” I’m scared” I said to Precious after one of our vigorous training that night.
” why” precious asked panting.
” miss bull eye said three out of us who aren’t able to get mentor tomorrow are going to be killed” I said to her sitting on my bed while she dried the sweat that clustered on her face with towel.
” don’t you trust yourself” she asked me after wiping out all the sweat on her face.
” I don’t know, but my mind keeps on telling me that I’m not going to be selected” I said portraying how dreadful I felt in my tone.
” and why did you say that” she asked me staring at me with a stern face.
” I don’t know, but I just felt it” I replied her staring at her with a blank face
” and what did your mind tells you about me” she asked still staring at me. She was on her feet while I sat down on my bed.
” that I love you” I replied her smiling. ” idiot, that love is still going to get you murdered soon” she said smiling and I smirked. ” about tomorrow challenge, what did your mind tell you about me ?” She asked me losing the smile on her face.
” that you’re going to be the first person to get picked” I said staring at her.
” why did you say that?” She asked me again.
” ohhhh” I screamed silently in a frustrated manner. ” your questions is choking me oo” I said frustratingly . “well, you know that you’re the best here, coupled with the fact that you’re a female ,I think if miss bull eye is allowed to also be among the mentors, she’s going to pick you personally ” I added sounding like a prophet predicting the future.
” then I also think the same about you ” she said squatting down to be at the same level with me, staring directly at my eyeball. ” I believe one of those guys out there appreciate you and your skills, you ain’t bad, to me, you’re the best and you’re not going down, not on my watch ” she added and I bursted into torrents of laughter.
” because you’re a witch abi, not on your watch ” I said hysterically ,laughing more.
“look, just leave me alone to think how I’m going to die tomorrow , my mind has already signed it and every organs in me and parts of my body are screaming to me that it’s already the end for me ,so just fulfill my last wish before I die or else my ghost will haunt you till eternity ” I said trying to make sure I looked serious.
” I don’t want one ugly ghost to chase me oo, so what is it you want me to do for you ” she asked in a jovial tone.
“I want a good bye kiss from you and since it’s a good bye kiss, it mustn’t last less than 20 minutes ” I said scoffing trying hard to keep myself for laughing.
” make sure you get a sharp cutlass when coming to haunt me. I’ll be ready for you, and make sure you die tomorrow, I can’t wait to have this room to myself alone, no naughty boy to sleepwalk into my bed, cuddling me, in fact, just let me kill you tonight ” she said humorously making a feeble attempt to grab my neck.
” hahaha ” I laughed hysterically as I block her hand from getting to my neck ” but on a serious note, do you know that our life ain’t insured, we’re liable to die any f—–g time, and do you know what will hurt me most when I die ” I said sounding serious, she sat beside me staring at me.
” what’s that ” she asked with a serious countenance.
” me not knowing if you also feel what i feel for you, I don’t know if you love me like I do, or you just make me think so because of how you behave towards me, I just want to know that’s all ” I said staring into her marble coloured eyeball as she also stared into mine. A blanket of silent descend on the room as she looked to be thinking about what I said.
” Junior ” she called my name emotionally and I felt my heartbeat increased by ten folds.
” yes ” I muttered.
” I think you not knowing is the best thing, and please what do you even understand by love, you this small spoilt brat ” she said jokingly trying to change the topic which I Was fully aware of but decided to play along.
” love, shebi it’s an Apple shape that’s red ” I replied her humorously.
” Chai, you’re the wisest idiot of this era, argue with your ancestors because if you try it with me, I’m going to murder you in your sleep ” she said trying to sound dreadful.
” anytime you wish you can kill me, I’m going to die tomorrow anyway, just prepare yourself for my ghost because I’m going to haunt you till eternity with ak47 ” I said smiling.
” then, I’ll be waiting for you with a bazooka, I’ll terrorise your ghost like I’m doing to you alive .” she said standing up as she head to the light’s switch, she switched the light off and I could see her in the dark heading to her bed .
” so you know you’re terrorising me, ha, there’s god oo in everything we do, just watch me get stronger enough to oppress you back ” I said to her smiling to myself since the light is off and she won’t be able to see me smile.
” thought you’re going to die tomorrow, your words is even contradicting itself, I’ve said it before, you’re the most wisest idiot of this era ” she replied me.
” good night, I’m already feeling sleepy and goat will soon be here bleating, just wish he die before tomorrow ” I said trying to escape her tongue lashing.
” the day goat will hear how you always bad mouth him, I’ll make sure I’m in the first roll to watch you die. ”
“thank god you’ll follow me next because the first roll you’re going to be is beside me, so that you can be killed too, because na you dey badmouth him pass ” I said laughing and I heard her hiss and didn’t hear anything from her again.
