'UA-80130820-1'

House on the Hill

HOTH EPISODES

FIVE

SHE WOKE UP vexed and determined.

Vexed because she’d  had a bad night—and she really loved her sleep. But after the horrid creepy noise, she’d found it almost impossible to shut her eyes and go back to sleep. But she’d managed it… after long heart-jumping hours.

Moyo hissed as she yanked on her second-hand bought Ralph Lauren polo shirt. Her resolve, during the hours when she thought her heart was going to hop out of her chest, had been to find any plausible excuse to leave the house that morning. That had been her resolve. But when her alarm had gone off and she’d woken up bleary-eyed and bad-tempered, she’d decided that she wasn’t going to run off like a pathetic spineless dog with its tail curled between its legs.

No, she wasn’t!

If there was something going on in this house, and she knew there was, she was going to be certain what exactly it was going on before taking to her heels. Her mother did not give birth to a coward and she wasn’t going to start acting like one now. Uh-uh.

She caught him as he was about to go through the front door.

“Good morning, sir. Going for your run?” Moyo kept her smile pleasant enough.

He turned and stared at her. In that vacant way he always did. “Yes.” There was a flicker of hesitation, then he added. “Morning.” And dragged open the door.

“Have a good run, sir.”

Maje’s feet halted. He wanted to turn, but changed his mind and went through the door.

Moyo waited until she heard the indistinct clang of the gate before she ran for the stairs and trotted up them on the toes of her slippers. She had only thirty minutes; that was how long he’d spent on his run the day before.

She turned right on the landing, hesitated briefly before she continued. There was no backing down—not now. She tiptoed to the door after the guest room; stopped right in front of it, drew in a determined breath and raised her hand to knock on it. Then stopped.

Moyo deeply inhaled again to quell her sudden trembling. She shouldn’t knock. No, she shouldn’t… that’d be counter-productive. She was aiming to catch whoever was in there red-handed and so shouldn’t alert him—or her. Or they could be more than one. Jesus!

She crept an inch closer to the door. Tilted her neck forward and laid her ear gently on the hard wood door.

She heard nothing. Not a shuffle of footsteps, not a rustle of any kind of movement and not even a snuffle of breath. She cocked her ears and listened harder. No sound came.

Moyo frowned as she inched back from the door. Did that mean there was no one inside? Surely if someone was in there she might have heard something, anything?

Or maybe she hadn’t been silent enough and they’d heard her footsteps and decided to stay mute?

Moyo raised her hand. She was knocking. If someone was in there, she was going to see them… one way or another. She flexed her hand, ignored its quivering and damp pals as she knuckled it. But on another thought, she un-fisted it and slowly lowered it over the handle, applying pressure to her grip.

“Do you have a problem obeying simple instructions?”

The squeal tumbled out of her even before the question was completed. Moyo whirled around, her eyes wide with terror, her hand instinctively clutched against her breast.

“Good God, sir, you scared me!” She wheezed, unable to stop the sputter of words.

She hadn’t heard him creep up behind her and she hadn’t heard the door or the gate.

“Be thankful that is all I did… and intend to do.” Maje stared at her with ominous eyes. “What are you doing up here?”

“I…ah…” Her brain refused to work. She shuddered, trembled with fear. The look in his eyes was too menacing. “I… um, I wanted to see if… ah, the person inside needed anything.”

She shouldn’t have said that. Dear God, she shouldn’t have said that. No, no, that was a stupid… stupid, senseless, asking-for-trouble brainless excuse to have given.

“The person inside?” Maje snarled the words.

Fury swarm inside of him and for the briefest second he was tempted to lash… to just strike her. But he swallowed the temptation— and the fury. He would never again act in rage… he’d promised himself that repeatedly. He should throw her out—the thought came swiftly and the enticing temptation of it was almost hard to resist. He’d done it before, countless times. But he couldn’t afford to now. He couldn’t afford another lapse of time in search of another housekeeper. Not now. Too much to do, too little time.

“No one in there requires anything from you!” He finally growled out, clasping a hand over her arm and yanking her forward.

Moyo involuntarily cringed at the low furious growl. It came out like the noise from the early hours of that morning… yet it was so unlike it. Though her heart was palpitating with fear as he pulled her down the stairs, she stared at him defiantly. “So there is someone in there?”

Maje dragged her down the last stair and then shoved her away from him… before he succumbed to the temptation he was fighting hard against. “Mind your business!” He grated through clenched teeth. “Which, I remind you again, is to obey my instructions without question and to keep this house—the parts of it I told you to—clean!”

