Chicken Run

Life comes at you fast and it does not matter how fast or how strong or how smart you are, one day the penny will drop and it will be you. It would be your turn.

Life comes at you fast and it does not matter how fast or how strong or how smart you are, one day the penny will drop and it will be you. It would be your turn.

It was not always like this, you know. Someone said, it is always the law abiding ones you need to watch out for. He was right. He was referencing me when he said this, but that doesn’t stop him from being right. I was a law abiding one. Maybe that is what started this; my love for the law, for order and stability and a proper and just way of doing things. I paid my taxes, had all my complete papers, paid my bills on time, and never as much as made a turn without signalling first. It did not stop me from being pulled over regularly by the police though. It is Bushiria, and every marginally successful looking young person is a potential criminal until proven otherwise.

May 15, 2021. I remember the date as vividly as anything else in my life. I and my girlfriend has been returning that evening from a party. It was perhaps 5pm, so you can tell, it was not that kind of party. One of her girls has turned twenty-nine and they were celebrating her last year before the big 3-0. We got pulled over at the checkpoint. A routine check, they said. After five minutes of going through my papers and licenses, several times and asking countless questions, the lead officer; a Corporal, by his stripes, leaned closer to me and went:

“So, anything for us, young man?”

Being a law abiding citizen, bribery is one of the things I detest the most. I play my cards straight and follow all the rules so I do not have to pay bribes to get anything done. Now, here was this idiot, demanding one irrespective. To make matters worse, if there is anything I hate more than bribes, it is being patronized. It was there, the way the officer smiled, “young man”, the ugly stains in his teeth, the way he leaned towards me, I wanted to burst.

He noticed my hesitation, mistaking my countenance for contemplation or something and he continued, still smiling that stupid, ugly, ugly grin.

“You know say e easy to put exhibit for inside your moto. Na wetin people dey do, but me dey ask. Make your woman no come start to dey cry.”

And that was the moment I snapped.

It was not the threat to place an unlicensed gun or bullets or drugs in my car, or how it would make my girlfriend feel that changed everything. No. It was nothing like that. It was the thought of how easy it was. How easy it was for a police officer to just plant false evidence and indict an innocent person, forcing them to commit a crime, to bribe. How terrible the police force was that such a thing could happen under their watch, within their ranks, and there was nothing that could be done for it.

So, I snapped.

When I wrenched the AK-47 from his hands, it was on pure instinct. I whirled, allowing my elbow catch him in the face. His nose split open audibly. That I possessed enough strength to do that, that the nerve endings in my elbow suddenly erupted in agony barely registered above my subconscious, I was still moving. I shoved the rifle into the arms of the other officer standing beside me, causing him to drop his gun on the floor. Then holding the barrel of the rifle in both hands, I clubbed both men until the crumpled unconsciously to the ground.

I was not seeing their faces as I hit them. It was not Corporal Baboon or the other fellow, whose name tag or face, I cannot recall even now. I was not seeing those indolent, underpaid louts. I was seeing the system, the faceless men behind it all. The ones who did not pay enough, did not hire enough, did not equip enough, and so forced these men into these despicable acts of criminality. I was deaf to the cries at that moment, deaf to the screams of my girlfriend in the car or the passers-by who raced away in the rapidly emptying street. I did not hear anything, did not see anything, not until I stopped.

“Get in the car,” I said quietly to my girlfriend who was now standing beside me, staring at the bloody mess of flesh on the tarmac, her hands at her sides, her eyes blank, catatonic.

She did not argue as she normally would have. She simply entered into the car. Still gripping the barrel of the rifle, whose butt was slick with blood and what seemed like bits of skin and hair, I entered after her and started the car. Then I remembered, there had been three officers at the checkpoint when I stopped. I could see the last man running down the road.

I gunned the car.

***

Burying the gun was out of the question. I simply threw it in a culvert close to the house. Getting the girlfriend to keep quiet about the thing was another matter entirely. By the time she recovered from her catatonia, she kept babbling, begging and threatening me in turns to stop the car and go back to the police.

“I won’t tell anyone baby. I promise. I would never. Not on my life. But you have to tell the police. You have to turn yourself in.”

She, I buried.

I borrowed my neighbour’s car, told him I wanted to drop my girl off at the car park. When I got to Zoobadan Garage, I offered to drive her to Zoobadan myself, ostensibly so we could talk. She believed me. I strangled her and buried her body somewhere in the bushes past the Foresamu overpass. Then I returned to Woodgos.

But it was not enough.

I could not help the boiling anger that still coursed through me every time I saw a police checkpoint that week. Every time I saw another group of young people being mistreated by the police on social media, I wanted to burst. How were they not learning? How did the death of three of their officers not strike some fear into them? How come they were still acting with all impunity?

