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A Little Bird Said – The Finale

The Write Right Two Prize Giving is finally here. See the details below

  • Venue: Ember Creek, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi
  • Date: Sunday, March 9th 2014
  • Time: 3Pm to 6PM.

Red Carpet begins at 3PM and the event proper kicks off at 4PM.

There’ll be a song written based on the winning entry. The song is titled WEWE, and it’s written and performed by guitarist Femi Leye and vocalist Nayo.

There’ll also be a painting based on the same winning entry by Ekene Ngige. We’ll be auctioning this at the event.

Vintage fashion label Ma’am will give a free specially made bespoke outfit to Ifeoluwa Watson, the Write Right Two Winner. Ife will also be reading from her winning story.

Finally, we’ll be premiering Baba Risi’s Court, The Animated Episodes at the event.

To attend, simply save the IV below as your e-invite to the event. Hope to see y’all there. Thanks for all the support for Write Right.

TUNDE LEYE4

Esmeralda had come to the house envisaging a full day of erotic frolicking. When she had seen the picturesque house, fairytales sprung into her head and she smiled. The lady she knew only as RC1 had completed the picture that left her salivating. With a smile, RC1 had led her into the single living space. There was a bed in the middle of the room, with white satin sheets, red rose petals scattered all over and scented candles.

“Like it?” she heard RC1 ask. She must have let out some unconscious shriek, she was certain. But she glad she had agreed to come here instead of her hotel room? In the corner, there was a raised platform. At the head of the table was an assortment of erotic toys. RC1 picked a pair of leather padded handcuffs and then patiently began to explain what they would do.

“Here’s how the day will go. You are my slave for the first half of the day. You’ll wear these handcuffs and for starters, I’ll use these leg restraints to strap you to the platform. I will be at liberty to do anything with you and you’ll have to work your way to freedom by giving me every pleasure I desire. The better you are, the quicker you’ll win your freedom from your restraints and then become the master and I the slave. Am I clear?”

Esmeralda nodded like an obedient child, enthralled by the whole arrangement. She moved towards RC1 to hug her but was rebuffed her with a shove. “Who permitted you to touch me slave?”

It took a while for it to sink into Esmeralda that they were already in the role playing game. Obediently, she backed away.

“Good girl. Now, get into the lingerie on the platform and I’ll slip the handcuffs on you and strap you on to the platform.”

************+++++++++++++***************

Acharu arrived at the cottage and retrieved her phone. She had made up two plans in her mind, depending on which of she or Morkly arrived first. She was glad she got here before him, it was the easier scenario. She called up his text message and quickly typed a response to him, instructing him on what to do when he got there. She moved quickly after that, since she didn’t know exactly how long she had before he arrived. She dialed the number she had sent the first text message to and the lady on the other end picked it on the first ring.

“What’s up?” the lady said

“I just got here, I’m at the gate. Do you have her immobilized now?” Acharu asked.

“Yes,” the lady responded.

“Good. I’ll let myself in then. We’re going to have an extra guest at the party. The nutty professor himself is on his way. But I’ve got an appropriate welcome planned for him anyway, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Prepare the restraints for the man”.

With that, she ended the call and looked over at the sleeping man. “We’re back together, you and I, as it should have been.” Then she went down to open the gate and drove in right to the front door of the cottage.

*********++++++++++++***************

It was a good thing he wasn’t driving otherwise he would not have been able to read the text message when it came in. “Ah, she finally got to read my text,” he mumbled to himself when he saw the ID of the sender. He opened it quickly. It was in short, terse sentences, outlining a plan.

“Got your text, great work. We’ll proceed without Senayon. Headed there with men from HQ. They’ll secure the premises while I wait for you by my car. Come Quickly”

Quickly she said. He had been in the traffic at Lekki Toll Gate for more than thirty minutes and it seemed he was only halfway through it. “Billions of blistering bumbling bickering blasted blue barnacles! And that autocrat of a governor has banned okadas. That would have been my saving grace now” he exclaimed in anger. He slumped in the chair and adjusted his neck scarf.

***********+++++++++++**************

“Are we expecting someone?” Esmeralda ventured. She was meant to be the obedient slave, speaking only when spoken to, but if someone else was going to be involved in whatever plans her madam had for her, she thought she should know.

“Shut your dirty little mouth” the lady responded to her.

Unsure if it was merely the character of the madam that had spoken to her or the real RC1, she decided to clarify.

“I’m not asking as the slave dear, I’m asking as me. I just think I should know if…” The pain registered before her mind deciphered that RC1 had just tasered her. She found herself twitching uncontrollably.

“I said shut your husband-hopping dirty mouth!” The lady spoke calmly, but every word was loaded with menace, amplified by the fact that she was tied up, helpless. She opened her mouth, took a huge gulp of air into her lungs and screamed at the top of her voice. The lady waited for her to exhaust herself and then told her with a devilish chuckle “you can scream all you want, but I’m sure you remember how this house looked as you came in. Only the trees will hear you. You are dense, you know that? Anyway, give me a moment.”

With that, she straightened her dress, brushed her hair and went to the door.

***********++++++++*************

From the hole in the fuzzy realm he was floating in, Senayon heard a familiar voice scream. The scream was like a powerful hand pulling him up at breakneck speed and he suddenly burst into the surface of the hole.

***********+++++++++++***********

“Sumbo, where the hell are you? He’s stirring. We need to get him inside and immobilized before he wakes up fully!” Acharu shouted.

She saw her partner was all dressed up. “Vain girl” she thought, remembering the first time she had met this girl. Sumbo had been a broken girl after her breakup with Charles Obaro. She had been the strong one who helped Sumbo recover from the breakup in the self-help group they belonged to. But as if to reverse the situation, she had fed off Sumbo’s anger at men. One evening, they had watched an episode of Deadly Affairs on Crime and Investigation together and all of this Ring Collector business had started as a joke until Sumbo suddenly said “you know we can pull this off and get back at all of them that hurt us?”

***********+++++++++++************

Esmeralda watched in horror as the two women carried a man that looked vaguely familiar in. she couldn’t see well because of the way she was lying down. “Who is he?” she asked.

“Oww, you’ve forgotten the man you bore a child for so soon?” Sumbo asked.

“Senayon? What is this about? Answer me!” Esmeralda asked desperately struggling with her restraints.

Acharu answered this time as Sumbo prepared a syringe with the same substance she had used on their second victim. “Senayon was supposed to be mine, but you had him. Charles did to Sumbo what Fuad did to me. And you my dear did the nasty to Senayon with that pastor and then left him for the baba olowo.”

As Emeralda heard the names, she realized what was happening. These were the people responsible for all those gruesome murders she had read about on the blogs. But all their victims had been men. “So why do you want to kill Senayon then?”

“Why do you assume we want to kill Senayon?” Sumbo asked.

It dawned on Esmeralda that she was the one. She screamed again as they propped a Senayon who looked awake and perceptive but otherwise immobile up against the wall.

“Senayon is the Ring Maker. He’s the fulcrum of all this. He should have fought harder for me, but wasn’t man enough. It was his failure that created me as the Ring Collector. You know, after collecting and destroying all your rings, like the Lord of the Rings, I have to destroy the Ring Maker. So he is here to see the last ring collected and then be destroyed. If I can’t have him, then he shouldn’t be alive.” Acharu said, with Sumbo nodding in agreement at the eerie and illogical logic she just espoused.

Acharu’s phone beeped. Morkly’s text message came in.

“Delayed at toll gate. Now past it and should be there shortly”

“Nutty prof is almost here. Let me go and roll out the carpets. Take this and shoot into the air when you get my text” Acharu said as she handed a pistol over to Sumbo along with a police two way communicator.

In the corner, Senayon watched all, and heard all. His mind was still very active, but his body didn’t move. He recalled reading of such a drug being used by the Ring Collector in Fuad’s murder.

************+++++++++++++**************

Acharu took a crouching position beside her car the moment she saw Morkly’s cab pull into the close and quickly sent Sumbo the text.

***********++++++++++++**************

Morkly was wondering why Acharu was crouched like that when he began to hear the gunshots. He quickly pulled his gun and rolled on the floor to her side as his taxi man sped away without waiting to collect his money. Suddenly, the gunshots stopped. Acharu’s communicator crackled and she reached into the car for it, maintaining her cover. She returned with a smile on her face.

“They’ve got her!” Morkly exclaimed in excitement without waiting to be told. He sprang up and wanted to race into the house but Acharu held him back.

“Cautious approach sir,” she said. “we don’t know if she’s alone or has someone crouching somewhere waiting.” Morkly didn’t know how true that statement was but he calmed down and approached the gate cautiously.

When he entered, he expected to see policemen in position. When he didn’t see anyone, he turned back to tell Acharu something was wrong. She had a gun pointing at him. “Drop your weapon,” she ordered.

“Acharu, what Iscariotish behavior is this?” Morkly asked.

“Drop the damned weapon or I’ll blow a hole through you right here,” she responded.

Morkly saw she was serious. He slowly dropped the pistol on the soft grass by the side of the walkway.

“Now, turn around and walk towards the cottage.”

************+++++++++++++*************

Acharu observed the look of shock on Morkly’s face when he got into the room.

“Yes mister professor, that’s how we outsmarted you. You were looking for one Ring Collector, when in fact, there were two. I collected Charles, she collected Fuad. I collected the pastor and now she is collecting Esmeralda. We will then both destroy the Ring Maker. You, you are just collateral damage. You should not have been able to figure this out, but then again, you were always too smart for your own good.”

With that, they cuffed him to one of the legs of the platform Esmeralda was on. Then, amidst heart-wrenching screams from Esmeralda, Sumbo set about taking her head off as Senayon and Morkly watched in horror.

