Sheila quivered in fear at their number. The men were numbering up to thirty and most of them had weapons in their hands. Her whole body trembled in fright and she began to feel her knees buckling.
A scene flashed quickly through Henry’s mind. It was blurry. He saw some angry looking men in the vision, holding metal rods and lashing someone on the ground desperately. The man on the ground was him.
Henry shook his head vigorously to wave off the flashing scenes. He took a look at Sheila and reached for her hand, all he had on his mind was how to ensure Sheila was kept safe from harm.
He stared at the mean looking men, he knew none of them and he wasn’t sure he had done them any wrong but it was so obvious that these men were ready to give him the beating of his life.
The men closed in on them slowly. Henry began to wonder how he was going to take down such a number of people. Another scene flashed through his mind at moment and he saw himself this time on a bridge with a large number of men rushing towards him and he took them down one after the other. He shook his head again to bring himself back to reality. He looked at the men around him and could tell they were getting ready to come for him one after the other.
With a loud yell, the first man rushed towards Henry with the rod and Henry turned in his direction quickly. He met the man with a kick on the chest before the man could use his rod, making the man stagger back and finally falling with his bum to the ground. Another man came from his right hand side and Henry released Sheila’s hand as he waved a kick with his left hand to the face of the man. The impact of the kick sent the man crashing heavily with his back and his head on the floor.
Another man was coming from behind. Henry quickly turned, he pulled Sheila to his back gently and then grabbed the fist as the man launched a blow, he replied with an uppercut and then followed up with another heavy blow on the chest. He dodged a blow from another man and grabbed his arm on a spot close to the armpit, he dug an elbow into the man’s belly with the other hand and then lifted and slammed him to the ground on other side. He stamped his foot on the face of a man coming towards him from Sheila.
He turned beside her and wiped another man a kick on the neck. He pulled her with a hand and put her behind him again as he grabbed the wrist of another man sending a blow. He released Sheila’s hand and dug a blow with the now free hand into the belly of the man.
Seven men were down now, two of them already getting up while the rest still laid sprawled on the floor and grunting in pains and in shock, shock because they had gotten more than they bargained for. The one who set them up for the fight had warned them that who they would deal with was a good fighter and so would not be easy to beat, but he had missed out telling them about the intensity of the kicks and blows of the man. A strike from Henry’s fist was heavier than the usual man’s blow and it not only inflicted pains on wherever it touched on their bodies but it sent severe pains all through their whole bodies.
Henry watched as three men charged towards him simultaneously. He rushed to pick a rod which had fallen from the hand of one of the previous men and held it firmly in his hands.
“Squat Sheila!” He shouted as he struck the rod on the chest of the first out of the three, his right feet poking into the belly of the second at the same time. He rolled the rod in his hand and landed it hard on the shoulder of the third man and then on his ear.
He made a swift turn and bent to dodge a swipe of a rod, he dug the rod into the belly of the man and whipped another man by the waist, he got up and whipped the man again on side of his face and then finished it on the top of the man’s head. The sole of his right foot met the belly of another one and he followed up with a strike of the rod to his head, meeting the man at the side of his eyes.
The remaining men joined the fight one after the other and it became more furious but even with their furiousness, they all avoided Sheila like they had gotten instructions not to touch her. Henry got so busy with them that he did not realize when Sheila moved away from the centre of the fight.
As swift as a Deer Henry turned, twisted and dodged the attacks of the men straightaway replying them with his. At some point, he had about six men attacking him at the same time. As he kicked one, he dodged the blow of another and attacked another in the g—n.
One man grabbed him from behind, holding his both hands to the back to give room to the men in front to attack openly but Henry made use of his legs and stopped a blow launched to his chest. He rested his weight on the man holding him behind and leaped, kicking the faces of three men one after the other. He and the man behind him ended on the ground due to his weight. Henry’s rod had fallen off and rolled away.
He quickly hit the man twice in the belly with his elbow and rolled away to dodge a strike by another man, the rod landed on the chest of the man on the ground. Henry try to get up quickly but he found himself lying on the ground again to dodge a wave of the rod. He did a quick back roll and scurried up to his feet, another man was already trying to strike a rod on his head. He grabbed the rod with his fists and tried to wriggle it out of the man’s hand but the man held on to it firmly until he pushed the man away with a kick on the chest. He positioned the rod in his hands well and turned and bent simultaneously and swiftly to strike another man hard in his belly with the rod. He rose up and whipped another on the face with the rod, he extended his right hand to the back and grabbed another man by the neck, he lifted the man to his front and slammed his body on another at the front.
Sheila had gotten out of the midst of the scuffle and could see that Henry was still handling the men well enough but she remained in great panic. She reached for her phone and brought it out quickly with trembling hands. She unlocked it and tried to make a call but realized that there was no signal in the hall. She ran quickly towards the entrance through which she got in with Henry and tried to find the knob or button to push to make it open but found none.
She struggled with the lock for some seconds before she finally stopped and looked around to see if there was any other entrance or exit. She could not see any. She unlocked her phone again to check if the signal had returned but it hadn’t. She returned the phone into her pocket and began to walk hurriedly about the hall to check for any entrance or exit.
The tall man followed her with his eyes for a while. Then he left the position where he stood and proceeded towards her, being certain that she wasn’t aware he was watching her.
The fight got messier but Henry was still in control. He knew exactly where to hit the men to keep them weak for sometime even if they were still going to stand up later to get more thrashing to strengthen their weakness.
It was close to fifteen minutes into the fight, a total of twelve men were down totally, unable to join the fight again because they had either gotten a broken leg or broken arm, neck or even more than one part broken. Some others were writhing in pain but were still able to get up to continue the fight.
