Archive for category Punkenstein Tales

Black Stripes at Dusk – Gozie


Commercial 'danfo' bus

Gozie was jerked from sleep no thanks to the bump from the commercial bus he was in entering a pothole, while it took him and others from Ikeja towards Yaba at the dusk of a wet Thursday in Lagos.

“Make una no vex na!” implored the bus driver as passengers rained abuse on him for the discomfort of the pothole, with most insults coming from a woman sitting by the window on the row right behind the driver.

She had hit her head or shoulder hard when the bus met the pothole as it approached Town Planning bus stop at Anthony. Gozie was not sure where she was hurt exactly and he really couldn’t be bothered to know from the back of the bus, sitting by the window at the right side of the bus.

Gozie had sat there gratefully and watched a man grudgingly make his way past him to the dreaded place in a danfo bus at the extreme end of the bus, which in Lagos is the most undesired of all the sitting places in any danfo bus.

One only sat there when not in a hurry or would only alight from at the last bus stop. Otherwise, that seat was always avoided like a conductor would a bus stop tout or the police.

Having figured where the bus had reached by looking out the window, Gozie produced his wallet so he could be ready to hand the conductor his fare without trouble. He hated how they usually bickered when a passenger didn’t hand them their fare at the first time of asking.

“Town Planning?!” called the conductor, there was no response. “Iru eyan wo ni eleyi ntori Oloun?!” he lamented moments after. “Shey I no talk ‘no shange!’ before you enter?!” he continued at a man in the middle row who had produced a one thousand Naira note to pay his fare. The man didn’t say a word, but simply held out his thousand Naira hand till the conductor grudgingly took the money.

Gozie handed the conductor a two hundred Naira note at his turn to pay, ‘I’ll take a bike home when I drop at Onipanu’ Gozie thought as he contemplated how he would make his way home with the remaining one thousand Naira note he had.

“Onipanu na two hundred madam!” bellowed the conductor at the female passenger beside Gozie before twice calling out “Obanikoro?!” moments after passing Town Planning, getting no response either time.

Meanwhile the woman the conductor had bellowed at moments ago was insisting on paying fifty Naira less, but the conductor was having none.

“Close your door o!” yelled the passenger by the edge of the seat behind the two front passengers with the driver, “before dem bathe me finish”. But the conductor ignored that passenger as he continued collecting fare.

The woman beside Gozie hissed as she collected her three hundred Naira balance from the conductor. “I don’t know how Onipanu is two hundred from Ikeja o, thief!” she said loud enough for everyone to hear, but the conductor ignored her too.

“Your money!” he asked the penultimate passenger at the back while arranging the Naira notes in his hand, with the higher denomination notes inside the bundle and the lower denominations on the outside. ‘And he would say he has no money to those touts’ Gozie said in thought.

“Staff!” was the passenger’s reply and Gozie turned quick enough to catch the man put a police cap and a wry smile on. Gozie could not help the chuckle, and he was joined by the woman beside him whose smiled beamed.

The conductor’s countenance went from thoughtful to caged rage. “Una go just dey do like… ” but the conductor was interrupted by the man sitting by the door on the row behind the driver, “Close. This. Door! Na?!” after getting splashed again by a passing vehicle.

The conductor obliged him this time. “Humph!” came the irritated muffled sound from the woman in the middle row sitting on the makeshift seat by the door, right under the conductor’s oozing armpit.

“Your money!” he called to the last passenger who smiled before handing him a one thousand Naira note, much to the conductor’s dismay though he only grumbled.

“Palmgrove?!” he soon called while handing the last passenger a five hundred Naira note as part of his balance. No one answered. “Onipanu” he then called, “Palmgrove wa o!” answered a woman in the row behind the driver. “But I… ” but the conductor cut himself short and shook his head before confirming to his driver “Palmgrove wa.” adding “go front small before you stop.”

The driver did as his conductor instructed but no sooner had the conductor opened the door when a tout appeared asking for money. The disgusted conductor hissed before tactfully showing the small denomination notes in his hand to the tout. The latter was not convinced, “Ògbẹni fun mi l’owo jor!”