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” now you’re remaining 13, and the number we need right now is 10, the 10 best agents to be groomed well for what lay ahead of them, teach them the core aspects of the mask, mask them properly till we’re going to select the last five standing, maybe after 3 years but right now, three out of y’all is turning to manure to fertilize the soil ” Miss bull eye said in her usual long boring dreadful speech whenever we’re about to set for a challenge.
“Today’s challenge is simple, all your past works will be the one competing while all you just have to do is stand and wait patiently, deep within you , you already know if you worth living but just hang there, a tingling of hope isn’t bad for this challenge. ” she added as she exit the room.
Then tension set in, as we all started staring at ourselves even tho we’re wearing masks. I gazed at Precious and as usual she was calm. She came over to where I was and held me by my hand.
” it’s going to be alright , just ease your mind ” she whispered into my ear as she apply pressure to her hand which she Was using to hold me. That was when I knew she’s also got the fear in her. The tension was there but she hid it with a calmed face.
The door opened and ten people wearing mask entered. I recognised only one person among them and that was miss bull eye, first time I saw her wearing mask. I wouldn’t mistake her for anybody even if she put on dozens of masks, that hot shape can’t easily be mistaken for another person. But they all had on different types of mask instead of the usual black they always wear. Their masks bear different types of background, it looked like it was specially sculpted for them.
Miss bull eye mask was a replica of eagle , a fierced looking one , another person among them had on a mask portraying a tiger’s face and so on.
” on a single file ” It was miss bull eye that said it but the voice was much different from her original voice, it was completely different. After we’ve all stayed on a single file, miss bull eye started walking towards us, she ambled round us staring at us like a hungry lion glaring at a paralyzed deer.
” you ” she said pausing on her track staring at Precious. Precious fell out of the file , miss bull eye held her by her hand and led her out of the room. I wasn’t surprised by this and I was certain that none of the remaining kids will have a problem with her been selected first, she deserved it.
Following the act of miss bull eye, all of the people on masks selected their students which they’re going to mentor. I could heard my heartbeat when the number dropped to 6 and the numbers of the remaining mentors dropped to 3. That was when I started blaming myself for predicting my death jokingly because of Precious. When I remembered my prediction for Precious and how it came to pass , I felt my bladder got filled up and felt the urge to empty it at once. -1 -2 The numbers of the mentors dropped to1. I shut my eye when the last person started his own act, ambling up and down like a rich woman who’s trying to get a jewelry in a jewelry store. He was the one having on the tiger mask. My mind drifted to how we’re going to be murdered.
” getting shot won’t be bad, throat slitting is also not a bad way to go but my body turning to manure , I hope it’s cocoa, rubber or weed that it’s use to plant, if those cheap vegetables is planted with it, I’ll make sure it doesn’t germinate, it’s a smear to me ”
I kept myself busy and distracted with my thought till the death will come knocking.
” kiddo , let go ” I heard the voice I will never mistake for another one Even tho it sounded different from it normal tone. I peeped through one of my eye to confirm if my ear wasn’t deceiving me. ” kiddo ” he said leaving as he saw me open my eye . I’ve never thought a day was going to come that I’ll be so delighted to hear Goat’s voice. Someone I was praying death for some hours ago. With a gladdened heart I followed him out of the room where all the picked guys were waiting, including Precious, who I could tell was very delighted to see me make it out beneath the mask.
On my exit with Goat from the room, two guys with guns entered the room and gunshots was heard.
” congratulation to all of you for making it out, now you’re full member of the mask and will be treated differently from how you’re been treated before ” Miss bull eye said in her newly acclaimed voice , with the mask still on her face. ” no more group training or challenge again, no more group lecture, no more death for now, all you’ve now is your schedule with your mentor who’s going to take charge of your training, your education aspect and building you for future , be rest assure that y’all are in safe hand . Welcome to the mask ” she rounded up her speech grabbing Precious hand as she led her out of sight.
” let go kiddo ” Goat said grabbing my hand as he led me to his room.
LATER THAT NIGHT.
” I’m going to skin you alive if you dare predict any future again ” Precious yell at me when she got into the room. Goat only handed me my schedule list and gave some prep talk, and he also removed his mask surprising me with his beauty , he was very handsome that I almost slapped myself for joining Precious to call him Goat.
” okay ma ” I replied her teasingly.
” but are you practicing lesbianism with miss bull eye, that made you stayed long with her ” I asked her and she swiftly glared at me.
” if not that I’m very tired now, well let me just keep quiet, but I think if I continue like this with Miss bull eye, I’m going to die soon ” she elucidated with a tone that depicted she meant what she said.
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” but lecturer Ben, you’re really bad o, see as you just murdered Kingsley just like that” Aminat said and my heart skipped a beat due to shock.
“What do you mean by that ” I asked, quickly composing myself
” don’t tell me you don’t know that Kingsley is dead ? ” she asked me looking surprised
” dead ! ” I exclaimed ” how is he dead ” I asked them surprised as hell.