When she was done, she carefully placed the head on the navel and then took pictures of the gory sight with a phone she pulled out of her tool bag. She tweeted the images and put the hashtags

#ongoingevent #finalringcollection #ringmakergoingdown and then tagged all the people she knew would spread the word on twitter. When she was done, she turned to Acharu and bowed “Final Ring Collection Completed.”

***************++++++++++++++**************

Acharu went forward to look at Esmeralda’s now lifeless body. When they had started, Sumbo had been the queasy one. They were originally meant to start with Fuad, since her own relationship with Fuad was relatively unknown. But because Sumbo wasn’t sure she could go through with such a gruesome killing, they had swapped and Acharu had gone after Charles first. Now, watching how Sumbo finished Esmeralda off, she realized that the girl had come a long way. Suddenly, she felt a pain shoot through her body. She crumpled to the ground wondering “what tha fuck”

************+++++++++++++*************

When she came to, Acharu found herself cuffed to the leg of the platform where Morkly had been before. Sumbo and Morkly were standing over her, while drug immobilized Senayon stared at her unable to move. “What is happening here?” she asked, directing her gaze to Sumbo.

“Why did we collect rings?” Sumbo asked back. When Acharu didn’t answer, she continued. “Because they don’t know what being faithful to the people they love means. They callously leave people that loved them. Now, think about it. Aren’t you being hypocritical here? Who better fits this description but you? You left Senayon for Morkly, left Morkly when he had his troubles and have been using men to climb since. You are just as bad as all the others, if not worse cos you’re a hypocrite.”

“Morkly?” Acharu said, directing her gaze at him.

“I knew all along. You see, I suggested this whole business to Sumbo. Think about it. Who approached who in your self-help group? Who reached out more? Who suggested that you guys embark on this killing spree after you guys watched that Crime and Investigation show that day? Now that you think about it, it’s Sumbo, right?”

Acharu closed her eyes, hit with the realization that Morkly was right. In spite of Sumbo’s seeming reluctance to go along with the killing initially, she had been the one suggesting everything, the plans, the methods, everything all along.

“Sumbo saw through your hypocrisy dear Acharu. You tried to use her but we have ended up using you. You remember the only chance for me to be saved from going to that mad people’s home was your testimony. And rather than give the testimony and save me, you took the deal the police command offered you and refused to testify. You played the good lover for a while but got tired of visiting me. You see, I knew, and I did not forget.” Morkly said.

“But how do you know each other? How?” Acharu asked hysterically.

“Social media has made the world a very small place dear. It isn’t very farfetched that a disillusioned nearly mad professor will meet a popular and disillusioned social media personality. That’s all I’ll tell you about this. Now, remember how you turned away and let me go and run mad in a psychiatric home? I’m about to repay you by turning away now, literarily. Sumbo?”

As he called her, Sumbo walked over to Acharu with the still bloody saw she had used on Esmeralda. As Acharu began to scream, Morkly turned away.

************++++++++++++*************

Sumbo finally did what she had wanted to do since the beginning. She hated Acharu’s guts. Acharu represented all the reasons men gave to justify cheating on women and treating them badly. To cap it all, she saw herself through rose-tinted glasses and blamed everyone else for what her irresponsibility with men brought on her. Stupid fool. She killed with even more viciousness than she had done with her two other victims. The only person she would have killed with more venom was Charles but she didn’t get that chance. She was so engrossed that she didn’t hear a thing. It was only when she was done and Acharu lay in a pool of blood that she turned around and got a shocker. Senayon was standing on his feet alongside Morkly and they both had pistols trained on her.

*************+++++++++++++***************

“Morkly, what the hell is going on?” she asked calmly.

“Collateral damage is inevitable in the best worked plans. You my dear are collateral damage in our plan,” he responded.

“What do you mean OUR plan? The only OUR plan is the one you and I have mister, and it doesn’t involve you and Senayon pointing guns at me,” she said.

“Ah, you assume. You see, the plan was to get these two women without killing them ourselves.” Morkly said.

“How did you break free from the effects of the drug? You are supposed to be able to see and feel without being able to move. How come?”

“Antidote dear, brought in and administered by the professor,” Senayon responded. Then turning to Morkly, he said “We got them both. Now, shall we destroy the evidence?”

With that, they shot Sumbo.

I’ll be taking a break until right after Write Right Two Prize Giving to put together the event and also set the ball rolling on the editing of my next book Guardians of the Seals. See ya with the next series after the Prize Giving

ff on twitter @tundeleye

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A Little Bird Said – 11

The finishing touches are being put to the Write Right 2 Prize Giving Event. Would make a formal announcement with all the details this week. Enjoy today’s episode of A Little Bird Said.

A Little Bird Said 3

This BBM group was the best thing that had happened to Esmeralda in a very long time. One of her friends had prompted her to join twitter and follow a particular individual and ask for a follow back. When she had seen the erotic tweets and pictures that person shared, she had been skeptical about following the person and allowing those show on her timeline. But her friend had shown her that except she retweeted those tweets, her followers would not see them. She would be able to view the tweets, but no one would know she was viewing them.

After the she followed and asked for a follow back, she had sent direct messages to @theotherside asking for how she would begn to enjoy the goodies she had followed the handle for. She had been skeptical when they had asked her for a joining fee, thinking it was some sort of scam. But when she asked her friend and had received reassurances that @theotherside was genuine and trustworthy, she had gone ahead to pay. It was not like the money was anything to her, but she just hated being cheated. Once she confirmed payment via DM to @theotherside, she had been invited to join the BBM group and a new world of easy peazy shenanigans with other women opened up to her.

After leaving her husband and daughter a couple of years ago for Otunba to escape the poverty, she could never have imagined she would have ended up as a lesbian. But after the rush of the new money and status was over and done with, she realized Otunba had just been looking for a trophy. He got some perverse thrill from being able to take a much younger man’s pretty wife. He’d gotten bored as soon as he had her and moved on to his next conquest. In the loneliness that followed, she had found solace with her bored society wives association, and they had introduced her to this new world. There was no shortage of young girls who were willing to have affairs with them for some of the money they had. This new BBM group though just offered a new thrill. Truth was, she was beginning to get bored. She had just agreed on a rendezvous with her latest conquest but the lady had disagreed with coming to Esmeralda’s usual hotel. She said she didn’t like hotels and Esmeralda was definitely not bringing her here. She was almost going to let the whole thing slide when the lady told her there was a bungalow she used for such sexcapades somewhere in Lekki. Esmeralda was excited and her interest was even more tickled when the lady had refused to tell her the address of this secret location until the next day. She had simply said “I will text you as I leave home”. The mystery made it even more exciting. She pinged the lady whose BBM name was RC1 now.

*************+++++++++++++****************

Senayon caressed his pistol, drawing some measure of comfort from the weight and coldness of the weapon. He had set up two teams of policemen to keep his house under surveillance. There was no way some demented serial killer was getting his head on a plate. He rued having convinced Acharu to involve the professor. The mad man had been a bloody waste of their time. He intended to barricade himself in the house until the two days had expired. This Ring Collector person would attempt to reach him if she was true to character. He would have a warm welcome party waiting for her. His mobile phone vibrated, making him jump. “Calm the fuck down” he muttered to himself as he retrieved the phone from his pocket.

“Countdown to Ring Collection. Twelve Hours More”.

*******+++++++++++++**************

Professor Othniel Morkly was an angry man. He hadn’t asked to be called by those children. They had called him in of their own accord, yet now they scorned him. Senayon’s face as he declared what Morkly was very sure of as “mathematical set theoretical opportunistic dramatization” was what got to him the most. Beyond the words, the young man had said with his body that Morkly was useless. He would show them. He powered up his laptop and googled the now dead pastor. As he scrolled down the results page, he saw a picture that caused him to stop dead in his tracks. “Why the bloody hell didn’t he say so?” Morkly said as he enlarged the picture. The internet had a very deep belly and it rarely defecates, Morkly thought as he viewd Senayon smiling right beside the now deceased pastor. He was definitely sure that the Senayon knew more than he had been saying. He googled Senayon Lulu and Bankole Balogun. More pictures came up with the two. He clicked on WEB to view the stories about them and the first two shocked him. StellaDimokokurkus reported that Pastor Bankole Balogun and the Esmeralda Bulus, former wife of his Senayon Lulu Chief Security Officer were having a hot affair before he divorced his wife. The pastor was reported to be a philanderer of repute and Esmeralda was just one of his several conquests. It was just bad that he would do that to one of his most faithful workers even if they were separated. The comments had included all the juicy details and given him a fuller picture of the affair.

“I was right, I was so freaking right!” he exclaimed, as sudden illumination came to him on what the Ring Collector would do. There was no time to waste. He had to find Esmeralda before the Ring Collector did. He called Acharu but her number rang out. He would not call that Senayon. How would the Ring Collector find her? He had to think, and fast.

**************+++++++++++*************

Morkly had been up all night. He normally looked unkempt, but this morning, he had bags under his eyes and his hair refused to stay patted down. He had been up, monitoring all of Esmeralda’s social media accounts since yesterday. Mark, his pal in the NYPD had hacked into her DM and seen her conversation with the lesbian handle. That was the Ring Collector’s hook in.

Morkly pondered on how to decipher where Esmeralda was. She would not be meeting her lesbian buddy in her husband’s house for sure, so she had to have a haunt somewhere she used for the escapades. He had been happy when he got the BB PIN from the DM, but his bubble had been quickly when Mark told him that he didn’t have the equipment or expertise for breaking into Blackberry chats. If they shared anything via DM or text message, he would get them, otherwise they had nothing. Morkly realized he needed a lucky break to save this woman and he knew it.

