It’s a new year and I’m collaborating with a couple of writers to ensure that you always have something to read here every other day. Yes, I’m nice like that. 😀
Every Monday, I’ll share an episode of Greg Emuze’s “In the Shadows”. and on Wednesdays, I’ll share Ojay Aito’s “Two Lives and a Soul.” I trust you’ll enjoy both series so be kind enough to engage the writers in the comment section and share as well. Hunter’s Game continues every Friday.
In the Shadows (1)- Greg Emuze
He smiled as he watched her arrive. Very predictable.
The moment the professor arrived, he asked for a bottle of beer, bought some airtime and placed a call to a girlfriend; tonight, it was Bimpe. It was the same routine every weekend. The professor told any one who cared to ask that his wife and kids were abroad. The truth was he had no idea where they were. The wife had gotten tired of the union and had left with their kids over 7 years ago. He had not heard from them since.
The night wore on and he took another drink as he quietly watched the Professor at the other end of the bar. He knew he should not finish this one. He had stuff to do and this was his third. Banji was already teasing him for drinking “only” two beers in 3 hours. He smiled at the undergraduate student who had become his friend since he showed up on this campus. Banji was an asset – smart, connected, wealthy and knew a lot about any one that was any one. The only problem was that Banji was super curious. He had had to make a fake identification tag and had “forgotten” it at the bar once just to get Banji into believing he was a fresh staff at a bank in town.
“There’s no work tomorrow, man. Drink up” Banji said as he filled his glass with more beer.
“No. But I have someone waiting for me at home” He replied with a wink.
“Ah! I feel you bro” Banji said with a grin. He was always excited about women and sex.
He gave the professor and Bimpe a 5 minute head start before he rose and said goodnight to Banji. He walked to the car park and got in his Camry 2000 and headed in the direction of the staff quarters.
Not long after, he spotted the Professor’s Highlander ahead. There was one vehicle between them. At this hour, the roads were mostly deserted in these areas. He followed without needing to follow. He knew exactly where the couple were headed.
The car in between took a turn off the main road, he slowed giving the Highlander some room. It really didn’t matter though, the Professor had no reason to worry about being tailed, why would he care about a random car driving behind him for a few minutes? This particular car was the most common vehicle on campus anyway. He had chosen it on purpose.
Both cars turned onto the Professor’s road. A few houses down, the Highlander turned into a garage – the Professor was home. The Camry went by without reducing speed. It seemed its driver had paid no mind to the Highlander or it occupants.
He turned out his lamps before pulling onto the curb. He kept the engine running as he took off his shirt, shoes and pants. He had been dressed as he always was – a banker. Underneath were a pair of cycling shorts and a T-shirt. He got a pair of running shoes from behind the driver’s seat and put them on. Then pulled on a hooded cotton jacket. The spot he had chosen, many nights before tonight, was dark. The street lamp had burnt out and the main building had no serious lighting to crack the dark at this spot. The trees in the compound didn’t help either. He was parked in their shadows.
He killed the engine, got out out of the front passenger door and snuck into the premises before him. The night was cold. It was always colder in the staff quarters than on main campus. He pulled the zipper up on his jacket and put the hood over his head as he broke into a slow run down the road. He kept a steady pace and to the curb on his side of the road. As he ran past the Professor’s house, he noticed the lights were on. A few houses down, he darted across the road and doubled back to the house doing his best to stay out of sight.
At the house just before his destination, he snuck into the yard and headed towards the back of the house where he easily leapt over the fence and into the Professor’s premises. He moved quietly in a crouch till he arrived behind the bathroom window where he waited. He took a quick peek through the window, Bimpe was in the shower. He would have wait some more.
The shower stopped, two minutes later, the door open and shut. He slipped on a pair of latex gloves and waited still. Then the door opened and shut again, followed by humming of a familiar tune. It was something he remembered from his childhood but was forbidden in his home. His elder brother had gotten a severe beating for singing it out loud. He smiled as he moved cat-like to the rear entrance.
Without much of a fuss, he picked the lock on the backdoor and swung it open. Usually the door would creak loudly, but he had done his homework. Hours before, while the Professor was at his office at the Senate, he had been to the house to oil the hinges to his satisfaction. This was in fact his fourth time in the house. It was however the first time the house was not empty.
It was a simple house, the back door led into the kitchen, outside the kitchen door was a corridor; at its end was the living room. On the right of the corridor were two doors. The first led to a bathroom and the other a bedroom – it was more of a store now. Across from that converted bedroom was the bedroom the Professor slept in. He peeked into the room, Bimpe was busy laying fresh sheets on the bed, he couldn’t blame her.
Quickly, he crossed to the bathroom door. Now he could hear the shower running and from the interruptions in the Professor’s humming, he could tell the man was in the shower. In one smooth motion, he opened the bathroom door, slipped in and switched off the light at the same moment he shut the door. He heard the Professor murmur a curse as his eyes adjusted to the darkness.
The Professor wasn’t fazed by the sudden darkness. He thought the sudden darkness was due to an outage and the power would be restored in a minute. After all, this was the senior staff quarters. He let the water rush over him a bit longer, it was going to be a good night. He could feel it in his bones. He turned off the shower and steeped out of the bath.
As he reached for his towel, a strong palm covered his mouth startling him. Before he could react, a ball of pain shot up into his head from the right side of his lower back, he felt himself fainting.
He had covered the Professor’s mouth and followed with a solid kidney punch. It had the exact effect he had expected – the older man couldn’t stay on his feet. He supported the crumbling body with a knee to the back as he moved his arms into a stranglehold. It was a vice-like grip, the Professor had no chance. Once he felt the erstwhile flaying arms going limp, he released his grip. The plan was not to choke this man. He lifted the almost unconscious man into the bath, placing him in a sitting position.
The Professor began to cough as his body struggled to recover from the shock of the attack. Just when he began to gather his wits and thought to plead for his life, the strong hands reached out of the darkness once again and snapped his neck in a violent twist.
He put the professor in a awkward position on his side in the tub, turned the shower back on, then stepped away from the bath. It was perfect. Just as he began to make his way out of the bathroom, he heard Bimpe call out
He froze, listening for her approach. It didn’t come, so he exited the bathroom quietly and moved slowly towards the bedroom where her voice had come from. Likely she had been alerted by the Professor’s coughs. He pulled out his pistol and screwed on a silencer. He had hoped he wouldn’t have to kill her too. But if she had heard or seen something, she left him without a choice – today would be her day too.
He peeked into the room to find her stealing cash from the Professor’s safe. Apparently she had learned the combination. He had the combination too. He had opened the safe earlier in the day, ignored all the cash in it and had gone for the professor’s two HD Drives. He’d found the one he needed, erased all the data on it, then put both back just as he had found them.
He shook his head, momentarily considering shooting Bimpe for stealing from someone who trusted her so much. She had only called out to make certain the Professor was in the bathroom and would not walk in on her stealing from him.
He turned and snuck out of the house as quietly as he had come. Leapt over the back fence and jogged around the block to his car. Anyone who saw him would simply take him for a man out on his nightly run.
Twenty minutes later, he was in his hotel room off campus. He placed a call.
“Yes?” a man’s voice came over the line.
“You may want to follow the news more closely this weekend, Sir” he said.
“Thank you. I’ll do just that” the voice said and the line went dead.
He decided to take a shower himself. When he got back to his phone, he had an SMS. He checked, it was a credit alert from his bank.
“Thank you” he said.