“Start the ignition!” Shina barked at the man at the wheels. He obeyed immediately. The engine roared to life, making a very silent and barely audible humming sound. Iyke and Francis watched Shina closely, desperately trying to know what stage of the plan they were at. Shina was not scared of the two criminals despite their menacing look, especially Iyke. Iyke had a deep scar that ran from his forehead through the middle of his eyes and stopped just by his left nostril. A scar he had gotten while in a brawl with a ‘friend’ who owed him money. His friend had come at him with a matchet. He had just his hands. That was how he got the scar. He served four years in jail because of that incident. He was lucky. His friend wasn’t. His friend currently lived in a permanent wing in a federal hospital popularly called Igbobi. He was paralyzed from the neck down. Iyke was a brute. He did not fear anything or anyone. People shook and trembled at the sight of him. Even Francis secretly feared him. And when he got angry every one took to their heels. But not Shina. Shina detested him. Shina could finish him with just a phone call. In a way, Iyke knew he did not intimidate Shina. He did not know what kind of strings Shina pulled. He was always keeping his distance from him. Somehow, THE GHOSTS had a way of putting up the perfect team for an operation. Shina was the head for this mission. A smooth, calculating man, never under pressure and always with back up plans A – Z, no matter the situation. Francis was the very handsome and sexy serial killer. He loved to kill pretty women for fun. He was never caught. When he was accosted by The Ghosts he had no choice. They could give him away. They offered him good money, a good home and a family. And they were letting him kill once in a while. He was satisfied. Iyke the brute. The kind of thug you need when the situation gets tough and needs a deal of rough handling. No one does it better than Iyke.
Iyke was getting irritated at Shina’s silence.
“Oga, wetin dey happen na? You just keep us for silent since. Which ones na? Abeg wetin be scores? How e dey go? Time don reach to arrange the baggas?” He barked.
Shina just smiled. A kind of smile that could annoy the meekest of men.
“Move to the pick-up point. Now!” he said to the driver raising his voice with his left hand still pressed to his ear.
He looked at the two men at the back, then said,
“Beauty has got the girl. We are moving in to pick them up. We expect no incidence. This should be as easy as dipping a hot knife through butter. But if anything comes up you know what to do. Iyke, stay alert. Francis, you have your orders.”
Francis was relaxing with his hands across his chest and his eyes closed. His back was resting firmly on d seat and when Shina spoke he just nodded, his eyes were still closed. Iyke was almost falling off the edge of his seat in his eagerness to pick up every word Shina spoke. The jeep moved slowly and turned right towards the water side. It turned again, reversed and re-parked facing the traffic light. They were looking directly at FourPoints by Sheraton with the back door exit of Oriental Hotels to their left.
Beauty, the pretty woman in glasses opened the bathroom door and entered. She moved to the last cubicle, entered and gently folded the handkerchief into place. She listened carefully as Eva stepped out of her own cubicle and approached the central mirror, admiring herself and adjudging the extent of cleanup she had done. She felt contented. She looked into her purse.
Beauty stepped out quietly and approached Eva from behind. She took four quick steps. Eva brought her head up from the bag and noticed someone in the mirror coming at her. She saw her too late. Beauty placed the handkerchief on Eva’s nose, making her inhale every bit of the handkerchief. There was very little struggle. Beauty dragged her into the cubicle she was in. She felt Eva’s pulse. Normal. Things were going according to plan. She brought out a tiny ‘whitish’ substance and put it into Eva’s nostrils. She jerked as though she had just come out of a nightmare. Eva regained consciousness. She was weak.
“Who…who…who are you? What do you want?” Eva said, looking at Beauty. She was very afraid.
“Do you want to die, dearie?” Beauty asked rhetorically, her face totally hard.
“No ma. Please I don’t.” Eva begged.
“Then listen to me very carefully. Do you understand me?” She asked.
“Do exactly as I say and no harm will come to you or your uncle in Gbagada. We also know your mother lives in Ajegunle and goes to church by 6pm on Fridays. Your younger brother attends the University of Lagos. He stays in Jaja Hall, Room B212. We know everything about you Eva Makinde. We just need you to help us with some information. Thereafter you would be free to go. If you make any funny moves, we will poison Kunle. We have people everywhere and we are invisible. You would be released in the morning. Try any funny moves and the death of every person you love and cherish would be on your head. Can you live with that? Do you want that?” Beauty asked threateningly.
