Tag Archive: suicide


The Incident with Segun


Preparing for class on Monday morning and suddenly, I remembered Segun, a classmate in Primary 6. It was at this point that it dawned on me that after over 12 years, I could still remember what happened…or what almost happened that afternoon.

It was another afternoon in class and our class teacher Mr Irabor was going through some Mathematics with us. I remember the sweltering room, windows open because for some odd reason, the A/C in class had refused to come on . And thank God for that! Who knows, we might not have been able to hear the screams that alerted all of us.
“Excuse me Sir, can I use the toilet?”
Those were not his exact words but they were something to that effect and with a nod of the head as approval, Segun left the class.
I will give the briefest history on Segun; he was the quiet one in class. I wasn’t exactly gregarious myself but at that age, I always tended to play and hang out more with the boys.
He never played football; or I never played football with him and that was saying something considerng the fact I’d played with almost all the boys in class.
At that age and at that point, if someone had asked me to tell them about a boy who was probably in my class from Primary 1 Yellow, I would have been stumped.
It was after the incident I learnt his full name which I’d leave out for confidential purposes.

Back to class, we were still trying to fan ourselves with our hands and papers when we heard a faint thud. We had no idea what had happened, too busy being bored.
What snapped our necks to attention was the scream of a woman; a scream that was echoed by screams of children.
Lesson forgotten, we all ran to the open window, the nearest people scanning for the source of the screams, the fartherst, struggling to make it near the window .
“Everybody sit down!” our tacher barked at us and we obeyed with alacrity. Huffing, I remember he dropped his book and walked out of the class, probably going to find out what was happening.
“Can you see anything?” I remember someone asking a student who sat by the window, the craned their necks and after a few seconds shook their heads.
We decided to wait for our teacher, the only person who’d be able to tell us what was happening.
We noticed other teachers leaving their classes, intent too to find out about the screams.
We waited.
The headmaster walked in a few minutes later with a stern expression on his face, threatning any student who thought about stepping out of cass with expulsion.
Worry mixed with curiosity, we talked in hushed tones, as if trying not to drag any unwanted attention to our class.
The tension built up, fidgeting eleven year olds in their seats.
Our teacher walked in later with an inscrutable expression on his face. Class continued as usual and no one dared to ask him just what had happened.
Minutes stretched to almost an hour and soon, we got tired of waiting to know what had happened. We’d know at the end of the day anyway.

New filtered in after class.
Segun had jumped from the window of the boy’s toilet. The toilet was on the third floor.
There was a hushed silence of disbelief and fear. I think someone actually cried.
“He is possessed” a girl murmured. Apparently, a rumour was going round that a voice had commanded him to jump.
The more creative minds painted a scenario where he was pushed out of the window by a cleaner for soiling the place. Better still, he was pushed out by another student after a fight. The accepted story was that he was trying to sneak out of school and didn’t know we were on the third floor. That seemed the most plausible.
What we didn’t think of or chose not to think about what the fact that maybe, just maybe Segun jumped out of that toilet window to kill himself.
You see, suicide was so unfathomable for a Nigerian and a youngster that I only got exposed to the idea from reading Western novels.

Killing ourselves was something we indulged in our thinking maybe after a particularly bad session of flogging from our parents. We’d imagine dying just as the final whip lash was administered, somehow dying and simultaenously enjoying the sight of shock on our parent’s faces when they realised the error of their discipline-friendly ways.
We imagined ourselves croning in delight, knowing they’d carry our lifeless body in their hands, weeping and promising never to flog us again
The idea was to suddenly come back to life and be treated like royals for the rest of our lives.
That was as far as we thought when it came to death.
But Segun didn’t go for the dramatic pose.
He wanted the real deal.
He wanted to die.
I remember how scared I was that evening and the next day, the hush that enveloped the whole of Primary 6.
Was there a special assembly the next morning? I cannot rememeber.
All we knew at that point was that he was alive.
He fell from the third floor and landed downstairs where the nursery classes were situated but he managed to survive.
We thanked God privately for that. He only suffered a broken arm.
Was the incident swept under the carpet? Most likely.
I vaguely remember Segun coming back to school with a cast on his broken arm.
It was then i tried to study and know him. All i could get out of him was his name.
Sadly, my memories after that are a bit hazy.
Did he graduate with us? I doubt it. I think he finally left the school.
Expulsion?

