Victims – Episode 10
A Story By Rosemary Okafor
“There is nothing to worry about now Ukwuoma, your boy is doing well, see for yourself” Matron Amina gave Ukwuoma a beam of smile.
Ogugua sat on the floor of the poorly eliminated room eating a plate of rice, with the way he was stuffing the food inside his already filled mouth wile preventing them from falling with his left hand, and chewing the food like he had a little DNA of a goat, one would conclude that it was actually hunger that graduated to fever and rioted in form of convulsion on the boy.
He looked up to his mother and gave a smile with his oil and rice smeared face.
The only light in the room came from a kerosene lamp that hung by the wall closed to a framed picture of the Matron when she must have been younger, with a Man in Army Uniform whom Ukwuoma concluded must be the old woman’s husband.
“Thank you so much Madam, you don’t know how grateful I am for what you have done, but God will bless you” Ukwuoma said
“It’s nothing, we are only tools in Allah’s hands” the Matron responded
“So tell me about you and the boy, where is his father?”
“There is nothing to talk about ma, life stole from both of us, we are all we have left…the two of us” Ukwuoma replied with sadness.
“I can take him back to the tent when he is done with eating…” Ukwuoma said
“Not like this, he needs rest so do you. You especially needs to have a bath and sleep, you look pale, like someone who is about to faint”
“Don’t we all look pale?” Ukwuoma thought. The whole camp was filled with dead men walking; waiting for the time anyone of them would drop. Nobody would cry for another,
Like when the old man that did sit at the stone in front of their tent died, he had no one to cry for him, no one to bury him, Ukwuoma had stood and watched as two young men lifted the body like it was a sack of torn cloths, the old Man had weighed little, judging by the way they lifted his body with easy.
He had no mourners, no singers and nobody followed the corpse to the grave; was there even a grave? She didn’t know. She had gone to the stone where she normally sat with the old man that same night, she had sat at the spot he would always sit, and had looked at nothing like he would always look, with the owl and barking dogs as music to her ears, sending her back to the forest where the old man sat looking at his discarded body. She watched the frail figure cried for himself alone.
She walked into the matron’s bathroom. This would be a thorough bath she would be having after many days. Her reflection from the standing mirror looked back at her, mocking her. She allowed her wrapper slide down from her body to the bathroom floor, what she saw shook her, she could count her ribs and her stomach had sunk so deep that it could hold a bucket of water if she lay down.
Unconsciously her fingers traced her neck up to her cheek, Kunle used to love how chubby her cheeks were, he would plant kisses on them and her neck too. Her eyes has become so big like that of a Lemur; the self acclaimed king in the Animation “Madagascar”
She covered her face with her hands and wept.
As she allowed the water from the shower run down from her head to her feet, she scrubbed herself, trying to purge herself of every memory.
The water mixed with her tears and ran down to the bathroom floor, she loosed herself to wail like she should have the first day her children were killed, she wailed for her dead husband, she wailed for the poor girl that reminded her of herself, and without knowing; she wailed for the old man that did sit alone on a stone gazing at emptiness.
Somewhere in the dark, with wires that held few electric bulb and night flies perching on the bulbs, one of the bulbs flickered for some time and went off, sending the night flies off to another bulb.
A young girl not more than fourteen, tiptoed from the mat where she was laying with her little brother, out of the tent towards a young officer’s office.
Her leg heavy as if revolting against her, she dragged them like a bag of sand while sobbing softly.
She met few people on the way; some were retiring for the night, while some were greedily receiving fresh air in the open space.
A baby was crying somewhere not far from where she was, and the mother was shoving her dry breast on the baby’s mouth.
“Poor baby, why wouldn’t she refuse the breast and cry more? What is remaining in the breast that would bring joy to the baby?” she thought.
She slowed her pace watching the mother and child for a while, she remembered Her mother, when Abraham was born, he was the joy of the family, the lord decided to bless her parents with a baby boy after ten years of giving birth to her.
The vision of the mother and child got blur with her tears; she blinked the tears away and resumed her journey.
Following the road beside the military church, she disappeared towards the lonely road.
Somewhere in the dark, a young Military officer sat in wait for an experimental rat. His was the only office with light still on.
On his table which would double for a bed, lay a whip, a hand cuffs a small container of petroleum jelly and a blindfold.
This would be the third time he was using those; first was on his late wife who died two days later after he had beaten her, tearing her skin with the whip and watching her scream, he was drunken with ecstasy and didn’t realize when she passed out. He didn’t call for help for he was naive, he didn’t think of lying and covering his track.
Second was with a mistress who had called him a psycho and jumped out of his room almost Unclad, running with fear.
This young girl would be perfect, she would beg him, scream and put up a resistance but would not have the strength to run out, neither would she die, she wasn’t pregnant like his wife was.
A noise outside his office caught his attention, he jumped on his feet to receive his visitor, and he opened the door only to see the bright eyes of Baba Hauwa’s black cat
“Puwwahh…” he spat at the cat in disgust, “I hate this Animal”
He strained his neck to see if he could catch a glimpse of the girl, he was so sure she would come, all he needed was patience.
He walked behind his office to relief himself, as the urine ran from him manhood “Pata pata pata ” with his eyes closed, he whistled an unknown tone.
“Gbaaammm !” he heard the sound of his skull crushed and footsteps running.
His blood dripped from his head down to his shirt from the back, he didn’t have the pleasure of turning to know who hit him or what hit him.
Darkness closed up on him like a thief and he lost consciousness, with his trouser unzipped and his joystick hung out.
Senator Kazeem Abdul-Alim slammed the parcel on the table and smiled confidently.
“It was a success, the message has been passed and the masses are blaming this current government for this unrest, I am sure their vote will come to us this coming election” he said to Imam Ali Husayn ibn.
The cleric didn’t share in his joy; rather he sat with his hand on his jaw, observing the senator.
Senator Kazeem, has always been uncomfortable around the cleric, Imam Ali Husayn ibn knew this and used it very well against the senator.
He knew the senator came to him for this job because he knew he was the only one who could command enough faithful men that would set the state on fire, but what the senator didn’t know was that the cleric was only waiting for an opportunity like that to carry out a holy war against infidels like Allah instructed.
“This is the balance of the money we promised… you can call your men to order now, I think the people has gotten the message we want to pass”
Imam Husayn gave a smirk. He took the large envelop without checking the content.
“Alhamdulillah …you and your people has done well, extend my greetings to them. My boys will receive your message” Imam said
“Tor , no problem at all” the big man struggled to his feet; his bulky body made every movement a tug of war.
Imam Husayn watched his with bemusement as he pushed himself out of the door.
The Man disgust him, all politicians disgust him. They were the ones that would always sabotage his efforts for their political reasons, added with the fact that they compromises with all the Laws Allah gave.
“Men like this will go down with the infidels sooner or later” he muttered as he picked his phone to dial a number
“Contact the arms dealer, I have some money with me”
To be continued
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