Cynthia is back, naked again, to re-enact her sexual pact with Simon who wants out. She needs only one more person dead to perfect her revenge. A panicky Sylvan is desperate to kill the investigation that might ruin him. Find out what happens next! (Devil's Pawn' is a novel by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.)
“How did this happen?” His Excellency waved the newspaper before Benson’s face, “It is because of things like this that I pay you. What is your use if you can’t know about this?”
Five other dailies lay folded near a half-filled steaming cup of coffee on a low stool. Unlike most politicians, Sylvan read every popular paper each morning. He cared about public opinion, at least public opinion that concerned him.
He’d been sipping his coffee when the housekeeper brought his papers. It had taken only a glance at the front page of the City Watch paper to turn the sweetened coffee to stale water in his mouth.
He had had to read the headline twice before actually comprehending what the large print before his eyes meant.
Benson kept quiet.
He knew better than to talk when His Excellency was angry. He understood the man very well and knew that talking would only get him angrier; he had nothing relevant to say anyways.
He just let the storm ride on. His Excellency had a way of calming down after getting mad.
“Hir is dangerous. You know how he almost destroyed my second term bid last year. You have to nip this madness in the bud before it gets too wild.”
His Excellency was calmer now. He stopped pacing, and his features softened. The pyjamas he wore was unbuttoned and his paunch showed.
He looked almost like a child with kwashiorkor, except that he wasn’t lean.
“I am telling you again, I want you to make this go away. If you do, I will surprise you. If you don’t … I’ll make sure I fix you before I go down. Now don’t think I am threatening you… I am not. I am just laying the cards on your table.”
“I understand, Sir.”
Sylvan dismissed Benson with a wave. “By the way, why did the editor not do something about this story?” He picked up the phone and punched in the editor’s number.
Benson shrugged, happy for the diversion. He walked out of the room and closed the door gently behind him.
Joshua touched his head gingerly. The hair around the wound had been shaved off. His head still felt like a sledgehammer had been rammed against it. The nurse pushed his fingers aside and continued stitching with Joshua wincing each time the needle went in. The left side of his face twitched severally.
“I can’t believe you’re behaving like a cry baby.” The nurse smiled. She was the head nurse at the University clinic and friends with Ruth.
“You need to see the rock that kissed my head. I bet it’s stronger than any kiss you can manage.” Joshua laughed painfully.
He was worried about what Ruth would say about the injury. He knew it wouldn’t be long before the nurse would call Ruth and give her the details of his injury.
Joshua checked the wound in a mirror when the nurse was finished. His head felt heavy. He swore, and she gave him a telling look. He ignored her look and swore again. She could go blabbing all she wished. He was much too angry at the moment to care about that. He pressed the small pack of ice she’d given him against his temple. The numbness helped stop the pain, but the migraine remained, and the tablets he had taken seemed to be ineffective so far.
“My head is pounding like a mortar.”
“It will go away. You just have to bear it since you refused a bed.”
Later in his office, Joshua punched a few keys on the keyboard, and Simon’s passport appeared on the computer screen with some data. Joshua printed it all out. He scanned the page and forwarded it to Judd’s email address. He sat back in his chair and thought about the previous night. He couldn’t still remember some of the stuff that had happened.
But he did remember some things. It still baffled him that Simon had escaped them.
I knew something was there. I should have shot at him. How could a human being appear and disappear just like that?
He thought of the night at the X-zone.
Well, shooting him may not have worked. After all, he is bulletproof. How do you deal with a bulletproof ghost?
Joshua rubbed his scarred cheek. It was heating up. He picked the ice pack and pressed it to his skull again.
And then he did not want to hurt me. Why is that?
He imagined what Ruth would say when she saw his stitched head. He laughed despite himself.
It could have been worse...? He took my gun and shot the ground. What if he had shot me?
He picked up his phone and dialled Judd’s number.
Judd needs to hear this.
Simon flailed his hands. He punched the air, and his hands struck something he could not yet see. From the smacking sound, he knew it was flesh.
A face came into view. It was dark, and Simon couldn’t see well, but he knew it was a man. He lashed out again and caught the man in the chest with a chest chop. The man staggered back and fell rather too easily. Simon thought there wasn’t enough power behind the punch to fell a man like that. But the man was there at his feet.
Someone coughed. Simon looked in the direction of the cough and he saw her, standing naked, her skin thickly coated with blood. She mumbled and pointed at him. A knife appeared in his hands.
Cut it out and give it to me now!
Her face steamed as she spoke. Her lips formed the words and no sound came out but he could hear her voice, clear like thunder. He turned back to his victim, sprawled on the ground. Simon could see better now. Light radiated from her to the man’s face.
The face was mashed up like a meat grinder had rolled over it. A hideous looking gash was on the chest. Simon looked at the knife in his right hand. Blood dripped from its tip like it had just been yanked out of somebody. He frowned. He knew he had not used the knife yet, that much he was certain of.
Where is the blood from?
He raised the knife and felt a sharp pain in his breast as his hand moved upwards. Alarmed, he looked at his chest and gasped. There were several knife cuts all over his naked torso, and a pool of blood had gathered at his feet.
He suddenly felt faint, just looking at the amount of blood he had lost. It passed quickly.
Don’t just stand there all day. Get it over with and you’ll be free. She was speaking again.
Free, free from what?
He looked at his body again. The wounds were gone and only the scars remained. She was offering freedom, healing at the price of the man at his feet. He looked down at the body and raised the knife above his head -the pain that he felt earlier on was gone.
The look on Emeka’s face weakened his resolve. His hands slackened.
Do it now. There was fury in her voice.
He dropped the knife and shook his head at her.
She said nothing. Then her eyes moved down to his feet. She smiled.
What was she smiling about? Simon wondered. He followed her gaze and saw Emeka a second too late. There was a knife in Emeka’s hands. The knife sliced through his pants and the soft muscles of his penis. Hot pain surged from his groin up into his brain.
Then he found himself in his bath tub, sweating all over. He sat up, clutched at his groin. It was all there. No blood. He heaved a sigh. The water was all gone from the tub. Perhaps he’d opened the plug as he slept.
It was another dream. He relaxed.
Then he felt cold fingers on his shoulders. He tensed up and turned in the tub. It was her. He shifted as far back as possible.
She was naked again as in the dream, but her skin was spotless and she glowed like a really huge glowworm, shining and dimming. She sat on the edge of the tub, cross-legged, a mischievous smile on her face
She leaned towards his ears as her fingers worked away at his shoulders. Her tongue found its way into his ear.
She slid into the tub and moved closer to him.
Simon’s plan had been to jump out of the tub and run out of the house, but he fell back on his buttocks as soon as he stood up; his legs had ceased to exist.
The girl drew him close and wrapped her legs around him. Her long arms rested lightly on his shoulders.
CONTINUES NEXT THURSDAY. Click here to read all 'Devil's' Pawn EPISODES.