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"I see death... A lot of dead bodies where you are going," the voice of the soothsayer flowed back into his mind. "The island I was posted to is very peaceful. Did you mean there will be a natural disaster where I am going?" Zuma asked back. "No. It's your bad luck. I see death coming in the shape of a baby and swallowing everything and everyone. Be careful and don't ever turn the page." "What are you talking about?" The old witch was silent after, and Zuma was shoved off by the next customer in line. The reality is scarier than the prophecy, and only those who have no bad karma in their previous lives are saved from the hand of the black-eyed demon.
THE BOOK OF DEATH
The woman who just stepped out of the bookstore squinted her face as the water fell in a torrent from the sky. After putting the novel in her hand inside her clothing, she raced towards the black Jeep parked in the parking space far off, jerked the door open and hopped inside immediately.
"Welcome mummy! You are drenched with water."
"Yes, babe. Mommy is drenched because of her addiction to reading," the middle age woman in a blue backless top and blue jean trousers turned toward the scowling man on the seat beside her, offered a weak smile and let out, "am sorry, honey. I will be bored through the journey if I don't have a novel with me."
"What if we missed our train? Your mother will be mad at us if we failed to meet up today. We had promised to spend the new year with her."
The lady sighed, peered at the golden wristwatch in her hand and announced, "we still have some hours before the departure time," she paused her speech, picked up the towel on top of the car dashboard and wipe the water tricking down her face. "Good thing our bags is packed already."
The man nodded his head, ignited the car and drove out of the parking space, then out of the store, and then into the main road.
"What is the title of the novel?"
He peered at the book in his wife's hand, sneered and mumbled," is that author's warning not strange?"
"What did you mean?"
"He warned that this book must not be read, and claimed it contains knowledge that comes with death."
"Huh! Those are writers' ways of getting their readers hooked, and that was what caught my attention and made me go for it."
The man shakes his head sideways and was about to speak when his wife cut into his speech, "forget it, Mr Cameron. There is nothing occultic about this book, it's just a way of enticing the reader."
"It better be."
"Mummy, am hungry."
"Mrs Cameron forget to order our lunch, but she remembered to buy a novel for herself. Isn't that cruel of her?"
"Am sorry Beryl, you can drink the remaining yoghurt, while I fried you chips and eggs to eat during the journey."
The rain had stopped before Mr Cameron drove into the gate of their pink-painted duplex, and they all raced inside immediately.
Where they emerged was well furnished with eye-catching gadgets, arts, paintings and sculptures, and everything about the Cameron shows they were above-average earners.
"Go and prepare Beryl's meal, why I quickly make some calls-. And don't go with that damned book. It will distract you and makes you slow.
Knowing the kind of wife he has, Mr John Cameron walked towards the novel on the centre table and picked it up.
" I will need to keep this until we reach the train station."
John was shocked to his marrow the first time he see his wife using one hand to do her chore, while the second hand was used to hold a novel, and he stood rooted in a spot, and wonder how a rational human being will be addicted to someone's imagination to that length.
To John Cameron, Emily's addition is abnormal, and this is part of what he planned to discuss with his mother-in-law when they meet tomorrow morning.
After making all his call, curiosity made him bring the novel out of his pocket, then stared at the picture of the black-eyed girl.
"You look as creepy as the title of the book, and I wonder what is written inside."
His curiosity soon overrides his better judgment, and he was back in his car before he realized it.
'Warning, this book contains dark knowledge and will bring death to whoever goes beyond this page. Please stop!'
He cleaned the beads of sweat on his face, sighed the fourth time in a row, and his hand shivered as he flipped to the second page of the book of death...
"Where is daddy?" Beryl who just finished a bowl of yoghurt called out to her mother from her room, then run closer to help her in carrying the smaller luggage.
"Thank you. Your dad should be waiting for us inside the car... Let's hurry to meet him."
"You forgot your novel."
"Oh my gosh! Thanks, Beryl. I will hate myself if I ever forget it-," Emily stepped closer to the place where she dropped the novel, peeked around, cocked her head to one side and look lost in thought. "I dropped it here... Don't I?"
"Maybe Daddy took it. Let's go and ask him."
"Your daddy doesn't read novels. Except he wants to keep it for mischievous purposes, I don't see what my book will be doing in his hand."
"We are getting late, Mommy!"
The pair wobbled out of the parlour, stepped into the compound and make their way towards the jeep parked far off.
"Is Daddy inside the car?"
"I think he is, the car door is opened. But I will call him if he isn't."
"He is. I can see his hunched figure."
"Open the car bout for me, Honey."
Beryl dropped the small bag in her hand, scrambled towards the open door at the driver's side, stopped suddenly on her track and cried out, "MUMMY... DADDY IS DEAD!"
The man inside his pool of blood had slashed his throat with his golden pen, and the sick smile on his face shows he had enjoyed taking his own life.
Cumberland is the capital of four regional islands and the largest among the lot. Known as the safest island in the world, the majority of the dwellers made their income from millions of people who come to enjoy the amazing weather and friendly community, and the island thrived from the money made from tourism and booming sales made from the foreigners desire for local dishes, ladies and relics.
Suddenly, the peaceful island was thrown into an uproar by the suicide rate that keeps inflating on daily basis, and the fact that all those who decided to end their own lives were living big, had no financial problems, nor any reason to take their own lives, except that they did, is the reason why the chief of police of Cumberland is having a sleepless night.
THE SAFEST PLACE ON EARTH
The gloomy-looking tall man walked with a lack of alacrity towards the blue and white painted office. In truth, a delighted soul makes a happy face.
Dressed in a black striped shirt, black trousers and leather shoes, he was unaware of the bowing of his comrades as he sauntered into the elevator, and his mind rioted till he reached the front of an office, dipped his hand inside his pocket and brought out a bunches of key, inserted it in the keyhole and then yanked the door opened.
The office he merged into was painted white and blue, clean, and adorned with a few pieces of furniture, a laptop, and some other electronic devices. And the sturdy man walked into his chair, sighed and sat with a growl, and promptly opened one of the files in his front.
The anger on his face became more threatening as he flipped through the pages, and the knocking on his door made him grumble louder and asked, "who is there? Am busy right now."
The door was pushed open and
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