The Mysterious Request
“The Mysterious Request” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Mehdi Riyaz Sheriff, AL-Muntazir Boys Primary School, Tanzania.
The Mysterious Request
In the long hallway of spooky town Memorial Museum, there was kept a terrifying creature called Albert who seemed somewhat alive even though he was long dead. He lay in a coffin made out of some old oak which made it look so spooky. His pale white skin and bulging red eyeballs were enough to make someone shudder.
Spooky Albert often made spooky appearances, whereby he was seen to be asking for a lighter to light his spooky smelling cigar. These mysterious occurrences would most often happen in the nights which would frighten everybody. People shuddered at the thought of visiting the museum. This spooky behavior left the towns folk spooked beyond their existence.
One night everybody was in panic that the great old terrifying Albert would show up again. They locked their doors shut and tried to settle in for the night. Spookily soon there was heard a knock on each door and a deep voice calling for a lighter! Everybody was scared stiff and pretended like no one was at home. But their fears knew no bounds as they spent restless nights in a row.
One morning as Mrs. Grayling went to fetch her pint of milk from her doorstep, she was spooked to find an empty bottle besides which spooky footsteps were seen disappearing into the bushes. Folks crowded around her house as she went around checking for anything out of the ordinary. She spotted spooky Albert’s shadow below a broken window behind the house. Spooky Albert’s ghostly skin seemed to be peeling and hanging loose. Mrs. Grayling shrieked in horror. But when the folks rushed to her side, all they could see was a broken window pane.
The museum caretakers were notified and asked to verify if spooky Albert was in his coffin at the museum. The caretakers were spooked to see him lay in his coffin but strangely enough, his skin seemed to be falling off his body from all over! The caretakers were seen fleeing from that room as fast as their wobbly legs could carry them.
Soon after the spooky incident, the town chief called for the astrologer. He came to the conclusion that spooky Albert’s spirit had been unable to make a smooth transition from this world when he died. He strongly suggested something be done immediately else everything would keep getting worse. The astrologers decided that this matter needed discussion and a solution needed to be worked out. The astrologers got together and tried various remedies but to no avail.
Amidst all the chaos, a little boy began to suggest an idea in his little voice but the town elders never gave him a chance to speak. Meanwhile days passed and it had been a while since spooky Albert hadn’t made an appearance. People were relaxed and carried on with their lives. They often had gatherings till late at night.
Just as they were beginning to forget spooky Albert, the strangest thing happened. People began seeing images of a skeleton slipping out of a sealed coffin covered with cobwebs and crawling spiders. And surely enough, it resembled the spooky Albert. Now this surely gave a very spooky feeling to the people. Slowly people began leaving the town out of fear. Now the chief was really worried as the few people left in town threatened to kill him if he didn’t get rid of Albert. The astrologers were also very worried as they hadn’t thought of a solution yet.
The little boy named Jake had an idea but nobody was willing to listen. He needed Albert to appear just once more. Jake asked his parents if they could take him to the store with them the next day. He got a tiny package that could easily fit in his little hand. He didn’t have to wait long for Albert decided to make his return that same night, as if he knew what was in store. When everyone was tightly tucked under their sheets, pale faced Jake shakily walked over to the window where a spooky shadow was hovering around. He shoved the little package he had bought towards spooky Albert’s shadow and ran back to his house as fast as his little legs could carry him. After that day, spooky Albert was never seen again. Thanks to little Jake’s fabulous idea. Can you guess what was inside the package? A Lighter! Apparently spooky Albert could not depart without a light for his spooky smelling cigars.
Little Jake became the hero of his town and was awarded with a spooky prize for a souvenir - a medal with the picture of spooky Albert with a cigar in his mouth! After many years Jake grew up to be the chief of his town and to this day, you can see his spooky medal proudly displayed at his home. Jake’s grand children love to listen to their grandfather’s spooky mystery quest to this day and how it makes them shudder!