We hurried out from the air conditioned Airport lounge into the
field and the hot sun. we approached cautiously as the Leopard
remained as still as a statue, looking on ahead, its whiskers
blowing in the hot early afternoon breeze.
Around us, activity continued as people and goods moved
around, oblivious of things going on beyond the veil of physical
“You are seeing this, right?” I asked Jenny, not taking my eyes
off the beast for a single moment.
“I am not hallucinating right?”
Jenny nodded slowly. she looked quite frightened as if she
expected the beast to turn and charge us at any moment. It sat
on its haunches, its two beautiful tails swishing excitedly behind
it. It looked tense, hungry, as if it were out on a hunt. but i
reasoned that couldn’t be possible, it was just a manifestation.
Our man-animal had still not fed since last night.
“There you are!” We heard a voice coming up behind us.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for both of you.”
We whirled around to see Mr. Obi walking towards us. I turned
back and saw that the Leopard had vanished.
“Where did you go?” Jenny demanded. Mr Obi raised up
something wrapped in a piece of newspaper.
“I didn’t see anything i would like in the restaurant and i
remembered a woman was selling roasted plantain by the side
of the road, so i decided to stroll out and get some for myself.
Hope i didn’t take too long?”
I looked at him. The yellow fire that had encompassed him
earlier had been dying down on our way to the airport but right
now it was back in full force.
“Are you sure its only bole you want to eat?” i asked.
He smiled at me.
“Okay, honestly after i came out of the men’s room i went to
ask the cook whether they had any chicken and he said it’s only
fried goat meat they have and i don’t like the taste of goat meat.
I also bought some suya along with the bole but i wanted to
devour it myself later. Do you think that was selfish of me?”
The look on Jenny’s face was scary. she seemed to want to say
something and i quickly cut her off.
“Nah, not scary at all. I like keeping some things to myself too,
we all do right Jenny?”
“Y…Yeah.” Jenny said.
Mr. Obi looked at her. “Jenny? Are you alright? You look
scared.” He turned back to me. “What happened while i was
“Nothing,” i said. “Let’s go back to the car, I’m sure the driver
will be waiting for us now. That would be a nice change for once
Obi and I laughed and as soon as he turned his head i pinched
Jenny on the arm. she yanked her arm away.
“The bastard!”
“Calm down Jenny,” I said,
“We still don’t know if he is the one.”
“How can you say that?” Jenny cried,

“He is here, the leopard appeared, of course it’s him!”
“Or it may be he is in contact with the creature, maybe he just
got off a call with him, maybe he was thinking about the
creature, these manifestations are not usually straight forward
you know.”
“You are letting your likeness for him cloud your
judgement…”Jenny said.
“And you are letting your hatred for the creature cloud yours!” i
“It looked like you were about to confront him here and now!
What if he had denied having anything to do with the leopard?
Then we would have alerted him or his accomplice that we know
what they are doing and we still wouldn’t have any solid proof.
Calm down Jenny. The man-animal is hungry, and hungry
people make mistakes. We’ll tail him back to his house and see
if we can catch him in a more compromising position. Make
absolutely sure that he is the one, before we take any action.”
Jenny remained quiet and i could see she was struggling within
herself to follow my logic. The truth was that i was disheartened
that Mr. Obi seemed to have something to do with the creature
after-all and i fervently wanted to believe he was the accomplice
and not the blood thirsty beast itself, not that it would have
made it any less of a crime on his part but maybe he was being
coerced against his will.
Also i didn’t want Jenny doing anything rash like attacking him
in full view of everybody around, it would be awkward explaining
the reason for the fight. We had to get him at a more opportune
Jenny sighed and followed me as i went to catch up with Mr Obi.
I was right, the driver was waiting for us this time.
During the ride back, Jenny hardly said a word and i had to keep
up lively conversation with Mr,Obi so as not to arouse any
suspicion. i vainly sought to see another manifestation but all
that came out were what i had seen before and that yellow
flame. It was definitely a suppressant of sorts.
“So, Mr. Obi, this one we are in Asaba, where are you staying?
Do you have family here as well or are you staying in a hotel?”
“Oh, I don’t have any family near here,” Mr. Obi said.
“I’m staying in a hotel. It’s quite close to yours actually. The
one at the junction just before your own.”
“How come you didn’t stay in my hotel na?” i asked him
“Ha! That your hotel is expensive oh; and the firm is footing
your bill. Me, I’m paying for myself and besides i like the place, it
is nice and quiet. One can do what he wants there without much
scrutiny from people around.” And he winked.
We drove on back to the city and the driver dropped Mr Obi off
at his place. It was true, his hotel was a mere fifteen minute
walk from my place. the car dropped me off and before i left i
said to Jenny.
“Meet me at my place tonight by 9pm. We are going to do all-
night. Jenny’s face lit up a little.
“Now of all times that i am in a bad mood and you finally cave
in. Should i bring a change of clothes?”
“It’s not what you think,you naughty girl.” i said.
“Tonight we are going to spy on Mr Obi. I believe he will go out
hunting with his friend and when he does we’ll be there to catch
him in the act.”
“You mean, like a stakeout?” Jenny said smiling.
“That’s right,” I said.
“You watch the right movies. We are going on a stake-out.”
if only I knew…..


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