That was the world he knew, the world he was comfortable with, the world he stumbled upon decades ago, and he was loving it.

In this world he was King, he ruled and like a Chameleon he could assume any form suitable for a time and purpose.

A lonely dying Man, almost eaten up by rottenness which has been his companion for as long as he remembered, worms made his brain their habitation and his skin was falling apart, leaving him a pack of bones.
His eyes were shallow with no life in them, his chin dropped down his face and melted on its own, creating holes on his already monstrous face.

But in this new world, he had thousands of followers, people could stay up all night to read what he would write, he wrote motivational posts, and sometimes religion, he was the perfect Man for this world, a mirage:
"You inspire me with your post sir" one would write to him

"thank you so much sir for the lessons I have been learning from your posts" Another would write

"I wish I could see you personally, or at least see your face" a lady had written to him

Yes... That lady, she started following him few months ago and had been commenting on his posts, he had taken notice of her as well and his excitement had increased
He had many of them, whose hearts were hanging like wet cloths in his dark room, and their skin some meat in his old freezer. He took delight in caressing the hearts every morning when he drags his rottenness up from his coffin, and had some of the skins as breakfast.

"their flesh and blood will keep you alive" he had thought

"Hi dear, I would be delighted to meet you too, where do you stay" he replied her after two weeks of receiving her message
He took his time, he didn't want to look desperate, his stock of meat was diminishing and he needed a fresh heart to add to his collection, the old stinking ones were beginning to bore him.

"OMG! you replied me! Thank you so much sir, I am the happiest lady right now... " She wrote

He smiled, she reminded him of the cat he killed when he was ten. How thrilled the cat was to be fed by him until he lured the cat in to his grandma's backyard and crushed the annoying cat with grandma's grinding stone.

"You are smart, I read your comments on my posts, I will want to know you better, I can be your life coach" he wrote

"Can I call you on video call? "She asked
He was ready for that, was that not what all of them asked? they all has been drawn to his posts, and his look

So he picked up his mask, crafted by him. A perfect face of a heavenly Angel.
"I stay in Port Harcourt but I don't mind coming over to your state, I want to learn from you personally" She said

He was the game master, he was not New to this, like a fox in the wild, be bid his time:
"I will be traveling out of the country tomorrow for a business seminar, and will not be available, but I will keep in touch" he replied

A straying worm from his brain crawled down his face, he picked it, gave it a close scrutiny, watched it wiggle like an animal in a trap, he then threw it in his mouth and crushed.
She was always online but he would ignore her, she was always the one to start the chat and he would respond after many messages from her.

Then the time was ripe, he had set his trap, had sharpened his knife, and had made the fire: He invited her over, booked her flight, and paid for everything

 "They are getting smart Now, I have to make her relax and trust me" he thought.
She arrived, he wasn't at the airport to pick her up, but he sent the address

She got to the house painted white, it was beautiful like she saw online, the bricks, the flowers and the front door, she was glad
"An opportunity to shoot my shot " she muttered
She knocked and opened the door, there was nobody in there, but she saw a note he wrote

"feel free to explore" the note read

She was already deep inside when the door closed and locked

As she walked inside, the house got darker, everything was changing before her eyes, she thought she was hallucinating, she wanted to turn back but the house was into her, drawing her deeper like the sea does to a sinking ship.

Then she got to the stage, the room that holds the tale, dry blood was the marble, and flies sang choruses to her.
She saw the world that had swallowed her too, bright lights from the flat boxes on three tables, Another thing caught her eyes, the mask, she saw it lying on the table too, with its finely drawn face, it made no sense
Her head touched something dangling from the wall, rotten meat, like an organ of an animal. She counted two, three, five, seven of them

He was there but she was not aware, his rottenness filled the room, he watched her his sharpened knife in his bony hand, he was salivating, Spittles gushing out of his mouth like a hungry dog.
He waited for her to turn and look at him, he enjoyed the look on their faces whenever they set their eyes on him, the terror, their fear and their scream.

His horrible smell waltzed into her nose, she turned and saw him, the holes on his face, the fallen skin, the tattered cloths, the worms that crawled from his brain to his eye sockets

She screamed and he buried his knife inside her heart.

Written by 
Rosemary Okafor