Monday morning, and suddenly Segun comes to mind.
Walking to the bus stop, a question springs to mind.
“Where is Segun?”
Is he still alive?
Or did he manage to complete the deed he tried to do?
Has he finally killed himself?

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Based on a true story.

The Final Trick


“20 minutes Tyler!”

I can hear the crowd roar with approval from the dressing room backstage.
I smile a little, swiveling my turning chair until I’m facing the huge mirror that covers almost half the wall in the ‘common room’ as it is called by everyone. I watch life pass by behind me.
Chorus girls dressing; one trying to pin a tassel to her dark nipple. I watch the curtains leading to the center-stage part a little, allowing the stage light to filter through, before it falls back into place.
Yells of encouragement, of laughter. I sit in front of the mirror and watch in fascination as painted-on faces come into view.
One girl notices me and suddenly her face is lit up with a beaming smile. She whispers quickly to another girl standing nearby and they both turn and look at me.
They make to approach me but suddenly are  turned away when they hear their cue to partake in the spotlight.
Their turn on the big stage.
They wave and the cheekier of the two girls blows a kiss at me. I make a catching motion and place it on my lips, smiling slightly as she blushes red and hurries off.

“Tyler! You shouldn’t be here! Your dressing room. You would be next”

My manager.
Without a word to him, I do as he demands, walking away from the hubbub of the changing rooms of the other side acts to the quietness of mine.
Main act of the night.
Star.
Alone.
My manager hovers behind me like an annoying bee with me playing the flower.
He is nervous; his fingers twisting at a piece of paper, the pamphlet for tonight’s show.
He is talking to me.
“This would be the biggest! The biggest show ever! We are making millions!”
I tune him out.
I sit on my ‘throne’ and face an even bigger mirror.
What is it with mirrors in this place anyway? It seems like everywhere I turn, there is another me, staring out with lost, brown eyes.
Lost.
I watch him talk, bulbous nose moving with every enunciation. He notices my absent-mindedness and sighs dramatically. I almost chuckle at the comical way his already huge girth expands as he takes a deep breath.
I wonder he has a baby hippo nesting somewhere within his voluminous white jacket.
I remember when he was slimmer, hungrier.
I remember when he first met me.
‘Do you want to be a star?’ he had asked me then. I remember looking at dark, shifty eyes and wondering just how he was going to pull that piece of magical trick off. I remember shrugging my shoulder and nodding noncommittally. I did what I did because I enjoyed it, not because of stardom but I figured that too wasn’t bad. Stardom meant I shared my art with a wider audience an of course, better funding. Maybe even one day affording a new suit and not the hand-me-downs I picked up from charity stores.
He was true to his word.
He made me a star.
But he sure did reap the benefit later, if his weight is anything to go by.
I raise one hand to silence him mid prattle.
“It’s just another show Donny. Relax.” I murmur, a small sigh escaping my thin lips.
I have finally responded and he grabs this opportunity before I shut down.
“Just another show? THE QUEEN IS OUT THERE! Dignitaries! This is IT! IT I TELL YOU!” He walks about, guts heaving, hands flailing.

“Yea yea…” I stare at my reflection intently.
I’m not sure what I’m looking for; maybe glimpses of the ten year old boy who stared in amazement at the street urchin’s hands as he made the cards he held up disappear.
I can still remember his toothy grin, his croaky voice that asked me to pick a card. “Go on” he had cajoled and i picked a card.
I remember his cackling laughter at my stare of wonder when he had produced exactly the card I had picked up.
“Another!” I cried out in excitement; that pure, unadulterated excitement.
I am looking for glimpses of the boy who went home and proudly announced to his father that he was going to be a Magician.
‘Stop talking nonsense and get your hands ready for kneading’ my dad had replied shortly to me.
A baker he was, and a baker he was determined to make out of me. To my father, baking was in the Hughes blood and he was ready to knead me into what he was by all means.
I wonder where the boy who went back to that street urchin, begging him to teach him the tricks of his trade is.
What happened to him?
Would I ever feel that way again?
Would I ever feel that rush of excitement and sense of adventure I felt when I finally left home in the middle of the night, leaving to seek my fortunes as an entertainer? That freedom; that belief.
I look hard at myself and I cannot find him.

