12:00AM by THEO-ZINY JOEL

“That is the house” I pointed from a distance dropping my hand in a flash to avoid being seen

“It’s going to be a very difficult mission to carry out considering the security placement and most especially that her surly weird looking dog” Akpan said

“So in other words it’s a mission impossible?” I asked in a despondent voice looking him straight in the eyes.

Yea it’s looking so but Nothing is Impossible, even the movie Mission Impossible turned out to be possible” He responded with a faint smile

This response from him lit my joy from within me, feeding my face a flush of smile. I knew that if there was anyone that could handle this task, it would be Akpan. I admire his strength. I wonder most times how one could be so full of perfection and with almost no flaws. He was my description of Samson—the guy who killed a Lion in the bible. I knew that, with Akpan on this mission I was in safe hands. Though this was my first perilous mission, but I do not feel so antsy. I was all calm and collected. I mean, Akpan was involved, so why should I?

So what time are we going on this mission?” I asked

Tonight.12AM” He replied with all determination

12am?”

“Do you have any problem with that?” He gave me this spine-chilling looks

I have all problems with that dude! That’s too late!” Theinner me said that, though only I could hear it.

“I am all cool with it” I responded, looking like all was well.

**************
MIDNIGHT 11:58AM

I was at our meeting spot. I had created another me with blankets and pillow on my bed to deceive my mum into believing that I was in. I had told her earlier in the day that I don’t want to be disturbed and she should not bother coming to check me up which is so typical of her. “Does she not sleep?” I ask myself this most times.

Every night she parades round the house with insecticides, going from room to room on a mission to clamp down on every flying creatures; an unending battle that is almost always lost. This act of hers calls me back to reality from dreamland. The cacophony of sounds she produces during her engagement with mosquitoes is a nightmare.

Mummy!!! Not again! You are disturbing me” I keep saying these words when the “Her VS mosquitos” battle is on. She just looks at me coldly and continues with her war on the poor flying creatures who are just trying to survive by feeding on blood.

I had fixed my lock on my door, which had been spoilt since devil knows when. Well, I just had to because I was so sure mum would still pay a visit to my room tonight, despite my warning. She promised not to, but I don’t need a detective to tell me she was lying. She was going to peep from my door lock, which was why I cloned myself on the bed with pillows and blanket.

It was 12AM and Akpan wasn’t here yet. I stood at the back of a Neem tree. I needed it to serve as a cover for me while I studied the environment. I could not express my feelings. I have never been out this late.

“I am not scared” I said, albeit in a voice breaking from cold fear.

The weather was starting to act along. The wind played spooky familiar sounds to my ears. It sounds like same wind that blew when Kelan was out in the woods being chased by vampires in Blood Diaries, my latest seen movie.

I am not scared” I reiterated the words again. They were my only company in this frightful neighborhood.

I pulled out the dark gloves I kept in my pocket and put them on. I was starting to feel frigid and sultry at same time. I rubbed my two palms together in a very fast motion. I have always wondered why they do that in movies but I just got to understand that, involuntarily, it produced a sort of warmth and calmness. I looked around; still Akpan was nowhere to be found. I clicked on my led wrist watch. It was 12:08AM. I felt comfortless

“Akpan where are you?

I couldn’t go back home this time. The security gate definitely must have been locked, plus it’s so risky. I had it planned out that after tonight’s mission; I would be spending the night over at Akpan’s place, leaving after the first cock crows. But now, it’s looking impossible.

This mission was looking not possible. I was losing in to fear. To make matters worse, as I looked up the tree that served as my buckler, I saw glowing eyes. Not one or two, but they were all over the tree. At this sight, I took to my heels. I just kept racing.
When I believed I had run enough to escape the piercing eyes, the tree stood, I took a halt. I could hear my heart beat. I sat on a pavement to regain my strength. I wasn’t finding things funny. After minutes of rest, I decided to spend the night on the pavement I sat on. It had a rectangular shaped figure like my bed but the difference was that it felt hard while my bed was soft.Well, it had to be hard since it was made from brick. I checked my time in bid to set a waking alarm, the time said 12:40AM, I set my alarm to 4AM. That was the time my estate security gate would be opened.

