He even removed the light bulb in her room to make sure she slept in darkness. All in a bid to erase her fear of the dark, but instead her fear grew. Her father was hiding something, she didn’t know what, but she knew it was related to her mother’s death.
He never said much about her mother, he wouldn’t even tell her how she died. She still remembered the devastating look on his face the day he told her the tragic news and withdrew her from boarding school. That was the only emotion she had gotten from her father on the issue.
Ever since then, before she went to sleep and even in her sleep, she heard voices whispering in the dark. She couldn’t make out what they were saying, but it scared the hell out of her.
It has been two years since her mother’s death and nothing had happened; she was still alive. She started to tell herself her father was right and that the whispers were just figments of her imagination, because she desperately wanted to believe it. But that night, as she climbed into her bed surrounded by the darkness in her room, she knew the wait was over.
There was a horrible stench in her room, she had not noticed it before she got into her bed and she wondered why. A rat had probably died in her room, she would get rid of it the next morning. She stared into the darkness, pushing the horrible stench out of her mind and reminisced on the days she spent with her mother before she was sent to boarding school, and wondered if her mother was in heaven or hell. And slowly, she drifted off to sleep.
‘It is time to pay the price! You have to pay the price!’
Bisi slowly opened her eyes, the voices had started again. But this time, she could make out their words. She sat up on her bed, with fear making her heart race so fast that she could almost make a beat out of it.
‘Who’s there?’ She asked looking around but not seeing anything. Her room seemed darker and the stench was deeper.
‘Your father owes us. One has been paid the other must be paid too!’ The voices answered.
It was a cold night, but Bisi felt hot as if she was surrounded by a thousand people. She could feel them but she could not see them. She didn’t have to ask to know that the first price had been her mother. Her father had killed her mother, the realization of the truth replaced her fear with anger.
‘I don’t want to die’ she replied.
‘You are destined for death, to spare your life a price must be paid.’ The voices said.
‘I’ll do what I must to live.’
‘Very well then.’ The voices answered and she could almost hear the smirk in their voices. As if she had said exactly what they wanted to hear. Something or someone grabbed her left wrist and she felt a hot pain as if a burning iron had been placed on it.
When the pain stopped she looked at her wrist and even in the darkness she could see the mark that had been made.
‘A covenant has been made and when the time comes you will pay the price for your life.’ The voices said and disappeared along with their stench.
Bisi woke up with a start; breathing heavily. The sun was burning brightly outside and its rays illuminated her room. Bisi was relieved, It had been a dream after all, she had not made a stupid covenant. She got up to draw the curtains and start her day; that was when she saw it. An angry looking black star on her left wrist. She stared at the black star on her hand in frozen fear. A covenant had indeed been made.