Previously on Demons on church street.
Tola said, turning the screen towards Adam. “Does that face look familiar to you?”
Adam looked at the screen, it was a graduation picture. The girl’s liver problem obviously at an advanced stage. She was standing beside a young man who was the one graduating. Adam looked at the man’s face and gasped.
“Isn’t that…?” Adam started and stopped.
“Oh my God”
Finally on Demons On Church Street
” “He’s the killer?”
” l never thought it could be him, Collins, frigging coroner.”
Adam looked at the face one more time, Tola was right it was the coroner.
“Tola, I need you to go on the Bureau’s database, look for his address. What do you need to do that?”
“All I need is here.” She said, bringing out her phone and connecting it to the computer.” Give me two minutes.”
“Hurry, Kate doesn’t have long.”
Adam paced behind Tola as she worked. He had not suspected the coroner, not once, not even when Faruk said the killer could be a staff of CIB. He did not know the man very much, but he did not look like the kind of person who would kill. Except that he worked with dead bodies. The killer had mentioned at a point that he knew him even before he worked for the governor, hard as he tried he could not remember ever meeting Collins before he came to head the CIB.
“I think I’m done. Yes, I am, here’s the address.” Tola said. “23, Church Lane, Adewole.”
“Church lane? What’s with this guy and churches? Okay, I’ll head for the address now.”
“Alright, I’m coming with you.” Tola said.
“No, I want you to call for back up and inform the governor, okay?”
“I can do all that from the car Adam.”
“Tola, for the last time, obey me as your boss. I’ll call you when I’m about to enter the house, I’ll be fine.” Adam said and rushed out of the house.
“Adam!” Tola called behind him. “Bring Kate back alive!”
Adam nodded and ran to his car.
Adam slowed his car to a stop in front of the house. It was fenced with high walls and a tall gate. Adam turned off the engine of the car and stepped out of it. He walked to the gate of the house and stopped. He was not sure what to do. The chances that Kate would get out of the house alive would drastically reduce if the house was bombarded with gun blazing officers. There was only one thing he could do; face the killer alone.
He checked, his gun was tucked into his belt. He sighed and pushed the gate, surprisingly it gave way. He stepped quietly through the gate, everything was silent and still. It was a large compound and was empty except for the house situated far away from the gate and three vehicles; a car he had seen in the CIB parking lot a few times, a bus and a taxi.
He closed the gate gently behind him and stepped forward.
“Hello Detective.” A voice said behind him.
Adam reached behind him to pull out his gun from his belt.
“No, don’t do that. I have one of those, right here. Hand it over please.” Collins said. Adam turned around to see Collins holding a gun pointed at him, he handed him his gun. “So we finally meet huh?”
“I guess so.” Adam said.
“Damn that short devil, I still don’t know how he put all that together, unfortunately we will never know. He’s probably telling the demons in hell how smart he is right now. Let’s get this over with, shall we?”
“Yeah, I have a question about that.” Adam said. “What is ‘this’?”
“Good question, I’ll give you an answer and I’ll talk slowly so you can understand. This is what is going to happen; we will both go inside where Kate has been tied up, I will offer her up to Diana…”
“Diana? Is that the Greek goddess? Because I don’t think the late Princess Diana will appreciate you killing innocent girls.” Adam said with a chuckle.
“Keep quiet! As I was saying, I will offer the sacrifice, you will be the witness then I will kill you. Can’t allow any witnesses, I’m sure you understand.”
“I understand alright. But where in this sick plan of yours is the moment where I kill you with my bare hands? Not with a knife, not with a gun but with my bare hands!”
“Oh, lots of big talk from the man with a gun pointed at his head.” Collins said with a dry laugh. “Alright, enough of talking, move.”
Adam felt his heart almost ripping through his chest as he walked towards the house. Collins did not look like someone who would loosen his grip on the gun and this was his house, he was very comfortable. His only hope was to keep talking, if he could get under his skin he could have a chance to catch him at a careless moment.
“So who is Diana exactly? Your mother?” Adam asked as he moved got closer to the door.