And with one last vicious glare, he swept past her and then through the front door.

No doubt to continue with his run which he’d interrupted to come snoop on her, Moyo thought with a sour expression. Then let out a chuckle at her thought. Who’d really been snooping here—she or him?

Well, she wasn’t done snooping, she thought to herself strutting into the kitchen and flipping the light switch on. There was someone, or people, in that room and she was more than certain of it now. And find out who they were, she must.

 

SHE COULDN’T DO THAT—not when he spent the rest of the day stalking about the house like a ferocious wild cat on the prowl. He didn’t speak to her, not even his usual mutter of “thank-you” when he took the tray from her. He didn’t respond when she asked, in her bid to poke him, if there was anything else she could do for him after he returned the lunch tray.

He didn’t talk to her but he looked at her. And warning, dark and forbidding, glared from his black usually-blank eyes.

With nothing to do after dinner, she returned to her room and chanced her hand in putting a call through to Remi. It went through this time and she spoke to their mother first before Remi came back online.

“So how are you doing?” Remi asked, her tone said she expected the worst.

Moyo grinned to herself. If she said anything about the noises at night, Remi wouldn’t mind taking a bus to Idanre that night. “I’m fine. It’s not a bad job. I only mostly cook meals and then do a bit of cleaning.”

“And the people in the house, how are they?”

“They are human, Remi.” Moyo laughed. “I told you in my text, didn’t I? Only humans here. Just three of us though—me, the security guard who calls himself the yardman… though I fail to see what yard work he does, and then the boss.”

“And the boss, what does he do?”

The Q-and-A was to find a loophole in any of her answers, Moyo knew. “Translator and Interpreter.” No way was she telling her she’d had Oga Lucas get that info for her. “He keeps mostly to himself. I guess he’s busy. He has to be, right, given his work. Anyway, how are you preparing for your exams?” She purposely changed the subject. “Hope you’re reading real hard, not slacking because I’m not around.”

“You know I don’t read just to impress anyone.” Remi retorted petulantly. “I am preparing just fine. By the way, GM said he will pay your salary next week. He looked very disappointed that you left just like that. He asked why you left and I told him you got a better offer with better pay. That shut him up.”

The last part came in a gleeful tone. Moyo could imagine Remi telling GM delightedly of her better-pay offer. She might not care for this housekeeping job at the House on the Hill, but she’d hated GM delaying her salary month after month and his tight-fistedness not to offer a pay-increment in the two years and more she’d worked for him.

“Little meanie.” She teased her. “Anyway, I hope he keeps his word and pays that salary… I worked hard for it. When I receive the alert, I’ll tell you what to do about the money though. Have to go now. We’ll talk later. Take care of Mammy and always be sure she takes her medication. Take care of yourself too, okay?”

“I will.” There was a momentary pause and then Remi added. “Please be careful in that house. I had another nightmare about it and I’m still unsettled about you living there.”

“Stop worrying and stop having nightmares, Remi. I am fine, I promise you. If I sense any form of threat in this house, I will be the first to leave it, okay? Have a good night… no nightmares again oh.” Chuckling, she ended the call and set down her phone.

Remi and her hyperactive imagination… nightmares indeed. She’d have worse if she stayed here and heard the hammering noises at night. Chuckling again, Moyo picked her novel and decided to read before turning in.

A brisk knock came at her door sometime later. Moyo picked her phone and checked the time—9:20pm.

She frowned at the door. “Who’s that?” She’d guessed who it was of course.

“Maje.” Came the cold response.

Maje. Like she would dare refer to him by his name. Moyo rolled her eyes, nudged aside the coverlet and rose to her feet. She stared down at her cotton shorts and tank top form and considered changing into something more conservative. Then decided against it. She wasn’t going to trouble herself just because he’d opted to bother her when she was already in bed.

“Good evening, sir.” She politely greeted when she opened the door.

Maje looked her over, then kept his gaze on her face. “Sorry if I woke you up…”

“I haven’t gone to sleep yet.” Moyo broke in. She didn’t invite him in… and he didn’t ask for an invitation.

“Good.” His eyes flickered with quick displeasure. He abhorred insolence. “I need you to make a list of what requires restocking in the kitchen. I shall be going into town tomorrow and so will handle the shopping.”

“I can do the shopping, sir.” Moyo quickly offered.

“I always take care of it.” He retorted brusquely. “Make the list and drop it on the living room centre table.”

“Yes, sir.” Grumpy fellow, she thought not bothering to cover her scowl.

