KILLER - Episode 1

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Facebook account on his iPhone, off his muscular body, She pecked their daughter, the glossy blade against the moon, Ogui Police Station, killed, late at night, Enugu, serial killer.

 Amarachi took another look at herself in the mirror. She was clad in gym shorts and shirt and a pair of Nike running sneakers. She turned and stared at her backside. Then, she climbed the weighing scale in their bedroom. She had been running intensely in an attempt to lose weight. “Your shape is da bomb,” said Obinna, her husband who was lying on the bed browsing through his Facebook account on his iPhone. “Your figure makes me colo,” he added, borrowing a line from P Square’s song. They had been married for less than two years. After their first child, Amarachi had set out to lose the fat she packed up during pregnancy. She had been running non-stop for over three months. As she climbed the scale, her heart was beating. She was hoping to lose enough weight to encourage her to keep running. She closed her eyes for a moment, and then peered at the screen. “I lost 16 kilograms!” She shouted with exhilaration.

 “I am very proud of you my sweet wife,” Obinna said without looking at her. His eyes were fixated on the video he was watching on Facebook. Amarachi hopped off the scale and ran to the living room where their house help, Azuka was tending to their daughter. She pecked their daughter, Omalicha on the chick and she giggled. Then, she headed for the door. She began to jug towards Nzekwe Street. It was about 10:00PM.  The streets were fairly empty by now. Nzekwe Street was lined with Mango trees on either side. She took a left turn at the junction between Nzekwe Street and Owerri Road, heading towards Okorie Street. He had seen her run about the same time three times a week. He lurked behind tall grass on O’Connor Street. He looked left and right and there was no one coming. Any moment now, she will run by. His heart was beating fast. The next house from his hiding spot was at least, a hundred and fifty yards away.

A cool breeze rustled fallen leaves on the streets of Enugu. It was mid-November and harmattan was in full force. She liked the feel of that cool breeze against her face. All of a sudden, a figure dashed out from behind a hedge of tall grass and wrapped his right hand around her mouth. She attempted to shout, but she could not hear herself. Her voice was completely muffled. His arms were strong. She kicked and punched as hard as she could, but it was as if she was throwing punches against a rock. They bounced off his muscular body without doing any damage. He dragged her back behind the tall grass. His hand remained firmly over her mouth.

“If you don’t keep quiet, I will kill you,” he threatened brandishing a sharp knife. She could see the glossy blade against the moon. Her heart pounded like a talking drum. Her body shook intensely. Quickly, he cut her dress open and yanked her underwear away. “If you talk, I will stab you to death and run away before anyone shows up,” he reiterated his threat. Then, he proceeded to rape her. His hand remained over her mouth all the time. She cried in a low, muffled tone as he pounded away on top of her. She caught a glimpse of him against the glowing moon. She was sure that she had seen him somewhere before, There was a scar on his face. She had seen it before. She flickered through her mind for an answer. 

Soon, he was satisfied. He climbed off her body, pulled up his pants and without warning, he put the knife through her chest, with his hand over her mouth. She kicked and squirmed to no avail. There was fear in her eye as she gave up the ghost. She thought of her daughter and husband as she crossed over to the other side. He left her body there and walked away, covered in blood.

By morning, news of Amarchi’s horrific murder swept through Asata. Her killer had left the knife in her chest. The police was combing the area warning women to be careful at night. This was the second murder in less than two weeks in the area. Both women were killed at night and they were both raped before being murdered. Sergeant Gbolahan of the Ogui Police Station was assigned the case. He had nothing to go with as his investigation took off except mother luck. He hoped that somehow, luck would smile on him. He lacked the tools to take fingerprints from the knife and from Amarachi’s body. The first woman killed days back was about the same age as Amarachi – twenty seven. Both women were smashingly beautiful, physically toned and athletic. They both wore long braids (Bob Marley style).

Gbolahan and his team took pictures of Amarachi’s body with their phones and took her away. Obinna was shattered. He and Amarachi were deeply in love. They were known to walk the streets holding hands all the time and often stopping at night in street corners to steal a quick kiss. “She did not deserve to die,” he cried to Gbolahan. “Do you know anyone who might want to kill her?” Gbolahan asked. “No one; everyone loved her!” Omalicha had no idea that her dear mother was gone.

