Attila: “I would have offered you a seat but you see all the seats are occupied.” Attila went on, smiling. He took a drag of his weed and inhaled. He blew smoke rings in the air and looked at Kola fondly.
Attila: “am going to miss you, you know. Well let’s get to business. Where is my money?”
Kola: “your money was stolen from this very hideout by my twin brother, Jide.” Attila raised an eyebrow on hearing this.
Attila: “hmm..Hmmm… Jide. No wonder those who saw thought it was you. He had a mask on, with your height and build he could act like you. When am done with you, I’ll have to go to him then.”
Kola: “let Rita go, please. She has no hand in this matter. A lot of innocent people have been hurt in this matter. Please take me but let Rita go.”
Attila: “you are right I should let her go. Loosen the bitch.” One of Attila’s henchmen walked to Rita and loosened the ropes tying her hands. She got up and ran to Kola, holding him close.
Kola held her close and calmed her down as she wept into his chest. Attila laughed took aim and…suddenly there was shooting. The two henchmen rushed to the window.
Kola: “I forgot to tell you that the police got here before me.” He started moving backwards with Rita in his arms.
Attila: “I prepared for that contingency.” He turned to one of the men and nodded. The man ran to another room and came out with two machine guns. The other man took one and they each stationed themselves at opposing windows.
Detective Calixtus found a tree and rested his limbs. He watched the two other police men slowly approach the shack. Suddenly there’s a shot but it does not hit anyone. The two policeman automatically turn to the top of the trees by the side of the shack and started firing AK47 rounds into the treetops. Soon a body fell down. Excalibur Dante Also known as Kayode by his parents was dead. The policeman closest to him rushed to the body, poked it and retrieved his pump action gun. He jogged back to detective Calixtus and gave it to him.
Detective Calixtus sat, cradling the shotgun and he stared at the shack. So far they have been exchanging bullets with the criminals in there. His legs hurt badly. He was thinking about the case as he rested his back against a tree trunk. Something nagged at him but he could not place a finger on it. It was Kola’s story about the night of the rape. Something about the story bothered him. His eyes darted from left to right as he watched flashes as bullets were been exchanged. He was feeling dizzy now. He struggled to his feet and pushed forward
Rita: “Kola, please if you have the money please give it to him. I don’t want to die.” Rita’s face was a mask of fear.
Attila: “you should listen to your girlfriend, where is the money Kola?”
As Kola looked at the muzzle of the gun pointed at him and Rita, he noticed movement from the corner of his eyes. A figure was looking at him with hands on his lips. The figure shifted his head to the side in a sharp movement. Kola guessed that he wanted him to move from Attila’s front so there will be a direct view.
Kola looked at Attila and shuffled his feet, trying to move slowly. Attila turned as a shot rang inside the room. Kola dove to the ground, carrying Rita with him. As he fell, he stretched his hand and hit the candle down, putting off the light. Shots were fired in the darkness but Kola had already moved from his previous position, dragging the whimpering Rita with him. Someone had gasped in pain in the darkness. Kola listened quietly for a moment then holding Rita close then they slowly crawled away from the shootout. They got to the door and Kola stood up slowly to a gun peering down at him. He had somehow managed to crawl to where the other thug stood.
Thug: “Egbon I don catch am. He dey crawl dey comot before. “There was no reply. He motioned for Kola and Rita to stand up. They both did.
Attila was on the ground by the chair. He had been hit on the shoulder. He was bleeding to the ground but he still had his gun. He saw them being led by his thug and smiled.
Attila: “you played a fast one, Kola.” Kola kept quiet, looking at the gun in Attila’s hand.
Attila: “I didn’t know you had a guy out there. You’ve become vicious, my friend.” He struggled to his feet, waving drunkenly.
Attila pointed his gun at Kola and pulled the trigger. The bullet hit Kola and he fell to the ground. Attila turned to Rita, he opened his mouth to speak when two rapid burst of fire tore into his chest and threw him against the wall. He died immediately.
The thug started shooting immediately but his bullets went wild. Mr Fix knew he was out of bullets so he stayed low. He turned to his left and saw two policeman running up to where he squatted hidden. It’s time to take my leave. I don’t know if Kola survived but I can’t be seen by the police. He crawled quickly into the bush and disappeared.
Osas dialed Mr. Fix‘s number and it rang. She had been trying to reach him but it was switched off.
Mr. Fix: “Hello Ma’am.”
Osas: “where you able to get him?”
Mr. Fix: “your boyfriend is dead. Am sorry.”
Osas burst into tears immediately, she bent down and wept. The fool, what was he trying to prove? O God! I have died. Can’t I ever get peace? She cried in her room alone, the rumpled bed still scenting of lovemaking. She cried; her heart breaking into several pieces.
Rita ran to the window and waved her hand screaming help, the remaining thug rushed at her, and hit her with the gun. His bullets were finished. Rita passed out immediately. The thug turned from left to right; confused. His boss was dead and police was outside waiting for him to step out. He rushed to Rita, knelt by her and slapped her awake. He dragged her by her hair to the window.
Thug: “I have the girl. If you shoot at me, she dies. He shouted. Nobody replied.
He dragged Rita up and pushed her towards the door with his gun. Rita whimpered and obeyed.
Detective Calixtus struggled to the side of the house. The shootout had ended and he would love to know who had survived. He hoped either Kola or Attila was alive. There was a question that bothered him. He limped up the steps and heard the thug announce his willingness to kill a girl. Rita. Yes Rita….he paused in his stride. Who knew that Kola, Osas and Bimpe will pass that route from mama Tit’s Bar? How did Attila get to know that they would be there? Rita, Kola’s love, who worked in the bar. Am I jumping to conclusions?
He motioned one of the officers close to him. The man came to his side and they whispered quietly. The man ran to the corner and disappeared.
Detective Calixtus: “I am dropping my gun. Please let the girl go.”
The thug looked out and saw the detective who was bent slightly in obvious pain. He stepped out and suddenly a shot rang out. Kola stepped into view, blood streaming from a wound on his arm
Rita ran to Kola and hugged him. Detective Calixtus sighed and sat down on the porch. The two remaining policemen came out cautiously, when he called out to them. He dialed the station and gave them description of their place.
Kola sat down with detective Calixtus, while Rita stood aside watching the forest.
Detective Calixtus: “Kola, how many people knew your route from mama Titi’s bar to your house?” he asked quietly.
Kola looked at him in surprise.
Kola: “Rita.” He slurred his words. Rita turned at hearing her name. Awareness dawned on Kola, he looked at the detective who nodded his head. Kola stood up.
Kola: “you gave Attila the route am going to take home. Why?” he asked.
Rita: “what nonsense is that? I have stood by you all through this.”
Detective Calixtus: “if I dig deep enough I know I will find the link between you, Kola and Attila. It is better you talk here, to avoid being tortured for the truth.”
Rita: “I don’t believe this.” Looking at Kola. Kola had turned, tears in his eyes
Rita: “My brother worked in the bank, you guys robbed. You shot him and he died leaving me, a wife and a kid. I had to go into prostituting to fend for myself. You bastards destroyed my life.” she said, crying.
Rita: “when i heard you were out of prison, i decided to get even. how could you and that beast leave while my brother was dead?”
Kola passed out again.
Question: will Kola survive the shot?
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