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HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 3:33pm On Apr 12, 2018
Copyright ⓒ Jon Doe, 2018

Moral right of author has been asserted. All rights reserved. This story may only be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means with prior written permission of the author Jon Doe.

Contact

twitter - @just2days

email - just2day@yahoo.com
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 3:35pm On Apr 12, 2018
SYNOPSIS

Coming from a wealthy Nigerian family, OlaDuhu in a bid not to be swept up by the machinations of his family, runs from Lagos to find peace in a small village in Osun State. A peace that will be shattered with the death of his father and a dying wish he could not refuse.

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 3:38pm On Apr 12, 2018
TANGENT - Still on the fence if it's worth breathing life into this story. Will see how things progress

PROLOGUE

Crowds raised thunder to accompany the overcast skies. The weather forecasters had reported it would be sunny without a cloud in sight. That they were wrong fifty percent of the time should give an inkling to their reliability. It did not dampen the spirits of the multitudes that gathered in Lagos National Stadium, their voices raised in defiance of the heavens above. Within their midst was the eye of the storm. A raised wooden platform covered in a plush carpet of red that did not take much imagination to liken to blood flowing and dripping off the edges. On this platform a pure white podium stood firm on the sea of blood beneath it.

Eight out of nine rigid chairs on the platform were empty, their occupants facing the one filled seat. Each possessed expressions of reverence which hid other emotions they did not wish to reveal. In the filled middle chair sat a man younger than most who shared the platform with him. On his head, wisps of white stood in stark contrast to the deep black of his hair. He stood up, his frame taller than those around him. Applause sounded from the eight as the young man made his way across the red sea.

His exquisitely cut black suit and dark tie stood out against the bleached podium he rested a hand on. The excitement of the crowd rose as they were whipped into a frenzy. Once they saw the striking young man take the podium a chant started from a small corner of the stadium.

"Duhu! Duhu! Duhu Duhu! Duhu!"

Like wildfire it spread. Over fifty thousand people chanting a single name at the top of their lungs. Feet struck the earth in unison, the ground shaking for miles.

Duhu stood at the podium, soaking in the adulation of the multitude that surrounded him. Three large screens stood above, magnifying his image for all to bask in. His hands rose to the sky, the sea quieting at his command. Fifty thousand people held their breath waiting patiently for his words. A gust of wind blew, making its way from the outskirts of the stadium. It swept past the throng who patiently waited to hear him. They were the poor, the sick, unwashed, hopeless, forgotten. Each felt the wind pass only to slip through their fingers, reaching Duhu who stood at the podium with his hands raised to the sky in a fist; grasping.

"I am tired! Tired of seeing our government shirk their responsibility while they fill their pockets with the wealth of the people!"

His hand struck the podium, the impact caught by the microphone and transmitted through the stadium.

"Is this the Democracy we were promised!? Is the rule of the majority!? We have endured enough, suffered enough, watched in silence as our leaders grow fat while we grow thin."

Eyes glinting with a roaring fire, Duhu looked out at the people that stretched as far as he could see.

"Is this to be our destiny? To fade quietly into the night in the shadow of tyranny! I say No! I have nothing to offer but my blood, my sweat, my toil, my tears!"

With a pause he drew breath, his hand striking his chest, each word dripping with emotion.

"We have us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. A mountain that needs to be climbed. It will take all of us, each of your hands pressed against my back as we blaze our way to the top!"

Every man, woman and child looked to Duhu, the intensity in his eyes seeming to touch personally each and every one as an individual.

"My conscience tells me clearly and certainly I cannot allow my brothers and sisters to remain forgotten by a government so bewitched by its greed it has sold the people who elected them to serve!

A flame was lit in their hearts, a fanatic fervor growing within their minds and souls. Duhu grabbed the podium, veins bulging from the force.

"Much like Lincoln, I shall not rest till this nation returns to a system where the government is of the people, by the people and for the people! And to achieve this goal, I, Duhu, shall be running for the next presid..."

He saw the blood before he felt the pain. It surged out of the chest of Duhu, a fountain splattering the white podium with a red deeper than the carpet he stood on. Fifty thousand people watched a hole appear in his chest as the hand holding the podium lost strength and Duhu fell back on all three screens projecting his image. A woman raced to his side, tears whipped by the wind. Men in dark suits swarmed the platform forming a protective circle as panic finally spread among the people, the exits unable to safely accommodate the flood of bodies.

All this was lost on Duhu. He lay on his back gasping for breath, each harder than the last as blood soaked into the carpet beneath him. His eyes were glued to the overcast heavens above. He couldn't help but think back to when he gazed at a similar overcast sky in a little village hundreds of miles from here. Before all this started, when his life was simpler and honorable. Maybe I should have never left he thought as his eyes closed.

CHAPTER ONE

A thin piece of wood the length of a hand danced in the mouth of a man lying beneath a mango tree at the top of a small hill. Through the branches, leaves and ripe fruit he could see glimpses of grey clouds that filled the dull sky. Peace floated around him, the whisper of the wind the only sound to accompany his repose.

He watched as a leaf shook free of the branch that held it captive. With its new found freedom the leaf tangoed with the wind, enticing the free spirited element to help defy gravity. Their union could not last forever, the leaf finally finding its new home on the smooth face of the man beneath the mango tree. This uninvited guest was not enough to cause the man to move a muscle. Quietly he accepted what the universe saw fit to send his way.

"Pastor!"

From the distance came the off key voice of a girl hitting puberty. It shattered the tranquility of...

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 6:07pm On Apr 13, 2018
Where do we go from here

CHAPTER ONE

A thin piece of wood the length of a hand danced in the mouth of a man lying beneath a mango tree at the top of a small hill. Through the branches, leaves and ripe fruit he could see glimpses of grey clouds that filled the dull sky. Peace floated around him, the whisper of the wind the only sound to accompany his repose.

He watched as a leaf shook free of the branch that held it captive. With its new found freedom the leaf tangoed with the wind, enticing the free spirited element to help defy gravity. Their union could not last forever, the leaf finally finding its new home on the smooth face of the man beneath the mango tree, kept in place by the stick he chewed. This uninvited guest was not enough to cause the man to move a muscle. Quietly he accepted what the universe saw fit to send his way.

"Pastor!"

From the distance came the off key voice of a girl hitting puberty. Foreign to the wild, it shattered the tranquility of the world. An event that led to the first movement by the man. Like a cornered beast his eyes widened, his ears straining to tell how far away the voice was. After waiting for more than a minute the intruder of his solitude had not followed up with any other shouts. He pondered what could have happened. It was not like her to give up so easily. Then it hit him.

"Sneaky girl."

The man said with a smile as he got to his feet and prepared to sprint down the hill in the opposite direction of where he judged the voice came from. Sadly it would not go his way.

"I see you pastor! If you run I tell Sister Khadijat."

The man paused, weighing his options. His shoulders drooped as he waited for the little girl to make her way up the hill.

"Would you really tell Sister Khadijat on your pastor?"

"Yes!"

The man looked at the little girl who was a little too happy to report her pastor. His hand reached out to pat her head, chewing stick still between his teeth.

"Good girl. Now what if I offered you candy?"

Her eyes brightened when she heard candy, her small tongue licking her lips as if she could taste them already.

"How many?"

"As many as you want."