“Are you even listening to me!”
Donny’s voice breaks into my contemplation and I sigh, exasperated. I turn to him.
“Where did I go to?”
He looks puzzled. “Tyler, you’re here…I don’-”
I shush him. “Do you remember the Canon show?” I whisper.
H frowns, knowing where I was leading to.
“Not today of all days” he mutters to himself as he walks to the drawers, rummaging them, pointedly ignoring my question.
“Remember the way the small crowd cheered? How you lifted me up and called me a genius” I whispers, more to myself.
“Ah!” he calls out, securing a packet of Bupropion. He fetches me a glass of crystal clear water and proffers the two small tablets to me.
“You’re not spazzing out on me today of all days Tyler. No.”
I ignore the tablets in his hands and rest my chin on my steepled fingers back to gazing at myself.
“I don’t need those”
He looks aggrieved and I suddenly feel a little pang of guilt. I sigh, my face softening to accommodate a smile.
“Fine. I’ll take it. Just shoo. You’re a mother hen”
His smile comes back and dropping the tablets in my hands he holds my head and plants a wet kiss Donny-style on my forehead.
“We’ve made it!” He laughs and walks off. I can hear him scream at my makeup team to get to work.
When I’m sure he is out of sights, I get up and dump the antidepressant pills in a bin.
I’d do without them.

Soon, I am on stage and I feel rather than see Donny give me a thumbs up. I hear my wife’s laughter as she claps.
I smile to myself.
She believes I do not  know about her and Donny. Better off that way isn’t it?
A tic pulls at my eyebrow and quickly banishing thoughts, I wear my mask; full wattage smile. All suave.
I can barely make out the said dignitaries in the audience, the spotlight cast on me, turning them into mere shadows with voices.
Alone.
I wait for the rush I get from the applause and cheers but nothing hits me.
It is all noise.
Alone and Empty.
Like an automaton, I go through my practiced routines with such dexterity, I could have been doing them blindfolded.
After the thunderous applause that signals the end of my last performance, I clear my throat.
As if on cue, there is a hush.

I smile.
Not the mask; not the full wattage smile.
I smile; small, sad.
“Now, for my final trick” I murmur.
I hear the buzz of excitement in the audience; i also hear Donny’s voice demanding to know ‘What the hell he’s doing!’ from someone.
I do not turn.
I pick up a sword, one of the props and slowly twirl it like a baton in the air. The silent anticipation is so thick, I could have cut it with a bread knife.
“I’m done” I whisper and without thinking, I drive the sharp point of the sword into my neck.
I bite my lips at the pain, my eardrums able to pick out the gasps and claps over the pounding of blood.
They cannot see my blood, carefully absorbed by the black cloak I have on.
I suddenly realize they are waiting… for the illusion to be revealed; for the magic.
My knees buckle and I crumple to the floor.
Dimly, I hear the first real screams of fear.
Ah…
Shouts assault my ears and I feel arms around me, trying to save me.
I finally see him; the young boy who did Magic because he loved it. He extends a hand to me.
Slowly, I reach out and take it. I feel his small, familiar palm squeeze mine. I try to return the gesture.
Finally.
Finally.

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Hey everyone!
This was a half-finished tale hidden somewhere and decided to stay up (currently 3.23am) to finish it up and ready to post.
I do hope you liked it.
There was some sort of message I wanted to pass across when I started writing this initially; I cannot remember what now but I’m hoping i unconsciously included it in the story so let me know if you see it.

That being said, I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Jana!

Saving Ruth


Hello!
A damsel brought an interesting story as an offering and today, we feast.
Warm welcome to Oluchi as she takes the helm today!
Enjoy.