“Ehz!” started the off-duty policeman. Gozie was still not sure if he really was a policeman or just an impostor, but he was not going to trouble himself finding out. “Which yeye money you wan collect you dis tiff!” he shouted to the tout, probably ‘trying to justify his ‘staffness” Gozie thought.

“Who born dis one?!” retorted the tout. “Hin mama!” said the policeman, adding “Commot here jor!” only for the tout to hiss and retort “if I snap you for video now, ori youtoob lo ma de like your hundred Naira sister na! Ashiere!” before he alight from the bus which was now moving slowly away from Palmgrove bus stop.

The tout was referring to a now suspended policewoman who was the main character of a recent youtube video showing her demanding money from a conductor. The policeman here caught the subliminal and yelled “you dey crase!” at the tout before taking off his police cap, embarrassed. ”I loff youtoob!” the tout responded, mimicking popular rapper Olamide.

Gozie chuckled again and answered “O wa o!” when the conductor called his bus stop. The bus stopped at Onipanu, with another tout demanding money from the conductor.

Gozie alight from the bus, followed by the woman sitting beside him, who needlessly called the conductor “ole!” as she did. “Aṣẹwo, na your mama for Empire be ole” he retorted as he settled the Onipanu tout before jumping onto the bus like most conductors do.

The woman yelled insults at the departing bus as Gozie smiled while making his way to the pedestrian bridge. It started to drizzle just then. ‘Definitely taking a bike home’ Gozie decided in thought.

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Random Yarns – The Thin Line Between


What is good? What is bad? The answers to those is a matter of semantics in the world today but if we go by the basics, then good is good and bad is bad. Good is God and bad is Satan. Good is Born Sinner and bad is Yeezus.

Drugs are good for you, especially when you’re down with an illness. Then again, there are some drugs that aren’t good for you yet those who follow such prescription based on some twisted diagnosis life has given them will have you believe more than a Jehovah Witness evengelist can convince you of Jesus that these ‘drugs’ are good.

So if a select few cush-ioned nicely in a corner of cozy cloud nine can state for a fact that certain bad drugs are good and some of you after a trial or two or three till-society-labels-you-an-addict number of times go with the verdict of the select few… what then is good and what is bad?

P.S: The Netherlands is such a lovely country, Colombia too. The things you could do with all the oranges and Shakiras.

To get these things, the good things of life, you need to possess a serious amount of currency(-ies) for a sustained period of hourglass turns under the motivation or guise of achievement or plain ”you creatures are beneath me”. Or, you inherited the wealth/riches and couldn’t be bothered anyway so long as lanes are maintained.

Then you get to the point where, even though money is a good thing, how you get it eventually determines its holiness or otherwise in the supposed grand scheme of existence.

Therefore, as far as daily judgement goes, Mobutu money is bad money, Abacha money is bad money, Dangote money is good money, Gates money is good money, Uba money is bad money, Shawn Carter money is Illuminati money… which brings us to the question, is the Illuminati good or bad?

One on side you have the Illuminati as the evil itself. The very symbol of evil, the highest degree of all things condemned, the 12th level of Bounce, the seventh world of Zuma and the entity to be found at the very end of Temple Run.

It’s the eye of the dollar, making o ye users of that currency (there are many dollars but you know) inadvertently yet unexcusably as evil as Mephostopheles or Baal, or both combined. Maybe as evil as Lucifer? Oh wow, now you’d be BAD!

On the other side, the illuminati represents a misunderstanding of history. A distortion of translated records from dead ancient languages to modern languages. Now, imagine this:

Ancient: ”The Supreme Leader and Possessor of this realm, the realm beyond and all realms unknown yet in existence around, above, beneath and inbetween this realm, orders the execution by beheading like a lamb for sacrifice of the maids for displeasing the Royal Guard of Realms.”

Modern translation: ”Around 4358 BC, Emperor of what is now the Russia, the Middle East and a small part of Asia, ordered the beheading of lambs and maidens [virgins] to please their gods.”

If you ask Yeezus, he’d cuss you out and make another album of it, guided by a ‘creative direction’. If you ask me, you’ll get a blank stare, or some cocked up ‘opinion’ that’s well glossed words ever so pristine and immaculately delivered when it actually is utter bollocks of no wisdom or belief.

