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(An Unpleasant Beginning)

By Darlington Chukwunyere

Copyright 2017 Darlington Chukwunyere

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About this book

This story was inspired by real life events. However, even though it might comprise of coincidental resemblances, in names of persons, places, and institutions, it was not meant to address a particular person or group of persons, places, or organizations/establishments.

Episode one

An Unpleasant beginning.

Julius raced as fast as his wheels could go. Every fading second meant how closer his family could be to an imminent doom. He knew his new wife Cynthia, too well. She doesn’t watch or listen to the news, and he so wished today would have been an exception, because her life and that of their little baby would virtually depend on it. A blood thirsty dragon has broken lose. He must get home quick to secure his family.
Cynthia wiped her face with a dry napkin as she heaped the baby-wears she’d just offloaded from the washing machine, and then took a deep breath. She’s been washing all morning. Apparently she woke up around 5am as usual and made breakfast for Julius her sweet husband who is too serious with his job as a newly promoted Inspector. For the past four hours she’s been up to one house chore or the other and baby Sam has unfortunately been of no encouragement today at all. It was just as if her 11months, 3 weeks and 6days old son was having a hang-over from several bottles of beer overnight, because she’d just finished changing the ninth diaper of the day as at 10:am “what’s with the continuous urinating this morning?” she’d wondered. The sweet little boy has a way of showing signs of illnesses, unlike her pares. “Could this be a symptom? Of what, then?”
The thought of Sam falling sick always gave her collywobbles… this was how much she loved her only child who would clock One tomorrow.
She had made all necessary preparations regarding her baby’s day out. She decided to bake and design the cake herself; not to save cost, but to show how far she can go in giving Little Sam the very best in life.
Within a short period of time, Julius had already proven to be a wonderful husband; he’s never given her a course to regret being a full-time housewife even though they’ve argued over it on one or two occasions but somehow the sly police man had managed to convince his coy wife not to worry about getting a job, he’s just been the perfect man for her.
Certainly, no one would ever term Cynthia Umezulike a jobless woman because she’s a fool-time house wife; the job of being a mother can never be compared with any other as tedious, let alone being a full-house-mother (as Cynthia would always prefer being addressed). She’s always been by herself alone in the house, from AM to the PM every week. Her only companions, Sam and the TV, could sometimes make things difficult for her… just like today… Sam had been wetting his diapers over and over again; her favorite morning programme had just been displaced by an unscheduled news flash.
The uninteresting TV’s voice even echoed down the hallway as she made her way to and from the washing machine with Sam’s dirty diapers. That’s it; she wouldn’t take it anymore, Nigerian Television Authority had nothing for her all morning, maybe she’d try other channels, or perhaps try her new Beauty-and-the-Beast Series.
Just as she was about switching channels, something called her attention to the NTA news caster… the rebroadcast of the newly elected governor’s first speech which she had missed last night, thanks to Julius who was too horny to let her concentrate. This would be another chance to listen to her favorite governor once again.
The new governor was quite an orator. He had won all pre-election debates and had actually attracted major votes with his oratory. Now that he has won the general elections, everyone was expecting more oratory… and he was actually living up to expectations, until he said,

“In pertinence to my seven point agenda, this administration would hereby grant pardon to every convicted prisoner confined within the state prison for the past fifteen years and above. This would as a first step to realizing our seven point agenda, show the good people of this state and indeed the world in general that the war against crime can only be conquered with love…”
This was good news! It was so evident in the TV from the response of the people in the background. I mean, who wouldn’t be so excited to celebrate freedom? However, the sudden warp on Cynthia’s face after the pronouncement showed that she had a different opinion.