” i heard he slip in his bathroom and had a concussion ” Ella replied me handing me her phone. It was displaying the news about the death of Kingsley, the death of the only son of Mr Charles. According to the reporter it was a natural death, but she claimed that more investigation will still be carried out to back up the claim.
As I wanted to return the phone back to Ella, the picture of the president suddenly appeared on the phone, he was at the entrance of his office at the Nigeria black house where he was been interviewed by the press concerning the death of the son of his close associate, a white handkerchief in his hand which he was using to clean his face at interval even tho their was no tears or sweat on it.
” it’s a great loss to me and this nation at large, he’s a blooming flower with a great future, very respectful and obedience , doesn’t talk much and meek in all ways ,hardworking, not minding how influential his father is, it’s a saddening news and I’ve been weeping since morning when I heard of it, I pray his soul rest in peace. ” the president said trying to force out tears from his eye but failed at it, the Presidential guards cleared way for him through the press trying to document his voice and throwing questions from different angles.
I shook my head slightly watching the Oscars deserving award movie which the president acted. I remembered vividly that he wasn’t in anyway somber when I was with him. ” Nigeria Politicians can never make heaven ” I said to myself
” but how does his death concern me, that you’re accusing me of it ” I asked Aminat as I returned the phone.
” I’m just joking but you really murder him, see how you made him felt useless yesterday night, maybe that’s why he was lost in thought and slipped in his bathroom, leading to his death ” Aminat said with a smile on her lip depicting she doesn’t mean what she’s saying.
” you’re funny ” I said smiling so as to show that I was less bothered by his death ” but I want the two of you to promise me something ” I said deriving their attention, Ella turned to look at me while Aminat stared at me through the front mirror as she’s the one behind the wheel.
” anything you want ” Ella replied.
” I don’t want you to tell anyone about what transpired between Kingsley and us yesterday ” I said with a serious countenance. I asked them this because I didn’t want to have any course to murder them in future
” no one is going to hear it from me ” Ella replied first, while Aminat suddenly made a motion on her lip like she’s zipping it, then whine down the car’s window beside her , then threw nothing out of it tho she made a motion to throw something out.
” it’s zipped up and I’ve lost the key ” she said smiling.
” but lecturer Ben, did you take martial art lesson in Canada or in Harvard ” Ella asked me with a curious tone.
” yeah, but that’s a story for another time, got to get off now ” I said asking Aminat to step on the brake. We’ve gotten to the last intersection to the staff’s lodge and she doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
” why ” Aminat asked stopping the car.
” it’s my last stop ” I said opening the door.
” thought you’re free and will have lunch with us ” Ella said with a somber voice.
” next time love, I got something to take care of ” I said getting down.
” alright, going to hold you up on this promise next time ” Ella said as the two girls bid me bye and zoomed off. My mind was wrapped around the death of Kingsley as I walked to my lodge. I could still picture vividly the death scene I saw on Ella’s phone. To me It wasn’t a natural death like the press presumed. I’ve undertaken many missions under the mask of making a murder look like a natural death. And when I do this, I make it look perfect like we’ve been taught.
In the death scene of Kingsley, the perfectness was glaring there , maybe not to normal people but i was sure no agent of the mask will miss it.
As I entered into my lodge, I dialled Snap digit to know of his location while I mediated on the reason why the mask ordered the death of Kingsley. I took an A3 paper , took my construction set , got my construction board as I started sketching the interior building of the David Castle . I was still sketching the cubicle looking like security door when my instinct suddenly got ignited. I suddenly felt I wasn’t alone , I swiftly rolled the paper and packed up my construction set.
I moved to my fridge and got a juice, and a glass cup. With full alertness I head to one of the divan in the sitting room and sat on it. I picked the TV remote laying motionlessly on the divan and switched the TV on.
It was boring sitting behind the CCTV watching another man’s life. I wondered how my dad cope with this kind of life everyday. The clone phone which was connected to his phone was beside me. He’s made two calls so far for the day and both seemed kind of confusing. He’s asked someone to come over because he’s got an important job for him. The person is yet to get to him as I watched him closely in his room where he made another call to the person. He was sketching something, looked like a building but he suddenly stopped it as he felt the urge to get a drink.
Now he’s watching the TV, enjoying his drink with it. A knock on the door, he stood up to open it.
” idiot, where were you since ” he said to the guy as he opened the door.
” I’m sorry, wasn’t nearby when you called ” the person said to him, a young handsome guy , they looked like they’re of the same age.
” Posmatran sam, zato se igrajte ” he said to the guy in an unknown language and the guy smiled. He locked the door as the guy entered. I couldn’t remember the strange words , the language it is, so translating it was impossible. I was saved the stress of trying to figure out the language it was as they switched to English .
” I knew it, this guy isn’t normal ” I said to myself as they started their nefarious act.
To be continue