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SACRED HAVEN - James Jacquine

The strong whiff of burnt flesh hit hard. A disgusting sight before me, as I walked in to where used to be my favourite spot in the whole world. It was damaged completely, even though at about 6:am that morning, I had the most annoying boy ever troubling me for tea, I had asked him to go to hell in a fit of rage. The water heater blew up, the gas was finished, then the annoying kid? I had the worst life ever. Or so I had thought. No sister, I want to go to heaven and be an angel, my six years old brother said with the sweetest smile ever. I hoped he was there, though what laid before me, was enough proof that his final moments on earth was hell. I couldn't recall how, but I had moved closer to the burnt body, I had kissed its forehead and whispered goodbye. My heart ached but I couldn't let the tears out. I couldn't be caught there. Not until I confirmed them all dead. They just had to be.

For a girl who was tagged "most impatient girl ever," my steps were surprisingly too slow and calculated. My next stop, was the homes "sacred haven"..... Uh an... I chuckled, as I moved on to a place that used to be too precious for my presence. I never even got to clean it, at least, that I used to be happy about. My mother was definitely on her kneels by her bedside, reading a devotional as I always saw her do whenever I peeked as I walked past her room, every morning I remembered living. I wondered how it all played out. Was there some sort of warning? I asked myself as I moved on. With every step, I felt my whole body fail me, as weakness, emptiness and darkness, enveloped me. A perfect picture of my surroundings. I didn't know what to expect in my parents room, but then, the angle adjacent to where I stood had something that sent me down. I fell on my kneels as I looked at the roasted arm glued to the wall. I tried getting up, but I couldn't feel my body, as I was numb. But then, my eyes betrayed me and circle around.

There it was, two popping eyes that rested side by side, threatening to fall as the sockets were lagging. The head was badly burnt, but I recognized it as my mum's.

Ohhhhh that distressed sound, rang repeatedly in my head. I had crawled through every nook and cranny of the house, and I had not found him. A lot wasn't right, I was too weak to move in "sacred haven", till I heard the sound. I thought it was the burnt head, whose eyes gave me chills, but the

voice convinced me it wasn't. It was dad's, he was alive and all I could think of was finding him, and finishing him up if I had to. I just knew I couldn't leave anyone half dead. Just as I crawled to the kitchen, the walls started to build up, but I was too weak to care. Dad was definitely making coffee as usual that morning, so he had to be there, but the kitchen was empty and surprisingly in order. I felt weaker with every slipping moment, but I had to find him, so I crawled out.... Broken objects tore at my skin as I crawled, but I didn't care. I would die anyway, but not till I found him. Nooooo My head snapped backwards as I heard his voice again. He called out for help but the voice seemed too distant to reach. It seemed out of the world. I felt my mind was playing tricks on me. But I danced to the beat of my heart. It led me to the kitchen again. But this time, it was a disaster. There were broken glasses scattered around, broken ceramics and blood.... There was blood... But there was no dad.... And there was a trail. Broken ceramics cemented the grounds, but I crawled on. The blood I followed smelt of dad, so I hoped on. I want teeee, a voice screamed in my head. It was Ike's, my brother. Get out! My mother's snapped. Their voices threatened to weakened me, but the blood i crawled on strengthened me. oblivious of my surroundings, a strange feeling of unfamiliarity struck me, and was confirmed as I looked around.

It seemed like I centered a deserted field with nothing but blood trails in sight. I moved on, confused and unsure of what I was getting myself into, but I did, with faith.

Alas! There he stood, triumph written all over him. He laughed, but it was unlike papa's. I knew he did it all, but i was confused on how and why. He loved us and cared for us, he..... I felt a sharp pain, it took away all the strength I had left. He had struck me with a dagger while I busied myself with worries and uncertainties, and then, I felt myself completely vanishing from the world I was in. Moment later, I heard my name. It was him who called. He probably wanted to finish me off, but I didn't budge. I wanted the few moments I had left, peaceful. Thou I was in pains, it felt more bearable, than seeing a monster in the man I loved so much, a second time. But no, he didn't give up. He called me continuously, and then my eyelids slowly parted. Again, he stood in front of me, but a lot had changed. The triumphant look was replaced with worry, and when I looked around for the dagger, I got the shock of my life. The walls were cream coloured, with my framed pictures hung at different angles, It was what my room used to be.

And then, memories came flooding in. I had cried myself to sleep, after being mercilessly beaten by my mother. I had disregarded her in the worst way and I got the treat I deserved, but instead of a contrite feeling, I had an angry one. I silently cursed my whole family, and wished for them to disappear from the earth. My father stared at me with questioning eyes, as he sat by me on my bed, and I hugged him and told him that I loved him.

Thank God I still had my family with me. They were my SACRED HAVEN!


ABOUT THE WRITER:

A second year student of the Federal University of Abuja, Book lover and a jolly writer. I love mysteries.

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