In the evening of the next Saturday, I drove out. It had been a week and as typical, there was no investigation. Not one single image of the incident had been caught on camera. There was no suspect, no real ones anyway. A bunch of people had been grabbed off the street the day after and paraded in front of cameras, beaten, humiliated, and then coerced to pay bribes to get free. In all, it only served to fuel my ire.

So when I drove up to the checkpoint on that lonely road, wearing a snapback cap, shorts, a tank top and gold bracelet son my wrist, I must have looked like the usual soft target. I was the only one at the checkpoint, surrounded by armed police officers. Another one, ripe for the plucking. Another innocent in whose car they would plant marijuana and extort 15,000 Shakira.

I did not give them the chance.

“Young man, please turn off your car and step out of the vehicle.”

I did.

One officer pretended to engage me in a conversation about my papers, while the other one poked his head into the back seat. The third officer was on the other side of the car.

“Ehen! What do we have here?” the one with his head in my car started. “This looks like igb…”

I shoved the door hard as he was bringing out his head from the car. The door jamb cracked against his skull, causing him to yell. At the same moment, I grabbed for the gun of the one in front of me. He was a smaller man than Corporal Baboon, but I did not have quite the element of surprise as I had had before. He did not let go of his gun.

So, while I grappled with him, his colleague writhing on the floor in pain, I heard a crack as the third officer cocked his gun.

Many education psychologists have theorized the veracity of passive learning. Is it possible for someone, like Neo in The Matrix to simply learn a physical skill like fighting, from countless hours of being exposed to it visually? Maybe it isn’t, but there is no better explanation for what happened next.

No explanation for how, I with no formal military or otherwise offensive training, suddenly twisted to put the officer I was grappling with between myself and the third officer with the gun. The sound of the gun shot was loud and jarring. The bullet thudded into the first officer’s back with an audible thwack.

Yaaai! Fuck!” the last officer screamed.

I kicked off the dying body, sliding back the hammer to cock the rifle in my hands in the same motion, and fired a short burst into the stomach of the last officer before the first officer’s body hit the floor. To finish up, I returned the rifle’s safety and moving deliberately around the car, clubbed each officer in the head till I was certain they were not breathing. I left the back of weed they had been planning on planting in my car on the body of one of the officers and drove home.

***

This time around, I was famous.

I was not alone on the street that day. Twitter user @Ogbosky_JUJU had been walking home, intent on passing the checkpoint while the officers were busy with me when I had exploded into action. Dropping his backpack of school books, with recessed portions where he hid the pills and marijuana he peddled, he hid behind an empty kiosk and made a video.

I woke at 5am the next morning as a celebrity. Social media was agog with the arguments, left wing and right wing arguing about the extremism of the violence, the tie in with the previous incident and the abundant theories as to the legality of it all. Above everything was the question of who I was. It did not take long for me to be identified from the video. It actually took less than 12 hours and it was not done by the police. Certain individuals, skilled at ferreting information for countless twitter wars, had linked all my social media accounts and found my address less than 2 hours after I woke. Then someone mentioned the police handle on the information.

By the time I was walking out of my house at about 8:30am that Sunday morning, I was more than famous. I was infamous. Getting to my car and driving to an ATM sufficiently far, but close enough, took about 20 mins. I had only the basic essentials in the car, two changes of clothes and a toothbrush. I withdrew 300,000 Shakira using two bank cards, then I started driving. I did not know where I was going, but I was determined to go. I would have disappeared. I think I would have but, the police had some help again. My banks divulged my withdrawal information, then my internet service provider my whereabouts. I heard all this on the radio while I drove but by then, it was too late, they were on my heels.

It had taken a week for my life to unravel, to spill everywhere like a bucket made of sieves. I knew I was doomed, doomed as surely as the devil himself. Not only was my story going to be a mess in the telling and retelling, but if I lived long enough for trial, I would be in the worst pains possible. No, damn it.

Disclaimer

  • Violence is never the answer
  • This is clearly a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead, as well as places or systems existing is purely coincidental.
  • Learn, please.

Codename : Ali

The Walther P99- Double Action Only

The Walther P99- Double Action Only

Ali never really liked biscuits as a kid. Unlike most of his mates, chinchin and cake had been more his thing than crunchy wafers. So it was almost inexplicable that he would suddenly be standing still, drawn to a billboard advertising the latest in Cadbury’s inventory of creme-layered, wheat-filled, chocolate cookies. But he was, and it saved his life.
The bullet winged past his head, barely missing him by the width of a thread, and thrumped into the sandy road. The sound of the shot was silent, but for the cloud of dust, it would have gone un-perceived. But Ali heard it.

