Black Cartel 4 “Smoking guns”

Black Cartel 4  “Smoking guns”

Bobby was biting his nails absently minded; it was a habit he exhibited whenever he was excited or terrified. He had recently quit cigarettes but he craved for one like a dying wish right now. He constantly glanced at the rear mirror and to the shanty restaurant 20 feet down the street. The sound of his ring tone had him nearly jumping out of his seat that he accidentally pressed the horn button, it was his kid sister. He wiped his fore head with the back his left hand as he whispered into the receiver. He kept tapping the dash board, making inconsistent rhymes. Inside the shanty restaurant that had only 4 tables, an old woman whose over bleached skin had seen better days sat behind a battered counter. Her gazed was fixed on the uncommon sight of two strangers who sat at the corner. They were talking in tunes so low that even when the traffic noise outside faded she could still not hear a word, rather she only saw their lips move, occasionally she turned to look outside through the dirty white transparent curtain that had seen better days, into the street, but her mind was solely on the two customers who had over paid for food they didn’t touch or even seem to notice it was before them.

Maria and Smart held each others’ gaze as if one was trying to read the others’ mind. Listen Smart something serious is going on down here and I got a hunch a big revolution is about to take place in the crime world. I’d like to know exactly what’s going on within the circle. I think really you are asking the wrong person, i am just a peddler! I don’t belong within the circle. But you must know things or heard things, Listen Smart I am going to say this without caring how it would sound to your ears, I am in love with you! At this Smart made a gasp and blew out lightly. Maria I feel the connection too but I don’t think I have the balls to date a lady like you, look at this way I am not just your class and you don’t come from around here. Smart I honestly understand your fears but the Col is dead, the Chief is dead! They big fishes are gone, I don’t know how this works down here but when the bosses are killed the small fishes are usually left to their fate, they end up either busted by police or killed by angry cartels seeking revenge.

Now I don’t want you falling victim to any of those misfortunes, I care that much about you. I like to think I am safe Maria, besides this is neither my war nor that of one family against another! A man is on a vengeance mission and I am not on his hit list. You mean you know who killed the Col and Chief? I only got a wind of that information but not the details. Just then Smart’s phone rang, it was Lone Shark. Leave the city before the soon came the mean voice, it would probably get messy in the next couple of days. Okay Lone, where are you right now? On my way to Lagos, I have some business to take care of. Do you need me Lone? No Smart just go somewhere you can’t be traced and lay low for a while, it should soon be over. Okay got it.

Maria could link up the conversion in her head but she couldn’t grasp in depth the information exchanged. Maria I am sorry but I don’t think it will work out between us. Sure I understand Smart but I still need you to tag along with me for the little time I have left down here in Nigeria, what exactly would be my role beside you? That is your choice to make, either to be a tour guide, a friend or a lover? Just then they heard a gun shot, even the old woman rushed to door to have a peep into the street. Two men were crossing the road from the spot where Bobby kept watch; they were heading towards the restaurant.

From where they stood Bobby’s brain mixed with blood splashed on the windscreen was visible, Smart turned to old woman who was visibly terrified, any other way out of here ma? She pointed behind the battered counter, in a flash Smart and Maria made a dash disappearing from the restaurant, leaving the old woman standing confused. The two men came in almost immediately, each armed with pistols and an urging desire to kill. In one single motion they scanned the whole place before turning to woman, where the hell are they? She pointed again to behind the battered counter. The rushed behind but the back door was wide open and no trace of them, they followed the way leading to adjacent street.

Out in the adjacent street, Smart and Maria boarded a taxi but the man refused to move insisting he wasn’t going in their direction, Smart was trying to explain the urgency of the situation but Maria drew a gun from her thigh, placed on the man’s skull and screamed go us the fuck out of this place! The two men shot after them but they had gone out of range.

……………..

That same day at the first hint of darkness after the sun went home to behind the cloud. Somewhere in Ajungle, one of the most notorious areas in the city of Lagos, within the enclave of one of the many houses. The man everybody called Shadow sprinkled a thin line of cocaine on his desk, it was just a bit longer than an inverted exclamation mark. With one deep inhalation of air he sniffed it all into his system, a weary smile lined his lips. He stroked his beards as if in deep thoughts, and then looked up at the Don who sat opposite him quietly all along, calmly smoking his fat cigar. I told you I am taking six months break after the last job. I know that already Shadow but this will pay you well even better than the last one. Don money is not my problem, 30 hit a year for 10 years can earn a man his pension.

