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Category Archives: Mystery/Thriller

Who Killed Dana Bala? – #1

ONE 

 

FATHER Chrysostom Okeze woke up every morning at exactly 4:30 a.m. He was the spiritual director of the Good Shepherd’s home. He has been for the last seven years. The small community where the The Good Shepherd’s chapel was located loved him, the few workers in the home loved him, the children loved him, everyone loved Fr. Chrys. That was what they all called him—Fr. Chrys—and it especially tickled the fanciful young minds of the teenagers because his ‘Chrys’ was spelt with a y.

This morning he got up two minutes even before his alarm went off. He made the sign of the cross and muttering the Morning Offering, he swiftly took of his night clothes of sky-blue striped pyjamas and walked into the small-sized bathroom attached to his room.

In less than five minutes, he was out and in another five minutes, he was dressed in a pair of charcoal-grey trousers and an off-white short-sleeved shirt. He marched to the old dark walnut desk, picked up his Breviary, his royal-blue chain Rosary and his Bible and hastened out of the room and straight into the small chapel just down the hall from his bedroom. Twenty minutes of verbal prayers and Bible reading and he was out again and marching through the semi-lit sitting room and through the already opened porch door, mumbling the repetitive prayers of the Virgin Mary’s Angelic Psalter.

Who Killed Dana Bala? – 1

PROLOGUE

DANA Bala arrived the Good Shepherd’s Home about a year and half ago. She had been dropped off by a mother who hadn’t spoken to anyone or even explained why she was leaving her daughter at the home. The woman had just parked her car in front of the gate, ordered Dana to get down, go inside and introduce herself to the Priest in-charge and she had driven off.

At least, that was how Dana had recounted it and how the old security guard had witnessed to it from his usual spot under the big mango tree beside the gate on that fateful evening. And almost eighteen months now, that car hadn’t shown up again at the gate and no one was really expecting it to.

The Good Shepherd’s Home was a home for abandoned and homeless teens. Most of them left by parents and guardians who promised to come back for them but never did. A very few came into the home on their own—seeking shelter, food, clothing and family. Many left after a while and most never came back even to say thank you to those who nurtured and cared for them. Really the tale of the proverbial ten lepers.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie – 4

LSDL EPISODES

RESOLUTIONS

“First, revelations; then come resolutions.”

* * * 

FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER, 2016.

KUFRE’S APARTMENT, UYO. MORNING.

* * *

“Senator Cornelia Pius-Mbata is your…” Kufre struggled for the right word and finally, sputtered. “’She’s the woman who gave birth to you?”

Stefan gave a nod. “She is. At least, so says the Priest.”

“I don’t believe this!” Kufre gaped in shock. “He… the Priest, he actually said she was?”

“He did.”

“Oh my God, this is unbelievable! It’s just unbelievable!” Kufre shook her head, like she was trying to grasp the veracity of what she was being told. “She is… But she is the chairperson, or whatever they are called, of the Senate Committee on Women Affairs! She’s beautiful, amazing—a conscientious woman. I… she’s always talking about the rights of women in the society and the rights of children—of every child. She doesn’t talk of the one without the other.”

She turned up her palms in a gesture of bewilderment. “She’s such an admirable personality; everyone admires her. I follow her on Twitter. She’s so active there—a voice of the African woman and of the African child. She’s got at least two hundred thousand plus followers.” A gleam, akin to disappointment, snuck beneath the shocked disbelief that widened her eyes. “She’s married to Oke Pius-Mbata, the multinational businessman. They have four children—two of both sexes. The perfect family.”

Now bitterness, or was it anger, Stefan wondered, creamed her low husky voice.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie – 3

LSDL EPISODES

REVELATIONS

“It is revealed. So, I know.”

* * * 

WEDNESDAY 14 DECEMBER, 2016.

PARENTS’ HOME, UYO. MORNING.

* * *

 “We can’t just offer money to a man and take his baby, Uduak.” Ken Dikko-Jack rebuffed the suggestion his wife had just made.