The world slowed.

He took into cognisance his position; body bent in a defensive crouch, arms spread out about him, the fingers extended, weaponless and in the middle of the road. He took into cognisance his surrounding; beside him on the right, a mallam kiosk, against the low fence of a residential building. On his left, an abandoned two-storey building with a huge signpost of Cadbury biscuits in the middle of the compound.
He recognised the danger, a McDonell Helicopter about 500m above him and to his left. He could even hear the slam, as the shooter lined up a bullet for the next shot.

Ali moved.

Ali woke up.

He woke in sweat, his bedsheets all bunched up and soaked beneath him. Above, the fan spun lazily, trying it’s best to cut through the humid air.
It had been a vivid dream. Every detail had seemed so real. He had been walking down a street off the Benin-Agbor road. Just enjoying an evening stroll on a cool day. His hand had been in the pocket of his combat shorts and a comb had been jutting out his bushy hair. He then saw the billboard. He never even heard the helicopter.

And how the hell was he so good at observing his environment as the danger increased?

He had been watching too many action movies.

Ali grinned.

Getting up, he pulled on a pair of shorts over his briefs, tossed on a T-shirt and combed his bushy hair.
It was a dream. Most probably a hunger dream. His body was trying to tell him something. It was time to buy Indomie.

As he walked home, swinging a water-proof nylon containing two Indomie noodles Super-packs and an egg, he thought of the dream again.
Coincidence does not exist, his father always said. And this was not the first time he was having a dream like this.

Last week, in his dream, he had been sitting in an office. Sitting behind the door actually. A man had walked into the office carrying a folder. The instant, the man closed the door, Ali had shot him pointblank with a 9mm P22 Walther completely fitted with a sound-suppressor. Three shots to the chest. The man was dead before he began to fall. Ali had caught him, eased him into a chair and swivelled it away from the door before leaving the office. Then he had woken up.
The dreams always left him sweaty, nervous, in a high adrenaline state, and horny.
Maybe he should call Chioma.

Yesterday. Yesterday, it had been too vivid.
In the dream. There was a truck. A big truck. You know, those types with about eight wheels and a big IVECO sign in front. Ali had been driving this truck. The scene again, had been Benin city. How he knew these places, haven never stepped foot outside Port-harcourt, he had no idea. It was a white monster, eight wheels and over 300HP, and ten cylinders, all of them firing. The truck barreled down the highway as Ali clung on for dear life. Horns blaring, the tiny buses skid out of the way of the monster from truck hell. In the rearview mirror, Ali could see the two Hilux trucks in close pursuit. His pursuers were armed with top-level automatic rifles and they were gaining on him.
Swerving out the 3rd east circular road, tyres screeching, the engine howling in agony, Ali twisted the truck onto the Akpakpava road as a spray of bullets riddled the side of the truck and knocked out the right side mirror. Pumping on the clutch, Ali tossed the truck into higher gear and ground for the Ikpoba hills, the white IVECO churning at 120kmph. Ahead, at about 100yards was the Ikpoba bridge. Once past that, he had a feeling, the pursuers would leave him be. He just had to pass that bridge.
Then one Hilux swerved suddenly to the left of the truck and began to come closer, the shooter holding the AK-47, sitting in the trunk of the Hilux truck, aimed the rifle at Ali’s head. Without thinking, Ali swerved the truck to the left, hoping to drive the Hilux into the shoulder of the road and onto the path of incoming traffic. But it was a ruse. The Hilux slowed down instantly and in those seconds, the other Hilux had sped up on the right side and began to pepper the cab of the IVECO. Swerving back to the right, Ali over-compensated and missed the entrance of the bridge, hurtling the truck over the embankment and towards the brown swirling waters of the Ikpoba river.

Then he woke. As usual, sweaty, horny and nervous.

This night was calm though. An oddly cool breeze blew in from the sea and for a second seemed to calm Ali’s nerves. There was nothing to trouble for. Who knows, these were ideas for a movie that God was giving him. Enough of website designing, there were other ways to make money in PHC.

Then, with the breeze came a sound. It was like the tinny sound we here when a bell is rung far away from us. Or the tinkle of a spoon against a glass. Whatever it was, Ali had heard that sound before. It was a background sound in all his dreams.
Every nerve was instantly alert.

A man suddenly walked up to him. Arms outstretched, as though to embrace him. But Ali knew better.

The world slowed.

As the left arm came up, Ali raised his right elbow and blocked it. As the right arm swung in, he raised his left elbow, nylon of egg and Indomie still swinging, and blocked. Without giving the man space to think, he twisted his body and slammed his back into the man’s mid-section. The fellow went down.
As the man lay on the floor struggling to get up, Ali crashed his knee into the man’s head and he went out cold.

