(A short spooky story by Alabede Jude Oluwabamise)
It all started when my husband and I were sitting in front of the TV one evening. My husband was leafing through the newspaper and he came across a strange
advertisement. It was placed in the “Occult Services” section, under various other ads like, “How to Remove a Curse”, “Let Me Predict Your Future”, “A Charm That Cures Iincurable Illnesses”. The ad that caught his eye contained only the title, “An Answer to the Eternal Question: What is the Meaning of Life?” and beneath it was a phone number.
It immediately captured our interest and my husband decided to call and ask what kind of service was available. He picked up the phone and dialed the number. On the other end of the line, there was a beeping noise and then someone picked up the phone. My husband said, “Hello,” but nobody answered. There was a prolonged silence on the other end and then a loud crash. My husband winced and hung up the phone. We were baffled, but that night, when we asleep in bed, the phone started ringing. It was around 2 o’clock in the morning. My husband got up and grabbed the phone.
It was from the same number he had called earlier. When he anwsered, there was a female voice on the other end of the line. I didn’t hear what she said to him. My husband looked at me with a startled expression on his face. All he told me was that it was probably some kind of joke and he was going to check it out. He quickly got
dressed and left the apartment. I didn’t even get a chance to ask him anything more. He didn’t come back. I waited for hours and, in the morning, when my husband still hadn’t returned, I went to the police and reported him missing. They told me they couldn’t do anything until he had been missing for 48 hours. I called our relatives, friends and acquaintances. I called hospitals and morgues. I couldn’t find him anywhere.
I tried to dial the number from the ad, but the phone just rang and rang and nobody picked up. At night, I lay awake wondering what could have happened and thinking about what to do next. Even though the thought filled me with dread, somewhere deep inside I was hoping that, in the middle of the night, the telephone would start
ringing again. At 2 o’clock in the morning, it actually did ring.
I almost jumped out of my skin. When I picked up the phone, I recognized the voice on the other end of the line. It was my husband. I heard him mutter, “I’m not alone,” and all at once, there was a terrible crash and the line went dead. I hung up and tried calling the number again, but there was no answer. A month has passed since the disappearance of my husband. The police searched and searched, but as yet, the searches have not yielded any results. The police told me that they traced the phone number and it led them to an old, abandoned house where nobody has lived for decades.
This morning, I opened today’s newspaper and found a similar advertisement. It was titled: “An Answer to the Age-Old Question: What is the Meaning of Life” and there was a different phone number underneath it. I think I’m going to call it.
Even though everything inside me tells me that this will be the biggest mistake of my entire life, I have to call it. I’m very scared, but I need to know what happened to my husband. Maybe this way, we’ll both discover the meaning of life… I was downcasted and dejected and I made a desperate search for it. I picked my phone from my handbag and dialed the number with a thumping heart, very loud and clamorous, louder than a locomotive train. The phone pressed to my ear with a loud beeping sound.. ”hello” I said immediately the call was answered, but got no response. “hello!” … Long silence .
Exasperated, I hung up the call wondering why the receiver kept mute. The phone rang before I could return it. I checked the caller, it was the same number I called. I dragged the green button and pressed the phone to my ear. This time, I chose not to talk Long silence.. “hello” a gruffy voice said at the other end of the call. And
then a loud noise erupted and it hung up. I became more confused with the weird way the call hung up. Suddenly, my phone beeped and a message from the number popped up. “come to whisley street, No. 54 for answers” I contemplated over going to the said street, but I could only get the answers there. which I undoubtedly went to. I got there, a big mansion stood before me. The mansion seemed abandoned but the number 54 was boldly inscribed on it. I walked to the gate banging and I felt silly.
I pushed the gate slightly and it swung open to reveal an exquisite ancient building with bushes embedded within. The interior of the house was pitch black and void of
movements. I kept on walking with a trembling feet, glancing back and forth for any movement but there came none. The whole place was eerily silent and a shudder of chills slid down my spine. I stopped and screamed loudly when I heard a sound, but it was only the sound of my phone. it was ringing, it was the same number. I picked
it and suddenly I fell, the phone went flying in the air and crashed to the floor beside me. it went dead.
I groaned as my back aches, the floor started shaking, shaking vigorously and I struggled to get up on my feet but kept on stumbling back. the floor opened and I fell downwards screaming as I fell. I fell with a loud thud and I blacked out. A bucket of water was splashed on my face and i opened my eyes wearily, my vision was blurred and I couldn’t make out the figures I saw. A slap landed on my cheek and I forcefully cleared my vision.
It was a guy holding a long big plank, two guys were at the other end of the room. The room was dimly lit by a dying torch. I could see hundreds of people tied down as hostages, victims such as mine, the quest to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of my husband led me to this. it was a ploy, a ploy of death. Another slap landed on my cheeks and it earned me a groan.
I looked up to see the guy holding the plank, with an angry face. I could make out his bloodshot eyes in the darkness. Probably, he had been talking but my mind had traveled far away. “you want answers?” the guy asked in a gruffy voice almost same with the one I called. I only nodded my head in response to the question he asked.
He laughed, laughing inhumanely. “well, the answer to the eternal question is DEATH” he said and raised the plank high ahead of his head with an evil grin. I was terrified, shaking vigorously with sheer terror. That instant, I knew the answer we were seeking for is right before me.