Location: Bexford City , Bethanna.
“Kellar, would you stop running around the house?” Sarah shouted for the umpteenth time. It was a Saturday and the little four year old kid was running around and rejoicing after finding out that he would not be going to school that morning.
The mother, Sarah was in the laundry room, taking care of the clothes used by the family during the week. She had just put on the washing machine and was peeping out to check for her son who was running about the corridor.
“Kellar, where are you?” she called out when she did not see him in the corridor any longer. She shook her head and turned back into the laundry room. She didn’t bother to go look for him because she was sure he would be safe as she had locked all the doors to the places which was out of bounds to him in the house. His running around was like a routine on Saturdays and she had learnt to live with it without having to run around with him to stop him several times.
Sarah Winston was a beautiful fair lady of a height of 5.7 fts. She had gorgeous dark eyes and an oval face. Her slender body and figure eight always stood her out in every outfit she put on. She was a nurse by profession but had to stop working after she had Kellar. Since then she had began to run a fashion blog from her home.
Sarah got married to Louis Winston two years before they had Kellar. Their wedding had been an expensive but silent one, they had only few family members and fewer friends, this because both of them preferred to live a private life. They had tied the nuts only after a year of being in the relationship.
Louis had met Sarah on the first day he went to a church in Bexford. He had spotted a beauty queen at the backseat in the choir stand. After the service, he had stayed outside at the entrance of the church to wait for her.
Louis Winston is seen outside the Love Cathedral, holding a phone in his hand and looking from time to time to check those coming out of the church. After waiting for two hours and some minutes without seeing her come out, he got back into the church and saw her chatting with some people in the church. She had already taken off her suit jacket and high heels but she looked beautiful nevertheless. He watched her for some minutes, wondering if he should go closer and draw her attention.
He stood there, confused for several minutes. He wasn’t a church person, the last time he had attended any church service or any religious activity was his childhood. His mother used to be a devoted member of the catholic church but he lost her when he was still little. He lived with his father who was irreligious for five years until the man married another woman who was just like him, she cared less about religious activities. So Louis stood there, confused, he wasn’t sure whether wooing a lady was allowed inside the church.
Twenty five minutes after waiting, he heaved a sigh of relief on seeing her pick up her handbag and standing up from her seat. A friend joined her and they walked together towards the entrance of the church. Louis did not stop nor approach them, he waited till they stepped outside the church and followed quietly after them. He was about to step out of the church when another lady stopped him at the entrance.
“Hello brother! You look like a first timer,” she said in a soft voice.
“Erm…” He stammered, his eyes still on the ladies walking towards the road. He tried to walk past but the lady at his front would not leave the way. “Please, I need to go,” he said but she still stood in his way. He finally glanced at her face, he looked again at the ladies outside, they were already waving down a cab. He looked again at the woman in front of him. It was then he noticed she was also beautiful.
The lady standing in front of him also turned back to see what he was looking at.
“Oh! Sorry, did you come with them?” She asked Louis as she finally gave way for him to pass.
“Oh no!” Louis exclaimed sadly. The women had already gotten into the car and the car moved immediately.
“Sorry, but why didn’t they wait for you?” The woman at his front asked, already assuming he came with them.
“Nothing, I did not come with them.” Louis replied. He was angry at her for letting his crush leave.
“But you were trying to catch up with them,” the lady said.
“Yes…” Louis replied. He was getting angrier because she was now back in his way and was talking too much.
“Sorry I let you miss them. It’s just that I haven’t seen you in church before, and I also did not see you step out with the other first timers today.” She said.
“It’s not my first time here…” He lied, trying his best to stop her from budging him. He had truly heard the call by the Pastor for the new comers in the church but he ignored and went unnoticed as it was a big church.
stared at him silently, the look on her face suggested that she did not believe him but he didn’t care. He also took a closer look at her and noticed that she was as beautiful as the woman he was going after. He thought in his mind that having a chat with her may not be a bad idea, it will only ensure he doesn’t lose in two ways since he already lost his initial target.
“Well, I haven’t seen your face before, so I thought it is your first time.” the lady replied.
“Yeah, you’re right.” Louis added sharply, trying to turn the conversation around. “It’s actually my first time of being in this church but not my first time in a church.”
