'UA-80130820-1'

House on the Hill

HOTH EPISODES

FOUR

 

SHE’D MANAGED TO GO back to sleep. She wasn’t sure when the squishing, grating sound stopped, but it had and silence had reigned again.

Moyo turned the alarm off her phone and got off the bed. Biting back a yawn, she walked to the bathroom, brushed her teeth and changed into shorts and a T-shirt. She’d take her bath later when breakfast and morning chores were done.

She unlocked her door and walked out. But just as she turned in the direction of the kitchen, she came face to face with… the weird boss.

“Good morning, sir.” Moyo eyed him. He was in a sweat-suit and trainers. “I didn’t know you were awake. It’s just five-thirty.”

“So it is.” Maje kept his expression void of any emotion as usual and his thought strapped in. “I am going for my run.”

“Run?”

“Workout, Moyo. Exercise. I keep fit.”

“Oh. Of course.” That explained the athletic physique. “Okay. I never workout myself. I don’t need it… I’m too muscly for a woman already.”

“Good for you.” He swept past her.

“Ah, sir…?”

“I have to jog, Moyo. Save your questions for later.” And he went through the massive steel door, leaving it to clang shut after him.

Reminding herself she had enough to do before breakfast, Moyo chucked her displeasure at being dismissed and resumed her walk into the kitchen.

 

SHE PULLED THE BELL and waited for him to come down.

He did. A minute or less later.

“Five wraps of moi-moi as dictated by the food timetable. Two places of steamed spiced fish, a bowl of smoothie and a jug of apple juice.” She lifted her eyebrows. “Are you going to finish all of this, sir?”

Maje stared at her. She was inquisitive; overly so… he hated it. “When I return the tray you can check for leftovers since you’re interested.”

A rude answer—serves her right for not shutting her mouth. “Very well, sir.” She started to hand over the tray, then swiftly pulled back her hand. “Ah, sir, you work at night.”

Impatience sizzled through him. “Is that an observation, Moyo?”

“Ah… no, a question. Do you work at night, sir? I heard sounds—thumping sounds. Like someone beating a hammer or another such like tool on a wood or possibly iron. It came from upstairs… around midnight.” Moyo examined his face. “What were you doing, sir?”

“I think you have it confused who is the employer here, Moyo. But to remind you—I am. Which makes me the boss.” He held out his hand. “Tray.” She pushed it into his hands. “Thank you.” He turned, added—not sure why he did. “And I wasn’t working last night.”

“But if you weren’t working, then who was making the sounds? Didn’t you hear them, sir?”

Maje halted his next step, put down his leg and slowly turned. “I don’t like questions, Moyo. If there are any to be asked, I will do the asking. You are only required to do your duties and I will do mine by paying you. That is the expected course of events in this house.”

Moyo set her jaw and stared stubbornly at him. “I don’t like weird noises at midnight, sir. It not only disturbs my sleep, it worries me when I am not certain where they are coming from.”

He stared at her. Something flickered, but inside of him. A memory. Another woman, with that same stubborn tilt of the jaw and unyielding look in the eyes. But she was gone. He had killed her. They had both killed her.

Hating that he remembered, he shut off his mind and glared at Moyo. “Keep your doors locked at night and you will have nothing to worry about, that I can assure you.” Not waiting for her response, he turned and resumed his climbing up the stairs.

Moyo let out a hiss when the slam of a door rang out. Keep her door locked, keep her door locked—what the bloody hell was going in this house that warranted locking doors at night?

Animal-human-like creatures.

Disgusted that her sister’s ridiculous description chose that moment to filter back into her mind, Moyo let out another hiss and marched back into the kitchen. That man was up to something and she would uncover what.

That she can assure him.

 

SHE DECIDED TO TAKE lunch to Oga Solomon. If she was going to get answers, prodding him would be her best bet.

“Hmm, this soup tastes so delicious. You’re such a great cook, Moyo.” Solomon praised.

“Thank you, Oga Solomon.”

They were in his small house, a little away from the main gate. It was a mini-flat type of house—a living room, bedroom, kitchen and the bathroom. The living room, where they were, was nicely furnished in leather furniture and modern touch ups.

“How was your night?” Solomon asked over a full mouth.

Moyo almost sang out in praise at the chance she’d been hoping for. “Okay. Night was cool and I slept well. Well, except when I was woken up by thumping sounds. Someone was hammering.” She kept her eyes steady on him. “Did you hear anything? I asked the boss this morning and he said he wasn’t working last night. But someone had to be making those sounds, Oga Solomon, and he is the only one in the house with me… as far as I know.”

“You questioned Master?” Solomon’s voice rang with shock. “You shouldn’t have done that. Never question him again. He doesn’t like questions. They bring back—” He stopped. He didn’t like questions himself. They sometimes led to unplanned answers. “Don’t ask too many questions, just do your job and—”

“Keep your door locked at night.” Moyo finished with a sour look.