“Shut up! You talk when I talk to you.” Collins said and pushed him forward with the gun. “Open the door.”
Adam turned the knob on the door and opened it. It led to a very cozy living room. It was the type any young bachelor would love to have. Soft music played on beautiful hand carved wooden speakers placed across the room. A door stood opposite the one he had entered from, it was the only door exiting the room so he headed for it. Collins followed him without saying a word. He got to the door and opened it, it led to a dark corridor.
“See that door on your left, open it. It’s usually closed but today I have left it open, today, a male visitor will enter the room for the first time.”
Adam opened the door and entered. The room was a large room, there were lots of pictures on the wall, mostly pictures of a young woman. The face was from the same picture but it had been superimposed into many pictures.
“She looks gorgeous, doesn’t she?” Collins asked as they entered.
“Who is this anyway? Did she look gorgeous only once in her life that you had to use that one picture to make so many?”
“Very funny Adam. You know I normally would get angry at you for making fun of my sister but you’re going to die soon so why waste my anger on you? You’re right though about using one picture. Cancer kind of takes your gorgeousness away.”
“This is your sister? She actually looks gorgeous, I wish she was still around, maybe I could go a few rounds with her. You know what I mean?” Adam said and laughed.
“Okay, I see what you’re doing. You want to get me angry right? I need to warn you though, go on with this and I might have to make my sacrifice without a witness because you’ll be dead.”
Collins pulled a chair and shoved Adam into the chair, the gun trained on Adam all the time. He went over to the other side of the room, unlocked a door and pushed out a stretcher. Adam gasped as he looked at the stretcher, Kate was lying on it, her eyes wide open. She was wrapped in a white sheet, she was gagged and tied to the stretcher.
“Okay Adam, I don’t like you and I’m sure you don’t like me, so I’ll help us all by reducing the time we spend together. I’ll get this sacrifice over with, I’ll kill you and we’ll be done here okay. I’m going to put this gun down, very close to me though so don’t make any silly moves.”
Adam kept quiet and looked around, there was nothing close he could grab, he would be dead before he could reach anything.
“Alright, so this is what I’ll be doing. As you can see she is still alive, so I’ll uncover this sheet, I’ll cut her open, as you know I always do, I’ll grab her liver and well, leave her to die. Pretty simple, right?”
“What did she do to deserve this? She’s just a girl!”
“Just a girl? I’ve seen her naked and I tell you she is not a girl anymore.” Collins said and laughed. “I’ll tell you who was a girl though; my sister. She was next on that list, she would have been saved but no, the rich man’s daughter had to go first. We had our money, we were going to pay, but no Kate could not wait!”
“It was not her fault! She did not rig the list.” Adam shouted.
“Yeah, it was her mother. Well, she paid too, didn’t she?”
“You did that? You shot her?” Adam asked, his voice shook as he talked.
“I’m no expert marksman, but I figured if I missed her I would get you so I took a shot, literally.”
“You bastard!” Adam screamed and jumped up from his chair.
Collins grabbed the gun and pointed it at Adam. “Sit down now! Calm down, you don’t want to die ten minutes before your time, do you?”
Adam sat as still as he could. His legs shook and his head ached as he tried to still his body.
Collins set the gun down and picked a long knife from under the stretcher. Adam swallowed as he watched him open the sheet covering Kate.
“Wait!” Adam shouted. “Before you become taken by your ritual and can’t answer my questions anymore, can you answer a question?”
“I know what you’re doing, you’re trying to buy time, but it’s okay. You will die anyway so I guess I can allow last questions.”
“You mentioned once that you knew me before I worked for the governor, how did that happen?”
“You don’t remember? I feel hurt. It was way back when you were a uniformed policeman, a rookie. I came to the station to report that my father was abusing us; my mother, my sister and I. I even showed you blade cuts where he cut me all in the name of punishment. Ring a bell?”
