It is an eruption of a racket that jerks me to wakefulness. A violent banging around of things that lasts seconds, two or three of those seconds stretching even after I’d woken up.

For a few breathless moments, I lie in bed, first trying to recollect myself, to know who I am and where I am. Then, as my heart continues to race, I try to understand where the racket had come from.

Someone’s aggressive pounding on my bedroom door?

Someone tumbling about in the room whose window is on the opposite side of the small backyard from mine?

Which is it?

An armed robber trying to force his way into the inner sanctum of my room?

Or a neighbor suddenly possessed by an unfamiliar spirit?

My god, which is it?

I lie very still on the bed. The electricity had been ceased sometime in the night, so there is no steady hum of the fan to interfere with the loud silence. Apart from the faint whimper of a sleeping child somewhere out there, the night is undisturbed.

The heavy breathing of Bae stretched out on the bed beside me reminds me that I am not alone. And for some fleeting seconds, I want to slide across the bed toward him, to curl up in his warmth, to seek reassurance in his nearness.

But I discard the thought soon after. I am petrified by the night’s quietness, afraid to cause any sudden noises, however infinitesimal, that may intrude on the silence, perhaps draw the attention of whatever nocturnal entity that is out there, whose sudden presence had woken me into this alertness. I am afraid that drawing close to Bae will awaken him, make him mumble those unintelligible utterances that people make when they are luxuriating their way from slumber to wakefulness. Utterances that will make the Evil out there to know where to find me.

A few minutes have passed. No other disturbances. But that doesn’t mean anything. The Evil could be out there, lurking, waiting to be alerted to its prey.

Physical or spiritual – which is he?

I am struck by a sudden need:

An urge to pee!

Oh, you have got to be kidding me!

In such a high tension situation like this, my body has hit me with this affliction?!

I want to know the time, to know how close we are to daybreak. 4 AM, and I can risk a trip to the bathroom. If that journey should stir the Evil to my location, then I can manage a standoff till daybreak arrives.

I thaw from my frozen state long enough to reach for my phone. And then, I freeze again. Clicking the phone from its sleep state will flood the room with the light of its screen. Light – and noise – are not on my side tonight.

So I slide the phone and my head underneath my pillow in an attempt to minimize the illumination. I tap the phone screen and the bright light dazzles my eyes, momentarily blinding me.

And then I see it. The time is 2: 05 AM!

The witching hour!

The time Evil thrives!

The hour when the night is darkest and full of terror!

There is NO WAY I am going to the bathroom at 2: 05 AM, not when Evil is lying in wait somewhere beyond my room.

I am not the white man in a Hollywood movie.

But my body is revolting against my mind, my gripping fear appearing to compress mounting pressure on my bladder. With each heartbeat that pounds through my chest, my bowel swells, demanding release.

Feeling frantic now, I remember what Bae and I had for dinner – Indomie, eggs and soft drinks. Dishes we’d felt too lazy and full to clear up before slipping into bed. So my hand scrabbles across the carpeted floor next to the bed, searching for and then grasping one of the empty plastic bottles. I uncap it and align the top with my penis, bare seconds before a hot jet of urine shoots out into the bottle, rapidly occupying the space that the Pepsi drink had once called its own. I feel such a rush of relief that I forget to flinch from the noise of liquid barging into plastic.

Then I stopper the bottle and set it aside, relief making way for me to think of other things like –

What is this Evil?

Physical or spiritual – what am I dealing with?

I should find out. I should quell this paralyzing panic, reach for my rechargeable lamp, get up from my bed and go out there to investigate.

I should step into the unknown. Peer through my window to the darkness outside. Unlock my bedroom door to encounter whatever may be waiting yonder.

I should mine some courage and do something, anything. Instead of lie here, waiting, hoping the Evil doesn’t find me. Hoping it goes away.

But waiting and hoping are both underrated.

I am not the white man in a Hollywood movie.

Survival can happen when you sit tight. When you refuse to cause any ripples. When you hide. Brave men die fast – black brave men, even faster. Jesus is white. And He’s busy looking out for the white men first.

I am not the white man in a Hollywood movie.

I am an Igbo man living in Nigeria, and as any self-respecting Nigerian would do, I draw the bed covers over my head, close my eyes and wait for God to take the glory.

I am @walteruude on Twitter

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. Fear Fear. What would Angelina Jolie do?

  2. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
    This is one fear I can’t relate to. The fear that something evil is waiting outside to swoop down on me and swallow me. I just remind myself that I have an overactive imagination. Then, I arm myself with a knife and check who is at the door.😁😁

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