The Author (Episode 35)

The Author couldn’t believe his ill luck. ‘No wonder mom always said that alcohol is bad. My thirst for alcohol has put me in harm’s way’, the Author thought. He didn’t even know why he remembered his late mother at that time. ‘It’s probably because I’m going to meet her wherever she is. I don’t see any way out. No point in calling Lilian for help. They’ll get to me before she arrives. Besides, these men are probably highly trained mercenaries; she’ll just be added to the body count. Nothing short of a miracle would save me’, he thought.
His mother believed so much in miracles. When he was much younger, she always took him to her Church and left him at the Sunday School department. At home, he was made to pray every morning and night. His mother usually said that one needs to pray, if one needs a miracle. ‘What do I have to lose? I’ve run out of options’, he thought.
It had been so long, he couldn’t remember the right words. He then remembered one of his mother’s favorite Psalms and decided to recite it.
‘I will lift up my eyes to the hills;
From whence cometh my help….’

He suddenly froze. An idea had hit him. The word, ‘up’ had struck a chord. He looked up and smiled. He could hide in the ceiling. He hadn’t thought of that in his panic.
‘If anyone had told me that this Psalm would save my life one day, I would have laughed them to scorn’, he thought as he gently shifted one of the ceiling boards and entered the ceiling. He replaced the ceiling just as he heard voices coming from the sitting room. The men were already inside the house.

Abdul had stormed Lilian’s house with eight men. They had come in two IVM Jeeps and were heavily armed with automatic rifles. They were all masked. He had divided them into two teams of four men each.
‘The lights are on; there’s probably someone inside. Team A, cover all exits. No one gets away. Shoot anything that moves. Team B, move into the house. Everyone in this house is to be shot. I’ll be going in with you. Stay sharp and try not to displace a lot of things. We may need to cover our tracks. Let’s move’, Abdul said and the men dispersed to their positions. Abdul tried the front door and it opened. ‘There’s definitely someone inside. Stay sharp’, he whispered to the men behind him as they crept into the house.

Chisom was bored and scared at the same time. ‘Lilian and her boyfriend are definitely hiding something from me. They’re probably waiting for a convenient time to kill me. I need to get away from them. I’ll probably be better off on my own’, he thought. He had seen Lilian giving him murderous looks when she thought he wasn’t looking. The Author had collected his weapon and had not bothered to return it before he left. Something was definitely up and it wasn’t in his favour. He immediately left his room and headed for the door of the suite. He saw Lilian dozing on a couch near the door. Her pistol had fallen to the floor. He picked up the pistol and hid it in the waistband of his jeans. He then tapped her.
‘Lilian, wake up. I’m leaving’, he said. Lilian opened her eyes and immediately sat up. ‘What’s the matter?’ she asked. ‘I’m leaving. I think I’m better off on my own’, he said.
‘Have you lost your mind? Have you forgotten that the Author explicitly told us to remain here till he returns?’ she asked in a voice filled with anger. ‘I haven’t lost my mind, woman. On the contrary, I am in full control of my thought and I’ve figured out that the Author does not trust me anymore. I can tell that the both of you are planning to eliminate me’, Chisom replied. Lilian smiled wickedly. ‘You can take comfort in the fact that we have not decided your fate yet. There’s a slim chance that you won’t be killed’, she said.
‘Well, I’m not waiting around to find out’, he said and made for the door. Lilian swiftly got up and blocked his path. ‘I believe you’re smart enough to know that you’re going to have to pass through me, if you must leave here’, she said.
‘Woman, unless you want to get hurt, I’d advise you to get out of my way’, Chisom said. Lilian stood her ground and stared at him in defiance. ‘It’s actually amusing that you think you can beat me in a fight’, she said.
Chisom weighed his options. ‘This woman is just too stubborn. She has just confirmed that I’m not exactly in the Author’s good graces right now, though. Staying here is not an option’, he thought. He knew exactly what he needed to do.
‘You know, my mother raised me right. She warned me never to hit a woman. She didn’t say anything about shooting a woman though’, Chisom said and brought out the pistol. He pointed the gun at Lilian but her expression changed only slightly. She still refused to leave his path.
Seeing that she wouldn’t budge, he made up his mind.
‘You’ve left me no choice’, he said and pulled the trigger.

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