A wise person should keep mind away from such matters so abstract and focus on the matters that matter to the mather… *mother. So when are you getting married? Oh, you’re married. Okay. When will you give her a grandchild? Oh you have a grandchild, splendid.

But when will you give her a male grandchild? Oh I see, your children are boys. Marvellous. Why did it take so long to give birth to the first born? Before you even answer that, are you barren? It’s only barren people that take so long to give birth because they’ve been trying only to pay the help to be a surrogate :|!

Was the help just a surrogate or did you guys have a Hagar arrangement with the help? When was the last time they paid granny a visit and spent the night for a week or month there? Ah, when did you start to stammer? What’s the meaning of this? You this child, you want to kill me before my time? I serve a living God, do you?

… mothers. Always concerned.

Not as concerned as when boys, guys, men, who’s he-s, your father’s mates, George of the Joan Rivers Fashion Police kind, Segun Arinzes, Samwise Gamgees and especially Lady Gagas start owning her daughter’s attention.

Wait, you thought the father’s yes got the daughter’s hand married off? Such a learner. This is another tale for another day but today, are all men bad? Are there still some good men? Are ‘men’ really found in all the painful experiences of women? Or do women misinterpret pleasure as pain?

Here’s the thing, as painfully read in the bestseller 50 Shades series, S&M is a painful yet pleasurable experience. We also know of some of you who are in physically abusive marriages yet choose to stay in it for your reasons. Is the sex after THAT good?

Then there are some of you in surface bouyant marriages when around the corner, at the next street or state or country, your partner is upholding another marriage there. How and why these category of people do it, I’ll never understand but you have admire their energy and verve.

Then a unit or all of Family A find out that a chief partner in A has all the years been managing Family B elsewhere, leading you to ask ”what?!?!” or ”whyyyy… ?” only to be told a tale that touches the heart of dire circumstances that led to Family B.

Derailing from off-topic, it indeed could actually be difficult for a woman to discern good and bad or why would a woman marry a man knowing very well he has a wife and family elsewhere?

Oh don’t get this wrong, men have a good idea of what is good and bad but when this man married and started a second family, he obviously didn’t think it was a bad idea. Besides, his name isn’t Abdulquadri Omar Hassan who is allowed to have as much as four wives (so long he loves them equally).

So in the end, what is good and what is bad? It is bad to call a bad person bad because that’s judgement (from a good person). But then, it is not judgement but a complement to label a good person good? Moral, there’s a very thin line between good and bad.

All the above usually gets me through the puzzle that makes a person blow him/herself up in the midst of people based on the promise that they will be received by 70 virgins way upstairs in the realm beyond and their family left in this realm will be paid PSG-esque for their sacrifice.

Last question though. Does that mean a female suicide bomber is promised 70 virgin males waiting to give her sknacks in the realm beyond after the deed here, which is good in their eyes but bad to society, is done? If your answer is yes, you’re telling me one can be a whore up there? Seriously? An eternity of whoring but not in the fires way below?

No shit!

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Random Poem


First poem in more than a decade, here goes something.
Elated to get line one out of the way, now a second.
Third line and thinking should I rhyme or write free?
Stuck in this corner, on an alter ego I beckoned.

What’s the matter this time? Quick! Was having a nap.
You need help with a line. Think you’ve written some crap.
Wow! You’ve managed a rhyme. Wait, mute my harp…
You cunning flesh of slime! You deserve this catechist slap!

Oh shut it you bellend! What he deserves you do thrice more.
Oh shut it you too! Shush! Every fight here is of your cause.
I’d hand you both the slaps alas, my palms would go sore.
So enter the raucous ego to hand you both what’s yours.

Leave me out of this please. I’ve had it with these two enough.
The ”Receive the Spirit!” night? Mighty reckless they’ve been since.
And yes! I’ll spoil what you have going by stopping here.

Such a party pooper, you. No-no-no-no… No! You won’t have of my verse.
Perverse overaged twat! Maturity worse than those before you.
Boohoo! I will make my verse to his content anyway.
Okay, not exactly how he wants it but the rhyme schemes there.

Well then. All I really needed was a rhyme to help with a line.
Didn’t intend to cause… scrap that, I am happy this happened.
No don’t give me that look, I would do this again if I could.
In fact we would very soon, along with three more guys.

