Before the darkness chapter 14
Eric shifted on the cold concrete bench. His back ached, so did
his legs. He had now been in the police cell for hours and no
position he tried was convenient anymore. He stood and screamed
in frustration. The policeman seated out his cell eyed him and
went back to his work. The policemen were keeping a close eye on
him, they always had someone watching. And they were smart to
do that. He had not seen too many policemen in the station when
he was brought in so he had thought of nothing but escape for
the first few hours.
Escaping was not possible he had come to find out. He walked to
the iron bars that closed him up in the cell. He touched them
again. The iron bars were thick, they were not meant to be
escaped from. He sighed and went back to sit on the concrete
He had often wondered why people took their own lives. He
always felt it was a cowardly thing to do, and he believed that
anyone who committed suicide really deserved the death. He was
not sure anymore. He did not see the reason for his life. He had
done all the good he could and become as successful as he could
be, yet he was going to jail for a crime he did not commit.
“Hey you!” He heard a voice call and he looked up. “You have a
visitor and you have five minutes only and she can only talk to
you from the other side of the metal barricade.”
He stood from his bench and walked forward.
“Eric…” It was his secretary – Pearl. “How did you know I was
here?” He was surprised to see her.
“I found out and that doesn’t matter right now. I gave the cop
just two thousand naira and that will soon expire.”
“Oh, why did you do that? I thought you were here to bail me
“Bail you? Have you forgotten you jumped bail once? You are here
until you go to court!”
He sighed and said. “How long is that going to take? I can’t
survive here for long.”
“That is exactly why I am here.” She said and she began to
smile. “You are going free Eric!”
“What? How? Why?” He asked, his eyes wide.
“One of the girls that was supposed to testify against you
suddenly grew a conscience. She says she was paid to testify
against you. Get this; she also witnessed the murder!”
“So what are we waiting for? Let’s get her to court
immediately!” He said.
“We will be in court tomorrow! Your lawyer is making that happen
right now. Eric, you could be cleared from all your charges
“So, I’ll walk tomorrow? And I was beginning to have suicidal
thoughts.” He said and started to pace.
“Suicide? Eric Adesesan considered suicide? Well, you are not in
the clear yet. Even if the judge dismisses the case immediately,
you will still have to be punished for jumping bail. What were you
“It’s a long story Pearl, you don’t want to hear it on your two
thousand naira’s worth of time.”
“Whatever this long story is, please don’t let it happen
tomorrow. If somehow you don’t show up tomorrow…”
“Hey, I’m in jail, where on earth am I going? I just hope…”
“Your time is up Madam!” The voice of the policeman rang from
behind her. “Leave now or I will throw you in jail with him.”
“Eric, your lawyer will be here later, okay? I will see you in court
tomorrow. I will, right?”
Eric nodded and smiled as she walked out. If he was able to leave
the court on time, he could possibly still help Sango save the
He looked up and saw that the policeman at the desk had gone
out after Pearl. It was the first time there was nobody watching
him. He shrugged and returned to the bench. He was just about
to sit when he heard footsteps in the hallway. Maybe a new
policeman was coming to take over. The footsteps got closer and
suddenly he began to feel nervous.
The steps got closer and then a man stepped out in front of
him. The man wore a dark grey three-piece suit, a white shirt
and a blue tie. He carried a bag in his left hand and the right
hand was stuck in his pocket. Eric looked at the man curiously
but the man ignored him. Was he a lawyer?
“Hello, who are you?” Eric asked.
The man looked at him for the first time and smiled. The smile
sent chills down Eric’s spine. Who was this man? The man set his
bag on the floor and unzipped it. He dipped his left hand into it
and brought out a small black object. Eric’s heart was racing
now as he looked closer; it was a gun!
Oh my God!
The man moved towards him and pointed the gun at his head.
“Who are you? Why are you killing me?” Eric asked with a weak
voice. He had never felt so helpless.
“I bring greetings from the Professor.” The man said and put his
hand on the trigger.
Eric closed his eyes and his legs gave way under him as he heard
the man pull the trigger. He fell to the ground with pain in his
chest. He put his hand on the spot – it was dry. He opened his
eyes and looked all over himself. There was no blood! He looked
up at where the man stood; he was leaning on the metal
barricades with a hole in his head.
Eric jumped up and then he saw a man standing a few feet away
from the body. He was a short and stocky man. He was putting a
gun in the pocket of his leather jacket. The barrel of the gun
seemed to have been bent backward. He moved closer to the
metal rods and pushed away the assassin. He looked at the iron
bars and he grabbed two of them and pulled them apart!
Eric backed away in shock! The man had pushed the rods apart as
if they were made of candle wax. The man stretched his hands
and beckoned him to come.
“Who are you and what are you doing?”
“My name is Ogun, the others are in danger, they need us now!”
Eric stared at him with his mouth open. Ogun- the god of
President Lange could feel his body shaking. He held his hands in
front of his face and saw how visible his shaking was. His phone
was ringing every minute but he had not picked any call. He
considered switching it off but somehow he still held on to the
hope that Shina will call him from Abuja to say he had found the
real terrorist and that the news from Minna was just a rumour.
But he knew the truth, he knew what he was doing was mere
He picked up his phone; he had thirty four missed calls and
seventy three messages. He knew all these calls were important
and sooner or later he would have to talk to all these people but
it was not time. He went to the messages and scrolled through
the senders. Now he regretted giving so many people his private
number. Many of the foreign ambassadors had called him, some
of them would want to help but most of them will only make
demands and put pressure on him.