Eva shook her head again.
Beauty had made her point.
She continued, “Now you will follow me and make a very sickly face. I will do all the talking. Don’t say a word. Where is your phone?”
“It’s here ma.” Eva said very frightened.
“When I tell you, you will call Kunle and tell him you had to go. Your mum called and she is very sick. He won’t be too bothered. We have handled everything.” Beauty finished.
“Good.” “I have got the package. Meet me at the pickup spot in five.” Beauty said to her collar.
“Let’s go.” She commanded.
They went through the back, passed a corridor and took a left. She held Eva’s hand as they moved through a maze of corridors and doors. Finally they got to the emergency exit. There was a Mopol with a rifle. Shit!!!!!! This was not planned. Beauty wanted to turn back but there was no time to. The man had already seen them and she could not risk raising an alarm. She decided to risk it. She approached the police officer.
“Please Oga, my sister is pregnant. And she is feeling dizzy. She needs fresh air. She might faint any moment from now. We were in the bathroom and we lost our way trying to get outside to get fresh air. That is the only way she would be better.” Beauty begged.
The police officer scrutinized them. They looked exceptionally dressed. He looked at Eva’s stomach. There was no bulge. Eva was supporting herself on Beauty’s arm participating in the drama.
“Where una dey come from!” The Mopol said eyeing both of them.
“We are from the CEO’s party in the hall. Please sir, help us.” Beauty begged.
Just then Eva contorted her face and vomited on the floor close to the man’s feet. Beauty patted her and looked at the man. The man dropped his rifle and began to open the very difficult emergency exit. Beauty took the gun and hit him on the head with the butt. He passed out falling on the ground. Eva was shocked. Beauty smiled at her.
Beauty spoke to her collar again.
“I encountered some hindrance. He won’t be out for long. I need evacuation now! I’m at the zone.”
Shina signaled Iyke and he was out in a flash. Iyke jogged to the door and inserted a duplicate key into the lock. He opened the door from outside and the two women stepped out. As Iyke was shutting the door the Mopol groaned. He was regaining consciousness. Iyke dragged him out and locked the door. He collected the handkerchief from beauty and emptied the contents of her bottle onto the handkerchief. He gagged the mopol who was writhing and shaking his legs. Iyke’s arm was around his throat while his other palm forcefully pressed the cloth on the mopol’s nose. After a while, all became still. Iyke locked the door and threw the mopol’s body into the water.
They moved to the car and all three got inside.
“Drive.” Shina directed.
They drove in silence. As they approached Civic Center, Shina nodded at Beauty. Beauty got out Eva’s phone and told her to call Kunle as planned. It took a while for him to pick. He explained that he was talking with his superiors and asked where she was. She explained that she was currently in a cab going to see her mother at Eko Hospital. She had suffered another attack. He felt bad. His proposal had to wait. He did not pressure her to coming back. His superiors were looking at him. He asked her to be safe and that he would be with her soon. He did not plan to be.
They got to the traffic light at law school and took their right into a rough road where fish mongers sold during the day. They parked by the lagoon and every one came down except the driver.
“The car was becoming too heavy. We need one less passenger. Francis, you know what to do.” Shina said. He nodded to Francis.
Francis smiled. He brought out his .23 automatic. It was a silenced pistol. He aimed at Beauty and took her with one clean shot. He got her in the chest. She fell to the ground lifeless. Eva was shocked. Iyke had a grin. Iyke made to took her jewelry. Shina stopped him.
“She was an undercover spy. A double agent. What a waste.” He spat on her body. Iyke deposited her body in the water and watched it float.
He came back to join Shina and the rest in the car. Francis was caressing his pistol that had just carried out the hit and smiling to himself. He would jerk off tonight, thinking about the dead body of beauty. He was happy.
Shina removed the earphone from his left ear and said to no one in particular
“Let’s go home”.
TO BE CONTINUED.