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Black Stripes at Dusk: Feyi


“… that the current poor state of power supply being experienced across the nation, was as a result of vandalised gas pipelines serving the Egbin and… ” the bus driver changed stations with a loud hiss. “Awon oloshi!” he cursed under his breath.

“… pastor had been accused by Miss Walters of having… ” the driver hissed again as he kept searching through stations. “Leave am for dere na! Wetin?!” bellowed a passenger sitted at the near end of the back row of wooden seat in the danfo bus waiting for a few more passengers to come aboard before taking off from its busstop at Obalende.

The driver searched through stations like no one had uttered anything to him. “Saaboh Yabaah!! Yabaah! Yabaah! Wole pelu shangi e o!” the bus conductor beckoned nearby. “Faif hondred! Wahn tauzon ma wole o! Yabaah!”

“Ogbeni! Na five hundred I get o, make you go find change!” retorted the front seat passenger. The conductor moved to the front door with a ‘do I know this person’ look before taking a few steps back and… “Be like say de winsh wey send yu errand dis eveneen no te’ yu say na dah bos yu supoze enta abi?!”

The passenger didn’t respond, to the conductor’s chargrin. “Whish kain tin be dis na?!” before transferring his angst to the driver, “An’ I bin te’ yu ma’e we no kom load for dis side! See fish brain wey yu wan kari naw?!”

“Call passenger for me jor!” responded the driver in a dismissive tone. He had settled for a radio station where the voice spoke in an indigeneous language, to the annoyance of a few passengers. The front seat passenger had made to retort but the conductor had moved some steps away beckoning on more passengers.

The sun was setting, its rays shining through a cloud hovering by and obstructing the sun from view momentarily. The atmosphere was windy and a rumpled newspaper page with dried oil on it was blown onto Feyi’s blue denim, hugging his right thigh as the wind blew on towards Feyi and the bus.

Feyi simply turned to face the wind and let the paper glide off his denim. “Eskiuz!” said a young woman wanting to board the bus. He stepped back for her to join the other three already sitted in the last row of seat, leaving the bus with two more passengers – one for the other two rows – to board it before it left for Yaba.

The conductor had seen the young woman boarding the bus and changed his call as a result. “Yabaah one! Yabaah one!” he called as he stopped a plantain chips hawker. “Gimme tu!” he said, at which moment two students boarded the bus. “Eizz!!” the conductor yelled at some voices from the bus angrily urging him to get to the bus so they could leave the busstop.

“No be shange I de find for pipu wey winsh send ni!” said the conductor as he approached the bus. “Be like say you wan sleep hospitu this nait?!” retorted the front seat passenger. And the conductor was going to throw a retort back when something else caught his attention.

“Oga… I wan siddon!” said the conductor to Feyi, who had settled on the makeshift seat he had pulled out from under the second row of seat. Feyi looked perplexed and “Or-ga… I say ma’e yu stand hop I wan sid-don!” before he could ask why.

“Driver please let’s go naw!” moaned a woman at the far end of the front row. “Kon-dor make we go na, abi wetin again?” shouted another passenger from the back row. The conductor began gesticulating as “I say ma’e yu commot na abi yu deaf??” he got angrier at Feyi.

Feyi gave the bus conductor condescending look before beheading the cover of his apple drink from the bottle and making to take a gulp. The conductor’s hand however shifted the direction of the bottle so that his nudge of it spilled quite an amount of apple drink on Feyi. Drama.

Feyi, who had left his workplace; he was ‘an assistant’ to a woman who ran a Non-Governmental Organisation from her post-independence era Ikoyi residence, in top of the world mood courtesy of a bonus received from Madam Johnson-Ayinla in the form of a cheque for N45,000, went blank with rage and pounced on the bus conductor.

The front seat passenger, seeing an opportunity to vent his grouse with the bus conductor, alighted from the bus and joined Feyi in pummelling the pleading-to-thin-deaf-air conductor who now was curled up, face covered by hands, on the floor in defeated resistance.

A loose arm landed hard on Feyi’s left shoulder, it was the front seat passenger’s in the motion after landing a blow on the conductor and getting set to land another. But that to Feyi was like speaking Latin to a Beijing native for he interpreted it as a blow.

