So, I almost started crying when my routine was rudely changed yesterday by an unforeseen circumstances, it seemed I would be apologizing yet again; but then, I realised every disappointment is a blessing. Instead of one fun and interesting day, we are having two! 😀😀
Enjoy this superb short story guys, from the author of Brand of Cain… 😊, drop your comments and I’d see you tomorrow, it’s about time we knew who did the raping, right? I know. Enjoy! 😘 😘
Title: AN ACE FOR OSCAR
Writer: LARRY SUN
“I have a terrible news for you, Mr Oscar DaSilva.” The interviewer said cruelly. He was tall and dark. He was solidly constructed. His neck, shoulders, arms and chest were thick with muscles, powerful. The muscles could have been gotten only from years of weightlifting. He could as well have subbed for Samson, pulling down pillars and collapsing roofs upon the Philistines. He was wearing a white shirt; the sleeves were rolled up, and his forearms were matted with hair. He had a moustache that looked as if it was drawn on his upper lip with an eyebrow pencil. His eyes were probing from behind the horn-rimmed glasses he strapped on his face. It was with these vicious eyes that he was drilling an imaginary hole into my skull; he seemed to be peering into my soul and discovering my innermost secret. But, judging from the significance of his statement and stare, he must have truly discovered one of my secrets—a secret as shameful as masturbation.
“What bad news?” Although I had suspected what the news was going to be, I still expected—even prayed—that the news was something far different from what I was thinking. Anything but what I feared. It would even be a relief if the ‘bad news’ was the rejection of my application. Deep down in my mind, I knew that I was in a serious trouble. The man smiled and the smile scared the bejezuz out of me. The smile was evil. Malevolent. It was like a snake smiling at you; such smile would not be assuring.
“What bad news?” I asked again. I could feel the trickle of warm sweat travel down my spine. The office was well-ventilated; there was a working air-conditioner and another big standing fan turned its neck to-and-fro close-by, but they did little to dry my perspiration.
The man could see the fear on my face, and I could tell that he was glad with what he saw. He took pleasure in seeing the horror plastered on my face. His face twisted into a smile and it was like the grin of a skull.
Smacking his lips, the interviewer said, “The bad news is that you’re going to jail, Mr DaSilva.”
“What!” My incredulity could not be contained.
“Yes, young man. You will be spending fifteen years of your life behind bars. Did you honestly think we would not know that you forged the results? Forgery is a very grave crime in this country.”
“I can explain everything—”
“There is nothing to explain, Mr DaSilva.”
“If you would listen to me, I—”
“Like I said, you’ve got no excuse. You are a criminal, and you should be ready to face the consequence of your criminal acts. You are going to jail. All I have to do is call the police.”
I was surprised to hear that he hadn’t already called the police. Mr Dada wasn’t someone who would hesitate to put another person in trouble. Surely, there was a reason behind his delay to make the call.
“Why haven’t you called the police?”
“I don’t want you to go to jail.”
The biggest lie of the century.
“I’m sure you won’t mind committing a little crime to keep yourself from being imprisoned.” Added Dada.
“How do you mean, sir?”
He shifted his huge bulk in the chair and said, “Be smart, Oscar. I have a little proposal for you. You can’t expect me to turn a blind eye at your crime for nothing. You’ve got to do something for me. It’s a little dirty. I don’t think you’re in much position to refuse; except, of course, if you would rather be in jail for forgery of results and certificates. I’ve got some people who would gladly drag you to court.”
My sweat still refused to dry up. That expression ‘It’s a little dirty’ seemed very ironical. With a shaky voice, I asked, “What do you need me to do, sir?”
The evil smiled came again. “We’re kidnapping the Managing Director’s daughter.”
