Happy New Month guys, you are specially welcome to the second half of the year 2016. May it be more fruitful than the former. Please read, comment and share on all platforms. Thank you. Kisses

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Episode 5

“What did the man say Tunji? How is my daughter?” Sewa Banks yelled at her husband immediately the phone went dead. Tunji looked frozen. Sewa hit him squarely in the chest. “Answer me Tunji”

The governor smashed the phone in his arm on the tiled floor in anger and the bodyguard looked sadly at the shattered pieces of his phone. He had just bought that phone, how can the governor just destroy it like that?

“My phone…” He murmured, looking at the remains of his phone with a sour look on his face.

Tunji Banks glared at him and gave him two resounding slaps. The guard’s face tightened, but he instantly schooled his expression to remain passive. The governor repeated the same with the other guard, shaking with anger. “Your phone?” He barked at the muscled man. “How I wish I can smash the two of you on the ground and watch you scatter before my eyes” he yelled at them. “I employed you two lowlifes to guard my house! I brought you both inside instead of leaving you outside like the other men, yet, a kidnapper came in, took my only daughter away and here you are, looking like the fools in an exhibition?” He yelled.

“Oh God! Tunji” Sewa yelled. “You can’t leave my daughter alone with those beasts, do something”

Tunji turned to his wife. “What do you think I can do? Do you know how much they are requesting for?” His eyes flashed as he looked intensely at her. He looked confused and angry. “250 million” he murmured, “where do you expect me to get such a huge amount of money from?”

“Well, I don’t give a damn about where you would find it, I just want my daughter back” she returned heatedly.

Tunji hissed. “You don’t know what you are saying. The only money with me is reserved for my upcoming campaign. I don’t even have enough for the campaign yet, I cant take out 250 million Naira. It is such a huge sum of money. We should get the police involved” he mused. “This is no doubt the work of my political opponents, they can’t stand that I want to run a second term!” He said heatedly to himself.

Mrs Banks stared speechlessly at her husband for some seconds, wondering what demon possessed her to marry such delusional man. She drew up to him until they were just inches apart, then she looked up to glare at him. “Listen to me, If you don’t pay that money and get back my only daughter, I swear with everything in me that I would personally make your life hell on earth Tunji. Try me”

*****
*****

Spitting in her captor’s face turned out to be Lara’s worst mistake as the scarred man dragged her out of the dirty room. Her body ached severely from the punches and slaps she received, she felt she might faint any minute. For a second, she had thought he would actually carry out the threat of killing her, but probably the ransom of 250 million stopped the man from killing her. Despite the fact that her body was in pains, her stubbornness stopped her from crying. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry, never!

He drew her out of the room closed the door and all Lara could see was a garage which looked so dirty, it could pass for a refuse dump. It was already becoming brighter. No other building was in sight, they were pretty much alone. Lara choked on the gag in her mouth. Her arms were tied behind her, making it more painful as the scarred man dragged her towards the waiting wagon. The dirty rag was making her nauseous and making breathing near impossible. As her captor dragged her into into the van, pain gnawed at her skin and she bit into the rag in her mouth to contain the pain that engulfed her. The van looked like a meat wagon used in conveying meat and the stink clouded her senses, intensifying her desire to throw up.

Dumping her at the back, she fell unstably, then quickly pulled herself to a sitting position. She surely wouldn’t give him terrible ideas by lying on her back, all trussed up before him. He smiled. “Don’t worry girl, as tempting as the idea is, I wouldn’t assault you”

Lara heaved a nasal sigh of relief. Then, he brought out a rope and started binding her legs. After securing it firmly, Lara was relieved when he removed the tape over her lips and dragged out the rag in her mouth. Gratefully, she took in fresh air. She was thirsty but she would die first before begging him for water.

“So you can be this quiet” the man said with a smile. “I should have beaten you up from the start and I wouldn’t have had to put up with your hautiness. From now on, unless you want to be gagged again, you’d better keep your pretty mouth shut”

Lara had no intention of shouting, she had no strength, so she just stared at him like a mouse, too battered to react to his words.