Truly, this was no good news for a nursing wife of a young detective who single-handedly prosecuted the nailing of Chief Dallas Iwere, the head of the Iwere drug family.
Julius had pursued the case for seven years until an Iwere shot a client who happened to be a nosy police officer, Julius’s best friend for that matter. The shooter left a trace, and Julius took the dive to the hangman’s noose. He was lucky, he got away with it. He killed the boy in return fire, and it turned out to be that the boy was Chief Iwere’s only son. His best friend Julius survived the gun shot, but wished he hadn’t because the events that followed the death of Meche Iwere declared every police officer in the city hunted. Chief Iwere had a long connection with top politicians in the state, so he received no meaningful refrain or threat from any law enforcement agency at all. Instead, his boys kept dropping police officers until people began wondering if some persons were truly above the law.
However, for Julius and his remaining officers, the heat got to a point of no retreat, no surrender, and the hunter eventually became the haunted. Julius had dived into the case headfirst, without minding the consequences. Chief Iwere did everything he could to have his pound of flesh from Julius, but Julius always got lucky. Finally, miraculously, he nailed him, and sent him to jail, and was given a massive promotion for his heroic stunts afterwards.
Now, the problem is, all the officers who were directly or indirectly involved in the conviction of Chief Iwere; starting from the first arrest of Chief Iwere, to the court testimonials, and to the presiding jury, have all been found dead, murdered.
In the courtroom, during the final verdict, when asked if he had any further comments; he was mute for a while, and suddenly he grinned at the judge with an is-that-all-you’ve-got look, and then turned to Julius and said:
“Our hero… Clap for yourself. Just pray to your god I stay in jail forever.”
It was gathered that he also issued out a resounding warning to the entire Iwere drug family never to lay a finger on the police officer who sent him to jail; or even any member of his family… until he is out of jail.
Though it didn’t sound so much like a threat as at when it was issued out, now that he’s out of jail 15years later, maybe Cynthia should re-consider the last sentence “just pray I stay in Jail forever”.
The truth is, for the past fourteen years, Cynthia knew they were being stalked. They’ve been marked by the Iwere family. She sees them everywhere; they always watch her every-move, from market to church and back to the house, and even when she travels out of town like few weeks ago when she noticed a huge black guy sitting adjacent her row in the bus she’d boarded in Ibadan. He’d constantly stolen looks at her and it wasn’t like he was crushing. It was obviously more like the eagle-eye; and her fears were confirmed when the guy stretched his hands to check his wrist watch. That was when she saw the family tattoo on him.
She’d also tried convincing Julius of her findings but he’d always talked her out of the “obsession”, he’d call it.
Now, she wished there could be an immediate repeat of the broadcast at least for her to be double-sure and not to raise false alarm, because she was going to call Julius right away.
Chief Iwere is a man of few words who’s so famous for his taciturnity that people call him the crocodile. The only time the croc opens his mouth is either breakfast time, launch, or dinner time… so does Chief Iwere, his threats are always real.

A little survey of history would attest to this fact.

