Solange (chapter 2)

“Oh my gosh!! How did it happen?” I asked. “I went back to the farm to carry the remaining cassava. I was all alone, and suddenly, I was surrounded, and….” She burst into tears. “It’s alright. Just calm down everything will be alright, ok? How many of them were there?” “About seven to eight of them. I couldn’t even see clearly. I was so confused and afraid.” She was still sobbing. “And they all took turns on you?” I asked, afraid of the answer. “No, just two of them. The others just stood around, watching and laughing, recording with their phones.” “Jesus!! Have you told anyone about this yet?” I asked. “No, nobody for now.”

“Good, just keep it that way. Don’t tell anyone, not even your mum. But were you able to recognize any of them?” “No, they were all strange. I had never seen them in this village, and that is what puzzles me the most. Where did they come from?” She was very depressed. “I think I have an idea,” I mumbled. “What did you say?” “Never mind. I was just talking to myself.” I spoke. “Please, I want you to do something for me.” “What do you want? Tell me anything.” I was ready for action. “I want you to track down those guys and bring them to book. However, I know they were sent by someone. I want you to go after them, investigate and know who sent them. When you do, call me or send me a message. Can you do that for me?”

I looked deeply into her eyes and knew I couldn’t deny her that. She was a woman whose virtue had been taken. She had been defiled by unknown men. Deep in her were pain and anger. She wouldn’t rest until she had had her revenge. It is said that hell has no fury like a woman scorned. I decided I would help her. “All my life as a soldier, I have faced terrible dangers. I have been through things that would make anyone wet his pants by just imagining. Many times, I have faced death and conquered it. However, in spite of all my training and experience, what you ask of me now frightens me a little. But then, you are a good friend of mine, and the injustice that has been done to you has to be righted. I will do what you have asked, don’t worry.”

It was evening now at the village club. The guys who had attacked Solange were still there, drinking rowdily and making merry. They felt that because they were in a small village, they were above the law. If they were wise enough, they would have left town immediately after they carried out their dastardly act. However, they didn’t. Why? They had learned that I had newly returned from abroad. They figured I might have come with a lot of money. But then, whoever gave them the information also forgot to tell them that I was a US marine. That night, after taking a lot of alcohol and cigarettes, they decided that they would pay a visit to my house. However, not all of them came. Just three of them decided to get an early ticket to hell.

It was around 10:00 PM. My mum was already asleep, and so were my sisters. I was all alone in the living room, chatting on the phone with a friend of mine when I heard footsteps on the veranda. I wasn’t expecting anyone at that time. Actually, no one visits us at that time. Who could it be? My soldierly instincts immediately kicked in, and I became very alert. I ran to my bedroom and pulled out my handgun. I made sure it was loaded and then took one extra magazine. When I came back to the living room, I turned off the light but left the security light on.

You know how glazed windows work. When you are in darkness, you can clearly see someone outside without the person seeing you. So, through the glazed windows of our living room, I could clearly see them, all three of them. Two had their guns in their hands, and the other had a well-sharpened machete. The one with the machete approached the door of our living room and felt whether it was open or not. Fortunately, or unfortunately for him, the door opened. I hadn’t locked it yet. He pushed it slowly, and as he walked in, hoping to take me unawares, I slammed the door in his face, forcing him to lose his balance and drop his machete.

I opened the door quickly again and planted a bullet in his head. He died instantly. It happened so fast that the other two were taken off guard. One of them raised his gun to shoot, but I quickly ducked, and the bullets hit the steel door of our living room, cutting through the door like icepick on cheese and almost hitting my mum, who had heard the commotion and had come to the living room to find out what was happening.

“Get back into the room, Mum. Get back.” I cried desperately, at the same time putting four bullets into the shooter’s chest. He dropped to his knees, blood spurting out of his mouth, his throat gurgling, then he was still. The last one of them, realizing that they had picked the wrong quarry, attempted to escape, but I was quicker than him. I shot him in the leg, and as he tried to escape, hopping on one leg, I ran after him and caught him. I then dragged him into the living room and hog-tied him.