SAVING RUTH

I knew that something bad had happened when Melissa barged into our chemistry class agitated, trying to control her stammering as incomprehensible words came pouring out of her mouth. She was trembling and tried to hold herself up, gripping with her left hand a rusty bar handle connected to the wall by the door. Mrs Aide looked up at me, and then at Melissa when her words started to make sense.

“It’s Ru.. Ruth. Sh.. She’s g-g-going to jump! She’s at the roof top and sh-sh-she’s going t-t-to jump!”

It felt like I would have a bowel movement the moment I stood up from the wooden chair I had been plastered to for the past hour, but I fought the urge to run into the restroom for fear of letting another delicate moment slip by. I could feel everybody’s reaction in the room, how their roaming eyes finally came to find solace on me. It’s obvious what I must do, I thought as I made my way quickly through the jam-packed chairs, avoiding the barrage of scouring curious eyes that followed my movement. I fought surprisingly for air which seemed to be lacking in the classroom all of a sudden. It was yet another day, another hour to allow my thoughts be completely overshadowed by Ruth’s being.

I did not bother to catch a glimpse of anyone staring or solicit their help because I knew they would only avoid my gaze like shrinking cowards. Our classmates had become accustomed a caitiff lifestyle when it came to dealing with Ruth, who could now be identified as the girl with “many problems”. They were so completely void of the mental bravery it took to read her foreign character so because it was easier, they avoided her like a deadly taboo instead. Had Ruth not been the type to sit at the back of the class and pay attention to no one but the lines in the books she studied so profoundly, maybe she would have more friends. Had she not been so obsessed with her solitude and launched a safe spot at the very end of the cafeteria to eat quietly like a little mouse, had she been like every other normal girl in class – then maybe they would have embraced her. She was still the smartest girl I had ever met and had a mind so easy to get lost in because it went on forever. After years of having to deal with listening to contents of her suicidal thoughts, I could not believe It was finally coming to reality. (Actually I could, I would be crazy to act surprised). It almost felt like I had waited and primed myself for this day.

The whole class was right behind me as I ran down the hall way and it was certainly not because they cared. Our blue checkered dresses flapped quietly behind us as we made our way down the corridor, shoes click-clacking noisily against the hard concrete floors. I went up the stairs as fast as I could, hoping over extra steps to increase my pace and simultaneously trying to null out the queasy whispering voices behind me. I would have turned around to ask that everyone shut their mouth up had it not been for the way my heart banged with worry and my head spun with confusion. Why would Ruth do this to me today?

I got to the top of the roof and pushed the door open. A generous puff of dust rose and clouded my vision along with that of the twenty other girls behind me. I heard a couple of people cough lightly as I walked right through the wall of dust that stood as a barrier between me and the girl whose body outline I could now make out. Her hair that was neatly cornrowed to the back in five sections glistened against the sunlight and her glasses sat uncomfortable on her nose like an unbalanced see-saw  Her slender neck grew an inch longer when she exhaled nervously and turned around carefully on the constricting cement ridge that created a barrier between the roof and the open 10 feet below us. I studied her skinny body, the way her arms folded across her chest as if she were cold or in want of a hug. Her eyes caught my attention and I remembered the disconcerting nickname she had gotten from our classmates, “the frog princess”. They were an oval bulging of irrevocable beauty that could see past the physical, and so they sat gracefully beneath her dark scruffy eyebrows. I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t come to recognize how unnaturally beautiful her perceived ugly was.

We were both 15 and in high school. She was everything that I wasn’t and that was okay. I had been willing to accept her that way so I wondered for a minute why she would resort to this. Was I not good enough?

I walked up to her and in a bold step of faith raised my arm up, my hand extended as I beckoned for hers with pleading eyes. There was no rue in hers like there usually would be when she talked about self-destruction and made me upset. This time, it was dark and completely flushed. And I could not read it.

“Come down. Please. We can work this out. Whatever it is, we can talk about it. I am here for you.”

“No.” she shook her head slowly and then unfolded her arm, letting them fall to her side before lifting her right arm to show me her wrist. On it were little horizontal scrapes heavy with concealed stories from her past, days when she found comfort in hurting and healing under the cuts of her razor blade. There was a new bruise and I could tell it was barely a day old. The effect of seeing it again made my body feel like it was being pulled down to the earth by gravity.