The plan seemed simple enough, but the risk involved was quite dangerous; we could be put in jail for a long time if our plan was foiled. There was never a time I looked forward to a durance vile after spending two months in Kirikiri over a minor contretemps between myself and one belligerent bus-conductor. By sheer luck, I succeeded in breaking the arrogant man’s nose bridge and making him a deficient of three teeth, considering that he was bigger and possessed more strained veins than I was or ever would. We had been dragged into the courtroom for ‘fighting in public’ (I still wonder if fighting privately is legal), then we were pleasantly escorted to that notorious prison to spend the next sixty days. It was hell! The sixty days felt like sixty-one years of terror. I wouldn’t wish such fate on my worst enemy; I would rather shoot that foe dead than see him spend his holidays in Kirikiri.
On the day we were to kidnap Anastasia Oputa, the Manager’s daughter, I met Mr Dada at the location he provided. He came in a black Camry absent license plates. The location was an old bungalow at the end of a very quiet street. The street was so long and quiet that I wondered if people were really living in those other houses. The gate of the house was locked; Mr Dada brought out a bunch of keys and unlocked it before driving into the compound. The bungalow was painted in blue coating. The interior of the house was well-furnished; everything was spick-and-span. At a corner of the living room was a small refrigerator stocked with Coke, beer, and bottles of natural spring water, though not so natural that it came with dysentry, typhoid fever, cholera, or ravenous parasites that would eat you alive from the inside out.
“This is where we are going to keep Anastasia until her father pays up the ransom.”
“How much is the ransom?”
He gave me that revealing stare again and I almost flushed under the scrutiny of his probing eyes.
“We shall decide that after the package has been grabbed.” We? Why would he use that royal plural personal pronoun? Who were ‘we’? Surely, I couldn’t be among whomever he was using the ‘we’ on. I fight publicly, yes, but I don’t do kidnaps. I was only doing this because my refusal might send me back to Kirikiri.
We spent about an hour discussing how we would make the grab. Mr Dada did most of the talking. I listened patiently and nodded my head when the occasion called for it. I was soon nodding like one of those crazy dolls in the rear view of one of those cars with Abuja license plates. I couldn’t even shake my head in negation; the man seemed to have gotten everything in place. He had even taken the pain to get us some costumes and stocking masks to cover our identities. It was when he brought out two pistols that the gravity of what we were about to do dawned on me. Kidnapping is no beans; it’s a very grave crime the law frowns deeply upon. We could spend the rest of our lives in prison if anything went wrong. I wanted to advise the man against going further with the crime but my advice would be useless; the man’s face was set towards the task. Decided. Nothing in this world was going to change his mind. Still, I was expecting one of those Jehova’s Witness members to knock on the door and pass Mr Dada a copy of Watchtower.
An hour and a half later, we drove out of the house to kidnap another man’s daughter. We drove to her school, University of Lagos. As we drove on, I wondered how Anastasia would be located among the multitude of scholars in that institution. But still, it seemed like Dada had everything under his control. We were dressed in black attires; our sartorial tint complemented the colour of the vehicle. It was a sheer miracle that we didn’t encounter any police officer to pull us over for driving a vehicle without license plates.
When we got close to the school, Mr Dada stopped the car and relinquished the driving to me. All I had to do was drive; he would grab the girl. I was all too glad to oblige. The time was already 4:15pm when we finally stopped at a quiet spot, somehow awaiting the arrival of our prey. The plan seemed dumb to think about. How would a prey just walk towards its predator? Where we were parked was even one of the least plied roads in the locality. I suggested that we drove to a more likely place we might find our subject but, as usual, Mr Dada was adamant. He was convinced that this was the route Anastasia always took after lecture. I didn’t dispute that; evidently, the man had done his homework well, but I wondered why the girl would choose to take the road, of all the roads that led to the school. There was only one reason for that: this was the shortest route to wherever she lived. In life, even the shortest routes are less paved.
It was already many minutes past five but Anastasia was not spotted. I had been given the picture of the girl, so I knew whom to expect. I scanned the face of each female that passed by but none looked even remotely like Anastasia. The girl in the photograph was fair-skinned and had a somehow pointed nose. The clothes she had on in the photo accented her hourglass figure, and the smile plastered on her face was genuine and beautiful. For a moment, as ridiculous as it might seem, I think I was falling in love with the photograph I was holding. When I’m not near the person I love, I love the one I’m near; in the case though, I was near a photograph. Go on, call me a cad. See if I care.
