THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 19
VISION OF A HOLE
Location: JOE BOAT RESIDENCE
Perspectives, reasons and fear.
What is real and what isn’t? Where does sanity end, and where does madness begin?
Boat sits in the car for a long time.
His father has informed him that he is back from Canada. He has gone to his church headquarters for a short meeting with the Apostle and some church executive elders, and will be back home with Boat a little while.
He wants Boat to wait for him at home.
Yaw Boat finally heaves a sigh of relief.
It is all really nice. After putting down his mobile phone he sits still in the car for a long time.
The relief he feels is phenomenal.
Hideous disappeared as soon Boat came within sight of his father’s house. It hadn’t done any of its panic flights this time, though.
One moment it is there in his backseat, an ugly green sheen Boat tried not to notice, and then it was gone. It vanished just like that… poof!
It had been refreshing to see the faint halo around the house, standing out like an angel on a dark night. It reaches out into the night sky, barely discernible, but there.
And because it is there, because the house is protected, Boat sees no uglies around their house.
For the first time in what seems like ages Boat knows great relief, and the weight on his shoulders seems bearable. He doesn’t feel so alone anymore; his problems are now for his Dad.
His father understands, and he is experienced and he knows exactly what Boat is going through, and he is going to help his only son.
Boat sighs and rubs a trembling hand across his face.
Everything is okay now.
He is surrounded by serenity, and he knows that with his father on the scene he will be out of his misery soon enough. All that has happened will soon seem like a dream. Life will go on, but not his other life of wanton sex, sloshing alcohol and abusing hard drugs …no, that part of him is dead now.
He will re-evaluate his life, commit to clean things, and settle down in sweet marriage with Elaine. He is going to be responsible.
No more anaconda holes for Yaw Boat… not ever!
He chuckles sheepishly and gets out of the car slowly, wincing at the wicked destruction he has put that car through. It looks as if he has run it through a shredder. The once elegant car is now badly wounded and limping.
As he walks towards the front door he tries to put a call through to Elaine, but her line is busy at first, and as he glances at the phone a little message comes on: ‘bad signal’.
It seems he is still being quartered rather nicely.
As he puts the phone back in his pocket he stops suddenly.
Unconsciously, he has walked past the main house, and is halfway down towards Samson Basoah’s little cottage down there in the exotic plants and woods near the beach.
He looks at the main house, and looks at Uncle Samson’s cottage, and then a silly thing suddenly happens…
First he feels a cold whisper of wind, not strong, not so much felt than heard!
It is a whispery, unpleasant feeling, crawling down his arms, bringing goose bumps on him. He trembles, and then two security guards come into view from around the main house, breaking the spell.
Boat breathes shallowly.
It is true that he has grown up mostly in Uncle Samson’s cottage. He had detested the main house as a kid, and spent most of his growing up years with Samson Basoah.
Under any other circumstance he would have gone to Samson’s cottage straight away, but these are not ordinary conditions.
First, his father is back, and the most convenient place to wait for him is in the main house. Secondly, Samson will be with the older Boat, as usual, driving him round, and thus he will be all alone in Basoah’s house.
He will be all alone in Samson’s cottage, without company, alone and forlorn. But there is a protective halo around the main house, and he will be safe there, free from the sight of demons until his father returns.
The scariest fact is that he has had no intention of going to Uncle Samson’s house; he had wanted to get into the main house, straight to his bedroom and then wait for his father.
He has just been on the phone, trying to reach Elaine, and he has walked past the house as if it does not exist, as if his feet are headed in a different direction to his mind.
As if he is being guided!
The two guards greet Boat politely.
He responds and watches them move on, and as usual he can’t suppress the little smile that plays around his lips.
His father is always espousing the ability of the great God above to protect His people, and yet there are always armed security guards around the house.
Boat doesn’t his father though. He is a wealthy man, and in the past there had been bad experiences with armed robbers who had erroneously thought he keeps large sums of money at home.
The security guards are thus a necessity.
Boat looks at Uncle Samson’s house again, nestled so far down the slopes, partly hidden by tall royal palm plants.
