THEY CALL ME A-ZED
EPISODE 3: DO UNTO OTHERS…
Austin jumped to his feet and lunged. His hands wrapped around her throat just as her mouth opened in a scream. The scream was cut off as it left her mouth, coming out as little more than a squeak. Without breaking his motion, Austin pushed her to the floor, landing on top of her and using his free hand to cover her mouth.
I stood unmoving. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Austin’s kick and frantic whisper brought me back.
“Why you dey look like dondi? Shake body come join hand here!”
Madam was struggling on the floor, and Austin was trying his best to bring her under control. He needed my help. I bent down and joined him in holding her, pinning her hands to her sides while Austin continued choking her. As soon as she went unconscious, Austin removed his hand from her mouth and turned to me.
“Go find something wey I fit put for im mouth. And rope wey I go fit use tie am”, he ordered.
I was looking at him in shock, and my feet refused to move. Austin didn’t repeat himself. He took her dress in his hands and tore off a piece which he used to tie her hands and legs, and placed another piece in her mouth.
“Where your madam pikin? Where your oga?”
“She dey room. Oga travel.”
“Make we go there”, he said, the gleam in his eye more pronounced.
I led him down the corridor and around the corner to Yemi’s room. He removed a small knife from his pocket as we walk and I heard the “click” as he opened it, but I only looked at him and said nothing. When we reached the door of the room, I let him walk past me.
In one corner of the room, a kerosene lamp was casting long shadows, and we used its light to move by. Austin walked like a cat on foam, and without a sound, he reached the bed and pressed the knife against her throat. I was not far behind him, and I gently tapped Yemi awake. She awoke in instalments her mind still unclear from sleep. When she saw two men standing over her, her eyes widened. They cleared and she came fully awake, focusing on the both of us and the knife at her neck.
“Correct girl,” Austin growled. “E good as you no shout”.
“Tie am”, he whispered at me.
I tore the bed sheet on the bed and tied her hands and legs, and put another bit of cloth into her mouth. Austin pocketed his knife after I finished and helped me carry her to the sitting room. We placed her beside her mother, and stepped back.
Yemi’s wrapper had fallen open as we lifted her, and it lay in a tangle on her thighs. Her breasts were hanging out, twin round mounds of smooth brown skin, and I found myself leaving Austin and walking over to her. She tried to twist away as I approach, but she was too well tied up. I paraded in front of her and her mum, the blood rising in my ears as I realized the women were in my power. I could do anything I wanted to them. It was a powerful feeling, and I was enjoying it. Austin reached out a hand to touch her breasts just as in the distance, a dog barked.
I stiffened my back and returned my focus to the task at hand. The sky was changing from a deep shade of black to a light shade of purple outside the window. More cocks were crowing now, and slowly, gradually, the world was waking up. I pulled Austin over. From the look on his face, he was thinking the same thing I was.
“Abeg leave am come make we talk wetin we go do. You know say morning go soon come. Make we dey go now.”
“Go where? See big house like this, big madam like this and you think say I no go collect something before I go. If na even one gold chain, I must to collect. You think say I no sabi beta thing?”
“Shebi I don already find you something now..”
“Leave that one. Say you find me something mean say I no go fit find myself something? I know say you wan run, but me be hustler. I dey hustle as I dey so. E no go bad if me sef find better thing here come follow you run commot this village.”
He leaned over madam, yanking the gag from her mouth. “Where your gold? Where your money?”
She was looking at him like a drugged rabbit, saliva drooling from the corner of her mouth and her eyes wide in fear. Her mouth opened and closed, but nothing came out.
“You no wan talk abi? You think say I get time to waste for here?”
He put the gag back in her mouth and came over to me. “You sabi wetin you go help me do now? Just waka go that kitchen find me knife. Two knife. I no go chook them, but I wan shalo dem make dem talk. This ones dey here dey waste time. Me no get time. Then if you see rope, bring am come. Do quick abeg.”
I did as he said. When I returned, he was bent over his captives, and he took one knife from me, pointing to where I should put the second. Austin smiled and sneered in their faces. “You no wan talk abi? Na just one time I go ask you again. WHERE YOUR MONEY?”
He yanked the gag from madam’s mouth, releasing a torrent of babbling and begging. The knife at her throat was a warning which she understood and obeyed, and the scream she wanted to release remained lodged in her throat.
“Tori Olorun. No kill us. Jo. We no get money for house. Na my husband dey hold the money and he no dey house. Abeg. No kill us. I use God beg you.”
Austin made a sound like an angry pig and looked at me. “See this woman think say I dey play for here. Just quiet there. If I wan kill una I for don kill una since, and nothing go happen. I resemble small pikin for your eye? If you no get money come show me where your gold dey.”
She was looking at me, tears streaming down her face. “Jo, omo mi….”
Austin threw back his head and laughed, a short, bitter laugh filled with irony.
“Who be your pikin? You no sabi that one when you dey pour am hot water?”
Before she could say any other thing, I reached over and stuffed the gag back into her mouth.
“I no be your pikin. God forbid. You are wicked, and na God say make I no die for your hand. No dey call me pikin now. You dey talk sorry. Na now you sabi beg.
Yemi’s wrapper was still open and her struggling had moved it further down her thighs. Her nether regions lay open, her smooth thighs a promise of lusher pleasures further down. I caught Austin looking at them. There was a wild, distracted gleam in his eye, and I did not like it. We were running out of time. I pulled him to one side.
