KILLER - Episode 9

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - killer, his focus on the house ahead, The police officer, moving his business to Lagos, He was eager to get to Enugu, His gate man, Samsung flat screen television, palatial couches that smacked of opulence, the river, covered upstream and downstream, apartment, policemen.

The killer dragged his bruised and battered body out of the water. The flowing river had carried him into a hedge of tree stumps on the bank. He limped out of the water, staggered to the sandy beach and fell down. He tried to catch his breath. He knew it was only a matter of time before the police started swarming through the bushes. After catching his breath, he staggered to his feet and began to walk through the bushes. He could see a house on the hill off Bisala Road. It was the closest house to the river. He could only see very little around him. The sky was pitch dark. He kept his focus on the house ahead. He hoped there was some way to break into the house without being noticed. He was still in pain, and he knew his wounds would soon get infected if he could not find some alcohol to clean them up. After a tedious walk through the thick brushes, he reached the high walls of the building. Slowly, he circled the wall, looking for an elevated platform from which to climb into the compound.

“Wake him up!” The police officer yelled at Chidoka’s gate man. “I am trying, but he is not responding,” the scared gate man responded. “Then, go inside and wake him up!” The gate man left his small cubicle and entered the main building, heading towards Chidoka’s room in the big house. Igbokwe’s wife entered their bedroom and then took the back door to the backyard. Igbokwe had been sleeping in their neighbor’s house. Their neighbor, Okoye was in the process of moving his business to Lagos, so he had been spending a lot of time in Lagos. Igbokwe looked after the apartment for him in the meantime while he worked out logistics towards moving to Lagos full time. She knocked on the door and waited. There was no response. Then, she knocked again, and there was no response. Igbokwe sleeps like a log of wood, she thought as she returned to their bedroom to collect the spare key to Okoye’s apartment.

“Have you reached those men?” Oifie asked his men over the phone. He and Ogechi were driving back to Enugu. He was driving at a pace that scared the living daylight out of Ogechi. “Slow down before you kill the two of us,” Ogechi had reminded him twice already, but he would not listen to her. He was eager to get to Enugu. “No sir. We are waiting here for Chidoka. His gate man has gone to fetch him.” “What of Igbokwe?” “Okon and his men are there now. We’ll have an answer for you in a few minutes.” “I don’t like the sound of that! A few minutes sound like a long time. I need answers now!” “We are doing our best, sir.” “What if neither of these two men is the killer?” Ogechi remarked. “But we need to reach them now to rule them out,” Oifie yelled back at her.

The killer found a decent elevation at the back of the building. He felt a stinging pain in his back and thigh as he stretched to reach a branch from which he intended to latch onto the wall. He winced as he grabbed hold of the wall. It was slippery from the persistent rain over the past few days. His first attempt to get to the peak of the wall failed. He slipped to the ground. The second time, he managed to get hold of the wall. He buried his nails in the wall and dragged his body to the top. He looked into the compound, scanning the length and breadth of it. The lights inside were all off, while the outside lights beamed with life. There was a small cubicle by the gate to the right, but it looked empty. Perhaps the gate man is sleeping on duty, he thought. He jumped carefully into the compound and hid behind a pillar as he listened for any kind of movement. There was none, so he crept towards the gate.

When he reached the cubicle, there was no one inside. He sighed in relief. Now, he could focus on the main building. He found an old spanner and screwdriver in the cubicle. From the look of things, someone had used the cubicle lately. Maybe the gate men is just not on duty today, he wondered as he carefully headed for one of the doors in the main building. He had broken into a lot of buildings in his time, and this one was no different. In no time, he was inside the house. He left the door ajar as a source of light to illuminate the living room. The building was a one storey duplex. The living room downstairs was like a cathedral – spacious to a fault. A giant Samsung flat screen television stood in one corner, away from palatial couches that smacked of opulence.

I have to find out if anyone is at home before I can find some of first aid, he said as he carefully walked to the kitchen in search of a knife. The kitchen was equally palatial with large cupboards, a giant dining table and a large gas cooker. He pulled one of the cupboards open and it made a loud squeaky noise. His heart skipped a bit. He stopped; frozen in his tracks. “Who is there?” A female voice shouted from upstairs. The killer looked in the cupboard and found a big knife. He quickly grabbed it and stood behind the door. He listened intently, ‘harassed’ by the pounding of his heart. He stood still ready to pounce any moment should anyone walk through that door. After about five minutes, no one showed up. Maybe, she was just checking to see if there was anyone here, he thought. He waited another five minutes before sneaking back into the living room, camping at the base of the stairs.

