Hunter's Chorus
Hunter's Chorus
Author: Harriet Ifeanyi


Susan stumbled over the front steps as she approached the ancient wooden door of the lone house which sat at the end of the road, completely surrounded by nothing but over grown grasses and darkness, wrapped entirely in the shrewd mystery of made up stories and haunting myths. She gasped and caught the steps with one hand to keep herself from completely falling over and she quickly regained her composure, glancing over her shoulder, she could see the flash lights, she could see the dark outlines of the people chasing after her and calling out her name, they weren't far behind now, she needed to get away from them.

 She hugged the small bundle she carried on her chest and frantically pulled at the thick vines which had wrapped around the door, serving as a barricade, they snapped easily like weather-aged ropes and as she pushed the door open, one of the hinges gave way and the door on the left tipped and landed upright on the wooden floor with a loud bang, raising the dust but it didn't fall away as it was still held by the second hinge. Susan cared less about that and rushed into the house, the hinges squeaked louder and the door wobbled like it would suddenly drop but it held, swinging back slowly, the door on the left scraped across the floor utill it closed. 

The darkness slowed her down, she stood still for a second as her pupils dilated and eyes adjusted to the darkness, and with her hand outstretched, she moved gingerly and searched desperately for the stairs. She had never been into the house before, no one she knew had ever been in the house before because for years it had been abandoned and left to the care of mother nature.

The house had once stood by the end of a busy road and used to be an elegant beauty, but for the years following it's abandonment, the forest had slowly crept up on it and it now sat not so deep into the forest, just by the edge and it sat alone in the middle of the over grown grasses which looked to be once a beautiful lawn. The vines had crept up the sides of the house and had wrapped around it like veins and in the light of a perfect moon like the one which hovered above the city this percular night, it seemed to pulse.

Stories had been made up and passed down from parents to children, stories of the last owners of the house having been in cahoots with a demon, of how they would lure children into the house and feast on their empty bodies after offering their souls to the demon that they had been rumoured to worship. Of course that had been falsified by parents to keep their children away from the house but then the family and the house had been strange, the children had started disappearing one after the other, all eight of them, they died actually but not of natural causes according to investigators and the media and then the woman died first before the man. It had been said that on the night the man had died, there had been a shrill cry from the house that had sounded inhumane and after that, a terrible storm had ravaged the city.

Nobody successful bought the house after that and all who tried faced one tragedy or the other, then people began spreading the wild stories and it rumoured away from the borders of the city - the house was haunted by the still hungry demon bound to the house. It sparked up a chain of investigations, paranormal investigators trooped in and soon, both the house and the city were swimming in the media frenzy. 

Authorities did nothing about the  frenzy at first because they enjoyed the popularity, but that was not until strange things actually started showing, and they showed very clearly and it was also about that time that stories of demons started to surface and to assure the public  of their safety - for those who had filed a ton of complaints - the authorities eventually put the house up for demolition after the paranormal investigator teams had condemned the house, siting that it was a hideout for demons and spirits and what nots but then nothing could explain the inability of the authorities to tear down the house, some thing always seemed to go wrong so they had left the house to crumble on its own time. The house had since been standing for seventy five years. 

But none of those rumors mattered to Susan, in fact, none of those stories entered her head as she didn't think of that as all she wanted to do was to get away to a place where she would be alone, desperation had its own way of pushing  people. She had fought her way through thick cobwebs and creaky floor boards till she reached the last floor of the house and from the safety of the attic, she could see the people down below; two policemen, one hospital security guard and two nurses, who had been chasing after her and we're now at the front door trying to get in but the door was locked. They banged and kicked and pushed but it was of no use, the door was rigid and tightly shut, standing firmly like new oak wood, it wouldn't budge. It was the same door which she had just come in through that was just barely hanging on its hinges, but now it stood rigid and was locked securely. 

Susan didn't ponder on that too much, she just wanted to be away from them for now, she placed her back against the wall and slowly slid down to sit on the wooden floor, she put the bundle she had been carrying gently on the floor and unwrapped it. It was a child, her child and she was dead. She had given birth to twins, the boy who had come out first was healthy and alive and still in the hospital but the doctors had said that her second child was a still born and that there was nothing that could be done to bring her back to life, but this was her child non the less so she had stolen her away from the hospital and ran, and now she sat in this house, weeping and hugging her icy cold baby.