************++++++++***************

It was a very cold morning, but the young woman lay in her bed in the black lingerie she favored. She let the cold seep into her being, matching her temperature to the coldness of her heart. She was about to lay the final line of the tapestry that had confused even the smartest thus far. There was one thing none of them had thought was a possibility and they would not until she was done. They had not even come close at anytime. She rolled off the bed lazily and began to pack her gear, picking each item gently and carefully placing them into her bag. then she went to the bathroom to freshen up, removing the bendy rollers she had put in and combing out the curls they now created in her weave. Then she wore a bodycon dress that hugged her figure like a second skin. Fifteen minutes later, her makeup was done. She took on glance at her reflection and smiled. She looked just like she had told the woman she would look; gorgeous. She had chosen this venue herself. This final one was one she wanted to make a big statement with and she didn’t want to take any chances. It would be her own venue, her own setting and her own timing. She would be in full control. As she stepped into her car, she sent a text message to Esmeralda with the details of the address.

*********++++++++++*************

Esmeralda had been ready for thirty minutes before the text message came in. It had taken all of her self-restraint not to call the lady. But she didn’t want to appear overeager and so had not called. Now, as soon as the text came in, she sprang into action. She would be driving to this location herself, so she wore comfortable leggings and a tank top. She wouldn’t be wasting any time when she got there. Easy to wear was easy to discard.

***********++++++++++**************

The text message was the unexpected lucky break that Morkly needed. Immediately Mark relayed the information it contained to him, he knew he had to make a call; go there on his own and try to stop her, or get Senayon’s support and some men to go in. From the way they parted ways the last time, he decided to go it alone. Before he did, he composed a long text message explaining the situation and sent to Senayon. Then he retrieved his old pistol and called a cab.

**********++++++++++*************

Acharu arrived at Senayon’s apartment that morning after she called him severally without being able to reach him. She had gone to the station and had been told he was at home. Senayon was already aware she was coming, so she guessed he had men stationed around the house. It was a good thing she had come in her official car and uniform, so they knew who she was and didn’t do anything stupid as some of these men had been known to be.

“Senayon, what the hell is wrong with you?” she asked sharply.

“I am doing my best not to have my head severed from my neck in the next twenty four hours, that’s all,” he responded flatly.

“How pathetic! A woman threatens you and you lose your balls and cower in your cave,” she spat.

“Say whatever you want, it’s not you that has your head that’s literarily hanging in the balance here,” he responded without emotion.

“Well, I would have left your sorry ass to wallow her in your own spit, but I have orders to bring you to the state headquarters by the commissioner himself. So, officer, you will go and get cleaned up, wear your uniform and follow me immediately.” Acharu responded.

“Why does the commissioner want to see me?” Senayon asked. State headquarters, harassed by fat superiors who were only thinking about how to give their superiors what they wanted out of this Ring Collector serial murders was the last place he wanted to be right now. But the policeman in him knew he didn’t have a choice but to obey.

“You are to brief him personally on this case. He wants it transferred to SCID but wants to debrief you himself” she responded.

He had been wondering how long it would take them to transfer the case to SCID. He wished he had stayed in his office that first day Charles’ brother came to complain and let his officers handle the matter. He would have been living his boring but safe life right now instead of wondering when a lunatic was coming for his head.

“Senayon, I’m waiting,” Acharu’s voice pierced through his thoughts like the unpleasant sound of metal rubbing against metal. Twenty minutes later, he had shaved, bathed and dressed as appropriate for his rank and dismissed the men on surveillance. Acharu handed him a glass. “That’s the only alcohol I could find in this your house. Drink up and awaken your senses. This your current dulling self cannot go before the commissioner. You will just fall my hand there”.

Senayon swallowed the contents of the glass in one gulp.

***********+++++++++++++++**************

Esmeralda liked the location of the house. It was at the end of one of the closes off one of the streets off Admiralty Way, serene, secluded with a very high fence. When she parked, she sent a text to the number to inform the lady that she was here. The response was almost instantaneous.

“Come in, the gate is open”

She got down and saw that the small gate was open. She went in and went up the lengthy walkway to the only building in the compound. It was a cottage, something out a fairytale, complete with a chimney. In the doorway was a fabulously dressed luscious lady. Esmeralda smacked her lips.

***********+++++++++++**************

Senayon was very tired. It must have been a combination of the sleepless night and the cool air-conditioned air in Acharu’s car because moments after they moved, he began to feel drowsy. He was fast asleep minutes later. Acharu looked at him and smiled. He slept like a baby. She sent a text message to a number she no one else knew she had.

“I have him now. We’re on our way”

The response came in within seconds.

“Great. She just got here too. Hurry”.

A Little Bird Said – 10

It’s Valentine Week! And tlsplacers have some things for you this season. Here’s four of them.

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And for your Gifts

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You should also check out the exclusive Valentine Dinner this Friday at Planet One. 15K if you’re alone and 25K if you’re with the boo. Call 08022665621 or 08181421859 for more info.

Finally, one of the first Write Right finalists shared this link with me last week. There’s no better way to show love this valentine season than to help this young lady. I trust tlsplacers will. http://www.naijahottestgist.com/2014/01/27/top-pr-man-emeka-oparah-writes-emotional-letter-to-save-kidney-patient-who-needs-8m/

So enjoy all the romance this week. And of course, enjoy this week’s episode of A Little Bird Said.

A Little Bird Said 3

Acharu summoned up courage and joined them inside. She was a police officer after all and she wouldn’t hear the last of it from Senayon if she remained outside. When she got inside, she nearly lost her resolve. Even in the movies, she hadn’t seen anything quite so gory.

With his head on the plate with the eyes popping out in their sockets, Senayon still recognized his former pastor. Flamboyant, stylish and an effective orator, Pastor Banky had been a rising shining star in the gospel firmament and Senayon had been attracted to his message. He had become the church’s Chief Security Officer and that made him extraordinarily close to the pastor. He wished he had stayed far away from it all. Becoming privy to the pastor’s inner moments had opened a vista of uncomely things to him about how the man of God lived. The proverbial camel’s back had been broken when the pastor announced he was leaving his wife. Senayon couldn’t take it any longer. He simply left the church and became disillusioned with religion in general. Now, looking at the dismembered body of his former pastor brought back memories he did not want to remember.

“Senayon, why do you have that look in your eyes like you are not here?” Acharu was saying as she shook him.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” Senayon responded, getting a grip of himself.

Professor Morkly was pacing as the evidence team went about taking pictures and trying to collect whatever shreds of evidence they could. One of them returned with a collection of CDs and handed one over to each of them. It took only one glance for Morkly and Acharu to realize what Senayon already knew.

“This is that hotshot pastor who divorced his wife now. The blogs always carry some story about his affair with some lady or the other.” Acharu said, scoffing. She disliked his type and couldn’t help showing it in spite of the situation.

“If he is divorced, then it logically follows that he was married,” Morkly said, more to himself than to them.

“Yes, that’s quite obvious” Senayon responded.

“Which isn’t quite what your erudite profiling said the victims would be,” Acharu added.

Morkly was hot in the ears. This killer had managed to make him look stupid once again and he was taking this personal now.

“It still fits the profile if one broadens the scope of the victim selection by deleting the necessity of the victims being single. The rest of the profiling fits. The pastor was a public figure, was a disgusting cruella to his wife and did his best to set a world record with bedding women in secret solitary locations like this. Sounds the same to me.” Morkly said with airs and graces.

“And how does such a widened scope help us to stop this Ring Collector from collecting her final ring, en oh great brilliant decipherer of serial killing minds,” Senayon said curtly.

Morkly adjusted his neck scarf and shot Senayon a killing look “and what are you going to do now that the Ring Collector is coming home, oh great cop that mocks”

“Oh drop the testosterone fueled gorilla-like chest thumping and focus on the problem” Acharu said, banging her hand on the table and making the head jump in the plate. That seemed to get the men quiet.

“So, the killer has widened her scope. What does that tell us?” Senayon said.

“She can do it again. In fact, she is probably going to strike outside all of the sets she has operated in. Look at it as set theory. There are some things that remained constant, in spite of the fact that this victim was married. I think that is like an intersection of the set. Whatever she brings into scope, like a union of the set must have that intersection as part of it. If we expect her to bring a new set into the mix that maintains this intersection, what trait is she yet to explore that might be a part of this new set”

It took all of Senayon’s restraint and an eyeing from Acharu to keep him from shouting at Morkly that what they needed was not a lesson in set theory. Morkly continued. “While I ponder that, let’s focus on her obsession with you, super cop.”

By now, the evidence guys were done and everything was bagged and taken away. Morkly’s reminder of the Ring Collector’s last message was all he needed for his mood now.

“Well, I’m not a public figure. I don’t ferret girls on social media. And hell, I do not have a secret location where I can come and bed women, I struggle to pay the rent in my current place. In fact, I struggle so much with these payments that my wife left me for a baba olowo. So…”

“Wait. What did you just say?” Morkly interrupted.

“You want me to repeat just how bad my life is one more time for your gloating pleasure?” Senayon spat. His self restraint was approaching breaking point now.

“Senayon my boy, just repeat what you just said. I think I’m about to have an Archimedes-esque Eureka moment, so humor me and do as you are told,” Morkly said.

Senayon had had it. He stormed out of the room.

“You just had to be snotty and condescending, didn’t you?” Acharu asked in annoyance, as she followed Senayon out of the room, leaving a confused Morkly in the room with a “what did I say” look on his face.

***************+++++++++***************

Senayon got back to his desk, and began to review the autopsy reports on the first two murders. Both reported the bodies having paralyzing substances in the blood stream. That must have been how men that big were overpowered by a woman, he thought. She must have drugged them first and then immobilized them. He liked the fact that they had all left him alone. Acharu had received a call from the headquarters about this new death and had gone to answer her bosses. She had told Senayon that there was a high likelihood that he would be taken off the case and special investigators appointed by the IG himself would probably take it over. After the initial political linkage which discredited the twitter overlords and activists, the activists had fought back when the killings continued and became obviously apolitical. Now, the heat was in the police kitchen and there were orders from above that the case be killed off conclusively. They could do all they wanted for all he cared. It was not any of them that had their names in the blood messages from the killer. All the online media and news agencies carried the story. He had turned his phone off after their calls came incessantly for information on the case. Two of them who were bold enough had even called at the station but he had left stern instructions with his men to turn everyone away. He was holed up in the station, but he knew he would have to go home eventually. Home, alone. He shuddered at the thought but shook himself. He was definitely not going to allow himself get drugged by any woman and since she had not overpowered any of her victims without the help of incapacitating drugs, he felt safe. But a voice kept niggling at the back of his mind and kept repeating the words HOME ALONE.

