Night Shift

“Aunty, please help me. My brother is dying.”

Simi hastened her footsteps. Her boss had delayed her for another 30 minutes, eating into her time. Now she was running late and Caleb had called her three times in the last ten minutes. She winced as her feet hurt in her tight 2-inches heel. She blamed herself for not wearing more comfortable shoes. But then, she had a major presentation at work that was to determine her career advancement. It had been a major success and she could already smell her promotion letter.

“Aunty please, help us.”

She slowed her pace partly because her feet were really beginning to hurt and partly because she couldn’t bear to ignore the poor girl any longer. She could hear the pain in her tiny voice. She turned to the little girl who had her head bowed. She couldn’t be more than 7,8 years old. The mass of hair on her head seemed to have caked from what seemed like months of negligence. Draped over her was what was left of what would have been an oversized shirt; its original color, long lost. Her feet were heavily covered in dust and bare. She heard her sniffing and it tugged at her heart.

“What did you say your problem was?”

The little girl’s head remained bowed. “It’s my little brother. He’s lying sick in a corner and I’m afraid he won’t last the night.”

Simi looked at the throng of people rushing home after a hard day at work. She wondered why the girl had chosen her and gritted her teeth. She didn’t look anything close to a doctor; not with her mid-length, body fitting gown that accentuated her curves. She smiled at the possibility that the girl chose her because she looked rich. But the smile faded when she realized rich people don’t trek and hassle for a bus in a crowded bus stop at the close of work. Her phone began to ring in her purse. She didn’t need to check to know it was Caleb calling again.

“What do you want me to do now?”

“Please, just come with me and take a look at him.”

She tapped her feet impatiently. She was torn between leaving the girl on the streets and helping her. But she couldn’t get the thought that someone might die because of her out of her head. If her brain wasn’t tugged at by pain receptors, she would have realised the unkempt street begger oddly spoke impeccable English.

“Take me to him.”

Simi followed the little girl as she turned and led her back the way she was coming from. She wished the girl would walk faster. The pain shooting up her feet was becoming unbearable. Almost immediately, the little girl turned into a tiny path between two buildings. She craned her neck and couldn’t see anyone in the distance. Night was beginning to draw near and she was afraid she was being lured into a trap. She could get robbed, raped or even worse. Just when she was about to change her mind and turn back, she heard the sound of a child whimpering. It was a cry of somebody in pain. They got to the end of the path and the girl turned right, leading her to the back of one of the buildings. It was full of junk and judging by the state of the building, it was apparent that it had been abandoned for a while.

The little girl pointed. “He’s in there.”

Right in between two tires was a human form wrapped in heavy, dirty clothe. The girl stepped aside, letting Simi know she wanted her to take a look at her sick brother. Simi squatted and with two fingers, carefully lifted the corner of the basket. What she saw made her fall back. There was indeed a small boy underneath but his chest had been torn open and most of his organs missing. She heard a cackling laugh and slowly stood up, afraid to turn for the fear of what she might see. From the corner of her eye, she could see a shadow rising against the walls. She finally turned and her scream was caught in her throat. The little girl was no longer there. Warm liquid drizzled down from between her legs as she stared at the sight before her. There was no place to run.

“Please.” She said. But she knew that was only in her head as fear had paralyzed her tongue and every other part of her body. She felt a yank in her mid-section and saw the creature put in her mouth what looked like a string of sausages. She ran her hand across her stomach and realized there was a gaping hole.

She fell down in a heap and with tears running down her face, she thought of Caleb. Caleb, her boyfriend of nine months had popped the big question the night before and had convinced her to fly out with him to a resort in Ghana the next morning. But she had turned him down so she could jump on the career opportunity that had presented itself. Instead, she had ended up as dinner to an organ-eating monster. As the light in her eyes dimmed, she watched as the creature once again returned to her normal human-girl self. She gave an evil grin as she covered Simi with the dirty clothes.

The last thing she heard were her footsteps growing distant. As the last bit of life left her, Simi knew the little girl was on a mission to find a new victim.

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