"Ok I want 5 butter mint."

"You have a deal little one."

The man began to walk away from the little girl in the opposite direction of whence she came.

"Wait! Pastor Ola! You have to give me the sweet first."

Ola smiled, she'd gotten a lot smarter.

"Eduvie, I'm twice your age and you don't trust me?"

"Pastor you are 28? That is very old. No wonder you have strands of white hair"

She giggled, twenty eight being an age she saw as a long way away.

"Naughty girl, calling your pastor old. Those are wisdom hair. You are 13 or don't you know how to double anymore."

"Pastor is 26, 26, 26, 26..."

She ran round him shouting with glee, Ola merely watched but was still infected by her childish merriment. In the distance he heard bells. Within his pocket his phone lit up. He ignored it like he usually did. With one hand he grabbed Eduvie, effortlessly lifted her onto his shoulders and raced down the hill towards the village in the distance.

twitter - @just2days

Thanks for reading

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 9:07pm On Apr 13, 2018
For early access to Chapter 2 you can click here

https://1001lives.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/hidden-darkness-ch-02/

Thanks for reading

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by Hislordship12(m): 12:58am On Apr 14, 2018
nice one
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 5:10am On Apr 14, 2018
Hislordship12:
nice one
Thanks. Still a little early to tell. Wish me luck
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 5:12am On Apr 14, 2018
I lie because I love you

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 02

Eduvie shouted with delight, the wind whipping through her koroba styled hair. Trees flew by as they made their way down hill. In the distance the steeple of the church could be seen towering above the rest of the village. An easy feat with most other buildings capping off at a single story. In the bush around them, wildlife scattered as they made their way through with the stealth of a bulldozer in a china shop. Ola's feet propelled him forward at a steady pace, the peals of the bells getting louder the closer he got to the village. He ran without pause, sweeping past a signboard reading 'Welcome to Iree' as he made his way onto the main road of the village.

It was the only tarred road in Iree. The pride of all who resided in the sleepy hamlet. Built during the last state election, it was never finished, only running through a little over half the village before returning to red clay. All construction had stopped not long after the votes had been collected. They had been promised tarred roads as far as the eye could see. The residents didn't seem to mind much and the Oba's new Jeep did not have problems traversing the dirt.

Ola's rubber slippers slapped against the asphalt, his ill fitting shorts and shirt flapping in the wind. His nose lifted into the air as he caught whiff of a pleasant smell. The first house soon came into view. Outside a woman sat on a stool with a ikoko irin sitting on a wooden fire in front of her. She sported a hair style similar to the one on the head of the girl Ola currently carried. A brightly colored wrapper worked its way around her, tied in such a way to cover from chest to knees.

"Iya alakara!"

Eduvie shouted proudly, a mischievous smile on her small face. The woman looked up from the fire she was currently stoking with fresh wood.

"Who are you calling Iya alakara! You this naughty child."

She stood up, working her way towards the pair.

"Ahh, pastor run away, run away!" her little balled fist hitting his chest communicating her sense urgency.

"I'm sorry Eduvie, if I was to run from your mom I would never taste the best akara in the village again."

"Pastor, deliver her to me and help yourself."

Eduvie's little arms wrapped around Ola's neck and held on as best she could, her eyes mustering all the cuteness of a wounded baby deer.

"I don't want the five sweet anymore just take me with you."

"Sweet. Omode yi sha, don't worry the five lashes I will be giving you will also be sweet."

With that she grabbed Eduvie at the waist and pulled. Ola's heart softened when he looked into the little girls eyes. In it he saw the stare of one who saw her only hope.

"Mommy Eduvie, why don't we spare the rod this time around."

"Pastor, you of all people are saying spare the rod."

Ola smiled at the irony of it. He was about to begin a trite about treating the literal with care but changed his mind. Looking at the pleading eyes of the little one he sighed.

"Alright what about two lashes, one on each hand."

"You are lucky Pastor is benevolent."

"I don't want to be beaten!"

With a reassuring look he pat Eduvie on the back, his shirt already catching a few silent tears. So her mother could not hear he whispered "Be strong at heart. I promise you'll get those five butter mint". With that he pulled her off his neck and set her in her mothers clutches. Walking to a plastic container beside the hot oil, he quickly fished out 4 pieces of akara into a torn up newspaper and raced back onto the street. He did not dare take one last look at mother and child, afraid he would succumb to her cuteness and play out the white knight. A scenario that would not end well for them both. Much as he had signed Eduvie to her fate, he could not bear to watch her receive her sentence.

The toll of the bells had ended, a bad sign for Ola. He could now see the church gate less than a mile away. It had taken him nearly fifteen minutes to jog to this point. It was not that the village was large, rather the many villagers in front of their homes could not resist a quick chat. There were no strangers in a village this size and secrets did not stay secret for long, local news spreading impressively quick for an area without internet. As best he could, he had shouted greetings back while he zipped past but there were some he could not but stop to properly greet.

Though sometimes a bit of an inconvenience he knew deep down it was something he enjoyed and would not change for anything. Their transparent welcoming natures was refreshing to Ola. He grinned as he thought back to little Eduvie. He hoped her mom had gone easy on her. He could see the gate leading to the church now. In front of it was a woman dressed in black from head to toe. Besides her face, neck and hands not an inch of skin could be seen. Hanging from her neck was a pinky sized gold cross suspended on a rope made of wool. The cross rested against an exquisitely shaped chest no amount of loose fitting clothes could fully hide. It was not a detail Ola could enjoy with the storm brewing on the face of the lady. She noticed him, her eyes locking onto his like a seasoned predator finding her prey, daring him to look away.

"Oh, sister Khadijat, it's you. Well... you see... In the forest... I think I forgot... forgot my bible, yes my bible, I forgot my very important bible."

With a look of feigned sincerity Ola turned around, his body tensed and coiled to spring in the opposite direction of the fiend he had just laid eyes on.

"I'd like to see you take a step away from me."

It was said in a soft pleasant tone that did not match the fury in her eyes. Still, her voice rooted Ola firmly to the spot. He now envied Eduvie, wishing he was instead with her receiving lashings.

twitter - @just2days

Thanks for reading

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by Oluwakemi65(f): 11:16am On Apr 16, 2018
Following grin
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 3:19pm On Apr 17, 2018
In our pursuit of safety we offer our freedom

TANGENT - Ola's thoughts will be displayed in italics

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 03

How could such a pretty face be so fierce. Turning, Ola flashed a charming smile. In his college days many a lady had swooned at the sight of his pearly whites. Maybe it was the flashy convertible I rented to pick them up in. Sister Khadijat was neither amused nor did she look to be swooning.

"Immature, puerile, childish, irresponsible, pain in my..."

Each word was punctuated with a heavy step bringing her closer to the pastor she berated. Her hand reached out grabbing and twisting his ear. Not an easy feat with Ola being easily a head taller than her. The hills which surrounded the town heard Ola's cry as he bore the pain. Villagers nearby came out to watch the show, open with their laughter. This was nothing but a regular Sunday occurrence for them. It was no secret their pastor only performed his duties under the watchful eye of sister Khadijat, taking any chance to run for the hills.

"Sister Khadijat this is not the way you caress a man. You've been too long without..."