She raised a brow, “You mean you are a member of another branch of Love Cathedral?”
“Ermm… Something like that actually,” he lied, faking on a smile. He thought she might be freer with him if she thought he was a member.
“That’s nice, I actually got born again and joined this church a month ago and I’ve been enjoying myself. I joined the first timers department already.”
Louis felt somehow guilty. He had told a lie to her on their first day of meeting. He lied to make her think he had been a member for long, whereas she was also a new member. He however quickly tried to remind himself that he wasn’t planning to be a member of a church, and his friendship with this lady no matter how beautiful she was may not last for long, he had only visited the church because he wanted to watch the activities of a particular journalist who was a member.
“I’m sister Sarah Bob,” the lady introduced.
“I’m Louis C. Win,” Louis stretched out his hand for a handshake.
That day served as the beginning of their friendship which continued and turned into a relationship and then marriage.
“Kellar,” Sarah called out again. She walked to the entrance and looked out to see if he was already back to the corridor but he wasn’t. She walked back in to take the hand towel and wiped her hand dry.
“Kellar, where are you?” she called out again as she stepped out into the corridor.
The little boy did not give a reply and everywhere was totally silent, which was unusual. If he did not reply her, she should be hearing noises of him running around, singing or making noise in any other form.
She searched the opened rooms for him but could not find him. He never went as far as the living room to play when no one else was there but Sarah had checked the other rooms without finding him, she had no choice than to go search for him in the living room.
“Honey!” She screamed in surprise as she caught the back view of her husband, carrying the boy and saying some soft words to him.
Carl turned to his wife carrying a face full of smiles, “Hello sweetheart.”
“Oh my God!” she exclaimed, letting out a happy laugh. She advanced towards him quickly and stopped a metre before him to give him a FOX salute. “The ever dogged invincible Agent Winston!”
Carl saluted her back and let out a loud laugh. Kellar was less interested in whatever the two adults were doing but was happily crunching the snacks his father had given to him on his arrival.
Carl dropped the boy on the ground gently and gave him a pat on the back.
He received his wife in a warm embrace and kissed her forehead. They stayed clung to each other for close to a minute before Carl kissed her lightly on the lips and they both sat on the long sofa.
“Honey, you never told me you would be returning today.”
“Yes, I did not tell you but did you ever think I would be missing today?’ he said with a mischievous look on his face.
She raised her brows and stared at him, “What’s today’s date?”
He stared back at her without replying.
“Today is twenty…” she stopped and widened her eyes in surprise. She turned at him and let out a scream, “it’s our sixth year wedding anniversary.”
“Yeah Baby, it is.” Carl smiled in response.
“Come on Louis, I can’t believe I forgot.”
Carl chuckled. “I remember I promised you when I missed last year’s, not to miss this year’s day.”
“That’s true, I actually remembered earlier this month, but since you informed me about the Invisible terrorists mission, I never thought you would be available to celebrate it anymore.”
“But I’m here babe, and we need to go somewhere together,” Carl said, staring at her with a smile.
“What’s your plan Agent?” she said and tapped him on the shoulder. “Where do you plan to take us today?”
Due to the nature of Carl’s job, he had barely spent up to a week straight at home with his family in the past two years. He was always out of the country or in another state of the country for several weeks or even months and only came back home once in a while to spend less than seven days. In the last year, Carl had returned home only five times and only during the Christmas holiday did he stay more than a week with his family, he stayed exactly seventeen days before he was called to report for another mission outside the country the second day of January the next year.
“Don’t worry, you’ll know soon. I’ll give you an hour to prepare yourself and Kellar.”
“So soon, one hour?”
“Yes,” Carl replied.
“Louis, you need to give me more time, I would need to prepare breakfast for everyone first.”
“No no no,” Carl replied, shaking his head. “No breakfast at home this morning. Ermm…You can make something for Kellar but I’ve made plans for our breakfast already.”
“Hmm,” Sarah rolled her eyes at him. She was sure that whatever plans he had for the day would make the day a thrilling experience.
“But you still have to give me about two hours. I was in the laundry room but came here in search for Kellar when I wasn’t hearing his voice again.”
At that point, she turned her neck back to look at Kellar who was jumping around happily and crunching the snacks in his mouth.