The tinny sound was still ringing.
Ali moved.

Ali didn’t wake. He kept running, splashing into a barely visible puddle. He was scared, the street looked so empty and though lights spilled onto the road from quiet compounds, all he could see were the shadows. Shadows; dark places, from where anyone could jump out wielding a sword or a knife or a gun.
Ali knew his thoughts were no longer rational, but he could barely help it. On a subconscious level he realised he was running at measured paces, his breath was not raggedy or raspy, and his eyes were darting in every direction is precise, calculated movements. Outwardly though, he looked as ungainly as a fat turkey with a broken leg.

And how he had taken that man down. So fast, so clinical. It had barely taken five seconds.

Ali reached the door of his house, his pulse coming as fast as a runner’s after a five mile sprint. Quickly unlocking the door to his one bedroom flat, he made to enter. And then, that tinkling sound came again, and with it, the sound of powerful rotors.
Instantly, a black helicopter swept over the house, it’s searchlight beam aimed directly at Ali.

Two things happened, of which Ali was never sure of any till this day.
In front of his house was a carton box in which he kept a certain amount of debris. Basically, a clutterers useful nonsense; empty bottles, broken plates, an old burner, things which had outlived their purpose, but he would not throw away. This box had stood in front of his door for ages, beckoning to be disposed, but for some reason, some inner instinct had stopped him. Now he knew why.
Kicking the carton box to jostle the contents, Ali retrieved a black Walther P99, 12-round, 9mm caliber semi-automatic handgun, complete with polymer grip from the box. In one fluid motion, he spun around, thumbing off the safety, and squeezed the trigger, aiming for the light.
The bullet hit its mark.
That was the first thing.

Diving away from the fullisade of bullets which erupted from the helicopter, Ali hit the ground on his right side. Before the shooter had time to correct his aim, the killer, who was Ali, fired three shots. Two went through the throat of the pilot while the third took the shooter in his chest.
That was the second.

Scrambling to his feet as the helicopter began a deadly spiral toward the ground, Ali ducked behind a pile of cement blocks as the helicopter crashed into the building.
The apartment complex erupted in a huge fireball as glass and metal shrapnel filled the air. Ali stood up as the air seemed to settle. He had eight bullets left, but it was enough. In the gloom of the settling smoke, other attackers came at him from different angles, rushing out of the building where they had probably been hiding. Killers. His enemies.
Ali shot them all. Shot them in their throats.
Then he ran.


The Real Real Newspaper.
Sunday, 21 April, 2013.
Portharcourt, Rivers.

Widespread panic hit the people of Diobu yesterday when, in a strange development, a previously upstanding member of the society ran mad and murdered nine people.
Ali Damascus, an Engineer and web designer with Almatech industries was said to have let leave of his senses and gone on a killing rampage.
Eyewitness reports say, Ali had left the house earlier to buy something to eat from a nearby store.
“When he bought the Indomie from me yesterday, I noticed something was wrong about him. I always tell my husband I know these things. His eye was shaking, and as he was buying the indomie, he was talking something. He was talking about dream. Me I don’t know, I just gave him the Indomie and collected my change,” says Mrs Oladipupo Bimbo
The suspect was said to have attacked a man on the road, a friend of his from work. The friend is now in the hospital. When our correspondent tried to reach him, they were informed he was in intensive care. A source however revealed, the patient to have said “I only wanted to hug him”
On getting to his house, the suspect then tried to set his neighbour’s generators on fire. When an attempt was made to stop him, he killed one man and seriously wounded another. According to the survivor, the suspect went on to burn the house and kill the survivors of the fire with a broken knife and bottle he kept in a carton box outside his apartment.
The Police have declined to give a statement, though the assurance is high that they would catch the suspect, who is still at large. However, in a strange development, the SSS, the NIA and the Defence Intelligence Agency are involved in this case. It is even rumoured that Israeli Mossad agents are being utilized to find the man. Quality manpower has been dispatched here. It is obvious that Mr President has taken a leaf from Obama’s tackling of the Boston Massacre and is determined to bring the killer to book.

NOTE.
Schizophrenia is a bitch innit? Or was it?

DISCLAIMER
*
I’m not a Psychologist. I’m a Microbiologist. Which is not the same thing, except you can abide Microbes lying on your couch, so the psych profile I tried to paint may be a bit grainy. And..it’s up to you to tell if he went bonkers, or he was really being attacked by ‘mysterious government agents’.
*I know the difference between the P22 and the P99.

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Peace.