TITLE: Accidental Victim EPISODE: 34
Funmi woke up that day feeling something she had not
felt in a long while. Hope. It was strange, yet so
comforting. She had previously stopped eating, having lost
appetite days ago and she was looking so weak and
She wondered how Damien fared. She had overheard the
guards talking about him escaping and now they tripled
the number of persons keeping watch over her. So many
thoughts ran through her head.
“Did Damien successfully escape?”
“Is he still alive?”
“Why didn’t he come to rescue me?”
“Perhaps it was too dangerous to do so…”
“Would I ever see him again?”
“Would I even come out of this alive?”
“Mummy… I miss you so much. I wonder how you’ll be
coping with my absence…”
“Daddy, what are you doing to get me out of this place??”
Tears began dropping down her eyes as the thoughts
continued pouring in. She was still weeping when she
heard the sound of keys dangling in the keyhole of her
She didn’t raise her head as she thought it was the person
who usually brought her food. The one they brought
previously was still untouched, and she expected them to
replace it with something new like they always did
whenever she didn’t eat.
Her head was still down between her knees but she felt
the presence of someone standing and looking down at
her. She expected the person to drop whatever they
wanted to drop and go, but when that didn’t happen, she
slowly raised up her head to see who was in her cell.
She was shocked.
Standing before her was Al-Zawari. The Taliban leader
himself. One of his lieutenants stood behind him. She
continued looking at him, not believing her eyes. This was
the man who had caused so much misery to her and many
other innocent persons in the country. If looks could kill,
Funmi’s look would have killed Al-Zawari a thousand
‘I hear you’ve not been eating’, Al-Zawari said. ‘You
should eat. Food is good for your health. Or is it that you
don’t like the food? I can make arrangements for a better
Funmi was silent.
“Get up”, Al-Zawari said to her as he noticed she wasn’t
responding. She still continued staring deeply at him. Her
looks would have killed him a million times over by now.
“Get up”, he said to her again, this time giving a signal to
his lieutenant to raise her up.
The lieutenant swiftly went from behind him and went
behind where she sat. He placed his palms beneath her
arms and tried raising her up. Funmi didn’t put up a fight,
she was too weak to do so, she didn’t lend support to him
either, so the man had difficulty making her stand.
When she finally stood, Al-Zawari signaled his lieutenant
to take off the ropes on her wrists. The lieutenant gave Al-
Zawari a questioning look, and he nodded.
Funmi rubbed her wrists with both palms for the first time
in a long time when the ropes were taken off. She noticed
her wrists were tinier than she remembered. She didn’t
have time to deliberate much on the negative changes in
her body because before she knew it, Al-Zawari held her
arm and led her outside.
It was a bright sunny day outside the cell. Funmi didn’t
know what day it was, but she looked at the sun and
guessed the time to be around past 3pm.
‘Of all the things I should be worried about… The time?’,
She was so frail as she walked because it’s been a while
since she walked around. She had always been confined
to her cell. As they passed by what looked like a
communal kitchen to her, she saw some women and
children with their faces popping out of their hijabs,
looking at her scornfully. Or was it pitifully? She had no
idea. It all looked the same to her. She on the other hand
pitied them because they looked like they were not there
of their own volition. Some armed men were standing
guard at the entrance.
They finally got to where looked like the residential
quarters of the top officials of the Taliban group. Funmi
wandered why she was brought here.
‘I hope this beast is not planning on doing what I think he
wants to do’she thought.
As they walked in, she suddenly began to feel nauseated
and dizzy. Or was it pangs of hunger? She wasn’t sure.
She held her stomach as she felt a sharp pain. Then she
‘Please don’t tell me you have thanatophobia’, Damien
whispered to Mustapha as he saw him looking as scared
as hell. ‘No talk!’, the man behind Damien said as he
nudged his rifle into his back. Damien grunted and
They were both walking with their hands tied in front of
them and two Taliban terrorists walking behind them,
pointing their guns at them.
“You have no inkling as to what they would do to us, don’t
you?”, Mustapha whispered to Damien as they continued
Damien was silent, with his face straight, numbers running
through his head.
“Ok, let me give you an idea of what they would probably
to us”, Mustapha continued in whispers. “They would
probably kill you swiftly, I’m thinking maybe by beheading
or two shots directly to your skull. It would be quick and
painless, trust me, so you wouldn’t have to worry. But me,
I’m in a shiit load of problems. I would be treated like a
traitor, and I would eventually be killed, but not before they
make me divulge information which I may or may not
have. I’ve seen them do this to some persons and the
sight was gory. So excuse me for being a little scared
right now. Hell, not a little scared. Very scared! It would
be better if I could just lay my hands on a cyanide pill right
Mustapha continued ranting in whispers, then he stopped
when he noticed that Damien was not responding.