“I see, please do not let it exceed two hours.” he warned playfully.
“Sure Agent, it won’t.”
She kissed him on his lips and was about to get up from the sofa when he pulled her back by her wrist. He pulled her closer to himself and kissed her again on her lips, more deeply this time.
She smiled shyly. “Would you allow me go prepare? We can do this later.”
He smiled and released her from his grip. “I pulled you back to inform you that we’d also be having a special night celebration on Sunday evening with Rex’s family.”
“That’s tomorrow night, what are we celebrating?” Sheila stopped to ask. She squinted as she suddenly remembered something. “And what about your mission on the invisible terrorists? I thought only you returned for today, but it seems both of you back are.” she asked in low tones, sitting back on the sofa.
Carl chuckled. “That’s exactly what we’re celebrating, we wiped them out totally four days ago and we would be celebrating by evening tomorrow. The Agency would also be officially celebrating us on Monday and publicly announcing the defeat of the Invisible terrorists.”
“Wow! So quick?” she smiled sheepishly. “Well, I trust my Superman,” she moved closer and kissed him fully on the lips again.
The day was an eventful one. From breakfast in an expensive restaurant, to a performing theatre to watch a live comedy play and a romantic treat at the Ballay’s Fun Zone. They retired home at night, after taking dinner at another expensive restaurant.
The family went to church together the next day. Carl Winston was known as Louis Win to everyone in the church and the few friends the family had. To the church members, Brother Louis had returned to church again since he last attended in December with his family and they were glad to have him back. To them, he was an engineer who worked with a foreign company, and that reason credible enough for them to understand his ever long absence from home. It was believed that he attended church where he worked. But Louis was not a religious person, it took him sometime before he accepted that he was a Christian after being taught and taught again by his wife. His wife was however always in church, and Carl made it important for him to be with her in church whenever he was at home on Sundays. He was however barely at home, in the past year, he spent no Sunday in his home except in December.
The family went for shopping in the afternoon after returning from the Church service. They returned by 3pm and preparations soon began for the night out with the Rex’s family.
“Well, I was thinking if there is a way we can celebrate this after official declaration by the FOX. That’s how we always do it,” Sarah said in a thoughtful tone to Carl at exactly 5pm.
Carl was surprised that she was thinking of changing her mind. He stared at her with raised eyebrows. “Come on, what are you talking about? We won the battle already, tomorrow would be Monday. Today is Sunday and is just the perfect day to celebrate.”
“Well, it’s okay. I’ll just finish up quickly.” Sarah said before she walked away.
Carl watched her go, wondering why she thought of postponing the celebration. Then he remembered she was talking to him about an evening fellowship meeting she held on Sundays with other women in the church. Carl smiled to himself, he knew that was the reason she wanted it postponed. He decided not to act as if he remembered, he was sure she would make arrangements for the meeting to hold without her.
He avoided looking at her face as he saw her walk into the living room again but he watched as she turned went straight to the bar to pick some empty bottles away from the shelf and dropped in a bowl she had with her.
“Honey, please bring me a bottle of Veleta.” He quickly said before she could leave there.
She brought him the bottle of Veleta and a glass cup to drink with. He thanked her and she left to continue what she was doing. After a while, Carl got up and offered to assist her.
An hour later, they were dressed and ready to go out. Kellar was left to sit at the backseat of the car while the couple sat in front.
“You haven’t still told me where we are going to,” Sarah questioned her husband after they got on the road.
Carl smiled and glanced at her. “It’s a surprise I and Rex planned for you and Abigail, why don’t you let us just get there?”
They continued on the journey, talking to each other and with their son. Soon, they got stuck in traffic jam on the way.
After ten minutes of being in traffic, the roads cleared and they moved on.
After a total of thirty five minutes drive minus the time spent in traffic, they got to a town called Turin Province. It was an Italian town in Bexford, inhabited by ninety percent Italian population. The town worked as a place of it’s own and followed most of Italian rules only even in Bexford. It was however a place of attraction to tourists because of the deep and rich culture of the Italians being portrayed there. It served like a capital of Italy in another country.
“What are we doing here?” Sarah asked in amazement as they entered the province. She was already having an idea of what Carl brought them to do there. She began to imagine a pleasant and romantic night.
“You’d know soon dear,” Carl replied.