The conductor’s hands released their grip of his face to allow him peek at just why he was not being pummelled anymore. To his delight, Feyi and the front seat passenger were going at each other; Feyi had just landed a blow on his new adversary’s stomach, making the man retreat two steps and crouch in pain.

“Oga mi de go de go!” shouted the conductor at the bus driver. “Call passe… ” began the driver before stopping himself. The other passengers, flustered by the quick turn of events, shouted at both the driver and conductor to get going and not call any more passengers.

The conductor had hissed at the driver’s suggestion anyway and hissed more at the passengers shouting at him. The driver began driving away with a sinister smile at the fighting men. “Wait! Wait! My wallet o! Wait!” screamed the passenger now fighting Feyi after spotting the danfo in motion.

The conductor looked at the driver, the driver raised his free hand to reveal a wallet. The conductor looked out to the chasing man and shouted “Ashiere!! Na dah winsh don do yu!” at him while laughing.

The bus went out of sight. The man looked back at Feyi, made a ‘this is not over’ hand gesture before walking away while searching his back pocket. Feyi ignored the man and made to button up, then realised the two buttons were gone.

He hissed and began walking away. Some way off Feyi stopped and searched himself like a man possessed. He had only then realised his hands were light. There was a folder on his lap when he was in the bus, a folder that had fell to the floor of the bus when he pounced on the conductor… his bonus waiting for the conductor to discover it.

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Gabby at the Market


Gabby was lost in random daydreaming of nothing in particular when the cab turned right at the junction to the city’s library. The detour brought her back to consciousness.

“I’m going to Market Street o!” Gabby excaimed to the driver from the back seat, looking with a bit of agony through the rear ‘windscreen’ as the library shrunk out of view.

“I wan drop them first before I drop you.” replied the driver as he parked the cab at the under-bridge to allow the other occupants of the cab to alight from it before proceeding via a slightly longer route to Market Street.

Gabby was slightly miffed at the change of plans the detour meant for her. Market Street had two entrances/exits to it; one end neighboured by the library and another end led directly to the express road.

She had planned to come in at the library end of Market Street, window shop and probably buy any item of interest she came by, before coming out at the express road end of the street and getting a direct cab back to her room in a hostel off campus.

She fumbled through her purse to find a naira note in the worst possible condition to hand the driver a payment for her fare; to serve as punishment for the detour. The worst she found was a very dirty N200 note, which she squeezed hard before handing it to the unsuspecting driver, who had parked at the start of the express road, some meters from Market Street.

She yanked her balance from his outstretched hand and went off as if to be in a haste, slowing down considerably after crossing the express road and getting to the street. There were no offices there, just stalls for food items and whatever else -edible and otherwise – one could get for their kitchen.

Then she remembered some items she had to get. Her toilet was a mess so Harpic was one. Brenda had, yet again, lent her black spray polish without returning so that was another otherwise she’d have to change what she’d already set her mind to wear for Sunday service.

Gabby changed direction and now headed towards a supermarket just by the street, a detour which made her giggle. The giggle stopped soon as she went into the supermarket and found the attendant ogling her.

‘Let me even enter na’ she thought as she waltzed past the attendant, ignoring his smile at her cleavage and making a quick turn into the nearest row of goods. It was the ‘sweet tooth’ section, and temptation came in every colour, size and form imaginable.

‘No cookies! No cookies!’ she repeated to herself in thought. ‘No horlicks! No horlicks! No horlicks!’ she repeated on seeing those. “Oh God!” she exclaimed, melting as she spotted bars of Bounty neatly arranged at face level.

All, if any, effort at resistance failed as she grabbed a handful only to drop them as if she’d been electrocuted by them. ‘Two-fifty for one ke?! Who are these leaches?!’ she thought in anger as she returned to her senses and searched for the row she was looking for.

She found a spray polish, then picked mortein as she remembered dodging a flying cockroach the other night. She then picked one harpic and saw “N650” pasted on its side. ‘Too much’ she thought as she dropped it.

She noticed then that the next harpic had no price pasted on it and instinctively she picked that one instead and made straight for the counter, for the attendant whose eyes took their time on her cleavage. ‘God is judge’ she thought as she dropped the items in front of him.

