ALSO READ: Master of Descriptions: Perils (Part I)
The long winding road into the small town seem like unending skin a snake has shed off.
It’s dark, the moon casting its blue-hued silver light on trees along the tarmac, forming a silhouette of the branches, swaying to the chirps of crickets, sailing the night away. An indistinct roar of a car engine approaches from the horizon as its headlights grows brighter and brighter. A white saloon car speeding, slows down, the passenger door is pushed opened as a human body is toppled on the ground. The door is shut vehemently, as the car speeds off leaving the body laying still.
The sound of the car engine disappears into the dark. Twigs of fallen tree branches twitch, as the body gradually collects itself and rises like dark thick smoke ready to soar above the skies. Its posture is slightly slouched. It makes its way to the tarmac, where the moon illuminates to give a clear picture of a woman dressed, her garments stained with blood, her chest is topless painted with blue crimson, a reflection of the moon on her blood. Her frail body is like a mirage of an object that is surreal. There’s life in it, and there’s no life at the same time. Her left eye is swollen, the other one is darkened just below the eye socket.
She limps as she stares in confusion where they came from and where the car headed. Her right thigh has a fresh wound, each time she walks, she exerts pressure on her feet, blood trickles down. Her right hemisphere on her head is completely shaved and bares a deep cut. It’s cold, she shivers, and her jaw bones constantly grinding against each other. She covers herself with her feeble hands. Ahead, to the direction that the car went, she sees lights and a huge signpost written, “Motel”. She trudges towards it.
A saloon car speeds past her, she does not pay attention to it. She whimpers, each time taking her palms to wipe off stains of blood on her eyelashes. A pick-up truck comes along, slows behind her, she keeps on walking. The headlights reveal her back laced with sharp marks from lashes of whips. Inside the vehicle, there are two drunk men, smoking cigarettes. The car stops, a guy in the passenger seat gets off and approaches her and makes an abrupt stop in front of her.
“Hey miss, you need a ride?”
She doesn’t respond. She holds herself tightly as she tries making her way past him. He blocks her. She retracts back only to bump into the other guy behind her. He inhales one last puff as he throws the cigarette on the tarmac and grinds on it with his boots.
“She is bloody, but does not look that bad.”
The other guy tries to set loose her hands from her clavicle.
“You want a taste, eeh?”
“Sure thing. She looks like she will die anyway, she will appreciate the effort and die an ecstatic death.”
One guy holds her from the back. The other one stares at her lasciviously, unbuckling his trouser while moving towards her. He reaches out to lower her panty. She presses her lids, and bites on her teeth as she gathers her remaining strength, and with one blow she kicks him on the crotch. He staggers back squealing. She drops her head down, pulls it and strikes the man behind her making her head hurt thrice as much. His grip loosens on her as she struggles to set herself free. She hits him again, this time he topples down. She falls on her knees and begins crawling away. He reaches to her legs and grabs her feet. She kicks him fruitlessly, but the pain in her skull and on her thighs doesn’t provide enough power.
Inside your room its dark. The street lights beams their yellow light through the window. The sound of a movie playing on in a TV at the reception area, projects across the hallway through the silent night. You have been lying on bed for the past 2 hours but you could not find sleep. Jules is dead, and you are next. Whoever killed Jules will be coming for you. You hold the gun, ready to fire when anyone attempts to break inside your room. Thinking about Jules untimely death, knowing that you had a hand in it, sends chills of repugnant guilt down your spine.
She was barely 22 years old, a university student desperate for a job to make ends meet. She was young, beautiful, tenacious and innocent. All the traits that you were looking for in a delivery guy in your line of business. Someone not easily suspected. Someone smart, and not easily duped. You remember the first times that she kept on following you, calling you and texting you? When you almost thought that you had found a young blood to toy around with and flaunt with money, just the same way your mates with bulging tummies fell for the sponsorship category. When you said yes, and booked a hotel room only for her to show up with her own terms. She told you she only ‘eats’ the money she works for. Impressed, you gave her a job. But you outsmarted her, didn’t you? You used her desperation against her, and gave her a job without concealing the facts to her. By so doing you set in motion her imminent demise. She inherited your enemies. Now she’s gone, you have inherited her killer too. Is that quid pro quo? You close your eyes and all you see is a bullet splashing her brains out. Are you happy now? You liked her, didn’t you?
Nonsense. It’s no time for grieving. Whoever killed Jules made it clear that you could be next. You need to be prepared. You have to know who knows what, and who is behind what. You have to move as swiftly as you can, but first you need to give your family a first priority to safety. No collateral damage to what you are about to do. You give your wife a call. She does not pick up. Its 3 am and she could be sleeping. You decide on calling her in the morning probably she will wake up to find you in the house. Just before placing the phone beside your pillow, a call comes through. It’s your wife calling.
“Hello baby, I am so sorry to have woken you up.”
She doesn’t respond. She is gasping for breath in the background accompanied by cries of children. Your children. The children are scared of something. But what?
“Baby, what’s happening? Who is there?”
There are struggles. The phone tumbles down. Pieces of glasses break. Heavy breaths. The cries heighten. You get off your bed holding the gun, putting on your coat, heading towards the door.
There are indistinct heavy breaths. Gunshots are fired thrice. Everything goes quiet.
You stand rooted at the door, grip on the knob. Over the phone you hear footsteps. Someone picks up the phone from the ground. You hear soft breaths. Nobody speaks. Your heart races. The call ends.
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