“Good girl! Continue being a good girl and maybe, you would return to your father’s laps in peace.” With that, he closed the door of the wagon as quietly as he could. It was obvious that no one was around to see them but the man obviously wasn’t taking a chance. Darkness enveloped Lara in the airtight wagon back but there was still a little space under the door which a bit of air and light passed through. Suddenly, the vehicle came alive and lurched forward, sending Lara to a lying position as the man drove away. Tears filled her eyes and she let them roll down freely, since no one was there to see her. How had her life changed all of a suddenly. Just last night, she was safely protected in her father’s mansion, but now, she realised that her father’s mansion wasn’t actually safe. Before this morning, no one has ever lay his hands on her to hurt her physically, but now, she could honestly say that she knew what domestic violence feels like. She sobbed silently as the vehicle sped off. Following the conversation that the scarred man had on the phone, she knew he was working for someone. Who could it be? Could it be one of her father’s political enemies? Fear engulfed her soul. She didn’t know how long they drove, must be hours because she noticed that the sun has set and sun rays was beginning to streak in through the small gap beneath the door.

Hunger gnawed at her and she remembered that she didn’t eat much the previous night when her father had completely spoilt her appetite. Derin’s betrayal still hurt terribly and coupled with the fact that she was in physical pain now, she wondered if anything existed other than pain. Exhaustion ate at her and she finally dozed off.

Lara opened her eyes to another dark room. This one wasn’t as dirty as the first, but it was dirty nonetheless, for someone like her who was used to sparkling neatness. Cobwebs were hanging everywhere and she could see a large spider lurking somewhere around the corner of the ceiling. The scarred man was standing by the small window, obviously scanning the environment. Apart from hunger and exhaustion, something else was wrong and it took only a second to realise what it was.

She opened her stiff mouth. “I need the toilet” she croaked out.

The scarred man didn’t as much as move a muscle. He was as stiff as a statue. Lara wondered if she would always think of him as ‘scarred man’, but since she didn’t know his name, she had to devise the most obvious name, since the scar was pretty pronounced. “There is no toilet” he responded.

She stiffened. “I have to… ease myself” she was embarrassed beyond words but there was no way around it. He couldn’t let her pee in her pants, could he?

“Do whatever you want to do there, there is no toilet” he said.

Lara was speechless for a few seconds, then she opened her mouth. “You don’t like screaming right? Well, you better get me a place to ease myself, if not, I would scream loud enough to wake the dead and I don’t care if you kill me. I am worth 250 million Naira to you, you should treat me with more respect. I am your ticket out of poverty after all”

The man shook his head and finally turned to look at her. His frightening face was drawn back in a scowl, making him more frightening. “If I hadn’t been asked not to kill you, believe me, it would be a great pleasure to cut off that tongue of yours and watch it roast” he said with obvious annoyance. He drew out a sharp knife and Lara turned pale as he approached her. Is he actually going to remove my tongue? Her intestines began to shiver but as he reached for her band wrists and feet and cut off the ropes, she heaved a sigh of relief.

He glared at her. “You try anything funny…” He palmed his gun. “I’ll shoot first and ask questions later”

She nodded. “Thank you” she mouthed.

He looked at her drily and pulled her to her feet. Her feet and arms felt numb due to their state of inactivity and she rubbed at her wrists. She followed him outside and saw that truly, there was no toilet. He led her through some rubbles until he got to a corner. “Okay. Do your business here and be fast about it”

She stared back at him. She was in trousers. He obviously did not expect her to exposed herself before his prying eyes, right? “I would get down to it as soon as you give me a measured level of privacy”

He grinned and it didn’t help his features at all. “You are smart, I would give you that. Now, it is either you get on with it or I drag you back inside”

Lara deflated. “You can at least turn your back right?” She looked uncomfortably at him, hopping from one foot to the other, due to her full bladder. “Please…” She begged.

