Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Florence Onyango would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Stained Walls

By Florence Onyango All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Horror

Paramnesia

We chose not to think about it. We chose not to discuss it. We chose to dismiss it as a curious case of paramnesia. We even comforted ourselves with theories of undiscovered neurology. There had to be a reasonable explanation that was yet to be discovered. Whatever it was though, it could never be a matter of paranormal activity. You see, my husband is quite an accomplished pathologist with numerous publications in Journals such as Cell and Annual Review of Immunology. I am a mathematics professor. Things like haunted houses and ghosts are piffle. Could you possible imagine us going around with jejune talk of how we witnessed the supernatural? Surely it would only serve to malign our reputations. But alas, four years later and it still troubles my mind. What was it? What had really happened? How could it have happened? I still wake up in the middle of the night in shivering cold sweat at the slightest sounds. I dread falling asleep and I confess I actually use a night light when my husband is away.

Four years ago, my husband had just received a substantial grant for his research. We moved to the small old town of Lamu into a charming Persian styled cottage only a few feet away from the ocean.  For a while, everything was a honeymoon.  Morning strolls through the beach, catching a few more lines of a book in the haze of the gorgeous sunsets, sipping margaritas under starry nights.

I don't really know how it started. Everything now feels somehow distorted. I often find myself wondering if it really did happen. I honestly do not know which is worse. To admit that we were indeed haunted or experienced a fit of neurosis.  Whichever it was I can't shake off this nagging suspicion that our neighbor, Zebu had something to do with it.

Zebu came by our place one evening to better our acquaintance. Over dinner the discursive conversation led to the family that lived in the cottage before us.

"She went completely crazy." Zebu gossiped. " She was sure her children were not hers anymore and that they had been possessed. She killed them. Left them in the closed bedroom with the jiko. We found the children four days later."

"Oh my god!" I exclaimed.

" They never found her. Maybe she drowned herself in the ocean, who knows." Zebu concluded.

My husband found the story intriguing and it turned into a heated debate during our next dinner party. The grudgingly accepted explanation was a case of Capgrass.

At first I thought it must have been a trick of the sunlight straining in through the flimsy curtain nets, but sometimes it seemed as though the white walls had smudges of red. It was as if a white coat had been painted over red or it could have been a pale red smudge over the white paint. At first, it was curious. But then it began to bother me. Sometimes, if I stared to long, I would imagine the smudges looked like contorted faces. Once, I could have sworn, I had seen one that looked exactly like my sister, she had passed away six years ago.  I didn't tell my husband about the walls. They gave me the creeps. I felt watched, seen, exposed. I began spending more and more time outside the house. Opting to work in hotel restaurants and at the beach until my husband came home.  My husband could tell that something was wrong and suggested that I was lonely and we should get a dog.

It was more than just the walls. It was the whispers that came in the dead of the night. My husband heard them too. Of course we never did anything like ask each other Did you hear that? But the whispers would wake me up, and I would strain to listen, to understand what it was I was hearing. I would look over at my husband and his eyes would be open and wide, his ears twitching. "I can't get used to the sound of the waves." He'd mutter reassuringly before turning to his side.

The nightmares came shortly after. Nightmares so lucid and vivid they left a lingering dreadful sensation long after waking up. It was the same dream over and over again. People or maybe souls. Faceless bodies hovering over me, clawing at me. Sometimes I dreamed about my sister, she would be crying bitterly. I could never hear what she says, but I could see her, so clearly weeping. My husband would dream about drowning in the ocean. He dreamed that he was being pulled down deeper into the ocean. He often experienced Hypnopompia.

It was stressful. We barely spoke to one another, we suffered insomnia. We stayed up till late, we fell asleep blasting classical music through the house. I confess, I learned how to hold my bladder till sunlight.

But what was really driving us to insanity were the little things that moved by themselves. The keys that weren't where you thought you had left them. The door that would swing open when you thought you shut it. The nauseating faint smell of carbon monoxide.

Moving objects, creaking doors, whispers at night. A classic haunted house tale. Except they were so subtle we could never be sure.  It wasn't like we ever physically saw the things move, or we literally saw a ghost. We just felt and imagined and slowly loosing our minds.

This had gone for a year and a half until my husband concluded his research. By then I was secretly seeing a therapist and I could not go to sleep without at least two glasses of wine.

Gradually, things went slowly back to normal after we moved back to Nairobi. Like a silent pact, we chose never to discuss what happened. We've never thought of going back there. Sometimes I wonder what really happened with that woman who killed her children. If the house was actually cursed and made her insane. I wonder if we had stayed longer if we would have been driven to kill each other.





Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Florence Onyango
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

missmary: This story sucked me in from the start and kept me reading when I should have been in bed. My only disappointment is how it ended. While I have nothing against Sherlock/John pairings- and this was well done- I kind've hoped it would come out a little different just for a change. Still, this was w...

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Anehalia: This review is for the first chapter:I struggled to get through the first couple of paragraphs. The first couple of paragraphs were all setting detail without any introduction of characters. The description of the setting used repetitive words and had some tense mix up for words. It made for a ve...

Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...

skippybash12: This story has engaging characters that you care about and a plot that is unpredictable and exciting. It is well written with a believable voice. Great weekend escape and if there was a sequel available I would buy it today -

: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.

JanThompson: This book gives a beautiful description of a country which one rarely gets to see. The contrast between rich and poor is very evident too.The storyline actually sheds a compelling light on why women in certain countries sell themselves just to help their families or even to survive themselves. I ...

Sarah_M_G: This story was truly gripping from start to finish. The way the author used Scottish dialect throughout the novel really helped to put you in he in the place where it was all happening. Every character was well described and thought out. How they all fitted together really worked and loved how t...

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."