The pain increased, his ear now twisted to an impossible angle, cutting him off mid sentence. By the ear she dragged him through the church gate. Located at the highest elevation within the town, the church was one of the few buildings in the village constructed with block and cement. Simple in design, it could easily contain upwards of two hundred people. More than enough for the quaint little village.

Two other buildings stood proudly within the church grounds. Both having been built by the joint effort of the villagers ancestors, it was seen as a sense of pride for their pastor to make it his abode. A little over a year ago when Ola had just arrived, he had laughed when sister Khadijat had showed him where he would be living. He could remember vividly his first night in that primitive structure. What would sister say if she knew I only stayed to solve the mystery of her body type. Even after a year, not once had he seen her in anything but loose fitting garb.

Between the church and the residential buildings was the village cemetery. It was the one place on the church grounds he had never ventured too. From a distance he would watch her tend to the graves. Planting flowers, clearing out weeds and saying prayers for the forgotten. Sister Khadijat's care puzzled him. She too, like him, was not a native, arriving a few months before he did. He knew very little of her past. She had asked him once to come help tend the graves. His reaction left such an impression on her she had never asked again. So far there had been no deaths in the village requiring a funeral. He hoped his luck would hold.

A single road led from the gate to the church doors. A gentle incline lined with colorful flowers swaying in the gentle ever present wind. Sister Khadijat had still not given freedom to his ear. Ola bore the pain as he patiently waited for the moment she let her guard down. Seeing no opening he decided to gain from his predicament. Pretending to fall, he reached out to embrace her. With surprising agility she side stepped his reach, her foot lashing out and connecting with his back, helping him with his fall. He soon had the taste of dirt in his mouth.

"Must you?"

"You can't blame me for trying sister."

"But every Sunday? Aren't you tired of eating dirt? Don't you want change?"

"Change isn't always good, plus how else will I get to feel sisters shapely leg."

Her foot applied pressure on his fallen back, exerting no effort to go around him on her way to her hut, his head receiving special attention.

'You better be at the door clean and dressed to receive your congregation."

"Yes mistres... I mean sister."

Face buried in the dirt, he smiled. Soon i'll make you bloom in my hands. Picking himself up, Ola looked up at the clouds overhead. That one looks like a butterfly. An ominous feeling began to spread in his gut. With a sigh he suppressed it, making his way to his mud hut to freshen up.

twitter - just2days

email - just2day@yahoo.com

thanks for reading

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 3:33pm On Apr 17, 2018
Oluwakemi65:
Following grin

smiley and with your follow the story can officially start. lol.

Glad to have you as a commenter

1 Like

Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 6:53pm On Apr 17, 2018
For an early look at chapter 4 you can click here

https://1001lives.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/hidden-darkness-ch-04/
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 4:15pm On Apr 19, 2018
Life without death is meaningless

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 04

Taking up position at the front of the church Ola could feel eyes boring through the back of his neck. He was dressed in loose fitting shirt and shorts once again. On his feet were rubber slippers, not much different from what he wore to the hills outside the village earlier today. There had been a pressed pair of trousers and appropriate well fitting shirt on his bed along with recently polished black shoes; And like every Sunday before he had ignored them.

Already accustomed to their aberrant pastor, the villagers did not bat an eye as they exchanged pleasantries before walking into the church. With each hand Ola shook, he called their name. It was an easy task for him to recall the names of all the villagers. Much easier than faking his way after being mistaken for the new replacement pastor. It did not take long for the truth to come out but the village were so impressed with his first few sermons they kept him on. His ability to absorb information had been a great help. It had been years since he’d been between the four walls of a church. Luckily his foundation of church stories built up in his childhood was sound. Ola shouted a word of encouragement to the stragglers in the distance before making his way into the church, the doors closing behind him.

Hand on the pulpit, Ola looked over his congregation. Behind him sat sister Khadijat and a couple village elders. The path from the door led directly to where he stood. They must have designed it this way in case their pastor wanted to bolt. No extravagance graced the interior of the church, functionality valued over style much like its members. They were simple people, with simple wants and needs for the most part. Many were tillers of the earth, coaxing from it treasures others took for granted. He looked down at his notes. Today he was set to talk about destiny. Seated near the front he could see little Eduvie, her hands clasped together in her lap. She stuck her tongue out at him, an act he didn’t hesitate to return with even greater flair, to the confusion of the rest of the congregation. Hmm, are those car engines I hear?

With a bang the church doors flew open. Every head within turned in astonishment, the puzzling antics of their pastor momentarily forgotten. Some thought it was the wind, a thought that was quickly refuted when men in black suits began to pour into the church. With precision they made a protected corridor down the center aisle. Confusion spread among the villagers, soon to be replaced with panic at the sight of these large serious faced men. Each suited man had a slight bulge in their upper torso. None of the people within the church noticed this bulge except for the man at the pulpit. Shoulder holsters, likely sporting nine millimeter caliber. Must be for me

“Sister Khadijat, I have to leave now.”

“Leave?”

“One can only run for so long. Maybe we will meet again. If not in this life, then the next.”

His words left her with more questions. With that he began to walk through the human made corridor towards the door.

“I’d like to see you take a step away from me!”

“Pastor!”

Two voices sounded out in unison, one an off key voice piercing through the silence. A little girl was stopped by one of the suited men. She struggled to get by, an attempt that was nothing but futile.

“Let her through!”

Within a heartbeat the commanding voice was obeyed. Another layer of shock settled on the villagers when they heard their goofy pastor displaying an aura of authority. As it came it quickly disappeared causing them to doubt themselves.

The little girl ran into Ola’s embrace.

“Don’t go.”

He patted her head.

“Goodbyes are not forever.”

“Take me with you.”

“I’m sorry little one, I can’t do that. When you are grown you can come look for me. Now remember to be strong.”

Forgive me little one, for now I won’t be able to keep the promise of the sweets. Without looking back he made his way out the church, leaving it all behind. Sister Khadijat watched his receding back, a sense of darkness growing. It was the first time he had gone against her words. At that instant she knew, he was no longer pastor.

Under the greying sky was a convoy of black vehicles. In front of him another suited man held open the door of a fully tinted Range Rover. Looking into the dim interior he saw the outline of a person at the far end. Ola’s hand reached for his chin. For a little over a year his facial hair had grown unchecked, wild and free; matching his nonchalant inclination in this peaceful town. His face became expressionless as he took all that he was in the past year and cast it aside. Only then did he step in, the door closing behind him.

“You weren’t easy to find Mister Duhu.”

“Don’t call me Duhu. If you can’t say Ola, then call me sir.”

“Yes sir. We should be arriving at our destination within six to eight hours.”

“And what made you exert so much effort to find me?”

“Mister Duhu, I mean sir, brace yourself, your father is dead.”

Ola’s eyes glazed over just before he burst out in hysterical laughter

twitter – @just2days

email – just2day@yahoo.com


Thanks for reading

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by rayvelez(m): 10:35pm On Apr 20, 2018
Lemme comman sit down.
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 2:10pm On Apr 25, 2018
rayvelez:
Lemme comman sit down.

Lol. Welcome, let me know if you need anything.
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 2:22pm On Apr 25, 2018
Trust not your eyes to see the world. Illusions/mirages abound

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 05

The air carried a distinct new car smell mixed with authentic leather and a faint mysterious scent. In its mystery it lingered, neither overpowering nor displeasing. Rather it tended to lull one into a sense of peace. Whether this peace would be false or not was covered with a layer of fog.