Justice Ebong, the judge who sounded the gavel that sent him to jail, was found stack naked in his office two weeks later after the sentence, but he was very cold and rigid by the time he was discovered. A lot of people had wondered how the killer made it past the immense security of the state high court premises without being noticed. Although the state commissioner of police had promised the state judiciary to bring the killers to book, his promise remained unmet until his tenure elapsed.
Two years ago, the last of the testifiers whose testimonies were the thick exhibits that finalized the nailing of Chief Iwere was found in a waste dump, beheaded. Same thing had also happened to the other three testifiers few years back.
The last, and most recent of all was the mysterious way Julius’s partner who also testified against the Iwere family in court got shot in the head, right in his office at the police station, but no gunshot was heard. The horrible image of his shattered skull and spilled brain that covered his office desk, currently occupied the front page of Daily News.
Her major concern was not just her own life, but the life of their new baby boy little Sam. Although born into a world of misfortune and wickedness, little Sam seemed not bothered about anything at all, he was just all about his cot, jumping from his mother’s laps to the floor and back to his cot. He only stopped laughing when he is breast feeding… and this was the only solace Cynthia had; little Sam was her only companion whenever Julius was away.
The receiver beeped, and she had it up; “hello sweetie pie” a deep voice whispered… it was the same voice, the same man who’d been monitoring them since her husband’s death. “Who are you? Leave us alone, will you!” Cynthia yelled into the receiver, but the man giggled over her demands. “You didn’t mean to ask me to stay away from my pretty angel and my…” “Go to hell, whoever you are. Don’t you ever dial this line again!” she screamed, and hung up the conversation; but it wasn’t the first time she was saying it, that was exactly how she’d reacted the last time the man had called, and so, I guess she would certainly have to through that again.
At this point, everywhere was at least quiet for the mean time. Cynthia sank into a sofa, tear drops rolling down her cheek. Little Sam seemed observant of the situation, so he crawled into his mother’s lap, queering gracefully into her eyes as if asking her why she was distressed… I bet he would have done so but he was yet to communicate his thoughts in speech, all he could ever do was laugh or cry, but he preferred the laughing thing to crying. Cynthia couldn’t control her emotions anymore, as she stared back into the face of her innocent baby whom life wouldn’t just allow the fair leverage of freedom and parental care. She always wondered what could be the fate of her little baby if anything should happen to her.
The long silence was shortened as the doorbell rang. It was work hour, the neighbors had all gone out and she wasn’t expecting anyone. Well, maybe it could be her husband detective Julius, she’d thought. After losing her husband to the repercussion of her past lifestyle, she’d subsequently found new love with her husband’s partner, but must never reveal her true identity to him. Cynthia walked to the door, the bell chimed again. “Yeah, who’s there?” her voice shuddered as she spoke. The bell rang again, but no one spoke. It was rather strange of inspector Julius, who would normally crack a joke or two, when asked, ‘who’s there’ but this time whoever it was said nothing.
Cynthia managed up some courage and asked again, but there was no response. She tiptoed back to the sofa, grabbed Sam, and ran upstairs. She was shaking all over; so many thoughts ‘toing’ and ‘froing’ her head. She picked up the receiver and dialed 911, but she couldn’t co-ordinate her report, so the officer hung up on her. There was nothing else she could think of as it was so obvious that some sort of trouble was on its way coming. She wrapped Sam in a blanket—I guess this didn’t go down well with little witty Sam who immediately began to kick and pull against the fabric, humming and chuckling… he didn’t know there was danger coming anyway.
She searched for her cellular, but remembered she’d left it on a stool downstairs. She was so scared to go down there again, not anywhere close to that door; but she needed to speak to detective Julius, and she had to do it as soon as possible. She safely locked Sam in, slit the keys in her shorts, and made her way downstairs, for her cellular.
Her heart limped when she met a strange looking man seated cross-legged, right beside her cellular. “Who’re you?” she asked with her last breath. “Wow, look who we have here. So, we meet at last, huh?” “What’ you want from me?” “Hmm, they were right you know. You don’t look bad at all. Johnnie was quite selfish to have you all to himself.” Thence, It dawned on Cynthia that this wasn’t just about her late husband’s death, there was more to it that needed more than just a glance, this man has a root, he’s after something, but what it was, she was yet to know. All she ever wanted was the safety of her son, this she’d first secured before coming downstairs… but she was wrong.
She heard Sam’s voice across the staircase, he was playing with someone and it’s like they were both climbing down the stairs. “Please, not my son!” Cynthia screamed. Take me instead.“Relax, Mrs. Johnnie, don’t hurt your head okay? If you co-operate with us, no one is going to get hurt I promise…” “Please take whatever you want, the gadgets, the car keys, whole house, and everything! But please I beg you in God’s name, don’t hurt my son; he’s all I’ve got left in this world.
Sam and the man came into view; it was as though Sam had known the man all his life. They both concurred like father and son.
“Jeff? What do you want from me again? I thought you’ve done your worst by killing my husband? So, what else do you want from us?” “Everyone knows your husband died in a train crash, ma-am.” The man began, “you’ve not changed one bit. Always dwelling in the past. Johnnie is dead and buried… that’s quite a long time ago honey.” And then he sniggered. “You lie! You lie!” Cynthia screamed. “A knife wound was discovered on his chest after the crash—the doctors confirmed the cut to had been three hours before the real crash… you killed my husband and faked a train crash to cover up your evil deed, you murderer!” “Wow! Bravo, my pretty genius. So you knew all this while? Well, you have no evidence or how would you prove me wrong, honey?”
“Have you not done enough? What else do you want from us?” “I want my son! You didn’t believe I was going to leave my son to the credit of your impotent husband, did you?” this put Cynthia away for a while that she didn’t say a word or move any limb again for close to an hour… “So, that’s what this is all about?” “Yeah, my love.” The man affirmed. “But you denied responsibility of the baby?” Cynthia cut in harshly. “You said you were not ready to raise a family. (Sarcastically) you said you needed no distraction from your business, your drug business?”

“Yeah, you’re right you know… but your officious husband spoilt my business. He tipped me off to the customs. I lost a whole shipload of my consignments—my life investment… now tell me, does he deserve to live?”
“Yes! Yes, he did so to save the souls you waste everyday on the streets. Do you at all know how many destinies you destroy every day on the streets, with your devilish drugs?”
“Look here little girl, I’m not here for a word battle with you, I’m here to take my son home—isn’t it high time he knew who his true father is?”
Those words did not go down well with Cynthia, it was as if she’d been stung by a bee… “Never! Not on your life! My son will never have a drug dealer as a father!”
“Well,” the man interrupted, “I guess you were right, it’s going to be over your dead body.”
He pulled a revolver from his pocket. “Go ahead! Kill me as you killed my husband! I’ll rather die than watch you take my son away!” there was silence afterwards. The only sound heard was Little Sam’s intermittent laughing. He was looking at his falling mother, I guess he thought she was playing with the men… and he seemed to have been enjoying the joke.
Beside little Sam’s, another sound heard was a cricking trigger, it was succeeded by a gunshot…
Cynthia fell down on her knees, her bones were weakened, and her face blurred. She was muttering some in-audible sentences, and I guess she was saying a prayer for her son... she’d been shot in the head.
“I never signed up for this madness. You said her husband only owe you a debt of six million naira…” the other man reprimanded. “Why? Why kill a nursing mother? Why!” “It’s the only option can’t you see? She knows too much…” Jeff justified, “but that’s no good reason to kill her, a nursing mother? What would you then do with her baby?”
“The baby is mine!” Jeff countered aggressively. He looked around the living room, over Cynthia’s lifeless body… “You see that? That’s what you get when you talk too much…” Jeff’s lips were still agape, his hands holding firm to his revolver, but what happened next was mystery.
Both men lay dead on the floor… Everyone in the house was dead.


