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Thursday, 3 December 2015


Lilian could not wait till daybreak. All she wanted at the moment was to get home. She had thought it was going to be another exciting and frenzy fun night for all.  Everything was going fine until Jeff started ordering more shots of whiskey than he could reasonably accommodate. Lilian at first understood with him; the need to be merry and jubilant. Jeff, her boyfriend had just finished his last paper as an undergraduate. It would have been unconstitutional if the day went by without a good time. Around 9pm, he had picked up Lilian from her home to Club23 and had invited a couple other friends along. He had pockets deep enough for the night.
At first, Lilian had ignored his excessive flirtatious acts with random girls. She even pretended not to see one of them scribble her number on his palm. It was his night; a little liberty wouldn’t hurt, though she was putting up a great effort not to react. The climax was when Jeff, obviously drunk, hit her cheek because she complained of his excessive drinking and had urged him to slow down. The moron had the guts to slap her and call her a nagging bitch! The reality was unbearable. She couldn’t spend one extra minute in the club in spite the pleas from Jeff’s male companions. “You guys just fucking have fun with this moron! I can find my way home!” Trying her best to suppress the strong wave of embarrassment, she stormed out of Club23, deliberately smashing her wineglass on the floor.
Friday nights usually recorded high attendants in Club23, the very entrance and surroundings were littered with assorted cars. Men and ladies with short dresses and even shorter self esteems were seen everywhere and as usual, several shady activities happened in those parked cars and dark corners. 
Lilian was grateful for the chill December breeze that hit her skin outside. The relief from the heavy metal raps had a significant positive effect on her tipsy and aching brain. Her only regret was the heels she was walking in and her tight dress. Locomotion wasn’t swift as she wanted but notwithstanding, it was just a matter of minutes, she would get a cab home. Dialing Steve, her elder brother to pick her up was an enticing option but it bore a two way result. Steve coming at once to take her home wasn’t the problem. The problem was, he wouldn’t leave without giving  Jeff a punch in the face. Besides, the young blood was probably enjoying his Friday night in a hot club  and she wouldn’t want to ruin everyone’s fun along with hers.
The moonless night was almost like walking with a blindfold, save for the faulty solar street light that flickered intermittently. Maybe it was a blessing for the nocturnal beings who couldn’t afford motels. Delami street was wide enough for two cars to pass side by side but with the lineup of vehicles on the road side, it was impossible for cabs to shuttle in, they had to be at the main road, a couple of meters down.
Her chain wristwatch read three minutes past one. The time awareness brought a fresh sense of caution upon Lilian. She barely looked at the group of guys smoking by their cars even when they were calling on her and laughing to their fun. “Dickheads!” she cursed under her breath.
Each step she took away from the club welcomed her into silence and growing darkness. The recalcitrant crickets emphasized the solitary state of her journey. The neighbourhood was obviously not residential else security lights could have illuminated the dark street. Lilian had once walked home late before, though the conditions that night were quite different from the present. It was around 10pm and her vehicle had ceased at the road bend to the entrance of the estate where she lived. It was more of an opportunity for a late evening walk, which was an advantage to her calorie-burning mission, though she was just a little chubby.
The last thing Lilian wanted was to let scary thoughts slip into her head, though the loud silence and the sight of roaming dogs were already getting on her nerves. She even spotted a white cat with bright eyes creeping through the shadows, possibly avoiding the dogs. Her tension grew as she started peeping behind, just in case a ferocious creature was approaching. Lilian wished the distance to the main road was shortened. As much as she built strength to forge on, she was scared, judging from her increased pulse and walking steps. Maybe, just maybe, Jeff will realize how stupid he had treated her and rush down to pick her up and save her from the creepy hands of the darkness. She would forgive him instantly under the circumstances, though she would insist on driving herself. But the possibility of Jeff’s intervention was equal to finding a growing tooth in a fowl’s beak. He could be such an ass.
Lilian’s heart almost leaped to her throat when the dogs she had walked past started barking wildly. Terror pumped into her veins as she immediately slipped out of her heels in case there was need to accelerate movement. On glancing back, it occurred to her that the creatures were not even after her but were scattering about and running for their own safety. Maybe they saw something that startled them that much. Whatever it was, Lilian knew it wasn’t good. All her instincts told her to hide. Another part of her mind urged her to move on as there was no visible threat but she resorted to her stronger instincts.
Delami street was not designed for hide out purposes as almost every building had perimeter fencing. There were no corners around and every time wasted was dangerous. The only object that was close enough to provide covering was the messed up public waste container by the street which to Lilian was not an option of refuge. The stench was too pungent and almost unbearable and its surrounding was heaped with more refuse than what was inside.  Unfortunately, she had no other choice than to strip off her pride and walk over some decayed oranges with her bare foot so she can get some cover from the container. From there, she could peep safely at the opposite end of the road and know what was going on.
The forms were becoming visible as they approached. “Help o! Help o! They want to kill me o! Somebody help me o!” A terrified young man was yelling desperately and running from two other men with flashlights who were aggressively racing after him. They were closing in on him. Why would they want to kill him? Could she do anything to help? What if they ran as far as the refuse container where she was hiding behind? What would happen to her if. . . . Lilian stopped her line of thoughts and tried to summon some optimism.
