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Episode 23 DEVIL'S PAWN: It's Judd Vs Emeka As Simon Cheats Death Again

Devil's Pawn, a story of death, love, politics and the metaphysical, is an unpublished novel by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, published as a serial exclusively on Students Pulse section of Pulse.ng. Stay with us...

  • Published: , Refreshed:
Politics, power, love and the metaphysical all come together in a battle of many casualties. play

Politics, power, love and the metaphysical all come together in a battle of many casualties.

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continued from last week...

...

“The bullet that killed Dr. Morgan came from one of the gun we recovered from the scene last night.”

The Captain pushed his glasses up his nose bridge and picked up the file Judd had placed on the table.

He perused the document, his countenance changing visibly as he read through the report. The slight grin on his face gradually froze into a look of wonder, then dissolved into a bland look.

“Sir, that’s not all. The prints at the scene of the Dr. Morgan’s murder matched the grooves of the shoes worn by the suspect we believe owns this gun. We have a match on the fingerprints too. The ones on the gun matched one of prints taken then.”

“You don’t say!” He sat up.

The sunlight hit the Captain full in the hair now. The hair seemed to light up like glow worms.

“The suspect is at the hospital now, and I have moved him to category A.”

Captain Hassan got up from his table. He grabbed Judd’s hand and pumped it vigorously. “Nice job, Judd, nice job,” he said.

“Thank you Sir. I’m just doing my job. The team really did much of the work, and they actually pushed me to this discovery.”

“Good job. Who else beside you and the men in your team know about it?”

“Nobody in my team knows. …It is just Joffre and both of us. I used my discretion to keep it from them. Besides, I wanted to know what my orders would be first.”

“Good. Keep it that way, for now. Make sure the suspect is secure, and get some men to search his place.”

“We’re filing papers for a warrant already,” Judd said walking towards the door.

“Forget the warrant! Who needs a warrant when you have all these? Let’s get busy. And I want a full report on my table very soon.”

Before Judd left the office, Captain was already on the phone with the Commissioner of Police.

The Captain palm was clamped over the mouthpiece of the phone as he shouted after Judd before the door clicked shut, “Go home first and get a shower, Judd. You stink of sweat.”

Judd smiled, pleased with himself.

This is the big one, he thought.

A fist grazed the corner of Simon’s eyes, and he blinked in pain rapidly.

By the time he could see well again, several kicks and punches had landed on him. Fear took over. He could hear talks of petrol and tyres. He had to escape, or it would soon be too late.

Go, go now.

The perfect opportunity presented itself as the mob parted way for the person bringing the tyre to come through, distracting the man holding him.

He broke free and charged into the opening in the crowd, arms flailing. The first person he hit yelped with pain. Simon was soon out of the crowd, leaving behind a melee.

“No let am escape”

The mob chased after him, but he had a widening head start, and he ran with strange agility.

“Hold am.”

“Make una catch am.”

The shouts of the mob alerted a wheel barrow pusher who positioned himself directly in Simon’s path.

Simon realized the man’s intention and knew he couldn’t let the man succeed. Going around the man was out of the question, so he kicked out instead.

The man had bent low, intending to grab Simon in the middle. The kick caught him in the jaw, and Simon left him sprawled on the ground with a broken jaw and a bloody mouth.

By the time the crowd reached the place, Simon had rounded a corner and disappeared. The burly man cursed angrily. 

Gradually, the mob reduced in number, breaking up into smaller units. They chattered excitedly, pleased with the distraction, brief as it might have been.

“God save that mugu I for scatter im head,” a young man of about twenty years told the man beside him.

He had a big stick in his hand, which he pumped in the air to buttress his point as he spoke.

“Na wetin the man thief sef?” he continued throwing the stick to the ground.

“You be complete mufu,” his partner replied. “Who tell you say na thief e be?”

“Na wetin e com do wey una bin dey pursue am na?”

The other man hissed and walked on without replying.

THIRTEEN

You have boasted with a slap on your chest.

You have dipped into the hornet’s nest.

You have poked your finger in my eyes.

The die is cast, you shall pay the price.

Emeka woke up with a guttural scream, sweating profusely. He grabbed at his crotch and heaved a sigh of relief. It had all been a dream.

Just then the door opened, and the policeman jumped in with his gun sweeping the room. He approached Emeka’s bed cautiously, pausing when he saw the blood coursing down his face.

The door opened again and the nurse walked in, startling the officer who was still peering into Emeka’s face. He turned his gun on her, and she screamed. The officer apologized, realizing it was just her, and helped her pick up the things she had dropped on the floor.

Emeka looked on silent. He felt parched and feverish even as he sweated. The pillow on which his head lay was damp and so was the bed sheet. The monitors were beeping crazily.