“Who sent you?” I asked him. “Nobody” “Whether you stay alive or not depends on you. Look at your friends; do you want to end up like them? Now, I am going to ask you again, and mind you; I hate repeating myself. Now, who sent you?” I asked, pointing the gun to his head. “Alright, I will speak. But please, promise you won’t kill me.” “I don’t make promises. Now, speak!!” “It was the barman who told us you were from overseas. He said you had lots of money. That is why we came to get our own share. We had no plans of killing you.” “I see, so he was part of the conspiracy. I guess he didn’t tell you I was a soldier too?!”

When I mentioned the word soldier, I realized that his face fell. He now knew that he was in serious trouble. I told my mum and sisters to remain indoors until I got back. I got into the car I had brought to the village after haven put the shooter in the boot and drove to the local club. When I got there, I opened the boot, and half dragged the shooter into the club. There were just a few customers left in the club at that time. I didn’t meet the bartender at the counter, and when I turned to ask the shooter, I realized he had passed out.

I abandoned him right there at the counter, and with my gun drawn, I went through a door that was behind the counter. I figured the bartender might have seen me approaching from a distance and had decided to hide. True to my suspicions, I caught him crouched low behind a stack of beer crates in the room. I pulled him by the scruff of the neck and brought him to the counter. With my gun pointing at his head, the interrogation process began.

“Why did you send people to my house?” I asked. “I didn’t send anyone.” “This guy here,” I said, pointing to the shooter who had passed out, “said you were the one who sent them. Now tell me the truth.” “I didn’t send them. After the altercation you had with them the other night at the bar here, they made some inquiries about you, and I told them you just came in from overseas. That’s all, I swear.” He was sweating. “If I find out you have lied to me, I will be back for you. Do you understand?” “Yes, Sir” “Where are the rest of them?” I asked. “They are in that small auberge at the entrance to the village. They plan to leave tomorrow.”

I abandoned the bartender to his own devices, put the unconscious shooter in the back seat, and drove to the auberge. I was at top speed when as if in a dream, I felt someone grab me around my neck from behind. It was the shooter. All the while, I had thought he was out. I now realized that he had just been pretending. His intention was to play dead and then strike me when I was least expecting. Clearly, he wasn’t grateful for the fact that I had saved his life.

My car swerved and jerked from one lane of the road to the other because I was trying to free myself from his vice-like grip, and the same time trying to pay attention on the road. It wasn’t easy. Luckily, he had neither a knife nor a gun with him. If he did, it would have been bad business for me. I stepped hard on the brakes, and that sudden jolt brought him halfway to the front seat. His stranglehold almost relaxed, but he regained himself and tightened the hold.

I realized I needed air. My lungs were starving of air. He was cutting my air supply, and I was afraid I was going to pass out. I had one last option, and that was to pull my gun. With my remaining energy, I pulled my gun and fired backward. Three times I fired, but each time, he ducked just in time. I had no other option. I let the car crash into a nearby bush. However, at the end of the bush, there was a small valley. The car went into the valley, tumbling several times, and I went unconscious.

Back in the hotel, the killers had gotten news that the three of their friends that were sent to come and rob me had been killed. They decided that it was time to leave. They had already achieved their main aim of coming to the village, which was to teach Solange a lesson. They figured it was time to go. However, before they went, they left a little surprise for me.

Back in the valley, I was slowly regaining consciousness. My head ached terribly. It took a while before I could recall what had just happened. As soon as I did, I realized that I was in grave danger if the shooter was still alive. Desperately, I searched for my gun, but I couldn’t find it. Then I heard a voice beside me. It was the shooter. He was holding my gun. “Looking for this?” He laughed and limped towards me, the gun pointing to my head, ready to fire.

TO BE CONTINUED…

The story was written by ©Stories of my life.

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