Just then, we saw the image from the photograph approach us.
We were parked at the side of the road. We quickly reached into the car and pulled out our stocking masks. Donning the mask, I sat behind the steering wheel. Mr Dada was already at the back seat; his gun was drawn and he was ready to attack. Anastasia walked slowly towards us. She seemed totally oblivious of our presence because she had earphones in her ears and was somehow gyrating to whatever music was playing from her BlackBerry. One word for Anastasia: Gorgeous! She was dressed in a yellow shirt and a pair of blue jeans trouser, a flat-soled yellow and blue Prada adorned her feet. She had the curves any man could die for. She was totally adorable. She moved gracefully, she could as well be walking on air. When she reached close to us, Mr Dada stepped out of the car, yanked the earphone off of her, pressed the nozzle of the pistol against her temple, and ordered her to enter the car. Anastasia’s face immediately registered fear and she was already weeping, begging my partner to spare her life. Mr Dada gave her a nasty slap and ordered her to keep quiet; quite an unnecessary thing to do. Within seconds, the left side of her face turned red from the assault. He sat in the back-seat beside the girl and ordered me to drive. The man was becoming too authoritative for my liking.
It was hard trying to focus clearly on the road with an oversized mask occasionally veiling my vision. But when I checked the rear-view mirror and saw Mr Dada take off his mask, I did the same. The two sat together in the back like a couple, and I felt like a common driver. The man had his gun pressed against her side, and the girl continued whimpering—scared. Mr Dada was busy smiling at something funny I failed to see. Soon, I stopped pondering over what could be hilarious to Mr Dada and occupied my mind with the hope of arriving safely at our destination. A vehicle without plate numbers would make us too conspicuous than one with. What was Mr Dada thinking to have gotten rid of the plate numbers in the first place? A dumb precaution, actually.
And with another sheer dint of good fortune, I managed to drive us all to our location without any glitch. While I tried to find a parking space for the car, Mr Dada had dragged the girl out and forced her into the house. By the time I finished parking the vehicle, the girl had been tied in a chair and locked in another room. We—Mr Dada and I—sat on a chair and planned the next action. And as usual, he presided over everything. I wasn’t even sure if he needed me anymore; the girl had been successfully kidnapped, my job was basically over. Still, he would not hear that I was leaving. He treated me as if he had dominion over my life.
The time was around 8pm when he picked up his phone and called the girl’s father. He put the call on speakerphone so that I could hear. Then he placed the phone on the table.
“Hello. Am I speaking with Mr Oputa?” Mr Dada said.
“Yes, Mr Oputa speaking. How may I help you?”
Mr Dada laughed at the question and said, “I honesty believe you are the person who needs the help. Please hold on, I want you to speak with someone.” He picked up the phone and unlocked the door of the room where the girl was kept. Her mouth was gagged with a thin cloth. Her eyes were already swollen from crying. She now looked dishevelled, all thanks to Dada. Behind her was a bed that had it’s sheet cover it entered. The sheet even draped to the floor of the room. There was an oil painting of a nude Abacha over the bed, one hand hiding his privates, the other raised in a military salute. An apple showed in the background. There was a faint scent of disinfectant in the air.
“Your father would like to hear your voice.” He said unkindly. He moved the phone close to her mouth.
There was a brief moment of silence. Then she spoke to the phone, “Daddy?”
“Ana, is that you?” Her father asked. I couldn’t help but detect the tremor in the billionaire’s voice. “Where are you? Who is the person that called me?”
“I don’t know, Daddy! I think I’m being kidnapped, Daddy! They’re doing terrible things to me! Daddy, I’m scared. I think they’re going to—” Mr Dada terminated the call. The locked the door behind us as we left the room.
“Why did you cancel the call?” I asked.
“That would show the man that we meant business.”
“Of course he knows me mean business. We kidnapped his daughter, remember?”
