The Author (Episode 15)

The Rivers State Emergency Response team arrived at the Galaxy Hotel after about ten minutes and they were followed by men of the Rivers State Police Command. The police were faced with the herculean task of controlling the panic stricken crowd. It took another ten minutes before the paramedics could get to Bayo because the auditorium’s three exits were blocked, as everyone was trying to leave the auditorium at the same time. The journalists stayed behind because they wanted to be able to give a firsthand account of what was sure to be front page news.

‘Something doesn’t add up. The bleeding looks like it was controlled before he could lose a lot of blood. He shouldn’t have died so soon’, one of the paramedics examining Bayo said. ‘That’s true. We wouldn’t be able to find out more,  here. When the exit is cleared, we’ll take the body to the morgue. The coroner would be able to tell us what the cause of death really is’, the other paramedic replied.

Juliet was still finding it difficult to come to terms with what had just happened. She had pushed her way through the crowd to get to Bayo’s lifeless form. She kept telling herself that Bayo was not dead. ‘It’s probably one of his many acts. Maybe he’s trying to do something that will remain unforgettable’, she told herself as she stood close to the body, watching the paramedics examining him.
The reality of Bayo’s death suddenly dawned on her when the paramedics put him in a body bag. She sat on the floor and tears began to stream down her face. ‘Why would someone kill Bayo of all people. He was loved by everyone’, she said to no one in particular. She then remembered the email sent by the Author. ‘This is probably the handiwork of the Author. I have to tell the police’, she thought. She stood up and ran to one of the policemen. She held his shirt and began to rant.
‘I need to speak to the officer-in-charge. Where is he?’ she asked. ‘Ma’am, I’m the officer-in-charge. I understand that you’re devastated by Bayo’s death but you really need to stop holding my shirt, if we’re going to have any meaningful discussion’, the officer said. Juliet let go of his shirt and continued her ranting.
‘I know who killed Bayo. It’s the Author. The Author sent Bayo a death threat yesterday. He thought it was a joke but apparently it wasn’t. The Author has made good on his threat’, she said.
Most of the journalists in the auditorium had noticed the exchange between Juliet and the police officer. They went close to the pair with their cameras and recorders in a bid to gather more information that would spice up the already juicy story.
‘Calm down ma. Do you know this Author?’ the policeman asked. ‘No, I don’t. He called himself ‘the Author’ in the email he sent to Bayo. ‘Ma, you’d have to come with us to the police station. I want us to continue this conversation there. Your information may prove helpful in finding Bayo’s killer’, the officer said.  He then escorted Juliet to their van. Every other person was moved out of the auditorium and the place was sealed off as a crime scene.

Various news outlets couldn’t get enough of the Galaxy Night’s incident. The death of Senator Franklin in an explosion had been the popular incident on everyone’s lips but Bayo’s murder at the Galaxy Hotel had displaced it. The Soft Nigerian Newspaper had the headline: ‘Bayo sent diving to his grave by the Author’. The Nigerian Parrot Newspaper had the headline: ‘Bayo does his last dive at the Galaxy Night’. Even the Nigerian News Network had reported it on their eight am morning news with the headline: ‘Bayo, written off to death by the Author’.

‘Tom, have you had a chance to read the papers this morning?’ Jerry asked as he entered Tom’s office. Both men were dressed in their police uniforms. Jerry was holding a copy of The Soft Nigerian Newspaper.
‘No I haven’t. Anything I should know?’ Tom asked. ‘Yes. Take a look. The Author killed Bayo at the Galaxy Night. Bayo’s girlfriend said that Bayo had received a death threat from the Author’, Jerry said as he showed Tom the newspaper. Tom shook his head after reading the story. ‘I think we have a serial killer on our hands. He seems to love attention. He’s been killing celebrities’, Tom said. ‘This is not just some lunatic. I think we’re dealing with a well trained assassin here. He’s managed to eliminate a professor, a senator and a musician in public without leaving any trace’, Jerry said. ‘That’s true. We need to speak to Chigozie. A nationwide manhunt needs to be organised for the Author. We need to find him before he kills more people’, Tom said.

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