“Moyo?”

“Sir?” She looked at him.

“Never repeat the mistake of going to that door… or even to mine.” He spoke in a stern and severe tone. “Those two rooms are off-limits to you, so stay away.”

Moyo felt the involuntary shudder of fear and forced herself to clamp down on any argument. “Yes, sir. Will that be all, sir?”

Maje saw the faint quiver of her hand that gripped the door. He saw too the defiance in her eyes. She would go up there again, he knew it even as he’d known she was up to something when she’d bade him “have a good run” in the morning. But daring to disobey him, again, was at her own peril.

“Nothing more. Goodnight.” He turned, added. “Lock and bolt your door.”

“I definitely will, sir.” To prove it, and because her fear made her feel ill-tempted, Moyo door shut at once and vigorously turned the key and yanked in place the bolt.

If he thinks he can scare, and threaten, her into backing off from that room, then he needs to acquaint himself very well with who Moyosade Akintola was. Shaking off the quaver of fear… by sheer stubborn will, Moyo marched back to her bed and climbed back into it.

She resumed reading her novel and when she was done, she picked her bible and occupied herself with reading the Gospel of John—her favourite part of the bible. She purposefully read until it was midnight and the generator went off. She planned on staying up and awaiting the noise from upstairs. Maybe if she heard it begin, she could decipher what… no, who was making it.

But the noise didn’t come.

She stayed up until two am and her eyes started drooping, yet no sound came.

Annoyed that when she’d waited for it, the entire house chose to be as silent as a graveyard, Moyo grumbled under her breath and setting the bible on the nightstand, slid to her side and shut her eyes.

She might as well get some sleep.

 

IT WAS 3:05AM.

He rose from his bed. He hadn’t been sleeping—he never sleeps at night. He shuffled to the door; quietly turned the key in the lock and quietly opened. He waited, listened. No sound came. He slipped through and even more quietly, shut the door behind him.

He shuffled down the hallway. Hobbled down the stairs and then turned right in the direction of the downstairs bedroom. He halted in front of the oak wood door, listened keenly. Breathing sounds, soft, rhythmic and deep, reached his ears. He’d always had keen distinctive hearing.

He reached out a long-fingered, gnawed-bony hand and curved the door handle. It was locked. He tried it again. It wouldn’t give way.

He felt it hover over and then overtake him—the loom of bitterness.

He stepped away, hunched his shoulders and with the thing that drew out from behind his head weighing even more heavily now, he retraced his steps, shuffling back to his prison.

 

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

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

62 Responses to House on the Hill

  1. Joan says:

    First to comment…yaayyyy!

  2. Patience Bassey says:

    Hmmm, I hope nothing will happen to Mojo

  3. Ego says:

    Abeg o Moyo should not be trying dis Maje of a guy so we don’t get to hear stories dat touch. Weldone TM

  4. Joan says:

    Now I’ve read it. lemme talk…
    Thanks for the update TM.

    I have the feeling that it’s just the three of them that are in that house. Maje seems like someone who has a personality disorder and I have a feeling that would change soon. I like Moyo’s curiosity… one never learns without being curious.

  5. Joan says:

    No Ego, it’s my first time to be the first to comment and I’m glad…no excited!

  6. jojodia says:

    TM….bia, is dis some supernatural storyline? or just plain psychological thriller?

    Something grew out of d back of his head? Jesu, what kind of deformed person is that. And why go to Moyo’s room?

    Anyway, thank God it’s morning u posted dis o. Abeg don’t try dis kind rough play at night o.

    Btw, fantastic episode.

    How about that our soon to be published book? Any hope on a definite date yet?

    Do have a fantastic day.

    • Hahaha, I knew you will come at me about that story, lol. I plead the fifth… hehehe

      • MercyKings says:

        Pls what exactly does d fifth ammendement to the United States constitution say, Madam TM? I truly want to know cos I kept hearing that on house of cards.

        • Well, simply explained, it’s a plea (in court usually) to claim the constitutional right (the US constitution of course) not to stand as a witness against oneself. You make a claim not to say anything against yourself in court. So people (Americans mostly) say it to mean “I won’t witness against myself”. I think it’s something like that.

  7. Lade says:

    #Handonchest

  8. Favour says:

    Hmmmmmm. Moyoeeeeee please be very careful.

  9. Mcsteph says:

    It’s been long ma.
    I see the mystery is unraveling itself, lets see what secret maje is keeping. Moyo, curiosity really did kill the cat.

