RAIDERS OF THE INNOCENT - Episode 7

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - blood spewed out of his throat, soldier, guns, gunshots, river from the cliff, bullets, jeeps, downriver, river, village, vice president, president.



The soldier looked to his right to see if Colonel Sale and the rest of their group were coming. Idriga leapt to his feet with ferocious power, digging his dagger in the soldier’s throat. Before the soldier could respond, he was lying on the forest floor jerking as blood spewed out of his throat. Idriga took his gun and dashed off, barely looking back. “Isidinga!!!!” Idriga heard an emotional wail. It was the distinctive voice of Sale. Isidinga was the name of the soldier that Idriga had just killed. Sale’s voice was laced with deep pain and anger. He and his men dashed off in all directions, slashing through tree stems and brushes with machete as their guns dangled on their back in a frenetic search for Idriga. Idriga was beginning to feel tired, yet he dragged is body.

Soon, he heard voices. Sale and his men were closing in on him. He powered on, dashing in the direction that he believed led to the river. Kakakaka!!! Sale shot at the figure meandering through the forest. Idriga fell to ground for a moment thinking he had been shot. Sale and his men sped towards the last spot they sighted him. He scrambled to his feet and swerved to the right, using a big Iroko tree as shield. Before they could reach the same turn, he had turned left, running as fast as he could. More gunshots rang out. Again, he dropped to ground in an attempt to evade the bullets. He felt blood dripping from his right leg. He scrambled up, not sure whether he was hit by a bullet or if he had been scratched by a stump.


More bullets rang out, but he continued running in a zigzag manner, using trees for cover. More blood dripped from his right leg. Then, he heard the crashing of water against rocks. The river was finally in sight. He made one last lunge forward. Kakakaka!!! More gunshots rang out. Idriga ran as fast as he could, taking many turns to elude his assailants, momentarily. Soon, he came onto a cliff that lacked trees for protection. He was exposed. From a distance, Sale sighted him. He leaned onto a tree, placed his gun on a stem and took aim at Idriga. Idriga stared at the river from the cliff. The cliff was high above the crashing waters. He took a deep breath, and then moved to his left, and then back to his right as he pondered his next move in a hurry. He kept looking back to see if his assailants were coming. Sale placed his hand on the trigger and moved to the left and then to the right, looking for a clean shot at Idriga. Finally, he took a deep breath, closed his right eye with his left eye peering squarely through the binoculars.

His finger moved gently on the rigger, slowly attempting to depress it. The nozzle of the gun was aimed at Idriga’s head. He looked back, bent down, forcing Sale to move again. Sale’s men sighted him. They did not know that Sale had already seen him and was aiming at him. “There he is!” One of them shouted. “Where?” asked another. “There!” he answered pointing as he too raised his gun to shoulder level. Idriga heard their voices echoing through the forest, bouncing off the rocks of the cliffs in the area. He stood up, closed his eyes and urged himself to take a leap into the river from the cliff. God, please give me the strength to jump, he prayed silently with his eyes shut. Kakakakaka!!! Sale pulled his trigger, spraying bullets in towards Idriga’s direction.

Crouching down, they entered the cave. Idriga and Ramuna’s parents were exhausted. As soon as they were inside the cave of which the entrance was narrow easy-to-miss opening, Izunga’s father collapsed. Tiwana dropped Olaseme and raised him to his feet. Izunga put Akukara down and dashed to a small underground stream and fetched some cold water. Frantically, he threw water over Mr. Amusa. Ramuna and her mother were crying with their hands over their mouth. Ramuna’s father held onto Akukara and Olaseme. “You have to keep quiet, please!” Tiwana implored Ramuna and her mother. Idriga’s mother helped Izunga with her husband who came around after a few a handfuls of water on him. He staggered to his feet with Izunga’s help. “You are not leaving me like this…you are not dying here, Origa,” his wife said through tears. “We are almost there. Please come with us. We have mattresses and utensils in here,” Izunga explained.

A short distance further into the cave, guided by head lamps hanging on Izunga and Tiwana’s heads, they reached two small areas that the brothers had fitted up over the years. They lit their lanterns and made the mattresses, which they had carefully wrapped up plastic bags alongside the bedsheets, pillows and pillow cases. Origa was quick to lie down. Izunga and Tiwana soon produced metal boxes that contained food items like rice, dry fish and meat, maggi, and other spices. They had a stove, which they lit up and quickly made a pot for jollof rice so that the children and their grandparents could eat something. Outside, the soldiers searched frantically for them, having found their jeeps. They scoured the area near the jeeps and then circled back for a more thorough search around the jeeps, with no luck.

