Monday, July 8, 2013
The 400-Word Story: The Beach Man #11
The sniffling from the other room stops after a while, then Shola emerges through the door, holding a notebook. I feel a stab of déjà vu as she settles across me; her twin sister had sat just there yesterday, listening as I told her about my strange dreams.
Wiping her eyes with a handkerchief, she places the notebook on the desk.
“I’m really sorry about your sister,” I say.
She shakes her head. “It isn’t your fault. Perhaps if she had been patient, none of this would have happened.”
“How do you mean?”
“Folakemi wasn’t supposed to start a private practice yet.”
I stare at her, confused, and she continues.
“Spiritualism is a difficult practice with different stages. My whole family practices it. There’re five levels of experience in spiritualism. Level one is the beginner stage, while level five is the master stage. In Nigeria, we have just few level five spiritualists.”
I narrow my eyes at her. “What level are you?”
“I’m Level four,” Shola says, regretful look on her face. “But Folakemi was only Level two. She wasn’t patient to learn gradually. She was always eager to reach the fifth level and start her own practice. My father’s a Level five, but it took him thirty-seven years to get there. She renounced our family after a quarrel with him four years ago. Then she started travelling and was always keeping ears open for strange spirits. I guess that’s how she landed here. I’ve been here once to persuade her to return to our family, but she closed the door on me. She was mad because I supported my father in the fight.” She wipes her nose noisily. “But last night she called out to me telepathically, and I knew she was in trouble, so I took the late night bus to get here. Now from what I’ve seen in her notebook, she underestimated the beach man.” She leans forward and holds my hand. “You see, the beach man isn’t just a spirit but a demon who’s grown stronger and stronger over the years. We must stop him quickly.”
My heart races. “We?”
“Yes.” She nods, her eyes flashing with desperation. “We must stop him tonight.”
“Tonight? But I don’t—I…”
“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. I’ll teach you to become Level five again.” She squeezes my hand harder. “Ifeoma, you were a Level five in your former life.”
Footnote: This is the eleventh episode of The Beach Man, a 400-Word Blog Series.
Click HERE for the next episode.
Thanks for reading! And stay tuned for the twelfth episode next Monday.