A place he loves; a place he has always felt absolute confidence in. A place he has spent countless hours cooped in during his lifetime. A place which is more homely than the house he shares with his father.
And yet, as he stares at it now there is sudden apprehension in his heart!
It seems to him that Uncle Samson’s house is suddenly beckoning to him, almost reaching out for him. He can feel its pull – its drag – calling out softly, reaching out with icy fingers.
For a crazy moment everything recedes, and it is just him and that white building nestled among the plants, seeming to be luring him with hidden eyes, calling, calling, calling!
He feels cold, and he turns away with a little shudder.
Why is he suddenly spooking himself now over Uncle Samson’s house? He loves that place. He loved every second he spent there with Uncle Samson, and he has slept over there countless times.
So why the sudden fear? Why the apprehension?
And yet he knows he cannot go down to Uncle Samson’s house, not that night.
He takes a couple of steps towards the main house, and that is when it happens!
He has a sudden flash, a vision!
It opens out right there in front of his eyes, as if he is looking at a giant screen television!
He just sees it, huge and clear …a vision right in front of him!
It is the vision of a large bedroom, with a bed, a wardrobe, a little television fixed on a stand against the wall, a little reading table, huge French windows that have a great view of the beach below. A bed made extra huge to accommodate an extra huge owner!
There is no doubt about it!
It is a bedroom Boat knows very well!
Uncle Samson’s bedroom!
And then, suddenly, the giant bed moves to one side suddenly, as if shoved by a powerful hand!
The bed moves against the wall, revealing what is hiding under.
It was a hole! A perfect square hole in the floor!
The hole has stairs leading downwards!
Stairs that ends on a flat landing, and then there is an entrance leading into an unknown place, and what lies in the other side is a mystery, a dark secret!
Boat’s sudden scream is anguished, pitiful, harsh!
It is a cry of crystallized fear and panic.
The vision – or whatever the heck it has been – is gone!
And Boat realizes that he is no longer on his feet!
He is lying on the slightly-wet grass, moaning up at the night sky, his body trembling, the horror locked deep in his soul.
He has a sudden terrible headache, and his sight is blurred. My breathing is erratic, and he can hear his heart beating so loudly that it seems it is about to explode right out of his chest.
What has he seen?
What has happened?
Oh Lord, what does it all mean?
Boat feels so weak, and he turns on his stomach, little moans of agony coming out of his throat as his eyes fall on that house again.
For a moment, a very frightening little moment, the fronds of the plants seem to part, and that house seems to lose all its colour, becoming a terribly dark structure glaring at him, screaming at him not to dare!
But it is only for a moment, and he wonders soon afterwards if he has imagined it all.
After a moment the crippling fear in his heart dissipates, and the agony in his head subsides.
He stands up slowly, and watches Uncle Samson’s house.
He knows that house, and he has known Uncle Samson all his life.
All his life he has been in that house, and he has never come across any hidden hole under Uncle Samson’s bed!
True, he has never gone under Uncle Samson’s bed, but Boat knows for a certainty that there isn’t any secret square hole there.
But what has he seen?
A vision? Is that it?
If it is how did he have it?
Who sent it?
No it can’t be; it just can’t be!
…I want you to know one simple fact: Time has run out for you! Even as you read this, a demon of old is ready to take over your body and your soul. Believe me, son, it is true…
(weakly, with great despair)
You bastard, Anderson! You horrible stupid bastard!
He still doesn’t know what has happened, and he still doens’t understand it.
He doesn’t know if some forces too powerful for his brain to grapple with has given him a vision, or whether his mind has finally snapped and he is beginning to go mad.
Whatever it is, he is going inside that house, into that bedroom and he is going to pull that bed and find out!
Fear, like a dark heavy cloak, covers him.
Slowly, his legs feeling as if tons of lead are tied to them, Yaw Boat takes tortured, reluctant steps towards that house.
He needs to find out!
There is certainly something wrong that night about Uncle Samson’s house!
The moment Boat steps onto the porch he feels the palpable hatred, the pull of a latent evil so strong that he can almost smell its foul breath in the air.
