I was pushed into the Black Maria, in the company of well armed security agencies as I was taken to where I was going to rot in for the remaining days of my miserable life. The picture of my husband and beautiful angels burning in flames kept displaying like motion pictures in my mind. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. The tears weren’t just there. I wanted death!
Me: “I just want to die!” I looked at the guns in the hands of the well built security agents that were with me, “Should I grab one so that they’d out of anger shoot me! No!”
The court had sentenced me to life imprisonment; I could still picture the moving lips of the rounded judge while calling my penalty. I couldn’t remember all he said but I know I was being called a serial killer! And I am so sure my story would bring curses from the lips of all ears who have heard it. Curses like, “she is a witch!” “She deserves to die!” “Murdering children? AH! Even devil no bad like that!”
Those would be the curses on TV,Radio and all social media platform. And nobody cared to listen to my own story. How I was raped? The torture I went through in the hands of Alhaji. How my husband and twins were burnt to ashes like rags. I was already dead. I had died when that fire in glee consumed my precious ones. I really wanted to die!
Me: “Death, where are you?”
The tallest of the security agents cackled, “You never see anytin!”
The lady amongst them spilled out, “Devil incarnate!”
I didn’t know I had screamed out.
Me: “Should I pray? To who? God? Abeg,where was he when evil was happening to me! I am Shiber and nothing can stop me from becoming famous!”
The thought of Miebaka and my twins fell on me. I began to sob. It started slowly then I broke out aloud!
The shortest among them yelled at me, “Keep quiet before I change em for you! Your fada!” he charged at me but was held by the others, “You dey form tears. You get heart!” he was shaking like grasses tossed around by the early Harmattan breeze by the end of October, “God punish you!”
“Jude,relax!” the lady called out.
Jude: “Una fo allow me maik I shoot dis barstard make we rest. Idiot!” as he turned to go to his sitting position he used the heel of the boot to hit me hard on my lips. My already dried lips made a pulping sound and blood dripped on me. I started laughing. The laughter became louder! They looked at me with disgust and irritation.
The tallest came to face and screamed at me, “Shut up,mad woman!” it sent jitters down my spine but I didn’t stop entirely.
“She needs attention!” they all agreed to ignore me.
They looked horrifying. My case was one of a serial killer. I was treated in the same fashion a terrorist would be treated. The Police couldn’t do the job. They had to use the D.S.S agents. After some minutes of being ignored; I became sober. I could look at their angry faces. Jude seemed to be dosing but the dark scary glasses he had on hide those eyes of his. I couldn’t really tell. There was this glint of handsomeness he had even with the whole rugged look he wore. I knew somehow he liked me too. I had observed that at intervals he flung glasses my way. I loved his look. There was an unspoken romance between them.
When we arrived, the lady hassled me to the ground, Jude intervened,
Jude: “Lemme handle that!”
I was taken in and handed to the prison warders, the fat Prison Warder, a woman, asked. Fatima was her name.
Fatima: “Na di woman bi dis abi?”
Jude and the rest nodded, like robots, they turned and left. The Prison Warders at the cell looked at me stunned and I could also perceive fear. In their minds how could such a beautiful woman be a serial killer? The men especially. Everyone there knew me I was already become famous. Instead of gloom I beamed with excitement. She held me by the arm and led me to my cell.From a distance I could perceive the stench that oozed from the cell. I squint my face as my forehead got wrinkled when got closer, twitching my nose to an angle. She made for the keys hung on the waist and opened the door. The keys and the lock made a squawking sound. Fatima pushed me in,
Fatima: “Na di woman bi dis!”
Everyone yelled, “Yay! Strong pesin!!!!” They added, “we dey dab for you jare!” They all crossed their hands above their heads as if they were in adoration to a foreign god. I felt awkward but good.
“The prophecy is coming to pass,” I thought.
Fatima: “Order! Or else, pesin go chop fresh shit for here! Bastard!” she had a brass voice. It could break ear lobes. They kept quiet but murmuring in groups of twos and threes. I noticed a fierce look robust lady, who sat on some sort of improvised throne with others standing like guards. They held hand fans. She had Mohawk on with denim in torn designs, “Presido! Come take care of em. Na special candidate!”Fatima removed the handcuffs and pushed me towards her as I fell to the ground, right before her.
The lock made a squawking sound and Fatima left.
Presido: “Na you be di woman abi? Wey kill plenty people” my face was still on the ground. The stench coming from a corner almost suffocated me. My eyes dashed to a direction and I saw piled up excreta dried and crunchy mixed with urine,dried up and fresh ones. The churning of my stomach made my heart cry. I yearned for death the more. A stung on my head made me realize I had tune off when Presido was talking to me, “You dey mad abi? I dey tok to you, you dey ignore me!” the pain started from my head, passed through the soul down to the sole of my feet. My eyes became blood shot. I didn’t know how but I found myself on my feet and gawking into her eyes.
