KILLER - Episode 8

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Nigeria's Leading Fictional Story Blog - A team of investigators, travelled to Anambra State, later found dead downstream, Honda Civic, hair glistened under the gaze of the sun, killer, work with his family, the river, China Town, blood, the cliff.

“I want you to follow Igbokwe wherever he goes.  Don’t let him out of your site. If he is our guy, we need to know how he does it,” Oifie ordered a team of four investigators. “And you, you have to follow Chidoka. Make sure you don’t let him find out that you are following him,” he instructed another team. Both teams camped in front of their respective targets. In the meantime, Oifie and Ogechi traveled to Chidoka’s village in Abia State while Uzokwe and Gbolahan traveled to Anambra State to dig into Igbokwe’s background.

“Did Chidoka kill his cousins?” Oifie asked Arunna, the oldest man in Umule Uturu, Chidoka’s original village. “We don’t know. It was a tragic incident. He went to the river with his cousins only to come back crying that they died…swept by fast-moving waters. They were later found dead downstream in Umunkpuke. People said he killed them, but he denied it vehemently. We may never know the truth, but the pressure got to him, so he left the village. He has never returned.” “So, you are not sure if he killed the girls?” Ogechi asked. “There is no way of knowing, my daughter.”   Ogechi and Oifie stared at each other. Some people in the village were convinced he killed them while some said he did not or that they were not sure.

The gate opened and Chidoka pulled into the street in his Mercedes E class. He turned left and drove up the hill. Then, he turned left sharply and quickly slowed down. He saw the black Honda Civic drive in his direction. He pulled up completely and watched. There were two men in the car. He could tell right away that they were policemen. They looked straight and drove past him. He reversed and drove in the opposite direction. He made sure to look in the rear view mirror to find out if he was still being followed. There was nothing to suggest that the police were still on his trail. He stepped on the accelerator and zoomed away. In the distance, a white Toyota Camry followed him carefully. The police investigators had split into two teams. While the Honda Civic team had blown their cover, the Camry team worked carefully, tailing Chidoka wherever he went.

Anulika looked at herself in the mirror. She had been mourning her best friend, Ifunanya the second girl that was murdered. Now, she wants to take the law into her own hands. She felt very strongly about her convictions, and since the police would not act on her tip, she was eager to do something about it. She applied a heavy dose of red lip gloss on her lips. Then she looked at her nails which she had glossed up meticulously. Her hair glistened under the gaze of the sun. She slid into a micro mini skirt that barely covered her up. Then, she put on a scanty top which exposed her belly glaringly and exposed her cleavage provocatively. She made sure to wear flat shoes in case she had to run. She walked up Relay quarters and then turned onto Nzekwe Street.

She walked slowly, stopping every now and again to see if she was being followed. She did not see any one following her. Then, she reached Ilukwe Street and slowed down further, yet there was no one coming. The streets were beginning to look deserted. She turned onto Owerri Road, took an alley and walked across back onto Nzekwe Street. Midway through the street, she pretended to have lost her step. She fell carefully, exposing her busts as much as she could afford. Then, she dragged herself up and began to walk home. She made sure not to hurry on her way up. When she reached home, she walked inside, leaving her door open. She made sure to leave her window open too. Then, she took a big teddy bear and placed it on her bed, near her bedroom window, which was wide open. Then, she stood beside the window with all her lights off. She had a machete in had and in every corner of her room was a knife or machete waiting to be put to use. Her heart was beating. She would peek into the street every few minutes. After half an hour, she began to wonder if she had been able to catch the attention of the killer.

An hour later, she decided to go to bed. As she turned to close her window, she saw a figure peeking towards her apartment from behind a mango tree in front of her building. He could not see her, but she could see him with the help of the light in front of the building. Her heart was beating real fast. The man was wearing a mask over his face. This is him, Anulika thought frenetically. She held her long machete with both hands and stood beside her open window, waiting for the killer’s entry any moment as her heart drummed feverishly.

“Okon,” Oifie said into the phone. “Yes sir,” replied Okon. “How is Igbokwe doing?” “He is in his house. Since he returned from work, he has not gone anywhere. Actually, he tends to stay at home after work with his family.” “I hope you are not sleeping on duty?” No sire, we are not. We are watching him closely. We are parked a good distance from his house. We follow him to work, meetings and to market. We are on red alert, sir.” “Good.” Oifie hung up and called the team that was watching Chidoka. They too explained that they were camped all around his compound, following him around town by switching cars every few hours. They told him that he was in the habit of retiring to his bedroom after work. “He knows we are watching him though. He made some funny moves yesterday to beat one of our teams. We are being careful though to camouflage our presence, sir.” “Good, keep watching him,” he urged them.

A few minutes flew by and there was no sign of the killer. Some minute’s earlier; Anulika thought she had seen his shadow peeping into her bedroom through the window. What is taking him too long? She thought anxiously. Her heart nearly jumped out of her mouth. She knew she could not move, so she remained still by the window. Her heart continued to pound relentlessly. She heard her front door squeak. Is he taking the door? She wondered. She had left both the door and window open to make absolutely sure that the killer took her bait. Now, it seemed he had gone for the door. If she moved towards the door to the bedroom, the killer might hear her. Besides, fear had left her momentarily transfixed. She could not move. All she could think of was to swing that machete at him. She listened hard, but all she could hear was the chaotic pounding of her poor heart.

