“I can’t believe this is happening. The one thing I have been dreaming of is finally going to become a reality,” said Lulama in a low, melodious voice. A grin exploded on her face.

After years of writing, years of trying to be a published author and years of rejection, at long last Lulama’s horror novel was going to be published. She had received the wonderful news earlier before her night shift and now she was sharing her feverish mood with her colleague, Zoë, who wasn’t exactly enthusiastic as she ate her sandwich in the staff room.

Zoe’s narrow face was wary and disapproving, “Good for you,” she said shrilly, “soon you will be out of this shithole that we call a workplace. It’s a shame some of us might be stuck here for the rest of our lives.”

Lulama shushed her quietly, “Lower your voice, Zoë. Mam’Sishi can get you fired if she hears you speaking like that.” Lulama sipped her black coffee. After a few moments of silence she said, “I’m going to give you a free copy when my novel has been published.” A grin returned to her face.

Zoë rolled her eyes and snapped, “Enough of your damn novel already! Yes, we are happy for you, but you have been whining about it since we started working and it’s annoying.”

Luluma was wide-eyed in shock at Zoë’s cold attitude. Just then their supervisor, Mam’Sishi, walked inside the staff room, as grim as a crocodile.“Enough yapping and go back to work,” she ordered. “Your lunch was over a minute ago. The floors won’t mop themselves.”


Back on duty, Lulama’s feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness was assassinated while she mopped the floors. A massive resentful disappointment haunted her heart.

Lulama considered Zoë not only a colleague, but a friend. They shared many personal things together. Lulama couldn’t understand why she wasn’t happy for her. The affectionate, tender, kind and devoted Zoë she knew vanished in those few minutes of their lunch break, as if an imposter had stolen her body.

Suddenly, when Lulama was trying her hardest to try and ignore her disappointment, the lights in the long passage began to flicker as if someone was toying with the switch. A frown appeared on Lulama’s face.

Then, unexpectedly, she heard a frightful demonic laugh that echoed around the passage. She dropped the mop and her eyes searched the dark. She was shocked and terrified when she heard an ugly, shrill giggle coming from the end of the corridor.

Lulama tip-toed backwards. Suddenly she saw the shadow of a pair of demon eyes on the wall; they were growing. In those seconds, she felt as if she was one of the main characters in her horror novel who had been haunted by a monstrous villain – his eyes had looked just like that!

Just then the lights returned to brighten the passage. It seemed like her eyes had deceived her. The wall was plain white; the shadow, demon eyes were gone. She let out a relieved sigh as the shock faded away. Perhaps she just needed more black coffee to fight off her exhaustion. She hurried back to the staff room.