The fight was still on. A man struck his rod towards Henry’s head but Henry was quick enough to block it with his. The man struck again to the side and Henry blocked it again. Henry turned quickly to land a kick on the face of a man coming from behind, he turned back and blocked another strike. He took a hand off the rod and bent his head as he grabbed another man at his back by the belt, he lifted him with a hand and threw him on the body of three men running towards them. He turned back to the man with the rod and blocked another strike, he kicked the man close to the g—n and the man staggered back. He followed up with a strike to the side of the man’s neck but as he raised his hand to make another strike, he heard a loud scream which sounded like Sheila’s. His hand froze and his eyes moved to and fro as he searched for Sheila.
The scream had stopped but it kept on reverberating in Henry’s mind. It was more than just Sheila’s scream, it was something from the past.
He finally spotted where Sheila was and what he saw sent shrills down his spine. He had never felt so scared in his life. At least, never that scared since he opened his eyes that day in the hospital.
A man was holding Sheila so close with an arm fastened around her neck and a knife raised with the other hand.
Henry could see the man with the rod and other men close to him but he was already far away from them, only his body was physically present. As he kept his eyes on Sheila and the man keeping her hostage, all he could see was the face of another woman in a different environment screaming for help. He couldn’t hear the voice but the way her lips moved made it look like she was pronouncing a name he had heard before.
Someone struck Henry a rod at the back. He was brought back to consciousness in a second and quickly fastened his grip on his own stick. He looked around and saw about six men close to him already. He clenched his teeth and tightened his fist on the rod, he was determined to take them all out and make sure Sheila wasn’t hurt.
He bent down to dodge another strike of the rod and whipped his on the knee of the man in front, he struck him in the belly and then struck again on the forehead. Still bending he sent a blow to the abdomen of one of the men with his right hand and poked the rod into the belly of another man with his left hand and followed up by striking him on the head.
A man grabbed him from the shoulders behind but he rose slowly and grabbed the man on the neck with a hand stretched backwards. He dragged him to the front and kicked him in the face with his knee.
The man whose abdomen Henry had punched was still bent over, groaning in pain as sweat trickled down his forehead. Henry lashed him on the back with the rod and on the side of the head, making him fall to the ground.
Henry looked up and saw a tall man was coming from behind, rolling a stick in his hand in a way that sparked another flash of memory.
At that moment, he heard another scream and quickly opened his eyes to look towards Sheila. He could see that she had been pushed to the ground.
Another scene flashed through his mind and then he saw the face of the woman in his vision again, he saw a little boy screaming for help.
The woman in his vision was screaming loud, he could hear the screams so loud in his head now and it totally disturbed his brain and rendered him weak on the spot he stood.
He heard Sheila’s voice again but heard the voice of the woman in the vision louder, he saw her face again and her voice became louder and hurting to the ears.
“They’re taking us away, do something honey!”
A rod hit Henry in his tummy and he staggered back on his feet, he tried to open his eyes and take a firm grip of the weapon in his hand but instead he felt weaker and lost his grip on the rod. The voices and scene playing in his head tormented him. Another rod struck him at the back of the neck and then another at the side of his head.
He managed to open his eyes but what he saw was the woman in the vision again and the little boy by her side.
“You’ve got a strong man by your side but you’re such a lazy ass,” the man spat out angrily at Sheila. “I would have kicked your ass silly if we weren’t told to leave you out of this.”
She watched him with so much indignation in her heart. She kept moving backwards on the floor as he proceeded towards her.
“I’m still going to give you some lashes on your backside and tell the boss it was a mistake,” the man said with an evil smile and hastened his steps towards her.
She saw no need to keep dragging herself on the floor as it was a futile effort against his. He got to her and held her by both sides of the armpit to pull her up.
A thought came to her mind as her gaze landed around his g—n. She reached out to his g—n and located his reproductive organ with both hands and tried to pull it down, also squeezing it with all the might she had in her.
He let out a loud scream and his legs began to move tremulously but she held on and rose slowly with him as he stepped back slowly.
He got away forcefully and fell to the ground, still vibrating on the floor and groaning in pain.
Sheila got up quickly. She located a metal stick of about two metres long and picked it up. She moved close enough to the man and whipped him severally until she was satisfied.
She dropped the stick and turned to look at Henry. She couldn’t see him at first, she could only see other men surrounding something. She changed her position until she could see what was in their middle.
Henry had fallen to his knees already as the men continued to hit him from all directions. The strength in his body still kept him up from not fainting physically yet but the torture done to him by the memories playing in his heart could not let him make any move against the men.
He opened his eyes and saw Sheila standing afar off, looking at him, terrified with her eyes and mouth widely opened. Instantly the picture changed from Sheila to the woman in his vision again and then back to Sheila.
“No… Henry…” Sheila shouted in utmost fear, terribly shocked to see Henry being beaten helplessly by the men.
The voice reverberated in Henry’s head as his body got weaker. The men did not stop whipping him with the strong rods and soon he was trembling all over but still managing to move himself on his knees and keep himself from falling.
The men continued and increased their intensity. After seeing that he was not willing to give up easily, two of the men began to strike him in the chest hard instead of his back and belly where they previously targeted.
A man struck the rod at the top of his head.
Henry shook vigorously and almost fell. He was struck at the back of his head again. This time, he could not hold it any longer and he fell to the ground lifelessly.
The men continued whipping him on his back with the rod. His clothes were torn now.
His eyes were still open and he could see Sheila in a blurry vision on her knees afar off, crying and yelling.
He heard his name being called but it sounded so distant to him. His eyes were weak now.
He took in a final deep breath before his eyes closed.