Two nights later, Ngozika worked briskly to close their shop. It was a Sunday so she had been at the shop at Artizan market alone. Her mother had gone to a meeting. Few shops were still open. Everyone was keen to close up and leave before the clock struck 10:00PM. Both women had been killed late at night so there was fear in the air. Ngozika walked briskly through Constain and then onto Relay quarters. There was an area with no street light. She could hear her heart beating fast as she reached the area. It was the only place that was not well lit in the area. As if on cue, the power company struck. Lights went out. She ran in an effort to get to their house quickly enough.

She would not make it. He appeared from nowhere like lightning, striking with scary precision. Before she could respond, there was a massive hand over her mouth. Another muscular hand lifted her up and dragged her into the garden a short distance from the street. He raped her and strangled her afterwards. Like a ghost, he disappeared as fast as he had appeared. It was obvious that a serial killer was on the loose in Enugu. By the next evening, people were in their homes by 6:30PM. Parents were sure to keep their daughters at home.

“We have to find this killer,” the DPO of Ogui police station told Gbolahan. “I know that sir, but it is hard to know where he will strike next.” “I don’t care how you find him…just find him. The governor is on my neck and people are dying.” “I will do my best sir.” Gbolahan began to study the areas where the killer had struck. The first woman was killed just north of Artizan market and the second off Okorie Street and the third in Relay quarters.  “The killer lives somewhere here,” Gbolahan said to his partner detective, Uzokwe. He pointed on the map as he spoke. “Why do you say that?” Uzokwe asked. “Look at where he has struck so far. I like to think that he carefully selects these women before he strikes. He knows their routine and he makes sure that their routines collide with his somehow. He has to be able to walk home after each murder, so he very likely lives on Owerri Road, Ilukwe Street, Port Harcourt Avenue or Ogui Road extension.

“I am very sure of this. Otherwise, it’d be hard for him to get away after each mother. I bet the next place he will likely strike is Obianor Street.” “You think so?” “Yes, I do. We have to post some policemen there tonight.” “That is, if he has a pretty woman that uses the area.” ‘You are right. If there is none there, he will likely strike on Bisala Road. Look at the map…it is easy for him to walk to any of the streets I mentioned earlier. We will post men to those streets tonight while you and I patrol Obianor Street and Bisala Road.” Two weeks went by and there was no murder. Then it was three weeks. Gbolahan pulled his men from those streets while he collected a list of all the men living on his streets of interest. It was 8:30PM. Ifunanya walked down her street. Her boyfriend had just left so she went to pick up a few things from the store. The streets were still full of people. Some streets had set up vigilante groups, so security men loitered the streets in search of a serial killer.

Ifunanya opened her door with her key and walked in. She went to the bathroom, removed her clothes and took a dip in the bathtub. With her eyes closed, she let soap lather sooth her body. The smell of her body wash filled her nostrils delightfully. All of a sudden, she thought she heard someone moving in her kitchen. She could not help but wonder if the killer had changed his pattern by attacking women in their homes. She took a towel, threw it around her body and ran to the kitchen. There was no one there. Relieved, she headed back to the bathroom. Her wardrobe doors flew open at the speed of light and a muscular man jumped out, grabbing her by the neck. He had a knife in hand. “Shh!!!” He instructed her. “If you talk, I will slit your throat,” he warned her.

“Follow me,” he ordered her and she obliged him. He walked her to her bedroom. “You made love with him right?” He asked, referring to her boyfriend who had just left.” “Is it you? Are you the killer?” She asked him. She was bemused. Shocked. “I ask the questions,” he ordered. He threw her down on the bed and yanked off the towel around her body. “Please don’t kill me,” she begged. “Call me honey,” he said. “Honey!!!” Ifunanya said ebulliently with the hope of saving her life. “Tell me how you like it,” he said as he mounted her. She closed her eyes as tears poured down. “Open your eyes…open your eyes and look at me,” he ordered her. She did as she was told.


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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KILLER - Episode 1
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Facebook account on his iPhone, off his muscular body, She pecked their daughter, the glossy blade against the moon, Ogui Police Station, killed, late at night, Enugu, serial killer. An African Literary Blog
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