A Taste of Death

by - May 09, 2017

Chronicles of Paulinus
I tripped and dashed headlong striking my brow on the hard concrete floor of our lodge. It ripped open. I felt rest clutching me tightly on the ground but the throbbing of my heart against my chest could afford me no leisure. I pushed myself up. Picking my strength from where I left it I began limping; blood had mixed with sweat. My face was covered in a pool of blood. The salty taste of sweat struggled for a way into my mouth. I kept on blowing it off. The briny taste of my blood and sweat mixture nauseated me.


‘Maybe I have lost him,’ my mind wandered trying to find a reason to relax a bit. But such leisure was far to be gained at that moment. My heart could need a million seconds to pace down its throbbing marathon. Tears of helplessness blurred my vision. I could hardly glide a leg to make a move. I knew at that moment that I couldn’t make it alive. Who could imagine how I struggled with my killer? A storm of thought filled my mind. I gasped for breath but the air in the building clogged in dread. I was writhing in pain. I watch my potential killer smoking stinks of fury as he strode towards me. His dagger that curved slightly on its blade dripped of liquid of a crimson tinge.

‘Please sir, I don’t know where they are,’ my voice hung at the edge of my strength.
‘You shall pay for their lives with yours since you want to be a hero,’ his voice reeked of fumed anger. I could only move my hands above me as I lay down there helpless. He had earlier struck me with his dagger while I was in my study.

I came back that evening and felt weird when I entered the compound. An unsettled smoke of danger suspended in the air. I couldn’t make sense of it ‘cos my hostel had always bustled with activities of youths. It had never frozen into a graveyard quietude like that evening before. Pebbles lined through the corridor. The newly painted wall was redesigned with scratched of groping fingernails struggling to escape. ‘How mad the landlord would be when he sees this,’ that was all I could make of the signs. I hardly noticed the stains of blood, the debris of bottles and footwear that lay scattered at each corner. Some people’s door stood ajar, even that of the famous secret master. But I felt strangely courageous to continue whistling with my mouth and lunged straight to my room. My room choked with the pong of Indian hemp. ‘Who could this idiot be,’ I clipped my nose with my thumb and index fingers while my eyes rummaged through my room. It stood in a mess. My neatly piled clothes were littered on the ground, my books were in shreds. Nothing obeyed its normal position.

My eyes flickered as my mind bounced back to the scene before I entered my room. ‘Something must be wrong here, let me go and inform the security…’ I was still mouthing some words when I felt a sharp pain on my back, very close to my shoulder blade. I turned. It was a huge dark man who seemed to have been standing behind my door all those while. His eyes bulged out of his head. He had an athletic built body and I felt like a mouse in his grip. His veins sat on his skin revealing strengths and energy. My voice shrunk to release a screeching sound of pain. I threw my left hand to my back to feel the pain but the flush of blood and the rage in his eyes told me just one thing. Run.
‘Where are those guys living in room 7?’ his voice bubbled.
‘Who are you?’ I writhed in pain. A thrust of slap descended on my shin. I couldn’t count it but I felt spun many times before hitting the ground. My room seemed like a war room with the Calendar wallpapers hanging as angry spectators. I didn’t need his face or my flooding blood to tell me to run. I swiftly wiggled out of the room. Outside was still a desert arena. He reached for a 60cl Fanta bottle in my room and sent it crashing on my head. It sent a stifling sensation of pain down my spine. I craved for an escape from my very body. A painful thought was flooding my mind, ‘what must they have done, quite alright they are notorious but to warrant such murderous beast scares the mind to imagine.’  

My mind fired with thoughts of death. I could feel death drawing so close in a rocket speed. I began to pray, to ask God for mercy. I knew I could hardly make heaven. I have not even enjoyed the world enough to merit hell. Surely, I was neither God’s favourite nor devil’s. How strongly my soul would be contended for. My eyes stung. A tension of struggling tears strove for an outlet.


‘Where is everybody? I finally realised why the building was stripped naked of people. He was now holding me by my heel as I lay motionless on the ground. My energy had drained out through my blood. I had barely a drop to sustain me to witness my death. He was pulling my legs, still holding the dagger without cutting but determined to thrust me open. My leg began to be pulled so strongly that I fell off from my bed to wake in a pool of my sweat. Ladi’s jaw dropped, ‘guy why you dey shout like that kwanu?’  

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