The house seems alive – breathing – with equal measures of fear and fury, physically trying to Boat me, and trying to push him away.
He swallows painfully.
His throat is so parched it feels as if he has swallowed a thousand razor blades which are all stuck down there in his oesophagus.
Boat takes a step towards the door, and this time there is a slight tremble, the whole building creaking, and the lights dimming perceptively.
He almost hears it, a low sort of growl, a ‘reaching out’ that blasts fear through him again.
Boat can even hear his inner voice speaking a warning to him:
Better not, kid, better not! This shit is scary, scarier than Funky Grounds blues, kid! Turn away, kiddo, turn away …don’t enter that place, please!
Yaw Boat stops and takes a look back up the slopes. The main house glows, huge and friendly, utterly inviting, calling out to him.
He looks at Uncle Samson’s door.
It has always been open, always welcoming, always filled with love!
But not tonight.
On this particular night it seems to move inward, closing in on itself with an audible click, trying to keep him away.
Boat suddenly knows with a hidden certainty that if he steps through that door he might not come out again.
Panic washes over him with sudden intensity, and he almost turns and flees.
…what is also true is that you can always beat them. Remember that! It is your only weapon…
Again Anderson’s letter, his words, his convictions …his madness!
Somehow, remembering those words floods Boat with a strange kind of hope, of strength and resolve.
He has to know the truth!
INSIDE THE HOLE
Location: SAMSON’S RESIDENCE
Whatever power has shown him that vision wants him to know the truth or otherwise, and maybe whoever that powerful Being is, He will be able to protect Boat from whatever evil is lying in wait inside that house.
He holds the handle of the door and pushes it down.
The huge door opens and swings inward silently.
Boat suddenly feels like the little beetle entering the web of a tarantula.
Boat steps inside, and as he reaches out for the light switch on the wall, he seems to see a shadow, a darker shadow than the blackness of the room, moving past him, heading towards the wall on his right.
Of course it might have been his imagination.
The light came on, flooding the living room with soft brilliance, chasing the shadows away, restoring some balm to his stretched nerves, bringing with it the sanity that comes when light triumphs over the permeating evil of darkness.
He pauses just inside the plush living-room and looks around. This is Samson’s Haven, Boat’s favourite place on the whole estate.
Here he has grown up; here he has eaten, slept, fooled and turned upside down. Here he has known real life and joy, with a man he loves beyond measure.
The fear dissipates quickly as he looks around the familiar room. The rich comfortable furniture, the electrical appliances, the paintings on the walls, the biblical tapes and literature.
A man’s well-kept room.
Suddenly it feels absurd just being there.
It is as if he is invading the man’s privacy, and he feels a rush of shame. He almost turns away right then, but something makes him stay; something that won’t be denied or satisfied until he enters that bedroom, and pulls that bed away from the wall.
He crosses the living-room quickly.
Deep down Boat knows he has but a few minutes before his father and Uncle Samson return, and so he needs to move fast.
He approaches the door that leads to a short corridor that ends at the door of the master bedroom.
Boat reaches for the handle of the door, and something strange happens again.
The door is closed alright, but at the very last moment before Boat’s hand touches it, it moves forward, as if some force is pulling it shut tighter, and he hears the sharp creaking sound it makes, as if the hinges are being tortured, pulled in too tightly.
Boat feels a cold eerie blast of air, and goose bumps stand out on his arms. He has to fight the apprehension hard – real hard – to reach out for that handle again.
Somewhere deep down he prays that it will be locked, for the first time ever, refusing to open…
He turns the handle, and as it has done for almost two decades, the door opens slowly and smoothly.
The corridor is dark, save for the light that filters in from the living-room, forming an inverted V on the floor and a patch of lighted square on the left wall.
Boat takes a deep breath and steps into the corridor.
Up ahead, looming darkly at the end of the corridor, is the bedroom door, looking extra sinister because it is abnormally tall and broad to allow for Uncle Samson’s great hulk.
Boat can see light around its four edges, giving it an alien holy look; evidently, Uncle Samson has forgotten to switch off the bedroom light.
