Caleb Nwaizu 1 year ago
@calebchris000 9 min read Write a comment #short-stories

In The Beginning - Chapter 5

As if the crows had foreseen the gloominess of today, they kept crowing with a sorrowful tone, refusing to take a rest. The air smelt of burnt tyres, and the atmosphere felt intense.

The feeling of gloominess hovered around the homes. Caleb slowly got out of the car and walked down the path Kolade had passed while calling his name from time to time. If he had a choice to leave this day, he would have done it so eagerly. But his wristwatch could not work without Kolade's watch. The watches were programmed to take their wearer back if they were in proximity. While this was a feature set to prevent the agents from losing their partners, it was still a liability.

Having scoured a hundred meters away from the Peugeot, and Kolade wasn't in sight, Caleb returned. His worry kept building up as it was already six hours since his disappearance. But that was the beginning of his worry. From afar, two people armed with AK-47s were heading toward the car. There was no saying as to whether they were coming for the vehicle, but Caleb didn't want to find out. He opened the door from the other side and scurried away to the bushes. He ran a little deeper just to make sure they didn't see him and listened. A little time after, they approached the vehicle. * * *

"What is this car doing in the middle of nowhere?" Kareem, a soldier with a thick beard, rough scarred skin with a resting frowning face, walked towards the car and squinted inside of the driver's seat. "It must be for those Igbo people. Look inside", the second man with similar features except for the beard said, although his voice was rich and deep. However, as Kareem attempted to open it, the door wasn't budging. His frown switched to anger; he turned the AK-47 rifle around so that the butt was opposite him and smashed the glass window, which caved in almost easily.

After fiddling around, he took out some papers and poured them on the car's bonnet. "The owner is not Igbo. He's a Yoruba man named Tunde Oluwasegun", Kareem reported. The other soldier came and verified his statement, and there was a portrait photo of a man with cat marks on his face. "The driver must not be far from here. Put those documents back; let's keep moving", Kareem said gruffly and walked away from the car. * * *

Caleb was only in the bush for ten minutes, but it felt like ten years. When he heard that the two soldiers were gone, he heaved a deep sigh of relief and walked out of the bush."Kolade na? Where the hell are you?" Caleb tried and failed to appease his raging emotions. If Kolade wasn't coming, he would have to drive this car away from here; good thing that Kolade dropped the key. But this question. Why would Kolade, knowing the risk of shrinking a wormhole would, want to go alone? Does he even want me here? Caleb asked himself.06:27 am.

Caleb was swimming in his thoughts when an ear-shattering boom caused a shockwave that rocked the Peugeot, almost knocking him unconscious. Caleb coughed up blood and staggered towards the driver's seat. The attack has begun. From a distance, he could hear horrifying screams as people ran in random directions. Those two soldiers Caleb saw earlier opened fire at the fleeing civilians, causing them to fall to the ground, dead. But this was where something strange happened. Despite the random directions that they were running at, none of them was running towards this road.

For the next fifteen minutes, all Caleb could hear was machine guns shooting and bombs going off. As a result of hearing a bomb at a close range, the already weakened Caleb crouched to the car's floor, his ears ringing relentlessly. The screaming began to die down. The smell of gunpowder lingered in the air. Caleb got up and examined his injuries. It was superficial, but the trauma from the blast caused him a pounding headache. Apart from all that, he was fine. Caleb now knew the reason Kolade chose this road. It was because this was the only road that wasn't crossed by the fleeing people. No one knows why, but historians figured out it has to do with the roadblock that was stationed towards the intersection. Kolade didn't leave him to his fate; he was thinking about him all this while! Caleb has never felt so appreciative toward him.* * *

His watch beeped continuously, which meant that it was around this place. It has to be, Kolade thought. The beep became stronger inside an abandoned warehouse. It was locked. Unfortunately, he didn't have the tools to break open the bulky padlock that secured the two gates together. He had to think fast. He had left Caleb in the car for more than six hours. He looked around and saw a stone, which he picked and hit the rusty metal. Ten smashings later, the weary padlock gave way. Kolade removed the padlock and pushed the gate, which made a long grunt. There, Kolade saw it, the wormhole. Although he couldn't see it, it was there. The magnetic force it exuded on the metal button on his shirt pointed at its location.

Also, the wormhole bends light, making it look like a mini black hole, except transparent. Without saying a word, Kolade unstrapped a gun-like device. It was initially called a Quantum Particle Destabilizer but later rebranded as a wormhole shrinker after observing the effect it had on these time tunnels. As he pressed the trigger, the shrinker emitted strong gravitational waves. This caused the wormhole to reduce in diameter. As time passed, it kept shrinking until Kolade couldn't see it. "Not this time, bastard," Kayode cursed under his breath and adjusted the parameters of the shrinker and pointed it at the former location of the wormhole.

As soon as he pressed the trigger, Kolade ran over and held a pole with all his might. A sudden shock wave spread across the warehouse, causing every object to fly over. Kolade bent over to prevent these objects from hitting him. After the destruction was over, Kolade released the pole and walked out of the warehouse. However, he was about to leave the bush and into the road where he parked the car when three rebels surrounded him holding guns pointed at him. "Igbo or Yoruba?" One of the youth asked with a cold stare. Kolade smiled and replied in the best Yoruba accent he could muster. "Good morning, brothers. I was looking for guns to kill those bastards, but I don't have one", he said.

The youths looked at each other with skepticism. "Tribe," the same youth asked. "​Ijaw," Kolade answered. "So why are you lacking the mark?" The youth asked with a hardened voice. "My mother was a Christian," Kolade answered lightly. "Traitor! You deserve to die with those dogs!" A teenage boy glaring at Kolade with blood-thirsty eyes growled. "Give me a gun, and let me prove to you that I hate this bastard," Kolade feigned hatred. "And your faith won't judge you?" The first youth asked suspiciously. Kolade, however, answered him by collecting the rifle from the bickering youth and walking a few steps. It just happened that a woman carrying a baby ran past him.

Kolade pointed the gun at the woman's head and shot her. The poor woman fell to the ground. Kolade approached the woman's corpse and made sure she was dead. "You sure are heartless," the youth said and smirked. "Give this man a proper gun. I have a word about some Igbos due east who haven't heard the news. We kill them without letting one escape", the youth informed him.

Among the six youths, one was holding the firearms and ammunition for the group. The youth handed Kolade an AK-47 and a backup magazine. However, that was their greatest mistake. Kolade removed the safety and sprayed the bullets on the group. He removed the magazine and mounted up the backup before walking to the car. As expected, Caleb was still inside, safe and sound. "Come on; we gotta go. Mission's completed", he said and stretched his hand towards him, asking for the key.

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