In all its hysterics, the laughter never reached Ola's eyes. It rang hollow in his ears. All it should have contained had leaked with the passing of time. Ola's laughter ended as suddenly as it began; an eerie quiet replaced the dying echoes within the confines of the vehicle. At the wheel, the suited man grabbed tighter unto the steering wheel while inching forward, his eyes looking straight ahead with pain staking intensity.

Outward calm returning to him, Ola turned to the person who delivered the news.

"Beautiful."

As his gaze brazenly swept her body, his word washed over her with the effect of a candle in a brightly lit room. On the chair, she sat less like a queen and more the figure of a general who had no concept of being disobeyed. Unlike the rest of the security detail who wore suits of blended wool and cashmere, her upper torso sported an open burgundy leather jacket over a pure white blouse. From her, Ola felt a tightly contained sense of danger. At first he thought it was due to the lean, explosive, athletic build she possessed but that assessment was soon discarded. If I close my eyes it will feel like I'm caged in with a tiger brought in from the wild.

"How?"

"The official public version is that he died peacefully in the hospital."

"And the unofficial version?"

"I am not at liberty to say with your level clearance in the family."

Ola's eyes turned cold, his full attention finding a home on the two sculpted cores that held steady on her chest. Must be cause of clients like me that there aren't so many women in security. The few that existed were highly sought after. He noticed a flicker in her eye when she saw where he had leveled his gaze but she did nothing, unfazed. I'd hate to be the man who had to tame her, or maybe she's into women. On her head was a faded glory hair cut, the top a small tower of black curls. Having failed at bringing out some form of response from the ice cube beside him, Ola turned and muttered.

"I'm surprised it took this long for the old bastard to kick..."

A hand shot out striking Ola right below his Adam's apple. His airway compressed cutting off his speech as he doubled over from the pain.

"Don't speak ill of your father in front of me."

There was no emotion in her words, her hands reaching out and grabbing a comm device.

"Package has been acquired. Lead vehicle you are clear for departure."

Ola had recovered enough to take a breath, the pain subsiding to manageable levels. Without a word he lunged at her, aiming to gain his pound of flesh. Only the middle seat separated them. A distance he was sure he could cover before she could react. He didn't get far, having greatly underestimated his opponent.  What is wrong with this woman!? Pointed at the center of his head was a nine millimeter glock. Her finger caressed the trigger like a jilted lover who had been given a second chance.

Their eyes locked with an intensity that toed the line between immaterial and tangible. How could eyes be so grey.... Her irises seemed almost devoid of color as they gave off a cold light, sending a chill down Ola's spine.

"You know you can't kill me."

His aim, to remind her and reassure himself.

"That might be true, but my mission didn't state what condition I had to bring you in..., sir."

Before Ola could process what she said, the butt of her gun connected with his temple and all faded to black.

First came the pain, then the splotches of light and color as Ola slowly regained consciousness. The sense of touch took its time returning. Beneath his head he had the faint feeling of something soft. He willed himself to be still, hoping to enjoy the suspected pillow for a few moments longer. His eyes opened, his awareness now strong enough to see it was the headrest that provided comfort. She couldn't even be bothered to personally tend to me. He could feel her watching him, a seed of interest unconsciously germinating. Ola looked out the window.

"Hey fierce beast Where are we?"

A small vein popped in her head when she heard Ola refer to her as a beast.

"Just about to leave the border of Osun and step into Oyo state."

"So, fierce beast, got a name?"

"You haven't earned the right to know it."

Ola turned to size up this lady who had clocked him without a hint of hesitation. He turned back to his window.

"Why aren't we moving? Hey driver why aren't we moving?"

"An accident in front, roads blocked. The lead vehicle currently sorting it out sir."

"Driver what's your name? Can't be calling you driver for the rest of our trip."

"It's Chukwu sir."

"Good name. Once had a turtle name Chukwu, she truly was a god among turtles. So where does this fierce beast hide her gun?"

"I'm not at liberty to say sir."

Chukwu began to sweat, the air conditioning having little effect. He did not dare turn around, his mind feeling the loaded gun pointed at him.

"Don't be shy Chukwu. I promise if you tell me, when we get to Lagos I'll have a rich reward prepared for you."

Chukwu licked his lips thinking of a reward from this man who had warranted enough worth to have this much manpower put in play to hunt him down. Then he remembered the lady who he would be offending and a tremble went along his bulging muscles.

"I quite like my current situation sir. Thank you for the offer."

"Forget it Chukwu, i'll still get you the reward regardless."

With a sigh Ola stroked his beard, his eyes noting the visibly relaxing body and excited grin of Chukwu. His gaze returned to the window of the car. With the knuckle of his middle finger, he wrapped against the glass. He heard a shallow sound.

"Are these windows ballistic proof?"

"No. But the rest of the car is. Why do you ask?"

Ola ignored her question and continued to look outside. There were hawkers moving from car to car struggling to gain the favorable attention of the occupants they couldn't see through tinted windows. In their hands were goods ranging from bottled water to locally made wura. Beyond the edge of the road not much could be seen due to a thick covering of forest trees. All this did not hold much interest for Ola. Instead his focus was on a little boy with a rag and bottle of water. He'd jump onto the hood of each car and attempt to clean the windshield. The drivers would activate the car windshield wipers and he would scurry away. It was kind of cute, garnering a few laughs here and there. Without fail he would proceed to the next car and repeat, making his way down the convoy line; getting ever closer to the car Ola currently sat in.

With some effort and a soft thud, the little boy clambered onto the bonnet of the range rover Ola, fierce beast and Chukwu occupied. The little boy saw the lady in the burgundy jacket and became excited, climbing off the car and scurrying off before Chukwu could even activate the wipers to chase him away.

"I believe this is an ambush. Give me a gun."

"What?"

Fierce beast watched Ola much like one would watch a spoiled child who did not realize his parents were no longer here to protect him from the cruelty of the world.

"Whatever scheme you cook up in a bid to get me to coddle you won't work."

This was not her first assignment. She was not clueless to the allure she had on men. It had served her well in certain situations but had also been a constant headache in many others. She knew his type, had dealings with his type and knew well how to handle his type. But the longer she looked at him the more she felt she might be misjudging this man who sat a seat away from her. Some instinct at the back of her mind wanted her to trust his words. If you asked her to explain it, she would be unable to. At the moment she thought maybe she shouldn't dismiss his words so quickly but then she saw a sudden look of lust on his face. It disappeared as soon as it came though not quick enough to evade her perceptive eyes. She began to reach for a set of handcuffs to stem the amount of mischief he could get into. Her fingers would never make it.

Chukwu did not register a thing. A shower of red blossomed from the side of his head. A crimson rose in full bloom with traces of pink and fragments of white. What was left of his brain had a new guest in the shape of a 50 millimeter bullet. His body slumped landing on the horn of the car, the incessant sound travelling along with the hail of bullets and shattered glass.

Fierce beast had no time to grieve for Chukwu. Her training took over, body springing for Ola, tackling him to the ground as bullets pierced the air above them in a horizontal rain.

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by Hislordship12(m): 1:04am On Apr 27, 2018
I can't wait for the new update
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by devilmaycry1(m): 9:31am On Apr 27, 2018
wow ride on oooooooo
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 6:17pm On Apr 29, 2018
The hand of fate recognizes no creed

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 06

A rooster croaked out its greeting to the dawn in a sleepy little village on the border of Osun and Oyo state. Within all the nondescript mud huts, movement began as villagers prepared to face life once again. Among them was Emeka, at that awkward age when he’s no longer considered a boy but barely considered a man. Emeka had a routine quite different from the rest of the villagers. Through his window he watched the village elder lead everyone to the shrine at the center of the village. A few noticed him watching. Some sneered while others were unable to hide the pity in their eyes. With a sigh Emeka looked away, reaching under his pillow. With exaggerated care he brought out two items, an aged picture and Gideon bible.

His eyes grew moist. A tear he could not hold back splashed onto a black and white couple with beaming smiles. Pride in their eyes, their hands held a little bundle. The photo was worn, fading from the edges and a singed corner evidence it was rescued from a fire long ago. Still, the features of the couple were clear. Wiping the tear with his thin blanket, Emeka picked up the bible and began to read.

Early morning was not infinite. Emeka’s morning ritual came to an end with a silent prayer. None but him knew what they contained. Outside his window, the villagers too had finished their worship and were making their way to their homes to prepare. It was then they noticed they had visitors. This was a rare occurrence for the sequestered village. Emeka watched as the women gathered the children to their respective huts while the men joined the village elder who walked to where the visitors stood. A little boy broke away from the women’s encirclement in an attempt to follow the men. He was soon caught and dragged back kicking and screaming.

They were three in number. Though the sun had not shown it’s true face, two wore dark sunglasses which gave them an unapproachable look. In-between these two was a man with an oily smile carrying a mid sized black bag. Compared to the two thick men he was skinny as a palm tree. For Emeka, he gave of the airs of a poisonous snake one had to be wary of. The man’s eyes were constantly shifting. A single thin scar ran down his right cheek. His skin was as dark as dark could be and even in this light heat he was sweating. The village men tensed up, they too seeming to sense the thin man was dangerous. They were too far away for Emeka to hear the words being said but when the thin man reached into the bag and brought out bundles of naira notes, he saw the tense look of the village men immediately turn to greed.

All having disappeared into the elders hut, Emeka pushed it to the back of his mind and began to gather the bush snails he had caught in the forest surrounding their village. It took a good eye to spot the snails which blended so well in the bush. It was a 7 kilometer walk to the inter state road where he could hawk his wares. He was always the first to reach the road, hoping to catch the early commuters. It would be a vicious battle between the red orb in the sky and his sanity if he couldn’t sell all the snails before the noon day heat. Tucking the picture and bible safely into his pocket he made his way to the wooden door with basket of snails in hand.

Opening the door revealed a surprise.

“Tope what are you doing here!?”

At Emeka’s door was a young girl with two small kegs of water in hand and a mischievous grin on her face.

“Water from the stream in case you don’t finish selling by noon.”

With an outstretched hand, Emeka ruffled her dada hair.

“If your mom saw you here you would be in big trouble.”

“Humf, I’m a big girl now she can’t punish me.”

“Haha, see this cute little girl that isn’t even 16 yet.”

“But brother Emeka, i’ll be 16 soon, then I can marry you.”

She puffed up her chest in an attempt to look older, standing on her tippy toes and still not reaching Emeka’s shoulder. This made her look even cuter, causing Emeka’s laughter to grow.

“You have to turn 14 first and aren’t you forgetting you’ve been promised to another.”

“I don’t care, I will only marry brother Emeka.”

“Child you have to…”

“Don’t call me child just because you turned 18.”

Emeka could see the threat of tears in her childlike eyes. Bending down he hugged her innocence, driving the flood back and relieving her of her burdens. She beamed as she watched him disappear into the forest with her kegs in hand. Only when she could see him no longer did she return to where her mother was preparing breakfast.

Through the forest along a well worn path, Emeka raced. The wind was cool against his fair skin. Sure footed, outcrop of roots and rocks posed no risk to him as he made his way nimbly around them. It did not take long before the street came into view. Cresting the edge of the forest, he was shocked to see men tipping a bus over. It fell down with a crash, covering the road. The earth shook from the impact. They wore clothes similar to that of the men who spoke to the elder. Puzzled, Emeka crept back under the cover of the forest where he could observe without being seen. Soon after, the men disappeared into the forest on the opposite end of where Emeka hid.

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 6:19pm On Apr 29, 2018
Hislordship12:
I can't wait for the new update

Your anticipation is welcomed. I too look forward to the possibilities.
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 6:19pm On Apr 29, 2018
devilmaycry1:
wow ride on oooooooo

Thanks! Working on not losing steam
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 7:47am On May 01, 2018
In the face of death we are most alive

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 07

A symphony of death played its heartless tune as the gods watched from above with indifference. Blood flowed, the road its parchment, a river of red its masterpiece. Screams of men and women intermingled as they were cut down by the emotionless slugs ripping through their fragile bodies. Those who died quickly were the envy of the terminal who lay there gasping from the excruciating pain, an unexplained understanding, the reaper would not be leaving empty handed this day. More than a few cried to their gods for rescue, for solace, for revenge; cries they would not live to see answered.

A child knelt in the midst of it all, tears falling freely. She lacked the ability to understand why her mom would be sleeping with the pandemonium occurring around them. Her childlike innocence sheltered her, harbingers of death never finding even a wisp of her dada hair as she shook her mom in a futile attempt to wake her. Through the tears she could not see; only feel a hand dragging her away. Desperately she clung to her mom but her strength could not contend, the fabric of her mom slipping through her fingers.

Within a bullet proof range rover with shattered glass, Ola lay pressed against the ground. In his face were two soft mounds of feminine wiles. If I knew bullets was what it took to get a face full I would have had us shot at a long time ago. Each breath he took came with the scent of lilacs; intense, heady and sweet. Forgotten was the very real large quantity of bullets that were currently searching for his head. Deftly his hand reached out, exploring, wishing to unearth the many secrets on top of him. Running along the back of the fierce beast's thigh, his fingers made its way to what he hoped was a soft shapely bottom. Within Ola's body his blood tumbled, excitement building. His actions did not go unnoticed.

Her knee found every mans weakness, sending tears to his eyes and a shooting pain he failed to ignore. His body involuntarily struggled to rise but she pinned him down with surprising skill. Ruthless is what she is but god her body is a delight. Her foot reached up opening the door where their head wasn't. With a finger to her lips she began to slide out. In her hand was a Belgium made FN P90. Turning, Ola saw the well hidden open compartment. Reaching inside he came out with a handgun before silently sliding out after her. Beside the back tire they crouched, a vicious look appearing each time the Beast looked at Ola. Her machine gun kept training its sights on him. She must be running out of reasons  not to shoot me. Not fazed in the least Ola rammed an ammo clip in and pulled the slide to check if one was in the chamber. From the simple motion he could feel the gun was well maintained. Memories of the first time he was at the shooting range with father began to surface but he suppressed them.