That strange door looms larger and darker as Boat approaches.
This time the door will surely be locked; for the very first time ever in his life, that bedroom door will be locked…
But it is not locked!
Boat opens it.
The bedside lamp is on. Obviously Uncle Samson had been reading before rushing out to meet Boat’s father at the airport.
The room is huge and neat, everything in its proper place.
Uncle Samson is a very fastidious sort of man in his own way. He hates dirty surroundings, and that is one of the areas they have always had troubles with because he hates the mess Yaw Boat makes.
He is always picking up stuff after Boat, and sometimes berates him gently to be more responsible about neatness.
Everything in its proper place; pristine order is a virtue he never lacks.
There is a great aquarium in the room, taking up almost the whole length of one wall. This is Uncle Samson’s joy. He can spend countless hours just standing and staring at the fishes. He has given them names, almost all of them, and Boat sometimes wonders how he Uncle Samson is able to distinguish such a great number of fishes.
There is a huge wardrobe across the room against the wall directly opposite the bed.
A Panasonic 32-inch LED television is mounted against one wall, opposite the head rest of the bed so that he could lie in bed and watch television.
Below that is a miniature sound system and DVD recorder. Near to that is a computer desk on which stands a monitor. The system unit is under the desk. To one side of the desk are three tall compact disk holders, all of them filled with CDs.
The bed is huge, made from polished African mahogany wood. It is neatly made, and at the foot of it, down on the floor, are wool-lined white slippers, precisely placed.
The door to the bathroom is slightly ajar, which makes Boat scowl briefly. That is so unlike Uncle Samson.
He might have been in a great hurry to leave.
Yaw Boat stands still and surveys the bed.
He knows he is hedging.
He balks. He is scared.
Scared to move that bed.
This is it.
He has to do it.
He is suddenly assailed by a sudden bout of sadness.
A man he has loved all his life, a man who has been more close to him than his own father. This man who has taught him so much and loved him unreservedly.
This gentle giant with no malice in his heart, and here is Boat, about to repay all those years of loyalty by coming into his most private environment and trying to find out if some damn vision I has had – probably due to some delayed reaction of months of drug use – is actually real.
What will Boat say if Uncle Samson walks in and sees him messing around with his bed?
Boat walks to the foot of be bed, bends, holds the lower wood tightly, lifts and pulls, and it slides noiselessly and smoothly over the polished floor.
He sets the bed down and and slowly turns to the spot under the bed.
There is no collection of dust or cobwebs on the floor, as would have been the case with most beds. There are no shoes or slippers carelessly kicked under the bed.
Here too Uncle Samson has been as efficient as ever, his neatness finding character with the unusual cleanliness of the space under his bed.
Boat takes in all these in a second, because his eyes were wide open with horror.
It is there alright!
That square hole in the floor with the stairs leading downwards!
It is there …right there!
Exactly how he has seen it in the vision.
And he dies a little inside at that particular moment when he sees the hole!
Oh, Dear Lord …what is this?
He is assailed by a great sense of déjà vu as he stands looking down at that hole, and those stairs leading downwards into some great and forbidden underground.
It is not only because of that crazy moment when he thinks he has seen it in a dream. No. It feels as if he has actually been here before, that he has walked down those stairs before.
he hasn’t ever known that Uncle Samson’s sweet little haven has an underground passage. He has always thought it is standing on good firm ground.
Now he remembers how Uncle Samson has taken charge of the whole building, from its architectural design to its physical erection.
Joe Boat had let the final decisions rest on Samson, because the giant is the one who is going to live in it, and that is the reason why Uncle Samson has put in little touches here and there, including the secret underground place without the knowledge of Boat and his father.
What can this secret place be?
What is hidden there?
Is it just an innocent room, put there by Uncle Samson as his own little safe hideaway, a retreat of some sorts?
Somehow Boat does not believe that.
He believes that he has received that vision for a purpose …a purpose that suddenly brings to question years of adoration for the man, years of loyalty and faithfulness.
Does it mean that all along Uncle Samson has been someone he is not? Has Boat and his father been deceived so totally for so long?
