You have work to do.
What kind of work?’
The one you have been doing you numbskull. You think your job is over? You still have not finished!!!
Quit your whimpering and get on it.
‘But I’m at work!’
IF YOU QUESTION ME AGAIN, I WILL TAKE YOUR SOUL RIGHT NOW!!!
Now, GET GOING!!!
‘I’m coming I’m co-’
Chris snapped awake. What had just happened? Where was he?
Ah. Not again? This sleepwalking business was really getting out of hand. He really had to go see a Doctor for this. From the main office he’d wound up downstairs, close to the gate. He looked at his hands, then looked up at Jomo, the gateman, saw the suspicion on his face. He smiled weakly at him, then turned around and walked back to the office. He felt drained, as he usually did whenever he had these ‘episodes’, as he’d come to call them. Well, actually for now he didn’t feel so tired, but for no reason, he felt scared. Like he’d just escaped disciplinary action, or he was about to suffer one.
Chris trudged past the Secretary who neither looked up nor broke her concentration from the computer screen. He walked up the flight of stairs and walked to the door to the main office, then stopped short of holding the handle. He decided to visit the toilet first, wash his face, his hands. He went in and decided to take a piss as well. He walked past the mirror, glancing at his reflection-
-and stopped short.
Chris froze in place, head facing straight ahead. The cords in his neck locked in place as his mind began to rigmarole around the issue-
Never mind it’s nothing you know nothing at all stop fretting but I saw it it’s a lie you didn’t I did you didn’t did didn’t did didn’t
-while his legs locked in place. His throat dried up as he forced his head to turn; he could hear/feel the chords of his neck creaking like rusty hinges. When he eventually faced the mirror, he slowly turned his whole body in the direction of the mirror. Walked forward a step, two, three. Opened his eyes wide.
See, I told you. Nothing.
Just as he was about to heave a sigh of relief, he saw it again.
Oh shit oh no!
Were…were his eyes changing colour? Were they becoming black?
And what was happening to his face?
Seemed like a transformation, as if someone, or some….monstrosity, was trying to break through his facial features. Two ridge-like protrusions on either side of his forehead. Chris’ hand flew to his face as he stifled a scream.
Feeling foolish and afraid, he used both hands to feel his face.
He looked at the mirror again. Just him.
What now, am I having daymares or what?
His heart was doing a Usain Bolt number in his chest.
Chris stumbled backwards.
The smell of sulphur.
The flapping of leathery wings in his ears.
A snarl-like cackle.
With a yelp, Chris ran out of the bathroom.
Find him. That’s all I was told.
I have to do this.
I know I can. After all, I helped send Amizel back to Hades last time.
And now, it is on the loose once again.
Mary is gone. Never to come back again.
Sad, but certain things are beyond my power right now. Beyond the scope of my assignment.
Therefore, it is imperative that I find him. I have to. Because time is running out.
I have to let him see the light that is within himself. The light he has no idea he has.
Amizel has some crazy plans. His Boss is really working overtime.
I fly through the city, with the hope that I will see him in time. So far nothing yet.
But he is near; I sense him.
I just hope my King in Heaven will help me here, because I have limitations.
But He knows that already; he created me after all.
Where are you?
Amizel, I see you, and I know what you are doing.
I will stop you. By His Grace, I will.
But first, I must find the one who will aid in this task.
“Wow…” Superintendent Bliss Telema breathed. The silence in his office was heavy. James’s jaw hung slack; he’d been staring at Jerry the whole time as he’d narrated…most of his conversation with Sally.
“I know Sir. Wow.” Jerry said. This was something else, this case. Clear-cut now, hazy the next.
“What are you going to do?” Superintendent Bliss asked.
Jerry was silent for a while, then said “I’m going to let James run with his Political killing angle.” He saw the confusion on James’s face. “What James?” he asked. “Any problems?”
“But I…I thought you’d discounted that angle?”
“Did I? If I remember correctly I only told you about the dangers of jumping to conclusions. Besides you thought of it. It is only fair that you run with it.”
James turned to the Superintendent for help, who only smiled like a father would smile at a child who was being naughty. He sighed and sat back in his chair.