  10. sabelle concepts says:

    Jesu o..oga maje is a beast

  11. MercyKings says:

    Moyo deserves a SLAP to return her mind to “factory setting” since hunger and hardship couldn’t do it for her. Is she interested in d mystery of d house or to be financially capable of taking care of her family? One would think the girl with all that problem described in chapter one would mind her business especially as no one is interested in hurting her. Na she sabi shaa. The curious cat is never far from having a “skin-peeling-boiling-hot-water-bath”.
    TM, weldone oh.

  12. bola says:

    Moyo! Moyo!! Moyo!!! Why are u so stuborn. Pls, leave d boss & d creepy noise alone, stay in ur room 4 ur own good. Thank u TM

  13. iyke David says:

    Stuborn Moyo!

  14. Roselyn says:

    Abeg, the thing better leave Moyo alone oo! Thanks TM.

  15. Sylvia says:

    Chai Aunt TM and her nerve recking suspense, see as you use ‘and the thing that grew from behind his hand which weighs more heavily now’ make my brain begin imagine se decipher wetin fo happen next.
    Egbon Moyo ever heard of patience and what you seek comes to you?

  16. Toyenlon says:

    Moyo, don’t let your overconfidence cause trouble for you o. This one that something is coming out of the head and trying to enter moyo’s room, abegi o spare moyo o.

  17. Foluke says:

    Scary. there is definitely an hungry beast in that house. Moyo gahs to be careful

  18. Biko Maje just like your room is off limit for her, let hers be off limit for you.
    Is it enough that the poor girl has been having sleepless nights?

  19. Warewolf things ooooooo!!

  20. Nykky says:

    Moyo I counsel that you return your brain to default settings and be careful for your own good do your work, collect salary and be fine or follow that your brain and be doomed I’ve said my own o ehen

  21. Luwibaby says:

    Ghen ghen ghen……. First time ever comenting. The story us excellento like reading such at night so that i imagine it in my dreams… Last tume i dreamt i was moyo shouting blood of Jesus! Nigerian film sha. Wonderful

  22. Uchechukwu says:

    TM please afta all dis fear fear tin let love come outside o!bcos I no fit shout Abeg!anyway I really enjoyed d suspense

  23. cheriepet says:

    TM my people talk say ear wet no dey hear, when den cut the head the ear go follow comot…. since Moyo no wan mind her business maybe we go go buy coffin in advance in case the night-sleepless-creature finally do him work…. lol

    this tory good to read by this time….hahahahahahahaha

  24. Pacesetter says:

    whao, hope they will be able to overcome whatever is What in d house

  25. Mcsteph says:

    It’s been long ma.
    I see the mystery is unraveling itself, lets see what secret maje is keeping. Moyo, curiosity really did kill the cat.

  26. biodun says:

    thanks for every piece of this HOTH. The flavour of this kinda series is reading in the night. I do like to go on a date with you, sipping Pina Colada while listening to stories through your lips. Biko what’s at stake?

  27. Tolu says:

    Now this is coming out as an horror movie #crying #mymummy

  28. Luwibaby says:

    Tm dearie hope you will be bringing out the next episode by 1.00am d time wen the hairy curved nails bony scary looking hunch backed beast will start growling……

  29. Paula says:

    Moyo Moyo MOYO!!!!
    Be doing I am not a coward your eye go clear very soon.

  30. Paula says:

    Wait a minute I missed something. That wasn’t Maje, That was occupant of the other room.
    Maje didn’t have bony hands and his room was definitely not a prison.
    TM abeg make I help you do proof reading for the remaining chapters.

    • Luwibaby says:

      You may be right but What if maje turns to a beast at night and that is his prison where he keeps himself locked in order not to do something nasty….. And he eats all those food in the day time because of hunger from night job… Just thinking sha. Funny thinking tho…..

      • Abeg this thinking killed me with laff. Enof ideas for real horror tale. Lol

        • Luwibaby says:

          Been on this blog since morning having galivanting syndeome all because am waiting for an update this night.#sobs

          • Luwi, no story updates on Wednesdays. Blog stories are scheduled for updates (usually) on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Kiss Me If You Can diary comes up Thursdays. The rest of the week is “as TM likes it”… for now. Lol. Why don’t you enter you email ad for post alerts instead? That should do it. Go sleep, Luwi

    • Na only proofreading… hahaha. Sofri sofri eat hot soup jor

  31. horllybee says:

    it’s getting scary and I am loving it! yay….TM,more power to your elbow…

Leave a Reply

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

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