There are no answers, only that square entrance with stairs leading downwards stares Yaw Boat in the face.
Maybe, just maybe, it is safe after all, and Uncle Samson might have a perfectly good reason for keeping such a place a secret from them.
There is just one way to find out.
Boat steps onto the first stair.
By that single act he knows there is no turning back for him. Deep down his soul cries out. Something tells him to get the hell out of there and go and wait for his father, but it is a muted voice.
The forces propelling him forward are too powerful to resist.
He is a helpless pawn who is Unblinded, and who is being forced to see the beauties of the wild for the first time; The Wild, a serene place with things that have fangs, a place where Goliath is the Goliath who has the propensity to give David a pain between the legs whilst stuffing stones up David’s orifices.
A place where David and Goliath ceases to be a motivation story for the kids, and become an adult’s nightmare.
Boat descends to the last stair and finds himself in a long corridor.
The floor is cemented, but it smells dank, and has a faint odour which is at once too familiar and yet still unknown, a pervading invasion of his nasal passageways that refuses ardently to be identified although its origin is tantalizingly within reach.
It isn’t an overly unpleasant smell, but it is uncomfortable enough to make Boat wrinkle his nostrils and breathe shallowly.
He sees the edge of the bed above him, and the ceiling that has murals about the life of Christ. If he moves into the corridor it will swallow him up, and he won’t see the room above him.
With another deep breath and a bunch of trembling nerves he moves forward. The darkness closes around him, stifling and hot, almost claustrophobic.
He sets his teeth and steels himself forward. He isn’t a coward and damn if he is going to show a streak of yellow now.
He resists the urge to reach out and touch the walls on each side; He has this strong premonition that his fingers will touch something nasty, something really awful.
There is something on the floor, though.
It isn’t hard concrete that he is walking on.
It feels somewhat squishy and slippery, undulating too, something like a crawly structure. He looks down, but all he sees is inky blackness.
And then, he hears the steps.
Faint, muted, creepy, whispering…
Something is behind him…
Something is following him!
He stops, overcome by a fear so crippling that a sound close to a sob floats out of his lips. His heart thuds, and maniacal panic grips him.
This is it, oh Lord!
His worst nightmare!
Funky Grounds at last…
Live, coloured and in full HD!
He takes a step forward, and he hears the slithery sound behind him, and can feel the presence just at the nape of his neck, long fingers tingling in anticipation.
Boat is covered with sweat.
At that particular moment he would have gladly turned and fled from that dark corridor, but his heart is heavy with dread close to total breakdown.
He is in raw panic.
It is more comfortable to walk forward towards the unknown, than to turn and face that evil thing behind him, and he knows it is there, a terrible thing with a face that will drive terror through his heart and explode that most vital organ with devastating effects.
It is there alright, and it wants him to know it is there, and it wants him to feel the panic and the presence of death.
Boat knows it is gloating in its ability to drive him close to the edge of insanity, but he also knows, deep down, that despite the fear, none of those terrible demons can hurt him that bad because he is still important.
He is still the vessel that their master will use, and they all know it.
Boat comes to the end of the corridor, and his hand touches a door.
He reaches out and feels for a handle, but there is none.
He feels a wetness on the door and on his hands, but it is too dark to see what has smeared them.
Behind him the thing has paused.
He can hear its malevolent breathing, thick and full of ill-will. He can also smell it now, a putrid rotted smell that comes straight from hell’s catacombs.
Boat’s breathing comes in wheezes, and he can feel the first signs of his tortured heart going into overdrive.
A heart failure is not out of the question now, and with all his willpower he strives to remain calm and to cool down.
Feeling utterly overwhelmed, he raises his arms and place them against the door, resting his head on his arms.
He knows he can hold that position forever, because if that door is refusing to open, there is no way he is going to be able to retrace his steps, no way he is going to turn and see the face of that thing behind him.
Fortunately – under the circumstances, of course – his weight presses hard against the door, and suddenly it swings inward slowly…
To be continued…
©Aaron Ansah – Agyeman
All Rights Reserved.