“Did you even hear a word I said?”, he whispered again.
Damien nodded. He was listening, but he wasn’t listening
to Mustapha. He was listening to the sound coming from
the Taliban terrorists behind them.
They were now far away from the ambush site and there
were just four Taliban terrorists escorting them back to
the camp.Damien ran the numbers in his head. They were still deep
in the forest and far away from the camp. If they were to
make any move, it had to be here, else they were gone for.
But the guys were still pointing their rifles at them, and
any wrong move from them could activate the triggers of
their rifles. The one walking behind Damien looked like he
was looking for a reason to shoot them.
‘I’m not going to give you a reason to shoot, dumbass, at
least not now’, Damien thought.
Mustapha was still rambling. Damien had never seen him
this scared. Perhaps he was reliving what he went through
during his time undercover in the Taliban camp. He was
most likely scared of what they would do to him.
But Damien was not concerned about that. He knew he
wouldn’t let it get to that. ‘It’s either we escape, or we die
trying’, he said to himself.
“Would you just shut the hell up? I’m thinking here!”,
Damien muttered as they walked along.
Damien’s head ran wildly now, different scenarios popping
up. He just had to execute this perfectly else his life and
that of Mustapha be ended.
They were now beneath a tree. The three men were still
behind them, but they were closer now.
“It’s now or never”, Damien said to himself.
“Fight me back”, Damien whispered to Mustapha. He didn’t
wait to confirm if Mustapha understood or not. He
immediately shove him on his chest. Mustapha staggered
“You crazy?!”, Mustapha screamed at him as he got up
and tackled Damien. Damien fought back.
The men stood watching them, confused.
“You’re mad!”, Damien shouted back at him as both of
them exchanged words while fighting.
They continued squabbling as the men watched. They
acted so seriously. Mustapha had no idea what Damien’s
game plan was but he was sure that whatever the
outcome was, it was definitely better than the torture that
was sure to be meted out to him if they got to the camp.
“Break it up!”, the leader of the pack screamed at them.
They didn’t hear, or if they heard, they didn’t act like they
did. The leader nodded at two of his men and both of them
walked towards Damien and Mustapha to separate the
“Now!”, Damien screamed at Mustapha as one of the men
put his hand on his shoulder trying to pull him away from
Immediately, Damien grabbed one of the men while
Mustapha grabbed the other. Both of them held the men
on their necks while ducking behind them. The other two
men were confused. They pointed their rifles at them, but
they couldn’t get a clear shot. This went on for some
seconds as Damien and Mustapha held on strongly while
not giving away their positions.
One of the men struggled wildly and tilted Mustapha
towards the direction of the rifle, but it didn’t last long.
Mustapha gained back his position immediately. The
fighting between the four men became fierce. The two
other had no other choice but watch, and wait. They had
the impression that whatever the outcome was, the man
with the gun always won. And both of them were with
Both of them were shocked when suddenly, Damien
snapped the neck of the man he was fighting and the man
sprawled on the floor. There was no more cover for him.
Both men watched him with their mouths agape.
Mustapha and the other terrorist stopped fighting. Damien
knew the die was cast. It was finally over. He raised his
hands and closed his eyes.
‘At least, I went down fighting’, he thought.
Some seconds later, the leader regained his composure
and pointed his rifle at Damien. Mustapha cursed under
his breathe.At that very moment when the leader was about to pull the
trigger, the sound of a gunshot ripped through the trees.
And another. And another. Three shots in all. Perfectly
timed and accurately found their marks.
Damien heard the shots, expecting that they were directed
at him. He was expecting pain, and maybe loss of
consciousness. Or was it immediate loss of
consciousness? He didn’t know because he had never
Some seconds later, he was still conscious. Everywhere
around him was quiet. ‘Am I in heaven? Or is it hell?’, he
‘If I’m in heaven, how come I can’t see anything. Or do
people here walk blind?’, he wondered. Then he
remembered his eyes were still closed.
He slowly opened his eyes and saw Mustapha staring at
him. He looked around and saw the four Taliban terrorists
who were escorting them lying on the floor, dead. Very
He was surprised. He looked at Mustapha realized that he
was still shocked. He was about asking Mustapha what
happened exactly when they both heard a sound coming
from behind them. They looked back and saw someone
with a rifle coming out from within the bushes…
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