Everywhere became silent only the chirping of the well fed cockroaches was heard. The Presido was taken aback; I don’t think she has had anyone who stood up to her before.
Presido: “You no dey fear abi?” I licked the dried blood on my lips, there was a rushing sound. Most of my inmates had moved to one direction, “You dey mad?”
I didn’t say a word I just kept staring with my blood shot eyes. I was pretty but whenever I gave a stern look I become very monstrous. My anger was building up. A lady,slim, who I later discovered was called, “Pepper” for her stubborn nature spoke,
Pepper: “Free em,Presido! Kpomkpi! Just take ice water. Chill!” Pepper approached us,turned her back at me and faced Presido.
I broke into a very weird cacophony. All eyes shot at me. I could smell fear. I was like a lion in the midst of scary lambs.
Presido: “Maik I de…” I didn’t know when I pushed her to the wall by the neck. She was choking and I didn’t care. My anger against Alhaji, my rapist and the world was what I used in pinning her with. No one dared come close. I could see tears gather in her eyes. She couldn’t move.
I felt drowsy and passed out.
I woke up at night in a corner. I saw everyone looking at me in a strange manner. I was little weak and my head banged. The strain of the whole incidence, the death of my loved ones the court sitting was responsible for my passing out.
Presido who sat in her usual chair gawked at me. Herself and cohorts; half of the inmates gathered around me. They were on my side. The cell had being divided into two factions, mine and Presido’s. I wasn’t interested in leading anybody. Those around me were whispering to one another. I was befuddled. Like I said, I wasn’t interested in leading anybody just my self. Pepper stood up,
Pepper: “Quiet everybody! I get announcement to make. We notice say dis killer lady wey come,” that how they referred to me, later on, I was be nick named, “kIller!” Even the Prison Warders called me with that name, “tins wan scatter for here. She wan cause Katata for we country so for dat reason. Fighting competition go dey between she and Presido! We gree!”
“Yasss!!!” my faction screamed the more.
Pepper continued, “ And na, dis weapon dem go use,”she brought out to sharp objects. They were very sharp that I was almost urinating in my uniforms, “An as the chairlady crowning committee anyone wey win go become presido!”
My faction screamed the more. For the first time I spoke,
Me: “No! I no go fight! I’m not a murderer as you think!” my faction like disappointed dogs hide their tails. Fear made me sweat.
Pepper noticed the fear in me, signal Presido with a wink who winked back,
Pepper: “Too late! You know get any choice!di fight nafotomorofo 20 o’clock!” she threw my weapon at me, “Keep em! Use em practice!” she laughed, Presido and her faction joined in the laughter.
Throughout the night there was murmuring. I couldn’t sleep. Yes, I wanted to die but not by that sharp object or in the hands of cold blooded woman. I was up for most of the night as I watched a lot of lesbianism activities going on. No one dared came close to me. I kept my sharp object close. I didn’t know the plans of Presido and cohorts. I just knew sleeping could mean the end of the road for me. They could decide since I was a threat to slit my throat while I was asleep. The urge came to pray but I shoved it away.
Miebaka was on the hospital bed with a bandaged arm when the doctor entered. He was beginning to get relieve. He had watched on Tv, Shiber’s trial on how she was said to have killed the children of one Alhaji, “Why would she do that?” he said to himself. He had concluded that once he was strong he’d go to the cell where Shiber was in to demand for explanation. The doctor came in and interrupted his thoughts,
Miebaka: “How are my kids,doing?”
Doctor: “They are responding to treatment Mr Miebaka”
Miebaka: “Thank you Doctor, I do appreciate that and May God continues to strengthen you and your profession. If not for the Maid that alerted me on time, I wouldn’t have known house is on fire” I had to rush and come back home to rescue my children
Doctor: “How are you feeling too?”
Miebaka:”Good! Just for the little pains!”
Doctor: “That’s good. Thank God you and your kids were rushed in on time if not none would have survived. I’m can’t believe how the babies weren’t choked by the smoke!”
Miebaka sighed as tears rolled down the eyes
Miebaka: “When would we be discharged!”
Doctor: “in two days time!”
Miebaka:”Can I come and see my twins?”
Doctor: “after a little rest! They are still asleep”.
The doctor sedated him and left.
Questions: Do you think Miebaka and the Twins died in the fire accident as assumed by Shiber? What will become Shiber’s fate to fight “Presido” in the jail? Will Shiber make it next day if she falls asleep that same night? Will she become the ‘new presido’ if she wins? Do you think her destiny has been perverted?
…SEE Final Episode, 19 Below (You don’t want to miss this interesting Story!)
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