None of this went unnoticed by the lady beside him. Using tactical signals she motioned for him to remain here. Stubbornly Ola shook his head. With a sigh she pointed at him, cupped her hand and pat her head. With a raised fist, Ola acknowledged he would cover her. No longer did the sound of automatic weapons fill the air. They must be reloading. Their thoughts in sync, Fierce beast, double checked the clip in her gun, flipped to semi auto, took a slightly bent stance, placed the butt stock against her shoulder, pressed her cheek against it enjoying the cool body; and waited. A tap to her shoulder immediately sent her out of the cover of the car, Ola right at her heels.

A change came over her as she stepped out into the line of fire. Gone was the vicious look that had been directed at Ola, replaced with a calm calculating gaze. Her finger showed love to the trigger, a familiar friend, gently squeezing as she laid eyes on the enemy. They were easy to spot, every one wore dark sunglasses and suit. More importantly they each carried the same model of Kalashnikov, famously known as the AK-47. It was a beautiful gun, perfect blend of metal and wood. It would fire in the rain, mud, heat or snow. So easy to operate, even a child could load and fire it. Thoughts of the feel generated a heat in her that was not coming from the currently firing P90.

In short bursts she fired, her burgundy leather jacket flapping in the wind as she walked. An angel of death, showing no urgency while picking her targets and squeezing her trusty trigger. Frantically her enemies struggled to reload in a bid to send her to the depths of hell where she belonged. One by one they watched their comrades fall in a shower of red, bodies riddled with holes. Each step she took sent another to be judged by whatever truth existed in the afterlife till only one remained; his gun finally loaded and brought to bear. It was a couple seconds too late for the angel of death had already leveled her scythe and pulled to reap. The bolt moved, hammer struck and nothing happened. The man who saw death as an inevitability now faced a new hope. With the change in circumstance, there was no change in the eyes of the Beast as she calmly watched the loaded Kalashnikov rising to fill her with lead. Before the man could savor this change in fortune, a hole appeared on his forehead, a now smoking gun in Ola's hand.

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 10:31am On May 02, 2018
For an early look at CH 08 you can click here

https://1001lives.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/hidden-darkness-ch-08/

Thanks for following
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 11:59am On May 03, 2018
i'm enveloped in the joy of discovering what love is

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 08

Fierce beast turned and slapped Ola in the face, an act he was in no way prepared for. His right cheek sported a clear imprint of her making. Before the pain could register, she grabbed his neck pulling him into a heated kiss. His head spun, her lips soft to the touch, a little pink mounting an uncontested invasion beyond his pearly white gates. He could almost taste the lilacs. Pain forgotten, his hand reached out to grab her waist, an act that would not bear fruit. Head pulling away, her hand formed a fist that struck him squarely on the jaw. It was too much, the breakneck changes left Ola's mind reeling as he landed heavily on his bum, his gun falling to the side, the clouds above in full view.

"Don't touch me"

Delivered from the height of a conqueror she turned to leave but stopped.

"They call me Malaozi."

Uttered with the emotion of a dried piece of fish, she jogged to the convoy hoping to find survivors. Ola resisted the urge to watch her. Picking himself up he surveyed the world around him. The air was thick with the smell of blood. With a furrow of his brow he began to check for survivors among the traders who had enthusiastically hawked their wares merely minutes ago. Working his way from one corpse to the next he eventually stopped at a body with a rag still clenched tightly in its hand. It was the little boy. Up so close, he couldn't be more than eight. Unlike all the other bodies Ola had seen showing agony and unwillingness, the boys face only sported wide eyed confusion. With a sigh Ola knelt down and closed the opened eyes.

"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, may you find the peace lost in this life in the next."

Two fingers on the eyes he recited those words. They came out heavy, much like he had said it one too many times. The bullet had found his little heart. Death came in an instant, a small comfort.  The knees of his shorts were now stained red, a detail Ola showed no intent on acknowledging. Instead he looked out into the forest.

"You can come out now."

To the random observer it would appear he was having a conversation with the lifelike trees. Nothing happened. With a shrug of his shoulders he moved on to the next body. It was a woman, pretty even in death. Her fair skin now pale with the heavy loss of blood. She must have been even more beautiful in life, what a waste. A piece of her dress had been partially torn. Someone didn't want to let go. With two fingers Ola pressed against her neck, between the wind pipe and neck muscle. It's elegance did not retain much warmth but to Ola's surprise he felt a faint pulse.

"Malaozi get a first aid kit here now!"

The shout rang out, two sets of feet pounding the pavement heading towards him.

"Mother!"

Ola was not surprised when a girl and a youth appeared at his side. The girl rushed to her mother but was held back by Ola.

"Let me go! Let me go!"

She threw little fists at the hand that held her as she shouted. The boy who came out with her held in his hand a branch which he hoisted in an unsure manner.

"Calm down little one, your mom is in a critical state."

"No! No! No!"

She struggled on, tears falling, her feet now kicking out viciously. Still it was not enough to free her from Ola's hold.

"Boy, get her to calm down."

At that point the woman who lay there at deaths door opened her eyes.

"Mommy..."

The sound was heartbreaking, a mixture of a child's hope and a new understanding of despair.

"Omo mi Tope is that you..."

Her voice was weak, barely audible. Ola released Tope, allowing her to reach her mothers side, her tears splashing on her mothers cheeks. Malaozi approached, a first aid kit in hand but Ola waved her away. It was too late, she only had a few minutes left regardless of what they did.

"Mommy, Tope is sorry, I promise to always listen, please don't..."

"Hush child. I saw your grandmother. She said she has always watched over you. I will..."

A weak cough came over her, blood splashing out of her mouth onto the dress Tope wore. A hand lacking strength reached up to rub against Tope's cheek, falling back before it could make a sliver of contact. Tope caught it, bringing it to her cheek, bathing it in tears.

"I promise not to say I'll marry Emeka again, just please don't go mommy, don't go, don't..."

The last thread of life left the body as Tope embraced her mother, sobs enveloping that stretch of deathly road between two lines of forest. The trees bowed, touched by the love of a mother and child or maybe just in answer to the wind. Emeka stood there, his fist clenching, nails digging into his palms till they drew blood. He cursed his powerlessness, his ability to do nothing but stand there watching helplessly as the one person who had shown him kindness suffered. Overcome, his face rose to the sky and he began to howl.

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by devilmaycry1(m): 12:16pm On May 03, 2018
wow nice story
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 9:58pm On May 03, 2018
devilmaycry1:
wow nice story

Glad you enjoying it. your comment is much appreciated.
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 7:11pm On May 05, 2018
We are the orchestrator of our own darkness

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 09

"She is gone."

"No."

"Tope, she is gone."

"No!"

She poured her all into that single word, soon fainting from the exhaustion of her young mind. Emeka gathered her unwilling body into his arms, running a hand through dada hair he knew so well. He began to walk back towards the forest.

"Stop."

In the voice was a subtle hint of restrained violence. Fear crept into Emeka's heart his feet refusing to lift, the voice carrying with it a faint force he could not disobey. He did not know what these people wanted, but what he did know was Tope's mom died because of them. They might not have pulled the trigger but their presence had set in motion these events. The fear melted away to be replaced by a simmering anger. His shoulders slightly lifted from their drooped and defeated stance, his back straightening. Emeka did not turn around.

All this did not go unnoticed by Ola. Looks like the kid has some backbone after all. 

"Where did these men come from?"

