Simon pushed the sheet of paper into his robes, looked around the scraggly, little apartment with disgust, and left the room. At his car, he said to Femi. “You survived the impossible today, Femi, for this I commend you. And I will make sure I petition the Conclave to consider you for promotion. However, I fear I know why you were spared. If what you have described here is correct, then something big is afoot. The witches are mobilizing for a major attack.”
This struck a chord of utter despair within Femi.
Simon got into his car and started the engine. The glass rolled down and he stuck his head outwards. “Stay out of trouble, Femi. Stay away from hunting for a while, at least until I’m sure of what we’re dealing with.”
“What’s going to happen now?”
“Well, I have to consult with my superiors. We have to get through to the Conclave. They might require you to give a detailed account of what you experienced. So return home, stay away from work, and rehearse in your mind all that has happened today. I’ll contact you soon.”
Simon revved his engine, pulled away from the side of the road, and drove down the street towards the highway. Femi wanted to say more—to know more—to be involved in a greater degree in hunting this level four—yet, it was not his place to question a superior for he had to count those who labored in the service of God above him of double honor. Resignedly, he began his ascent up the street till he got to his bike.
The street on which he had parked his bike—the one that twenty minutes on adjoined the highway—bustled with streaming workers on their way to their jobs, salesmen hanging around the opening of their shops, soliciting patronization, children in flocks trekking to their schools, cleaners in orange uniforms, sweeping the sandy asphalt with long brooms, and the area boys—full grown men of great disrepute, of a hardened heart, and of a great and rabid penchant for violence that was nothing short of demoniacal.
As usual, three of such men were involved in a brawl that was quickly drawing the attention of passersby. Naturally, Femi couldn’t care less if they stabbed themselves to death as they threatened to, however, as he drew nearer the mouth of the street, when he realized that the object of this quarrel was his bike—or rather, who gets to extort money from him for parking his bike on their turf—a sudden fear gripped his frame.
He paused first, mere feet away from his bike and the attending throng of muscular, bare bodied men—bare bodies that revealed hideous scars, some old, most fresh. Femi took notice of one particularly short man whose features belonged to the devil—belong to the devil for who else save the evil one would wield a weapon (a shard of bottle which at some time had belonged to the whole of a wine bottle) against a man with gleeful eyes?—because he was the one who held claim to Femi’s bike. His opponent, a rather tall and lanky fellow yet not lacking in rigid qualities and his own large number of scars, stood him up with a weapon of his own—a long machete that was sharpened perhaps for the sole reason of splitting the air to its components—though with an uncertainty about him and certainly without delight.
This ghastly company was not without movement and sound. They moved, as one, in sweeps and lurches around his bike and a cacophony of shrieks and yells held around them. A small crowd had already gathered though at a safe distance.
Femi pondered on his next course of action. He—or more appropriately, his red bike—was the reason for this bitter scuffle. It would be no great exertion of will power for one of the foul characters to bury an axe in his head, thus ending the fight. He had to act with caution. But what could he do?
As he was yet considering the matter, he heard a sharp and swift grating sound. This dreadful sound was attended by flying sparks that originated from the ground between the two protesters. Femi fled the scene just as his heart fled his chest. Once he was several yards away, he turned and observed that the mass of area boys that had attempted to settle the wrestle and prevent it from ascending to an all-out provocation had dispersed as well, leaving the two men facing each other without fence. The small crowd had increased to a multitude.
Femi looked more closely at the ground and realized the cause of the sound and sight. The one wielding the machete had scrapped the ground with it, sending forth sparks in all directions and letting loose that horrendous grating sound. Now he had the sharp end of the murderous instrument of death pointed down at the short man.
“I go kill you if you no commot here, now,” the man roared with a sharp, evil look.
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