TITLE: Accidental Victim – EPISODE: 21
Suddenly Mustapha heard a rustle of leaves behind him.
He looked back and he was shocked.
Standing behind him was one of the men he saw earlier
walking past him. The man’s rifle was pointed at him.
‘How the hell did he get here?’, Mustapha thought.
‘What are you doing there?’, the man asked with a
suspicious look on his face. Mustapha was silent. ‘What
do you have there with you?’, the man asked again.
Mustapha still kept mute.
Mustapha scanned around to see if there was any other
person around. He didn’t see anyone. He looked around
carefully once more, but he still didn’t see anyone. The
man was alone. He wondered if he was trailed by the man
or he was just there by happenstance.
Mustapha quickly figured out that the man might not have
seen or heard him on the phone, else he would have raised
an alarm. They had a particular way of whistling to attract
attention or give signal of impending danger. He knew the
man must have been trying to figure out what was
happening because the phone was still with him and he
caught the man taking short glances at the box which was
slightly obscured by the dry grasses. He couldn’t let the
man leave the forest alive, else his cover would be blown.
The man was still staring at Mustapha while obviously
waiting for the response to his questions. Mustapha knew
that the best form of defense was to attack, but he
couldn’t attack him while his weapon was still pointed at
him. He couldn’t risk the sound of a gun going off as that
could draw attention to him and all hell would be let loose.
‘So you now trail someone when he wants to respond to
the call of nature?’, Mustapha asked with a frown on his
face. ‘Call of nature, huh?’, the man asked with a scowl on
his face. ‘And what is that in your hand’, he asked again
while still waving his rifle toward the direction of
Mustapha’s hand.’Oh, this?’, Mustapha asked while withdrawing his hand
from his back where he hid it, ‘I just found this in a box
here while I wanted to take a leak, and I was wondering
who put it there. Is it for you?’
‘Huh? Me? I have no idea what it is’, the man replied with
confusion written on his face.
‘You are sure you didn’t put it here? Then what are you
doing out here?’, Mustapha asked.
‘I swear, I have no idea what this is. I didn’t place it there’,
the man replied, his voice gradually rising.
‘You placed this box here! This looks like a
communication device. Who are you communicating with?
Al-Zawari must hear this!’, Mustapha shot back at him
with a tone matching his.
The man mellowed. ‘You say this looks like a
communication device?’, the man asked.
‘It definitely is. Al-Zawari must see this’, Mustapha
The man lowered his rifle and crouched slightly to inspect
Mustapha smiled inwardly. Reverse psychology was
working. The man cleared the dry grasses on the top of
the box and opened it. ‘What the hell is this?’, the man
asked raising a component of the device.
Mustapha kept mute. He silently dipped his hand into the
deep pockets of his danchiki and felt for his switch blade.
He found it and clicked on a button, releasing it’s blade.
The man still crouched beside the box while examining it’s
contents. Mustapha briskly went behind the man and bent
over him with his right hand holding the switch blade
across his throat and his left hand over his mouth. In one
swift motion, he slit the man’s throat, severing his
cartoroid and jugular veins. The man tried letting out an
outcry, but Mustapha’s left hand over his mouth muted
Mustapha dropped him and watched as the man bucked
and thrashed as blood gutted out of his throat to the
ground. After a while the man went stiff. He was dead.
Mustapha looked around to see if anyone was lurking
around. He didn’t see anyone. He dragged the man some
distance away from where he hid the box and covered him
with some leaves. He erased the trail he left as he walked
back to where the box was.
He placed the phone back into the box and place the box
back in it’s original position, after which he covered the
box with some dry grasses.
He was about picking up his rifle which he dropped on the
ground earlier when he discovered that his palms were
stained with blood. He took sand from the ground and
scrubbed his hands with it. His palms were no more
bloodied, but they looked dirty.
He made a mental note to wash his hands immediately he
got out of the forest.
As he walked out of the forest, he realized he was hungry.
He lost his appetite earlier while eating, but now since he
knew something was about to happen he knew he had to
eat to gain strength. He was about going back to the
dining stall when a thought occurred to him.
He remembered that he had been tasked to protect the
hostages no matter what. He couldn’t protect both of
them at the same time. At least he saw Damien as one
who could take care of himself. He had to look over the
other one. Funmi.
Damien lay down on the mat in his cell when he heard
someone talking to the guards outside the iron door. The
voice sounded like one he had heard before. He had an
exceptional memory and that allowed him recall images,
sounds or objects in great detail after only brief exposure
to them. He remembered the voice belonged to Mustapha,
the undercover police officer.
‘What he is here for by this time?’, he thought. Suddenly
the iron door opened and Mustapha walked in. Damien
squinted briefly as rays of sunlight shone into the cell.
Some seconds later the door was shut.
‘How are you holding up?’, Mustapha asked him in
whispers as he crouched in front of him. ‘Just there’,
Damien replied. ‘Are there any plans for rescue?’, he
asked Mustapha. ‘Plans are in motion and this would end
soon’, Mustapha replied.Damien sat up, with his eyes wide open. ‘Really?? What
plans?’, he asked. ‘Don’t worry about that’, Mustapha
replied, ‘I’ve been charged to protect both of you by my
superiors. But I can’t at the same time. I’m sure you can
handle yourself, so that I’ll be free to protect Funmi fully.’
‘Don’t worry about me’, Damien replied, ‘just make sure
she’s fine.’ ‘Have you seen her?’, he asked.
Mustapha shook his head. ‘Defend yourself’, he said as he
got up and walked to the door.
The door was opened and Mustapha walked out into the
sunlight. He walked to the dining stall and requested for
food to eat. He had just began eating when two of Al-
Zawari’s lieutenants walked up to the table and stood
before him. ‘Al-Zawari wants to see you now’, one of them
said. ‘I’ll go to him when I’m through’, Mustapha replied.
‘He said now!, the second lieutenant said. Mustapha
looked up at them and was shocked. He washed his
hands, got up, and went with them…
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