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The Tarnished Ones - Literature (5) - Nairaland

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Re: The Tarnished Ones by gamechanger1: 3:03pm On Jan 09
"A normal person would have fallen immediately and been unable to get up again. But I'm not normal. Not in the least."

Oga Royver, the above quote burst my head nor be small. I once told you in your other novel, i think it was the itch or so that you remind me of Frederick Forsyth. You are going places I tell you.

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Re: The Tarnished Ones by Ceekaycee: 4:53pm On Jan 11
The dimension that you've just explored is not just a story, it's a revelation. Flesh and Blood did not reveal this to you. Am so keen in seeing the end o.

God bless you,Royver.

3 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by EkoroPrince(m): 6:35pm On Jan 14
You're doing what you know best. You're one of the best writers I have ever read. Your description of this other dimension is superb. I'm intrigued, keep up the good work. Whenever I'm reading your work, I'm able to tap into this realm that you present. God bless you brother.

2 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 8:58am On Jan 15
CHAPTER 9

I looked at the unmoving body of Bawo lying on the ground in front of me; his eyes open wide in horror, his mouth still gaping and oozing blood and spittle. There was no doubt in my mind that he was dead. This was the second dead body I was seeing in a few hours. Things weren’t looking good at all.


I sat down on one of the chairs and pondered my situation. I was worried about being found in a room with a dead body but at the same time I knew unless someone chanced upon this room there was no way anyone outside heard anything, not with the loud music from the Deejay blaring away. I turned my attention back to the problem at hand.


At least I had found out Nina had been taken out of Lagos to the South, but where? How was I supposed to find out the rest of the information now?


A moan from a reviving Zeke provided a solution.
I walked up to him and waited for him to get to his knees, then tore him a hard slap across the face. He gasped and was about struggling to his feet when I grabbed his shoulder and pushed him back down. He looked from my hand on his shoulder to me, shocked. I guess he was wondering how with his bulk I had the strength to hold him down with one hand. I pointed at his friend on the ground and when he saw Bawo’s contorted face he began to shiver. I let him ponder on it for a while then let go and took one of the chairs and sat opposite him.


“I need information.” I said quietly.


“You…you killed him?!” he gasped, still trembling.


“Listen to me Zeke. I’m not in the mood to answer stupid questions. I want to know what you guys did with my girlfriend, where you took her, do you understand?”


Zeke nodded and stared at his colleague on the floor. His eyes were filled with terror, just as I wanted them to be. I watched the red chain on his neck, it remained inanimate but I knew it could come alive and strangle him if this man so much as thought of uttering Nina’s location. It was obvious whatever oath Egbegradudu had made them swear to was very potent.


“We took her down south to the riverine area…” he had not finished uttering those words when the red chain began to glow. I raised up my hand immediately and he stopped, perplexed.


“Did you take an oath with Egbegradudu not to speak of the location?” I asked.


He nodded, a look of wonder on his face.
“I had forgotten about that,” He said. “How did you know?”


“Never mind.” I gave him my phone. “Type the name of the place here.”


With shaky hands Zeke collected the phone and began to type. He had not punched the keypad twice when the chain glowed again and began to get taut.


No way! shocked


“Wait!” I shouted. Zeke stopped and stared at me, not aware of the mortal peril he was currently facing. Their boss was indeed a very powerful person to have worked such a charm on them. I leaned back on the chair and sighed, wondering what to do next.


“What?” Zeke asked, his gaze turning suspicious. “Why do you keep stopping me?” Then suddenly his eyes grew wide with fear. “What are you seeing? Is he here?”


I didn’t want to tell him about the chain but it seemed I didn’t have a choice. Also I was tired. The events of the past few hours were beginning to tell on me. I wanted the information so badly but at the same time I didn’t want to have to kill anybody to get it. I hadn’t reached that point, yet.


“Just…give me a State. Don’t mention the name of the place, just the State it’s located in.”


“It’s the oath we took isn’t it? You can see what it is doing to me?” Zeke asked his eyes bulging with fear.


“That’s what killed your friend over there. Not me.” I confessed. “Egbegradudu made you people swear never to disclose the location. Disobedience to that oath is tantamount to death.” I stood up from the chair and started pacing. “Apparently you boys didn’t know the gravity of your actions or else Bawo wouldn’t have broken the oath so freely.”


Zeke looked at Bawo again. The latter remained motionless on the floor.


“He made us swear, but it was nothing ceremonious, we simply joined hands and agreed. It’s not like it’s the first time he’s making us do things like that.” Zeke replied.


“Yeah, well, don’t say anything yet.” I replied. “Maybe I can figure out a way to save your life.”


He looked up at me and his eyes became curious. “Why do you care if I live or die?”


I shrugged. “You are no use to me if you die before you can mention the place. And besides, I don’t want blood on my hands.”


Zeke gawked at me for a moment then threw his head back and burst into wild laughter.


“You don’t want blood on your hands and you are going to face Egbegradudu?” He shook his head. “You must be a joker! The man is as ruthless as they come. Look what he did to Bawo…” and here he became sober again and seemed about to burst into tears.


“You two must have been quite close.” I said.
Zeke nodded.


“I’m sorry.” I replied.


Zeke sighed. “We knew the boss was a dangerous man but we have been loyal to him all these years, we have been with him through tough times, done terrible things for him. We thought he would at least be more lenient with us.”


“Give me the State.” I repeated. “Your oath didn’t include you mentioning the State did it?”


“No it didn’t.” Zeke replied, “But why should I tell you? You think this little talk we are having makes us friends?” He said, laughing scathingly.


Suddenly the door was kicked open. Someone wearing a black overcoat on black jeans and a fedora hat burst in, a gun in hand. I raised my hands to defend myself but he went passed me and grabbed Zeke by the throat, shoving the gun into his face.


“Maybe this will help you make up your mind.” He said. “He may not want to get blood on his hands but I’m willing to do so. Eager even.” He forced the gun into Zeke’s mouth and cocked it. “Say you won’t help. Go ahead.”


He looked very familiar though I couldn’t place his face just yet.


Zeke choked out some incoherent words.


“Huh? I can’t hear you.” The man in the overcoat replied.


“You shoved a gun in his mouth.” I said. “How do you expect him to speak up?”


“Oh, he’ll find a way, don’t you worry.” The man replied without turning back, and motioned with his other hand for me to leave the room. “If you don’t want to be a party to murder I suggest you leave right now. Things are about to get messy.”


Zeke stared at him then looked at me with bulging eyes and shook his head. He seemed terrified out of his wits, more terrified in fact than he had been of me a few minutes ago and definitely did not want to be left alone with this stranger. I felt kind of jealous that I hadn’t been able to elicit this kind of terror on such short notice.


“Who are you?” I asked.


“Aw, you’re hurting my feelings man.” He said and removed his hat with a grin. “Hey bro, how you been?”


The recollection came slowly but then I remembered the man in the Michael Jackson “Moonwalker” outfit; the one who had helped me fight the robbers at the restaurant three nights ago where I was supposed to have proposed to Nina. His countenance had changed greatly, now he looked darker and vicious, not as friendly as he was three nights ago. His clean shaven face showed a hard set jaw and bright, dangerous eyes. He was a ruggedly handsome fellow, I realized, although his features suggested he wasn’t a stranger to the hard life.

Jeffrey!

________________&&&&&____________&&&&&__&&&

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Re: The Tarnished Ones by Iizykidoo(m): 11:33am On Jan 15
Royver:
CHAPTER 9

I looked at the unmoving body of Bawo lying on the ground in front of me; his eyes open wide in horror, his mouth still gaping and oozing blood and spittle. There was no doubt in my mind that he was dead. This was the second dead body I was seeing in a few hours. Things weren’t looking good at all.


I sat down on one of the chairs and pondered my situation. I was worried about being found in a room with a dead body but at the same time I knew unless someone chanced upon this room there was no way anyone outside heard anything, not with the loud music from the Deejay blaring away. I turned my attention back to the problem at hand.


At least I had found out Nina had been taken out of Lagos to the South, but where? How was I supposed to find out the rest of the information now?


A moan from a reviving Zeke provided a solution.
I walked up to him and waited for him to get to his knees, then tore him a hard slap across the face. He gasped and was about struggling to his feet when I grabbed his shoulder and pushed him back down. He looked from my hand on his shoulder to me, shocked. I guess he was wondering how with his bulk I had the strength to hold him down with one hand. I pointed at his friend on the ground and when he saw Bawo’s contorted face he began to shiver. I let him ponder on it for a while then let go and took one of the chairs and sat opposite him.


“I need information.” I said quietly.


“You…you killed him?!” he gasped, still trembling.


“Listen to me Zeke. I’m not in the mood to answer stupid questions. I want to know what you guys did with my girlfriend, where you took her, do you understand?”


Zeke nodded and stared at his colleague on the floor. His eyes were filled with terror, just as I wanted them to be. I watched the red chain on his neck, it remained inanimate but I knew it could come alive and strangle him if this man so much as thought of uttering Nina’s location. It was obvious whatever oath Egbegradudu had made them swear to was very potent.


“We took her down south to the riverine area…” he had not finished uttering those words when the red chain began to glow. I raised up my hand immediately and he stopped, perplexed.


“Did you take an oath with Egbegradudu not to speak of the location?” I asked.


He nodded, a look of wonder on his face.
“I had forgotten about that,” He said. “How did you know?”


“Never mind.” I gave him my phone. “Type the name of the place here.”


With shaky hands Zeke collected the phone and began to type. He had not punched the keypad twice when the chain glowed again and began to get taut.


No way! shocked


“Wait!” I shouted. Zeke stopped and stared at me, not aware of the mortal peril he was currently facing. Their boss was indeed a very powerful person to have worked such a charm on them. I leaned back on the chair and sighed, wondering what to do next.


“What?” Zeke asked, his gaze turning suspicious. “Why do you keep stopping me?” Then suddenly his eyes grew wide with fear. “What are you seeing? Is he here?”


I didn’t want to tell him about the chain but it seemed I didn’t have a choice. Also I was tired. The events of the past few hours were beginning to tell on me. I wanted the information so badly but at the same time I didn’t want to have to kill anybody to get it. I hadn’t reached that point, yet.


“Just…give me a State. Don’t mention the name of the place, just the State it’s located in.”


“It’s the oath we took isn’t it? You can see what it is doing to me?” Zeke asked his eyes bulging with fear.


“That’s what killed your friend over there. Not me.” I confessed. “Egbegradudu made you people swear never to disclose the location. Disobedience to that oath is tantamount to death.” I stood up from the chair and started pacing. “Apparently you boys didn’t know the gravity of your actions or else Bawo wouldn’t have broken the oath so freely.”


Zeke looked at Bawo again. The latter remained motionless on the floor.


“He made us swear, but it was nothing ceremonious, we simply joined hands and agreed. It’s not like it’s the first time he’s making us do things like that.” Zeke replied.


“Yeah, well, don’t say anything yet.” I replied. “Maybe I can figure out a way to save your life.”