He swam downriver, using the currents to power himself away from his assailants. Sale ran onto the cliff, peering down and firing more shots. It was too late. Idriga was a very good swimmer. The bullets had missed him by the whisker. He had jumped, just as Sale pulled his trigger. He went underwater to keep from being seen for a while. Kicking and pushing, he thrusted himself further away from Sale and his men underwater. After nearly two minutes, he stuck out his neck, took a deep, long breath and continued his swim downriver. Sale spoke into the radio, ordering all the helicopters and soldiers downriver. The river current was very strong and powerful. Before they could get their acts together, Idriga was out of the area, going underwater every few minutes to keep from being spotted and then, reappearing to draw in some air.

He knew Sale and his men would be waiting in the next big town downriver, so he swam out of the water in a small fishing village. Quickly, he dragged his tired body from the river banks into a wooded area under the cover of giant trees. After nearly an hour worth of rest, he trudged into the village, meticulously. He was worried that someone in the village may have seen his picture on television, but no one seemed to recognize him. He went to the barber’s shop in the center of the village and had his entire hair and beard scraped completely. He looked different. He ate at a small bamboo eatery in the village, devouring catfish soup and pounded yam. Then, he boarded an old rickety bus out of the village, to a bigger nearby village. There, he made a quick call to the capital city from a small mobile phone booth. “Hello, who is this?” A voice he recognized asked. “Kasaru, it is me, Idriga,” he replied. Kasaru was the personal assistant to the vice president, Chief Uloke Adingo.

“Idriga, where are you? What is this we are hearing?” “It is a long story. You know I did not kill Linda. They are trying to frame me up…kill me for something I never thought of. I need your help, Kasaru.” “What can I do for you? Where are you?” “I can’t tell you where I am for now, but I need to speak to the vice president. It is urgent. I have some very important information to pass onto him. Please, can I speak to him? Please, Kasaru!” “He is not available right now, but I promise to pass your message to him. What is it, my friend?” “Promise me you will pass this message to him as soon as possible. Can I have his personal cell phone number?” “I am afraid; I am not allowed to give that out. Only he can give that out to whoever he so desires to.” “But you can reach him on the number, right?” “Yes, I can.” “Then, give it to me Kasaru!” “I am sorry Idriga, I can’t. I could lose my job for that.” “This is a matter of life and death...that is the reason you have that number, to reach him in a time like this!!!”

“I promise you, Idriga, with everything going on around here, I am not allowed to give you the phone number, but I promise to make sure he gets your message.” “Okay, please tell him that I called to inform him of my innocence. Tell him that Linda was shot and killed by Sale and his men on the orders of the president, his best friend.” “What? Have you any idea what you are saying, Idriga?” “I was there. I saw the whole thing with my eyes. That is why they want to kill me.” “Then, you must come back. We have to tell the vice president all about it.” “I need you to tell him first. Get his permission to send his personal line to me, please. I will call you back in less than six hours to give you my new line. I lost my phone in the river somewhere, so I hope to get a new one shortly.” “I will do just that, Idriga.” “Thank you so much, Kasaru. I really appreciate this.” “No worries. Stay safe my friend!” “Thanks, and you too.”

“Colonel Sale!” “Yes, Kasaru I am really busy at the moment.” “I have information for you. You have to reach out to the president now. Idriga called me. He wants me to tell the vice president that you and your men killed Linda at the behest of the president.” “He called you?” “Yes.” “That is why we put you in that position as the vice president’s personal assistant. If he calls again, tell him you have passed the information to the vice president and that he is thinking about it, seriously. Tell him that the vice president would not act on it until he sees him and speaks to him in person, okay?” “Yes Sale, I will do that.” “Great.” Sale rang the president immediately after talking with Kasaru. “He is trying to reach the vice president, sir,” Sale said. “Then kill him!!! What are you waiting for?” “We are trying our best, sir.” “Stop trying and just kill the man!!!” “I will, sir. I promise you that.” “I can’t have the vice president breathing down my neck. You have to kill him now!” “Yes, sir.”

STORY CONTINUES...
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 8
 
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 6

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: RAIDERS OF THE INNOCENT - Episode 7
RAIDERS OF THE INNOCENT - Episode 7
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - blood spewed out of his throat, soldier, guns, gunshots, river from the cliff, bullets, jeeps, downriver, river, village, vice president, president.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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