I look at the man screaming at my feet, my prisoner. I grin as he groans in pain. You might wonder why he groans in pain. I have just chopped off his errant legs, his hands will be next.  He is bleeding profusely because I have purged the evil out of him with my late mother’s pestle. Yes, let him groan, my people did not even have the luxury of a final groan.

Can you say I’m not justified? Who can say what I have done and what I will do again is wrong? Let him come and I’ll show him that the timid tortoise was not created without teeth. How can any right thinking man ever convince my angry conscience that it has erred?

I still remember it all like it happened yesterday. Yes I remember the night of darkness when they were all taken away.

The crickets were composing a ragged tune that moonless night. I was there still awake, waiting for Tina to come online on 2go so that we could chat. Little Gyang was sleeping right beside me, talking as he slept. The words he spoke were senseless to me then, but how was I to know that they would be the last words I’ll hear from him?

The tears are welling up in my eyes again. Well, a man is a man. Lami was in the other room with Simi, everywhere was quiet and only the snoring from Baba’s room bothered the peace. I remembered I was wondering how Mama ever got to sleep through all that raucous snoring. Well back to the day, I was typing a reply to Tina’s message, she had just come online. I was smiling because of her funny comment, she had asked if I was man enough to go out in the day time without fear of being killed, I told her nobody was man enough to attack me. It was then that the knocks came on the front door.

I looked at my time; it was a quarter to 12 midnight. Who would be here at this time of the night, I wondered.

“Who is at the door”, I asked.

“Dalop”, a gruff voice replied, “open the door. It’s me”.

At first, I never wanted to open the door but then the knock became more insistent, I got up, took the keys and opened the door. What occurred next you can only imagine. As I eased the door open, an object struck me squarely on the forehead; it was the blunt edge of an axe. I stumbled back into the room dazed and collapsed. It dawned on me then that these must be hoodlums.

My mind was telling me to get up, but alas, I was paralyzed. Three men walked into the room carrying clubs and machetes. The men were wearing kaftans and their faces were masked. I could see, I wanted to speak and cry for help but the words failed me, they stuck to my throat like eba swallowed without soup.

“A kasha su duka”, one of them cried.

I was there watching, yes I was watching as   a club was smashed on the head of Gyang, my little brother. Blood spattered all around the room. He died instantly, he never even could scream. It was then that my throat gave way.

“aaaaghhh! Baba, ahhhhgghh”, I groaned, still unable to stand. I began to creep to my brother’s corpse. My screams must have woken everyone; they all ran into the room. Baba came first. He never had a chance to speak. As he entered the room, one of the men slashed at his head with a cutlass, I saw my father’s head fall as my mother walked in screaming. I watched as blood spurted from his neck, I groaned again.

Simi and Lami were screaming off the roof of the house. Mama was much too dazed to speak and so she stood as they hacked off her head with two strikes of the machete. I wanted to scream again but as I opened my mouth, it was shut by a debilitating blow on the thick of my skull and I fainted. Like a dream I heard the screams of my sisters in my subconscious mind as I lay there.

When I woke up, I was on a gurney with bandages all over my body, blood still flowing from my head. I was in hospital, how I got there, I did not know. Well I heard two days later as I identified the corpses one by one, my family was history. Lami was stabbed to death while Simi was raped and hacked to death too, she was just 8. The hoodlums had set our house on fire with all of us inside. What an evil world.

When I returned home, ugly and scarred from the burns I suffered, I learnt that our family was not the only one attacked, several families had attacked and over 20 people, all friends and family, were killed. Anger welled up within me.

I said nothing to the police, nothing to the Pastor and nothing to the family even after the burials. My mind was made up, if these strangers in Jos could erase my family, I would do my bit to revenge, I am a son of the soil.

So here I stand with my friend, AVENGERS we call ourselves, this man groans before me. His cries are wild almost animal, I feel nothing for him. Yes, why should I?  It’s his people who killed our people like rams. Did they not set the bombs?

I am doing nothing wrong. If I do not avenge my folks, who will? Is it the government, incompetent fools that they are or the army who are part of the massacre. No I’ll do it for me.

“Uuuhhmm, aaaahhh”, the man screams again, “please help me. I am a Muslim but I do not kill, please”.

He is beginning to get on my nerves so I get up and pick up my machete to put an end to his misery. As I walk towards him, I hear the sirens from the JTF vehicles approaching from afar. Someone must have tipped them off. He looked at me, eyes speaking volumes, almost moving me but it didn’t. He was no different from the previous 10 I have killed.

I lift up my machete and, with all the anger in me, I strike off his head. No one can blame me….its war and there are always victims.

No man is justified enough to take another’s life!

28 thoughts on “Avengers” by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (@xikay)

  1. This has lefr me speechless.But there is no detreacting from it that it is a good write.It is just too gory for poor me this early morning.