Adam remembered, he was having a tough day and had ignored the boy. He did not believe his story and when he talked to his superiors they all told him to ignore the boy. He refused to leave the station until his father came to drag him away. Adam remembered the look in his eyes as he was dragged away, it was full of anger, hate, death.
“You remember now? You made me commit my first murder; I had to feed him some medication to cause his heart attack. You might look at me as a monster now but know that you created this monster. Remember the first time you came to my office? I asked if you were going to be the detective on the case, I was so happy when you said yes. I wanted us to get to this point and I even helped you along the way. Remember that paper that helped you identify that Judge’s daughter? You never wondered why it wasn’t wet? I pulled it out of my pocket not her mouth, that’s why. Alright, that’s enough, I’m getting tired of the chitchat.”
“Wait… wait, those three men you killed, why?”
“I never agreed that I killed them, did I? But trying to frame me for a murder I didn’t commit, that’s not very good.”
“The churches too, why dump the bodies in the churches?”
“Those pastors were exactly like you. They didn’t… wait a minute, you’re not writing my biography. I’m done with the questions. Let’s get this over with.”
Adam closed his eyes as Collins pulled out the knife, he heard him mumble some words. Adam stilled himself as he expected the stifled scream that would follow the cut. Instead he heard a voice, it sounded like it was coming from a far distance. It sounded like a megaphone.
Adam opened his eyes and noticed that Collins was no more in the room. Adam jumped from his chair and ran towards Kate and began to untie her.
“What do you think you are doing?” It was Collins and he was back in the room with the gun. “The police are here and I just went in to get a robe for Kate, we are going out and we don’t want the whole of Ilorin seeing the governor’s daughter naked now, do we?”
He waved Adam back to his chair and Adam bowed and thought hard on how to play the coming of the police for his benefit. He knew what Collins was going to do, he would walk out of the house with the police watching because he would have a gun pointed at both him and Kate.
“It’s time to go.” Collins said and pointed a gun at Adam and another at Kate.
Adam watched Kate as she walked towards him, she looked tired and weak but there were no physical wounds on her body.
“Are you okay?” He whispered to her when she got close to him.
“No speaking!” Collins shouted before she could answer.
They walked into the living room and stopped at the door. Adam could hear the voices outside.
“Listen to me now.” Collins said. “You will not speak, you will not move in any other direction except where I tell you to and you will not move too fast or suddenly. If you break any of these rules, you will get a bullet to the head. Is that understood?”
Adam nodded, Kate began to sob.
“We are coming out!” Collins shouted. “I have a gun to both their heads so step away from the door. I repeat step away from the door.”
Adam heard someone repeat the order outside and he heard footsteps withdrawing from the door.
“Open the door and go out slowly.” Collins said to Kate.
She opened the door and stepped outside, Adam followed her and Collins followed them. Adam looked around, he saw Tola, she looked at him and nodded. He nodded back. If they were ever going to escape alive, Adam knew it had to be when they were still in the house.
“Listen up everybody, this is what is going to happen. One of you will drive my car out of this compound and we – the three of us will walk out of here, enter the car and drive away. If anyone of you tries to stop us or does anything otherwise, he will have to blame himself for the death of Kate and our good detective here. Is that understood?”
“Step back everybody” Tola shouted and she walked to Collins and collected his car keys.
She entered the car and drove it out of the compound, parked it and left the keys in the ignition. She stood a little distance away from the car and waited.
Collins aimed his gun at every car in the compound and shot their tires. He then poked Kate in the back with the gun and they began to move towards his car. Adam looked at the officers standing around, they all had their guns aimed at Collins but it would be too risky to shoot him as he could still shoot before dying.
They walked out of the compound to where the car was parked. Adam knew if they entered the car and drove off they were dead for sure. He looked at Tola, she also had her gun aimed at Collins. He looked at Kate, she looked so frightened. He closed his eyes and held back from crying. He knew it was his fault she was in this mess and he knew he alone could get her out of it.
He looked at Tola again.
“Shoot him.” He mouthed to her.
She shook her head. “Too risky.” She mouthed back.