"I don't know. Three strange men appeared at our village this morning, two were dressed like these guys with the guns."

There was no tremble in his voice, his mind treasuring that small victory. With a thumb he pointed to the man Ola had shot in the head. Behind the lifeless body was a sign saying 'Welcome to Oyo', half of it now painted with a splattering of still dripping red.

"You say only two were dressed like this?"

"Yes, the third person was not like them. He was..."

Emeka shivered when he thought about that man.

"He was what? Out with it."

"He looked evil. Even the village hunters were scared of him. He was skinny, skin as dark as night and he had a thin scar on his cheek. It was like death followed him wherever he went."

"Tell me what were the color of his eyes!"

A hand clasped Emeka's shoulders and spun him around. He looked up to see a ferocious woman with fire from the depths of hell in her eyes. Never did he think within a day he would see another person who sent a chill down his spine. Mouth drying up, he struggled to free himself, his only thought, to get as far away from her as possible but her grip resisted with ease. She squeezed harder, his shoulder numbing from the force, his knees buckling, landing heavily on the hard pavement and shocking his nervous system. Still her hold did not lessen.

"I don't know! I was too far away."

In his hands, Tope remained unharmed, his full focus now on her protection as tears threatened to spring from his eyes. Emeka felt the pressure lessen.

"That was all I saw from my window. He brought out money from a bag he carried. The elders took him in. I swear on my life that is all I saw."

"Malozi he seems to be telling the truth, you can let him go."

"Get this straight Ola, you don't give me orders. Not now not ever... sir."

"Ever is a long time for hearts to change Malozi."

"Scram!"

With a snarl she let go of Emeka, her eyes now leveled on Ola. Emeka got up, his feet ready to explode towards the safety of the forest.

"Stop."

Again Emeka was rooted to the spot, unable to take another step, that voice containing an unexplained power. A peace came over him as he came to terms with what he felt was going to happen.

"Please, I understand you have to silence all witnesses but spare her. She is just a child. She knows nothing. Who would believe her anyway."

"Do I look like a murderer! What would make you even think that?!"

Ola exploded, his brow knitting in displeasure. Emeka's head unwittingly turned to the man with a hole in his head. He was not subtle about it .

"Okay, yes I shot that guy, but it was self defense. I don't make it a habit to silence children. She's the one who needs a leash..."

"I don't know what to say." A strong sense of relief loosening Emeka's tense muscles.

"For now just stop talking. Malozi, you have money on you?"

It wasn't really a question. There wasn't a chance on such an operation the team leader would not be carrying at least one black duffel bag of cash. Before the turn of the century it had been 'Ghana must go' bags that had been used. The bright multi colors had later been seen as counter-intuitive for the line of work. Malozi paused, she contemplated punishing Ola for the 'leash' comment but decided to put it on the back burner for now, making her way to the Range Rover.

"So tell me your name."

"I'm Emeka and this is Tope."

Protectively he held her while uttering the child's name, 

"Pretty names. Were you here when they set up the accident?"

Emeka nodded, recounting all he saw.

"There's a path less than a kilometer behind us you can pass that will skirt the blocked road."

"Is it wide enough for a car?"

"Yes, I'm sure of it."

"Alright then."

Grabbing his fallen gun, Ola rose, dusting the knees of his shorts, his finger smearing and smudging rather than cleaning anything.

"Here, this should be more than enough."

A small black bag flew through the air to land in front of Emeka with a thud. He didn't go near it.

"I called it in, cleanup crew should be here in about half an hour."

"Any survivors among your team?"

"Yes, I patched them up as best I could but they aren't fit to travel. Plus I think we might be better off if we went incognito."

"Who would have thought a convoy of 10 armored vehicles doesn't really blend in."

She ignored his snide comment.

"We have four hours to get to Lagos. Get your butt in gear and let's go."

Ola sauntered after her, making the effort to focus on anything but her profile. He had a sneaky suspicion she had eyes on the back of her head and was waiting for an excuse to rain down pain. Before stepping into the car he turned once more to look at the duo who still hadn't moved.

"Your village is likely no more."

Ola saw traces of conflicting emotions in Emeka's eyes. He was not a stranger to it, recognizing easily what the boy was thinking. It would be a cold hard journey. Feeling nostalgic he paused.

"If you ever decide to take revenge, come to Lagos. Duhu is who you want to find. Be certain before you embark on this dark road."

The jeep roared to life, the smell of burning rubber rising as Malaozi swung the car around and sped away, bodies in her wake. A passed out Tope in his arms, Emeka watched the Range, hatred seeping out of every pore. At first he walked away from the black bag but then he looked at Tope. Returning, he pulled back the zipper revealing stacks and stacks of thousand Naira notes and a few stacks of hundred dollar bills. On any other day, he would have been shocked beyond reason but too much had happened.  Still the hatred misting from his body did not diminish an iota. Grabbing the bag he disappeared into the forest.

twitter - @just2days

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 8:13pm On May 06, 2018
CH 10 will be out on Tuesday. Thanks for the continued interest in Duhu

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 11:10pm On May 08, 2018
In doing what we ought, we deserve no praise for it is our duty - St. Augustine

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 10

A canopy of leaves kept the rays of the sun from the forest floor. On a dirt path an antelope lay down, lazily enjoying the quiet of the day. Its ears perked up catching the faint sound of a foreign element. Rising to its feet, curiosity won over, its nose sniffing for the scent of predators. Finding nothing in the still air its ears turned to where the sound was growing louder from. It did not take long for two suns to blink into being just above the forest floor, a monstrosity roaring into existence. In a panic the antelope scampered to safety as it rumbled past.

Ola could barely stay on his seat. The forest path was decent for a dirt road. If one kept a sane speed it would be a relatively smooth ride. Nothing sane about this omoge, maybe I should wear my seatbelt. Malaozi's foot did not let up on the gas, the 2 ton vehicle barreling down the once quiet path. Bush animals fled for their lives, those too slow meeting a grisly end beneath the behemoth.

"Are you trying to achieve what those assassins didn't?"

Tired of being thrown around, Ola shared his grievance. She ignored him, the odometer needle rising.

"Ok, ok I take it back, no need to push the insanity to a new level. What is the rush anyway?"

"Funeral is today."

"I don't have to be there."

"It's not about you."

She swung the wheel, the vehicle flying out of the dirt path back onto the inter state highway. Behind them the makeshift barrier getting farther and farther away.

"The man with the scar on the cheek, seems you have some history."

Her foot hit the brake, throwing an unprepared Ola head first into the dashboard. The accelerator went down again, sending him back into his seat. Is she trying to kill me or save me. Pulling on the seat belt, he strapped himself in wishing he had another.

"Alright, I get it, you don't want to share about yourself, but we both know whose dog it is. Will he be there at the funeral?"

"Without a doubt."

"Good, since he let his dog off its leash it's necessary he bears the consequence."

"You can't kill at your fathers funeral."

"Since when?"

Malaozi didn't answer, Ola did not expect her too. The odometer was pushing 220 km/hr, the road a patchwork of hastily fixed potholes. Though not a work of art, it was effective. Over a year ago it would have been suicide to achieve such a pace on this road.

"You make a terrible travel companion. Wake me up when we get to Lagos."

With that Ola, reclined his chair and closed his eyes.

