His hands quivered on the stirring wheel, while his legs worked wonders on the throttle of the seinna vehicle thereby getting the tyres rotating like never before. He stumbled on potholes and occasionally driven towards a bush in other to maintain balance. Though he never believed he was the one driving the car like on one of James Bond movies that gets his eyes glued on the screen. Beside him on the front seat was Ken, who occasionally looked back to know if any of the armed men or soldiers were after them. The first back seat was occupied by Mrs Ukachi, Jade and her father who bled seriously from his belly. Already, Jade had started shedding tears as she applied pressure on the bullet wound. “Hold on Daddy” she said and directed her eyes to Wisdom, the driver. “Please, take us to the hospital!!” she exclaimed, feeling the galloping movement of the vehicle.
“Here, let me help you” Mrs Ukachi began to loose Mr Raymond’s necktie and belt for easy respiration. Jade stared at her when she placed her hand on the belt to loose it like a woman who’s hungry to perform a blow job on a man. Of course Mrs Ukachi understood the stare, so she said, “Don’t look at me that way, he needs easy respiration. In fact, he needs to take off his shirt let’s tie the bullet wound with it to prevent not only lost of blood but also air from entering into the stomach”
Jade said nothing, but concured with her.
“Jade” the father called her as he began to lose his breathing normality, but Wisdom and others could hear him clearly. “I want to confess that Mr Dennis isn’t responsible for my missing documents. I set him up for that and had him thrown into the prison. Please, tell the son to forgive me”
Jade looked at Wisdom who quickly glanced at her then concentrated on the stirring wheel again. Only both understood what the man said. Just then, a shout came from the last seat of the sienna where Esther and her parents seated. She was the one who shouted for seeing blood gushing out from her mothers stomach too. A bullet must had touched her too without her knowledge. She had advanced in age, hence Esther wasn’t her only child. She bore three more children before her as the last born. Mr Chukwudi, the old husband, stared at the dying wife without knowing what to say, but the daughter shouted at him saying, “Daddy, do something!!” Already, the woman had given off the ghost in her. Of course that was why the old man became speechless. Even Mrs Ukachi noticed it.
“Daddy!!” Esther shouted again, holding the mother.
“Your mother is dead” Mrs Ukachi announced. Esther swiftly looked at her, while others, even Ken stared at the dead woman. She averted her eyes to her father to see tears rolling from his eyes. Only then did it come into her mind that she won’t see her mother again. So she cried in a loud voice in such a way that only her voice was heard inside the vehicle. Others became emotional for the ghost to pass away. Suddenly, Wisdom and Ken sighted another vehicle through the side mirror, coming after them from behind. Before they could say anything, they saw one of the men in black attire, shooting at them from the vehicle.
“Jeez!” Wisdom topped another gear. “Who are these men? They just came out from nowhere, shooting at the soldiers, and now they are after us. What’s going on?”
“They are after me” Ken replied, while Wisdom stared at him likewise Jade and Mrs Ukachi who heard him.
“What.. what.. what business do you have with them?”
The mother’s blood pressure began to go high. “Ken, what are you talking about? And what even happened in the land of zero?”
Ken’s voice came like that of a warrior again. “This is no time for explanation and interrogation. Wisdom, move this car!!” Just then, another bullets from the men hit their vehicle thereby making Esther and others to scream.
“Well, shoot back at them!” Wisdom told Ken.
He brought out a gun to his mother’s amazement.
“What? My son has a gun? Ken, what are you doing with a gun?”
Ken ignored her. “Everybody bend down!” he brought out his head through the front glass, aimed the gun anyhow at their vehicle then pulled the trigger thrice. He regained his sitting position. “We can’t outrun them. Take them to any nearest hospital. I’ll meet you at Golf Equisite Hotel, near Enugu airport, room 22 precisely before six post meridian. Otiotio will die by your bullet. I have seen it all”
Wisdom became confused. “Whuu..aah… are you speaking in parables? When did you become a prophet? Where are you even going?”
