We’ve all been victims of technological mischief at one point or the other. Times when it felt like your phone or laptop had suddenly developed a mind of their own. Or times when you needed them the most but they suddenly started ‘hanging’ or typing rubbish. Even the times they betrayed you into the hands of your ‘‘village’ people” like Judas did his master.
I do not know which of these three best describes my experience but my story might give you yet another scenario to keep in your archive. One of the crazy situations you might be thrown into when your phone suddenly becomes ‘demon-possessed’.
It was one fateful night while dance-walking through the grassy route between Religion Ground and Sports complex. I remember that I was cleverly evading giant toads as I bobbed my head to my favourite song. My phone’s torchlight was as bright as a miner’s headlamp and the shrubs were softly caressing my shin.
Yeah, you heard right! The grasses were that tall. For whatever reason it was, those in charge of regularly trimming the bushes had neglected their work and I only found that out midway. But what was there to worry about when I had my ”almighty phone” with me?
However, the next minute I was thrown into a pitch blackness so deafening that I could hear my heart thumping through my ribcage. My phone had died on me WITHOUT ANY WARNING OR SHUTDOWN NOTICE! It just displayed ‘Tecno’ and the lights went off. I quickly tried switching it on again, but still, nothing happened!
‘Is this playing, what kind of playing is this!’
In another split second, I realized my environment. Trust my mind to take advantage of the opportunity by conjuring up the image of Mr. S, the belly-crawler with its slithering…
Adrenaline kicked in immediately, and I realized my body was running. But this was not your regular sprint race. Do you know that tip-toe jogging you do to prevent an army of soldier ants from crawling up your leg? Yeah, that kind of fear-fueled race.
I was just 15 minutes away from my destination. But with dread clouding my senses, I ran in the opposite direction.
“Hei God! I don’t want to die tonight.” 😰
But It wasn’t just the fear of a snake biting me in that darkness. Or a fear that all the ghosts and witches roaming around campus were hot on my heels.
It was that there would be no one to help explain to my parents why I was walking across a bushy path when School was not in session and the campus was almost empty. I should have listened to my gut and walked along the main road. Even now, I could hear my brain mocking me in a singsong voice, “Shortcuts would implicate you!“
“What if you fall into a ditch?” Immediately, I froze realizing the greater danger my poor night vision could cause.
I hadn’t passed this route in months, so I couldn’t tell for sure that there was no ditch. And sadly, people still die from falling into ditches.
It was a devil and the deep-blue-sea moment. Breathing through clenched teeth, I couldn’t dare move forward. Yet I knew if I stayed still any longer, a creature could kill me faster than my fear or vice-versa.
“I started reciting Psalm 91 with a sprinkling of ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.’🥺
“God please, something”. Anything!”
It was a ludicrous prayer request, but I knew I also had to do something. I gathered my senses and tried my phone again. It vibrated in my shaking hands and showed, “Phone would shut down in 30 seconds“. I fumbled through my password and quickly called someone I hoped would be on campus.
“Heeelp! I’m at Sports-” My phone died again and buried my hope with it.
I couldn’t tell how much time had passed while counting to distract myself, but I saw a flicker of light from a distance. Could I have imagined it? It blinked again, and I screamed for help. This time the night wind carried a reply that sounded like my name. That motivated me to keep shouting.
It felt like an eternity, but alas. Help was in sight.
“We were wondering where you were”
”What happened to your phone”
I was still reeling from what had just happened. Why my phone went off in the first place? Why I was standing feet from a mango tree when I started my journey on the grassy trail?
“We even tried calling your number.”
I sobbed tears of foolishness and relief.