My Dad was fully clothed in his ceremonial wear, the cloth, a white guinea brocade which he bought during one of his visits to the United Arab Emirates. He informed me earlier in the morning that I would be accompanying him to see one of his friends staying in Abeokuta and I jumped at the offer in ecstasy.
I had not had the opportunity of wearing any of my new clothes purchased ahead of my resumption to the University for my First Degree before and I thought this outing would give me the chance of wearing one. I stood askance in front of my wardrobe checking out the collection of clothes Aunt Titi, my Mom’s clothier just got for me. Since I had been told that we would go to a wedding ceremony after meeting Professor Smith, my Dad’s childhood friend, I took a blue Hacket T-shirt and a pair of dark blue Jeans trousers out of the king-sized wardrobe, making sure that it’s a nice combination, I chose a Zanoti Gold-plated black sandal to give it a complete and appealing touch.
It was Harmattan period and the breeze was moving in it’s colder than cold nature. The cloud was misty and I felt the breeze pushing its wicked claw into my body but the excitement that I was following my dad out suppressed the cold. We were to ride in my Dad’s Toyota Venza car and I was sure the journey would be a thrilling one. Jamiu, Dad’s driver was in his early thirties and he was vast in experience when it came to sitting behind the wheel. My dad sat in the back seat of the car while I sat in the front seat playing with my phone.
The car jolted abruptly, my phone flew in the air, I shifted forward and was about to hit my head on the windscreen when the seatbelt restored me to my initial position. The car started somersaulting and at the third flip, I lost count. My eyes were seeing a mirage of red sea flowing towards me at a low tide. “Huh” my dad shrugged, the air bag had been released and the driver was as still as a cadaver that had been in the morgue for weeks. My dad was breathing heavily and coughing incessantly as I couldn’t help but pant.
Sound of an approaching machine was resonating in my head, I could not fathom whether the sound was from my imagination or the sound was really approaching.
At the time of the crash, the car had run into the bush before it started somersaulting and was later stopped by a big oak tree. The sound that earlier resonated in my head came to an abrupt stop and I could feel the nearness of a powerful breeze, the air of the crash scene smelt of horror and my dad was struggling at the back of the car. A responsible father that he was, he tried hard to regain his sitting strength and open the door so he could get the rest of us from the car and free us from the quagmire we found ourselves. While I struggled with the door that stood at my exit, I saw the horror that earlier smelled from the breeze come close, I had only seen such sight in movies before. With a calculated gait like that of a group of automated robots, these monsters walked towards us with shining daggers in their hands, I thought I was the only one seeing this eerie sight that might at the end put our being to a halt. But I was wrong, my dad had sensed this too but instead of fear and surprise, he was as still as water, he tried to punch some buttons on his phone and that was when he realized his phone screen had blackened.
“Scorpion that stings with no error” one of the men in black screamed, “must sting itself to death one day” others echoed. Fear gripped me and I had no understanding of what the events playing in front of me were.
“Can I direct your script?” said, a man of about older age than my dad. With the look on my dad’s face, he feels he should fight but he couldn’t because of the trap we are in.
“Please don’t harm my son” those were the words that escaped his widely opened mouth. “Can we play the season two of the war you think you won?” the man repeated and my dad, at this point had lost every iota of innocence earlier worn by him, from the way he breathed, it could be sensed that a replay of an old event was happening in his head. “Please spare me, I can pay you, name your prize” my dad said.
The old man torturing us chuckled and his face could tell how proud he was of this psychological torture. The man brought out a small tape recorder and told my dad to read the psalm. Like a rat that was stuck on a rat gum, my dad shifted back and forth, every sign of wealth had left him and he begged that we should be allowed to get out of the bashed car. “Jango, I know the end has come, please let me enjoy it” my dad said. The man, Jango, looking with joy of horror written on his face signaled to his boys to get us out of the car.
The man played the voice recording of my dad again and I could hear him saying words that sounded like the confession of an old monster. He talked about how he had brought about the death of seventy seven students in total while he was in the game during his days in the polytechnic. He said it affirmatively that he thought he had acquired everything he has on the foundation of evil and he, on this day is ready to take whatever punishment deemed fit. The man told me he sees a bright future awaiting me but he couldn’t help but make sure my father pay for his past dearly and he asked one of his boy to take me away from them.
I was tied to a tree few metres from the show ground, a black and red cloth was tied around my face. I had been there close to a complete day when a man earlier referred to as ‘Dragon’ came to untie me. I couldn’t walk and I was thirsty, I begged the man to help me with water but he said he was not ordered to do so, he left me in the woods but the thought of seeing my father unhurt came to me, though I doubted its possibility, but I believed the law of attraction, I believed what I conceived would come to me if my faith is unshaken. From where I was tied, I crawled to where our car crashed and I knew the proverbial ‘dead end’ was where I had reached. My Dad was lying lifeless with his limbs missing, his cheek had the figure ’77’ engraved on it, his blood was dripping and the driver had also been shot in his forehead.