Category Archives: TM WRITES

Who Killed Dana Bala? – Epilogue




THE day Dana Bala came into the Good Shepherd’s home, two people were particularly shocked that day but only one of them feared the beginning of a bad end.

When Dana was dropped off at the gate of the home, seen only by the old gatekeeper who’d watched the odd goodbye scene from his old room attached to the gate, she only had with her a small suitcase that contained her few clothes. What the old man who minded the gate didn’t see and no one else noticed was that Dana had a letter with her.

Only three people knew about the letter—the one who’d written the letter, the one who it was given to and the one who it was meant for.

Unlike most children who came into the home quivering with fear and uncertainty, Dana was bubbling with curiosity and confidence. She greeted the old gatekeeper and requested to see Fr. Chrysostom Okeze. The old man sent her instead to Sister Clara who finally sent her into the small office to meet the Priest she had requested again to see.

Who Killed Dana Bala? – 9




INSIDE the small room used by Father Chrys as an office, the two men quickly dealt with the exchange of pleasantries, so they could get to the crucial matter at hand.

Fr. Chrys broached the subject first. “So, what’s your verdict?” He asked with as much calm as he could muster.

Charles gave a mild laugh. “I’ll hardly call it a verdict; wasn’t a court case and we weren’t trying to play judge.” He made a casual movement with his shoulders. “But I get what you mean, so… the final part of the autopsy was rounded off yesterday evening and a report was sent to me… to the Station. Dr Chikelu’s submission is death by natural causes, no evidence of foul play or murder.”

“Death by natural causes?” Fr. Chrys repeated.

“She died on her own, Father.” Charles explained. “Well, not exactly, there seemed to have been a shutdown of her organs.” He shook his head, still baffled that such could happen to one so young. “It’s not clear what brought it on since there was no clear presence of any poisonous substance. And no proof of any heart disease or deficiencies to her organs.”

Who Killed Dana Bala? – 8




UNDER the big mimosa tree, Dominic sat with the lanky boy with a limp who was taller than him despite being a year younger. He’d always liked Anthony. He was a little too goody-goody for comfort, especially after his sexcapades with Dana. He’d seen the word ‘sexcapade on the internet and had since then enjoyed his private use of it. Just same way he enjoyed the pictures of girls’ boobs on his favourite site.

He looked at the boy now. Dominic considered him ‘a boy’ not only because he was younger but also because he hasn’t gotten tiny beards scattered on his chin like he did. Anthony was looking terribly troubled, and that worried him. He’d been looking this way since Dana had dropped dead in front of the garden gate—the slutty witch.

Slut was another word his internet prowls had unearthed and added to his secret vocabulary. To his thinking, the only girl that had perfectly fitted the definition of that word had been Dana. Of course Justina had enjoyed a few sexcapades with Anthony too, but she was no slut. No, she was just a naughty, silly girl who read too many romantic novels.

He’d been trying to talk to Anthony in the last few minutes but he was absentminded. Dominic figured he was troubled because he knew that Dana must be gnashing her teeth as she weathered the burning flames of hell.

Who Killed Dana Bala? – 7




WHILE Fr. Chrys was listening with horrified stupefaction to Sister Clara’s narration, downtown at the teaching hospital CSP Charles Kanayo was with Dr Chikelu, the Pathologist.

Charles stood beside the autopsy table and Dana’s lifeless body was across the waist-high aluminium fixture. There was a plastic brisk-like appliance under her back which made her chest to protrude upwards.

Dr Chikelu’s gloved hands moved over the body as he spoke. “I’ll be opening her up in a matter of minutes to begin the toxicology tests.”

“Right.” Charles nodded. Though he’d been dealing with dead bodies all through his career, he’d never managed to get over his aversion for seeing bodies lying across the autopsy table. “So, what is your verdict so far? You think she could have been murdered?”

Who Killed Dana Bala? – 6



Fr. Chrys was not having a good day at all. Not only had he been treated to another bone-chilling confession from Veronica and Justina, he’d also gotten a call from Charles that the autopsy investigations were still inconclusive.

They haven’t found any incriminating evidence that might make the cause of death anything but natural. But as he’d pointed out, the results for the tests of poison weren’t yet out, so until they were, nothing could be certain.

Nothing could be certain except that a teenage girl was dead and her body was being subjected to scientific pokes and prods instead of being committed back to Mother Earth. Restless, Fr. Chrys sprang off his chair and started to pace the small office.

This was what frustrated him most about the Nigerian Police and their ill-equipped investigation system and laboratories. Everything was done at such a snail pace as if they had all the time in the world and worse still, the results were most often doubtful. It’s been forty-eight hours for God’s sakes since her death and all he was getting were platitudes instead of answers, or at least a body to bury.

He let out an explicit curse, then exhaled, stopped his prancing and leaned his back against the door. Willing himself to relax, he made the sign of the cross and silently implored God’s forgiveness for the swear word and his uncharacteristic temper.

Who Killed Dana Bala? – 5




JUSTINA lay crunched on the floor, her back against the door, knees lifted up to her chin and cradled by her hands as wild thoughts raced through her mind.

Veronica’s muffled whines came from the bed but her frenzied mind denied the possibility of them having been responsible for Dana’s death. No, they hadn’t killed her. She must have died on her own. Something else must have killed her, not their harmless attack.

It had only been a revenge plot to teach the damned boyfriend-snatching witch a lesson. Swallowing hard, she turned to look at Veronica. The pure anguish on the other girl’s face struck at her and sent images of the last time they had both seen Dana alive tumbling into her mind like a flood of turbulent windy water.

JUSTINA was sitting on top the ledge that was attached to the large bungalow-like building. Though Veronica was reading aloud in her usual stuttering manner, she wasn’t really listening to her. Although a word or two slipped through her subconscious mind every now and then, the conscious part of her mind swirled with rage and pain as she thought over her earlier discussion with Anthony.

Who Killed Dana Bala? – 4




CHIEF Superintendent Charles Kanayo has just left the Imo State University Teaching Hospital where he’d gone to speak with the Pathologist attached to the State Police command, Dr. Denis Chikelu, on the autopsy findings so far in the Dana Bala case.

Dr. Chikelu hadn’t had much for him, and he hadn’t really expected much either, it had barely been twenty four hours since the body had been deposited by his team at the hospital. Well, however little the information he had, he wanted to update Fr. Chrys on them. So, slipping out his phone as the Police Sergeant on the driver’s seat of the Hilux van sped through the light traffic towards their Station, he dialled the Priest’s number.

“Good morning, Father.” He greeted once the call was picked.

“Good afternoon, Charles, how are you?” Fr. Chrys responded. “Are you on the road?” He asked, hearing the noisy static from the other end.

Charles pushed off the file he had on his laps onto the seat and tried to stretch forward his legs. “As a matter of fact I am, Father. Actually I’m on my way back from the Teaching hospital; had gone over to speak with our Pathologist there.”

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