“Just trust me” Ken opened the door of the car then jumped down in a way he rolled on the ground with the same velocity of the vehicle. The mother screamed, watching her child rolled on the ground, staggered up and ran into the bush. Through the side mirror, Wisdom saw the men in black stopped at the same spot, then ran after him.
“What has my son done to them!?” Mrs Ukachi couldn’t keep quiet.
“Your son has been behaving strange” Wisdom replied.
Christian Miracle Hospital, 3 Akutu Crescent, Independence Layout, Enugu, Nigeria is equipped with modern facilities, general healthcare providers and team of specialist consultants that offers specialty treatment & diagnosis as well as general healthcare services. Its structure can be viewed to be clean and magnificent. It is surrounded by a fence and a large gate which remains open. One could see an ambulance parked near a flower and other medical automobiles. Suddenly, Wisdom drove in, rushed out at once then shouted, “Nurse! Nurse!” he helped Jade carry her father out of the vehicle, then nurses arrived with wheelbed in which they carried him and Mrs Chukwudi inside, even the teenagers followed them. Meanwhile, there had been rumors that some of the competitors are back to the city because people met them on their way. Therefore, before Wisdom, Jade and Esther came out of the hospital, crowd of journalists had filled up the exterior part of the hospital with their video cameras and microphones. Wisdom stood in the middle of the two girls, looking at the crowd like a pastor on a pulpit, looking at his members. They were already feeling like celebrities.
“Excuse me sir,” a female voice came from the crowd. “Is it true that the land of zero is evil?”
Another voice came saying, “Ma, what happened in the land of zero?”
“Are you the only survival competitors?” A male voice came very loud and clear.
The teenagers didn’t know where to start answering the questions, but definitely, they must answer. Therefore, Wisdom took a step forward..
Back to the government house, the commander of the soldiers who made it alive from the swift unknown men in black attire, stood before the governor saying, “I’m sorry, your Excellency, we couldn’t get the kids. Gun men came from nowhere and ruined our plans.”
“You are a worthless fool!” Otiotio provoked. “How is it that you can’t carry out a simple assignment!?”
His P.A came at that moment. He humbled not only his voice but also himself. “Your Excellency, the kids are on the television as we speak”
Otiotio, in his big stomach like that of a pregnant woman in a senator rushed inside the buildings, opened several doors before getting to his destination to see Wisdom on the television, speaking with pains and boldness: “…We passed through pains, tragedy, and violence. We lost our friends in the land of zero. We couldn’t make it back rather we journeyed forward only to discover that we were sent by Otiotio, our governor, to be used as sacrifice in the den of cleverness. An old man called Ikuku who helped us out from the hands of the goddess of cleverness reviled this to us. He said that our governor, Otiotio, planned it all, for he needed three most clever persons for a sacrifice in other to win the next election! He is the cause of our dead ones! He is a devil..”
The P.A and other men in the building looked at the governor as the young boy spoke with alacrity and unabashedly.
“Your Excellency, we can fly you out of the country because you will be dead if this news should go viral.” the voice of the P A came, breaking in Otiotio ‘s ears like the buzzy sound of a mosquito.
“Call my pilot, we must get to the airport now!” the governor wanted to walk away, but angry agitating voices that came from the windows stopped him. Therefore he walked towards one them, looked through it to see crowd of people agitating at the gate for the governor to produce the dead competitors. Seeing that, he became not only weak but dumbfounded too.
Mr Dennis watched his son on the television inside the dining room of the prison. Mouth couldn’t explain how happy he was. Likewise Mr Henry, Mrs Chinyere, Mr and Mrs Nnanna and other fellow students as the teenagers. Of course they looked for a way to go meet them at the hospital.
After the tremendous speech, Wisdom went back to the hospital to pick his car key where he forgot it, of course followed by the girls. He stared at Mr Raymond for a while then began to walk out. Jade met him walking along a long passage.
“Wisdom, wait!” she held him from behind in a way the young boy turned to face her with a sad face. “We are sorry.. uhm.. we are sorry for setting your father up. If i had known I wouldn’t have supported my father. Please, forgive us”
Wisdom stared at her for a moment then began to walk away again without saying anything….
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