“Please..” my voice trailed off all of a sudden and I was short of words. It was unusual and very unlikely that something like this would happen to me but I had truly not had anything else to say. Somehow I had managed to use up all the little tricks (I shouldn’t call them tricks) in my books and I was left with nothing. My mind had become a hollow land for little unwanted demons to dance in and I felt like they were mocking me. I felt defeated but I knew that I had to save Ruth again, from herself and from the rest of the world. She would one day prove to them that she was more than just a displaced eldritch; she was smart and funny and could make beautiful rainbows out of skittles.

And so I did what most people would not have expected me to do. I heard Mrs Aide’s midget outcry when I made to climb onto the ridge and stand with Ruth. It was so narrow that I wondered how I would manage to get on there and still maintain a calm conduct. Ruth looked panic-stricken as she watched me mount steadily, my whole body a spiral of trembles. She told me to stop, urged me to go back down. I told her no. I was assertive or at least I tried to sound like it.

“What’s it going to be Ruth? If you’re sure this is what you want, I am one hundred percent on your side. But you gotta be sure. And I’ll do this with you. Like I always promised. I’ll always be here for you.”

“Why are you doing this?” her eyes welled up. “Don’t do this.”

“I would do this, and a whole lot more. I would do anything for you.”

I held on to her for support and hoped the steady physical bond we had now created would grant me some sort of mental stability as well. I was now swimming in a well of trepidation and imagined my classmates to be little starved alligators waiting to devour me. Devour us. Give up now Ruth, i thought to myself. You have to save us now.

I was waiting for her to give in. The whole class was in a bubble of chaos now. I saw a girl, Sarah, fall lazily unto the ground and remain there motionless. It took me a minute to realize she had just fainted. Timid Lara went to the corner of the worn out wall that led back into the school and sat on the floor to cry. There seemed to be a lot of disarray and sensed anxiety from this group that once treated my friend like an unwanted pariah. I wanted to blame them for this and for everything. Mrs Aide was now shouting on the phone, supposedly to a man that identified himself as the head of security. I couldn’t make out her words, I couldn’t make out anyone’s thoughts. I didn’t want to care about anyone of them at that point. I just wanted my friend down and safe.

“I’m tired. I’m tired of it all. I don’t want to live in this world anymore. Please”

The way she begged me to let her do as she pleased, to let her die at the hands of these monsters made me angry. I wanted her to know I was worth staying back for, no matter how selfish that sounded, I wanted her to love me enough to want to be alive for me.

“Then we go together. You and I. We go now. We jump now and all this is over. But you can’t go without me. Do as you please but take me with you.”

Good. I saw her shaking her head and I knew that this would all be over soon. A gentle breeze blew across our faces, and then a little stronger but I clung tight to her and tried not to look down. I could now hear the sound of obnoxious distracting voices from the bottom. I could make out a woman’s deep-chested screaming like a mother hen who just lost her babies. There was a lot of racket around us now from different angles – from every corner that surrounded us. The security guards had arrived, three lousy looking scrawny men charred from the burning rays of our hot sun and sweating like labouring African slaves. They sounded so barbaric that I could not make out a word of what they were saying. My eyes were fixed on Ruth.

“Let’s come down.” she said.

I had agreed. I mean, I remember nodding my head in agreement as a pool of tears finally let loose across my cheeks. I remember squeezing her hands tightly like I would on a sweet juicy orange, trying to relish as much of it as possible. I remember looking right into her eyes, appreciating the love that she had shown me and in return loving my sister more. I remember reaching across to put my hands around her neck — but you see, I shouldn’t have done that. I got lost in the surreality of my our accomplishment that I forgot about the one little detail that should have had me at my toes. Had I not so desperately tried to tune it all out, I wouldn’t have completely disregarded how narrow that ridge had been – how unbelievably hairlike the line between life and death was.