You know something Shadow you won’t last six months, if you don’t take this job because sooner or later he will hunt you down too. Shadow’s eyes flicked, nobody knows I even exist Don! That’s true but when I have a gun to my head I’d hand over your biography. Is that a threat? No Shadow just a note of warning. Why are so interested in this Lone Shark guy? He has nothing on you. You should be too because last week you killed the only family he has on earth. You mean he is… Oh yes Chief Edet’s kid brother, he has killed two people already and won’t stop till everyone is dead. He can’t come to Lagos, he knows better! I smell him around here already Shadow. Do what you do best, track him and kill him. I will pay you double the price. Done deal Don, he would soon join his brother and the family. Just make it a clean job as usual. Alright Don I got this one, but it is the last one for sure.

……….

Lone Shark pressed the bell again and again, he stared at his watch, 11:17pm probably the old man was asleep or killed too. He was about to walk away when the familiar voice responded from behind the large steel gate, who is it? Baba it is me Shark, in a moment the gate opened. The old man hugged Shark hard, it was rumored you were killed too Lone, I am sorry about your brother and family, it was a real tragedy. Baba thank you, bless the gods you’re still alive too. Did you visit Lanre? Not yet but I hope, just be very careful the rumors I hear of him are not good. Thank you Baba, I’d like to pick some personnel effect from the house, I don’t have the keys anymore! Lanre came and locked up everywhere, he even came with some people to inspect the house yesterday, I think he is planning to sell the place. Don’t worry Baba I will find my way in, Smart fumbled with the back door for a short while and it was open, inside the house was quite as a graveyard.

He switched on the sitting room light and the house seem to come alive but more like a motion picture, he could see his brother helping his only son do his homework, the wife making the table for a meal, people coming and going. His brother’s picture hung in a corner, the smile he wore now seemed to Lone as if he was biting his upper lip in regret. Don’t worry brother I will see them all join you in hell. He went to his room, from the ceiling he brought down a box, there were plenty wads of naira notes, an ECOWAS passport, two pistols fixed with silencers and many cartilages of bullets inside it. Lone smiled as he closed the box again, Lanre I am coming for you!

…………..

Maria yelled at Smart the second, would please you calm down for a minute? Calm down huh? They shot my friend in the fucking head and you’re asking me to calm down. Smart Bobby is gone, nothing can change that. The police would take care of his corpse. Smart gave Maria a bewildered look, so I will just leave my friend on the street like that with his brain spilled out? Smart those men came for you and they would sure be on the look out for you even as we speak. Okay I am getting out of town tonight he said panicking. Right away she asked? In an hour or so, Smart I am coming along. No way will I endanger your life! My deal has ended, the Col is dead. Where are we headed? Lagos, Smart responded curtly. I am heading back to my hotel to pick my few things, will be back in a moment. Please don’t point a gun to cab driver head this time.

She smiled and said only when necessary. On her way Maria called Don Juan and explained that the war was getting out of hand, she had to leave for Lagos. He gave her a go ahead, then requested Smart’s phone number and promised some money to her once she touches down Lagos.  Two hours later Smart was alone on a night bus to Lagos.

…………..

Lanre walked casual into his sitting room, weary from another disappointing meeting with the Don, where the discussions circled around Lone Shark still running wild. He had killed two top members of the cartel and was probably in Lagos. He won’t come here Lanre reassured the Don, he knows it will be too hot for him. But when Lanre glanced casually over to the dining section of the living room, what he saw bewildered him beyond comprehension. It was more like a horrible dream that one prayed to wake from immediately. That single glance cast cold chills down his spine, which it elevated him to a whole new level of consciousness. His wife was tied to the head armless seat of the table, shot through the head. Her head tilted backwards a little. His two sons, 15 and 12 years old, tied and shot in similar manner. Only his little daughter yemi 3 years was merely bond by a scarf and a tape on her lips, a handkerchief was tied over her eyes too. A little note was pinned to Yemi’s shirt, too little to atone for her father, too pure to be killed and too innocent to watch the art of it too. Lanre rushed to the little girl, loosening her amid choking tears. He couldn’t scream as the little girl’s eye held his in a questioning manner. She seemed to be asking what just happened and he had no answers.

With shaky fingers he dialed the Don’s number, whispering Lone Shark was at my house!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: