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Unforeseen Dilemma # 11

Mr Adams and Sarah raised their heads above the shrubs to scan the dark area before them. Their eyes followed the car breaklight for a while before hastened to the road to watched the dust trailing behind them.

Once they’re out of sight, they turned to face each other.

Mr Adams raised both hands without a word and brought them down on his hips. Sarah sensed he was disappointed to let the police go uninformed. To her that could have been a bad idea. Once the police got to know, she would certainly not see her mother again.

“Sir, I’m sorry for putting you through all this. I’m sincerely sorry. You can find your way home, sir. I need to find the man to get to my mother back. ”

The shrub moved and their eyes went in that direction. Sarah thought it was The Man. It had become too dark to see anyone clearly but not dark enough to notice the shaking shrub. They waited in silence for whatever it was to materialise.

The shrub moved again and they both moved away from the area. It could be a snake finding it’s way to the road – to stretch out for cool evening air but a fast animal ran out of the shrub across the road to the other side.

“What could that be? This place is dangerous” He said.

“It could be a grasscutter.”

They both went silent.

Sarah picked a spot on the road away from the bushes and sat down, bent her knee and braced it with her entwined fingers.”

“You must be joking Sarah.” But she’s not joking. Her mother’s neck is on the line. She must find him to find her mother. She asked him to find his way home.

But he couldn’t go. He couldn’t leave her alone in that lonely and dangerous area – in the dark not even after getting him into a fish net of a criminal.

“How are you sure this man has your mother as he claimed? How are you sure he’s not scaring you with an empty threat?” Sarah looked at his obscure face and thought for a while.

After waiting for an hour, Sarah began to sob and Mr Adams couldn’t stand that. He couldn’t watch a matured lady cry but he couldn’t move close to console her. He took her hand instead and dragged her up

“Something tells me this man will be back at your house in less than 24hrs. I don’t think they’re going to hurt your mother. I want you to trust me concerning getting the police involved. I have a good plan” He said in a low voice as if the shrub had ears. Sarah didn’t talk but kept sobbing. With the passing of her father about a year ago, her mother had become everything to her. She couldn’t afford to lose her.

Domain Chaos #6 – Buying The Chief

His Royal Highness, Igwe Arinze Ogelu was the ruling chief of Nibo Town. A vibrant light-skinned man though in his early 60’s. He looked majestic in his kingly outfit – a casual traditional robe with the pattern on tiger’s skin printed on it. His kingly traditional hat sat on his throne.

He was a friend to Ndubisi’s father and the one who sold to Ndubisi’s father, the Land which Hon Eke was claiming to be his.

It was around 8 am during the rainy season and Igwe was seated with his two closest friends and advicers in his palace. They usually came to the palace early in the morning for early morning prayers with colanut.

They had finished the prayers and were laughing at one of the jokes from Nze Marthias Okechukwu, when the guard informed the Igwe that some three men were waiting to see him.

“Who are they?” he asked wondering if he had any appointment with three men.

“They said they are from Hon. Eke, Igwe.” the servant said bowing for the fouth time to show respect.

“Bring them in, ” the servant bowed again and left.

His friends stood up as he walked to the throne still in a cheerful mood, picked his hat and wore it to welcome his unexpected visitors.

“Igweeeeeee, ” The three men bowed their greeting.

“Welcome! Sit.” The sat in the three in one cushion adjacent to the throne. Another three in one cushion was empty opposite them.

“What brings you to Igwe’s palace.” One of them stood to speak. He wore a smile which the Igwe couldn’t understand.

“Igwe, Hon. Eke sends us. He appreciates your efforts to keep our town in good state. It all takes a courageous ruler to be able to achieve all you have been able to achieve.” One of them who looked like their leader spoke up.

“I thank God for helping me. I’m glad someone notices and appreciates my efforts. Tell him I’m grateful for his encouraging message.”

“Igweeee.” He bent close to Igwe who gave him a pat on the back. “Thank you Igwe for accepting the message. Hon Eke also sends you a gift to show his appreciation.” the speaker knelt and presented him with something in a small bag.

“Thank you but I won’t accept it.” Igwe looked at the gift item but refused to touch it.

“With due respect Igwe, why? Have we done anything wrong?” The three of them looked at each other.

“You have not done anything wrong, young men. Why has your master not come to present his gift by himself?”

“Igwe we apologise for his absence. He’s a very busy right now and it’s hard for him to come by himself..”

“Please go back to him and tell him that I do not receive gifts in absentia. Tell him to come by himself. Thank him for the gift anyway.” They were highly surprised that Igwe has refused to even check what the gift was; a brand new Honda CR-V worth more than 10 million naira.

“Please Igwe, receive this gift from us on his behalf. It pleases Hon. Eke to give you a luxury car as a New Year gift. Please accept it. I’ll bring him here before tomorrow runs out.” the speaker persuaded but Igwe had made up his mind.

“Look, young men, I understand how you feel. All you need to do is go back to him, tell him what I said.” A servant came in again to inform Igwe that some visitors were waiting.

“Not again.” Igwe muttered. He slept late and woke up very early because of his visitors. He needed some rest.

“Who are they?”

“The Igwe Cabinet, Igwe,” Igwe looked at his time, a wall clock ticking away by the side of his throne.

“Complete?”

“Twelve of them, Igwe, ” the servant bowed.

“Tell them to give me some time. I’ll join them as soon as possible.” While the servants took his leave, Igwe turned to his visitors.