“I see you’ve got the ways things work here understood.” Solomon’s mouth twitched with a faint smile before he bent to continue eating. “He wasn’t the one making the noise.”

“Oh. Who was then? You?” She strongly doubted it. The noises had come from above her room and not from outside the walls of the house.

“No.”

She waited. He said nothing more. Moyo wondered if she took the food he was gobbling down if that would make him tell her what the heck was going on. But of course that was a childish prank that wouldn’t work on an adult.

“Is there someone else in this house, Oga Solomon?” Maybe a direct question would help. “Is there someone in that room before the boss’s own? The room after the guest room.”

“Keep away from that room.” He raised his head and stared sternly at her. “Don’t ever go there. Keep away from it and from the Master’s bedroom. This is for your own good, Moyo.”

“So there is someone in there?”

Solomon sighed and started washing his hand. “We’d better get back to work. We are not paid to idle and converse.”

She rose with him but didn’t move. “Who is in that room, Oga Solomon? Why is the boss hiding this person?”

“Moyo, it will be best if you ask less questions and focus on your duties.” Solomon suddenly felt fatigued. He’d stayed up most of the night and now he felt tired. His hands ached—all his muscles ached. He needed rest. “The pay here is good, isn’t it, Moyo?”

“Yes, but—”

“Focus on that. Focus on the pay. On the bonus that will come with it.”

“There’s a bonus?” Moyo’s eyebrows lifted.

“At the end of every quarter.” Solomon nodded, smiled his faint smile. “One month extra of your salary. So work towards that. Thanks for the meal. You are kind and I can promise you, you will be repaid for your kindness.”

“Thank you.” But she wasn’t satisfied. She wasn’t happy with zero answers. “There are many stories about this house. Scary stories. Some say an animal-like creature lives here.”

Solomon looked at the rather boyish, somewhat pretty young girl and smiled fully this time. She was too curious, and too cunning. “But you didn’t believe the stories, did you? That is why you are here… because you didn’t believe the stories.”

Moyo shrugged. “Well, they sounded outlandish but—”

“Moyo, I can promise you that there are only humans in this house. Humans with flesh and blood.” And with his faint smile, he turned and walked through the door.

Moyo reluctantly followed him. Now if ever there was a cryptic answer, it was that one. There were only humans in this house. But how many were they—three or more?

Back in the house, she slipped out her phone, opened her browser and typed in “Maje Davies” into the Google search page, then clicked the enter key.

But it wouldn’t connect. The network was fluctuating. Moyo scowled down at the phone. She wanted information, any information, on him. What should she do now? She couldn’t ask Remi to Google him. She’d just start peppering her with questions and hound her with her many pessimistic opinions.

No, she couldn’t depend on Remi, not in this matter. But she could count on Oga Lucas. He was a man and more level-headed.

She clicked open her Messaging App—

Afternoon Oga Lucas. Can you please do me a quick favour? I need information on someone but can’t Google… Network here is just too poor. The name is MAJE DAVIES. Male in mid-forties, dark, lean, no beards (in case you see a pic) He’s actually my boss. Text me any information you get. Thanks, Oga Lucas. Will call later.

That should do it, she decided, slipping back her phone and getting back to work.

She didn’t get a text message but a call from Oga Lucas. She was in her bedroom when the call came in. Dinner was done, kitchen all cleaned up and she was readying to turn in for the night.

“Had a busy day, Moyo, that’s why I couldn’t get back to you earlier.” Oga Lucas began after initial pleasantries. “Anyway, nothing much on this Maje Davies online.  Only found him on LinkedIn. Translator—Spanish Portuguese and French. Interpreter too. Has a page full of qualifications and job-list done. Specialization—Medical, Legal and Engineering.

The line wasn’t quite clear but she could hear him. “That was all?” Moyo frowned mildly.

“His DOB is 15 November ‘72. Nothing there about his marital status or children.” Oga Lucas paused. “So why are you checking up on your boss?”

“No reason really, just checking. The man is very close-mouthed about himself.” There was a bit of static noise, so she raised her voice a notch. “Hello? Did you hear my response?”

“I did. He probably doesn’t see why he should discuss his life with the housekeeper.” Oga Lucas said with a chuckle. “How’s the house like anyway?

“Big.” Ugly and weird. But she couldn’t tell Oga Lucas that. “Not the regular kind of house we see.”

“Hmm.” The sound said Oga Lucas didn’t get her meaning. “How many people are in the house?”

“Three… that’s plus me.” As far as she knew for now.

“So they were just two before your arrival? So why live in such seclusion?” Oga Lucas sounded puzzled.

Moyo didn’t blame him. She was still baffled herself. “Don’t know. He probably likes the privacy for his work.” And for whatever he or whoever got going on upstairs.

“Are you all right there? Because I still don’t like the sound of that house. The other occupant man or woman?”