“He doesn’t want the baby.” Uduak gripped his hand as she earnestly insisted. “Ken, I held this baby in my arms, cuddled him against my breasts, and it felt like he was mine. It felt so right holding him and he quietened once he was in my arms.”

“Uduak…” Ken shook his head, confused and worried about the whole idea. “But we are working on adopting our own already. That would be legal and straightforward. Why can’t we be patient and wait for that?”

“This baby is mine, Ken. He is ours. I’ve held him. I can’t again forget him.”

“He’s not ours, Uduak. He has a father… and possibly a mother somewhere.”

“So would the child we are hoping to legally adopt. Yet we’d still adopt him.” Uduak argued. “Ken, I don’t know what this young man would do with that baby. He’s no more than twenty-two at the most and he looked so troubled. He doesn’t want the baby. He wants to get rid of it. Somehow… anyhow.”

“And he asked you for money?”

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie – 2

LSDL EPISODES

CONFRONTATION

“Questions beget answers; answers we might not be prepared for.”

* * * 

TUESDAY 13 DECEMBER, 2016.

KUFRE’S APARTMENT, UYO. LATE NIGHT.

* * * 

“Stefan! My God, what are you doing here so late?” Kufre stepped back from her door to let him in. “I thought I was the one coming to PH on Thursday? And I’ve been calling you the last hour or so. You were going to call me after you were done with your dinner, remember?” She abruptly stopped talking and peered at him closely.

Stefan wondered what she saw—confusion, fatigue… fear?

He certainly felt all three, and worse. He could barely see her himself. He could barely make out her full curvy frame in the cotton purplish pink nightwear with its rows of centre-lined buttons.

“Darling, are you all right?” She reached for his right hand and pressed it with her own. “Did something happen? Is that why you drove down this night?”

“Kufre…” Stefan swallowed. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to say.

Why had he come here? When he’d stalked out of the restaurant, he hadn’t been thinking of— He hadn’t been thinking. Period. He had just gotten in his car and without thought, had started driving. Then he’d ended up in front of the house she lived… at Uyo.

“Stefan, what happened?” Her fingers curled around his and squeezed.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie – 1

EPISODES: 2. 3. 4.

DISCOVERY

“Hidden truths are unspoken lies.”

* * *

SATURDAY 3 DECEMBER, 2016.

PARENTS’ HOME, UYO. MID-AFTERNOON.

* * *

“No one gets a job offer out of the blue. It doesn’t feel right when things like this happen. I mean if you never applied with the company, how did they get your information, let alone offer you a job with them?”

Uduak Dikko-Jack, his sweet mother and an exasperating pain in his ass at the moment, had on her get-her-way sulky frown on and her mouth was puckered up in a displeased pout.

She didn’t want him moving, Stefan knew that and sighed. “I don’t know how they got my details, mum. The HR personnel said I came highly recommended and they want me starting immediately. I can’t turn down the offer, not when they’re paying more per trip.”

“You’re earning just fine per trip right here.” She countered, her sulky pout puckering even more. “In any case, I thought you were considering giving up driving and starting up your own company? We agreed on it.”

“I’m giving myself six months, a year at the most, and its goodbye to Long Haul and welcome to SDJ Logistics.”

“Is that what you’re going to call it?” Ken Dikko-Jack queried.

Body On My Doorstep

BOMD EPISODES

Seven

I ran into the room and skidded to a stop. True as light, John Doe was gone and the floor was bare of his body. My thudding heart did what could only be called a somersault. It rolled over, in multiple angles, and returned to its unsteady hammering state.

“What did you do with him?” I spun around and grabbed Petey.

“Me?” He struggled with my throttling grip. “I didn’t do anything with him. I walked in here and found he was gone.”

“He can’t just be gone, idiot!” I slapped him. I was panicked and the rush of fear was rendering me incapable of reason. “He is dead and he just can’t get up and stroll out of here. Where have you dumped his body? Where did you take him to?”

“I didn’t take him anywhere, Tec!” Petey yanked my hand off the neckline of his T-shirt and stumbled backward. “I didn’t touch him. You know I wouldn’t touch him for anything.”

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