I did lose my balance but I made sure Ruth stayed standing, living. I was fast enough to give her an unfaltering push onto safe grounds when I realized what was happening. As luck would have it, the event seemed to take place in slow motion which gave me enough time to think and realize that every thing happening and yet to happen was as a result of chance. I hadn’t been sure I would fall over the roof to the ground and have my body shattered like a fumbled bowl of overripe tomatoes but I had promised as I shoved Ruth that I would make it in time to save myself before the dilatory period was over. I knew it might or might not happen.

I let myself believe it didn’t matter as I staggered in utter apprehension to regain my balance. I let myself believe that the goal had always been to save Ruth, and it had been accomplished. The last thing I heard was her screeching bawl and my thin outcry. What must have followed when I drifted into complete oblivion were the cries of the hundreds of people that met my body as it landed on the rocky granite with a loud earth-shaking thud.

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And there you have it!
Please the writer has requested for feedbacks on the story so do endeavour to leave comments letting her know what you liked (and didn’t like maybe?).
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Jana!

Gothica


Hey! Hey!

Today’s post is for you lovers of Poetry/Written word/ Whatever you cool kids call it.
I’m known for my horrible attempts at Poetry so I’m always in awe of people who weave words so effortlessly. Today’s word weaver is a lovely poetess who chose my spot as a testing ground so to speak.
Ladies, Gentlemen, the rest of you, welcome @St_Gothica. (Yes, I named the post after her. I’m generous like that…or clueless.)

———————————————————————–

A boiling pot, smouldering with rage;
The cold strike of a lightning flash;
Eyes staring, pushing
Against your wall.

The thankfulness on their behalf
That murder is a crime.
The urge to retreat into a corner
And avoid humanity.

Or go out, eyes and guns blazing,
To rid the earth of its greatest pest;
Its ever feeding parasite.

To commandeer the elements,
To burn and grip and bury and gulp,
To grind and slash till not quarks remain.

Or to build a fort of ice and stone,
Unaffected by the words and stares;
Impervious to the deeds and seeds,
Of discord and disdain and distaste.

 

SO EASY

“It would all too so easy.” I thought,
“To pick up the gun and fire a shot.
Or even more soothing and pleasant it’ll be
When I feel my life-blood drain out of me.
Or just a little pain I’ll have to endure
If I took some pills and passed out on the floor.”

All this my mind said to me,
Promises of peace wide as the sea.

But a little further,
My heart couldn’t but falter
At the thought of being forgotten in dust.

Then at that I thought,
“Oh I won’t be missed.
There’ll probably be something new,
By the time they sit in the pew.”

At this I take my leave
(The noose I have just wouldn’t give)
I wonder which of the verses would live….

——————————————

Do give her your thoughts on her words by commenting thanks! 🙂

Halloween special.


Phantom: Hello. Once again, my mind’s as blank as it was when I entered this doomed world. Therefore, I’d be posting an old story of mine. About two years old i think. Anyway, hope you like it.

——————————————————————————

Let me introduce you to Mrs Potter.
Friendly, lovely woman, always had a smile for everyone. Most people think she is senile or at least eccentric.
We don’t.
We, being residents of Pomeroy street.

We love our Mrs Potter.
I mean what harm could a middle-aged woman with a toothy smile do? Like a Susan Boyle or Mary Byrne if you will. We all loved her as we loved these women. She would bake cookies and invite the neighbourhood to tea. She’d make a casserole and with a smile on her face, knock at your door.
You can never refuse Mrs Potter. We aren’t sure why but we can’t. She lost her husband about 5 years ago to the cancer battle. She lost her two sons a year after to Afghanistan, fighting for the Queen
Sad times those were.
We rallied round her and as good neighbours, supported her.

Enough of the introduction.
Now to the story.

