Friday the thirteenth is considered the worst day of the year according to those who believe in superstition. Several myths have surrounded this day and all are always scary. Some say that this is the day that Eve ate the forbidden fruit or that this was the day of the last supper. The most believed and trusted myth is that Friday the thirteenth is the Witches’ Coven and I do so too. According to Christian legends, 12 very powerful witches are usually joined by Satan on this day bringing the number of witches to 13. They then unleash very powerful forces of evil to the world, to hunt and terrorize people.

Whether these are just mere myths or not, this day has got some very special force hovering around especially in the evening. I wouldn’t advice anyone to be home alone on this day because your imaginations might just turn out to be a reality. True horror stories have been witnessed around the world on this day, making it the devil’s tavern. Most sacrifices are usually made on Friday the thirteenth.

I sat on the pews having my daily evening prayers. There was a pin drop silence in the church hall and all I could hear were my smooth whispers to my creator. I usually prayed for about half an hour but on this day something was different, I felt a deeper urge to continue praying and talking to God about my fears. Hardly had I finished when it started raining. I could hear the torrents of rain pondering on the roof as if the two were in a battle. I was all alone in the hall, the priest had already left for his residence.

I sat quietly at the front bench just near the holy water stoup. I started imagining of how powerful this water used to be in the early centuries, that it used to be locked in a separate room called a baptistery. Priests could use this water to heal people and cleanse them of their sins. This really raised the value of it to the point even witches wanted it for the purpose of magic practices.

Suddenly, I started hearing single water drops dripping in slow motion. I ignored thinking that it might be a leak on the roof but slowly it grew louder and louder until all I could hear were the drops and nothing else. Abruptly, a sharp thunderous lightning bolt struck and I jumped out of my seat ready to take to my heels, the hall lit with lightning and echoes of the thunder filled my ears. The hall grew dark immediately with my eyes trying to adapt to the environment.

My back was damp with perspiration and goose bumps enveloped every crevice of my body. I was in shock. As I turned to look at the altar I noticed something, some shiny luster at the corner of my eye. The holy water in the stoup was shining and frothing as if it were boiling. As I racked my head as to what was going on, all my mind told me was that run they are coming… though I didn’t understand who ‘they’ were… my body was crippled and I could not feel anything. My nervous system was entirely numb.

I could hear several brontide sounds accompanied with some slight feeble earth tremors. I was freaking out and panting my lungs out. I was scared. The chandeliers were shaking and making a lot of noise as if they wanted to fall. Then the tremors grew stronger and the church cross fell…

I felt like everything had come to a standstill. All I could hear now were voices on my head shouting run… run… they are coming… I made an effort to approach the altar and grab the Bible. As soon as I made a step… I discerned about 12 sinister figures around the stoup. The altar looked as if it was on fire. I could hear windows cracking, people shouting and the earth rumbling. It was a tense atmosphere, it was as if evil was lurking in the air. The gates of hell had unfolded wrath unto the world.

Holy Jesus! The ghostly figures turned to look at me… Oh My God! I fell to the ground, covered my ears and closed my eyes. I feared the unknown. My body was stiff and tense. I prayed to God to send the angels to come and save me from the bondage of hell. I could see almost all the sins I had committed in my life flash through my eyes. Was this my last day on earth?

Suddenly there was a bang and the church entrance opened. The priest entered chanting prayers I could not even understand myself. Then everything calmed down and all I could hear now is the priest walking towards me. The water was all gone! ‘There’s a kid who has been struck by lightning outside the church. We thought it was you.’ the priest said in a low tone. Nobody knew who the kid was.

It was April, Friday the thirteenth! The day’s events remained a mystery to date. The priest has never talked about it nor explained to me anything. The kid’s identity or how he got to the church was never known to date. Nobody seems to want to talk but people opt to keep it a secret. The church now seems like a walking secret. How much about superstition does the church know and it continues to keep us in the dark? How harmful can this day be to normal people like me? Who were these witches and how powerful are they? Why hasn’t God killed them already? Anyway I have come to realize that this day is not just a myth it really is Friday the thirteenth!

By Emmanuel Otieno