Fiction Crime

Fear, boredom and restlessness made her look out of the window. The full moon reflected more light than usual to the earth. She could even see objects several metres away, and it made her more scared. She couldn’t help it, but to continue looking out for strange movements and figures.

Lilian had never tried so hard to stimulate sleep until that night when her parents sent her away because of her staying out late. It was due to her promiscuity. Before as usual, it used to be her mother’s high pitched voice shouting away the roof, echoing, and resounding on the walls and the bare floor, and the flat vibrating from scolding from her father's deep baritone. This time, it was different because her brother, Paul hadn’t returned home since he left home very early that morning, and it made them worried. His line, too was unreachable. The search for Paul stoked their vexation on her.

The environment was cool, and she felt the dry harmattan even inside the abandoned truck where she found shelter that night. She thought of the worst things that could happen to her: if she fell asleep, a virile psychopath could hear her snore, and rape her. She turned that thought into a fantasy, and immersed herself in a different world; if she would ever get raped, it would be the tall dark handsome Vitalis who was beaten for attempting rape on a young lady who sold traditional concoction medicine and sachets of dry gin. If she would see weird creatures at night wandering about; she had heard many people say that spirits go about their activities in the middle of the night. If a wandering mentally retarded person would seek refuge in the same truck which she was in, and she imagined waking up sometime at night, or in the morning with a mad person sleeping beside her. The worst was if she saw a venomous snake in the truck, though she hoped none would be there. She brought out her cell phone from her purse to watch videos on YouTube, and she realised that her battery percentage was already ten percent. She had a minimum battery percentage in case of emergencies like receiving a call from one of her numerous boyfriends and wild female friends that would invite her for a gathering, party or hook-up. Apparently, she never missed hooking up with a man. Yes, she was a nympho! She reduced the brightness of her phone to the minimum, so that it wouldn’t attract unwanted “predators”.

She saw someone coming from the other street, on the right, a few metres away from where she was, a man. When the person came a bit closer, she recognized who the person was - Tony who lived on the next street, carrying a sack, walking quietly, in a quick, but short-paced step. He reached the entrance of Lilian’s compound, a few metres away from the truck, and stopped. He dropped the sack on the floor, and looked around. This time, Lilian wondered where the vigilante men were, why none of them was on the street when Tony was outside. Lilian bent a little so that she wouldn’t be seen, but he noticed a movement in the truck, he became transfixed on it for a few seconds, and almost came closer, but he thought that it was his imagination as Lilian kept still, and seemed like an inanimate object. She wrestled with her inner self if she would record a video of Tony doing whatever he was about to do that night: Loosing a percentage of her battery after it had reached “her allowable” minimum was synonymous to wasting her opportunity to getting a mind-blowing orgasm. She had also noticed that her phone's battery drained quickly whenever it was less than ten percent. However, it was in front of her house, and any evil that he had been sent to plot by his uncle could be ruined by her, and she would. She mostly believed that he had come to do something despicable. She started recording a video of Tony, covering her phone screen with her blouse even it was already dim, at least to make sure that she wouldn’t be seen.

Lilian almost screamed when he saw Tony bring out a human head from the sack. Her phone almost fell from her hand, but she held it well. Her hairs became erect. She didn’t see the face of the head, and she wondered whose head that was. He dropped the head on the ground, folded the sack, and threw it inside the small garden, in front of her home where her mother planted vegetables.

After Tony left, she almost came out from the truck to see the head, but she was scared: what if Tony was somewhere watching? What if it wasn’t actually a human head, and it was a plan for God-Knows-What?! What if the head was a charm, and would hurt her if she came close to it? She called her father on the phone, but he didn’t pick up. She called her mother, and she picked.

“Hello,” She said in a somnolent tone. Soon, she heard her father’s exasperating voice faintly over the phone, and she hung up. She called them again, and again, one after the other, but they didn’t answer. Her younger siblings didn’t have cell phone, so she couldn’t call them.

It was 3:00 am, a few minutes after Tony had left. Sleep now seemed faraway. Each time she looked at the window, it seemed the head was coming closer, and gradually turning to her. She lay on the chair, and softly sang over twenty songs that she knew the lyrics to fight boredom. She checked the time again, and it was 3:27 am, and she wished time would be faster. Of all the songs she thought she had already sung, what she actually sang was half.

She woke up around 6:00 am, when she saw people gathering around her home; going in, and out. Now, she realized that she had slept. The police were there, and this time, she thought they had come to investigate the issue at hand, or perhaps, arrest her father, or mother, or whosoever had reported the case to them. And eventually pay for their bail, even if it was the bereaved that was arrested.

The attention was much on their home that no one noticed her coming out from the truck.

She screamed when she realized that it was her brother’s head, Paul that Tony had dropped on the floor.

Paul never knew that Ruth, Tony's sister was pregnant for him and had died when she took wrong abortion pills. Tony knew this, and did what he thought was a revenge for his sister.

Her father was in the living room with three other men: Tony's uncle and the others whom Lilian could swear that they didn’t know they existed. She pulled her father to the entrance of the living room. “I know the person that dropped the head.” She said to him in a hushed tone. It took him aback.

“Who said?” He said a bit softly, but others heard him. She noticed this as they turned slowly towards them.

“Come let me show you.” They went to the balcony, and played the video of Tony that she recorded the previous night.

Her father watched it over again, now closely, before dashing outside the compound. Lilian leaned on the wall, and reminisced the days she spent with her elder brother – especially their growing up together alone for over nine years before their parents had twins. She whimpered.

When Tony was arrested, he said that he alone, killed him, because her sister had died from the wrong abortion pills she took after she discovered she was pregnant for Paul. And the pregnancy was going to hinder or preclude her future plans.

Ruth's death affected him; he became irritable and tetchy after she died. One day, he went to the viewing centre at the students' hostel in the campus, and returned late way after the match had ended, and went to bed without eating dinner.

Ruth’s uncle, whom she, Tony and his house help were living with never knew the cause of her death. Her uncle thought that she had died mysteriously in her sleep the way their parents died the same night. He even feared that Tony might die soon. He consoled him over the death of his sister, and told him that they would have to consult a black magician to know the cause of their deaths, so that he, too wouldn’t die mysteriously. Lillian’s father swore to himself that he would find a way and kill Tony in the cell.

Lilian continued with her life, but now, differently; wanting to have more fun in order to pacify herself, instead of feeling bitter after reminiscing the days she spent with Paul.

June 11, 2021 22:57

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