It was a full moon night. I lay down on this pavement I hired to be my bed for the night. I couldn’t close my eyes. My ears would not stop hearing strange sounds or was it my imagination? I couldn’t tell. All I knew was that sounds were echoing; scary ones at that.

The moon was becoming brighter and was coming closer to where I laid. The light the bright moon produce lit the spot I slept on so that I could see everything around me, even the most infinitesimal object. I opened my eyes widely as I saw another pavement that looked similar to the one I laid on, but this was full of dried flowers.I opened my eyes widely when I read out loud, unconsciously “MRS MARGRET OLOLADE LAID TO REST ON 5TH MARCH, 2005” I instantly sat up. Facing me was a boldly written epitaph which read “CHIEF OKAFOR IKEMEFUNA BURIED ON 3RD OF JUNE, 2009″. I sprung up from where I sat. I was in a cemetery; I laid on someone’s grave. Chilly sensations ran down my spine. I felt dead but alive.

Cemeteries had always been my greatest fear. I remembered during my granny’s funeral, I was unable to follow them into where she was buried. I stayed outside because I believed that the dead was going to rise and kill me, just like I had always seen in horrormovies.Now, not only was I in a cemetery, I also laid on someone’s grave!

“Oh no! Oh no! I didn’t just lay there”

Yes you did and who are you?“Said a strange voice

I was the only one there and still I heard a voice

Who talked!? Who is there!?” I exclaimed with the last courage I could muster. I wasn’t seeing anyone. I balled my head around with all fake readiness and with my fists out to wrestle anyone that popped out from the night.

I am CHIEF OKAFOR IKEMEFUNA” The strange voice said, in tow with a cold laugh
The name sounded familiar to me. My head tried processing where I had heard the name.

“CHIEF OKAFOR IKEM………….

Before I could spell out the name, I remembered it was his tomb I laid on. I knew I should not be here. I took to my heels. I couldn’t feel my feet touching the ground as I ran. After another long run, I halted. Again. I stayed at the side of an abandoned bus. I rested my back on it, gathering air. Not too long, a bright torch light was pointed directly at my face. The brightness of this torch showed that the person behind it must have powered it from a transformer.

“Who is there!?” The voice exclaimed

Before I could give any response, I had being grabbed by my belt.

***************

I sat at the back seat of mum’s car as she drove home slowly. My head was faced downward in disappointment. Mum had come to bail me from the police station. Akpan’s uncle had also come to bail him out as well. What I didn’t know was that Akpan later showed up at our meeting point 10minutes after the agreed time. So, since he didn’t see me, he decided to carry out the mission alone, leading to his eventual arrest and being taken to the police station. We both landed in same station. We narrated our story to the policemen.

“So you went through all this because you wanted to get your ball that was kicked into the compound?” A fat dark bald policeman asked
We nodded with both our faces down.

Why didn’t you go knock on the gate and explain to them that your ball was mistakenly kicked into their compound?”

I and Akpan looked at ourselves for a sec

We never thought of that option

This lit up a laugh in the police station. It just dawned on us that we were practically fools.

Mum had said nothing so far. Her silence always meant death to me. The car was so silent. Even Tomiwa my 2years old junior brother that sat next to me didn’t make his usual noise and cries. He just fixated his big round balled eyes on me (His eyes reminds me of Aderinto Victoria glasses, she was the shortest girl in class. Did I just say in class, I meant in the whole school. Though some say she is the shortest girl in the world) that’s by the way, he starred at me as he sucked his pinky finger. I looked back at him. I could read his mind. He called me a fool. The inner me replied him that I wasn’t a fool and it wasn’t my fault that I had to carry out such a foolish mission. It was a conversation of the mind.

It was a long drive home, not because our home was far from the police station nor because of all what had just happened, it was because mum was still a learner in driving.



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