“Home. Where is this home she is coming to,” he mumbled to himself. Then he got another text message. It was from yet another different number, but he didn’t need to be told who it was from.

“Final ring gets collected in 2days time. RC to RM”

He was not going to just lie down and take it this time. He pressed REPLY and typed the message.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?”

Split-seconds after the sent the text, his phone vibrated indicating he had received a text. With hands trembling with excitement and fear, he reached for his phone and opened the text message. It was a reply to his own message. It contained a single word, the last that he wanted to see.

“YOU”

*************+++++++++++++********************

Morkly sat in the midst of his books and laptop, scribbling away furiously. He was constructing the set after scouring the internet for all the information he could get and consulting his books and notes from many years past.

“Compulsive order, check. True to method and showmanship, check. Hypocritical lifestyle. Not all. Behaviour, check. Only marital status different.”

He was finding points of similarity and points of difference. He had found the intersection. He had a gut feeling this final home run of the little bird was going to be outside the former three sets. Initially, he had thought she was coming for Senayon. He was different enough from the first three victims to be from outside their set. But the more he looked at the intersection, the less he was convinced it was Senayon she was coming for. He simply did not have any of the attributes from there. But he had already figured out that this final hit was going to be about Senayon, even if it wasn’t Senayon that would be the victim. Problem was, the mocking cop was a loner. No one but his daughter was linked to him in any way and that daughter was far away from Lagos. Something told him the Ring Collector wasn’t leaving Lagos, and would not kill a little girl. It had to be someone else.

“What if she deliberately hit us with the curveball of going outside her regular parameters to throw us on a wild goose chase?” he mumbled to himself. It was possible. Logic told him it was a huge stretch of possibility, but something sub-logic niggled at his mind telling him she had outsmarted him once and could very well do it again. He shook it off.

“Whatever it is, I must decide on my hypothesis and stick with it. She will strike outside all known parameters again. And there are only two parameters she hasn’t tweaked. The territory is the first, but that’s ruled out. Senayon is the sun around which her killing revolves, and she isn’t going to move out of his reach. It will therefore be in Lagos. The second is the gender. She will kill a woman this time.”

As soon as he said it, it hit him like a lightning bolt. She would kill a woman. It jumped from his theoretical ponderance into a very real possibility in that instance and he took off. “Oh dear, oh dear.” He said as he raced out. When he go to the door, he realized he felt empt”

As soon as he said it, it hit him like a lightning bolt. She would kill a woman. It jumped from his theoretical ponderance into a very real possibility in that instance and he took off. “Oh dear, oh dear.” He said as he raced out. When he go to the door, he realized he felt empty. He wheeled around and raced back inside to get his scarf, quickly twisting it around his neck. Now, feeling complete, he raced out of the house to go and find Senayon.

************+++++++++++++++**************

‘Oga says he doesn’t want to see anybody,” the exasperated officer said to the funny looking man. He had seen the man come in and go with the DPO and the PPRO woman in the past few days now, but an order was an order.

“officer, will you be kind enough to tell your oga that it is about the homecoming of the little bird?” Morkly said to the policeman in as polite voice as he could muster to cloak the irritation just seething beneath.

“I don’t want oga’s trouble. Please go and come another time or call his mobile phone so he can come and bring you by himself” the policeman said.

“Chief, will you get out of the way this moment” a familiar female voice ordered sharply from behind Morkly. The policeman saluted quickly and opened the small swing door to allow them in. whatever oga said, this woman was the state PPRO and senior to his DPO. He had to obey her.

“Apologies for the ill mannered treatment sir,” Acharu said.

“Oh, he was only obeying orders,” Morkly responded.

Senayon had heard them coming and was waiting. “Acharu, you could have come in alone, you know?” he said, ignoring the prof.

Acharu guessed he wasn’t handling the pressure from the press and news people well. He would not be used to such attention the way she was. She shook her head and responded to him soothingly “Prof has some exciting new findings to share with us,” and then turning to Morkly, she said with meaning “and he has promised to be nicer”.

“You mean he’s going to come and share some of his new baseless conjecture with us?” Senayon retorted.

Morkly ignored him and said with his lecture voice “the little bird is coming home to get another little bird Senayon. After plugging all the data into the set theory based model I built, contrary to what you fear and think, she is coming for you.”

“Oh, really?” Senayon asked, his words dripping with sarcasm.

“I’m absolutely certain that you are safe. Her next target will be a woman.”

“Then explain this,” Senayon retorted as he handed his phone with the text message conversation over to Morkly. Acharu joined Morkly and read the message quickly.

“When did you get this?” she asked.

“Not very long ago, and contrary to professor’s mathematical set theoretical opportunistic dramatization, she has stated who she is coming after in plain English. Damn, I’m sounding like the professor! Am I going mad?” Senayon said.

Morkly just held the phone in his hands, trembling. He could not believe he was wrong again a second time.

A Little Bird Said – 9

Today is the final day of voting for Write Right 2. Read the finale of 4 of the top 5 Finalists. A note on Akinwale Agbaje. His Finale will be posted tomorrow, when voting is over, because of the readers who have asked for it. There is a correct way to do things, and there are incorrect ways to do them. I’ve blogged weekly for two years, held a very hectic day job with a bank, done several events, published and promoted books yetI have not failed to post on any single Monday. When there’ll be a break from posting series, I pre-inform the readers of this, and how long it will take. It is commitment and respect for the readers and developing a disciplined work ethic that is responsible for this.

One of the goals of Write Right is to engender discipline to meet deadlines in the writers whilst remaining creative. Anyone who writes professionally knows this is non-negotiable when one earns his keep with writing. Sending in an entry at 9a.m. on Tuesday morning (after the post should have been up) which was meant to have been sent on Sunday evening for the finale of a competition, without bothering to take the courtesy of sending in an email to let us know you will be unable to meet the deadline, is disrespectful to those of us who have put it together. I will not stand for such.

The process we go through is for the entries to be sent to the Write Right email by Sunday evening. My PA collates and sends them to me for posting on Monday (to give room for those who might be slightly late) and I put in the drafts section of the blog on Monday evening before publishing on Tuesday morning. Sending in an entry on Tuesday morning after posts should be up is totally unacceptable especially after the entrants were cautioned on sending entries in late.

I’ll be sharing details of the Write Right Prize giving right after announcing the winner tomorrow.

Enjoy today’s episode of A Little Bird Said.

TL

A Little Bird Said 3

He did not answer. She dialed two more times but all she got as a reward for her efforts was some Wizkid song playing back as callertunes.

“Has dialing that number become an obsessive compulsion and are you going to persist in the stupidity of repeating the same action or are you going to twiddle your whiskers together and get out there?” Morkly said.

“And what would you do, all knowing Professor Morkly,” Acharu snarled, irritated for the first time. Senayon threw the professor a look that could kill a bull.

Ignoring them, Morkly said in a matter of fact manner “What any smart cop who listened to their lecturers would do. You go to where the victim is of course. What else? Doesn’t it follow that the killer would be where victim is in order to kill him in the manner this Ring Collector has done so far?”

“Go to where the victim is, you say. How do we know where this victim is? They could be anywhere in this Lagos for crying out loud. If he answered Acharu’s call, we would know…”

“Even the Russian NKVD automatons would have figured this out. Where did you find the other two victims?” Morkly asked.

“We found them decapitated in their…” Senayon said and then realized what he was about to say. It took one look at Acharu to see that she had caught on to what he had been about to say.

Quickly, she enlarged the picture from twitter again and got the name of the street.

“Do you know where Donver Street is located in Lekki? I picked from one of his tweets that he was going past the toll gate to get home. In fact, it’s in Phase 1,” Acharu said.

Senayon shook his head.

“Do I have to do everything for you guy? Haven’t you heard of Google Maps?” Morkly said in mock exasperation, adjusting his trademark sweater.

Taking the tablet from Acharu, he punched Donver, Lekki into the application. Seconds later, the screen filled with maps and a red pin indicating the street. He zoomed in and the details and surrounding streets became clearer.

“You do know how to read a map,” he said as he handed the tablet back to them. Senayon took the picture in with one glance and he began to call the units he had put on standby, instructing them to head to the location and then wait for his orders.

Professor Morkly began to laugh hysterically as Senayon went into hyperdrive darting around as he marshaled his troops. Acharu looked at him, wondering if his madness was ever really cured.

***************++++++++++++++*****************

Senayon didn’t like the fact that they had to carry out the operation in broad daylight, when the sun was at its highest. He preferred quiet operations without the unwanted attention of people in the neighborhood. But this was an emergency and what had to be done had to be done. He did the final confirmation via radio that all his men were in position around the house and exits from the short street with houses where trees touched in the middle. Sweat dripped from his brows as he adjusted the strap that held his bulletproof vest.

The shrill sound of Acharu’s phone ringing cut through the hot afternoon. It irritated Senayon, as everything else about this operation did. Some unbalanced heartbroken girl was the reason for all this. He cursed under his breath. The only respite he had was that Morkly was not here to continually throw jabs at him. He might have just lost it and pulled the trigger if that had been the case and probably ended up in the psychiatric hospital just like the prof.

Acharu picked her phone and a smooth male voice said hello.

“Hello, who am I speaking with?” she asked. The number was an unknown number.

“Well, you called me about four times about an hour ago. I couldn’t take the call at that time, but I return my calls, especially those from numbers that call repeatedly” he said.