After waiting at the base of the stairs for some time, he began a slow and careful ascent of the stairs. When he reached the top of the stairs, he quickly noted the number of room up there – five in all. His eyes had adapted to the darkness. He had no idea where the voice had come from some minutes back, but he suspected that it was the first room to the left atop the stairs. His heart was still beating. He quickly smashed the knife against the wall and hid in a small space between the stairs and the first room. “Is anyone there?” The same voice asked again. The door opened slowly and a woman in her mid to late thirties emerged. She had a big stick in hand. She turned on the light, but before she could head down the stairs, the killer leapt out of his hiding spot and swooped on her. Before she could shout, he placed a hand over her mouth. He knocked her quickly to the ground and held the knife over her head. “If you fight back, I will kill you!” He said in a hushed tone. Fear was scribbled all over her face.

“Mommy, are you there?” The voice of a young boy emanated from the next room. “How many people are in this house?” The killer asked her in a low, muffled tone. He loosened his grip over her mouth to let her talk. “If you yell, you’d be dead before you even know it,” he warned her. “I won’t yell,” she promised. “How many people?” “My son, my daughter and myself.” “Are you married?” “My husband is away this week.” “Is that you mommy? Who are you talking to? Is daddy back?” The woman’s son asked. “Answer him…tell him to stay in bed,” he instructed her. “It is me darling. No, daddy is not back yet. Just stay in bed my dear,” she said, managing to calm her voice. “Get up,” the killer instructed her. She obliged. He dragged her to the bedroom and tied her to the bed and gagged her afterwards. “Do you have a first aid box in at home?” He asked her. She nodded affirmatively. “Where is it…in the kitchen?” She nodded again. He made sure she was firmly tied to the bed before walking over to the next room. He grabbed her son, placing his hand over his mouth. He took her to the same room as her mother. He gagged him and tied him to the bed as well.

Then, he did the same to her daughter who was in the next room. They cried in crippling fear, wondering if he was going to kill them. He returned to the kitchen and rummaged for the first aid box. When he found it, he poured alcohol on a band aid and placed it over the wound on his thigh. He winced in pain for a moment after placing the alcohol-infused band aid on his wound. After the pain had subsided, he worked meticulously to wipe the wound on his back with alcohol as well. The pain was almost unbearable. He nearly shouted out loud. Both wounds were deep and wide. Anulika delivered terribly cuts with her machete.

Oga (Sir), the police are here,” the gate man explained to Chidoka. He had banged on the door a few times before Chidoka finally answered. He had a lady friend over. She was curled up in bed. “What are they here for?” He asked angrily standing at the door of his bedroom. “I don’t know sir. They want to talk to you.” Chidoka changed into something more decent and walked to the gate. He was fuming. “What is this all about? Can’t you leave me alone?” He yelled at the most senior police officer. “We are doing our job. There has been another attack, so we are merely checking on everyone that has been a suspect in this case,” the policeman explained. “It wasn’t me. I have been here all night and all evening.” The policemen asked him to turn his back. Angrily, he did and the policeman felt his back. “I am really sorry; please could you remove your shirt?” “Why?” “I promise; we’ll leave after this. It is very important.” Reluctantly, he took off his shirt and turned his back. He did not have a cut.

“It is not Chidoka, sir,” the policemen explained to Oifie over the phone. “Leave now. Head towards the River. I want every man in the area to go to the river. Get search dogs and flashlights and begin to ransack the bushes around the river. Make sure that you have men upstream and downstream, so he does not have any escape on either end of the river.” “What if he strays away from the river banks towards Bisala?” The officer asked him. “That is where you should start your search once you have covered upstream and downstream.” “Okay sir.” “What about Igbokwe?” “I have not heard from Okon.” “Then find out what is going on.”

Igbokwe’s wife placed the key in the keyhole, squeezed and pushed the door open. “Igbokwe!” She yelled as she entered the apartment, but there was no sign of him. She searched the entire apartment, but he was nowhere to be found. She began to breath faster. What is going on? She wondered. Where is he? Anxiety descended heavily on her. Her legs shook as she walked back to the policemen who had been waiting patiently at the front door. “Where is your husband?” They asked her. “I can’t…I can’t find him?” “What? You said he was at home?” “He was supposed to be next door in our neighbor’s apartment.” The policemen charged into the house and walked into the apartment next door following her lead. Inside, there was no sign of Igbokwe. When they found his phone, which was lying on the desk beside the bed, they found bloody images. Okon could not look at the images. He had taken pictures of naked and bloodied girls on his phone.


                                           CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 8
Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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KILLER - Episode 9
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - killer, his focus on the house ahead, The police officer, moving his business to Lagos, He was eager to get to Enugu, His gate man, Samsung flat screen television, palatial couches that smacked of opulence, the river, covered upstream and downstream, apartment, policemen. An African Literary Blog
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