"I would give anything to have you come back to me." She wept silently. "Anything please."

Eyes shut, she wept more, rocking herself back and forth, back and forth and humming a tune with an emotion ladened voice. A metal object clattered in the dark and she bolted upright, squeezing her child to her chest. She looked around and the realization of where she was dawned on her like cool water on parched ground. Stiffening her resolve, she wiped her tears and dared the myths to come alive, she shivered, if truly there was a demon in this house as was rumoured she would summon him and she would ask for its help. She knew that it would turn out to be a very terrible idea if it was true a demon was indeed living in this abandoned house but she was a mother and she would do anything to have her child come back to her. Yes, she was that desperate.

"If at all there is a presence here," She swallowed. "If the rumors are true and you are here, make yourself known to me now."

Eyes wide opened and all senses on high alert, she listened for what seemed like an eternity for a sign, anything, a whisper, a touch, a scream, a giggle, a laugh, a chuckle, anything at all. She looked left and right, up and down for the slightest hint but nothing came. She said it again, this time with more determination and a louder voice in case the spirit here was still in ghostly hibernation. She would wake it up and damn the consequences!

"If there is a presence here, a demon, a spirit, a.... whatever, still living in here like the rumors say, make yourself known to me now!"

But still, nothing came. Feeling defeated, she broke down and continued crying, planting kisses all over her child's face like that was the antidote for death. 

Then it came, it came suddenly like the wind, rushing past her from the open windows, it circled the room, spreading the darkness and twirling it like a concoction mixed with the voices of the ones lost and forgotten in death, and as it settled, she heard a voice loud and clear and authoritative, but still gentle enough not to scare her.

"Anything?" It questioned.

Susan buckled against the wall, colour drained from her face and she pulled her knees up so that it pressed her dead child against her chest then she wrapped her hand around her knees, protecting her child. She would not be offering her child to anything as a meal. Scanning the room, she tried to find who had just spoken, it frightened her to know that she was alone but not exactly alone, she was hearing voices but then she had called for it.

"Who... who is there?" Her voice cracked and she swallowed hard. "Sh... show yourself to me."

"You said anything?" The voice questioned again. It swam around her and the room so she couldn't tell where it was coming from but she knew she heard it this time. She knew she did.

"Who are you and where exactly are you?!" She yelled as she cried, she was afraid and she knew it, she had woken up something that had been dormant for over seventy years and yes she knew it would be hungry or angry or both. What had she done?

"Do you want your child back...?" The voice came from her right, she turned. "...or not...?" It came from the far left now, she turned again. The voice was terrifyingly calm, seeming to come from every corner of the room.

Susan looked at her still and unmoving baby, she smiled softly and she kissed her cold blue lips, yes she would surely do anything to have her baby back. A tear fell from her eyes and landed on the baby's cheek, she stroked the child's face and whispered.

"Yes..." She sniffed.

"Yes what?" It demanded. 

"Yes I do want him back."

"I can help..." The voice floated above her, forming a dark mist, then it moved to the darkest corner of the room and took form. 

Susan slowly stood up from the floor and hugged her child even tighter to her chest, pressing her back against the wall so much so that she wanted to blend into it, her cautious gaze was towards the darkness. Her heart beat accelerated and she wished it would not show it self to her but then again, she was curious.

"...but only on one condition." She heard it growl in a low voice.

"What do you want from me?" Susan was cautious and she shook like a leaf caught in a hurricane.

"You would have to do something for me in return."

"What is it that you want from me? You'll have to tell me first." She blinked rapidly. The air in the attic was getting cooler and cooler.

"No..." The voice laughed, the sound made Susan's ears bleed.


"This is not a bargain you see, as you have no choice here. You want your dead child back and I want something in return and all you have to say is yes to my demands."

"Well then, what are your demands?"

"You will first of all agree to it so there is no going back then I will reveal to you whatever it is that I want."

Susan knew this gamble was a risky one. Deathly risky but just how desperate was she willing to be? She knew she could not leave the house, no, not after awakening this thing who's voice she could only hear, frankly she saw no other option than to agree to it's choice. She swallowed hard and wiped her tears.

"I agree to whatever you want."

It chuckled and stepped out of the shadows, into the dim light of the moon. Susan shrieked in absolute horror.

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
Nice story! Do you have email/social media I can follow?

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