He let out a long, somewhat satisfactory sigh as he picked the items and started punching numbers on a calculator. She was repulsed by the sigh but kept her cool for the moment she waited for.

He was done with the spray polish and the mortein. Then he picked the harpic and looked round it for a pasted price, there was none. She kept a straight face but chuckled inwardly at his ordeal.

After racking his head for the price and gazing at the harpic intently as if to make it squeal its price to him, he finally punched ‘270’ on the calculator.

‘Ope ooo!!! Olodo oshi! God catch you… ‘ and on went Gabby in her thought, jumping with much elation inside her while keeping a straight face for the attendant. She gave him a thousand, almost ran out of patience while he got her balance and stormed out of the supermarket when he eventually did.

It wasn’t much but with almost five hundred extra to spend now, she could get two bunches of plantain for the weekend. She would get almost ripe ones, so she wouldn’t have a reason to sulk at any time over the weekend. Gabby smiled as she approached the plantain seller at Market Street.

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The above is based on true life events. The main character is fictional but everything else happened almost entirely as portrayed above. Oh, no naira notes were mutilated in the making of this episode.

Bye.

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Jade and the Scorpions


“How’s it feeling today?” Jade asked Bolu. It had been just over a month since he was stabbed by the young man in the church, with what turned out to be a poisoned dagger.

Bolu tried to hold a gun with his right hand, “Grip’s better… ” he responded, before taking aim. His arm felt an involuntary twitch as his finger went for the trigger. “… or, maybe not.”

They were in Jade’s living room, a unique place as Toba put it a fortnight after they first arrived. Bolu’s right arm then was still swollen, with pus drooling intermittently from the wound.

It had healed considerably since Jade had had to cut open the wound the night they came, leaving him with the souvenir of a scar there, surrounded by a blot… another souvenir, from the poison. “Give it some time, it’ll be fine.” Jade assured.

After some time she stood, “You must be hungry.” she said on her way there. “I’m hungry too.” Toba spoke up. “”you” meant both of you… ” she said as she left the living room. “… and my shoulder’s fine.” Toba retorted.

Bolu would’ve asked what all that was about but with Toba and Jade, he now knew better than to do so. Instead, he took a look around at the living room with no windows.

“How are we breathing?” he finally asked. Every room in her place had no windows and instead, the walls had surreal wallpapers of intriguing landscapes; a multitude in and around the Basilica at the Vatican was the living room’s wall and in it, Bolu saw a pickpocket.

He was standing in front of the pickpocket now when Toba replied from his sit, “She has a twisted sense of humour eh? The people are random by the way, except a few.”

“Like the pickpocket.” Bolu caught on. “Yes, like the pickpocket.” said Toba, now standing beside Bolu, admiring the pickpocket who was between two people going opposite her. She had long hair, most of which was covered by the maroon scarf she wore.

The scarf also went across her face, covering all but her eyes and nose bridge. The narrow, brown eyes seemed to stare at Toba who, mug in hand, seemingly staring back, told Bolu “Spirit probably was the best among us.”

Silence ensued with Bolu checking other faces and Toba lost in thought as he stared blankly at Spirit. “I did only ask for how we’re breathing… ” Bolu said after a moment. “Yes, that.” Toba began, “Honestly have no idea how it works. Only three people know how this place works, one of them is dead.”

Bolu’s countenance indicated interest and Toba obliged. “Now what she told me… “, Bolu raised an eyebrow, “… just listen. Even I don’t know much about this place except the obvious, which is she’s one of the three.”

Toba continued, “Now, the dead one let slip to a group that called themselves the Scorpions – five fellas with what I must say were surreal looking tattoos on them – so he could get the place for himself apparently.”

“What happened to them?” Bolu asked, catching the past tense. “Killed them. Sent them a contract with herself as the mark. Even paid them half upfront.”

“She’d asked the dead one to meet her at a hotel two hours prior, same place she was to be the mark for the Scorpions. Dead one got there, she stabbed him in the neck soon as he’d closed the door behind him.”

“Then she dabbed the door knobs with vanadium before cutting herself on the left cheek, lower belly and a bit of her left palm when she was done. Reluctantly made a wound on her right thigh too.”