The blare of a horn drove sleep from him. The fading pain from his bruises told him he had been asleep for at most a couple hours. Glancing outside he saw a large billboard. 'This is Lagos'. It had been more than a year since he left this city with a strong beating heart. Even now you don't welcome me. One could sense the unapologetic soul of the city from it's first words it chose to impart on those mortals brave enough to wander into its boundaries. There is no welcome, there is no warm reception; you are thrust into the quagmire and expected to sink or swim within.

Ola ran a hand through his wild hair, breaking contact with that fated sign board. He knew well the viciousness and the warmth the city possessed. A car screamed past them, its horns blaring, the driver shouting out curses at the top of his lungs. This mad man is driving against traffic and cursing us, I truly am back in Lagos. Another oncoming car drove past, this time lights flashing along with the horn and curses. More cars followed this pattern. Only then did Ola look around to realize they were the mad men.

On the section of the road designated for those drivers heading to Ibadan, Malaozi was currently silently driving to the heart of Lagos, her chosen lane the middle one.

"What are you doing!"

"There's traffic that we don't have time for."

"Is this how you plan on going till we die you..."

Ola held back the temptation to call her crazy in all the different forms he knew how, the memory of being thrown against the dashboard still fresh. It did not take long before a police car pulled up behind them, sirens blaring. Malaozi did not slow down, treating it as an escort as they made their way along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

"Which Church?"

"The Cathedral Church of Christ."

"You plan on driving like this all the way to Marina!?"

"Course not, too much of a hassle, we'll join the proper lane when we hit 7-Up."

Cars peeled to the left and right, no one willing to take Malaozi on in her game of chicken. Behind, the amount of police cars chasing was on the rise.



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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by holarbolu(m): 1:21am On May 09, 2018
This is beauty at its best bro... Soar on!
Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 11:04pm On May 10, 2018
Know your enemy as well as you know yourself and you will never lose a battle

TANGENT - So, I'm guessing some know there is a 'The Cathedral Church of Christ' in Marina Lagos and it is an Anglican church. For the purpose of this story, there will be a change. It will be a Catholic church and called "Cathedral Church of Saints"

HIDDEN DARKNESS CH 11

A pedestrians skirt flew up, its owners shrill shout drowned by sirens screaming past at break neck speeds. A winding snake of flashing reds and blues; the head silent, large and pure black. Worst day for her to be free-buffing. Ola watched her struggle with the unruly skirt having very little success, men walking nearby silently thanking the speeding cars. Their unwilling escort kept up the chase, barely keeping up with the demon beside him. She was a fish in water behind the wheel of a 2 ton vehicle, weaving through traffic. Many had pulled out of the pursuit. For some he could not answer why, but quite a few became obvious when he saw them turning into fueling stations. Even with those that dropped out, the snake did not fall in length, others replacing those lost along the way. It did not take long for Malaozi to reach 3rd Mainland bridge; the longest bridge in Africa, that is until 1996. Even now it still came a respectable second.

Ola gazed out at the waters stretching to the horizon. He barely registered the sirens anymore, their buzz similar to a mosquito you had tried, failed and finally given up silencing. In the distance there were long thin wooden boats riding the gentle waves. Men stood within, tossing nets out into the Lagos lagoon. The blare of the sirens must have reached their ears but it held no sway over them, their work continuing without missing a beat. Ola felt a slight pang of envy watching their simple lives. Not long after, a small city of wooden structures rising above the waters came into view, a tinder box holding human lives. Makoko shantytown has barely changed, it wouldn't take much to set it ablaze. The Lagos Island skyline made him forget his thoughts. A mixture of old and new coexisting in an uneasy truce, it held Ola spellbound, unearthing the buried past in the vault of his mind. 

The Range Rover came to a screeching halt less than a mile away from the church, police cars forming a roadblock in anticipation of their arrival. Unhurried, Malaozi hopped out of the jeep, brushing imaginary dust from her burgundy jacket. Her nose now supported aviator glasses with platinum frames. Swung behind her back was a black duffel bag. The tens of different police vehicles squealed to a stop behind them, the cops jumping out, no uniformity to the weapons they brandished.

Most of the police drivers looked at Malaozi with an unmasked awe. To experience the expertise of such a driver was already inspiring, adding on that she was a woman was too much.  The highest ranking of them all stepped forward and shouted.

"STOP!"

Stupid man, does it look like the chase is still going on. Ola did not bother getting out of the car, not in the mood to have guns pointed at him twice in one day.

"You in charge?"

"Today today I am taking both of you in for..."

"Well done on keeping us safe with your escort. For your splendid service..."

The bag sailed through the air landing at his feet.

"Who do you think you..."

His hands opened the bag as he spoke, his mouth never finishing the thought as a thin line of drool fell from the corner of his mouth.

"Men, Salute!"

The police officers were stunned at the sudden reversal of their leading officer. While some saluted sharply, others still had lost looks, unsure of what was going on. Ola could see the crisp salutes. He wasn't surprised. Seeing the situation handled he exited the car, his two feet landing firmly on discarded wrappers of gala, fan yogo and pure water. Unfazed Ola lifted his nose to drink deeply the city air. A cocktail of smells flooded in filling him with nostalgia. Maybe I have missed this city. You can't fake the scent of Lagos, it is too unique. With purpose he made his way past the blockade and on to the church. Malaozi followed, half a step behind, many of the police still watching her in awe.

Cathedral Church of Saints was a prominent structure in Marina. Standing since colonial era, its spire sported a pure 24 carat golden cross; if you believe the rumors. Around the grounds was a short perimeter fence, existing more for aesthetics than security. From the gate to the doors of the church was 24 meters; if anyone bothered to measure. Built by Brazilian architects, it held a special place, hosting the prominent members of high class society. Currently it was swarming with well built men in grey suits, dark blue ties and aviator sunglasses, 8 of which stood evenly spaced along those 24 meters. 

A butterfly flew past Ola causing him to stop. He tracked its movement till it disappeared behind a billboard advertising Panadol extra. Malaozi watched him, keeping her thoughts to herself. Continuing like nothing happened he soon stood in front of the first of 8 men manning the path to the doors. 

"Invitation...?"

The bodyguard gave Ola a disapproving look. He couldn't be blamed, Ola looking more like a beggar than anything else. A forest of untamed hair on his head and face, ill fitting clothes with blood smeared at the hems and foot wear that belonged on the feet of a bus conductor. Explaining will get us no where.

"She'll show you my invitation."

"I said I don't take orders from you!"

The bottom of her palm snapped out, connecting with the bodyguards nose in a sickening crunch, breaking it. Fluidly she moved, not giving him time to register the pain, her hand wrapping around his neck, using it as leverage to bring her knee up to find his liver. Three seconds had ticked by, the bodyguards body crashing to the ground. Ola stepped over the unconscious man, covering the first three meters at a pace he planned to keep till he reached the doors. Malaozi dashed forward, rushing past him, her target the next of the eight who still stood with a dumbfounded expression.

twitter - @just2days

email - just2day@yahoo.com


thanks for reading

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Re: HIDDEN DARKNESS By Jon Doe by just2day: 11:06pm On May 10, 2018
holarbolu:
This is beauty at its best bro... Soar on!

Thanks for the encouragement and kind words. We'll see how high I can fly

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