EDGE – Episode 1

African Stories
// 15 June 2017
Edge Episode 1

“The level go pure!” Dada’s deep voice echoed in the cave, mixing with the loud screeches of the bats flying about like miniature planes bound to crash.

You were sitting on a fat dry trunk in the dimly lit cave, dodging from the cobwebs dangling around you. There were four of you there. Men with blazing eyes and jumbo sized weed sticking between their fingers. The cave was a cloud of smoke. The smoke assailed your nostrils but you held the cough that threatened to explode.

“The Dibia don talk am. Him say, if we follow the rules, No Maga! No beast! No nincompoop fit stop us. If they cross, they die.” Dada said as he picked up a bottle of Saint Remy from Kambili, the short guy on his left and drank from it. They were passing the drink from hand to hand like a peace offering.

With every word that came from Dada’s mouth, rage pumped within you. You turned to Obinna. Impatience burnt in your gaze. He placed his right arm across your shoulders.

“Chere goodi…Chinua. Patience!,” Obinna said to you.

Patience? You thought, squirming on your seat. This wasn’t what you bargained for. No! Why would obinna bring you here? If he didn’t have the money to help you, he should have simply told you than bring you here. Your mother is dying and every minute is precious. Tears clouded your eyes when you remembered how dry, her once ebony skin has become. Her once black austere hair is now bald. How pale she looked as she laid on the blue sheets with wires and tubes connected to her body. The doctors say there is hope. 800,000 Naira will save her life. But where will a common gardener with a 16,000 Naira salary find such money?

So, when Obinna had come to you that afternoon and promised you help. You clutched to it like a dying man holding a straw. You have always known that Obinna is bad. You grew up with him. He is the only cousin of yours in your age bracket. Growing up, anytime, a goat got missing, it was obinna. When Mazi Orji’s house was burgled, it was still obinna. You knew it was him because it was you who hid him in your wardrobe when the vigilante came searching for him.

Dada turned to you. His eyes swept through you as though he was just seeing you for the first time.

“Obi… Na him be this? ” Dada asked as he walked closer to you. His eyes roamed over your black polo and blue trousers. He seemed to be checking out your muscles.

His hands darted out with a speed that you didn’t see coming and connected with your shoulders. You lost balance and stumbled to the floor. Kambili’s roar of laughter fueled your humiliation.

“Mba nu! Obinna. This one no get liver o! Make person no go spoil show for us o! “ Dada said shaking his head. His long dreadlocks dangled around his shoulders.

“Dada, we need am o! In fact, we no fit do without him. Na him be the gardener for the senator house.” Obinna said as he tried to help you up. You shrugged away from him. Dusting your trousers as you stood.

“Correct!” Dada said shaking hands with obinna. There seemed to be a new energy in the cave. Dada walked to you and grabbed your shoulders.

“Welcome, my man. Get ready. Tomorrow, we will strike.”

“Strike?” You asked. Confusion clouded your eyes.

“Yes, Tomorrow, you will get your 800,000 Naira, right after we kidnap the senator’s mother.” He said with an air of finality.

“What!” You whispered. Your feet trembled beneath you. Your options floated before your eyes.

“Are you game?” Dada asked.

You are silent. Your breath came in sharp pants. Fear tightened your chest.

“What is your decision, Chinua? Obinna asked.

Two drops of urine escaped your organ.


To be Continued…


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