“God, you almost shot me!” The nurse found her voice at last. Even then, her voice quavered.

The officer apologized again. “I thought you were the attacker.”

“I heard screaming from this room,” she said, dropping the tray on the trolley beside Emeka’s bed.

“That’s what brought me here too. I thought he was being attacked.”

The nurse moved closer and gasped when she saw the cuts on Emeka’s face. “Did you do this to him,” she asked accusingly.

“Are you crazy,” he retorted, “I was wondering about the blood too before you came in.”

Emeka was confused by the direction of the conversation. He touched his face and felt the sticky blood. Fear gripped him as he looked at the blood on his hands.

It had been more than a dream, he realized. The truth scared him even the more.

The nurse touched his face. “How did this happen?”

Emeka turned away without answering her. The police officer searched every corner of the room.

He drew back the window blinds and checked the burglary, proofing which was still intact. After looking under the bed, he straightened up and shrugged at the nurse.

“There’s no one in this room.”

“I think I have to get the doctor,” the nurse said walking briskly out of the room.

She is back, Emeka thought. The thought sent a shiver down his spine.

Judd decided to drop by his house as the Captain had suggested. After that he would go to see Joshua. He got home just as the grandfather clock in the living room struck 9 am. He paused on the doorstep and smiled.

The door opened before he could reach for the door knob, and Martha’s beautiful face popped out beaming with smiles. She was characteristically excited.

Martha wore a pink anemone print sash dress that showed off her graceful body. Much as she was religious, Martha was a fashionable woman, and she had a body for good clothes.

This morning she looked even more beautiful with her dark hair packed.

“Morning, dear,” she cooed as she hugged Judd.

“Morning, love... You’re not in bed?”

“Yes. Our pastor called later to say that the vigil would not hold, so we just had a quick prayer and I came back.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, and I hoped to catch you in bed,” she said, making a mock pout. “I guess your girlfriends at the office had their claws in your face.”

Judd laughed out loud amused. His wife always teased him about his female colleagues, and she had every reason to. More than one of the female officers would love to have an affair with him, and they were open about it. He drew her closer to him and planted a full kiss on her mouth.

“No woman can make me leave your side,” he said, releasing her from his embrace.

“Yeah, I know,” she laughed. She walked a few feet away and sniffed at him with a funny frown on her face. “Please go get a shower. You stink like a skunk.”

Judd tried to grab her, but she skipped away quickly. “Dammit. I had a hectic night and the shower in the office is broken.”

“I have cheese fries with grilled onions and scrambled eggs on the table, and (be) rest assured that you won’t get a bite of it if you don’t shower first, Judd.” She tried to make a stern face, but ended up giggling.

Judd stayed where he was. “Come on. Don’t play with a hungry man o!”

“I meant that.” She put up a stern face.

“What!?” Judd exclaimed. He started towards the stairs.

“And you still haven’t told me what happened to the cake last night. I guess a big rat must have walked into the house just after you left.”

Judd shrugged and walked into the room. Martha had a way of getting things done; that’s why he had married her. He knew she wouldn’t give him a bite of the fries, no matter how much he begged, if he did not do her bidding.

Funny woman… my funny woman.

In the shower, he whistled a tune he had heard once at the bar. A drunken pair had entertained the people in the bar with it, drunk as hell.

But nobody had minded their boisterous attitude because they were singing  a tune, strangely melodious, coming from drunks.

The tune had caught in his head.

I’ve got me a wife,

And she is the love of my life.

She is the scent of the red rose

That tickles my sniffing nose.

I’ll eat her sweet corn bread,

And even more I’ll eat in bed.

He closed his eyes as he scrubbed, humming the song. He must have lost himself in the words of the tune, because the next thing he felt were arms wrapped around his soapy body.

He couldn’t open his eyes because of the soap on his face, but he felt with his hands. The body that owned the arms was familiar.

It was Martha. Her dress was still on.

She was naughty like that. She reached out and turned on the shower to let him wash his face. When he could see, he drew her even tighter into his embrace. Then he kissed her.

“Crazy, that’s what you are,” he whispered, as he pulled her dress over her head.

She had nothing under the dress.

He felt her ample breasts bulge against his hairy chest and waves of pleasure washed over his body. He shuddered. Only Martha could do him like that. He ran his hands gently down her back to the parting of her small buttocks, and she moaned with pleasure.

Deftly, he squeezed her buttocks with his right hand, while his left hand pinched her erect nipples just the way she liked it. She closed her eyes and another hoarse moan escaped her throat.

“I dreamt of this in my sleep. I missed you all through the night,” she moaned into his ear. “I waited and waited. And I cried too.”

“I love you, baby, and I missed you too,” he whispered, as he felt himself rise.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEDNESDAY...

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