TITLE: Accidental Victim – EPISODE: 23
Mustapha and the two other men wasted no time in
burying the man. By the time they got back, it was already
getting dark. Mustapha was on sentry duty and he
remembered he was already late in giving back
information to his superiors.
He had to scout the entire area and note their vulnerable
points, but it wasn’t going to be easy. He knew he had to
be careful because he didn’t know how far Al-Zawari’s rein
held. He had to make sure that the information he passed
out couldn’t be traced back to him. He suspected
Superintendent Ridwan. ‘No one knew I was in this camp
till I spoke with him. How is that even possible?’, he
He made a mental note not to speak with anyone else
except his original handler who he trusted.
He went to the dining stall and had his meal before
reporting for duty.
The Taliban camp had various security details. Some of
them were placed in stationary positions while some
roamed and Mustapha made sure he was placed on the
roaming detail because he needed to go around that night.
About an hour later, he had completed a round and gotten
all the information he needed.
He walked into the dark forest and after taking all
necessary precautions, he got to the point where he
placed his box. He looked ahead and imagined seeing the
man he killed earlier lying under the leaves he used in
He later cleared the grasses covering the box and brought
out the phone. He connected the device and after waiting
for some seconds, he heard two beeps and a voice came
“You are late…”
He noticed it was Supt. Ridwan’s voice.
“I want to speak with Inspector Ajala…”
“He isn’t around at the moment. What’s happening?”
“I’m sorry sir, but it appears this operation has been
“There’s a mole giving information to Al-Zawari… My
name was mentioned…”
“This is ludicrous! How’s that even possible?”
“I should be asking you sir… I narrowly escaped it.”
“Hope you are fine…”
“I am sir…”
Mustapha went on to give him details of the feasibility
studies he carried out and Supt. Ridwan promised to find
out how Al-Zawari was getting his information. He
informed Mustapha that the incursion into the camp was
going to be by 0600hrs the next day.
He ended the call and was about placing the device back
into the box when he heard the alarm blaring. ‘What is it
this time?’, he wondered.
Damien sat on the floor in his dark cell with the stench of
urine from the bucket at the corner oozing in his nose. He
was thinking about all the events that led to him being in
the Taliban camp. ‘If only I had minded my own business
and not lusted after a beautiful lady’, he thought, ‘I might
have still been in my house.’ He also thought about his
mum and his siblings, how worried they would be. The
thought made him determine in his heart that he must
survive the ordeal no matter what.
‘How am I supposed to escape from this place?’, he
He knew that two armed guards were posted outside his
cell, besides the cell was close to the edge of the forest.
‘There’s no where to run to’, he thought.
‘Or are there paths out of the forest?’, he wondered.
He had not studied any map of the forest, but he slightly
understood the topography of the area. It was fairly
standard.He began imagining possible scenarios and obstacles in
the forest and how he was going to overcome them.
The voices of the guards posted outside his cell could not
make Damien concentrate his thoughts as much as he
wanted to. He always favored serene environments when
brainstorming like he was trying to do at that moment.
The guards were discussing and they had loud voices that
penetrated even the thick walls of the cell.
Damien was listening to them, trying to understand what
they were saying, but he realized that they were speaking
a dialect he had never heard in his life.
He just ignored them and tried to think of possible ways of
escape. All the ways he thought of resulted in one thing –
The guards outside were engaged in a heated argument.
Damien wondered what they were arguing about because
the noise was beginning to disturb him.
Suddenly, he heard the sound of the footsteps of two
different persons walking towards the cell and he heard
one of them convey an instruction to them. Some seconds
later, he heard several footsteps walk away from the cell.
He quickly got up and went towards the iron door. He
placed his ear on the door, trying to listen for sound
outside the cell, but it was all quiet. It was obvious the
men had left and he was unguarded. ‘But where could
they have gone to?’, he wondered.
He still remained in that position for several minutes, but
there was still no sound coming from outside the cell.
He tried ramming the door severally, but it was to no
avail. The door was heavily bolted and could only be
opened from outside.
He just sat behind the door and waited. After what seemed
to Damien like hours, but in reality just a few minutes, he
had already begun drifting into sleep when he heard a
voice. He thought he was dreaming about it, but when he
opened his eyes, he heard the voice again. This time,
clearer than the first.
‘Salam alaikum’, the voice called out. Damien was quiet.
No one responded outside either. Damien tried deciphering
who the voice belonged to. ‘Salam alaikum’, the voice
called out again. Still no one responded. This time around
though, the voice said some words that Damien didn’t
understand, but one word that stood out was ‘Abinchi’.
‘Food’, Damien thought.
Damien got up and knocked on the iron door, thrice. He
waited. Everywhere was silent. He listened for sounds
outside the cell and didn’t hear any footsteps receding, so
definitely the person was still standing there. ‘Please open
this door’, Damien thought silently.
After several seconds, Damien heard a sound outside the
cell. He heard the sound of a tray being gently placed on
the floor.He smiled inwardly. Suddenly, he heard the sound of bolts
of the iron door coming off. Some seconds later the door
was thrown open and a young man walked in with a tray
with food on it.
Damien was standing behind the door. Some rays of light
shone in through the door. The young man didn’t see
Damien, so he dropped the tray quietly.
The man was about turning around when Damien swiftly
came behind him and encircled his arm around his neck,
with the man’s trachea at the crook of his elbow. His left
hand then grasped his own upper right arm, gradually
choking the man. The man thrashed and bucked, but
Damien did not relent. He held on.
After several seconds, the man was still. Damien set him
on the floor and checked for his pulse. He felt it faintly.
The man was not dead. He quickly took off the man’s
attire together with his turban and put it on. He tied the
man’s hands and legs with his clothes and gagged him.
After positioning the turban properly around his head, he
opened the door, walked out of the cell and bolted it back.
He looked around and noticed that there were no guards
around. He didn’t wait around to find out where they were
as he took the nearest path into the forest….
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