Title: The XIth Hour
Genre: A Psychological Thriller / Suspense
Author: C. M. Okonkwo
What could have been a usual day for Twil Jeafi, isn’t, when he wakes up one morning after having a terrible dream. He wonders if the dream has a connection to his life, either from the past or in the present, but he’s unable to decide which, as he has no memory of a portion of his past.
Having difficulties concentrating, he decides to seek professional help from Doctor Micah, who confirms that he indeed has a condition: partial retrograde amnesia. And following the discussion they both have, Twil can’t tell if he had blanked out his memory on purpose. But there’s only one way to find out: get his memory back.
The first step he takes is to ask his wife, Adha, to help him remember his past. The little she gives to him isn’t good enough, but manageable until he gets something better. While going through family photos, he receives a phone call that changes everything… it’s a call from a woman assumed to be his sister. He decides to hire a private investigator, Rob Walkings to track down his family.
As Rob is searching, Twil begins to see things and hear voices. The voices aren’t just messing with his head, they’re also telling him to kill four particular people Twil doesn’t know. And in order to keep the visions and the voices away, Twil kills the targets when his wife and kids go on a one-week vacation.
After he successfully completes the mission and buries the bodies, the voices suddenly stop. He isn’t sure if he has imagined hearing the voices, and if he is a natural born killer, but he finds out when Rob meets him the next day with pictures of the same four people he has killed. He is afraid that Rob has figured out his crimes, but Rob tells him that the people in the photos are his family members: his mother, step-sister, step-brother, and niece.
Rob also reveals some shocking news to Twil about his father, Ted, who went missing many years back. Ted had taken a business trip with his brother Garth (Twil’s uncle) but never returned. Garth then married Ted’s wife, who gave birth to two kids: a girl and a boy (Twil’s cousins/step-siblings). Years later, Garth had an affair with his own daughter and she gave birth to a baby girl (Twil’s niece).
After the revelation from Rob, Twil has a flashback and remembers killing his uncle because of the shameful act. He then suddenly realizes why he wanted to forget a portion of his past, because he hated his family.
In an attempt to hide his crimes, he tells Rob not to go looking for his family anymore, since he knows they are dead. But Adha secretly hires Rob to continue the search. When Twil finds out, he pays Rob a visit and kills him. That is the only way he can be sure that Rob will stop searching for his ‘dead’ family.
Adha notices blood on Twil’s shirt and confronts him, but he claims it’s his own blood from a minor accident. Adha doesn’t believe him, and her suspicions are confirmed when she listens to Twil’s voice mail. She hears a message from a detective, who mentions Rob’s death. She confronts Twil again, and he confesses his crimes after she promises not to tell anyone. However, Twil sees her trying to call the police, and he snaps, killing her. After killing her, he is shocked to see that his two kids have seen everything. He doesn’t know what to do but the voices in his head suddenly come back and tell him to kill his kids.
The detectives working on Rob’s death question Twil, but don’t find anything to hold him, until they get a call from Adha’s best friend claiming that Adha is missing. The detectives call Twil to ask him about his missing wife, but Twil tells them that she has left the country with the kids. The detectives verify and there’s no record of Adha or her kids leaving the country. They ask to come over to Twil’s house, to speak to Adha themselves. When they get there, Twil is gone, but they discover something else: his dead wife, and his kids, still alive.
The hunt for Twil starts and he flees into a deserted town, hoping to escape from there. He is caught the first time after one of the detectives shoots him in the shoulder. He is taken to the hospital, where he escapes after taking out the other detective, and the doctor, who shockingly happens to be Doctor Micah.
Twil manages to get away, but he is kidnapped by someone else; a man who has been waiting for him for years. It’s Eduardo Cruz. Twil doesn’t know who Eduardo is, but as they discuss, Twil gets the full story:
Ted and Garth had taken money from Eduardo Cruz a long time ago and skipped town when they could not pay. Eduardo had spent his whole life looking for them, until Garth contacted him, promising to give up Ted’s location in exchange for the money they owed.
The business trip had been a hoax. Garth just wanted to lead Ted into a trap, so he crashed the car, left Ted unconscious and told Eduardo where to find Ted. Eduardo claims to have found Ted and killed him, but not before telling him that he would go after Garth and Twil, and kill them both.
Along the line, Twil realizes that the voice that had been speaking to him all the while was his father’s.
Now trapped in a room with Eduardo, two of his bodyguards and another doctor, Twil didn’t know how to get out. And in that moment of confusion and indecision, he hears the voice speak to him again, at the eleventh hour, and it says: “Kill them all… Spare no one!”
Written by C. M. Okonkwo