“What the bloody hell for?” asked a perplexed Bolu. “Meeting her bloodied would throw them off, more so after she would tell them the dead one was going to kill them after they did her anyway.”

“And it did ruffle them.” continued Toba, “They were a bit annoyed to meet their prey in such state but the leader apparently had a hunch she was behind their contract, so he began trying to play smart with her.”

“Being three moves ahead of the Scorpions, she just sat on a table with a window behind her. That’s where I came in, waiting for her signal so I’d take ’em out if she couldn’t.”

Bolu’s eyes narrowed. He imagined one of the Scorpions going down soon after as a result of the vanadium while she stabbed the nearest one to her and Toba then taking out three others.

“And that’s the advantage with her, she is always underestimated!” Toba said, reading Bolu’s face. “You’ll imagine she wouldn’t be able to throw a knife, let alone get a killing stab… ”

“… actually, I imagined her stabbing one close to her after the vanadium had got to another, then you taking out the rest.” Bolu interjected.

“Well that’s modest.” Toba said smiling. “What happened was that three went down as a result of the vanadium. The other two had knives in their necks before they could get a grasp of themselves.”

Bolu was surprised. “Three? How?” he asked. “One opened the door, a second closed the door. That’s the two knobs gone. One of the two that got enough vanadium from the knobs passed a syringe to the leader.”

“There mustn’t have been enough to pass on through that” Bolu thought aloud. And “True.” Toba agreed. “So,” he went on, “she took out a glove and wore, took the syringe from the leader and looked him in the eye before injecting him in his chest.”

Bolu had a smirk on him. He was very impressed. “I presume the syringe had scorpion’s venom in it.” to which Toba nodded in agreement. “That would’ve been one excruciating death.” Bolu said.

“Indeed it was. And looking right at him I hoped he’d tell the others in hell what lesser demons they were.” said Jade, emerging suddenly with an apron and gloves.

“You’re grilling their leftovers?” Bolu said, stopping her in her tracks. “Told you you’d like him around.” Toba broke the sudden silence. Jade smiled.

“But I’d have to let you know, even if you haven’t figured so, I’ll kill you if you spoke of this place with another not hearing my words now.” Jade said, still smiling.

“Of course.” Bolu said. “Just one thing… ” moving on quickly from the serious matter she had just touched, “… how are we breathing?” he asked.

Toba laughed at the question. Jade shook her head at Toba. Bolu sighed, ‘not again.’ he thought. “I’ll tell you some other time.” Jade finally answered, “But now, I’m going to make sure you two become far more lethal. That day at the church was pathetic.” she said as she made her way back to the kitchen, “bought your house and demolished it by the way.” she said at the door out of the living room.

“Bought our house?” Bolu asked no one in particular, confused. “That upfront payment for your last contract… ” Jade called out. Bolu gaze, wide-eyed in shock rested on Toba who, uninterested in attending to Bolu’s shock, sighed before having a sit and taking a sip from his mug.

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Evening Mass


Bolu cursed his fortune as he held up an envelope and brought out the card in it. He read the message on it, ‘Vitellus Street. You’ll know when you see them.’ read the card.

Toba took his beverage as both waited for the mark, whoever the person was. There was no picture, no description. They were basically about to kill someone at their own discretion.

Bolu returned the card into the envelope and dropped it by the gear box of the hatchback. He took a look at the area, nothing unusual was happening in the highbrow environment.

Toba watched on from where he was camped, on a higher ground, some way off, on a tall tree’s branch. He’d been there from two in the morning with two flasks of his beverage and a bag full of sandwich.

Bolu was wondering where Toba was travelling to with the bags from the night before, when a bell went off from the nearby church. It was time for evening mass there.

Jade stood from a bench on the street and joined the procession of people walking towards the church. She made to adjust her veil to cover her hairline – “why bother?” – before stopping herself, instead zipping up the beige turtleneck she wore on turquoise denim pants.

Toba drank from a flask and dropped it in a bag suspended on the branch above him. He then moved over to a pronged branch where his rifle was, steadying its scope’s focus and taking note of the faces going into the church.

No particular face made an impression on Bolu as he made his way into the church as well, choosing to sit at the first pew on the right from the entrance.