The two men had finally caught up with the fleeing young man and were now pouncing on him after kicking him down to the asphalt. It was a horrifying close call for Lilian as they were just few meters away from the container.
“Shut up! Bastard! You dey call your mama mek she come help you? Shey you be fast guy? You feel say you fit waka enter Kongo frat then stroll comot as you like? We go show you say Kongo no be for pikin. If I no burst your head today, my name no be Zoro.” The taller of the two was more violent than the other. The young man on the floor was pleading for his life but his oppressors preferred listening to the devil’s tune. If Lilian was scared before, she was presently horrified. It was a campus fraternity affair. She felt a strong urge to scream and disappear into the darkness but her rationality subdued her emotions. While trying to brace herself for what was coming, a small rat crawled over her left foot, bringing upon her a great sense of revulsion mixed with fear. She so despised the dirty creature more than any other thing alive but if she as much as caused a slight disturbance, she would be food for the fishes. All she could do was allow the rat have its way. Sometimes, the devil could be better than the deep blue sea.
“If you go come back this life again, you go know say Kongo Clan no be for pikin! Bastard! Your blood dey your head.” Zoro, the taller oppressor after saying that raised a small axe he was holding and brought the silvery metal down, sinking its blade into the young man’s brains. He was dead instantly, his body jerking like that a child under convulsion.
The other cultist who rarely spoke suggested they should bundle the deceased and dump him in the refuse container where he deserved to be. The tall one concurred at once. Together, they picked up the corpse and moved towards the public garbage container.
Lilian for the second time swallowed back a strong wave of vomit. She had fought a good fight with the nausea but she was losing it. The stench of the garbage, the alcohol she had taken, the disgusting creature running over her feet, the rotten oranges beneath her bare feet combined with the sight of the descending axe upset her system severely. Her limbs were terribly shaking and she could feel the third wave rushing up her throat. Like broken water pipe spills water, Lilian puked heavily without control. That was the end of her hiding.
Zoro and his accomplice were sure of what they heard. It didn’t take long to fetch out the poor shaky being hiding by the garbage container. Initially, they assumed they found a mental woman but when they ordered her to get up and peered all over her with their torches, they were certain no mental fellow would dress in such a reasonable outfit. She looked too good to be crazy. Zoro snatched her purse and ransacked its content in case she had whatever may be a threat to them. “Wetin you de do here, ehn?” Lilian could not find her voice. She had no fever but judging from the way she shook, a patient with fever would readily give up his blanket to her. Zoro was now assessing her from head down, his torchlight descending with his gaze and stopping at some sensitive spots. She was beautiful to behold. Her curves were voluptuous in that skin tight skimpy dress, her thighs exposed all the way down to her feminine legs.
Zoro knew Lilian had witnessed the murder and his first instinct was to eliminate her. But it would be a huge waste to send such a beauty to hell without sipping her juice. “Bob-Nebuza, make we penetrate this ashawo. We no suppose waste am like that.” He started to lose his belt. For some seconds, Bob-Nebuza hesitated in complying with his companion. He knew the girl was a threat to their cover and the longer she was breathing, the more risky for them. “Zoro this tin wey you won do no follow o! Make we down this ashawo comot for hia, time don de go sef!” the bone of contention was not heated enough to make them fight each other but it was the most feasible chance of escape for Lilian. They were very close to the main road now and she could see few cars and cabs passing. If she could make it to the road, there was a greater chance of finding help but the big ‘if’ remained a subject of panic.
When Lilian bolted off like Captain America, the two killers did not have the slightest anticipation. It took some seconds for the price of their carelessness to sink in before they reacted. By then, Lilian had created a reasonable gap, her speed matching that of a Puma.
The men were stronger and were closing in but she was far from surrendering. She would run with the last air in her lungs. Zoro flung the small axe in his hand at Lilian. The force would have been enough to knock her lights out or maim her but it was a close shave. The silvery metal crashed on the tar, causing a small spark ahead of Lilian. Nothing was going to make Lilian stop for them like a chicken. It was life or death. Now she was at the main road, she could spot two cabs on the other side of the road where the bus park was. Her pursuers were pressing in on her, getting as close as three arm lengths. You can make it! you can make it! With encouraging thoughts in her mind, she dashed on into the road. The last thing she could recall was the screeching sound of car tires and a hard impact before her lights went out. The villains, watching her painful end speedily retreated into darkness.

When Lilian opened her eyes in the hospital bed, she had thought it was all a bad dream until she looked round and discovered her critical condition. She knew the horrifying night was real and tears started rolling down her eyes. “Lily! Thank God you’re awake! What happened dear? I thought Jeff took you to Club23, what happened? Why were you running into the road in the middle of the night?” it was Steve, her brother. He was a bit drunk while returning from the club last night. He had hit a young woman running across the road; he was tempted to drive off for safety reasons but a fraction of his conscience urged him to stop and help. Who would have thought that it was his only sister? He deserved an explanation. 

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