It’s been a while since we posted anything here, and for that I apologise. I promise we have changed, (yes, Tele is among). After all, Mary appeared in Ubiaja yesterday, Endtimes have come. Meanwhile, today’s post I wrote in a well, slightly different style; played a bit with locations and timelines. But you’ll follow..
The night was moonless. Above, the sky was inky black, and sparsely spotted with stars. The town was quiet, and as people slept, darkness woke and evil lurked. But it is not always like that.
Originally, the plan had been to dump the body over the bridge and into the river, but no more. As he slowed the Jeep Cherookee, the dark SUV coasting down the Ikpoba hill slope leading to the bridge, the lights from the streetlamps revealed silhouettes of several men milling about the river banks below.
“Shit!” He cursed.
It was 2:00AM. What were those bastards doing here?
Even as he wondered, he realised. He barely made out the parked vehicles; buses and trailers, the half-clad men stretched out over the vehicles, their arms going back and forth in swaying motions. It was a Carwash anyway.
He gunned his car, the powerful engine responded with the slightest hint of a purr. There was no point waiting around here any longer.
He could have left the body anywhere on a dark quiet street. But it was imperative he was not found out. Not anytime soon anyway. She was his daughter after all.
Seven years earlier..
“What are you?”
“I’m your daddy.”
“No nah..” Her face frowned indignantly. “I know. I mean, what do you do in your office?”
He laughed quietly, his eyes still on the road. He loved to tease his brilliant daughter.
“I’m a businessman, a black operations contractor.” He grinned at her briefly.
“A businessman, a contractor? Daddy which one are you nah..how can you be many things? David that is in Primary One Yellow, said his father is a Doctor. Our Aunty said we should clap for him.”
He laughed then. Loudly. These teachers, already paving the way to discrimination. “Well, tell them that your mother’s a doctor too.”
“Okay!” She smiled and settled into the seat, a contented grin on her face.
Thirteen years earlier
The doctor came out of the delivery room, looking drawn, a tight smile on his face. He was a businessman, he knew the look of loss. His heart began to beat faster.
“Doctor..doctor,” his voice increasing in volume and intensity. “My wife, is she alright?”
“You have a bouncing baby girl,” the doctor announced.
He was not to be fooled!
“Doctor! My wife! How is she? What is wrong?”
“Could you please calm down Mr…” But he was already around the doctor and dashing into the delivery room.
“You can’t go in there,” came the doctor’s yell.
Till his dying day, the sight haunted him. The two nurses, one bent over a tray of gleaming silver instruments a look of fear on her face, and the other holding a tiny brown baby against the breast of his wife. A look of guilt on her face. In their eyes pity.
His wife’s eyes were closed.
He stifled back a sob as he rushed to her side, turning over the tray of instruments. He took her hand. She didn’t grip his back. He started crying.
He flashed his headlights, speeding past the intersection at First East circular/Akpakpava junction, ignoring the RED warning of the Traffic light. There was no one about at the hour. He slowed as he entered the Ring road. Light from the extensive array of lights within the square shone brightly on his tinted windshield. On the front passenger seat, well within his reach, the barrel of the Browning pistol glinted.
“Get the fuck down!”
“Get down you bastard!
Then he shot him.
“Daddy?” The small voice whimpered from the back seat.
“It’s alright. I’m here now. The bad guys are all gone.”
The bad guys are all gone. There were never supposed to be any bad guys.
Ten years earlier
“Why does the cat always get beaten by that rat?”
“It’s a mouse. And it’s because he’s the bad guy. But don’t worry, Bad guys only exist in Televisionland.”
She seemed satisfied for only a bit.
“Is Aunty Kate my mummy?”
The question jolted him. He had always expected it. Prepared for it even. But it still jolted him.
Reducing the volume so the capers of the mischievous pair on the television could barely be heard, he drew her close. She was holding a rag doll.
“Aunty Kate is not your mummy. She is my cousin, which means she’s like my sister. She only stays here to take care of you and cook indomie for us.”
He grabbed a picture frame from the mantel beside the television. “This is your mummy. See how beautiful she is. Just like you. You even have her ugly nose.” He tapped her nose gently.
She giggled again. Then she sneezed. An involuntary action, but even at that age, so similar to her mother’s. He felt tears well up in his eyes.
“But she’s dead now,” he continued painfully. “For three years, she’s been with GOD protecting us.”
The child’s eyes went blank with incomprehension. She glanced at her doll. He didn’t know when he had taken it. He gave it back to her. “But know this, she loved you very much…”
Even though she never met you.
“Hey! Ouch! That was painful”
She squealed happily and smacked him on his bum again. He chased her round the compound before catching her beside the car. When he caught her, he lifted her into the air, giggling and squirming.
“Look at how small you are, beating me,” he laughed. “Who taught you that?”
“Yout friend,” came the answer.
“What?” He dropped her slowly. He had meant the question only rhetorically.
“Your friend that stays there,” she pointed at the Senator’s mansion next door. Her face puckered, as she wondered what she had done wrong.
“Oh it’s alright. He’s just playing with you,” he said thoughtfully.
Then he smacked her on her arm and darted away as she chased laughing.
“Sir, I would like to respectfully ask you to stay away from my daughter.”
“You would mind the tone you use. This is a senator of the Federal Rep..”
He walked away while the aide was still talking.
Until her came home and found her room locked. No one ever locked their rooms in his house. Kate wasn’t around that day.
“Hey! Open up, it’s Daddy..open”
It took a few minutes.
“Are you okay?” Her eyes were red.
He smelled the blood instantly. His first thought was that her period had started. She was twelve after all. A mixture of pride and revulsion flashed through his mind. Where was that damned Kate at a time like this?
“I’m bleeding Daddy..”
He almost started to smile knowingly. Then he saw the panic and fear in her face.
“I know you said it’s alright, but the Senator…”She broke off sobbing as she buried her face in his chest.
That was when he knew he’ll have to kill him. Raising a furore would be pointless, it won’t catch. It was his word against a powerful figure.
Then they still lived in Kaduna.
It had taken almost a year.
Senatorial committee inspections of dams in the Benin river basin. Illicit late night visits in a house just off Winners road in a slightly secluded part of Aduwawa, Ikpoba hill. Easy details for a man of his means to find out.
Easy to get there ahead of time, undetected. To neutralize whatever resistance present. To scare to silence the thirteen year old sex slave imprisoned there. To stare into the Senator’s shocked eyes with your daughter beside you as you take a Browning to his shoulder and shoot him through.
“Get the fuck down!”
“Get the fuck down you bastard!”
Enough pain to cause him to pass out while you gagged him and smuggled him through the darkness to a waiting car.
But change of plans..
There was no point hiding the bastard’s death. Best to make it a spectacle. The bolder the statement, the less likely the investigation would be traced back to him.
“I will always protect you. You know that right?”
“This is what happens to bad guys okay. He caused this to himself.” He handed her the Durbar knife. “Cut it off”
They left the body at the junction of the Airport road with Ring road. Less than 50 yards from the State House of Assembly building. A naked, blind man. Gagged and tied, but alive, blood seeping from what appeared to be a gash in his groin, and what seemed to be raw meat hanging out of his gagged mouth.
NB: I would do anything for my daughter.
Not very subtle now am I?
Follow on Twitter @janus_aneni
And don’t forget to follow the Blog, and like our page on Facebook. the links are below..
PS: Nothing subliminally deep about that title, believe me.