“If I hadn’t cut that call, he would be calling our bluff and threatening us with imprisonment and stuff like that.”
“Surely, he’s going to call the number and actually threaten us now. He could have even given the number to the police. We could be in serious trouble.”
“Negative,” answered Mr Dad, “he would never be able to connect with the number because, one, the number would appear PRIVATE on his phone. Even if he were able to discover the number, he would still not be able to connect. You see, this number is a very specially one. I had it specially made and tweaked. It’s totally untraceable. I paid a hundred thousand naira for this SIM card. He might not even have any record of receiving this call on his call log. We’re perfectly secure. Just put your mind at rest.”
Easier said than done. How would my mind be at rest when I had become the partner in a grievous crime? Or when we were busy maltreating a beautiful girl; someone on whom I was already developing a soft-spot?
“I will call back the man after half an hour,” continued the master-planner. “The thirty minutes would give him a better time to want to listen to our terms.”
I stared at the man and decided that he must have been a born-criminal. He was gifted with an impressive criminal acumen. This was the kind of person the Kirikiri inmates would be glad to have among them. It was a pity that I was in league with this paragon of criminalhood.
At exactly 8:45pm, Mr Dada placed the call again. He made sure the call was placed on loudspeaker.
“Ana! Is that you?” The bereaved man asked immediately.
“No, Mr Oputa, this isn’t your daughter.”
“Where is my daughter?”
“She’s still alive for now.”
“What have you done to her?”
“You should worry about what we are going to do to her if you don’t keep your mouth shut and listen to my instructions.”
“Please don’t hurt her. I’ll do everything you ask.”
“Good. Today is Monday, in two days’ time, a hundred million naira should be ready to be delivered by you to a location which would be given to you early Wednesday morning. So, naturally, you should know that the money should be ready tomorrow. Listen to me carefully, Mr Oputa, there will be a terrible consequence if you don’t comply. If the money is not available on Wednesday, I’ll send you one of your daughter’s ears. If the same occurs the next day, you will receive her other ear. Then I’ll send you her finger every hour until the money gets here. You are free to get the police involved if you are ready to receive her head in a box. You shall receive further instructions later.” Before the man could protest, Mr Dada terminated the call.
He turned towards me and said, “I’m going out to get us dinner. Watch the girl.” Then he was gone.
That moment, I knew I would never like the man. His Messiah complex was quite annoying. I sat there in the living room, thinking about everything. How did I get myself in this mess in the first place? Was it only because of the false certificates or my greed to have a part of the ransom? It could be plain stupidity. I allowed myself to be manipulated by a man conceited as Mr Dada; someone whose moral compass had never pointed north as far as I knew. Then my thought drifted towards our captive. Anastasia. That name alone sent a sensation through my body. I didn’t like what the terrible man was doing to her. I thought about freeing her, but that would be very risky. I would be done for if the man returned and discovered what I had done; he could shoot me dead. His gun could be loaded, mine was not. I wasn’t ready to take the chance of standing before a pistol, loaded or not. I stood up and went into the room where Anastasia was kept. Her head was rested against her chest, but she looked up as soon as I came in. She looked at me with pleading eyes. I gently moved close to her and loosened her gag.
“P-please, l-let me go!” Her voice was shaking.
“I’m sorry I can’t do that.”
“Th-the man i-is going to k-kill me.” She stammered on.
“Nothing is going to happen to you. I will not allow that. You will be free as soon as your father pays the ransom.”
Her lips shook as she spoke, “wh-why a-are you doing th-this?”
“I have no choice.”
“You s-seem like a n-nice man.”
Okay. That was it. I returned the gag and returned to the living room. Another nice word from her might make me do something I would regret; something that would cause me to wear a bullet like perfume.
Mr Dada returned thirty minutes later with sizzling fast food for three. He went into the special room and untied Anastasia. The three of us went to the dining table and attacked the food. The food wasn’t the greatest, but it was edible. Barely.
