Am In Black Episode 27


Seventy-three. Seventy-four. Seventy-five. He kept on counting, repeatedly pulling himself up, lowered himself, up, then lower, up again, then lower. He was dripping sweat from his head down, and his arms screamed for rest, as they had since he reached fifty reps. He finally got to hundred and lowered himself, then let go of the pull-up bar’s handholds. His feet hit the tiled floor, and he stretched his arms. 

One hundred pull-ups. Not bad. Not bad at all.

As his breathing returned to normal, he surveyed the entire gym, taking in all the equipment and the people working out on them. Dumbbells, barbells, bench presses, cables, pulleys, the whole lot. Thinking about it as he wiped his face with a towel, he realized that this was his home, where he truly belonged.

He trained every muscle specifically, knowing what equipment worked out each one. He looked like he belonged among a linebackers or bouncers’ committee, and some average bodybuilders would call him an extremist, but he didn’t care. 

He worked out for results, and the results were visible enough.

His pecs stood out like oversized eggs, glistening with sweat. The neckline of his workout singlet dipped into the cleft between the both, the outline of his chests plain against the fabric. His six-pack abs were like a valley compared with them, impossibly slim and trim where the pecs jutted out, without an ounce of body fat and as hard as steel. His arms were not bad at all, delts, triceps, biceps and forearms all standing out apart from each other.

Overall, he had a body that got women gushing, and at six foot five, the height to go with it.

He had no time for women, though. He worked out mainly to keep fit. He smiled. If those policemen thought he kept in shape by sitting in an office all day, or prancing about town flashing a badge, then they were wrong. That was why they couldn’t get him. He had the kind of fitness, commitment and even endurance that no one else had.

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He looked up at the flat-panel television suspended from the ceiling at the front of the section of the gym where he had been working out on the pull-up bar. The news was on. It was no doubt connected to a decoder, because the channel flipped from local channel to local channel, without a speck of static on the screen, and he saw no one around with a remote.

From channel to channel, it was all the same. The country was still agog with the news of the death of the Minister of Defense, and the shooting of one of the best detectives the country had to offer, half a year after the fact.

He smiled, remembering those jobs. Doing for the Minister hadn’t taken more than disguising himself as one of his employees. It hadn’t even needed to be the person who brought his early morning tea. Just one of his bodyguards who had roughly his own height and build, and it had all been a matter of making sure that guy didn’t make it to work, then quietly taking his place and emptying the contents of a certain small blue pill into his cup.

And as for the detective, Mia had done excellently.

The plan had just been for her to keep him from going to the scene of the minister’s death, but she had ended up confining him to a wheelchair. That way he could be alive and watch the Eel do justice, and still not be a threat.

Splendid, Dozie thought, smiling. Just splendid.

He would love to see him being pushed around on his wheelchair like a cripple. Oh, of course he had seen the man in his wheelchair. No way to miss Detective Tobi Akano if you watched the news. But he longed to see it in person. Wouldn’t that be grand. 

His problem with this country was that it was too primitive, too backward. Just two kills, one high profile and one very high-profile, and they were already turning him into a celebrity. He had killed a minister, for Christ sakes, and he hadn’t even used gloves to hide his fingerprints. When Mia had told him there was no use bothering about it in a place like Nigeria, he had thought she was crazy. But here it was already thirty days, and he hadn’t once heard his name in the news in all of them.

Average criminals were already singing his praises, he knew. But he was different. He was the Eel, and on a higher level than those lowlife scum.

With the shooting of the detective, he had sent them a message. He was untouchable, and anyone who tried to come too close would meet the same fate. He could pick and dispose of anyone as he liked, just like God. No, he was God. The thought of it made him smile.

He would rest for a while, then regroup, and he would strike again, and strike hard.