The realization hit her like a gust of cool breeze on this sunny day. She signaled Senayon and then put him on speaker.

“Where are you?” she asked.

“That’s an interesting question to ask for someone I do not know from Adam. I am not inclined to telling you where I am,” the man responded.

“Gentleman, I urge you to answer the lady’s question. Are you at home?” Senayon asked.

“And what if I am at home?” the man responded.

“Then you might want to come to your front gate, if you can,” Senayon responded.

“Why should I do that simply based on your request?” the man answered.

“Because you will die if you don’t,” Acharu responded.

The phone line went dead. “We give him two minutes to come out, and then we storm the house assuming he’s hostage if he doesn’t,” Senayon said. They didn’t need to; the man was at the small white gate in less than a minute.

Senayon stood up cautiously. The man looked like his picture – tall, dark, fresh, fine and evidently well fed. He oozed money even though he was dressed in only a polo t-shirt and a pair of knee-length combat shorts.

Acharu was not as cautious. She approached the man who was now out on the street. She had obviously not been on the field in a long time, for her to expose herself that way. Four officers emerged from their hiding places and joined her, guns drawn. Senayon dashed forward, taking care to keep low just in case the guy was bait to draw him out into the open. A voice told him he was being paranoid but he countered that he had every reason to be.

Acharu was questioning the bewildered young man and had taken his phones from him, going through his twitter already. “Nothing in his DMs that resembles anything professor Morkly had.”

The professor had joined them without making a sound and they all jumped when he spoke “that is impossible. I am certain this is the next victim,” he boomed.

“Keep creeping up on fully armed men and you might get a stray bullet in you!” Senayon said, irritated.

“Ah, I’ve faced worse. Young man, do you mean to tell me there have been no sudden arrangements of dalliances between you and some new young female via social media?” Morkly addressed the guy. As the guy was about to answer, Morkly interjected “be sure to answer correctly. Lying to the police is a serious offence”.

Bade looked at the scene in front of him, from the strange man in neck scarf, to the bulletproof wearing policemen and this woman and decided he couldn’t afford to play smart. “Yes I have, but it’s a pretty normal thing on twitter, especially for someone with plenty followers like me.”

“Voila! There, you have it. That wily lioness The Ring Collector was teeing him up as prey for the kill, but we managed to get here before her and saved this one” Morkly exclaimed.

“The Ring Collector? The serial killer I’ve been reading about online? Wow!” Bade held his head, as if feeling it to be sure it was still there.

“Yes, you would have lost your head mister if I hadn’t figured things out,” Morkly smirked.

Two sounds from Senayon’s pocket came in quick succession. He reached for his phone and saw he had both a twitter notification and an sms. He opened the sms first.

“Hello Senayon. You failed. We are together now. You are now The Ring Maker. Haha on your wild goose chase”

Senayon threw his head back and laughed as he handed the phone to Acharu for her to read the text. Morkly asked with a puzzled look in his eyes “are you sure you are not going insane? You laugh in a strange manner”.

Acharu quickly opened twitter on the phone to see the notifications that had come in. “Oh fucking no!” she shouted.

***************+++++++++++++++++*****************

Acharu’s shout had attracted Professor Morkly to the scene. “What might be agitating you young lady?” he asked.

In response, she handed him the phone to the professor.

“Oh sniveling snarling hounds of hell! This cannot be real. I was so sure, so certain!” he exclaimed in disbelief.

By now, Senayon had stopped his crazed laughing and appeared to be back to his right senses once again. Unable to take not knowing what the other two were viewing on the phone any longer, Senayon snatched the phone out of the professor’s hands and looked at the image. The Ring Collector had struck again. This time, the twitter handle was different, but it was definitely her. The modus operandi of having a series of tweets mentioning the Senayon’s handle and then mentioning all the news agencies and bloggers was the same. And the images were the same gruesome kind. Another text came in and he quickly switched screens to see what other ominous news it carried this time.

“She has sent the address,” he mumbled.

***************+++++++++++++**************

It took them another two hours to weave their way through the Lekki traffic to reach Sangotedo in spite of employing their sirens. Professor Morkly had at first been talkative, insisting that this wasn’t the real Ring Collector and that it must be some copycat, because he was so certain his deductions had been correct. But after a while, even he became quiet, admitting what they had all been thinking out loud. “She hoodwinked us all, even me, knowing we would try to figure her out. That became our trap. But I swear to the highest heavens I will outwit her and find her” he said. Senayon and Acharu remained quiet with their individual thoughts on the journey.

The main gate of the bungalow was locked but upon trying the smaller pedestrian gate, it gave way inwards. Senayon did a quick sweep of the compound as he entered with two of his men as quietly as they could manage.

Professor Morkly entered behind them, ignoring their attempts to be quiet and making quite a ruckus of his entry.

Senayon spun around and made a “keep quiet” sign with his finger to his lips.

“Oh come off it!” Professor Morkly responded in contempt. “The killer is long gone and except you are concerned about noise disturbing a dead man, I will be as loud as I please”

“It’s the training prof, we follow procedure!” Senayon managed to respond. Morkly simply made a face at him and responded “Well I’m not a robot, unlike the rest of you!” and went past him to the front door and shoved it open. The smell of fresh blood hit him square in the face and stopped him in his tracks. The rest of the team pushed in behind and when he didn’t move, they got ahead of him. The pictures had shown a dining area and that was where they went immediately. Acharu threw up and rushed back past the still unmoving Morkly outside.

Senayon surveyed the murder site, his mind trying to reconstruct the scene. He was in a trancelike state, oblivious to his men running around and making the necessary calls for various murder scene teams to come to the location.

As Senayon expected, the victim was stark naked. This time, he was tied to one of the dining chairs and had what looked like burn marks on his back and chest. What made the site most gruesome however was the decapitation. The head had been placed in a plate on the dining table, complete with a napkin and cutlery as if the body was about to eat its own head.

Behind the chair the body was on, the Ring Collector had left him a message.

“Dear Ring Maker, One More Ring To Go. The Little Bird Has Spoken Thrice and Three Rings Have Been Collected. The Little Bird is Coming Home”

A Little Bird Said – 8

Always interesting how time flies here on tlsplace. A Little Bird has been saying for two months now. Hope you’ve enjoyed the ride.

The 3rd Episode of the 4part Series of Write Right Two Top 5 voting closes today. Read them HERE and vote if you haven’t. The 4th and final Episodes will be posted tomorrow. 

We had a great time at the Meet, Chat and Buy Naija Books event on Saturday. Many thanks to Oreoluwa of Patabah Books and Kunle Kasumu of Channels Book Club. Hope to have another soon. I should have the pictures later in the week and would post them. Enjoy today’s A Little Bird Said.

TL

A Little Bird Said 3

When he came to, Bankole found himself tied to one of the heavy dining chairs in the living room. He tried to move and he felt the pain surge through him again.

“Keep still mister,” her voice came from behind him.

His eyes watered as he fought back the tears. She had tied him up in such a way that he couldn’t turn his head to see her. The unpredictability of not knowing what she was doing behind him caused the terror to rise within him.

“Why are you doing this? Who are you?” he asked, afraid to raise his voice lest she got angered enough to punish him.

“I am your worst nightmare. They call me The Ring Collector,” she said evenly.

She watched as his body stiffened when she mentioned the name. She liked it. He recognized the name and what it meant.

“Please, I beg you in the name of God…” he began

The shock from the Taser shot through him again. “Do not blaspheme the name of God mister like you’ve done for years now. Instead of truthfully saying you wanted to be free to chase skirts, you hung your desire on God and disgraced her.”

When his eyes focused again, a tab was before them. A picture of him and his wife sharing a kiss on their wedding day was on the screen. They were both flashing their wedding rings for the camera.

“Is this about Tolani? Did she send you?”

“She didn’t have to. But you threw away your ring, and I’m here to collect it. I’ll let you live on one condition. If you can produce your wedding ring now, you will live.”

Bankole gnashed his teeth.

“I thought so,” she said. “Now, the last image you will see was that of your wedding ring.”

He attempted to scream, but no sound came out of his mouth. Then he felt a searing pain. This time, it was different from the pain of the Taser. He struggled for a few moments, and then the darkness swallowed him.

***********++++++++++*************

Senayon made a note in the jotter he had been forced to get the previous day by Professor Morkly. The review of the autopsy reports of both Charles and Fuad showed one thing; the Ring Collector was very proficient with drugs that served the purpose of demobilizing her victims. Charles had a strong traces of hypnotic drugs in his system which must have induced sleep during which he was demobilized. Fuad had a drug the doctor had described as leaving patients conscious but unable to move. Terrible stuff. Unfortunately, the drugs were readily available. He grudgingly admitted to the brilliance of this serial killer. She deliberately selected tools that would give them insight, but in the final analysis were so easy to get that they would tell them nothing specific. There had to be some special hook that he could latch on to somewhere that would lead him to her. He checked the time. He had only fourteen hours to the end of the day, and he was no closer to finding her or her intended victim than he was yesterday, in spite of knowing much more.

“this is frustrating,” he said out aloud. “And it’s still two hours before I see Acharu for that darned list.”

He couldn’t stand the waiting and doing nothing. He checked on the units he had organized and were on standby to go into the field once they could decipher where to go. All that took another thirty minutes and he was left with nothing but waiting again.

He was about to call Professor Morkly to find out if there was anything new there when his phone rang. It was Acharu. He scooped the phone off his table like a hungry man and picked the call.

“Wassap. This is quite early. Area cool and calm?” he said, trying to hide his eagerness.

“See this one forming like he hadn’t been looking at his phone every five minutes just. Senayon, you forget that I know you well,” Acharu responded.

“Whatever. What do you have for me?”

“Someone is all prickly this morning o,” Acharu said.

“Well, if you had a serial killer taking personal interest in you, you’d be even more prickly,” Senayon responded curtly.