“It’s time to go to bed,” God remarked, “tomorrow is another day.” Then he turned to Anastasia, “Listen to me carefully, young lady, I don’t want to tie you down. So, you’re going to behave yourself. All the doors are securely locked and the windows are burglary-proof; there is nowhere for you to escape. And please don’t try anything funny. I’m a very dangerous man. Don’t try to play smart with me. You’re a very beautiful woman; it would be such a pity if you lost that beauty. You will be allowed to sleep on the bed in your room while we sleep here in the living room. Because the room has no personal toilet, I’m not going to lock you in. But always remember that I’m a very light sleeper. There would be a loaded pistol under my pillow. The lights would be on all through the night. Sleep tight. Good night.” With that, he went to lie down on the couch, with his gun resting under his pillow. Anastasia stared at him for a moment before heading to her room.
“Where am I going to sleep?” I asked.
With his eyes still shut, he abruptly replied, “The floor.”
Again, my hatred for him grew like pregnancy. The man could really make a sunny day cloudy with his dispositions. I laid on the bare rug; there was not anything on which to literally rest my head. Undoubtedly, my neck would be sprained by dawn.
Dawn came earlier than I thought. The major part of the morning was spent watching our captive. Mr Dada went out again to get us some breakfast. I was even beginning to feel like a captive too. The day went off slowly. He spent a longer time trying to find us dinner this time; he spent over two hours.
Finally, the D-day arrived—a Wednesday. At exactly ten o’clock, he placed a call to Mr Oputa.
“Good morning, Mr Oputa,” he said, “Listen very carefully, sir. You will have to deliver the money by 2 this afternoon. Failure to do that will cost your daughter an ear. Now this is the instruction: leave two bags containing fifty million naira each at 55 Alora Street, Yaba. Alora is a very popular street in Yaba and number 55 is an uncompleted building. Remember, the bales must be in a thousand naira denominations and the bags must be padlocked. Just drop the bags in the building. You shall be contacted by 3pm about where to find your daughter or a part of her.” Call ended. He turned to me and said, “Oscar, this is where you are most needed. Pull this successfully and you’ll have a clean record with me, and an additional twenty million naira reward.”
I knew what was coming but I asked anyway, “What do you need me to do?”
“You will go and bring the money.”
“Because I need to stay behind and watch over Anastasia.”
A plain-faced lie; an obvious phonus-balonus. From small fibs, mighty prevarications grow. I was no stupe; I knew he was pushing me forward to walk into the lion’s den. The Managing Director could have gotten the police involved. I could be walking into a trap. Mr Dada was pushing me as a pawn. I found myself agreeing to go into the den. I must have been under a spell.
He checked his wristwatch and said, “You should now be on your way; there may be heavy traffic jam. The earlier you leave the better. You should arrive there by three o’clock. Take the car.”
“I’m not going in that car without its license plates!”
Mr Dada shrugged, “If that’s what you want. The plates are in the booth. You can screw them back on.”
I spent thirty minutes to fix the license. Then I drove out of the compound at exactly one o’clock. I got to the location at a couple of ticks past 3pm. The street was a filthy one in which fierce dogs chased piglets through the refuse and barefoot children played in the mud. Before getting out of the vehicle, I carefully scanned the area for any suspicious person lurking around. I exercised a patience that would have made Job weep with envy; I spent a whole fifteen minutes in the car, surveying the environment. Satisfied that there was nothing suspicious, I came out of the vehicle and went into Number 55, Alora Street. There, at a corner, were the bags. The zips were locked securely as instructed. Without wasting time, I picked up the bags and headed for the car, whistling like a frightened kid walking through a graveyard on his way home. A part of me was expecting policemen in large numbers to come out of their hidings with guns drawn. Fortunately, nothing of such happened; all I could see around me was a priest swearing at a cab driver over a fare. I dropped the bags in the back-seat and drove away. My heart was banging furiously as I drove homeward. Here was a hundred million naira in a seat behind me! My mind told me to get lost with the money. No one would find me. Even Mr Dada would not be able to do anything to me. I would live in affluence under another name. I had a chance to become a very rich man. I could change my name to someone else. I had been a hussler all my life, and I didn’t foresee the day when I would be able to finally relax comfortably and stop scrambling for a crust—an opportunity to redeem myself from my wretchedness had just presented itself. I would be a fool if I didn’t grab it. The crazy man could go ahead and report my fake certificates. To hell with him.