“Young men, please you must excuse me. I have important meeting with my Cabinet. Tell Hon. Eke that I appreciate his kind gesture and would like to see him in person.” With this, he took his leave.

© Florence Ezekafor

Unforeseen Dilemma #10

James watched with tension as the two exhausted policemen parted the bushy shrubs with their hands to make walking through it to where he was standing with his gaurd easy.

The evening mist on the shrubs might have moistened their jean trousers and jackets. They returned without a catch and James breathed a silent relief. Thank God!

“Where is he?” The policeman gaurding him asked.

“Couldn’t make anything of him. It’s hard through the shrub. but he’s definitely a criminal up to some mischief. He had a pistol.”

“My God, ” James sighed

“What? Anything you might want to tell us?” They asked being too curious for comfort.

“Nothing really. Never knew this area could be a hideout for bandits. Shouldn’t have stopped here.” He said while they looked on silently – suspiciously.

“I really need to get going. As I said earlier, my wife is fighting for her life at the hospital.”

“Sorry about that but, do you know him?”

“Who?”

“The man who ran away of course.”

“No! No! Can’t believe you’re asking me this question. He’s probably a robber lying in ambush to rub a susceptible passer-by like me. I’m damn lucky he didn’t strike before you came along.” James said while one of the policemen rumaged in his boot. The rest nodded but he noticed they were not deceived.

“Can I go now?” He asked wondering if Sarah and Mr Adams were still hiding close by or had run during the chase. He thought about The Man and what he would be planning to do next.

“We need to take you to the police station, sir.” The policeman who searched his boot said.

James could not believe his ears. He made a frantic vain move with his clenched fist but stamped the dusty ground instead. If they took him to the station he would never save his daughter. He needed them to leave so be could find the man to continue the journey to redeem his daughter.

“Please do not do this. Let me go, I have not done anything wrong. I don’t know this man. I came along as you did and was pressed. I only stopped this car to help myself.” He tried very hard to explain.

“We have not said you did anything wrong Mr..”

James.

“James. Hey, come on, we’re not going to lock you up. It won’t be up to one hour and you’ll join your sick wife.”

“Believe me, I don’t have anything to do with that man.”

“We know!”

James was handcuffed and lowered into his car. He felt that his hopes of seeing his daughter again had been dashed. He began to sob as one of them went behind the wheel of his car, started his engine and drove in the direction they came. A second policeman was in the rear with his shotgun in hand. The third drove the police patrol car and trailed behind them.

“They’ve gone, sir. Thank you.” Sarah whispered to Mr Adams. She had fought tooth and nail to keep him pinned to his spot and not run to the refuge of the policemen as he desired to.

Domain Choas 2 – The Offer

Engr Ndubisi was worried sick and to pre-empt his brain cells from popping, he stood up, secured his sweaty hands in his pockets, strolled to his office glass window and allowed his bloodshot eyes to scan what he thought was the pretty messed-up world.

His focus was on the people before him hurrying to God-knows-where. He mused about Hon. Eke, who had called him two days following the visit of his lawyer and had offered him One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira to leave the so-called land property of his, purchase land somewhere else and build a better house.

“I know this property we’re talking about belongs to me Engr. but I’m offering you money for it. I don’t want to make trouble with you. Neither do I want to force you out of that land nor take you to court. I just want peace to reign. Take this money from me and give peace a chance. This money can buy you more plots of land than you occupy. Take it Engr.” he had pleaded like a very good man but Ndubisi could not be swindled by his grandiloquent mawkish words.

He had been annoyed to the medulla of his being instead. Who did Hon Eke think he was? Schmo?

Matters had become worse when everyone in Engr Ndubisi’s family began to say that Hon. Eke was a very good man and kind too for offering to give such amount. They praised his goodwill and non-aggressive approach. Ndubisi was tormented by their incomprehension.

“Going to the court with a billionaire is not wise Ndubisi. I beg you, collect the money he’s offering and stay away from trouble.” his mum had advised.

That had sounded familiar, Hon. Eke’s a lawyer had said the same thing, “sell the land to my client and stay out of trouble.”

What trouble?

Would Eke make trouble with him over something that belonged to him? Had they all been blinded to the fact that he didn’t place his property out there for sale? Did they not see the turbulence, Hon. Eke had stirred?

If he were to collect that money, he would regret it forever and he was sure his father would not be happy wherever he was.

So, as he stood at his office window, he found himself in tenterhooks – how would he fight Hon. Eke?

He had contacted many lawyers to seek their counsel and support, but they all had discouraged him from fighting.

“What courage does a fly have to fight a lion with? What strength? Take that money from him and stay out of trouble.” One of them had said and he thought cowardice played in his head.

He walked back to his desk, touched and felt everything on it absent-mindedly – deep in thoughts, before walking to his chair.

After rolling the ergonomic chair from left to right and round, he picked up the phone, looked at it for a few seconds and dialled the number of his family lawyer, Barrister Collins Ikedi.

Barrister Collins Ikedi was retired lawyer in his late seventies. He had been a friend of Ndubisi’s father and a very kind and useful one but he didn’t think he would be strong enough to support him.

He had not talked to him in a while and had said nothing about the problem at hand.

He should have but he thought a retiree won’t serve. Nonetheless, he was sure Barrister Ikedi would give good counsel on how to go about the present chaos.

When he didn’t pick the call, he dialled again and waited.

To be continued…