    Well done!!!

  2. What do you mean in the last sentence? Captivating piece.

  3. @Lawal, the situation of things around us is bad, we need to face the realities around us. @shope, if you meant the one about taking others’ lives, i mean we should never take anyone’s life anyhow…

  4. @xikay, for you to also publish some gory pictures that went with this piece… I just shake my head, really!!! :( I did my youth service in Jos seven years ago and then, I was still lamenting the destruction of the most well built and well stationed market Africa has ever known that was located there. I heard that the movie SPARTACUS is all about butchering of humans and artless blood-letting of several magnitudes. I can compare that ugliness to this one here, very similar in nature. I guess the very last sentence in this piece is a ‘mumble’ the writer made to himself, an off-the-cuff thing, telling him to ‘dig out a hole in the dark in order to let in the light’. I cringe, for it is sad! A revolution is eminent…

  5. Sadly, this is all too real. What is shocking and gory to us here is all too much the reality of many people in Jos.

  6. @emmanuella i really felt sad with the jos thing. i lived in jos in the late 80’s and early 90’s and i’ve visited over the years, i love J_TOWN…now as a journalist, i report death and more death about jos, its so sad!
    @lade…this is just my own personalised view of jos, i wasnt there. imagine the pain of those there!

  7. Mazi Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Reality does bite. I felt the pain you tried to convey. well done.

    1. thank you sir. even though its coming 6 months late

  8. This hurts as much as it is true. I guess we have our work cut out for us if we are to cause a change.

  9. @the places burnt in this picture are familiar places, i played there as a kid…its so sad the way the places are now…

  10. @scopeman, i ditto you all the way.

  11. This is a sad one… An interesting story… One among the many Jos-Crisis stories… It would indeed make a good movie….

  12. Ditto @idoko on the movie. The pictures and emotions were really good. Think it’s so sad such things keep happening. We need to do all we can to stop such things from happening again. Good writing.

  13. @idoko @jaywriter maybe you guys can come up with the money for the movie…i’ll direct cos i’m a schooled film maker…just kidding sha.THANKS

  14. Only this morning my colleague at the office showed me a facebook picture of a row of charred bodies all lined up in some village in Jos where a bomb was thrown? I was totally horrified.Its like people are dying senselessly and the events are throwing a blanket of darkness over a city that was once vibrant with life and adventure.
    Your story is more than fiction…it’s fact.You may have well written the real life story of a young man affected by the tragedies there.You did a great job Xikay.A really great job…Let’s hope the might of our pens win the battle.

  15. @www, i hope so too. i think the aim is to sensitize and maybe manufacture a revolution cos we do need it.

  16. Has anybody in Aso-stone read this? Well, they should, cos this is real, and the transformation that happened to the MC is a very distinct possibility…Great job bro!

  17. @raymond, thanks. the fact is: Jos is under the cloud or revenge whose rain is only sucked up to fall again and the cycle continues endlessly. imagine loosing your whole family at one fell swoop, can you just let go?! that is the real problem in jos

  18. A very powerful piece, @Xikay – all the more so because it’s so realistic. I know that most stories end in happily-ever-after scenes, but the reality is that more often than not, violence breeds violence, and the victims are usually innocent too.

    I kind of shake my head in disbelief when I read stories out of Jos, because I lived there in the nineties, and I would never have believed then that it would be the hotbed of violence that it is today.

  19. Good telling..
    Almost too perfect..
    Your writing skills, that is..

  20. @tola, did you also hear that 8 more people died yesterday? @2cute4u thanks dear. i do know i have a large room for improvement

  21. This is a very saddening piece, and it’s more of truth than fiction. I’ve never even been to Jos, but I do remember that it used to be peaceful, and then, seemingly out of nowhere, all this violence started. It’s really sad.

    As for the piece, you totally killed it. And I mean that in a good way.

  22. @uche-okonkwo, thanks. i’m basking in your encomiums

  23. A well written story. It conveys the terrible ordeal of residents of Jos and other cities that have undergone such violence – and the emotions that they have to deal with. Sadly, this endless spiral of ‘You kill my person- I go kill your own’ is real. We all hope some sensible individuals who can make a difference will be able to get to the bottom of the Jos crisis.
    Well done!

  24. @salatu-sule, you are very right. if we go on with vendettas, when will it end? when they have all died?

  25. !@all i heard that the CAN president and the Sultan of sokoto, met with other people in Ibadan recently over the matter. i hope this yields positive results

  26. This is a timely piece of work. You have certainly captured the chaos going on in Jos. I like the way you present the story, starting from the crisis & then weaving your way through the narrative. Lets hope the Nigerian Government would take decisive action on time as lives are lost while they ponder!

  27. @afro-prince, i sincerely do hope so too. THANKS

Leave a Reply