Eze Chima was sitting in front of his small room by the gate and his bowed head was held in both palms. He was deeply thinking about what would become of him if he was sacked now––the mission would be foiled. Mr. Chima had been a security man for thirty years; he had literally spent half of his life watching one gate or the other. Working under Cain Martins was his sixth experience and he enjoyed working here compared to other places he had worked. Here, he hadn’t had a moment when he had to violently face armed robbers or killers, and the pay here was the best. He had endured series of scolds and curses from Cain since the last five years he had been working under him, but he never felt offended from the insults as long as his salary was not being delayed, and most importantly, he needed the assistance of Abel to finish the business at hand first, and if that was done, Eze Chima would not have any reason to work here anymore. Because, by that time, everything would have changed immensely––and he would be okay with that. He had a shotgun which he had been using since 1969; he loved the gun dearly and had always felt safer anytime he held it. He hadn’t shot the gun at anyone since he had been working under Cain. But he strongly believed that it would one day come in handy.
Eze Chima’s responsibility was to protect Cain Martins and his wife, he didn’t like Cain a bit but he had come to respect the wife who had always treated him just like a father. Eze Chima may dislike Cain Martins but Cain Martins paid Eze Chima handsomely. A corpse may not like embalming fluid but it does well to the body. Right now, he was on the verge of losing his job––his dear job. He knew Cain was just being a pain in the neck who found pleasure out of making other people sad–––someone who delighted in watching the life slip away from anything. Three weeks previously, he had caught him cutting the limbs of a live cat. He saw that his boss was enjoying the pain the animal was feeling––just like his illegitimate son, except that the son never killed animals, he only hated them. Eze knew Cain was wicked, very wicked, and probably not more than a dozen people were as wicked as Cain in this part of the world. Yet, he was far from being tough. And Eze Chima knew himself to be the exactly opposite of Cain. Eze knew himself to be very tough and he had little respect for death; he was simply a daredevil. Maybe that was the only reason he lived as old as he was. He had always believed that people who held death in high esteem had always been the ones falling victim to the cold hand of the life-claimer! Yes, Eze Chima was tough, very tough––but never wicked. He had killed many people, but he was not wicked––he was only tough. It was better to be tough in the extreme than to be a bit wicked. Those he had killed really deserved to die. He did not kill them for the fun of it, he actually hated killing but he had to kill them, because they were bad people; because they were wicked. Eze Chima hated wicked people, wicked people deserved to die.
His mind travelled back in time to 1989, twenty years ago; he was forty years old as at that year, when he was still a security man of a famous bank in Warri. One night during the mid-March of that year, he was walking around the compound of the bank when he heard thuds coming from the fences of the building; he instinctively knew that they were robber even before seeing them. Eze Chima became exhilarated; the night was going to be fun. He quickly ducked behind one of the company’s vans. When he saw them, he was more excited; each robber was carrying a gun. They were carrying machine guns with extended magazines. Eze didn’t know much about such guns, just that they were point-and-spray weapons, deadly even in the hands of a lousy shooter, deadlier still when wielded by men who knew what they were doing. He saw the men separated; two of them turned the corner of the left side of the building and the remaining two took the right turn, they were apparently looking for an entrance. Eze guessed the bandits thought he was sleeping in his cottage as most lazy night watchmen do. Nonetheless, the robbers were watchful and very careful not to make any unnecessary noise. Then Eze stood from his hiding and followed the two who took the right turn––holding his rifle firmly in the left hand.
As he turned the corner the two criminal went he was immediately confronted by one of them aiming a gun at his face. Where’s the second idiot? Probably at the back looking for an entrance, Eze thought. He looked at the face of the man pointing the nozzle of the gun at his head. The man, Eze noticed, was not a man at all––he was a boy. A handsome looking boy of about nineteen. The boy was looking at him with a confused expression. He was debating whether to shoot Eze or call his partners. He was an amateur. Eze, who never allow opportunities to slip him by quickly made use of this to his own advantage––a split second between life and death. Eze Chima reached into a deep place within and began to tremble visibly. “Please don’t kill me, I’ll do anything.”