Bang! The killer raced into the bedroom, ferociously pushing the door open. This was his strategy – surprise. He mistook the covered big teddy bear on the bed for Anulika and pounced on it. Tozaa!!! Anulika mustered all the strength and will in her to land a deep cut in his thigh. “Ayoo!!!” The killer cried in excruciating pain, grabbing his bleeding thigh. He managed to scramble to is feet, reaching for the door and he sought to save his dear life. Tozaa!!! Anulika delivered another deep cut in his back as he reached for the living room. “Chineke mee!!! (Oh my God!!!)” He cried. He pushed his bruised and bleeding body towards the exit door. Anulika was driven by raw adrenaline gushing through her bloodstream. Violent anger from the death of her dear friend Ifunanya at the hands of the killer stirred her like a whirlwind looking to erase everything in its path. Emboldened by her efforts, she flipped on the light. The killer was close to the exit door, with a pool of blood trailing right behind him.

Anulika pulled at the killer’s mask…he tried to fight her off but she held on with her left hand while placing the machete in position for another blow. The killer grabbed his pen knife from his pocket and stabbed her left hand. She pulled away, grabbing her stabbed left hand with her right. The killer dashed into the hallway and ran for dear life. “The killer is here!!!” Anulika shouted, running after him with her machete ready to do more damage. “He is bleeding. People come and help!!!” She shouted. Some locked their door hard enough while some peeped through cracks and windows. A few men ran out and charged in whatever direction the voice was coming from.

“Where is he?” One of Anulika’s neighbors, Izunna asked. He too was wielding a machete. “That way!” she shouted pointing. “I hurt him badly. He won’t go far…he is bleeding. Let’s chase him,” Anulika urged Izunna. They chased after the killer who dragged his body to run as fast as he could. More people joined the chase. The killer’s blood led them in the path he was going. Soon, the policemen in front of Igbokwe and Chidoka’s houses got wind of the chase. Some people had called to tell them that the killer was being chased away from Nzekwe Street. “They say he is being pursued, sir,” Okon told Oifie over the phone. “Do we remain here or do we join the chase?”  He asked. “How can that be? Does it mean the killer is neither of the two men you guys have been watching?” “I don’t know sir.” “Remain where you are. If it is either of them, he will run home eventually. Call the bomb squad to join the chase,” Oifie shouted out instructions to him.

The killer was bleeding profusely. He was ravaged by pain and fatigue, yet he won’t stop. He knew one place where he could hide from everyone, and he was not too far away. Don’t give up now, he urged himself as the chasing pack closed the gap behind him. He dashed down the slope on the east side of China Town Primary School and headed toward the river. He needed to break his blood trail by throwing himself into the river. He pushed on, urging himself as he went. “There he is!!” Anulika shouted. She was still leading the charge, eager to catch this brutal monster. The killer stood atop a cliff on the end of a farm. He looked behind and saw flashlight dashing towards him. He could run no more. Dogs were barking too. His chasing park had brought dogs. Then, there were police sirens everywhere.

He looked down towards the river from the cliff and then back toward his chasers. He was beginning to feel mentally hazy. He had lost so much blood, but he wouldn’t quit. “I see him on the cliff,” Izunna shouted, flashing a torch. “Catch him!!!” Voices shouted in unison. The killer let himself go. Like a falling log of wood, he dropped downwards toward the fast-flowing river. It had rained heavily for the past few days, so the river was flooded with water. Like a piece of rag, his battered body dangled and floated downriver. Some people attempted to climb down the cliff, but it was too late. No one dared jump into the fast-moving water. They hissed and whined, ruing their missed opportunity.

The bomb squad arrived shortly and sent men in cars to the other side of town beyond Bisala road to await any floating body. They relayed the situation to Oifie who was still in Abia State. “Send men to Igbokwe’s house now and another group to Chidoka’s immediately. I want to know if both men are at home. Report to me whatever you find out immediately We are on our way back in the morning. Make sure you flood the entire area with men and police dogs. Find him…find him by all means!” His voice was laced with anxiety. He could sense how close they had been.

“Madam, is your husband at home?” A policeman asked Igbokwe’s wife. “Yes, he is sleeping,” she answered. About the same time, Chidoka’s gateman informed the police team that he too was sleeping at home. “Please wake him up. It is very important that we talk to him now!” They said authoritatively. “Yes, sir,” the gate man answered as he picked up the intercom and dialed Chidoka’s room. There was no answer. “Let me wake him,” Igbokwe’s wife told the police as she headed for the bedroom.


                                            CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 7

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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KILLER - Episode 8
Nigeria's Leading Fictional Story Blog - A team of investigators, travelled to Anambra State, later found dead downstream, Honda Civic, hair glistened under the gaze of the sun, killer, work with his family, the river, China Town, blood, the cliff. An African Literary Blog
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