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I didn’t know how long I was out; I must have been unconscious for a thousand years. Well, it felt that way, anyway; because when I eventually woke u, it seemed like I woke into another universe. I was disoriented, trying to determine where I was, and what events had culminated to my strange arrival in this weird conduit of existence and extinction. But fortunately for me, I didn’t have to wonder long; for the idiots watching over me were already doing my thinking for me, even though they were still unaware of my consciousness. And with their help, I was able to put two and two together to get twenty-two pi digits.

“We were told to tie him down when he wakes up?” I heard the first idiot speak. I still kept my eyes close, feigning an unconscious state.

“Why don’t we do that now?” asked his partner. I hated that one immediately; it’s not good for business to have a smart enemy. They are always causing problems in combat.

“The instruction is that we tie him up when he wakes up and then bring him to the arena,” insisted the fool.

“What if he does not wake up anytime soon?” Good question. The better fool was asking the better question.

“Then we pour cold water on him in an hour’s time.”

Okay, I’d heard enough. I would not wait for cold water to be poured on me. I wouldn’t want to appear before the other Southpaws appearing like a drowning rat. I sprang up suddenly and grabbed the Paw nearest to me. I acted too fast for either of them to react; I had managed to take them by surprise. Swiftness was my only weapon since I had relinquished myself of my guns before I was put to sleep, and these two men here were carrying their guns. Any slight mistake from my end might result in my wearing the makeup of bullets. Fortunately for me, I grabbed the smarter Paw first. I was holding him to myself from behind. It would have been very easy for me to just snap his neck; but I wouldn’t want to kill one of the people I wanted as my allies. That would be suicide. So, I raised my left hand high and brought it down heavily on the back of the neck of my captive. He went down like the wall of Jericho. It would take him a while to come back to his sense. Still acting very swiftly, I kicked the gun out of the hand of the second idiot, the one who had insisted that I woke up before I got tied up. He was most probably looking for his rope now, but I would not wait for him to find it. As I kicked the gun out of his hand, he looked at me in shock.

“How the hell did you do that?” he asked, astonishment written on his face. He probably never thought it was possible for a person to kick a gun out of another’s hand.

“It’s called martial art,” I replied him, “I might teach you if you are a good boy.”

He must have not heard what I said, for he started to rush towards me; he probably thought he could wrestle me to submission, grab the rope, tie me up and take me to the arena with a proud grin on his stupid face. Unfortunately for him, he was too unskilled to subdue me; ten of him could not overpower me with one hand tied behind me – he was only trying his luck. But there’s no luck in combat; you cannot give what you don’t have. A skilled dwarf can slap an amateur giant around; it’s all about experience and dexterity. It’s not enough to just be armed, what do you do when your weapon fails you? Besides, in some situations, the use of weapons should be the last resort. And so, as the idiot rushed towards me with the intention carrying me up and slamming me on the ground as Brock Lesnar of WWE might do, I took three quick steps backward to create enough space between us, then I gave him a perfect kick to the jaw. The kick stopped him in track; he was dazed for a few seconds. Although the night was still illuminated by a full moon without stars, I was sure my dear inexperienced friend was seeing a full constellation, a galaxy bright enough to blind him. He blinked for a while before landing hard on his flat buttocks. Then he did something I utterly never expected. He started crying. I was confused; he was a grownup, he was not supposed to cry; and besides, my kick, although swift and direct, was not hard enough to elicit this kind of tears.

“Why are you crying, my friend?” I asked him, still confused.

“I sat on it,” he said and continued wailing like someone who just lost a relative.

“You sat on what? I don’t understand,” I replied truthfully.

“I sat on my balls, you bastard!” he screamed, hot tears rushing to his face.

Considering the situation and the danger looming over me in the territory of the Southpaws, I couldn’t help finding this singular incident hilarious. I burst out laughing. I couldn’t help laughing; it was screwball hilarity in the highest degree. As if my laughter was aggravating his injury, he continued crying like a baby. Who the hell was this sissy? He had no business becoming a cultist in the first place. Surely, I could imagine the kind of pain he was going through. Any sharp impact to that tender place could cause excruciating pain on the unfortunate recipient. Admittedly, I have kicked a lot of Crows in the groins in the past, and it had been very effective in rendering them powerless; but this current one was not entirely my fault. The idiot had sat on his own scrotum; surely, no one should blame me for his poor sitting posture. His balls-sack was probably too big to remain tucked in a safe location. All I could imagine as I tried to stop myself from laughing further was that his balls were swinging happily as he was rushing towards me only to put to sudden rest by the sudden impression of the anus. The pendulum swung in the wrong direction when the grandfather’s clock was smashed.

“Forgive me, I didn’t mean to cause you such agony,” I told him sincerely. It was weird but I liked the guy; there was still something innocent about him. Somehow, he reminded me about myself when I was still a fresher. What had made him join the Southpaw was only a subject of careless speculation. “What’s your name?”

“Charley,” he said. “I’m Ghanaian and –”

“Okay, Charley,” I said, interrupting him, there was no more time to waste, “You’ll get up now and do exactly what I tell you.”