He looked up at me and his eyes became curious. “Why do you care if I live or die?”


I shrugged. “You are no use to me if you die before you can mention the place. And besides, I don’t want blood on my hands.”


Zeke gawked at me for a moment then threw his head back and burst into wild laughter.


“You don’t want blood on your hands and you are going to face Egbegradudu?” He shook his head. “You must be a joker! The man is as ruthless as they come. Look what he did to Bawo…” and here he became sober again and seemed about to burst into tears.


“You two must have been quite close.” I said.
Zeke nodded.


“I’m sorry.” I replied.


Zeke sighed. “We knew the boss was a dangerous man but we have been loyal to him all these years, we have been with him through tough times, done terrible things for him. We thought he would at least be more lenient with us.”


“Give me the State.” I repeated. “Your oath didn’t include you mentioning the State did it?”


“No it didn’t.” Zeke replied, “But why should I tell you? You think this little talk we are having makes us friends?” He said, laughing scathingly.


Suddenly the door was kicked open. Someone wearing a black overcoat on black jeans and a fedora hat burst in, a gun in hand. I raised my hands to defend myself but he went passed me and grabbed Zeke by the throat, shoving the gun into his face.


“Maybe this will help you make up your mind.” He said. “He may not want to get blood on his hands but I’m willing to do so. Eager even.” He forced the gun into Zeke’s mouth and cocked it. “Say you won’t help. Go ahead.”


He looked very familiar though I couldn’t place his face just yet.


Zeke choked out some incoherent words.


“Huh? I can’t hear you.” The man in the overcoat replied.


“You shoved a gun in his mouth.” I said. “How do you expect him to speak up?”


“Oh, he’ll find a way, don’t you worry.” The man replied without turning back, and motioned with his other hand for me to leave the room. “If you don’t want to be a party to murder I suggest you leave right now. Things are about to get messy.”


Zeke stared at him then looked at me with bulging eyes and shook his head. He seemed terrified out of his wits, more terrified in fact than he had been of me a few minutes ago and definitely did not want to be left alone with this stranger. I felt kind of jealous that I hadn’t been able to elicit this kind of terror on such short notice.


“Who are you?” I asked.


“Aw, you’re hurting my feelings man.” He said and removed his hat with a grin. “Hey bro, how you been?”


The recollection came slowly but then I remembered the man in the Michael Jackson “Moonwalker” outfit; the one who had helped me fight the robbers at the restaurant three nights ago where I was supposed to have proposed to Nina. His countenance had changed greatly, now he looked darker and vicious, not as friendly as he was three nights ago. His clean shaven face showed a hard set jaw and bright, dangerous eyes. He was a ruggedly handsome fellow, I realized, although his features suggested he wasn’t a stranger to the hard life.

Jeffrey!

________________&&&&&____________&&&&&__&&&

This Story no be for here o.....more please!!!!!!!!
Re: The Tarnished Ones by Jesubaby(f): 12:37pm On Jan 15
Sigh! Wow! I finally caught up. Such a mind blowing piece. Pls, ride on. And more grace to u.

2 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by littleguy444: 10:54am On Jan 16
Wow! i never saw this coming, nice update sir.More ink to your pen.

2 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Dacaller: 2:31pm On Jan 16
Pls sir any link to read More of it.. Plsssssssssss. Tried of waiting for be next

1 Like

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Kaycee9242(m): 12:06pm On Jan 17
Nice update op

1 Like

Re: The Tarnished Ones by sodeeqsulaimon88(m): 1:31pm On Jan 17
Kindly mention me in your next update you're really a gem

1 Like

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Ceekaycee: 6:21pm On Jan 17
Keep em coming bro.
Re: The Tarnished Ones by Missmossy(f): 5:09pm On Jan 18
I’m spellbound, this is highly intriguing Royver been ages I read your stories. Keep up the good work and happy new year to you.

1 Like

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 6:52am On Jan 19
“Jeffery!” I exclaimed.


“Good one! You remember my name!” he said cheerfully then said as he turned his attention back to Zeke. “You look like shit since the last time we met.”


“Funny, was about to say the same thing about you.” I replied. “What are you doing here?”


“Same question I was about to ask you, man.” He said, using the nozzle of the gun to stroke Zeke’s forehead. “I don’t know about you but I came here to get quality weed and clean girls.” He winked at me mischievously. “I was about getting my groove on when you walked in, looking all badass. I was like, ‘see person wey talk say he wan propose to babe, wetin he come dey find for my crib?’ So I sent one of my sexy customers to your side but you brushed her off.
That was when it occurred to me that you were here for business, not pleasure. I was about hailing you when you got up and followed this scumbag here.” He tapped Zeke severally on his shaved head with the butt of the gun and Zeke winced. “This guy is bad news, you know that right? Unless you’re bad news yourself?”


“No I’m not.” I replied.


“I’ll take your word for it.” He grinned again. “I followed you down the corridor and thought I’d lend a hand in case you got yourself into trouble again but from what I heard from behind the door you took care of things pretty well.”


“You could have burst in and lent a hand earlier.” I replied. “I was in a real pickle.”


“Yeah, but you handled it well!” Jeffery laughed a little then his face turned crazy dangerous again and he turned his attention back to Zeke. “Now what’s this about your girlfriend being kidnapped?”


“They’ve got her in a hidden location somewhere.”


“Ah, and he doesn’t want to talk right?” He pointed the gun at Zeke and spoke with an eerie calmness. “You will tell us where she is before I count to three or else I will put a bullet in your skull. Two…”


Zeke started shouting. “Bayelsa! Bayelsa State! I…”


And then he choked and grasped at his throat as his eyes bulged. Jeffery took a step back and stood up hurriedly.


“What’s going on?” He remarked surprised, “I didn’t do anything.”


“You didn’t have to!” I shouted and ran forward to the gasping Zeke though I wasn’t quite sure if there was anything I could do. I paused, concentrating my aura and then grabbed at the chains now fully aglow and drawing taut around his neck. Immediately the chains burned my hands and I drew back with a painful shout.


“What, what’s on his neck? I can’t see anything! Why is blood coming out of his mouth?” Jeffery looked very alarmed all of a sudden.


I saw the red shiny substance already pouring out of Zeke’s nose and mouth followed immediately by blood. Zeke’s eyes were huge balls of terror as he felt the life ebb out of him and he collapsed to the floor. I couldn’t lose this lead. I decided to give it one last try. I held my hands in front of me and concentrated until I felt the essence of the black fire appear though neither of the two men could see anything. Then I grabbed at the chains once more.


It stung but I held on and pulled with all my might. Zeke began to convulse and from the corner of my eye I could see Jeffery standing there with his hands on his head, not comprehending at all why I had my hands firmly in front of the dying man’s neck. Eventually the chains began to slack and suddenly broke into thousands of tiny pieces that burnt away in my hands. I felt completely drained of energy and fell back, lying on the floor beside Zeke, breathing hard like I had just run a marathon. Zeke stopped convulsing and lay still for a while, moaning like an injured bull.


“What the hell just happened?!” Jeffery demanded.


I could imagine he was freaked out. I still wasn’t exactly sure what he was doing here but I began to guess he knew little of what he had gotten himself into. After a while I sat up, rubbing my aching palms and watched Zeke who had quickly recovered from his ordeal and was looking at me in awe.


“You…you saved me.” He whispered. “Why?”


“You weren’t expecting me to just stand there and watch you die, did you?” I replied.


The look on his face told me that was exactly what he had expected. I shook my head.


“I told you, I’m no cold blooded killer. And besides, you gave us the information we wanted.”


“But I kidnapped your girlfriend.” Zeke insisted. “She will most likely die and I contributed to her situation!”


I winced inwardly when I heard that but shrugged. “We’ll hand you over to the police. They’ll know what to do with you.”


“You don’t know much about these guys do you?” Jeffery was leaning against the wall in a corner, his gun aimed at Zeke’s head. “They’ll be out of jail sooner than you can say ‘Justice.’” He raised the gun. “I don’t know what kind of seizure he was having, but you should have let him die.”


Zeke glared at Jeffery for a while then turned his attention back to me. “He’s right. I owe you my life. I am in your debt, seer. Let me help you get your girl back.”


“You’re a seer?” Jeffery looked at me perplexed, “Like in, someone who sees the future?”


“No. I’m not a seer.” I replied them both.


“But, Egbegradudu said you were one.” Zeke replied vehemently, “A powerful seer at that, and very ruthless. He spoke of you with the utmost respect.”


I blinked.
“Well I’m not one. I just see visions about people, sometimes I can’t even decipher them properly…”


Before I could say anything else Zeke stepped forward and knelt at my feet. Jeffery pointed the gun at him menacingly.


“What are you doing?” We both asked him.


“Pledging my allegiance to you sir.” Zeke said solemnly. “You saved me when you had no reason to. She is in Bayelsa State near Port Harcourt at a discrete location. I can take you there. Let me help you find your friend.”


“At the risk of your own life?”


“That life is now yours until I return the favour. And besides, if you can locate your girl, Egbegradudu will know that we had something to do with it. And as you can see he doesn’t take offences lightly. I’m dead either way. Let me help you defeat him.”


Jeffery and I looked at each other. “I don’t trust this dude.” He said.


I turned back to Zeke who was still on his knees. I turned my sight on him and saw shadows, chains of the souls of people he had killed attached to him, keys and protective charms surrounding him, but no apparition of deceit. His black heart shone from deep within his chest and on impulse I tore his shirt open. There on his chest was the imprint of my palm from when I had hit him, black and blistered, burned with my supernatural fire. He winced as I placed my hand on it.


“This is my mark on you, Zeke.” I said solemnly. “If you double cross me you will regret it.”


Zeke nodded and I removed my hand. Jeffery stared, aghast.


“Whoa, how did you do that?” He gasped. “How’d he get burned?”


I turned to him. “We should leave. Someone might come and find us. And I think it will be very difficult explaining to the police how Bawo died.”


Jeffery turned to look at the dead body of Bawo for the first time. A look of surprise came over his face as he stared slowly back at me.


No, it wasn’t surprise. More of impressed.


I raised my hands to portray my innocence. “I didn’t kill him.”


“Hmm,” he replied. “We will discuss it later. Right now we need to get out of here.”


“I have a place we can stay for the night.” Zeke replied. “As soon as we are out I’ll make some calls. They’ll find the body here and dispose of it properly, don’t worry.”


“Surely you don’t expect him to trust you just like that, right?” Jeffery smirked at Zeke and winked at me. “I know somewhere we can hang for the night then you continue your search in the morning.”


I walked up to Jeffery and whispered in his ear, even as he kept his gun trained on Zeke. “I don’t want to get you involved in all this…”


He shrugged. “Ah, its fine. This is familiar territory for me.”


“How so?”


“Well, I was a lot of things before I became a legitimate bouncer at that new restaurant. Emphasis on legitimate. I can take care of myself don’t worry. And besides, you look like an interesting fellow and I’m bored at the moment. Let’s see if I can help you find your girlfriend.

____________&&&&&&&_____&______________&&&&__

10 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Jesubaby(f): 10:44am On Jan 19
This is so so impressive. With Jeffrey and Zeke, they will defeat Egbegradudu. And the old begger will as well set himself free and join the battle. And Zeke may not survive it. Thanks Royver for the update. More grease to ur elbow.

2 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Dacaller: 12:37pm On Jan 19
Thanks a lot....but i dey suspect DAT Jeffrey guy.. E fit b planted by egbegradudu. Since he known how powerful he is
Re: The Tarnished Ones by gamechanger1: 1:20pm On Jan 19
Dacaller:
Thanks a lot....but i dey suspect DAT Jeffrey guy.. E fit b planted by egbegradudu. Since he known how powerful he is

Couldn't agree with you more
Re: The Tarnished Ones by MightyFortress: 9:19am On Jan 20
Superb, as always...
Re: The Tarnished Ones by mceze(m): 3:04pm On Jan 20
Royver:


Embarrassed blush embarassed embarassed embarassed kiss

You're too good, too gifted. I believe you're not just an ordinary human/writer. Pls, are you also good in script writing? I really want to learn
Re: The Tarnished Ones by Kaycee9242(m): 5:26am On Jan 22
Nice one op
Re: The Tarnished Ones by Iizykidoo(m): 8:07am On Jan 25
update na
Re: The Tarnished Ones by dawno2008(m): 5:46pm On Jan 25
Pls mr Roy,we need updates
Re: The Tarnished Ones by olenyi(m): 4:52pm On Jan 28
@Royver,

E don dey tey oooo. Hope you have not abandoned us. Lol

My warm regards.

1 Like

Re: The Tarnished Ones by EkoroPrince(m): 7:30pm On Feb 07
Boss, we are all hungry for more oo. I have been refreshing this pages for a while now. So far you are doing a great job. Your artistic writing is just superb...

1 Like

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Iizykidoo(m): 1:13pm On Feb 08
EkoroPrince:
Boss, we are all hungry for more oo. I have been refreshing this pages for a while now. So far you are doing a great job. Your artistic writing is just superb...


I thought I was the only one grin

2 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Itunuoluwaaa: 4:02pm On Feb 12
Royver Sir, please we are hungry for moreeeee

1 Like

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 6:08am On Feb 16
Apologies for the long hiatus.
Bingemode activatedx7days
Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 10:09am On Feb 16
CHAPTER 10


It was way past midnight now and most cars were off the road except for a few late partiers. The night air was cold and yet humid, with a moderate breeze blowing through the highway. Jeffery had insisted on Zeke lying in the boot of the car, a black Nissan Altima, while I rode in the front with him. I protested on his behalf but Jeffery wouldn’t hear of it. Zeke grumbled loudly several times as Jeffery’s fast turns around bends threw him from one side to the other but Jeffery ignored him and continued his reckless driving.


“Scum like this don’t deserve any mercy, trust me.” He said through gritted teeth. “They only understand ruthlessness and fear.”


“You threatened to kill him back there at the inn, and you had this look on your face…that was pretty ruthless.” I said.


Jeffery laughed. “Oh that? Nah, I was only bluffing. Like I said; if you don’t appear ruthless, scum like this don’t take you seriously.”


“What are you really doing here, Jeffery?” I asked quietly.


For the first time, Jeffery’s face clouded over.


“Couldn’t fool you, huh?”


“No. I happen to know when someone is lying to me.” I glanced at him as he kept his eyes on the road. “Or in your case, when someone isn’t telling me the whole truth. Why are you following me?”


“What? I’m not following you!” Jeffery remarked irritably then sighed. “You’re gonna think I’m crazy.”


“Crazy is kind of familiar territory for me” I said and he chuckled to himself. “Come on, try me.”


“Well, to be honest with you, I haven’t been to the inn in weeks. I've been trying to clean up my act, kick off my bad habits of weed and women if you get my drift…I even got a new job as a security guard at that fancy restaurant...of course that too is over...”


"I don't understand."


"I got fired."


"You got fired from the restaurant? Why? I thought you did a pretty good job that night, subduing those criminals."

"Yeah well, the manager thought it would be best to get a more "professional" outfit, seeing that I'm just one man and my resume is kinda tainted...I wasn't too surprised though."

"Tainted how? Come on man, start from the beginning. I promise I won't judge."

He took a deep breath.

"I've kind of been spending the last few years as a thug for hire. Basically I rough people up in exchange for money."

“Okay,” I sat back, waiting for him to continue.

"I had a good education. Daddy and mommy sent me to the best schools thy could afford and made sure I graduated as an electrical engineer. They even arranged a job for me at one of those companies in Lagos with the hopes that I'd get my head screwed on straight, save money every month, get married, have kids. They had it all planned."

"So what went wrong?" I asked.

Jeffery grinned to himself. "I got bored. I've always had an aggressive streak, fought a lot in primary and secondary school, seemed to be drawn to bad gangs all the time. I think them trying to give me the best was a way of showing that if I did turn out bad then it wasn't their fault."

"I see," I said.

"That's what I think anyway. So I ditched the job, sought out some of my old friends in Lagos, became a thug for hire. I did all sorts for quick money, definitely better money than what they wanted to pay me as a glorified electrician at my father's friend's company. Moved out of my parents house and rented a good apartment on the Island. The odd jobs got fiercer and I adapted well. Soon I owned a gun. I've...I've..."

