He kicked the stray dog that lay across his path, the dog jumped up whimpering and confused as it watched its attacker flee, Lucky leapt across the pool of muddy water with the agility a veteran athlete would be proud of. His long legs kept on running covering the earth in large bounds. He dared not look back, he couldn’t see anything in the dark drizzling night but he could feel his pursuers right behind him. He knew getting caught or escaping was a matter of life and death.
He didn’t want to think of what will happen if he got caught though, he channeled all his energy into his strong lithe limbs as he accelerated.
Lucky considered himself physically fit as his day to day job as a conductor involves various altecrations, jumping from one bus to the other, skipping after impatient drivers and having to fend off the crazy touts that littered every bus stop collecting money for the so called Council. Today though he wasn’t running for the little change he got at the end of everyday for losing his voice screaming Oshodi and the other services he often rendered, he was running for his life and for his future, the future hung behind him in a knapsack that contained at least 400,000 dollars if Dimeji’s was to be beleived.
He couldn’t worry about Dimeji anymore though as was shot dead along with Pascal in the gun battle that ensued after they robbed the SUV that was transporting some foreign expertraites who were on a mission to an unknown deal somewhere in the outskirt of Lagos.
The weather was a blessing he thought, people were scarce and few as he peeled into the garage, he looked left and right and the little he took in told him the place was deserted, it was dark and he could see the dying light of a ciggarete from a corner of the park, he didn’t wait to know or find out who it was, if everything went well this would be the last time he will be seen in such an environment, he dared not dream of the future yet even though it was so close for fear of getting distracted from his primary aim of getting to safety.
He quickly sneaked in tween several parked buses to the other end of the park, he hurried behind the office of the garage chairman and with a quick run and a sharp lift he was on the fence that seperated the garage from the grave yard behind, he surveyed the entire sorroundings of the motor park but couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary neither did he glimpse any sign of his pursuers, he clutched the knapsack tighter as he felt his dream draw closer again.
He clambered down the wall, adjusted the knapsack and made his way across the abandoned tombs that littered the abandoned graveyard, most of the tombs were outgrown by weed and the grave yard has lost the eerie feeling that scared him the first time he came back here with Dimeji.
He could see the small shanty covered with dirty tarpaulin from afar, that was where he and the others kept their guns, the bags of marijuana and loots from several operations. Lucky moved in the opposite direction, he didn’t want to be anywhere close to the garage walls or the shanty, He brushed aside a protruding leaf that seemed to confront him laying claim to the foreat beyond, the night was damp and alive, the leaves heavy with raindrops as if they were shedding tears of their own in memory of Pascal and Dimeji.
He finally got to the spot, no one ever ventured this far behind the graveyard in the forest, the clearing was suprisingly warm and almost dry because of the heavy foliage of the towering baobab trees, He sat down with the knapsack beside him, He heaved a sigh of relief he didn’t realise he had been holding since the chase started.
For the first time in two hours Lucky allowed himself a smile, it stretched grostequely across an oval face that bore ugly scars from many fights, he looked part of the forest, a custodian of the night.
He felt for the wrap of Marijuana and lighter in his inner pocket and let out another smile when he found it dry, he quickly rolled it in a flick of expertise and lit it up. The first drag was heavenly, he allowed his thoughts drift as he fingered the lighter, he even spared a thought for the unfortunate fool that left him this souvenior after meeting his death at the end of Pascals shotgun.
Another drag and he felt warm already, he felt lighter and his tired limbs felt pumped with adrenaline, he dragged the knapsack close to him and proceeded to untie its knots. Lucky was so shocked his stick of marijuana fell from his lips, he emptied the knapsack and he screamed and cursed as stacks of complimentary cards fell out.
His dreams lay shattered and scattered right in front of him. A painful grin stretched across his face as anger filled him, He grabbed his marijuana and cursed Pascal as he took fast drags and contemplated his next step. He heard the rustling of wet leaves and another sound behind him, as he turned to ascertain where the sound was coming from, he fell to the heavy blow inflicted upon him from the butt of an AK47, a tiny whimper escaped him as the marijuana slipped slowly from his slobbering lips.