“Man. And no worries, no one is bothering me.” Moyo reassured with a smile. Oga Lucas liked to play big brother. “I’m fine. And the job is not bad. I…” She broke off.

There were a series of static noises. Damn network, she cussed.

“Hello? Oga Lucas…” She didn’t quite hear him, just scratchy noises. “We’ll talk later, okay? Thank you.” She rang off.

Moyo slid down on her back to mull over the information she’d just gotten.

So he was forty-four. She’d been right at mid-forties. Translator, huh? Spanish, Portuguese and French… he must be brilliant. She had near zero flair for languages. A freelance translator, no doubt. Must be highly paid too to afford to run a generating plant at least eighteen hours of the day. Not to talk pay a housekeeper one hundred and twenty thousand naira.

But those information were basics. She still didn’t know anything though—not about what she wanted to know. Not about the mystery that poured through every sight and sound of this house.

She spent another hour or so pondering on the matter. Still not able to make sense of anything, she went to bed with her feeling of dissatisfaction hanging like a cloak over her and ruining her mood. She tried to read but couldn’t concentrate, so she lay on the bed until sleep came and drowned out the many questions filtering through her head.

But she stumbled out of her sleep when the thumping sound started. She didn’t know if it was the first one that woke her up or if it was one of many. Moyo lifted her phone—1:05am. The generator was off again and like the night before, the night air was cool.

Abruptly the hammering sounds stopped and then there was a snarl—a loud roar-like howl that rumbled down from above her ceiling. Moyo shivered involuntarily and clutched her hands about her. Her eyes darted about the room, flickered up and stared fearfully at the obscure ceiling in the semi-dark room.

Another snarl came, more like a growl this time and then the forceful bang of a slamming door. Then silence returned.

Moyo hugged her knees to her body. Her heart was thudding, scampering wildly like the fleeing paws of a frightened rabbit.

What was that noise? Who—or what had made it?

It had sounded like the wild yowl of… an animal.

Sweet Jesus! Could the stories have been true?

Moyo felt the shudder of fear course through her and forced herself to slowly exhale and strive for calm. There is no smoke without fire… Remi liked to chant that clichéd expression like a mantra and suddenly it looked like it was proving to be true here.

There were stories about the house and now—

Oh God, she was in trouble!

 

**Enjoy the read? Sweet dreams, then. *wink**

Dedication: For Nnem and Cheks, for superb story-telling skills.

*eBook Purchase made easier! Via: *RECHARGE CARD PINS!*

19 Responses to House on the Hill

  1. Adefunke says:

    maami, y now? y this late?… hian!

  2. Sabelle concepts says:

    Oh My God! Im scared for moyo..as much as i want her to leave the house asap i want her to uncover the mystery. Biko that animal-person should reveal her identity. I know its a she( must be his wife that turned to a beast)

  3. Sweet dreams?!…after this horror tale Lol!

    • jojodia says:

      Don’t mind TM. How will someone have sweet dreams after this horror. How am I supposed to sleep now ehn? And I didn’t want to read it this night o, but longthroat misled me.

      Moyo u are so on ur own.

  4. Roselyn says:

    Awwwwwwww! There is really an unanswered mysterious question about the house. Moyo, may God see you through this.

  5. Nykky says:

    Haba TM can we do this in the mid day. Not night a beg Biko nu. They I have the choice of leaving on it till morning but longer throat will not let me. Let me see if I can sleep again kudos to you for the update.

  6. Gosh… they killed her. Boss is a murderer.
    Whatever you do Moyo, bolt your door.

  7. Gloria says:

    Chai, can’t wait 2 c wat happens nxt. Tnx TM

  8. Ego says:

    Na wa o, wahala dey. Thank God I didn’t read this at night

  9. Joan says:

    I don’t even know what to say. This story gives me creeps on my skin….
    TM nno

  10. bola says:

    Hmmm, am praying 4 u oo Moyo. TM, thanks

  11. Sylvia says:

    Only humans in the house yet animal-like noises?
    Plus ds over curious Moyo…..make she watch am o

  12. horllybee says:

    I pray moyo doesn’t try to check out the animal making those noises,be safe Moyosade.TM, this story is so different and beautiful and thanks for that but I love my romance based stuffs more.

  13. mystiq18 says:

    I v decided to not let curiosity kill me so I’ll stick to reading wen I can walk around My house n not be cranky…animal growl n thumping… Oga must v a sick brother …moyo pls take priton before u retire to bed n always lock ur door… Lol

  14. Toyenlon says:

    Hmmn Moyo is beginning to see that there’s no smoke without a fire. Hope moyo will be safe o

  15. gannie_perrie says:

    scary….moyo curiosity kills the cat,abeg pack ya loads and leave that house sharpaly….120k is not worth it……TM u rock joor

  16. iyke David says:

    Sweet dreams after you gave us this horror film abi?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content Protected !!
%d bloggers like this: