Saturday, 30 July 2016

THE AVENGERS a short story By Ugwu Lawrence Enenche

Katanga and his comrades were in his room talking. The room was the second on the third floor of the first block of Zakara Hall; the first male hostel. It was a posh room with all the necessities of comfort that a rich student should have. Opposite the chairs was a large bed that extended to the centre of the room.

Katanga and one of his comrades sat on the bed while three others sat on the chairs. Beside the door sat the fellow that started the fight with Michael. He was looking sad and a ray of anger was visible in his demeanour. He held his hand in-between his laps looking at the floor. His eyes were reddish and his hair unkempt.

‘You made a mess of this assignment. A total disappointment! It is unthinkable that three men like you cannot put a fly like Michael in his place. Even when you got him down, you couldn’t snuff life out of the bastard. And now, he is alive to laugh at us. What a shame!’

‘Capon, Rasha really disappointed me. It is unthinkable and unbelievable that he could be careless this way,’ the comrade on the bed with Katanga said and shook his head.

‘Yes, Rasha fucked things up. He didn’t allow the guy get to us well and started the fight in hurry,’ another comrade agreed.

‘The plans was for three of you to descend on him and snuff life out of the fool as quick as possible,’ the secretary of the confraternity said.

‘That was it but Rasha wanted to do it all alone and claim the credit,’ the comrade with broken incisor said.

The secretary looked at the three comrades who messed up the job fiercely. His face concocted with anger and horror. He looked at the capon and shook his head. ‘If Katanga can take this nonsense from you people, I can’t take that. What is hard in killing that helpless idiot?’ he boiled.

The trio pleaded for forgiveness and promised to make up the assignment. Katanga accepted their apology and warned them that another miss target would end them in grave. ‘A repeat of this nonsense will transit you to the great beyond. That is the rule,’ he stressed.

They smoked marijuana and took off for a party holding in the neighbouring town.

Blessing and Michael had fully recovered and discharged from the hospital. The story of their attack was still the popular talk in the university and its environs. Blessing became introvert and barely related with people publicly. She disassociated herself from every public gathering and behaved like a repentant prodigal daughter.

Since the attack, Blessing no longer visit Michael claiming that he cannot protect her. Though she was still in love with him and wanted the intimacy to continue. Michael visited her often in the campus with gifts, pleading for the continuity of the relationship and promised to protect her against further attack.

He became more in love with her and determined to give whatever it would cost for the relationship to mature into marriage as he dreamt. Michael who had never knelt down for any lady had been on his knee severally in the gardens before Blessing begging for the continuance of their romantic ties.

‘You know that I love you from the depth of my heart but to put myself and your life in danger, is not a good passion,’ she said while he was begging her.

‘I promise you, honey, our life will never be in danger again. I was taken unaware then but now, I know what to do to put Katanga and his men where they belong. They will never dare us again. You would soon hear the news of what I would do to them,’ he said.

In his quest to protect himself and Blessing, Michael had been finding a way of getting a pistol but to no avail. He had asked James and few others of where he could buy a gun but they had no knowledge of such. He travelled to one of his friend’s house in another town in search of a gun. Everyone he contacted could not provide him one. A middle age man told him he could get him a locally made grenade but Michael was after getting an AK47, AK49, automatic revolver, or any high profile pistol.

Desperate to revenge, he resolved to join a confraternity group more deadly than the Flaming Sword brotherhood so that he cannot only revenge Katanga and his men but also have the power and support to protect himself and Blessing from further assault. ‘I will go any length, I will do anything, I will pay any price to keep Blessing for myself. Even Jesus died for love. He laid down his life because of the love he has for human race. May I not live long if I turn from Blessing because of any intimidation. Oscar wilde once says: “Some love too little, some too long, some sell, and other bug; some do the deed with many tears, and some without a sigh! For each man risked for love, yet does not die.” He told Alfred.

Alfred agreed with him and told him he would also like to belong to a group to protect himself against any unforeseen attack. Both of them planned to meet guys who were cultists and signal their intention of becoming one of them.

At the Rofasy Sports Viewing Centre, after a football match between Manchester United and Swansea, Michael went to meet Katakata who was smoking cigarette and holding a bottle of alcoholic wine in his hand. A lady wearing a slim trouser and a red thin shirt exposing her cleavages was sitting beside him and often caressing his hair. Katakata was a well-known cult leader in the university community and its environs.

He was believed to have charms that could prevent bullets from penetrating his body and could disappear into the air at will.

He had killed a lot of other cult members and assassinated many people he perceived were masterminding his arrest or providing information about him to security agents and other cult leaders. He had been on the wanted list of the police for years and every attempt to have him killed had been proving abortive. On his recent clash with the security agents, he narrowly escaped death but two of his comrades who were with him at the club were killed. His car was seized by the police and investigation had been on-going.

Katakata was wearing a black suit on a red turtle-neck T-shirt. A short, thin gold necklace glittered around his neck. More glitters came from the ring on the middle finger of his right hand and from the chain of his wristwatch on the left hand. To complete a sparkling appearance, on his face sat a dark eyeglass with gold plated frame. Michael shook hands with him and Katakata removed his dark eyeglass to have a real view of the young man. He looked at Michael on the face searching his mind to unravel the motive of the friendly gesture bequeathed to him. Michael sat down and greeted the lady beside Katakata with a friendly voice. She stared at Michael wondering who he was, and turned to her man.

Katakata looked at the scar at Michael’s head and his demeanour suggested an inquisitive man expecting the young man to make his mission known. ‘How can I help you?’ he asked. The smoke of the cigarette from his mouth buried Michael’s face for a moment. Michael opened his mouth but could not utter a word. He was visibly afraid and caught in dilemma of whether or not to involve himself in any act that would endanger his life but a thought of protecting his relationship with his beautiful Blessing gave him boldness.

Two huge angry looking guys who were at the entrance of the viewing centre, darted and stood around Michael immediately they heard their master asking him questions. ‘Please, I need your help sir. I’m facing a great challenge and you are the only one that can help me out of it,’ Michael said. He pleaded that he wanted to have a private discussion with him about the challenges. Katakata looked at him from head to toe and kept mute for a moment. The lady put her hands in-between her laps and fastened her eyes on Michael. The two huge men stood still and on the alert, their looks suggested a readiness for action.

‘Please, I really need your help,’ Michael reiterated in a voice full of fear.
Katakata kept looking at him. He blew the smoke of the cigarette stylishly and threw the butt on the floor. The lady looked at him and turned to Michael.
‘What is it?’ she asked.
‘Talk fast!’ one of the two huge men shouted.
His voice drew attention of some of the people at the viewing centre analysing the match. Few of them walked out for fear of possible fight. ‘Take him out and let him explain to you whatever he wants,’ katakata told the two men. Michael followed them and they took him to where Katakata’s red BMW car was parked. Both of them folded their hands around their chests and asked Michael what his mission was.
He narrated to them how he and his girlfriend were attacked in the night by suspected cult members and his unflagging quest to vent vengeance and protect himself and girlfriend from further assault. He told them he was ready to be their member and do whatever they wanted him to do, including killing human beings. One of the two huge men went to the viewing hall and told Katakata that Michael wanted to belong to them. He nodded his head and told the huge man to invite Michael for lunch at Oaks Resort Garden so as to examine him.

Ugwu Lawrence Enenche
07032769241,  08176050494

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