I wiped the sweat which had formed on my forehead with my bare palm as I searched for the source of the sound. I quickly located the phone by the light from the blinking screen. I sat up as I picked the phone and swiped towards the green icon, there was no time to check the unsaved caller’s ID as I didn’t have enough airtime to call back if the call ended.
“Hello, who is it?” I said into the phone but was replied with total silence. “Hello,” I repeated twice without getting any reply. I paused the check the phone’s screen again, the number was an unrecognized and unsaved one. The call ended before I could place the phone back to my ear.
I hissed as I rested back in the bed, wondering who could be calling me by 2am. A text message entered from the same number just at the time I was about to lock the phone. I clicked on view and it read ;
“Check your window and call this number when you see what I placed there.”
Curiosity made me spring to my feet immediately, I turned to the window at the beside and opened the curtain. There I saw something like a small board placed in a slanted position on the floor and resting on the wall. It had a screen which displayed a timer, it showed 13mins 50 secs and was counting down. I didn’t understand what it was, so I switched on my phone’s flashlight to check and it revealed to me the greatest surprise I’ve ever gotten in my life. I had only seen it in movies and never thought it to be real, I was scared out of wits.
My phone vibrated, another text message had entered.
“Meet me at your gate now before it goes off,” the new message read.
Without thinking, I proceeded out of my room and into the living room. I turned the key to the entrance door and stopped briefly to switch off my phone’s flashlight as I stepped onto the balcony. I climbed down slowly and made for the gate, scared of what I was going to meet but more scared of what could happen if the bomb behind my window goes off. I had my family in the house and two nieces who had come visiting.
The gate opened by itself before I got there and I stepped out without any pause. Outside the gate was brighter due to the reflection from the gate lights of our opposite neighbor’s house.
I saw the sender of the message, he was clothed with black coloured materials from head to toe, he had his back turned to me. I stopped on seeing him believing he would have noticed my presence.
“Where’s Tarasha?” He asked in a thick and harsh tone.
“Ehn…” I stammered. It sounded more like a voice from my imagination.
“Where’s Tarasha?” He asked again. This time his voice came with a warning that he had no time to waste.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I answered. Of course, I knew what he was talking about but I couldn’t connect it to reality. Why should someone be asking me about a fictional character of mine, there was nothing stranger than that.
He raised something up and gave a brief devilish laugh. “You have two minutes more to talk before the bomb goes off,” he warned.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said, almost teary. “Tarasha is only a character in my story.”
“Yes, I know. You created her and you created me also, you know her whereabouts, tell me where she is now.” He said as he turned and faced me.
The shadow slightly covered his face but he still looked like someone familiar, perhaps I had seen him somewhere before.
“Creator, do you recognize me now?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I didn’t create you .” I answered shakily.
“I’m Rex, you created me in your imagination. Now, tell me where Tarasha is and how I can get her easily, I’m tired of playing games with her.” He barked as he took out a pistol and pointed it at me, as if the bomb alone was not enough scare.
I fidgeted as I saw the shining tip of the gun, hot urine began to escape down my legs slowly.
He cocked the gun.