I saw sorrow and regret fill his face even as blood stained the hands he used in gripping the steering wheel so hard. I shuddered inwardly at the manifestation but nodded my understanding to him.

"I've done some pretty terrible stuff bro. And I honestly didn't care at the time as long as I got the thrill, the excitement and the money. You see, I enjoy the danger. Kind of like an adrenaline junkie. I loved the fast life and of course the women. Hit and run, even with the ladies, just like I told you at the restaurant."

"So what made you change? I assume you've turned a new leaf?"

His face lit up.


"A few months ago, I fell in love. Her name was Christy. I honestly don’t know what she saw in me. We were old school mates and met at one of my, er, functions…”

“Functions?”

“Some political leader gave my friends and I a gig and we came to scatter a polling booth when I ran into Christy. I have always had a crush on her and she was looking so damn attractive on that day, I suddenly developed spaghetti brain and we got talking and I kind of forgot the mission. Long story short we hooked up and it was awesome. I even abandoned the thug life. She actually made me think of settling down, that's how much she got into my head. Me! Settle down and have kids, imagine that! But...”


He sighed. A box appeared above his head as he spoke. A silver box with solid steel springs and I knew on instinct that something really bad had happened that he wasn’t going to talk about, a secret he wasn’t going to reveal, at least not right now. I searched for other clues or manifestations but I saw none.


"She died soon after. Got involved in a car accident. Her death shook me to my very foundations. Broke my heart and made me question my ways. So I changed. Opted to live better for her sake."

He shifted in his seat. "I decided to clean up my act, cut of contact with all my friends, moved to another apartment and started looking for a job, any job that would take me. I couldn't well go back to the electrical company, I had left a pretty bad impression there before I quit. So I found a job as an incognito security guard at the place and it seemed to work for some time. Now the manager has laid me off I seem to be in need of something else to occupy my mind. I guess my old habits came back and I decided to go on a night out, visit the inn, have a few drinks. And then saw you tailing that asshole and got curious."


He momentarily let go of the steering and jerked his thumb at the grumbling sounds coming from the boot.


“I felt, whatever you were up to, you probably weren’t so smart going after that guy without backup. Thought you might need some paid help.”


He emphasized the word paid and grinned at me and I shook my head and chucked to myself.


“That doesn’t sound in the least bit crazy to me.”


“I eavesdropped on the whole conversation before things went south and deduced these guys had kidnapped your girlfriend and you would pay anything to get her back safe and sound. Was I right?”


“Hmmm.”


“Come on man. I’m begging for a little action here. You’re obviously not waiting for the police to do their job, and you don’t look like you have the mien of a tough guy even though you have proved your mettle to me more than once. I’m offering my services to be your muscle and street smarts. For a modest fee.”


“I strongly believe you would come along with me even if I didn’t have anything to offer you.” I said.


“Ah, no o.” He turned a corner and headed down a street. “I’m in it purely for the money.”


“And the thrill” I added.


He showed his pearly whites once more. “Okay, and the thrill, yes. What do you say?”


I sat back on the chair and sighed as Jeffery continued to drive. The box of secrets had disappeared and his phantom girlfriend had taken its place, miniaturized and sitting on his shoulder while looking at him adoringly. He still wasn't telling me the whole truth but I decided to let it go for now.


“I think you’re about making one of those your bad decisions that get you into trouble.” I said. “But I guess I need all the help I can get. I can’t guarantee your safety though…”


“Let me worry about that bro.” He said confidently. “I’m a grown man and kidnapping is no joke. I take full responsibility for my safety and yours.”


“The guys we are chasing.” I hesitated. “They aren’t ordinary folk.”


“Big boys eh? Well-connected members of the society?”


“No not like that.” I took a deep breath and then decided to let it out. “We might be entering some really paranormal kind of stuff here.”


“Para what?" He raised an eyebrow. " You mean like juju?”


“Yeah, something like that.”


He took his eyes off the road for a while and looked at me. Then he turned back to his driving and began to chuckle. The chuckle turned gradually to an annoying laughter. I waited patiently for the laughter to finish but it only got louder and more irritating.


“Wait…wait…” he said between sniggers, “You mean to tell me you and that guy in there were serious about charms and oaths and crap?”


“That’s what killed the first guy.” I said.


“Looks like you strangled him more like it.” He said “For someone crying about not getting blood on his hands that was pretty hard core. I’m impressed.”


“It wasn’t like that…” I began.


“Look I get it; you did it in self-defense.” He replied still chuckling. “I’m not one to judge, my hands aren’t so clean either you understand…but trying to give an excuse that it was juju or jazz is as delusional as…”


I ignited my left hand and showed him the orange flames.


Not a good idea.


Jeffery was so taken by surprise that he shrieked and swerved suddenly, throwing the car into the opposite lane and almost flipping it in the process. If it had been earlier in the day we would have definitely caused a terrible accident but as it was late at night and there were virtually no cars around, we simply careened over the concrete slab and into the other empty lane. I quickly extinguished the flames and he stared at me in shock and utter amazement. For a moment I thought he was going to jump out of the moving car and bolt, but then he regained his composure admirably and swerved the car back unto the right lane.


“Holy shit.” He said.


“I can create yellow flames out of thin air. Sometimes they are blue but that one comes rarely.” I didn’t see the need to mention the black flames.


“What are you, some kind of fire demon?” Jeffery was looking at me like I was a wild animal locked with him in the car and I laughed.


“This is not even my primary gift. Calm down, you’re going to hit that bus.”


Jeffery slammed on the brakes and swerved just in time to avoid a commercial bus parked on the side of the road.


“Hey, driver, take it easy oh!” Zeke’s muffled shouts came from inside the boot.



“Chill out, you criminal!” Jeffery hollered back.
“We are here.” And he stared at me again and repeated with gusto:

"Holy shit."
*******

7 Likes 3 Shares

Re: The Tarnished Ones by hahn(m): 10:23am On Feb 16
Holy shit indeed! shocked
Re: The Tarnished Ones by drewsman(m): 7:21pm On Feb 16
hahn:
Holy shit indeed! shocked
In Mr Bones' voice, "the shit is not holy, not even from the prince".
Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 8:33pm On Feb 16
The hotel was a three-storey building constructed at the side of a junction. It was a classy place with automatic sliding glass doors to the reception area. Jeffery honked twice and the gates were flung open. He parked his car at a corner and quickly went to open the boot and loosened Zeke’s restraints. The latter glared at Jeffery throughout but said nothing and came out of the boot as soon as he was freed. The hotel receptionist gave Jeffery his keys while casting a suspicious glance at Zeke who decided to smile evilly at her. She looked back at Jeffery in alarm.


“Pay him no mind.” Jeffery told her as he glared at Zeke. “They are with me.”


“We do not allow more than one man per room sir,” The girl replied curtly. “Management orders.”


Jeffery raised his eyebrows. “What? We’re barely spending the night! We will be out of your hair by morning.”


“I’m sorry sir, its management orders.” The receptionist repeated, eyeing the three of us suspiciously.


“I’ll take another room,” I interjected


“And I will sleep in the car.” Zeke replied and declined when I offered to pay for a room for him. “I have laid my head in worse places.”


“How can you trust him?” Jeffery whispered harshly in my ear as Zeke turned to go. “What makes you think he won’t make a run for it?”


“Don’t worry, he won’t” I replied, remembering the mark I had given him on his chest. Zeke was a very superstitious individual and he would abide by his words to me, I was sure of it.


“Okay o, but if he runs off with my car you will pay.” He said grimly.


We walked up to the rooms; I had taken the one adjacent to his and he urged me to sleep as soon as I could.


“It is late already,” He said. “Past twelve. And I have a feeling it is going to be a very long day.”


I nodded and shut the door behind me. Weariness like I had not known in a long time hit me as soon as I saw the well-made bed with white sheets and deep blue blanket. I took off my clothes and had a quick hot bath, dressed in the complimentary hotel robes and collapsed on my bed. It didn’t take long for me to fall into a deep sleep.

*************______&&&&&__________************

6 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Royver(m): 8:53pm On Feb 16
“The world is dark, and full of sorrow.”


I tossed and turned in my sleep as the words filtered through my mind. A person covered in a silky veil approached me out of a dark mist. Her hands were stretched out in front of her, beseeching, as if in need of help, and I knew immediately it was Nina. I reached out my hand to pull her towards me but immediately she was pulled back into the darkness, like a cord had been attached to her waist. I heard mirthless laughter.


“The world is dark, and full of sorrow.”


“Let her go!” I said, forging deeper into the darkness, trying to find her.


“You will not be enough.” From what I could tell it was an old man’s voice. “When the time comes, your strength will fail you.”


“Then we will see when the time comes!” I retorted.


Suddenly the veiled woman appeared before me again and as I watched liquid fire flowed down her head and soon engulfed her whole body. She writhed and screamed in pain and I rushed towards her, but she disappeared in smoke. I felt bile rise to my throat as my rage soared.


“She is already dead.” The old man’s voice rang out. “Forget this fool’s errand. There are lots of women out there…” I was suddenly surrounded by young beautiful women of all shapes and sizes, smiling, laughing, whispering sweet nothings in my ear. “…there is nothing special about the one I took. You can have any one of your choice, or more than one.” The women converged around me.


I swept the illusion away with a forceful wave of my hand. “I want Nina!”


“Your request is pointless.” The voice chided. “She is already dead.”


“Then you will follow shortly,” I replied. “I will not relent. I will hunt you down.”


“A little pup like you threatening me,” The voice replied with a chuckle. “I wonder what this world is coming to.”


Suddenly I felt hands encircle my neck and begin to squeeze. I was being strangled! I tried to clear the thought, knowing it was only a dream but it only got worse. I fell to the floor, struggling to find the invisible hands and get them off me. In the distance I heard the voice laughing to itself.


“I thought it would be difficult handling you but it is really quite easy. Your journey ends here, same as the traitor that follows you.”


I screamed as loudly as I could and Chukwudi the Stronger appeared out of the darkness, fully kitted in his leather loincloth and a sword by his side. He rushed to me and pulled hard but the strangling hands would not relent. I was slowly blacking out. He turned around and lashed into the darkness around me but only elicited more laughter.


“Chukwudi the Stronger! Stand Still!” The voice commanded.


Chukwudi the Stronger suddenly gasped as his hands shot to his side and he stood straight as a soldier. He trembled all over as he tried to overcome the spell that held him captive. I could see his muscles bulging from the effort but it was useless.


A dark skinned man with a majestic white beard and flowing red and white robes came out of the darkness, laughing and holding a huge wooden staff bound at intervals by copper bands. His face was hidden in darkness but it was obvious who he was.


“Egbegradudu!” I choked.


“Indeed,” he said as he approached me. “You don’t pose as much of a challenge as I thought you would. Not that it would have mattered, you are still a pup compared to me. So much so that even your very hands obey me."

The mist around me faded and I saw that I had been strangling myself. My hands held unto my throat in a death grip and I gasped and struggled to regain control of my extremities.