He looked uncomfortable for some seconds before he gave up and turned slightly away.

“Could you close your ears a bit?” She added cheekily. He flashed her a deadly look and she jumped slightly. “Okay… Don’t close your ears.”

He turned away and Lara worked on her jeans. She had never felt so embarrassed in her entire life. How could she live with the fact that he could hear her urinating? She sighed cautiously pushed down her jeans and after another glance at the ‘scarred man’, the bent down to ease herself. She would definitely remember this day as the ‘most embarrassing day of her life’. As she looked at the rubbles before her, an idea occurred to her. Very good, she thought. Many times, it is good to watch movies, she thought as she scanned the ground for a weapon. Nothing on the floor looked useful but when she spied a broken bottle, she hurriedly grabbed it, looking at the back of the man to be sure he wasn’t looking at her. She quickly sank it into her pocket and pulled the trouser up.

“Don’t turn around yet” she murmured as she zipped and buttoned her trouser. When she was finally through and he led her back inside. She could see a light at the end of the tunnel, but how could she plan her escape. Here was a man with a gun and a knife and all she had was… a small broken bottle? She sighed. Maybe there was no light at the end of the tunnel after all.

*****
*****

He was yet to mention the kidnap to anyone. Only himself, his wife and the two bodyguards were aware of the incident. He should be in the office, running the affairs of the state, but here he was, roaming about in his small parlour, thinking of a way out of this mess. The two bodyguards were standing at different positions, looking as blank and fearful as their muscles allowed and his wife was doing the tremendous job of making him angrier by nagging him half to death.

“You have been pacing for hours Tunji and nothing has been done. You better get the money, my daughter would not spend another night with those bloody criminals o.” She stood up and sat back down, tapping her feet maddeningly on the floor. “Only God knows how many they are and what they are doing to my daughter”

“I can’t just pay the ransom like that, I need to get the police involved, they would be discrete”

Sewa jumped up. “What? Are you not the one who said the kidnapper ordered you not to inform the police? You going to put my daughter in danger because of your actions Tunji” she was pacing now.

“Woman, we always advice the people never to give in to blackmail, I would be seen flaunting that rule. He would exercise power over us when we give in to his commands. I am calling the SSS now. They can work discretely” he said and started dialing a number

“Ehhhhh… I am warning you Tunji, if anything happens to my daughter because of this, I would be your worst enemy o. Just because you don’t want to spend money. Is your reelection more important than your only daughter?” She sobbed.

Tunji Banks didn’t pay her any attention as he spoke on the phone. He was careful not to mention what the matter was, only told the chief officer to come to the house. He hung up and sank onto a couch. He closed his eyes, trying to compose his thoughts. He couldn’t let anything happen to his only child, he could only hope he wasn’t taking a wrong step.

His phone rang and his eyes snapped open. It was an unknown number and he cautiously picked it up and put the phone on speaker.

“I see you think I am joking right”

He jumped to his feet as the voice registered. Sewa’s eyes widened as alarm registered in her large eyes.

“I told you specifically, not to call anyone and you had the audacity to call the SSS? Oh, see the surprise on your face” the voice chuckled.

The governor looked around wondering where hidden cameras could have been placed to monitor him. “Please… Please I beg you…”

“You beg me” humor shone in the voice. “How would you like to have your daughter’s left palm faxed to you”

“Oh please…” Sewa’s voice cried out. “Please don’t hurt my daughter, I beg you”

“Awww… Please don’t hurt my daughter…” The voice mimicked in a female voice. “If you want to see your daughter in one piece, the ransom is now 300 million Naira for your little disobedience. Get the money to Oshodi by 12pm tomorrow afternoon and wait for my call there or, you can get ready to receive your daughter in bits and pieces. 300 million. If you dare tell the SSS or the police anything, you can forget about your daughter. Remember, I am watching you”

The phone went dead!

#MaimedSoul

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