“Trust me. At the count of three, shoot him. One, two three.” Adam counted then he dived and crashed into Kate. He heard a gunshot and felt pain explode in his shoulder. He could not see for a few seconds but when his eyes opened the pain in his shoulder was gone.
He looked around, Tola and another officer was lifting him up while another was helping Kate up. He looked up and saw Collins getting away in his car.
“Did you get him?” He asked Tola. She shook her head. “Get me a car.”
“Adam, you cannot…” Tola started to say.
“Get me a car now!” Adam shouted.
An officer ran into the compound, hotwired the taxi and brought it to him.
“You will need this.” Tola said and handed him her gun.
He took it and sped off without a word. Collins already had a head start and the taxi was not made for high speed chases, Adam knew he would have to be at his best to catch up to Collins. He looked ahead and saw the car some distance away from him.
And then suddenly he felt dizzy, his vision blurred and he swerved on the road. He felt a liquid dropping on his thigh and soaking his trousers. He looked at his shoulder and discovered he was bleeding. Just then the pain surged through his body, he had been shot.
He fought for consciousness as he pressed harder on the accelerator. He was gaining on Collins and he seemed to have noticed as he began to move from one end of the road to the other. Cars began to park as they drove past them. Adam looked forward and discovered they were coming to the end of the road. Collins either did not see it or had super powers and planned to fly. Adam began to reduce the pressure on the accelerator as they got close to the end.
Collins was almost at the end but he had not reduced his speed then suddenly he stopped the car and turned it around. He turned so fast that the car turned around two times before it stopped. And as soon as it stopped, Collins moved forward and towards Adam, but he moved too fast and the car ran off the road and crashed into a ditch.
Adam stopped his car and came out of it clutching his shoulder. He held the gun in his hand and walked towards the wreck. He was very close to the car when a bullet whistled past him, he dropped low and approached the car slowly.
“This is the end of the road you son of a bitch.” Adam shouted as he crept closer to the car.
As he got closer to the car he began to hear the distinct scent of petrol. He heard another gunshot and dropped low.
“Stop shooting or this car will explode, you fool!” Adam shouted as he bent low to look inside the car.
Collins was stuck in his chair, his legs hung awkwardly – broken. He would suffer a lot of pain when he was pried from the car. Then Adam noticed one of Collin’s hands move in his direction, the hand gripped a gun. Adam jumped and ran away from the car.
He was a few metres away from the car when he heard the gunshot. He felt but did not hear the explosion that followed but was thrown ten feet into the air and landed in a pit of darkness.
Adam opened his eyes to a white sky. It had red and yellow beautiful flowers. He had not expected to make it to heaven but it was a pleasant surprise.
“Adam.” A sweet soft voice called to him. He turned around to see an angel, she looked so beautiful. “Do you recognize me, it’s Ese.”
Ese? He looked around him and realized he was on a hospital bed. He had not seen a white sky but the ceiling of the room where he was.
“How are you feeling?” Ese asked.
“I feel like I’ve been shot and I need some pampering, if only there was someone…if only.” Adam said with a smile.
“Yeah, if only there was someone.” Ese said and winked.
“How’s Faruk?” Adam asked.
“He’s stable, still unconscious but the doctors think he’ll make it.”
“And Kate? Hope she wasn’t shot.”
“No, she wasn’t. She was here earlier with her father. She should be at home already.”
“Wait a minute, where is Tola?” Adam asked, trying to sit up. He crashed back into the bed in pain.
“She’s not here, but she said to call her immediately you wake up. I’ll do that now.” Ese said. She picked up her phone, dialed the number and handed it to Adam.
“Adam?” Tola said over the phone.
“We’re partners now? You’re no longer the boss?” Tola asked with a chuckle.
“For one day at least.” Adam replied.
“For one day.”
“Did you get his body out of the car yet?” Adam asked, the smile disappearing from his face.
“Yeah, there was a problem Adam. By the time the fire was out and we cut open the car…” Tola said then stopped.
“What happened Tola?” Adam asked holding his breath.
“There was no body. Adam, there was no one in the car.”