“Wetin dey happen now? Time dey go.”
“No worry, no worry. No be help I don dey help you so? This woman wan stop my hustle. No lie. Dey look wetin I go do. we go soon commot.”
“Madam, you go answer me or you no go answer me? Where your money?”
The noises behind the gag and the shake of the head did not convince Austin. He took one end of the rope and tied it to the lintel of the door, then signaled me over. Together, we carried Yemi over to where the free end hung. Her wrapper fell off, and her thighs glistened in the lamplight, framing the dark forest between her legs. Austin licked his lips and wrapped his hands more tightly around her, easily overcoming her resistance. He held her in place while I tied her as he directed with her hands behind her back and attached to the free end of the rope.
“Madam, I don ask you and you dey waste my time. Make I ginger you small.”
“Clear am”, he said to me, making the motion with his foot.
I didn’t want to, but I needed Austin to leave the house, so I swept her legs out from under her.
The “pop” her shoulders made was loud enough to be heard even above the crowing cock announcing his awakening to the world. Her arms were swept backwards and upwards and her naked buttocks struck the ground hard like a slab of meat dropped on a butcher’s table. Sweat erupted on her forehead and gathered between her breasts, trickling down like a stream. Her eyes widened, her nose flared, and saliva escaped from the side of her lips as the scream she had let rip bubbled in her throat and came out little more than an explosive sigh.
A stream of urine escaped from between her legs, pooling around a crack on the floor. She moaned again and tried to lever herself to her feet. Her feet slipped in the puddle and she fell back on to the floor, where her scream of pain was held back by a forceful exhalation of air and the rag in her mouth. Her eyes were big and pleading, and her tears mixed with her sweat and streamed down her face and into the puddle.
Behind him, madam’s eyes were wide in shock and fear.
“You don ready answer me? Or make I ginger you again?”
Austin walked over and lifted Yemi to her feet. Her relief was short-lived, and I looked away in revulsion as he kicked her feet from under her again.
This time, she fell straight down and her arms shot up, breaking her fall and stopping her before she struck her bottom on the floor. She wouldn’t have felt the impact even if she had, because she had given a groan of pain and slumped to the floor unconscious, her arms still above her head.
“Austin abeg make we dey go. She say money no dey hou…..”
He rounded on me, furious. “Keep quiet there. Just close your mouth siddon for chair quiet. No make I vex for you sef.”
My eyes moved between his darkening face and the knife he had in his hand. He looked like he was going to stab me, and I backed away slowly, going to sit in one of the chairs.
Austin hefted the knife in his hand. Without missing a beat, he grabbed madam’s head by her hair and ran the knife through it, tossing the clumps on the ground. The sharp knife did its work well, and when he was through, her head was an uneven landscape of scalp and hair patches. He reached between her breasts and sliced downwards, tearing the gown she had on into two halves. Her huge breasts dropped off to the ground on either side of the roll of fat that is her stomach. I averted my eyes as he turned her over in disgust.
“See as your body be like amala, but if na to wicked, you go sabi am well well. Useless woman you think say na my time you dey waste. I go show you.”
I sank into the chair and watched from behind my splayed fingers as he retrieved the second knife, waved it in the air like he was about to perform a magic trick and struck her exposed back with it, using the flat of the blade like a paddle. The smell of burning flesh filled the air and the blade sizzled on the skin, little clouds of steam rising up from the sweat on her back. When Austin pulled off the knife, it was accompanied by a strip of skin wide as a tape rule and long as my hand.
Bitter bile rose in my throat, and I could taste my supper trying to come out as vomit as madam trashed on the ground. Her scream of pain escaped through the gag, making Austin jump and drop the knife. Her scream was cut short by a sharp intake of air as the knife dropped on the side of her stomach. The smell of burning flesh was almost overpowering. Austin stuffed the gag back in her mouth, ignoring her tears and running nose. She was trashing on the floor, tears mingling with her sweat and the blood from the two wounds on her body, and I find myself feeling sorry for her. She reminded me of how Mother cried when I was leaving home, and tears poured down my cheeks.
“You, why you dey cry? Come here my friend.”
Austin’s voice was strident. I jumped to my feet.
“Enter kitchen go bring me salt and small eeru (ashes). No waste my time, or na you go follow dem.”
I took the lantern and went into the kitchen, my mind in turmoil. I had no idea the escape would pan out this way. Austin was out of control, and I was powerless to stop him. I saw Mother’s face in my mind’s eye, and she didn’t look happy with me. She looked ashamed of me.
I wondered what I could do to end this as I packed up some ash and took a handful of salt, stretching my hand and standing on tiptoe to reach the topmost shelf where the salt was kept. The hot lantern brushed against my side, and I dropped it in pain and shock. It fell against the floor and shattered, and the light went out, plunging me into darkness. The lantern in the parlour was still shining, and I headed towards it, one hand leading the way and the other on the wall to navigate by. My shins and knees bumped obstacles out of the way, and with a final flourish, I turned around the corner of the doorway and into the parlour.
My jaw dropped at the spectacle before me.
THEY CALL ME A-ZED
Written by @ToluBablo
Based on MY NAME IS A-ZED by @thetoolsman
THEY CALL ME A-ZED Continues next week Thursday at 10:00 am