A gratified sadistic smile came to the face of the boy. He was also a killer; Eze saw it in the boy’s eyes. He had killed many people––such a young boy. Pity!
Suddenly, Eze’s knees buckled, and he dropped down two feet, remaining perfectly erect as he bent his knees. At the same time, his right hand shot straight up, grabbing the wrist of the boy’s outstretched hand.
The boy’s smile faded as Eze pulled his arm down in a powerful wrist lock, the gun fell from the boy’s hand, Eze wrenched the robber’s wrist towards his elbow and twisted it at an acute angle. Now the boy bellowed in pain as the ligaments of his arm were strained and turned, but Eze was relentless, taking a long step back with his left foot and pulling the attacker to the ground. He yanked on the arm with all his strength and heard a pop as the ball joint was dislocated from the socket. The boy roared again, agony mingling with disbelief. Eze fell on him, bringing all his weight down on his right knee, driving it into the boy’s rib cage. He could hear at least two ribs break. The boy gasped, and tears rushed to his eyes. The broken ribs would make breathing exquisitely painful. The boy tried to free his other arm, despite his dislocated joint, but Eze had it pinned between his chest and left knee. Eze turned his right hand into a claw and clamped it around the boy’s throat, lifting and slamming his head against the ground until the boy’s body was limp. Moments later, when Eze reared up, he had the boy’s gun in his right hand. His own rifle was lying on the ground; he didn’t have to use it.
Then he heard footsteps approaching, the others had been alerted by the cries of the groaning robber. It was one person coming; he had seen the shadow, it was the boy’s other partner. The other robber was a skinny, black young man with long legs in fitted jeans that ended in a pair of white high topped trainers. All these took Eze just a second before he fired. The bullet struck the robber’s forehead. The sight was horrific; a fragment of his forehead flew off amid a ghastly spray of blood.
Just some minutes later, the remaining robbers came rushing to the scene. What they saw scared the gut out of them; the boy was groaning, almost at the point of death, and the other was down lifeless with eyes wide open. They were afraid the more because they could not find the person who did it.
Eze Chima was watching the two robbers from under the van which concealed him; he was patiently waiting for the moment to strike again. He himself could see that the men were scared; he could see fear in their eyes. He could smell it in them. It was a myth that it’s only dogs that could smell fear in human beings. On these two men, Eze could perceive the sour, sweaty odour of terror.
Then he decided to let them live, he did not feel like killing anything anymore at that particular moment. He had seen what he wanted: fear. The men were sweating and shaking, although they were hardened criminals––they still have the blessing of fear in them. Fear is good. Fear had saved their lives. Eze shot a bullet and the men fled instantly; almost running on their heads through where they came in.
Eze always found himself smiling broadly at one of the roughest and deadliest acts he had ever pulled; The Bank Adventure was what he’d always called it. He had let the two robbers live because they were afraid. Still, he had shattered one’s brain with a bullet. What magic a bullet can perform. It can take off a head from its shoulders, separate a brain from the skull, and divorce the medulla oblongata from the cerebrum. Just a bullet to the head to do it all. The right place for a wicked soul, a soul condemned to rot in the deep ditch called Hell.
Honk! A car hooted outside the gate, interrupting Eze’s reminiscent. That bastard is back. He got up from where he sat and went to the gate opening it wide. The car accelerated stealthily into the compound. The driver parked and got out. Eze Chima studied the driver; he had been here a month now. He’s a handsome chap––quite handsome but he possesses the face of a criminal. For the past month he had been staying with them, Eze had noticed that the man was always unusually quiet, he seldom laughed and he was always locking himself indoors if he was not driving.
The driver went to the passenger’s door and opened. Cain came down the jeep, he was dressed in his favourite dansiki style; a cap on his head, down on his feet was a pair of black pointed shoes, and in his hand was a majestic walking stick with a gold handle. The rich man was wearing the usual scowl that always made his face uglier than ever.
“Most people push carts faster than you drive.” Cain nagged sarcastically at the driver.
“I’m sorry, sir.” The handsome one apologized, looking like a school boy who had just been scolded by his class-teacher for not doing his home assignment.