Superintendent Bliss leaned his considerable weight back on his swivel chair as he laced his fingers behind his head, stretching his top suit across his ample girth. James was afraid the buttons were going to pop. “And what are YOU going to do Jerry?” he asked.
“I think I’m going to poke around town, look under stones. And I want to meet with the SS Director.”
“Mr Tamuno?” Superintendent Bliss asked. “Good idea. When?”
“I have to wait for his P.A. to contact me first.”
“Mhmm.” Superintendent Bliss unlaced his fingers from behind his head, splayed them across his desk. “Well, you do that. I’ll try to contact him.”
“Okay Sir”, Jerry said, standing up. James followed suit. Before he opened the door, the Superintendent spoke.
“Jerry?” Jerry turned. “Be careful on this one. This is sensitive. You know what they are already saying on the streets, right?”
“Yeah” Jerry said. “Party For Democracy, the Senator’s party, and their supporters are fingering Choice of the People’s Party as being responsible.”
Superintendent Bliss nodded. “Well I’ve been up to my neck in phone calls all day, trying to assure these guys that we are doing everything we can and that they should not do anything stupid. Well, didn’t quite put it that way but that was the message I passed across.”
“Will they pass it across to their supporters?”
Superintendent Bliss scoffed. “I wish. Just keep your eyes peeled for trouble. Something crazy is going to happen very soon. I can feel it.”
“Yes Sir.” They both left the office.
“What now?” James asked.
“Well, go do what I asked of you.”
“Me? I’m going out. Then home. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Jerry turned to walk away.
“Not fair”, James said to his back.
“When was life ever fair? Get to work.”
8 pm. It was dark enough. They all piled into the bus, all 8 of them. The driver started the bus as they sorted through what they would need. Talking in hushed tones, they argued over who would do what, and how they would do it. In the end they decided to play it by ear. They were too aggravated to plan anyway. They were going to show these CPP idiots that if you messed with their own, you’d stepped on the tiger’s tail. They’d taken their Senator; by God they would get their pound of flesh, and more!
The driver negotiated what little traffic there was and came to their target, the regional office for CPP. He drove past, and then parked just around the corner. One of them stepped out and hurried to look as the others piled out. The driver remained in the car. The one who’d gone to check out the gate walked up to it, saw it was locked from the inside. Knocked.
“Who be dat?” a harsh voice asked from the other side.
“Na Oga boy”, he said in a distorted voice.
The gate was opened, and the security man was shot in the heart with a silenced pistol. The other two security men scrambled from their chairs, reaching for their guns. The gun coughed twice more as the other 7 guys piled into the compound, with one of them locking the gate behind them. They fell back down, one of them knocking the chairs askew. The generator was on. The 8 of them divided themselves into 2 groups of 4, and one group went to the back of the one-storey building, one of them carrying a 25-liter gallon of fuel. The front group walked in through the front door. One man walked out of the toilet downstairs, trying to zip up his trouser. Two guns coughed, twice each. He died with his fly open. They went on upstairs. Broke through all the doors.
Empty. No one else was around.
Their frustration evident, they waited for the other group to catch up with them in one of the offices.
“Any trouble?” the leader asked.
“3 more guards at the back. They are dead.”
The leader nodded, then asked “Okon, where the fuel?”
Okon, a stout muscled thug hefted the 25-liter gallon of fuel he’d been carrying. Opened it and splashed some on the desk and the chairs as the leader nodded to the other guy who carried another 25-liter gallon of fuel. The guy went downstairs to do the same. Okon emptied the 25-liter gallon in as many offices as he could. They went downstairs, and then dragged all the dead guards inside. Then they walked outside and one opened a lighter. Flicked it and lobbed it inside. Closed the door and ran as another shot at the window of one of the offices, breaking glass. The fire started downstairs as another threw in a grenade through the window of the first floor window. The explosion rocked the building as they ran out, the fire starting upstairs as well. As they ran past towards their bus, the leader threw a grenade over the fence towards the sound of the generator.
As he dove into the bus and closed the door, yelling “Go go go go !!!!”, a small explosion rocked the generator house and the lights went out. Then a larger double explosion as they sped off.
Around the burning campaign office, lights were coming on as people sneaked tentative peeks outside.
