Lagos Rage


Hilda walked out of the bank with a smile on her face. The two hundred and fifty thousand naira she just withdrew was in the bottom of the handbag she carried. Earlier in the day, she had called her father to inform him of her intention to withdraw the huge sum. As she walked down the hall, she mentally recalled her plans for the money. She didn't notice the two men who exited the bank with her.

The bus stop was crowded as usual and she had to wait for an Iyana-Ipaja bound bus. Behind her, the two men increased their pace. One of them, tall and well built, wore a blue shirt and a pair of black trousers. The other short one wore a red shirt and a pair of jean trousers. Their prey stood at the junction waiting for a bus, the bag dangled from her right hand. The shorter of the duo, Taiwo, bumped into Hilda while the other one, Tolu, snatched the bag and began to run.

Taiwo joined in the race as Hilda began to shout, “Thief! Thief!” The bus stop was thrown into frenzy. Several of the waiting passengers began to run after the two men. Three motorcycles coughed to life and joined the hot pursuit.

Unfortunately, Taiwo and Tolu were unfamiliar with the area. They did not bother to ask their informant because the money was their concern. Soon, they came to a dead end and the crowd hemmed them in with deadly intent. Blows, kicks, slaps and punches found their marks as the irate mob meted out Lagos justice to the thieves. From nowhere, four used tires were produced. A man inserted a hose into his car tank and sucked out a gallon of petrol. The thieves knew their fates had been decided. They knew the angry mob would burn them alive. Still, they hoped that the police show up on time. It was better to be jailed than burnt alive. Already, the beating they received had sapped their strength.

Then the chairman of the ‘area boys’ came forth and asked, “Awon ole yen da?” He barked orders at his boys and the two thieves looked mortified. Their hearts broke as they heard the chairman's instructions. They had thought they would be burnt to death instantly; little did they know that they were mistaken. The chairman's instructions were clear: They were to fight each other to death. The winner would be allowed to go scot free.

As the gravity of the instruction sunk in, the chairman blew a whistle to signify the beginning of the fight. The shrill sound startled both men. The crowd went agog and began to jeer and cheer the thieves. Taiwo and Tolu looked at each other forlornly. They were close friends and partners but now, one had to kill the other for survival. As the reality of the situation dawned on them, all thoughts of familiarity disappeared and they began to circle each other. The taller one, Tolu, loomed over Taiwo like a giant. Everyone knew he stood a better chance of winning. They were both weak and wounded from the beating they had received.
Then as the cheers and jeers grew louder, the weakness disappeared. Both men charged at each other and locked horns.

Taiwo charged at Tolu who simply stepped aside and aimed a kick at his stomach. Taiwo yelped as the force of the kick spurn him around. Before he could make any move, Tolu’s fist slammed into his temple in a skull crushing punch. His sight became fuzzy and he staggered as blood began to drip from the cut on his head. Suddenly, his eyes began to blaze like a furnace. He began to duck, jump and roll as he met his opponent’s punch for punch, kick for kick and bite for bite. The two fought like maniacs and bedevilled men as they rolled in the dirt. The thought of survival pushed them on. Then, surprisingly, Taiwo pinned Tolu down and sat on his stomach, raining punches on the bigger man’s punches. Minutes later, they were disentangled.

Both men stood, with torn clothes and bloodied bodies, like wounded lions studying each other, looking for weak points. Then, Taiwo looked beyond his friend and saw a piece of wood lying just behind him. He ran towards the his partner, ducked and picked the wood. With an agility that would daze Rey Mysterio, Taiwo spurn in the air and the wood landed squarely on Tolu’s back. A loud cry escaped his lips as the nail in the wood sunk into his back. Taiwo removed the wood and a fountain of blood spurted out of the hole made by the nail. As Tolu turned back, he felt the wood hit the right side of his face and the nail sunk into his brain. In a matter of minutes, several fountains of blood opened up on his body. The loss of blood further weakened him and he sunk to his knees as Taiwo continued to bludgeon him until he lay on the ground, twitching and gasping for breath. The crowd cheered Taiwo, the smell of blood pushing his senses into overdrive. Finally, he stopped and sunk to his knees beside his dead partner.

He looked up hoping that the chairman would come free him. But when he saw some men arranging the tires and the chairman walking towards him with a rope, his guts cut into many pieces. The chairman had no intention of keeping his promise. He realized he had just killed his partner for nothing and he was going to die too. He charged towards the chairman who simply caught his hand and punched his nose. Warm blood gushed out from his broken nose. In an instant, his entire body was doused with cold petrol and he had four tires around his body.

The chairman created a trail of petrol, struck a match and touched it to the trail. Taiwo struggled to free himself as the fire licked the ground and raced towards him. Finally, the fire caught up with him and he went up in flames. His cries rang out but nobody came to his rescue. Not even the lady whose bag was snatched.

As the fire and smoke reached up to the heavens, and his life force ebbed away, Taiwo's heart stopped supplying blood to his body. The smoke blocked his lungs and the fire licked at his skin with deadly passion. The last sound he heard, before succumbing to fiery death, was the sound of the wailing siren mounted on the police car. Too late, his lifeless body rolled limply on the ground, his charred body a sacrifice on the altar of Lagos Jungle Justice.

6 comments:

  1. wow, bone chilling and captivating, horrors of jungle justice
    well done

    ReplyDelete
  2. You never cease to give me goosebumps

    ReplyDelete
  3. When the deed is done I start to pity all these theives out there but then they don't learn it's not always once beaten twice shy for them like the saying goes..Nice line of story

    ReplyDelete

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