“Okay, the blogger came through faster than we expected and I’m done with handling the commissioner. So I’m on my way to your station now. Woulda asked you to come, but the situation here at headquarters is on the knife’s edge and you coming might just rile those who want us to tow the establishment line in this case,” she said.

“Ever the politician. So you handled the commissioner well, abi.” Senayon responded.

“And ever the porcupine, Senayon. And why did you have to say handled that way? That has always been your problem, you know? Assuming I have no other way of dealing with things than opening my legs. well, for your inferiority complex stunted info, I am not fucking the commissioner, there’s nothing someone in his league can do for me. If I wanted to use my kpekus to get ahead at this level, only the likes of the IG and people at the center would qualify. So shove it up your ass!” Acharu yelled.

Senayon couldn’t think of a comeback to that. He simply said flatly. “Apologies. I’ll see you soon then.”

“Send a squad car for the professor, I’d like to ask him something when I get there,” she said.

Senayon imagined he heard her adding “and that’s an order” but he knew she said nothing of the sorts. As if to assert himself with the last bit of control he could muster, he hung up and set about arranging for Professor Morkly to get there.

**********++++++++++++***************

“The list is rather brief,” Professor Morkly said, scoffing. They were all gathered around Senayon’s table, poring over the sheet of paper on which Acharu had printed the email from Stella Dimokokorkus. There was a list of three young men and two ladies along with all their social media details. “The guys are the serial engagement breakers and the ladies have had engagements broken severally,” Acharu explained.

Senayon was not going to give his seat up to Morkly this time, he was asserting himself. When Acharu had arrived, she made no mention of their telephone conversation for which he was grateful. But she had reverted to the strictly businesslike Acharu, PPRO, totally doing away with the warmth that had begun to develop between them.

“They’re all fairly popular men. We’ve checked on the first and he has been out of the country for two weeks, so he cannot be the mark. The other two are here in Lagos but we haven’t contacted them just yet.” Acharu stated.

“Well, I haven’t been idle. I spoke with one of my friends in the US, and he used his good office to hack into the Direct Messages of the two victims,” Professor Morkly said.

“Really?” both Acharu and Senayon said together.

“Yes. the idea occurred to me after I had left you and you definitely do not have the required expertise, so I carried on myself. And I discovered a pattern,” Morkly responded.

“You are just something prof,” Acharu said, shaking her head in disbelief.

“So, can you tell us what you found out good sir,” Senayon queried.

“May I use you system to access my email?” he asked even as he took the tablet from Acharu without waiting for a reply. He quickly pulled up an email that had some image attachments. “Charles’ DM was filled with all manner of dirt, but none arranging a rendezvous around the day he died. But we found a mention of wanting pizza along with his address on his timeline along with tweets that he was home alone. The killer didn’t need DMs with him. The attached images are Fuad’s DM screenshots. She monitored his routine as pasted on social media and simply planted herself in. Now, does any of your two remaining options announce their daily activities on twitter?”

They paused for a bit as if to allow the prof’s deduction sink in. then as if a bug bit him, Senayon snatched the tablet out of Morkly’s hands and launched the twitter app. Morkly was laughing hysterically at their excitement but they ignored the mad old man. Using Acharu’s handle, they went through the timeline of the first guy but found nothing that fit the bill of announcing your personal life on twitter. Without wasting time, they moved on to the second person’s timeline. The last tweet on the @doubleb handle was

“Me, my car and my bible chilling at home.” And it was accompanied by a picture of a fine young man holding a bible and leaning against a Range Rover with customized number plate Omo Jesu. His two tweets before that were similar pictures.

“Well, this is personal but not outrageously so. People post such pictures on twitter daily” Acharu said.

“Enlarge the picture again,” Seanyon said.

Acharu did as he said, wondering what else was in the picture. Senayon peered at it for some seconds and suddenly said

“There! The street name is in the image.”

Acharu quickly zoomed in on the picture and sure enough, the street name was there. She knew the street in Lekki. “Damn! I can find this man’s house if I wanted to, and if I was a serial killer targeting him.”

The raced through his timeline and sure enough saw different tweets that pieced together a picture of his daily life.

“We have our victim!” Acharu announced.

“Of course you do, even you guys are not so dumb that you wouldn’t figure it out with all the help you got. Now are you just going to sit here announcing or are you going to actually do something?” Morkly responded.

“I’m on it already,” Senayon said, exiting the room.

“Aren’t you going to check the women on the list? One of them might be the killer, you know?” Morkly goaded Acharu. She knew it was unnecessary to and ignored his peskiness. There was little time and they had to get this right. Acharu called the phone number of the guy from one of the two her agents had supplied her earlier and dialed him up. She willed with all her heart that he would answer.

A Little Bird Said – 7

Remember to read the 2nd Episode of the Write Right Two top 5 Finalists 4-Part Series and vote HERE if you haven’t. Episode 3 gets posted tomorrow.

I asked a few weeks ago on twitter if people would like to meet up and buy Nigerian books. The answer was an overwhelming YES! This Saturday 25th of January, we’ll be having the 1st Meet, Chat and Buy Naija Books event. The venue is Patabah Bookshops, Shoprite, Surulere, and it runs from 3PM to 6PM. The good people at Channels Book Club will cover the event. You simply need to come and see all the great Nigerian books available. You’ll discover a treasure trove. On the top of every hour, we’ll be giving away one book courtesy Patabah Bookshops. And one lucky buy will go home with an LG Hometheatre that day, courtesy moi. Please share the image below with as many people as you can, it has all the details. So, see ya on Saturday.

Enjoy today’s A Little Bird Said.

TL

Meet Chat Buy Naija Books Patabah Correct 2

A naughty smile played across Bankole Balogun’s face as he cut the call. He was the senior pastor of the one of the fastest growing churches in Lagos. Before success in ministry came, he had married Tolani and they had stayed married for seven years. But as the ministry had grown, Tolani hadn’t been able to keep up. She was just not the type of pastor’s wife a growing church like his own needed. Anytime she climbed the pulpit to speak, he cringed and always had to act like he was receiving some serious revelation by peering into his bible. The women didn’t respect her, didn’t look up to her. The children made fun of her. The men looked at him with some sort of pity in their eyes as if to say “how did a fine and successful pastor like you end up with this burden of wife?”

Eventually, he decided that it was best they separated. And once the decision was made, he found a way to execute it quickly. He told her God had asked him to leave her. When she reminded him that God had told him she was his will for him before they got married, he responded that God’s will for him had changed and he had to follow the current word of God, the Rhema. She was now the Logos and not his present Rhema. She had cried and begged and sent pastor after pastor to him, but he remained resolute. He had told them with conviction that he heard from God and once he said that, none of them questioned him further. How could you question a man of God telling you he had heard clear instructions from God?

The part he thought would be the hardest turned out to be the easiest. When he announced this “Rhema” in his church, quite unexpectedly, the members seemed to be happy he was leaving his wife. They had endured her dulling him for so long, but now, he was free to rise and blaze like a shooting star. By the end of that service, the church was slapping high fives and giving the Lord wipers at Pastor Banky’s request. Mrs. Banky was gone and all the single ladies now began to see visions about being the true Mrs. Banky that the good Lord would reveal to their pastor.

And so, they began to come. In trickles at first, the braver ones. Pastor Bankole wasn’t a particularly strong man when it came to resisting temptation, so they came, he saw and he conquered. Then not content with waiting for them to come, he took his conquests beyond the church and began the twitter dalliances. That proved to be even more fruitful than the church ones, and unlike the church sisters who gave him of their forbidden fruits in the hopes of becoming his Mrs, the ladies from twitter knew their place and didn’t want more. Yet, so mightily grew the ministry and his following on twitter.

Those nasty bloggers almost got him one day at one of the hotels he normally used. It was then he decided that he would not do hotels any longer. The ministry was booming anyway and as the Americans say “money ain’t a thing” so he bought a three bedroom bungalow somewhere in Sangotedo, way after Ajah, for the singular purpose of his sexcapades. It was this bungalow he described to this fresh lady now and they agreed to meet there the next morning. She said she was married, but would get there very early since her husband left for work very early too. She had insisted she had to be back home before her husband got back from work. That was fine by him. He had a night vigil to preach at that night anyway.

**********+++++++++++***************

Senayon watched as Professor Morkly worked, flitting from his surprisingly cutting edge tech laptop to the two slim files they had produced for the two individuals and then to notes he was making in his precise and neat handwriting. He had commandeered Senayon’s chair and made him sit in the visitor’s chair. Senayon was sure that the professor did all these things deliberately to peeve him and he made up his mind not to give him the pleasure of getting angry. Acharu had left them to go and meet with the top brass that sent her to his police station in the first place. She had assured him that it wasn’t going to be a pleasant meeting and he had told her that he didn’t envy her one bit.

After what seemed like an eternity to Senayon, the professor finally looked up. “So what do you have?” Senayon asked.

“I was clearly about to tell you something. You didn’t need to ask like this is an interrogation. Are you so conditioned to your job?” Morkly said with an air of arrogance. Senayon seethed, but kept his cool.

“Now, I made some important points about this killer at the location. I’d like you to repeat those,” Morkly asked.

“Prof, this is not a lecture hall where you do spot tests. Will you please tell me what you have found out?” Senayon found himself letting his anger slip out briefly before he reined it in.

Professor Morkly wrinkled his nose and made a “look at you” face at Senayon before reeling out his prior conclusions “she is female, young, probably between twenty five to late thirties and social media savvy. That’s where we were before now.”