This town is really going to shit, Jerry thought as he walked towards the burning Campaign office. Cars everywhere, people everywhere. Eager faces illuminated by the flames as the Fire Service struggled to contain it. He looked around for James, found him talking to another man, and walked towards him. As James turned to look at him, he caught a glimpse of the man he was talking with. He looked familiar, and well-built as well.
“You are here”, James said, and then turned to the man. “This is Inspector Jerry, the Detective currently in charge of the investigation into the death of the Senator. Jerry, this is Inspector Mark Ike.”
Jerry’s brain made the connection and he extended his hand. “Hello Inspector, heard quite a lot about you.”
“I hope they were all good stories” Inspector Mark said, smiling as he shook Jerry’s hand. “Please call me Mark.”
Jerry turned to look at the burning building. “A lot of fires in town lately huh?”
“You can say that.”
Jerry turned to James and asked “Have you looked around?”
“Not yet. Just got here a while ago and was speaking with the Detective”, he answered, motioning to Mark.
“Well, do so then.”
James nodded and left.
“So”, Jerry said to Mark, “looked around yet?”
Mark smiled. “A bit, but until the fire’s put out, I can’t do much more. But at least I can confirm that everyone who was in there is dead. They found 7 bodies in there. Burnt beyond recognition. Asked around, so presumably 6 guards and 1 unidentified worker. Info should get here soon though.”
Jerry turned to look at Mark. “That was quick.”
“Well, we got here quick.”
“Yes. My division of the FCID.”
“I thought my division was in charge of this case?”
“Hey”, Mark said, raising his hands and chuckling. “I don’t intend to barge in on your case at all. But I’ve been asked to come back to work and help anyway I can. Besides, we work in the same force. Just different divisions.”
Jerry was silent for a while as the fire eventually died down. People were still being told to move back.
What is it with people and their lust for death and destruction?
“Heard what you did back then”, Jerry told Mark.
“I would’ve done the same thing.”
Mark turned to look at Jerry for a while, then nodded. “Look, why don’t we work together on this? Let’s meet up sometime and see what we come up with. Cos something doesn’t feel right about all this to me.”
Jerry gave a small smile. “That shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll need to clear it with my Boss though.”
“Superintendent Bliss? That’s been taken care of.”
Jerry’s brow furrowed for a second, then he shrugged. “Okay then . Let me have your number.”
They exchanged numbers as James came back. “Well, I don’t know, but I think I got something.”
“Shoot”, Jerry and Mark said at the same time. They both looked at themselves, then smiled as James looked on in surprise. Then they turned to him and Jerry nodded. “Well, I asked around. Some people said they saw a white bus take of in that direction.” He pointed behind him.
“Did they get a license plate number?” Jerry asked.
“No, but one of the people I asked said it looked very official, with tinted windows and all. Said it was speeding, which was why he noticed it.”
Mark nodded. “Now we just have to go through town looking for a white van with tinted windows. Can’t these people make our jobs any easier?”
Now Jerry and James laughed together. Mark smiled.
“So how do we play this?” Jerry asked.
“Well” Mark said, looking at the house; the flames were almost out. “I have to reach out to some people. I think a mistake was made here. Don’t know why I think so, but something has been a bit off since I heard of the Senator’s death. If we don’t act fast, this town is going to go to hell in a hand-basket. We’ll see the beginnings of a full-scale war. That, I think we don’t want to see. I think this one was political, so I’m going to talk to the PFD people. I trust there’s a thread you are following on this case?”
“Well, yeah but like you said, it’s a thread. I still have to do some more checking though.”
“Well, you have my number. You can call me up if you need my help with anything or come up with something. After I’m done checking, I’ll let you know what I find. That okay by you?”
“Yeah, no problem.”
“Okay. I have to go now. I’ll tell my men to help you in any way they can. You are on point on this one; I’m just the back-up.” They all shook hands. “Nice meeting you Detectives, despite the circumstances.”
“My pleasure. And please call me Jerry.”
“And call me James.”
“Okay then, Jerry, James. See you both.” He turned and walked away.
“Nice guy”, James said.
“Mhmm. Better than most.”
“So what now.”
“Well, now, we wait till it’s all over in there, then we go look around.”
In the night, the sound of an approaching siren sounded like the wailing of a child.