Thursday, 7 February 2008

THE TRIGGER TALE...part four

On the street was a car parked opposite the building harbouring his prey; he was an experienced killer. He had an old newspaper in his hand. He was reading, with the aid of a pen-torch, an article with the title, Trigger and the Triumph. Deep furrows appeared on his brow as he read through the article. His lips began quivering violently as he read aloud the last two paragraphs of the article:

“Our society is nearing the brink of a precipice where each man and son, each mother and daughter will seek justice not at the law court; not from the legislative chamber nor through executive fiat, but we shall one and all seek justice through the pull of a trigger…draw the blood of atonement from the evil heads of corrupt cops guilty of wanton extrajudicial and careless killings.
No matter what appetizes their taste for madness and murders, these corrupt, murderous officers will meet their Waterloo one after the other. I am not a prophet. I do not own a crystal ball nor borrow one to gaze into. But the grass of the fallen innocent victims shall be watered with the blood of these trigger-happy policemen: the hunters and murderers. And after this long darkness, a new dawn; a new system of things; no trigger will be pulled. At that time it will be an honour to approach a cop – a dignified police officer; and not a hunter, a murderer. The conscience and the pen are much more lethal than the gun!”

The pen much lethal than the gun. The man thought. He brought out a gun from the pigeon hole and took out a pen from inside his jacket. He placed the two objects on the seat beside the driver’s. He studied those objects with keen interest. A pen? A gun? Which is more lethal? He pondered. He chose the locally made pistol and kissed it tenderly like a sorely missed lover. “Hush baby, you’re not going to shriek so much tonight. Okay?” he told the gun. The potent but lifeless gun said nothing in the vice-grip of his lover and master. He wished he had a better gun, like a Beretta pistol. But the Chief had told him no mistake and no living of any trace. A locally made pistol would do. So this burly man had to improvise with the locally made pistol. He did not really care. To him murder was murder. He could even do it with bare hands. That was why they named him Handy. And with this man violent death always came in handy. He let out a victorious whimper.

The murder case he was working on was still inchoate. He got up from his seat, walked across the room to the toilet. While in the loo the thought of Funki and Atiko came to his mind… Funki was a young man whose veins were filled not with blood but with the waters of ideas and dreams, a tireless and restless soul. He lived his life as if it were going out of fashion; maybe now that he was set for marriage he would act more maturely… Atiko, such a delectable damsel – the proverbial capable woman. She had eyeballs like something made from the sun; those eyes scorched unworthy men and warmed up the deserving ones. Ozi had found favour in those eyes just like Funki; but the latter was the apple of those beautiful eyes. Her luxuriant hair was like the Indian actress Amirah Bach Chan. Atiko had brain and beauty combined. And he adored her to the point of idolatry.

Rising from his reverie of personal thoughts and having finished attending to nature’s call he returned to the waiting arms of his chair where he continued his work. His eyes were still begging for sleep…just a little slumber! But his mind said no and forced those eyes wide-open. He buried his nimble head reading, scribbling, at the same time worrying about Funki’s coming...and, he slipped into some sleep stupor.

“Rat-a-tat-tat”, a rap on his door. He rose gently from his seat and approached the main door to his two-room self-contained apartment. He heaved a sigh of relief thinking that the two lovebirds had arrived at last. He opened the door and on impulse threw his hands open to welcome his guests. But there was only one guest. The figure standing at the entrance hit him hard on his head with a gun in his hand. He staggered backward like one in a drunken stupor. As the door closed slightly behind the figure, he followed his victim with brisk, giant strides. The man burly and darkly, had eyes like an owl – bloodshot eyes from several consumption of alcohol. He reeked abominably of paraga and ganja. However, he seemed to have his senses intact.

A hunter knows his target; he knows the smell of his prey. Ozi’s staggering was halted as he was pushed to the wall. For the first time, he looked the man in the face and found no expression in them except the deathly shadow of his mien; he could only think of death, his dying in the calloused hands of this messenger of death let on the loose. But he was not prepared to die neither was he prepared to beg to live. Pinning him to the wall with his gun, the burly and darkly man asked with a derisive smile playing on his lips: “Do I need an introduction?” “It may be the last piece of information I really need before day breaks, sir,” his target replied in studied calmness.

“You know, at gunpoint even the Reverend Father will confess his adulterous waywardness. And the pull of this trigger is an opening of the lid of Sheol – the depth of death. How does it feel to be killed by a cop like me? I have been raised from the dungeon of hell to settle a score and liquidate you. I am the bad dada one of your stories sent to jail. I have lived life like a common criminal in the hole of hell called prison…all because of your stupid story. You know, dead men don’t write stories,” the man paused as he hit his prey again with the butt of his gun. Ozi fell to the ground. “Get up! You moron…I said get up!” the man was incandescent with rage. Yet he spoke in hushed voice. Ozi’s eyes were swollen and his head dripped with blood. The man dragged him up. “On your feet soldier. You know, a journalist is a soldier. He’s always fighting with his pen. Mad pen. Where’s your pen comrade Ozi Francis? I’ve got my gun what have you got? Your nimble head, idiot!”

Ozi’s lips were quivering. He was praying. He was entreating God. His eyes were too swollen to see anything now. “Open your eyes - look at me. Listen to me. The Master of Death himself has sent me. You know, the Chief. You are the prize of my freedom and the ransom for my servitude.” He taunted him in so many unprintable words. He was convinced that no one could save Ozi at this moment. The deranged cop even asked God to stay out of the matter. He asked Him to watch as an impartial umpire. “I am killing you with this locally made pistol,” he waved the gun in his prey’s face as if it were a prized object.

“You know, only the pull of this trigger can determine whether you’re quick or dead. Many people out there in the system want you occupying a space in the vastness of Sheol. I do. I’ve come not to hand you a death warrant. I am here to hand you to the Demons of Death. I am Handy!” he boasted.

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