They drove into the Turin Resorts after fifteen minutes and parked at the garage.
“We would be spending the night here,” Carl announced as he took off his seatbelt.
“Wow!” Sarah exclaimed as she stepped out of the car. She turned and looked around the environment. Like she had heard of the place, it was a beautiful and really different from other places in Bexford.
She looked back and caught a glimpse of the Turin rocks afar off. It was just like she had read in books and it was an awesome sight to behold.
Carl soon led them to the restaurant where other people were. The place was very large and looked more like a food court than a restaurant. A table had already been booked for both families and they settled there to wait for the Rex’s family. Less than ten minutes later, the Rex’s family joined them at the table.
After a moment of hugs and pleasantries. They sat at the big round table, seven of them – three kids and four adults. The men ordered for an Italian dish for the whole family and they were soon served and began to eat.
They talked as they ate, catching up on old times. The husbands occasionally signalled to each other, hiding the meanings of their signal from their wives. They were expecting an Italian music band which they had already arranged for to make scintillating performances for that night.
They were yet to finish eating when suddenly sounds of gunshots erupted from the entrance of the restaurant. They could see bullets flying from outside into the place. As expected, people fled for cover and those eating in the restaurants bowed their heads under the table.
Carl had immediately swung to action to protect his kid and wife and Rex had done the same. The families stayed under the table, while the husbands peeped carefully to know what was going on.
“Hold on to Kellar and don’t get up from this place until I call for you,” Carl said as he handed Kellar to his mother.
“Don’t go anywhere Honey!” Sarah protested in a frightened low voice but Henry was already moving before she finished talking.
He moved to the other side where Rex was holding his two kids close. “Do you by any chance have a machine with you?” he asked Rex in whispers.
“No…” Rex replied in a regretful tone.
Carl let out a breath. He also did not have a gun with him there, his pistol was in his car. While they were off duty and with their families, they preferred moving without guns on their bodies to avoid any instance of scaring a loved one.
“Stay here with them, I’ll check what is happening.” Carl said and got a nod from Rex before he moved quickly to another table where he could see properly from.
He spotted the men who shot the gun, they were not Italians but Africans and looked more like citizens of Bexford. Carl wondered in his mind why citizens had come to trouble the visitors in their land. He peeped carefully and quickly moved to under another table where another group of people were hiding. He stayed with them and watch as the gunmen moved around the restaurant. They seemed to be looking for someone or something in particular.
Rex remained there for a moment. He wasn’t sure of their mission yet and he wasn’t ready to get involved yet as far as the men would not kill anyone. He stayed silently for almost two minutes, watching the activities of the men as much as he could and also hoping the police would show up soon.
After some seconds, he looked up and noticed a particular blue smoke circulating the atmosphere and the hoodlums covering their noses with a mask. He knew what the blue smoke was for but he wondered what the men needed it for. The concentration of the smoke increased gradually and Carl knew that he had to step in immediately. The phone at the back of his trousers began to ring, he knew at once it was Rex calling to give him a signal that they needed to step. He had assigned Rex a personalized ringtone.
Soon, he located one of the men with a gun who was close by and with calculated steps, he got out of his hiding place and attacked the man. He broke the man’s neck and took the gun. He tried to take the mask on the man’s face but a gun was fired at him and he had to dodge quickly.
He coughed as he dropped on his knees under a table. He cocked his gun quickly and peeped carefully. He had inhaled some more quantity of the gas and he began to feel hotness in his eyes and weakness spreading all over his body.
He felt surprised. The gas was not supposed to have such quick effect on him like it did.
He moved quickly to under another table, firing shots at two of the men as he did. He felt so weak that his legs which he squatted on began to shiver. The last thing he remembered was trying to move to another table. When he opened his eyes again, he found himself somewhere entirely different.
It was still in the Turin Province and at the resorts. He was on the floor, still so weak. He managed to move his body and turned to see Rex also on the floor, only few metres away from him.
“Rex!” he whispered.
Rex made an insignificant movement first but later began to move well.
“Carl,” he whispered back, looking around, not knowing from where he was called.
“Behind you Rex,” Carl said.
It took Rex close to a minute to drag himself on the floor and face Carl. The both of them could not stand up because of the terrible weakness of their body.