Toba marked Bolu, a couple hand-in-hand walking with a child, a woman in a beige turtleneck, a crew of teenagers, a woman in a revealing long white gown and a short male spotting a hooded grey top.

Jade had gone to the balcony, picking the pew on the right of the choir stand. The choristers trooped in with haste while one, already robed shook her head as each chorister went past her, gushing muffled apologies.

A bearded young man in a grey hoodie excused himself past Bolu and sat beside him, taking down the hood as he did and exchanging pleasantries with Bolu.

The already robed one made for the front of the choir stand. ‘Choirmistress’ Jade thought as she let the zip of her turtleneck down a bit. “Can’t be her” she thought again, all the while with her gaze on the altar below.

A hymn rendered in vocal fry drifted through the Church as the altar boys, lector and officiating priest emerged at the entrance and made their way through the aisle to the altar.

“Your hair’s in the spirit?” Bolu asked the young man as both stood along with the rest of the congregation while the officiating priest performed the opening rites. The young man only chuckled back, nodded, did a sign of the cross and sat down.

Toba fart as he took a bite off an umpteenth sandwich, subconsciously humming along to the proceedings of the Mass as he waited for it to happen.

“Errm… sorry… you come here often?” asked the young man as the priest finished with the day’s sermon. “No. My first time here.” Bolu replied. “Thought so. Welcome.” said the young man and Bolu nodded back.

The young man focused his gaze on the pulpit. “I’ll be back” Bolu said as he excused himself to make a call outside the Church. The young man acknowledged absentmindedly.

Toba, still watching with his rifle’s scope, held his phone out on seeing Bolu step out of the Church to make a call. “Well hello… ” Toba answered before the first ring began.

“… err… where are you?” asked a flustered Bolu. “Doing my job, as should you.” replied Toba before ending the call. Toba quickly looked back into the scope at Bolu and smiled after catching him say “… rious bastard!” as he returned into the Church.

“The Lord be with you… ” said the priest, arms raised. A muzzle took aim from within the pulpit as the congregation responded “… and with your spirit.”

Jade let the zip down a bit more, looking around for a sign. She caught the Choirmistress’ countenance, it was serious, it was cold blooded and it wasn’t aimed at the altar where the priest was.

Bolu thought he saw something at the pulpit. “You’re not Catholic, are you?” asked the young man. Bolu’s eye shut momentarily as he stopped himself from looking at the young man before responsing.

A shrill cry tore through the Church from the balcony. Jade was transfixed as choristers made a circle. The congregation below rushed forward towards the altar to have a look.

Bolu dipped his left hand into the inside pocket of his trench. The young man’s left hand had a dagger going for Bolu’s side.

Toba was now watching the sidewalk to the Church through the scope, waiting for a face to tell him who the mark was when he or she showed up.

The dagger went into Bolu’s right arm, a bit below the elbow. A bullet tore through his trench coat just then, and the young man staggered back before sitting down heavily, right hand clutching the left side of his chest.

Toba saw Bolu walk out of the Church, right hand in his coat and a trail of blood after him. Bolu was at the sidewalk when a woman in a black tank top emerged from a hole at the side of the Church.

Jade was on her way down, three knives in hands when she saw a female in a black tank top through a window, heading for the sidewalk.

The woman took aim of Bolu, who was walking gingerly towards the hatchback. Toba took a shot, “damn shoulder!” he cussed as the bullet missed the woman by a whisker.

The woman felt a bullet pass by her neck from the left. She glanced right, then left, only to register there was a woman in a turtleneck top when she glanced right.

She made to change her aim from Bolu to the new threat when two knives pierced her neck and right lung. She was on the ground, losing consciousness when Jade bent over, removed the knives without hesitation and waved the approaching hatchback down.

Toba answered his mobile. “What was that?” asked Jade on the line, in a tone of controlled anger. “Shoulder apparently hasn’t healed well enough.”

“Not good enough!” Jade blurted, ending the call before Toba could respond. ‘Would’ve had her with the second shot.’ he thought as he reached for his flask.

“Let’s get you cleaned up.” Jade said as she drove off in the hatchback, with Bolu now in the passenger seat, sweating and wincing with his right hand clutched to his body and head resting on the wound up window.

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