Egbegradudu chuckled at my effort. He raised his staff and the strangling hands relented as precious air flowed through my windpipe. I gulped the air in and struggled to my feet.


“Your id is known to me, your mission is open to me. You are at no advantage. Turn back now and I will forget you. I have no quarrel with you, but your girlfriend is needed for… well I do not need to tell you. Promise me you will turn back and I will let you go.”


“Never!” I shouted.

Egbegradudu sighed. He came even closer, walking past the still immobilized Chukwudi the Stronger and faced me.


“Hmm, I was hoping to recruit you later, show you some wonders. But if you insist on being stubborn…” He struck the ground with his staff again and thick vines appeared suddenly, twisting around me. I struggled and trashed around, willing for flames to ignite and burn them but Egbegradudu shook his head.


“That won’t work, young pup. I am in total control of…”


There was sudden movement behind him and he raised his staff to his neck just in time to prevent being beheaded as the staff blocked a very violent slashing from Chukwudi the Stronger's sword. Metal clashed against metal and sparks flew, illuminating a very belligerent and defiant id who winked mischievously.


“Trickster!” He muttered. Turning around he saw Chukwudi the Stronger swinging for another blow. “You can move? How?”


“Trade secret,” He said with a grin and struck out again. Egbegradudu blocked his strikes with his staff but Chukwudi the Stronger did not relent. His attention away from me, I strained hard and broke from the vines I had been pretending to be imprisoned in.

"Good plan eh?" Chukwudi the Stronger said, still slashing away at a gradually retreating Egbegradudu. "We needed to see your true form to attack. Hence the charade just now."


Jumping to my feet I ignited my hands with fire and thrust them at the back of his head. But Egbegradudu’s reflexes were beyond swift. He turned and in a flash held up his hand, conjuring an invisible shield to block my fiery onslaught from roasting his face even as Chukwudi the Stronger attacked unrelentingly from the other side, striking at his staff again and again.


“You are one complicated pup,” Egbegradudu smiled. “Oh I see now. My insignia on your back has been removed.”


“Get out of our head!” I yelled.

"Or stay," Chukwudi the Stronger snarled showing large canine teeth. "I haven't had this much fun in ages."


Egbegradudu sighed.


“Well, I suppose I have overstayed my welcome. I will leave. But I have a parting gift for you.”


So saying, he sprang forward suddenly and struck Chukwudi the Stronger a blow to the chest with his staff. The force threw him back and as I rushed to help he grabbed me by the arm. I felt a searing pain and screamed.


“A gift of our battle, a reminder if you will.” He said, letting go. “Consider my proposal. Come as a friend if at all and not a foe.”


And he was gone.


A very loud banging on my door yanked me out of the dream.


“For goodness sake, wake up!” Jeffery shouted and banged the door again. I jumped out of bed and found I was drenched in sweat. My wrist continued to burn and I cringed as I rushed to the tap to pour some water over it.


“I’m breaking the door down if you don’t open up!” Jeffery shouted again.


“I’m coming!” I stumbled to the door and opened it and Jeffery peered in.


“What happened? I could hear your screaming from my room.”


“Was I screaming?” I rubbed my head with the palm of my hands, trying to chase away the grogginess from my eyes. “I was having a nightmare.”


“Boy that was some nightmare you were having.” He said, looking at me with concern. “Are you alright?”


“Yes,” I said, rubbing my wrist soothingly.


“Well, consider it your wake-up call. “It’s past 6 in the morning. Hope the nightmare didn’t stop you from having your rest. We have a long drive ahead of us. That is assuming that criminal hasn’t bolted, though I tipped the security guard to keep an eye on him.”


I had a sudden sense of urgency. “Zeke!”


I rushed out of the room down the corridor and out of the hotel lobby with Jeffery in hot pursuit. I ran towards where Jeffery had parked the car. It seemed like someone was thrashing violently inside. I flung the door open and pulled Zeke out, even as he had his own huge hands around his neck, trying desperately to strangle himself. With the help of a very confused looking Jeffery I sat him up and shook him hard but he refused to wake up, yelling and screaming instead, his hands closing off his windpipe.


“Let me,” Jeffery said and tore him a hard slap across the face. It sounded like a gunshot and the security guards rushed to the scene. Zeke woke with a start, rubbing his cheek and mumbling incoherently.


“Bad dream?” I asked the red-eyed, terrified looking Zeke. He nodded and whispered one word through trembling lips.


“Egbegradudu.”


“Who?” Jeffery looked at me puzzled.


“It won’t happen again.” I assured Zeke. Come on, let’s all go inside.


Back in my room, I went to my bag and brought out my old bible, searching its familiar pages. Jeffery and Zeke watched me, perplexed. “Are we going to do morning devotion before we set out?” Jeffery asked, bewildered.


“Just, give me a moment, ah, there it is.”


I walked up to them, the book of Psalms open before me. I said my usual prayer and the blue orb of protection that only I could see manifested and grew bigger and gently enveloped Zeke and I –but Jeffery hissed and was out the door before it could get to him.


“Seriously man,” he said on his way out. “I’ve got real protection.” And he tapped his concealed gun.


“Don’t mind him sir.” Zeke said. “I don’t know what you’re doing but I believe in you.”


“It’s not me you should believe in.” I replied and sighed as my phone’s alarm went off.



“Get ready, we will be moving out soon.”





____&&&&&&&__''_____________________________&&

9 Likes

Re: The Tarnished Ones by Nostradamus: 9:57pm On Feb 16
I love that Jeffrey guy grin

He believes in his brute strength.

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