“Someone traced us here, they knew we were coming here.” Rex said to Carl in whispers.
Carl looked around again, he noticed they were outdoor and somewhere close to the lodge he had chosen for his family to stay at that night.
“How did they trace us here and why can’t I lift my body?” Carl asked Rex since it seemed he knew more about what happened.
“Our food was poisoned Carl, that made the gas work quicker and it is responsible for the total weakness.” Rex replied.
“Where is my wife and yours? Where are the kids?”
“I don’t know,” Rex replied in a pained voice, dragging his body on the floor.
The two heavily built men laid sprawled on the floor, helplessly suffering from the effect of the drugs.
Soon, Carl felt some hands touch him from behind. They lifted him up and placed him on his legs but he was so weak that he couldn’t stand without their support. He looked and saw that the same was being done to his friend. Three men at his side and three at Rex’s side.
A man soon appeared in front of them, wearing an evil smile on his face.
He stopped two metres away where both of them could see him fully.
“Agents Carl and Rex, Invincible they say you are but you are right here at our mercy.” he stopped and let out a loud sardonic laughter. “Now, we would take you to say goodbye to your families before we finally end your miserable lives.”
Carl cursed under his breath as he saw the inscription on the man’s shirt, it was the logo of the invisible terrorists.
The men holding Carl began to move him after a hand signal from the man in front. Carl looked back and also saw them moving Rex in the opposite direction.
Their destination was not far but because of Carl who needed support to move, it took them two minutes to get to the place on foot. About a hundred metres in front was the lodge Carl had planned for his family that night. A small bungalow it was but beautiful at the exterior and also beautiful internally. There was a bus parked just outside the building.
Soon, two men stepped out from the front of the bus and three others stepped out from behind, two carrying his wife and one with his child. Sarah’s hands and legs were tied.
“Daddy!” Kellar screamed from afar as he saw his father.
Sarah had not seen Carl until she heard the boy’s scream.
“Carl, they are going to burn us inside this house, you have to help us.”
Carl tried to struggle in the men’s hand but his legs did not stay on the ground to be able to fight them. He watched his wife being placed on the floor and dragged with the rope towards the entrance of the house. His son was also carried carelessly on one hand.
“Daddy!” the boy screamed again. His voice echoed deeply in Carl’s head but Carl was too weak to make any move.
“They’re taking us away, do something honey!” Sarah screamed in horror as they dragged her to the entrance of the house.
Carl stood and watched helplessly, as weak as a dead plant. He was held up still and forced to watch without being able to help. Two of the three men who had taken his wife and son in soon stepped out and split ways to different sides of the house.
He widened his eyes in horror as he saw the men beginning to pour fuel around the building and on the outer walls. He saw the third man step out through the entrance with a container of fuel. He placed the container just at the entrance.
Carl struggled more but he was without strength. The three men walked back into the vehicle after exhausting the fuel in their containers and drove away to somewhere far from the building. The two men who had stepped out from the front of the vehicle walked to where the other men were holding Carl. One took out a gun and pointed it at the house from his position, he targeted the container of fuel.
“Noooo!” Carl screamed as the man released two shots. The house went up in flames.
He kept screaming and struggling so hard that the men holding him had to drop him. He fell to the ground and was unable to pick himself up. He tried to crawl but was barely making any movement. Tears rolled down his eyes as he watched the house continue burning with his wife and child in it.
September 25, 2015
It was another sleepless night for Henry. He had just had the nightmare again and watched how the building burnt with his wife and child in it while he watched helplessly.
He sat at the edge of the bed, feeling mad at himself. Tears rolled down his face just like that night. He imagined again how his wife must have felt about him that night. She called him her superman, her champ and powerful hero. She had heard stories of how he saved many nations and territories, but just that night, one time and the only chance he got to prove himself to her by saving her, the love of his life, he failed woefully.
He couldn’t forgive himself for failing and would not be able to rest until judgement was delivered to her killers.
He had tried to stop having the nightmares, but it seemed to increased and worse everyday as he read the news and saw reports on how the invisible terrorist had killed other sets of people. And as reports of the terrorist’s killing increased, so did his restlessness become more intense.
It was time to return to Bethanna and kill every single one of the terrorists, he had never been so determined in his life.