I was about to take a different route when one other factor crept into my merry-go-round brain; my mind drifted back to Anastasia. That poor girl. I couldn’t imagine what Mr Dada would do to her if I didn’t return with the money. I couldn’t allow him to cut off her pretty ear. He could even kill her in anger. No, I couldn’t allow that. Anastasia was worth more than a hundred million naira to me. No, I wasn’t going to run. I hoped someday Anastasia would realise the sacrifice I made for her.
I drove back to the bungalow. By the time I was close to the house I was singing mightily and revising the lyrics of that old spiritual to ‘Swing high, sweet chariot’, for I was in a frolicsome mood. The gate was ajar so I didn’t need to come out of the car. I drove straight into the compound, debouched from the car and carried the bags out. They were quite heavy. I was expecting Mr Dada to come out of the house and help with one of the bags. But the over-bloated proud man didn’t come out; I wasn’t surprised. Well, he should have the money and get everything done with. I might not care to break bread with him, but I was more than happy to bake the loaf. He should release the innocent girl to her father.
But there was no Mr Dada when I entered the house. I dropped the bag on the floor. I called his name but there was no reply. I sat down tired. Maybe he went out to get some dinner. The time was already about 6pm. After resting for five minutes, I decided to go and check on our captive. I went to where Mr Dada usually hid the key of the room.
When I opened the door, what greeted me was shocking.
Lying faced down on the bed was Anastasia. There was a gruesome bullet hole at the back of her head. There was blood everywhere. The room was like a slaughterhouse. I shrank back in horror. How the hell did this happen? Why would Mr Dada kill her? What did the girl do wrong? My heart shattered into pieces! Hot rage clouded my vision. I was so mad that I couldn’t stand straight. I held onto the doorframe for support, still confused and angry. There was a hundred million naira in the sitting room and the corpse of the girl I loved in the bedroom. Where the hell was Mr Dada? I was in a state that wrath could go no further.
Then my phone rang.
The number was hidden. I needed no one to tell me it was Mr Dada calling. I picked up the call immediately.
“Hello Oscar.” I nearly fainted when I heard the voice. Rationality spun out of control. At first I thought I was losing my hearing. Sweat broke out of my forehead. The voice—the voice I was hearing wasn’t Mr Dada’s. Oh, my God!
Unless my hearing was beyond repair; by jove, it was Anastasia’s voice!
The voice gave a loud laugh at the other end. I couldn’t believe my ear. How was this possible? Before me was the corpse of Anastasia. How come she was speaking to me on phone?
“A-a-a-nastasia?” I asked, my voice breaking horribly.
“You sound surprised to hear my voice, Oscar.”
“You-you are dead.”
Then it dawned on me. My eyes were opened. I understood the horrow going on. The phone was still pressed against my ear as I walked towards the corpse. I turned it around and my fear was confirmed. The corpse wasn’t Anastasia; it was another fair lady dressed in Anastasia’s clothes.
“She’s not you!” I heard myself whisper into the phone.
“Finally!” She breathed.
“What’s happening, Anastasia?”
“What’s happening is that you’re being played for a sucker, Oscar. Like an Ipod Shuffle, you allowed yourself to be played.”
“A sucker? Where is Mr Dada?”
“Gracious God!” I cried, all in a dither. “Anastasia, what have you done?”
“It’s nothing personal, Oscar. You’re just a pawn in this game. You see, Dada and I were lovers. No, let me start from the beginning. I’m not exactly Mr Oputa’s daughter; I was adopted by him when I was only seven. I never considered him my father but I decided to live with him because of his lovely wife. The woman was the greatest woman I had ever known. She made me feel so loved; she was a true mother to me. I loved her as much as she loved me. Then she died three years ago. Her death was the knife that severed my connection with the family. Since that moment of her death, I never wanted anything to do with Mr Oputa. I just dislike the man for no reason.