He paused for effect and then continued “Now, listen closely so you don’t miss a word. I’d advise you to take notes,” he said with all seriousness. When he didn’t continue, Senayon realized that his “advise” was more of an instruction that he must obey before hearing anything further. He sighed and dragged himself up to go around to his own normal side of the table to get the pen and pad. When Morkly was satisfied, he smiled and continued “there are some sexual aspects to her killing because she gets her victims naked and leaves them uncovered. She is also a show-woman, unwilling to let anyone else take the glory for her crimes. When your people were trying to ascribe it to another person, she made sure they couldn’t do it again, both with her victim selection and reporting it directly to the media. She follows a precise pattern with hacking the head off and displaying it, hence there’s some compulsion with that. She therefore will only murder when the conditions are right for her to do all of this. She needs time, the right location, the right condition, no impulsive kind of thing. That might just yet be how you will catch her, this showmanship and compulsion of hers. Now, there’s a pattern to her victims and that gave me an idea. She calls herself The Ring Collector, doesn’t she?” without waiting for Senayon to respond, he continued “so I pondered this and wondered on this and rolled it over and over. Thankfully, the gossip bloggers have the history of these gentlemen available online. It would seem they have something in common.”

“What?” Senayon interjected, looking up from his notes.

“Well, they all broke off very public engagements not very long ago. And from what these bloggers and the comments there say, these young men broke it off in callous and hard hearted manner, reportedly philandering right after they did.”

“And that’s the exact reason why we arrested Sumbo, the first victim’s fiancé immediately after his murder. She was the most logical suspect.”

“Ow, use your grey matter mister! You have two murders now, and except she is a changeling, she could not have been Charles’ fiancé as well as Fuad’s concurrently since I can see who Fuad’s former woman was here online anyway. So it was someone else. But this someone else must have had a similar experience of heartbreak and sees herself as some sort of vigilante for women of kindred experience.”

“Well, this doesn’t get us any closer to finding who she is about to kill sir, and I have one day to find this or the blood is on my hands,” Senayon blurted out.

“The first rule of this is that you do not let her enter your head and control your thinking. She’s doing this nicely already, plug your holes young man.” Morkly said in sharp rebuke. The heat rose in Senayon’s face, but he didn’t say a word.

“So I was saying, she is murdering these men as a vigilante service. She favors very public engagement breakups and this may explain her public displays of her killing. Now, to her name. She says she is The Ring Collector. Does that tell you anything?”

Senayon didn’t want to look stupid “obviously, she is killing men who have given engagement rings but who haven’t honored it.”

“That much is obvious from my preceding postulations. What I wanted you to see was the fact that she was creating a collection. A collection means she is counting. Now I wonder why she is counting.”

Senayon hesitated. When the Prof didn’t continue, he knew he must say something “perhaps she is keeping a count of the number of her victims,” he said sheepishly.

“Wrong!” Morkly boomed, as if he had expected Senayon to miss the point. “By the nature of her selection criteria, she is probably counting up to the number of broken engagements she has had. And those broken engagements must have been public. Now if you want to find The Ring Collector, you need to begin to look for all Lagos based women who have had at least three public engagements broken up in the past.”

“Wow” was all Senayon said.

“Yes wow. But if I was you, I wouldn’t be wowing here. I’d get to work to find every woman that meets all these criteria in town. Let me recap for you. Female, Lagos based, probably between thirty and thirty five, pretty, has had at least three public engagement breakups. And if you have the resources, search for men who have publicly broken their engagements recently. One of those will be her next target.”

Professor Morkly smiled smugly as he rounded off. He enjoyed doing this every single time, leaving them all bewildered by his awesome deductive skills. “There’s one piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit yet, so I’ll need some time to figure it out.”

“What’s this?” Senayon asked, crestfallen.

“Why she has picked a fascination with you. Why she is toying with you, sending direct messages to you in her murder scenes. You haven’t broken any hearts that I’m aware of; in fact, it would seem your story is one of having your heart broken repeatedly. So, I wonder, why does the Ring Collector fancy you her Ring Maker?”

With that hanging in the air, Professor Morkly got up, adjusted his neck scarf and waltzed out of Senayon office as if to some music he alone could hear.

***********+++++++++++++****************

Senayon called Acharu up and recapped Professor Morkly’s deductions to her.

“It’s crazy, but the mad man actually makes sense, pun very intended,” Acharu said.

“Well, I have a problem. I do not know how, where and with whom to find such information. And the number of people that fit the bill is going to be so huge that we simply cannot find anything reasonable especially with the time constraints. So whilst Prof’s eccentric mind has greatly reduced our sample space, it has still left us with a very large number of potentials both on the killer and victim sides,” he said.

“You forget I’m the police PRO. I know how to get such information when I need it. There’s a certain Stella Dimokokorkus that has a hang of gist like this. I’ll get some of my boys to speak with her and she’ll tell us all the people that fit the bill in Lagos, I’m sure.”

“Really?”

“Yup. I’m absolutely certain. She’s in Germany, so we’ll have it by morning. You can drop by my office tomorrow at about noon when I’m sure I’ll have it.”

“Okay, that’s cool then. How did it go with the ogas?” he asked.

“Not so great, they’re angry and want results as commanded from above. Don’t worry yourself, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I have to see the commissioner himself tomorrow to explain things. But I’ll be fine jare,” she responded.

“Okay, take care you then,” he said and cut the call.

With nothing else to occupy him, he finally began to think thoughts he had pushed to the back of his mind all day. He was finally alone in his office. And professor Morkly’s last statement niggled at his mind. Why was this Ring Collector bent on tormenting him?

***********++++++++++++++****************

The next morning, as early as 6:00AM under the cover of darkness, Pastor Bankole Balogun arrived at his sexcapade lair and made himself comfortable. They had been upfront about what they were rendezvousing for, so there would be no need to do any cajoling at all. It would be wham, bam and thank you ma’am.

The call came in forty five minutes after he got there and he smiled. She had probably left the house as soon as her husband left too. He cracked his knuckles before picking up.

“I’m at the gate,” was all she said.

“I left it open. Come in and then padlock it from inside,” he said. He didn’t want to risk being seen going to open the gate for her.

“I have the same fears as you. I don’t know who is around here who knows my husband. I don’t want to come down from this car until I’m safely within your compound,” she responded.

He sighed and wrapped a robe and went to get the gate. A rich one, he thought as he carefully opened the gate to make sure he was well hidden from sight. Her SUV had tinted windscreens, hiding the occupant. When she stepped out, he said a hallelujah inside him. She was hot, hot, hot.

She smiled boldly at him and said “shall we?”

Smiling sheepishly, he led her into the house, as she dragged a small bag along the ground. She saw him eyeing the bag and she smiles at him with meaning and said “who comes to work without their tools?”

*************+++++++++***********

Pastor Banky lay on his chest with his eyes closed. This girl was something! Her hands kneaded the muscles on his back, allowing the oils she had produced from her bag seep into his skin. She had arranged scented candles around and soft music played from the portable mini-speaker connected to her mobile phone. She had obviously planned how she wanted to sensually enjoy the day, complete with the mood and setting and he was glad to be a willing participant. So far, he had enjoyed himself. He looked forward to an even more enjoyable day. She got up from his back and he felt like a kid whose candy had been taken away. In a ragged voice, he asked “why did you stop?”

“I need to replenish my oil supplies from the bag sir. Now lie still and I’ll be right back.”

He smiled, anticipating her touch. That smile was still on his face when raw pain shot through his being. He tried to move but he couldn’t. He tried to say something, but it was as if he had lost control of his tongue. He felt himself being turned over to lie on his back. It took a while for his brain to comprehend what he was seeing. The lady who had been taking him to the heights of sensual pleasure with her touch moments ago was holding a Taser Gun in her hand. His brain told him she must have used it on his back just now. He willed himself to move but his body didn’t respond. Helpless, he watched as she brought it down to his chest. The pain caused him to blackout.

Girl Murder

A Little Bird Said – 6

Something real super cool is coming up for everyone who loves to read Naija books on Sunday the 26th of this month at Patabah Bookshops, Shoprite, Surulere. So keep your calendar open that day. You’ll get all the details next week.

Hope you have read the 1st episodes from the Write Right 2 Finalists and voted for your fave? If you haven’t, do so HERE. Voting for episode 1 ends tonight and I’ll put up the tally along with the judges votes tomorrow when I post the 2nd episode of their entries. Be ready to vote for your fave 2nd episode from tomorrow.

Enjoy Episode 6 of A Little Bird Said.

TL

A Little Bird Said 3

When the phone rang out without being picked, Acharu heaved a sigh of relief. Senayon could at least not accuse her of not trying. She turned to him and said “see, he didn’t pick up. Can we now try a more reasonable option instead of…”

The soulful voice of John Legend cut her short. She realized her phone was ringing. “He’s calling back,” Senayon said, stating the obvious.

When she didn’t make any moves to take the call, Senayon slid his thumb across the screen and connected the call, and then tapped the speaker icon once to put it on speaker. She eyed him but didn’t say anything. The voice that came over the phone’s speaker was clear and rich, somewhat Wole Soyinka-ish and with the Nobel laureate’s kind of command of the English language.

“And to what do I owe the honor of the interruption of a five or is it seven year spell of silence?” he asked.

Acharu seethed. It annoyed her that she remembered exactly how long they hadn’t spoken for and he clearly didn’t keep track of such. She was that unimportant. Thirteen years before that time when Nigeria’s new democracy began, she had been a green-eyed recruit at the police college, and most of the instructors had been exactly what one would expect of the police force – crass, uncouth and uncultured. She had started to wonder if all her friends and parents hadn’t been right to call her mad when a graduate like her told them that she was going to join the police force. And then she found kindred spirit, first in Senayon, but more dramatically in a superlatively brilliant professor. Professor Othniel Morkly had been like a full moon in a dark starless sky in the midst of his more mundane colleagues. American educated and a celebrated psychiatrist with the NYPD, for reasons he never revealed to anyone, he had resigned his position, left America, and come to lecture at the then rundown police college in Nigeria. Senayon hadn’t stood a chance with the good looking, brilliant professor. She started an affair with him and thankfully, the few other policewomen had not been competition. And then the Clifford Orji matter had come up. The authorities had insisted on the narrative that Clifford Orji was a ritualist who was working for certain political elements and used him as a leverage to silence many of their political opponents. Clifford Orji had cooperated and agreed to testify against those people in exchange for leniency and even reward. But Professor Morkly, with his American police experience had profiled many serial killers and insisted on treating Clifford Orji as that. He had stubbornly held on to that view and even written about it and publicly defied the authorities. That had been the genesis of his downfall. He had been framed as being mentally unstable and committed to Yaba Psychiatric Home. He came out seven years ago, and it was the last time Acharu had seen him before today. She had found that the experience in Yaba Left had eventually left him truly mentally unstable. Deep down, Acharu had known he was probably correct in his assessment of Clifford Orji, but shouldn’t he have save himself the stress?