“Be sorry for yourself. And you better change or I’ll be forced to kick your pretty young behind out of here.”
“Sorry––sir.” Said Richard, without really meaning it. He got into the car, carried out the briefcase and headed into the building.
Abigail was watching the local TV series: Dominoes, where the stubborn Oscar was complaining to his father about how he had excluded his name from the company’s shareholders list. She got up and collected the case from Richard and as she did that, she noticed the anger on his face. Cain again!
“What happened, Richie?” she asked.
“Nothing.” He replied casually, and he was on his way out when Cain came in raging with wrath.
“Then what the devil are you still doing here?” he demanded sharply, “Get the hell out.”
Richard walked out slowly. Cain went to the bar and poured himself a glass of rum, he emptied the content of the glass in one gulp.
“Where’s my food?” he asked sharply.
“On the dinning table.” Replied Abigail, she was furious at the way Cain treated Richie. She knew Cain just hated the driver for no reason. Who doesn’t he hate, anyway?
He ignored his wife’s stare and went to the dinning table where he began doing justice to a bowl of pounded yam and okro soup, garnished with a large impressive array of assorted snails. The bowl, however, was large enough to hold the head of John the Baptist. Abigail no doubt knew her ways around the kitchen, and the succulent mollusks almost made it impossible for her husband to devour the victuals alongside she who prepared it. He ate with voracity and total concentration, oblivious of the stare Abigail was drilling on his face, his head was lowered as he devoured the food in the manner of a mindless glutton. He devoured every shred of meat in his food and if his teeth had been as a hyena’s he’d’ve ground the bones to meal.
“Mm-hmm,” he occasionally mm-hmmed. “Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.”
After the meal, he drank enough water that could have floated the Mary Celeste. Cain sat on the couch with a remote control in his hand, tuning the television from channel to channel, and at the same time probing his incisors with a toothpick.
“Can I ask you a question, Cain?” Abigail asked from where she stood.
“What is it?” demanded Cain, his attention still fixated on the television screen.
“What did Richie do wrong today?”
He ignored the programme on the telly; and he turned to faced Abigail, he had become apoplectic in an instant, “I knew it! I knew your question is about that fool. Tell me, why are you so concerned about him? Okay, I’ll tell you. I should have been here an hour earlier if not for that silly animal. I told him I was hungry while we were coming but he chose to drive as though his limbs have been amputated.”
“Why did you hate him so much? It’s like you always find error in everything he does. Why don’t you give him a chance to––”
“Will you keep shut, woman?” Cain exploded, “Who the gods do you think you are? Who are you to dictate to me whatever I do?”
“I am not dictating anything––I was only––” A hot hand print from Cain exploded on her face.
“I say shut up!” he said wrathfully. “When did I start asking for your permission concerning what I do? I know what you are; a LovePeddler! A filthy, useless LovePeddler! You are already having a crush on him, aren’t you? Do you feel like humping him? Tell me!” he got up and went into the bedroom cursing under his breath. His sudden anger had erupted from the remembrance of the encounter he’d had with a stranger who had broken into their home in the night of November 1984; a year after he’d had met Rita. The night’s incidence had made him hated the poor woman, and he had carried out what he believed was the necessary precaution that would made him forget all that had happened that night. But now, the hatred he felt for Rita afterwards he now felt for his current wife, and this made him ponder about the possibility of carrying another necessary precaution. The kind of hatred he had had for the man who had broken into their home that rainy Saturday night.
It had been declared earlier in the day that there was not going to be any rain throughout that Saturday. But suddenly, the dark sky grew darker, and rain fell in silvery cataracts; the equal of anything that Father Noah had witnessed while hurrying to complete his ark. The water fell off slopes, forming rivulets in every shallow declivity. Rivulets became streams, and streams grew swiftly into rivers. And in time, it was raining fit to drown a duck in the night of that same Saturday; the hard rain fell without warning, no thunder preceded the deluge––no wind, too, until afterward, and it appeared as if someone had just turned a tap on over the city; the sky was seriously purging itself of an entire ocean. A very dark and stormy night it was; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was assisted by a violent gust of wind which swept up the street and rattling along the housetops, and a show of lightening that was accentuated every now and then by the enormous claps of thunder. The rain was forming tears as it streaked the louvres of the houses around, and gushing along gutters in seemingly endless torrents. That night’s rainfall was one of those which, most times, defy weather forecasts––making forecasters look like lying idiots to the world. The street was deserted, except for Jamal who was standing alone in the veranda of an uncompleted building, and he was holding a pistol.