“Please don’t kill me,” he begged.

“I won’t if you do exactly what I tell you,” I told him. Actually, I wasn’t planning to kill him at all, even if he refused me. Apart from the fact that killing him would be akin to putting a nail in my own coffin, I’m not fond of ending the lives of the people I like; and Charley here was my first favourite Paw. It seemed like life was playing a strange kind of game with me; first, it gave me Tony from the Scarecrows, and now its offering me Charley from the Southpaws. But I’d be damned if I allow myself to be close to this second one. Everyone I liked usually ended up dead somehow; it was as if  carried a mortal toxin everywhere I went, and anyone who came in contact with me would be visited by the Grim Reaper, leaving me to suffer the agony of their loss. No, I would not put myself through that again. Besides, I was too broken, too filled with hatred, with the desire to kill, the hunger for blood; there was no space for love in my heart anymore. The only way enemies could actually get to me is if they get to the people I loved. They had gotten to Jumai and had unleashed the monster in me, they had gotten to Tony and had made me an unrepentant demon. Now I couldn’t be more broken than this or I might become a danger even to myself.

At this stage of my life, liking anyone was a sign of weakness. I am stronger without having to worry about the welfare of another person.  Had fallen in love but my love story had only been brief. As brief as it was though, nothing could be as memorable as the little time I spent with my Jumai. It was the greatest love of all, and that was enough to keep me going, to keep me fighting on, for vengeance, for survival, for brutality. I would not allow anything like the fondness for another person to make me weak again. Besides, people like me deserved no love, and I don’t even want it. Therefore, I should not give what I didn’t want in the first place. I was fine being the lone wolf I was; a lone wolf is more dangerous, more calculating, than one in a pack. But unfortunately, I had sought out a pack for myself, for the hunters after me were too numerous for me to singlehandedly handle. But this alliance would not be forever. I had my plans, and as soon as my job was done, I would walk away from this life, from the life of blades and bullets and fire. I would go away to live a simple life of my own, minding my business, not interfering in anyone’s business, and most importantly never falling in love with anyone again. Not even brothels would know my footprints. Right now, however, I must play this barbaric game of chess and emerge victorious if could; there were other options, however, the game could end in a stalemate or my opponents surrender. Being defeat was not a choice I would take. I am too smart, too intelligent, and too clever for these cultists. I am a cerebral assassin.

I grabbed my balled friend in the arm and pulled him upright. He wobbled painfully for a moment before he regained his composure. I picked up the two guns on the ground, hid one between the belt loops of my back and held the other in my left hand.

“What are you doing?” he was wide-eyed, “Please –”

“Shut up and listen to me. I’m not going to kill you, just do as I say.” I told him. I stood behind him and pressed my gun to his back. “Take me to the arena.” I could feel his shiver. As we walked further, I noticed a trail on the ground, it was a wet trail. It took me a moment to realised that my wonderful friend had just soiled himself with his own urine. I wanted to laugh again but I didn’t. I was actually feeling sorry for him. Everything about him indicated that he was a new recruit who hadn’t yet understood what he had really gotten himself into. I hoped he would be wise enough to walk away; that’s if the Southpaw would grant him that freedom. But on a second note, something terrible must have happened to him to make him join the Southpaw. Being a Southpaw was probably his safety. He might not last a day in the outside world. Anyway, every man to his own. Like I already said, every person should be responsible for his own decision.

“Relax, I’m not planning to shoot you,” I assured him, but my assurance did little to pacify his tension. He was probably never going to be at rest with himself for the rest of his life.

I remained behind him as he led us to the arena where the other Southpaws were still gyrating and drinking. They were doing their thing as if my previous intrusion was inconsequential. Again, they stopped the gyration when they saw me and what I was doing. I was holding a Paw hostage, and with the expressions on their eyes I could tell that they didn’t like it at all. Once again, they picked their guns in a pile and aimed it at us.

“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” Charley was screaming for his life, but the members didn’t seem to be listening to him. All their attentions were focused on me. It seemed like they were willing to sacrifice their member if that would mean killing me too.

“Drop your guns or I’m going to shoot him!” I barked an order. My voice was sharp but I was only trying my luck, hoping they would obey me. They didn’t.

“Shoot?” Charley nearly fainted. He looked back at me and said, “Didn’t you tell me you were not going to kill me?”

I sighed. When would be world be finally cleaned of idiots? And before I could say anything else, another superior Paw stepped forward from the armed crowd. He was different from the former person. He told the cultists to stand down, unlike the former person had done. The only difference was that this one was armed with an AK-47.

“Where’s the bastard that knocked me unconscious?” I demanded.

The man stared at me, his head cocked to one side. “You are becoming such an annoying cockroach.”

“Answer my question.”

“Papa is not available,” he said, “You will be dealing with me now.”

Papa. So that’s the name of the bastard; he’s probably one of the ranked Paws. Next time we meet I’ll make him pay for putting me to sleep without seeking my consent first. But now, I must make these people accept me first.

I had no idea what I was really getting myself into.


Next update shall be posted on Friday 31st May, 2019. Thanks for following. Stick around.