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Written by AKOGWU JOSEPH CHINONSO…

Williams pulled over immediately, his heart hammering violently. His hand was already shaking as he turned off the ignition. He closed his eyes for a quick prayer but was instantly brought back to the reality by a severe pain that suddenly overtook him. Blood was dripping down his fine face. One of the cultists had pushed his hand through the window and smashed his forehead with a gun.

“Leave the key in the ignition and jump out of the car this minute.” He fired several shots into the air and lecturers and students around the vicinity ran helter-skelter, soon the road was deserted. No one dared stop them. They all knew the implication. If you interfere in their business, you become the next victim. A story was once told about a dauntless male student who tried to stop a group of cultists raping a female lecturer inside a classroom from the act; who was later found dead in his room the following morning, his head missing.

Williams clung on to the car key. He wasn’t going to let them take the car. He determined. It was his parents’ only car and it had cost a fortune. He wouldn’t stand the tears that would streak their ageing faces when he told them the car was gone.

The cultists grew furious. One of them hit the roof and said, “We’ve got no time to waste. Step out immediately.” His voice was a roar.

Williams didn’t respond. He sat still, his body trembling and his head burning. The blood was already past his nose and he clenched his lips tight to stop it from entering his mouth. One of the cultists, dark with rage forced the door open and the other helped him to drag Williams out of the car. They pulled him across the yew tree to an empty classroom and began working mercilessly on him. One was kicking him violently all over his body while the other was jabbing a gun in the wound on his forehead. Williams screamed until his scream became a muffled cry. The floor was filled with his blood. It was only when Williams became unconscious that they decided to leave him. Before they left, they turned his pockets inside out and took his wallet. One of them picked the car key from the floor and they started toward the door. When they were about eight paces from Williams, Destiny Noel rushed into the classroom, panting. He was wearing a black turtleneck sweater on navy blue jeans.

“Jesus Christ!” He said with a great rage. “What the hell have you_”

A shot rang out, a bullet making for Noel, but he was too fast. He stooped immediately and the bullet missed him, piercing the wall. The cultists fired four more shots but Noel was already behind the iron door. He dodged each bullet with it as he became a bundle of nerves. They dropped their guns on the floor and rushed at him. Noel watched them coming violently toward him and made his hands into fists. He wasn’t going to let them kill him without a fight. They got to him, each aiming to hit him at strategic joints. The first missed him, blowing the wall and leaving a crack on it. The second was not unfortunate. He punched Noel in his ribs, sending him to the floor. The first, whose eyes now glittered murderously, whisked out a knife from his pocket and made to slash Noel’s throat. Noel saw the knife almost on his neck, made an acrobatic move to the left and jumped to his feet immediately. The knife made a deep hole in the floor and stuck there. The miss sent the cultist off balance and he tumbled to the ground. The second aimed his fist at Noel’s mouth but Noel stopped him halfway with his forearm and quickly gave him an upper kick, followed by a knuckle sandwich, breaking his jaw. A tooth flew out and blood came gushing out. The cultist felt dizzy but didn’t give up. He grinned and closed in on Noel, giving him a hard blow on his cheek. Noel was sent backwards. He felt the deep cut the cultist had inflicted on his cheek and the blood coming out from it. He managed to regain his balance and looked around for weapons but found none. In a second, he moved swiftly and was on the cultist again. Noel hit his elbow at his broken jaw again and again and watched him fell on his knees. Blood kept pumping out of his mouth and splashing on the floor. To the left, out of the corner of his eyes, Noel saw the first cultist as he hastened madly toward him, his knee held in place for a wild kick; his target was Noel’s groin. Noel sprinted forward and the kick missed him and landed on the jaw of the other cultist. Blood kept flowing profusely from his jaw and mouth and Noel gritted his teeth to stifle a laugh. He knew the young man wouldn’t last the next minute. Like a rocket, the first cultist rushed for his gun. He picked it and fired three shots in Noel’s direction. He almost took Noel unawares but he was lucky for he jumped behind the one with a shattered jaw and used him to dodge the bullets. It was only when this cultist that was his shield slumped dead that Noel knew he was going to die. He felt his stomach quivering and he bit his lips bitterly. I died saving an innocent life. He thought. The cultist was now inching closer to him, a smile that barely went beyond his lips resting on his face. His short finger was firm on the trigger and his red eyes were fixed on his lifeless colleague that lay on the floor.
“Mr. Smart, you’re wonderful.” His voice was mirthless and he brought his eyes to Noel, “Your skill is commendable but your time is up. Tell me, what’ll you miss most when I kill you?” He was now in front of Noel, the muzzle pressed hard against his ribs. Noel didn’t utter a word. He was figuring many things in his mind, his head slightly bent. The cultist puckered his lips, “I’m waiting.” He pushed the muzzle harder against his ribs and Noel felt an excruciating pain that he felt like attempting to snatch the gun from him. He knew what Noel was considering, “Never think of it.” He said slowly, “Play any funny game and I’ll make your death painful and lingering. Macfigure, the comrade you just murdered will miss his bevy of beautiful girls.” He gave him a stern look, “I’ll like to know yours. Now, tell me what you’ll miss most when I kill you. It won’t change anything but believe me, it’s going to help.”

To Be Continued…

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