A boat made from a sheet of newspaper floated down a gutter swollen with the rain. The boat bubbled, listed, righted itself again, dived bravely through treacherous whirlpools, and continued on its course towards the intersection of the street and another. Jamal looked at the paper boat as it swam away, a boy of maybe six years old might have dropped it in the gutter from three streets away. He could remember when he was a kid himself––he would run cheerfully alongside the paper boat enjoying himself as the rain would tap the hood of his own clothes, he would hear the music the rain made on the roofs of houses––a comfortable, almost cosy sound.
He waited about thirty minutes for the rain to stop but it was not even slackening, and amidst the noise the rain was making was a faint distant sound of frogs announcing their territory. Jamal was running out of patience so he got out of the veranda into the rain, he was soaked within a few seconds of stepping into the heavy downpour––and he liked it. He walked slowly down the street in the rain, thinking about what had brought him there. Jamal had seen a woman about two weeks earlier, and he had been infatuated by her appearance. She was coming out from the meat market when he caught sight of her; she had had that kind of beauty that could make the holiest man on earth commit a little sin. She was wearing a crispy white blouse that was tucked in a hip-fitted black skirt. A pair of black suede shoes adorned her beautifully straight legs. She walked in a manner that was full of confidence, and there was this attractive chemistry from her that drew Jamal up to her; he felt he could woo her easily like he’d always done. At first, she had allowed Jamal to rant and chant, and when he appeared to have spoken all the words he could think of, the lady had smiled erotically and flashed him her ring finger, revealing to him that she was married before she walked away. Jamal had been taken aback; he involuntarily stopped and watched as the woman walked away. Jamal being one who never gave up on things easily until he got what he wanted, followed the woman. As he tailed the lady, he felt there was a kind of fun in following people who never knew they were being followed. The woman reached her car and drove off, Jamal waved down the next taxi and followed, he tailed her from street to street as discreetly as possible, and she, however, was utterly unaware that she was being followed. A couple of kilometers later, the woman stopped her car in front of a big gate; she got off the car and went to open the gate. Jamal told the cab driver to stop his car a few yards behind the lady’s. The woman got in her vehicle and drove inside the compound. The sound of the heavy gate could be heard as she locked it from within. Jamal waited five minutes before he got off the taxi and paid the driver who drove away. He now knew where his next would-be victim lived.
Jamal was a good looking man, with a soft, high-pitched, almost girlish voice. He appealed to many women because of his sweet voice and because he had a pleasant baby face. He was thirty-two years old but he looked twenty, what many ladies failed to know was that he was just an angelic face masking the demon––he was a rapist. With his good looks, Jamal could take any woman of his choice to bed as easily as he could create a tune out of whistling. He had tasted women of almost all genres; tall, short, slim, fat, obese. But Jamal was never satisfied with them, taking a willing woman to bed was not what he really craved––he wanted an unwilling woman. His first act of Molest was with a schoolgirl of thirteen years. He had cunningly made the girl follow him into his room before he forcefully penetrated her, and he had felt a sense of accomplishment he had never felt before. Thereafter, he performed with a twelve year old, eleven, ten––and nine, where each time, he would wickedly tear off their hymens with his barrel-like organ. Then again, he was tired of kids, he desired an adult. He had taken a LovePeddler home one night and told her plainly that he was going to have her without paying. The LovePeddler had jumped off the bed as if jolted by an electric shock. For three minutes she moped at him, had she the strength for a fight she would have fought him. But lacking that she rained courses on him before picking up her bag and aiming for the door. Jamal had suddenly drawn her back, gave her a vicious blow on the face and pushed her roughly on the bed before he entered her. The LovePeddler had screamed, scratched, tossed and turned but Jamal subdued her easily. The cries of his victims; their struggles, innocence, pains––was what turned Jamal on.
For two weeks, Jamal shadowed the young woman, he watched everywhere she went; where she did her hair, the time she went out, and when she returned. He was patiently waiting for the moment to attack her. There were many couples of times when Jamal could attack the woman but he didn’t do it. The woman was always alone in the house most of the time, and he could have easily followed her inside and Molest her, but Jamal did not.
Tonight was his right moment.
He walked in the rain towards the gate of the building and pushed it; the gate did not budge––it was locked. Jamal expected to find tens of thousands of jagged pieces of glass to have been cemented on the top of the fence to rip off the hand of anyone who tries to scale it, with a triple stand of barbed wire on top of the glass. But there was nothing like that, the fence was just as climbable one as a mango tree. He went round the fence to the back, he climbed it and jumped in the compound––it must have been about eleven or some minutes past. He had figured nobody would see him scale that fence in this stormy night, and if anybody had, he wasn’t certain the fellow would challenge his action as he believed the party would be busy getting himself away from the heavy downpour. Moreover, they would assume that clean-cut young men, neatly barbered and beardless, are not always suspected of nefarious attempts. Jamal was not only barbered and beardless, he was of neither tattoo nor earring, neither nose ring nor lip ring, and he had not subjected his tongue to a piercing. No scar, tribal marks, birthmarks, warts, or facial skin growth––except that he had only suffered from verruca plataris at a tender age, but nobody would really be interested in his feet. The rain continued beating on him fiercely, coming down like sheets of silver knives, the dark sky filled with darker masses of swirling black cloud. He walked to the front door of the house and turned the handle. The occupants were not as silly as going to bed and leaving their front door unlocked. Jamal dipped his hand in his pocket and brought out a safety pin which he twisted into a certain shape before inserting it in the keyhole. He wanted to avoid signs of forced entry; however, picking locks was not as easy as it appeared to be in the movies. Neither was seducing a lady or beating up five men or anything. It took him twenty minutes to get the door unlocked; he opened the door quietly and stepped in the room. Without much ado, Jamal went straight towards the bedroom door––this was unlocked. He withdrew the pistol he had tucked in his back pocket and stepped in. He found the couple sleeping under a large blanket; they had fallen asleep like spoons in a drawer. He took a stood beside the bed and sat down, watching as the husband snore. He hated snoring people––the sound disgusted him, it angered him. He went over the husband and gave him a hard punch on the stomach, the man reared up into a sitting position with eyes wide open, and before he could make a sound Jamal sent him a backhanded blow on the throat which sent him lying back on the bed. Jamal closed his left hand over the man’s mouth and pinned the muzzle of the pistol on his forehead. With one look, Jamal could see fear in the man’s eyes; the wife was still sleeping soundlessly, ignorant of anything happening beside her. The attacker looked around the room and saw an arm-chair at one corner. Then he faced the husband.
“Shh!” he hushed.
The man nodded.
Jamal withdrew his hand from the man’s mouth and jerked his head towards the chair, “You see that chair over there?” though he was whispering, every word sounded like it was being scraped across a metal file as it left his throat.
The man nodded again.
“Very good,” said Jamal, “Now, you’ll get up slowly from this bed and take a pew over there. Kapish?”
The man obeyed him as one obeys a dangerous madman. He slowly got up from the bed to sit in the chair.
Jamal opened the door of the wardrobe in the room and selected five ties which he knotted together; he went to the husband and tied him in the chair with it. He took another tie and used that to gag him. He stripped himself Unclad before the man and selected a pair of pajamas belonging to the gagged man. They fitted him like they were his. Jamal looked in the man’s eyes and saw one question written on them––Who’s this man?
“Do you know why I’m here?”
The man shook his head.
Jamal smiled, “You should have guessed.” He went over the man and whispered in his ear, “I’m here because I have your wife To Molest, and you are going to watch it.”