Detective Julius pulled over as soon as he got to the gate. The gate was open, but he couldn’t sight the gate-man. Although he had scores to settle with the Iwere family, he certainly was not expecting them any time soon, he was only trying to anticipate caution. He froze, as soon as he got to his living room. It was littered with the lifeless bodies, including His wife Cynthia who was gasping for her last.
“Noooo! Please Noooo! Please stay with me!” he screamed, as he scurried to resuscitate his bleeding wife. But he was late. He couldn’t feel her pulse anymore.
He blamed himself for arriving so late, as he battled Cynthia’s lungs with countless CPRs, but just then, a sound came from upstairs; he fastened his fingers round the booth of his pistol, and followed the direction of the sound quietly as his heart began to accelerate rapidly. The noise came again, and this time, it was clearer than the earlier. He braced behind a beam under the staircase and waited patiently… some footsteps were slowly stepping down the stairs…

Patiently, he calculated the footstep in his raging pulse, waiting anxiously for the final beat… and there, it came. A huge black man, with a single-barrel Revolver 22. The man had seen him first, but he was faster… and the guns spoke. Julius didn’t shoot to kill, he took out both arms of his adversary and made to interrogate him. But he’d apparently misplaced his last shot, which had profusely pierced the man’s heart. Too late, the man only muttered two words before gaping his last: “The Baron”
“The baron?” he’d wondered. How could it had been the Baron family? This was another dangerous drug and oil bunkering family that was dreaded by even the federal government. What connection had they with the Iweres? Things were becoming more complicated and unpleasant. From the sudden twists, he should have more surprises coming; and so he reloaded his revolver.
Something called his attention. The big man had a photograph of familiar faces on his breast pocket. He picked up the photograph which contained a group-selfie of three half-naked girls. The faces of the first two girls had been crossed with a red ink. The third girl looked very familiar. He looked closer. And it was Cynthia, his wife.
Another striking thing was that the girls were all titled. The first one was Lisa. The middle one was written Bukky. And the last one, Cynthia, was written Sharon. He could also remember that the Baron Crime family were also involved in high profile human-trafficking and prostitution. Could it be that Cynthia had a dark past with the Barons?
Suddenly, Julius remembered his little baby. He rushed upstairs, to the cot. But little Sam was not there. He searched under the bed, the wardrobe, he ran to the kitchen, raised the cabinets, there was nothing…
He couldn’t bear the present reality. Some unknown men had just killed his wife, and abducted his only child. But he was going to get to the root of it all. The first big question is: if the Iwere Family was not responsible for this attack, who then is responsible?

Hey, the story continues. Thank you for reading my book. Hope you found it fun enough to buy the subsequent episodes? I would also appreciate if you find time to leave me a review at your favorite retailer, or visit my website at www.viddawood.com


Darlington Chukwunyere

About the Author

Darlington Chukwunyere is a Nigerian writer of prose, drama and poetry. In 2007, he began freelance writing for five major local newspapers in Owerri; The Nigerian Horn. National Question, the Statesman, Frontline Newspaper, and the Strides. Studied theatre and Film Arts, at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka. By 2010, he had published his first collection of poems online on www.poemhunter.com and subsequent short stories on www.storystar.com. Presently, you can buy his works of prose and poetry on Amazon, with the name Darlington Chukwunyere.
During his NYSC, he announced his arrival into the Nigerian movie industry by writing and directing his debut movie “Threshold” which was shot in Ondo State where he served his country for one year. Ever since, he has been actively involved in the Nollywood home video industry with so many screenplays to his credit. He is the founder of Viddawood, a script manufacturing company that markets already-made movie scripts, on sale at www.viddawood.com
In 2014, Darlington Joined the civil society sector, where he managed a USAID Civic Engagement Project in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In January 2017, he founded an organization named Visual Dimensions of Development Activism in West Africa (VIDDA West Africa), a platform he created for Good Governance Advocacy through the collection and circulation of videos and pictures that contain evidences of Bad Governance, Human Rights Abuse and most importantly, providing advocacy tools for Civil Society Organizations. with so many screenplays to his credit. He is the founder of Viddawood, a script manufacturing company that markets already-made movie scripts.
In 2014, Darlington Joined the civil society sector, where he managed a USAID Civic Engagement Project in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In January 2017, he founded an organization named Visual Dimensions of Development Activism in West Africa (VIDDA West Africa), a platform he created for Good Governance Advocacy through the collection and circulation of videos and pictures that contain evidences of Bad Governance, Human Rights Abuse and most importantly, providing advocacy tools for Civil Society Organizations.

Connect with Darlington:

Visit my website: www.viddawood.com

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Email: darlingtonchukwunyere@gmail.com

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