He kept scrolling then paused. He had received a message from
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the Masked Terrorist! He clenched his teeth and opened the
I promised not to call and I won’t.
Whenever you decide your people do not deserve to die,
Call me and we will name our terms!
Lange placed the phone on his bed and walked away from it. He
was done talking with him. He walked in front of the standing
mirror beside his wife’s dresser and looked at his reflection. He
looked old and weak. He could not say he had done great as
president but he had gotten more than he asked for, more than
he thought possible.
He walked away from the mirror and to his shoe cabinet. He
picked a pair and wore them. He had sworn to be a president,
even if he had no idea on what to do, the least he could do was
to show his face in his office. He walked towards the door and
then he remembered his phone. He was just picking up the phone
when it began to ring. It was his wife.
He considered not talking to her until the solution was found for
all the problems he had created for the nation. That way he
would have something to say when he talked to her. He was not
sure that would ever happen. He sighed and answered the call.
“Hello Susan.” He said.
“Mr. President, I’m sure you have heard about the darkness
spreading in Minna. And in case you forgot, that is where your
dear wife is!”
“I know Susan, I’m so sorry. I wish I could be there with you, I
wish I could hold you in my arms and tell you everything will be
okay. I’m so sorry Susan.”
“Well, you had your chance and you chose another woman.” She
said and there was a brief silence. “Look Johnson, I did not call
to fight. I just called to ask if you are making any attempt to
“Susan, I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t know…” tears were
already pooled in his eyes.
“So, you are doing nothing, right? Remember how you went all
out for your mistress? You put the whole country – including
your legitimate wife at risk for her. History won’t forget you –
President Lange, the man who gave his all to save his mistress
and left his wife to die. Goodbye Johnson, I hope you treat your
next wife better.” She said and ended the call.
Lange looked at the phone and the tears poured down his face.
He scrolled through his contacts and called the terrorist.
“I want to meet. I will send you the address and the rules of
engagement.” He said and ended the call before the terrorist
He dialled the number of his Vice President, he picked at first
“Mr. President, I have called you severally.”
“Listen to me carefully.” Lange began. “I was always going to
hand over this presidency to you, although I thought it was going
to be after eight years of working together. The next few hours
will be critical and anything may happen. As soon as I can’t be
reached for more than four hours, I want you to take over the
presidency immediately! Even if they don’t make it official, they
will still listen to you; they respect you as much as they respect
me. Alhaji, the nation is counting on you, I am counting on you.”
He ended the call without the Vice President saying a word.
He doubted that he deserved redemption for the harm he had
caused the nation. The least he could do is to try and salvage
what was left of his reputation, even if it meant losing his life.
He was tired of waiting but he was not sure if there was more
he could do. Damola had sent the address of his location to Esu
but he had not acknowledged receiving it neither had he
answered any of his subsequent calls. Something had to be wrong.
He was in a hurry for him to come. And maybe his haste was
more because of Anne than Esu. He wondered what she had been
through or how she escaped. He looked at his watch again. The
darkness had started to spread and he had no idea how long it
would take it to mature. Once it did, it meant he was going to
die along with the other residents of the city.
He had had enough. He crept out from behind a pile of logs
where he had been hiding and slowly moved towards the house.
Sarkin Aljan had stayed in the room with the portal since he
arrived, he would have to fight and win him to get to the
portal. He was not sure if it was a good idea to take on Sarkin
Aljan but he knew he would have to fight him at a point; the
earlier the better. As he crawled closer to the building he heard
Sarkin Aljan talking to one of his men. He paused and listened.
“Tonight we meet the president. I expect him to hand over the
country to us, his wife is here you know. Get everything
prepared, we will make our broadcast from Abuja. Get me a big
flag of Nigeria and then use…” The voice faded out.
Damola moved closer to the building and peeped inside, Sarkin
Aljan had left the room. He heard the engine of a car start
outside and he peeked; Sarkin Aljan was leaving with a few of his
This was his chance! He would get to destroy the portal without
even fighting Sarkin Aljan. He rose to his feet and matched
towards the building. Two of the guards noticed him and pointed
their guns, he threw his right hand in their direction and they
were hit by fire-bolts, they fell unconscious. He got to the edge
of the building and paused. He peeped at the front of the
building, there were five men there. Three of them were lying
down on their backs on the floor, the other two held their guns
combat ready. He raised right hand and shot two bolts of
lightning at the two men carrying the guns, they fell down and
one of their guns discharged. The other three stood and three
lightning bolts hit them in quick succession. The men were all
down. He shook his head, it was too easy.
He ran and quickly stepped into the building. The portal was
working at full force now. There were several bright blue sparks
and a few red ones. He could not get as close to the portal as he
wanted because of the metal barricade Sarkin Aljan had installed.
If he would stop the portal, it would have to be from behind the
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, then he put his hand
around the barricade. The fire came from both his hands and
then he released it. He felt a pressure against his hands and he
opened his eyes. The fire was stopping at the barricades; there
was an invisible wall stopping it. He could not understand. He
closed his eyes and tried again. The invisible wall resisted again
and he pushed harder. He started to feel pain in his hand but he
could not stop. There was no gain without pain, the nation
needed him. He felt the pressure against his hand start to spread
to his chest and his face but still he did not stop.
And suddenly, there was an explosion and he felt himself go up in
the air. He crashed against the wall of the building and fell down
in a heap. He could not hear anything but the hum of the portal.
Pain enveloped his body, no part of him seemed to be functional.
His eyes began to close but he struggled against it. Whatever
happened, he had to be alive if and when Sarkin Aljan came back.
Or else, he was as good as dead.
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