The man’s scared face instantly metamorphosed into that of rage. He struggled to get himself off the bondage but he couldn’t. The rapist was a professional in the art of tying and knotting; it was impossible for the husband to get off that chair. Jamal saw the husband’s anger and felt a brief pleasure from that. He enjoyed seeing the veins stand out from the man’s forehead. It was like pouring a drop of liquor on a scorpion.
Jamal went to the sleeping lady and tapped her on the shoulder. The wife opened her eyes slowly.
“Wake up, darling,” he said, smiling at her. “This is Showtime.”
The husband was already sweating profusely and he never stopped struggling to get off the chair, but the rope was not loosening.
The lady abruptly sat up on the bed.
“Who are you?” she demanded, “What do you want?” she became afraid when she saw her own husband.
“What I want, pretty lady, is very simple. Just pull off your nightdress and lie back on the bed. I’ll do the rest.”
She began weeping as the knowledge of what she was told to do occur to her. “Please leave us alone. You can take anything you want, just leave us alone. I beg of you.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Jamal breathed, feigning emotion. “I should really leave you guys alone but I can’t. I’m obsessed with you, cute lady.”
Jamal noticed that the woman did not even recognize him. She had forgotten the face of that man who had approached her with sweet words.
Jamal turned to the husband, “I envy you, mister. I can’t imagine how you managed to marry this s*xy** lady. Did you charm her? I can not just understand. Seriously, it piques my curiosity because this lady is far better off than you in more ways than one.”
“Please leave us alone.” She continued begging him.
“You’re starting to annoy me, young lady. Can’t you just keep your mouth shut?”
“Please…” her voice trailed off.
Jamal rolled his face into a vicious and cruel expression, “This is getting us nowhere.” He muttered. He went to the husband and aimed his gun at his temple; he turned to the woman and said:
“Mrs––it’s either you obey me or I blow your husband’s brain out. This shouldn’t have to be bloody. Just do what I tell you and everything will be okay.”
The woman’s face carried a mask of terror, “Oh, please don’t hurt him, I’ll do anything you say.”
“I’m amazed,” Jamal uttered, “You really love this man, don’t you? Now, get off that bed and stand on your feet.”
The lady obeyed.
“Take off your nightdress.”
She hesitated a mo before she untied her night dress and let it slip to the floor from her shoulders.
Jamal smiled and whispered to the husband, “Isn’t this cute? She’s even got her bra and panties on. Oh God, she’s driving me crazy. God bless the woman who birthed your wife.”
The woman continued weeping sadly, she cast her face downward. She could not look at their attacker’s face and she was too ashamed to dare look in her husband’s eyes because she knew the kind of man she had married.
“Stop crying like a baby; get Unclad and lie on the bed.”
The woman appeared not to hear Jamal. He became slightly angry and struck the husband a double blow on the cheek. Blood spurted out of the man’s mouth from between the gag. She immediately got rid of the underwear. Jamal came at her and pushed her roughly on the large bed.
The husband watched in horror as the stranger victimized his wife, his ears were filled with the screams of his spouse. He struggled with all his strength to get off the chair but he could not. He anger mounted to his face as he watched the intercourse; his body swelled as if he were about to burst. The rapist’s eyes were shut in ecstasy as he humped and pounded his helpless victim. He was sweating profusely by the time he was through.
Jamal looked at the husband and smiled in a wicked fashion, his smile carried a contented expression––like a man who had just won the championship bout in a boxing contest. The rain outside had suddenly stopped, as if it were waiting for the rapist to finish his mission.
“Oh, she’s one hell of a screw,” he said, fanning himself with his hands. “She has all my seed in her.”
Jamal cleaned himself and put on a pair of clean shirt and trousers belonging to the husband. He said to the husband, “Thanks for the hospitality––and for watching. I really did enjoy myself. Goodnight.” He walked out of the room whistling a merry tune.
As Jamal climbed the fence out of the compound, he pictured how the husband had looked. When he was done with the wife, Jamal had seen the husband look at her without getting his eyes off her. Jamal knew the look very well––it was the look of pure unquenched hatred. He knew they would never have a happy home again.
*Please drop your comments and share. Kisses*