“If you are not going to say anything, I might as well hang up,” Professor Morkly said now and Senayon quickly spoke up. “Sir, it was the network, we were speaking”.

Senayon poked Acharu to get her into the present and mouthed “Are you sure you’re okay” to her. Maybe she wasn’t really over what she had seen in the room yet, he thought. She shook her head to say she was okay though and then said “I’m with you prof, it was the network as Senayon said.”

“Senayon. Senayon,” Morkly mumbled.

Of course he can’t remember who I am, Senayon thought. I was just one of the unfortunate recruits whose girlfriends he charmed away from them when he was the star of the police college.

“I was your student along with Acharu.” Senayon said in a flat voice.

“Okay, Acharu, why did you call a demented old man?” he asked again.

“We have a situation which we think you will be the best to help us with,” she responded.

“By that, I take it to mean you have a case which the official position is different from what your sapient reasoning has told you the true case is,” he responded.

That was one of the uncanny things about the prof. He had an eerie way of getting to the bottom of issues with nothing but connecting the dots. He figured things out.

“Yes, you are correct sir. We have a killer on the loose. The selection tool is something we aren’t very familiar with, it’s social media, primarily twitter.” Senayon explained.

“Oh shush. Unlike you cavemen in your police force, I know what twitter is. So the killer uses twitter as a selection tool, you say. That’s very interesting. New frontiers these guys are breaking into,” he said, more to himself than to them.

Senayon continued, ignoring the insult “the killings follow a certain pattern. High commands wants it to be the paymasters of twitter activists that it should be hung on and that might have stood with the first murder but the second one shattered that possibility even though they insist we make it stick to the paymasters. We think a serial killer is on the loose and we need your help to profile the person.”

“I will not be involved with anything those nattering nabobs at your high command have set their minds to twisting. I did that once and look where it got me. And if I recall correctly Acharu, you moved on smoothly to some other police star once I was sent to rot in the mad house” Professor Morkly boomed. Acharu could imagine how he looked saying that, even through the phone. His eyes would be flared, his right fist clenched and his left hand in his pocket. She hissed and responded loudly, letting the disdain drip from her voice as she spoke “Senayon, we are wasting our time. The prof is past his best, and he is a scared chicken now. We would be better off with one of those UNILAG or LASU psychiatrists I suggested. Or even maybe one from Yaba Left.”

She waited for it. He didn’t disappoint. “What do you say girl? You dare to compare an erudite mind like mine to some quacks in some Nigerian universities and those idiots in Yaba who drive their patients mad? Even in my near senile state, I’m sure I’ll do a much better job than all of them combined. Where might both of you be at the moment?”

Senayon shook his head silently at Acharu. She knew what she had been doing, this woman. “At the scene of the last murder. It happened this morning.”

“Ow? That’s splendid. Tell your goons not to move a thing around the body. I’ll be there in a jiffy. Now where exactly is this place?”

Senayon reeled out the address and description to the professor and then hung up. Acharu hadn’t left to go and instruct the forensics people to hold on with the body. He knew why. She couldn’t bear to see the room again. Then he remembered that the body was already bagged anyway. The professor would have to make do with the pictures they had taken.

**************++++++++++++++*****************

She perched on her bed again, wearing nothing but her black lingerie. She couldn’t stand being in clothes once she didn’t have to wear them. She opened the case and counted even though she knew the number that was there. There were four rings in the case. Two down and two to go. One body for each ring. Those stupid police officers had released a story that Charles had been killed by his political associates and released a slew of documents showing he had been receiving payment, along with other twitter activists from politicians. She didn’t mind the scandal. Charles and his ilk were a lecherous bunch and deserved to be exposed, their adoring followers needed to see that their angels of light were really devious climbers in the background. But the issue she had was that they were taking away from what she was doing. She wanted the public attention, she wanted the public to be afraid. The pictures of Fuad she had released had done that and now, the police had been forced to announce that they were exploring other leads provided by the new murder while not discounting their political story earlier. They had basically admitted they had been wrong. No one took them seriously anyway, especially after Charles’ ex-fiancé’s piece on how Senayon had treated her. The blogs and even the news media were driving the mass hysteria now. Everyone was afraid of The Ring Collector and were wondering who she would be hitting in the next two days. She smiled. She was looking at him now on her laptop screen. And something was about to change about the rings she collected. Before meets after. She smiled, imagining how confused Senayon would be after this one. I have my Ring Maker, she thought to herself and rolled off the bed to set her plan into motion.

**************+++++++++++++***************

Professor Morkly arrived by taxi thirty minutes after Senayon hung up. He was dressed in an impractical getup, as if reverting to his American dressing habits which were impractical in Nigeria’s weather. He was wearing a shirt under a heavy lumberjack jacket. A red wool scarf was wrapped around his neck and his wrinkled chinos trousers were tucked into near knee-length brown leather boots. Thankfully, he wasn’t wearing a head-warmer and his unruly hair was in full display. In the early morning sun, he looked like someone who had stepped out of a New York winter into the Lagos sun. The lines on his face were deeper than Acharu remembered seven years ago and there was more grey than black in his hair now. But his eyes had not changed – quick, alert, but calm like they sucked all the knowledge within the space they looked in.

He had acknowledged Senayon with a quick nod of his head and Acharu with a stiff handshake and then asked to be led into the room where the victim lay.

“I’m sorry but they had moved the body before we called you. I tried to…” Senayon said

“You mean you made meander through a Lagos morning to come here to see an empty bed?” Professor Morkly said in anger. Senayon tried to explain but he simply waved it aside and the anger was gone. They went into the room and the prof looked around silently for some minutes. Then he asked “Do you have pictures or this scene and the other one or are you still in the stoneage and we have to wait for the lab to send you shiny glossy images?”

“Oh can you quit being snotty for a moment? The pictures are all over the internet already and we took more when we got here.” Acharu intervened when she saw a muscle twitch on Senayon’s forehead. He should calm down, she thought. Wasn’t he the one that insisted on Morkly? He should be ready to stomach all the jabs.

“Oh great, let me see them,” Morkly said. “And my leg isn’t as good as it used to be when I would give you hours of lectures. Isn’t there somewhere I can sit?”

They left the room for the living room. By now, the forensics and evidence people had left and they were alone in the house.

Professor Morkly continued as he studied the pictures on the tablet Acharu handed to him “We know a few things. She is young and tech savvy, and selects single young men who live alone to murder in their own homes.”

Acharu flared up “She? Just like that you concluded that it has to be a she? And why if I may ask? Is it because the victims are men or would you have concluded otherwise if the victims were women without any evidence?”

“Calm your quite full tits young woman” the prof responded sharply. “All the pictures showed the men in some sexual connotation. The first was naked, the other was tied to bedposts, also naked. The houses showed no evidence of break-ins, so they must have let the killer in themselves, someone they recognized. No one else had seen the killer come in, from what you tell me all the neighbors said when you questioned them. You did question them, didn’t you?”

“Prof, you aren’t lecturing us here, and yes we did question them.” Senayon responded with some irritation.

“So even with the possibility of the neighbors lying due to the silly reputation your force has for prosecuting witnesses, let’s assume they all didn’t. That means the killer was let in discreetly. Men typically let women they don’t want to be seen with into their houses discreetly only when they are having a sexual rendezvous. So my dear feminist Acharu, except these men were closeted homosexuals, their killer was decidedly female. Any questions?”

Acharu didn’t have any. As usual, Morkly beat everyone around him down with his logic. It was perhaps the quality that caused his colleagues in the police to pull him down so bitterly once they had a chance. She was sick of this house. “Can we at least leave this place for an office or something?” she asked.

“Whilst being in the crime scene inspires me somewhat, I guess I need to be civil and accede to the request of the damsel. Plus, I need proper, fast internet. I’d like the names and any information you can dig up about the past of the two victims. By observing her victims, we can piece together the mind of the killer. How long did she say you had before she killed again?” Morkly asked.

“Two days.” Senayon said, remembering that this was some sick game this killer was playing, challenging him to find her or be responsible for the deaths.

“We should have a profile before the day runs out and match with whichever potential suspects you come up with. Kapish? Now, let’s make the lady happy,” Morkly said, bowing.

*************+++++++++++++++++++++++++

The young lady lay under the duvet, finally exhausted from darting from place to place that morning. But she had one more call to make before she finally let herself rest. The next ring to collect. She had checked the DM of one of her twitter accounts a couple of minutes ago. She saw the message she had been looking forward to getting. It had a telephone number and said “Call me”. The guy was super confident that she would call. She wondered how many times he had done this. She had cultivated him carefully, retweeting all his religious tweets, responding and sharing insights and being a devoted follower. It had taken a week for him to follow her with a different account and ask for a follow back. She had been expecting this. The DMs started after that, first explaining that he wanted to share deeper things that the general account did and it was best done through DM on this private exclusive account which only a select few knew about. She had played the part and gushed about being honored and all. Now, he wanted to seal the deal. She smiled.

When the call connected and she introduced herself with the name she had chosen, the rich male voice greeted her warmly and then said “Would you like me to show you a new level of grace?”

ff @tundeleye on twitter