“To cut the story short, I met Dada, one of Mr Oputa’s employees, six months ago. He fell in love with me and we started having a secret affair. My supposed father didn’t even know Dada was one of his hundreds of employees in one of his companies. It took me a very short time to realise that Dada was interested in me because I was the Managing Director’s daughter. Two months ago, I told him that I had found a way to make us very wealthy. We needed a scape-goat to make us very rich. Then you came along with your false certificates. There was no better scape-goat to use.
“So we planned to blackmail you into participating in a well-planned kidnap. Everything was perfectly timed. I was never a student of University of Lagos. We planned everything. He had to handle me roughly to make it look real. So he slapped me and pushed me into the car. The idiot couldn’t even pull a straight face. He kept smiling as you drove us to the hide-out. He was making jest of you, not believing how silly you could be. It was really funny to him. I was trying to cry and he was there laughing.
“You know all that happened thereafter, except the calls to Mr Oputa. In your presence, Dada put the call on speaker and told Mr Oputa to get the ransom ready by Wednesday. What you didn’t know was that when Dada went out to get us dinner that evening he called Mr Oputa again and told him to get the money ready the next day—which was yesterday evening. But you didn’t know that. He went over to retrieve the money yesterday evening. Following my instructions, he replaced the initial bags with two other bags filled with newspapers, the zip of each bag was securely padlocked.
“He returned with the money in the booth of the car and our dear dinner in a fancy nylon bag. We had our dinner as usual. Now, it was in the middle of the night, when you were fast asleep, that he retrieved the money from the booth. The money was hidden under the bed in the room I occupied. Of course, you didn’t know anything, you didn’t even know that there was another human being under that bed. So, this morning, Dada placed a false call in your presence, speaking to an imaginary Mr Oputa. This time, he didn’t put the call on speaker, because he wasn’t making any call. You were sent on a fool’s errand.
“But there is one last thing you need to know. Before you and Dada kidnapped me, Dada and I had already kidnapped the daughter of another Managing Director. She was in the same room I occupied, but you couldn’t see her because she was hidden under the bed, and she was always injected with sleeping drugs. Now, when you were busy driving to pick the money that was never there, we brought out the girl—someone who shared my skin colour—and dressed her in my clothes, then we placed her faced-down on the bed. With a gloved hand, he picked up the gun he gave to you, loaded it with bullets and shot the girl on the back of the head.
“As soon as that was done, we hired another car, put the one hundred million naira in the booth and went to retrieve another ransom of a hundred million naira very close-by. Now, I’m two hundred million rich. All thanks to you and Dada. Oh, I haven’t finished. I’m afraid I’ve been stalling. You didn’t hear me drive into this compound in the other hired car. Now I’m driving out of this godforsaken place with the vehicle you drove in. The other car is now left with you. It contains the remains of Dada. I shot him with the same gun he used to kill that poor girl.
“I have a very terrible news for you, Mr Oscar DaSilva. You’re going to jail. I’ve tipped the police about the whereabouts of the Managing Director’s kidnapped daughter. I think they’ll reach your gate anytime soon. Goodbye, Oscar.” The call was terminated.
I rushed out of the house like someone whose clothes were on fire. Outside was the other car. I quickly sat behind the wheels. There was a key at the ignition. I turned it anxiously. Nothing. The police must not find me here. At the back-seat was the corpse of Mr Dada—a bullet hole on his forehead. I panicked and turned the ignition again. Still nothing. I quickly stepped out of the car and ran towards the gate. Down the road was a police car approaching with sirens blaring. And farther down was the back-view of the black car speeding away—the car that contained Anastasia and two hundred million naira.
The police car was very close now. The sirens blaring loudly. The sirens seemed to be speaking one word over and over. Kirikiri-Kirikiri-Kirikiri!
Episode 12 of Sacrilege would be up tomorrow, 12pm.