Since my life, there were some things I never believed in.I never believed that he who plays the piper dictates the tune.For me, that was just a flaw of the white man.As an individual, you could dictate your tune and the piper would be forced to play your style.You could change your destiny and grab the bull by the horns, and things would work your way.You could call the shots anytime, anyday, but it all depends on your optimism.And that was my driving force….optimism.Despite how precarious a situation may seem, I was always optimistic to the last.I knew I could scale through all the chaos in my life.
While at Onitsha I went purely legit as I worked as an attendant in a supermarket belonging to my late mum’s younger sister, aunt Beatrice.For the first time in my life I knew what it felt like to be free and useful to one’s self and to humanity.That was when I understood how peaceful it was to make genuine money.There was this inner peace that always accompanied it whenever my aunt handed me some cash for my labour and services.But there was one problem.The cash was too small.
Owing to the fact I had touched huge amounts of naira notes, I saw what my aunt gave to me as paltry.Don’t get me wrong.It’s not that I wasn’t grateful, but I wanted more.That was when I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get away from crime & cash.The both were very addictive and had a way of pulling one back to the streets.No wonder they say: “YOU CAN TAKE A CHAP OUT OF THE STREETS, BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE THE STREETS OUT OF THE CHAP”. So with the little money I was earning, I felt a nostalgia for the covens of the underworld, which was now a part of me.And I felt a strong craving to be between Isla’s thighs once more to enjoy her kinky s*x and pay my dues to her.I was gradually accepting and enjoying my role as her s*x slave.I was beginning to enjoy being a captive in her world of bloodshed and debauchery.That was one mess with living on the fast lane…..You become a slave to your own desires.If your desire was mostly s*x, you become a s*x mãniac.If it was killing, you become a blood thirsty murderer.Mine was crime and s*x….A sweet but forbidden passion.With all these weighing on me, I bade my time as for when would be the right moment to go back home.As if to quench my anxiety, on one Saturday morning while taking stock in my aunt’s supermarket, my phone rang and it was Toby.
“Dead-man, waz up?” I croaked.
“Omo na wa for you oo.You just zoom off, nobody dey hear from you”
“My broda I dey oo.How far naa?”
“Coast don clear”, Toby stated,”Capone sey make all man fall in.We don get new Executioner”.
“Who im be?”
“Na for the next meeting Capone go reveal am.And the meeting na next week Monday oo”.
This meant I would have to be in Port Harcourt on Monday.We talked for some minutes before ending the conversation.So I left the supermarket to the care of the two sales girls, and flagged down a taxi home to inform aunt Beatrice of my impromptu departure.
“Duty calls”, I thought.”I have to keep to the oath”.
The next Monday saw me already in Port Harcourt.I had insisted on coming back despite how much aunt Beatrice tried to persuade me to stay longer.The meeting of the brotherhood was billed at 8:00 pm, so by that time, everyone made his presence noted.
**Somewhere far off Choba area**
Under the dark shadowy night we sat in a circle.Members of the brotherhood all bare at the torso, seated on tree trunks enjoying the radiating heat from the bon fire.There was silence in the air only broken by the cackling sounds emitted by the flames, and the momentary cries of nocturnal birds of the wild.Close to Fly was me, his 2nd in command as we awaited the capone’s arrival.Within the next 10 minutes, we heard footsteps from the glades not too far from our position and we knew it was the capone walking into our midst.Following beside him were a number of blindfolded young men who were tied in a line and pulled into the circle by one of our members.The young men reminded me of my first day within the circle of men.They were initiates and that night was their initiation parole.
The Capone began by welcoming everyone back from the hibernation.He told us that we were regrouping that time around to become stronger than before.If I may quote his words that night,
“We all present today have been given a chance to redeem the blood of our fallen brothers.We must know that whatever that can not kill you will only make you stronger”
He talked for long while we listened with rapt attention.When he was done, we poured libation and drank some liqour in memory of our dead brothers.
“No better way is there to die than die fighting beside a soul brother”, the Capone said and we all chanted.By then everyone was quite drunk on spirited drinks and we gyrated to our entrancing music.Which after the Capone revealed the new Executioner to us.
The new Executioner was a well known member, strictly selected by the Emerituses and the Capone.He had already been given the necessary orientation and fortified even more than the previous Executioner, inorder to prevent a repetition of the past.And his training on the tactical and stealth approach to combat was to begin the next day.The Emerituses were to see to it.Following the introduction of the new Executioner, the capone ordered the intitates to go down on their knees and their blindfolds taken off.Their initiation was about to begin and two appointed members approached the frail looking youngmen with sharp machetes in their grasp and I could see the fear in the faces of the initiates crimsoned by the flickering flames as they were sternly ordered to lie down.And so their blending into the fold began as the two men whipped them repeatedly with the flat side of their machetes.Watching the blinking weapon land repeatedly on the backs of the youngmen, I could imagine the pain they were passing through.This was livid pain which would convert them into beasts in the next 24 hrs.Where could their parents be at that moment, I thought.This were kids sent to school to study but one thing or the other was putting them up to this.I wished I could tell them what they were getting themselves into.Probably in due time some of them would begin to harbour regrets, but it would be too late by then.
The matchete spanking continued, after which a great number of the fraternity descended on the boys, beating them black and blue (this was now the test of their stamina) as they wriggled and writhed on the grassy ground in pains and bleeding profusely.By the time the beating was called off by the Capone, the boys were already out of breath and lying half dead on the ground cursing the day they were born.But there was something wrong…..Two of the initiates were motionless and not breathing.To prove if they were still conscious, a bottle of Esplendido brandy was poured on them and they shrieked in pain at the burning sensation from the spirtited drink on their bruised bodies.But the other two still remained motionless.So the capone ordered one of us who was a final year medical student to check the two boys.By the time the check was done, it was confirmed that they were dead.
“They are dead”, the med student said, and the Capone shook his head in disappointment.
“Weaklings….” he spat,”Weaklings trying to thread the path of men”
I watched the lifeless bodies of the two initiates muddled up in the dust and a part of me wept for them.Only if they had known this night would be their last.Sometimes in life you don’t just do things because your friends were doing them.Their friends had survived the battery, but they hadn’t.As humans we all don’t have the same destiny in life.
An hour later the meeting came to an end and the limp bodies were dragged to a marsh (under the Capone’s orders) to be buried.That fateful night, those boys were buried in a shallow grave in the marsh, right there in the bush.And I stood watching one of us dig up the earth for the bodies.Definitely the parents of those kids would search for their children till eternity (another case of missing persons).But what they would never know was that their once innocent sons had lost their lives in an attempt to strike a pact with the hordes of hell.
Lessons of The Day:
1) Don’t follow the crowd.
2) The piper shouldn’t detect
the tune for you.
To Be Continued…