LIFE & DEATH: fiction by Tofarati GT

Dupe looked around her with fear in her eyes. The street was dark, and the only sound that travelled through the night was the hungry bark of a dog she could not see.
There were about four abandoned vehicles on the deserted stretch of tarred road, and she quickly made her decision. She bent down to a crouching position and ran to the nearest car to her.
Her ‘eleda’ was at home that day because the car was opened and she quickly got into it.
Not long after, three men came running through the street with guns drawn.
“Where the hell did the bitch go?” their leader shouted. He punched his fist in anger, and scanned the street. “Look for her, and when you find her, bring her to me so I put a bullet into her frigging brain myself,” he said.
“Yes sir,” the men responded and fanned out.
Dupe heard all this and wet herself in fear.

Chief Taylor was obviously worried. He paced aimlessly round his expansive living room, and soon his wife couldn’t help but comment on his anxiety.
“Chief, is anything the matter? You don’t seem to be yourself.” She said.
“Oh, there’s nothing my dear,” he replied and shrugged her off with a smile.
“My darling, I’m not a kid, and I’ve lived with you for over twenty years. I know something is bothering you,” she said and moved closer to him.
“Oh come off it woman, I said there is nothing wrong. Can’t you just let me be?” he shouted and left the room.

Ajigi jaga put his lips to the Rizla paper in his hands. He smoothened the marijuana in it, and closed off the top.
He struck a match, and soon the bitter sweet aroma of burning weed permeated the air. As the ganja began to connect to his brain, he smiled; a wicked, sinister smile.
“Scorpion, your father! You fucked me up yesterday. If I smoke this igbo finish, I swear I go kill you,” he said to the scary looking young man who knelt down in fear before him.
“Ah, baba I beg no be so. Abeg....”
“Sharrap!” Ajigi jaga interrupted him. He stood up and dealt Scorpion a dirty blow that left him howling in pain.
Just then there was a bold, firm knock on the door.
Ajigi jaga paused, looked furtively around, and felt the butt of his Browning pistol for assurance. He stepped to the door, put his left hand to the knob while his right hand palmed the butt of the pistol.
“Who bi dat?” he whispered. A dangerous, and mean whisper.
“Open the goddamn door. It’s Chief.” A voiced responded from outside the door.
Ajigi jaga quickly thrust the door open.
“What the hell happened last night?” Chief Taylor screamed at the men.
“Baba abeg, na one small fuck up happen. We go take care of only one of dem escape,” Ajigi jaga begged.
“What the heck are you telling me? You go take care of what? Do you realize that young girl who escaped saw my face and the face of the other elders as well? She knows who we are, I’m finished. Ehen, but before I finish you will end,” he threatened.
“Where did you get the girls from in the first place?” he asked.
Na Unilag chief,” Ajigi jaga answered. “Na the normal runs girl wey dey the school sir,” he continued.
“Find her, okay. That girl must not live to see the sun set. Or you, the both of you, will not live to see the sun set,” Chief Taylor threatened and stormed out of the room.

Mama T, as the porter of Newest Hall in Unilag is fondly known dusted her table with the casualness of someone who had done the same thing over and over again for years. She found some plates underneath the table, and called out to the food vendor across the hall.
“Mama Ngozi, come and pack your plates that are here o before I throw them away,” she teased her.
Just then Dupe walked briskly across the hall towards her room.
“Ahan Madam Dupe, se e ni ki wa leni ni (won’t you greet us today?)” Mama T asked.
“Mama T, I’m sorry, please I’m in a hurry. Good morning ma,” Dupe turned briefly and waved at her.
“Ahh, is that not blood I see on you blouse? Dupe, hope no problem?” she asked.
“Its lipstick,” Dupe replied and hurried to her room.

Linda was about going out of the room when Dupe walked in.
“Oh Dupe where have you been? I’ve been worried sick about you. I was even about going to the police station,” she said.
Dupe collapsed unto the bed, and dissolved into tears. Linda was alarmed and she rushed to her side.
“Dupe, whatever happened to you? What about the other girls? I tried to reach Ify, Tosin, Funke but none of their numbers was available. Dupe please talk to me, you are making me scared,” Linda said.
“The girls are all gone. Dead! All of them. Slaughtered like chickens and their bloods drained into bloody calabashes,” Dupe blurted out in tears.
“What?!” Linda screamed. She began to cry and she hugged Dupe tight. “Oh, Dupe we have to go to the police.”
“No,” Dupe said and looked furtively around. “I saw some men. Big, powerful men in this country. They were all into this occultism and the girls were used for rituals. I would have been killed too but the sleeping tablet they gave us didn’t have a lasting effect on me.
“Oh, they will kill me Linda. How I wish I had listened to you all these years when you advised me against doing aristo runs. Oh my God, I’m in trouble,” Dupe finished in nerve wracking sobs.
“God is in control. Take it easy, everything will be well,” Linda consoled her.
“But the men are after me, and they know that I’m a student of Unilag. A black soap was also rubbed all over my body, and I’m afraid it’s going to have a negative effect on my life,” Dupe continued in uncontrollable tears.
“Take it easy Dupe, do you know the house you were taken to?” Linda asked.
“Not really, we all met at the bar at Ozone, had a few drinks, and from there everything is a blur,” Dupe answered.
“This is serious. I have to call an uncle of mine who works with the State Security Service (SSS). He should be able to help us,” Linda said.
“No,” Linda shrieked. “These people are very well connected and they have tentacles spread out all over the place,” she voiced her concern.
“You have nothing to worry about. He is a top officer and I’m sure he’s going to do everything possible to protect us,” Linda assured her.
She brought out her Nokia handset and dialed her uncle’s number. She started to speak with him, but the connection was bad so she moved out of the room where she could get better network coverage,” 
{to be continued}

Tofarati Ige (GT) is a versatile entertainer. He sings, raps, acts, writes, comperes amongst other things.
He is the Chief Executive Entertainer (CEE) of Grand Tycoon Entertainment.
He has two published books, TOWN CRIER and ORIKI (PRAISE POETRY).