It was like every Halloween.
Kids trick or treating, we adults throwing costume parties. It was like every other Halloween…or so we thought. My twin boys, Olly and Callum went trick or treating like every other kid. Of course, I cautioned them.
Stick to our known neighbours! Dont collect things from strangers.
In their offhanded manner they chorused “Yeah, yeah!”
I wasnt worried anyway. Maybe I should have been.
Maybe we should have all been

I put on my cat suit and took a picture of myself, ready to party. (In your ex-husband!)
We gathered at Phillip’s house, the Engineer guy on the street, had drinks and loved every minute of it. As responsible parents, we decided to head out to our homes before we got too tipsy.
“I wonder what Mrs Potter’s gonna bake tomorrow. I love her Shepherd’s pies!” said Steve, the Real estates guy.
Cute as a button!
I went home and waited for the kids with their haul. Sweets of assorted variety. Of course  I would be keeping some and throwing the excess away
They looked alright, Olly and Callum. After a shower to remove the face make ups, we went to bed

You could hear music from the other streets but Pomeroy Street was relatively quiet. I am not sure what woke me up, but wake up, I did. I felt cold shivers travel down my spine.
I felt the sudden need to see my boys. I walked to their room, then I suddenly stopped.
I had identified the sound that woke me up.
Thump
Thump

It was coming from my boys’ room. My heart suddenly started racing. I ran.
Swung the door open.
My boys were on the floor, entwined; convulsing.
Olly’s leg was the alarm,hitting the dresser table.
Shock
Anxiety
Fear
Innumerable emotions rushed at me at once.
I ran to my boys, separating them with shaky hands.
I ran back to my room and got a hold of the landline.
As I called the ambulance, I heard a wail from Daisy’s house.
What was wrong with her?!

I ran back to check on my boys, palms sweaty, heart racing.
Prayers.
Tears.
Psalms.
The nursery rhymes they loved as children.
They all gushed out of me.

The ambulance came.
Several ambulances came in fact.
It seemed, as crazy as this sounds, that all the children on Pomeroy street were convulsing.

They all suffered together.
They were all in the Intensive Care Unit.

Cyanide Poisoning.
What psycho would poison treating sweets?
Did they go treating on another street contrary to our commands?
I was in shock.
My boys.
My darling boys.
Never been a crier.
At the hospital I heard this cry of anguish.
Struck a chord in my soul, then I realized it was me.
It was me wailing.
Bawling.
We wailed together.

The police began investigating immediately at the early hours of the morning.
3am
I was in my pyjamas with a cardigan to ward off the cold, getting questioned by the police.
Where did they go treating?
What houses did they visit?

HOW WOULD I KNOW!

When they finally left, we gathered at Mrs Potter’s house, knocking at her door.
“Come in! What is wrong dears?” she asked, taking in our sad faces.
We told her.
Her eyes said it all.

Impossible!
They came here for my home-baked sweets.
Ate them immediately too!
Saw them over at the Dover’s
Impossible!
Daisy perked up from her husband’s shoulder
“They ate your sweets here?”
“Why yes! I even have some left overs.”
For some odd reason, we wanted to see the left overs
“Made from bitter almonds. I was trying to get a different flavour from my usual.” Mrs Potter said bringing a tray containing a few sweets.
Paul’s head snapped up to Mrs Potter.
“Did you just say bitter almonds?”
She nodded, perplexed.
Paul picked up a sweet, sniffing and examining it like the doctor that he was.
“Just what quantity did you use? Please!”
He sounded so high-strung, we all tensed up.
9 people.
18 eyes.
Peering at the middle-aged lady we all loved.
“Well I did use a lot of them”

It was the wrong answer.

Paul jumped up suddenly, grabbing Mrs Potter’s cardigan.
“You! You poisoned them! You!”
We were shocked by his display and even more so, his accusation.
It took some minutes of calming down to get Paul in a conversational state.
He then explained it to us.
Mrs Potter.
Our dearly loved Mrs Potter.
Had unwittingly harmed our children.
Cyanide poisoning.
Bitter almonds had them.
Harmless when few, but in large quantities…

We were in shock
She was in shock
We went back to our homes, trying to decide what to do with our dear Mrs Potter.

Morning came.
The Police came back.
We told our story.
We went to Mrs Potter’s house.
Knocking, we received no answers.
The door was knocked down.
We searched for our old lady dearest and we found her, neatly hanging from a curtain cord.

Our dearly beloved Mrs Potter was no more.
Our children were still not out of danger.
So much for Halloween.

End.

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There you have it…i think.

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