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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - used a lot by the cultists, abducted Michael, stirred from unconsciousness, Axe Men, drums, black and red cloths, fire woods and palm trees, cutlass, knifes, big and small clay pots, candles, on the ground, a cutlass and a gun, the mission, the cult, cultism, number.

Outside University Campus, the Dusty Road
Michael could not get himself to take his mother’s call. How could he admit to her that his reckless lifestyle, which she had sternly warned him against, had landed him in trouble. He ignored the call and turned his attention to praying to God for a miraculous deliverance. His heart stopped when the Nissan Maxima came to an abrupt stop. The guys inside the car jumped out and dragged Michael out with violence. “Please!!! Spare me! I am not who you think I am! I don’t belong to any cult group! My name is Michael Adedeji. I am a year one student! Please don’t kill me!” Michael pleaded. His soulful cry fell on deaf ears. On both sides of the dusty, rough road, were some young men on motorcycles.

The young men who had dragged Michael out of the car, led him to one of the motorcycles and they rode off deeper into the bush with the other motorcycles following behind them.

They rode for about fifteen five minutes until they got to a thick cluster of trees in the bush, which from the look of it must have been used a lot by the cultists who abducted Michael. After stripping off some of his clothes, they began to beat Michael, using machetes and heavy sticks. The beating seemed like a group of boys beating a rat to death. Michael was beaten till he became unconscious; then a huge guy amongst them carried him on his shoulders further into the bush. When Michael stirred from unconsciousness, he began begging the guy who bore him on his shoulders to help him, but he was so weak that he couldn’t speak out. No one could hear what he was saying and neither were they interested. They walked through the bush for about 20 minutes till they got to a clear ground, the place was a perfect circle, wide and level and surrounded by bushes.

The ground contained drums, black and red cloths, fire woods and palm trees, cutlass, knifes, big and small clay pots, candles. Immediately Michael saw those things, no one needed to tell him that the place was a shrine to those who took him there. He was in the den of the Axe Men. He discovered that they bury people there because of the smell of blood and rotten flesh which filled the air. He imagined that mother earth was about to swallow him up. The smell of the environment was so unpleasant that it brought to mind some of the gory tales he had heard back when he was a boy. When they dropped Michael on the ground, he felt it was over for him because he couldn’t alarm anyone and he was far from the campus, town or any village.

They laid Michael flat on the ground, his belly facing the ground; and they tied his two hands and legs together at his back. Michael was covered with a lot of blood; to tell how much he had been beaten up. They left him on the ground and went to smoke weed.  While they smoked, they mocked Michael. Mujib was hurt as he repeated the fact that Michael was the least expected fool to have sex with his girlfriend. He had assumed Michael had slept with Suzane. He felt bitter to suffer that as the Number 4 in the cult group and a lot more worse as a result of what his subordinates would think and say of him. Mujib was expected to end Michael’s life to redeem his battered ego.

At this time the Number 3 in the ranking of the Axe Men was present and was a partaker in the operation.

After they finished smoking, they started some digging. Immediately, Michael knew what he was next. Mujib (the number 4), brought a cutlass and a gun and told Michael to choose one. Michael had two death options. He began to cry because he never dreamt of his death coming in the fashion which was unraveling before his eyes.

Meanwhile, back in Suzan’s apartment, the company of believers in there were on their knees praying fervently for Michael.

In the thick bush, Michael imagined what his parents would say when they learn of how he met his death. He felt terrible that his parents thought he was in school taking lectures, but instead he was in some hidden shrine where his body will never be found.

After they finished digging the ground, Michael was asked again to choose how he would like to die. He began begging Mujib once more, but he would have none of that. Instead he started slapping Michael on the head. Michael’s head was in turmoil, he felt like he was running mad because of the way Mujib was hitting his head.

God so good, at the point Michael thought it was all over for him, four guys walked in, to his amazement, he knew three of them, but he had no strength in his voice to even call out their names. Two of the guys lived on his street and were like big brothers to him. Michael had run errands for them a few times and hung around with them. One of them was an elder brother to his classmate in school.

Michael did not know that they were involved in cultism till that day. One of them that Michael liked so much and was close to, had an innocent look and charming character. He was the Number 2 of the Axe Men. Michael was astonished by his discovery. He didn’t see them clearly, his sight was blurry because of the blood which covered it, but he could recognize their voices.

When the Number 2, Dekunle by name, went over to see who the guy tied like a goat was, he was stunned to see it was Michael. He stepped over to Mujib and told him to abort the mission. The number 3 stepped up in defense of their mission and his friend Mujib and told Dekunle that they couldn’t because he already had discussed the mission with the cult in their last meeting and that they all agreed to it and gave him boys to execute the mission. Dekunle wouldn’t hear that, he told them that what they had done to Michael was enough and that Michael was his Cousin. He claimed that he had no clue it was his cousin, whom he loved very much, that they discussed in their last meeting.

On the heels of that, an argument broke out amongst them. Dekunle and Mujib both pointed guns at each other. Dekunle warned Mujib about the fact that if a number 4 in rank were to shoot a number 2, it would not harm him, and that if he, as number 2, should shoot anyone lower in rank, he would drop them dread in spite of their protective charms. With Dekunle and Mujib holding their guns in the air and pointing them at each other, Michael prayed for an end to his nightmare and implored God to save him.

Off School Accommodation
Tosin and Deji were forced to abandon the apartment they shared with Michael when they found out that the kush men who abducted Michael were Axe Men. The brutality of the Axe men was legendary. Tosin and Deji knew they could be targeted for whatever reason Michael was picked up by the dreaded cult group. They had to plead with a local boy to hide them in his father’s house while they sort how to recover their friend.

Just when Deji and Tosin thought that it could not get any worse, Deji’s sister called from Lagos to inform him that Chima and Lanre had been found by the police and that there was a chance that Chima had mentioned to the police the rounds of rapes which took place in Michael’s house during their nude party. After Deji informed Tosin what his sister had told him over the phone, Tosin picked his bag to flee from Osun state. He knew Chima would lead the police to his school. It was time to run. He took part in most of the rapes which took place the night of that party. Deji would not let him leave the house, fearing that he might run into Axe Men. All through that day and into the next, Deji and Tosin decided to do what on a good day, they would not have done. They decided to pray and fast for God’s intervention in their hydra headed plight.

In Abuja, the memories of the horrors Candy suffered in the hands of Chima, his friends and the police, suddenly seemed like distant incidents. Felix had turned out to be the real deal.

                 CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 18
                 CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 16

Written by:
Andrew Magege

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - used a lot by the cultists, abducted Michael, stirred from unconsciousness, Axe Men, drums, black and red cloths, fire woods and palm trees, cutlass, knifes, big and small clay pots, candles, on the ground, a cutlass and a gun, the mission, the cult, cultism, number. An African Literary Blog
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